Amy Davidson on Wikileaks and the War:
"…a leak informing us that our tax dollars may be being used as seed money for a protection racket associated with a narcotics-trafficking enterprise is a good leak to have. And the checkpoint incident is, again, only one report, from one day…
Over all, the documents do not contradict official accounts of the war.
One should pause there. What does it mean to tell the truth about a war? Is it a lie, technically speaking, for the Administration to say that it has faith in Hamid Karzai’s government and regards him as a legitimate leader—or is it just absurd? Is it a lie to say that we have a plan for Afghanistan that makes any sense at all? If you put it that way, each of the WikiLeaks documents—from an account of an armed showdown between the Afghan police and the Afghan Army, to a few lines about a local interdiction official taking seventy-five-dollar bribes, to a sad exchange about an aid scam involving orphans—is a pixel in a picture that does, indeed, contradict official accounts of the war, and rather drastically so.
But after more than eight years at war, how carefully are we even looking at Afghanistan? The Times had a piece in Sunday’s paper on the strange truth that our expenditure since 9/11 of a trillion dollars on two wars has barely scraped our consciousness. Fifty-eight Americans have died in Afghanistan so far this month; one of them—Edwin Wood, of Oklahoma—was eighteen years old. Maybe the WikiLeaks documents will make those numbers less abstract…”