WTF or VPL?

Posted by STARR KESHET

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has formed a WikiLeaks task force under the auspices of a rather amusing acronym: WTF.

Now, we all know that overpaid government officials and bored Air Force officers are hopelessly obsessed with creating acronyms to describe various aspects of everyday life, so WTF is clearly no exception.

Of course, my personal favorite is VPL - or visible panty line - which was apparently coined (or widely disseminated) during the early days of the Vietnam War.

"They all wore white dresses, that was the prescribed legal uniform, but they wore them so short and tight, that was almost obscene," Pulitzer Prize winner David Halberstam wrote in his 1967 novel One Very Hot Day.

"So tight that the panty lines could always be seen, and the helicopter pilots, who were insane for military abbreviations, had invented the phrase VPL, for Visible Panty Line."

But I digress. 



This article is supposed to be about WTF, not visible panty lines or female soldiers in tight-fitting uniforms.

In all seriousness, it seems as if the task force will "focus" on the "immediate impact" of the most recently released and highly-embarrassing files.

For example, the CIA is reportedly concerned that the scandal may have affected the agency's ability to recruit overseas informants. 

Er, yes, definitely an FML or LOL moment.

Still, at the very least, the fallout over WikiLeaks seems to have vindicated the CIA's traditional reluctance of sharing classified data with other government entities.

According to one former high-ranking CIA official, the secretive Central Intelligence Agency has never "capitulated to this business" of making everything available to outsiders.

"They don't even make everything available to insiders," the official told the WaPost.

"And by and large the system has worked."



Another former official expressed similar sentiments.

"We simply said we weren't going to do it...The consensus was there were simply too many people potentially who had access."



And as expected, most of the CIA's computers are not equipped to allow the use of a removable drive - which is apparently how classified State Department data was downloaded and subsequently transferred to WikiLeaks.

"It's just a huge vulnerability...Nobody could carry out enough paper to do what WikiLeaks has done," he added.