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Copy-and-Paste Reveals Classified U.S. Documents 1325

cyclop writes "In March, U.S. troops in Iraq shot to death Nicola Calipari, the Italian intelligence agent that rescued the kidnapped journalist Giuliana Sgrena. U.S. commission on the incident produced a report which public version was censored for more than one third. Now Italian press is reporting that all confidential information in the report is available to the public, just by copying "hidden" text from the PDF and pasting it in a word processor (Italian). The uncensored report can now be directly downloaded (evil .DOC format, sorry)"
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Copy-and-Paste Reveals Classified U.S. Documents

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  • Mirror, as HTML (Score:5, Informative)

    by lewww ( 671699 ) * on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:44AM (#12397680)
    Mirrored here in html format: []
  • Oh dear (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lostie ( 772712 ) * on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:45AM (#12397683)
    That gives the term "security by obscurity" a whole new meaning... Hidden text?! What were they thinking!
    • Re:Oh dear (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The copy-paste method has already been employed and shown on /. a few times in the past.
    • Re:Oh dear (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:54AM (#12397725)
      Hidden text?! What were they thinking!

      "In God we trust"?
    • Re:Oh dear (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ssummer ( 533461 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:12AM (#12397826)
      I wish the original source of the story didn't reveal how they happened on the classified information. Who knows how much more juicy classified info might have come out in future PDFs...
      • Reproducibility (Score:5, Insightful)

        by scruffyMark ( 115082 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:53PM (#12399247)
        If they hadn't revealed how they did it, it no one would be able to test their results. Then, the story would have no credibility - they could just as easily have made the whole thing up, and the military would doubtless have claimed they did.

        And anyway, while the military might have managed to convince the world that it was all made up, they would have figured out how it was done quickly enough anyway.

    • Re:Oh dear (Score:3, Informative)

      by ckswift ( 700993 )
      This has happened before...You think the goverment would have learned from their mistakes.

      Memory Hole Un-Redacts Redacted DOJ Memo []
    • Re:Oh dear (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jamu ( 852752 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @11:29AM (#12398309)
      Maybe they were thinking: Let's hide this stuff in the main document so that people will believe it when it's "uncovered".
      • Re:Oh dear (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Spetiam ( 671180 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @01:56PM (#12399272) Journal
        Your tinfoil hat is a little too thick. If you RTF leaked text, you'll find that classified has just about nothing to do with the actual incident and everything to do stuff that SHOULD be classified because it gives the enemy insight into our security operations. Believe it or not, security through obscurity has a heck of an impact on the effectiveness of military operations. I know the anti-censorship Slashdot gods will censor me for saying this, but keeping detailed analyses of tactical military operations [] secret in war is a very good thing... unless, of course, you're the type of person that wants to see United States and Iraqi citizens blown to pieces. If that's the case such a person would be happy to see the details I refer to put out in the open; it <strikethrough>is like</strikethrough> IS giving the enemy free and high quality intel.

        So bring on the censorship.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:46AM (#12397687)
    I trust you will do the right thing.
    • by div_2n ( 525075 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:50AM (#12397705)
      Does that mean the government is guilty of entrapment for releasing a PDF with the classified text included?

      I'd like to see them try to prosecute this.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:55AM (#12397728)
        So would I, considering that the people distributing it are in Italy and therefore not subject to US law. Considering how annoyed the Italian government was about the incident and subsequent cover-up, I doubt that they'll agree to an extradition.
      • by eno2001 ( 527078 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:50AM (#12398050) Homepage Journal
        I suppose it would't be too hard to twist the DMCA into "protecting" hidden text as a security/DRM mechanism and calling this action "circumvention". The main problem is that our technology has outgrown 90% of the human race. Another example of this kind of thinking is on the moblog site, There are tons of women who post nude photos of themselves in their accounts. Much like Slashdot, there is a friends/foes type system. If you and another person are mutually in a friend relation, then you can see their "locked" pictures. So... when a few jackasses decided to mutually friend some of the Yafro women, take their locked photos and post them in a public forum on Yafro (a club), these women flipped out. They griped about how they were entitled to their privacy and it had been violated. They're right as far as ethics and respect go. But, this is the internet. Anything you place on it can't be expected to be private or protected in any fashion. If someone wants the info bad enough, they are going to get it.
    • I know nothing! I just click all the links on a slashdot page and hope for the best!
    • Yeah, right. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Sweetshark ( 696449 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:56AM (#12397740)
      It's illegal to knowingly download classified docs, I trust you will do the right thing.
      I, for one, will do my duty as a citizen and read the document. Living in a state in europe, I will look if there is any information in it that might be vital to my countries existance and then do the right thing - which might even include distributing the document to others.
    • Classified?

