The Wikileaks incident

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

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  1. LtNOWIS Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    The different intelligence agencies shared data a lot more after 9/11, after their failure to share data helped them miss the warning signs. After this, they're going to be newly motivated to horde their own data, making them less effective.
  2. RKORadio Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2004
    I would never trust the USA when it comes to dealing with its own war crimes - look at the laughable slap on the wrist given to William Calley over My Lai and the cover up and sacrificial lamb-ing over Abu G
  3. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Should have expected this sort of demagoguery from our friendly neighborhood ultranationalists. Mind you I have no love for Julian Assange, but if he hadn't created Wikileaks then someone else would have sooner or later. Classified government documents released online are like celebrity sex tapes, once they're out there's no putting them back in the box....so what we need to do is prevent leaks to start with, not go after all the Julian Assanges of the world.
  4. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    So I take it the first amendment now reads "Unless you expose the government's flaws, in which case we are like, totally going to kill you. You don't even know."? What the hell is wrong with them?
  5. Lord_Hydronium Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 11, 2002
    star 5
    One of the most literal examples of "shoot the messenger" I've seen.

    Glenn Greenwald, incidentally, rocks:

    The whole article's worth a read.
  6. Master_Rebado Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2004
    star 2
    That may yet happen and were I in the position of the various govt's affected would be seeking to do this first before bringing any other "assets" into the equation.
  7. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Re: Glenn Greenwald

    Liberals wonder why they are called anti-American when they cheer the systematic attack on our foreign policy apparatus because of disagreements with specific foreign policies of previous administrations.

    This is a disaster for all of America, both liberals and conservatives.


    Foreigners who don't live here aren't protected by the First Amendment, and the first Amendment doesn't protect propagating state secrets.

    This was not a leak. This was a flood. This does not serve our overall national interest, nor does it hold the US government to account for any wrongdoing that needed to be exposed. Who gave wikileaks the right to publish this information? The government that wants to protect the information was elected by the people of this country, who elected wikileaks?

    I think it is far from clear that all secrets will now be made public going forward. Until wikileaks can leak what is inside your mind that isn't going to happen. There will just be less discussion and less records. Al-qaida is still able to operate even with the most intensive effort on the part of the most powerful to gather leaks. This won't stop wrongdoing. If Wikileaks was more selective about what it released and rather than publishing things that really serve no useful aim other than to embarrass, then maybe their claims to be exposing wrongdoing could be taken more seriously.

    I don't want to hear one word about how we should have stopped a terror attack or something like that from anybody who supports wikileaks and the disclosure of this information. Our government can't coordinate efforts because different parts of our government rightfully can't trust each other with important information.
  8. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 6
    And if it doesn't serve U.S. national interest, surely it cannot be right...
  9. SithLordDarthRichie CR Emeritus: London

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    This newest revelation about US sites of importance aroud the world I think could pose a problem. If terrorists know what areas the US considers important, those places will be targeted more.

    I'm all in favour of publishing stuff, but it should be filtered more. The Freedom of Information Act allows people to look at a lot of government files, but even they won't allow everything to be seen. Should we really be allowed to know the names of all the secret agents around the world? They wouldn't be very effective if everyone knew who they were.

    I've nothing against the files on the views of other world leaders, that was funny and it was pretty much what everyone already thought of them anyway. It won't make much difference to relations, I'm sure many of the named people mock the US diplomats too.
  10. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    There was an interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal about Julian Assange as an Information Anarchist. That piece references two essays that Assange wrote back in 2006, "State and Terrorist Conspiracies" and "Conspiracy as Governance". I managed to find a copy of those essays for anyone who wants to read them.

    I'll post my thoughts on them later, but I'd be interested in others' interpretation of his essays and how they might give us better understanding of Assange's goals.

    Kimball Kinnison
  11. LtNOWIS Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    Killing has been a part of public policy since the creation of nation-states, to advance political and national goals. I'm not saying we should kill Assange, but Greenwald, as usual, is acting like a hysteric. Assange is essentially a stateless individual now, so the Australian government should be ok with his murder. Plus, it would be extremely difficult for anyone to trace it back to the CIA, since he has so many enemies.

    Another option would be prosecution. He violated the Espionage Act of 1917, and the First Amendment probably won't protect him. The same goes for any accomplices.
  12. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Well, Australia just said it would protect him and welcome him home.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/12/06/australia.wikileaks/index.html?hpt=T1
  13. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    Well, you could make the case that our own government "elected" WikiLeaks in that they've gone so far out of their way to **** off the international community over the last decade that this incident, coupled with the information age, became inevitable.

    Which totally makes it okay and not an utterly backwards way of going about things. What are we, the USSR?
  14. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Are you arguing that we deserved it, or that we don't deserve a diplomatic apparatus? How does destroying the very means of not "**** off the international community" make any sense? Because we didn't properly use diplomacy to solve problems, we don't deserve to use diplomacy?

    Our government was elected by the people, so what you are really saying is that the people of this country don't deserve the tools of a nation state because you disagree with a decision they made.

    That it is inevitable and that it is justified are two different arguments. Closed societies seem to have far fewer problems leading me to believe it is far from inevitable. Private Manning may have been a little less willing to do what he did if he knew his family would be taken out back and shot as a consequence.

    You don't propose the "forwards" way of looking at things.
  15. LtNOWIS Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    Assange is one guy supported by a handful of other people. He doesn't represent anyone. And, the international community seems to be pretty ticked off at this leak.

    Targeted killing is now a widely accepted, bipartisan tactic. If you don't like that, voting for the Green Party may be your best option.

