November 29, 2010
– Comments (53)
And you despise attempts to cover up the criminal nature of governments that talk transparency on the one hand while attempting to silence Assange and Wikileaks with the other.
David in Qatar
You are obviously not a foreign intelligence operative.
Remeber, the first job of Intelligence is misinformation. =)
The point I'd like to make over all the emotional hoopla - all the countries involved such as China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Italy and so on they have their own intellegence services. This information is in no way a secret to them. It is only secret for the american public. I'd rather have it in the open. At least we know what our government is doing on our behalf. And what they really think.
There aren't even any secrets there, just some emabarassing info. I had fun reading about russian drunken parties. How is that a state secret, lol?
This leaked information is about the only pro-constituion happening I've heard of in quite some time. Its just a shame that the powers-that-be had to come out wih more fear mongering on the eve of the release. From comments I read online this morning at various sources that brainwashing technique seems to have worked pretty well as usual. Many are deriding WikiLeaks as "haters of America".
What strange times we live in.
What time does Dances with the Stars come on tonight?
Dancing wih the Stars?
I anti-rec. I think you're either anti-America, or stupid, or both. I'm not brainwashed. If Assange were trying to promote transparency, he would publish internal documents of all nations. He is only after the U.S. It may be because in the U.S. we merely court-martial people who release such documents. In China, for example, anyone found releasing such documents would be summarily executed, period. By focusing only on the U.S., he creates an informational advantage for the rest of the world. If you think that's a great thing, just be honest and say so, but don't attempt to hide behind a pathetically-transparent, self-righteous cloak of pseudo-sophisticated morality. Also, I more broadly dispute the notion that more information is always better, or that the public actually has a right to it. When Wikileaks publishes China's, Russia's, Iran's, Libya's, or even Finland's private governmental papers and diplomatic communications, then I may feel differently. But until then, I will not sit silent and listen to the aplogizers for what truly is a form of informational warfare being directed at one country, and to a lesser extent at its allies.
but don't attempt to hide behind a pathetically-transparent, self-righteous cloak of pseudo-sophisticated morality.
ROFL. I wasn't going to follow up on this post, but that was outstanding.
Still hiding then.
> When Wikileaks publishes China's, Russia's, Iran's, Libya's, or even Finland's private governmental papers and diplomatic communications, then I may feel differently.
#6 - why are you so upset about the truth? I just don't get it. Wikeleaks said they'll target chinese and russians next. Does it make you feel better?
Honestly, US itself from time to time leaks various documents to support its political goals against other countries and manipulates the media. Polticians are the same everywhere. That is why we need to hold their feet to the fire.
Russiangambit, when and if Wikileaks targets other countries, I may feel differently, as in fact I explicitly said. If you think disclosure of the truth is inherently a good thing, you must a have a terribly time in relationships, and in life generally. The refusal always to be open about every little thing is one of the foundations of society itself. The first thing you teach a toddler is not to tell an ugly person he's ugly, as a very simple example. If you just don't get it, not re-read my post? In fact, read it three or four times if you takes you that long. I think I make it fairly clear that disclosing the internal communications of one country creates a major informational disadvantage, against that country. Truth is irrelevant. All that matters is informational dissymmetry.
WikiLeaks Should Be Declared Terrorists
I know a thing or two about how the government, particularly the military and the State Department, operate. I don't have a tough time in relationships (at least not like Richard Franzen Corrections level). I'm not anti-American (but maybe stupid.) I'm certainly not naive. And I feel pretty darn confident that if I hold up my work/life experience next to yours, my experience with information security, the intelligence community, and the American military will exceed yours.
So stop preaching to me.
Wikileaks is a heroic organization in my view.
David in Qatar
That guy is a freaking Nazi huh?
David, I think the original blog-post is quite preachy, actually. I could use other adjectives, but I've already called you stupid (for which I apologize) so I won't. I also note that in two replies to me now, despite saying you never intended to follow up on your post, you have failed to make any substantive reply at all.
you have failed to make any substantive reply at all.
