Pentagon versus Wikileaks 129 replies

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Commissar MercZ

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#1 8 years ago

Well, the Pentagon has been becoming more and more aggressive towards Wikileaks, identifying the site as a security threat to American intelligence operations by compromising their activities through the disclosure of highly classified

According to the wikileaks twitter account, it

-WikiLeaks is currently under an aggressive US and Icelandic surveillance operation. Following/photographing/filming/detaining. -If anything happens to us, you know why: it is our Apr 5 film. And you know who is responsible. -Two under State Dep diplomatic cover followed our editor from Iceland to http://skup.no on Thursday. -One related person was detained for 22 hours. Computer’s seized.That’s SKUP - Stiftelsen for en Kritisk og Undersøkende Presse -We know our possession of the decrypted airstrike video is now being discussed at the highest levels of US command. -If you know more about the operations against us, contact https://secure.wikileaks.org/ -We have been shown secret photos of our production meetings and been asked specific questions during detention related to the airstrike. -We have airline records of the State Dep/CIA tails. Don’t think you can get away with it. You cannot. This is WikiLeaks.

As March went on, as their twitter update indicates and updates through wikileaks.org, tensions were beginning to boil over between wikileaks (which had just emerged from a fundraising drive to recoup legal costs), and the Pentagon.

Wikileaks released a document which they said proves Pentagon interest in the site. In what appears to be an Army Intelligence document,

http://file.wikileaks.org/file/us-intel-wikileaks.pdf

(U) Key Judgments

(S//NF) Wikileaks.org represents a potential force protection, counterintelligence, OPSEC, and INFOSEC threat to the US Army. (S//NF) Recent unauthorized release of DoD sensitive and classified documents provide FISS, foreign terrorist groups, insurgents, and other foreign adversaries with potentially actionable information for targeting US forces.

(S//NF) The possibility that current employees or moles within DoD or elsewhere in the US government are providing sensitive or classified information to Wikileaks.org cannot be ruled out. The claim made by Wikileaks.org that former US government employees leaked sensitive and classified information is highly suspect, however, since Wikileaks.org states that the anonymity of the whistleblowers or leakers is one of its primary goals.

(U//FOUO) The Wikileaks.org Web site could be used to post fabricated information, misinformation, disinformation, or propaganda and could be used in perception management and influence operations to convey a positive or negative message to specific target audiences that view or retrieve information from the Web site.

(U//FOUO) Several countries have blocked access to the Wikileaks.org Web site and claim the right to investigate and prosecute Wikileaks.org members and whistleblowers or to block access to or remove false, sensitive, or classified government information, propaganda, or other malicious content from the Internet.

(U//FOUO) Wikileaks.org most likely has other DoD sensitive and classified information in its possession and will continue to post the information to the Wikileaks.org Web site.

(U//FOUO) Web sites such as Wikileaks.org use trust as a center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers. The identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions from using the Wikileaks.org Web site.

And concluding,

(S//NF) Will foreign entities attempt to conduct CNE or CNA to obtain information on the posters of information or block content on the Wikileaks.org Web site?

(S//NF) What software, tactics, techniques, and procedures would be used by a foreign actor to conduct CNE or CNA against the Web site?

(S//NF) Will foreign persons, businesses, or countries attempt civil lawsuits or criminally prosecute whistleblowers, Wikileaks.org staff, and members who posted comments on the Web site?

(S//NF) Will Wikileaks.org and various users expand the data fields in the TOE SQL database to include equipment capabilities, equipment limitations and vulnerabilities, known unit locations, links to geospatial information services, or known unit personnel to develop ―battle books‖ for targeting packages?

(S//NF) What other leaked DoD sensitive or classified information has been obtained by Wikileaks.org?

(S//NF) Will foreign organizations such as FISS, foreign military services, foreign insurgents, or terrorist groups provide funding or material support to Wikileaks.org?

With increasing pressure, wikileaks promised to release a video on April 5th (today), which shows what they see as an example of indiscriminate strikes on civilians and journalists to fight the insurgency. The video shows an incident from summer of 2007, where two Reuters reporters were killed. Wikileaks says the Pentagon covered up the incident as an engagement between the Coalition forces and the Insurgency, and the two reporters were killed in the cross fire.

Wikileaks put up a site at "collateral murder", showing a video of the incident and documents. On April 5th the video was revealed.

http://www.collateralmurder.com/

The video shows footage from the helicopter as well as the radio chatter, where the crew identifies a group of Iraqis and the two journalists as having (nonexistent) weapons, and then opens fire on them after seeing a camera lens they thought was an RPG. The helicopter then engages a van that stops and attempts to take the bodies to a hospital.

