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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1266 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2010 :  00:35:25  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
US: WikiLeaks release endangers 'countless' lives

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/top/all/7314278.html

Should government have a right to keep certain things secret, or is wikileaks doing us a service by exposing to the world what is really going on?

DISCUSS!

Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2010 :  06:53:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wikileaks has shown that unspeakable atrocities has been committed by American soldiers overseas. Clear violations against the Geneva Convention and against the code of conduct for soldiers in armed conflict.

Such things that the government wants to keep secret, and it's not surprising that they do.

The murder of civilians in Iraq is blood on the soldiers' hands.
But not just on the soldiers' hand, but the hands of their commanders.
And their commanders' commander; the politicians: The POTUS, and the Senators and Representatives that enabled him.
WikiLeaks put the blood where it belongs: On the hands of the American people who elected the politicians in the first place. The politicians and the military commanders doesn't want the people to know that they have done, because that would mean they could lose The People's support.
They want status quo.
Murder in Iraq for oil and fat no-bid contracts on military supplies.
Illegal wiretaps and no accountability.

When no one knows what happened, as long as no one reads the report, the powers-that-be can reign with impudence. Without accountability.
Without no accountability comes the power that corrupts so absolutely as the aphorism says.
But unless every shady deal the government has done is exposed, how can we trust the government? How can we trust the government to do the right thing? How can we trust them to follow and uphold the law, domestic and international?
Government isn't about Might Makes Right, it's about protecting those who are too weak to protect themselves. Only by complete transparency can we make sure that corrupt politicians are exposed and weeded out from the places of power.

threaten global counterterrorism operations
LMFAO... Where are those terrible weapons of mass destruction that Iraq supposedly had? counterterrorism operations is just smoke and mirrors.
As long as morons are running USA, the world NEEDS WikiLeaks to keep the idiots in check.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2010 :  13:11:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From the New York Times:

Cables Obtained by WikiLeaks Shine Light Into Secret Diplomatic Channels

From this rather long article:

he 251,287 cables, first acquired by WikiLeaks, were provided to The Times by an intermediary on the condition of anonymity. Many are unclassified, and none are marked “top secret,” the government’s most secure communications status. But some 11,000 are classified “secret,” 9,000 are labeled “noforn,” shorthand for material considered too delicate to be shared with any foreign government, and 4,000 are designated both secret and noforn.
Many more cables name diplomats’ confidential sources, from foreign legislators and military officers to human rights activists and journalists, often with a warning to Washington: “Please protect” or “Strictly protect.”

The Times has withheld from articles and removed from documents it is posting online the names of some people who spoke privately to diplomats and might be at risk if they were publicly identified. The Times is also withholding some passages or entire cables whose disclosure could compromise American intelligence efforts.

The point being that while transparency is a good thing, there are some compelling reasons that not all information be made public, especially if it’s current and dealing with ongoing negotiations with various peoples and countries. Hell, even human rights activists are asking for some confidentiality.
It’s too easy to over simplify what wikiLeaks is doing. While there are some things that we should probably know, are they also compromising delicate negotiations going on that would be better kept a secret? Remember, everyone is getting this info, not just us…

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2010 :  13:49:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And from the Guardian:

US embassy cables leak sparks global diplomacy crisis

The United States was catapulted into a worldwide diplomatic crisis today, with the leaking to the Guardian and other international media of more than 250,000 classified cables from its embassies, many sent as recently as February this year.

At the start of a series of daily extracts from the US embassy cables - many of which are designated "secret" – the Guardian can disclose that Arab leaders are privately urging an air strike on Iran and that US officials have been instructed to spy on the UN's leadership.

These two revelations alone would be likely to reverberate around the world. But the secret dispatches which were obtained by WikiLeaks, the whistlebowers' website, also reveal Washington's evaluation of many other highly sensitive international issues.

These include a major shift in relations between China and North Korea, Pakistan's growing instability and details of clandestine US efforts to combat al-Qaida in Yemen…


While there is some really strange stuff here, the problem I see is that there are no filters. Anything goes. And that more than borders on irresponsible, in my opinion, on the part of WikiLeaks.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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The Rat
SFN Regular

Canada
1342 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2010 :  14:33:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit The Rat's Homepage Send The Rat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ



Should government have a right to keep certain things secret,...


Yes they should, but it is up to them to keep the secrets, not anyone else. If information does come to light then it becomes up to the person to whom it was revealed. Depending on the information I might choose to keep it secret or reveal it, but as a private citizen I see no reason why I should be under any legal obligation to follow anything other than my own conscience.


Bailey's second law; There is no relationship between the three virtues of intelligence, education, and wisdom.

