Editor’s Note: In an interview for Wired magazine’s Danger Room blog, Noah Shachtman offers his take on the recently released WikiLeak documents on the war in Afghanistan.
Noah Shachtman: There has been all kinds of crazy stuff [revealed in the WikiLeak reports]. There have been killings of civilians that we did not know about before. There have been accounts of secret units and how they move. There have even been reports of suspected chemical weapon attacks [in Afghanistan], which we had no idea was going on over there.
I think it's unusual for the chief of staff to go on a trip, particularly on a trip this long. The chief of staff is usually more of a chief operating officer in the White House itself, and normally when your principal—whether it's the president himself or the head of Cabinet agency—goes abroad, you have his deputy and those folks staying behind to help manage operations in his absence.