Wikileaks release classified documents

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  • #51
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http://www1.csbsju.edu/uspp/Election/bush011401.htm [Broken]

If Bush could score in the top 16 percent of college applicants on the SAT, he would almost certainly rank higher on tests of general intelligence, which are normed with reference to the general population. But even if his rank remained constant at the 84th-percentile level of his SAT score, it would translate to an IQ score of 115.
As a final clue to Bush's cognitive capacity, consider data from Joseph Matarazzo's leading text on intelligence and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth: The average IQ is about 105 for high school graduates, 115 for college graduates and 125 for people with advanced professional degrees. With his MBA from Harvard Business School, it's not unreasonable to assume that Bush's IQ surpasses the 115 of the average bachelor's-degree-only college graduate.
A little slanted, as it ignores Bush's extreme advantages growing up, bot otherwise okay. Also; eloquence != intelligence
 
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  • #52
CRGreathouse
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DnD Addict, I agree: the original claim was too strong. But I won't look relevant citation gift-horses in the mouth, either!

Evo, thank you! Somehow I missed that you posted this earlier. I will review this carefully.
The link matches my understanding of the situation. I guess I just don't see what you [Evo] mean by doctoring in this context.
 
  • #53
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Pentagon Papers redux.
 
  • #54
ZQrn


Gokul, thank you very much for those! #3 seems most to the point in this context, but they're all interesting.
Why? I'm not sure what this says?

You could find people that say all things you want about Bush, from being smart, to being a poet, to being not that smart, to being a transsexual robot from outer space. (Yeah I heard this)

I don't consider the 'Bushisms' to be of much value in determining intellect -- we all say stupid things at times, and someone as public as the US President has all of it captured on tape. (Also, plausible accusations of media bias make this even more difficult to determine.) You're right that they can be indicative of the thought process, though.
But you do trust the quotes of random people?

The Bushisms aren't a good indicator no, but some times he does reveal a certain ignorance about subjects he ought to know about as a president.

What's more important is that his solutions to problems are indeed not that reasoned-through, they are just gut feelings he has and it's hard for him to back of off them when evidence points to the contrary.
 
  • #55
CRGreathouse
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Why? I'm not sure what this says?
I thanked Gokul for providing several quotes on the topic of GWB's intelligence.


But you do trust the quotes of random people?
These quotes were sourced, so I can place desired weight on each. The particular people chosen seemed quite nonrandom to me. Also, importantly, most of the quotes were from people who had little in the way of political differences with him, so the 'trash your opponents' effect was minimal. Woodward is probably the only non-Republican on the list, though Frum's fallout with GWB is reasonably well-known.
 
  • #56
ZQrn


I thanked Gokul for providing several quotes on the topic of GWB's intelligence.
Yeah, but having these, what does it say? Where does it help, why did you ask for them?

These quotes were sourced, so I can place desired weight on each. The particular people chosen seemed quite nonrandom to me. Also, importantly, most of the quotes were from people who had little in the way of political differences with him, so the 'trash your opponents' effect was minimal. Woodward is probably the only non-Republican on the list, though Frum's fallout with GWB is reasonably well-known.
I would place a weight of 0.0 on each and every one of them inherent to that they are simple quotes about a subjective matter.

Intelligence is not fact, it is opinion.
 
  • #58
russ_watters
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Make of these what you will.

Opinions from people that engaged personally with Bush:
Gokul, you missed the point of the call-out. The statement that Bush is of "sub-mediocre" (well below average) intelligence was a throw-away (knowingly irrelevant) flippant remark, possibly intended as opinion but worded in such a way as to be a demonstrably false statement of fact - a problem that showed-up in a great deal of what that user has posted in this thread (mostly already dealt with). People called-out this new user on that because s/he needs to learn that we demand high quality of posting here - something very unusual for a politics forum. On other forums, flippant falshoods and making crap up as one goes along may be par for the course, but it isn't acceptable here.

Now can we move on? As obviously none of this Bush talk has any relevance whatsoever to the issue of the thread.
 
  • #59
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If it is classified, absolutely yes!

It's my understanding that these documents are after action reports by soldiers. The wikileaks editor says they have a policy for minimizing harm, but they don't eliminate it: the release of after action reports can be very damaging to the war effort. Based on the mischaracterizations of the helicopter shooting tape they made and the anti-war/anti-government stance of the editor, I honestly don't think this guy can see beyond the propaganda value to the real military value of such information. He loves this stuff because of the propaganda, but he doesn't even see he's giving the enemy detailed information about our tactics.

