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Posted at 11:27 PM ET, 12/ 4/2010

OMB: WikiLeaks off-limits to federal workers without clearance

By Ed O'Keefe

Updated 8:48 a.m. ET
WikiLeaks is publishing sensitive and classified government information for all the world to see, but that doesn't mean federal workers and contractors should take a peek, according to the Obama administration.

Top officials reminded rank and file federal workers and contractors late Friday to steer clear of the controversial document-sharing Web site, warning that, "Classified information, whether or not already posted on public Web sites or disclosed to the media, remains classified, and must be treated as such by federal employees and contractors, until it is declassified by an appropriate U.S. government authority."

The Office of Management and Budget sent the message in a memo addressed to agency general counsel, asking them to remind workers of existing restrictions on access to classified documents.

OMB Director Jacob J. Lew already had instructed government departments and agencies to ensure that employees with access to classified information networks did not have more access than necessary and to restrict the use of removable media such as CDs or flash drives on such networks. Those orders prompted some departments to issue warnings to employees.

The memo states that workers and contractors must "use government information technology systems in accordance with agency procedures so that the integrity of such systems is not compromised." The memo sent Friday is meant to be adapted and then sent to each agency's workers.

It does not instruct agencies to block the WikiLeaks Web site. OMB officials would not immediately say why they waited until late Friday to issue the reminder, despite weeks of warnings of WikiLeaks impending disclosures.

The memo's existence was first reported Friday by Britain's Guardian newspaper.

The Defense Department has issued a similar reminder to military personnel and contractors, stating that viewing the documents violates military policy even though they may be available on public Web sites.

Employees and contractors who inadvertently accessed or downloaded any classified or sensitive information without prior authorization are reminded to contact agency information security offices, the memo said.

In a similar warning, college students considering careers with the federal government received an e-mail this week warning against reviewing classified information posted by the document-sharing Web site.

Career counselors at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs urged students not to post links to the documents or make comments on social media Web sites, including Facebook or Twitter.

"Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government," said an e-mail the office said it sent to students on the advice of an alumnus who works for the State Department.

But the employee's warning, "does not represent a formal policy position," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Saturday.

"This sounds like an overly-zealous employee," Crowley said in an e-mail. "Our focus is advising current employees not to download classified documents to an unclassified network. While we condemn what WikiLeaks has done, we cannot control what is done through private Internet accounts."

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

--

Memo sent Friday by the Office of Management and Budget:

MODEL AGENCY NOTICE TO EMPLOYEES AND CONTRACTORS CONCERNING SAFEGUARDING OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION AND USE OF GOVERNMENT INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS

The recent disclosure of U.S. Government documents by WikiLeaks has resulted in damage to our national security. Each federal employee and contractor is obligated to protect classified information pursuant to all applicable laws, and to use government information technology systems in accordance with agency procedures so that the integrity of such systems is not compromised.

Unauthorized disclosures of classified documents (whether in print, on a blog, or on websites) do not alter the documents' classified status or automatically result in declassification of the documents. To the contrary, classified information, whether or not already posted on public websites or disclosed to the media, remains classified, and must be treated as such by federal employees and contractors, until it is declassified by an appropriate U.S. Government authority.

Federal employees and contractors therefore are reminded of the following obligations with respect to the treatment of classified information and the use of non-classified government information technology systems:

• Except as authorized by their agencies and pursuant to agency procedures, federal employees or contractors shall not, while using computers or other devices (such as Blackberries or Smart Phones) that access the web on non-classified government systems, access documents that are marked classified (including classified documents publicly available on the WikiLeaks and other websites), as doing so risks that material still classified will be placed onto non-classified systems. This requirement applies to access that occurs either through agency or contractor computers, or through employees' or contractors' personally owned computers that access non-classified government systems. This requirement does not restrict employee or contractor access to non-classified, publicly available news reports (and other non-classified material) that may in turn discuss classified material, as distinguished from access to underlying documents that themselves are marked classified (including if the underlying classified documents are available on public websites or otherwise in the public domain).

