It makes it a lot easier to wage war if only a small segment of the population knows what you’re doing. That was the lesson the US military and intelligence learned from Vietnam. WikiLeaks’ exposures undermined the secrecy. From Robert C. Koehler at consortiumnews.com:
By pulling the realities of war out of its carefully crafted public context, the WikiLeaks founder became a danger to the country’s political status quo, writes Robert Koehler.
The Pentagon’s offer of “condolence money” to the relatives of the 10 people (seven of them children) who were killed in the final U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan— originally declared righteous and necessary — bears a troubling connection to the government’s ongoing efforts to get its hands on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and punish him for exposing the inconvenient truth of war.
You know, the “classified” stuff — like Apache helicopter crewmen laughing after they killed a bunch of men on a street in Baghdad in 2007 (“Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards”) and then smirked some more after killing the ones who started picking up the bodies, in the process also injuring several children who were in the van they just blasted. This is not stuff the American public needs to know about!
At the time of the release of that particular video, in 2010, then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates decried the fact that the public was seeing a fragment of the war on terror “out of context.”And, indeed, he was right. As I later wrote:
“The Department of Defense is supposed to have total control over context; on the home front, war is 100 percent public relations. The public’s role is to be spectators, consumers of orchestrated news; they can watch smart bombs dropped from on high and be told that this is protecting them from terrorism and spreading democracy. That’s context.”
Assange’s crime was collaborating with whistleblowers to expose hidden data and disrupt that context. Over the course of a decade, WikiLeaks published some 10 million secret documents, more than the rest of the world’s media combined, according to a Progressive International video.