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. Ben Ben

    Forget all this stuff he is leaking. It is boring! I want the goods on UFO and the government.

    December 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • sthflachk

      me too! me too!!

      December 22, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • ab

      Me too!!

      January 12, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. wilybone

    What The F..k. nice

    December 22, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Daniel

    Of all the horrific damage the C.I.A.(Criminals In Action) did around the world,we need to have a lot more light shed on it and I hope that WikiLeaks does that.

    December 22, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      What the h is wrong with you? No, our country isn't perfect; and yes, there have been individuals who have done terrible things. But when something goes wrong anywhere on earth, who does everyone still turn to? That's right, the USA. It's still the greatest force of good in the world, so maybe you can remember that when you're throwing out snarky comments. As someone with several family members proudly serving in the government, bratty stuff like that really annoys me.

      December 22, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unga Khan

      Liz needs an education in the number of CIA sponsored coups, right-wing guerrilla resistances and death squads over the 20th century. As if people (besides dictators) in the third world have any reason to look to the CIA for help?

      December 22, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gemini Rising

      "still the greatest force of good in the world" Oh Liz, you have got to be kidding. That rhetoric was already dead when the Cuban Gov't tried to send aid to the Katrina victims after their government forgot about them. Grow up. This is NOT and WILL NEVER be the AMERICAN CENTURY...Never again!!!

      December 23, 2010 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      @Liz– After reading your posts on here I now realize that you are the DUMBEST person posting on this story. I believe this is probably b/c of those great family members you have working in the government. I bet you believe they would never ever lie to you, right? You may be better off sitting in front of the TV watching a Disney movie dreaming about unicorns and rainbows b/c you don't have the intellect or knowledge to have a real debate. The only reason for government secrets is to keep the same people in power calling all the shots, doing whats best for them, not us! You've been brainwashed my dear and I feel sorry for you. Now go turn on FOX news and keep being ignorant.

      December 29, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. amanda

    Conan made a joke the other night that was awesome. It went something like this:
    Jullian Assange remained defiant after his release on bail, saying, "I will not be silenced". Then he proceeded to tell everyone who their secret santa was.

    December 22, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gerald Grenier

      Publishing Santa's naughty list would be more in their style 8)

      December 23, 2010 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  5. andrew

    The essential objection to WikiLeaks: the assumption that "everybody's dirty and how would you like YOUR dirty laundry exposed?"

    OK, so be it. i don't assume that everyone is equally dirty. Some have nothing to hide. But those who do have things to hide deserve no special protection.

    Accountability and personal responsibility all around. I'm up for it.

    December 22, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachell

      ^^ THANK YOU.

      December 22, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • ever

      You couldn't have said it better. Nice job.

      I think we as the people have a right to know about the people in the military's actions, just like with mine.

      December 22, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • everyone

      that's what i said.

      December 22, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • jledbetternv

      Agreed. The government always tells us "if you don't have anything to hide, you have nothing to worry about." Now it's my turn to tell my government the same thing. Why shouldn't it be that way?

      December 22, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roj

      "so be it!" yea right, it's easy to be big and bold when you are anonymous huh "andrew"... People don't want what they consider to be private all over the web no matter how clean or dirty it is. I bet all of these "clean" people you speak of would be furious if some one posted everything they have ever wanted to keep secret... and all of their personal, private, information... Matter of fact, whoever posted certain private info about a person could get locked up in some states.

      Saying you have nothing to hide while posting on an anonymous account... :-/ be for real... 😐

      December 22, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. John TN

    I believe we need information regarding those in power that abuse our trust and operate outside the standards we've set. I don't think passing along gossip and personal information is necessary and we should look down upon that because it serves no greater good. Who gives a %#%#$#$ who is sleeping with whom or what dirt they're dishing about another diplomat, etc. Although, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh in the sack....I'd read that memo.......

    December 22, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kevin

    This clown has not revealed one thing that most did not already know. I think he's a moron.

    December 22, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unga Khan

      So you knew that the State Department instructed its diplomats to spy on the UN administration and foreign leaders by collecting credit card information, network logins & passwords, biometric and even DNA data? You must work for the State Department yourself.

      December 22, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me


      Why should that be surprising???? I would expect the Russians and Chinese and Brits and French to all have that info. (Or to be trying to get it.)

