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Wikileaks and the Diplomatic Cables of Doom


Cap'n Refsmmat
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ParanoiA; Wish you would post more often, so when I occasionally disagree with you, it's not misunderstood, aside from that Pangloss could use the help, currently on the majorities side and catching heck...

 

Anyway, we have a process in law to PREVENT false accusation (a very serious crime) and frankly I haven't seen this much evidence of a motivated attempt to bring down an International figure, for other than what the alleged crime (espionage) is , then we're probably now seeing and IMO being directed by Eric Holder.

 

John Cuthber; In this case, I totally agree with you. If nothing else, would someone please tell me when any National Policing Force, as placed any ONE person on their MOST wanted list, for Rape, much less alleged sexual harassment, then after consensual sex has begun.

 

Assange was added to Interpol's Most Wanted list after Sweden issued a new arrest warrant against him in a controversial sex crimes probe.

 

The whereabouts of Assange, a globetrotting Australian hacker who began publishing a massive trove of confidential American diplomatic cables on Sunday, are unknown.

 

Swedish prosecutors indicted him in August for the rape of two women, but a judge threw out the ruling within days due to insufficient evidence.[/Quote]

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2010/11/30/2010-11-30_interpol_adds_wikileaks_julian_assange_to_most_wanted_list_as_new_arrest_warrant.html

 

To the thread;

 

Wikileaks operatives, have indicated after the first of the year, they will be releasing documents on American Banks. Media has picked up on Bank of America (Largest US Bank, 2nd largest in the world) as the target, however IMO it's will either include "Goldman Sachs" or be about them. The Federal Reserve and both the Bush and Obama Administrations have had a close relationship with them. There seems to be a move on to get some information made public in advance including the following which I understand is about 3.3T$, not 2T$ and includes many private business that finance their own products, namely GE. (Why now?)

 

The biggest Fed “overnight loans” recipient was Merrill Lynch with over $2 trillion in low-interest handouts during the crisis. The firm eventually wound up collapsing anyway and was acquired by Bank of America — possibly with illegal strong arming from Fed bosses, according to comments made by Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky.

 

Citigroup, another rescued mega-bank, received $2 trillion under the program. That institution was also bailed out separately by the U.S. Treasury. In third place was Morgan Stanley with just under $2 trillion in loans from the Fed. Next on the list were Bear Stearns, Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs, which called the Fed’s actions “very successful” through a spokesman. [/Quote]

 

http://rolandsanjuan.blogspot.com/

 

Robert Ruben; Clinton Secretary of the Treasury, CEO GS 1990/2002 and an advocate to what became Home Loan Derivatives.

 

Henry Paulson; CEO of GS 1998-2006, became Bush SoT 2006 to end of Bush term and recommended Tim Geithner for Obama SoT.

 

Geithner current SoT and President of the Federal Reserve Bank NY 2003-2009.

 

To demonstrate how all this fits in, from 1994 and 1998 (Rubin/Paulson's GS Service) was a fellow named Jon Corzine, you might remember the Former Governor of NJ where Obama and the Democratic Party recently through everything at Chris Christie, in a failed attempt for a Corzine second term.

 

Additionally;

The bank was humbled along with the rest of Wall Street in 2008 when the financial markets crashed, turning itself into a commercial bank holding company and surviving the meltdown with federal assistance. In 2009, it led the Street's resurgence and was the first to seek to pay back its bailout money. But its hardball tactics and supersized profits drew new scrutiny and criticism.

 

And in April 2010, the bank was accused of securities fraud in a civil suit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission that claimed the bank created and sold a mortgage investment that was secretly devised to fail. The move marked the first time that regulators have taken action against a Wall Street deal that helped investors capitalize on the collapse of the housing market. The firm later paid $550 million to settle the charges.[/Quote]

 

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/goldman_sachs_group_inc/index.html

 

It's been my feeling for years (mentioned several times in discussions with bascule, this forum) that the 2008 Financial Crisis and the Housing Bubble leading up to the "so called" (I don't believe it had to happen) recession, was predictable and avoidable. Basically I'm implying salvation of certain business enterprises were things went terribly wrong. I then feel sure there must be many incriminating documents, that Government would rather not see made public.

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Interesting piece in the New York Times this morning about how the cables have shed a rare light on the diplomatic community.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/05/world/05diplo.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

 

Whatever damage the leaks may do, and nobody doubts it could be substantial, they have showcased the many roles of the Foreign Service officer in the field: part intelligence analyst, part schmoozer, part spy — and to judge by these often artful cables, part foreign correspondent.

