Jump to content

Wikileaks and the Diplomatic Cables of Doom


Cap'n Refsmmat
 Share

Recommended Posts

Captain & Pangloss - Wikileaks has published hundreds of documents that have nothing to do with the United States - I seem to remember documents that were highly embarassing for the Germans, for others, for the UK and a cring-worthy video of the Thai crown prince. I cannot access Wikileaks at present to confirm this - and when I looked last it was difficult to get past the Iraq war diaries and Afghan log. Quite a large percentage of the leaks about scientology have been published on Wikileaks as the scientologist are so litigation-happy that many news sites just cannot bear the risk. On the whole we need gadflies annoying and inconveniencing the state and institutions.

 

"I am that gadfly which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you" Socrates/Plato Apologia

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to disagree with this. If you go look on Wikileaks (when it's not being hammered by traffic), there are plenty of documents that do not relate to the US at all.[/Quote]

 

Dave; While I agree with you, there are many that would agree with Pangloss and not represented here.

 

WikiLeaks, the group that released the sensitive documents on U.S. military, intelligence and diplomatic policy, may end up causing the deaths of Americans and our allies through its actions. So it stands to reason that the government must do something to punish the organization. Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y., the incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee calls for a strong response, The Hill reports.

 

"I am calling on the attorney general and supporting his efforts to fully prosecute WikiLeaks and its founder for violating the Espionage Act. And I'm also calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to declare WikiLeaks a foreign terrorist organization," King told 1010 WINS radio in New York.

 

"By doing that, we will be able to seize their funds and go after anyone who provides them help or contributions or assistance whatsoever," King explains. "To me, they are a clear and present danger to America."[/Quote]

 

 

http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/King-WikiLeaks-Declared-Terrorists/2010/11/29/id/378298?s=al&promo_code=B309-1

 

What's interesting is that the Fox News articles I've seen so far emphasize the illegal nature of the leak, but also...[/Quote]

 

CR; I found this comment rather interesting when first written, thinking it was totally out of line. There had not been many regulars on Fox or with Newscorp weighting in on this issue and many were off on vacation last week or over the long weekend. However they came back Monday and must now agree, the consensus for illegality for "Wikileaks" part is obvious, more than one (Beck) linking illicit US Money going to the program from "Soros Types".

 

Thread; There seems to me a great deal of hypocrisy being displayed by both sides this issue, in particular from my Conservative friends. In standing for "Transparency", supporting anything "Whistle Blower" protection and the rights of a free press (media), they seem to be moving the goal post and yes right back to a political centrist mentality. On the other hand, I'm finding it very difficult to believe the current administration and all the "so called" power of the American Government, has not used that power in some way to stop these releases. Well back in my mind, to prevent showing some conspiracy mentality, I'm wondering if showing the US as inept at best to secure their documents, is acceptable to some....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dave; While I agree with you, there are many that would agree with Pangloss and not represented here.

 

 

 

 

http://www.newsmax.c...omo_code=B309-1

 

 

 

CR; I found this comment rather interesting when first written, thinking it was totally out of line. There had not been many regulars on Fox or with Newscorp weighting in on this issue and many were off on vacation last week or over the long weekend. However they came back Monday and must now agree, the consensus for illegality for "Wikileaks" part is obvious, more than one (Beck) linking illicit US Money going to the program from "Soros Types".

 

Making Wikileaks a terrorist organization is probably going to lose us the war on terror, so it would be a terrible idea just from the practical point of view.

 

Thread; There seems to me a great deal of hypocrisy being displayed by both sides this issue, in particular from my Conservative friends. In standing for "Transparency", supporting anything "Whistle Blower" protection and the rights of a free press (media), they seem to be moving the goal post and yes right back to a political centrist mentality. On the other hand, I'm finding it very difficult to believe the current administration and all the "so called" power of the American Government, has not used that power in some way to stop these releases. Well back in my mind, to prevent showing some conspiracy mentality, I'm wondering if showing the US as inept at best to secure their documents, is acceptable to some....

 

Wikileaks does not show the incompetence of the US for securing their documents, nor does Wikileaks spy on the American government. All it shows is that there are some people in the government more loyal to their people than to their government, and willing to take the risk to leak embarrassing documents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am firmly on the side of the gadflies who are exposing the powerful.