Some information is just plain not fit for public consumption because the general public simply doesn't have the frame of reference needed to propertly process the information. It's a case where if misinterpreted, more facts can actually result in less understanding. His focusing on the laughing of the soldiers in the chopper video is a clear indication that he is simply unable to process what he's seeing.

By the same token, if people saw what happened after being put under anesthetic in an oral surgeon's office, there'd be even more fear of dentists than there already is.
People should be aware of the consequences of going to useless war. It is the least desirable thing you would want to do when there are other options available. I was not impressed by either https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=2658690&postcount=6"or this incident. While methods used by wikileaks are poor and questionable but its purpose of bringing transparency is good.

There is a need for more openness, for governments and companies and individuals to be held to account, but this ill-conceived project is not the way to do it.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6443437.stm

It needs some big improvements.
 
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  • #60
russ_watters
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War? Declared om whom?

What sovereign entity exactly is there war declared on?

Also, name such a thing that's currently at stake for the American population in that 'war'?
You seem to be under the false impression that the label "war" requires a declaration of war in Congress. It certainly does not: "war" is a broad-based word that means to imply the international laws of war apply to the situation in Afghanistan and is a description of the fact that the military is invoked in a large operation. Whether people want to call it a "war" or "police action" really has very little legal impact. We don't need to get into a debate about the War Powers Act here, but it's passage showed Congress realized the Constitution's flaw regarding war powers and Presidents and Congress have since realized the War Powers Act is either unenforceable or UnConstitutional. Regardless, none of that political-administrative gamesmanship changes what is actually going on on the ground.

And the entity is two groups: the Taliban and Al Qadea.
Now now, it's a bit of a dual standard.
Dual standard or not, your previous claim was clearly a misrepresentation of the reality.
This isn't as much politics as a constitution which defines what is considered threatening to national security which a supreme court must interpret by letter of law rather than by moral values or strategical ideology. Or at least in theory.
The Constitution is a framework for a system of government, it most certainly does not define what constitutes a threat to national security and the claim that it is up to the USSC to interpret on an individual basis what is and isn't a national security risk is just plain silly. Youl couldn't possibly be under the impression that the USSC reviews all Pentagon documentation to determine what classification is appropriate. Such a thing wouldn't work in practice.

Obviously, classifications are assigned to entire classes of documents based on type and potential sensitivity and then later on an individual or group basis they may be declassified by the DoD or under a FIA request (which may involve court documents). But not declassifying documents that are classified as a matter of procedure along with tens of thousands of other documents most certainly does not constitute a cover-up.

This whole line of argument you're on against the concept/method of classification of documents is just plain illogical and silly.
 
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  • #61
ibnsos
Looks like the Times of London didn't take too long to discover why releasing classified material is wrong. I wonder if the repercussions of this even registers to the leaker or wikileaks.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/
 
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  • #62
ZQrn


russ_watter said:
You seem to be under the false impression that the label "war" requires a declaration of war in Congress. It certainly does not: "war" is a broad-based word that means to imply the international laws of war apply to the situation in Afghanistan and is a description of the fact that the military is invoked in a large operation. Whether people want to call it a "war" or "police action" really has very little legal impact. We don't need to get into a debate about the War Powers Act here, but it's passage showed Congress realized the Constitution's flaw regarding war powers and Presidents and Congress have since realized the War Powers Act is either unenforceable or UnConstitutional. Regardless, none of that political-administrative gamesmanship changes what is actually going on on the ground.
But the international laws of war do not apply. That's the point, there are no 'prisoners of war' that enjoy certain protected rights, there are no official delegations, no diplomatic immunity, and 'surrender' is impossible. (look down), that's why you can't use 'we are at war!' to justify certain things.

And the entity is two groups: the Taliban and Al Qadea.
No, these are not sovereign. Because they can't surrender. If the Taliban says 'Okay, you won', the people under their (lose) command will just keep fighting because they're not in it because they were ordered to fight or payed to fight, they are in it because they want to fight for ideological reasons.

The crucial difference of this is that there is no possibility of surrender, you have to take them out until the very last man. And they multiply like cockroaches. There is no clear point at which you can declare peace, therefore there is no war going on in the formal international definition.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002023596_russanal02.html [Broken]

It may be called a 'war' in the colloquial view, but in international law it doesn't meet these criteria.

Dual standard or not, your previous claim was clearly a misrepresentation of the reality.
A: Which claim?
B: What does this have to do with any possible dual standards the US government has?

The Constitution is a framework for a system of government, it most certainly does not define what constitutes a threat to national security and the claim that it is up to the USSC to interpret on an individual basis what is and isn't a national security risk is just plain silly. Youl couldn't possibly be under the impression that the USSC reviews all Pentagon documentation to determine what classification is appropriate. Such a thing wouldn't work in practice.
I never said that it was up to them, I said it would be a healthier separation of powers if it were up to them.

