Thursday, September 09, 2004


Daniel Ellsberg Urges Insiders to Leak Iraq Info.

Story here.

Sigh. Where to even begin? First, some rope:

Joined by other whistle-blowers and former government employees, Ellsberg said at a news conference Thursday that claims of government deception and lies have "little credibility" unless supported by documentary evidence, which often is available only in classified materials.
Read that para again. Ellsberg and his friends are always claiming that the government deceives and lies. They argue here that their claims have "little credibility" unless they can support it with documentary evidence and classified information.

I know the feeling. My claims at having the power to "leap" into the bodies of various historical figures in order to correct the quantum timeline have "little credibility" unless I can obtain the classified documentation contained in a secret safe located in the White House residence.

Anyways, what I find so interesting here is that Ellsberg is urging citizens to commit crimes in the name of some higher good, usually defined by whatever Ellsberg and his supporters agree with.

These are almost certainly the same people who would argue that exposing Valerie Plame, a former undercover operative for the CIA, in a newspaper article was an impeachable crime, although it ultimately served the higher good of exposing Joe Wilson as a partisan fraud.

"Truth-telling is a patriotic and effective way to serve the nation."
So is following the orders of your chain of command. Oh, that's right, my chain of command is filled with fascist liars, so I have a higher duty to ignore the orders of the Wermacht, including my ultimate superior, the Commander-in-Chief.

Everything is always Vietnam to these guys. The U.S. military got over Vietnam a long time ago, but it is this group that is condemned to always fight the last war.

Sibel Edmonds, who was fired by the FBI after she alleged security lapses in the agency's translator program, said the government frequently over-classifies documents, including the investigation into her own case.

Yeah, I'm sure that whole "her case" thing isn't an impartial motivation or anything.

Listen, I will be the first person in line to argue that DoD, and the government as a whole, classifies way too much information. We do it for plenty of reasons: protection of sources and methods, operational security, and to maintain the integrity of our decisions. Believe me when I tell you, those first two reasons are what make the news, but it's that last one that's the real driver.

For instance, almost all the classified materials I've ever handled had nothing to do with anything *remotely* interesting to John Le Carre. DoD classifies as SECRET its budget before it goes to Congress, just to prevent the Hill, the media, and defense contractors from discovering how we make our decisions before those decisions are ready for public consumption.

I can go to jail for telling you on January 31st what you'll read in the papers on February 2nd.

Them's the hard knocks, folks, that's how it all works. I understand that, and so does Sibel Edmonds.

While I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who can make an argument that "the public has a right to know" this information, in prematurely revealing it to the world the Pentagon would come to a screeching halt. The classification is there because it's the only effective way to maintain the integrity of our decisions.

That said, again, I agree, we classify too much. The danger is, if everything becomes classified, nothing is. If everyone has a clearance, security becomes meaningless. If nobody has a clearance, the information is worthless.

However, Ellsberg is not content with committing treason once in his life. He feels that it his sacred duty to encourage others to do so, on my watch. You don't like the President? Fine, that's your right-- vote him out of office. But don't drag my Pentagon into your crusade for "the truth," whatever that is. Let us do our job, and you'll read the "Iraq Papers" when they get unsealed in 30 years.

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