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. Y.S.K

    Everyone here thinks they are smart enough to giggle about some informations they know. But I think they should all be silent and read this fine article.

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

    So here's a thought. How about if everyone at the State Department just stops sending e-mails that they don't want anyone to read. The WikiLeaks won't have anything to leak.

    December 23, 2010 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. windrider2

    To anyone who's actually been paying attention, the WL cable leaks merely confirmed what you already knew or suspected. Everyone in the Middle East knows the Arabs' position on Iran getting nukes. Everyone in the Middle East also knew that the attack on al-qaeda in Yemen was carried out by the US, not the govt of Yemen. And so on and so forth. And most of the diplomatic faux pax exposed in the leaks were committed under George W. Bush. No big surprise there.

    It's easy to avoid these kinds of embarrassments: always tell the truth. When you lie in public, and tell a different story behind cover, you're going to be embarrassed once the truth does come out. If you say one thing and do another, sooner or later you'll be confronted.

    What we must be MOST vigilant against is the government using WL as an excuse to further compromise and restrict our civil rights. We haven't recovered the rights we lost under Bush and don't dare let the government take any more away. And you can be sure the government will try. That's what the government does.

    December 23, 2010 at 2:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. kor

    WikiLeaks has not realy released anything surprising if you just watch world news and know a thing about political chess......Children In Action

    December 23, 2010 at 5:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. Nivek

    And I still have to get up and go to work tomorrow......... YAWN

    December 23, 2010 at 5:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. iconic2

    so oficially the panel is called the "Wikileaks Task Force " ha ha ha,I think the proper name would be CIA Assasination squads. I can picture them now.Special commandos with blackened faces, telescopic rifles ready running through English country side on the lookout for Julian.Taking a call from very angry Hillary C. : have you eliminate your target yet "
    One day it will make a good Holywood movie for sure. Go go go Wikileaks and expose more of this goverment dirt, lies and corruption !!!

    December 23, 2010 at 5:27 am | Report abuse |
  7. dwighthuth

    I like the heading "Wiki Leaks – as important as the Freedom of Information Act." The only thing that the Freedom of Information Act as well as Wiki Leaks is doing is allowing the corrupt and otherwise delusional minded people access to peoples past lives in which the information WILL and is being used to social engineer people to believe how Julius Assangeius wants them to believe. The notion of the government using the tool to make your believe what they want you to believe is not true. That type of method is called Communism or the practice of gathering enough information about a person's past or daily activities to extort them to be or buy what someone else wants them to or buy just to make that person a profit. Basically Wiki Leaks and The Freedom of Information Act is legal information piracy. Why would someone want to know your past or daily activities unless what is in your past or what you do on a daily basis is not what someone else let's say a supervisor for isntance who has a hidden religious right agenda would then use the information to psychologically beat a person down into submission until they molded you the way they wanted you to be. All of which revolves around getting as much money back out of your pokcet based upon a faux pas religious court that still thinks that it can judge people and force them to pay money to them for the "crimes" that a person has commited based upon a religious belief.

    Wiki Leaks and The Freedom of Information Act are tools. Literary tools meant to force a confession from you in much the similar way that an Iron Maiden or Finger Snaps were used during the Inquisition to force people to convert to what the Vatican wanted. This day and age the end to the means is being a hollow person that willing gives all they can to corruption of the Church. Which once you have given your all you will feel happier at being poor of which no one will bother you until you have money again.

    December 23, 2010 at 5:28 am | Report abuse |
  8. mobetta

    Sounds like the CIA had the same morons naming its task force as did Nabisco back in the day when it was its own company (not part of KFI – or Kraft). They came up with a new name for the company – Nabisco Foods Group, , or NFG... or, as we called it, No F Good. That name lasted about 1 month before they changed it to something else like Nabisco Foods Company or some such..

    December 23, 2010 at 5:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. poopy pants

    I pooped my pants and would like to keep it a secret but it smells oyyyy

    December 23, 2010 at 6:37 am | Report abuse |
  10. manicdrummer

    How about an agency called Terrorism Intelligence Tactical Services?

    December 23, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eathymama

      How about Do It Covertly but Kindly

      December 25, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. amto

    Assange will not die
    Cause he owns so much
    More and he can negociate...
    So sad that i found a musician
    Who's'up for death penalty...

    December 23, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dieter Zerressen

    How about a lot less secrecy? Most of these cables were just trashy, catty "observations" that should never have been sent in the first place much less should be regarded as "secret". Just like the "no fly" list with it's over 1 million names: there can't possibly be that many known terrorists out there. A list that large makes it unmanageable and when a real terrorist does try to buy a ticket, chances are his name will be missed. Same for secret cables: cut down the number, limit them to real secrets and watch what you say about our "friends" because chances are they are listening too.

    December 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • hap

      yep, good perspective ! perhaps Assange is a CIA operative.

      December 28, 2010 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Hans

      The information leak during Watergate was to expose a tangible crime. The information leak from Assange is just airing dirty laundry, with no noble cause. After all, what did Wikileaks actually achieve? Has it exposed a crime or just made a lot of noise?

      January 3, 2011 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. Eathymama

    WWJBD? What would Jack Bauer do? He'd see the light, defend Julian Assange to the President, and free Bradley Manning, mano-a-mano, from his captors.

    December 25, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. hap

    you might expect diplomats to be at least less two faced than the prigs they try to mediate, but they are just the same, emotional driven animals that act like animals toward other animals. humans are deviant lying slobs by nature, just because it says "Government Approved" doesn't mean its good for you!

    December 28, 2010 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |
  15. Edward

    I have always believed in a fairly simple formula. Crimes needs to be done in secret. Honest transactions are transparent. It is by allowing our government to do so much in secrecy that invites them to engage in criminal activities. Most of the revelations from the releases have only surprised the public. The various "governments" around the world already knew, and likely already read this material.

    December 30, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      The concepts of right and wrong are subjective. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

      January 3, 2011 at 6:51 am | Report abuse |
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