Wikileaks

mowgli's picture
mowgli started the topic in Friday, 10 Dec 2010 at 9:04am

A website such as Wikileaks and what it seeks to achieve, that is, greater accountability and transparency within governments (and soon to be large corporations), is important.

Why do you agree/disagree?

vlad's picture
vlad's picture
vlad commented Friday, 10 Dec 2010 at 11:10am

I think its ridiculous to try to get a giant violent & corrupt criminal gang like a government to change its ways. Its like trying to change the mafia.

brianp's picture
brianp's picture
brianp commented Saturday, 11 Dec 2010 at 12:12am

I think what he did is more detrimental than helpful and I think that the releases are irresponsible. Realistically what he released are the opinions of diplomats, not the actual feelings or sentiments of the countries those diplomats represent. How are diplomats supposed to express genuine feelings and opinions of those they are dealing with? All this will do is stop the recording of sensitive information. I think these documents should be released to the public, but maybe 5-10 years after they have been created.

floyd's picture
floyd's picture
floyd commented Saturday, 11 Dec 2010 at 1:07am

I think Wikileaks seeks to only show ordinary people like us how corrupt and morally bankrupt its elected representatives are. And that is a good thing. The sooner we all stop believing the bullshit politicans and vested interest groups (e.g. big business) give us the better.

redbeard's picture
redbeard's picture
redbeard commented Saturday, 11 Dec 2010 at 2:33am

I think that the true opinions of diplomats are what governments base their international and domestic policies on and to give their opinions and advice is what they are paid to do. Why should the people i.e. us who are made to live by the rules and policies of these governments be kept from seeing what they are saying and advising our governments to do. I cant help think that those with something to hide are doing the wrong thing.

vlad's picture
vlad's picture
vlad commented Sunday, 12 Dec 2010 at 2:14am

Brian - A couple of comments:- Number 1 I don't think its just diplomats I have heard comments from Mr Rudd & other bosses. Number 2 Counties don't have feelings or sentiments there just abstracts. Whichever gang is in power decides what it will say & do pretty much regardless of what the people it rules over want (I'm sure we can all think of about a thousand examples of this) I do think the whole wikileaks furore is a bit silly, Its not really news that lying profession is lying - Is it ?

nope's picture
nope's picture
nope commented Sunday, 12 Dec 2010 at 4:50pm

for generations the entire system has taught us EVERYTHING we think we know. artists scientists, philophosers and intelects have, since jesus was a boy, told us this is not so. we think their ideas are romantic but impossible. bullshit. think a little harder peeps. fuck the corperations fuck capitalists. by 1 man climing up the finacial ladder he is stepping on countless heads. its not the way to peace. act local think GLOBAL. we treat animals better then innocent humans. (no exageration)

pete_79's picture
pete_79's picture
pete_79 commented Monday, 13 Dec 2010 at 1:12am

Firstly, sorry if this post gets a bit longwinded….

But, you can’t talk about Wikileaks without talking about the modern media.
The nightly news these days is a joke, it’s now just full of gossip stories, most of what we see about Wikileaks in the modern print media reads like a story from Woman’s Weekly and the TV ‘news’ is just Entertainment Tonight or even worse, TMZ…..

It’s easy for news outlets to talk about Wikileaks releasing emails from diplomats and foreign ministers. But really these stories are nothing more than gossip, diplomats giving their personal thoughts on other countries political situations. BUT, these leaks make everything easy for the media outlets. It covers the Wikileaks / Julian Assange story, it also covers our current internal / domestic political stories, but most importantly it makes a great gossip piece.
They just keep feeding the hungry masses with their supersized portions of junk food they like to call ‘news’….

While the TV and papers are full of these rubbish stories with all of this ‘he said – she said’ bullshit there is some real meat in what has been realised by Wikileaks, it just doesn’t get the headlines.

I heard a ‘real’ news story recently where the president of an African nation wrote to the white house about a heap of bombings that had happened in his country, lots of innocent people had been killed and his quote went something like – “America can keep sending in the bombs for as long as they want, I’ll keep telling the public that the bombs are ours”. The truth is that America has been using unmanned air craft to strike at local terrorist groups in Africa and they have been missing the targets or hitting the targets and killing heaps of innocent people as well. The local president has been telling his public that the explosions where set off by the local terrorists.

