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Wikileaks leaks embassy cables


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#1 Soul

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 09:40

Some interesting stuff.

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* Iran attempting to adapt North Korean rockets for use as long-range missiles
* Corruption within the Afghan government, with concerns heightened when a senior official was found to be carrying more than $50m in cash on a foreign trip
* Bargaining to empty the Guantanamo Bay prison camp - including Slovenian diplomats being told to take in a freed prisoner if they wanted to secure a meeting with President Barack Obama
* Germany being warned in 2007 not to enforce arrest warrants for US Central Intelligence Agency officers involved in an operation in which an innocent German citizen with the same name as a suspected militant was abducted and held in Afghanistan
* US officials being instructed to spy on the UN's leadership by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
* The very close relationship between Russian PM Vladimir Putin and his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi
* Alleged links between the Russian government and organised crime
* Yemen's president talking to then US Mid-East commander General David Petraeus about attacks on Yemeni al-Qaeda bases and saying: "We'll continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours"
* Faltering US attempts to prevent Syria from supplying arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon


Thoughts?

Edited by Soul, 29 November 2010 - 09:40.

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#2 Chyros

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 10:30

Well, my first thoughts would be "wow, that's quite embarassing" |8 . The US should seriously plug these holes if they expect anyone to still take them seriously :) .
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#3 Camille

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 11:51

they shouldn't.

they should come clean or not come at all.
it's time to wake up

#4 Amdrial

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 12:38

In a statement, the White House said: "Such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals, and people around the world who come to the United States for assistance in promoting democracy and open government."

I like how they want to promote an open and democratic government when stuff like this is kept behind the scenes. (Although it remains questionable if it wouldn't have been better if these things hadn't been exposed)
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#5 RaiDK

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 13:23

I'd honestly have to question why Wikileaks thought it necessary to make so much data public, other than 'Because they could'. Makes you wonder if they're pushing their own agenda, whatever that may be.

If this was Facebook posting 250,000 private profiles, do you think people would be just as for 'transparency'?

Or an even better one, can you imagine if this was the cold war and they were posting American plans in the name of 'transparency'?

Personally, I just think people are obsessed with information in the age of Twitter, combined with the fact it's now trendy to wear a tin foil hat again.

View PostMasonicon, on 17 Oct 2009, 13:44, said:

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#6 Rich19

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 14:21

 RaiDK, on 29 Nov 2010, 13:23, said:

I'd honestly have to question why Wikileaks thought it necessary to make so much data public, other than 'Because they could'. Makes you wonder if they're pushing their own agenda, whatever that may be.

If this was Facebook posting 250,000 private profiles, do you think people would be just as for 'transparency'?

Or an even better one, can you imagine if this was the cold war and they were posting American plans in the name of 'transparency'?

Personally, I just think people are obsessed with information in the age of Twitter, combined with the fact it's now trendy to wear a tin foil hat again.


It's not merely in the name of transparency. The whole point of a leak is to expose bad practice that would otherwise be kept hidden - nobody has held the US to account for the things it does before, and by simply making it more likely that the public will hear about bad things that happen gives an incentive to change those practices that would otherwise not be there. The people who leak documents disagree with the way the US conducts itself and wish to change how things are done by alerting the public to what is going on.

For example, in the UK we have a far right political party called the BNP. Due to the rhetoric of hate that this party directs towards certain groups of people (eg muslims), police officers in this country are banned from joining or promoting the party. However, the membership list was put up on wikileaks a few years ago, exposing members who included school teachers, doctors and importantly, several police officers.

By contrast, there is no reason for facebook to leak confidential personal data so of course people wouldn't agree with it.

#7 RaiDK

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 20:52

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The whole point of a leak is to expose bad practice that would otherwise be kept hidden - nobody has held the US to account for the things it does before, and by simply making it more likely that the public will hear about bad things that happen gives an incentive to change those practices that would otherwise not be there


Except so far the leaks haven't shown anything of the like. It's just mass raw data on various Diplomats' personal opinions on matters and insights into American operations. If the leaks showed that the US had staged 9/11 or whatever then sure, but that's clearly not the case.

