Wikileaks vs. Pentagon

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Difference between Wikileaks and Pentagon

Everywhere you look, the WikiLeaks phenomenon has captured the public consciousness in a way that no other controversy has, and always hovering around nearby is the specter of the Pentagon. This is hardly surprising since much of the dirt that the controversial site has been dishing out recently has to do with U.S. policies. In this article, we take a look at the ties that bind the two.

Wikileaks
Pentagon

The Basics

Wikileaks is a non-profit organization that has achieved a fair degree of notoriety by publishing documents that would have otherwise been unavailable to the public. Much of the organization’s content comes from anonymous sources as well as insider leaks. The organization’s website was launched in 2006, and it had amassed over 1.2 million documents by the following year. The founders of the organization are reputedly Chinese dissidents, in addition to several journalists, mathematicians, and technologists from countries such as the United States, Taiwan, Europe, Australia, and South Africa. Its most recognizable figure is Australian activist Julian Assange. At present, Assange is listed as the "director" of WikiLeaks.

Although officially the name of the building in which the headquarters of the Department of Defense of the United States is housed, the name "Pentagon" is commonly used to refer to the Department itself. Going by this usage, the Pentagon is the subject of numerous WikiLeaks documents.

What Started It All

It was on November 28, 2010 that WikiLeaks first began releasing a number of documents linked to various United States embassies around the world. Numbering more than 250,000 to date, this collection of documents represents the largest collection of confidential materials released to the public. These documents have since been perused throughout the world by millions of readers, all of whom have presumably gained a detailed insight into the foreign activities and policies of the United States government. Of particular significance are the top-secret cables between almost 300 U.S. embassies all over the world.

Repercussions

Are present, the United States Library of Congress has blocked user access to WikiLeaks. In addition, the White House Office of Management and Budget has explicitly banned all unauthorized government employees and even contractors from accessing documents that are otherwise publicly available on WikiLeaks and other satellite websites. This order came into effect on December 3, 2010. Various government agencies, among them the U.S. Army, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department have also hinted at the possibility of bringing criminal charges against WikiLeaks and Assange. The Obama administration has also reportedly sought to convince Britain, Germany and Australia to bring charges against Assange, and even restrict his movements across international borders.

Similarities and Differences

WikiLeaks

  • A non-profit organization that has achieved a fair degree of notoriety by publishing documents that would have otherwise been unavailable to the public
  • Website was launched in 2006
  • Had more than 1.2 million documents by 2007
  • Julian Assange is at the center of the media tornado.

Pentagon

  • The subject of numerous WikiLeaks documents
  • Department of Defense of the United States

Who do you believe?
  • Wikileaks
  • Pentagon
 
 

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