• Federal employees or contractors shall not access classified material unless a favorable determination of the person's eligibility for access has been made by an agency head or the agency head's designee, the person has signed and approved non-disclosure agreement, the person has a need to know the information, and the person has received contemporaneous training on the proper safeguarding of classified information and on the criminal, civil, and administrative sanctions that may be imposed on an individual who fails to protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure.

• Classified information shall not be removed from official premises or disclosed without proper authorization.

• Federal employees and contractors who believe they may have inadvertently accessed or downloaded classified or sensitive information on computers that access the web via non-classified government systems, or without prior authorization, should contact their information security offices for assistance.

Thank you for your cooperation, and for your vigilance to these responsibilities.

--

By Ed O'Keefe  | December 4, 2010; 11:27 PM ET
Categories:  Administration, Workplace Issues  
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Comments

This is not a very practical order. While it's fairly easy to avoid the Wikileaks site, it's impossible to look at any news without seeing the material reproduced with it's classified markings intact.

Mirror sites are popping up all over the place, including in the US. Other countries don't seem inclined to do anything about the material either, even though it's protected outside the US by copyright, and by NATO treaty in signatory countries.

The US government with this seems to want to be quite forceful with a very inept response to the problem.

Posted by: Nymous | December 5, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

This seems to be a move in the wrong direction--this dictum on self-censorship. Still, it's true that anyone working for the government should get used to just that.

Posted by: Jenner1 | December 5, 2010 12:17 AM | Report abuse

This is right out dumb. Regardless of the government's opinions on the leaks - now people working for government agencies, or people aiming at a career in gov. agencies, are told to be LESS informed than the rest of the world?

Posted by: asoders22 | December 5, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

asoders22 - totally agree.

It's poignant, because people in all walks of life are always rightly perplexed by upper management's decision to "shield" the lower-ranked from raw data that, in fact, would be practical for them to know in order for them to better perform their jobs.

Scaring future potential government job applicants from pursuing their natural intellectual curiosity in trying to better understand the world via Wikileaks seems also a step towards filtering out our best and brightest from playing a role in our intelligence and security agencies.

And hahaha, who wouldn't want to be described as "rank and file federal workers and contractors"? Baaaaaaaa!

Posted by: kingpigeon | December 5, 2010 2:15 AM | Report abuse

"official" response to the wikileaks seems like it is getting darker at noon in DC

Posted by: cedarboy | December 5, 2010 4:52 AM | Report abuse

not nearly as effective as bolting the barn doors after the horses have escaped...

Read this take:
http://www.counterpunch.com/

Posted by: onemoreexpat | December 5, 2010 5:36 AM | Report abuse

I find this whole episode quite fascinating. You read about the Chinese controlling what the populace can read and then watch the US government trying to control what can be read. This bit on government employees is interesting but they shouldn't be reading the stuff during working hours anyway.

Often is the case that governments use security to prevent their own people from knowing what they're doing. The Saudi government doesn't want the Saudi people to know that the Saudis wanted the US to attack Iran. I don't expect that Iran was surprised at that.

I can't think of anything in Wikileaks that has shocked me. Was anyone shocked to read that China ordered an attack on Google?

Posted by: James10 | December 5, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Why in the world is this information still
classified after it has been compromised ?
You would think (or like to anyway) that
our government would get it's act together
and protect our classified information.

Posted by: edbaugh1 | December 5, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Censorship comes in small steps and this appears to be one of those steps. The government seems to have forgotten that we have a Constitution, a Bill of Rights and have always been known as the land of the brave and the home of the free.

Will they attempt to discourage historians from writing about this episode in our country's story? Future diplomats told to not read Wikileaks, when they are considering employment in an area that is now shown to be full of backroom deals, gossip and Machiavellian plans - shouldn't they know what they are getting into?

Seems very coincidental that the threat of disclosures about the financial institutions is the straw that broke the camel's back and now the government and big corporations and financial groups all have their panties in a wad.

Posted by: Utahreb | December 5, 2010 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Classified information is still classified even if it's been leaked. Anyone whose job involved a clearance or security awareness would want to stay away from that information.

My contractor employer notified their employees early in the week that the wiki-leaks site was not to be acessed and reminded them that the information, although disclosed, is still classified and needed to be treated as such - something that is stressed in our yearly security refresher. I don't know why it took the Federal gov't to make this same pronouncement -- they're the ones who write the rules.