 

But the overall quality of the cables — their detail, analysis, and in some cases, laugh-out-loud humor — has won fans in unlikely places. “It’s very entertaining reading,” said Aigul Solovyeva, a member of Parliament in Kazakhstan who met Mrs. Clinton there this week.

 

One described Kazakhstan’s defense minister turning up drunk for a meeting with an American official, “slouching back in his chair and slurring all kinds of Russian participles.” He explained that he had just been at a cadet graduation reception, “toasting Kazakhstan’s newly-commissioned officers.”

 

The memo concluded: “Who was toasted more — the defense minister or the cadets — is a matter of pure speculation.”

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Would this same controversy occur if Wikileaks released, say, internal bank documents, like they've promised to? Since they're not classified by the government, it's doubtful whether it's considered illegal -- but it could have harmful effects on the bank in question if the documents cause investors to lose confidence in that bank. What would happen? [/Quote]

 

 

CR; Having already said, "I don't think all these documents are coming from one source", I'll go further in that it's probable many people with internal information on any number of entities (government/business/persons) have been sending documents or alleging information in the same manner as apparently Manning has. Under Whistleblower protection*, where a person makes an accusation or offers documents, the accused can frequently determine the person(s) involved (apparently excluding the US Government), causing all kinds of problems, the deterrent for most that could tell tales. What Wikileaks and others using the Internet are trying to do is add additional distance between the accused and accuser.

 

Note; Whether a person in a business is under contract, not to divulge or a member of Government/Military takes an oath, the same enforcement principles are involved, however our Government just happens to be at War and is trying to link anything embarrassing to that war effort (IMO). In both cases and a very big legal issue, they are both held to the obligation of proving actual harm, which is hard to do if guilty of improprieties.

 

I don't know if the suggested information is coming from the various Financial Institutions (above explanation), or not. I would suggest it's probable and have linked several Government people, in high positions, that would have by necessity been communicating with them and again at the highest level.

 

On the Banks; Most all of them have already suffered serious loss in their equity values (half their value to 90% today compared to all time highs) and each has been accused of fault by one "Class action" suit or another. I've received at least three inquiries myself from legal firms trying to get any stock holders involved as possible (sold mine before the sell off). The big problem is if the documents show pre-knowledge of pending problems and the stock holders were not notified either directly, thru their required quarterly reports or their annual meetings (obviously not), they could be in a heap of trouble. If this scenario is played out, Wikileaks supports in any way pre-knowledge, especially long term, we're simply back to where this entire issue began in 2008. Some Banks will be forced to file Bankruptcy, others will absorb their assets/obligations as directed by a court and life will go on...

 

 

*Wiki whistalblower protection link...

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whistleblower

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Note; Whether a person in a business is under contract, not to divulge or a member of Government/Military takes an oath, the same enforcement principles are involved, however our Government just happens to be at War and is trying to link anything embarrassing to that war effort (IMO). In both cases and a very big legal issue, they are both held to the obligation of proving actual harm, which is hard to do if guilty of improprieties.

I dunno; I thought there were specific legal rules about information classified by the government. I don't know if there are similar rules about corporate secrets. I'm sure you could sue the person who divulges the documents for violating a non-disclosure agreement or something, but what could you do against the people spreading the documents?

 


The Guardian's podcast on the leaks states that there's another full week of releases to come, and then they'll just be chasing down follow-up stories and investigations for however long that takes. Looks like the media will be going bananas for a week longer.

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I dunno; I thought there were specific legal rules about information classified by the government. I don't know if there are similar rules about corporate secrets. I'm sure you could sue the person who divulges the documents for violating a non-disclosure agreement or something, but what could you do against the people spreading the documents? [/Quote]

 

CR; If any media source or any person knowingly passes on a document/accusation that would likely cause harm to someone or something (Government) with out first notifying that person or thing for an explanation, could be involved in a "conspiracy" if something actually did occur. This is exactly why Wikileaks and other media contacted the Federal Government prior to the first releases and why Wikileaks addresses any further releases as a continuation. I'd suggest, the suggested Bank, Banks or Financial Institution have also been or will be notified before the releases, but since it's already well published (notification) it may be a moot requirement. I'm stating this outside international law, which I'm not sure of...That is if an Afghan was killed because of a released document, they may not have recourse against an Australian. Come to think of it Australia is NOT even a member of NATO...