If you have followed my history, you know that at some point I will, but not right now. I could recommend some reading materials if you are interested in competing viewpoints? But I have little-to-no interest in argumentative discourse today. I just really liked that one comment you made. It was funny and clever.
Too mixed feelings on this to vote either way.
Guess that makes me the bad guy to both groups.
Like the atheist in a christian-muslim fight LOL.
The refusal always to be open about every little thing is one of the foundations of society itself. The first thing you teach a toddler is not to tell an ugly person he's ugly, as a very simple example.
Whose society are you referring to? The first thing I taught my toddlers is that you don't judge a book by its cover.
If by "simple" you mean utterly ridiculous and asinine, then yes, it was a very, very simple example.
eldemonio, that was not even a response to me. I bet you did not additionally teach your toddlers to say ugly people are ugly; that is because your aphorismic todder-teaching is not inconsistent with mine. My example, while simple, is in fact quite transferable to international affairs, which at least in part operate on a similar principle. Whether one is talking about how one's teacher looks, or what one thinks of one's wife's new hair color, or what one thinks of the personality of Ahmadinejad, there are valid reasons for not disclosing such things. That is not asinine or ridiculous, it is reality.
Perhaps, some day, if Clear Channel buys WikiLeaks then WL will become more politically correct. For now WL should get an award for Patriotism.
I think I make it fairly clear that disclosing the internal communications of one country creates a major informational disadvantage, against that country. Truth is irrelevant. All that matters is informational dissymmetry.
I find it interesting that your primary concern appears to be that this is simply unfair as it creates an "informational dissymmetry." How about budgetary dissymmetry? Does that factor into your view?
When Wikileaks publishes China's, Russia's, Iran's, Libya's, or even Finland's private governmental papers and diplomatic communications, then I may feel differently.
The US military is spending 7 times more than China, and 13 times more than Russia, and 73 times more than Iran. Truly, a David and Goliath comparison at this point.
I've never seen wikileaks, but maybe these fellas are trying to level the playing field the only way they can. After all, no country should have an "unfair advantage" right?
To rephrase Bill Hicks, "After the largest army in the world, there's a real big f*ckin' drop off."
The information dissymmetry argument is weird to begin with. The US military could have an incomparable informational advantage and all that would mean is more Power Point (trademark symbol purposefully left out) slides for colonels to sleep through.
And same goes for the budgetary advantage, it only helps if we actually fight a country that tries to fight with a modern army. But now we only fight people that make IED's with $20 kits. This is part of the reason why America is losing. Our government thinks we can outspend these guys and win. That's not the case.
Harold71, I appreciate your honesty. You do not try to pretend to higher morals, or to abstract values which are empty vessels we can all fill with our own rhetoric. You present an content-based argument for why this might be good. I suspect your substantive views mirror those of the people who are talking about truth and transparency. However, I am not concerned with fairness. Fairness, like truth, is irrelevant. I am concerned with operational advantage. You concede in your numbers-based argument that what Wikileaks may be trying to do is erode an advantage of the U.S. If you agree with that objective, I disagree with you, but I at least applaud your honesty.
Of course, by saying that, and framing it in terms of actual facts, you essentially agree with my point, which is that what Wikileaks is engaging in is a form of information warfare that is directed primarily at the U.S.
I am concerned with operational advantage.
Utilitarianism can be so vulgar sometimes.
I'm not saying I think this is the end of American foreign policy. I essentially agree with Peter Beinart. This is mostly banal sabotage. One quote in particular from his piece:
"Everybody knows that the Obama administration is worried about loose nukes in Pakistan, but not everyone knew that a U.S. technical team was trying to remove highly enriched uranium from one particular research reactor. Until now. A WikiLeaks cable quotes the U.S. ambassador as warning that “if the local media got word of the fuel removal,” it would scuttle the operation. Consider it scuttled."
Kudos for Mr. Assange. What a patriot. What a hero.
