The Wikileaks Data: Where to Start


If you’re going to spend the day digging in on the just-released 75,000+ reports from the U.S. military provided by Wikileaks, and why shouldn’t you, you should start with their mirror site, as their main site has gone down due to massive, crushing fascination. But first! It’s time to learn the Afghan base acronym list and figure out who’s all fighting whom. Here are a few other ways to dip your toe in: what the data reveals about reconnaissance drones; how they show that “the Pakistani military has acted as both ally and enemy”; and, that old chestnut, where in the world is Osama bin Laden. Here’s some unhelpful response-talk from the White House! “Wikileaks is not an objective news outlet but rather an organization that opposes US policy in Afghanistan.” Oh, well then, let’s ignore… the data from the U.S. military? (An organization that, by the way, works for us. This is our information.) The White House also said: “The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information.” Sure! That’s why Wikileaks withheld more than 15,000 of the reports, which will be released when “the security situation in Afghanistan permits.” Let’s not forget, as Guardian editor David Leigh points out: “All this information is historical, ending at 31 December 2009. Nothing in it can endanger current military operations.”