OUR VIEW: Leaked war documents create questions, call for accountability
By now, you have heard of WikiLeaks and the more than 90,000 pages of secret military pages released July 25. These pages contained reports about the war in Afghanistan; from failed missions to civilian deaths not being reported on, to the very fact that Pakistan’s government is funding the Taliban insurgency.
These pages created a fire in everyone’s stomachs. Journalists asked for answers to all the information the Bush and Obama administrations had been hiding from us. Person after person is asking why we are basically funding the very people who are killing our soldiers. There is a storm brewing, and everyone wants out of the quagmire that is Afghanistan.
Actually, no. None of that happened. Instead, the media focused on how the pages were leaked and what it might mean for the politicians involved. Fox News discussed what it means for Democrats in the primaries while CNN focused on how the papers were leaked in the first place. Yet no one is talking about what the papers say. No one is angry. No one is furiously asking President Barack Obama to answer for these atrocities. No one.
Maybe news organizations are angry because the underground group known as WikiLeaks is doing their job. Television news is nothing but fluff, talking heads and bickering to take up precious time they could be using to do important things, such as focusing on what these papers say. But they choose not to.
It’s sexier to talk about elections and the fall of Democrats or Republicans than to try to make sense of tens of thousands of pages of information. That would require a lot of brainpower and work, which television news isn’t accustomed to utilizing.
WikiLeaks created a firestorm in June by releasing video of civilians being killed by American troops. Now, they have created a possibly bigger firestorm, but it’ll probably be met with the same results. These leaks should force us to ask the people in charge questions. We need to figure out what is going on over there. The administration is telling us things are going as planned, but according to these leaks, Afghanistan is in bad shape and is only getting worse. The focus shouldn’t be on the leaks; it needs to be on the contents.
We have men and women dying over there and we need to, and our journalists need to, start holding the people in charge accountable. We have the information we need, now all we need is for someone to start asking the right questions. Sadly, that probably will not come from our television news journalists.