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By contrast, there is no reason for facebook to leak confidential personal data so of course people wouldn't agree with it.


There's also no "Reason" to leak these documents, other than so the conspiracy theorists can have a field day and Wikileaks can get a few more hits.

I'd be really interesting to see who steps up and takes responsibility if there is some sort of backlash as a result of the leaks, because I can tell you know it won't be Wikileaks.

View PostMasonicon, on 17 Oct 2009, 13:44, said:

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#8 Rich19

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 21:20

 RaiDK, on 29 Nov 2010, 20:52, said:

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The whole point of a leak is to expose bad practice that would otherwise be kept hidden - nobody has held the US to account for the things it does before, and by simply making it more likely that the public will hear about bad things that happen gives an incentive to change those practices that would otherwise not be there


Except so far the leaks haven't shown anything of the like. It's just mass raw data on various Diplomats' personal opinions on matters and insights into American operations. If the leaks showed that the US had staged 9/11 or whatever then sure, but that's clearly not the case.

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By contrast, there is no reason for facebook to leak confidential personal data so of course people wouldn't agree with it.


There's also no "Reason" to leak these documents, other than so the conspiracy theorists can have a field day and Wikileaks can get a few more hits.

I'd be really interesting to see who steps up and takes responsibility if there is some sort of backlash as a result of the leaks, because I can tell you know it won't be Wikileaks.


Not entirely. The leak exposed operations by US diplomats to obtain personal details (passwords and even frequent flyer numbers) of senior UN and security council staff. It's not quite 9/11, but it's still not a particularly good thing to be engaging in and the people responsible ought to be accountable.

Also, perhaps I chose my words a little too quickly before - this is not simply holding the US to account, but other nations as well. Take the example of Obama being urged to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities by leaders in the region such as King Abdullah. This is the sort of thing that might give Iran a reason to pause for reflection - they may have felt "safe" up until now because of the US policy of passive engagement and sanctions (incidentally, the leak shows that policy is indeed being stuck to behind closed doors). Another example is Pakistan's resistance to a US plan to secure nuclear material so that it doesn't fall into terrorist hands - the Pakistani authorities refuse for fear of seeming too pro-American, and IMO this isn't a good enough reason when you consider what's at stake. Then there's the conduct of some foreign representatives such as the UK's Prince Andrew during official engagements - "verging on the rude", according to the leaks. I don't like the idea of someone representing my country acting in this way (especially a member of the bloody royal family), and I hope action is taken as a result of this disclosure.

#9 RaiDK

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 22:56

And in the most recent leak, it was revealed that China was ready to abandon North Korea. Given the situation they're in right now, and with the chance they're sitting on a couple of Nuclear weapons, do you think releasing such information could be called responsible or accountable?

I'm a firm believer that "power to the people" is a joke, given the average person these days.

View PostMasonicon, on 17 Oct 2009, 13:44, said:

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#10 Rich19

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Posted 29 November 2010 - 23:15

 RaiDK, on 29 Nov 2010, 22:56, said:

And in the most recent leak, it was revealed that China was ready to abandon North Korea. Given the situation they're in right now, and with the chance they're sitting on a couple of Nuclear weapons, do you think releasing such information could be called responsible or accountable?

I'm a firm believer that "power to the people" is a joke, given the average person these days.


That sounds responsible, tbh. If I were a NK leader or general I'd be far readier to engage in brinkmanship with SK and the US if I had the knowledge that China, with its huge land army just across the border and decent nuclear arsenal, would prop me up in any ensuing open warfare as they did in the last war.

I don't think "power to the people" is a joke at all. The age of politicians inserting secret clauses into treaties is definitely over, and the internet allows people to organise themselves far more easily. Another UK example (apologies for most things I'm talking about being UK based - I'm living in rather a bubble at the moment) - the government is trying to raise university fees, and the level of protesting is far, far higher than they anticipated.

Edited by Rich19, 29 November 2010 - 23:15.


#11 Golan

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 09:58

I don't see this as much of a problem of democracy. It's the US fault for making such notes, not WL's for releasing them. If anything, it shows how a government detached from the spirit of democracy (which is not meant to imply it applies only to the US) can endanger us all with its back room politics.
Seriously, all those affronted governments should already have expected those files to exist in the first place.