      Have you read it?

      The original document says "UNCLASSIFIED" just on top of every page.

    • by Visaris ( 553352 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:06AM (#12397793) Journal
      Since when is breaking the law morally wrong? The reason the US has guns is so that its citizents can break unjust laws and defent themselves from an unreasonable government. There is nothing "wrong" with breaking the law, and I wish peopld would start realizing that.
  • No smoking gun? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:48AM (#12397696)
    Interesting the the people that posted this don't point out any smoking guns. It's mildly interesting that they were able to thwart the ridiculously inane classified protections, but it's telling that they didn't find anything that further incriminated the U.S. service personnel.

    It's unfortunate but if you choose to negotiate with kidnappers (and thereby encourage more kidnapping) and further don't tell someone who's subject to daily suicide car bombs that you're going to be speeding down a road that is infamous for daily suicide car bombs, is it any surprise this happened?

    Should I expect less if I make jerky motions into my pockets when a police officer pulls me over for a routine traffic accident?
    • Re:No smoking gun? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tethys_was_taken ( 813654 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:56AM (#12397739) Homepage
      Interesting the the people that posted this don't point out any smoking guns. It's mildly interesting that they were able to thwart the ridiculously inane classified protections, but it's telling that they didn't find anything that further incriminated the U.S. service personnel.

      It's better that the submitter didn't stuff his/her own opinions into the story. I, for one, don't really care for their views in the summary itself, that's what the comments are for.

      Neither do I care for any BS political conclusions derived by the submitter. None of that belongs in the story, all this can stick in the discussion section. This summary makes the most sense I've seen in a long time :) It gives you the facts while leaving the opinions to the READERS.
    • by Dun Malg ( 230075 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:01AM (#12397766) Homepage
      It's unfortunate but if you choose to negotiate with kidnappers (and thereby encourage more kidnapping) and further don't tell someone who's subject to daily suicide car bombs that you're going to be speeding down a road that is infamous for daily suicide car bombs, is it any surprise this happened?

      I think this falls under the same category as the famous Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy:

      "I think a good gift for the President would be a chocolate revolver. And since he's so busy, you'd probably have to run up to him real quick and hand it to him."

    • "Not Speeding" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:13AM (#12397831)
      As an american living in Italy, we've seen a lot of coverage of this over here.

      The Italians involved said they weren't speeding. The Americans said the vehicle was travelling too quickly.

      I think anyone, italian or american, can figure out the reason for this disagreement by watching a cowering family of american tourists trying to cross the street in Rome or any other large italian city. Some people obviously have different ideas about what 'fast' or 'dangerous' driving is.

      I like Italy in many ways, but sometimes I really have to agree with Bill Bryson's "never should have let the Italians in on the invention of the automobile" sometimes!
    • Re:No smoking gun? (Score:5, Informative)

      by KidHash ( 766864 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:25AM (#12397893) Homepage
      Should I expect less if I make jerky motions into my pockets when a police officer pulls me over for a routine traffic accident?

      I guess it depends where you live. In the UK, if I made jerky motions into my pocket when puled over for a routine traffic accident, I certainly wouldn't expect to get shot.

      And if I was, there'd be a public outcry. Don't assume we're all trigger happy...
    • by legirons ( 809082 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:43AM (#12398002)
      "Should I expect less if I make jerky motions into my pockets when a police officer pulls me over for a routine traffic accident?"

