Pentagon: Taliban Can Read WikiLeaks, U.S. Troops Can’t

Noah Shachtman writes on the always interesting WIRED’s Danger Room:
Soldier WikiLeaks

Any citizen, any foreign spy, any member of the Taliban, and any terrorist can go to the WikiLeaks website, and download detailed information about how the U.S. military waged war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2009. Members of that same military, however, are now banned from looking at those internal military documents. “Doing so would introduce potentially classified information on unclassified networks,” according to one directive issued by the armed forces.

That cry you hear? It’s common sense, writhing in pain.

There was a time, just a few months ago, when the Pentagon appeared to be growing comfortable with the emerging digital media landscape. Troops were free to blog and tweet, as long as they used their heads and didn’t disclose secrets. Thumb drives and DVDs could be employed, as long as they didn’t carry viruses or classified information. But the WikiLeaks disclosures — tens of thousands of classified documents — seem to have reversed that trajectory.

Now, the Marine Corps is telling troops and civilian employees in a memo:

[W]illingly accessing the WIKILEAKS website for the purpose of viewing the posted classified material [constitutes] the unauthorized processing, disclosure, viewing, and downloading of classified information onto an UNAUTHORIZED computer system not approved to store classified information. Meaning they have WILLINGLY committed a SECURITY VIOLATION.

The other branches of the armed services have put out similar notices. The memos were initially reported in the Washington Times. But the story has been removed from the paper’s website.

Read More: WIRED’s Danger Room

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  • Andrew

    Of course! Who's a bigger threat to the U.S. government, the Taliban and al-Qaeda or it's own military and citizens?

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Typical…a policy causes a problem…they don't change the policy…they forbid anybody to be involved in anything that might contradict or endanger the policy. I love that everybody has made this issue all about the 'safety of our troops' being compromised…

    …like funding the Taliban with American tax dollars pipelined thru corrupt Pakistan officials doesn't endanger our troops A LOT MORE. Maybe now that we have a better understanding of what's going on we can make some choices that aren't indicative of hopeless insanity and reckless disregard for our troops lives.

    • Jfk5555

      What about funding the Taliban through the purchase of gasoline here in the US ?????????????

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        Thank you…good point. I was telling people a decade ago that if they drive a f*cking Hummer…they should be arrested for treason. I drive a truck for work reasons…but I compromised and aimed for maximum fuel efficiency. I watch people loading the tanks of pristine megatrucks that are for show and not work, dropping 100 bucks or more every time they top off the tank, and I just want to puke.

  • Buddy2x

    This could be the first step in the total shut down of personal computers and cell phones within the military while on duty. It's a wonder it hasn't happened before this.

    • Jfk5555

      The first step for a coup.

  • Buddy2x

    This could be the first step in the total shut down of personal computers and cell phones within the military while on duty. It's a wonder it hasn't happened before this.

  • Jfk5555

    THEY MIGHT NOT BE COMPETENT, BUT BY GOLLY THEY GOTS THEIR QUOTA AND THAT IS WHAT IS IMPORANT THESE DAYS.

  • Lwhite

    Now that's messed up!!!

  • Leslie

    Is this for real? Like soldiers are beyond what Taliban army knows? That's so awful! US is always known to be the best!

    http://www.editingproofreading.com.au

  • username

    How about if the Military quit doing things it felt it needed to hide? Like shooting civilians from helicopters.. Wouldn't that resolve the issue?

  • Johndough

    They would also be committing a security violation if they talked to someone without a clearance or need-to- know, about something (classified) they read on wikileaks. Everyone in the world can read it, then talk about it, without much consequence, just not certain U.S. national defense personnel.

    In their business, it’s all about following the rules and throwing common sense out the window. This point is made SEVERAL TIMES in the movie IDIOCRACY. Watch it and see how stupid we are and will become.

  • Johndough

    They would also be committing a security violation if they talked to someone without a clearance or need-to- know, about something (classified) they read on wikileaks. Everyone in the world can read it, then talk about it, without much consequence, just not certain U.S. national defense personnel.

    In their business, it's all about following the rules and throwing common sense out the window. This point is made SEVERAL TIMES in the movie IDIOCRACY. Watch it and see how stupid we are and will become.

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