      December 22, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geoff

      What a joke So l;et me guess its ok for the UN to waste billions in corruptions scandels. These n uts and fairies wouldnt be cryin g bloody murder then because the UN is a great place right but its not ok for the US to engange in "Cloak and dagger" techniques to gather intelligence. Most of these people from the land of the nuts and fairies have no concept of what Intelligence gathering methods are about. OK lets destor the names of informants blow there covers who are giving us vital intelligence on countires like Iran. Lets just sing and hold each others hands and expect the world will get better by simply just talking. We talked with the soviets but we had to do alot of things ( alot regrettable) some not needed to CONTAIN them. These are the same people who hate cops for doing their job s because they cant open their eyes on what police work is about. Same thing goes with Intelligence gathering and diplomacy. If im really a sheep for giving the government leeway to all these people. Why dont you go hold Iran and North Koreas hand and see how long that one last

      December 22, 2010 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. keninmiami

    Politics and intelligence are like poker, you can't win if everyone knows what you're holding. Regardless of the official response it will take years to recover from the damage caused by this.

    December 22, 2010 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John

    If you wouldn't want it public, don't write it down. Works in e-mails, for bending rules, etc. The comments that the state department is doing damage control are more the caliber of clique-y high school kids and shoudl have been beneath the state department officials. The mere fact that they are so worried shows that they know they shoudlnt' have been saying that stuff in the first place but rather, acting like professional adults. If you want to despise, belittle or mock someone, take responsibility for your actions and your honesty and say it to their face. Works for me. Besides, let us not forget abotu the corporate leaks too...which make our government look bad to us for not protecting or regulating. I don't see Hillary doing damage control to the american people for Iraq, bailouts or frankly anything.

    December 22, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dane

    These stupid wikileaks are jeopardizing not only US interests but men and woman who serve this country, giving their lives protecting our freedoms. Just because its a secret doesn't make it illegal btw. If our special forces are being deployed to certain part of afghanistan, does every Tom, Dick and Hank need to know? NO!! To even support this wiki idiot in my opinion is completely unamerican.

    December 22, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • jledbetternv

      Can you name one life that has been lost as a result of these leaks? Maybe if we weren't doing potentially illegal things, we wouldn't be so worried about WikiLeaks.

      December 22, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • TrvlSEA

      Protecting freedom of the press is entirely American. Supporting secrecy, deception and subversion is unAmerican.

      December 22, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • ad

      To even support this wiki idiot in my opinion is completely unamerican. – I couldn't think of a better reason to support him. Face it USA, your time is over. You have been playing the world thug for decades and now it is all coming home to roost. Get used to it.

      December 22, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yakov-77142

      So, Paul Revere was unAmerican since he did not publish in the British press that the signal was;
      ... "If the British march
      By land or sea from the town to-night,
      Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
      Of the North Church tower as a signal light,–
      One if by land, and two if by sea;"

      December 23, 2010 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. jledbetternv

    Why would anyone posting on here be worried about their secrets being released? Maybe if you are the head of a Fortune 100 company who has committed ethics violations, or a high-ranking government official or ambassador, then you should be worried. Joe Schmoe on Main Street shouldn't be concerned...he's too small of a fish.

    December 22, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. stephen

    hey i like wikileaks its entertaining to me btw i laugh at anyone who locks this guy up on trumped up charges cause he is intelligent and will win his cases he isnt guilty of anything except telling the truth and if thats a crime lets rethink our whole lives

    December 22, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Stoked

    I'm all for government transparency.... have you people forgot all these government agencies are supposed to work for us?! Not themselves. In this time of economic hardship everyin in the country needs a clear transparent picture of how agencies handle themselves foreign and domestic so we can decide what parts of the government are worth keeping and what parts of the government are obsolete money cows too fat to move a limb.

    December 22, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • wes

      Transparency is the only way a true democracy can work. How can we make informed decisions when we don't have all of the information we need in order to make such a decision. Keeping information from citizens is in part to blame for the shoddy state of our economy, not to mention the war we have been in since 2001. In my opinion, wikileaks has done nothing wrong, all they did was expose the truth. Sometimes the truth hurts, but it never hurts as bad as a lie.

      December 22, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously?

      @Stoked, We are NOT a democracy. We are a republic. Democracy can be chalked up to mob rule. In a democracy, if your neighbor on the right has no car, your neighbor on the left has two and you have one, if you get the whole town to agree that it is not fair, the guy on the left will give up his second car because the mob/democracy rules. That in turn becomes socialism. I disagree with nothing else you said, I just dislike how misinformed people are on what democracy is.

      December 23, 2010 at 5:44 am | Report abuse |
    • I meant that for Wes

      Last comment was for wes, sorry stoked.

      December 23, 2010 at 5:46 am | Report abuse |
  14. Clem Kididlehopper

    Lord Jesus, forgive me for my un-Godliness.

    December 22, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Clem K'diddle-hopper

    Forgive me.

    December 22, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
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