CIA responds to WikiLeaks: WTF
December 22nd, 2010
01:52 PM ET

CIA responds to WikiLeaks: WTF

It's no secret that WikiLeaks' cable document dumps have caused ripples of concerns and speculation about how well the United States can keep secrets - its own and those of other countries.

It's been embarrassing to both U.S. diplomats and foreign leaders mentioned in the cables, but there haven't been any bombshells from the small percentage of documents released so far. The CIA, known for its ability to keep secrets, is taking no chances of being pulled further into the fray. The CIA has only been mentioned a few times in the cables, and has not been hit nearly as hard as other agencies and diplomats, but it does not appear willing to wait on the sidelines.

And it has an answer for WikiLeaks: WTF. Seriously.

In a move that couldn't be more ironic, and made for headlines such as the above, the CIA adopted a task force. And like all things involving the military, or secrecy, acronyms are huge. So when the CIA developed the WikiLeaks Task Force, naturally, it was likely thinking of the KISS method - Keep It Simple Stupid.

But in doing so, the CIA has proved it either has a really good sense of humor or was trying to send a snarky message, or perhaps someone at the agency just didn't think hard enough about the name choice.

"Officially, the panel is called the WikiLeaks Task Force," The Washington Post reports. "But at CIA headquarters, it's mainly known by its all-too-apt acronym: W.T.F."

OK, all jokes and obvious humor aside, the CIA is trying to do something real here - and that's to try and protect its reputation for secrecy.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and top aides had to start a new game plan - going to meet with foreign ministers, explaining, apologizing, cajoling and trying - to salvage relationships that she and the Obama administration had worked hard to establish. The State Department went into "war room" mode, pulling together an emergency round-the-clock team to handle the fallout.

So no doubt, the CIA is looking to make sure it won't be in the same situation.

"The director asked the task force to examine whether the latest release of WikiLeaks documents might affect the agency's foreign relationships or operations," CIA spokesman George Little told The Washington Post.

That's a high priority, officials told the paper. Because having any compromised informants really could lead to a real WTF situation - and not one the CIA or any government department would want on its hands.

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Filed under: CIA • Security • WikiLeaks
soundoff (297 Responses)
  1. publius enigma

    While it may be true that "there are secrets you dont need to know" that does not give them carte blanche to claim anything and everything that may be embarrassing is confidential. Wikileaks demonstrated that they have been abusing the right to secrecy.

    December 22, 2010 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eathymama

      Agreed, publis.

      December 25, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Karon

    There are only two real possiblilites about this Wikileaks and it is this: A. It is really the worst government secrets that have are plastered all over the place which are about as embarrasing as... farting loud at your sisters wedding... and they are blowing it up because there really hasn't been anything leaked that is anything more than embarrassing NOT very much damage. OK Or B. They put this out there and they blow it up to bigger than it really is to hide the REAL SORRY EXCUSE things that they HAVE DONE..and they got a WHOLE HELL OF A LOT WORSE SECRETS THAN THIS LAME stuff...(which is what I think/believe) but they put this LAME stuff out there to make it appear this is the worse they do by publicly going after this 19 year old and this WIKILEAKS guy. If they act like this LAME crap is no big deal(which it is no big deal) then how will they ever cover up the REALLY bad stuff they probably have DONE a whole hell of a lot worse that NOBODY gonna find out THAT stuff! This stuff has RED HERRING written all over it people–I mean come on think about it. YOU actually believe a 19 year old going to have acess to the top classified stuff? That is laughable the way you people buy into this crap!

    December 22, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Enlightenment

      Great perspective I think this is being used to gauge the response of the average citizen aka the sheep. The response they are seeing is the sheep is willing to shoot the messenger and disregard the message which is very good news for them. People are trying to claim that the leaks are putting our troops in harm's way when in reality it was faulty intelligence (whether intentionally faulty or just a screwup) that put our troops in harm's way. It was also our intelligence that wanted to arm Saddam against Iran in the 80s and arm and train the Taliban to fight the Soviet's in the 70s...perhaps the sheep need a history lesson.

      December 23, 2010 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. delirium

    Just got to fight the power!

    December 23, 2010 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  4. gatzter

    If a terrorist was waterboarded and it helped save 1,000 lives would you want the whole world knowing our government did it? At the same time, if said terrorist was actually innocent and no one benefited from it, do we have a right to know? Wikileaks crosses a very thin line.

    December 23, 2010 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Enlightenment

      If said terrorist was innocent he wouldn't be referred to as a "terrorist" and his civil rights would have been violated for no reason and he would have been tortured for no reason. If said secret agency didn't train and arm a legion of said terrorists and that could have saved millions of lives around the world would said secret agency be considered an enabler of terrorism? Hmmm...

      December 23, 2010 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Eathymama

      gatzer: The CIA waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammed 183 times *after* he'd given them information. They obtained no other useful information with the use of torture. Perhaps they stopped short? We have the right to know when our government crosses the line of international law. And then there's the human rights issue...

