imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Why won't the Pentagon help WikiLeaks redact documents?

by General Joe and friends Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010 at 11:03 AM

"But yesterday, WikiLeaks the DoD itself released a letter -- dated August 16 (two days before the Newsweek article) -- which makes clear that WikiLeaks did exactly that which DoD officials denied they did: namely, they asked DoD for help redacting these remaining documents. That letter, written by DoD Legal Counsel Jeh Charles Johnson to WikiLeak's counsel, Timothy Matusheski, explicitly recounts -- contrary to the emphatic denials in Newsweek -- that WikiLeaks' lawyer had contacted the Pentagon and requested help in the "harm minimization" process. The DoD, however, is explicitly refusing to offer any help whatsoever."



Why won't the Pentagon help WikiLeaks redact documents?

When the controversy first arose over the lack of redactions in the war documents released by WikiLeaks, the website insisted that, using the New York Times as an intermediary, it had asked the Obama administration for help in removing names of Afghans before releasing the documents, a claim the Pentagon vehemently denied. The New York Times, needless to say, sided with the Government -- that's what the NYT does -- but they did so by simultaneously confirming the truth of WikiLeaks' version of events. From the Associated Press article, July 31, on that controversy:

Also on Saturday, a New York Times reporter who has been the newspaper's liaison with Assange, dismissed Assange's claim that WikiLeaks had offered to let U.S. government officials go through leaked documents to ensure that no innocent people were identified. Assange told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. in an interview that aired Thursday that the New York Times had acted as an intermediary and that the White House hadn't responded to the offer.

Times reporter Eric Schmitt told the AP that on the night of July 23, at White House spokesman's Robert Gibbs' request, he relayed to Assange a White House request that WikiLeaks not publish information that could lead to people being physically harmed.

The next evening, Schmitt said, Assange replied in an e-mail that WikiLeaks was withholding 15,000 documents for review. Schmitt said Assange wrote that WikiLeaks would consider recommendations made by the International Security Assistance Force "on the identification of innocents for this material if it is willing to provide reviewers."

Schmitt said he forwarded the e-mail to White House officials and Times editors.

"I certainly didn't consider this a serious and realistic offer to the White House to vet any of the documents before they were to be posted, and I think it's ridiculous that Assange is portraying it that way now," Schmitt wrote to the AP.

On Friday, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said it was "absolutely, unequivocally not true" that WikiLeaks had offered to let U.S. government officials go through the documents to make sure no innocent people were identified.

Do you see what happened there? Schmitt, wanting to side with his Pentagon friends, publicly suggested that Assange was lying when he claimed that he offered to allow the Government to suggest redcations, even as Schmitt himself acknowledged that "Assange wrote that WikiLeaks would consider recommendations made by the International Security Assistance Force 'on the identification of innocents for this material if it is willing to provide reviewers'," an offer Schmitt says he conveyed to the White House. In other words, Schmitt defended the Pentagon's denials that Assange made this offer even as he himself described the very events which proved Assange was telling the truth. At the very least, WikiLeaks clearly indicated its willingness to have government officials review the documents and make recommendations about redactions -- something those officials refused to do.

Exactly the same thing is happening now concerning the 15,000 remaining documents which WikiLeaks originally withheld in order to engage in "harm minimization." On Wednesday, Newsweek's Mark Hosenball wrote an article -- entitled "Pentagon Says WikiLeaks Is Fibbing" -- which quotes DoD officials essentially calling Assange a liar (again) because of Assange's "latest claims about alleged attempts he has made to establish some kind of working relationship, or at least cordial contact, with U.S. defense authorities." Hosenball repeatedly quotes these officials insisting that, contrary to Assange's claims, WikiLeaks has made no efforts to communicate with the Pentagon about obtaining help in redacting the rest of the documents in order to protect innocent Afghans.

