International Cat Speculators Since 2006

Posts tagged ‘Wikileaks’

Wikileaks blows some credibility

Apparently you shouldn’t trust something posted on a website that specialises in stolen information.

The phony column was posted on a website that looks exactly like the online version of the New York Times Opinion Page — the pranksters even loaded the site with similar-looking ads and links to other (legitimate) Times webpages. But that wasn’t all. …

Shortly after the column went up, Keller’s seeming about-face on WikiLeaks made waves through the social media sphere. Web users quickly clamored to read and share it, not realizing the trickery involved. The article and its display was so convincing, in fact, that it even fooled one of Keller’s colleagues, the Times‘ lead technology writer.

Who knew?

As Patterico points out

It is reminiscent of Justice Scalia’s views on stories about Supreme Court deliberations, as expressed in the video I linked last night. Justice Scalia says that one should not credit stories about internal deliberations, because if they are not a lie, they are based on the word of people who are unreliable — because they have promised not to reveal those deliberations, and then turned around and did it anyway.

Of course, it’s only a suprise if you missed his plea for asylum in a country where the president successfully sued two journalists for exposing the fact he was giving his brother government contracts.

Charles Colson and Wikileaks

I’ve been reading Born Again, the autobiography  of Charles Colson.

He was commonly named as one of the Watergate Seven, and pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for attempting to defame Pentagon Papers defendant Daniel Ellsberg.[1]

Colson was known as President Nixon’s “hatchet man.” Slate magazine writer David Plotz described Colson as “Richard Nixon’s hard man, the ‘evil genius’ of an evil administration.”[6] Colson has written that he was “valuable to the President … because I was willing … to be ruthless in getting things done”.[7]

The book is a fascinating insight into the Watergate saga, and the politics of the time. While after the first 100 or so pages it starts to deal with his conversion to Christianity (which happened in the midst of the scandal) I do wonder how many political boffins have really missed out because they were put off by the title.

Anyway, It suddenly occurred to me this morning that here is a fellow who has possibly one of the most valuable insights onto the Wikileaks saga, particularly the publishing of all the state department memos.

I was not disappointed, but I must say I was somewhat surprised at his position.

When I read about the recent leak of more than 250,000 State Department documents, my thoughts went back nearly forty years. In 1973, I went to prison for leaking government documents – in that case, an FBI file on Daniel Ellsberg, the man who himself leaked the  Pentagon Papers to the New York Times.

Like today’s leakers and those who have published the leak materials, I thought that my actions were justified by a higher, more important, purpose. The release of the Pentagon papers put lives at issue. So I thought I had to stop Ellsberg. Classical ethical dilemma. My actions in pursuit of a noble goal were wrong—and in the end hampered the government’s ability to prosecute Ellsberg.

And now, for the third time this year, the website WikiLeaks has released hundreds of thousands of documents relating to American foreign policy. The first release concerned Afghanistan and the second were documents about Iraq.

As David Brooks wrote in the New York Times this week, this kind of confidentiality is essential to the trust that makes fruitful diplomacy possible. Diplomacy is about more than power — it’s also about relationships. The people we need to get things done in an increasingly dangerous world must be able to trust us which, at a minimum, means that private conversations stay private.

WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange, doesn’t care about this. As Brooks notes, his entire life has been dedicated to undermining what he sees as “an unhealthy respect for authority.” Some have called him an anarchist.

None of this would matter so much if major media were responsible. Assange may not respect authority, but papers like the Times and Britain’s Guardianare authorities — they occupy a privileged and powerful place in their societies.

And this privilege and power carries responsibilities, one of which is to ask “what will happen if we publish this?” While the First Amendment gives the Times the right to publish the leaks, that doesn’t mean they should.

Yet they did, driven by a sense of some “greater good.” As I said, I know what that’s like. But I was wrong then, and they are ethically wrong now.


Assange may have just worked out why what he did was bad

It seems that leaking restricted materials that tell only one side of the story is a bad idea after all.

Who knew.

