The Wikileaks incident

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Gonk, Nov 29, 2010.

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  1. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Which doesn't make his cause noble unless you are an enemy of the United States. And we should not coddle our enemies.
  2. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I was specifically referring to the person who originally took the data, pfc Bradley. He's the real criminal. But the government itself is equally culpable for exposing all of us to this security risk. It's not so easy for the government to treat itself like our enemy, even though in this particular instance our own policies and procedures were definitely the enemy of our security interests.

    Neither WikiLeaks nor the press is the enemy here. As long as WikiLeaks wasn't actively recruiting disgruntled employees to steal data, the way a foreign intelligence service might recruit government employees to spy on us, then I don't see how WikiLeaks has committed a crime. Once journalists get the information, then there is I think a duty to publish it if no lives are specifically at stake. Sometimes there may be a duty to publish even when it puts lives at risk, although that was not the case here.
  3. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    I'm not sure if this continutes as a crime from the angle of WikiLeaks itself. But given the damage this has potentially done (I say potentially becuase in the long run the US, in an odd way, might come out ahead) for the sake of... I am guessing... thier mission statement of just publishing secrets for the sake of disclosure itself, I'd say that they would be in some sort of breach of journalistic ethics. Were this the equivalent of a layer admitted membership to the bar, I would recommend they be disbarred.

    Can you imagine what a waste this would be had this sort of thing happened in the Nixon Administration and, in reaction, Nixon had come down so hard he made it impossible for the release of the Pentagon Papers? Or for Woodward and Bernstein to operate? Stories where the government was actually culpable of something?

    The point of this stuff is that it is supposed to be WORTH IT in the end. The point is supposed to be that if you're willing to speak up in the fact of the advantage of opposing nations, then your nation has acted in such a way that the nation DESERVES to have enemies profit from those misdeeds. If the US hypothetically sent a 5 million Iraqis to the gas chambers, then the US itself deserves to bear repercussions from such a thing -- are it's interests sacrificed? Well in that case, GOOD: the interests of such a hypothetical United States DESERVES to be sacrificed.

    This stuff so far seen is so far off from any of those things it's not really funny. Diplomats told to collect intelligence? I was surprised Clinton even had to order them to do that. For such a large expose, it's actually exposing the duplicity of OTHER countries... but at the expense of the reputation of the State Department. Something like this happens, you sort of expect the content to have been worthwhile. This doesn't seem to be the case.
  4. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Good old Soviet Union. If someone betrayed state secrets, they just walked them down to the basement and fed them feet first into the Kremlin furnace. Short of providing that level of deterrent, there will always be security holes, and someone with benign or malevolent or selfish intentions will always be there to exploit them.

    Outside the historical significance of the documents and perhaps the windfall benefits that the U.S. may accidentally get from the disclosures (Iran, maybe? North Korea maybe?), I don't think this latest WikiLeaks event is all that big a deal.
  5. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Another great little niche story on the WikiLeaks cables.

    Newsflash, Saudi Arabia opposes regulation of greenhouse gas emissions

    Leaked cables reveal Saudi minister of petroleum helped craft toothless Copenhagen climate accord

    Just another example of how oil runs the world and world politics.

    Saudi Arabia has the most to lose from any binding emissions targets, and will never sign on to them

    How much influence does the world's swing producer of oil have on climate treaties? A whole lot.

    As long as binding international climate agreements work by consensus, Saudi Arabia is as big a threat to their success as China. The effort to reach binding emissions targets through consensus is permanently broken, QED

    Comforting stuff it isn't. But the world needs to know all this.
  6. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Building on my earlier post about how WikiLeaks has abandoned its original purpose of releasing information about despotic regimes, this annoncement came out today: WikiLeaks Competitor in the Works

    Evidently, there are quite a few people who have broken away from WikiLeaks and are starting a similar organization because of how WikiLeaks has become so focused on the US instead of their original goals. Personally, I welcome this development, as long as they can avoid falling victim to the same temptations that are destroying WikiLeaks.

    Kimball Kinnison
  7. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Hmmmm

    After what Jabba posted, what you're posting seems a bit detached, KK. To put it mildly.
  8. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
    Does that matter?

    What, he should have written a segue first?
  9. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    You will bow down before my post, Kimball. Both you, and one day, your heirs.

    Like I wrote before K, WikiLeaks is only a metaphor for the inevitability of groups/organizations like WikiLeaks, and hopefully better ones to boot. Security holes have always been around, but global instantaneous online publication of state secrets is relatively new. Someday it will be a mature industry, but now it is only in its infancy.
  10. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Jabba posted something? I wouldn't have noticed. I only read his posts when I'm feeling overly cheerful and need a good downer. He's too malthusian to read any other time.

