« Restrepo the movie | Main | The DADT Report »

30 November 2010


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

William R. Cumming

What happened to encrypted traffic and routing indicators?

Active forces never had access to diplomatic traffic before if that is source of the leak? Down load with a flash drive? Are you kidding? Think of the slicky boys and laundry women that had access to hooches in Viet Nam!


Personally, I could think of a lot, a huge lot, of other people/corporations/politicians that should be investigated for numerous war crimes, and/or financial activity before I would get around to going after Assange et al.

Eric Dönges

Assange? The USG should seek to extradite him and his associates for trial on some other serious crime.

What crime would that be ? He's neither a U.S. citizen, nor does he reside in the U.S., and he hasn't done anything that would be considered serious enough to fall under universal jurisdiction (like drug or human trafficking) so I don't see why U.S. laws should apply to him. After all, the U.S. is adamant that foreign laws don't apply to U.S. citizens - and what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Or are you willing to extradite the lowlife CIA scum that kidnapped an innocent German citizen and then held him in Afghanistan for months ?

Larry Kart

Great good sense, economically expressed. Refreshing in a world of professional and semi-pro hand-wringing.


Historians love this, war crimes documented.

Patrick Lang


Which crimes are those? pl

Patrick Lang


We can find a crime and should do so. pl

Stanley Henning

Isn't it interesting how this can happen, yet we still see essentially nothing about the AIPAC issue in our mainstream media!



I disagree with your reply to ED.

'Until' and only 'when' they decide to go after the real perps (Members of our Congress who have access to U.S. Classified/U.S. Intel and who pass such onto hostiles [Israeli Intel]) who are giving away the keys to the cookie jars, then I'll consider your 'find a crime' hypothesis.

Patrick Lang


So you want to give these a pass?

I just heard Harmon saying some sound things about this. As Stan H. wrote where is her outrage against Israeli spying and subversion of our government? pl


Brzezinsky was wondering aloud on the News Hour if there was a foriegn power involved somewhere in this leak. Do you have an opinion on this, Col.?

It seems that the primaray effect of this situation is to degrade the ability of the US State Dept. to conduct diplomacy. Possible beneficiaries of this outcome could be Russia, China or Israel, to name just the most obvious who might have an agent and definitely have the technical capacity needed to perform such an operation.

Patrick Lang


It is possible. pl


Russia is going to be hurt most in these leaks.

Eric Dönges

Colonel Lang,

We can find a crime and should do so.

Again, what crime has he committed that falls under U.S. jurisdiction ? As far as I know, disclosing U.S. state secrets is not illegal in either Australia (of which he is a citizen), nor Sweden (where he is currently residing). U.S. laws simply do not apply outside of the U.S. to non-U.S. citizens.

If I where the U.S. government, I'd hit Mr. Assange with a copyright infringement lawsuit (I am not a lawyer, but as the U.S. government undoubtedly has copyright for the documents in question, and Wikileaks has undoubtedly distributed them without permission, I would assume that this could actually be argued in court with a straight face) - but that would be a civil, not a criminal matter.

William R. Cumming

My guess is the "foreign powers" has most of this already and therefore no need to leak it. And how do you define "leak"? A U.S. Official or employee?

Non-US? Enemies of the State?


If you steal a secret document originating in the US, you have committed a crime in the US and you fall under the jurisdiction of a US court. What charges you'll face depend on the laws in that jurisdiction. From a legal standpoint, it does not matter whose citizen you are or where the theft occurred.

Charles I

Rationally, I accept the damage, legalities, need for privacy, etc,.

Emotionally, I'm all for it, although there really is little new of substance or candor not already bruited somewhere to no effect.

Pathetic security, data control and encryption protocols should be the focus here. It should soon become apparent that there are too many people and too many computers and flash drives for any real security.

Ergo, at that point a realistic appraisal of diplomatic needs and processes - apparently the policies never change - could take place. What will you pay to secure how. What risk of low level gossip exposure is tolerable. What is not worth writing down, or saying til you get home. What information flow degradation is required for security, or the reverse.

Assange is threatening a massive financial sector dump. Now THAT should raise some hackles even if similarly banal

Medicine Man

I found it interesting to see how hard the Saudis are pressuring the US behind the scenes to deal with Iran. They really want someone to do their dirty work for them, and doubtlessly someone to take the blame for it too.



I never said a 'pass', I was referring to 'find a crime' scenario. What appears 'already done', is 'receipt' of 'stolen/pilfered' U.S. Classified Documents/Information, which disclosed by the Wiki crowd can be construed to 'cause damage' to the nation(s) that are hosting Assange and bunch. I'm sure there are 'extradition' proceeding by these nations, that will more than fit the bill to get Assange and crew before a U.S. Docket for 'unauthorized possession' of U.S. Classified Documents/Information, which DOJ 'can' prosecute them on.