      As a road-user, I find it worrying that you'd consider any traffic accident "routine" (ignoring for a moment the whole "shoot anyone who looks at you funny" argument)

  • by GuruBob ( 81090 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:48AM (#12397697) Homepage
    This is now a known known.
  • by capillary tube ( 861062 ) * on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:52AM (#12397718)
    There might actually have been respectable and perhaps important reasons for redacting some of that information. Not that it matters now, but it seems a bit imprudent to fervishly publicize information about troops that could have serious ramifications for them.
    • We'll find out (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:13AM (#12397834) Homepage Journal
      Well, now we'll see, won't we?

      The US government has for a long time, and this adiminstration in particular, classified things reflexively, whether secrecy was actually required or not.

      In many ways it'll be scarier if the redactions show nothing of interest at all: not protecting anybody's privacy or any actual secrets. (A quick scan suggests exactly that.) It leaves open the question, "Why is the government keeping that information secret? Why is the government keeping so much information secret?"

      There are many things that people would like to know to keep an eye on their government. Not all of that information should be released, for national security reasons, but it's always been the government who makes that decision. This lack of a check on the power of government makes people increasingly nervous as crimes (e.g. Abu Ghraib) are discovered anyway.

      Most people in government over-classify things in order to protect their jobs. It's not a crime to overclassify; it's a big crime to release national security info, even accidentally. That's understandable, but a failure to release information that people are allowed to know makes it extremely difficult to check up on what the government does and whether it is still acting in our interest.

      So yeah, maybe this is a bad thing. Maybe this is a release of national security information and lives may be lost. Or maybe it's laziness, somebody redacting because it's easier than checking on whether or not it was OK to release. Now we'll find out, and perhaps gain some broader insight.
      • Re:We'll find out (Score:4, Interesting)

        by lifebouy ( 115193 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:51AM (#12398058) Journal
        Sure, it looks like they are classifying stuff just to classify it. But if you knew anything about how intelligence gathering works, you would know why they are doing it. Now that computers are as fast as they are, and the amount of data floating around out there, it's surprisingly easy to put two and two together, and gather intelligence that can be harmful. Here's a realworld example of exactly what I am talking about: Paul Graham on PR [] talks about how anyone can track down which companies are controlling what the press says, and making trends happen by causing people to believe they already are happening. Now imagine if you were trained to find little nuggets of info like that! That's what they are trying to prevent. It only takes one slip-up to create a critical vulnerability, exposing a position or future activity. So give 'em a break.
      • Bingo!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by alfredo ( 18243 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:51AM (#12398064)
        bush is even having things classified even after they have been testified to before congress, or been discussed on 60 minutes.
        Of course he hasn't gone as far as Reagan who wanted to prosecute them for their testimony before congress even though the info was not classified at the time of the testimony.

        The bush administration has leaked classified info when it serves their purposes. Remember Valerie Plame? She was setting up a sting to bust nuclear weapon smugglers.

        Sometimes it is in the national interest to leak. Remember when Reagan classified the reports of fraud and waste? Those leaks were in our national interest whereas keeping it classified was not. He made a public show of fighting waste and fraud, but behind the scenes he was not, but at least the issue was before the public eye.

        Edmunds is now fighting to have her info heard before congress. Her info points to complacency before and after 9-11. they have classified her info so much she can't even tell congress.

        I was an Army spook, I know the arguments. Not everything should be declassified, but waste, fraud, treason should be declassified. The Valerie Plame leak was treason in my opinion.

        This is not the first time they have made this type of mistake. Embarrassing them in this way can only make them be more security conscious. Security is about the small things.
      • Re:We'll find out (Score:5, Informative)

        by theonetruekeebler ( 60888 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:58AM (#12398102) Homepage Journal
        Why is the government keeping that information secret

        A vdiff between the censored and unmasked versions suggests that much of what was redacted is operational details, such as:

        • An itemization of IEDs and VBIEDs deployment techniques which have been most effective,
        • An analysis of the tactical strengths and weaknesses of specific checkpoints along "Route Irish",
        • Combat readiness assesment of the units and soldiers involved,
        • A detailed description of how the checkpoint is laid out,
        • Exact grid locations of various assets.
        • Details of how checkpoint searches are set up and executed
        • Details of how checkpoints are expected to deal with approaching vehicles, including threat assesment methods.
        • A statistical analysis of "normal" traffic approaching the checkpoint.

