Wikileaks Infodump Volume 2: Various unspecified US misdeeds


#1841

So what you are saying is that unless it’s a “major” leak then it shouldn’t be leaked because that will cause the government to close up rather than become more transparent? So how do you define a “major” leak before it has been made public? How can you know how the public will react? If the expenses scandal had happened during good economic times, it might not have gathered more than a shrug from the public who expect politicians to be corrupt. Should they not have leaked that information in fear that it might not be a “major” leak?

Sorry, but your argument makes no sense. In order for the public to be moved to act, they need to know what they should be upset about. If no leaks happen, we can’t judge whether we should be upset about them or not. You can’t move people to protest about transparency when there is no evidence that lack of transparency is causing a problem. You have to leak the information that is hidden from them so that they can judge whether it is something worth protesting about.

I think the only thing wrong with the method used by Assange and wikileaks is that it has caused polarisation of people’s views based not on what they did, but how they did it. So people end up arguing nonsense like “leaks are bad for promoting transparency” just because they hate Assange or wikileaks. But I think Assange had to act in the way that he did in order to raise the profile of the issue. He’s basically screwed now, though, because I don’t think he can ever be taken seriously. But it hopefully should create an opportunity for another an organisation to move into the space created, one that isn’t tainted by controversy.


#1842

So you’d rather have scattered leaks than a system designed not to keep those things secret unless it was really necessary in the first place? For that matter, which kept some things secret for shorter defined periods of time (6/12 months) than today?


#1843

No, I’d obviously prefer good government where information wasn’t secret by default, and became quickly declassified. I’d like a government where I don’t have to learn from a whistleblower that politicians are cheating the system, toadying up to foreign countries, or making deals with criminals like Gadaffi. Actually I’d like a government transparent enough that I don’t learn about politicians doing that shit at all, because they can’t hide their craven acts behind a veil of secrecy.


#1844

Great! My point is rather that wikileaks makes it harder to get there, rather than easier.

Not that it stops me pushing for it, mind. (Also, as I’ve said before, Assange rubs me entirely wrongly on a personal level (not litterally, pervs!))


#1845

And in the nicest way possible, I shall suggest that your point is starkly wrong.

There is no evidence to support your claim. There are numerous instances of governments going out of their way to protect their secrecy, both before and after Wikileaks existed.

So…other than a gut feeling, what makes you think believe that Wikileaks is anyway related to the greater problem of government transparency?


#1846

Gut Feeling? You think that, for instance, Obama’s crusade against whistleblowers is unrelated?

Or that the pentagon has increased security.
Or that the massive subpoenas launched afterwards against Twitter and others, including foreign politicians, wasn’t meant to have a chilling effect.

No, a “gut feeling”, right.

I agree entirely with Reporters Without Border’s condemnation of some of wikileak’s releases, incidentally.


#1847

Interview with Assange:


#1848

Has been going on since before wikileaks hit the news, so what’s your point?


#1849

Wikileaks in the news;

Looting of Kenya, August 2007
Publishing scientology documents, March 2008
Palin’s hacked emails, September 2008
BNP Membership list leaked, November 2008

Obama sworn in;

January 2009

Now, let’s see if you can stick to your own philosophy.


#1850

See also my post in the other thread, but you’re correct that my statement was inaccurate; however, Wikileaks has not been a part of the political calculus of the USA in any significant way until the Manning-related leaks.


#1851

Oh quite true. The BNP membership list in particular gave them some exposure in the UK, which is when I really started paying attention…


#1852

Yeah, again, more “blame the victim”. You don’t seem to understand that governments make terrible decisions all of the time and it’s madness to blame activists for terrible decisions, such as their war on transparency of which Wikileaks is only a chapter. Or, rather, you do understand but you wilfully conflate because you somehow feel that the vendetta against Wikileaks can earn other causes legitimacy if they play ball.

Put it this way, and I’ll use outright violent terrorists rather than mere peaceful activists in order to highlight what matters: I don’t “blame” Al Qaeda for the dumb shit I have to put up with in air travel, because I correctly understand that despite them being the direct cause of it far more than Assange ever could be of anti-transparency, the actual decision to make air travel a living hell with no real security benefits is a complex thing largely wrought by our own shitty politicians in their own hysteria-mongering self-interest.