You fiend! Never have I encountered such corrupt and foul-minded perversity! Have you ever considered a career in the Church? - The Bishop of Bath and Wells, Blackadder II

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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2010 :  05:08:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am of two minds on this. While I feel that the misdeeds of those in authority, military and otherwise, foreign and domestic, should be made public in glaring headlines, there are some things that should not.
Should WikiLeaks have released diplomatic details?
by Chris in Paris on 11/29/2010 06:25:00 AM

It's unrealistic to imagine other states not having this information, so the anger sounds overdone. Also, is it a surprise to anyone that US policies in Afghanistan and Pakistan are dysfunctional or that the US and Middle East partners want Iran's nuclear program to be terminated? Part of the problem may also be related to the lack of transparency in politics, which is not just a US issue. The decisions that our political leaders make could definitely benefit from the public being made more aware of what is going on with tax dollars.

If politicians are ready to ask individuals to justify every last cent received by the meager social welfare system in the US, it's fair to ask the same from the government. The information may make many uncomfortable, but that is no reason to keep everyone in the dark.



"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2010 :  11:24:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil
The point being that while transparency is a good thing, there are some compelling reasons that not all information be made public, especially if it’s current and dealing with ongoing negotiations with various peoples and countries. Hell, even human rights activists are asking for some confidentiality.
Emphasis mine.

You can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs...
Ok, that may sound cynical, but it's not my fault things are the way they are.
WikiLeaks is important because it exposes the evil shit the government and the military have been doing (and continue doing).
It is really unfortunate that good people like human rights activists get caught in the middle.
I agree with Kil that some kind of filtering ideally should be in place to protect the innocent and the people who works for the benefit of mankind.
But is it realistic?
We're talking about reading through more than a quarter of a million papers to sort out which to withhold in order to protect innocent people.

With some damage done to good causes, I still think it will be worth it, if it convinces the American government to turn away from its evil ways. Violations of international rights and law, and violations of the Geneva Convention must not be allowed to go unpunished.

I'll quit ranting now. You regulars know about my deep distrust of US foreign policies.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2010 :  13:26:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From the pen of the Rude Pundit:
11/29/2010
The Most Hilarious Stuff So Far from the Wikileaks Documents:
So, yeah, today diplomats from the United States and elsewhere are having their not-so-secret secrets revealed by Wikileaks. It's an act known as an "Assange steamer," where a shitload of documents are dumped on government officials' chests and they can go fuck themselves with them. More than anything, so far, the cables and analyses confirm things we already knew or suspected, with a surprise or two (like everyone wants to bomb the fuck out of Iran). Most of the reaction seems to be the embarrassment for different nations in having their asses shown to the world. However, there's also a hilarious and racist side to the leaked cables.

For instance:

- Libyan President Muammar Qadhaffi (Kadafy, Khadafi, etc.) is monkeyfuck insane and likes white titties. According to one 2009 cable, he "appears to have an intense dislike or fear of staying on upper floors, reportedly prefers not to fly over water, and seems to enjoy horse racing and flamenco dancing." Yep, he will not climb more than 35 stairs, so he has to stay on the first floor of any lodging. And he won't fly more than eight hours at a time.

Bonus points: "Qadhafi relies heavily on his long-time Ukrainian nurse, Galyna Kolotnytska, who has been described as a 'voluptuous blonde.'" Apparently, Kolotnytska is his favorite of four Ukrainian nurses. Seriously, this is like something out of a 1950s Sinbad movie.

Indeed.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2010 :  18:55:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I find myself agreeing with what Mike Dunford at The Questionable Authority, so I'll just let him do the speaking instead:

Ordinarily, I have a great deal of respect for whistleblowers – and, if I could bring myself to think of this case as an instance of whistleblowing, I would probably have at least some respect for what happened here. But I can’t.

Whoever leaked the diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks does not appear to have done so in an attempt to right – or even identify – specific wrongs. There does not appear to have been any attempt to be selective about what material to leak. In fact, it seems clear that the leaker could not plausibly have even personally read all of the material that was leaked. According to WikiLeaks, the diplomatic cables alone contain over 261 million words. Even if the person who downloaded and distributed the material could go through the content at a rate of 1,000 words per minute, it would have taken 6 months of nonstop, 24/7 reading to get through the material.

Grabbing classified material and sending it out for public distribution without even taking the time to read it is not an act of courage. It’s a demonstration of mindblowing irresponsibility.

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 11/29/2010 :  21:31:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have no problem with wikileaks.