Violating security procedures is a quick way to lose ones' job.

Posted by: RedBird27 | December 5, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton - where is your strength and your democratic backbone? We need that now.

Would we have liked to never know about what the US did in Chile, Guatemala, El Salvador, and other places?

We need more leaks! Not fewer.

Posted by: asoders22 | December 5, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Sounds to me like they don't want employees to know what's happening. For all practical purposes, it is public knowledge now. From the pieces I've read or heard about, there is very little that could not have been guessed anyway. ALL governments are doing the same or similar for various reasons.

Posted by: gmclain | December 5, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

This means that if a federal worker went to Guardian, the New York Times, Der Speigel, or Le Monde in the past week--or actually past year since the logs were released--they have violated the law and "contaminated" their computer.

OMB has not thought this through very well.

Posted by: ox4ox4 | December 5, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

A warning from the State Department. A warning that if you post comments, you may not be selected for a job with the government in the future. This calculated threat lets every American know that our comments are being monitored, and that the US government is making a list of names. Otherwise, how would they know if someone named "snowball" posted a dissenting remark? They've let us know that they 1. know who snowball really is, and 2. where snowball lives, and 3. Everything that snowball has ever said on a public comment board. Our tax dollars are being spent to collect information about us concerning our expression of thoughts concerning our government. This is an outrage, and yet I don't expect federal employees to post comments here, since they have been warned as of Friday that their employer is watching them.

THIS SHOULD BE THE HEADLINE STORTY IN THE WASHINGTON POST TODAY! The government has issued warnings about what we can read, and what we can say.

Posted by: AnnsThought | December 5, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Most will complly simply because they will be too busy looking for info on the porn and gambling sites anyway.

Posted by: wmboyd | December 5, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

OMG. Will they still be able to watch porn and shop on the internet for Xmas gifts on taxpayer paid time? Now that would really be abusive.

Posted by: wesatch | December 5, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Our National Security has already been damaged by big business and our totally feckless politicians.But they need a scapegoat.
When I worked for DOD I remember checking safes with nothing in them and would be written up if not signed off on.In one there was a box of cornflakes.That box along with the safe stayed there for the 9 years I worked for DOD.

Posted by: chuckcoley | December 5, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Is there no end to this administration's willingness to become "Big Brother."

Whenever (and it was almost always the case) WikiLeaks eschewed the names of those who might be killed for their actitivities in behalf of the US, it has provided a great insight into the workings of our government.

An insight our government never wants (or wanted) us to see.

Posted by: jayjay9 | December 5, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Redbird, maybe you should read the whole article, including the last paragraph:

----
"But the employee's warning, "does not represent a formal policy position," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Saturday.

"This sounds like an overly-zealous employee," Crowley said in an e-mail. "Our focus is advising current employees not to download classified documents to an unclassified network. While we condemn what WikiLeaks has done, we cannot control what is done through private Internet accounts."
---
What do you think federal employees should do, not read newspapers, not watch TV news? And when they are taking a beer with friends and the contents of WikiLeaks comes up, should they cover their ears and sing "lalalala"?

This memo is an IQ test of students and federal employees. Those with brains of course inform themselves.

Posted by: asoders22 | December 5, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

If you wondered if it ws possible for the govetnment to look any stupider than it already did --- here's your answer.

Posted by: rened | December 5, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

The Government classifies way to much of its actions in order to keep transparencies of its operation and poor decisions to an absolute minimum; after all, they want to be reelected, right? Because of this and I believe, the lack of term limits, our great country is on the verge of financial collapse. Next year will be a major turning point as to whether we take the steps necessary to restore fiscal balance, or continue to go down the path of self destruction, as so many countries have done before as, and are continuing to do so today. I fear the latter will happen, as the polarization and the need of the far extreme right wing of the Republican Party continue to try and extend tax cuts for the rich at any cost, try to destroy Obama and the Democrats, and which will continue to wreak havoc on our great Country this coming year.
WikiLeaks can only help us.
A good indicator to watch is how the recommendations of the Commission of Fiscal Responsibility and Reform are voted on. It doesn't look promising.

