Pentagon: We could have shut down Wikileaks but chose not to

posted at 5:02 pm on December 1, 2010 by Allahpundit

I hope he’s telling the truth. Because if our cyberwar unit is so weak that they can’t hit a few servers in Sweden, then I, for one, welcome our new Chinese overlords. The key question: Was this decision driven chiefly by military or political concerns? Could be that the Pentagon suspects foreign powers are monitoring Wikileaks’ servers in hopes of picking up clues about U.S. cyber capabilities in case we attack. Or, it could be that The One fears a five-alarm First Amendment freakout among his base if he dares to knock down an outfit that’s dedicated to compromising U.S. foreign policy with stolen documents. Or, just maybe, the Pentagon realized that taking down the Wikileaks site would achieve nothing since Assange would doubtless end up passing the stolen cables to newspapers anyway. If you think this incident is embarrassing for the U.S. now, imagine the humiliation involved in the Pentagon torpedoing Wikileaks and then seeing the documents turn up on page one of the Times. Sheer impotence.

As for the report linked this morning in Headlines about Wikileaks being hosted on Amazon’s servers, rest easy: You won’t have to do your Christmas shopping elsewhere after all. They were summarily booted this afternoon after congressional staff politely inquired with Amazon as to how this arrangement came to be. According to the AP, server space can be rented from the company on a “self-serve basis,” suggesting that Amazon might not have realized until today just who their new client was. I find that hard to believe given the amount of traffic that must have been flooding in, but then I also find it hard to believe that Amazon wouldn’t have dumped them instantly had they known lest a U.S. boycott cripple their Christmas sales season. (Media reports about the Amazon/Wikileaks were available as early as Monday afternoon.) In any case, Wikileaks has responded with a scathing indictment of Amazon’s lack of respect for the First Amendment, which, according to Wikileaks, apparently somehow constitutionally requires private businesses to host organizations that might be criminally liable under the Espionage Act. Good work, Julian.

In related news, Assange’s mommy would very much like it if you would leave her son alone.



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Wikileaks is up right now, wtf are we doing about it?

commodore on December 1, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Oh, and in related news, Assange’s mommy would very much like it if you would leave her son alone.

The Somali Muslim Portland Christmas Tree bomber’s Family have been saying the same thing.

portlandon on December 1, 2010 at 5:06 PM

Just dare Arsehat to release those documents he supposedly has on the Russkies and the problem will solve itself.

fiatboomer on December 1, 2010 at 5:06 PM

In any case, Wikileaks has responded with a scathing indictment of Amazon’s lack of respect for the First Amendment, which apparently requires private businesses to host organizations that might be criminally liable under the Espionage Act. Good work, Julian.

Related to the Mommy Assange bit: He’s used to getting what he wants, when he wants it. That’s why he acts like a narcissistic, spoiled brat towards his co-activists.

Mommy Assange probably should have smacked his @ss a couple more times.

amerpundit on December 1, 2010 at 5:07 PM

Heavens forbid we might upset the attackers delicate sensitivities…

Worthless

JIMV on December 1, 2010 at 5:07 PM

commodore on December 1, 2010 at 5:03 PM

Must be euro-servers.

OmahaConservative on December 1, 2010 at 5:07 PM

Lies.

These dorks couldn’t stop party crashers, if you recall.

All lies.

RedNewEnglander on December 1, 2010 at 5:09 PM

The key question: Was this decision driven chiefly by military or political concerns?

Or tacit approval from the White House ?

William Amos on December 1, 2010 at 5:10 PM

Keystone. Freakin. Cops.

Sekhmet on December 1, 2010 at 5:10 PM

I call BS, and I am retired military. There is no way they would have let the US government be embaressed in this manner if they could have stopped it, no way.

Johnnyreb on December 1, 2010 at 5:12 PM

maybe the crack outfit at the Pentagon should keep the likes of Manning of-line first.

rob verdi on December 1, 2010 at 5:14 PM

Or tacit approval from the White House ?

William Amos on December 1, 2010 at 5:10 PM

Exactly. There’s more than one reason Barry didn’t play offense or defense for that matter.

anXdem on December 1, 2010 at 5:17 PM

“…Or, it could be that The One fears a five-alarm First Amendment freakout among his base if he dares to knock down an outfit that’s dedicated to compromising U.S. foreign policy with stolen documents.

