Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Wikileaks, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Taliban

Our Readers Who Comment are angry about the release of classified documents that detail the realities of war in Afghanistan and the assistance that Pakistan is providing the Talliban. But they can't decide whether to blame the media for publishing the documents, or the organization that assembled and released them, or the Bush or Obama administrations for their conduct of the war.

Readers offer various theories about how the documents came to be released. Many call for prosecution of the leakers; the tired arguments about what President Bush didn't do in Afghanistan or what President Obama isn't doing get a re-run, and a few readers who study history remind us -- as they have consistently over the years of this long war -- that major powers have had little success in Afghanistan.

As Greg Jaffe and Karen DeYoung write, "... the documents provide new insights into a period in which the Taliban was gaining strength, Afghan civilians were growing increasingly disillusioned with their government, and U.S. troops in the field often expressed frustration at having to fight a war without sufficient resources."

We'll start with JCM-51, who said, "Obama's 'Pentagon Papers' for Obama's 'Vietnam'. He needs to keep his campaign promise and get our troops home now."

InTheMiddle wrote, "The Justice Department should investigate this and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. If these are U.S. citizens, this is treasonous. If these are foreigners, it is spying. Throw away the key. Our service men and women may die because of these criminals."

To which ozma1 replied, "Spoken like a true authoritarian. This is neither treason or espionage. It's an attempt to point out the truth which is that this nation is completely and totally wasting lives, tax dollars and our moral authority on our occupation of Afghanistan which will end much like the Soviet occupation did no matter what general is installed at the top."

But Greggie1 wrote, "It doesn't matter what the contents of the reports are. What matters is that someone leaked military secrets in wartime, and someone distributed them. Those responsible should be given a fair trial, then shot."

familynet disagreed, writing, "Thank you Wikileaks! This is the kind of info that the American people need to know and the questions should not be why did they leak the info, but rather why does the U.S. govt lie to the American people about the great level of cooperation between us and Pakistan. As we enter the November elections, let us do so mindful that what is really being done by our leaders in this war is not being shared with those of us contributing to the war in terms of soldiers and money."

ru4real313 wrote, "Amazing neither print nor tv news has learned from last week about verifying information before printing or commenting about a news story being posted on a website. Where is the journalism? Did I miss statements about verification?"

And Jindokae offered, "For all we know, the staff of Wikileaks is made up entirely of Taliban and al Qaeda members. They hide in the shadows like cockroaches, too cowardly to show their faces, yet they expect us to believe them. And you publish their spew as if it were actually journalism."

borntoraisehogs said, "So after the election and Obama received his full breifing, it was obvious Bush was right to scale back the Afghan operation. In spite of this B.Hussein insisted on pursuing this policy of Iraq bad, Afghan good to cover the fact he was an incompetent,inexperienced wimp."

pete_zipk wrote, "we are paying $1 billion a year to Pakistanis to kill our soldiers. What happened to us?"

LINDADICK asked, "So, why would your article not focus on the genesis of this treason - a 20 year old, self-serving kid named Manning? Treason is treason unless we're now claiming it's 'whistle blowing'. In reality, it's one bad kid putting good men at risk. Diverting the responsibility to a website instead of a person is very irresponsible and disappointing.

eaglehawkaroundsince1937 wrote, "4,400+ dead young American men and women killed and replaced by 4,400+++ alive young American men and women. This will stop only when the American parents and grandparents demand it's end by banners, marches, protests - legal, illegal, peaceful,or forcefull means. Until then You and I are responsible for their violent death. Sweet dreams little Johnny and Mary your Military Daddy dies tonight and for no reason."

pga6 said, "The war in Afghanistan is hard sledding. Little in the way of national interest exists when it comes to Afghanistan... When are they going to tell us something we don't know? Afghanistan isn't World War II when the maniac leader finally shoots himself in the head and its over in a week. It's not going to end anytime in the near future, and it's not going to be pretty most of the way..."

b383sc wrote, "The issue of Pakistan supporting terrorism should not be a surprise. The bigger issue is what this country will do about Pakistan supporting the Taliban. This country is doomed to failure if they think they are just going to mollify the Taliban and Al Qaeda. These two groups have one hope; to annihilate the U.S. To beat the Taliban and Al Qaeda it will take suspending some of our ethics in order to kill them first. There is no happy medium..."