 

 

On your guardian link, I like reading the comments. While this thread is probably being read by US White House Staffers or certainly some agency, I probably shouldn't mention that there are factions in media that believe Obama and the Administration actually prefaced the leaks by his many overseas speeches apologizing for an implied US imperialistic history. If true, many of those comments would indicate the US has indeed lowered itself in world opinion.

 

As for another week?; I'd bet this STUFF will be going on a year from now, becoming a mainstream means for individuals to vent their grievances with a Government, their employer or anything that has previously been impossible to gain attention on. I'm still cautious as to whether it will be beneficial or not to transparency in general, but one thing for sure, any Nation that maintains Free Speech, those involved in their policy better start being honest with their public. Is that practical or possible, I don't know, but after years of deception and especially the past three years, would this really be a bad thing???

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CR; If any media source or any person knowingly passes on a document/accusation that would likely cause harm to someone or something (Government) with out first notifying that person or thing for an explanation, could be involved in a "conspiracy" if something actually did occur. This is exactly why Wikileaks and other media contacted the Federal Government prior to the first releases and why Wikileaks addresses any further releases as a continuation. I'd suggest, the suggested Bank, Banks or Financial Institution have also been or will be notified before the releases, but since it's already well published (notification) it may be a moot requirement. I'm stating this outside international law, which I'm not sure of...That is if an Afghan was killed because of a released document, they may not have recourse against an Australian. Come to think of it Australia is NOT even a member of NATO...

Even if the documents are real and the harm is caused by the revelation of something true? Certainly if you release fraudulent documents, or misleading documents, you could be sued for the damage you cause. But revealing the truth doesn't seem like something the company can sue you for, unless it's their trade secrets.

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Looks like today's articles are all about how Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern states are huge sources of terrorist funding, but are often resisting when US officials ask their governments to crack down on the money sources.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/06/world/middleeast/06wikileaks-financing.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp

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The latest now sounds like "whistle blowing" gone seriously wrong. Sound like anarchy and terrorism.

 

Assange's British lawyer, Mark Stephens, ... in comments to the BBC, also warned that WikiLeaks had secret material in reserve, which he likened to a "thermo-nuclear device", to be released if it needed to protect itself.
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The latest now sounds like "whistle blowing" gone seriously wrong. Sound like anarchy and terrorism.

 

hence i feel that 'terrorism' is a slightly apt label for wikileaks.

 

It's only fair tho:

 

gov: if you leak our stuff, you'll go to jail

WL: if you send our head guy to jail, we'll release even more.

 

threat, counter-threat. I don't subscribe to the idea that only the gov are allowed to use threats.

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Looks like today's articles are all about how Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern states are huge sources of terrorist funding, but are often resisting when US officials ask their governments to crack down on the money sources.[/Quote]

 

CR; It's my understanding, it's people in these Nations that are contributing to Organizations that the US Government believes are supporting terrorism. What the US and Islamic Governments consider terrorism are not the same. An example would be "The Islamic Brotherhood", which does do many good things, but has been linked to supporting terrorist certain groups directly or indirectly, by US officials, receives a great deal of support by ALL Islamic Nations and some that are not.

 

The latest now sounds like "whistle blowing" gone seriously wrong. Sound like anarchy and terrorism. [/Quote]

 

ewmon; In reading over your "The National" article and CR link, I'm getting the feeling we might in fact have the first "cyber war" being played out. The problem is I have little or no faith in this administrations ability to diplomatically resolve anything, from domestic issues to foreign affairs. In my mind, unfamiliar with how the Internet even works, much less what laws that control it's affairs, I can't help thinking if Wikileaks was seen a threat ("anarchy and terrorism") to UK Authorities, he would have long been in confinement. It appears to me then, that the US Government is playing the "My Way" only card and that card is being obstructed or rejected by far to many Countries.

 

According to the Assange and his attorney, it's further my understanding that if something happens to Wikileaks and/or Assange, those yet unevaluated/confirmed documents will be (forced to) released, as is. At this point, I remain unaware of anything released that has been denied by those involved and this is really giving me a problem.

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I feel strongly that wiki leaks is wrong, there are some things a government needs to keep secrete. it is true that sometimes secrecy takes on a life of it's own and many things are held as secrete that are simply not or should not be secrete but many things are. I'm not sure wiki leaks is right to release everything they can. If they found out who really killed JFK then yeah release it but documents pertaining to things that could mean life or death to our troops or harm our government significantly in th ehear and now is across the line.

