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Wikileaks and the US State Department


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But were talking about two different things here. You can be right that theres good reasons for secrecy in certain cases and I can still be right that its been grossly abused. We arent just talking about the guy at that Beijing desk handling sensitive information we are talking about many many many millions of documents related to the publics business, some of which are still kept secret even after many decades.

And there's no easy answer. It's been a conundrum that has troubled democratic governments since the invention of democratic governments. How much do you keep secret? How long do you keep it secret? How do create some sort of civilian oversight with some power to compel testimony and more importantly to hold the executive branch to account? These are serious problems, and the biggest problem is that you do need to get the public to trust the checks and balances.

I don't know the answers to this one, but I do know that having the uncontrolled communications of hundreds or maybe thousands of diplomats and embassy functionaries broadcast to all and asunder is not oversight in any real sense.

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I guarantee it. The more afraid these people are that their actions and words will eventually see the light of day and be discussed openly in public with their names attached to them, the better a job they will do representing us. They should feel the eyes burning into the back of their necks 24/7.

More likely not do their jobs at all because they can't be honest and frank with their fellow employees and superiors without the fear of everything they say being public. Would everyone be quite so frank and opinionated on this forum if their posts were made under their real names?

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They should be.

The older generation is so petrified of Facebook (okay, sample space=my parents, but still) and the scares that get reported in the (competing) older media that they have become paranoid.

For damn sake, you can go on there with just your name, protect your information, and only select friends you know - what the hell can it do to you ?

Protecting secrecy and privacy is very expensive, and overblown. People need to relax.

If you think you have control over your information on Facebook you are dreaming. If the information is there, any Facebook employee who has access to it has control over it regardless of what security options you select. If one of them decides to leak that information to someone like Wikileaks and they decide to make it public, what are you going to do about it? Wait a minute, isn't that what happened here?

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And there's no easy answer. It's been a conundrum that has troubled democratic governments since the invention of democratic governments. How much do you keep secret? How long do you keep it secret? How do create some sort of civilian oversight with some power to compel testimony and more importantly to hold the executive branch to account? These are serious problems, and the biggest problem is that you do need to get the public to trust the checks and balances.

I don't know the answers to this one, but I do know that having the uncontrolled communications of hundreds or maybe thousands of diplomats and embassy functionaries broadcast to all and asunder is not oversight in any real sense.

But there's a lot more to the leak than this; and it's little wonder that political leaderships might have difficulty in getting "the public to trust the checks and balances."

Washington is running a secret intelligence campaign targeted at the leadership of the United Nations, including the secretary general, Ban Ki-moon and the permanent security council representatives from China, Russia, France and the UK.

A classified directive which appears to blur the line between diplomacy and spying was issued to US diplomats under Hillary Clinton's name in July 2009, demanding forensic technical details about the communications systems used by top UN officials, including passwords and personal encryption keys used in private and commercial networks for official communications.

It called for detailed biometric information "on key UN officials, to include undersecretaries, heads of specialised agencies and their chief advisers, top SYG [secretary general] aides, heads of peace operations and political field missions, including force commanders" as well as intelligence on Ban's "management and decision-making style and his influence on the secretariat". A parallel intelligence directive sent to diplomats in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi said biometric data included DNA, fingerprints and iris scans.

Washington also wanted credit card numbers, email addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers and even frequent-flyer account numbers for UN figures and "biographic and biometric information on UN Security Council permanent representatives".

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/28/us-embassy-cables-spying-un

I don't see any good reason why we "shouldn't know" about this sort of thing.

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I agree that governments do need to be able to keep secrets, and that obviously security measures need to be reviewed if leaks on this scale are possible. On the other hand, I also agree that the vast majority of this information should never have been classified in the first place.

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SO MUCH FOR THE GRAND PLAN OF GLOBALIZATION...I knew it..once the power that be took over they would turn on each other - which they did ...I hope they destroy themselves. Which they will.....and now for some proverbial bible talk...to para phrase..."In time that which is whispered in the darkness will be proclaimed with a loud voice from the roof tops" - Looks like that day has come.

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If you think you have control over your information on Facebook you are dreaming. If the information is there, any Facebook employee who has access to it has control over it regardless of what security options you select. If one of them decides to leak that information to someone like Wikileaks and they decide to make it public, what are you going to do about it? Wait a minute, isn't that what happened here?

