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WikiLeaks and the Afghan War

The thousands of secret documents exposed in the Afghan war, and what they say.

United States Marine scan the horizon for militants near Musa Qaleh, in northern Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (AP)

United States Marine scan the horizon for militants near Musa Qaleh, in northern Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (AP)

Afghanistan and Wikileaks, all over the news today. 92,000 documents. Six years of ground level U.S. military reports. Leaked to the world.

The portrait: familiar, but more grim than we knew. Heat-seeking missiles in Taliban hands. Pakistan alleged deep in the Taliban camp. Corruption. Civilian casualties.

The New York Times, London’s Guardian, and Germany’s Der Spiegel have had the reports for weeks. We’ll talk with their reporters.

This hour On Point: The Afghan war and the Wikileak war logs. We’ll go deep.

Guests:

Mark Mazzetti, national security correspondent for the New York Times. Check out: New York Times: The War Logs.

Nick Davies, investigative journalist for the Guardian.

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. 

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • lara

    Michael Steel has lied to us:

    He should have said: THIS IS RAHM EMANUEL’S WAR

  • Ellen Dibble

    I am waiting for Martha Raddatz of ABC News to read the 9,000 pages or whatever it is and report out, and then I will be circumspect, because can a reporter expect access without a nuanced idea of confidentiality? (Exhibit number one, McChrystal.) But are we struggling against those “put up” by Iran and Pakistan? This is said to be the gist of the Wikileaks. Why am I not surprised.
    Why is Britain (as reported during Cameron’s visit) committing to stay in Afthanistan several years beyond the US commitment? What do they know?
    And why would anyone credit Rahm Emmanuel on this after he reported one Sunday morning I believe on This Week with CBS that the US has cut down half the terrorists (or most of, however he phrased it), when factcheck soon deconstructed his comment as meaning “most” of about 20 identified terrorists.
    In that case, the cost per terrorist is something, um, contraconstitutional. Irrational. At any cost, constructing a country (and a world) inhospitable to anti-American animus is not what armies do. Not so long ago we were loved for being underdogs who came from behind and saved the day.

  • lara

    Why are we killing and dying in Afghanistan?

    Does anybody remember the original reason?

    http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/topten/fugitives/laden.htm

    http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/2009-2010/the_unofficial_story/

  • JP

    How many more troops must die for Obama’s war? Didn’t he claim he was going to end it during his campaign? If our troops can’t fight to win, they should not fight.

  • edward

    http://www.onpointradio.org/2010/07/wikileaks-afghan-war

    Afghanistan war logs: Massive leak of secret files exposes truth of occupation

    • Hundreds of civilians killed by coalition troops
    • Covert unit hunts leaders for ‘kill or capture’
    • Steep rise in Taliban bomb attacks on Nato

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/25/afghanistan-war-logs-military-leaks

    some what does the Whitehouse and Military do

    White House: Afghan war leaks put lives ‘at risk’
    90,000 military records are disclosed online
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38405052/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/

    Can’t wait for the white wash attempt by whoever is our NeoCon for today and U.S. media reporters to afraid to do there jobs.

  • Yar

    I am confused, when I heard the promo for today’s show and thought it is about propaganda and the media. I hope there is an hour dedicated to looking at the polarization going on among our citizens. In case this show plans to delve into the subject here are my thoughts.

    The English language is a polarizing language, Black-White, Rich-Poor, many words have polar opposites in many peoples mind. Even the word propaganda is charged. Its original meaning comes from the Bible, meaning to spread the good news. I not going to go into the polarization originated by the church.

    My point is: at some level of polarization we become an ungovernable society. I fear we are heading in that direction. We are on this planet together, and we have to work together well enough not to end up killing each other.
    Us vs Them no longer works in a world where our decisions and those of “them” (however we define them) have worldwide consequences.

    The problem as I see it is that our psyche is built around polarization. It is the motivation for more that we realize. In essence we may be at a point where our past evolution starts to work against us, unless we evolve a new paradigm of motivation.
    This is difficult for me to communicate because it is so hard to think outside the framework of polarization. Why does a suicide bomber blow himself up to further the cause of his group? What type of change is needed to end that type of motivation. What type of change is needed to keep us from wanting to blow up all the suicide bombers.
    It is a catch 22.
    It gets really deep really fast when you start analyzing motivation, especially when we look at our own motivations along with those of our “enemy”.