And yeah, that's exactly what I'm suggesting, not per se the supreme court, but some court of impartial justices with no political allegiance.

Obviously, classifications are assigned to entire classes of documents based on type and potential sensitivity and then later on an individual or group basis they may be declassified by the DoD or under a FIA request (which may involve court documents). But not declassifying documents that are classified as a matter of procedure along with tens of thousands of other documents most certainly does not constitute a cover-up.
I never said it was a cover up. I'm saying that the USGOV is (of course) more likely to release documents that help their midterm election results, irrespective of the thread to national security.

This could be avoided by taking that out of their control and to an independent, like a court.

This whole line of argument you're on against the concept/method of classification of documents is just plain illogical and silly.
I suppose it would be too easy to ask for a citation here.
 
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  • #63
Borg
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Looks like the Times of London didn't take too long to discover why releasing classified material is wrong. I wonder if the repercussions of this even registers to the leaker or wikileaks.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/
Thanks for the link ibnsos. I'm sure that their excuse would be that these people wouldn't die if we weren't there in the first place.
 
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  • #64
russ_watters
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Looks like the Times of London didn't take too long to discover why releasing classified material is wrong. I wonder if the repercussions of this even registers to the leaker or wikileaks.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/
Do you have a link to a specific story? That just looks like the homepage.....or maybe that's a subscription issue. Could you quote a few relevant parts of the article?
 
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  • #65
Borg
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Do you have a link to a specific story? That just looks like the homepage.....or maybe that's a subscription issue. Could you quote a few relevant parts of the article?
Russ, from what I saw of the article this morning, it was a story about the documents exposing the identities of Afghans that were working with the Americans.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38441360/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/" [Broken]
 
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  • #66
Gokul43201
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Looks like the Times of London didn't take too long to discover why releasing classified material is wrong. I wonder if the repercussions of this even registers to the leaker or wikileaks.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/
(bolding mine)

From the MSNBC article cited above:

The leaking of 90,000 U.S. intelligence documents has put hundreds of Afghan lives at risk because the files identify informants working with NATO forces, The Times of London reported on Wednesday.

In just two hours of searching the WikiLeaks archive, reporters found the names, villages, and fathers' names of dozens of Afghans credited with providing intelligence to U.S. forces, the paper said.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said that all the released reports were checked for named informants and that 15,000 such documents had been held back to protect people.

Despite his claim, The Times of London gave examples of informants named in the released documents.
Either Assange is lying or his people failed to do a thorough job of checking the documents. Either way, it's clear that the repercussions had registered with wikileaks.
 
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  • #67
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I haven't seen any discussion of some of the important revelations of the documents here:

1) That the US goverment have had a lot of intelligence on bin Laden's whereabouts despite claiming they didn't.

2) That the number of Afghani civilian casualties has been suppressed in the western media.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/27/afghanistan-war-logs-tensions-strained
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/26/afghanistan-war-logs-us-marines
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/26/afghanistan-war-logs-helmand-bombing
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/25/afghanistan-civilian-deaths-rules-engagement
 
  • #68
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I haven't seen any discussion of some of the important revelations of the documents here:

1) That the US goverment have had a lot of intelligence on bin Laden's whereabouts despite claiming they didn't.

2) That the number of Afghani civilian casualties has been suppressed in the western media.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/27/afghanistan-war-logs-tensions-strained
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/26/afghanistan-war-logs-us-marines
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/26/afghanistan-war-logs-helmand-bombing
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/25/afghanistan-civilian-deaths-rules-engagement
Really? Here in Canada they always talk about intelligence reports on bin Ladens possible whereabouts. How factual this is I obviously couldn't tell you... but you can hardly act like knowing where bin Laden may be located and saying on the public media we have no idea might be a good tactic.
 
  • #69
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Really? Here in Canada they always talk about intelligence reports on bin Ladens possible whereabouts. How factual this is I obviously couldn't tell you... but you can hardly act like knowing where bin Laden may be located and saying on the public media we have no idea might be a good tactic.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/26/afghanistan-war-logs-osama-bin-laden

Speaking last month, Leon Panetta, director of the CIA, said the last time US officials were in possession of precise information about Bin Laden's location was in the "early 2000s". Since then, there had been no firm leads. "He is, as is obvious, in very deep hiding," Panetta said. "He's in an area of the tribal areas of Pakistan that is very difficult … All I can tell you is it's in the tribal areas. We know that he's located in that vicinity."

