In the age of the Internet, it’s easy for any type of information (from movie spoilers to news stories) to seep through security cracks and get leaked to the world. Some of this information is important for the world to see while some other pieces are confidential for a reason. Up until now there weren’t many stories that leaked on the Internet that shook up the establishment, but now the website WikiLeaks has demonstrated the effect that leaking a very substantial and politically charged story on the Internet can have on the entire world.
The website, WikiLeaks published over 90,000 pages of secret war documents on the War in Afghanistan which went over secret deals, conflicts, strategies, and intelligence that the U.S was using in the war from 2004-2010. For the first time in the war, a clear view of what could actually be going on in Afghanistan is visible to millions of readers. Many argue that this leak hurts the troops and their mission there while others argue that the leak serves the same purpose as the Pentagon Papers in showing truths behind an unpopular war. However, the Pentagon Papers pale in comparison by sheer size to this WikiLeaks war diary and is arguably the biggest intelligence leak in the history of the United States of America.
By taking submissions from all across the world, WikiLeaks serves as a website for whistleblowers and others trying to get the truth out in the world. As stated, some said that this leak did more harm than good, but no matter what side of the argument you fall on there is no debating that this is a huge development regarding security, freedom of speech and the internet which will surely warrant some heated political discussion.
After an intense and turbulent 16 months, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair is stepping down from his post with some in Washington saying that the resignation comes with heavy pressure from the White House. The director of National Intelligence is a somewhat new position in the U.S. government being that it was created some time after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. The role of the job is to make sure attacks like that of 9/11 never again happened on American soil. Additionally, the job appointee is supposed to bridge communication between different departments of intelligence like the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. along with government personnel in the White House.
Blair is stepping down after a rocky 16 months in which many attacks on American soil slipped through the cracks of national intelligence. Even though many of these potentially tragic attacks were stopped before massive damage could take place and lives were lost, it gave a lack of confidence to the director. An example of one of these attempts would be the Christmas Day bomb attempt that happened on an airborne flight bound for Detroit. Even though Blair changed many of the issues with the U.S. intelligence since 9/11, it wasn’t enough for many in Congress or for the White House to believe the job was being done properly, and with either direct or indirect pressure, Blair decided to step down as director. Blair announced his resignation on Thursday saying that he has deep regret for having to step down from his post of director of national intelligence and that his last day would be May 28th.
Some high-ranking government officials have said that the interview process for the next national intelligence director has already begun and that a leading candidate for the position is General James Clapper. Clapper is currently the Undersecretary of Defense and many officials feel that he is the best qualified for the new open position. No matter who is chosen, President Obama will find the best-qualified candidate for a position that helps keep American citizens safe and protected.