But yesterday, WikiLeaks the DoD itself released a letter -- dated August 16 (two days before the Newsweek article) -- which makes clear that WikiLeaks did exactly that which DoD officials denied they did: namely, they asked DoD for help redacting these remaining documents. That letter, written by DoD Legal Counsel Jeh Charles Johnson to WikiLeak's counsel, Timothy Matusheski, explicitly recounts -- contrary to the emphatic denials in Newsweek -- that WikiLeaks' lawyer had contacted the Pentagon and requested help in the "harm minimization" process. The DoD, however, is explicitly refusing to offer any help whatsoever:

Why would the DoD refuse to offer this assistance? WikiLeaks -- in response to Pentagon threats -- has already stated emphatically that these documents are going to be released no matter what. No rational person would doubt that they mean this. Wouldn't it be vastly preferable -- from the Government's perspective -- to have those documents released with the names of Afghan sources redacted, rather than force WikiLeaks to guess at what needs to be withheld? The Pentagon routinely conveys to media outlets preparing to release classified documents its views about what specifically ought to be withheld, notwithstanding its objections to the release of all information. Why would they not do the same here?

After the last release, the Pentagon very flamboyantly accused WikiLeaks of endangering the lives of innocent Afghans, even accusing them of having "blood on their hands" (despite the absence of a single claim that anyone was actually harmed from the release of those documents). If Pentagon officials are truly concerned about the well-being of Afghan sources identified in these documents -- rather than exaggerating and exploiting that concern in order to harm WikiLeaks' credibility -- wouldn't they be eager to help WikiLeaks redact these documents? That would be the behavior one would expect if these concerns were at all genuine.

Instead, the Pentagon is doing the opposite: first lying by denying that WikiLeaks ever sought this help, then refusing to provide it in response. In the conflict between the U.S. Government and WikiLeaks, it is true that one of the parties seems steadfastly indifferent to the lives of Afghan civilians. Despite the very valid criticisms that more care should have been exercised before that first set of documents was released, the party most guilty of that indifference is not WikiLeaks.



UPDATE: Just to underscore how misleading the Pentagon has been in denying that WikiLeaks sought its assistance in redacting the documents, DoD Press Secretary Geoff Morrell gave a Press Conference on August 5 which alternatively threatened and pleaded with WikiLeaks. Watch how much Morrell had to parse his statement in order to deny WikiLeak's claims that it sought the Pentagon's help prior to release of the documents:

Recent reports claim WikiLeaks asked the department for help in reviewing these documents before releasing them to the public as part of a "harm minimization exercise," Morrell said. However, "WikiLeaks has made no such request directly to the Department of Defense," he added.

That awkward modifier -- "directly" -- is necessary precisely because WikiLeaks did indeed request redaction help from the Pentagon "indirectly": i.e., through The New York Times as mediator, just as Assange insisted from the beginning and the Pentagon denied. For whatever reasons -- because it wanted WikiLeaks to release the documents with the names of Afghan sources to damage its credibility, because it was indifferent to the potential harm -- the Pentagon simply failed to pursue that option, just as it is doing now with the next 15,000 documents. Are those the actions of officials with any genuine concern for the harm to Afghan civilians, other than to the extent it be can exploited to harm its arch-enemy, WikiLeaks?



UPDATE II: Sean-Paul Kelley, who very harshly criticized WikiLeaks for the lack of redactions in the released documents, today, to his immense credit, re-considers and retracts that criticism in light of the evidence presented here.



UPDATE III: Newsweek's Mark Hosenball follows up on the issues raised here in a new article today, with more evidence proving that WikiLeaks has been attempting to secure the Pentagon's cooperation in redacting names -- exactly as Assange has been explaining -- while the Pentagon has been issuing multiple false denials of these facts. Shouldn't anyone who criticized WikiLeaks for its lack of redactions also be criticizing the DoD for refusing WikiLeaks' requests for redaction assistance (and then falsely denying it happened)?

-----

Please help explain this very troubling “oversight” of our DoD officials. Please spread widely. General Joe

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

The Shortwave Report 04/06/18 Listen Globally! A05 4:25PM

Nicaraguas Conflic with native Peoples on the Caribbean Coast Near Bluefields in Decade80 A05 12:14PM

Millions Boycott The Sponsors Of Laura Ingraham A05 11:36AM

THE CONSERVATIVE THREAT A05 6:51AM

The US, the Dollar, IS and Saudi Arabia A05 3:34AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy