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Home » Hacking News » Classified US military report on the net

Classified US military report on the net

by Nikola Strahija on May 3rd, 2005 An online cock-up led to full disclosure of a classified US military report about the shooting of Italian secret agent Nicola Calipari in Iraq.

The error was caused by the US military itself, which posted an unclassified version of the report on the internet as a PDF file with large chunks blacked out. However, the Pentagon had failed to save the file with the edit lines in place so a simple copy-and-paste of the document into a word processing application revealed the report in full.

The Pentagon has since pulled the PDF, but not before it became widely downloaded and now copies of both it and the uncensored version are widely available on the Internet.

Highlights of the report include information that the army has clearly withheld to prevent journalists from reporting unpleasant facts and figures, details of standard US military procedure when it comes to roadblocks, and the names of those individuals and units involved.

Furthermore, some of the information was blackened only to avoid embarrassment. It’s very disturbing to know for instance that there were 3,306 attacks by insurgents in Baghdad between 1 November 2004 and 12 March 2005 (2,400 of them aimed at coalition forces).

The most significant recommendation blackened was that different signs should be used, and that a gunner in a turret should not have to operate both a spotlight and a gun at the same time at a roadblock - which is what happened in this case and may have been the cause of Calipari's death.
The leak of the information may further inflame Italians against the report. Italian authorities have already publicly questioned the conclusions.

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