Declaring Wikileaks a terrorist organisation would be a PR disaster for the US. Saying that people who expose the actual truth about governments are terrorists is kind of ridiculous.

 

From a few years ago, consider Mordechai Vanunu. Some like me would praise the actions of Mordechai Vanunu. Others might think he is a traitor. By giving Mordechai Vanunu the Eichmann treatment the Israeli Government has given its opponents a stick to beat themselves with. Vanunu is still being persecuted in 2010, and the issue will continue to embarrass the Israeli Government for the foreseeable future.

Wiki link

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Making Wikileaks a terrorist organization is probably going to lose us the war on terror, so it would be a terrible idea just from the practical point of view.[/Quote]

 

Skeptic; I really hope you don't believe I favor Kings proposals or more importantly oppose Wikileaks right to publish the documents, so long as they did NOT hack the documents themselves (I don't believe they did). However I don't think it will effect the WoT, but would have devastating effects on our own liberties. If the media can be punished for relaying public information (once released these documents are public), what all could be next....

 

Wikileaks does not show the incompetence of the US for securing their documents, nor does Wikileaks spy on the American government.[/Quote]

 

Wikileaks is more than showing the American Governments incompetency, it's showing a total inability to maintain control over the bureaucracy, however that's not the point of my discussion. I do agree they are not spying on the US.

 

All it shows is that there are some people in the government more loyal to their people than to their government, and willing to take the risk to leak embarrassing documents. [/Quote]

 

Who are those people??? Is there a motive??? Could that loyalty POSSIBLY, be for other than "their people"??? Does the oath to serve those people, have any meaning???

 

Somewhere between 500K and a million (including the military) have access to classified material, somewhat less to classified secret or top secret material, with the same ideological differences that exist in the public arena. I don't care who or how many were involved or for what reason, those responsible should be held responsible, tried and if found guilty punished to the EXTENT of the laws violated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know who provided this data to wikileaks and I'm not too bothered. I would like to suggest that, perhaps, the reason the did it was not due to loyalty to one side or the other but because they believe that telling the truth is a good thing.

It alarms me that there are people who seriously believe that telling the world that some US diplomat thinks Prince Andrew is a clot, constitutes an act of terrorism.

Are they really that scared of the truth?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the other hand, I'm finding it very difficult to believe the current administration and all the "so called" power of the American Government, has not used that power in some way to stop these releases. Well back in my mind, to prevent showing some conspiracy mentality, I'm wondering if showing the US as inept at best to secure their documents, is acceptable to some....

Once the documents are leaked, I'm not sure what the government can do, so long as the documents end up in the hands of someone smart. Taking down the website won't work -- they'll just make a new website. Hacking their server won't work -- they have second copies of the data. Killing Julian Assange won't work -- there are others with the data. Short of finding everyone who has a copy of the data simultaneously, and capturing all of them and their computer equipment and servers in datacenters in remote countries with backup copies, there's no way to stop them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know who provided this data to wikileaks and I'm not too bothered. I would like to suggest that, perhaps, the reason the did it was not due to loyalty to one side or the other but because they believe that telling the truth is a good thing.

It alarms me that there are people who seriously believe that telling the world that some US diplomat thinks Prince Andrew is a clot, constitutes an act of terrorism.

Are they really that scared of the truth?

I will defend to the death the right of anyone anytime to call Prince Andrew a clot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Once the documents are leaked, I'm not sure what the government can do, so long as the documents end up in the hands of someone smart. Taking down the website won't work -- they'll just make a new website. Hacking their server won't work -- they have second copies of the data. Killing Julian Assange won't work -- there are others with the data. Short of finding everyone who has a copy of the data simultaneously, and capturing all of them and their computer equipment and servers in datacenters in remote countries with backup copies, there's no way to stop them. [/Quote]

 

CR; I have no way of knowing, but I simply can't believe all this has come from one source and certainly I don't believe Manning was the only source. With this in mind, if some one had been held responsible earlier (a source), much of this could have been stopped earlier or at least a deterrent and I'm trying to find a document that had to be submitted after Manning was jailed (it's said he worked alone). In my mind it's almost like the Government/Administration is unconcerned, even knowing that theory makes no sense, at least with out a viable motive to work with...