After November’s “it’s not sexual assault if the government does it to you” disaster, I think it’s clear that the progressive base will eat anything the Bamster puts on their plate.

slickwillie2001 on December 1, 2010 at 5:17 PM

Johnnyreb on December 1, 2010 at 5:12 PM

There are a dozen different ways to take down a site like wikileaks if they really wanted to do it. It isn’t difficult at all.

The problem is that it doesn’t and won’t stop the information flow now that it is out. All it would do is encourage the non-wikileaks dissemination of the information.

The real problem is that they let it get out in the first place. Once that was done they might as well have posted it themselves for all the good taking down wikileaks would have done.

bj1126 on December 1, 2010 at 5:18 PM

My husband’s first reaction was that it was allowed. His reasoning is that it accomplishes some things like showing China’s true feelings about the Korean peninsula and the other Arab countries real stand on Israel and Iran… Israel comes out looking pretty good by comparison.

I doubt it. But it is possible.

petunia on December 1, 2010 at 5:18 PM


Or, just maybe, the Pentagon realized that taking down the Wikileaks site would achieve nothing since Assange would doubtless end up passing the stolen cables to newspapers anyway.

But would they print this crap with a Donkasaurus in the White House?

Tony737 on December 1, 2010 at 5:18 PM

Because if our cyberwar unit is so weak that they can’t hit a few servers in Sweden, then I, for one, welcome our new Chinese overlords.

???

Why?

MeatHeadinCA on December 1, 2010 at 5:18 PM

I think Obama had angst about tilting at his base. That he has no problem with Hillary being hung out to dry.I don’t think revealing our capabilities in cyber war is a problem. I’m sure there are enough free lance high quality hackers who’d do the work for a price if not just to prove their skills

xkaydet65 on December 1, 2010 at 5:19 PM

They never even spoke to operators of the servers in Sweden that host Wikileaks. This really sounds like a managed operation of some sort.

sharrukin on December 1, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Oh boy,Conspiracy OverLoad Cometh!!

Oh,and Obama is/was/still/a Community Social Justice
Organizer,as CIC,he must be conflicted,I would imagine
on “Power To Truth” Leakage/Fine Line/Terrorist,in the
Progressive MindSet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

canopfor on December 1, 2010 at 5:21 PM

I think Obama had angst about tilting at his base. That he has no problem with Hillary being hung out to dry.I don’t think revealing our capabilities in cyber war is a problem. I’m sure there are enough free lance high quality hackers who’d do the work for a price if not just to prove their skills

xkaydet65 on December 1, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Tend to agree with you. He doesn’t have much to show his base other than in terms of “liberal” policies.

Liberals (those that aren’t so Progressive) have got to be getting sick of this guy by this point.

MeatHeadinCA on December 1, 2010 at 5:21 PM

Regarding Amazon not knowing about Wikileaks:

It is completely believable. We are a small company and we host dozens of servers in the Amazon cloud (EC2). The ease with which anyone can open an account and instantly provision servers is startling.

The price is quite cheap and as such Amazon provides next to no monitoring or support. Doubtless the EC2 is rife with all sorts of bad actors. (not us of course) :)

jlibson on December 1, 2010 at 5:22 PM

The US Government and the commies currently in charge are having an extended Wizard Of OZ Toto curtain pull moment running in a continuous loop.

No putting this toothpaste back in the tube.

ontherocks on December 1, 2010 at 5:22 PM

After the Collateral Murder video came out anyone with any common sense should have known Assange was an anarchist with an agenda to do damage to the US.

fourdeucer on December 1, 2010 at 5:22 PM

I call BS, and I am retired military. There is no way they would have let the US government be embaressed in this manner if they could have stopped it, no way.

Johnnyreb on December 1, 2010 at 5:12 PM

Yeah…gotta disagree.

NSA & Pentagon cyber capabilities are mind boggling. Just because they didn’t attack the domain directly, doesn’t mean they can’t.

At this point though, attacking the wikileaks website would have done nothing. The files have most likely been copied so many times and are in so many different hands that it’s virtually impossible to stop the leaks.

What should have been done, was to PROTECT them properly in the first place and actually charge the guilty with treason charges.

You-Eh-Vee on December 1, 2010 at 5:22 PM

Tell mommy he started it.

John the Libertarian on December 1, 2010 at 5:23 PM

Hey Pentagon! You can download full copies of The Beatles White Album, M.J.’s Thriller and Metallica’s The Black Album and most of 20 Century Fox’s movie catalog on Wikileaks now!

