Wikileaks Reaction

This link to the Spiegel’s summary (full coverage here) was quite good, thanks to the emailer who sent that in. I’ve reviewed a bunch of the coverage from multiple sources (but seen none of the actual documents), and I guess my thoughts could be summarized as:

1.) We really are doing everything they accuse us of doing. For me, the biggest surprise is they would openly ask diplomats to spy.

2.) Apparently, near everyone in he world wants the United States to attack Iran. They also want to make sure that it is the United States who is blamed for attacking Iran, and want no credit/blame/perception of involvement.

3.) Iraq is still an absolute mess.

I generally sense that people, overall, will be more hostile towards wikileaks after this dump. The previous dumps seemed to corroborate competing stories. This dump will just be viewed by many as an attempt to hurt the United States. I have a hard time getting worked up about it- a government that views none of my personal correspondence as confidential really can’t bitch when this sort of thing happens.

*** Update ***

One final irony. All this data was available because we changed policies in response to 9/11.

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317 replies
  1. 1
    Yutsano says:

    2.) Apparently, near everyone in he world wants the United States to attack Iran. They also want to make sure that it is the United States who is blamed for attacking Iran, and want no credit/blame/perception of involvement.

    This is the one I predict will cause the most stink. Mostly because an attack on Iran was a far easier sell under Bush than Obama, but I bet that pressure didn’t let up a bit. In fact, it wouldn’t shock me if there were forces still pressing for this to happen.

  2. 2
    Max Power says:

    Maybe Wikileaks could post the fact that the NY Times has published masses of leaked and illegally obtained documents to a massive audience far beyond anything their obscure website could have managed itself.

    It’s the only way that element of self-awareness might reach the pages of the NYT, squeezed in between the leaks themselves and personal attacks on Julian Assange. I mean, who gave that guy his top secret clearance anyway?

  3. 3
    quaint irene says:

    In our local news coverage of the story, there was precious little about what’s actually revealed in these documents, but lots of huffing and puffing about the act of the dumping itself. Blowhards like Liz Cheney (why-oh-why is she given any credence whatsoever???) calling for Wikileaks to be designated a terrorist organization, etc, etc.

  4. 4
    The Dangerman says:

    Since I don’t see the comparison to Daniel Ellsburg, I hope they take that Pfc and hang him by his balls. Then find the people that should have prevented him from stealing several million documents and hang them, too…

    …and I’m a pacifist.

  5. 5
    Jack Bauer says:

    The Iran thing? Same as Iraq. Just that this time the plebs won’t believe the BS they come up with to sell it.

  6. 6
    burnspbesq says:

    It would be nice if some people could finally get their heads around the idea that performing a valuable public service and committing a crime are not mutually exclusive.

  7. 7
    Maude says:

    2) Makes me glad Mc Cain isn’t president.

  8. 8
    General Stuck says:

    Man o man, you have gone full metal leftist . And everyone spies on everyone in the diplomatic game. Always been that way, and everyone knows it.

    But you are right that there will be repercussions that will include draconian measures to batten down all classified material, that will have the effect of thwarting leaks that actually should be leaked, like illegal and malfeasance behavior of government. Geesh, Iraq still a mess. How shocking.

  9. 9
    Spiffy McBang says:

    I think you’re right that people will be more hostile to WikiLeaks now, in part for your reason, but also in part because Assange keeps coming off like a total douche.

  10. 10
    Jack Bauer says:

    @General Stuck:

    Man o man, you have gone full metal leftist .

    After the last decade I’m surprised many more haven’t done so too.

  11. 11
    Bnut says:

    When I read quotes from a diplomatic report like this:

    “Westerwelle’s command of complex foreign and security policy issues still requires deepening.

    All I can think of this that we have a lot of David Broders in State.

  12. 12
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    Apparently, near everyone in he world wants the United States to attack Iran.

    If by “everyone” you mean the most brutal, repressive, misogynistic, terrorist-supporting dictatorships in the world (plus the most reactionary factions in Israel) you would be correct.

  13. 13
    salacious crumb says:

    people will call this conspiracy theory, and Im not buying this either but still worth pondering over…

    would it be possible that the US govt is sending an implicit message to Tehran through these leaks that its ass is on the line and that even Arab nations are gunning for its destruction? Iran, for one, wouldn’t be surprised as this old news but the vivid details in which the Arab govts pan Iran may surprise the Iranians. and I mean how come we have nothing embarrassing about the Israelis?

