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July 27, 2010

Afghan War Diary (Bumped)

Looks like Obama picked the wrong Presidency to quit smoking.

The White House responded swiftly and sharply to publication Sunday evening of more than 91,000 secret documents painting a bleak picture of the Afghanistan war, calling the leak “irresponsible” and saying that the source – the whistleblower website WikiLeaks — “opposes U.S. policy in Afghanistan.”

The NYT has published a selection of the files, redacted "to conceal suspects' identities, or because they might put people in danger or reveal key tactical military capabilities" - a courtesy I don't believe the Bush administration was ever afforded.

Watch for lots more at the Drudgereport as this story begins to erupt. I'll update this post with more, when warranted.

Update: Or not. It seems there's lots here to be underwhelmed about.

ANYONE who has spent the past two days reading through the 92,000 military field reports and other documents made public by the whistle-blower site WikiLeaks may be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss is about. I’m a researcher who studies Afghanistan and have no regular access to classified information, yet I have seen nothing in the documents that has either surprised me or told me anything of significance. I suspect that’s the case even for someone who reads only a third of the articles on Afghanistan in his local newspaper.

I haven't gone through them myself, but I do know the news of Pakistan's divided loyalties left me profoundly unshaken.

Posted by Kate at July 27, 2010 10:00 AM
Comments

First! Kate for PM!!!!

Posted by: Roger at July 25, 2010 9:12 PM

Roger, Roger, I think she would have to run for M.P. first; I think. Not that I disagree with you. She'd certainly be good at putting an end to stupid argumentation.

Posted by: larben at July 25, 2010 9:45 PM

WTF is this, leaked US gubmint documints? These guys are WAY off the reservation!

Don't these Wikileaks knobs know you're not supposed to leak this stuff when a Democrat is the President? If you're going to do a "Pentagon Papers" job you're supposed to wait until there's a Republican to take the rap!

Kids these days, eh?

Posted by: The Phantom at July 25, 2010 9:48 PM

Kate can't be PM. The loss of life from Leftist heads exploding would be too great.

Not that the Leftists would be any great loss, but think of the innocent bystanders!

Posted by: The Phantom at July 25, 2010 9:51 PM

Just when you thought nothing new would come up ta da. Wikileaks - no there is a name that just begs to be made fun of - wants transparency. Well here is some if we pull out then a lot of people will die mostly women. But they know that don't they. I find it strange that they did this to Obama it seem so counterproductive.

Posted by: Ford Prefect at July 25, 2010 9:52 PM

Just when you thought nothing new would come up ta da. Wikileaks - now there is a name that just begs to be made fun of - wants transparency. Well here is some if we pull out then a lot of people will die mostly women. But they know that don't they. I find it strange that they did this to Obama it seem so counterproductive.

Posted by: Ford Prefect at July 25, 2010 9:52 PM

OOPS! sorry about the double post.

Posted by: Ford Prefect at July 25, 2010 9:54 PM

The few snippets I read simply confirm what has been widely reported as rumor. In other words pleasing your enemies does not make them your friend.

Posted by: Joe at July 25, 2010 9:55 PM

Are the wheels coming of the Obama bus?
When will this slow motion wreck come to a stop?

Posted by: orvict at July 25, 2010 9:59 PM

I don't like this wikileaks at all, especially who they leaked to.
This isn't about any responsibility from any administration, it's an attack on the internet.
The free flow of info is the target here.
Expect some internet limiting legislation soon.!
JMHO

Posted by: William in Ajax at July 25, 2010 10:10 PM

The Phantom at 9:51 PM : "Kate can't be PM. The loss of life from Leftist heads exploding would be too great.

Not that the Leftists would be any great loss, but think of the innocent bystanders!"

Not that the leftists have heads.

Posted by: Louise at July 25, 2010 10:20 PM

And to think, if this was released two years ago, Wikileaks would be praised for speaking truth to power, fighting the man, attacking the imperial overlords etc. Funny how the rules change when the Democrats have the White house and Congress.

Posted by: qwerty at July 25, 2010 10:22 PM

Its a toss up who's the most deceitful. The White House or the MSM.
Something doesn't add up here. Why would a radical rag like the NYTimes print this? Even if done in velvet gloves?
Just how can you get at the root of these folks? When with purpose all is to be made into a fog, with pepper thrown in our eye's. Everything from oil spills to race baiting.
If Obama wants out of Afghanistan this may be a leek. Who knows though? So many Czars, so little time.

Posted by: Revnant Dream at July 25, 2010 10:25 PM

Rev, perhaps it's meant to divert attention from Journolist.

Besides that, there's no reason to not blame Bush, is there? He'll still be the whipping boy 20 years from now.

Posted by: Louise at July 25, 2010 10:39 PM

TENTH !!! But who cares.

