Wednesday, October 27, 2010

God of War: Addendum


I have a minor confession to make: I had actually planned on writing about Julian Assange a couple of months back, when Wikileaks released the tens of thousands of documents on the war in Afghanistan that drew so much national attention. In fact, I'd begun putting together an extended essay on Assange and was well into it when something happened that really kind of threw me for a loop because it was something I hadn't experienced since starting this little experiment of mine almost five years ago: the piece just got away from me. As I kept working on it, I realized that there was so much that I wanted to say -- so many oversized themes I wanted to touch on -- that my thoughts just started to splinter and go off in every direction. I've gotten pretty good about editing myself and reining in my superfluous ideas and unruly tangents as I write, but between the scale of what I was trying to get off my chest and the fact that a hectic work schedule was turning my brain to tapioca, I just couldn't make the whole thing coalesce.

So I gave up. I just put the piece aside and figured that maybe I could break it up over time, cherry pick bits of it for use in other, more concise posts -- which is kind of what I did when I wrote God of War a couple of nights ago.

But I want to go ahead and publish part of the original piece that I know will never see the light of day otherwise -- the sort of introductory anecdote that would've eventually wound up being the framework of the essay -- because I think it'll give you an idea of what led me to want to write about Assange and Wikileaks in the first place.

What interested me in the story from the very beginning was the fact that both Julian Assange and those in the left-leaning media who devoted reams of copy to the documents he leaked seemed to be genuinely shocked and incensed at what the U.S. military was capable of in its prosecution of the war in Afghanistan. I've always figured the Pentagon lies its ass off when doing so suits its needs; this should surprise absolutely no one, and maybe it's understandable that someone would want to make a point of pulling back the curtain on the blatant untrue statements the government has made with regard to our ongoing conflicts. But what struck me more was the venom aimed at the actions undertaken by the military that weren't lied about, they just weren't exactly shouted from the rooftops. I'm talking about special forces units being used to target and quietly take out insurgents -- what critics dramatically called "hit squads" -- and classified operations aimed at eliminating the enemy which occasionally wound up accidentally eliminating innocents. The outrage generated by this sort of thing kind of amused me because of one simple fact: Killing people is what war is all about; inadvertently killing people you don't want to see killed is an unavoidable byproduct of it.

I'm not by any means saying that taking innocent life is excusable, only that in war people die -- in fact, it's the only fucking thing you can be sure of when you go to war. This is what should ostensibly make armed conflict an absolute last resort. The only way to be indignant about an enemy being shot through the head or a wayward bomb destroying some poor innocent guy's home is to be someone who's against war altogether -- and as I said yesterday, maybe with all we now know, we have no other choice than to say that any war is unequivocally immoral. But if you don't believe that -- if you think that sometimes fighting is justified -- then you simply can't say that the "normal" horrors of war rise to the level of, say, war crimes.

And that's what really stuck in my head -- the notion that much of what Julian Assange was asserting has happened in Afghanistan qualifies as war crimes.

And that's what made me write this:

"True Blood" (Unpublished)

When I was a kid, my father would occasionally talk to me about Vietnam.

He was in the Navy during the early years of the war -- the commander of an underwater demolitions team, which meant that he was always more of a bad-ass than I could ever hope to be. Like a lot of Vietnam vets, he largely kept his "war stories" to himself, but every once in a while the mood would strike him and he'd open up about some of his experiences, his exploits, his thoughts and feelings about what it was like to trudge through the fires of hell and somehow come out the other side with all of his limbs and, seemingly, all of his faculties still intact. I never doubted that despite what I hoped was a solid upbringing under his wise tutelage, I wouldn't have survived ten fucking minutes on the ground in that place. That sentiment continues to this day. It generally takes all of a few minutes of being pinned down in a bombed out school house in Modern Warfare 2 for me to start whining about my lack of air support; actually dodging bullets in some Third World hellhole seems incomprehensible. Maybe this is part of the reason I have so much respect for the people who see fit to join our military: the luxury any of us has to be a mere civilian if he or she chooses -- to say nothing of some middle-aged, video game-playing doof -- is essentially provided and protected by them.

Of the few times my father really went into detail about the kind of combat that he believed was required to not only survive Vietnam but to ostensibly make some kind of headway toward winning the war (an admittedly laughable notion in hindsight), one particular story stands out. It was something he and his unit had heard, but which no one could verify. It involved a special forces unit that may or may not have actually existed, a high-value target, and a bunch of ten-inch-nails.

