Thursday, August 05, 2010
Funny article: Pentagon Demands WikiLeaks Return All Documents
by Larry Geller
Pentagon Demands WikiLeaks Return All Documents (Bloomberg Businessweek, 8/5/2010) gave me my laugh for the day. And reminded me of the old oxymoron “military intelligence.”
“We want whatever they have returned to us and we want whatever copies they have expunged,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters today at a news briefing.
“We demand that they do the right thing,” he said. “If doing the right thing is not good enough for them, then we will figure out what alternatives we have to compel them to do the right thing.”
Expunged? Exactly how is that to be done now that the data is spread across much of the planet? Are they still thinking piles of paper?
As to alternatives, do they plan to drop a missile on Julian Assange, or kidnap and waterboard him? That won’t get back their documents anyway.
Maybe these guys time in front of the computer screen is spent playing shoot-em-up video games instead of surfing the web.
The documents that Wikileaks has already released are all over the place. They’ve been downloaded to countless personal computers. Asking for the return of those documents is just dumb.
Wikileaks says the have not yet released all the documents, so indeed there might be some that could be returned. The Pentagon shouldn’t hold its collective breath, though. Another file called “insurance” has also been released and downloaded extensively. It’s encrypted, but speculation is that it contains information that could be let loose should anything happen to Wikileaks staff. No doubt there are people all over the world working at breaking the AES256 encryption in order to have a look at that file, though it’s probably futile.
The genie can’t be put back in the bottle.
Later in the article are admissions that no one has been harmed so far by the release of the data, and inconvenient though it may be, the military is taking steps to be sure that no one will be harmed.
No doubt you saw this: "Editor-in-chief Julian Assange was a bit more expansive — if equally cryptic — in his response to the same line of questioning in a television interview with independent U.S. news network Democracy Now! earlier this week. 'I think it's better that we don't comment on that,' Assange said, according to the network's transcript of the interview. 'But, you know, one could imagine in a similar situation that it might be worth ensuring that important parts of history do not *disappear*.'"
"The Pentagon keeps asking for the “return” of the documents. How, exactly, is Wikileaks to “return” digitized documents, documents that are still being served right now. How many people, all over the world, have already downloaded the documents? How many of these people have made copies of the documents? The documents will be traded on BitTorrent, on Usenet, on Rapidshare, on IRC, snippets printed on t-shirts (remember DeCSS t-shirts back in the day?)…
The documents are out there. Full stop. Asking people to “return” the documents, or to “get rid of them,” it’s a complete joke. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, but that’s the reality of the situation."
Stupid F**kin' Milipukes
Yes, I heard the Democracy Now interview. As Amy Goodman asked the question, I was wondering how Assange would answer. Obviously, he wasn't going to give a direct answer.