Army study on Iraq

This was in today's Secrecy News (an email publication of the FAS Project on Government Secrecy). I'm sure the study itself will be quite interesting, but I also find the way it was published interesting.

Let me warn you not to go to their website without using a proxy. They're not going to park a van outside your house but they obvioualy have a reason for forcing you to go there to read it, so screw 'em.

You click on the sections and read them like normal, but if you want to save the page it just ends up blank. I can't even copy text from the page. And if you look at the source, it not only contains no body, it is hidden far to the right so a quick look will make you think the source is blank too.

In short, they're really freaking paranoid. It's creepy. Luckily Francois Boo of GlobalSecurity.org was able to hack it and the link in below.

Despite extraordinary steps by the Army to limit online public
access to a new report on the Iraq war, the study has nevertheless
been published without the Army's cooperation.

The Army recently completed a book-length study of Operation Iraqi
Freedom entitled "On Point." It is a revealing and fairly
critical account of lessons learned from the war.

Last month, the Center for Army Lessons Learned posted the study


Incredibly, however, the web version of the Army document is coded
in such a way that it cannot be downloaded, or copied, or printed
out. It must be read online at the Army site, or not at all.

This may be unprecedented for a government web site. The very
notion of a document that cannot be downloaded is antithetical to
the web and seems like an artifact from an alternate universe. If
the Axis powers had won World War II, the whole internet might
look like this.

But in a marvelous feat of textual engineering, the intrepid
Francois Boo of GlobalSecurity.org managed to overcome the Army's
restrictive coding of the document and to make it publicly

It can now be found -- and downloaded or printed -- here:


Among the highlights of the report is the disclosure that the
toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad was not a
spontaneous act of an Iraqi crowd, but was instigated by a U.S.
Marine colonel backed by a psychological operations unit (reported
in the LA Times July 3).

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