God Bless America!

Posted by: skineydip | December 5, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Wikileaks acts like a Terrorist,sounds like a terrorist,damages us like a terrost, violates laws ignoring same like a terrorist- QUACK QUACK QUACK..Must BE one.

Posted by: jimsezz | December 5, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

This actually makes it sound like our fine federal civil servents would actually stop looking a porn (men) or shopping online (women) to actually look at wikileaks while at work.

WHILE AT WORK!

Too funny.

Posted by: TECWRITE | December 5, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

This is moronic - as is most of the federal civilian IT structure and restrictions. It's wasteful and counter productive - hamstringing federal employees at every turn. I assisted an employee drafting a permit for the National Guard to train on land we manage. Department IT morons blocked my attempts to call up the specification of colored signally smoke grenades and ground burst simulators. Additionally these IT morons want one to memorize 12 to 16 digit passwords with upper and lower case, numbers, and punctuation - that change every 60 days. Different passwords for the computer, pay, for training, for file sharing, - for everything save emptying the etrash. Do these IT morons change their social security number every 60 days? their bank account number? credit card number? driver license number?

We need a few adults to be in charge.

Posted by: jkelley11 | December 5, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Of course government workers shouldn't be reading wikileaks, nor should those who wish to work in government be posting links to leaked information on facebook pages, etc. This is just common sense. These are secrets that have been leaked, and their status as secrets are meant to protect us.

Wikileaks are being used to try to subvert us. Here's what the Socialist Party USA has to say about wikileaks:

"The latest Wikileaks revelations should be a call to action for all Americans. It is time to tear down the empire that has been created in their name. Two tasks are first and foremost. We need to create a vibrant movement to end the wars being waged in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. No more occupations, no more military surges and no more drone attacks. Simultaneously, we must demand that the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay be closed immediately. Achieving such demands will open a political space to more directly challenge the centre of the military industrial complex by calling for an immediate reduction of the military budget by 50% and the closing of all US military bases abroad.

As democratic socialists, we imagine another society, where the great wealth this world produces is put to use to meet human needs. Such a world would not need the secret cloak that covers the operations of the US empire. It would, instead, be based on notions that seem very distant from our current reality – democracy, free association and self-determination. We think that democratic socialism holds the potential to live up to these lofty ideals. Let the Wikileaks disclosures provide the motivation for you to join in this struggle."
----------------------------------

It just makes no sense to me to ask our military to do a job, then subvert them with leaked field intel reports. Likewise with leaked diplomatic reports. This places thousands of our own employees at risk, and it's been done by the same people who demand the grossest excesses in the name of preserving individual privacy and individual liberty. To my mind, there can be only one conclusion. The folks who leaked this stuff, and the socialists who expect to benefit from it, have absolutely no regard or concern for other people, including government workers, despite their rhetoric.

Posted by: tacheronb | December 5, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

What a bunch of idiots. Whoever in OMB drafted the release should be sacked. Once the horse is out of the barn you just look stupid trying to lock the door.

Posted by: ianstuart | December 5, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Gosh. I wonder if the U.S. government is behind the distributed denial of service attacks. Nah, they wouldn't do that. We're a transparent and open society.

Posted by: TooManyPeople | December 5, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

The Boneheads are in charge.


Distributed worldwide and published and commented on by thousands, seen by multiples of millions and they still call it classified. Duh

There you have it. They post it on their own government wide, not so secure website, allow access to thousands of people, including the lowest ranking army grunt and they threaten college students who don't even work for government that they will not get a job if they don't stay dumb and ignorant.
The leak wasn't an isolated incident. The government is infested with boneheads.

Posted by: glenmayne | December 5, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Wonder if my clearance would be threatened if a bought a copy of the Washington Post with a leaked classified document printed within?

Posted by: FredDobbs | December 5, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Prohibited websites just like Bolshevik China.

Posted by: twm1 | December 5, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Read for yourself.

Think for yourself.

Why should we believe the words of those that profit from war, secrecy and lies?

Read the truth at Wikileaks:

Http://www.wikileaks.de

http://213.251.145.96/

Read for yourself.

Think for yourself.