Yet despite the CIA's self-confessed cluelessness, raw intelligence reports contained in the leaked war logs show that, every now and then, US forces believe they can see the mist surrounding Bin Laden briefly lift. One such moment came in August 2006, when a "threat report" generated by International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) regional command (north) zeroed in on suicide bombers recruited by al-Qaida.

"Reportedly a high-level meeting was held in Quetta, Pakistan, where six suicide bombers were given orders for an operation in northern Afghanistan. Two persons have been given targets in Kunduz, two in Mazar-e-Sharif and the last two are said to come to Faryab," the report claimed.

It went on: "These meetings take place once every month, and there are usually about 20 people present. The place for the meeting alternates between Quetta and villages (NFDG) [no further details given] on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"The top four people in these meetings are Mullah Omar [the Taliban leader], Osama bin Laden, Mullah Dadullah and Mullah [Baradar]. "The six foreigners who have been given the assignment have each been given $50,000 [£32,000] to conduct the attacks, and they have been promised that their families will be taken care of."
 
  • #70
CRGreathouse
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That reported meeting seems other-than-credible.
 
  • #71
ibnsos
Didn't realize the Times of London article wasn't accessible.

The WSJ has some excerpts from it here:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703940904575395500694117006.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

In his defense, Mr. Assange dismisses concerns about harm to U.S. national security, calling it ridiculous. That may be his right as an Australian national, although Australia deploys some 1,500 troops to Afghanistan and has lost more than two dozen men in combat. But Mr. Assange also says he takes threats to individual safety seriously, and he boasts that he has withheld or edited thousands of documents as a precaution against potential harm.

If so, he hasn't done a very good job of it. Yesterday, the Times of London noted that "in just two hours of searching the WikiLeaks archive, The Times found the names of dozens of Afghans credited with providing detailed intelligence to U.S. forces. Their villages are given for identification and also, in many cases, their fathers' names."
More links:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/new...ted-on-wikileaks/story-e6frg6so-1225897924552

http://blogs.reuters.com/frontrow/2010/07/28/backlash-over-wikileaks-release-of-afghan-war-documents/ [Broken]

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange responded in an interview from London with NBC’s “Today” show. “We are checking to see whether this is in fact credible. It is probably unlikely. We have taken care to in fact hold back 15,000 for review that should it have this type of material in it. If there are those names in there and they are at risk, this would be because of a misclassification by the U.S. military.”
I do like how he blames the US military for any names he released.
 
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  • #72
russ_watters
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Either Assange is lying or his people failed to do a thorough job of checking the documents. Either way, it's clear that the repercussions had registered with wikileaks.
Clearly, the fact that there is some risk did register with him (it couldn't possibly escape anyone!), but I submit that he's done such a poor job in addressing that risk that the scope and gravity of the risk escapes him.
 
  • #73
russ_watters
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People should be aware of the consequences of going to useless war. It is the least desirable thing you would want to do when there are other options available.
It sounds to me like you've forgotten why this war was started. This isn't Iraq we're talking about, it's Afghanistan.
I was not impressed by either https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=2658690&postcount=6"or this incident. While methods used by wikileaks are poor and questionable but its purpose of bringing transparency is good.
Ehh, I would say that if the purpose is whistleblowing, then legitimate whistleblowing is commendable - and wikileaks has done some legitimate whistleblowing. But the helicopter incident and this are at best fishing expeditions* and at worst dangerously damaging treason.

I still think people misunderstand the helicopter/reporter shooting incident (partly due to mischaracterization by wikileaks) and may need a rehash in a new thread...

[edit]*This incident was a pure fishing expedition since it was a mass release of documents, not a whistle-blowing on a specific incident. The helicopter/AP reporter incident was an attempt at a traditional whistle-blowing, but was a strikeout. Whatever the reason or motivation, wikileaks completely misrepresented the incident: the soldiers involved acted properly and the blame for the deaths of the AP reporters falls squarely on the shoulders of the AP reporters.
 
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  • #75
russ_watters
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It was just an example, and the other classification markings were in the list I linked.
Lets explore the classification issue a little more.

It is interesting that the Pentagon has labeled "secret" as "relatively low" classification when the definition from the wiki is

"This is the second-highest classification. Information is classified secret when its release would cause "serious damage" to national security. Most information that is classified is held at the secret sensitivity."

That sounds pretty serious to me. It is also worth noting that secret documents are generally restricted in their access, meaning having secret clearance (or even Top Secret clearance) doesn't generally get a person access to all Secret documents, just certain ones they need to know about. But the prime suspect in this case was an intelligence analyst who with his job title was given access to a broad range of classified documents. That's a pretty serious breach and the kind of person a foreign spy would swoon over if they could get access to him.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/07/28/afghanistan.wikileaks.suspect/index.html?hpt=C2
 

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