    Plus so far there are nothing truly shocking. which surprises me considering the volumes of diplomatic cables released and all they will do is make for some awkward diplomatic dinners for the US. my point is, I am beginning to wonder of there is come kind of information campaign warfare going on here….

    another point…i remember reading some Saudi newspapers and other Arab countries newspapers (this was when Cheney was gunning for war with Iran) where the King of Saudi Arabia goes on the record saying he doesn’t want any misfortune to befall Iran. that he would prefer that Iran didnt pursue nukes but takes Ahmedinajad at his word that their nuclear pursuit is purely civilian.

    Something stinks here..any way just putting out my observations..

  14. 14
    General Stuck says:

    @Jack Bauer:

    Some people care.

    About what? I am a staunch supporter of targeted leaks that have a legitimate purpose of exposing illegal behavior by the government. This is just emo left wing/glibertarian wanker porn that will have the effect in the end of stifling actual public service leaks.

  15. 15
    Ned Ludd says:

    The Guardian has a more detailed article about US diplomats spying on UN leaders.

    Clinton’s July 2009 directive to US diplomats called for collecting 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.” This biometric information included “DNA, fingerprints and iris scans.”

  16. 16
    Citizen_X says:

    near everyone in he world wants the United States to attack Iran

    What does “everyone” actually mean? What I read at that link (looking very quickly) was that “the Arabs” want us to lean on Iran and, oh by the way, sell them lots of arms.

    Does “everyone” really mean “60% Saudi Arabia,” as I suspect? ‘Cause, you know, fuck those guys. I have absolutely no interest in backing Brand X vicious theocrats over Brand Y vicious theocrats, much less being their hitmen.

  17. 17
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    This dump will just be viewed by many as an attempt to hurt the United States.

    If by “many” you mean the U.S. mainstream, you would be correct.

  18. 18
    Ash Can says:

    So what’s next on Wikileaks’ agenda? Outing all the undercover CIA agents?

  19. 19
    Hawes says:

    I only read the Times’ summary, but here was my take:

    http://zombieland-nowbrainfree.....truth.html

    I guess I was non-plussed…

    Assholes are indeed assholes and nations serve their self-interest.

    Maybe the Times buried the lead.

  20. 20
    Ruckus says:

    @Jack Bauer:
    After the last decade I’m surprised many more haven’t done so too.
    How many that weren’t already in the left camp have the ability to say they were wrong? I don’t expect many to change, their false pride and self importance comes way before any admission of that. Besides, how many conservatives really see/understand what their side stands for?

  21. 21
    burnspbesq says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I hope they take that Pfc and hang him by his balls.

    Ya big softie.

  22. 22
    guster says:

    @The Dangerman: I hope they prosecute him to the full extent of the law, immediately after doing the same for war criminals.

  23. 23
    4tehlulz says:

    @salacious crumb: Personally, I suspect neocon elements in the US Gov’t rather than this being an official action.

  24. 24
    JGabriel says:

    One issue I’m having with the coverage so far is determining the relevance and credibility of the reported stories, because hardly any of them say whether the info came from diplomats reporting to Bush or Obama, who they were appointed by, and whether the particular memos come from career diplomats or non-professional political appointments.

    .

  25. 25
    Bob Loblaw says:

    I said this in the other thread, but honestly, this series of wikileaks is one of the most strident acts of anti-authoritarianism in years, bordering on near anarchy. They’ve decided to flip the bird to every last world leader in a single stroke.

    This isn’t a small deal, the repercussions will shutter and amass through diplomatic channels for years to come. The general public won’t take notice of 97% of the damage done by this, but that 3% will lead to a lot of headaches worldwide.

  26. 26
    Bob Loblaw says:

    Stupid double posts…

  27. 27
    Max Power says:

    @The Dangerman:
    Perhaps the hang-em-by-the-balls wingnut wanking feels good – but it’s not pretty.

    It’s true that totalitarian states have a better record of keeping their secrets. But that’s what it takes, and if even the pacifists want to pay that price, that’s the next destination.

    So be careful what you wish for.