        It names the soldiers involved and details the specific actions taken by those soldiers. It names the soldier who killed Calipari.

        It briefly describes U.S. Embassy procedures for transporting VIPs along Route Irish and in general.

        It details movement of U.S. and Italian Embassy personnel.

        It describes possible future procedures and configurations for checkpoints.

        In other words it has a lot of information of potential use to an insurgent mission planner and a lot that is nobody's business.

    • by ScuzzMonkey ( 208981 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @11:00AM (#12398110) Homepage
      The most interesting thing that I've found in it so far is that apparently VOIP is a primary communications mechanism for Army units over there. Now THAT is a Slashdot-worthy story.

  • by jeti ( 105266 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:53AM (#12397722) Homepage
    I know it never pays to underestimate human stupidity.

    But non the less - I wonder if people can really be this stupid. Perhaps making people think they accessed confidential information is just a trick so the report seems more believeale.
    • Here, Here Not only that, but the classified information that is opened up can be whatever 'They' wish it to be. Since the hidden information is not 'Officially' released. It's interesting that it only tends to reinforce the US position. Although the Intelligence Community in the US has gotten a bad rap lately, they are not this stupid to do this by accident.
  • by ( 783783 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:57AM (#12397745) Homepage Journal
    Calipari, jumps the omissis of the Americans
    On Internet the relationship in its interezza can be read. The Power of attorney of Rome will acquire the new document like open source

    The READ PIU'
    The USA relationship with omissis (AP)
    ROME - They are omissis "only virtual", than they can be gone around with simple clic, those lies in wait for to the USA relationship on the dead women of Nicholas Calipari, published friday, and that they would have had to hide names, procedures and others you leave classified. Pecette black that filled up the 45 the pages of the document answered to obvious reasons of inner emergency, a way in order protect the anonymity of the marines been involved in the "tragic incident" of 4 March, when Calipari found the dead women for "fire friend" on the road for the airport of Bagdad.

    Sin but that the USA commando had not made the accounts with the "copy and glue", that concurs to read the relationship in its interezza, without censorships. How? E' sufficient to open the document it originates them with the version reader of Acrobat, to select all the text and to make a copy and glue on Word or whichever editor. Or, easier anchor, to open rows "pdf" originates them, to cliccare on "Saves come..." and to choose a whichever various format from the "pdf" (always Word, as an example). A simplest technical operation that is in a position to executing anyone has a connected computer to Internet.

    Between the parts of the relationship covered the military secret USA there is as an example the paragraph with the names of the members of the patrol who has talked nonsense against the car of Calipari, or the identity of the third man (an Italian agent) to the guide of the car with Giuliana Sgrena and Calipari, and still the understood one it with the procedures of I engage of the check point. Emergency "around to John Negroponte emerges also the operation" and the difficulties of that evening in the particular chain of commando americana.Tutti, with to many others, that they are hour becomes you of public dominion and that the power of attorney of Rome that it inquires on the Calipari homicide will acquire. It is how much is learned in atmospheres investigated you of Clodio Large square. The acquisition procedure is that one that the enquirers define of the so-called opened sources, that is news of interest for the judicial authority that but does not have some trial-like valence.
  • The implications... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kevinadi ( 191992 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:00AM (#12397760)
    ...are scary. This, and numerous other pdf-related security breaches which happened (remember the blacked-out pdf that was modified to reveal its contents?) are all the more reason for MS pushing its software everywhere by declaring competing software are not as secure as theirs. Doesn't matter if the security breach originated from the user's lack of understanding of the most basic security concepts.

    My fear is that knee-jerk reactions to incident like this someday could be as extreme as invoking the DMCA against copy and paste. That, and further control from MS for information in the government due to the inherent "security" of MS stuff. It's unimaginable that a corporation can be more powerful than the government, but more incidents like this and this will happen.
  • accident (Score:3, Interesting)

    by d_strand ( 674412 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:01AM (#12397763)
    From scanning through the report I can only conclude that it was an accident. The US soldiers where poorly trained for the mission, and the driver of the car wasn't paying enough attention to his surroundings.

