A Soldier of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 5th Battalion, 82D Field Artillery, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division inspects a printing press believed to be used in a terrorist counterfeiting operation. The press, along with 10 other printers, five computers and three cell phones were all seized by the soldiers and Iraqi Police during a raid to disrupt terrorist funding activities in Qayyarah, Iraq, September 13. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Eric A. Rutherford)
Pvt. Chelsea Manning has an op-ed piece in the New York Times that all the hacker skiddies are retweeting. It's cunningly titled "Fog Machine of War" and pretends that the US liberal media "kept us in the dark" about Iraq and that we're all sheeple and that's why even Democrats supported the war in Iraq.
Of course it wasn't like that, and we'd know that, if the Times itself had more spine and stopped being guilt-tripped by these hacker kiddies into agreeing with them that they were scribes for Bush. But it is bullshit as the record shows. And you know, the outcome we're seeing now with ISIS in Iraq is a story that should start helping some people see this, but they don't.
In any event, I want to hone in on this question of the Iraqi printing press. This was supposedly the moment when Chelsea turned against her country for good and decided to betray it.
She was told to investigate individuals running the printing press:
Early that year, I received orders to investigate 15 individuals whom the federal police had arrested on suspicion of printing “anti-Iraqi literature.” I learned that these individuals had absolutely no ties to terrorism; they were publishing a scholarly critique of Mr. Maliki’s administration. I forwarded this finding to the officer in command in eastern Baghdad. He responded that he didn’t need this information; instead, I should assist the federal police in locating more “anti-Iraqi” print shops.
I was shocked by our military’s complicity in the corruption of that election. Yet these deeply troubling details flew under the American media’s radar.
OK, so you would think that with that seminal moment, a crucial turning point in the formation of Chelsea's "conscience," that this would be the first document she would leak to WikiLeaks.
But it wasn't. It was never leaked at all.
It disappeared and was never mentioned throughout the whole case.
I kept asking about it over and over again. I seemed to be the only person doing this.
To me, a real human rights activist would care about people, not millions of documents. What are the documents about, after all, if not about people? Chelsea was never a human rights activist for me on this basis -- she didn't care enough to publicize the cases of those pieces. Chelsea was no CPJ. If she'd had even one good, solid case of abuse to report -- instead of millions of documents designed to undermine security; if WikiLeaks really worked on real cases, and not fake propaganda pieces like the Apache helicopter manipulation, perhaps I might have thought better of WikiLeaks. But of course they didn't, because that's not the nature of coercive, authoritarian radical movements like theirs.
But I kept wondering -- why? Was she really such a utilitarian cadre that "the movement" and the "cause" and getting as many documents as possible to "stick it to America" trumped getting justice for those 15? Where were the documents about them?!
Then, to my surprise, Manning actually mentioned them finally (after years of pre-trial when they weren't mentioned) during the trial, and said that she had suggested to Julian Assange that he publish them and he refused.
He said they weren't important -- WikiLeaks "needed more specifics" to "gain the attention of the international media" and rejected it -- which "disappointed" Manning. Huh? Since when is WikiLeaks such a big fact checker -- as distinct from a dumper! -- that they'd prevent Chelsea Manning, their chief agent of Cablegate, from publishing the very document that converted him to radical anarchist?! Truly a mystery!
Again -- the hallmark of revolutionary hacker assholes is indeed this: they don't care about people, they don't care about cases, they just care about vast hypotheses and statistics and getting the attention of the international media -- instead of doing the right thing. They are like the reverse of Stalin (and don't bore me with proving that Stalin never said this): one person is a statistic; millions of people are a tragedy. It's like the millions who are supposedly hacked by the NSA, and yet we don't have one single case to prove there is actually civil rights violations.
But if Chelsea thought the 15 were important, why didn't she just go around Assange? Remember when Adrian Lamo essentially asked in the chat logs Wired published, something like "why do you kow-tow to Assange?"
Why didn't Chelsea, oh, tell David House, here's these names, this is important, publish this. Why didn't James Ball, Man of Conscience, who quit WikiLeaks get it and publish it?
At any moment, given the massive numbers of files leaked in Cablegate, Assange could have doubled back finally and published that document right? Why didn't he? Oh, it wasn't there? You're saying Chelsea didn't bother to get it? But given that she did have a conversation asking to publish it, it must have been in the batch. Indeed, from the court account, it seems that she thought these men might have even ended up in Gitmo! All the more reason to find out their fate!
Why doesn't Alexa O'Brien get this document and publish it?
Let's have it. Let's get it.
And let's ask the State Department or the military to get it and publish it. Let's all have a look. Were those people terrorists? Where are they now? Are they in prison or dead?
I wonder if this story isn't a lot like Ed Snowden's "whistleblowing e-mails" that he can't seem to come up with despite stealing 1.5 million docs.
If you want to get rid of the Fog of War -- and the Fog Machine of War -- start at home. Chelsea, let's have that list of 15 names of Iraqi men running a printing press -- the one page of which "proved" they were only making a scholarly critique of Maliki. Right? Let's look at the rest of the pages! And them!
Have you forgotten them? Foreign names can be hard to remember, even when you are based in a country for awhile.
But then, the document exists, right? So give the word, get it published, let's all have some transparency here. Don't be part of the fog yourself!
Nothing Chelsea says has credibility until we see that list and get those names and track them down.
I suspect Assange probably found some actual terrorists in the list or was afraid he might, which is why he discouraged Chelsea from publishing it. It's the kind of very telling detail that can pull down an entire fake operation, you know?
But by all means -- let's have transparency not just for thee, but for these cases. After all, they caused you to betray your country. So it better be worth it.