As for the objections by The Questionable Authority, it is possible to key word scan those documents in about 60 seconds. You convert them all to text with some tool (say google documents) then search (google comes in handy yet again) for key words that could indicate sensitive information. You set those aside for further reading before you publish them. I'm not saying that has been done by wikileaks or the leaker, but I'm pretty sure its been done by a dozen media outlets by now. Just saying that it is possible to leak documents and still satisfy some minimal requirement to not leak troop locations, future plans, or disrupt delicate negotiations. And that the Questionable Authority doesn't know what processing the leaker or wikileaks subjected the documents to before publishing them.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2010 :  11:30:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The sheer volume of stuff to read...

However, one could use the idea of distributed computing. Think of a WikiLeaks-at-home-filter, with perhaps a thousand volunteers reading through papers in order to weed out information that are sensitive, like the names of whistle-blowers and human rights activists.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2010 :  12:58:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On a related matter, here's Noam Chomski:
Leaked cables reveal America’s ‘profound hatred of democracy,’ Chomsky declares

By Nathan Diebenow
Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 -- 12:46 pm

What does the release of over 250,000 secret US State Department cables by WikiLeaks ultimately reflect?

"What that reveals is the profound hatred for democracy on the part of our political leadership and of course the Israeli political leadership," Noam Chomsky, renowned American linguist and political dissident, told Democracy Now's Amy Goodman on Tuesday.

In the context of Israeli and US policymakers view of Iran shown in the cables, Chomsky said that the perspectives of the leadership stand in sharp contrast to the opinions of the populations they supposedly serve.

"[US Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton and [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu surely know of the careful polls of Arab public opinion," Chomsky said.

Specifically, the scholar noted the Brookings Institute's recent release of its annual poll on what Arabs think about Iran, the United States, and Israel.

"The results are rather striking. They show that Arab opinion holds that the major threat in the region is Israel. That's 80 percent. The second major threat is the United States. That's 77 percent. Iran is listed as a threat by 10 percent. With regard to nuclear weapons rather remarkably, the majority -- in fact 57 percent -- say that it will have a positve effect on the region if Iran had nuclear weapons. These are not small numbers," he said.

Chomsky added, "This may not be reported in the newspapers here. It is in England, but it is certainly familiar with the Israeli and US governments and to the ambassadors."

When asked to respond to Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) argument that that Wikileaks should be declared a foreign terrorist organization, he said, "I think that's outlandish."

Chomsky was one of the first Americans outside of the political establishment to see the Pentagon Papers released by counter-terrorism analyst turned whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg during the Vietnam War. He drew a comparison between the Pentagon Papers and the latest WikiLeaks drop of US embassy cables.

Bummer, eh? Gawd, but how I hate the liars in my government.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2010 :  12:49:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"The results are rather striking. They show that Arab opinion holds that the major threat in the region is Israel. That's 80 percent. The second major threat is the United States. That's 77 percent."

Gee, I wonder why...



But seriously. There's a lesson here to be learned:
More governmental transparency, and keep your fucking military on a short leash: preferably within your own borders, unless UN asks for help.
Swinging your dick around like USA have been doing in Central America and the Middle East, and you'll provoke people to want to stomp on it. Don't cry foul if someone hits home and it hurts...


Pax Americana pisses people off, because too many American corporations are making profits off it at the expense of locals.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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The Rat
SFN Regular

Canada
1342 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2010 :  18:16:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit The Rat's Homepage Send The Rat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

Pax Americana pisses people off, because too many American corporations are making profits off it at the expense of locals.


WORD!


Bailey's second law; There is no relationship between the three virtues of intelligence, education, and wisdom.

You fiend! Never have I encountered such corrupt and foul-minded perversity! Have you ever considered a career in the Church? - The Bishop of Bath and Wells, Blackadder II

Baculum's page: http://www.bebo.com/Profile.jsp?MemberId=3947338590
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2010 :  19:08:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The guy with the biggest stick always pisses people off. Not that I disagree with some of the criticism of the US, but lets remove the emotional aspect and examine it honestly.

We suck, but we don't suck as much as some people say we suck. Also, we invented the polio vaccine, the smallpox vaccine, and antibiotics. We also have a guy (who died in 2009) who figured out how to get more food out of a unit of land than was previously thought possible. His science is widely used and has probably prevented massive global famines. In 2007 the estimate of the number of lives saved worldwide by this American was more than a billion (yes, more than 1,000,000,000).

Norman Borlaug. (BAMF)

I'm not saying our actions in recent years are justified, just that the general hate that seems to be circulating is not.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1266 Posts

Posted - 12/01/2010 :  19:15:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yes the USA has done good and bad things. It's almost as if it is a land mass containing millions of individuals rather than one amorphous mass....

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