    Kimball Kinnison
  11. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
  12. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
    Aaaah, nooow I get it. You meant detached as in not paying attention to older posts in the thread. I thought you meant detached as in suddenly changing the subject, the post in question being detached from the discussion at hand. That's why I wrote the segue thing.

    This only reveals that I am detached as well. D'oh!:oops:

    :p
  13. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    My goodness. It happened again.


    Every so often, Kimball writes something that makes me laugh out loud (IRL!), and my world is blown.
  14. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    My sig still carries your comment from last time that happened. :p

    Kimball Kinnison
  15. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    While in the shower I decided that Wikileaks would love to broadcast live the conversations taking place on the little red telephone in the White House and the Kremlin. After all the public has a right to know, secrets and government are the source of all evil, and I can't think of one single negative consequence.
  16. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
  17. Source


  18. Gates would make one hell of an International Relations Professor.
  19. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    Too bad he is only staying on until mid-2011, his departure is going to be a big loss for the Obama administration. I guess we were fortunate enough to have him as SOD for this long.
  20. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    Why does this sound like a set-up to me?
  21. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    What did you have in mind? An intelligence agency pays a woman to seduce Assange and file a fraudulent rape charge against him? Intrigue right out of Spielberg's Munich, but really, why not? As I posted above, there is absolutely no reason to suspect that everyone is not actually out to get him.

    Meanwhile, in leaked diplomatic cable land

    +1 Kazak VP
  22. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
  23. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    It's only disturbing if you accept Spain's claim of universal jurisdiction. The US doesn't accept such claims.

    The alleged crimes that were being investigated involved actions committed outside of Spain's territory, by people who are not Spanish citizens, against other people who are not Spanish citizens. Where in any of that is it Spain's place to bring criminal charges against anyone for such acts? Spain's jurisdiction is limited to where Spain is sovereign only. It has no right to prosecute someone not subject to that sovereignty for actions taken outside of that jurisdiction.

    Kimball Kinnison
  24. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    It was not only about those people - there were actually Spanish citizens involved in some cases, by the way - & I find it funny that you would say such things, seeing as the U.S.A. has no qualms kidnapping European citizens (notably, for example, in Italy & Germany) for unproven crimes that may or may not even be related to the U.S.A.

    Hypocritical much?
  25. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Frankly all these cables make me want to do is become a diplomat. The sausage making of diplomacy isn't pretty, but it is sure beat the alternative. Would you rather have had no US influence on Spain, have them try to send troops to enforce their court rulings, and us have gone to war to protect our people?

    There is no doubt that these cables have a lot of disturbing things other countries have done or said, but I would expect the US to protect US interests.

    And I'm sure there are the few cases that would have otherwise warranted unauthorized disclosure, but this was not an act against a bad policy, it was an act against diplomacy itself. Of course those charged with defending our nation will minimize the effect. Yes some have overblown it, but the effects are real and possibly long term. It won't destroy the world as we know it, but it will change it to a degree we can't understand. And we are going to be less aware of what people really think in the future, not more. If you had your entire life broadcast on television you would act much different than you do now, and that isn't necessarily a good thing.
  26. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I'm sorry, but if you are going to make claims like that, then you need to back them up. The article you posted specified alleged torture at Guantanamo, actions in Iraq, and the CIA's rendition programs. It said nothing about any Spanish nationals being involved in any of those. If you claim that they were, then you need to back it up.

    Incidentally, Spain revised their laws on universal jurisdiction last year to require that there be an actual connection to Spain in order to bring charges. That means that has to be a Spanish citizen charged, have happened in Spanish territory, or have happened to a Spanish citizen.

    Kimball Kinnison
  27. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Incidentally, Spain revised their laws on universal jurisdiction last year to require that there be an actual connection to Spain in order to bring charges. That means that has to be a Spanish citizen charged, have happened in Spanish territory, or have happened to a Spanish citizen.

    This is correct. As you said, Spain only gave itself this power a couple of years ago, but then backed of. It's because Spain suffered from a glut of "universal lawsuits" that they could never get through. One notable, although admittedly extreme, suit filed in Spain charged that the entire government in China was a massive human rights abuser. Sure, China might have problems with such issues, but how is the government of Spain going to collectively investigate China?

    Interestingly, regarding the Spanish Gitmo issue, it was the government of Spain that was in-fighting with itself regarding claims and counter claims of torture. A Moroccan terrorist, Lahcen Ikassrien, was the one who levied claims of torture, but only after a Spanish court investigating magistrate tried to prosecute him for terrorism. This doesn't mean that Ikassrien's claims were unfounded, but they were suspect because he brought them up only to avoid a prison sentence in Spanish Jail.

    Maybe the Spanish universal court should investigate itself?

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