These are the types of stories that should be coming out of this Wikileaks saga, but that story got a thirty second grab and was followed by a 5 minute piece about what some idiot in a foreign ministry said about some other idiot in another foreign ministry. Really, who gives a shit…..

I’ve seen 2 great quotes recently.

One was a placard used in a protest supporting Julian Assange in Europe, it said –
“They read our emails, why shouldn’t we read theirs?”

The other was a bumper sticker that said –
“Is it the truth? or did you read it in the Currier Mail?”

This last quote can be used for all Murdoch media and in my personal opinion his media outlets are far worse than Wikileaks, Murdoch media and Fox are just there to spread lies, deception and secrete (or not so secrete) agendas…..

sir-yehudi-wooody-the-75-1-2th's picture
sir-yehudi-wooody-the-75-1-2th's picture
sir-yehudi-wooo... commented Monday, 13 Dec 2010 at 8:12am

Comrade Yuri gives an interesting perspective in this interview.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2095202/posts

brianp's picture
brianp's picture
brianp commented Monday, 13 Dec 2010 at 10:23pm

Vlad, I understand the concept of a government. What I was trying to describe was that one persons honest and personal opinion may be out of line with government policy despite the fact they are part of that government. For example, look at the labour governments stance on gay marriage. Suprisingly, one of the labour governments senior ministers (Penny Wong) is gay. Do you honestly think behind closed doors she does not support gay marriage?

Pete, mate... come on, if you are going to suggest something as damming as what you mentioned, at least cite a source... Where did you get your info?! What African country are you referring to?! It seems like you might be only telling half the story... You sure you aren't trying to silently secrete your secret agenda?

pete_79's picture
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pete_79 commented Monday, 13 Dec 2010 at 11:35pm

Pete, mate... come on, if you are going to suggest something as damming as what you mentioned, at least cite a source... Where did you get your info?! What African country are you referring to?! It seems like you might be only telling half the story... You sure you aren't trying to silently secrete your secret agenda?

By: "brianp"

*The source...???? Wikileaks... Obviously.....
*Info I saw was on ABC News 24....
*The country was Yemen.... Here's a link to the story as told by CNN, I just did a quick google search and this was the first one that came up, please feel free to look for more sites it if you don't trust this one....

Silently secrete my secrete agenda...???? WTF...??? If this is regarding my comments about Murdoch, it's no secrete mate, his media outlets are all FUCKING LIARS....
There was a survey done in the US when the Iraq war started (for the second time) and they asked 'Do you believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9-11 bombings?' Over 90% of people who watched Fox news said they believed this was true while less then 30% of people who didn't watch Fox believed it. Who do you think has an agender...???

While I don't really agree with Wikileaks releasing some of these interdepartment emails showing what diplomats think about each other (I actually agree with your point to do it in a few years time) I do agree with them releasing documents showing where countries have acted irresponsibly, deceitfully or corruptly which has led to their own people being endangered by forces from other countries that are equally irresponsible or corrupt.

My main point here is that Wikileaks is telling the public things that have actually been said or done and it up to US (you and me) to interpret these facts as we please. While at the same time there is so much media these days that is pushing their own believes or 'agendas' onto the public and pretending that it's the truth. I'm not just talking about Murdoch, just turn on your radio, how can anyone listen to all that shit talk they carry on about on AM radio in Sydney...???

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Monday, 13 Dec 2010 at 11:50pm

Here's the article: http://indepthafrica.com/world-news/wikileaks-u-s-behind-attacks-on-qaed...

You sound a bit surprised that this is happening, Brian. If so, I'd be ready for a major recalibration, as Wikileaks is going to change what we know of the world. Myself, I've always been wary of conspiracy theories - when you can choose between conspiracy and stupidity choose the latter, as the saying goes - but I think I'm also going to have to prepare myself for some shocks. We're about to get a good glimpse below the surface.

Do I agree or disagree with Wikileaks? That was the original question posed. Fuck, can anyone give an unequivocal answer to that? I don't think govts should have all their secrets exposed, but then if the US, Britain, Aust and the rest of the 'Coalition of the Willing' didn't take us to war based on a lie that would be an easier position to defend.

