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  (Source: Flickr)

Taliban gunmen mudered a tribal elder, who they believed was revealed as a U.S. "spy" by Wikileaks documents.  (Source: Sky News)

Wikileaks founder and convicted computer criminal Julian Assange  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Over 70 other tribal elders receive death threats, U.S. Congressman calls on death penalty for leaker Manning

It's been a nightmarish last few months for U.S. Military officials.  First they discovered that a young soldier serving in Iraq had acted as a spy passing documents to the site Wikileaks.  Then they endured Wikileaks release of 90,000 U.S. Military documents -- many of them classified -- detailing their operations in Afghanistan.

The Taliban, a radical Islamic militia in Afghanistan, announced its gratitude to Wikileaks for the release and vowed to hunt down those revealed in the documents to be collaborating with the U.S.  It appears that they have now made good on that threat.

Khalifa Abdullah, a tribal elder, was removed from his home in Monar village, in Kandahar province’s embattled Arghandab district, by gunmen.  He was then executed.

At the same time, 70 other tribal elders received death threats warning them that the Taliban had obtained reason to believe they were collaborating with the U.S.  One such threat is signed by Abdul Rauf Khadim, a senior Taliban official who was imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.  When the Cuban prison was partially shut down by President Obama Khadim was transferred to Afghan custody in Kabul, where he subsequently escaped.

The note reads:
We have made a decision for your death. You have five days to leave Afghan soil. If you don’t, you don’t have the right to complain.
NewsWeek first reported on the murder.  They report that the Taliban believes the documents showed it U.S. sources, including the murder victim, Abdullah -- whether or not they truly do.

Wikileaks
founder and convicted Australian computer criminal Julian Assange claimed in a TIME interview that the leak was justified in the name of transparency.  He assured that no one would be harmed by the leak, stating:
We feel confident. The material is seven months old; we reviewed it extensively. We held back 15,000 documents that we felt needed further review because the type of classifications they had. We've been publishing for four years a range of material that has caused the changing of constitutions and the removal of governments, but there's never been a case that we are aware of that has resulted in the personal injury of anyone.
In related news, U.S. Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) has called on the U.S. Military to pursue the death penalty in the Manning case.  He says Manning's actions constitute treason in a time of war and thus should be punishable by death.  His statements came in an interview, which is preserved here in an audio recording.

We spoke with key government witness Adrian Lamo, who turned Manning in, about Rogers' remarks.  He tells us he doubts the U.S. government would pursue the death penalty given that they didn't in the case of Robert Hanssen, a former FBI agent-turned-Russian spy.  Lamo states, "The damage done by Bradley Manning doesn't begin to approximate the damage Robert Hanssen did."

Hanssen received a life sentence, which he is currently serving.

If the government were to pursue such a sentence, though, Lamo says he would refuse to testify.

He states,"I elected to turn Manning in, in the hopes of saving lives.  I'm not going to participate in a process that's going to take a life.  There should be no other blood spilled by Wikileaks."

He concludes, "Under any other circumstances I will testify in the case.  [But] my concern for human life comes first."


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Bad journalism *and* fabrications
By asuffield on 8/3/2010 5:29:54 PM , Rating: 5
The complete documents released by wikileaks are, of course, available for everybody to download and examine. It took me ten minutes to examine every occurrence of the words "Khalifa", "Abdullah", and "Monar", and determine that there are no documents in the corpus relating to this individual - in fact, there are no references to anybody in the village of Monar having any kind of relations with the US forces.

Obviously this whole story is a lie - it's probably counterintel propaganda from somebody (feel free to speculate about who, I'm not going to).

But the real disgrace here is that Jason Mick did not spend even ten minutes doing the very obvious and easy fact checking before reposting it. I shall now go and send a complaint to DT about this, and encourage other readers to do the same.




RE: Bad journalism *and* fabrications
By Reclaimer77 on 8/3/2010 6:23:31 PM , Rating: 1
So ignorant. It didn't have to spell out the guy by name. They might have had a suspicion based on information we don't have. And anything, even the slightest hint on those documents, would have been enough for them to kill someone. Do you think they believe someone is "innocent until proven guilty" like us?

