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Wikileaks


Cantabile

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I am torn over the wikileaks issue, on one hand you have material being released that has the potential at least to cost lives.

Then you have the other side of, the leak has already made it to the public so do you go with it or not?

more importantly why the hell is this sort of information being leaked?

My personal experience is that it is easy to demonize or be derrogative towards people you do not know. I have a major bitch about beurocrats and politicians but not all of them are worthless, there must be at least one decent politician in the world?

The point is that I cannot see the leaks in general doing much harm, more likely it should cause some good. Diplomats will now need to be aware that ANY comments are on the record.

Do I think this will happen?

No I do not people are basically lazy and that would require hard work and heavens forbid may even engender some respect!

My beleif is that once the leak has hit the public then it is too late to start screaming about security, the public are not responsible for Gov security the GOV is. So instead of hunting and persecuting the members of the public who actually put it on the net they should be improving their security to prevent these leaks

So I guess my position is that the Wikileaks may indeed be a problem but it is not the publics problem it is the government that is so inept that they do not bother to encrypt communications.

The people at fault here are those who didn't bother with proper security measures.

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from The Daily Beast, 9 Most Shocking WikiLeaks Secrets. To summarize that would be:

(1) Yemen pretends that U.S. drone bombs are theirs.

(2) China hacked Google, gmail accounts of dissidents, the computers of Americans, and the Dalai Lama's computer

(3) Hillary asked diplomats to spy and report back credit card numbers, email addresses, cellphone numbers, and DNA of the members of the U.N. Security Council, including the Secretary General, in violation of the 1946 convention of privileges and immunities of U.N. member states

(4) Shadowy gifts and business deals between Berlusconi and Putin

(5) Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah asked for a U.S. strike on Iran

(6) Afghani Vice President Ahmed Zia Mussaud came through the UAE with $52 million - in cash (obviously carrying heavy implications that he's completely corrupt, related to the drug trade, or arms dealing, or other totally unsavory activities of which we are apparently totally aware as we apparently didn't care)

(7) U.S. offers foreign governments favors and cash payouts to take Guantanamo detainees (not really what I thought Obama had been promising....)

(8) U.S. and South Korea are making plans to reuinte the Koreas

I would hardly characterize #2, 4 and 7 as "shocking"; as for #8, it's quite obvious that some people can't distinguish between contingency plans as oppose to actual policies. I mean if you dig deep enough within the Department of Defense, you would find detailed proposal for the invasion and occupation of China.

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Out of curiosity, what is wrong with #7? Seems practical to me. Can't let 'em go in America so offer some cash money in exchange for another government to deal with them. If their home government wont take them see if we can settle them elsewhere. To me it seems like a pretty practical approach for the Obama administration in dealing with a Bush era problem. Unfortunately it looks like that if nobody wants them its back to the drawing board... but I don't think it totally fails as an idea in terms of closing Guantanamo. To either repatriate them or pawn them off to a government that we don't believe will do undue harm to them.

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Actually, there's really nothing wrong with #7; it seems quite practical and politically feasible. But for some of our more dove-eyes idealists, it makes perfect sense that once America released all the detainees from Gitmo, the rest of the world would be most eager to take back a bunch of hardened men who are potentially radicalized by their experience at Gitmo.

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It's wrong to be a snitch, but, in the main, it's much more wrong to have done something in the first place to be snitched. Certainly, if I bear the responsibility for letting criminals go when I slam the cop who put them behind bars for corruption, then surely she bears only that much more responsibility for the very same outcome for having made that outcome possible. I'm not fond of WikiLeaks particularly, but I see something like this as a kind of market correction. Politicians were gambling their currency and their agendas -- including programs and negotiations where potentially millions of lives were at stake -- would only get stronger, and they were right so long as people kept buying their lies. Someone called their markers, and suddenly they were caught short.

There may be disturbing outcomes, the specific attitudes and methods of WikiLeaks may leave much to be desired, but it's hard for me to focus on those as culprits whose only apparent crime is exposing the crimes (real and figurative) of others.

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Ordering diplomats to swipe UN passwords and pin numbers is probably the biggest for shock value - seriously, don't they have the NSA for that?

It's a cost-saving measure. Gotta do more with less. Especially in this economy.

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I would hardly characterize #2, 4 and 7 as "shocking"; as for #8, it's quite obvious that some people can't distinguish between contingency plans as oppose to actual policies. I mean if you dig deep enough within the Department of Defense, you would find detailed proposal for the invasion and occupation of China.

I think #7 is an actual policy goal. Do you not?

Out of curiosity, what is wrong with #7? Seems practical to me. Can't let 'em go in America so offer some cash money in exchange for another government to deal with them. If their home government wont take them see if we can settle them elsewhere. To me it seems like a pretty practical approach for the Obama administration in dealing with a Bush era problem. Unfortunately it looks like that if nobody wants them its back to the drawing board... but I don't think it totally fails as an idea in terms of closing Guantanamo. To either repatriate them or pawn them off to a government that we don't believe will do undue harm to them.