 

Frankly, once leaked from the source anything done IMO would be wrong, if inside otherwise perceived law. Much of what you mentioned is what really is my concern today. Anytime Government arbitrarily decides what's illegal, with out due process is a scary proposition in my mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CR; I have no way of knowing, but I simply can't believe all this has come from one source and certainly I don't believe Manning was the only source. With this in mind, if some one had been held responsible earlier (a source), much of this could have been stopped earlier or at least a deterrent and I'm trying to find a document that had to be submitted after Manning was jailed (it's said he worked alone). In my mind it's almost like the Government/Administration is unconcerned, even knowing that theory makes no sense, at least with out a viable motive to work with...

Manning was arrested in May of this year, so either Wikileaks has held on to the material for months or someone else leaked it. Until Manning is charged and convicted, I guess we won't know which.

 

Frankly, once leaked from the source anything done IMO would be wrong, if inside otherwise perceived law. Much of what you mentioned is what really is my concern today. Anytime Government arbitrarily decides what's illegal, with out due process is a scary proposition in my mind.

I very much agree. Once the material is leaked, I don't think there are many legal means to stop it. The First Amendment goes a long way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Prediction: Julian Assange will win the Nobel Peace Prize.

 

 

I have to disagree with this. If you go look on Wikileaks (when it's not being hammered by traffic), there are plenty of documents that do not relate to the US at all.

 

He can be doing both, you know. And he has made a particular point of his outrage at the US government in numerous interviews. Just because he has a mission of "transparency" doesn't mean he doesn't have specific targets in mind.

 

 

So in other words, no, it isn't a left vs. right issue?

 

Indeed both Democrats and Republicans, and the leaders of many other governments, seem to be agreement that Julian Assange is a threat to national security. He seems to have given them common ground during a time when they can't agree on much of anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to a Democracy Now interview with a Guardian editor, there's more to come:

 

DAVID LEIGH: These revelations aren't over yet. In fact, they've barely started. We at the Guardian and the other international news organizations will be making revelations, disclosures from now, day-by-day, for probably the next week or more. So, we haven't seen anything yet, really. [...] In the coming days, we're going to see some quite startling disclosures about Russia, the nature of the Russian state and about bribery and corruption in other countries, particularly in Central Asia. We're going to see a wrath of disclosures about pretty terrible things going on around the world.

http://www.democracy...en_anything_yet

 

The pressure on Assange and the US government is only going to mount in the coming days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Skeptic; I really hope you don't believe I favor Kings proposals or more importantly oppose Wikileaks right to publish the documents, so long as they did NOT hack the documents themselves (I don't believe they did). However I don't think it will effect the WoT, but would have devastating effects on our own liberties. If the media can be punished for relaying public information (once released these documents are public), what all could be next....

 

 

Classified documents do not become declassified just because they are leaked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

swansont; You are correct in that if an unauthorized person releases/leaks a document or the contents of one, the document is not then declassified. My point; Once one is leaked, entering the public domain, especially as in this case, uncontested, for the general public it's perfectly legal to advance. If a member of the Government or the Military, it's a different story*. Without getting too technical, if a person can prove being harmed by any comment, including a released secret document the person can be sued for damages. If a legal case has/does come up, it would probably have/will argue, whom was liable, the person who leaked the document or the one that advanced it. This is where Wikileaks is out on the limb, but not for the actual forwarding of the leaked documents.

 

 

*

The Pentagon's laughably inept response to Wikileaks just keeps getting more and more ridiculous. The latest is that all military personnel are barred from going to Wikileaks and downloading material. Apparently, the military has actually put in place ridiculously crude filters that will block access to any URL that says Wikileaks. Of course, everyone else can still get to Wikileaks. How does this help at all?

 

Obviously, the government doesn't want military staff to leak stuff to Wikileaks, but this ban won't do that. If anything, it'll just call a lot more attention to the site. And the whole reasoning behind the ban is so nonsensical that it'll probably just make members of the military scratch their heads:

 

[W]illingly accessing the WIKILEAKS website for the purpose of viewing the posted classified material [constitutes] the unauthorized processing, disclosure, viewing, and downloading of classified information onto an UNAUTHORIZED computer system not approved to store classified information. Meaning they have WILLINGLY committed a SECURITY VIOLATION.