These people aren't stupid. If you give them enough clues and intel, they are going to connect the dots. And honestly, to them, it doesn't matter if they got the right guy or not. They will just kill until they are CERTAIN they killed the one they were after. Or until everyone is so scared that it has the same effect.

Do you think those reporters they beheaded got a fair trial for their oh-so terrible crimes?

The Taliban already came out and cited the leaks themselves. I think it's a little late to accuse Jason of making up this story and telling lies, don't you?


By asuffield on 8/5/2010 12:48:08 AM , Rating: 2
The Taliban already came out and cited the leaks themselves.

Where did they do this, exactly? Even the dodgy stories that Mick cites do not make this claim.

I think it's a little late to accuse Jason of making up this story and telling lies, don't you?

I specifically stated that I would not speculate on who might be running this cointelpro operation. I don't find your suggestion that it might be Mick to be very convincing, though. He's clearly just repeating it without bothering to check.


By DigitalFreak on 8/3/2010 6:46:40 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
But the real disgrace here is that Jason Mick did not spend even ten minutes doing the very obvious and easy fact checking before reposting it.


LOL. That's nothing new.

Notice Mick didn't post anything about this article "http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9179998/Mee...", since it shows that Lame-o is nothing more than a puppet.

quote:
Wikileaks founder and convicted Australian computer criminal Julian Assange


So Mick, I haven't seen you refer to Lamo as a "convicted US computer criminal", which he most certainly is. Your bias is so obvious it's disgusting.


RE: Bad journalism *and* fabrications
By aston12 on 8/3/2010 7:25:32 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly what i tried to say in my start post. Why would i just believe him if he does not back it up with a valid link that shows it source.

Congrats for you for actually checking that source (what the author shoulda done) and as i expected nothing was found.


RE: Bad journalism *and* fabrications
By Reclaimer77 on 8/3/10, Rating: 0
RE: Bad journalism *and* fabrications
By asuffield on 8/5/2010 12:51:08 AM , Rating: 2
He did give the source. Sky News

Ah, I see you fell for that little trick. Sky News is the source of the photograph.

Jason Mick made up the death threats and a possible murder relating to these documents?

No. Somebody made it up. Mick printed it without checking.


By priusone on 8/5/2010 5:41:18 AM , Rating: 2
Death threats? Fabrications? When I first heard that those documents were leaked, I knew that the Taliban would be digging through it to find "reasons" to kill fellow humans. I would fabricate a story tomorrow about sales surging this December? Decades of statistics say that sales will surge, and statistics say that the Taliban will be busy doing Allah's work.


By DiscipleOfKane on 8/3/2010 8:22:27 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
But the real disgrace here is that Jason Mick did not spend even ten minutes doing the very obvious and easy fact checking before reposting it. I shall now go and send a complaint to DT about this, and encourage other readers to do the same.


You see Jason Mick has been on an anti Wikileaks crusade since Assange wouldn't give him an interview, or as Assange put it
I don't have time to deal with CNN, and you want me to play 20
questions with a Lamo puppet from 'daily tech'?


This was where his campaign really started http://www.dailytech.com/Adrian+Lamo+Outed+Self+As...

So facts don't come into it, they didn't give Jason Mick an interview and treat him like a Daily Tech Senior News Editor deserves, so this time it's personal.

DailyTech rebranding coming up soon, new yellow theme to fit the "journalism"


RE: Bad journalism *and* fabrications
By tmouse on 8/4/2010 2:10:20 PM , Rating: 3
Are you really that limited in your ability to think? Look up Arghandab (the district Monar is in)there are several intel reports about recruitment. Now given that the taliban know where the events took place even if it’s not mentioned directly in the report. Put a few together and they could easily determine who could be responsible for releasing this information. It’s not even up for debate they admitted they were aided by the information so I haven't a clue where you can get off stating "no they didn't". You clearly do not have an idea how to figure out things that are not handed to you on a silver platter.


