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White House on defensive over WikiLeak posting 90,000 Afghanistan War memos


WASHINGTON--The White House is scrambling in the wake of more than 90,000 WikiLeak documents on the Afghanistan war posted; reports on a grim picture in The Guardian, the New York Times and Der Spiegel, which has an English edition.

My predictions: Another, more profound round of handwringing over the role of the Internet, comparisons to the Viet Nam War's Pentagon Papers publication, another week with the Obama White House playing defense. Last week, Obama's messaging team had to fight to get word out about the signing of a historic financial overhaul bill in the wake of the Shirley Sherrod firing uproar--prompted by the posting of a video and story on the Internet.

The White House is slamming WikiLeaks for publishing the memos. A White House official sent this memo around Sunday night, on background:

1) I don't think anyone who follows this issue will find it surprising that there are concerns about ISI and safe havens in Pakistan. In fact, we've said as much repeatedly and on the record. Attached please find a document with some relevant quotes from senior USG officials.

2) The period of time covered in these documents (January 2004-December 2009) is before the President announced his new strategy. Some of the disconcerting things reported are exactly why the President ordered a three month policy review and a change in strategy.

3) Note the interesting graphs (pasted below) from the Guardian's wikileaks story. I think they help put these documents in context.

4) As you report on this issue, it's worth noting that wikileaks is not an objective news outlet but rather an organization that opposes US policy in Afghanistan.


I don't know why...we are still helping the Pakistan government with money and other resources if they are are ones responsible for the deaths of US soldiers. Its time to bring the war on ISI of Pakistan.

i thought is usa if the 1st amendament that provides freedom of press. why cant i open the wikileak site?

I may only be from a small town in northeastern Ohio living a very simple life, not a whole lot of knowledge about this war. My opinion is that the leak from WikiPedia was wrong; it should never had happened. Question is who in our government gave them the information. Whom ever you are, I hope you can live with yourself; this will come back to haunt you. You have put so many lives in danger.

A Military Mom

why are my fellow American's so ignorant to the latest event reviled on our national news last night. If you had ever turned you tvs to cspan you would have also known about the one hundred a seventy thousand missing ak fourty sevens that disapeared in a shipment to afgan. wake up, open your eyes try to actually care for a change,

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on July 26, 2010 7:45 AM.

Rod Blagojevich Trial Day 27: Closing Arguments was the previous entry in this blog.

Lynn Sweet on WIND's Big John and Amy show: WikiLeaks, Shirley Sherrod and Mark Kirk is the next entry in this blog.

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