Founder of Wikileaks explains why he published secret U.S. documents regarding Afghanisgtan

July 26, 2010 | By | 5 Replies More

At Common Dreams, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange explains why he published the confidential U.S. military documents regarding Afghanistan:

These files are the most comprehensive description of a war to be published during the course of a war — in other words, at a time when they still have a chance of doing some good. They cover more than 90,000 different incidents, together with precise geographical locations. They cover the small and the large. A single body of information, they eclipse all that has been previously said about Afghanistan. They will change our perspective on not only the war in Afghanistan, but on all modern wars . . . This material shines light on the everyday brutality and squalor of war. The archive will change public opinion and it will change the opinion of people in positions of political and diplomatic influence. . .

We all only live once. So we are obligated to make good use of the time that we have, and to do something that is meaningful and satisfying. This is something that I find meaningful and satisfying. That is my temperament. I enjoy creating systems on a grand scale, and I enjoy helping people who are vulnerable. And I enjoy crushing bastards. So it is enjoyable work.

Here is the location of the Wikileaks Afghanistan documents. Glenn Greenwald applauds the leak, and condemns the U.S. governments failure to be forthright about the waste of lives and money regarding the U.S. adventure in Afghanistan:

WikiLeaks has yet again proven itself to be one of the most valuable and important organizations in the world. Just as was true for the video of the Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad, there is no valid justification for having kept most of these documents a secret. But that’s what our National Security State does reflexively: it hides itself behind an essentially absolute wall of secrecy to ensure that the citizenry remains largely ignorant of what it is really doing. WikiLeaks is one of the few entities successfully blowing holes in at least parts of that wall . . .


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Category: Censorship, Military, Orwellian, The Middle East, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (5)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    After the documents were released, WikiLeaks founder and Editor in Chief Julian Assange told me: “Most civilian casualties occur in instances where one, two, 10 or 20 people are killed—they really numerically dominate the list of events. … The way to really understand this war is by seeing that there is one killed after another, every day, going on and on.” . . .

    The Obama administration is running for cover, and its response has been confused. National security adviser Gen. James Jones condemned the disclosure of classified information, saying it “could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security.” At the same time, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said “there’s no broad new revelations in this.”

    The threat posed by this historic leak is not a threat to the lives of American soldiers at war, but rather to a policy that puts those lives at risk. With public support already waning, this leak can only strengthen the call for the war’s end.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    "A top volunteer with WikiLeaks, Jacob Appelbaum, was detained by US customs officials in New York today, following his return to the nation from a trip to the Netherlands. During the three hour detention, officials rummaged through his belongings, photocopied all of his receipts, searched his laptop computer, and seized his cellular telephones."

  3. Brynn Jacobs says:

    The Pentagon is demanding Wikileaks return all copies of leaked documents. As a Reddit user said, "Methinks the pentagon doesn't understand how the internet works."

    WikiLeaks is believed to have released some 92,000 classified documents on Afghanistan.

    Morrell said that any additional public disclosure of classified information "can only make the damage worse."

    A batch of documents WikiLeaks released on July 25 contain a string of damaging claims, including allegations that Pakistani spies met directly with the Taliban and that the deaths of innocent civilians at the hands of international forces have been covered up.

    "Damaging claims", but damaging to whom?

    • Erich Vieth says:

      I think the Pentagon is feeling the need to do SOMETHING to make others believe that there could be consequences for release of confidential records. Even if it is asking for the records back, or even if they are demanding that the records be taken down by Wikileak. I did see that Reddit comment, however, and agreed with it, laughingly.

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    The U.S. is working to financially strangle Wikileaks:

    "Moneybookers, a British-registered internet payment company that collects WikiLeaks donations, emailed the organisation to say it had closed down its account because it had been put on an official US watchlist and on an Australian government blacklist. The apparent blacklisting came a few days after the Pentagon publicly expressed its anger at WikiLeaks and its founder, Australian citizen Julian Assange, for obtaining thousands of classified military documents about the war in Afghanistan, in one of the US army's biggest leaks of information."

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