    This is not about socialism-capitalism, or Muslim-Christian, or even right-wrong.
    This is about how do we turn warring peoples into workers who build a planet that can care for 6 billion people.

    I think is is going to take more than an hour to figure it out. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. I hope we start, because I fear the current path we are on.

  • edward

    “How many more troops must die for Obama’s war? Didn’t he claim he was going to end it during his campaign? If our troops can’t fight to win, they should not fight.”

    What a foolish statement, no details as to how to win or how to fight, only the typical short talking point with meaningless explanation as if the posters is honest.I bet as well such poster wishes for no troop withdrawals which would than one could say how long will troops keep dying before we realizes our troops just can’t win there.

  • jeffe

    This sounds very similar to the Vietnam war in some ways.
    Classifying civilian deaths as insurgent kills.
    The reality on the ground is made to seem better than it is. The military employs more and more drone aircraft to survey the battlefield and strike targets in Afghanistan, although their performance is less impressive than officially portrayed. Some crash or collide, forcing American troops to undertake risky retrieval missions before the Taliban can claim the drone’s weaponry. New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/26/world/asia/26warlogs.html?hp

    This is a disaster and if Obama can’t bring himself to have a serious review of this war after these leaks he is doomed as a president.

    I’m not sure what the answer is here, but one thing is a given, we can not afford to keep this going for to much longer.

  • edward

    This archive shows the vast range of small tragedies that are almost never reported by the press but which account for the overwhelming majority of deaths and injuries.

    We have delayed the release of some 15,000 reports from total archive as part of a harm minimization process demanded by our source. After further review, these reports will be released, with occasional redactions, and eventually, in full, as the security situation in Afghanistan permits.

    http://wardiary.wikileaks.org/

    The Afghan War Diary is the most significant archive about the reality of war to have ever been released during the course of a war. The deaths of tens of thousands is normally only a statistic but the archive reveals the locations and the key events behind each most of these deaths. We hope its release will lead to a comprehensive understanding of the war in Afghanistan and provide the raw ingredients necessary to change its course.

    Most entries have been written by soldiers and intelligence officers listening to reports radioed in from front line deployments. However the reports also contain related information from Marines intelligence, US Embassies, and reports about corruption and development activity across Afghanistan.

  • jeffe

    The reports time line spans both administrations, so laying blame on Obama is a bit unfair as there is plenty of blame to go around for both administrations.

  • TomK

    Our 1984-ish state of perpetual war is another example of how Obama has, sadly, turned out to be very far from the liberal I had hoped for.

    I’m glad that Wikileaks has appeared, with people having the courage and the technology to take on the “military-industrial complex”. Thank God for the internet. If the site was confined to the USA it wouldn’t last long.

    In 1838, referring to the establishment of a puppet king in Afghanistan, Lord Wellington remarked that his difficulties would begin where the military successes ended, and his brother, Lord Welsley, complained about the folly of sending an army to occupy “rocks, sand, desert, ice and snow”. So what’s new?

  • lara

    When the subject is Afghanistan….

    Are we the only ones here who would love to see OnPoint bring U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark?

    Please voice your opinions?

    Otherwise, as far as Wikileaks are concerned, the Media will keep ganging up on Pakistan.

    Pakistan, the evil nation. They worked with us to help Afghanistan repel the Soviet Occupation. But this is different. We are the Americans. Occupiers are Good, the Resistence to the Occupation is Bad (being sarcastic, here)

  • Steve T

    @9:30 ET It”seems” Wikileaks servers are over loaded you cant get to it. Humm

    This has really put some angry bee’s in a closed room, nobody’s coming out without getting stung.

  • William

    President Obama and LBJ administrations look very similar. LBJ had Vietnam and Obama has the War on Terror. Both would rather involve themselves with social programs, but can’t walk away from their wars. It will be interesting to see if President Obama fails to win “his wars” like LBJ failed to win in Vietnam.

  • roger

    can we please leave now? need any more evidence that we are in unwinnable conflicts of our own choosing?

    can we please try bush, cheney, et al for war crimes?