Courage is contagious.

Posted by: FriendofKeyserSoze | December 5, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The comments made here lack sense. First, there's a political tint to this nonsense and there shouldn't be. Every administration I've worked around...the last five...the rules on allegedly classified data and handling it on unclassified networks have been the same. So those of you all on the Obama administration for this rule, they weren't the ones who initiated it. It's mostly the desire to score political points driving that entire process of "blaming the administration".

For those of you in political fantasyland; i.e. "everything that party does is bad, and everything our party does is good", the honest to goodness truth is the Federal Government in its day-to-day dealings just doesn't change that much. It's why no matter who is in Congress, the public hates them, and no matter who the President is, they'll be less popular when they got elected.

One of the stupidest comments I've seen was

"OMG. Will they still be able to watch porn and shop on the internet for Xmas gifts on taxpayer paid time? Now that would really be abusive. Posted by: wesatch"

A pretty stupid comment by one of the "I don't like the US Government no matter what" crew. No government agency that I'm aware of allows its personnel to surf porn at work. A ridiculous thing to say.

Posted by: pga6 | December 5, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

This is really foolish. Should U.S. employees also not read the New York Times and Washington Post which regularly publish materials technically classified?

Posted by: lemondog | December 5, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Band aid. Slap. Slap. Slap.

Idiots. Not only should federal salaries be frozen, they should be rolled back 10%. Let go of 10% more workers (based on real performance, not seniority). And demand 10% more work from those left. And by the way - fund your own pensions from now on.

Posted by: AlanBrowne | December 5, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Cool. The US Police Dictatorship is rearing its head.

Julian Assange is an American hero. The government its using its power of oppression to get him.

Posted by: Maddogg | December 5, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Many Americans are really confused regarding what Julian Assange has done. Many suggest that he is a traitor. However, they don't understand that betraying our country is not the same as betraying our government. Sarah Palin and many of her supporters well understand that our government is out of control and that control of our country needs to be returned to the people. Julian Assange has provided a useful service to our country and our people. None of the information he has provided was the sort of information that our enemies didn't already have. It may have provided new information to Americans and our friends to help those of us who love our country take back from our evil government the things that it has taken from many Americans. Anyone who has suffered a wrongful audit by the IRS, or been prosecuted for non existent crimes. or been deployed to a war zone under the military's "stop loss" program, after a term of enlistment had expired or watched our foreign policy change from benign to evil knows how evil our government has become from Obama on down.
Our government has chosen to keep much of the information it creates secret from ordinary Americans. This policy of secrecy only affects ordinary Americans. Our government has no secrets from the thousands of foreign spies which are embedded throughout our government. Who really knows who Obama is reporting to.
Julian Assange is almost a lock to receive the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize and as more Americans clearly understand what he is doing he will become a folk hero in America.

Posted by: jimeglrd8 | December 5, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

The awful truth about this country has been exposed, more by the Administration's response to the cables than the cables themselves.

This is no longer America, Land of the Free, this has become the 21st Century's Nazi Germany.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | December 5, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

This is so great. It's wonderful to see the corrupt governments of nation states embarrassed and exposed. I wish WikiLeaks would expose the US internal financial and political system too -- so we can see how the rich and powerful are leading the planet to a horrible fate.

Posted by: Momo6 | December 5, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

America is behaving like Iran did when Salman Rusdie published the 'Satanic Verses' and issued a 'fatwa' against the author. Assange has not committed a crime. Material was sent to him, he didn't steal it, as some people have suggested, nor did HE download it illegally. If you read the British press, which far more pragmatic and level headed about this, it's unlikely that Assange will be prosecuted. If he is, it will raise all kinds of issues with regards to the free-press and censorship. In fact the New York Times will then be subject for publishing the leaked Pentagon papers. America is becoming everything it has spent the last 50 years fighting. It has become a dictatorship that calls for the assassination of people without due process. The fact that Assange is Australian should send out alarm bells across the world that America can get away with this. America's power has grown too big for its own good. I'm totally in support of what Wikileaks is doing and anyone who believes in freedom should stand up for Wikileaks.

