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"The Shaming of America" - Page 2

post #51 of 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reasor View Post
If Wikileaks was giving out details of troop movements far enough in advance to be of genuine military benefit to hostile nations, they'd be a real problem.
Yes, but Wikileaks has NEVER done anything like this. Its silly that Wiki is the target of criticism by some, when they're the one exposing MASSIVE crimes, not committing them. I'm not even saying yr fully criticising Wiki, but I've heard this defensive rationale many times. Wikileaks should be celebrated, they do awesome work. They've exposed horrific crimes and shocking lies. And more interestingly they've educated us on what's really going on in the world. One of the interesting thing Wikileaks has shown is you cannot trust anything the US Army says. Lying is like breathing for them. This may sound niave, but what I'm refrencing is shockingly massive deceptions like the civilian death count in Iraq. Wikileaks is fucking awesome. Probably over 2 million killed in the wars, but they've managed to keep a lid on it. Wiki does their bit to combat this media shut out. I'd never criticise them for making me and millions of other people less ignorant, but I guess lots of people want to remain ignorant to the crimes being committed by their country.

The importance of this development is simply lost on Americans because Wikileaks is ignored in the American press. But the rest of the world is eating this shit up. But I guess the wars are just not part of the public psyche in the states.

So Saudi and Bahrain were pressuring the US to bomb Iran. Bahrain's got that Shia insurrection, probably justified since they're repressed in that country, so I guess it's not too surprising. The bit about the Russian Goverment and they're ties to organised crime was interested also. There's tons of info. Its going to be an interesting week as all the info gets processed.
post #52 of 309
Quote:
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.
Quote:
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.
Quote:
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.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...aks?intcmp=239
post #53 of 309
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/inte...bles-wikileaks

How I'm keeping tabs on all the info released.

EDIT: Apparently Ali Khomeini has leukemia, interesting.
post #54 of 309
Direct link to Wikileaks "Cablegate" [watch for for DDOS service outages].

I'm still waiting for the stuff related to Canada to be posted.
post #55 of 309
What I want form this:

a. Some nice gossipy shit about Greek politicians, for fun.
b. Nice, hard info about Operation Gladio, out of historical interest.
post #56 of 309
"I love my country, not my government."
— Jesse Ventura
post #57 of 309
none of this information is particularly novel or noteworthy.... in fact, all it does is underscore that typically what our government says is a concern in public, is an actual concern. The benefit in transparency, in this instance, is unlikely to outweigh the cost in diplomacy.
post #58 of 309
The US Secretary of State ordering diplomats to spy on high-ranking UN officials is not "particularly novel or noteworthy" and shouldn't be made transparent?

What happens to peoples tax dollars in the form of aid going into Afghanistan isn't noteworthy and the public shouldn't know about it?

(and that's just two examples)

Really?
post #59 of 309
I, for one, am really hoping for some ball-busting, whip-up-the-mob type shit in the major banking leak, cause otherwise this shit is just a headache in an echo chamber.
post #60 of 309
Watch Your Mouth

How WikiLeaks' new release will increase secrecy and damage democratic governments.
http://www.slate.com/id/2276169/
post #61 of 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post
The US Secretary of State ordering diplomats to spy on high-ranking UN officials is not "particularly novel or noteworthy" and shouldn't be made transparent?

What happens to peoples tax dollars in the form of aid going into Afghanistan isn't noteworthy and the public shouldn't know about it?

(and that's just two examples)

Really?
Nope. The latter we knew, and the former we (and the rest of the world) assumed.
post #62 of 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuddL View Post
Nope. The latter we knew, and the former we (and the rest of the world) assumed.
The latter was NOT known and if the MM in the US ever did their job and asked would have been roundly denied while the former was also denied at every turn. Facts are important for dispelling bullshit, lies and propaganda.