Anadromous2 said, "The administration official, who said that anyone closely following events and reports out of the AFPAC theater wouldn't find anything new in these leaked documents, was right. Looks like it's mostly left over trash from the Bush administration."

john_bruckner wrote, "Yawn. Must not be much of a news day. I have seen absolutely nothing that I don't already know from reading the news everyday."

We'll close with lesliekorshak, who wrote, "Unfortunately, both the last two administraions were warned well in advance that a conventional war was indeed 'unwinable' there and once again, nobody paid the experts one bit of attention. The predictable has come home to roost."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  July 26, 2010; 9:40 AM ET
 | Tags: Afghanistan, Obama, Pakistan, Taliban, Wikileaks  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Tea Party Caucus time
Next: The Pakistan problem


Posted by: Gumsah | July 26, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

The basic issue here is that in our Republic, our representative democracy, it is vital, necessary, and critically important that all of this so-called secret information is given to the people! Sure it may be embarrassing and inconvenient to the Generals and the politicians; well tough! This IS a slippery slope of Fascist autocracy to set oneself up as the Censor in chief to determine which secrets to keep and which are not to be secret!! And, our Constitution, that quaint document that defines our nation; demands that our government keep no secrets from the people! Over time, our very dedicated representatives have usurped the role of the masters, US, and decided that they can hold the secrets; and over time the committees of our representatives that play with the Generals that they were the holders of the secrets from even the non committee representatives and at least under George the Administration decided that there were secrets so important that they only needed to give hints about the secrets they were keeping and then decided that even that was to open; and we can suppose that each service, each CIA operation, each NSA, BlackOps, each Contractors also has secrets from even the Administration holders of secrets and .....

The only GOOD and SAFE recourse is to have NO secrets that don't have a direct and immediate danger to active operations that would lead to the possible death of our operatives! And that should be rigorously monitored to prevent secrecy creep!

Posted by: CHAOTICIAN101 | July 26, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

So what these leaks are supposed to be? Another 9/11 by sick CIA and sick Americans?

Posted by: tw9kle | July 26, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

"Only the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has called, year after year, for a moral accounting. Its surveys of Afghan citizens consistently find that the people want lasting peace, and to attain it, they would prefer some sort of truth and reconciliation procedure, like the one that took place in South Africa, to cleanse the country and set it on an honest intellectual and moral footing."

Ann Jones, humanitarian aid worker and author of Kabul in Winter wrote from Kabul, Afghanistan, and continues:

"I've come back to the Afghan capital again, after an absence of two years, to find it ruined in a new way. Not by bombs this time, but by security.The heart of the city is now hidden behind piles of Hescos giant, grey sandbags produced somewhere in Great Britain. They're stacked against the walls of government buildings, U.N. agencies, embassies, NGO offices, and army camps (of which there are a lot) -- and they only seem to grow and multiply…What's called security generates fear.

"How Lies Begat Illusions Begat Lies…you can't understand the Taliban without knowing about America's covert operations in the region in the 1980s. Back then, President Ronald Reagan's administration, mainly through the CIA, used the Pakistani Intelligence services to fund, arm, and train Afghan and foreign Islamist jihadis to defeat the Soviet army in Afghanistan. Pakistan subsequently used "channels built with U.S. money" to install in Afghanistan a friendly government -- the Taliban.

"Later, after the George W. Bush administration invaded the country and the U.S. ousted the Taliban, it installed Hamid Karzai as president and returned many of the old Islamist jihadis to power in his government. Thus, this peculiar, well-established fact underlies the current war in Afghanistan: the United States sponsored both sides.

"As I write, 4,000 newly arrived U.S. Marines are trudging through the blistering heat of Helmand Province to push back the Taliban so local Pashtuns can turn out to vote next month for Karzai, their fellow Pashtun. What's wrong with this new Obama strategy? For one thing, in some areas the local Pashtun population has instead turned out to fight against the foreign invaders, side by side with the Taliban (who, it should be remembered, are mostly local Pashtuns). They're as fed up as anybody with the puppet Karzai. Like millions of other Afghans, they say Karzai has done nothing for the people. But saddled with history, Karzai remains the horse the U.S. rode in on."