Edited by Golan, 30 November 2010 - 09:59.

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#12 Shirou

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 23:36

 RaiDK, on 29 Nov 2010, 21:52, said:

Except so far the leaks haven't shown anything of the like. It's just mass raw data on various Diplomats' personal opinions on matters and insights into American operations. If the leaks showed that the US had staged 9/11 or whatever then sure, but that's clearly not the case.

These documents are all marked as just 'secret', or lower such as 'confidential'. There is also another marker called 'Top secret' and iirc Wikileaks has never gotten their hands at any Top Secret documents, and I don't think the soldier that probably leaked all the documents, would be able to get his hands on top secret documents either.

So I never really expect any bombs from Wikileaks, but it does make one curious, as when stuff like this is 'just secret', then what would be Top Secret?

Edited by Shirou, 30 November 2010 - 23:38.

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#13 BeefJeRKy

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Posted 01 December 2010 - 00:05

I agree with Ben here. Wikileaks is leaking stuff just because it can. There is a reason why some of these documents are kept away from the public eye. That said, I guess official agencies really REALLY need to find their moles 8|

Also Syria getting weapons to Hezbollah has been common knowledge all these years. Nothing new there :P
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#14 RaiDK

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 09:22

Keeping in mind the fact the documents they're posting were stolen to begin with, I'd say the US government has every right to go after them. It's just a shame they have the support of the idiot "Hurr who watches the Watchmen, governments should fear their people, retweet this if you love freedom and apple pie" masses who are no doubt scrambling through afformentioned leaked documents in search of the line which says that that the US was the cause of 9/11 and that the planet is run by giant lizards. (And I'm actually not kidding by that comment. Right now I jumped on Twitter and saw someone asking him to get some files on UFOs.)

The thing that's truly worried is that Wikileaks seems to have this attitude that says nothing is sacred and that anyone who will accept nothing short of absolute freedom of all information ever is trying to suppress freedom. It's like Google but with a weird vigilante spin.

Here's a thought: Has wikileaks' hosting been dropped because of pressure from the Government, or because those providing the hosting want nothing to do with the group?

Edited by RaiDK, 03 December 2010 - 09:30.

View PostMasonicon, on 17 Oct 2009, 13:44, said:

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#15 Golan

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 12:53

Former british ambassador Craig Murry on Wikileaks publication.
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#16 BeefJeRKy

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 22:04

I would like to thank the Wikileaks founder Assange for throwing fuel onto the embers of the Lebanese situation. Tension is nearing breaking point. A paper links our current defense minister with giving Israel ideas on how to attack Hezbollah. Nothing short of treason as much as I hate Hezbollah. And furthermore, this guy was picked by Syria too, so it's a fucking big mess now. And more talks of an upcoming war with Israel are flying all over the place.

Meanwhile I will live life by the moment. Worst case scenario, the Canadian embassy evacuates us only this time, I will likely be turning my back for good...
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#17 Futschki

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 22:14

Yeah but I think the tension won't go away without a war anyway, it's all fucked up, thinking of a solution is futile... probably we'd better start thinking how and where to go if we want to stay alive.
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#18 Chyros

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 22:41

I can understand the fallout on your end, Jim, but on one hand, I do think that on some level Wikileaks is making one specific gesture for which I consider them heroes in some way: it's showing how things should be. Again, I don't say I'm glad you may have to be evacuated or worse, but what I do think is good is that he's showing the world that things would be a better place if governments would be honest for a change. If any of the governments that get red cheeks now wouldn't have been dealing under the table, they wouldn't have had the backlash when a sensitive document got leaked, and I think people may be overlooking this particular point. Take the US for example, who have had a huge amount of sensitive documents leaked and who got in diplomatic problems everywhere: if I were an American and my government would be exposed for its dirty business, so to speak, I'd thank the guy who uncovered it for me, so I could judge the government for what it really is instead of them getting away with everything. Governments should be afraid of their people, not expect to get away with everything, and work by honour and honesty - a phenomenon that is extremely rare nowadays. Wikileaks is showing, IMO, how important those points are. If not for people like them, who is ever going to prevent corruption and the like?