  • jemimah

    Giving civilians information like this is like giving matches to kids. If you don’t have a good understanding of something and of the harm it can do, you shouldn’t be playing with it. Americans all clamor for as much info as possible, but very few of us have even a rudimentary understanding of war, of the Middle East or even of our own political system! The wikileaks people are stupid, immature and self-important.

  • Valkyrie607

    “Stupid, immature, and self-important” seems like a good way to describe someone with such contempt for his/her fellow citizens that s/he advocates more ignorance as a cure for too much ignorance.

  • Alex

    These leaks are a good thing. They will help to bring the end to this war. Even though the American public is unusually gullible by the world standards, but at some point even this public will have to say “enough.”

  • tom from boston

    The sad legacy of George W. Bush.

  • TomK

    Obama and LBJ have some similarities, re vietnam and afghanistan, but LBJ was one of the last real liberals while Obama continues the trend of corporate-friendly rightist gvt we’ve had since 1980. The real similarity is Obama to Bush.

  • Marianne

    The real benefit of this overwhelming amount of information is that it mitigates the creation of “fact” by biased news outlets,government spin doctors and bloggers. It does not put troops in danger. The war itself does that.

  • http://shulmandesign.net Alan Shulman

    More than the sad legacy of one former presidency, our current policies reflect a whole gamut of commitments we’ve made as a nation since World War Two, particularly to being a state that relies heavily on military production to fuel many sectors of our economy. Our military expenditures equal those of the rest of the world combined. One of our major exports is military hardware, often to current friends who later turn into foes. We tend to think in terms of military solutions to international problems.
    And speaking of an “inordinate response” (as the Israelis have been accused of), might not the thousands of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan be considered “inordinate?” Haven’t we lost far more troops than people who died in 9/11? What of the other casualties from these wars numbering in the tens of thousands – the maimed and brain-injured soldiers? What if we had taken a small portion of these military billions and put it into intelligence operations?
    I question this whole massive military approach to the problem of terrorism.

  • Les Wetmore

    Jemimah,

    What is there more to understand then war kills and ruins people. Once again a generation is being destoyed, mentally and physically. This is more like finding out what the kid with the matches is actually doing. I think that it is you who are “stupid, immature and self-important”.

  • Raymond D. Tindel

    This incident persuades me that we need a National Secrets Act making it a crime for Wikileaks, journalists, or anyone else to publish or otherwise reveal material designated secret.

    When people abuse their freedoms they lose them.

    Raymond D. Tindel

  • jemimah

    Les,
    In fact, I’m totally against the war and send emails to the President every now and then expressing that. I often will attach links to OP shows that discuss it, too. That said, this wikileak is going to do NOTHING to end the war. If you really want to do something, you should also be writing to your Senators, Reps and the President. That’s the way to do it. This stupid leak just whips people into a frenzy but isn’t productive, isn’t advocating anything and isn’t telling the government anything they already didn’t know. The fact is, we should have been out a long time ago, but this isn’t speeding up our exit, it’s just adding to the hullabaloo. And, by the way, if this is the first time you’re realizing that this is a wrong, unwinnable war, where have you been? You prove my point beautifully.

  • David Nowicki

    Why is this a surprise?Read Ahmed Rashid’s “Descent Into Chaos” (2008). He clearly shows how Pakistan is supporting the Taliban. They only care about India and their presence in Afghanistan.

    We need to get out of here now. We have no real friends in the area.

  • Steve T

    Our government is upset because they don’t want us to know these things, the Government want’s us to only hear their side. Which is usually a lie.

    We were lied into this war, but they won’t be able to lie us out of it.

  • Jim in Omaha

    Yes jeremiah, Americans, to coin a phrase, “can’t handle the truth.” To anyone who has made the minimal effort necessary to find out what is going on in this area of the world, the Taliban ties to Pakistani security agencies and military (which was also the government) are well known. Read “Descent into Chaos” by Ahmed Rashid for a decade or more of details. As for the news that war is hell and innocent people die in it, well if that surprises anyone, they are truly clueless.

    This leak is the equivalent to “The Pentagon Papers”, only released in time to actually make a difference. Hopefully the time of remaining silent (see Colin Powell and all the incompetent fools we have put in charge of our military) when one has proof that our country is throwing away its money and lives not just in vain, but to our obvious detriment, is over. Wishful thinking, but this is a start.