 

The thing is, the US military isn't who's interested in viewing that material, or the one who matters if they access that material. All this does is take a head-in-the-sand approach to Wikileaks, that maybe if military staff can't reach it directly, everyone will forget about it. We noted that the Pentagon's response to Wikileaks is like the RIAA's response to Napster, but this might be even more brain-dead. It would be like the RIAA setting up a filter for record labels so they can't even look at file sharing sites. It makes no sense. [/Quote]

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100806/13095610532.shtml

Link to comment
Share on other sites

New York Times v. United States means the government has to pass a very high burden of proof to legally prevent the disclosure of already-leaked classified documents. Is there precedent to suggest the media can be punished?

 

I was rebutting the parenthetical remark that these documents are now "public," which I took to mean "unclassified." The legality of the press publishing classified is separate from that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was rebutting the parenthetical remark that these documents are now "public," which I took to mean "unclassified." The legality of the press publishing classified is separate from that.

Ah, I see. It's not even true that the documents are yet public; Wikileaks has only published 0.12% of the cables so far, which gives some sense of the scale of the disclosure so far.

 

Some of today's news:

 

Not many surprises, apart from the sheer volume of material -- this could go on for months at this rate. The Pakistani and Turkish revelations could damage relations with those countries, however -- the diplomatic distaste for Turkish politicians is very clear -- and the Chilcot inquiry claim will at least inspire some cover-up conspiracy theories.

 

The Guardian still says we ain't seen nothin' yet, so keep watching. I hope the future revelations will be more substantial, though, because at the moment the leak only has its sheer size going for it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Julian Assanage is a terrorist. He is not the conventional terrorist that uses violence or other means to get his way. but he uses information, classified on some level, to get what he wants. He breaks the barriers and guards that have been set up to protect governmental interests. He is a digital terrorist in a digital age, He is hurting governments and destroying trusts. Sure he may be killing off a few bad trusts and a few really corrupt politicians, but he is also destroying the trust intrinsic in politics between nations, and he is destroying many many people.

 

He may not be working for a single government, but he is not working for the people either. When he leaks documents he is in fact conducting espionage, he is giving documents that are sought by one nation or another from a nation to them. He is hurting all nations and all governments, and in turn is hurting the people themselves.

 

It does beg to question where he got his financial backing to build his company. surely he didn't just have millions laying around. How can he just fly where he wants, how is he paying his bills. Someone somewhere is paying him.

 

 

Enough about wikileaks, what is more surprising than the leaked documents, is just how ignorant the people are in general. If you didn't know that there were backhanded deals between diplomats, countries, and between agencies then you seriously need to rethink yourself. I am sure that you could model the actions of every nation's corruption with a mathematical model.

 

If you were surprised to find out that there were torture chambers, than you need to read about the Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam. Korea isn't the only country with a chamber or hundred. every country has them, every country has corrupt deals in getting information they want.

 

What about the prisoner transfer you ask, that is much more common than you think. Prisoners are a sort of chip used in all sorts of negotiations. Politics is much like gambling, the more chips you have the better off you are probably. Each nation has gambling chips and they are worth something different to every other nation, they are also betted on a supposed and real value between nations.

Everyone wants as many chips as they can get, which means they will be willing to trade what they think are less important chips for your chips. However the chips they trade may be extremely valuable to you, time also diminishes or increases the value of the chips. It's a constant gamble on what chips mean anything and what chips mean nothing, its a gamble on gambling the chips. Chips can represent just about anything, from political prisoners to bits of info. everything is a chip in the political world of gambling.

 

 

If you don't like these real facts about politics, then you shouldn't be in any country with a government. you should be in a commune where the people share everything they have for an equal share in the community. Otherwise in a government, greed and pride take place and now you have governments trying to get leverage to position itself in prominence over others

 

 

I think it should be worthy to note that Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is a fairly good example of what actually goes on in a government, in the show they deal with an informational terrorist who leaked a government secret to the people. it also shows the impact it created, the incidents, and the corrupt deals between governments. The show accurately portrays many of the things we are seeing today. the whole series is on netflix, if you are really interested in wikileaks and its implications/impact i would suggest watching Gits:sac to better understand the complexities involved. The laughing Man plot line is what this is.

 

I wonder if Assanage views himself as a sort of Peoples hero, as the laughing man.