July 26, 2010: Back to Afghanistan @

Posted by: eileenflemingWAWABLOG | July 26, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

More RE: Vanunu

Israel put him back in solitary for 3 months on 23 May 2010, essentially for speaking to foreign media in 2004.

In 2005, Vanunu told me:

"President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons. Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection.

"When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.

"Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year."

PLEASE listen to Vanunu in 2005, 2006, 2008 video interviews and learn why Israel persists to persecute him @
The Vanunu Saga: 2005-2010

Eileen Fleming, Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu"

Posted by: eileenflemingWAWABLOG | July 26, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Now, Assange says there is "evidence" of "war crimes" and a court (what court?) must decide this.

Again, all I can say is--what a egotistical tool....don't try to get the hard information on Iran and N.Korea or even China and Pakistan. Go for the fall in your lap stuff from a person who clearly violated his oath to protect and defend....

Why do people like to encourage tools like these who are endangering their very own husbands, wives and children (both in and out of the military). Do you honestly believe this man has NO AGENDA?

Posted by: mil1 | July 26, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

people who do not read history are like hamsters in a wheel. and as that famous antimilitary typE DWIGHT EISENHOWER SAID BEWARE OF THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX.

Posted by: bindimon | July 26, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

hahaha! thank you assange and wikileaks. following in the heroic footsteps of seymour hersh, daniel ellsberg and vanunu... he and his organization should be granted full protection of the UN and a consortium of nations supporting full disclosure... that would be those nations who aren't committing war crimes and torture, building massive arsenals of WMDs and plotting domination. death to all evil empires of secrecy.

jefferson said, "any government which makes a policy of long-keeping secrets from its own public is no longer working in the best interests of its people." and he also said, "only criminals and tyrants require secrecy."

me, i'd like to see every grisly secret of every government, religion, corporation splashed across the world. vampires evaporate in sunlight.

Posted by: tazdelaney | July 26, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

i see herein several comments stating that we were attacked on 911 and therefore have had the right and duty to wage these wars...

since the late 1800s, europe murderously colonized africa and the middle east. tens of millions were killed in this seizure of lands, people, resources there by the white christians of europe. then in the 1950s, europe began giving america pieces of its empire for safekeeping. france 'gives' the yanks indochina as france has its hands full in africa. CIA and MI6 overthrow the new democracy of iran in 1953 to protect BP's oil control there and install the brutal shah of iran until 1978. england 'gives' the US iraq where the CIA/state department empower a thug named saddam hussein; back him through the iran-iraq war that ended in 1989... then declare 2 decades of war and genocidal embargo on the iraqi people killing some 2 million. so 911 didn't exactly come out of nowhere...

now i figure that anyone who buys the official story of 911 probably also thinks that television wrestling is 'on the level.' but i won't go into all of that right now. however, anyone who's read about such attacks, whether true terrorist attacks or false-flag events designed to mimic say IRA/al qaeda or whoever... whether put on by mossad or MI6, CIA or navy SEALs... a necesary element of these is that they must involve no more than 50 participants.

911 gave the shadow government of pentagon/NSA/CIA/FBI and the 16 other secretist cabals... their wish-list on a platter... carte blanche to wage an endless sham war of terror; set up torture chambers worldwide (obama re-authorized the bush CIA rendition program of globally outsourced torture chambers on february 1, 2009); wipe out the few remaining rights; spy on everyone til we're the visible men. to the tune of trillions of dollars and a million+ deaths to date.

on 911, it was said that the alleged highjackers were all saudi or egyptian except for a single afghani who was then found alive and uninvolved. but arabia and egypt's tyrannies are 'good allies' of the USG. so bush declares war on iraq and afghan... that is as if FDR had declared war on korea and thailand after the japanese bombed pearl harbor...

bush-cheney were reprimanded by general haig of the joint chiefs of staff twice (unprecedented), for their use of known lies to promote the war on iraq, specifically that husssein was behind 911. hussein was despised by al qaeda and taliban for having been a 30 year puppet dictator for the US and because he was an unorthodox moslem; 'liberal' with women, gays, artists, etc. in august of 2009, cheney admitted that it was a known lie but blamed it on bush... says he will give all details in his memoirs.

so while 911 took 50 unknown persons to produce... over 1 million iraqis have been murdered for it... and the US is now the leading torturer on earth; nazi to the core. when your government runs an auschwitz, a gitmo or a gaza... it is time for all decent citizens to overthrow it.