  • Jon Rucket

    As Jesus said: “What is done in the dark shall be brought to the light.” It is good for people to have a full understanding of the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is not Soviet Russia.

  • TomK

    In “1984″ there was perpetual war. The enemy changed occasionally, and people weren’t always sure of the current enemy. The main point of the wars was to maintain the right attitude in the citizens. Emmanuel Goldstein wrote:

    “The social atmosphere is that of a besieged city.. And at the same time the consciousness of being at war, and therefore in danger, makes the handing-over of all power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of survival.”

    It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist.”

    Sound familiar?

    Any “deficit hawks” want to have a look at the perpetual war costs, instead of trying to screw the middle class out of the SS benefits they already paid for?

  • jeffe

    Raymond D. Tindel of course the Pentagon papers prove you wrong as does the Deep throat who did the American people a service. Nixon broke the law and without the leaks he would have gotten away with it.

    Sorry but in a healthy democracy we need a strong news media and all the sources they can muster.

    Raymond what you are saying smacks of a totalitarian mindset.

  • Les Wetmore

    Jemimah,
    Sorry to miss interpret you pont of veiw. You sound as those you are suggesting that we don’t understand the importance of war and thus towing the line of the war hawks. Tom read your post in this way as well on the air.

    I have been oppossed to the war for the start. I remember the dark day of the Bush years, with 90% popular support for the war, one could hardly speak against the war. We have come a long ways in terms of popular understanding. More information only futhers that growth of dissent. Public oppositioin is what will stop the war; not the plutocrates.

  • PW

    Wikileaks provides us with just the facts,straight from the horse’s mouth, etc. etc. Our media have fallen into the trap of providing us with a narrative. We like that — we love it until the narrative leans away from the big and tangled truth and toward the carefully-pruned “press report.” The big papers — like the Times — don’t seem to have grasped how they much have changed in 30-40 years. I think we’re ready to go back to that old “just the facts, ma’am.” If Wikileaks really has been overloaded with visitors to the site it may mean that the world is a lot hungrier for difficult truths than it has been. If so, hurrah for that.

    Note: I’ve been one of “those bloggers” for years and have been writing about Pakistan’s — and the ISI’s — Afghanistan entanglements since ’04. Nothing much new there. Also it’s as well to note that most of the materials Wikileaks has give us relate to the Bush’s war in Afghanistan, that is, mostly if not all predate December ’09 when it became Obama’s war. When Obama announced his decision to continue the war for a 18 months, most if not all of what we’re learning today through Wikileaks must have been readily available to him. I don’t like this war and never did but I try to imagine how difficult his decision must have been given what he and everyone else has known for years about Pakistan playing both ends against the middle.

  • jemimah

    Thanks, Les. Yes, I’m 100% against this war and have been from the very start.

    I think that knowledge does, indeed, help us, but knowledge and information aren’t necessarily the same thing. That’s my beef.

    Until (we) Americans have a better understanding of the politics and culture of the Middle East, there are many of us who will still want the war, who will still think we can “win,” and who will dislike and mistrust anyone and everyone from that part of the world and call them all terrorists, which is also wrong.

  • ThresherK

    Obama’s war?

    Yessir. I, also, remember the celebrations in the streets everywhere when Bush and Cheney welcomed home the troops on Jan 19th 2009, the day before they left office.

  • millard_fillmore

    How many more troops must die for Obama’s war? Didn’t he claim he was going to end it during his campaign? If our troops can’t fight to win, they should not fight.
    ==>

    JP, he promised to end the war in Iraq, not Afghanistan – and was quite upfront about it. His campaign was filled with rhetoric about how the Bush administration shifted the focus from the real war, and if Obama would win, he would shift the focus back to the war in Afghanistan.

    That is not the same as “he claim(ed) he was going to end it.” Maybe you weren’t paying attention, or maybe this comment of yours is wishful thinking/projection.

    If people are *really* pro-peace (instead of just mouthing platitudes about peace and not walking their talk), then they should have voted for either the Green Party or Ralph Nader – as these were the only two candidates with an unequivocal “an end to both wars” in their campaign platform.

  • michael

    What onpoint no quotes from Sarah Palin facebook or Rush or Glen on this or will that be on friday?

    I bet still 40% of americans will dismiss such reports and will be calling for war with iran in the next week or two when the media stop reporting on this.

