Saturday, July 31, 2010

Obviously 'Irrelevant and Immaterial' on PFC Manning

Information which is available--if you're in Britain.

First, Private Manning is openly homosexual. Did you know that? I didn't; if the fact has been reported in the American press, I've missed it. Moreover, Manning was an activist who demonstrated against Congress's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. His Facebook includes a photo of him at a gay rights rally, holding a sign demanding equality on "the battlefield." Further, he has posted anti-military comments on his Facebook page. An uncle describes him as "an introverted kid who loved computers and was fired up politically." That's a tantalizing reference that is left hanging. Whether he was fired up about something other than gay rights remains unknown, for the moment. --Telegraph, quoted by PowerLine

For some strange reason, none of that is interesting to the MSM.

I'm no fan of the Afghanistan adventure. At the same time, there are some things which one does NOT DO, and unloading a military database for dissemination is one of those things.


Dan said...

I don't know if it is relevant or not if he is a liberal.
If he is anti-military, he is in the wrong business.
But why does a guy in a remote area of Iraq have access to 91,000 pages of secret info about Afghanistan?

Grim said...

Because it's on the SIPRnet. The SIPRnet is exactly like the internet, but for information classified at the SECRET level or below. It uses Internet Explorer, operates exactly the same way -- but it doesn't touch the actual internet at any point. Computers connected to SIPRnet are isolated to that network.

This allows for significant sharing of data and ideas not just among military commands, but with State, CIA, etc. I could post something up from here that is instantly available to those guys in remote Iraq or Afghanistan. So, all those DOD/DIA/CIA analysts churning out intelligence products aren't just passing them around the Pentagon or Langely; it's actually getting out to the folks in the field.

By the same token, the folks in the field are putting their reports up in such a way as people in the Pentagon can read them. That means they aren't making decisions in the kind of vacuum that higher command often has in previous wars. (The problem hasn't vanished, to be sure -- but SIPRnet is an improvement.)

However, when you get a traitor, that same access is a problem. Fortunately, SECRET-level information is far from the most damaging. Still, a lot of bad things can be in it.