RE: Bad journalism *and* fabrications
By asuffield on 8/5/2010 12:54:47 AM , Rating: 1
Look up Arghandab (the district Monar is in)there are several intel reports about recruitment.

I looked up Arghandab. It took approximately half an hour to check all references and reports from that district. There are no reports about recruitment (almost every report is about enemy fire or discovery of IEDs).

Readers are free to speculate on why you might lie about this.

It’s not even up for debate they admitted they were aided by the information

Even the dodgy stories cited by Mick do not make this claim. There appears to be no evidence whatsoever that the Taliban have claimed any connection between these events and the leaked documents.


By tmouse on 8/6/2010 8:41:19 AM , Rating: 3
Took me a lot less than a half hour, put the csv into excel. There are numerous reports about discoveries of uxo (un exploded ordinance) if there is no abbreviation mentioned as a source this means the items were discovered by sources outside of the military or afghan security forces. There are also numerous reports about drug site destruction. Many of the NPCC reports mention arrests of suspicious individuals, here it’s not clear if they were caught by chance or the checkpoints were alerted. finally there is a specific report about an individual named Abdul Rahman Akhundzada who is a Taliban Tactical Commander the information was released by a source described as:

"HUMINT Source: B2 rated Source who has reported reliably 12 times in the past. Source can PID with detailed physical description. Additionally, Source has operated with ODA in the past to PID".

Was this Khalifa Abdullah? I do not know could this be one of the others? Possibly.

We do not have the necessary information to piece these together BUT they certainly could. You simply cannot declare the information as harmless with the extremely limited information you have available. As for "There appears to be no evidence whatsoever that the Taliban have claimed any connection between these events and the leaked documents" There are NUMEROUS reports all over, from their own spokes people mentioning that the information will be helpful, and from a cursory glance if there are more mentions of HUMINT (which is mil speak for human intelligence sources) there is certainly damaging information.


RE: Bad journalism *and* fabrications
By bh192012 on 8/4/2010 2:17:32 PM , Rating: 2
Here's your problem. Unlike you I actually spent more than 10 minutes looking at it and I see links to Monar getting help from the US. Looks like they had a big medical clinic put on etc. Obviously the tribal elders allowed it.

Khalifa (may not be the same person) is mentioned in a section about winning local support, and areas that are fully trafficable (aka locals not resisting)

Anyone who thinks this release of info will not get people killed should actually look at the data, it totally points people out.

This release will get Afghan locals assassinated, for certain. We will likely loose the local support we had, which was the only way out. So now we're either stuck there longer, or we'll leave and the country will be in conflict and a heaven for terrorists for many many years to come. This release was probably the most effective way to LOSE the war. It is really effective in stirring up chaos.


By asuffield on 8/5/2010 1:12:44 AM , Rating: 2
Unlike you I actually spent more than 10 minutes looking at it and I see links to Monar getting help from the US. Looks like they had a big medical clinic put on etc. Obviously the tribal elders allowed it.

I saw that report on my first pass and determined that this was not the case and in any event was something that the Taliban and insurgency must have known about for years. It was not a "big clinic", it was a visit from a group of mobile doctors in 2007, probably only for a single day. People in Afghanistan do not need the permission of their elders to seek aid from a group of doctors who pull up in trucks next to their village, and the trucks do not require permission to park there.

It is this report: http://wardiary.wikileaks.org/afg/event/2006/03/AF... (scroll to the bottom to read it)

Definitions:

MEDCAP: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civic_action_program#...
PRT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provincial_Reconstruc...

Many villages in Afghanistan have been visited by a PRT on more than one occasion. Everybody knew where they were; the US actively announces their activities for propaganda reasons. This was never a secret and most certainly could not be construed as any reason for assassinating people. Even the Taliban do not have a problem with people being treated by doctors.

Khalifa (may not be the same person) is mentioned in a section about winning local support, and areas that are fully trafficable (aka locals not resisting)

I could not find that report. Khalifa is a title, it means something like "leader" (bad translation). Feel free to link to whatever one it was, but I'm pretty sure you have the wrong place, since I've checked everything in that area and it wasn't any of them.


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