  • millard_fillmore

    Note: I’ve been one of “those bloggers” for years and have been writing about Pakistan’s — and the ISI’s — Afghanistan entanglements since ‘04.
    ==>

    This is not news. Ask India that has been very patiently bearing the brunt of Pakistani state-sponsored terrorism for decades now. The toll of innocent humans lost to terrorist acts sponsored by Pakistan would put the 9/11 toll to shame.

    On top of that, there’s the issue of Kashmiri Pandits who were massacred and chased out of the Kashmir valley by Islamic extremists simply because of religious intolerance. Funny how the Palestinians deserve all the sympathy, yet zero press+sympathy for the largest uprooting and forced migration of one community in modern times.

  • millard_fillmore

    “The sad legacy of George W. Bush.”
    ==>

    Really? How so? Based on picking a starting point that’s convenient to you, facts be damned? You are a true ideologue, sir.

  • pw

    Exactly, Millard. The US has to deal with Pakistan, but it’s like sharing a golf cart with a rattler. We need to stay in the game but … watch out!

  • David B.

    Pakistan surreptitiously backing Afghan insurgents — I remember hearing a professor/policy expert discussing a report he published saying exactly this on NPR a few weeks ago. The NPR segment also quoted a Dept. of Defense statement “disagreeing with his conclusions”. Based on this WikiLeaks release, the DoD knew he was correct all along! ANOTHER cover-up of information that the American children-citizens should not be made privy to by their “protectors”.

    “In a democracy you cannot expect the people, whose sons are being killed and who will be killed, to exercise their judgment if the truth is concealed from them.” — Senator Frank Church, 1968

  • David B.

    FWIW, I think Matthew Waldman is the name of the author I referred to above. Vindication!

    If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
    — The Art of War by Sun Tzu (Chapter 3, #18)

  • Andrea Gallo

    Maybe it’s time to consider Reagan’s move in Lebanon. Take our troops and go home. Let these people settle their own Civil War. Eventually the exhaustion of battle will run its course. After the fighting ends, then a coalition of countries can lend their help to rebuild the country.

    Al Quaida is everywhere and that is a war better settled by covert actions than drones that too often kill the innocent.

    The peoples rage against their governance requires them to take a stand. No other countries came to fight our Civil War. Why do we feel the compulsion to fight theirs?

  • Gloria Hannon

    Is this information going to increase the boldness and anger of the American people toward this awful war? I have mixed feelings about the documents being leaked, but if it helps end this war in any way, than I am all for it. What more can we do as American people to tell our government that we are disappointed in the wastefulness of this war?

  • peter

    Please lets hear “WHY?” not “HOW?” You’ve got a great show, but there’s way to much talk about “how” we should be fighting. I’ve never heard you discuss “why” we are in Afghanistan, or Iraq.
    Thanks.
    Peter, Utah

  • Ray Trabulsi

    The leak reminds me of the Ellsberg papers leak that prompted much discussion and eventually the end of the Vietnam war.
    If we had a Draft Army we would not be in both of these wars.
    Richard Haas is 100% correct, we should not be waistng out soldirs lives and our capital in a country that cannot br easily reformed, nor does it seem to want to reformed. With an annual GNP oF $12 Billion we are expending over $100 Billion that we need to spend at home and elsewere.
    The rewards do not match the risks.
    Thank you

  • michael

    “Talk Of The Nation” has already started damage control of these leaks with Bill Harlow, former CIA spokesman,and Julie McCarthy helping and goating and I’m sure “All Things Considered” will do the same, on Foxes Website have reversed the whole story of NYT vs the Guardian, with little to no regard to the German Newspaper

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128776184

  • michael

    But it seems Daniel Ellsberg is giving them a tough time trying to whitewash and spin this.

  • AJ Averett

    Sunshine remains the best disinfectant.

    The voices being raised in outrage are very much akin to Claude Rains’ famous line from “Casablanca” about gambling going on in the casino – as he is handed his winnings.

    At the end of the day, our government, to put it charitably, has been less than candid with us citizens with respect to our Afghan adventures (remember Pat Tillman?); we need not even mention Iraq. If whistle-blowers and leaks are the only means by which Power can be challenged with Truth, so be it. These may well turn out to be the “Pentagon Papers” of THIS conflict.

