I'm generally an adherent to Daniel Patrick Moynihan's wishes to make government more open, and agree that too often uses "secret" and higher level security designations to hide accountability. That said, for a U.S. soldier to have been so gravely disobedient over security protocols requires the sternest punishment available.
I'm curiously optimistic to see what happens going forward. The problem in evaluating this kind of thing is that it will take years for the effects to come to light (unless there's another leak, I suppose). I wonder if the leak doesn't, in the end, encourage some bargaining that might not have been available, otherwise. Sometimes its better to just lay all the cards on the table diplomatically, and I'm afraid too often diplomats play things too close to the vest.
Of course, I've spent the past month reading about the British FO failures leading into WW II. Now that was a boondoggle of incredibly short sighted proportion.
I think the entire group would need to be dealt with, not one or the other part of it.The only solution is to come down hard on those who leaked the info.
Foreigners are spies, US Citizens would be treasonous.
You say potato, I say potahtoe.
How $#@!ing pathetic is Saudi Arabia though? Israel I can understand with their military incapable of REALLY striking Iran, but you spend all your money on shiny toys, oppress your people with a police state, are right there, and you still have to beg for others to wage war for you?
Ahmadinejad has enough balls to even take on this own Ayotollah for whatever that is worth.
The real concern in Iran right now is whether the IRGC are still subject to the demands of the Ayotollahs. They now have their fingers in all the illegal pies there--narco trafficking, illegal imports, all manner of crime. The real question isn't whether Ahmadinejad or Khamenei is in charge, its whether either has enough juice to run counter to the IRGC.
Last edited by LCHorn; 11-28-2010 at 08:15 PM.
Yeah I know that the last thing the US wants is democracy in Saudi, Egypt and Jordan. That is why I laughed so $#@!ing hard at Condi's trip as sec of state.
How am I supposed to hate/worry about Ahmadinejad for stealing an election when these people are more brutal in their tyranny? and Israel puts Palestinians in ghettos in between wars? Who the $#@! are the good guys? The only credit Obama gets is in restraining evil, not necessarily doing stuff to fix evil in the middle east.
http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/rem...sunni-regimes/It isnâ€™t just King Abdullahâ€”the rulers of Jordan, Bahrain, and Abu Dhabi have apparently all made similar requests and leaders in Egypt have stopped just short of that.
IMO were Israel or the United States to eliminate Iranâ€™s nuclear development capability by force Iranâ€™s neighbors would make some outraged noises while being secretly relieved. These leaks have removed the possibility of cloaking their hostility with such a figleaf from the Sunni regimes of the Middle East.
In addition to unmasking the intentions of Iranâ€™s neighbors doesnâ€™t this also cast some doubt over the claims that an attack on Iran would precipitate World War III?
$#@! it. lets bomb iran if everyone in the region is on board with it.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...eadership.htmlAmerican diplomats have been running a spying campaign against the United Nations leadership and representatives of permanent members of its security council, including Britain, according to documents released by WikiLeaks.
A classified directive under the name of Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, in July 2009 called for email addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers, credit card details and frequent-flyer numbers for UN personnel.
The directive appears to push the boundary between diplomacy and espionage and could breach the 1946 UN convention on privileges and immunities which states that the "premises of the United Nations shall be inviolable".
NYT executive summary of some issues/points: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/world/29cables.html
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010...est-wikileaks/King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia told a senior White House official to consider surgically implanting homing devices under Guantanamo Bay detainees’ skin. That’s one of the many potentially embarrassing comments from diplomatic back rooms now being made public by WikiLeaks.
During a March 2009 meeting with John Brennan, President Obama’s closest counterterrorism adviser, Abdullah proposed shooting electronic chips into the residual Guantanamo population, “allowing their movements to be tracked with Bluetooth.” Abdullah appears to have come up with the idea on the fly during their meeting — “I’ve just thought of something,” the cable quotes him saying — and considered forced subcutaneous chip implantation uncontroversial, since it’s already “done with horses and falcons.”
Last edited by bernorange; 11-28-2010 at 08:42 PM.
Nation building sucks.Does the US want to get involved in any possible Sunni/Shia holy war? The long term ramifications of attaching the country to one form of Islam are not worth it at all.
Religion building sucks more.