Basically, the campfire tale went something like this: A special forces team was dispatched to extract information from a Viet Cong commander which the military believed would be vital to the American war effort. The commander was encamped deep within the thick jungle and was protected 24/7 by a regularly rotating guard which patrolled the area around him in a series of concentric circles. Understanding that sheer, overwhelming terror was the most effective weapon on a mission like this -- and was certainly one of the most potent in the special forces arsenal -- the small strike team used stealth tactics to move in silently and kill one of the guards, then after doing so, they tacked him to a tree using a ten-inch-nail. Through the head.

This was the first night.

They repeated this over and over again each night, wiping out the security detail one by one while simultaneously ratcheting up the fear in those who remained -- particularly in the commander, who after a while became paranoid to the point of madness. When the time came to finally take what they'd come for -- that high-value target -- the special forces team slipped in, grabbed him, and shuttled their frightened prey to a remote location to be interrogated. And how long did it take to get the information they needed out of him? As long as it took to pull a ten-inch-nail out of a backpack and place it on the table in front of him.

Is this a true tale? Did it really happen, or was it just a ghost story told by men fighting a desperate and losing battle day after day to help them cope -- to convince themselves that they weren't the only ones being ruthlessly hunted down and picked off by an unseen enemy?

Who knows.

But a couple of recent events have caused me to ponder another question quite a bit lately: If this phantom unit did actually exist -- if it was out there right now killing enemy soldiers and combatants in Iraq or Afghanistan and staking their dead bodies to trees -- would you consider the actions of these men to rise to the level of war crimes, regardless of the rationale for such extremely prejudicial tactics?

I think it's safe to assume that Julian Assange would say yes.

18 comments:

Eric said...

Actually, Chez, the U.S. Military and international signatories to the Geneva Conventions might consider those alleged actions war crimes, yes. I couldn't find a direct link to relevant or specific portions of American law or international treaty, but here's an article referencing a criminal investigation launched by our country after soldiers allegedly desecrated corpses in Afghanistan.

Point #1 would be that while desecration of a corpse seems like a minor violation of law or protocol compared, say, to torturing someone in violation of Federal and international law, it's still a crime. A bit like the guy who breaks in your car and steals a stereo and expects leniency because, hey, it's not like he killed someone, I suppose.

Point #2 would be that "regardless of the rationale" is one of the cornerstones of both civilian law and the expectations set forth for our soldiers in the UCMJ and elsewhere. I don't get to steal bread from you because I'm hungry, though that may be a pitiable state for me to be in. A marine isn't entitled to shoot a detainee and put a vaguely threatening sign up next to the corpse on public display just because he wants to send a message to potential insurgents about the badassery of the USMC (perhaps raising unit morale and maybe even saving lives if it deters insurgents; and lest this sound far-fetched, these are more-or-less the allegations that ended NC7th U.S. House candidate Ilario Pantano's military career, although he avoided court martial, perhaps because ambiguity remains over whether he had cause to believe he was acting in self defense).

Point #3 would be that war is indeed terrible and repulsive and awful. This may seem like an obvious statement, but the reality is also that American citizens are insulated from that truth to a grotesque degree. Not counting terrorist attacks, the United States has not had an actual invasion force on its soil since Pancho Villa invaded New Mexico in 1916; prior to that, American civilians on U.S. soil have not personally risked suffering as the collateral damage of war since 1865. Even the last major, non-terrorist foreign attacks on any U.S. territorial soil occurred almost seventy years ago in the Pacific theatre of WWII. We do not know what it's like.

Which brings us to point #3A, if you don't mind: the fact is that Assange and many of his critics are actually in agreement, which is why they're struggling over the publication of these documents; specifically, they all agree that if Americans had a better idea of what war really looked like, they wouldn't want any part of it. This may or may not be true; I'm cynical and depressed enough to suspect it gives my country too much credit. Regardless, those critics who think Assange and many of his supporters are naive or overwrought when they express shock and dismay are possibly missing the point, which is that Assange et al. are expressing their dismay to draw attention to what they hope will inspire sobriety and sanity and not because they're idiots--surely it's obvious that they've not only already looked at this material they express astonishment over, but they in fact sought it out for its disturbing nature in the same way Pro-Lifers went dumpster diving for improperly-disposed-of fetuses to photograph or PeTA activists seek out the worst labs or slaughterhouses they can unearth.

