July 29th, 2010
11:39 AM ET

Ex-homeland security advisor on WikiLeaks 'big picture'

Frances Fragos Townsend, CNN contributor and former homeland security advisor to President Bush, gives insight to the “big picture” of the internal military document leak by WikiLeaks.org. Townsend says the intelligence community wants answers but they need to finally learn the lesson that history has repeatedly taught.

CNN: What’s the big picture of the WikiLeaks document dump? How big of a deal is this?

Townsend: We’ve seen an increase in the last couple of years in this country of leaks of classified information. This covers the gamut from financial and intelligence programs to interrogation techniques.

This is a massive dump of classified information. The problem is that you have a single government employee… who makes a judgment about the potential harm from such a leak. We don’t want someone making such a judgment.

This is going to force the executive branch to come up with a system to protect this information. We need a system in place.

In this case we are finding assets and sources in Afghanistan that are identified that could be killed [because of the documents being leaked].

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Filed under: Security Brief • WikiLeaks
July 8th, 2010
02:19 PM ET

New documentary shows raw side of life at war

In the middle of the night, a platoon of U.S. soldiers is building an outpost on a remote hillside in Afghanistan. Taliban sympathizers are watching. This is the Korengal Valley in Kunar Province, one of Afghanistan’s most inhospitable areas. The soldiers assigned to this place know it as “The Valley of Death.” It’s perhaps the most dangerous place in Afghanistan for any soldier to serve. The occupants will see more than 500 gunfights during their stay, and not every soldier will make it home. With attacks at close range, no running water, and the enemy on the other side of the sandbags, this is Restrepo.

Named in honor of a medic killed in combat, Restrepo was more than just a base to the platoon followed in a new documentary of the same name. The men stationed here literally left blood, sweat, and tears behind; the isolation and near-constant threat of death also took a heavy psychological toll. FULL POST

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Military • Security Brief