Following the last dump by Wikileaks, govt defenders said Julian Assange and Co are placing the lives of soldiers and informers at risk. That may be so, but the war that didn't have to happen has killed upward of 100 000 innocent Iraqi's, many of them women and children. So if guilt is determined by number of casualties then the govt is winning by a mile.

It's rumoured that the next dump by Wikileaks will be cables showing how executives at an American bank profited from the govt cash injection. Be hard to find anyone who would be opposed to that information being public.

pete_79's picture
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pete_79 commented Tuesday, 14 Dec 2010 at 1:36am

What's happening in Yemen is just one story and the fact that Brianp (and many, many others) haven't heard anything about it is exactly my point.... I'll bet that everyone who didn't hear the Yemen story knows exactly what the American ambassador said about K Rudd.....

It will be very interesting to see what comes out of Wikileaks regarding the bank bail-outs.
My money says we'll hear more about what the bank chiefs bought with their billions (house, boats, ect.) rather then hearing how all of the corrupt pollitions made sure the bankers got paid their billions.... But I guess we'll see soon enough...

brianp's picture
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brianp commented Tuesday, 14 Dec 2010 at 4:06am

Haha sheesh, what a backlash at my post! I don't not believe in conspiracy's, I just think it's only fair that one provide sources to the information regarding a viewpoint, especially when one is talking about something that I'm unfamiliar with. There's nothing wrong with that is there?

Stu, a "major recalibration?" I'm not surprised at all... high school history taught me of the Gulf of Tonkin incident and many other like events such as the Bay of Pigs. I have even been questioning the legitimacy of all the events during the 9/11 'attacks'.

Pete, when I said, "silently secrete your secret agenda" I was merely poking fun at your misspelling and confusion of the words "secret" and "secrete".

niggly's picture
niggly's picture
niggly commented Tuesday, 14 Dec 2010 at 4:14am

um.... I find it incredibly scary that we are citing wikileaks as a bad thing. Incredible that we as a people are actually afraid of the truth?.
Don't worry though, we can I'm sure, all tune into opera live at Bondi beach and feel safe and secure that we are a surfing community are contributing to the greater good.
I can only say that i hope if i ever came across the information that it seems the wiki leaks mob have stumbled upon, i would hand it into the public domain, from what i understand Julian made several attempts to find ways to work with the authorities on this before deciding to leak, the minimal amount he has.

I'm still trying to work out what we are all afraid of, have heard several comments from people saying that he is endangering us, if this is the case then we are doomed as a people, and we probably should just keep mining, bombing, shooting, torturing and make sure the kids are tuned into the box, cause we got no moral fibre left.

maybe we cant handle the prospect of the truth anymore, do we feel that ashamed.... ?

peace

pete_79's picture
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pete_79 commented Tuesday, 14 Dec 2010 at 4:18am

I was merely poking fun at your misspelling and confusion of the words "secret" and "secrete".

By: "brianp"

Well spotted mate, missed that one…

Fair call with asking for the sources, no harm done.
I thought my post was getting too long and didn’t want to go into too much detail about the whole story.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Tuesday, 14 Dec 2010 at 4:35am

um.... I find it incredibly scary that we are citing wikileaks as a bad thing. Incredible that we as a people are actually afraid of the truth?.

By: "niggly"

I just don't think it's as easy as that Niggly. The 'truth' has many different contexts and interpretations, and govts would never get anything done if they had to explain themselves to every single news outlet. Just look at how inefficient politics has become with politicians stuck in the 24 hr news cycle and forever justifying trivial events to every two-bit news outlet that wants to indulge in 'gotcha' journalism. And we wonder why we don't have visionary leaders anymore...

A country would grind to a halt if everything was up for questioning.

I think generally I'm for Wikileaks but I still got one arse cheek firmly planted on this here fence.

vlad's picture
vlad's picture
vlad commented Tuesday, 14 Dec 2010 at 11:58am

Stu - I am not sure how becoming head the of a gang that uses violence & coercion to steal 30-50% of my money every week makes someone a “visionary leader” Its not all that different to a mafia don or a slave master except the government people have a different costume on. I sincerely doubt the country would “grind to a halt” if people got to make there own choices without the boot of the state constantly on there neck, On a day to day basis most of us seem to live peaceful lives & organize ourselves quite nicely without having a state thug poking a gun at us telling us what to do. In fact most of the things that don’t work very well are either run by the government, regulated by the government or somehow intertwined in some mercantilist nightmare with the government. Think of all the so called “services” that people are unhappy with – water, power, rates, health services, schools, the awful (criminal) manipulation of our money & banking systems – the list of shitty inefficient government f-ck ups just goes on & on & on but we keep on turning up year on year to give these evil thieving scumbags a mandate to keep it going. The real news here shouldn’t be that the liars are lying but how the people of Australia have been so conditioned to conform that we happily accept the continual theft & oppression. – Sorry for the rant

