Author Topic: So then, wikileaks  (Read 2527 times)


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So then, wikileaks
« on: January 15, 2011, 12:47:10 PM »
I'd be interested to hear what you all think on the whole wikileaks thing. 
I personally think it's important to keep all the different angles separate, the importance of the leaked documents should not be obscured by the accusations of rape against Assange and the possibly upcoming extradition to the US.  These are all interesting of course but I think it's just so important to remember how this all started, with the release of documents which show some pretty unsavoury stuff (if a little unsurprising).

The Nation have done a pretty succinct rundown of what the leaked documents have revealed so far, and in list form it is a little shocking.  Well, shocking may be the wrong word, I mean it's stuff a lot of people understood to be happening but to have confirmation is a bit of a game changer. 

§ The Saudis, our allies, are among the leading funders of international terrorism.

§ The scale of corruption in Afghanistan tops even the worst estimates. President Hamid Karzai regularly releases major drug dealers who have political connections. His half-brother is a major drug operator.

§ The Pentagon basically lied to the public in downplaying sectarian violence in Iraq. Our military handed over many detainees they knew would be tortured to the Iraqis. US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of torture and abuse by Iraqi police and military.

§ After the release of the Iraq logs, new tallies put the number of documented civilian casualties there at more than 100,000. The Afghanistan logs similarly showed many more civilians killed there than previously known, along with once-secret US assassination missions against insurgents.

§ The British government assured Washington that our interests would be protected in its "independent" public inquiry into the Iraq War.

§ The Pakistani government has allowed its intelligence unit to hold strategy sessions with the Taliban. Despite longstanding denials, the United States has indeed been conducting special ops inside Pakistan and taking part in joint operations with the Pakistanis.

§ The Yemenis have lied to their own people, taking credit for air attacks on militants in that country—but it was the United States that did the job. The Yemeni president gave us an "open door" to combat terrorism. Washington has secretly shipped arms to the Saudis for use in Yemen.

§ The Saudis, contrary to their public statements, want us to bomb Iran. So do some other countries in the region—or so they say in private.

§ Our State Department asked our diplomats at the United Nations to spy on others, including the secretary general, even aiming to retrieve credit card numbers.

§ At last we got to read in full the historic 1990 memo from US Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie before Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and the first Gulf War.

§ The Obama administration worked with Republicans to protect Bush officials who faced a criminal investigation in Spain for alleged torture.

§ Pope Benedict XVI impeded an investigation into alleged child sex abuse within the Catholic Church in Ireland.

§ Bribery and corruption mark the Boeing versus Airbus battle for plane sales. "United States diplomats were acting like marketing agents, offering deals to heads of state and airline executives whose decisions could be influenced by price, performance and, as with all finicky customers with plenty to spend, perks," the New York Times reported early this month.

§ Israel destroyed a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007.

§ US diplomats have been searching for countries that will take Guantánamo detainees, often bargaining with them; the receiving country might get a one-on-one meeting with Obama or some other perk.

§ Among several startling revelations about control of nuclear supplies: highly enriched uranium has been waiting in Pakistan for more than three years for removal by an American team.

§  The U.S. embassy in Paris advised Washington to start a military-style trade war against any European Union country which opposed genetically modified (GM) crops.

§ The British have trained a Bangladeshi paramilitary force that human rights organizations consider a "government death squad."
whole article:

There's an even more detailed round up, by region, here too,

It's a fun time to be a student of International Security that's for sure :)

Offline Uli

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Re: So then, wikileaks
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2011, 10:14:08 AM »
Well, I'm not quite sure about this. While it was good to learn about the "behaviour" of American soldiers abroad (which, surprise surprise, is not better than with other soldiers of any kind), I don't know about those diplomatic messages released. Everyone knows how diplomacy works, so to reveal what some embassadors think about our politicians wasn't a real surprise, but not necessary to be made public. (Btw, much worse things had been said openly about Bush etc.)  :-\
Also, I have the suspicion, wikileaks might soon be used to form opinions one way or the other. And it's difficult for me to find any other source to verify what they've "leaked".
Just around the corner and miles away...

Offline Nick

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Re: So then, wikileaks
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2011, 12:31:59 PM »
Those in power have always & will always abuse it. Leaking documents that purport to show what most intelligent people already know seems useless if no one is going to act on the information. Has there been a mass call for resignations or justice? Have or will any heads roll? I think we all know the answer to that. It seems to me that all the well meaning people at wikileaks are doing is making themselves a target.
Even if the people should shake off their apathy & protest, a great many lives will be lost & the old corrupt will be replaced by the new corrupt, & the cycle will continue as it always has done.
I honestly believe now that the way forward for the human race is for every individual to look within themselves & find a way to bring their dark side into the light. All of us, without exception, are capable of great cruelty & self-deception. It may be a brave person who stands up & challenges authority, but braver still are those who can plum their own dark depths & examine what lies hidden within. To banish our own inner tyrant is the challenge. If every individual person were to do this I believe that we would realise that personal power within is more desirable than power over others. Until that happens the world will be as it always has been.
Here endeth the sermon  :)

Offline Alan

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Re: So then, wikileaks
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2011, 10:32:30 PM »
And a very good sermon to Rev Nick!

Interesting thought that Wikileaks may well have helped Tunisia to revolt - locals knew their Government was corrupt but until Wikileaks did not realise that the Americans, supporters of their Government, also shared that view or the true extent of the abuse!

Also interesting that the Russians and the Chinese publically have suggested that the leaks are CIA inspired to blacken their name in a way the US could not officially. Personally I think the CIA are not clever enough for this but rogue states know that many prefer conspiracy theories to the truth...

Offline Rockula

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Re: So then, wikileaks
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2011, 09:49:05 PM »
Not all the leaks were interesting, nor come to that particularly 'new news' to myself.

However, sections relating to a Governments collusion in the deaths of innocents and, particularly, the U.S. Governments offhand attitude to 'collateral damage' (i.e. the deaths of even more innocents) should not be hidden.

If nobody takes Governments to task for serious errors in judgement they'll will take it as tacit approval of thier behaviour.

Well, NOT IN MY NAME please.

Offline Fred21

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Re: So then, wikileaks
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2019, 11:10:24 AM »
TV SM!TH - for the beer and the company! (AND great songs too!)