    Tragic yes, but nothing more (assuming the italians agree with the description of the events of course, people can always lie)
  • by jerw134 ( 409531 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:01AM (#12397765)
    What? It was a PDF? You mean people can do stupid things with software that isn't made by Microsoft?
  • Pdftotext does it (Score:5, Informative)

    by orzetto ( 545509 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:02AM (#12397768)

    Download the pdf and run pdftotext on it, it works.

    Marx was right: Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.

  • VOIP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by beyondtheblack ( 853555 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:03AM (#12397772)
    The US Military uses VOIP? And it failed during this incident? Why would they use technology that is hardly the most reliable to confer on the battlefield. Isn't that a little dangerous? I wouldn't trust my life to VOIP, no matter how secure/reliable a military network was.
  • by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:03AM (#12397776) Homepage Journal
    It appears that this all boils down to a blame game - the US wants to defend its soldiers and assign blame to the Italians for not sharing information, whereas the Italians want the American soldiers held responsible for what is, essentially, a tragic circumstance in a war zone.

    The Italians in the car weren't expecting a roadblock at that location, and the Americans didn't know about the rescue operation that was in progress...
  • by FlashpointWork ( 702525 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:05AM (#12397785)
    Area 51
    JFK Assassination
    Hilary Clinton

    No instances found. Damn.
  • by dotmaudot ( 243236 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:06AM (#12397792) Homepage
    Needless to say, no Italian newspaper ever cares to cite that the news was pointed out by an Italian blogger, Gianluca Neri of Macchianera [].
  • by superid ( 46543 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:07AM (#12397800) Homepage
    This is 100% of a case of people not being properly trained and not following security procedures.

    Secret data must be stored only on computers cleared for secret processing. Secret documents can only be downgraded to unclassified by deletion of the text followed by exporting it to plain ASCII text only.

    Word documents, Powerpoint presentations, PDFs, etc cannot ever be transfered from a secret computer to an unclassified computer even if the original file is unclassified. The only allowable format is human readable text. Basically, if you can't read it in notepad, you cannot copy it from a classified computer to an unclassified computer.

    These are the rules, unfortunately not everyone follows them (convenience) or is properly trained.

    • by Ada_Rules ( 260218 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:56AM (#12398096) Homepage Journal
      The rules actually vary a bit from system to system but it is possible to get approval to export unclassified word documents and PDF documents from a classified system if the appropriate procedures are used. In this case this could be: a hoax or, it could be that the proper procedures were not followed or, it could be an intentional leak. Nothing special about those possibilities since they pretty much are the same possibilities with any release of information like this. Check out the response in the annotated NISSPOM Chapter 8 (available within []) which has embedded Q&A from an industrial security letter (which carry essentially the same weight as NISSPOM itself) page 12 of the PDF says
      36. Issue: Paragraphs 8-306b and 8-310b discuss the "trusted download" process where electronic files and/or media can be created at a classification level lower than the accreditation level of the IS without going into sufficient detail of the review process or program. Because of the many different vendor platforms and applications (e.g., word processing, database, electronic mail, spreadsheets) additional guidance is needed.

      Answer: Every vendor's platform and application are unique and each requires a thorough review by the ISSM and DSS before they can be used to create classified or unclassified files and/or media. DSS has developed a "standard" for the trusted download process that can be found at []. If the ISSM is unable to implement the DSS "standard," the SSP must include a description of how and why the contractor has deviated from the standard under the vulnerability-reporting requirement of paragraph 8-610a(1)(c). If the ISSM is unable to provide any acceptable countermeasure to mitigate this vulnerability, the ISSM must notify and get acceptance from the GCA/data owner of the additional risk.

  • by Grendel Drago ( 41496 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:10AM (#12397809) Homepage
    Does anyone who speaks Army jargon know what this is all saying, or can someone at least point out the salient points?

    Like... what about those allegations that the Italians had paid several million Euros as ransom [] to the kidnappers?

    Kids, I know you want your people back--I'm sorry, but your hostages are already dead. Mourn for them, but don't pay off their kidnappers. That's stupid. That's Reagan-stupid. Ten million bucks buys a lot more kidnappings and suicide bombs.

    You'd think we'd have learned this lesson by now.