Posted by: tazdelaney | July 26, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm repulsed by both those that would pull such a stunt and those that would print it. One doesn't know all that goes on in a war and the last thing we should be doing is jeopardizing ongoing operations, both covert and overt.
Find those responsible and try them for treason. The job over there is tough enough without this kind of irresponsible behavior.
Oh, and by the way - I'm an Independent.

Posted by: ThePoliticalStraycom | July 26, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it high time to withdraw the troops from Afghanistan before more young, innocent lives are flushed down the drain only to support a corrupt regime where bribery, betrayal and deceit have been the norm for centuries? They don't have the same values at all as Americans and Canadians. Put the troops along the US-Mex border. They Know what to do with insurgents. God love the troops. diatribe done.

Posted by: boblusby | July 26, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Comments this early are all going to be patriotic dribble as the volume of material is staggering, and, evaluations by experts across many fields will take weeks if not months to compile.

Cross-referencing of admitted and ommitted material will shed a bright light on past policy decisions and failures, as well as cover-ups designed to sanitise public perceptions. Humanitarian organisations now have a way to track individual actions that led to questionable behaviour of U.S. and allied forces as well as those of the enemy.

Dubious intelligence that assigned death sentences, via the soon to be infamous 373 unit, will also come under scrutiny as much of the finger-pointing came from regional governers with personal axes to grind. There's apparently a backlog of leaks that have had to be postponed due to the massive amounts of information that had to be sifted through; there's also another 15,000 pages that need to be redacted before they are also released.

Without a doubt this is far more damaging than anything that came out of Iraq, as far as American war policy is concerned. It paints a picture of carelessness from the bottom up. Patterns of systemic manipulation of media releases are going to come into view along with a host of other verifiable misdirections. This one is going to be extremely volatile.

Posted by: icurhuman2 | July 26, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Just why is it treason, as so many right wing commentators suggest, for the American people to learn the truth about this quagmire? So the truth is treason?

Mere raving aside, do any rational and reasonably informed people see Afghanistan as other than a counterproductive futility?

Conservatives or Liberals; face it now or in a decade or so. There is no successful strategy for us in Afghanistan because there is no feasible mission. No one can say what that would be. If nation building to our satisfaction is the bottom line, it amounts to unending war.

Afghanistan is a country in name only. It is composed of various ethnic groups (Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%, other 4%) that have little in common and much to divide them. All have different languages, traditions, religions or various interpretations of same, and social structures.

Most Pashtun (Taliban) reside NOT in Afghanistan but in Pakistan, divided by the phony Durand Line that they do not regard at all. They have been radicalized by thirty years of killing and devastation.

It is beyond dispute that the one clear result of this endless and pointless war has been the progressive if not fatal destabilization of Pakistan. I would argue that the most critical victim of this endless war is Pakistan, ISI contacts with Taliban elements notwithstanding.

Pakistan is a vast Muslim populated country, and armed at the same time with nuclear weapons (while Iran as an aside, has none).

Bear in mind there were ZERO terrorist bombings in that country before this war began, and now they are commonplace, with huge civilian death counts as we have just seen last week. Before this war, there were ZERO attacks on the Punjabi Pak army, and now they must conduct major military campaigns against the fiercest elements of their whole population. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced in the result of such ongoing campaigns. The Pakistanis know all this if we do not. It is the primary reason why they are deeply conflicted by this war, and support our efforts in Afghanistan only to the degree they must.

In terms of our true security interests, there is far more to lose in the fatal destabilization of Pakistan, than ever to gain in Afghanistan. This war is entirely counterproductive to our real interests.

Posted by: tarquinis1 | July 26, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Dear customers, thank you for your support of our company.
Here, there's good news to tell you: The company recently
launched a number of new fashion items! ! Fashionable
and welcome everyone to come buy. If necessary, please

T-shirts (Polo ,ed hardy,lacoste) $14

New era cap $10

Air jordan(1-24)shoes $30

Handbags(Coach,ed hardy,lv,d&g) $35

Jean(True Religion,ed hardy,coogi) $35


Bikini (Ed hardy,polo) $18

Posted by: asd_gjh | July 26, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company