Regardless of 'costs to diplomacy' I think that transparency is incredibly important to help inform people what their governments are doing in their name. If the diplomatic costs are that high maybe the US government should have behaved better in the first place and not done things they obviously find acutely embarrassing now that they're being leaked.
post #63 of 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post
If the diplomatic costs are that high maybe the US government should have behaved better in the first place and not done things they obviously find acutely embarrassing now that they're being leaked.
UN spying aside, you're an idiot if you think that candid assessments of, say, Berlusconi's ineptitude (while entertaining) aren't something that should be kept internal. Have you ever, in your life, been in a situation where you work with people you don't like, don't trust, or question their judgment? Are you always completely honest about how you feel? When you're not, isn't that because it's often in both of your best interests for those thoughts to not be shared (even if it's in your best interests, when dealing with such people to be aware).
post #64 of 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuddL View Post
UN spying aside, you're an idiot if you think that candid assessments of, say, Berlusconi's ineptitude (while entertaining) aren't something that should be kept internal. Have you ever, in your life, been in a situation where you work with people you don't like, don't trust, or question their judgment? Are you always completely honest about how you feel? When you're not, isn't that because it's often in both of your best interests for those thoughts to not be shared (even if it's in your best interests, when dealing with such people to be aware).
Sure, I can see that (I am, after all, not an idiot) - but using the two examples above I actually cited, I think a certain level of transparency is incredibly important.
post #65 of 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rain Dog View Post
Sure, I can see that (I am, after all, not an idiot) - but using the two examples above I actually cited, I think a certain level of transparency is incredibly important.
Fair enough. Like I wrote earlier in the thread, I like the principle of WikiLeaks. I just question the overall utilitarian value of mass information dumps like this one. As an American, selfishly, I see little benefit for us (at least with respect to this leak... the Iraq war video one was worthwhile, and I hope the upcoming corporate leaks are as well).
post #66 of 309
So the juicier stuff for me so far. Disregarding the gossip.

Last year's Russian-Georgian conflict was, according to multiple US sources, instigated by Georgia. So the 'state controlled' Russian media were correct and the 'free and fair' western media weren't. And Saakashvili looks to be as big a douche as he appears.

And something timelier. According to actual statements from Chinese diplomats to South Koreans, China has no problem with a unified Korea under Seoul's control. Having the DPRK as a buffer state is of zero interest to them. In fact it seems like they really don't like the North Korean regime, referring to them as spoiled children. So the balance of power in the Korean peninsula is quite different than it seemed.
post #67 of 309
Palin wants Assange "hunted down like Osama", apparently.

This is probably good news for the guy - everyone will now forget he exists after three months whilst a full offensive is launched against Wikipedia.
post #68 of 309
"Assange isn't a journalist." No shit, Sherlock. He's also not a Rastafarian priest. Or a fully licensed chiropractor.

"His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban." Well, actually no, according to both the Afghan government and the US army, you fucking dingbat.
post #69 of 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelios View Post
"Assange isn't a journalist." No shit, Sherlock. He's also not a Rastafarian priest. Or a fully licensed chiropractor.

"His past posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban." Well, actually no, according to both the Afghan government and the US army, you fucking dingbat.
The question that immediately springs to mind, however:

How much of that "no really it didn't do any damage" is truthful and how much of it is hiding the genuine impact for security and/or saving face reasons (particularly for Afghanistan, who's going to look even more ineffectual than they already are if they admit that a bunch of informants got killed/disappeared on their watch)?

I kind of doubt the government is suddenly in the business of handing the public the whole story just because Wikileaks exists, and I don't think I'd trust the Afghan government if they told me the sky was blue.
post #70 of 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmacq1 View Post
How much of that "no really it didn't do any damage" is truthful and how much of it is hiding the genuine impact for security and/or saving face reasons (particularly for Afghanistan, who's going to look even more ineffectual than they already are if they admit that a bunch of informants got killed/disappeared on their watch)?
I don't have first person knowledge of this. So I have to base my opinion on the next best source. In this case and until something better comes up, they're the people I referred to in my post (who would have all the motive in the world to make Wikileaks looks bad, anyway), not that shithead.
post #71 of 309
I'm certainly not intending to imply Sarah Palin has a better grasp on the situation, just to be clear.