  28. 28
    salacious crumb says:

    @4tehlulz: not sure I follow….

  29. 29
    Jack Bauer says:

    @General Stuck:

    About what?

    The last decade. US foreign policy and it’s domestic economy. If you have followed these things closely and haven’t become a “full mental leftist” I contend that you don’t care. Or are somewhat comfortable with it in a DLC corporatist, Blue Dog benevolent empire, style.

  30. 30
    The Dangerman says:

    @guster:

    …immediately after doing the same for war criminals.

    Works for me; perhaps we can make it a true spectacular by putting up some Wall Street fuckers up against the wall, too. Ratings bonanza!

    Now, I need to go do my Buddhist chants.

  31. 31
    Jack Bauer says:

    @Ruckus: There aren’t many, you’re right. But the author of this blog is one, and it’s fascinating.

  32. 32
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    “The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs. Yet such as these even are commonly esteemed good citizens. Others, as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders, serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God. A very few, as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men, serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it.”
    – Henry Thoreau

  33. 33
    Hawes says:

    OK, I read the Spiegel summary and I still don’t get the big deal. Nations pursue their self-interest. They agree to lie to each other about all getting along. Everyone knows they are lying to each other, but for appearance’s sake they don’t call them on it.

    Seriously, this is just truth serum to a bunch of inveterate liars.

    I think short term, America will have to eat a little crow and apologize for telling the truth in confidential communications.

    And governments will accept the apologies, even though they know they are bullshit.

    And everything will be back to normal.

  34. 34
    Maude says:

    @Ash Can:
    Nah, Cheney already did that.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Ash Can says:

    @4tehlulz: This has occurred to me as well. I’m all in favor of exposing wrongdoing, but fucking with diplomacy is just plain sabotage. I can easily envision pernicious Bush appointees doing this (and Liz Cheney bursting into laughter once the red lights on the cameras go off).

    ETA @Maude: My point exactly.

  37. 37
    General Stuck says:

    I always thought liberals and others of the left were pro diplomacy and against foreign policy conducted through the muzzle of an assault rifle. These leaks will hurt the former, and give a leg up on the latter. And of all things, loblaw and I seem to somewhat agree on something.

  38. 38
    salacious crumb says:

    just for shiz and giggles…

    doesnt exactly look like the King is gunning for war with Iran here..

    http://kamangir.net/wp-content.....5_l600.jpg

  39. 39
    Joe Buck says:

    I think that the effect of this round of leaks will be to do more damage to a number of Arab governments than to the US. It calls them out, they are playing a double game: let the US do their dirty work and pretend to be opposed to it.

  40. 40
    General Stuck says:

    @Jack Bauer:

    Kiss my ass you self righteous punk.

  41. 41
    Kyle says:

    @4tehlulz:

    I suspect neocon elements in the US Gov’t

    This. Damage the Obama Administration’s foreign diplomacy and grab press attention with a stack of sensational personal details about foreign leaders, while plugging their boner for attacking Iran.

  42. 42
    Max Power says:

    @Hawes:

    America will have to… apologize for telling the truth in confidential communications.

    Yep. It seems to me the preponderance of embarrassment may lie outside the US.

  43. 43
    matoko_chan says:

    this is the end of the Unipolar Power’s “benevolent” hegemony.
    Our global House of Cards is falling down, just like our fantasy Ponzi scheme economy.
    whine about Assange all you want, but you will never catch him.
    Assange IS a terrorist….he is the OBL of the interwebs.
    And we are about to be drawn into another meaningless unwinnable war with the stateless cyber-insurgents of the hacker nation, a war that will damage us far more than them.
    Just like Vietnam, just like Iraq, just like A-stan.
    the hackers are unbeatable……because they write the ice.
    universities teach hacking now, compete in intramural hacker competitions. when people with high cognitive ability see injustice, they become whistleblowers.
    In a democracy, you can’t stop the signal.

  44. 44
    Hawes says:

    @Joe Buck: Yeah, I think that’s what so embarrassing. It’s not that we’re “behaving imperiously” as Der Spiegel insinuates. We’re just calling bullshit on bullshitters.

    The stuff about Pakistan? Saudi sponsors of terrorists? Syrians helping Hezbollah?

    What exactly is shocking about that?