06:50:00: 1/8 CAV moves in to assist 2/6 after a report of Small Arms Fire (SAF) in the area. They fail to positively identify (PID) the attacker. 06:18:40: Crazyhorse [lead helicopter] notices a group of people on an open plaza. 06:20:05 Crazyhorse: "Have five to six individuals with AK47s. Request permission to engage." 06:21:09 First shots fired at the group. 06:21:41 Helicopters cease fire. 06:22:02 Helicopters notice that Saeed is injured and is crawling. 06:24:54 Crazyhorse: "Come on, buddy. All you gotta do is pick up a weapon." 06:25:26 Helicopters notice a mini-van arriving, attempting to help Saeed. 06:25:58 Crazyhorse: "Roger. Break. Uh Crazyhorse One-Eight request permission to uh engage." 06:26:29 Bushmaster gives permission to engage. Proceed to open fire on the mini-van. 06:27:27 Helicopters cease fire. 06:31:53 Bradley armored vehicle arrives on the scene, followed by ground personnel. 06:33:12 They discover two wounded children in the van. 06:35:14 Ground unit reports: "I've got uh eleven Iraqi KIAs [Killed In Action]. One small child wounded. Over." - "Roger. Ah damn. Oh well." 06:36:05 "Well it's their fault for bringing their kids into a battle." 06:36:45 Humvee drives over Namir's body. 06:43:06 Bradley armored vehicle drives over a second body. 06:49:09 Video cuts. 07:20:42 Helicopter reports that 6 individuals have entered a building. It appears to be either under construction or an abandoned construction site. 07:21:40 "This is Bushmaster Six Romeo. Crazyhorse One Eight is going to be engaging north to south with Hellfire missiles over." 07:23:39 Hellfire missile is fired. "Target hit." 07:25:27 "There it goes! Look at that bitch go!" 07:26:42 "Roger, building destroyed. Engaged with three hellfire missiles."

At the time, media reported it was a routine engagement between coalition forces and an insurgency. However Reuters challenged this claiming the pentagon failed to provide a satisfactory explanation for the deaths of their two journalists. Reuters released an article covering the incident at the time.

Reuters seeks U.S. probe into killing of Iraqi staff | Reuters

Clearly wikileaks has upped the ante against the Pentagon, and is hoping to bring media attention to put the onus on the Pentagon, who had originally written off this engagement as the helicopter coming in to reinforce an engagement between coalition and insurgents, where small arms fire and RPG were reported. The video clearly does not show this.

Wikileaks reveals video showing US air crew shooting down Iraqi civilians | World news | The Guardian WikiLeaks posts 'killing' video

It will be interesting to see where this goes.

Mod Edit: Might as well place this footage here as well, for ease of access and discussion. It's apparently the uncut feed.




Flash525

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#2 8 years ago

I doubt much will come of this. The Government / Pentagon has power, and if the media push enough, they'll end up in trouble. Shouts out conspiracy to me, not that I know a whole lot about the incident in question, but, at the end of the day, the government (or those in power) usually get away with their crimes.




Dragonelf68

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#3 8 years ago

I don't think they'll be able to censor wikileaks though. If they try to, it'll start a huge shitstorm with internet censorship.


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Commissar MercZ

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#4 8 years ago

Aerilon;5287499I doubt much will come of this. The Government / Pentagon has power, and if the media push enough, they'll end up in trouble. Shouts out conspiracy to me, not that I know a whole lot about the incident in question, but, at the end of the day, the government (or those in power) usually get away with their crimes.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Dragonelf68;5287502]I don't think they'll be able to censor wikileaks though. If they try to, it'll start a huge shitstorm with internet censorship.

This is why wikileaks sent videos out and put out downloads everywhere. It will be easy for wikileaks to be shut down if the government really wanted too, but then it would have to turn its attention to sites and people who had already seen the video.

Ultimately as Watergate shows, with sufficient attention to an issue, even if evidence is covered up and destroyed, it will still be in people's awareness.

Looking from the Pentagon's stand point, I can understand why they feel wikileaks poses an intelligence threat by releasing classified documents, but at the same wikileaks has shown what kind of activities is going on in the background.




jackripped

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#5 8 years ago

lol lul and lool..... nufin new...




SeinfeldisKindaOk

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#6 8 years ago

I heard a guy from wikilinks talking on the radio a few weeks back, can't find the link though. I'm all for it, as long as the information can't be used to harm anybody. In the case of the video above, it's several years after the event, it's doubtful that puts anybody in physical danger and the people that lied about it should be held accountable.




Guest

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#7 8 years ago

Man that video pissed me off, can someone in the military tell me why it makes sense to engage when they are picking up the wounded and carting them to the hospital?

This is coming from someone who thinks most of the time when stuff like this happens its overrated, but goddamn I guess people holding hand camera's are holding grenades.Its hard to tell what they were holding yes, but really you couldn't confirm that they were holding weapons.

Although this shows who the actual casualties were, about 5,000 Americans died in Iraq, but about 100,000 unnecessary civilian deaths happened, about 1 million excess deaths, looking at the procedures in this vid its easy to tell why so many died.




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#8 8 years ago

I watched the video but the resolution isn't really that great. They talk about AK-47s and even a RPG, is there really any weapon in that video or was this information confirmed later? I couldn't see such details.

It is not surprising that the Pentagon doesn't like the idea of someone publishing such information, but I'd say wikileaks did the right thing in this case. Even if such information may be harmful to the effort in Iraq/Afghanistan it is important that voters get a realistic idea about the wars that are going on there instead of some propaganda about surgical strikes that always hit the bad guys.




crisissuit3

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#9 8 years ago

reporters should know the risk when going into a combat zone. But they way those pilots acted made me a little less patriotic. They were not sure if they had weapons (or at least I don't think so) and are so eager to open up on a wounded guy. its like the exact opposite of black hawk down when that guy hopes that the women doesn't pick up a gun.

and whats so "evil" about picking up wounded and dead. and I doubt terrorists will care if a few ak-47s go missing.




Commissar MercZ

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#10 8 years ago

Professor Dr. Scientist;5287535I heard a guy from wikilinks talking on the radio a few weeks back, can't find the link though. I'm all for it, as long as the information can't be used to harm anybody. In the case of the video above, it's several years after the event, it's doubtful that puts anybody in physical danger and the people that lied about it should be held accountable.[/QUOTE]

Indeed, though the Pentagon probably won't see it that way, especially in regards to the more recent documents that wikileaks discloses. If the document that wikileaks disclosed from Army Intelligence is legitimate, it shows that the government/military considers them a threat to security.

Warforger;5287546Man that video pissed me off, can someone in the military tell me why it makes sense to engage when they are picking up the wounded and carting them to the hospital?

They "justified" it I suppose by thinking they were insurgents coming to gather their fallen and weapons. But it didn't seem to pose a threat, and it kind of chills me to see how they were bragging about how they popped the shot through the windshield.

The case with the two children was bad too. I think it would have been better to take those children to the American base to be treated, rather than leave them to chance in the run down Baghdad hospitals, especially considering this was East Baghdad which was already a shitty place before the war.

Although this shows who the actual casualties were, about 5,000 Americans died in Iraq, but about 100,000 unnecessary civilian deaths happened, about 1 million excess deaths, looking at the procedures in this vid its easy to tell why so many died.

Some of those casualties came from infighting between the Iraqis themselves- recall all the strife that happened in the aftermath of the invasion and continues to a degree nowadays. It does however raise some questions about the rules of engagement in dealing with these situations and how many civilians are written off as collateral.

[QUOTE=MrFancypants;5287548]I watched the video but the resolution isn't really that great. They talk about AK-47s and even a RPG, is there really any weapon in that video or was this information confirmed later? I couldn't see such details.

From the impressions of a journalist who arrived later, it doesn't seem to've had any weapons, at least to the scale the crew was indicating. One of them did seem to have an AK47, but what they mistook for an RPG seemed to be the cameraman's lens.

But saying that they all had weapons and posing a threat seems to be a lie on their part. They seemed too relaxed to be insurgents, and from what Reuters said, the two journalists were there taking pictures and asking questions. Did they pose a threat to the chopper? It didn't seem so.

When they're watching one of the wounded crawl away, one of the chopper crews eggs on the guy to pick up a weapon, so that he could have an excuse to open fire.

It is not surprising that the Pentagon doesn't like the idea of someone publishing such information, but I'd say wikileaks did the right thing in this case. Even if such information may be harmful to the effort in Iraq/Afghanistan it is important that voters get a realistic idea about the wars that are going on there instead of some propaganda about surgical strikes that always hit the bad guys.

The video was wikileaks' ace in the pocket. They revealed the existence of the tape once the Pentagon began to increase their surveillance on the organization.

I haven't seen a reaction from American media beyond what they have posted on their own sites (Fox has it headlined "army accused of 'video game' killings"), but I somehow think to those who will watch this are already convinced of some of the shadier aspects of Iraq before hand, and those who still feel confident that civilians are not killed will continue to think so. But the video itself is pretty telling.