 

There are many secretes that are simply past their self life date, there are still many things from WW2 that are top secrete even though they are not a big deal now. possibly secretes should be held a certain number of years before they are released, but releasing current secretes would seem to be a mistake in the making...

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As representatives of their people, governments create and enforce laws. Assange obviously makes up his own laws as if he is someone who refuses to submit himself to any authority ... in effect, a man without a country. It's plausible in theory, especially when such a person turns out to be right, but in the real world, Assange has no place to hang his hat at the end of the day.

 

As his latest leak about the US-NATO Baltic defense contingency shows, he seems to have pervertedly twisted the idea of "whistle blowing". How could Assange consider it "wrong" to plan a defense for possible victims of violence?

 

And for someone whom Sweden accuses of having shameful things to hide, Assange certainly likes blowing the whistle on others. Psychological projection?

Edited by ewmon
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As representatives of their people, governments create and enforce laws. Assange obviously makes up his own laws as if he is someone who refuses to submit himself to any authority ... in effect, a man without a country. It's plausible in theory, especially when such a person turns out to be right, but in the real world, Assange has no place to hang his hat at the end of the day.

Which laws has he made up?

 

As his latest leak about the US-NATO Baltic defense contingency shows, he seems to have pervertedly twisted the idea of "whistle blowing". How could Assange consider it "wrong" to plan a defense for possible victims of violence?

He probably doesn't. After all, he's releasing 250,000 cables. Each cable is not evidence of a personal vendetta over the issues discussed in that cable.

 

Somewhere in the 250,000 cables might be one arguing in favor of freedom of press in a particular country, but Assange's leak of that cable doesn't mean he opposes the freedom of press. It's part of a larger leak.

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Which laws has he made up?

Laws are if-then statements. If someone exceeds 65 mph on the highways, then the penalty is a fine of X dollars. If someone has sex with a minor, then the penalty is X years in prison and placement on the sex offender registry.

 

So Assange has invented his own if-then statements. If anything happens to him or WikiLeaks (eg, arrest for alleged sex crimes in Sweden, or his assassination, or WikiLeaks is shut down), then the penalty is that person(s) will release a "thermonuclear device" of stolen, classified, uncensored, and highly damaging files about the US government.

 

Furthermore, Assange seems to hold the US responsible for Sweden persecuting him for alleged sex crimes and holds hostage the national security of the American people ... over 300M people.

 

Mr Assange seems to fear getting his whistle blown. :P

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Laws are if-then statements. If someone exceeds 65 mph on the highways, then the penalty is a fine of X dollars. If someone has sex with a minor, then the penalty is X years in prison and placement on the sex offender registry.

 

So Assange has invented his own if-then statements. If anything happens to him or WikiLeaks (eg, arrest for alleged sex crimes in Sweden, or his assassination, or WikiLeaks is shut down), then the penalty is that person(s) will release a "thermonuclear device" of stolen, classified, uncensored, and highly damaging files about the US government.

Hasn't released anything yet, despite his arrest, and I believe I read that he's not intending to release it yet. Furthermore, the nature of the file is unknown: the Guardian (which has strong ties to Assange) just says it contains the remaining unreleased cables.

 

http://www.guardian....rest?CMP=twt_gu

 

Nowhere has Assange come out to say "We have documents that will destroy America!" We can speculate, though...

 

The fact that Assange turned himself in to authorities should say something about whether he's making up his own law here.

 

Furthermore, Assange seems to hold the US responsible for Sweden persecuting him for alleged sex crimes and holds hostage the national security of the American people ... over 300M people.

I don't think you can establish that 300M lives are at risk. In fact, it's hard to establish that anyone has been harmed so far by Wikileaks:

 

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

Mr Assange seems to fear getting his whistle blown. :P

Dunno. Getting his whistle blown seems to have gotten him into a lot of trouble in Sweden.

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I agree that his not releasing the password on the unredacted documents suggests that he wasn't talking about the rape case when he said "if something happens". He could still do that, I suppose, but perhaps he was only referring to (for example) charges of espionage, treason, etc, related to the leaks.

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Apparently, WikiLeaks supporters now ...