Beinart sums up the dilemna of the media perfectly:
"The point is that in foreign policy, even more than other aspects of government, secrecy is both necessary and dangerous. It’s necessary because concealing things from your adversaries often requires concealing them from your own people. There’s no way to tell the American people everything Washington is doing to battle al Qaeda without telling al Qaeda as well. But secrecy is dangerous because without public knowledge and oversight, battling adversaries can become a blank check for all manner of self-defeating and immoral behavior. Journalists shouldn’t simply trust government officials to draw the line, since government officials have a professional self-interest in secrecy. But journalists need to draw that line themselves, recognizing that their professional self-interest may tempt them to violate secrecy more than is necessary to keep the government honest. That’s exactly what WikiLeaks does not do—for Julian Assange, virtually everything is fair game."
Beinart sums up the dilemna of the media perfectly:
Ah yes, the same media that bought Bush's war lies about Iraq hook, line, and sinker. Perhaps had Assange been around in 2002, America would not have lost so many soldiers and Iraq would not have lost so many civilians (and nearly its entire Christian population.)
But, as you said, it's all about operational advantage. I certainly cannot counter such that sophisticated argument with psuedo-sophisticated morality.
"Utilitarianism can be so vulgar sometimes."
Sometimes, but not here.
Really though, I don't think there has ever been a high school political philosophy class ever taught in which someone has failed to make that truly devastating observation.
In my view, all ideas and all ideals are vulgar (which I will take to mean crude and simplistic, not lewd or obscene) if taken to their extremes. That is true of utilitarianism. And it is certainly true of libertarian ideals, my friend.
I am not taking an extremist position. Assange is though, and to the extent you defend him, you are too.
With all due respect.
If Assange exposes what I consider to be criminal behavior by State or Corporate interests, then I wholeheartedly support it. That's the extent that I defend (and promote) him. I don't think his and my belief systems line up very closely. His actions have been very heroic, though.
"If Assange exposes what I consider to be criminal behavior by State or Corporate interests, then I wholeheartedly support it. That's the extent that I defend (and promote) him. I don't think his and my belief systems line up very closely."
My how utilitarian of you. But not vulgarly so?
... and you "believe" the buzz in the press -- lol, we also have idiots in Cancun decided the "fate"of the planet.
I honestly don't see the difference between the sets of fool.
David, you're usually smarter than this, your posts are typically insightful.
Step out and say what you mean.
I'm already seeing something more than evil and it isn't about Tween-Wikis with no more "grasp"of reality than a Toad on the highway.
My how utilitarian of you.
Um, maybe? I'm not sure. I was just pointing out my support Assange is not a blank check, as in the extremist position you inquired about. If he were to call for the forced equalization of all people by the point of a gun, I would no longer support him. Is that utilitarian? I don't think so, since it's not a consequentialist point of view, but perhaps you know more about that than I do.
David, you're usually smarter than this, your posts are typically insightful.
LOL, am I free to blog when I don't have insightful things to say? I haven't had a chance to post anything insightful in weeks, and trust me, I want to. I just don't have time. It's not easy for me to put up 50+ rec posts on economic theory. Those take time.
Step out and say what you mean.
I think everyone knows I oppose the wars and would like to see them end immediately.
sorry, no rec
I already gave before we lost all reason.
lol -- we posted at the same time -- I just read November 29, 2010 at 5:39 PM.
"I think everyone knows I oppose the wars and would like to see them end immediately."
Tragically, this is just the beginning of "War". Population is exploding and it isn't the "brightest light"of parents birthing the future.
We "KNEW" this day would come (101 Biology).
Its had to "OPPOSE" reality or would you prefer something far more logical?
I don't understand what that has to do with the post. Do I have to list every reason I support what Wikileaks is doing? I oppose the wars. I prefer government crimes to be in the open. I support transparency. I could go on for quite a length but I really wanted a simple post. Rec if you support Wikileaks. For whatever your reason. Don't rec if you don't =D
where you are now is amusing but where you took me is a "twist" -- AGW debate.
