The scale is breathtaking. This is isn’t a leak, it is a haemorrhage. Some 92,201 secret documents posted on the internet, snapshots from a messy war, the biggest such breach since the Pentagon Papers, the 7,000 pages that arguably changed the course of American involvement in Vietnam.
The leak of the internet age is not likely to have that sort of impact. The Pentagon papers revealed lies. These detailed logs confirm a truth that has been long suspected.
The White House has reacted with predictable fury. Its national security adviser, Jim Jones, has said the leak threatens America and the lives of US troops and their allies. But he is also quick to point out that the documents are from between 2004 and the end of last year. For most of that time, President George W Bush was in charge, the rest was before President Barack Obama’s new strategy could take effect.
Only the news that the Taliban are using surface to air missiles is brand new. The often terse reports filled with military acronyms – “TF 733 conducted an air assault insertion to assault obj” …”rcp hit an ied near the village” – are like thousands of pixels that build into a clear picture: one familiar to most who’ve been closely observing the conflict. It suggests a war conducted by secret forces, dogged by the behaviour of Pakistani intelligence, marred by constant civilian casualties, where anything resembling victory is elusive.
The danger for the adm… >>>