  • michael

    bbc has some of it listed

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-10760780

    10 March 2008, children killed in botched US forces night raid on compound in Paktika province aimed at killing al-Qaeda commander Abu Laith al-Libi, who was mistakenly believed to be hiding there. Five American rockets destroyed the compound, followed by a helicopter-borne assault by US special forces: “Seven Afghan civilians (children) killed in action. During initial questioning, it was assessed that the children were not allowed out of the building, due to UIMs presence within the compound. The assault force was able to uncover one child from the rubble.”

    21 March 2007, deaf man shot in Paktika province: “Afghan local ran at the sight of the approaching US forces. US forces utilised the escalation of force doctrine and shouted to stop, fired warning shots and then fired to wound. The civilian was hit in the ankle and treated by medics on scene. It was determined through discussions with local elders that the man was a deaf mute who could not hear warnings and ran out of fear and confusion.”

    20 April 2009, massive morphine haul: “While conducting operation, Warthawg [close combat aircraft] finds a cache consisting of 3,000kg of morphine base which can produce 1,500kg of heroin.”

    28 April 2009, opium industry seizure: “Task Force 2-2 reported that while conducting a patrol, forces confiscated more than two tons of poppy seeds.”

    18 May 2004, election worker threatened: “A night letter was posted on the wall of the home of one of the female vote registration workers. The letter, addressed to her husband, translated into English, read: ‘Respectable Mr. Aren’t you a Muslim? This process is against the Koran. If you don’t stop sending your wife to work, anything that will happen to your family is your responsibility.’ The letter is signed: ‘Mujahideen.’”

    19 February 2008, Afghan army commander threatened: “Commander Jamaladin received a call from Taliban Commander Mullah Ezat. Mullah Ezat told him surrender and offered him US$100,000 to quit working for the Afghan army. Ezat also stated that he knows where the ANA commander is from and knows his family.”

    1 September 2009, government workers killed: “Five armed insurgents went to Gardan village and killed two local nationals because they worked for the local government.”

  • cory

    Can anyone seriously be suprised at anything that appears in these reports? Civilian deaths and subterfuge by supposed allies is par for the course in warfare. More reasons that war should only be defensive and never pre-emptive, and should always be a last resort.

  • Emmet

    Hi,
    As a former Vietnam Marine with First Recon I can tell you that civilians were killed without any justification.
    This history will never be told and I can only assume that the same is going on in our current wars.
    Emmet

  • George Peters

    It would be very helpful to examine the preamble to our incursion.See Sarah Chaye’s book The Punishment of Virtue. We had expended a great deal of ‘blood and treasure’ to foster the very worst elements in Afghani society to get those bad old Commies.

  • Varda Burns

    This is not our country – what if another nation decided that they didn’t like what we were doing here – like executing teens or putting minors in jail for life or promoting ten’s of millions who live in poverty and stave and then invaded us and killed our children and tried to take us over? – what right do we have to invade a nation that has not attacked us? We have no right and while China and Japan are quietly signing contracts for oil and minerals. We wage war for profit at our expense. Good thing its not your kids that are being killed. There are 300 corporations receiving billions of our tax dollars. This is a huge loss of revenues – this gives nothing to our nation. The military just takes our dollars and saps our nation of precious money to rebuild our nation and explodes our deficit.

  • lara

    Subliminial Messages from the Media/Government/Hawks:

    Civilian Deaths, Civilian Deaths, Civilian Deaths

    What about the “none-civilian” deaths?

    According to a weapons expert in London, firing power ratio of Dept. of Offense (just portion that is mobilized in that region) vs. the Afghani Patriots (insurgents) is 300,000 : 1. This means, if you are an Afghani and try to defend your country, on a good day you are vaporized or on a bad day, you are barbaqued.

    Tens of thousands of guys, fathers, brothers, sons who haven’t done anything to anybody were exteminated like pests buy our military – and this is OK. They were not Civilians; we don’t even discuss about their lives.

    We are a Criminal Nation!!!
    We all have blood on our hands.

  • Lara

    This is Rahm Emanuel’s War. This is Halbrook’s War.

    They got Obama by the balls, they will not release Afghanistan and Iraq until, U.S. Military does Tehran.

    This song and dance about Afghanistan is only about Tel-Aviv’s security at America’s expense.

