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April 26, 2011
"Come one step closer, and the terrorist gets it!"By Greyhawk
(Update/bumped from yesterday)
"On Sept. 11, 2001, the core of al-Qaeda was concentrated in a single city: Karachi, Pakistan," opens the Washington Post report on their fresh puddle of wikileakage. Read the whole thing and you'll discover that back in the day, the Paks were somewhat helpful in rounding those guys up. Oddly, you must get nearly to the end of the article to find its best quote:
Gradually, Mohammed and the other operatives were picked off by Pakistanis working with the CIA and the FBI. When Ramzi Binalshibh, a key liaison between the Sept. 11 hijackers and al-Qaeda, was arrested at a safe house in Karachi on the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, there was a four-hour standoff while the Yemeni and two others held knives to their own throats and threatened to kill themselves rather than be taken.
Wasn't there a comedian who used something like that in his routine?
On an unfunny note - hopefully our friends in Pakistan won't be too put off on helping us in the future now that they've learned something about how well we keep secrets. (And I may be wrong, but this stuff seems a bit above Brad Manning's access level, compared to most of the drivel that came from his stash. Second source?)
And isn't this just lovely: Leaked files accuse BBC of being part of a 'possible propaganda media network' - al Qaeda propaganda network, that is. Apparently all the best terrorists had their number on speed dial. (Though that's not surprising, sez I. None of it is surprising, sez Ed.)
The Huffpo says various media outlets were scrambling to be the first to release this batch of bytes (that would indeed be somewhat yellowed now had they been printed when new) but I, for one, am shocked, shocked I tell you, to learn of this breech of Wikileak security:
The leak was originally provided to WikiLeaks, which then gave them to the Post, NPR and others; the NYT and The Guardian claim to have received them from "another source" (WikiLeaks suggested the "other source" was Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a former WikiLeaks associate who WikiLeaks claims took, without authorization, many WikiLeaks files when he left).
Neener neener boo boo, thief!
Updates: one mystery solved in comments - thanks! (But language warning - film from 1970s...)
Michelle Malkin doesn't seem to want to play the part of "Harriet" if they ever remake this comedy classic.
And I overlooked this one yesterday: "The leak was originally provided to WikiLeaks, which then gave them to the Post, NPR and others..."
One of those things is not like the others, as I believe they sing on Sesame Street. (Which is PBS, not NPR - but wouldn't "Bert and Ernie Teach Kids to Read WikiLeaks" be a wonderful educational program?) But NPR doesn't get that much of their money from the government, so maybe they aren't worried about losing it.
original post: 2011-04-25 18:17:04
Posted by Greyhawk / April 26, 2011 12:29 PM | Permalink
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
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