July 27, 2010

On Wikileaks (Updated)

I don't have that much more to add to the conversation about the Wikileaks docu-dump on Afghanistan beyond what I wrote in the New York Times this morning. Let me just say that my op-ed followed on the heels of some very good commentary yesterday by Fred Kaplan, Joshua Foust and others. (Fred laughed when I assured him I had filed for the Times before reading his piece in Slate.) My violent Pashtun ex-flatmate has written some good commentary for this blog from Pakistan along with Mosharraf Zaidi, who wrote some good commentary contra, uh, me. I hyperlinked the heck out of the first draft of the op-ed I submitted to the Times, by the way, full-on Frank Rich-style, with links to all kinds of good reporting, and also called out, by name, Erica Gaston, a researcher for the Open Society Institute who did much of CIVIC's best work on civilian casualties in Afghanistan. Erica is one of the good guys, a Harvard-trained human rights lawyer based in Kabul who makes the best Cajun food in Afghanistan and knows what's in a French 75. Our families know each other back in Louisiana, so I might catch hell if I don't mention the great work she continues to do as well as her take on the Wikileaks documents in the Huffington Post.

That's all. I just felt the need to pop my head out of the Dissertation Cave to give credit where it's due.  

UPDATE: Our friend Noah "Danger" Shachtman got caught in a pretty vicious firefight in the Helmand Valley last year while embedded with Marines. So what did he do when the Wikileaks documents were released? He looked for reports on the events he witnessed, of course. What he found exposes the limits of relying on these documents for a full picture of the war. Great op-ed, Noah.