    That Mugabe is a terrible, terrible leader?

  45. 45
    The Dangerman says:

    @Max Power:

    …and if even the pacifists want to pay that price, that’s the next destination.

    I’m hoping for a few more exits between responsible acts and totalitarianism.

    I might be well biased because once, a long, long, long time ago, I held a really high clearance …

    …and I would have been hanged if I divulged like this bastard apparently did.

  46. 46
    salacious crumb says:

    @4tehlulz: yeah but thats NYT peddling another of its anti-Iran screed with David Sanger leading the case, as usual. I believe in diplomatic cables, as well the Guardian are not so sure. The Guardian mentions that some analysts think Iran has it, while others think it doesnt. its not as certain as NYT makes it to be

  47. 47
    General Stuck says:

    @matoko_chan:

    It’s heeeeeeere!!

  48. 48
    Hawes says:

    @matoko_chan: Haikus aren’t supposed to have that many syllabi.

  49. 49
    dan says:

    Is the news about Iran really so surprising? who other than iranians, wants the iranians to have the bomb?

    The real issue is that there seem to be no good ways to stop them that don’t result in some kind of world war. So, yeah, all these countries would love for the U.S. to take care of Iran for them. That doesn’t mean we can/will/should actually do it.

  50. 50
    Roy G says:

    @thedangerman, since Ellsburg himself has come out square in support of Assange, and likened Wikileaks to the Pentagon Papers, perhaps you should be evaluating your own faulty assumptions, rather than engaging in R-style machismo.

  51. 51
    bkny says:

    i really do not understand the big hoohaw. at this point, does anyone believe anything that any institution (religious and financial) or government official says. this dump just confirms what many suspected all along.

  52. 52
    Max Power says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I would have been hanged if I divulged like this bastard apparently did.

    I agree – and you correctly identified that the leak and the leaker is the one at fault.

  53. 53
    Hawes says:

    None of the documents were apparently “top secret”. They are embarrassing because they cut through the usual lies that states tell each other.

    But national security really doesn’t come into play here.

    Also, looking at the kid who leaked this stuff….

    I swear, he looks like Kenneth the Page.

    Somehow Jack Donaghy is behind this.

  54. 54
    Ned Ludd says:

    @Hawes: Ordering US diplomats to collect DNA, iris scans, fingerprints, passwords, and the personal encryption keys of UN leaders is a big deal. Also possibly illegal:

    The UN has previously asserted that bugging the secretary general is illegal, citing the 1946 UN convention on privileges and immunities which states: “The premises of the United Nations shall be inviolable. The property and assets of the United Nations, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation and any other form of interference, whether by executive, administrative, judicial or legislative action”.

  55. 55
    General Stuck says:

    This is good news for the Apocalypse !!

  56. 56
    The Dangerman says:

    @Roy G:

    …since Ellsburg himself has come out square in support of Assange…

    Note I didn’t say anything about Assange; my beef was against the Pfc and the people that let him do his dirty deed. Assange is just the distributor.

    …and you correctly identified that the leak and the leaker is the problem, rather than Assange/Wikileaks/NYT.

    Yup; at the end of the day A/W/NYT were just doing their jobs. Doesn’t mean Assange isn’t a slimey fucker (he may or may not be), but I don’t see him going to jail over this stuff.

  57. 57
    Jack Bauer says:

    @General Stuck: I don’t kiss military ass since I left it. I get that you don’t like the leaks… the horror of it all. But your concerns fade to grey given the actions of our government recently.

  58. 58
    Bella Q says:

    @burnspbesq:

    It would be nice if some people could finally get their heads around the idea that performing a valuable public service and committing a crime are not mutually exclusive.

    You’re a hoper, aren’t you? I agree, but suspect that it will be a long time coming.

  59. 59
    Ash Can says:

    @Roy G: Ellsberg was all in favor of the military leaks. Has he weighed in on the diplomatic leaks yet?

  60. 60
    Hawes says:

    @Ned Ludd: Is it UN leaders (like the SecGen) or leaders visiting the UN?

    Yeah, that part seems pretty sketchy. Didn’t see it in the Times or Spiegel articles.

    Still, is it any more embarassing than China hacking into Google? Or Chinese leaders saying they hope North Korea deflates?