Resettling released detainees is not shocking, IMO. If we are trying to just imprison detainees in other places so it just looks like we're not detaining people left and right without reason (and some of them are cases of mistaken identity...), well, that's a whole other issue. It's hard to sort out what's about what from the media reporting, and I haven't gotten around to reading the actual cables on this topic. It is public knowledge that we have people imprisoned in other countries and that they are questioned using unsavory techniques there. Or maybe I've just seen too many movies.

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During the Q&A session hosted by the Guardian, Mr Assange was asked a few interesting (and some rather stupid) questions, but the most interesting and important one he refused to answer:

JAnthony

Julian.

I am a former British diplomat. In the course of my former duties I helped to coordinate multilateral action against a brutal regime in the Balkans, impose sanctions on a renegade state threatening ethnic cleansing, and negotiate a debt relief programme for an impoverished nation. None of this would have been possible without the security and secrecy of diplomatic correspondence, and the protection of that correspondence from publication under the laws of the UK and many other liberal and democratic states. An embassy which cannot securely offer advice or pass messages back to London is an embassy which cannot operate. Diplomacy cannot operate without discretion and the

protection of sources. This applies to the UK and the UN as much as the US.

In publishing this massive volume of correspondence, Wikileaks is not highlighting specific cases of wrongdoing but undermining the entire process of diplomacy. If you can publish US cables then you can publish UK telegrams and UN emails.

My question to you is: why should we not hold you personally responsible when next an international crisis goes unresolved because diplomats cannot function.

Julian Assange:

If you trim the vast editorial letter to the singular question actually asked, I would be happy to give it my attention.

Of course, the question was not rephrased during the session and Mr Assagen did not come back to it.

Ridiculous.

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"Resettle." Plus, I don't think we have a lot of detainees who were originally from the Maldives or Kiribati.

Yeah, I don't think there was anyone from the Maldives. The Maldives isn't exactly motherfucking Vancouver, but I think they're far mroe worried about global warming than taking terrorists into their country. Our priorities are backwards.

Also, WTF, the Saudis have a terrorist rehabilitation program?

Yeah, as someone posted, it's pretty famous at this point. Apparently it works pretty well, too.

In our country, instead of rehabilitating would-be jihadists, we entrap them.

Out of curiosity, what is wrong with #7? Seems practical to me.

The reason it seems incredibly stupid to me is that countries have offered to take them. Our boneheaded leaders can't seem to understand that, and would rather hold them indefinitely while spending taxpayer money to send them places that don't want them.

Of course, someone is going to come in and say, "WE CANT SEND THEM TO CHAVEZ!! OMG!!", to which I reply, "are you fucking serious?"

Of course, the question was not rephrased during the session and Mr Assagen did not come back to it.

Ridiculous.

To be fair, he's addressed that at least a dozen times before.

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The reason it seems incredibly stupid to me is that countries have offered to take them.

Our PM offered to take one just to have a 20 min meeting with Obama :lmao:(and then clarified to the press that he would do it even for free)

Not only is he the most incompetent PM in Slovenian history, he's also pathetic.

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This whole thing sort of strikes me a similar to the music companies whining about music downloads. Look a more interconnected world means that secrecy is harder to maintain. This stuff is going to get more prevalent, not less. Diplomacy isn't made impossible, it needs to adapt. Maybe those romantic times when Spy's used to work deep under cover are over. You can't have spy's any more because their names get leaked and they are killed. The good news is you really don't need spy's because everyone's state secrets are getting leaked.

If government secrecy become impossible, is the world safer or more dangerous?

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During the Q&A session hosted by the Guardian, Mr Assange was asked a few interesting (and some rather stupid) questions, but the most interesting and important one he refused to answer:

Of course, the question was not rephrased during the session and Mr Assagen did not come back to it.

Ridiculous.

Thats what the politicians always come up with after a reveal so its just a worn out issue. IMO the most interesting Q&A was this:

burgi

Western governments lay claim to moral authority in part from having legal guarantees for a free press.

Threats of legal sanction against Wikileaks and yourself seem to weaken this claim.

(What press needs to be protected except that which is unpopular to the State? If being state-sanctioned is the test for being a media organization, and therefore able to claim rights to press freedom, the situation appears to be the same in authoritarian regimes and the west.)

Do you agree that western governments risk losing moral authority by

attacking Wikileaks?

Do you believe western goverments have any moral authority to begin with?

Thanks,

Tim Burgi

Vancouver, Canada

Julian Assange:

The west has fiscalised its basic power relationships through a web of contracts, loans, shareholdings, bank holdings and so on. In such an environment it is easy for speech to be "free" because a change in political will rarely leads to any change in these basic instruments. Western speech, as something that rarely has any effect on power, is, like badgers and birds, free. In states like China, there is pervasive censorship, because speech still has power and power is scared of it. We should always look at censorship as an economic signal that reveals the potential power of speech in that jurisdiction. The attacks against us by the US point to a great hope, speech powerful enough to break the fiscal blockade.

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Our PM offered to take one just to have a 20 min meeting with Obama :lmao:(and then clarified to the press that he would do it even for free)

Not only is he the most incompetent PM in Slovenian history, he's also pathetic.

You guys should make Zizek president!

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