Also it is incorrect to say that the truth has many different context & interpretations. Truth is founded on objective reality. We do not say that 2+2=5 or that gravity is just an opinion.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Tuesday, 14 Dec 2010 at 11:10pm

Of course truth has different contexts and interpretations. Humans aren't automatons. I mean, how many disagreements have you had over the course of your life, even minor ones with friends?

Did you think you were right? Did the other person also think they were right?

How can that be?

niggly's picture
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niggly commented Tuesday, 14 Dec 2010 at 11:57pm

stu i hear what your saying, and i agree that the government which is elected in a democratic setting [such as ours] should be able to to make decisions on behalf of the people with out being questioned every step of the way, it seems though that we are all talking about larger issues.... which i feel should be up for public scrutiny and debate. the point that i was trying to make is.
that as you stated

e wrote:
but the war that didn't have to happen has killed upward of 100 000 innocent Iraqi's, many of them women and children. So if guilt is determined by number of casualties then the govt is winning by a mile.

I feel it is a complete cop out to blame the governments for these atrocities as it us the people who stand by and watch it happen, hell we fund it via taxes. So in effect i have paid for bombs that have killed, if it is the case that a mob such as wiki leaks has documentation of foul play then we should print it on cereal box's and attempt to get the great aussie slumber party to wake up.

i also feel that there is only one truth and that what you mentioned is more interpretation of events rather than fact.

[not attacking you stu as i love your work and value your opinion]

hope we all get wet today, tis wonderful

peace

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Wednesday, 15 Dec 2010 at 1:03am

Hey, it's cool Niggly. Niggle away. I cop worse in the comments section of my articles.

But what kind of larger issues do you mean? The larger an issue is the more grey areas it contains and the more 'up for interpretation' it is. Can't have a referendum for every high level decision made.

vlad's picture
vlad's picture
vlad commented Wednesday, 15 Dec 2010 at 12:18pm

Stu – The truth is not subjective, I think we might be arguing semantics & confusing truth with opinion. Whether humans are automatons or not it does not change the state of reality. I have had differences in opinion with folks but I don’t recall to many disputes where I have tried to argue against reality (Well at least not to many when I wasn’t on the piss). – Sorry to go all nerdy but the dictionary defined truth as: -
1.
the true or actual state of a matter:
2.
Conformity with fact or reality;
3.
A verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like: mathematical truths.
4.
The state or character of being true.
5.
Actuality or actual existence.

Almost everything in reality is measurable /quantifiable. Perhaps you could explain in what sort of situation the truth becomes subjective ?

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Thursday, 16 Dec 2010 at 6:05am

I'm trying to steer this clear of purely philosophical territory Vlad. I've no doubt there would be some people prepared to enter into a battle about subjective reality, and it's also well known that many scientific 'truths' are just best-fit theories, but neither of those versions of truth are what I was referring too.

I said: "The 'truth' has many different contexts and interpretations" and it was in reply to the dumping of Wikileaks cables. Of course this idea of truth is going to be wrapped up in opinions and values and all the pre-conceived biases that make humans human. We are not just talking about simple truths like 'will the sun rise', or 'does this table exist', but rather information that requires us to make judgements and we will taint 'the truth' of those Wikileak cables with those judgements.

It's what us humans do...

my_opinion's picture
my_opinion's picture
my_opinion commented Friday, 17 Dec 2010 at 12:54am

We taint all information with our human judgements, whether its provided by the one-sided government, the often-biased news media, or objective sources like Wikileaks. Our own feelings, political leanings, past experiences etc will cause us to make up our own minds on the information provided, and pass judgement in our own manner.

I think the question is: would you rather pass judgement with only a small portion of slanted information available? Or would you prefer to be given ALL the facts (or as much as humanly possible) on the subject to make a better informed decision? The Iraq war is a prime example.

