published Tuesday, December 7th, 2010


about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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Tax_Payer said...

"The Associated Press has decided against publishing their names due to the sensitive nature of the information." -AP on Wikileaks

December 7, 2010 at 5:44 a.m.
Clara said...

If I had the wherewithall to accomodate the man that did it, I'd probably take him in, pat him on the back, and say,"WELL DONE!"

Probably just a mess of trash and vituperative meanderings.

Oh well, what do I know.

Has anyone here read any of the original and not the re-hashing over of reporters with their own viewpoints and agenda? Where?

December 7, 2010 at 5:54 a.m.
woody said...

Well, Clara, you're a little late. The morning news just said Mr. Assange was arrested a little while ago in Sweden..on those pending 'sex-related' charges out of Britain.

Besides I don't really think you need to get involved with someone who, for all intents and purposes, would likely "kiss and leak."

I do it find somewhat interesting, though, that a country, who not so long ago lived by the credo, "Loose lips sinks ships", has been scurrying about the past few weeks, attempting to cover up for a lot of government-paid individuals with what could only be termed as 'diarrhea of the mouth."

Oh well, life goes on, Woody

December 7, 2010 at 6:15 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

Clever, and not just bemused. To be picky, I think I read that the leaks included "secret" and "nofor" (not for foreigners) items but not TOP secret.

If it does get proven that these leaks got one of our friends killed, what penalty is appropriate for the leakers?

As for the airport screens, Jerry Pournelle's website has some discussion of whether they're as safe as advertized: the radiation dose is small but it's concentrated on the skin, and hospital X-ray machines have to be "calibrated" often and are worked by trained technicians, neither of which is true of TSA? Also, without these gadgets Israeli screening has prevented 9-11 type attacks. So these gadgets might be neither safe nor necessary. Someone said TSA searches grandmothers, etc., so they won't get sued for concentrating on Muslims. FWIW.

December 7, 2010 at 6:58 a.m.
OllieH said...

Great concept, Clay. I love the TSA scanner analogy!

I guess turnabout is fair play.

December 7, 2010 at 8:10 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Obama is looking extremely weak on this whole thing. He throws the entire weight of the Justice Department at states for trying to enforce borders but he looks completely absent on the intelligence leaks and wikileaks. Alfred E. Newman is POTUS.

This cartoon would be much more pointed if there was a caricature of Alfred E Obama standing behind the screen.

December 7, 2010 at 8:57 a.m.
Clara said...

Woody, I read that, too. Also the fact that the next batch will contain the locations of all the installations we have here and probably if the intelligence orgs. of these other countries didn't know it already.

This all smacks, like the arrest of Julian Assanga, very strange and manipulative. This is only my opinion. We, on this blog, certainly don't have access to any information directly from any of the intelligence services, including ours.

December 7, 2010 at 9:06 a.m.
Sailorman said...

By golly firm action is in order!

WASHINGTON — In a classic case of shutting the barn door after the horse has left, the Obama administration and the Department of Defense have ordered the hundreds of thousands of federal employees and contractors not to view the secret cables and other classified documents published by Wikileaks and news organizations around the world unless the workers have the required security clearance or authorization.

Talking about WikiLeaks on Facebook or Twitter could endanger your job prospects, a State Department official warned students at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs this week.


December 7, 2010 at 9:20 a.m.
Reardon said...

Wikileaks proves what we already know: that our government is full of liars, thieves, deals at taxpayer expense, and all-in-all some of the most despicable people on the face of our planet, work for the US government.

I can't wait to see what else Wikileaks has in store.

December 7, 2010 at 9:25 a.m.
mmlj said...

For those applauding the release of information privy to "the most despicable people on the face of our planet," perhaps you'd be willing to share your name, address, social security number, and bank routing number on this board for the good of openness and transparency.

There, no doubt, is much useless information that has been leaked, but if there is ANY vital information that threatens our security, it doesn't much matter than MOST of the information is useless. The release of Secretary of State Clinton's 2009 cable doesn't assure me that it is all meaningless information that is now public domain.

December 7, 2010 at 10:18 a.m.
acerigger said...