 

claimed to have taken down MasterCard's website in retaliation for the company's decision to cut off services to WikiLeaks. ... The group has also claimed responsibility for distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on the website of the Swedish prosecutor's office that is seeking WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for alleged sex crimes, PayPal and [PostFinance], the Swiss bank that froze Assange's assets, the BBC reported. ... The office of the lawyer representing Assange's two accusers in Sweden also told NBC News Wednesday that its website was inaccessible due to hacker attacks. ... "We will not be gagged, either by judicial action or corporate censorship. Today Visa joined MasterCard, Paypal, Amazon, EveryDNS and others in cutting off their links," [WikiLeaks] spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said in a statement.

They're playing by their own rules. But, the question remains: Will this go done in the annals of history as "The Cyber War of 2010" or as CyberWar 1.0®?

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That's "Anonymous" for you. Bored people on the Internet have nothing better to do and decide to carry out their vendettas. This is what happened a year or two ago with Scientology, when Australia began blacklisting certain websites, and so on.

 

Don't think Wikileaks organized this, though. This is 4chan at its finest.

 


Well now, more food for the conspiracy theorists.

 

A few days after Wikileaks' donations are cut off by Paypal, Visa and Mastercard, comes this from the Guardian:

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/08/wikileaks-us-russia-visa-mastercard

 

The US lobbied Russia this year on behalf of Visa and MasterCard in an attempt to ensure the payment companies were not "adversely affected" by new legislation, according to American diplomats in Moscow.A state department cable released this afternoon by WikiLeaks reveals that US diplomats intervened to try to amend a draft law going through Russia's Duma. Their explicit aim was to ensure the new law did not "disadvantage" the two US firms, the cable states.

 

 

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I think you're right about the boredom/4chan angle, but I think there's a certain aspect of this that has interesting depth to it. This frequency and focus of these DDoS attacks, and the hint of government clandestine activity lurking below the surface (attacks on Wikileaks itself), has been like something out of a Neal Stephenson novel.

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Yeah. In fact, the idea of some offshore haven for secret data sounds a lot like the plot of Cryptonomicon.

 

The Wau Holland Foundation, which technically ran the Wikileaks PayPal account, is apparently now taking legal action against PayPal to get their money back, and to retract their "libel" (e.g. claiming that Wau Holland promotes illegal activities).

 

This is getting very interesting overall. I wonder if Wikileaks will last long enough to make another leak -- and if so, what the reaction will be then. I mean, suppose it is a banking leak like they promise, and it actually reveals genuine wrongdoing? Will we demand the shutdown of Wikileaks or will we go charging after the banks?

 

The public already hates the banks, and (some of) the public hates Wikileaks. Who do they hate more? Would be fun to see...

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Apparently, WikiLeaks supporters now ...

 

 

They're playing by their own rules. But, the question remains: Will this go done in the annals of history as "The Cyber War of 2010" or as CyberWar 1.0®?

 

Hackers always play by their own rules, Assange or no. Tell me you're not surprised that hackers like freedom of information? At most, Assange's involvement here is probably limited to being gleeful.

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Laws are if-then statements. If someone exceeds 65 mph on the highways, then the penalty is a fine of X dollars. If someone has sex with a minor, then the penalty is X years in prison and placement on the sex offender registry.

 

So Assange has invented his own if-then statements. If anything happens to him or WikiLeaks (eg, arrest for alleged sex crimes in Sweden, or his assassination, or WikiLeaks is shut down), then the penalty is that person(s) will release a "thermonuclear device" of stolen, classified, uncensored, and highly damaging files about the US government.

 

Furthermore, Assange seems to hold the US responsible for Sweden persecuting him for alleged sex crimes and holds hostage the national security of the American people ... over 300M people.

 

Mr Assange seems to fear getting his whistle blown. :P

Not all "If Then" statements are laws.

This is just a matter of negotiation between two parties. It's no different from the manager of a company saying to the workforce "if you complete this much work then you will get a bonus".

To count as a law it needs to be generalised; Assange's position is unique.

 

"Furthermore, Assange seems to hold the US responsible for Sweden persecuting him for alleged sex crimes"

Right or wrong, that's not unreasonable- you have to wonder why the Swedish authorities "changed their minds"; and the timing looks suspicious.

 

If he "holds hostage the national security of the American people ... over 300M people. "

then that's a negotiating position he can take.

He can, for example, now just release things that make the US govt. look dumb as a bag of squirrels and keep the moral high ground because he didn't affect security.

Perhaps the US politicians should have thought of that earlier.

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