To some degree, we are already in a Sunni/Shia holy war. Name our Shia allies, or if not allies, countries with whom we share common goals? I think one consideration (though not a big one) to overthrowing Hussein in Iraq was that a Shia dominated government would follow (though we hoped it would be as secular as it could be), and would be able to exert pressure on their fellow adherents in Iran.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...bles-wikileaksIs it justified? Should a newspaper disclose virtually all a nation's secret diplomatic communication, illegally downloaded by one of its citizens? The reporting in the Guardian of the first of a selection of 250,000 US state department cables marks a recasting of modern diplomacy. Clearly, there is no longer such a thing as a safe electronic archive, whatever computing's snake-oil salesmen claim. No organisation can treat digitised communication as confidential. An electronic secret is a contradiction in terms.
Anything said or done in the name of a democracy is, prima facie, of public interest. When that democracy purports to be "world policeman" – an assumption that runs ghostlike through these cables – that interest is global. Nonetheless, the Guardian had to consider two things in abetting disclosure, irrespective of what is anyway published by WikiLeaks. It could not be party to putting the lives of individuals or sources at risk, nor reveal material that might compromise ongoing military operations or the location of special forces.
In this light, two backup checks were applied. The US government was told in advance the areas or themes covered, and "representations" were invited in return. These were considered. Details of "redactions" were then shared with the other four media recipients of the material and sent to WikiLeaks itself, to establish, albeit voluntarily, some common standard.
The state department knew of the leak several months ago and had ample time to alert staff in sensitive locations. Its pre-emptive scaremongering over the weekend stupidly contrived to hint at material not in fact being published. Nor is the material classified top secret, being at a level that more than 3 million US government employees are cleared to see, and available on the defence department's internal Siprnet. Such dissemination of "secrets" might be thought reckless, suggesting a diplomatic outreach that makes the British empire seem minuscule.
The revelations do not have the startling, coldblooded immediacy of the WikiLeaks war logs from Iraq and Afghanistan, with their astonishing insight into the minds of fighting men seemingly detached from the ethics of war. The's disclosures are largely of analysis and high-grade gossip. Insofar as they are sensational, it is in showing the corruption and mendacity of those in power, and the mismatch between what they claim and what they do.
Few will be surprised to know that Vladimir Putin runs the world's most sensational kleptocracy, that the Saudis wanted the Americans to bomb Iran, or that Pakistan's ISI is hopelessly involved with Taliban groups of fiendish complexity. We now know that Washington knows too. The full extent of American dealings with Yemen might upset that country's government, but is hardly surprising. If it is true that the Pentagon targeted refugee camps for bombing, it should be of general concern. American congressmen might also be interested in the sums of money given to certain foreign generals supposedly to pay for military equipment.
The job of the media is not to protect power from embarrassment. If American spies are breaking United Nations rules by seeking the DNA biometrics of the UN director general, he is entitled to hear of it. British voters should know what Afghan leaders thought of British troops. American (and British) taxpayers might question, too, how most of the billions of dollars going in aid to Afghanistan simply exits the country at Kabul airport.
No harm is done by high-class chatter about President Nicolas Sarkozy's vulgarity and lack of house-training, or about the British royal family. What the American embassy in London thinks about the coalition suggests not an alliance at risk but an embassy with a talent problem.
Some stars shine through the banality such as the heroic envoy in Islamabad, Anne Patterson. She pleads that Washington's whole policy is counterproductive: it "risks destabilising the Pakistani state, alienating both the civilian government and the military leadership, and provoking a broader governance crisis without finally achieving the goal". Nor is any amount of money going to bribe the Taliban to our side. Patterson's cables are like missives from the Titanic as it already heads for the bottom.
The money‑wasting is staggering. Aid payments are never followed, never audited, never evaluated. The impression is of the world's superpower roaming helpless in a world in which nobody behaves as bidden. Iran, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, the United Nations, are all perpetually off script. Washington reacts like a wounded bear, its instincts imperial but its power projection unproductive.
America's foreign policy is revealed as a slave to rightwing drift, terrified of a bomb exploding abroad or of a pro-Israeli congressman at home. If the cables tell of the progress to war over Iran or Pakistan or Gaza or Yemen, their revelation might help debate the inanity of policies which, as Patterson says, seem to be leading in just that direction. Perhaps we can now see how catastrophe unfolds when there is time to avert it, rather than having to await a Chilcot report after the event. If that is not in the public's interest, I fail to see what is.
Clearly, it is for governments, not journalists, to protect public secrets. Were there some overriding national jeopardy in revealing them, greater restraint might be in order. There is no such overriding jeopardy, except from the policies themselves as revealed. Where it is doing the right thing, a great power should be robust against embarrassment.