If the government or media wont provide us with all available information, deliberately or neglectfully, then they deserve to be embarassed by people like Assange. And if they are partaking in practices that need to be hidden, then chances are they shouldn't be doing them in the first place.

I think Stunet is spot on - this looks to be the start of a new era of open information and exposure of hidden/dodgy dealings. In this day and age, with access to free information via the web, I personally believe that we will see more and more of these exposures, not just heresay and conjecture on blogs, but authenticated, referenced and verified information that is irrefutable and undeniable.

It might just prove to be a small step in the fight against morally and legally corrupt institutions which we have all had no choice but to put up with until now...

dial's picture
dial's picture
dial commented Tuesday, 21 Dec 2010 at 3:17pm

Its sort of funny that if you or I write an inappropriate email, we can be sacked for it but if a diplomat writes one, the person who exposes it is a terrorist.

rushy's picture
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rushy commented Tuesday, 21 Dec 2010 at 9:42pm

Dial, that's called 'Diplomatic Immunity'.

If it's free, it's for me!

mowgli's picture
mowgli's picture
mowgli commented Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 at 2:57am

on that point dial, I read a very good comment on an article on the ABC news website that went something like this -

"if you work for a company, and using your company computer you send an email to your wife, that company has an explicit right to view your email. As employers of the government, we the people have an implicit right to view THEIR emails."

I also came across - "true democracy is totally transparent and accountable"

I wonder what the consensus in the community would be on how transparent and accountable our government is? Kevin Rudd for all his faults was good at reading the mood of the electorate. He even claimed (I'm paraphrasing here) during the 2007 election campaign that he would bring greater transparency back to government. Obviously he didn't but the point being that he noticed that enough of the public was getting fed up with the lack thereof. (Perhaps to do with Australia's involvement in the coalition of the willing

Somebody did make the point on Page 2 of this thread that we the people were at fault for our involvement in Iraq. I have to disagree because I remember at the time numerous polls and a few rallies with thousands of people in them who were opposed to our involvement. So I would say that our involvement in the war-that-shouldn't-have-been was largely due to one man with bushy eyebrows who liked to go yogging every morning.

Having said all of that, I am in a similar frame of mind to Stunet, in that I think there are some things in government that MUST be kept secret. For instance the passwords to our anti-cyber-terrorism unit, or certain tactical aspects of our defence force etc.

I do think that unethical and illegal actions (such as the invasion of a sovereign nation or the rendition of foreign nationals to secret locations to be tortured, held for years without charge or a fair and open trial) by governments should most definitely be open to the scrutiny of the people such representatives are acting on behalf of.

“Life is a long lesson in humility.”

mowgli's picture
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mowgli commented Wednesday, 22 Dec 2010 at 3:03am

oh, also, I found a critique of (and contains some extracts) an essay written by Assange which basically explains his motives for creating Wikileaks. I'll try to post a link to it. It's a little long (maybe 10 - 15mins of reading) but I think it is worth a look.

I must also say that I'm dissapointed that Wikileaks has chosen to release all the mundane and gossipy stuff said by diplomats. I think it would've been a lot more potent and game-changing (at least thus far) to just restrict the leaks to the really shocking stuff. Not to mention it would've (hopefully) avoided all the mis-focussing of attention by the mainstream media sheep.

“Life is a long lesson in humility.”

vlad's picture
vlad's picture
vlad commented Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011 at 10:24am

Mowg - Since you brought up ethics, I have a hard time understanding how kidnapping a foreign national is unethical but kidnapping you or me if we tried to stop the government stealing half our money is ethical? (Since democracy only exists thru the violent theft of taxation) Surely initiating the use of force on anyone is immoral?

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011 at 10:32pm

Violent theft of taxation???

non-local's picture
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non-local commented Thursday, 13 Jan 2011 at 10:00pm

You know that when I am in the surf none of this even comes close to bothering me at all. Leak on Wiki!

one good turn deserves another

shaun's picture
shaun's picture
shaun commented Friday, 14 Jan 2011 at 9:40pm

Mowg - (Since democracy only exists thru the violent theft of taxation) Surely initiating the use of force on anyone is immoral?

By: "vlad"

Should that maybe be "violent theft by taxation", any way I like it.

having said that , I look forward to making enough money one day to actually pay tax.

I'm the scab you keep picking off and is there again the next day.