    --grendel drago
  • by alangmead ( 109702 ) * on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:15AM (#12397847)

    There were at least two publicized incidents Memory Hole Un-Redacts Redacted DOJ Memo [] and Iranian Coup Plotters Exposed By PDF File [] were the PDF was discovered to be layered with the graphic blacking out the text over the original.

    You would think by now that the government would either distributed a tool for correctly redacting PDFs or prohibit them.

  • by scovetta ( 632629 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:18AM (#12397862) Homepage
    Furthermore, the aliens obtained in Roswell have been transported to R24 along with Specialist Peck for observation.

    I knew it!!!
  • What soft? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kosmosik ( 654958 ) <kos&kosmosik,net> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:24AM (#12397887) Homepage
    Does anybody have a clue what software they used to generate those PDFs? I am curious how various software treats such stuff in PDFs... I mean f.e. it is obvious that simple printout to PDF converter will erease any such hidden data, but what with f.e. export function or various other utilities?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2005 @10:53AM (#12398077)
    Since the majority of you /.'ers didn't read the link the reason it's classified is because it points out the following things:

    a) It shows Enemy Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTP's)

    b) It shows Coalition TTP's responsive combat dialogue with Enemy TTP's

    c) It gives away the primary routes for incoming/outgoing US embassy personnel with technical, personnel and operational details.

    Being a soldier who just got back from Iraq I'm actually pretty pissed at this because of the fucking dangers behind it. But I'll leave it at that.
  • by WarPresident ( 754535 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @11:18AM (#12398231) Homepage Journal
    It's dark, you're travelling on a dangerous road known for ambushes. You can't see the huddled shapes lurking in the darkness behind their vehicles. Suddenly a floodlight paints your vehicle. You can't see anything but the floodlight and shots are fired. American checkpoint or insurgent ambush? Decide quickly, because you'll be killed if you stop and it's insurgents, and you be killed if you don't stop immediately and it's the Americans.

    American checkpoints in Iraq are not well-lit traffic-coned "approach the gate and the waving officer slowly" affairs. They block the road at the best place to kill oncomers and hide behind their barriers. It's often the worst place for approaching vehicles to see the roadblock until you're on top of it. By then, they start firing "warning shots" in the general direction of (if not into) your vehicle. It doesn't always play out like that, but dozens of dead Iraqi families can't be wrong...

  • by tcc ( 140386 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @11:21AM (#12398248) Homepage Journal
    C'mon think 1 second of another alternative.

    It's really sad to see this much "nerds" falling into the easiest route from point a to b without even considering any other possibilities.

    How about this: They don't have a clue on how to get to the heads of the insurgency, thus they can't send them bad information, in which case they "do an error that looks legit" and broadcast it abroad knowing every news agency and curious person on the planet will pick it up.

    Disinformation is a powerful thing. and even if the troops movements and all kind of information is included in the text, maybe there's one point there that they know that could be set up as a trap or whatever.

    I mean, it's easy to jump to conclusions that humanity is stupid because someone revealed information, and the military knows nothing about the evil .DOC format, I'd tend to think that seeing how US military failed in terms of preparation and casulties in Irak, but this would be also too big (someone would get charged for something really huge, and normally someone having access to this type of document as source to encode them, isn't a total idiot and has been checked up. Plus, there's surely a procedure on how to make documents and etc. there).

    So the point is, I could be wrong, the gun-jumpers could be wrong, but one thing is right; there are ALWAYS other possible alternatives to something obvious, especially when it's military or political. A forum like this is not to say "ahh bad bad bad" and see 500 messages of bitching on bad bad bad, but rather to promote a certain level of dicussion and intelligible arguments.

    My $0.02CDN (which isn't worth much :) )

  • by Mybrid ( 410232 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @11:22AM (#12398255)
    I keep telling people it doesn't matter who Bush nominates as the U.S. top U.N. diplomat. You might as well approve John Bolton because Bolton's style is what Bush uses already. If Bolton doesn't get approved Bush will probably appoint Ann Coulter or some other more devisive figure. Let's be seriuos, this is the same "uniter" who re-nominated the 10 justices the Democrats thought were to conservative. Bush loves to give people the finger.

