Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wikileaks and the Zimmerman Telegram

Richards J. Heuer
The Wikileaks story broke while I was away for Thanksgiving. My own views seem to differ from most of what I've read.

First, I think Julian Assange's redistribution of some 250,000 US State Department documents did the US Government a real favor. Much as the Mark Zuckerberg character told the Harvard committee after he hacked into their databases, in the film "The Social Network," Assange should be rewarded instead of prosecuted.

If one low-level army private could tap into the obviously insecure Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNET), it was no damn good in the first place.

So, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange isn't a terrorist. He's not aiding America's enemies. He's helping the USA to make our intelligence agencies better.

As someone I know asked when the news of Wikileaks Cablegate hit the papers: How many agents for foreign governments have been hacking away over the last nine years, secretly secreting secret data from the national SIPRNET, and providing it to countries that might wish to harm American interests?

Has anyone asked, until today? Will Congress investigate this boondoggle?

If one wants to look for someone who has helped America's enemies, one might focus on Richards J. Heuer. Here's a link to his page:
From a quick Google search, it looks like Heuer helped set up the defective and easily compromised SIPRNET databank than was easily hacked. According to a short google search, Heuer is a CIA veteran-turned-consultant and author of Psychology of Intelligence Analysis. After 9/11, SIPRNET apparently was part of a move from "stove-piping" to "net-centric" warfare championed by Donald Rumsfeld. Heuer had developed an earlier Automated Briefing System for the intelligence community...which didn't prevent the 9/11 attacks, obviously.

When I tried to find the SIPRNET via google, I got this URL:

And this message:
This site is no longer active.

The Customizable Security Guide and Adjudicative Desk Reference are now available for viewing or downloading from the PERSEREC website at At this site, click on Products and then click on the product name.

The Automated Briefing System is also available at this site, but be aware that PERSEREC is no longer providing technical support to users of this product.

Questions regarding this site or these products should be directed to Richards Heuer by e-mail at or telephone (831) 657-3008.

How much has the US spent on "cyber-security" since 9/11? And this is the result? One wonders: Did Heuer's company have a no-bid, sole-source contract to develop SIPRNET? How much did this system cost to develop and deploy? Can American taxpayers now get their money back?

Strange that critics of Wikileaks haven't focused on this issue. Incredible that the Wall Street Journal and Sarah Palin haven't used the scandal to attack the failed national security strategy of the Obama administration (no doubt Republican Secretary of Defense Robert Gates provides political cover).

But now, thanks to Wikileaks, Julian Assange, and Bradley Manning, the American public and media finally have done so.

And at least today the US government has shut down its expensive "net-centric" electronic database network...that no doubt provided similar data to American adversaries, competitors and enemies for years before Assange and Manning blew the whistle. America will be forced to re-think entirely its post-9/11 response...perhaps changing course in our response to Islamist extremist terrorism, just as the release of the Zimmerman Telegram changed American policy in World War I.

For that, Assange deserves thanks, rather than calumny.