Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Where's the accountability

The WikiLeak mess continues.  When Obama talked about Transparency, I don't think Julian Assange and WikiLeaks was what he had in mind.

Before we go any farther, I'm pissed  very angry at what's happened..  Not because of what I've seen of the releases,. Most of them are more of an embarrassment than a threat.. Yes diplomats spy on each other.. not much of a surprise there, they've doing it for centuries.  Yes, American is covertly helping other countries protect themselves from people we consider mutual enemies.  American diplomats are encouraging the purchase of American made military equipment to other governments, I hope so.   Is anyone surprised diplomats gossip about each other?  Spies have been collecting information about peoples sex lives for thousands of years.

I haven't seen it, and I haven't looked for it..  I understand one document released yesterday may have contained a world wide list of locations, which if damaged could potentially do serious damage to the United States

Specific content will be damaging in certain cases.. You can be sure intelligence people from all over the world are piecing bits and pieces together to get a better idea of our capabilities, long term interests and what wine to serve at a diplomatic dinner.  Our prestige has taken a blow... and it will be very clear to the rest of the world, the United States can't be trusted to keep a secret. Anything someone says to an American official will go into a diplomatic dispatch.. which will be left laying around, open reading for anyone who's curious.

That's what pisses me off, makes me very angry is, when did we start getting so stupid and careless about how we protect our nations secrets and the secrets of those who trust us?  The current spin is it was done to offset the lack of communication between agencies that might have warned us about 911.  That's fine, I can understand an overreaction.  that was nine years ago..  Has no one has examined the system since?  A system so clearly flawed that Private E3 with a blank CD can walk out of a secure complex with hundreds of thousand of " Secure Documents"

American politicians and other loudmouths are all screaming for WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange's head..  It doesn't matter if it's still connected to his neck, in fact many would be happier if it wasn't.  It's too late now, but a few months go that would have been the simplest way to deal with him. 

Several people have accused Assange of Treason,   Among others, Eric Holder and Dianne Feinstein are saying he violated the Espionage Act of 1917   That's all fine, they can say it all they want, Assange is not an American Citizen, he's not on American Soil. he is not subject to American Law.  As far as I know,there is no evidence the enticed PFC Bradley Manning, (who actually stole the material)  into stealing the information or paid him for it once he did.

There is a clause in the law that says if you find yourself in possession of US Government Property you are required to return it to the United States Government, that's true, if you're an American.  Besides, if you charge him with that... and it sticks, what do you do about the NY Times, The Guardian UK and Der Spiegel and several other long established publications.?  Would they not be guilty of the same crime?

Don't misunderstand. I've got no use for what Assange did,just like individuals and families, a government has secrets, those secrets need to be protected.  But once an individual or a family member allows those secretes to become public...they are public.  It was the failure of the United States to take reasonable precautions that allowed this stuff to be made public.

Obama has been President for almost two now.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been trusted with State Secrets and protecting them officially and unofficially for almost twenty years..  Defence Secretary Robert Gates has been running the Pentagon for four years.  It is the failure of their organizations to adequately protect this information that allowed the thief to happen. They need to be held accountable.

If this had occurred under the Bush Administration the media would have been howling for his impeachment.  A Junior Senator from Illinois would have been leading the charge.  To this day, Obama would still be talking about how Bush left left the engine running with the three year old in the the car..and how the kid drove the car off a cliff.

Assange is a Son of a Batch, who took advantage of a ridiculously flawed situation for personal gain.  Bradley Manning is worthless _____________ fill in the blank ( my choice is not PC.) with certain adjustment problems. However the entire situation could not have occurred if not for the incompetence at the Pentagon and State Department.  


  1. One other thought... suppose Obama had the Internet Kill Switch, Joe Lieberman is pushing. There is little doubt it would have been used.. American's wouldn't have a clue what was going on... While the rest of the world read all about it..

  2. Didn't that assange character used to play Doogie Houser on TV?

  3. Anyone remember that guy from Clinton's administration that walked out with documents stuffed in his pants and socks? (Burger, I believe) That should tell you how competent our government is about protecting information.

    They suck at everything. There are no exceptions.

    Let's face it folks...just take 9/11 as an example. The sole purpose of our national security apparatus is to see things like that coming, and prevent them. They didn't. So what does government do in the aftermath?...set up a panel of "experts" (former incompetents in government), to find out what went wrong (ie, minimize the public perception of how inept government is). The answer of course was to create another new monstrous, inefficient, expensive bureaucracy. Now we're supposed to believe the problem is fixed? BS.

    The government is always at least a step behind; and that's giving them much more credit than they deserve.