Posted by: francinelast | December 5, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Please - Julian Assange is not American. He is an Australian, and not operating in America. He cannot be a traitor to any nation but his own, and he is not a terrorist - he is only publishing leaked information, like many, many media before him have done over the decades. He is just better at it than many others.

That people, even politicians, is urging Obama to "deal" with him, even kill him, is outrageous.

Posted by: asoders22 | December 5, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Wikileaks exposed corruption. The American press used to do that. Now, the American government makes everything "classified." So reporters and whistleblowers can be prosecuted, even for leaking evidence of high-level corruption. God forbid anybody find out about what government officials are on the take to sell anything and everything for the right price.

Posted by: mongolovesheriff | December 5, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Long before all of this embarrassing hoopla started, I went to wiki leaks, not once but twice. Maybe because I wasn't really looking for anything specific, but I found the site boring. Lot's of double speak boring long winded papers.

In any event, rather than eat away at more liberties of federal employees, wouldn't it be simpler to do a better job of safeguarding and/or destroying these documents?

If a fed leaked documents, intentionally or unintentionally, they would be looking at charges of treason and all sorts of spy charges.

Why not hold those who are entrusted with these documents to the same standard?

Posted by: grumpfish | December 5, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

This raised an interesting issue in the Voice of America newsroom. VOA journalists were working on reporting the story while agency managers and their IT staff were working to block access to the site, declaring, as I understand it, that uncleared employees on an unsecured network should not be viewing classified documents ... which were, of course, on the public Internet.

Posted by: ArtCee | December 5, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

The US government is well within their security rights to make and enforce these regulations. An employee may happen upon the stories in their normal reading, but they shouldn't be using government computers (other computers depend on more regulation detail) to access what is still classified/secret information. Just because it is in the public domain now doesn't mean it has been legally declassified. The reason it is in the public domain is due to patently illegal disclosure. Federal employees and contractors are still under federal disclosure rules. I worked for the census bureau as a field worker. Even now if someone else recognizes me as the worker who visited them I cannot legally respond. They can say I was the worker who visited them, but it is unconstitutional for me to say anything. It is against the Constitution for anyone in the Census Bureau to disclose any personal information in regard to anything done for the Census Bureau, ever, even to the ones I talked to. The government is going to go about making exceptions. That complicates rules and makes them more difficult to enforce.

Posted by: hollygarfield | December 5, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Why in the world is this information still
classified after it has been compromised ?
You would think (or like to anyway) that
our government would get it's act together
and protect our classified information.

Posted by: edbaugh1 | December 5, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse
==========

None of this information was ever classified - it was sensitive and embarrassing.

During the past two years, the media has been reporting on the nightly news much of what has been downloaded to the public.

The download put it all in one place and it's making Obama, Napolitano and Hllary crazy because now the truth is out -- they are deceptive and inept ... and now making mountains out of little clumps of dirt.

McConnell tells the media Assange is a "high tech terrorist." What an overblown boatload of BS. But this is pretty standard operating procedure when you get caught with your britches down around your ankles as you try to run and hide.

Americans who are paying attention (watching and reading the news) are not confused, or even angry ... with Assange. All he did was download the documents that supported the news reports during the last two years.

All Assange did was "help" Obama and the Democrats follow through on their promises of transparent government.

And look how the ungrateful pups are reacting.