I find it interetsing that at the bottom of the article the reasons for redaction,as follows;

About the Redactions... The types of information that have been removed from the documents include:
Names or precise identifying information of sources.
Names of buildings under surveillance.
Names of prisoners.
Names of kidnap victims.
Times required for various tactical military reactions.
Radio frequencies or phone numbers used in insurgent communications

That right there is more information regarding redacted text, than we have heard in months here from the sillyass opposition or from the gov't.

You have to admit,sometimes,actually most times,the Americans do things much better than we do.

Posted by: wallyj at July 25, 2010 10:40 PM

hmmmmm. speaking of distractions. the brits released a memo today that clearly says obamao knew about the deal to release the lockerbie bomber despite his publicly saying otherwise.

Posted by: saskmike at July 26, 2010 12:12 AM

[.........“A retired senior American officer said ground-level reports were considered to be a mixture of ‘rumours, [baloney] and second-hand information’ and were weeded out as they passed up the chain of command. ‘As someone who had to sift through thousands of these reports, I can say that the chances of finding any real information are pretty slim,’ said the officer, who has years of experience in the region.

“If anything, the jumble of allegations highlights the perils of collecting accurate intelligence in a complex arena where all sides have an interest in distorting the truth.”
..........]

And there lies the rub...how credible is this stuff really and then does it really matter.... events have likely overtaken anything real anyhoo.

It is open knowledge that elements in Pakistan are unreliable----even treacherous.....

Remember the wisdom regarding Viet Nam---"anyone who thinks/says they understand it has not been properly briefed." An opinion with which I concur with, for what it's worth........

The scuttlebutt is that this "Wiki-leaks" fella has been a marked man for a long time.

Posted by: sasquatch at July 26, 2010 2:44 AM

Phantom writes: "Don't these Wikileaks knobs know you're not supposed to leak this stuff when a Democrat is the President?"

Not to worry; the proprietor of Wikileaks pointed out in his defence that the leaked documents only covered the Bush years. It must be OK then.

Posted by: Roseberry at July 26, 2010 8:35 AM

Another CBC pole about to go horribly wrong?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/pointofview/2010/07/wikileaks-should-war-documents-have-been-released.html

Posted by: TJ at July 26, 2010 1:41 PM

How do these leaks, including the New York Times efforts to conceal sensitive information, affect arguments in Canada about the release of Afgan detainee documents to the Parliamentary Committee?

Posted by: David at July 26, 2010 2:28 PM

qwerty says "And to think, if this was released two years ago, Wikileaks would be praised for speaking truth to power, fighting the man, attacking the imperial overlords etc. Funny how the rules change when the Democrats have the White house and Congress."

Doubtful. Had this happened two years ago, Julian Assange would have been in front of a judge possibly facing a firing squad. Which, with any luck, will still be the case.

Posted by: Joe at July 26, 2010 3:46 PM

Will Wikileaks soon be releasing some secret Taliban documents detailing the war crimes committed by them and the number of innocent civilians murdered by them?

Posted by: gimbol at July 26, 2010 9:37 PM

and now this, even a disaster cant go right for a left prez.


http://abcnews.go.com/WN/bp-oil-spill-crude-mother-nature-breaks-slick/story?id=11254252

Posted by: cal2 at July 26, 2010 10:17 PM

I miss Dick Cheney !!

Posted by: OMMAG at July 26, 2010 10:21 PM

Maybe it is me, but a feeling of gloom settled on me this evening as I watched CTV. It seemed to be that CTV was banging the drum for the Taliban. This in a subtle way of course.

"Treason doth never prosper, what's the reason?
For it it prosper, non dare call it treason".

Sir John Harrington. (1561-1612).

Posted by: Peter (Lock City) at July 26, 2010 11:21 PM

obama is essentially a middle of the road mildly reformist conservative in the the mode of George H W Bush or Gerald Ford. he'll do nothing to end the war or reform our in the US government or big business, the poeple kate and to a less witting extent, the rest of you carry water for....Any other interprtation only makes y'all look even more out of touch and crazy than you already looked...I guess I *should* be thankful it keeps you busy punching at shadows and out of any real trouble

The afgan war will be a debacle no matter who keeps running it. wikileaks is correct to expose this for what it is. a badly run mess at worst and at best simply unwinable. It hardly matters whether the material is from the bush years when unical's pipeline and attacking iraq was the focus or now when the completely unrealist desire on obama's part is to actually win it...I'm sure the real fear is china will take afganistan and central asia over through sheer weight of their growing economic might.

also, women are dying in afganistan right now and the "coalition is in no position to stop or even really slow it. I think over 200 girls schools have been burned of damaged in the last two years alone. outside some trendy areas of a few cities all the womean are remaining covered and have been ever since we started to lose control of the cities back in 2003==2004. despite laura bush's pipe dream to the contrary; we never had control of the country side to the point women could safely go uncovered. the only good thing about this whole mess is it's really brought down the price of heroin...which is the main underpinning of the ecomony of..surprise suprise...pakistan.

Posted by: hardy-har at July 27, 2010 1:13 AM

Tough times for the Obama to quit puffing?

