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. Glaisne

    To David: Definitely a more than a few candles short of a chandelier (if it's not intentional mis-info). Hence, the totally appropriate response... "W.T.F?!!!"

    December 22, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jesus Cristo

    LOL the CIA is a total joke. They should go to prison for spying on the American people.

    December 22, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Stinky Wizzletweets

    I like beans.

    December 22, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lord Schizehammer

      My dear Wizzletweets. Your command of prose is as illuminating as it is haunting. Bravo, dear knave! Bravo my errant prince! May thine legumes heave you mightily to paradise.

      December 22, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. wjk

    It will continue to be funny until the time one of our agents turns up floating in the river somewhere. You just cannot have this stuff continue... you just cannot really know what needed to be kept secret until you see the result of releasing it.

    December 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jrm

    Boring people are rarely intelligent – I take this as good news. It reminds me of the phrase "tank plinking" that
    the AF pilots started using in the first Gulf War to characterize missions where they'ld go out and take out any Iraqi armor they could find. Since it was percieved as a little too flip, Schwarzcopf banning use of the term – which obviously made the term ubiquitous. I can see the same thing happenning inside the CIA – and a higher up just throwing up their hands because fighting over terminology is a lot less important than doing the job....

    December 22, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Geri

    You have to admit that there are a lot of folks in Washington who are having what the general called "A Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" moment over Wikileaks, I'm sort of having one myself. But one must admit that our fearless leaders must have become rather smug and complacent to allow this whole thing to occur in the first place. Assange isn't the only one who is out-of-line and out-of-control. The hallmark of the baby boomer generation is mediocrity, this is why they have lost control of every aspect of governing and why they ceased creating a future for the young. A definite sign of hubris and decline.

    December 22, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Uh..


    December 22, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. sammy sozo


    December 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jezzmn

    Will I have to pay more taxes for this government expansion?

    December 22, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Keksi

    CIA should be renamed into W.T.F.

    December 22, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. UniversalMan

    ...and don't forget – WMD

    December 22, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. douglas

    Well one would hope that someone allowed this to happen because of a sense of humor. However, I've worked briefly for the government, and it is more likely that thousands of dollars was spent picking this name, many hours were spent getting signatures from multiple levels, and in the end no one understood it. Not only that, someone will act as a whistleblower to expose the truth behind the naming, get fired, and sue them for millions of dollars. Usually in life it's the simpler explanation that is true. Not so in the parallel universe world of the government. If employees are not idiots when they get hired, their IQ's quickly drop off after they start. Sad fact.

    December 22, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sfff

    Hillary refused to go through a TSA pat down. She's a hypocrite.

    December 22, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ThomasD

    Hillary should be in prison for campaign fraud anyway. Check out youtube. Search hillary peter paul. See the vid she doesnt want you to see.

    December 22, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mark

    All Concerned: Get a Life!

    December 22, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
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