Friday, July 30, 2010

The Tweeting Admiral

Purpleslog tweeted a Selil post about Admiral Mullen's tweet response to the Wikileaks release of secret Afghanistan documents. I wrote a comment and then found that to post it in the comments at Selil I would have to register and I am so sick and tired of registering for everything. I have a notebook filled usernames and passwords from past years like graffiti on a subway car and I'm just not going to do it anymore unless it's really important. So I'll just post my comment here:

"Laying a bloody straw-man at the foot of Wikileaks looks tough, but it is the act of a pompous and arrogant man."

Come on now, this is a tweet. This isn't some Oxford Union debate where Mullen is saying "Resolved: Mr. Assange & his source have blood on their hands."

As you point out this massive dump of documents is so large that other than a few academics no one will ever invest the time to read and understand them. So the battle has nothing to do with logic and theories or analysis of the documents, it's about the perceptions that are associated with the documents. Mullen's tweet is a perfectly valid effort to shape the perception of the documents and can only be judged within that context. There is a narrow window of opportunity to shape perceptions on this issue before the next one pops up. Mullen deserves credit for recognizing the game that is being played, and playing it right.

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