  • joshua

    To call it Obama’s war is disingenuous. Its Cheney’s war–its the CIA’s war. Obama inherited it. Obama is a puppet who finds himself between a rock and a hard place. NO President has a choice. The Republican Guard controls policy. Except, Cheny, and the BUsh Crime family has deep seated power in that Guard–the true enemy of America.

  • joshua

    To the caller that says whistle blowing and media coverage puts US soldiers in harm–TOm was absolutely unequivocally right when he mentioned that the WAR itself does that—are u so naive to think the people in Afghanistan dont know they are being slaughtered and treated inhumanly either by Taliban or the coalition? They are there-they know it more than we do. They live it. The fact is the war is wrong, as was Vietnam–and they were often baby killers. You cant get mad at people for exposing the truth. Get mad at your leaders who send poor people into harms way for corporate profits and power.

    Americans are soo viscous. These people who belittle true humans for “Cutting and running” are repugnant and completely ignorant. Where does that kind of arrogance come from? Where do they get that swagger?

    Terrorism is nurtured by such attitudes by these wars–we are not fighting terrorism-we create it by displaying our vulgar inhumanity and by the act itself–we are the terrorists! We are the Taliban. You dont change the world by dropping bombs on people you dont see eye to eye with. In the work place–if you disagree with a colleague–do punch him in the mouth and kick him while he’s down until you ruptures every blood vessel in his face and body, and broken every rib–do you urinate on him while he bleeds? NO. So why is geopolitical policy designed this way? We are savages. We are ruled by savages who drink blood.

  • jeffe

    lara you get a map Afghanistan is pretty far away from Israel. It’s not had anything to do with the Middle East other than Iran’s interests in the region.

    Iraq is a different story, but really do think making these bumper sticker statements do anything for the dialogue? I don’t think so.

  • http://rainbarrel.ca/ jack palmerston

    NO no no. First off Tommy Boy, this story has been proven to be weak weak weak! Please mention that the documents are entirely electronic…first time for the wiki people. Delivered to very biased & hand-chosen news sources…first time for the wiki people. Absolutely no way to confirm any of this information as true and accurate. NO WAY! You have jumped onto the sensationalism bandwagon and you sound ‘mainstream’ this morning. You are simply making noise. Smarten up, please.

  • Ren Knopf

    An end to secrecy? Not likely, not as long as humans are involved. What would be new is genuinely objective review of what becomes classified. Currently anything and everything gets lumped into various “secret” categories. I had to have clearance to go pick up the mail, and I worked in a PIO office. Hiding assorted snafu’s under the cover of “national interest,” only exacerbates the upset and backlash when inevitable exposure occurs. But that learning curve continues to be very steep indeed.
    Ren Knopf
    Framingham, MA

  • stephenreal

    I guess we did get Colonel Kurtz up the Nung River after all.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 30, 2014
Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rises over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the fighting so far. (AP)

Social media is changing how the world sees and talks about Israel and Gaza, Israelis and Palestinians. We’ll look at the impact.

Jul 30, 2014
Janitta Swain, Writer/Exec. Producer/Co-Director Dinesh D'Souza, John Koopman, Caroline Granger and Don Taylor seen at the World Premiere of 'America: Imagine The World Without Her' at Regal Cinemas LA Live on Monday, June 30, 2014, in Los Angeles, CA. (AP)

Conservative firebrand Dinesh D’Souza says he wants an America without apologies. He’s also facing jail time. We’ll hear him out.

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This April 28, 2010 file photo, shows the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal-fired power plant in Colstrip, Mont. Colstrip figures to be a target in recently released draft rules from the Environmental Protection Agency that call for reducing Montana emissions 21 percent from recent levels by 2030. (AP)

A new sci-fi history looks back on climate change from the year 2393.

 
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The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP)

The “Do-Nothing” Congress just days before August recess. We’ll look at the causes and costs to the country of D.C. paralysis.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
This 15-Year-Old Caller Is Really Disappointed With Congress
Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014

In which a 15-year-old caller from Nashville expertly and elegantly analyzes our bickering, mostly ineffective 113th Congress.

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Friday, Jul 25, 2014

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The Art Of The American Pie: Recipes
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

In the odd chance that our pie hour this week made you hungry — how could it not, right? — we asked our piemaking guests for some of their favorite pie recipes. Enjoy!

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