Having spent a few hours now with both the raw files, and Wikileak’s Iraq War Diary Dig, I am coming up with nothing at all that involves any mention of the Human Terrain System, Human Terrain Teams, anthropologists, social scientists, scholars, academics, researchers, or any documents with any names of any HTS employees who were deployed to Iraq. And there may be a good reason for that: this time Wikileaks has gone to the other extreme, in over redacting documents to the point that they are virtually useless for anyone not interested in cryptic items where you have to guess at what might have occupied any of the many blank spaces left from the excessive deletion of all sorts of information. Names of units, names of places even, and sometimes even the numbers of civilians killed, have been deleted. As CNN itself reported, even the Pentagon reveals more. The best reports produced so far are, unsurprisingly, from Wikileaks’ several media partners who had months to pore over the originals, and who collectively, with Wikileaks, decided what to eliminate. Their reports are compelling, and make sense; the documents themselves, on the other hand, are quite different. As in the case of lower level Wikileaks staffers who were shaken up by a spate of negative, petty, gossipy media reports, it seems that the top level has been sufficiently spooked by the Pentagon and lost its nerve. Unfortunately, the centralization of these leaks in the hands of one group alone–Wikileaks–means the rest of us have no chance to conduct a “re-do.” Perhaps Bradley Manning’s defense will benefit from this, as his lawyer(s) can now argue that no harm resulted from the actions he is alleged to have taken in leaking these files. Also benefiting from this is John Stanton–whose reports now remain the sole and exclusive source of printed insiders’ leaks from HTS members who were in Iraq.
If I am given any reason for revising my observations and opinions above, I will do so here.