Clara, "The Nation" magazine(on-line),has the best info,coverage,links,etc. on "Cablegate" as you're likely to find. The Truth Shall Make You Free! (yer welcome)

December 7, 2010 at 11:36 a.m.
Clara said...

mmlj, The information you asked for is personal. This stuff belongs to the people. This is OUR government!

I couldn't get on either of your URL's?

December 7, 2010 at 12:06 p.m.
mmlj said...

Clara, your comments are right on; however, I would contend that when leaked information of secret or classified material threatens my safety or your safety, that becomes very personal.

I don't need to know everything the government knows, nor should I. Yes, this secrecy has been abused throughout our nation's history, e.g. Gulf of Tonkin. There are likely countless other times where confidentiality has served the people well; we likely will not know about these. I don't see all those in authority through the same prism of cynicism that most here do. I don't need to know all that they do.

December 7, 2010 at 12:31 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

I guess that Robert Novak and the Bush administration set the standard on what kind of secret government information can be "leaked" and now the tables are turned. Especially since charges weren't brought up again Novak for outing a CIA covert operative. Not even trumped up sex charges.

Clay, the double entendre in this cartoon is perfect.

December 7, 2010 at 12:38 p.m.
woody said...

When I travel to see my grandchildren in Texas later this month I can only hope I won't hear any of the laughter after I step into the scanner. But if I do, they may be assured they aren't the first and, knowing full well "The Patriot Act" folks aren't going to stop any sooner than they have to, they are not likely to be the last.

But if Mr. Assange and or his staff cost us one single life with their 'nose-thumbings' at the government, while chanting about "The First Amendment", I hope there is cell space for all of them at "Gitmo" before it finally closed down.

'Nuff said, Woody

December 7, 2010 at 1:05 p.m.
Francis said...

savatitn....oh, yeah big injustice.....nobody gives a rip about novak, bush or valarie light of the incompetance, stepping on citizens's rights, the holder "justice" department and "big sis's" bully tactics...if bush would have done anything near to what obama has done or has attempted to do, you libs would've called for impeachment or death for bush....wait.. you did do that! and some even wrote books and made movies about killing bush... valarie plain and her corrupt husband were shady and questionable characters...move on..

figures wikileaks happened on his watch...his justice department is too busy tryng to find ways to prosecute citizens and states for defending themselves against hordes fo illegal aliens...

and how do you like your golden boy now....? agreeing to extend the "bush tax cuts' ..which are lower tax rates for everyone...what a wishy

December 7, 2010 at 1:31 p.m.
rolando said...

Well conceived and drawn, Clay. Kudos.

Today, remember the Maine, the Arizona, the Pueblo, the Liberty, and the Twin Towers. This WAS the "day of infamy" that was supposed to be remembered forever.

Not a word on today's online TFP "front page". Seventy years for our newsmedia isn't too bad...compared to 9/ is already old news.

December 7, 2010 at 1:32 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

Nice the see the 'blame Obama for everything' crowd is still operating.

Bradley Manning was 23-year-old Army intelligence analyst who said that stealing the documents was easy. While on assignment with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division at Contingency Operating Station Hammer, Iraq, he would report for duty armed with rewritable CDs loaded with songs, erase the music and load up classified information.

Yeah, well, if the Bush recession can be Obama's fault, why not this? Manning would not have had access to those secret files if Obama hadn't invaded Iraq under the guise of cherry picked intelligence...oh wait.

Never mind that. Assange is an Australian who is accused of sex crimes in Sweden and was just arrested in England. Manning passed him the files to hopes of doing who knows what.

Obviously our President was asleep at the wheel again.

December 7, 2010 at 1:38 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...


Look at it this way. If Obama was not so busy trying to execute the "fundamental transformation" of this country maybe he would have time to deal with the governance issues us pee-ons would like to see dealt with.

He is not asleep; he has tunnel vision on the socialization of our country. In his mind running the country is beneath him. He wants to tear it down and rebuild it.

December 7, 2010 at 2:15 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

Good observation, blackwater. Which President was asleep...Bush or Obama? Wikileaks was founded in 2006.

