Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   5 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

To Publish Official Secrets -- or Not

By       Message Robert Parry     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 4 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It Headlined to H3 7/30/10

Author 1553
Become a Fan
  (71 fans)
- Advertisement -
Reprinted from Consortium News

Referring to the leaker and WikiLeaks, the Web site which distributed the documents, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that "the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family."

Gates cited the need to examine the documents to assess potential dangers to soldiers and civilians. "We have a moral obligation, not only to our troops but to those who have worked with us," Gates said, adding that he had called the FBI into an expanding criminal investigation of the leak.

However, the intensifying rhetoric against WikiLeaks and the chief leaking suspect, Pfc. Bradley Manning, obscures two crucial points:

First, the U.S. military itself has put countless Afghanis (and Iraqis) in harm's way by pressing (or bribing) them to cooperate with the occupying forces. Indeed, the military has publicized these collaborations by having the news media film meetings between American officers and local leaders, as a sign of supposed U.S. progress in winning their hearts and minds.

Especially in Iraq, many Sunnis who agreed to take U.S. money and join the so-called Awakening have been killed in retaliatory attacks. Similar killings have occurred in Afghanistan, in areas like Marja where U.S. troops claimed to have established security only to find the Taliban returning at night to take revenge on Afghan officials and residents working with the Americans.

More broadly, it could be argued that President George W. Bush's invasions and botched occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq have led to the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, making any suggestion that Manning and WikiLeaks may have some additional blood on their hands both hypothetical and hypocritical.

Secondly, the main reason for leaks is that the U.S. government has engaged in vastly over-classifying its "secrets," thus reducing the ability of the American people to debate life-or-death issues of war and peace and undermining the concept of an informed electorate in a democracy.

- Advertisement -

Personal Experience

In my career as an investigative reporter covering national security issues, I have often encountered both the problem of over-classification on relatively innocuous information and the desire of government officials to hide truths that the people had a right to know.

Indeed,, which I founded in 1995, was one of the first if not the first investigative Web site to disclose classified U.S. government documents on the Internet. We did so because I had come into possession of secret documents that shed light on an important chapter of American history, the so-called October Surprise case of 1980.

The documents helped explain how Republicans gained power in that pivotal election year allegedly through a treacherous dirty trick, sabotaging President Jimmy Carter's negotiations with Iran to free 52 American hostages before the 1980 election. However, by the time I found the documents in the mid-1990s, there was no interest among more traditional U.S. news outlets, including The New Yorker magazine, to use these documents.

Apparently the disinterest stemmed from the widely held view that the October Surprise case was a discredited "conspiracy theory." But the secret documents told a different story.

- Advertisement -

So, on the advice of my oldest son, Sam, we started the Web site and revealed the documents in an eight-part series that I dubbed "The October Surprise X-Files."

The documents included a confidential cable from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow translating a January 1993 report from the Russian parliament about what Soviet-era intelligence files revealed about the October Surprise case.

The Russian Report corroborated longstanding allegations that Republicans did strike a deal with the Iranians behind Carter's back, a determination that contradicted the conclusion of a congressional task force which had claimed to find "no credible evidence" of Republican guilt.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at It's also available at

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The CIA/Likud Sinking of Jimmy Carter

What Did US Spy Satellites See in Ukraine?

Ron Paul's Appalling World View

Ronald Reagan: Worst President Ever?

A Perjurer on the US Supreme Court

The Disappearance of Keith Olbermann