Why you think some "Tween" Wiki buzz is anything more than a diversion is beyond me.
no rec just yet ;)
Why do you have so much experience in a field you hate?
Its good and bad. The last time they leaked documents they revealed thousands of Iraqi civilian names, addresses, and other personal information of people who were helping the Iraqi and US troops curtail violence. Ethnic groups - from both sides of Islam - now have this information and have used it to assasinate innocent civilians for trying to help clean-up the mess we created. Wikileaks is a shame.
You don't think other intelligence agenices know this crap anyway? The only people it was news to was you and me. Stupid people in this country who buy into the bipartisan BS won't fully grasp the context of the cables anyway, so what good was it?
All I want to know is was there a shooter on the grassy knoll, and if so was it a young George W. Bush? lol.
If you had my experience, you'd hate it too =D
I've been reading your blogs since you started and rec'ed almost every one of them but not this one.
Even though I am a hard core libertarian I do not support releasing secret diplomatic goverment communications to the world. This could end up costing lives my friend.
You know what also costs lives? Indiscriminately dropping bombs on brown people.
Thanks for your support otherwise. I won't take it personal.
Reading your comments hurts my head. Using big words and run-on sentences doesn't make you smart. It's ironic that you support your argument with a simple analogy and then describe it in the most convoluted way.
I am more concerned about the kind of people my kids become, not whether they keep their mouth shut to avoid conflict. I am interested in being genuine and I expect the same from the people representing my country.
While I agree that our current reality resembles what you describe, that doesn't mean we should accept it.
Wikileaks isn't our biggest problem. Our most serious problem lies in the fact that our foreign policy is based on being two-faced and secretive about our true agenda.
As an individual who once worked as an on-stage performer for a Copperfield-esque magic show, I will inform you all of what you already know...the real magic is being accomplished behind the scenes while the big spectacle is making everyone go "WOW!"
In other words, if you're being WOW'ed by the Wikileaks spectacle, the magic trick is working. It's fun to be deceived, and it's actually a comfort to buy into the media, bloggers, etc. While Assange may actually believe he's acting independently, and that the information he is "leaking" may somehow benefit mankind, it is highly likely that both of these assumptions may be only partially accurate, if at all.
Let's compare this to some Foolish...the financial headlines and market volatility. Most of the time, the headlines move the market, or so it seems. Maybe it's the other way around. Wait, I'm confused. :)
Step back for a minute and take a good long time to think about the "news" and "information" and how it affects your life. How much of it can you honestly take as reality, as fact, as truth? How much of it either can be or has been altered or packaged between the time it was created and the time you consumed it?
My uncle worked at NBC in New York for 30 years, gathering news stories from reporters to be edited and redistributed to affiliate stations. He didn't do the editing, but he did tell me that the end-consumer story that was delivered to you an me, almost never resembled the actual story that was originally composed by the reporters. This was for the entire 30 years so it is not a recent development.
So there's your dose of reality folks. Don't trust this Wikileaks hype, or the media circus, the "appalled" commentators or the bloggers celebrating the incredibly benevolent, selfless and humanitarian gesture that Assange has made to creating a more transparent, even-keeled world. If anything, he has dumped a big bucket of mud in an already muddy pond, and we are all now more dazed, confused and deceived than we have ever been.
Have fun following those headlines.
That's an interesting take, and certainly within the realm of possibility, but my experience with the government intelligence community is that they are not nearly as smart as magicians. That is why they collect welfare checks from the government, rather than cutting their chops in front of a live audience. Until I see some evidence that our beloved bureaucrats are smarter than a LaZBoy with Down Syndrome, I remain skeptical that this is an act.