  4. Lew... 40 years ago that stuff was logged and accounted for by the page... the log might say something like

    page 1 Secret
    page 2 Intentionaly left Blank
    page 3 Top Secret..

    If your unit didn't have a need to know, page three could be complety blank except for the TOP SECRET stamp top and bottom

    No someone can put Gigabits on a disk and walk out?

  5. Check this out from the wikipedia entry on Sandy Berger. Yeah, those feds sure are careful with their stuff. LOL:

    The Justice Department initially said Berger stole only copies of classified documents and not originals. But the House Government Reform Committee later revealed that an unsupervised Berger had been given access to classified files of original, uncopied, uninventoried documents on terrorism. Several Archives officials acknowledged that Berger could have stolen any number of items and they “would never know what, if any, original documents were missing.”

  6. Berger had the status that comes with being a presidentual advisor.... come to think of it, so did Harry Dexter White

  7. It was 3 am in North Dakota...I was at Bravo Launch Facility sleeping like a baby. The Security controller rang the phone in my room...they did that sometimes to be funny.

    On the phone was my Group Commander. He asked me to go into the capsule...that underground place where we store missile officers..and they should remain there...forever.

    This is unusual..it is in the ops plan for only extreme conditions to exist for security personnel to enter the capsule. This was one of those situations.

    Once in the secure closet of the launch capsule I was told that someone had allowed an individual who was not cleared to be in the room while the launch code book was open.

    From what I was told, the individual had not actually seen the codes, but the possibility existed that they could have.

    Within the next (cant tell you how long or I would be forced to hunt you all down) amount of time every launch code, and delivery code for every operational nuclear weapon in this country, and under the sea had to be changed.

    Now we have some complacent group of retards in the Pentagon (knowing some of them gives me the right to call them retards) allows PFC limp wrist access to our nations secrets..and no one knows anything until a freak from Australia publishes it.

    Assange and Manning are certainly due some serious justice...but so are a ton of other people.

    Gates should follow the example of the leaders from Asian nations...it would be the honorable thing.

  8. Capt, I think part of the problem is no one takes this stuff serious like when you and Mr Fishy were in the service. We met when he was stationed at a det in Wyo. "we are a weather detachment". More on that at a later date but come to find out he was part of AFTAC most of his career.

  9. Capt.. Much lower level, As a battalion S2 clerk.. got an envelope one day from a line company, through regular distribution... Standard Routine.. I held it up towards a widow and took a quick glance.. then I took a second look.. without opening the envelope I could read the new combination for that Company's Safe..

    I tossed on the Ops Sargent's desk, and told him to take a look... He told me to go see the Colonel and toss it on his desk the same way. Colonel told me to draw a 45, wait till around midnight and pull an unannounced security inspection... open the safe, then have the CQ call the Company Commander and 1st Sargent..

    Made for an ugly night..

  10. LOL.

    Just before I retired a went out to do a post inspection. I would ask simple questions like what are your general orders, etc.. A new Airman Basic acted like I was being too demanding. I treated him with the respect due someone who couldn't be bothered to know even the most basic information.

    He was upset that I had talked to him in a "rude" manner. He told me that his TI in basic had said that if they felt that what I was saying "stressed them out" they could tell me to take a "Time out".

    I took a time out..including his supervisor..in my rudeness.

  11. When I had to open that safe, the 1stSgt was an E8 close to a thirty year retirement...

    He knew what a breach like that could do to his retirement... It didn't the Colonel just wanted to send a message,, For a few minutes, I'm petty sure he was thinking killing a Sp4 was a better reason to go to jail than a compromised document safe.


  13. Never Know Marine.. possible Manning got them as well... That could be Assange's real Ace up his Sleeve.

  14. There was certainly havoc at the base where Manning served. It just isn't getting published. Manning is in solitary confinement and that is all we know. Knowing less and less become the new status quo on information dissementation as an outcome of this event. At the core, of the thousands of American officials and service people all over the world who have had access to this electronic information only ONE breached. Wikileaks is another story still developing. We are in an era of cyberwars.

  15. I'm not sure we know there was only one breach.. Unlike Manning or Assange an enemy isn't going to publicize their espionage.

  16. What we know today is that Assange is out of jail in London and says he will release more stuff. He says it will be from the financial sector. Apparently he obtained a hard drive belonging to a bank executive.

    We also know that his former Wikileak partners have distanced themselves from him and started another site - openleaks.org.

    So far, the info remains well within the "no surprises" realm and juicy gossip. We'll have to wait and see what Assange does next. I don't think we'll know for a very long time, if ever, what the investigations at the base itself revealed.

  17. Heard the disk is from a BOA executive... could contain, from grounds for his wife to divorse him to stuff we'll need to ask Lewis to sort out for us.


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