Caper29 on December 1, 2010 at 5:25 PM

His Mommy runs a poppet theater. Puppet theater.

It writes itself.

Clownballoon on December 1, 2010 at 5:28 PM

You-Eh-Vee on December 1, 2010 at 5:22 PM

I gotta disagree with your disagreement on this. This smells way too much like Pee Wee Herman saying “I mean’t to do that” to me. Remember a few weeks ago when China hacked US internet traffic and routed it through their servers and no one in the US government knew about it until after the fact? Then they came out and said there was no security issues so they did not take any action.

Johnnyreb on December 1, 2010 at 5:29 PM

So was Amazon their backup when their site went down due to DOS attack? Might they be vulnerable now to more of the same?

d1carter on December 1, 2010 at 5:34 PM

Or could it be that like all progressives, Obama wants nothing more than to show the world how terrible the USA is, especially during the Bush years. Can’t help but notice how it wasn’t until the leaks started making the Obama admin look bad, that they started getting tough.

indy8 on December 1, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Good for Amaazon. Wonder if my email to them this morning declaring that I would no longer shop on the site did the trick? ;)

changer1701 on December 1, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Good for Amaazon. Wonder if my email to them this morning declaring that I would no longer shop on the site did the trick? ;)

changer1701 on December 1, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Did the same, and I spend mega-buck$ with them.

OmahaConservative on December 1, 2010 at 5:52 PM

Interpol Issues Wanted Notice for Wikileaks’ Assange – PCWorld Business Center http://t.co/n1xTK4N

Interpol has issued a so-called “red notice” for Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, notifying police around the world that he is wanted for questioning by Swedish prosecutors related to sexual assault accusations.

TheBigOldDog on December 1, 2010 at 6:01 PM

One man with a laptop…

BKeyser on December 1, 2010 at 6:19 PM

When is Assange going to “release” documents he supposedly has on the Russians?

Oh, that’s right, he’s a coward and he’s not stupid. What is surprising is that he actually believes intelligence agencies don’t know where he is right now.

If you’re stupid enough to get on a computer, you can be found.

GarandFan on December 1, 2010 at 6:21 PM

The key question: Was this decision driven chiefly by military or political concerns?

Or tacit approval from the White House ?

William Amos on December 1, 2010 at 5:10 PM

This.

Connie on December 1, 2010 at 6:21 PM

I gotta disagree with your disagreement on this. This smells way too much like Pee Wee Herman saying “I mean’t to do that” to me. Remember a few weeks ago when China hacked US internet traffic and routed it through their servers and no one in the US government knew about it until after the fact? Then they came out and said there was no security issues so they did not take any action.

Johnnyreb on December 1, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Yeah, combatting a countries cyber attack isn’t exactly on the same page as shutting down a domain.

You-Eh-Vee on December 1, 2010 at 6:25 PM

From a Telegraph article:

Supporters claim the war logs leak exposed civilian deaths in Afghanistan which had been covered up by the military, and Mr Manning’s family, who live in Pembrokeshire, said he had “done the right thing”.

IrishEi on December 1, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Ugh. Here’s the Telegraph link.

IrishEi on December 1, 2010 at 6:28 PM

I could care less about the web site. It’s the people behind it we have to get.

FloatingRock on December 1, 2010 at 6:30 PM

It would be pretty pathetic if all we could muster is DOS attack on their servers while the buildings remain intact and the people responsible walk around free.

FloatingRock on December 1, 2010 at 6:31 PM

I find the government’s impotence in censoring the web a good thing. What happens when Hotair is viewed by the powers to be to be as “dangerous” as wikileaks?

voiceofreason on December 1, 2010 at 6:35 PM

America, the nutless bumbling giant. Oh well, as long as people “like us” and our bowing and scraping leader that’s all that matters.

When we abolish DADT that will really strike fear into the hearts of our enemies. I’m so glad we’ve got our priorities straight, no pun intended.

Django on December 1, 2010 at 6:46 PM

Where’s the usual gang of idiots who come in here to defend him?

They all leave or get themselves banned?

Good riddance either way.

Machiavelli Hobbes on December 1, 2010 at 7:01 PM

This New Yorker story from June, really more of a biography, discusses the structure of wikileaks, and why it’s not very easy to just ‘shut down’. He might be an evil little bastard, but he’s not stupid.

