The CIA has launched a task force to assess the impact of 250,000 leaked US diplomatic cables. Its name? WikiLeaks Task Force, or WTF for short.
The group will be charged with scouring the released documents to survey damage caused by the disclosures. One of the most embarrassing revelations was that the US state department had drawn up a list of information it would like on key UN figures – it later emerged the CIA had asked for the information.
“Officially, the panel is called the WikiLeaks Task Force. But at CIA headquarters, it’s mainly known by its all-too-apt acronym: WTF,” the Washington Post reported.
WTF is more commonly associated with the Facebook and Twitter profiles of teenagers than secret agency committees. Given that its expanded version is usually an expression of extreme disbelief, perhaps the term is apt for the CIA’s investigation.
Earlier this month the Guardian revealed that the CIA was responsible for drafting the data “wishlist” that the US state department wanted on UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, and other senior members of the organisation.
The Washington Post said the panel was being led by the CIA’s counter-intelligence centre, although it has drawn in two dozen members from departments across the agency.
Although the CIA has featured in some WikiLeaks disclosures, relatively little of its own information has entered the ether, the paper reported. A recently retired former high-ranking CIA official told the Post this was because the agency “has not capitulated to this business of making everything available to outsiders”.
“They don’t even make everything available to insiders. And by and large the system has worked.”
While most of the agency’s correspondence is understood to be classified at the same “secret” level as the leaked cables that ended up online, it is understood the CIA uses different systems to those of other government agencies.