As for Rep. Harmon, she is in Israeli Intel's hip pocket. Harmon from the looks of things is 'luved' by Israeli Intel for the 'funnel' of U.S. Classified that she is.

sd nadh

Respecting the mechanism of prosecuting Assange, off the top of my head you need both prescriptive and enforcement jurisdiction and that means examining the terms of the extradiction treaty between Australia and the US (assuming that's where he is). Some treaties bar extradiction if the offense is of a political character or there is a death penalty waiting on the other side. Botton line: You'll have to get your mitts on him by way of a warrant and thru an Australian court, then try him in the US. Either that or send in the assassins or drones like the ilk of Palin and the Goldbergs would prefer. The copyright infringement suggestion, while novel, is a stretch to say the least.

Robert R. Rock

I found it interesting to see how hard the Saudis are pressuring the US behind the scenes to deal with Iran. They really want someone to do their dirty work for them, and doubtlessly someone to take the blame for it too.

Posted by: Medicine Man | 30 November 2010 at 03:14 PM
Yes Sir.
I note that The US Gov't has not alleged that these leaks are false.
Seems as though The Israelis have been speaking for perhaps the majority of governments in the region. It is, for me, an eye opener.
So, I assume The Saudis et al are probably furious with Obama. Maybe they have established better ties with Israel, on the quiet.
My question to Colonel Lang is how could we have screwed up so badly? If we can not protect these communications, who will want to speak honestly with us?

Norman Rogers

"What happened to encrypted traffic and routing indicators?"

According to the charge sheet for SPC Bradley Manning, he introduced some sort of software to the classified or secure network where he was able to download the information he is alleged to have passed on to Wikileaks.

What that software was is beyond my paygrade. This individual thought he was more savvy than the people who caught him and probably didn't expect to have been caught by the same network security people he had such contempt for.

In the past year, we have seen two people--Manning and Major Nidal Hasan--who have had such an overriding contempt for the people with whom they are supposed to serve. How many more of these contemptible bastards are out there, lurking like time bombs?

Please, DoD. Let the commanders kick these animals out. Let them raise the standards and give the dregs the boot.


If these documents were so sensitive, so secret and so potentially damaging to US National Security....Why were they distributed over a global network that three million people had access to?


Eric Dönges


If you steal a secret document originating in the US, you have committed a crime in the US and you fall under the jurisdiction of a US court. What charges you'll face depend on the laws in that jurisdiction. From a legal standpoint, it does not matter whose citizen you are or where the theft occurred.

Claiming jurisdiction and being able to (legally) act upon it are two different things. I probably phrased myself poorly - Mr. Assange may very well have committed a crime under U.S. law, but as he is not residing in U.S. territory, and Sweden is unlikely to extradite him for something that is not illegal in Sweden, there is little the U.S. can legally do about him. Kidnapping or assassinating him would be a severe breach of Swedish sovereignty and thus an act of war (not that I think Sweden would press the issue up to war, but I don't think Mr. Assange is worth the international outrage this would generate).

P.S. I have heard that unlike many other countries, the U.S. doesn't have an "Official Secrets Act" and thus only people sworn to keep secrets (soldiers and other government employees) are criminally liable for exposing state secrets. Is this true ?


First of all, I think Assange has done us all a service by making us privy to exactly the same conversations that are routinely leaked to the media when it suits the Administration as well as recounted ad nauseam at Washington Cocktail parties and dinner tables.

Secret? Noforn? That Prince Andrew is a total muppet when it comes to diplomacy and doesn't like the French or Americans? That King Fahd thinks the Iranian Government are snakes? That the Chinese are not enamoured with North Korea? That Karzai is a drug dealer? This stuff is beltway chatter between those "in the know". Furthermore, most of it, if not released, would have filtered out in books yet to be written.

What the Cablegate event does indicate is:

1. Assuming it was Brad Manning who leaked them, the asininity of the American Army in giving access to the private conversations of Kings and Presidents to a Twenty Two year old "Intelligence Analyst". The idea that a Twenty Two year old has the "intelligence" to "analyse" anything beyond a cheerleader is beyond belief.

"Don't worry King Fahd, your secret is safe with me!" Not.

To be fair, if information like this is required to be disseminated to the military, then why not adopt what I understand to be the common practice elsewhere of paraphrasing and summarising the information in order that the sources are disguised and plausible deniability obtains if its leaked?

2. The standard of American diplomacy is "patchy". The cable regarding Prince Andrews indiscretions at a lunch is simply calculated to amuse and says much about the Ambassador that wrote it. Why not simply summarise him as boring, opinionated and not a good diplomatic representative for his country, aside from disliking the French and Americans, and leave it at that?

3. The cables draw attention to the yawning American chasm between what "real people" are talking and thinking about and the simplistic, false and downright misleading worldview that is being peddled every day by the mainstream media to a the American public. There was a time when the great American media would have teased out all of the information in these cables from penetrating discussion with Administration sources, analysed it, summarised and paraphrased it, then reported it without fear or favour. No more.

Assange and Wikileaks have done the American people a great service for without accurate information on the world, how can anyone make informed decisions?

P.S. Lee Kuan Yews analysis of China is not new, but this report of it is beautifully written:


The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad