How Many Lives Will WikiLeaks Save?

Jävligt läsvärd artikel av Ray McGovern, en pensionerad CIA-agent som blivit en politisk aktivist.

If independent-minded Web sites, like WikiLeaks or, say,, existed 43 years ago, I might have risen to the occasion and helped save the lives of some 25,000 U.S. soldiers, and a million Vietnamese, by exposing the lies contained in just one SECRET/EYES ONLY cable from Saigon.

I need to speak out now because I have been sickened watching the herculean effort by Official Washington and our Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) to divert attention from the violence and deceit in Afghanistan, reflected in thousands of U.S. Army documents, by shooting the messenger(s) — WikiLeaks and Pvt. Bradley Manning.

After all the indiscriminate death and destruction from nearly nine years of war, the hypocrisy is all too transparent when WikiLeaks and suspected leaker Manning are accused of risking lives by exposing too much truth.

Besides, I still have a guilty conscience for what I chose NOT to do in exposing facts about the Vietnam War that might have saved lives.

Sam was one of the brightest and most dedicated among us. Quite early in his career, he acquired a very lively and important account — that of assessing Vietnamese Communist strength early in the war. He took to the task with uncommon resourcefulness and quickly proved himself the consummate analyst.

Relying largely on captured documents, buttressed by reporting from all manner of other sources, Adams concluded in 1967 that there were twice as many Communists (about 600,000) under arms in South Vietnam as the U.S. military there would admit.

Sam kept playing by the rules, but it happened that – unbeknown to Sam – Dan Ellsberg gave Sam’s figures on enemy strength to the New York Times, which published them on March 19, 1968. Dan had learned that President Lyndon Johnson was about to bow to Pentagon pressure to widen the war into Cambodia, Laos and up to the Chinese border – perhaps even beyond.

Later, it became clear that his timely leak – together with another unauthorized disclosure to the Times that the Pentagon had requested 206,000 more troops – prevented a wider war. On March 25, Johnson complained to a small gathering, ”The leaks to the New York Times hurt us. … We have no support for the war. … I would have given Westy the 206,000 men.”

Ellsberg later copied the Pentagon Papers – the 7,000-page top-secret history of U.S. decision-making on Vietnam from 1945 to 1967 – and, in 1971, he gave copies to the New York Times, Washington Post and other news organizations. In the years since, Ellsberg has had difficulty shaking off the thought that, had he released the Pentagon Papers sooner, the war might have ended years earlier with untold lives saved. Ellsberg has put it this way:

“Like so many others, I put personal loyalty to the president above all else – above loyalty to the Constitution and above obligation to the law, to truth, to Americans, and to humankind. I was wrong.”

Han avslutar med en kort jämförelse med dagens situation:

Unless one is to believe, contrary to all indications, that Petraeus is not all that bright, one has to assume he knows that the Afghanistan expedition is a folly beyond repair. Thus, it is not encouraging that he regaled a Washington Post reporter yesterday (Sunday) in Kabul with stories about “incipient signs of [you guessed it!] progress in parts of the volatile south” and “nascent steps” to reintegrate low-level insurgents.

According to the Post, Petraeus has been “burrowing into operations here [Afghanistan] and traveling to the far reaches of this country,” and “has concluded that the U.S. strategy to win the nearly nine-year-old war is ‘fundamentally sound.’” Does this not sound very much like the approach taken by Gen. Abrams in his August 1967 cable from Saigon?

It is rubbish, and it is hard to believe Petraeus does not recognize it as such. Moreover, it is virtually impossible to believe that Ambassador Karl Eikenberry (see below) shares that rosy view. This, of course, is precisely why the ground-truth of the documents released by WikiLeaks is so important. We need, among other things, to hear more from Eikenberry, and we will not get anything useful from some public speech.

Later the Times posted the entire texts of the cables, which were classified TOP SECRET and NODIS (meaning “no dissemination” to anyone but the most senior officials to whom the documents were addressed).

The cables conveyed Eikenberry’s experienced, cogent views on the foolishness of the policy in place and, implicitly, of any eventual decision to double down on the Afghan War. (That, of course, is pretty much what the President ended up doing.) Eikenberry provided chapter and verse to explain why, as he put it, “I cannot support [the Defense Department’s] recommendation for an immediate Presidential decision to deploy another 40,000 here.”

Such frank disclosures are anathema to self-serving bureaucrats and ideologues who would much prefer depriving the American people of information that might lead them to question the government’s benighted policy—in this case toward Afghanistan.

Han länkar även till den här läsvärda artikeln (också skriven av honom):

Nothing highlights President Barack Obama’s abject surrender to Gen. David Petraeus on the “way forward” in Afghanistan more than two cables U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry sent to Washington on Nov. 6 and 9, 2009, the texts of which were released by the New York Times.

No longer is it possible to suggest that Obama was totally deprived of good counsel on Afghanistan; Eikenberry got it largely right.

Sadly, the inevitable conclusion is that, although Obama is not as dumb as his predecessor, he is no less willing to sacrifice thousands of lives for political gain.

Så när Pentagon beskyller Wikileaks för att riskera liv så har de visserligen förmodligen visst fog för det påståendet, men det är ingenting mot de liv som ett snabbt slut på kriget kan spara. Fast framför allt så är den största förtjänsten fortfarande att sanningen kommer fram och allmänheten får veta vad som egentligen händer och inte bara det Pentagon och Washington anser att allmänheten ska tro pågår.

Personligen skulle jag vilja påstå att det här stärkte mig i min uppfattning om att Piratpartiet handlat rätt genom att stödja Wikileaks, men tyvärr kan jag inte det. Det är helt enkelt inte möjligt att höja från 100%, hur mycket jag än skulle vilja… 😉

Pingat på Intressant.

3 Responses to How Many Lives Will WikiLeaks Save?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention How Many Lives Will WikiLeaks Save? « Full Mental Straightjacket --

  2. mrperfect72 says:

    Den som kaempade foer USA ut ur Vietnam vid dennat tidpunkt var Olof Palme. Med honom kvar hade kanske inte Piratpartiet behoevts, kanske inte heller med Anna Lindh. Med Alliansen, Mona och Bodstroem behoevs Piratpartiet verkligen. Men se upp foer USA nu! Vi borde alla hjaelpa varann att komma in i riksdagen 2014!
    Medlem av Aktiv Demokrati

    • qeruiem says:

      Fet chans, hörrö. Läs till exempel här, här eller här.

      Vad gäller Anna Lindh har jag mindre på fötterna, men jag har mycket svårt att tänka mig att hon skulle varit en ängel om hon blivit statsminister. Hon var, trots allt, en proffspolitiker, uppfostrad inom Socialdemokratin från tidig ålder och jag har personligen erfarenhet från den verkligheten. Inom SSU (liksom förmodligen i princip samtliga politiska ungdomsförbund) så passar man antingen in eller så gör man inte karriär. Anna gjorde en blixtrande karriär inom SSU och vidare rakt in i Riksdagen.

      Jag har oerhört svårt att se att hon skulle gått emot sitt eget parti, det var hon för slipad för.


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