Not The Same Thing, Sarah — Part II

Ken AshfordElection 2012Leave a Comment

Re: my previous post, Sarah Palin elaborates on Facebook:

We all applaud the successful thwarting of the Christmas-Tree Bomber and hope our government continues to do all it can to keep us safe. However, the latest round of publications of leaked classified U.S. documents through the shady organization called Wikileaks raises serious questions about the Obama administration’s incompetent handling of this whole fiasco.

First and foremost, what steps were taken to stop Wikileaks director Julian Assange from distributing this highly sensitive classified material especially after he had already published material not once but twice in the previous months? Assange is not a “journalist,” any more than the “editor” of al Qaeda’s new English-language magazine Inspire is a “journalist.” He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands. His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?

What if any diplomatic pressure was brought to bear on NATO, EU, and other allies to disrupt Wikileaks’ technical infrastructure? Did we use all the cyber tools at our disposal to permanently dismantle Wikileaks? Were individuals working for Wikileaks on these document leaks investigated? Shouldn’t they at least have had their financial assets frozen just as we do to individuals who provide material support for terrorist organizations?

Most importantly, serious questions must also be asked of the U.S. intelligence system. How was it possible that a 22-year-old Private First Class could get unrestricted access to so much highly sensitive information? And how was it possible that he could copy and distribute these files without anyone noticing that security was compromised?

The White House has now issued orders to federal departments and agencies asking them to take immediate steps to ensure that no more leaks like this happen again. It’s of course important that we do all we can to prevent similar massive document leaks in the future. But why did the White House not publish these orders after the first leak back in July? What explains this strange lack of urgency on their part?

We are at war. American soldiers are in Afghanistan fighting to protect our freedoms. They are serious about keeping America safe. It would be great if they could count on their government being equally serious about that vital task.

– Sarah Palin

It seems pretty clear to me that Palin is less concerned about the supposed damage to the U.S. credibility and more keen to use this story as a way to bash what she considers to be poor enforcement by the Obama Administration.

But the truth is that once the leak was in the hands of Assange, there is little the U.S. could have done.  We don't have control over Wikileak's servers (in fact, no single country does).  This is the nature of cyberspace, which a ten year old can understand, but Palin (apparently) can't.  Which is why she is unqualified to become President.

It's also worth noting that there is no evidence that Assange has "blood on his hands." In a review of a previous round of leaks on Afghanistan, the Pentagon found no evidence that anyone had been endangered.

Finally, does anyone still buy the line "American soldiers are in Afghanistan fighting to protect our freedoms"?  I wish she would list for me what those freedoms actually are.  Platitudes.