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Wednesday, July 28

"WikiLeaks Documents Turn Into Death List"

2:50 AM EDT July 28
"WikiLeaks Documents Turn Into Death List
Just before going off air this AM Batchelor mentioned a report from today's Times -- I think he meant London Times. After two hours of reading through the docs, Times reporters found scores of names and precise locations of Afghan informants for NATO. Batchelor said that the WikiLeaks document dump is a "death list."

Haven't had the heart to look up the Times report but I imagine it's splashed all over Google.

From an interview with Guardian editor on PBS Newshour Tues night, Assange was originally going to dump all the pages onto the internet without making any attempt at redactions. The Guardian editor talked him into letting Guardian and NYT help review the documents to try to redact them and then they brought in Spiegel. But they couldn't cover any more than a fraction of the pages before the July 25 deadline he gave them.

If Assange released those papers as a human rights/anti-war protest it has seriously backfired. And I can only imagine the scandal for the journalism profession.

Also, see PBS NewsHour transcript for Tues for a good summary of how Obama is now trying to spin the WikiLeaks situation. He's sticking to his original story that there was no real news in the leaks and that the new war policy for Afghanistan he worked out late last year addresses all the issues raised in the leaked documents.

10:37 AM
Yes, I saw this story last night, probably right before you did -- it was on

But didn't the NYT or somebody do something similar (on a much smaller scale) and get away with it a few years back?

My general experience is that the leftist press can subvert national security
as much as it likes, with impunity. But maybe this will be different. Maybe
this is finally a bridge too far.

As for Obama -- over the last few months I have come to a new conclusion about the Messiah. One of the common right-wing memes is that the hard left handlers behind Obama (if not Obama himself) are evil geniuses who are orchestrating our destruction with perfect timing and precision. But I don't buy that. I've been watching and analyzing their decisions carefully, and they are incoherent, inept, and plain stupid -- if they intend our destruction, they are making major mistakes all over the place.

I think the reaction to the WikiLeaks stuff is another example -- they have no idea of what they're doing. They just wing it, on EVERYTHING.
Baron Bodissey, Gates of Vienna."

"Baron, may I publish your email?"

"Pundita -
Absolutely. But you might want to fact-check my first assertion -- I don't remember which media outlet it was, or what precisely they did, just that they exposed some people and put their lives in danger, and I don't remember them bearing any consequences for their disgusting actions.

"Baron -
Thank you. No time now to do the factcheck so I'll leave that to the readers.

The kicker is that Obama was informed about the documents before they were published and said he had no objection to their publication. How could he have no objection without defense analysts first reviewing their contents? What did he do, take the word of a journalist or newspaper editor that the documents had been sufficiently redacted to protect the lives of informants and troops?

But while I am not defending Obama, the Afghan campaign is a NATO operation. No way the ISAF command wasn't informed about the docs prior to their publication. So did they have no objection also?

The Afghans just can't catch a break. Every informant whose name and location was not blacked out in those docs is now in mortal danger.

PS: If you want to treat your readers to another Obama foreign relations screwup, listen to Russia expert Steve Cohen's conversation with Batchelor last night. Here's the podcast from the WABC radio archive page. Really, O needs to get a job as a TV talk show host. That's something he could do well.

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