Whining about Wikileaks

The world is in a state of frenzy about the Wikileaks. Zimbabwe radio has been leading with stories about how the former US Ambassador Chris Dell viewed the opposition as ‘inept‘, while politely ignoring the first few paragraphs he wrote about our Dear Leader being a ‘bully’.

Aside for State media: Wikileaks is NOT a “US whistleblower website”. Get a clue.

Just thought I’d enter the debate by highlighting the comments of Robert Gates, the American Secretary (that’s Minister to you) of Defence. He’s also a former head of their notorious spy agency, the CIA.

“Let me just offer some perspective as somebody who’s been at this a long time. Every other government in the world knows the United States government leaks like a sieve, and it has for a long time.  …

“Now, I’ve heard the impact of these releases on our foreign policy described as a meltdown, as a game-changer, and so on. I think those descriptions are fairly significantly overwrought. The fact is, governments deal with the United States because it’s in their interest, not because they like us, not because they trust us, and not because they believe we can keep secrets. Many governments — some governments — deal with us because they fear us, some because they respect us, most because they need us. We are still essentially, as has been said before, the indispensable nation.

“So other nations will continue to deal with us. They will continue to work with us. We will continue to share sensitive information with one another.

Is this embarrassing? Yes. Is it awkward? Yes. Consequences for U.S. foreign policy? I think fairly modest.’’

There you have it. And the next American politician (yes, you, Sarah Palin) who calls Julian Assange “treasonous” should learn the definition of treason.

He’s Australian, you dumb bitch.

And does anyone else find it a little … interesting … that Interpol issues a (generally ineffectual) Red Notice two days after the largest document leak in history? I don’t … I see the world for what it is.

Changing.

21 Replies to “Whining about Wikileaks”

  1. The Economist says “… secrecy is necessary for national security and effective diplomacy.”

    But it “is also inevitable that the prerogative of secrecy will be used to hide the misdeeds of the permanent state and its privileged agents.”

    Like spying at the United Nations, which is specifically banned by several treaties.

  2. read dell’s fax yesterday – interesting, but nothing new. who doesnt know morgan’s limitations or Bob’s dangerous desperation or the not-so-intelligent opportunists in the MDC’s ranks …

    gates does have a point, this is more embarassing than anything else.

    and if anyone ever believed what diplomats or any politician said to their face then they deserved to get lied to 🙂

  3. My favorite part of this whole debacle is that every government (barring Iran and I guess Zim) is refusing to comment on the actual content. Instead they focus on the breach of security as the horrible aspect of the story.

  4. The central goal of WikiLeaks is to prevent the world’s most powerful factions — including the sprawling, imperial U.S. Government — from continuing to operate in the dark and without restraints. Most of the institutions which are supposed to perform that function — beginning with the U.S. Congress and the American media — not only fail to do so, but are active participants in maintaining the veil of secrecy. WikiLeaks, whatever its flaws, is one of the very few entities shining a vitally needed light on all of this. It’s hardly surprising, then, that those factions — and their hordes of spokespeople, followers and enablers — see WikiLeaks as a force for evil. That’s evidence of how much good they are doing.

  5. Speaking of wiki, just wikied Qatar, as you do following a big announcement about a big event, and this is what I got from the Sport section of the page. Time Stamp: 02/12/10 15:57

    “…It was announced on the 2nd December 2010 by FIFA, that Qatar will not host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. .

    It is generally believed that a desert is a great place for a World Cup during the Summer….

    Who the fuck is Qatar?”

  6. Nah, that would be too obvious. This is enough … a Red Notice for questioning in a sex case? Wow.

    Those are usually for money launderers and terrorists.

  7. JB you and I have discussed this matter ad infinitum in the Keg and online.

    My position remains unchanged. There are some things that you will get public support for – the War on Terror leaks and something you won’t – Cablegate. Now more and more sensitive information is coming through and a lot of peeps are turning their back on him.

    Nemo me impune lacessit.

  8. Sure, you have your position. But again, it’s not focusing on the substance of the leaks themselves, so I’ll disregard your establishment views.

  9. with some hope the world will see through the profitable charade that is the state … problem is too many people buy into the conservative state security crap and are easily seduced by threats of communism, terror, swart and rooi gevaar, muslim fundamentalism, immigrant takeover, dangerous multiculturalism or whatever boogeymen CNN and Sky wake up wanking over.

  10. Just read the article.

    ‘…lacks some features that’d make it more interactive and its information easily digestible…’

    Okay!

    ‘…urban liberal approach to the use of words and phrases which many conservative folk might find objectionable..’

    True!

    ‘…The founder would do well to address this so the blog doesn’t limit participation to just certain groups…’

    Now sounding a bit disparaging!

    ‘…There are possible ways to monetize the service too…’

    Wait! Did someone mention money?

  11. Mos I like the blog. My biggest argument is that there are consequences for actions and Wikileaks posts and says to hell with it.

  12. Of course there are consequences, and if the mainstream media hadn’t abrogated its duty as a watchdog, they would all fall on them.

    It’s not like Wikileaks DUMPED 250,000 cables and said here, sift through these.

    They SHARED the cables with their media partners, who are continuously selecting PUBLIC-INTEREST and newsworthy items, which they then publish.

    Wikileaks hasn’t published anything that hasn’t FIRST coume out in the newspaper partners. It’s not like there’s a massive trove of 250k cables sitting there for anyone to go through.

    To date, only about 960 have been released, and these are the ones that have been deemed newsworthy by their media partners.

    Also, Wikileaks offered to share their info with the USG, which could then make recommendations on redactions etc, but they declined.

    If this isn’t true, responsible whistle-blowing then nothing is. OF COURSE there’ll be consequences. Watergate had consequences. The Pentagon Papers had consequences. The illegal wiretapping scandal had consequences.

    Interesting how sex scandals tend to follow the leakers, though.

  13. Wikileaks says the following: “The embassy cables will be released in stages over the next few months. The subject matter of these cables is of such importance, and the geographical spread so broad, that to do otherwise would not do this material justice.”

    It’s got nothing to do with being responsible. It’s about trying to get the maximum impact.

    The redactions are being done on the opinion of the papers. They have rejected some redaction requests.

    On redaction blogger said it better than me:
    “Redacting people’s names and addresses removes a couple of ways in which they stand out, but leaves many others; all it takes to find the outliers is to collect the right data. Masking (redacting) data will not anonymize it if it leaves outliers in the data that can be traced back to people. All it’ll do is slow things down. This is true of any dataset, be it diplomatic cables, customer databases, payroll systems…”

    The full blog here – http://www.grid-tools.com/newblog/2010/11/cablegate

  14. So besides the consequences to Assange himself that you’ve been gloating about lately, what other consequences do you mean?

    And please don’t bring up the “national security” and “lives in danger” straw-men.

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