Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts

Antiwar: They said the huge cache of classified documents – including 250,000 diplomatic messages passed from US embassies around the world to Washington – was a fantasy, “boasting” by Pfc. Bradley Manning, the intelligence analyst who gave Wikileaks that video of US soldiers laughing and shouting “good shot!” as they mowed down Iraqi civilians. The “hi tech” media, especially Wired magazine, did everything they could do discredit and smear him, including spreading rumors about his alleged sexuality. Now, with the release of over 91,000 internal US government communications, intelligence analyses and incident reports via Wikileaks, the motive behind the determined effort to smear Manning and shut down Wikileaks is all too apparent.

----- I guess I'm out of the loop - I didn't know Manning was being smeared with his demotion for assaulting another soldier and don't ask don't tell sexuality. Or his brief pre-enlistment career in food service and retail. I almost feel sorry for the kid. He has bitten off more than he can ever chew.

Interestingly, the leaked documents tell us Osama bin Laden is alive - and for years the nay-sayers have said he was dead. For years the leakers and knowers and bloggers have said dialysis toting OBL died of kidney disease, and was not Osama, gravely ill and hooked up to dialysis, meeting with a CIA agent in a Kuwait hospital in 2000? That's one of the worldwide "facts" that went around after 9/11. Today I read Osama does not use dialysis - but he does suffer occasionally from kidney stones. Too much black tea...

The documents also tell us the sensational claim of the Taliban having acquired heat-seeking missiles, and that NATO has covered this up or so says the Telegraph. UK Telegraph reports Taliban militants have used a heat-seeking surface-to-air missile to attack a Western aircraft over Afghanistan for the first time. Courtesy of Iran.

Justin of Antiwar says: ”Like all raw intelligence, however, I would take some of these “revelations” with a very large grain of salt, such as one report that says a top bin Laden adviser flew to North Korea to buy weapons."

I think we'll need a few of the salt blocks we used in the cow pasture.

Daniel Ellsberg said he considers Manning and Wikileaker Julian Assange heroes for publicizing information the government wanted suppressed. He said Manning’s alleged leak was possibly more significant than his own, which exposed the secret expansion of the Vietnam War.

Most if not all of this leak reveals nothing we don't already know. If anything comes out of this mass of documentation that's of use to anyone - who will verify it's the truth?

I don't expect to see Manning become anything other than a jailed martyr/cause for the "left" because unlike Jewish Harvard/Cambridge/Quantico PhD Ellsberg - Manning is a grunt born in Oklahoma, reportedly attended secondary school in England, returned to the US, working food service and retail, a few community college courses before enlisting. Ellsberg had his honorable discharge in hand, Manning is active duty. Ellsberg leaked his information to arms of the establishment, the NYT, WaPo, etc. Manning leaked his to a foreign national.

Ellsberg got a lifetime of kudos and boards to sit on. Manning will have a lifetime of grief. If Manning, by some stroke of the gods, has his charges dismissed as Ellsberg did, the best Manning can hope for is to be a temporary folk hero such as Cindy Sheehan or Ehren Watada (but minus the GI benefits and/or general discharge). Maybe a book deal since everyone gets one these days, then fade to a footnote. But I predict the kid will do hard time.

Does one have to be a deserter, dissenter, or defector to be a people's hero? Who are these people who make heroes out of criminals? When history asks what went wrong in Afghanistan will the Manning Papers be a primary source? It should be obvious by now that since WWII the US doesn't fight to win - it fights to enrich international contractors. As one of my sons said years ago from Iraq - the suits are running this war.

Although I'm against the war on the Middle East, Manning's method is not the way to accomplish anything. Neither was Ellsberg's - do you really think the esteemed Mr. Ellsberg, at the time working at Rand think tank, made his treasonous decision all by his lonesome? As always, the public is or will be manipulated to benefit a few, the power and money seekers. Manning will have his supporters and Free Manning followers, but for most of them - he's not a keeper.

Have you seen Julian Assange, the "leader" of Wikileaks? All I can think is who drained his blood and stole his eyebrows?

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