Pentagon Demands Wikileaks 'Returns' Leaked Documents; Does It Not Know How Digital Documents Work?
from the let-me-'splain-technology-to-you dept
Well, this is just bizarre. The Department of Defense is apparently demanding that Wikileaks “return” the US gov’t documents it has:
“We want whatever they have returned to us and we want whatever copies they have expunged,” Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell told reporters today at a news briefing.
“We demand that they do the right thing,” he said. “If doing the right thing is not good enough for them, then we will figure out what alternatives we have to compel them to do the right thing.”
First of all, it’s kind of laughable to think about “returning” digital documents. That’s… um… not how technology works. You would think that the Defense Department with all their high tech doodads and missiles and stuff would understand that. Second, Wikileaks is not a US organization, so it’s not clear what jurisdiction actually applies here. Really, this is all just posturing. The Pentagon knows that Wikileaks isn’t going to “return” or “expunge” any documents. The reason for making this statement is basically a way to fire a “warning shot” at Wikileaks, which is sort of fitting for an old military mindset.
But, of course, it’s about as far from the right response as you can possibly think of these days. In making such a declaration, it not only does more to legitimize and promote Wikileaks, but to alert plenty of others that the Pentagon is actually scared of Wikileaks. Demanding the documents be returned obviously won’t lead to that result, but it will actually give Wikileaks much more prominence, and anyone thinking of leaking secret gov’t documents will immediately think of Wikileaks first.