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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Obama Administrations Utter Failure To Stop Wikileaks

Last week I awoke to a story about how ICE and the DHS had seized domains, without prior warning, without domain owners receiving even a notice of intent and in one of the many articles reporting about it, the New York Times quoted the owner of one Torrent finder, Waleed A. GadElKareem, who operated Torrent Finder from Egypt in regards to his site being shut down with no warning.

Sunday night, the largest military leak in US history was published by major newspapers because the owner of the site Wikileaks, Julian Assange, was given over 250,000 embassy cables containing private transmissions of frank and open diplomatic discussions involving information gathering, intelligence and much much more.

Wikileaks provided a download of those cables on the Wikileaks site after having given then to major media outlets throughout the world.


This information dump was not a surprise. Months ago our government, in fact, all of us, knew he had those cables and that he planned to release them.

We knew because the man that allegedly gave the information to Wikileaks, Bradley Manning, is in a military prison, to make a long story short, he bragged about leaking the "Collateral Murder" video of the July 12, 2007, Baghdad airstrike, in addition to a video of the Granai airstrike and around 260,000 diplomatic cables, to the whistleblower website Wikileaks.

Bottom line here is we knew, but more importantly, the Obama administration knew, that Julian Assange and Wikileaks had those cables and was planning to publish them.

In the case of Torrent Finder, the Obama administration was able to seize the domain and prevent the site from running in it's normal functioning capacity, but yet Wikileaks is up and running and has been, except for a short period on Sunday where they suffered DOS attacks and went dark.

Not only that, but Julian Assange is still roaming free, despite what many believe to have been an act of Espionage.

Not only were these cables damaging and dangerous to the U.S. but these cables also provided evidence of what many could only speculate about before, that it was not Israel that pushed the hardest about a strike at Iran, but was the surrounding Arab states that pushed even harder.

The Middle East just became much more dangerous for more than American soldiers.

This brings about many questions, some of which Sarah Palin has taken to Facebook to ask:

First and foremost, what steps were taken to stop Wikileaks director Julian Assange from distributing this highly sensitive classified material especially after he had already published material not once but twice in the previous months? Assange is not a “journalist,” any more than the “editor” of al Qaeda’s new English-language magazine Inspire is a “journalist.” He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?

What if any diplomatic pressure was brought to bear on NATO, EU, and other allies to disrupt Wikileaks’ technical infrastructure? Did we use all the cyber tools at our disposal to permanently dismantle Wikileaks? Were individuals working for Wikileaks on these document leaks investigated? Shouldn’t they at least have had their financial assets frozen just as we do to individuals who provide material support for terrorist organizations?

Most importantly, serious questions must also be asked of the U.S. intelligence system. How was it possible that a 22-year-old Private First Class could get unrestricted access to so much highly sensitive information? And how was it possible that he could copy and distribute these files without anyone noticing that security was compromised?

The White House has now issued orders to federal departments and agencies asking them to take immediate steps to ensure that no more leaks like this happen again. It’s of course important that we do all we can to prevent similar massive document leaks in the future. But why did the White House not publish these orders after the first leak back in July? What explains this strange lack of urgency on their part?

These are all very good questions that we should expect answers to. How could our administration have known for months what was going to happen, be able to seize domains like Torrent Finder without notice, and yet do nothing more than send a letter... a freaking letter, to Assange, appealing to him to not release sensitive, secret diplomatic information?

The largest military and diplomatic breach in history, which could cause countries to lose vital intelligence gathering abilities in wartime and we send the man a letter, yet we can shut down a search engine because it brought up results that might infringe on copyright laws.

Where the hell are Obama's priorities?

[Update] H/T The Right Scoop- I see I am not the only one using this comparison. Video below is Hannity and Marc Thiessen.


Wikileaks Releases Largest Classified Military Leaks In History

Examples Of Progressive Liberal Wikileak 'Fawners'