      December 25, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. assaSInge

    C.I.A. They are behind all these, This is nothing but a pre-war war propaganda which the common goal is to at least tarnish if not destroy the image of US to its own citizens and to the world espcially U.N. They have been drooling over to invade weak and vulnearable countries but they know that U.S. as the the country to mind their own business will surely together with its allies in UN will surely stand their way.

    China thinks that they already defeated US in terms of economy, they did it so that anybody can point a finger to US to mind its own business and take care of its crippling and stop wasting the taxes of citizen and lives of its brave soldiers in the war that's not its own.

    May I asked what's the nationality of a wise philosopher that says and I quote "WIN THE WAR BEFORE IT BEGUN", what country he came from?

    Nations keep top secrets, they all do.

    December 23, 2010 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. assaSInge

    C.I.A acronym for China Iran Afghanistan

    December 23, 2010 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. assaSInge

    Nations keep top secrets, they all do.

    C.I.A. (China Iran Afghanistan) They are behind all these, This is nothing but a pre-war war tactics. A black propaganda which goal is to at least tarnish if not destroy the image of US to its own citizens and to the world espcially U.N. They have been drooling over to invade weak and vulnearable countries but they know that U.S. as the the country can't mind their own business and together with its allies in UN would surely stand their way to protect helpless nations especially in Asia.

    China thinks that they already defeated US in terms of economy, they did it so that anybody can point a finger to and tell US to mind its own business and take care of its crippling economy and stop wasting the taxes of its citizens and lives of its brave soldiers as well in the war that's not its own.

    May I asked what's the nationality of a wise philosopher that says and I quote "WIN THE WAR BEFORE IT BEGUN", what country he came from?

    December 23, 2010 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |

    I don't see the problem these Agencies are having with Wikileaks: If they keep it honest, they've got nothing to hide. Isn't this the same thing they told Us about the Patriot Act?

    December 23, 2010 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
  9. Indianajones

    Foreign policy has to be determined by some intelligent administrators/politicians and the entire population need not know it at all. Simply because a large section of common people are just not intelligent/apprehensive enough and in many cases under financial stresses so that they cannot see the larger picture. What WL is doing is organised hacking and calling it a honest jounalism. It is like showing somebodies bank details/transaction in the web. Or private encounter of a newly couple make a video and post it in the web and make them a laughing stock. If this thing is going on then One day, one news paper will hack another news papers computer for breaking news. These activities are highly deplorable and people should be punished like a thief/religious fall out in Iraq or Afganisthan.

    December 23, 2010 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Enlightenment

      Do you think the intelligence community was "intelligent" when it armed Saddam to fight Iran in the 80s or armed the Taliban to fight the Soviets in the 70s and more recently was the intelligence community intelligent"

      December 23, 2010 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Enlightenment its decision to go to war in Iraq because of links to 9/11, WMDs, links to al-qaeda all of which were proven to be false?

      December 23, 2010 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Eathymama

      Enlightenment, you live up to your name! ifI only The Hague would try the REAL criminals of this ordeal...

      December 25, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dallas007

    I don't believe he released any real secrets, he did release some embarrassing information and he is an arrogant little punk to boot which is why all these people are mad at him. They will crush him. Screw around with very rich and very powerful people and they will destroy you!

    December 23, 2010 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. Asauti Samuel

    Long live the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams... and Benjamin Franklin... just to name a few.

    December 23, 2010 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. Asauti Samuel

    It will be a sad day in America if people ever say "Long live the wisdom of George W. Bush and Barrack Obama".

    Long live RON PAUL – the modern day Thomas Jefferson!

    December 23, 2010 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Eathymama

      Give it up, Asauti.

      December 25, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Yakov-77142

    Having read a free article from Stratfor, thought I'd pass along the following:

    If Assange and Wikileaks are all for transparency, why do they hide the inner workings of their own organization, from how it is funded to the people it employs?

    Assange threated a "thermonuclear" release if any harm comes to him, implying he will keep that information secret if no harm comes to him. So, he is committed to revealing the truth unless it serves his interests not to, in which case the public has no need to know.

    How can you expect governments to negotiate to resolve conflicts (as opposed to going to war over them) if the negotiators are denied the confidentiality in which to conduct their negotiations?

    December 23, 2010 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  14. billionstars

    I think Mr. Assange should be nominated for the Nobel Peace prize.

    Criminals and psychotics love war. They invent reasons why it is needed. They invent reasons why certain races or ethnic groups need to be destroyed. We need to know who they are and what they are saying in order to get rid of them.

    Since 6000 B.C., there have only been 394 years of peace on this planet. Mr. Assange is just trying to increase that number. .

    Hopefully at some point in the future, there will be enough content for someone to finally write "The History of Peace", and teach it in schools to our children.

    December 23, 2010 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Yakov-77142

      Government leaders are criminals and psychotics? Is this all leaders? The ones who go to war after being attacked (Pearl Harbor, etc.)? Or just the ones who pull the triger first? And how do you propose getting rid of them?

      December 23, 2010 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
  15. Hawkeye

    I'm so glad most of you Wikileaks supporters weren't old enough to be an adult during WWII, cause its obvious the Germans would have won.

    December 23, 2010 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
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