Posted by: asmith1 | December 5, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Maybe not to the same degree , but this kinda reminds me of Hitler's assasins buring books in the town squares of Europe. As if that would keep the truth from the Masses . In this glorified computer age and surely more to come , you cannot solve things by burying your head in the stand. Intelligence and awareness is still the best way to go. On the one hand the Government keeps telling us that we have to be aware. To keep our eyes open and to report every suspicious character lollygagging in an airport. Yet instances like Wikileaks pop up and we want to tell our chief protectors to zip their lips . Like locking the horse after the barn is gone. How about when the Government puts people like Gibbs out to sneak out leaks . Does the Government have the right to tell us what we can believe or cannot believe ? And what the Hell is the government going to do about Assange ? They can't do anything , that's what. No extradition in the countries where he'll be living and collecting more information . We've set on our hands and just were content to be more and more corrupt with the passing of every year. We worry more about a 2 bit tone deaf Monkey and tie up the airwaves in tribute to him , while the entire month of the assasination of one of our Presidents goes by without a nod of rememberence. We sit by and watch a Jug-Earred boob destroy us from within. No drilling as temps right now are in the Frigid Zone in the North East. Heating oil over $3.00 a gal, but what the Hell does he care, as he , the Moose and his clan are nice and toasty on our dime. Billions spent and a year wasted on his legacy for 30 million to become insured with Socialized Medicine which wil bankrupt the country and send the rest of America into more debt . The same 30 Million weren't without Health Care, just a formal policy. They could go to any Emergency Room and get care for all the knife wounds inflicted upon them over the weekend. We, on the other hand pay extra to enter the Hospital through the emergency door. We sit and watch Pelosi and Reid weave their deadly webs of hypocracy and deceit while feathering their own bank accounts, and adding to their power and influence . We have only one party in American today. To believe otherwise is to invite disastor . We are now the Republicrats no matter how you are classified. They simply trade places every election year to carry on their corruption . November's results were a scam and anyone who thinks this time next year won't be the same or worse than this one is , is whistling past the graveyard . They may not have the same names, but they all play the same games . Anyone without a skeleton in his closet is not welcomed in Washington. They have to be able to control every one who shows up . The Good Ol' Boys will show up to run again in 2012 . The same old losers and corrupters . You don't rise in Politics by being honest . You may start out that way, but if you want to climb the power ladder, you had better change .

Posted by: puck-101 | December 6, 2010 5:31 AM | Report abuse

So put out an order telling people not to go to wikileaks so more will go there. On top of that, our nation's supposedly classified documents are out there for the entire world to read but our own citizens are not supposed read it, especially Federal workers? Pure stupid. People that make up these kinds of idiot rules and statements should themselves be classified, removed and locked away so common sense normal individuals can lead.

Posted by: travis5344 | December 6, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

So put out an order telling people not to go to wikileaks so more will go there. On top of that, our nation's supposedly classified documents are out there for the entire world to read but our own citizens are not supposed read it, especially Federal workers? Pure stupid. People that make up these kinds of idiot rules and statements should themselves be classified, removed and locked away so common sense normal individuals can lead.

Posted by: travis5344 | December 6, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

So if a federal employee reads these documents will they be prosecuted by the justice department for treason?

Posted by: david_sequeira_fdic | December 6, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

This is so silly and actually smacks of censorship. I am a Federal employee and while I am too busy to be looking for this material, the article piqued my curiosity. So, I just checked to see if WikiLeaks is accessible or not. Our Department has blocked it, another futile effort since we can access it via a variety of electronic tools both in the office and outside (e.g., smartphones, ipads, netbooks, etc.). It's not the information that I'm concerned about, but the efforts to restrict access to websites that is so endemic within the government these days. I couldn't even use PhotoBucket or Shutterfly even when I was sharing work-specific pictures I took as part of an official delegation. (I was trying to use this tool to enable the Korean hosts to access them.) Anyway, efforts are best spent trying to find out who violated National Security and public trust by leaking the cables and other materials, not on restricting Feds from viewing it.

Posted by: KCaulfieldV | December 6, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Something to ponder:

"There is no greater challenge than the implementation of a new system. Because you have the enmity of all those who would benefit from the status quo and only the lukewarm support of those who would benefit from the new system."

-Machiavelli

Posted by: rgv1129 | December 6, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

You would only truly understand this if you ever worked with a "General Counsel" in the Federal Government before. This is their follow the book over the cliff kind of mentality. "It doesn't matter if it makes sense or not...this is the rule and we follow it verbatim." As others have stated though it is very impractical. How will anyone know what is classified or not when they read it on Wikileaks...and when they read it on their friend's facebook...and when they read it on some bizarre punk-rock web-site? Come on folks...they need to declassify everything released, then prosecute the leakers. Oh, yea, they did not prosecute Cheney when he leaked classified information on Valerie Plume, I guess he set the example for everyone. It seems to be o.k. to leak!

Posted by: Severus | December 6, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

By the way...for those who my sarcasm falls on deaf ears...It is not o.k. to leak.

Posted by: Severus | December 6, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

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