  61. 61
    General Stuck says:

    @Jack Bauer:

    If these leaks were confined to bad behavior of our government, then I would be for them. But what I really don’t like are nihilistic leftard asswipes that give liberalism a bad name, and give the wingnuts ammunition by validating their smears on the left.

  62. 62
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    For me, the biggest surprise is they would openly ask diplomats to spy.

    Who are you, Henry Stimson?

  63. 63
    Maude says:

    @Hawes:
    Not all of the leaks are out yet. There are a lot more to come.
    I have to take issue with you about the reactions to the cables.
    The US looks quite different from the outside. There is paranoia about the CIA, Pentagon and other agencies in other countries.
    The State Department is supposed to do diplomacy, not CIA work.
    When US diplomats deal with other diplomats, there has to be a certain amount of trust involved.
    The little gossipy things don’t matter as much as the underlying sense that some US diplomats were sneering and making fun of leaders and others in foreign countries. I can’t describe how damaging that is to us as a nation. Remember that we need the help of other countries in finding out about terrorists and their plans. Think this helps?
    The main problem is now Obama’s credibility around the world.
    It is serious and we have to wait to see how this all goes in the next few months.

  64. 64
    JGabriel says:

    matoko_chan:

    the hackers are unbeatable……because they write the ice. […]
    In a democracy, you can’t stop the signal.

    It might be a little easier to take your writing seriously if you didn’t borrow so many slogans and slang from easily identifiable pop culture touchstones like William Gibson novels and Joss Whedon movies.

    .

  65. 65
    Hawes says:

    @Ned Ludd:

    I read the Guardian article. Much more thorough.

    I think most of that is embarrassing rather than illegal. Most of it seems to involve breaking Signals intelligence between UN functionaries and external contacts. It didn’t read to me like they were trying to “bug the SecGen.”

    Frankly, this just goes to show how peripheral the UN has become to American policy. We see it as a nest of terrorist sympathizers rather than as a conduit to constructive global policy.

    Interesting to note this clearly began under Condoleeza Rice and continued under Clinton.

    One of the many sad ways there was an insufficient break on 1/20/09.

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JGabriel: She will now tell you that you are a grey and your opinion does not matter.

  67. 67
    Bella Q says:

    @JGabriel: Snap. And so accurate.

  68. 68
    martha says:

    @Jack Bauer:

    given the actions of our government recently.

    Um, you must not read much history. This is nothing new, for us or for diplomats in general. It’s just been made more public, all of a sudden, for the entertainment of the 24/7 cable-internet crowd.

  69. 69
    matoko_chan says:

    @Hawes:
    murder in Iraq
    the infodam cracked wide
    gharani threatens

  70. 70
    Hawes says:

    @Maude:

    Sorry, I think that’s a slightly pollyannish view of how foreign ministries operate. There are spies in every important foreign mission in every country around the world. The CIA works out of the embassy. Does Jordan give a damn if the “diplomat” across from them is a State Department employee or a CIA employee?

    I also disagree about “trust”. Very few nations trust each other. You think the French trust us? The Afghans? The Saudis? The Chinese? The Russians?

    If they ARE trusting one another, they’re fools.

    All this does is expose what everyone already knows but pretends isn’t the case.

    Put another way: if there was a WikiLeak of Saudi or Russian or Chinese cables, they would look identical if not worse.

    EVERYONE DOES THIS SHIT.

  71. 71
    matoko_chan says:

    @JGabriel: i am NOT WRITING SRSLY.
    this is a fucking combox, not a doctoral dissertation.

  72. 72
    Hawes says:

    @matoko_chan:

    the infodam cracks agape

    fixed it for you…

    Unless you have cracked as two syllables.

  73. 73
    Anya says:

    Am I the only one who is not surprised by any of these revelations? I’ve checked the Guardian and what I’ve read so far are not a surprise at all. Is anyone surprised that Berlusconi is not held in high regard. The only surprise is that they had to impart this non story through a deplomatic cable.

    John, your point one is an open secret. Everyone knows that diplomats spy. My dad’s family is from a tiny country called Somaliland. Three summers ago, I visited with a friend of mine and everyone was convinced that NGO’s, researchers and diplomats are all American spies. Granted, I found them to be very suspicious of Westerners but it’s something that’s expected.

