57
   

WikiLeaks about to hit the fan

 
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 08:20 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

Quote:
I could sympathize with a carefully picked over leak of information,


You mean like how the CIA/FBI/US government does it, Edgar? Your great great grandchildren get to find out that the government did illegal medical tests on you and your wife.

You are either lacking reading comprehension or making things up. Your statement tries to put me on the side that we are hoping to stop.
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 08:30 pm
@edgarblythe,
Quote:
You are either lacking reading comprehension or making things up. Your statement tries to put me on the side that we are hoping to stop.


Don't take it personally, Ed. I know where you stand. You've made it clear enough.

Right now, there already is a carefully picked over leak of information. It comes from the government and it amounts to redacted page after redacted page.

I was only remarking that a carefully picked over leak of information amounts to nothing. If the government is an employee of you and you and you and ..., why should a small number of your employees get to decide what you see of information that you own?
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 08:44 pm
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

Finn dAbuzz wrote:

Are you of the opinion that all dealings between governments should be conducted in the open?


given the changes in technology, information exchange etc over the past 20 to 30 years, I think it would best for governments to behave as if their dealings are being conducted in the open.



Certainly greater transparency in governmental decision making, plans and actions is called for. (I'm still waiting for the increase in transparency promised by President Obama). There will, however, always be sensitive communications (particularly as respects foreign policy and national security) that should not be made public.

Because media outlets can more easily obtain classified information doesn't mean that there isn't a continued need to keep secrets, or that the media outlets should reveal them once discovered.

Frankly, the US government is not going to stop classifying information because of the Wikileak revelations. Nor, for that matter, will any other government. What it is far more likely to do is expand secrecy, strengthen security and increase the penalties for leaking classified information.

JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 09:05 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
There will, however, always be sensitive communications (particularly as respects foreign policy and national security) that should not be made public.


That's false. If that material describes either domestic crime or international crime, it must be made public because, this is so simple, Finn, I'm surprised you missed it, the US purports to operate by the rule of law
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Nov, 2010 09:15 pm
@CalamityJane,
Thanks, I'll check it out.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 06:17 am
I suppose that some US-ambassadors might like to change the station now ... like e.g. the one in Germany ...
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 06:44 am
so, politicians from one country aren't bright enough to realize that politicians from another country might not like them and might say disparaging things about them, and yet we think they're bright enough to elect to lead us

we're fucked
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 07:48 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
What it is far more likely to do is expand secrecy, strengthen security


good luck to them with that strengthened security

I've spent more than a little time in meetings with forensic accountants over the past 10 - 15 years. It's all but impossible to hide something now - unless the group looking is incompetent, shtoopid or out of time.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 08:30 am
@ehBeth,
Since 2.5 million had the right to look at those papers before, legally, it's quite astonishing that it lasted so long until the were published ...
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 08:52 am
@ehBeth,
The Newsweek article addressed this point as well.

Quote:
The problem the State Department faces now is not just the difficulty of having frank conversations with allies or secret negotiations with enemies who think—who know—it leaks like a sieve. It will also be harder to have frank exchanges within the United States government itself. To avoid this kind of massive leak in the future, documents will get higher classification and less distribution, and a lot of the most important stuff may not be committed to the keyboard at all.

As a former US ambassador in some of the Middle East's most sensitive posts wrote me (privately) this morning: “The consequence will be even less written reporting and communication—a disaster if you ever want to reconstruct what happened. It is already bad and now will be even worse. Everyone (or those in the know) will be passing info verbally. Ever play that whisper game as a kid?” He means the one where you pass a message from mouth to ear and discover it’s utterly distorted at the end of the chain. “Yep!” he wrote, that’s what internal communications are going to be like.
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 08:52 am
@Walter Hinteler,
True. I imagine many folks will have to relocate.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 09:17 am
seems like everyone is hacking into everyone else, I read a few days ago that China routinely hacks into the Pentagon R & D as well as all the major industries across the globe as does Israel etc. So, I'm thinking why not go back to ordinary mail, regular filing cabinets, and so on. Go low-tech it just might boggle the minds of high-tech intelligence operations.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 11:08 am
@JPB,
JPB wrote:

The Newsweek article addressed this point as well.

Quote:
As a former US ambassador in some of the Middle East's most sensitive posts wrote me (privately) this morning: “The consequence will be even less written reporting and communication—a disaster if you ever want to reconstruct what happened. It is already bad and now will be even worse. Everyone (or those in the know) will be passing info verbally. Ever play that whisper game as a kid?” He means the one where you pass a message from mouth to ear and discover it’s utterly distorted at the end of the chain. “Yep!” he wrote, that’s what internal communications are going to be like.



it'll be secure but distorted

yup, that helps
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  2  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 12:28 pm
In today's New York Times, editor Bill Keller responded to questions from readers about publishing wikileaks information:

Quote:
Quite a few readers are uncomfortable with the idea that a group of editors — unelected editors — can decide to reveal information that the government wants kept secret. Sometimes we’re uncomfortable with that, too. We have as much stake in the war against terror as anyone. Our reporters travel in dangerous places to report on these subjects, and we have had members of the Times family injured, kidnapped and killed in pursuit of the news. So the thought that something we report might increase the dangers faced by the country is daunting and humbling — and not just a matter of theory for us. When we find ourselves in possession of government secrets, we think long and hard about whether to disclose them. Invariably that consideration includes extensive and serious discussions with the government, as it did with the diplomatic cables.

