Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wiki-Warm Up (611 Down, 249,389 to Go)

Unredacted points out the depressing fact that:

It’s day five of the wikileaks cable dump and (as of this writing) 611 cables have been released (less than half of one percent of the total 250,000).

To be precise, 611 cables is only .00244 percent of the total. At that rate, it will take EIGHT YEARS to get to the end.

On the brighter side, Unredacted also asked the fascinating question:

Imagine if Prince William [a reference to 08 BISHKEK 1095] and Joe Biden were ever in a room together.

Surely, that fated meeting must have already happened somewhere. Two of the greatest blowhards on the world scene today simply have to have encountered each other at some reception or conference or other function. The poor note taker at that marathon gabfest probably came down with severe tendinitis in his or her pen hand. Would somebody please leak that cable? I'd love to read it the next time I have a free week.

In another post, Unredacted linked to the telephone conversation in which President Nixon was informed by Al Haig of the Pentagon Papers leak. Nixon's reaction was to fire people:

I’d just start right at the top and fire some people. I mean whoever – whatever department it came out of I’d fire the top guy.

Unredacted goes on to say that "In Obama’s case, it would be the top gal, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton." However, that is incorrect, since Hillary is not guilty in this mess. These cables, like the Pentagon Papers, were leaked out of the Defense Department.

Hillary said as much at her press conference yesterday in Manama:

Asked how such a huge leak could have occurred and why no alarm bells went off when a low-level intelligence analyst allegedly downloaded 250,000 classified diplomatic cables, Clinton replied: "The decision was made in the Bush administration to add the diplomatic cables to the Defense Department's special network that was created for that purpose."

While she defended the move as defensible at the time, she emphasized that these policies were being rolled back in the wake of the WikiLeaks crisis, perhaps for good.

"The process was undertaken in order to do a better job of what's called ‘connecting the dots,' because after 9/11, one of the principle criticisms of the government was that the information was stovepiped, that the Defense Department knew things that the State Department didn't know, that the White House didn't know," Clinton explained. "So it was understandable for the Bush administration to say, ‘We need to end the stovepiping and figure out how to have greater situational awareness and sharing of information.'"

Without identifying anyone by name, she then said that it was in the Defense Department, not the State Department, where the leak occurred.

I think firing some senior people would be an excellent response to this disaster, but let's aim before we fire.

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