News you may have missed #404 (Wikileaks Afghan War Diary edition II)

  • Wikileaks posts mysterious ‘insurance’ file. WikiLeaks, the whistleblower website that recently published hundreds of thousands of classified Afghan War documents, has posted a mysterious encrypted file labeled “insurance”, whose size dwarfs the size of all the other files on the page combined. Cryptome, a separate anti-secrecy site, speculates that the file may be insurance in case something happens to the WikiLeaks website or to its founder, Julian Assange. In either scenario, WikiLeaks volunteers, under a prearranged agreement with Assange, could send out a password to allow anyone who has downloaded the file to open it.
  • Ex-CIA officer Baer comments on Wikileaks files. Robert Baer, the retired CIA field officer whose bestselling memoir, See No Evil, formed the basis of the 2005 motion picture Syriana, has called the quality of intelligence revealed in the Wikileaks Afghan War files “just awful. Basically, we don’t know who the enemy is”, says Baer, adding that “much of the information looks to be the result of walk-in informers –intelligence peddlers looking for a cash payment or some other reward for passing on gossip”.
  • Wikileaks informant suspect had help, says informer. Hacker-turned government informant Adrian Lamo, who is assisting the US government investigate thousands of leaked secret war records to Wikileaks, says Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, who is the suspected culprit of the leak, had civilian help.

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US Army intel analyst arrested over Wikileaks probe

Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning

Speaking last Thursday at the annual Personal Democracy Conference in New York, Daniel Ellsberg said he was amazed that the US National Security Agency “can’t crack” Wikileaks. The former Pentagon employee, who in 1971 leaked the Pentagon Papers, was referring to the activist website that anonymously publishes secret governmental and corporate documents from around the world. But Ellsberg may have been talking too soon. On Sunday, Wired magazine’s Threat Level blog revealed that a US Army intelligence analyst had been detained for allegedly giving Wikileaks secret video footage and “hundreds of thousands of classified State Department records”. Specialist Bradley Manning, 22, was reportedly detained two weeks ago by the US Army’s Criminal Investigation Division while stationed in Forward Operating Base Hammer, near Baghdad, Iraq. Read more of this post

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