No Secrets -Julian Assange’s Mission for Total Transparency.

It also illustrates why he and the democratics’ favorite Nazi stooge George Soros hit it off so.

slickwillie2001 on December 1, 2010 at 7:07 PM

After the whole uproar over Amazon selling pedophelia how-to books, it was a no brainer that they would dump Wikileaks. But I’m surprised as well that they didn’t notice the massive traffic spikes…hmmm.

redfoxbluestate on December 1, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Hacking and trashing any Wikileaks servers would do nothing since the latest documents were distributed to multiple news organizations weeks ago. We have to face that once little Bradley put them in the wild they were almost certainly copied to multiple locations. They can be hosted on who knows how many servers in who knows how many locations now. We can urge the Pentagon’s cyberwar teams to attack all we want and it will just be a pointless game of whack-a-mole.

Dave E. on December 1, 2010 at 8:04 PM

I would say that Mommy should start looking into cemetery plots for her little darling, since he tweaked the Russians, but I have a feeling Julian dear will just vanish and never be found.

RebeccaH on December 1, 2010 at 8:21 PM

You’d have to be a pretty dumb fish to swallow that line. Face it, Pentagon, you’ve lost this battle already. The genie is already out of the bottle and there ain’t no getting him back in.

And the DOS attack? Pitiful. Petty revenge against the guy who just pwned you all in front of the world.

Dark-Star on December 1, 2010 at 9:26 PM

Linked: ‘Amazon Bounces WikiLeaks’.

Donald Douglas on December 1, 2010 at 10:01 PM

As for the report linked this morning in Headlines about Wikileaks being hosted on Amazon’s servers, rest easy: You won’t have to do your Christmas shopping elsewhere after all.

Speak for yourself. I will not buy another thing from Amazon for as long as I live (instead, I’ll just use up their bandwidth to examine customer reviews of products I intend to buy elsewhere).

Yes, I’m holding a grudge over their decision to carry a pro-pedophile book. Yes, I’m aware that they pulled the book. Regardless, they shouldn’t have needed to hear thousands of times over that what they were doing was wrong before they pulled the book. They didn’t act out of a good conscience and the desire to do right…they acted out of the interest of their pocketbook (yet, if they had brains and morals in the first damn place, their pocketbook wouldn’t have taken the hit).

ynot4tony2 on December 1, 2010 at 10:04 PM

Dark-Star on December 1, 2010 at 9:26 PM

Ah. Well there’s my answer. You were a little late though.

Machiavelli Hobbes on December 1, 2010 at 10:09 PM

“If Amazon are so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books”

Maybe it’s just me, but why does wiki-dude, an Aussie, who runs a website out of a multitude of non-US foreign countries believe he is entitled to First Amendment rights from the US Constitution?

blamegame on December 1, 2010 at 11:26 PM

Mrs. Assange, regretfully I say, f*** o**.

Merovign on December 1, 2010 at 11:35 PM

33 and a half years ago I took my son and daughter to see Star Wars. It had hardly started when I saw the huge stupid error around which Lucas built his plot. R2D2 contained the blue prints to the Death Star. That’s bits and bytes. Those are infinitely reproducible once you have them in your possession. So instead of sending R2D2 off on his silly quest to reach the rebel alliance they should have sent off thousands of droids, men, women, and “whatevers” on the mission. Capturing all of them would be impossible. So R2D2′s whole grand quest and all the help he got from the “extras” breaks down. Luke should have figured this out almost instantly and acted accordingly.

The same problem exists with suppressing the documents in Assange’s possession. “Infinitely reproducible” means he has back-ups all over the place and means of distributing them as he wishes. Furthermore, if there are redactions he made and he’s pressured too hard, he might elect to release the data without the redactions.

{^_^}

herself on December 2, 2010 at 4:29 AM

Allahpundit; he shoots; he scores!

THWAACK!

That’s gonna leave a mark.

Good job, young man.

locomotivebreath1901 on December 2, 2010 at 8:42 AM

Um, unlike AP’s analysis, your comment makes little sense.

blink on December 2, 2010 at 1:29 AM

Um, unlike everyone else on this thread, you are a useless little mosquito. When we want your non-opinon, we’ll ask for it.

Dark-Star on December 2, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Coulda woulda shoulda didn’t.

STFU.

profitsbeard on December 2, 2010 at 10:22 AM