The Black Commentator: An independent weekly internet magazine dedicated to the movement for economic justice, social justice and peace - Providing commentary, analysis and investigations on issues affecting African Americans and the African world.
Dec 9, 2010 - Issue 405

Was the WikiLeaks Leak Intentional?
By Peter Gamble
B Publisher



While 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 (AFRTS) 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 to WikiLeaks?

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 is.

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 about stability.”

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 cause.

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 quiet.

The WikiLeaks leaks are a distraction, but a useful one for those who want to guarantee that we don’t get too uppity! 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 Click here to contact Peter.