IF the information is there, which means IF you decided to release it.

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IF the information is there, which means IF you decided to release it.

Long while ago I had some pretty lengthy exchanges with an Ameican intelligence officer..who let me in on a lot of inside info....BUT - both of us started getting paranoid regarding the exchange...so we cut communications and now I would not bother with such intrigue...What I find interesting about the Wikileak guy is that he reminds me of an avenging arch angel..and Jezzz I hope he is and god slaps the shit out of all the liars and theives that have directly and indirecly destroyed wealth - life and limb of millions of people via their treachery...maybe the devil has come to recieve his payment..so to speak. This will get worse...BUT - with moral relativism sweeping the planet..it will be no big deal - after all torture is back in fashion..is it not?

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If I was a spymaster, I'd want to know about UN officials.

Diplomats are not "spymasters," or certainly are not supposed to be.

Let's break down the common arguments that are beginning to boil like unruly maggots on the meat of this story:

1. The leaks "endanger the diplomatic corps and those associated with them."

[Never mind that the United States had full opportunity to work with Wikileaks on security redactions...and refused to do so. Therefore, if indeed there are any lethal repercussions, the United States officially at least shares culpability.]

2. The diplomats are going to have difficulty "doing their work."

3. When the diplomats are charged with performing decidedly undiplomatic spywork--on allies, mind you--we should not only support that; we should also complain when that fact is leaked.

Because that is part of the "diplomatic work" that should remain secret.

We don't want to know what the most powerful government on Earth is doing; and if anyone tells us, he is a dangerous individual putting brave, spying diplomats in danger.

We can simply trust the most powerful country on Earth. They will always behave admirably.

Edited by bloodyminded
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IF the information is there, which means IF you decided to release it.

Any information you put give to Facebook, ultimately they decide who see's it. If someone at Facebook who has access to it decides to release your info, there is nothing you can do about it except maybe sue them after the fact but your info will still be out there. That goes for any information you give out to anyone. Do you think all the people who have had their correspondence released by Wikileaks decided to release it.

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Well looks like someone is a little upset. Crazy to see all the damage control the US is going through at the moment. Hillary doing her best. However up here in the GWN, things are shaking up as well. Overall I think this is a distraction for something bigger.

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Interpol is after this guy now. I don't see why they are going after him when I've read more damaging info. on other websites and bloggers. What we read about the UN and the spying, I've read that Bush had the UN spied on and the head of the UN listened to with his talks in his office. Bush wanted to know if the UN was going into Iraq and he spied on them to get his info. As far as finding this gu, IF they do, maybe they could go find OBL too.

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Interpol is after this guy now. I don't see why they are going after him when I've read more damaging info. on other websites and bloggers. What we read about the UN and the spying, I've read that Bush had the UN spied on and the head of the UN listened to with his talks in his office. Bush wanted to know if the UN was going into Iraq and he spied on them to get his info. As far as finding this gu, IF they do, maybe they could go find OBL too.

Maybe because he is a creep with an ego that doesn't take into account the consequences of his actions. Look at the guys bio, he isn't in this to make a better world.

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Maybe because he is a creep with an ego that doesn't take into account the consequences of his actions. Look at the guys bio, he isn't in this to make a better world.

I wouldn't believe much of what is said/written about him now, honestly. I mean, even peace-loving Canadian officials have gone as far as to call for his assassination. A smear campaign is certainly not beyond them. Western governments have been doing everything they can to destroy this guy since wikileaks started revealing secret information. Whether it's trumped up rape charges, denial of citizenship, assassination plots, attacks against his website, etc, it's all apparently been tried.

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I wouldn't believe much of what is said/written about him now, honestly. I mean, even peace-loving Canadian officials have gone as far as to call for his assassination. A smear campaign is certainly not beyond them. Western governments have been doing everything they can to destroy this guy since wikileaks started revealing secret information. Whether it's trumped up rape charges, denial of citizenship, assassination plots, attacks against his website, etc, it's all apparently been tried.

Good points, Bonam. The rape charges could well be legitimate, but it should go without saying that it's anything but conclusive. (And the timing is fascinating.)

As for calling for his assassination--it should amaze me (but doesn't) that officials are calling for first-degree murder.

I'd say they've got their underwear in quite the little knot over this matter.

Edited by bloodyminded
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