serving on active duty in the U.S. Army for three years
and another three years in the reserves I had a top secret
clearance. I had to be approved for a top secret clearance
before entering the Army as part of the qualification process
to attend the U.S. Army Information School.
After graduating from
high school, I enlisted, wanting to become a broadcast information
specialist and hoping for an assignment somewhere in the
vast network of the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service
or “a-farts” as it was called by those in the know.
The top secret clearance
was necessary because information specialists in the armed
forces of the U.S. military are the people responsible for handing
out information to the public. This means an information
specialist might actually know what was really going on
in order to understand the version of the facts that were
being released to the public. In short, the information
specialists are the PR flacks for the military.
I wasn’t interested
in being a PR flack - I wanted to get on the radio.
A month or so after
my application was submitted and prior to being sworn in,
I learned that FBI agents were visiting my neighbors and
school teachers. They wanted to know if I was a solid American
and not a danger to the country. My next door neighbor,
an elderly woman who was older than my grandmother, knew
about my plans and let me know that I would get the assignment
because she had told the FBI I was a “good boy”. The FBI
gum shoes talked to a number of people about me and in a
couple of months, I was notified by the army that the clearance
had been approved.
Finally, after graduating
from the Army Information
School I received orders for an
assignment to the American Forces Network – Europe, where I snagged a position as a sports announcer. I still had
my top secret clearance, but the only information at my
disposal was sports statistics such as batting averages
and NFL standings. Nevertheless, when I wanted to drive
across East Germany
to visit West Berlin, I faced a huge
hassle because of my clearance. Apparently, the military
higher ups were concerned that if I was grabbed by the East
German police for some reason I might be forced to reveal
the National League baseball standings. I
ended up getting approval for my trip, partially due to
the fact that the commander of all US forces in Europe was big
sports fan and a listener.
So what’s the point
of all this? It’s very simple. The military is capable of being very
careful about the activities of anyone with a top secret
clearance. So what happened in the case of the Private at
the Pentagon who reportedly is responsible for the leak
I believe that the WikiLeaks
leak is either the result of complete incompetence or was
intentional or a combination of the two.
Let’s look at the level
of competence first.
We now read that the
Pentagon has suddenly come to the realization that people
who have access to sensitive material should not be permitted
to take “thumb drives” or “memory sticks” home with them.
If you don’t know about these devices, they are little rectangular
gizmos that can hold gigabytes of information and which
plug into the USB port of a computer.
I worked for a small
computer software company several years ago as a programmer.
This company did not permit anyone who had access to their
code to bring any storage device or a portable computer
of any kind into or out of the work area.
Are we to believe the
pentagon geniuses are so stupid that they have only now
realized they made an error by allowing a private to exit
the building with a thumb drive containing hundreds of thousands
of files? Perhaps it is possible, given the fact that the
pentagon has not been able to produce the equivalent of
a profit and loss statement or balance sheet for a number
of years and cannot account for billions of dollars. These
are the same people who allowed the distribution of flawed
Kevlar vests to soldiers in Iraq and then didn’t fine
the military contractor who produced them.
This is also the same
military industrial complex that sent a sergeant I worked
with to the Army Language school to learn to speak Italian
and then upon graduation, shipped him directly to Germany.
It appears rather obvious,
without listing any more examples that a convincing case
can be made for the leaks to WikiLeaks to have been the
result of a complete and total lack of any ability to create
a working security system. If this is true, then our national
security is in the hands of the bunch of boneheads who don’t
have the slightest idea what a security system actually
Ok, let’s move on to
the other suggestion - could the leak have been intentional?
First of all the record
shows how easy it would be to allow the leak to happen,
given the stupid factor. But why would anyone in government
or corporate boardrooms want such a thing to happen?
Allow me to interject
here the concept that multi-national corporations are very
interested in the actions of government, especially actions
that will benefit them.
There have been many
examples of U.S. behavior at home and abroad where a perceived
enemy is provided aid and comfort.
For example, when some
foreign leader whose policies benefit an American business
enterprise has opponents, the CIA and other operatives are
sent in to infiltrate them. Then,
we suddenly discover the “revolutionary” activities and
accept the heavy-handed tactics by the leader, to “bring
Domestically it’s the
same story. One of the most recent examples is that poor
schlump in Seattle who planned an explosion at a Christmas
tree-lighting event. This person would never have gotten
anywhere with his plan without the help of the FBI.
The creation of threats
to our “Homeland” is not surprising. The more threats there
are, the easier it is to convince boobis Americans that
the control of our freedoms of speech and assembly are necessary.
The leaks serve a purpose
for the PoPs (Pigs of the Power Structure). They show how
“real” the threat is from Internet criminals. If the Internet
harbors individuals who threaten our national security then
a crackdown on the World Wide Web is in order! The Internet
is obviously out of control, so it is time to break out
the electronic thumb screws. The government must make sure
only the right kind of people gain access to the information
super highway. The solution is simple - give more power
to the big internet service providers so they can regulate
who gets on and what they reach and what kind of email they
get and from whom.
I am not going to be
surprised to hear the opponents of “net neutrality” begin
to use national security as an argument to support their
So far, it appears the
documents that were leaked by WikiLeaks are not very important.
Sure they were embarrassing, but did they really make Uncle
Sam look less credible, or endanger national security?
Finally, is the case
of an intentional use of the incompetence of the U.S.
security system. This is easy to understand. Those who wanted
the leak in order to use it for their own benefit used the
lack of efficiency to make it easy to engineer the outcome.
The big story here is
not the leaks or what was leaked. The big story is what
was really going on to cause or allow it to happen. Who
is behind it and to what end? Anyone with information about
this is invited to contact me with information. I do know
how to keep a source confidential and can provide a secure
way to receive information.
I believe the leaks
are helpful to the PoPs who need an excuse to keep the serfs
The WikiLeaks leaks
are a distraction, but a useful one for those who want to
guarantee that we don’t get too uppity!
BlackCommentator.com Publisher and Chief Technical Officer Peter Gamble, is the
recipient of a national Sigma Delta Chi award for public
service in journalism and numerous other honors for excellence
in reporting and investigative reporting. The
“beats” he covered as a broadcast journalist ranged from
activism in the streets to the State Department and White
House. The lure of a personal computer on his desk inspired
a career change in 1985 and an immersion into what he saw
as the future of communications. The acquisition of computer
programming skills made it possible for Peter to achieve
an important level of self-reliance in the technology of
the 21st century and to develop BlackCommentator.com. Click