Of course I'm not saying you should thank Wikileaks if you lost your home, though, Jim.
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#19 Golan

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 18:11

 Scope, on 7 Dec 2010, 22:04, said:

I would like to thank the Wikileaks founder Assange for throwing fuel onto the embers of the Lebanese situation. Tension is nearing breaking point. A paper links our current defense minister with giving Israel ideas on how to attack Hezbollah. Nothing short of treason as much as I hate Hezbollah. And furthermore, this guy was picked by Syria too, so it's a fucking big mess now. And more talks of an upcoming war with Israel are flying all over the place.

Isn't that the fault of the persons who actually made that mess, not the ones who uncovered it?
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#20 Chyros

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 18:53

 Golan, on 9 Dec 2010, 20:11, said:

 Scope, on 7 Dec 2010, 22:04, said:

I would like to thank the Wikileaks founder Assange for throwing fuel onto the embers of the Lebanese situation. Tension is nearing breaking point. A paper links our current defense minister with giving Israel ideas on how to attack Hezbollah. Nothing short of treason as much as I hate Hezbollah. And furthermore, this guy was picked by Syria too, so it's a fucking big mess now. And more talks of an upcoming war with Israel are flying all over the place.

Isn't that the fault of the persons who actually made that mess, not the ones who uncovered it?
Well, that's exactly the way I see it, too. It's not as if they're twisting anything, either, really. If governments wouldn't want certain stuff leaked, perhaps they shouldn't have done it in the first place, no?
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#21 Futschki

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 21:52

Uhm, there's the time factor, it's not the same revealing them now as it is after 10 years, the situation in here is already at stake. What I mean is I wouldn't want to uncover the covered if it means war and destruction of my country.

Edited by Futschki, 09 December 2010 - 21:54.

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#22 RaiDK

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 03:56

Exactly. And if such a thing did happen I'm sure Mr Assange would be beating his chest in victory and the wikileks twitter account would move onto quoting V for Vendetta instead of Watchmen.

On that note, a related interesting article: http://techcrunch.com/2010/12/09/everyone-...not-celebrated/

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 07:13

I fully support wikileaks. Politicians are the assholes they are because of the lies they can hide behind. Transparency, honesty, and general understanding are paramount to a functional efficient democracy. Without those things, a person like Mao could get elected in China as long as the people are blinded from the truth.

By the way, to anyone here who's interested. Google 'insurance.aes256 download', the second link 'the one from isohunt.com, should be good. I can't DL it yet cause I can't torrent in collage, but Imma gonna get myself a copy.

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 07:53

 RaiDK, on 10 Dec 2010, 5:56, said:

On that note, a related interesting article: http://techcrunch.com/2010/12/09/everyone-...not-celebrated/
Personally I think the most convincing argument in that whole story was "Also, I hate his hair." The whole article is based around ad hominem attacks. The person who wrote that article seriously considers censorship and governmental secrecy a plus, an attitude which I can't stand. And his point about wikileaks actually discouraging openness begs the question why, if all this information was "oh so shared", their revelation made such a fuss. Besides, cablegate isn't the only issue on wikileaks at all.
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#25 SquigPie

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 08:22

 Chyros, on 10 Dec 2010, 8:53, said:

 RaiDK, on 10 Dec 2010, 5:56, said:

On that note, a related interesting article: http://techcrunch.com/2010/12/09/everyone-...not-celebrated/
Personally I think the most convincing argument in that whole story was "Also, I hate his hair." The whole article is based around ad hominem attacks. The person who wrote that article seriously considers censorship and governmental secrecy a plus, an attitude which I can't stand. And his point about wikileaks actually discouraging openness begs the question why, if all this information was "oh so shared", their revelation made such a fuss. Besides, cablegate isn't the only issue on wikileaks at all.


This, the comments on the article disagreed as well, altough the whole thing quickly turned into a flamewar about 4chan...

I remember commenting on this topic before, but it seems it didn't get through, anyway. If the government don't want their rotten underbelly to be exposed, then they shouldn't have one in the first place.

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