Chez said...

As always, Eric, you make excellent arguments. I really need to stop writing about issues I'm so on the fence about. I agree with you wholeheartedly that it's easy for Americans to be glib about war because we don't understand from personal experience what it's like -- and I'll actually go a step further and say that as horrific as 9/11 was, it was basically an anomaly to us and a drop in the bucket compared to what other countries endure, and yet it unleashed what really amounts to a disproportionate amount of carnage. But maybe your point about how "desecrating a body" may qualify as a war crime gets back to my point about how, particularly in the modern age of guerilla ground warfare (and even our never-outmatched air superiority, come to think of it) there's just no such thing as a humane war. In order to really win, you have to lose your soul and become something that may not even be worth defending. It would be nice to see the whole concept go away for good -- Assange's efforts or not, I just don't see it happening. I am, however, hoping that if the time ever comes that we truly need to fight -- and I mean deter an honest to God imminent threat -- people will still have enough confidence in our government and military to want to back them. Maybe that's the real end product of so much bullshit and secrecy.

Mackenzie said...

Inferno by James Nachtwey. End of story.

Grayson: Atlanta, GA said...

Neither here nor there really... but one wildly gruesome and most remarkable Vietnam War guerrilla warfare tactic was demo-ed, resurrected really, for a scene in the excellent Masterpiece mystery series, Wallander. With Kenneth Branagh, who some say was the best Henry V ever. But I diverge...

The Wallander episode with the scene, Vietcong-inspired I think they note, is here:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/wallander/fifthwoman.html

FabMax said...

There is no such thing as a "humane war". War always was, and will be, hell.

Anonymous said...

Eric- We don't care. We as Americans don't give too shits and will never care as long as we don't have a draft. Americans have an attentions span of fruit flies. It wouldn't matter if US soldiers were lining people up and randomly shooting them in the streets of Baghdad because the average US citizen can't find South America on a map, let alone find Iraq. Americans like their wars like their Rocky movies. Unfortunately wars don't happen like that any more. All wars are irregular now. There are no clear objectives for the insurgency except to outlast the US resolve. Most of the insurgents want to die (Seriously, the Shiites are all about that martyr shit). And sadly, when we do pull out of Iraq, its going to turn into a bloodbath. First down will be the Kurds as everyone hates them. Turkey and Iran will funnel in weapons and intel to help the Sunni and Shiites wipe them out. Then the Shiites (back by Iran) will go after the Sunni (backed by the rest of the middle east). Shiites got the numbers and the death wishes, but the Sunni do have experience with dominating the majority. Plus the Iranians aren't exactly liked by even the Iraqi Shiites due to that whole "Iran-Iraq" war thing (last non irregular war I can think of).

All this is pointless. The average American can't fucking tell the difference between a fucking Muslim and a Sikh so fuck all they are going to understand who each faction represents in Iraq. Afghanistan is even more of a clusterfuck and trying to explain ethnic groups is a fucking waste of time. As a vet, the vibe I get is that people are sick of this war...yet they really have no fucking clue about just how many military members have be killed and injured. Rather than share this, people just turn out news of the war and ignore that it is even going on.I'm now a college student (after six years in the military) and to be honest, I never hear or see anyone ever mentioning either current conflicts. Its like its not even occurring.
Coming back from my third tour in the middle east, I was asked by an old chum where I had gone. "Iraq". He literally asked me, "Seriously? We are still there?" While this individual would appear to be vastly ignorant to you or I, I sadly suspect he is closer than us to the norm.

Anonymous said...

Eric...the Geneva Convention is a wonderful series of documents that get thrown straight out of the window in reality. The conflict in which they are designed for doesn't exist anymore.

Should we be there? Shit, I knew the answer to that on my first deployment out of three. Americans don't care. Honestly they don't. I'm in college now and my fellow students can't find Iraq on a map, let alone explain the role of Sunni-Shiite relations in regards to both wanting to wipe out the Kurds. I will tell you one thing, shit, Iraq is a cake walk compared to Afghani-land. The easiest way to describe Afghanistan is to put Somalia on a fucking mountain range. Americans simply tune out the war because there isn't a draft, ergo they don't give a shit about kids getting sent off to a grinder unless they personally know them or they themselves are at a risk to get sent.

