Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Flim-Flam Leakers

I seesaw between laughing or pitying so many gullible folks out there. Making the rounds, again, is the "leaked" documents by Wikileaks: Web Publisher Under Attack.

Basically its fundraiser time, send money.

Wikileaks is billed as having "... some significant organizations behind it. Associated Press, the Gannett Company, and the Hearst Corporation are listed as steadfast supporters..." and "founded by Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and start-up company technologists, from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa." Well at least you vaguely know a little about who and what is leaking on you. AP, Gannett, Hearst - the conservative equivalent of trusting Washington Times, The Weekly Standard, and Fox News.

WIKI: A never-before-seen military manual detailing the day-to-day operations of the U.S. military's Guantánamo Bay detention facility has been leaked to the web, affording a rare inside glimpse into the institution where the United States has imprisoned hundreds of suspected terrorists since 2002. The 238-page document, "Camp Delta Standard Operating Procedures," is dated March 28, 2003. It is unclassified, but designated "For Official Use Only." It hit the web last Wednesday on The disclosure highlights the internet's usefulness to whistle-blowers in anonymously propagating documents the government and others would rather conceal. The Pentagon has been resisting -- since October 2003 -- a Freedom of Information Act request from the American Civil Liberties Union seeking the very same document."

Well if the ACLU is suing for it - it must be important.

Wiki-type scams have been around at least as long as I have. It sells to the wannabe revolutionaries and armchair pseudointellectuals. Such documents are prefaced with phrases like "never-before-seen" Such documents are among millions of pages of government generated paperwork that may or may not say "classified" but contain nothing more than mundane military operational rules.

The never-before-seen SOP manual is all over the internet, specifically in University libraries and every Wired, Raw Story, and PrisonPlanet website pretends, it seems without reading it, that it contains horrific information on the G-O-V-E-R-N-M-E-N-T.

The WaPo adds about 2 cents worth: The SOP manual deals with everything a guard at Guantanamo would need to know, from how to remove detainees' clothing when they first arrive (cut it off, Station 1, because detainee is shackled, Station 2 is showering, Station 3 cavity search, Station 4 new clothing) to what guards should do if they find a detainee's plastic foam cup with writing on it (confiscate it). Rolls of toilet paper are considered "comfort items" that can be given to detainees as rewards. (If you ever visit the Middle East, be forewarned that many folks without this comfort wipe with their robes.)

Some websites are saying such things as "The document exposes, among other matters, systematic methods to prevent prisoners meeting with the Red Cross and the use of extreme psychological stress as torture."

That would be Chapter 17 regarding the ICRC. There were 4 types of Red Cross visitation allowed: No Access, Restricted, Unrestricted, and Visual. One whole page is devoted to Red Cross/Detainee procedure rules, page 105. I saw no mention of "methods to prevent prisoners" meeting the Red Cross.

There is nothing at all regarding the use of stress as torture - that is a bald-face lie, but you only need to look at the folks who are believing and/or donating to keep the leakers/hypesters funded; Wikileak needs $700,000 yearly. A lot of money just to "leak" SOP manuals hinting as somehow exposing "systemic methods" of government gone wild.

WaPo also insinuates something nasty with: "The manual also confirms previous reports about dogs being used at the facility and detainees spending time in "segregation cells," either as punishment or for intelligence gathering."

They are patrol dogs people. Patrol dogs. Military K9 units. Nothing about unleashing the dogs on prisoners but doesn't that comment call up images of Abu Graib, especially for progressive folks. "Segregation" is known as solitary in civilian prisons, which by the way most progressive/liberal folks believe is also torture. I agree, so lets put all those pedophiles and child murderers in the general population, then you can complain about the State not protecting them after the gen-pop is finished with them.

DailyKos includes several links, including how to donate, to Wiki stuff. Because, you see friends, Wiki is under attack. Here's a link to an official-looking 34 page document which Wiki interprets as an attack on them by US Intel. I trudged through and conclude the report is reporting how Wikileaks using a variety of public sources and leaked sources with a high degree of technical capability and resourcefulness to portray the US as the bad guys, with no editorial oversight, fact checking, or accountability. The report also discusses the legal challenges Wiki faces in some foreign countries regarding the privacy of individuals and corporations, etc. It alleges that some believe the website is an instrument of propaganda and/or a CIA front.

The report also admits that Wiki and other such sites are likely to proliferate and could represent a potential threat to the US Army in the foreseeable future, some very dry technical info on the how and what of Wiki software, etc. Although looking at that paragraph on page 1 of SECRET/NOFORN, they do not have a spellchecker. It seems to me Wiki pulls a lot of information together to create spreadsheets and invites everyone to offer an opinion. Doesn't mean the info is reliable or accurate but an "open society" type geek would be in hog heaven in forming his opinion about it. And we all know where opinions come from.

WIKI states on page 1 of the under attack report: This document is a classified (SECRET/NOFORN) 32 page U.S. counterintelligence investigation into Wikileaks. “The possibility that current employees or moles within DoD or elsewhere in the U.S. government are providing sensitive or classified information to cannot be ruled out”. It concocts a plan to fatally marginalize the organization. Since Wikileaks uses “trust as a center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insiders, leakers or whistleblowers”, the report recommends “The identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions from using the Web site”. [As two years have passed since the date of the report, with no Wikileaks’ source exposed, it appears that this plan was ineffective]. As an odd justification for the plan, the report claims that “Several foreign countries including China, Israel, North Okra, Russia, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe have denounced or blocked access to the website”. The report provides further justification by enumerating embarrassing stories broken by Wikileaks—U.S. equipment expenditure in Iraq, probable U.S. violations of the Chemical Warfare Convention Treaty in Iraq, the battle over the Iraqi town of Fallujah and human rights violations at Guantanamo Bay." (I used a spellchecker.)

Hmm ... as two years have passed since the date of report ... with no sources exposed, it appears this plan was ineffective." Or, it may be the information Wiki hypes as monumental earth shaking "leaks" is of no dire concern to US Intel. Or maybe, maybe Wiki is an intel front ... Or, the "plan" as stated is to find government employees who leak information and fire/prosecute them, not uncommon in any enterprise, and thus crimp Wiki's style. What does it say to you when the US government, with the best and latest technology available, cannot identify the folks running Wiki or its leakers ...

For you folks who love all things leaked my advice is go to Ebay or Craig's list because there are numerous salespeople selling never-before-seen unclassified and declassified bound and collated crap that you can eagerly force yourself to read through hoping the next page or the next page will reveal some "rare glimpse" and irrefutable proof about the sins of the US government - because surely the government has written and admitted in detail their evil deeds for us to read. I have a few such never-before-seen documents leaking in my attic from 40 years ago - back then we sold them at quirky little stores, on street corners, flea markets, protests ...

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