Pause for a second to consider exactly what The Times has done in this case. We have written a series of articles based on what we have learned about various aspects of American foreign policy from this trove of secret cables. We have drawn on our past reporting and the experience of our correspondents to supply context and to cast doubt where information in the cables is questionable. We have also chosen a small selection of the cables — about 100 in all, out of a quarter of a million documents — that we think provide useful source material for the articles we have written. We have edited out any information that could identify confidential sources — including informants, dissidents, academics and human rights activists — or otherwise compromise national security. We did this in consultation with the State Department, and while they strongly disapprove of the publication of classified material at any time, and while we did not agree with all of their requests for omission, we took their views very seriously indeed.

So, two basic questions. Why do we get to decide? And why did we decide to publish these articles and selected cables?

We get to decide because America is cursed with a free press. I’m the first to admit that news organizations, including this one, sometimes get things wrong. We can be overly credulous (as in some of the reporting about Iraq’s purported Weapons of Mass Destruction) or overly cynical about official claims and motives. We may err on the side of keeping secrets (President Kennedy wished, after the fact, that The Times had published what it knew about the planned Bay of Pigs invasion) or on the side of exposing them. We make the best judgments we can. When we get things wrong, we try to correct the record. A free press in a democracy can be messy.

But the alternative is to give the government a veto over what its citizens are allowed to know. Anyone who has worked in countries where the news diet is controlled by the government can sympathize with Thomas Jefferson’s oft-quoted remark that he would rather have newspapers without government than government without newspapers. And Jefferson had plenty of quarrels with the press of his day.

As for why we directed our journalistic attention to these cables, we hope that will be clear from the articles we have written. They contribute to our understanding of how American foreign policy is made, how well it is working, what kind of relationships we have with allies and adversaries. The first day’s articles offered the richest account we have yet seen of America’s attempts to muster a regional and global alliance against Iran; and disclosed that the State Department has increasingly put its diplomats in the uncomfortable position of gathering intelligence on diplomatic counterparts. There is much more to come. We sincerely believe that readers who take an interest in America’s conduct in the world will find this material illuminating.

— Bill Keller, November 29, 2010
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 01:20 pm
@wandeljw,
So, two basic questions. Why do we get to decide? And why did we decide to publish these articles and selected cables?

BECAUSE WE CAN
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 01:23 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

So, two basic questions. Why do we get to decide? And why did we decide to publish these articles and selected cables?

BECAUSE WE CAN


Isn't that the reason that people regularly do things? Because they can?

There's too much secrecy in the world on the part of governments as it is.... letting a little sunshine in is rarely a harmful thing.

Cycloptichorn
JTT
 
  -3  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 01:34 pm
@ehBeth,
Quote:
I've spent more than a little time in meetings with forensic accountants over the past 10 - 15 years. It's all but impossible to hide something now - unless the group looking is incompetent, shtoopid or out of time.


The US has this down to a fine art. They don't really really try to hide the evil stuff, they just make all sorts of whiny noises about how they are helping the oppressed and the citizenry, by and large, laps it up like wolf pups gobbling regurgitated food.

Of course, this doesn't just happen in the US.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  -3  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 01:42 pm
@wandeljw,
Quote:
Bill Keller: When we get things wrong, we try to correct the record. A free press in a democracy can be messy.


"over credulous", give us a break, you lying sack of ****. I wonder how you've made it up to a million dead Iraqis, untold numbers of slaughtered Afghans, all those Nicaraguans murdered after yours and other papers provided cover for that war criminal Reagan and his bunch.

What a ******* lame piece of bullshit.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 01:45 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
Bill Keller: So, two basic questions. Why do we get to decide? And why did we decide to publish these articles and selected cables?


Quote:
Finn says: BECAUSE WE CAN


No, that's not right, Finn. It's done to massaged the truth, to carefully help the government managed the whole affair, to keep the citizenry thinking that the press is there for them but most importantly to keep the citizenry placated.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 04:24 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
....why did we decide to publish these articles and selected cables?

BECAUSE WE CAN


Or simply because we have the right to have access to such information?
Why shouldn't we know what or our elected governments are actually doing?
Surely it is in the best interests of democracy for us to know?:


Quote:
... All governments have a legitimate right to protect national security. This should be a specific, and closely scrutinised, area of policy. Most of our secrecy rules are designed merely to protect politicians and officials from embarrassment. Documents are habitually over-classified for this purpose. The previous (UK) government made desperate attempts to stop legal evidence of its collusion in torture from reaching the public. Ministers argued, speciously, that this was to protect the "special intelligence relationship" with Washington. .....

As with all free speech, as with Wikileaks, context is key. It is vital to know when governments collude in torture or other illegal acts. It is important to know when they say one thing in private (about a particular world leader) and do quite another in public. It is perturbing to know that aid agencies may have been used by the military, particularly in Afghanistan, to help Nato forces to "win hearts and minds".

These questions, and more, are vital for the democratic debate. The answers inevitably cause embarrassment. That too is essential for a healthy civil society. Good journalists and editors should be capable of separating the awkward from the damaging. Information that could endanger life, either in the short term or as part of a longer-term operation, should remain secret. ....


http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/john-kampfner-wikileaks-shows-up-our-media-for-their-docility-at-the-feet-of-authority-2146211.html
 

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