The result of this will be to make foreign leaders and diplomats more reluctant to talk to Americans, especially in writing. I don't care what experience you say you have; if you think that's a good thing, you're just nuts. Also, assuming you are American, but assuming you are located in Qatar, you appear to be ironically America-focused. You may disagree with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and that's fair; but they are not secret. In terms of secret wrongdoing, America ranks down on the list, especially in proportion to media focus and ultimate disclosure. America can't shoot a missile at someone in Yemen without every news source in the world picking it up. America shoots the X-37B into orbit and hundreds of amateur astronomers track it for months and its every movement is reported. Meanwhile..., no coverage of China's activities, especially in Africa, little coverage of Russia's internal activities, little coverage of the misdeeds, both international and intranational, of Latin American countries, even Venezuela, etc., etc. And if the U.S. points out anyone else's misdeeds it's being imperialistic and hypocritical. And the media is far, far too focused on exposing every tiny mis-step the big, bad Americans make to do its job with regard to other countries. This is of course compounded because the other countries kill people who reveal their secrets, or publish them. We're the Jolly Green Giant of the world, cheerfully helping everyone, occasionally screwing up and stepping on midgets and killing them, while around us nobody watches while the rats and hyenas do real damage, and propogate unimpeded. In short, we are big, stupid and oafish, and the world is too busy trying to find and document our supposed perfidy to pay much attention to all the countries that actually affirmatively try to harm their own citizens, and, unlike us, to steal the resources of others.
So what you are saying is that all is well because the American government is less murderous, less treacherous, and less larcenous than other criminal governments.
Way to have high standards. Let me know when you learn that life has value.
Your response is as simplistic as your original post. How obvious that you would choose to take an admission that the U.S. is not perfect, as a statement that any deaths it causes are a-ok. How obvious. Of course the U.S. is not perfect, fool.
But, I am glad you agree with me that the U.S. is less murderous, less treacherous, and less larcenous than other governments. Since that is the case, why don't you stop bitching about and whining about the U.S., and start focusing on all of the many, many, many countries that are vastly worse? Or does your titanic sense of injustice only point towards Washington? I will post no more on your thread. I leave you to your irrational hatred and myopia.
Stop with the childish insults. You're just embarrassed that you have been exposed as an apologist for murder.
I have barely considered taking you seriously, but at this point I just might. The US is not, I repeat NOT, I repeat AGAIN NOT, less murderous than other governments. Do you get that? Do you follow that? Are we clear on that?
That was your assertion, and I was pointing out how absolutely stupid it is to fall back on that ridiculously low standard. Sadly, your low standard is NOT EVEN TRUE.
Are we clear on that? Do I have to spell it out even more for you?
Iraq Body Count
Afghanistan Civilian Casualties
And just to rub it in, as I predicted at the beginning of this year, 2010 is the deadliest year for US forces so far. Not only is America fighting immoral, expensive, and corrupt wars, they are losing them.
Dr. Paul agrees:
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) is taking a stand as one of Julian Assange’s few defenders in Washington, arguing that the WikiLeaks founder should get the same protections as the media.
Attorney General Eric Holder said this week that the Justice Department is examining whether Assange can be charged with a crime for posting hundreds of thousands of leaked government intelligence documents and diplomatic cables.
Many Republicans have gone even further in their attacks on Assange, especially former Arkansas GOP Gov. Mike Huckabee, who said this week that the source who leaked to the WikiLeaks founder should be tried for treason and executed if found guilty.
But in a Thursday interview with Fox Business, Paul said the idea of prosecuting Assange crosses the line.
“In a free society we're supposed to know the truth,” Paul said. “In a society where truth becomes treason, then we're in big trouble. And now, people who are revealing the truth are getting into trouble for it.”
“This whole notion that Assange, who's an Australian, that we want to prosecute him for treason. I mean, aren't they jumping to a wild conclusion?” he added. “This is media, isn't it? I mean, why don't we prosecute The New York Times or anybody that releases this?”
Paul followed up with a post to his Twitter account Friday morning: "Re: WikiLeaks — In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble."
So how are they to charge him with a crime? Would it be an international crime?
And treason? Don't you have to be a citizen of a county and then betray that country for it to qualify as treason? He's Australian, not American.
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