    1. The world hates George Bush and the Republicans because
    2. The Republicans and George Bush hate and have no respect for the rest of the world. The Republicans have such friendly ideas as to disband the U.N.; have the U.S. completely withdraw from the U.N.; move the U.N. headquarters out of NYC; make the U.N. a U.S.A. puppet (John Bolton is for the latter).
    As the sayin goes, with friends like these who needs enemies?

    You just have to look at how George Bush treats fellow Americans called Democrats to understand the level of contempt and hate that exists for the outside world as well. As an American, if you want to go to a George Bush Town Hall meeting you have to sign a paper of loyalty. You have to ask yourself why that is?

    In my opinion the bigger story here was how the U.S. handled diplomacy. Obviously the answer is poorly, arrogantly and with a strong middle finger salute to the Italians. This is no different then the diplomacy of Fox News, AM Hate Radio, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Michael Savage, Laura Ingram and all the rest of the right wing giving their fellow Americans called Democrats the finger 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. Ultimately all the hatred and contempt the right heaps on the left will end in violence.

    Whoever Bush appoints to the U.N. will be expected to behave similarly; waive arrogantly a strong John Bolton middle finger salute to the rest of the world as well.

  • A sad incident (Score:5, Insightful)

    by portwojc ( 201398 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @12:19PM (#12398646) Homepage
    This is a sad and unfortunate incident.

    I don't care about any political bearings of any of the players. Only of those involved and their saftey.

    All of this happened in the blink of an eye. That can be agreed on. It is also a shame and that can be agreed on too.

    Honestly you do NOT mess around in a situation like this. As a soldier you can't just say "Oh look at that speeding car lets see what they want". You have to take action and it sounds to me like procedure was followed to the best of ability.

    Communication could have been better.
    The driver could have been smarter.
    The vehicles shouldn't have been moved. Though I'm glad they were as more could have died.

    That can be agreed on. Well no cause it doesn't matter because Americans are at fault automatically.

    Just think about this. She was released. Why the need for any urgency?

    The one thing I think everyone missed is this:

    Sgrena claimed that her kidnappers, just before releasing her, had warned her that the American forces would be a danger to her.

    Perhaps she had some form of Stockholm Syndrome and caused the driver to react differently when the warning shots happened?

    Why on earth would the Americans want to intentionally harm her? Oh that's right the kidnappers said so so it must be true.

    If that is true why then was medical treatment given to her and those involved as a priority over all else?


    You know people are nitpicking when you read things like:

    Giuliana Sgrena was hit, in the shoulder according to the U.S. version, but in an upper limb, according to Italian journalists.

    So they already have an axe to grind. Eventually the truth will come out though no one will want to hear it. Both sides were at fault.

  • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @02:12PM (#12399371) Homepage Journal
    The 1-76 TOC had two means of communicating with 4th Brigade, its higher headquarters: Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP)2 and FM. The 1-76 FA Battle Captain was using only VOIP to communicate with 1-69 IN, but experienced problems with VOIP, therefore losing its only communication link with 1-69 IN, other than going through 4th Brigade. (Annex 97C). As a result, the Battle Captain was unable to pass updated information about the blocking mission either directly to 1-69 IN, or to 4th Brigade. He did not attempt to contact 4th Brigade via FM communications. (Annex 63C).


    (U) Mr. Carpani told Sergeant First Class Feliciano who Ms. Sgrena was and that he was trying to get to the airport. He told Sergeant First Class Feliciano that he heard shots from somewhere, and that he panicked and started speeding, trying to get to the airport as quickly as possible. Mr. Carpani further told Sergeant First Class Feliciano that he continued to speed down the ramp, and that he was in a hurry to get to the airport. (Annexes 91C, 136C).

    So it all came down to two issues.

    (1) Failure to communicate. The car wasn't where it should be, wasn't informed of what was waiting ahead of them, gave its position but that information was not forwarded to the roadblock, so they were not expecting them.

    (2) The driver then risked the lives of everyone in the vehicle by reacting with very bad judgement when he arrived at the roadblock. (accelerating the vehicle after he was spotlighted, laserpointered, and heard the warning shots)

    Bad decisions by the driver of the vehicle, amplified by failure to communicate.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"