But I can easily see, despite the interest in making Wikileaks look bad, both the military and the Afghan government collaborating to make the impact look minimal. Yes, its' in the governments' interest to make Wikileaks look bad...but not necessarily at the expense of making the country look weaker than it already does, if that makes sense?
post #72 of 309
Eh, they'll do whatever they can to keep the focus on the outrage instead of what is in the leaks.
post #73 of 309
So Assange has his own WANTED page on interpol now;
http://www.interpol.int/public/data/...2010_52486.asp

What does that mean exactly? If he travels to any European country, does that mean they can arrest him and have to send him to Sweeden?
post #74 of 309
for sex crimes? Aussies get freaaaaaakkkkky apparently.
post #75 of 309
yea, Daily Show just fucking nailed it.
post #76 of 309
All this hubub is just more proof that the nation-state was the second worst idea in human history. Right after organized religion and just before the Holocaust and paying for parking.
post #77 of 309
It appears WikiLeaks has either left or been forced off its web host, Amazon.com.
post #78 of 309
Is anyone up here truly shocked by anything they've read or heard what's in the leaks?
post #79 of 309
I was stunned - nay, flabbergasted - to hear that the Bush Administration did, in fact, do body counts. Rumsfeld, lying. Imagine that.

Once upon a time I might be disgusted at the US's UN diplomats being instructed to engage in petty thievery, but watching the Republicans defend torture and the conquest of Iraq has jaded me somewhat.
post #80 of 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormin View Post
Anyone else not remotely surprised that though we were too slow to shut them down for the military & diplomatic leaks, as soon as Wikileaks announced they were going after Big Money on Wall Street they got instantly kibosh'd?
Oh give me a fucking break.

1) They announced that over a week ago.
2) The site being down does not keep them from disseminating that information through various means.
post #81 of 309
Folks are even fretting over Little Mosque on the Prairie.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...da-08OTTAWA136
post #82 of 309
Some weird theories going on out there most interesting is that Obama and the Gov allowed WikiLeaks to do this because of the dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Republican pundit Monica Crowley has a supposed source inside Hilary's camp that she was ready to resign within a few months and run against Obama in the 2012 election.

Strange times.
post #83 of 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Daywalker View Post
Some weird theories going on out there most interesting is that Obama and the Gov allowed WikiLeaks to do this because of the dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Republican pundit Monica Crowley has a supposed source inside Hilary's camp that she was ready to resign within a few months and run against Obama in the 2012 election.

Strange times.
Jesus. Do you actually consider the opinions of people who spout that bullshit?
post #84 of 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Daywalker View Post
Some weird theories going on out there most interesting is that Obama and the Gov allowed WikiLeaks to do this because of the dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Republican pundit Monica Crowley has a supposed source inside Hilary's camp that she was ready to resign within a few months and run against Obama in the 2012 election.

Strange times.
Since there is substantial dirt on Obama too (though admittedly so far he gets off like a saint in comparison to the rest), I doubt that. Killing the Bush torture probe doesnt sit well with me, nor the people around me reading that piece today, at all.
post #85 of 309
I wonder what the folks who are upset about this thought about the Pentagon Papers.
post #86 of 309
Kidding aside, this is so much bullshit. But I guess the "America, Fuck Yeah! Go, go land of the free!" brigade will still cling on to their beliefs that the US are magically more free than the rest of the Western world. The Amazon thing is bullshit, too.
post #87 of 309
My favorite conspiracy theory going around the Net, one that Beck touched upon briefly on his program, depicts the leaks as a CIA/Mossad operation. The reasoning is that this gets it out in the open that Iran's Sunni neighbors would all be willing to use us to deal Ahmadinejad a setback; if the leaks were intended to truly humiliate the U.S., there would have been more dirt on our government's relationship with Israel.

I saw an alternate crackpot theory this morning, wherein someone in Obama's staff was behind the leak, looking to premptively disable Hillary's 2012 Presidential run.

