U.S. Military in Iraq Tries to Intimidate Soldiers Into Not Reading Wikileaks

[Many have pointed to the WikiLeaks exposures of US war crimes as the most significant of the disclosures–and the greatest reason for US government efforts to suppress the disclosures (and their messenger, Wikileaks).  This article, from gawker.com, traces some of the specific efforts by the US military brass in Iraq to prevent such war crime disclosures from being viewed by US soldiers.–Frontlines ed.]

http://gawker.com/5705639/us-military-in-iraq-tries-to-intimidate-soldiers-into-not-reading-wikileaks

Soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division and 1st Infantry Division in their camp's internet cafe near Fallujah, Iraq (2004 file photo)

U.S. soldiers in Iraq who try to read about the Wikileaks disclosures—or read coverage of them in mainstream news sites—on unclassified networks get a page warning them that they’re about to break the law.

The federal government seems to have lost its mind in a manic game of internet whack-a-mole aimed at getting the Wikileaks State Department cables thrown down the memory hole: First, Sen. Joe Lieberman successfully nudged Amazon into kicking the site off its servers. Then the Library of Congress blocked the site for all employees and users of its computer terminals. Now we learn that the State Department is warning prospective hires that if they write about Wikileaks on Twitter or Facebook, they might not get that job. And now Gawker has learned that military installations in Iraq are trying to keep soldiers from reading about Wikileaks.

A tipster wrote to tell us that “the Army’s unclassified, NIPRNET network in Iraq has blocked every major news website because of the Wikileaks issue,” going on to say that Foxnews.com, CNN.com, MSNBC.com, the Huffington Post, and a variety of other sites are blocked on the Army’s unclassified network. A spokesperson for U.S. forces in Iraq disputed that claim, saying that the web sites aren’t actually blocked—it’s just that attempts to access them on the unclassified network brings up a warning page saying that you’re about to break the law:

[U.S. forces in Iraq have] not blocked any news websites from being read. Because of the Wikileaks release of secret documents and their easy availability on the web, USF-I has posted a warning page NIPRNet computers go to first. This page simply warns the user that the website they are about to view may contain classified documents and that such documents should not be viewed, downloaded, or distributed on NIPR computers. There is a button at the bottom of this warning page that then allows the user to go to the website. Continue reading