The Taliban are an illegal force. At best they are armed bands of thugs who prey on the civilian population around them. They never would sign the Geneva Convention even if they allowed members to learn how to read. We are talking about people that target women and children. And to be really honest, it would be akin to a Blood/Crips turf war and instead of shooting each other, they would blow up Chlorine tanker trucks in front of schools. And that is the really pathetic thing. As soon as we leave, Afghanistan is going back to a perpetual civil war state. I take it back, Somalia at least has a pretty decent wireless network system so you can't really compare them to the Taliban.

We as a population need to grow up really quick and learn an accurate perspective on human conflicts. WWII is over and there will never again be a clear "Good vs Evil" conflict. Out of every perspective on war I have read, the best and most realistic has been Gary Brecher, aka the "War Nerd". He breaks it down to six clear points....

1)Most wars are asymmetrical / irregular.
2)In these wars, the guerrillas / irregulars / insurgents do NOT aim for military victory.
3)You can NOT defeat these groups by killing lots of their members. In fact, they want you to do that.
4)Hi-tech weaponry is mostly useless in these wars.
5)"Hearts and Minds," meaning propaganda and morale, are more important than military superiority.
6)Most people are not rational, they are TRIBAL: "my gang yay, your gang boo!" It really is that simple. The rest is cosmetics.

We can sit here state side and demand, piss and moan, and expect our soldiers to fight according to whatever doctrine we think is most ethical in conflict (which the very notion I find fucking hilarious) but it doesn't mean shit to someone perfectly willing to take a mentally disabled child, strap a bunch of explosives to him, and send him off to the nearest checkpoint with the promise that the US soldiers will feed and take care of them (this is happening a LOT over there). You cannot rationalize with people like this and you can't expect them to follow any sort of basic rules regarding human rights.

We have neither the will nor the grasp of reality necessary to win this conflict...nor any conflict in the future. We need to grow the fuck up.

Anonymous said...

Should we be there? Shit, I knew the answer to that on my first deployment out of three. Americans don't care. Honestly they don't. I'm in college now and my fellow students can't find Iraq on a map, let alone explain the role of Sunni-Shiite relations in regards to both wanting to wipe out the Kurds. I will tell you one thing, shit, Iraq is a cake walk compared to Afghani-land. The easiest way to describe Afghanistan is to put Somalia on a fucking mountain range. Americans simply tune out the war because there isn't a draft, ergo they don't give a shit about kids getting sent off to a grinder unless they personally know them or they themselves are at a risk to get sent.

The Taliban are an illegal force. At best they are armed bands of thugs who prey on the civilian population around them. They never would sign the Geneva Convention even if they allowed members to learn how to read. We are talking about people that target women and children. And to be really honest, it would be akin to a Blood/Crips turf war and instead of shooting each other, they would blow up Chlorine tanker trucks in front of schools. And that is the really pathetic thing. As soon as we leave, Afghanistan is going back to a perpetual civil war state. I take it back, Somalia at least has a pretty decent wireless network system so you can't really compare them to the Taliban.

We as a population need to grow up really quick and learn an accurate perspective on human conflicts. WWII is over and there will never again be a clear "Good vs Evil" conflict. Out of every perspective on war I have read, the best and most realistic has been Gary Brecher, aka the "War Nerd". He breaks it down to six clear points....

1)Most wars are asymmetrical / irregular.
2)In these wars, the guerrillas / irregulars / insurgents do NOT aim for military victory.
3)You can NOT defeat these groups by killing lots of their members. In fact, they want you to do that.
4)Hi-tech weaponry is mostly useless in these wars.
5)"Hearts and Minds," meaning propaganda and morale, are more important than military superiority.
6)Most people are not rational, they are TRIBAL: "my gang yay, your gang boo!" It really is that simple. The rest is cosmetics.

We can sit here state side and demand, piss and moan, and expect our soldiers to fight according to whatever doctrine we think is most ethical in conflict (which the very notion I find fucking hilarious) but it doesn't mean shit to someone perfectly willing to take a mentally disabled child, strap a bunch of explosives to him, and send him off to the nearest checkpoint with the promise that the US soldiers will feed and take care of them (this is happening a LOT over there). You cannot rationalize with people like this and you can't expect them to follow any sort of basic rules regarding human rights.

We have neither the will nor the grasp of reality necessary to win this conflict...nor any conflict in the future. We need to grow the fuck up.

kanye said...

December, '64: My father and his buddies were bopping down Irving Pk. Ave, peaking into parked cars, looking for Christmas presents when they came across a car that had the keys in the ignition. They hopped in, took it for a joyride. Somebody saw them take the car and they ended up getting nabbed by the cops.

Back then, that kind of thing usually wasn't that big of deal, but my dad and his buddies got in front of the wrong judge.

My dad's friends were all 16, so they got a year in juvie. My father on the other hand had turned 17 the week prior so the judge gave him a choice: Jail or The Army. Ten minutes later he was riding in the back of a squad car with my grandparents following, on the way to the recruiting station.

He came home after basic and tried talking his girlfriend into going back with him. She was only 17 as well and they knew her parents would send the law after her, so they decided to get married.

They bought a wedding dress from Goodwill and she, along with a few friends and the Home Ec. teacher spent the next few night hemming and altering the dress after school.

Saturday morning, they, along with a bunch of their friends piled in to their cars and drove out of Chicago, across the Illinois border into Iowa, and got married.

A week later, they packed everything that they owned into the trunk of a '52 Ford and headed off to Fort Bragg.

My mom got pregnant with me right away, and I mean right away. When I was kid, maybe 10, I was obsessed with the math; trying figure out if I was a bastard or not.

Not too long after that, my dad shipped out. Two weeks in Okinawa, and then on to Vietnam.

You know, we're supposed to get smarter as we get older...better able to understand things, but the older I get, the less I'm able to comprehend what it must have been like for my father. One minute he's in high school, and the next thing he knows: He's married; kid on the way; standing in a fucking rice paddy half-way around the world, being shot at. At 17.

Jesus.

kanye said...

Btw...Mack, it's good to see you again.

Benoît from Ottawa said...

Typo, parag. 4, last sentence (byproduct it): "inadvertently killing people you don't want to see killed is an unavoidable byproduct it."

I suggest taking the "it" out: it's not necessary.

Now back to reading the actual sense of the text...

Benoît from Ottawa said...

Congrats to commenters, esp. Anonymous.

Real informative, confirmative stuff.

Anonymous said...

Sorry everyone about the multiple posts repeating the same shit again and again. The computers at my school are pretty glitchy and it kept freezing on me. I didn't think all of them got through.

Anonymous said...

I like this article a lot - the way it's written - very clean. I also like Eric's 10:18 comment - interesting, but the points don't score for me. Consider:
Point1 - I defer to other comments about the Geneva Conventions' expectation that in war, after you blow up, cut up, rip up, tear apart, burn and vaporize living beings, you must carefully preserve whatever remains.
Point2 - If "regardless of the rationale" is no excuse for conduct in war, then it certainly is no excuse for disclosing - intentionally - nearly 400,000 classified documents, not to mention obtaining them illegally.
Point3 - The asserted "rationale" that Assange disclosed these docs to point out to Americans the true nature of war and, thereby, inspire anti-war sobriety and sanity, suggests that Assange has a messianic complex and is a full-blown narcissist. And while that seems likely, it is ridiculous to suggest that his distorted vision of himself is a sine qua non for saving America.

I also think the assumption/ metaphor that America is drunk & insane is, um ... false (mostly).

Eric said...

Eric...the Geneva Convention is a wonderful series of documents that get thrown straight out of the window in reality. The conflict in which they are designed for doesn't exist anymore.

I don't mean to sound disrespectful, but that's irrelevant if true: the law is what it is, and that includes the fact that it's something our soldiers and civilians are expected to follow.

If the argument is that the law should be changed for whatever reason, that's something else. And maybe there's an argument for repealing the law. But if there is, I'll tell you what it's not: it's not that our enemies, whoever they might be, are psychotics with no regard for human life and no sense of decency. I fully concede that expecting Americans to behave better than people who strap bombs to children hampers us and puts us at tactical and strategic disadvantages.

But we do this all the time as we grapple with the ideals of being civilized versus the exigencies created when other people on this planet aren't. We could solve many of our problems by simply, indiscriminately nuking much of the Middle East and Eastern Asia--we would be justly reviled as barbarians if that happened, but who could stop us if we wanted to be monsters?

Call me naïve if you'd like, but I don't believe we should become our enemies to defeat them. I have no doubt that our rules are meaningless to people who plant improvised explosives in marketplaces, but I also have no doubt that the fact we at least try--not always successfully, but we try--to play by rules in the first place is the reason we're better than they are.

Eric said...

