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The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

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The Afghan war leaks

The recent WikiLeaks disclosure on the war was the right thing to do.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters that the decision by WikiLeaks to release 91,000 classified documents related to the war in Afghanistan has the “potential to do harm” to those in the battlefield. But how, Mr. Gibbs? Is it so ludicrous to posit that just maybe the truth about this long war might actually help the troops in the battlefield — the ones our government is sending off to die? We don’t think it is.

This might actually be the case. Officials told The New York Times that disclosures might help the United States in asking Pakistan to cooperate more fully in the war in Afghanistan. The documents confirmed long-held suspicions about allegedly close links between Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Taliban. Should it really surprise us when knowledge is more advantageous when shared publicly?

The equation here is basic and old. A more informed citizenry can and will hold its government more accountable. This fact is especially salient when a nation is at war. It is our young men and women dying, and our taxpayer dollars being spent on a war most say cannot be won. As much as possible, it should not be conducted in secrecy.

The most important question this episode begs: Has not, throughout the course of U.S. history, lying and cover ups put our troops in more harm
than truth?

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