Is american foreign and military policy so pragmatic and obfuscatory that it takes an Daniel Ellsberg or Bradley Manning to risk imprisonment for exposing the truth to public?
Are our long-term strategies such insidious private knowledge that they must be hidden for decades before they are known? Who are the authors of these strategies and should accountability extend for those whose high risk strategies prove egregious? It appears that accountability applies, in the main, to those without power or influence.
WIKILEAKS has once again made itself unpopular with the Pentagon, by publishing nearly 400,000 classified military documents on the Iraq war.
The Guardian, the New York Times,Der Spiegel and Le Monde were all given early sights of the documents, but nobody has been through the whole lot. This is one way in which WikiLeaks’s Iraq and Afghanistan document dumps differ from celebrated leaks such as the Pentagon Papers, which revealed double-dealing over Vietnam. Another is that the documents, though shocking in places, have not revealed anything very surprising. The leak does, however, provide another source of data on civilian casualties in Iraq (until now, most newspapers have relied on Iraq Body Count which tends to give higher numbers). It is likely that both sources underestimate the true number of civilian casualties.