  74. 74
    Anya says:

    Who’s the first wingnut who will say that Obama is doing this on purpose to weaken America?

  75. 75
    jeffreyw says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Gentlemen don’t read other gentlemen’s mail.

  76. 76
    matoko_chan says:

    @Hawes: the difference, we PRETEND we dont do it.
    We PRETEND we are the good guys.
    Now you see. We arent the good guys.
    We arent even the better guys.
    We are the STUPID guys.
    We are American Trash.

  77. 77
    Hawes says:

    @Maude:

    I think more damaging than the idea that we’re sneering at leaders of other nations is the revelations that people within the foreign governments are sneering at each other.

    The relaying of one minister bad-mouthing another minister is embarrassing for everyone. But in the US we call that an anonymously sourced column in the Kaplan Daily.

  78. 78
    stuckinred says:

    @Anya: I ain’t surprised by nuttin!

  79. 79
    matoko_chan says:

    @Hawes: ty.
    much bettah :)

  80. 80
    matoko_chan says:

    The dream is over, guys.
    Don’t you get it?
    it is NEVAH going to be like it was.

  81. 81
    Hawes says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Yeah, that’s kind of my point. We pretend to be something. They pretend to be something. We all agree that Saudi Arabia is a great ally on the Waronterra. We agree that Karzai is a strategic partner. We agree that China will help lead the next century.

    But everyone… EVERYONE… knows this is full of shit.

    The idea that “we’re the good guys” exists entirely in OUR OWN MINDS. No one overseas (except maybe the Kurds) think we’re the good guys.

    And the Kurds would play us like pianofortes if it would get them Kirkuk.

  82. 82
    Maude says:

    @Hawes
    You don’t get it.
    Being that cynical isn’t something I want to be.

  83. 83
    Menzies says:

    This is far heavier than the NYT summary – unsurprisingly.

    OT, I just got through Newark airport security with six ounces of toothpaste. Is it not considered liquid or gel anymore? I seem to remember it was the prototype example for a liquid explosive in disguise when those rules were first unveiled.

  84. 84
    Jack Bauer says:

    @General Stuck:

    But what I really don’t like are nihilistic leftard asswipes that give liberalism a bad name, and give the wingnuts ammunition by validating their smears on the left.

    I don’t give a damn what lies the right believes. Or what names people call me or my politics. It keeps them uninformed and unable to win.

    I actually think the whole leak issue fails to penetrate the national slumber much at all, it’s just for us politics nerds.

  85. 85
    JGabriel says:

    Ash Can:

    Ellsberg was all in favor of the military leaks. Has he weighed in on the diplomatic leaks yet?

    I was in favor of the military leaks too, for the most part. I find myself more conflicted about the diplomatic leaks — sharing both Cole’s serves-’em-right attitude (a government that views none of my personal correspondence as confidential really can’t bitch when this sort of thing happens) and General Stuck’s concerns:

    I always thought liberals and others of the left were pro diplomacy and against foreign policy conducted through the muzzle of an assault rifle. These leaks will hurt the former, and give a leg up on the latter.

    Yep. These leaks give people who hate diplomacy and hate the UN more fuel for their conspiracy theories and propaganda.

    .

  86. 86
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jeffreyw: Bingo.

  87. 87
    Woodrowfan says:

    @General Stuck:

    That was the least surprising thing to me. Diplomats gather intelligence. It’s part of their job!

    “Diplomacy” saying ‘nice doggy’ while you grope for a rock..

  88. 88
    maus says:

    @General Stuck:

    But you are right that there will be repercussions that will include draconian measures to batten down all classified material, that will have the effect of thwarting leaks that actually should be leaked, like illegal and malfeasance behavior of government.

    @General Stuck:

    About what? I am a staunch supporter of targeted leaks that have a legitimate purpose of exposing illegal behavior by the government.

    Feel free to organize this mythical targeted repository and develop a media that cares about “shocking” revelations of governmental impropriety.

    Otherwise this is what we’ve got, as questionable as the spokesman is.

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.): Everyone we care about, at least.

  89. 89
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @Anya:

    Am I the only one who is not surprised by any of these revelations?

    Yes, just you and half the commenters in the blogoshpere. If only the State Dept., White House, and mainstream news outlets were as sanguine as all you cool people.