    Additionally, the Swiss just froze his bank accounts.
  16. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    Hoo boy, is this going to be another one of those "Inevitability vs. My being okay with it" debates?

    I don't necessarily think this leak is a good thing. But I do think that at the rate we went about making people angry, we put ourselves in a position where this sort of thing was going to happen. So I DO think we need to reevaluate ourselves in that lens, not just in the lens of "Boy, this guy was a jerk, we should stop him because he sucks." However, when I consider something "inevitable" I'm not condoning or condemning the particular action.

    So I'm saying we "deserved it" in the sense that we set ourselves in a position where this became an almost guaranteed event.

    ... I dunno if that makes any sense. But please make no mistakes that I think this leak will be detrimental to US diplomatic efforts and that I do not agree with Assange's views on the matter.

    A vote for the Green Party is an indirect vote for the Republicans. No thanks.:p
  17. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    The rate at which we made people angry? Because I'm sure it is possible that would could make sure not even one discontented soldier and a small group of anarchists don't get mad at us.

    What exactly is there to re-evaluate that came from this leak? Obviously the private conversations will have a different tone than public ones, but nothing so far revealed really is different from the stated objectives of our foreign policy from our democratically elected leaders. The surprises have been the way other countries treat their people, not the way the US tries to serve our interests.

    If a newspaper published a list of cooperating witnesses against the mob along with their address, the public doesn't have a right to know and such a thing causes real harm. With the publication of the terrorist target list, wikileaks is throwing any credibility it had down the drain.

    The sad thing is that had wikileaks been a responsible organization concerned with the public good more than taking down government, there were certainly individual items that deserved publication and most of the world who don't have control over their governments who desperately need such an avenue.

    We can't be friends with everyone.
  18. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    I think the media elected wikileaks by not doing its damn job for 8 years and then all the sudden, "Whoa...black dude as pres, gotta be tough lest we seem too liberal." While I do find it funny that our own dirty laundry is being aired, I do think this is tantamount to a gossip rag revealing that Oprah secretly eats baby fetuses and whatnot. Only it's true. Still, whatever takes this country down a notch is always a good thing in my opinion. Mainly because I hate this country and most of its stupid ****ing citizenry with a passion. So if the ship's going to sink into the ocean best to get good seats.
  19. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Thanks for demonstrating that wikileaks is just the expressing of a type of nihilism that can only be formed in an overindulgent society such as ours. Honestly if you hate this country you are free to leave, there are plenty of people that want to live here and can't. What would it take to create a citizen exchange program? I'm not suggesting those with different views need to leave, but if you can't be bothered to have faith in your fellow man and the society you live to be improved, what are you doing here? Go somewhere else because we don't need you. Go listen to the head of the ACLU. I can respect him even though I disagree with many positions him and his organization takes because they believe in the idea of America and consider themselves patriots.

    How are you any different than the nihilists on the other end of the spectrum who wish to destroy the federal government? Both types of person has reacted to the corruption of our political elites by losing faith in society and the power of democracy to effect meaningful change. Such people are worse than useless and have caught this nihilism that I consider a cancer on our society that must be expunged.

    What are you doing to change society besides complain on the internet? I suggest that even if you can't be bothered to work to change the community and nation that educated and protected you, there is so much need in this world that the types of people who sit by in the comfort of a first world nation and wish the senseless destruction of it need to get out more and develop some type of empathy. What good does it do you to react to the the evils and injustices of the world by doing nothing to correct them?

    You know where you can watch this ship sink? From the ******* ocean or get yourself on a new boat.
  20. SithLordDarthRichie CR Emeritus: London

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    "Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious" - Oscar Wilde
  21. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    ...where we don't have a secret police and domestic torture dungeons, and our own citizens aren't "disappeared" in the middle of the night and if you aren't being spied on, you're part of the state's informant network.

    WikiLeaks isn't an American invention. It's the inevitable result of people within the U.S. government or other governments who are willing and able to steal secret digital information and publish it to the world. The government employees who "leaked" and by this I mean stole, the files are being treated more or less like spies, and I don't think you'll find many people in the United States willing to complain much about that.

    The U.S. government is 100% at fault for what happened. It's easy to imagine for every idealistic or bitter individual who's willing to steal digital information without compensation and publish it globally, there are probably twenty foreign governments doing the same thing. If our secrets aren't safe from disgruntled employees, they're not safe from foreign spy agencies either. The Chinese must be offshoring our data by the exabytes.
  22. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    Yeah that's the thing about this whole incident that gets overshadowed by Assange: the reason he has this information is because people within the government gave him that information.
    This is the same government that assures us our body scans at airports are safe. The same government that assures us our medical records are safe.

    :rolleyes:
  23. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    This isn't a "blame the victim" scenario either. The U.S. government isn't a sweet senile old woman in a nursing home getting her wallet stolen by an orderly. The government is a massive organization, and one of its central jobs is to protect secrets that will compromise our interests if exposed. And it let them get exposed. It failed in its job. You might as well blame the Taliban for our failure in Afghanistan or Iran for our failures in Iraq. We would have won those wars if it weren't for the people we were fighting against. We would have protected those secrets if it weren't for the people who were trying to steal them.
  24. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    I just read from FB that Gov Huckabee just said that if we wanted to keep our state secrets a secret we should put them where Obama keeps his college transcripts and birth certificate. Don't know if he actually said that, but it's FUNNY!
  25. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    It's the same place where they keep the ark of the covenant and Saddam's WMDs.
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