Edited by Zolar V
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Julian Assanage is a terrorist. He is not the conventional terrorist that uses violence or other means to get his way. but he uses information, classified on some level, to get what he wants.

What does he want?

 

Also, terrorism implies the actions are designed to create fear and panic among the populace. That is not Assange.

 

He breaks the barriers and guards that have been set up to protect governmental interests.

He didn't leak the documents himself. He received them. He broke no barriers in doing so. Whoever leaked them did.

 

It does beg to question where he got his financial backing to build his company. surely he didn't just have millions laying around. How can he just fly where he wants, how is he paying his bills. Someone somewhere is paying him.

What company?

 

Also,

http://www.wikileaks...ia/support.html

 

Enough about wikileaks, what is more surprising than the leaked documents, is just how ignorant the people are in general. If you didn't know that there were backhanded deals between diplomats, countries, and between agencies then you seriously need to rethink yourself. I am sure that you could model the actions of every nation's corruption with a mathematical model.

And it's bad that this is revealed?

 

If you don't like these real facts about politics, then you shouldn't be in any country with a government. you should be in a commune where the people share everything they have for an equal share in the community. Otherwise in a government, greed and pride take place and now you have governments trying to get leverage to position itself in prominence over others

Alternately, you could reveal what's going on in an attempt to limit the corruption and greed.

 

Your argument is predicated on the idea that corruption and greed are inevitable, and it is not only futile to fight them, but immoral. Is that what you seriously believe? That government is bad, but trying to make it better is worse?

 

And if governments are as corrupt and dishonest as you claim, what trust is there to be destroyed? If every cynical government is manipulating every other cynical government, which trusting relationships are being ruined?

 

I invite you to read the following articles:

 

http://www.miamihera...s-releases.html

http://blogs.wsj.com...t-game-changer/

 

and to also read more Wikileaks coverage in general, because it is apparent you significantly overestimate the leaks and the dealings revealed within.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He can be doing both, you know. And he has made a particular point of his outrage at the US government in numerous interviews. Just because he has a mission of "transparency" doesn't mean he doesn't have specific targets in mind.

 

I don't think this is true. I read the Forbes interview with him (which I encourage anyone to read as I thought it was excellent), and in that he classifies the Iraq/Afghan war logs and this as 'megaleaks', saying that because they were so large and on such contentious issues, they warrant special attention. I believe he is right.

 

I simply cannot agree with the notion that he is 'at war' because that phrase itself doesn't make any sense in this context. Wikileaks is designed to hold people, companies and countries accountable should someone in that organisation believe that a particular action is unethical. They are a convenient channel for whistleblowers to publish their leaks and promote them to the general public.

 

This job used to be done by the general media, but it seems that in recent years they have refrained from doing so, presumably in lieu of losing their access to key political figures. In a day and age where these same individuals abuse the classification system to cover up abuses or power (and in many cases abuses where people are hurt, tortured or unlawfully killed), I see Wikileaks as an absolute necessity.

 

Julian Assanage is a terrorist.

 

Sorry, did you just draw a comparison between someone who leaks classified documents to hold government accountable in a non-violent fashion, and individuals who actually blow up buildings and kill people? Would you say the same thing about Daniel Ellsburg, leaker of the Pentagon Papers?

 

By the way, for anyone in the UK, the BBC did a great interview with Daniel Ellsberg.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

'Terrorism' is so vaguely-defined as to be useless as a term. Try defining it in a way that includes the IRA, al-quaida, and other 'terrorist' organizations, whilst excluding the US/UK police and armed forces (without cheating and including 'except gov-approved forces' in the definition). The UN still hasn't figured out how to do it.

 

Also, terrorism implies the actions are designed to create fear and panic among the populace.

 

like the police?

 

You could just about stretch that he's threatening to keep on leaking dox in order to force the governments of the world to release them themselves. That kind of 'do x or i'll do y' seems to sort-of fit one possible definition of terrorism ('do x out of fear of me doing y').

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could just about stretch that he's threatening to keep on leaking dox in order to force the governments of the world to release them themselves. That kind of 'do x or i'll do y' seems to sort-of fit one possible definition of terrorism ('do x out of fear of me doing y').

 

Isn't that more like extortion or blackmail?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.