Now, Al Qaeda can rightly (and easily) be targeted in other strategic frameworks for criticism, but if you shake your fist at Bin Laden’s ghost every time your jug o’ moisturizer gets taken away you’re missing the point.

I agree entirely with Reporters Without Border’s condemnation of some of wikileak’s releases, incidentally.

Incidentally, that’s pointless without citing the link.


#1853

You say that, but I don’t agree. You argue that we need popular movements to make change, but I have shown that popular movements grow from knowing there is something to move against in the first place. There would be no efforts to make MP expenses more transparent if someone hadn’t leaked the systemic corruption that was going on.


#1854

Another thing that people often forget is that wikileaks was basically dying until the Manning leaks. It was universally praised in the press as a means of supporting whistleblowers, and the press loved to use its leaks, but nobody outside press circles really knew how useful it was and it was dying through lack of funding.

Assange used the Manning’s leaks to catapult wikileaks into the public conscience. He was very successful in that, and I bet funds have poured in since then. But it’s also possible that his actions and behaviour have alienated the press that once supported the organization, and polarised the public that he needed to motivate.

But still, I think what he did was very important, and necessary. If Assange’s image can’t be rehabilitated, hopefully someone else will be able to use the momentum he has gained to take the concept of wikileaks from a rough hacktivist dream, into something that can really drive governments to behave better.


#1855

Given I’m a critic of security theater, that’s just funny. Profiling works, but is politically incorrect, and we can’t have that (except on ElAl) now…

Incidentally, that’s pointless without citing the link.

Really, you’re claiming that history is pointless with links? Okay, cite.

Tim; There are other whistleblower sites which have been running for some time, I’d point out. Most notably Cryptome, which has survived being US-run…

http://leakdirectory.org/index.php/Leak_Site_Directory

Also, the BNP membership list release actually generated quite a bit of interest and press here.


#1856

How you feel about air security is not the point. Do you understand the analogy?

Really, you’re claiming that history is pointless with links? Okay, cite.

I’m saying that if you have a specific criticism you’d like to link, that would be useful. Waving generally in their direction without any further clarification is, well, kind of like pointing to an entire book from the 90’s without any specific reference or adaptation. It’s far preferable to make an argument and then cite your specific source for key factual aspects or in the form of other people that have advanced that point.

But no, I don’t know how you could read what I said as “history is pointless with links”.


#1857

Of course, I have to follow your interpretation of everything! No, my answer stands. Also, it’s a really bad analogy which I had to read several times before I realised that no, you were not actually advocating violent terrorism.

But no, I don’t know how you could read what I said as “history is pointless with links”.

The usual way for english from, left to right. Your rules, your ball.

It’s a passing mention to the topic, and was well covered in the press. Again, you’re demanding I do my googling for you, if you’re interested enough to want to do so in the first place, which I’m not going to assume. Lazy…


#1858

You didn’t answer, you commented in another direction.

The usual way for english from, left to right. Your rules, your ball.

It’s a passing mention to the topic, and was well covered in the press. Again, you’re demanding I do my googling for you, if you’re interested enough to want to do so in the first place, which I’m not going to assume. Lazy…

I’m not demanding anything. If you expect something to be seen in support of your point, then I suggest you cite it specifically in order to avoid misunderstandings. Otherwise, it’s yet another part of your post that can be summarily dismissed. It makes it seem like you vaguely agree with people you somewhat understand but see as authorities and thus hope will go unquestioned.


#1859

I’m not responsible for your misunderstandings of my answer, and I am deliberately not clarifying it.

I’m not demanding anything.

No, I am, under your rules. You’ve made a contention, and now you’re not backing it up. If you don’t like this, then why did you do it to me?

Otherwise, it’s yet another part of your post that can be summarily dismissed.

Fine, so, unless you can back up your claim, I will sumarily dismiss your claim that references are required. Your rules, your call.

(Don’t like your rules? Well, hey…)


#1860

He’s trolling you.