Entries in DoD (1)

Sunday
Apr112010

SecDef responds to WikiLeaks video, but why not online?

Secretary of Defense Gates finally responded this weekend to the Wikileaks video "Collateral murder" that depicted American soliders gunning down several Iraqis and two journalists from their Apache helicopter.

After my recent post asking why the Department hadn't responded, this was a welcome development, especially since Secretary Gates did the right thing and defended the troops. But I must ask ... why was the response provided only on an ABC weekend news program? How many people did that reach? The Wikileaks video has spread so virally because it is a compelling link. Credit to @SumitAgarwalUSA, the new Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Outreach and Social Media for tweeting about the Gates response, but honestly a Yahoo! News article is a weak response to a powerful video.

Especially given DoD's release of its Open Government plan this week, the Wikileaks incident would have offered a perfect opportunity for the Department to engage on a difficult issue directly with citizens online. There is not even mention of the Gates response on the Department's website. In the battle of the narrative, Wikileaks has won.