WikiLeaks vs. Empire
Why is this drama important? Not because of “life-threatening” leaks, as claimed by the establishment, but because the closed doors of power need to be open to public review. We live increasingly in an Age of Secrecy, as described by Garry Wills in Bomb Power, among recent books. It has become the American Way of War, and increasingly draws the curtains over American democracy itself. The wars in Pakistan and Yemen are secret wars. The war in Afghanistan is dominated by secret US Special Operations raids and killings. The CIA has its own secret army in Afghanistan. Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s entire record in Iraq was classified. And so on, ad nauseam.
And what is the purpose of all the secrecy? As Howard Zinn always emphasized, the official fear was that the American people might revolt if we knew the secrets being kept from us.
Karzai Catch & Release Program
Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his powerful brother are among a number of senior Afghan figures to be accused of ordering the release of high-ranking Taliban fighters so often that the insurgents now run a commission to secure their freedom.
According to Reuters news agency, the practice is so widespread as to counteract the deterrent effect of capture, and pits Mr Karzai and his coterie directly at odds with the Nato strategy in Afghanistan.
Phi Beta Iota: The Taliban has a one advantage over Karzai–while they both share the revenue from the Afghanistan drug crop and the naive Americans happy to fund corruption in all forms, the Taliban has the added funding channel of the Pakistani ISI, which has been ripping off the CIA for over a billion a year for the past twenty years. In a minor aside, Department of State employees have been forbidden to read any of the documents being made available to the public. Next they will be forbidden to read foreign newspapers lest this treasonous act cause them confusion or cognitive dissonance given the sharp contrast between the “party line” (pun intended) and reality. No room for diversity of view here–reality is what we say it is, because we say so.