Well, congratulations Julian, you’ve just fallen into a massive hole which you yourself dug (and with such gusto too!).

I would humbly suggest that you start refocusing the efforts of your website.

Wikileaks does damage

See, this is how Wikileaks is going to undermine peace.

New Zealand has been using the Waihopai communications base to spy on Fiji’s military, passing the intelligence to the United States Government, WikiLeaks cables reveal.

The base was used in the 2006 coup and probably the 2000 coup, although New Zealand officials have always denied that they were spying.

The WikiLeak cables, taken with other information made public on Fiji, point to the Government Communications Security Bureau being capable of listening in to Fijian mobile phones.

The revelation is likely to anger Fiji prime minister Voreqe Bainimarama, who seized power in a December 2006 coup.

At the time Commodore Bainimarama and his colonels publicly expressed fears that Australia and New Zealand were engaging in covert activity.

Fiji now know that New Zealand was/is spying on them. That means that getting information from them is going to be harder (since it’s been confirmed they’re being spied on), and talking to them harder too since this confirmation now has their backs up.

I don’t think too many people disagree that what NZ is/was trying to do is a good thing. But this disclosure now puts a roadblock in the restoration of democracy in that country.

It’s ironic that those who think that the Iraq war and other situations should have been resolved via diplomacy are now effectivly trying to destroy that diplomacy on the grounds that it is “secret”.

That’s mind numbingly stupid, and can only lead to more wars.

Moore declared (to some unnamed person) that “every cable, every email you write is now fair game.” And that is exactly what Assange is going for. But the endgame is not openness. It’s exactly the opposite. Because every internal communication is now “fair game,” State officials will surely communicate less information internally.

Moore also claimed that “No one can plot the next Big Lie if they know that they might be exposed.” But that’s not right; folks can plot the next Big Lie all they want, they just can’t keep a record of the plot. That makes the system more opaque, not transparent.

And though it won’t improve transparency, the breakdown in internal communications will handicap the State Department. With enough leaks, Assange hopes, internal communication will break down entirely and the diplomatic community will be unable to function.

And what happens when diplomacy is impossible? Among other things, there will be more physical conflict where disagreements cannot be worked out peacefully (and peaceful conflict resolution is the entire purpose of diplomacy). Assange may or may not understand that fact.

I for one am heartily sick of the childishness of many on the left. We’re still seeing it every day. They behave as though the west should be without fault from any conceivable angle, while ignoring the real world reality of opposing despotic regimes such as Fiji or Saddam’s Iraq.

That’s not to say that wrongdoing should not be opposed. But publishing thousands of diplomatic cables regardless of content is not opposing wrongdoing, it’s creating mischief.

Wikileaks and Harm


Mr Assange rejected the argument the release of top secret information risked lives and jeopardised national security.

“WikiLeaks has a four-year publishing history. During that time we have changed whole governments, but not a single person, as far as anyone is aware, has been harmed. But the US, with Australian government connivance, has killed thousands in the past few months alone.”

Well, that’s funny. Because I distinctly recall this quote.

When I try to question him about the morality of what he’s done, if he worries about unleashing something that he can’t control, that no one can control, he tells me the story of the Kenyan 2007 elections when a WikiLeak document “swung the election”.

The leak exposed massive corruption by Daniel Arap Moi, and the Kenyan people sat up and took notice. In the ensuing elections, in which corruption became a major issue, violence swept the country. “1,300 people were eventually killed, and 350,000 were displaced. That was a result of our leak,” says Assange. It’s a chilling statistic, but then he states: “On the other hand, the Kenyan people had a right to that information and 40,000 children a year die of malaria in Kenya. And many more die of money being pulled out of Kenya, and as a result of the Kenyan shilling being debased.”

Now, this idiot is threatening to release damaging materials because he’s not above the law. In spite of what he’s saying, he’s not in jail because of these leaks directly or indirectly. He’s in jail because he used his “international man of mystery” aura to sleep with women without thinking about the consequences.

What a creep.