Au contraire...just maybe the great one arranged the leak anticipating a public backlash thereby making withdrawl much easier.

Naah, I'm giving this guy too much credit.

Posted by: el gordo at July 27, 2010 10:42 AM

Yesterday I saw video taken from a helicopter. Holy smoke those guys are good shots ! www.collateralmurder.com

Posted by: Art at July 27, 2010 10:43 AM

"Don't these Wikileaks knobs know you're not supposed to leak this stuff when a Democrat is the President?"
Phantom

Like the Sherod incident was an inside job to discredit Breitbart and slap Beck and right wing citizens in the process with another dose of racism for good divisive measure, this "leak" is already yet another "issue" useful in distracting the masses away from the fact the Republic is bankrupt and imploding in not so slow motion.
Now add the posibility that it might be used as an excuse to plan a retreat and bring the Ghan troups home; just before midterms, would be a popular move. Remember, they're broke too.
Escalade tensions with Pakistan afterwards.

And how about that nasty internet? Another threat to national security!...Start regulating!

Paging Rham "Never let a crisis go to waste" Emmanuel

Posted by: Right Honourable Terry Tory at July 27, 2010 11:04 AM

Pakistan aiding the Taliban, really no shite I'm so not surprised. Pakistans leaders get western cash to catch the bad guys and they give said funds to the bad guys so the West keeps paying them and the wheels of the bus go round and round. Bout time we cut the islamists off the tiddy, gawd I'm sick of the Islamists and their never ending tirades and demands for supremacists' status.

Posted by: rose at July 27, 2010 1:06 PM

Can someone please explain to me how these documents were not "stolen", but the CRU leaked documents were "stolen". I just love the double standard BS of the MSM.

Posted by: Ken in calgary at July 27, 2010 1:14 PM

Ken in calgary at 1:14 PM: "Can someone please explain to me how these documents were not "stolen", but the CRU leaked documents were "stolen". I just love the double standard BS of the MSM."

==========
Bingo!!

Posted by: Louise at July 27, 2010 1:29 PM

REMEMBER when the NYT would not print the Climategate files because they were stolen?

Posted by: sdcougar at July 27, 2010 2:47 PM

speaking of war, a status check on the 'war' on drugs:

thenation.com/article/37916/who-behind-25000-deaths-mexico

Posted by: beagle at July 27, 2010 5:39 PM

again with the war theme; the reason why iraq 2.0 is so expensive:

nytimes.com/2010/07/27/nyregion/27fraud.html?_r=1

note the dates. could this too be part of dubya's legacy?

jist askin' . . .

Posted by: beagle at July 27, 2010 5:44 PM

beagle, many years ago I was friends with a woman whose husband worked at a Canadian university. She told me that her husband was working on a project that aimed to create a biological weapon to use in wars. Got that. In Canada. If you think this doesn't happen, I guess you never should have graduated from kindergarten.

Posted by: Louise at July 27, 2010 5:53 PM

Anybody else notice that these trolls seem to show up around the middle of the afternoon. They probably just got out of bed.

Posted by: Louise at July 27, 2010 6:00 PM

Kate:

You're surprised by Pakistan's divided loyalty? Unless you mean you're surprised by the fact that a tiny minority of Pakistanis actually support the Allies, I'm surprised. Any amount of reading will tell you that the real government of Pakistan is the ISI, and that the "elected" government exists solely to kiss up to the US and extract billions of dollars of aid. Even the US government admits that ISI is a substantial element in the heroin trade, and I'm convinced that one reason that NATO isn't just eradicating poppy fields in Afstan is tacit agreements with ISI not to do so, in exchange for bases and other support from Pakistan.

Posted by: KevinB at July 27, 2010 8:29 PM

KevinB, one thing you should know about Kate is she has a very wry sense of humour.

Posted by: Louise at July 27, 2010 9:16 PM

The main reason Pakistan's military is so unsuccessful against the insurgiants is largely because it is trained and equiped for a war with India....and mostly deployed against the border with India. Men and material are lacking to deal with the Swat Valley or the other Tribal areas.

Most are unaware that a 60 year-old battle-field rages in the north on the high altitude Siachen Glacier.

That's right......India and Pakistan have been devoting blood and treasure fighting over a 70km long chunk of ice for 60 years.

After that anything else possible in that region seems sorta sensible/reasonable.

Posted by: sasquatch at July 27, 2010 11:08 PM

Sasquatch: "India and Pakistan have been devoting blood and treasure fighting over a 70km long chunk of ice for 60 years."

Well then, bring on global warming!

Posted by: Louise at July 28, 2010 9:45 AM

KevinB, if you're going to go to the trouble to make a comment about something Kate says, take the time to read it properly first.
How do you read "I do know the news of Pakistan's divided loyalties left me profoundly unshaken" and conclude that "You're surprised by Pakistan's divided loyalty?". What you're attributing to her is the exact opposite of what she said.

Posted by: Jethro at July 28, 2010 10:12 AM
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