What this saga must do is alter the basis of diplomatic reporting. If WikiLeaks can gain access to secret material, by whatever means, so presumably can a foreign power. Words on paper can be made secure, electronic archives not. The leaks have blown a hole in the framework by which states guard their secrets. The Guardian material must be a breach of the official secrets acts. But coupled with the penetration already allowed under freedom of information, the walls round policy formation and documentation are all but gone. All barriers are permeable. In future the only secrets will be spoken ones. Whether that is a good thing should be a topic for public debate.
Has/have the perpetrator(s) been identified in this instance? I know they found the soldier who illegally downloaded the Iraq/Afghan war documents, but I haven't heard anything about this crop of secrets.
I am reading through some more articles on what's leaked, and I noticed how much focus there is on talking about how the wires show everyone is gunning to and should attack Iran. Wouldn't it be the ultimate mind$#@! if one day it was found out that most of wires were fabricated as a way to warm the world up to the idea, like the yellowcake uranium evidence was "misinterpreted" with Saddam? Probably not true, but it would have been absolutely brilliant.
we are wasting so much time and money and lives with thugs... this is what it tells me...
oh the king's idea is pretty smart. as long as they arnt us citizens.
You attend a neighborhood party and the vast majority of your neighbors are there. You smile , shake hands exchange all sorts of pleasantries engage in conversation and whatnot. The next day someone was able to record every conversation you have in the privacy of your home AND somehow has access to all of your thoughts. Then they decide to tell your neighbors what goes on in your head when you see Mrs. M carrying her son stricken with Downs Syndrome including the thought in your mind about that droooling little retard she carries with her everywhere. Or another neighbor's barking dog and how your thinking of the best way to slip it a bowl of antifreeze in the middle of the night. And someone else becomes privy to the memory you have of going over to talk to Phil but he wasn't home and you and his wife had a few drinks and ended up on the couch, the coffee table and their washroom with her sitting on the dryer, and then Phil's wife finds out how you'd like to do the same to her 16 year old daughter who walks past your house every day to the bus stop.. You're the only person who this is being done to even though through conversations or even subtle hints you knwo at least some of your neighbors share some or all of these thoughts, but through no fault of your own, YOU are the only one being exposed to everyone else.
Man that sucks
Hmm. Not one cable from Wikileaks' founder's native Australia. Meanwhile there are 1,490 from New Zealand. This reeks of selective release.
Iranâ€™s first official reaction to leaked State Department cables quoting Arab leaders as urging the United States to bomb Tehranâ€™s nuclear facilities, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed the documents as American psychological warfare that would not affect his countryâ€™s relations with other nations, news reports said.
The documents seemed to show several Arab nations, notably Saudi Arabia, Iranâ€™s rival for influence in the Persian Gulf, displaying such hostility that King Abdullah repeatedly implored Washington to â€ścut off the head of the snakeâ€ť while there was still time.
Nonetheless, Mr. Ahmadinejad said at a news conference on Monday that Iranâ€™s relations with its neighbors would not be damaged by the reports.
â€śRegional countries are all friends with each other. Such mischief will have no impact on the relations of countries,â€ť he said, according to Reuters.
â€śSome part of the American government produced these documents,â€ť he said. â€śWe donâ€™t think this information was leaked. We think it was organized to be released on a regular basis and they are pursuing political goals.
Bradley Manning, described having downloaded from a military computer system many classified documents, including â€ś260,000 State Department cables from embassies and consulates all over the world.â€ť In an online discussion with Adrian Lamo, a computer hacker, Private Manning said he had delivered the cables and other documents to WikiLeaks.
Mr. Lamo reported Private Manningâ€™s disclosures to federal authorities, and Private Manning was arrested. He has been charged with illegally leaking classified information and faces a possible court-martial and, if convicted, a lengthy prison term.
This was interesting:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/wo...9missiles.htmlIran Fortifies Its Arsenal With the Aid of North Korea
Iran obtained 19 of the missiles from North Korea, according to a cable dated Feb. 24 of this year. The cable is a detailed, highly classified account of a meeting between top Russian officials and an American delegation led by Vann H. Van Diepen, an official with the State Department’s nonproliferation division who, as a national intelligence officer several years ago, played a crucial role in the 2007 assessment of Iran’s nuclear capacity.
The missiles could for the first time give Iran the capacity to strike at capitals in Western Europe or easily reach Moscow, and American officials warned that their advanced propulsion could speed Iran’s development of intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The people who leak this $#@! and betray the governments trust will be lucky not to face the death penalty under the UCMJ once they're caught.
this is wild. probably one of the most significant happenings ever. the great diplomatic throwdown!
the middle east stuff is gold. we can't get off oil fast enough to crash that $#@! over there.