Irony of the Day

Wikileaks is releasing thousands of secret diplomatic cables.

Yet, they haven’t yet found one proving that Julian Assange’s rape charges are engineered by the US.

In fact one of the unintended consequences of the release might just be that people gain a more realistic view of the US’s abilities to create conspiracies and influence foreign governments to act against their own interests.

How funny it is that an organisation who’s (purported) aim is putting the truth in the open has a founder who is refusing to face it.

Isn’t that interesting – Wikileaks Wikileaking

Well, there’s something that hasn’t had wide currency.

Then, in mid August, Assange was charged with rape following sexual encounters with two Swedish women.

Assange declared the charges ”baseless and disturbing” and said they were part of a ”smear campaign” by WikiLeaks detractors.

The rape charges were withdrawn several days later, but then reinstated.

The situation is real enough for Wikileaks to rethink Assange’s position.

The person, who requested anonymity, contacted the Sydney Morning Herald to deny recent suggestions that members were trying to kick Assange out of the organisation.

”There’s no discussion of a founder getting chopped,” they said.

No-one wanted Assange to step down from his role as editor-in-chief of Wikileaks they said, though “a few people have have floated the idea of him stepping down as the media spokesperson.”

Another WikLeaks member, Icelandic parliamentarian, Birgitta Jonsdottir, publicly called for Assange to step down as spokesman several days ago.

I heard a report a few days ago which suggested that Assange has been  using his self-created image of an “International Man of Mystery” to bed women. It seems that he didn’t take hesitation too well, and later two of the women met and realised they’d been used.

Here’s something that makes sense: (non-title bold mine)

The Person Really Behind the ‘Smear Campaign’ Says Michael Moynihan, something of a specialist when it comes to Swedish policy and media: “even a cursory look at the case would suggest that while it appears that Assange’s name is being dragged through the mud, it isn’t by the CIA” Writing at Reason, he has a few harsh words for conspiracy-theorist bloggers relying on Google Translate. For starters, he says, “if any of these subliterate bloggers knew anything about the kristen vänster … they would probably have guessed that Assange’s accuser was, as is common in Sweden, operating off of a very broad definition of rape and ‘sexual molestation.'” Furthermore, “if any of these bozos did twenty minutes of research, they might,” he continues, have found the blog of one of the alleged victims, Anna Ardin, whose radical feminism includes a post on “how one can exact ‘legal revenge’ on men who have been ‘unfaithful.’” Given reports that Ardin “filed a complaint because Assange didn’t wear a condom during sex,” Moynihan thinks “the boring truth” likely is that “Assange didn’t come up against a CIA conspiracy, but the rather broad Swedish conception of what constitutes a sexual crime.”

As the post says later, if this were the CIA, he’d be dead.

If you ask me, this is a case of (excuse the pun) of lying down with dogs and waking up with fleas. The same countries who support the sort of extreme “open information” that Wikileaks supports also have unbalanced rape laws. The same people who are attracted to men who stick it to the “great satan” are also those who use the law to punish unsatisfactory sexual experience.

Or to put it succinctly, it’s a case of liberality biting itself on the backside.

Wikileaks leaker Caught

BBC reports.

Specialist Manning, 22, was detained during a tour of duty in Iraq, and is being held in Kuwait pending further investigations.

The WikiLeaks website posted a video which it says shows the US military shooting civilians in Baghdad in 2007.

It has not confirmed Spc Manning as its source for the helicopter footage.

News of his arrest first broke on the website.

A former hacker said he had turned the analyst in out of concern for US national security.

Apparently, he boasted about his exploits.

The ex-hacker, Adrian Lamo, said Spc Manning “boasted” to him about passing the helicopter video to WikiLeaks.Mr Lamo said Spc Manning claimed to have leaked video footage showing an air strike in Afghanistan in July 2009. The local authorities said nearly 100 people were killed in the attack at Garani

Spc Manning also said he had passed on 260,000 classified US diplomatic cables.

However, WikiLeaks has said it was not sent the diplomatic cables.

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