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A whistle-blower website has published what it says are more than 90,000 United States military and diplomatic reports about Afghanistan filed between 2004 and January of this year.
The first-hand accounts are the military’s own raw data on the war, including numbers killed, casualties, threat reports and the like, according to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.org, which published the material Sunday.
Here’s the link. When I prepared this post, last night, their servers were pretty much swamped.
“It is the total history of the Afghan war from 2004 to 2010, with some important exceptions — U.S. Special Forces, CIA activity and most of the activity of other non-U.S. groups,” Assange said…
The significance lies in “all of these people being killed in the small events that we haven’t heard about that numerically eclipse the big casualty events. It’s the boy killed by a shell that missed a target,” he told CNN.
“What we haven’t seen previously is all those individual deaths,” he said. “We’ve seen just the number and like Stalin said, ‘One man’s death is a tragedy, a million dead is a statistic.’ So, we’ve seen the statistic.”
The website held back about 15,000 documents from Afghanistan to protect individuals who informed on the Taliban, he said.
The news-as-entertainment crowd, liberal or conservative – it matters not, will probably panic over this. As will their mirror-image peers in Congress.
The culture of government which has adopted the practice of classifying information as “secret” because it is embarrassing, damning or otherwise a potentially negative force upon the body politic – demands severe penalties for revelations. Our representatives in Washington DC have had this cowardly habit for decades.
The easier it becomes to collect data, the easier it is to lose control of it.