I'm a complete newb on this topic, but how is wiki obtaining this information? Hacking, or are they receiving it from disgruntled insiders?
reading some now (and actually to the OP's advice and made some popcorn).
Wow this is an amazing read. I would kill to be back in college now and be listening to my history/gov professors talk about this.
I love this one here from 1989:
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 PANAMA 08545
TAGS: PGOV PREL PM US
SUBJECT: PANAMANIANS HOPE FOR A SUCCESSFUL COUP
-- NORIEGA PLANS FOR A NEW YEAR IN POWER
how does that military guy have access to all this diplomatic stuff?
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101128...wikileaksmediaThe Guardian on Sunday defended its decision to publish hundreds of secret US memos released by whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.
In an editorial, the centre-left newspaper argued that most of the US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks had already been posted on a US government intranet site with a "very wide" audience and were thus barely secret.
"These confidences were posted on a US government intranet... for a very wide distribution among diplomatic, government and military circles," the newspaper argued.
"They may have been marked 'secret' but all secrets are relative: there are around 3 million Americans cleared to read material thus classified," the paper stated.
Supposedly ~1% of the US population already had access to this info.
ya but i doubt it is on one large network that anyone who has "clearance" can just log onto correct?
i mean... please tell me that only someone working into a certain field can freely access information. I mean, some contractor working on a microchip can't just long onto a network and read random battle reports or diplomatic letters right?
WikiLeaks is a bad thing for tyranny, not the USA. Let it out and to hell with those who look like pieces of $#@! - because they probably are pieces of $#@!.
Assange plays the game well:
http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenber...ulian-assange/How much of this trove of documents that youâ€™re sitting on is related to the private sector?
About fifty percent.
Youâ€™ve been focused on the U.S. military mostly in the last year. Does that mean you have private sector-focused leaks in the works?
Yes. If you think about it, we have a publishing pipeline thatâ€™s increasing linearly, and an exponential number of leaks, so weâ€™re in a position where we have to prioritize our resources so that the biggest impact stuff gets released first.
So do you have very high impact corporate stuff to release then?
Yes, but maybe not as high impactâ€¦I mean, it could take down a bank or two.
That sounds like high impact.
But not as big an impact as the history of a whole war. But it depends on how you measure these things.
Yes. We have one related to a bank coming up, thatâ€™s a megaleak. Itâ€™s not as big a scale as the Iraq material, but itâ€™s either tens or hundreds of thousands of documents depending on how you define it.
Is it a U.S. bank?
Yes, itâ€™s a U.S. bank.
One that still exists?
Yes, a big U.S. bank.
The biggest U.S. bank?
When will it happen?
Early next year. I wonâ€™t say more.
What do you want to be the result of this release?
[Pauses] Iâ€™m not sure.
It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume.
Usually when you get leaks at this level, itâ€™s about one particular case or one particular violation. For this, thereâ€™s only one similar example. Itâ€™s like the Enron emails. Why were these so valuable? When Enron collapsed, through court processes, thousands and thousands of emails came out that were internal, and it provided a window into how the whole company was managed. It was all the little decisions that supported the flagrant violations.
This will be like that. Yes, there will be some flagrant violations, unethical practices that will be revealed, but it will also be all the supporting decision-making structures and the internal executive ethos that cames out, and thatâ€™s tremendously valuable. Like the Iraq War Logs, yes there were mass casualty incidents that were very newsworthy, but the great value is seeing the full spectrum of the war.
You could call it the ecosystem of corruption. But itâ€™s also all the regular decision making that turns a blind eye to and supports unethical practices: the oversight thatâ€™s not done, the priorities of executives, how they think theyâ€™re fulfilling their own self-interest. But itâ€™s also all the regular decision making that turns a blind eye to and supports unethical practices: the oversight thatâ€™s not done, the priorities of executives, how they think theyâ€™re fulfilling their own self-interest. The way they talk about it.
[/NY Times editor]None of these internal "climate gate" emails were meant for public consumption and therefore will not be posted here
what if the "leak" is Hillary?
A "private first class", that had been demoted from Sergeant, had access to this stuff and we are having the Joint Chiefs spending their time on DADT?
God do we look weak right now.
This was most interesting to me:
..Wikileaks cables reveal China 'ready to abandon North Korea'...
China has signalled its readiness to accept Korean reunification and is privately distancing itself from the North Korean regime, according to leaked US embassy cables that reveal senior Beijing figures regard their official ally as a "spoiled child".
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