Between this nutjobbery and the goverment's official line that Assange has blood on his hands, but Obama, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, Powell, Blair, Bremer, Franks, McCain and Lieberman don't, this little incident has conjured up a smorgasbord of misinformation.
post #88 of 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subotai View Post
Folks are even fretting over Little Mosque on the Prairie.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...da-08OTTAWA136
Jesus Christ, they actually worry about TV shows?
post #89 of 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nabster View Post
Jesus Christ, they actually worry about TV shows?
Jesus Christ, it's their job to gauge political perception.
post #90 of 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuddL View Post
Jesus Christ, it's their job to gauge political perception.
...in Canada?
post #91 of 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan S~ View Post
...in Canada?
Everywhere. Yes, even in Canada, don't be myopic.
post #92 of 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuddL View Post
Jesus Christ, it's their job to gauge political perception.
And they're doing a fan-fucking-tastic job of it, apparently.
post #93 of 309
I'm not sure what you're getting at... I think maybe you're reading too much into a short report, limited in scope, that forms a part of a larger analysis process. If we were expending vast resources analyzing Canadian television, I would be concerned. This is such a non-issue.
post #94 of 309
Actually, it is pretty clearly an issue for some folks...just another example of those space cadets.
post #95 of 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuddL View Post
Everywhere. Yes, even in Canada, don't be myopic.
If you don't see how this may cause at least bemusement to people, it's you who's myopic. The US are so jumpy, so eager to find anti-US sentiment in everything and so hilariously heavy handed in their relationship with their 'allies' that statements like that coming from officials cause some concern.

Seriously, if you read a report from a Greek diplomat extrapolating US sentiment towards Greece from My Big Fat Greek Wedding and complaining that it paints Greeks as borderline hysterical and backwards weirdos, wouldn't you think "What the fuck is this guy talking about?"
post #96 of 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelios View Post
If you don't see how this may cause at least bemusement to people, it's you who's myopic. The US are so jumpy, so eager to find anti-US sentiment in everything and so hilariously heavy handed in their relationship with their 'allies' that statements like that coming from officials cause some concern.

Seriously, if you read a report from a Greek diplomat extrapolating US sentiment towards Greece from My Big Fat Greek Wedding and complaining that it paints Greeks as borderline hysterical and backwards weirdos, wouldn't you think "What the fuck is this guy talking about?"
yes because everyone knows Greece isn't important enough for Americans to form an opinion about. You might as well be from Madagascar analyzing the Dreamworks film. But I'd bet money that China and Russia research how they're portrayed in American entertainment.

Bottom line: yes it's funny when you read it, but put into context it's NOTHING. And you guys are reading way more into it than is reasonable given its limited scope.
post #97 of 309
Oh, isn't JuddL cute? Getting all worked up defending the honor of his country.

Quote:
Even "Little Mosque on the Prairie," a popular
Canadian sitcom that depicts a Muslim community in a small
Saskatchewan town, has joined the trend of featuring
U.S.-Canada border relations. This time, however, the State
Department is the fall guy. A December 2007 episode
portrayed a Muslim economics professor trying to remove his
name from the No-Fly-List at a U.S. consulate. The show
depicts a rude and eccentric U.S. consular officer
stereotypically attempting to find any excuse to avoid being
helpful.
Stellios is absolutely correct.

Worrying about a single minor character, in a fictional story, which is created by a small group of writers is retarded. How does this even qualify has America bashing? Does every single American portrayed in fiction outside of the US have to be a saint?

The funny thing is, 24, a show the report holds up as pro American, has tons of evil Americans, but somehow that is okay because its an American show.

This whole thing is idiotic. They even propose to apply pressure on the Canadian government to stop this. How is that not stifling free speach?

Quote:
Bottom line: yes it's funny when you read it, but put into context it's NOTHING. And you guys are reading way more into it than is reasonable given its limited scope.
And what are you talking about? How are we reading way more into it? Absolutely no one is blowing this up, other than you. You're the one assigning importance to it. And no one is saying it's not their job, that's a dumb argument. And you yourself admit it's funny, and yet you persist with your vague arguments. Stop being contrarian for the sake of it.
post #98 of 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nabster View Post
Oh, isn't JuddL cute? Getting all worked up defending the honor of his country.
That's not at all what I'm doing. I think you need to pick and choose your battles, and in my opinion this isn't one of them.

Quote:
And what are you talking about? How are we reading way more into it? Absolutely no one is blowing this up, other than you. You're the one assigning importance to it. And no one is saying it's not their job, that's a dumb argument. And you yourself admit it's funny, and yet you persist with your vague arguments. Stop being such a contrarian prick.
How exactly am I assigning importance to it? My point is that there's nothing inherently absurd about gauging the political perception of the United States in a particular country, in part, by analyzing how Americans are portrayed in that country's most popular entertainment. That is, broadly, my point.

