WikiLeaks expose: Intelligence gathering to get tougher

August 3rd, 2010 - 2:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Washington, Aug 3 (IANS) The WikiLeaks expose of over 90,000 uncensored intelligence documents is likely to lead to more controls in intelligence gathering in war-ravaged Afghanistan, says an expert.
Bruce Riedel, senior fellow, foreign policy at Brookings Institute, wrote that intelligence sharing is absolutely critical, but “if there are doubts as to who can keep a secret, there will be pressure to pool information more closely”.

Following 9/11 “there was an enormous shift in the way that counterterrorism intelligence was shared”.

“No threat goes unreported now and intelligence goes to the maximum number of potential consumers because nobody wants to be blamed for a second 9/11; for having the piece of information about the guy who wanted to learn how to take off in an aeroplane but not how to land it.”

Riedel pointed out that the WikiLeaks expose of Afghanistan was “likely to lead to more controls to prevent self-proclaimed whistleblowers from gaining access to this kind of information”.

He wrote that the second ramification will be with friends and allies of the US, particularly the Pakistanis who are going to look at this and say: “We may be duplicitous, but at least we can keep a secret”.

Another damning observation is that in Afghanistan, “the story is likely to be widely spread that if you tell the Americans anything, it will show up on a computer somewhere with your name on it and the Taliban can come after you”.

“That’s going to have a chilling effect on intelligence gathering in Afghanistan. It will make very tough intelligence channels even more difficult.”

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