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. max


    December 22, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. DNA

    CIA, GKY.

    December 22, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. 10-4 Good Buddy

    ahahaha – this is great.. even if it wasn't intentional.

    December 22, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • neoritter

      It probably is intentional. When the Soviet diplomats where given their license plate acronyms they were originally given "SX" but they objected to it because of a word in their language. So the acronym was changed to "FC" or F******* Commies.

      December 22, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Matt

    Too bad you can't e-mail this link... only share on social sites. STUPID

    December 22, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff S

      Matt, just copy the URL, paste it in the email, and send.

      December 22, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. laughingtonoend

    OMFG – ICBINB!!!!!!!! GTFO!!!

    December 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. David

    The joke may be on Assange.

    Now, maybe it's my imagination, but I i told the US government that I had a valuable secret that would get released to the world if any harm came to me, then the first thing that would happen would be the people in the world who would want to see that information released (e.g., North Korea, Iran, Venezuela) would immediately put a hit on me. Other, smarter countries wouldn't kill me, but take enough shots at me to get me upset enough to release the information anyway, plus a lot more information that I had squirreled away. Once the stories of the 'hit' got out, every cable news organization would be all over the "news" story, so who's to say (with apologies to "Max Headroom") why wouldn't a cable news company of questionable repute take their own potshots at me, if nothing else than to run the news for another night and sell more advertisements and boost their ratings?

    In short, what I would have done would be to give the primary target-government (In this case the USA) "Plausible Deniability" as to who was trying to bump me off. (It could be anyone from Russia, China, Venezuela, Iran, N Korea, or any cable news organization besides anyone in the CIA)

    So, I wonder: Did Assange just become the pawn in the very game he's trying to play, and will it cost him his life?

    For all his intelligence he doesn't appear to be too bright . . . .

    Man, sit back and pass the popcorn . . . .

    December 22, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • M

      One can only hope... don't choke on the popcorn. It may be from them...

      December 22, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Itsme

      Why would a "Fair and Balanced" news organization do that?

      December 22, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • NoWay

      Suicide by internet?

      December 22, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • umawdbrau

      I highly doubt any non-US government will want to assassinate Assange, as he's primarily exposing the US government which works in their favor.

      Putting out a hit on Assange in hopes that Assange did in fact have some uber secret hidden away for a rainy day would be a huge risk, because it's very possible that he doesn't have such a secret to begin with.

      So I'm pretty sure Assange doesn't have to worry about anyone, except maybe the CIA putting a hit on him.

      December 22, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Speakman

      There are no fair and balanced news organizations.

      As for Assange, someone needs to kidnap him, and torture him months on end for all this commotion. The people who provided the material should get a traitors death.

      December 22, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • assaSInge

      Using others as Pawn(s) or Sacrificia lambs?..It's seems like a classic handy work of Mafias. It could be China or Russia. But......C.I.A. would be more certain to do it, they are the Triad countries of terrorists, namely, C-hina I-ran A-fghanistan.

      December 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pix

      Uma, you're an idiot. Please tell me what crime Assange has committed which warrants his torture/death? You're a sick person and I'm sure you would feel right at home in the soviet union since you are more concerned with protecting a government that lies to you and commits blatant crimes than you are with discovering the truth and holding those parties to an account. Classic authoritarian mindset, punish the people who expose the government's wrongdoing.

      December 22, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. richunix

    I think all agency's need to look at their internal security programs PERIOD!

    December 22, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • assaSInge

      And Personnels as well.

      December 22, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Texan

    Nothing to see here folks....move along

    December 22, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Adam

    @David Good job ruining it. GTFO

    December 22, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. David M

    Eddie Haskell: Good morning Mrs. Cleaver
    Mrs. C: Good morning, Eddie
    E.H.: Where's the Beaver?
    Mrs. C: Upstairs
    E.H.: W.T.F

    December 22, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. i dont always trololol but when i do...


    December 22, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. GT66

    Really? The CIA doesn't embarrass themselves enough with their world wide antics that they think WikiLeaks could hurt their PR image? LOL. Maybe the CIA should secretly rendition themselves to a location not even known to themselves til this all blows over.

    December 22, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Chippy


    December 22, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Faisal

    so much for dignity in this dumb nation

    December 22, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Faisal

    lol is obama proud of himself yet?

    December 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
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