As far as this particular piece of analysis is concerned, it's one report, by god knows who, limited in scope and depth. There's no reason to think that his assessment represents the United States Government's. It forms part of a larger analysis process, which, one would hope, is capable of factoring in things like the source of the information.

I'm honestly not trying to be contrarian for the sake of it. Not to be redundant, but I just find a lot of reactions WikiLeaks myopic.
post #99 of 309
I agree. Reports like this are why there are embassies in the first place: Because you can't formulate a sound foreign policy if you don't know what's going on in whatever country or region of the world you're dealing with. And knowing what's on TV, and what kind of attitude towards the US it reflects and reinforces is just as important as sizing up the political scene of the country, or its economical assets - especially with a democracy, where public opinion can easily affect official policy. That's not to say this report should, or will, be the basis of any policy decision made by the state department - it will, and should, factor into any decision that is made, however.
post #100 of 309
A really fascinating piece outlining the very reason for all of this and the vital piece of the puzzle that the medias in the US, my own country and the rest of the world seem to be either completely missing or just ignoring; Assanges actual goal and mission statement behind Wikileaks and it's objectives...

Quote:
Quote:
“To radically shift regime behavior we must think clearly and boldly for if we have learned anything, it is that regimes do not want to be changed. We must think beyond those who have gone before us, and discover technological changes that embolden us with ways to act in which our forebears could not. Firstly we must understand what aspect of government or neocorporatist behavior we wish to change or remove. Secondly we must develop a way of thinking about this behavior that is strong enough carry us through the mire of politically distorted language, and into a position of clarity. Finally must use these insights to inspire within us and others a course of ennobling, and effective action.”
- Julian Assange, “State and Terrorist Conspiracies”

The piece of writing (via) which that quote introduces is intellectually substantial, but not all that difficult to read, so you might as well take a look at it yourself. Most of the news media seems to be losing their minds over Wikileaks without actually reading these essays, even though he describes the function and aims of an organization like Wikileaks in pretty straightforward terms. But, to summarize, he begins by describing a state like the US as essentially an authoritarian conspiracy, and then reasons that the practical strategy for combating that conspiracy is to degrade its ability to conspire, to hinder its ability to “think” as a conspiratorial mind. The metaphor of a computing network is mostly implicit, but utterly crucial: he seeks to oppose the power of the state by treating it like a computer and tossing sand in its diodes.

He begins by positing that conspiracy and authoritarianism go hand in hand, arguing that since authoritarianism produces resistance to itself — to the extent that its authoritarianism becomes generally known — it can only continue to exist and function by preventing its intentions (the authorship of its authority?) from being generally known. It inevitably becomes, he argues, a conspiracy:

Quote:
Authoritarian regimes give rise to forces which oppose them by pushing against the individual and collective will to freedom, truth and self realization. Plans which assist authoritarian rule, once discovered, induce resistance. Hence these plans are concealed by successful authoritarian powers. This is enough to define their behavior as conspiratorial.
The problem this creates for the government conspiracy then becomes the organizational problem it must solve: if the conspiracy must operate in secrecy, how is it to communicate, plan, make decisions, discipline itself, and transform itself to meet new challenges? The answer is: by controlling information flows. After all, if the organization has goals that can be articulated, articulating them openly exposes them to resistance. But at the same time, failing to articulate those goals to itself deprives the organization of its ability to process and advance them. Somewhere in the middle, for the authoritarian conspiracy, is the right balance of authority and conspiracy.

His model for imagining the conspiracy, then, is not at all the cliché that people mean when they sneer at someone for being a “conspiracy theorist.” After all, most the “conspiracies” we’re familiar with are pure fantasies, and because the “Elders of Zion” or James Bond’s SPECTRE have never existed, their nonexistence becomes a cudgel for beating on people that would ever use the term or the concept. For Assange, by contrast, a conspiracy is something fairly banal, simply any network of associates who act in concert by hiding their concerted association from outsiders, an authority that proceeds by preventing its activities from being visible enough to provoke counter-reaction. It might be something as dramatic as a loose coalition of conspirators working to start a war with Iraq/n, or it might simply be the banal, everyday deceptions and conspiracies of normal diplomatic procedure.
Find the rest HERE
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