Hundreds of Afghan civilians who worked as informants for the U.S. military have been put at risk by WikiLeaks’ publication of more than 90,000 classified intelligence reports which name and in many cases locate the individuals, The Times newspaper reported Wednesday.
Click here to see The Times article, but note, it’s behind a subscription firewall.
The article says, in spite of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s claim that sensitive information had been removed from the leaked documents, that reporters scanning the reports for just a couple hours found hundreds of Afghan names mentioned as aiding the U.S.-led war effort.
Richard Fernandez is eloquent in his outrage:
The news came as Wikileaks founder Julian Assange expressed fears he could be arrested. The Telegraph says he “has been warned by ‘inside sources in the White House’ not to return to the US as he could be arrested.”
He’s had more warning than the individuals in Afghanistan who will more than likely be identified by al-Qaeda support cells in Western Europe or the Middle East who will pore through the Wikileaks documents. The names of the traitors to radical Islam will be duly transmitted to the avengers who will then go out severally into the night to on their missions of revenge. Recently Radio Netherlands described what Afghans who are suspected by the Taliban can expect to endure. The Taliban have cut off the hands of construction workers who build government-funded projects; sent a suicide car bomb against a district chief believed to have been working with US special forces. Death in many forms will be their lot. One informant Radio Netherlands described “holds a thick yellow sheet tightly around his face” to preserve his anonymity. Now it turns out he shouldn’t have bothered. If the London Times is right, his name might be one of the several hundred the British reporter has found in just a few hours.
Yet the dead are the lucky ones. The more unfortunate may wind up in a torture chamber similar to one found by Coldstream Guards. It features such amenties as chains to hang prisoners from walls. Not that the inmates would want to walk on the floor: that features broken glass. And there is limb amputation, kneecapping with an electric drill, eye gouging, bone-breaking or ritual rape to smash the will. Where the offender is not himself available punishment will be visited on his relatives.
When Julian Assange released these documents he assured the public that it had been carefully reviewed to avoid putting people at risk. He said it with the greatest apparent confidence. Now it emerges that either he didn’t know how to avoid putting innocents in the line of fire or didn’t care to. But competence is not required to sit in judgment of others. Not today. All it really takes is enough self-righteousness to impose your amateurish viewpoint on the world because on the theory that nobody else has ever been as clever as you. We are always the people we’ve been waiting for.
Yet Assange can be forgiven for thinking that viewpoint and style were the sum total of qualification needed to engage in the life and death business of publshing secrets in time of war. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, explaining that the White House didn’t try to stop the publication said he met with reporters from the New York Times and sent a message through its reporters to Assange asking that he redact information in the documents that could harm US military personnel. As for the Afghans? Well what about them? Wikileaks made its pathetic effort to sanitize the data didn’t they? And if it was good for the Times and Gibbs, why shouldn’t Assange have concluded it was good enough period?
One or more of those connected with this story may in the next few weeks, under questioning from critics, express their sincerest and most heartfelt regret at the death or danger which their leak has exposed men, women and children to. But poise your finger on the pause button; watch for it carefully before it flashes past to the standard peroration on the noble purposes of showing the “true nature” of war. Because the regret may last all of five seconds, though for those who will lose a loved one to Taliban reprisal the pain will last much longer. But the wretched of the earth will endure, as only those who have accustomed themselves to being the moral guinea pigs and butt of jokes of the great and good can endure.
Elsewhere, people will die for Wikileaks’ Nobel Prize.
Gerard lets it rip on Assange, and on traitor Pfc. Bradley Manning, and it’s NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK.
I just remembered, traitors earned a place in Dante’s ninth circle of hell. While Liberals may applaud Manning and Assange, betraying the Afghans who risked their lives in a futile hope for a better life has earned Manning and Assange places in the 9th circle.
Post updated with photo