Anonymous @ 8:46:

With regard to #1, see above. Chez had rhetorically asked if staking a dead body to a tree would be a war crime: well, the answer, actually, is, "yes, it would be a violation of the laws of war as understood by the US Armed Forces and international law, which require that combatants avoid desecrating corpses and take reasonable steps to allow the recovery and possible disposal of enemy corpses." This isn't exactly new: we're talking about ancient tradition, and modern military customs re: the proper treatment of the dead go back, in this country at least, to the American Civil War. (Tangentially, I'm reading Drew Gilpin Faust's book on death and the Civil War, Republic Of Suffering, which is a marvelous piece of work and worth checking out.)

Hey, this isn't something I made up nor am I sure I need to justify it. Those who have a problem with it might want to ask their elected officials to withdraw from or amend our international agreements, Federal law and the USCMJ. Though I don't know that that's a good idea, either: where's our moral ground to complain when they desecrate our dead, if we're willing to do the same?

Re: #2: you are correct, "regardless of the rationale" is not a legal defense nor is it necessarily a moral or ethical defense. It is possible Assange should be criminally prosecuted even if there's a plausible argument (one that I could go either way on this point and don't feel like making, frankly) that morally justifies his actions.

If it explicitly clarifies that point: I fully believe that civil disobedience requires a willingness to suffer the legal consequences of one's actions if those actions are moral but illegal. Someone who violates a law, even an immoral law, even for a greater good, must be prepared to accept whatever follows lest they lose whatever moral authority they have.

Also, to be explicit: I am not saying Assange's actions are morally justified. Personally, I think he's compromised whatever moral credibility he has in a number of ways.

Re: #3: None of that was suggested, though, as you say, Assange may have personality issues. (Having said that, his motives may or may not be relevant to whether or not his actions have been good or bad. That's a much more complicated question.) The point, actually, was that Assange and certain hawks seem to share the opinion that if Americans knew how awful war was, they wouldn't want to be in it, which Assange presumably sees as a good thing and the hawks see as a bad thing.

As I said, I fear this may give my countrymen too much credit. I am depressed enough at the moment to fear that too many of my countrymen would think the awfulness of war was kind of cool, especially if it was happening to people half a world away and not in their own neighborhoods. We may not be drunk and insane, but I worry we aren't well, that we aren't well at all.

-----

Chez: sorry for the two posts, but I had long responses and had to split them up or do more editing than I felt like doing. Pithiness, not my strong suit.

Anonymous said...

Eric...being noble is great...until it gets you killed. No one has fought a war under strict adherence to the Geneva Conventions, let alone achieved victory. War sucks. Nothing about it is worth glorifying. The notion of having a moral or a "clean" war to me is the definition of insane. The best wars are none at all or at least fucking quick as shit.

This whole situation is fucking hilarious in such a sick way. I remember during my first deployment that orders came down we couldn't put graffiti on ordnance anymore because it could offend the locals (as if shelling and bombing were okay but English insults to Saddam or Osama would be stepping over the fucking line). Only something that fucking retarded could come from stateside.

I ain't disagreeing with you about the importance of the Geneva Convention and if we ever re-invade Western Europe. I'm sure it will be great for our POW's. But either we come to terms with the reality of irregular warfare (which involves lots of time and even more money and lives than we have already spent) or we just get the fuck out and let the Jawas butcher each other. I'm partial to the second option.

We should either be in total war, with every aspect of society, economics, and industry directed towards victory...or we aren't. This half ass, on the cheap, bullshit is fucking evil. I've ended up burying more colleague cause of suicide than anything else because of fucking burnout.

Then again, I am just some bitter rambling dude.

Mart said...

I watched McNamara blubber about the lie that was used to escalate the Vietnam War. Assume we will see someone with conscience blubber about the war in Iraq that was based on a lie. (I read all the PNAC documents and they definitely planned for war with Iraq for the pristine oil fields since 1991; and wanted to assure delivery of this unstable regions’ fuel to assure America’s strength in the new century. It ain’t some dumb lefty conspiracy, you can read it for yourself.)

So yea, if we go to war for no moral reason there is no moral reason for folks like Assange to not air our dirty laundry. Do you ever watch English Al Jareeza? Those folks watch us blow innocents up daily; something completely whitewashed by our media. As long as we torture and kill innocents, we will be targeted by extremists. And the cycle can spin forever.

The only trouble with the document dumps is they get one day of news here, and infuriate the bad guys for years. Stop the wars that have no goal that can be met to end the fighting, and there are no more document dumps. Simple.