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By       Message carrie vance     Permalink
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To honor or excoriate -- whistleblowers challenge everything we've been fed, while alerting us to increasing numbers of classified documents, and confirming what we've suspected. So the furor that the release of these documents will threaten U.S. and coalition forces and foreign nationals secretly working to aid the U.S. is no surprise either.

It's not difficult to evaluate whether the release of nearly 92,000 individual reports will further endanger those we've already put in harm's way. Initially, the Pentagon told Newsweek on July 26 that they "found nothing [in Wikileak's release of the Afghanistan War Logs] that could damage national security," and claimed that no top secret was revealed. Meanwhile, Wikileaks has been scanning an additional 15,000 documents for names that should be redacted.

On August 6th, reports that the Pentagon is demanding that Wikileaks return the documents and erase those they've put on the web, and has forbidden our troops from reading the Logs already in the public domain, speak volumes. First of all, it is the lower-level troops who've written these logs. So now all the world is free to read them except those who recorded those observations while putting their lives on the line. If reading them leads troops to ask, "Why are we here?" would that lessen our security any more than the surge's effect of attracting more Taliban recruits?

By tearing off the wrappings of secrecy, spin and hypocrisy, Wikileaks and other whistleblowers reveal the nadir we've reached -- of public relations dressed up as reporting, civilian deaths by remote control, shooting sprees of the unarmed, movable "battle fronts" where troops are trapped because elements of a weak ally are cooperating with the enemy.

The insanity of repeating the same thing over and over while expecting different results will never end if we quash the whistleblowers. The concern for U.S. and coalition forces would be believable if the calls to "Support the Troops" were coupled with adequate services for our veterans, and if our past record of protecting foreign nationals post exit was exemplary. Instead of bringing charges for revealing this compilation of military experiences already suspected, we should be charging those who've funneled billions to Pakistan under dubious circumstances.

The futility of our war in Afghanistan can no longer be covered up, and spinning our goal as a mission to win hearts and minds when the new CentCom commander thinks it's "fun to shoot them," (Afghan warriors) only shows the hypocrisy of the furor.

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We promise whistleblowers protection, but instead, we muzzle or jail them. Revealing documents causes embarrassment, but the whistleblowers may yet save us from engraving the names of tens of thousands on another memorial.

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Lifelong activist for racial justice, for conflict resolution and diplomacy; published composer.

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