I find it amusing that the sex crimes that Assange is being charged with is having consensual sex without a condom. Actually, in one case, he had a condom but it broke to the consternation of the woman involved who said nothing for days until she found out that, 3 days after the incident, he had sex with another woman...unprotected. They found out about each other, went to the police to see if they could force him to have a test to see if he had any STDs.

BTW, the second woman stalked him for weeks in order to get a "shot" at him. I understand that neither woman wanted to press charges.

However, the Swedish government is under pressure because Assange's leaks revealed some talks with the U.S. that has proved be somewhat embarrassing for the justice minister. Read all about it at the following link which is Swedish news in English:

It's like Daniel Ellsberg all over again!

December 7, 2010 at 2:23 p.m.
rolando said...

Security is only as good as the people working there, BW.

It was reported elsewhere that Manning was a loner -- a depressed, inadequate-feeling homosexual with low self-esteem who was protesting against the DADT policy.

Whether true or not, personnel security that permitted his access to the information was lax, poorly conducted, or politically influenced.

If he hadn't used a CD-RW, it would have been a memory stick, a flash drive, or any other product used to record information. To put it mildly, physical security was also a bit lax, there. They weren't serious about it.

A more secure way is to allow NO ONE to directly bring any computer product into the work area much less USE it there. No exceptions. No computers with internal record devices, removable drives, or local record capability allowed. No cell phones. Only remote physically secured servers used to store all data. Everything must go through security's inspection/trial.

That system is 20 years old but it works. Or at least limits the loss.

And yes, it IS Obama's fault. It is HIS one else's.

December 7, 2010 at 2:24 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

rolando, I, too, am surprised to see that nothing has been mentioned about the 69th anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor.

December 7, 2010 at 2:33 p.m.
hambone said...

Our government has never been able to keep secrets, but there are those ( some on here I bet) that still think the government is hiding alien bodies and space craft out in the Nevada desert.

Glad I invested in Alcoa!

December 7, 2010 at 4:03 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

rolando said: "A more secure way is to allow NO ONE to directly bring any computer product into the work area much less USE it there. No exceptions. No computers with internal record devices, removable drives, or local record capability allowed. No cell phones. Only remote physically secured servers used to store all data. Everything must go through security's inspection/trial."

Agreed. Corporations have had to put these practices in place for years, and their tech people must keep up with the efforts to circumvent security. I'm surprised that the military don't meet these standards. Either they are lax, or these documents weren't considered as critical as perhaps folks thought.

December 7, 2010 at 4:43 p.m.
alprova said...

I have no opinion on this issue. Too much is being made of it and when it all boils down to gravy, there won't be enough to cover a spoonful of mashed potatoes, that is unless something really juicy is released sometime in the future.

Rolando, there is only speculation thus far as to who is responsible for any of these leaks, and the facts have not been determined to any of this. One man has been arrested and is accused of passing on sensitive material to Wikileaks, however he has not been convicted and the evidence against him is not that strong.

Yet you seem to have determined that it is all the President's fault. I cannot imagine the standard that you are using to make such an assessment. I can guess though. Perhaps you are confused. Newt Gingrich is not Sir Isaac Newton.

Why don't you wait until all the facts are in on all of this crap before you embarrass yourself further by making statements that really make you look stupid? You used to demonstrate a little intelligence. Here lately you just off the deep end of the ocean.

If there was a lack of security that allowed Bradley Manning to slip in and out of a secure area with media that was used to download files, then the fault in preventing such a breach of security lies with those charged with such security, not the President.

"OMG, someone peed on the toilet seat in the White House public Restroom!!!"

Rolando sez -- It IS Obama's fault. It's HIS one else's.

December 7, 2010 at 5:19 p.m.
nucanuck said...

On a positive note,the WikiLeaks document release has reinforced the perceptions that Afghanistan and Pakistan are places where we should not be. If the leaks contribute in any way to shortening the duration of this American mis-adventure,lives and money would be saved.

Assange seems like an idealist who wants to make a positive contribution. He,like Daniel Ellsberg before him,may be more appreciated after time has passed.

December 7, 2010 at 7:39 p.m.
BobMKE said...

I am just waiting for more of the leaks to surface.

How Bush and Chaney knew that there were no WMD and started the war anyway.

How Bush and Chaney were involved in the 911 attacks.

The government's involvement in spending Aids to the inner cities.

Hey alprova, could you please go back one post and answer my response to you. Thanks.

December 7, 2010 at 7:47 p.m.
Francis said... nothing more than some creepy, pipsqueak socialist and a sex offender with a laptop...idealist...yeah, right. he's as power hungry as some of the governments he's trying to expose......

daniel ellsberg, Julian ASSange...who else is on your list nucanuck...jane fonda, abbie hoffman, che, john lennon, bill ayers....and so on?

December 7, 2010 at 8:03 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Fill out your thoughts Francis. Why do you describe Mr Assange as you do? On what do you base such abuse? You must either know more than the rest of us,or maybe just don't know how foolish you make yourself look...time after time.

Think before you speak,man.

December 7, 2010 at 8:32 p.m.
fairmon said...

A sex crime charge may be appropriate, he sure screwed a lot of people. Nucanuck maybe his passing will be soon so he can be appreciated.

December 7, 2010 at 8:40 p.m.
rolando said...

lkeith -- Certain elite and rather unique groups within the military branches DO properly secure our data. The public just doesn't know about our "Department of Dirty Tricks", as it were. Nor does it have a need to know.

For instance, the F-117 -- our operational first strike stealth fighter/bomber -- was flying around busy airlanes for 10-15 years or so without a peep from the media. [They didn't know because they were never told. They are not the best secret-keepers.]

They never appeared on ANY major [or minor] airport's radar...or at least no recognized.

The public was never aware they existed until they were publicly outed. So it CAN and IS being done.

The first secret to keeping a secret is to strictly control who has access to the information and what they can do with it.

And that includes the Congress in general. Carter almost gave away the farm during his scramble for re-election.

December 7, 2010 at 11:02 p.m.
acerigger said...


December 7, 2010 at 11:34 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

That was my point rolando-perhaps these documents, while embarrassing, didn't warrant as secure a status as some? I'm just guessing, as I haven't read any and don't have the expertise to judge even if I did.

I don't agree that this is POTUS's fault. If there was a breach, the fault lies with the ones that allowed it to happen. If this was a corporation, heads would roll.

December 8, 2010 at 8:17 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Harp3339 Said: “A sex crime charge may be appropriate. . ."

On the topic sex, I noted one of the Wikileaks cables mentions those child prostitute advocates at the DynCorp Corporation. Apparently, they’re creating the same kind of problems in the Middle East that they created in Bosnia in 1999, which once again creates a serious problem for the U.S.

The question is why does the U.S. continue to contract with these perverts? If this had occurred in the U.S., these people would have been prosecuted, sentenced, and jailed by now. While I believe there can be very good reasons for secrecy in government at times, the fact this kind of thing continues – along with everything else – only emphasizes our need for whistleblowers:

“WikiLeaks: Texas Company Helped Pimp Little Boys To Stoned Afghan Cops”

"Another international conflict, another horrific taxpayer-funded sex scandal for DynCorp, the private security contractor tasked with training the Afghan police. . .

The Afghanistan cable (dated June 24, 2009) discusses a meeting between Afghan Interior Minister Hanif Atmar and US assistant ambassador Joseph Mussomeli. Prime among Atmar's concerns was a party partially thrown by DynCorp for Afghan police recruits in Kunduz Province.

Many of DynCorp's employees are ex-Green Berets and veterans of other elite units, and the company was commissioned by the US. . . to provide training for the Afghani police. According to . . . reports, over 95 percent of its $2 billion annual revenue comes from US taxpayers. . .

And in Kunduz province, according to the leaked cable, that money was flowing to drug dealers and pimps. Pimps of children, to be more precise. . .

. . . according to the leaked document, Atmar, the Afghani interior minister, was terrified this story would catch a reporter's ear.

. . . He said that his government had arrested two Afghan police and nine Afghan civilians on charges of "purchasing a service from a child" in connection with the party, but that he was worried about the image of their "foreign mentors," by which he apparently meant DynCorp.

American diplomats told him to chill. They apparently had a better handle on our media than Atmar, because when a report of the party finally did emerge, it was neutered to the point of near-falsehood.”

December 9, 2010 at 6:23 a.m.
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