  90. 90
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Ah, jeez. Iran used the Red Crescent as cover to smuggle weapons to Hezbollah in second Lebanon war. That’s going to leave a mark.

  91. 91
    stuckinred says:

    @matoko_chan: What dream is that? It’s “same as it ever was”.

  92. 92
    Hawes says:

    @Maude:

    Clearly. Unless you buy that every country came together and sang kumbaya while holding hands and buying each other a Coke and a smile….

    Countries ALWAYS act in their self-interest.

    Fuck, the Israelis spend as much time spying on US as they do spying in Egypt. And they’re our “friends”.

    We spy on everyone. And they spy on us. Remember those doofus Russian spies last summer?

    The idea that we might be calling a jackass a jackass (looking at YOU Hamid) is hardly shocking.

    It’s just embarrassing that it’s now on the public record.

  93. 93
    Bill Arnold says:

    )No current open thread) A completely unrelated amazing article in the NYTimes about a businessman who built and grew a business by cultivating a bad online reputation to boost his Google page-rank on searches for the merchandise he is selling :

  94. 94
    El Tiburon says:

    Wait, I thought the first Wikileaks dump was GOING TO CHANGE EVERYTHING!

    This ‘dump’, like all ‘dumps’ before and after will be quickly forgotten once flushed away and the odor dissipates.

    We want more SARAH PALIN and/or BRISTOL and/or IS OBAMA A ONE-TERM PREZNIT!?!

    Eventually Assange will be thrown in prison for something or another, a military grunt will go to prison for a long time. We will bomb Somalia, then perhaps Iran right before election 2012.

    Nothing ever changes.

  95. 95
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @stuckinred: She is very young.

  96. 96
    Jack Bauer says:

    @martha:

    This is nothing new, for us or for diplomats in general.

    I agree. It is important to have it confirmed though. I do think that since Iraq and the economic malfeasances a few more people are connecting the dots, well one hopes.

  97. 97
    martha says:

    @matoko_chan: Oh good grief, you need to read some history too! Only stupid republicans and teabaggers think we’re #1 and all that BS. You’re painting with an incredibly broad brush because it fits with your video game narrative.

    Do I agree that we “had” our century (the 20th) and the 21st will go to China/India? Yes. In that respect, we are like every superpower in history…

  98. 98
    Hawes says:

    @Joseph Nobles:
    Yeah, but a mark on whom? On Iran? The Red Crescent? Us?

    Is it a mark on us because we knew about it and failed to blow up an aid convoy?

    There’s some stuff in here that I actually find a little re-assuring. Unlike Maude, I want my State Department to know who the assholes are and to call them assholes.

    Not to their faces, but to their superiors.

    It would have been nice if someone had pointed out that “Curveball” was an asshole. It probably would have been ignored, but it would have been nice.

    This is hugely embarrassing. I grant that. But like your old prom photo, time will ease the shame.

  99. 99
    General Stuck says:

    @Jack Bauer:

    I don’t give a damn what lies the right believes

    They are no longer lies when they come true. And no, the public won’t give a shit, because they are only worried about their little hell’s half acre. The revelation that some US, or British, or Ukranian diplomat called some world leader a poopyhead, isn’t what I call need to know for anyone to win anything. It’s all lose, except for the nihilists and trust fund anarchists.

  100. 100
    Yutsano says:

    @Hawes: The Red Crescent is going to come out of that looking the worst. Now every time they run a convoy anywhere it’s going to be suspect. If I were a higher-up I’d be hunting for the parties responsible, because that don’t happen without some inside collaboration.

  101. 101
    boatboy_srq says:

    @ salacious crumb 13 and @ 4tehlulz 23:

    What worries me most is how so much of this became available, and I think each of you has a part of the puzzle.

    Consider: the Pentagon and US intelligence community are unlikely to be even as moderate as the administration, and have a history of leaking information to further their own agendas, and Wikileaks is already a known quantity after the last dump.

    In that equation we have opportunity for disgruntled defense and intelligence officials and a known conduit for releasing information.

    It’s quite possible that all the leaked information is accurate. It’s equally possible that this time Wikileaks has been “had” by persons interested more in tightening security – or inciting war somewhere (Iran is most likely but there are certainly other possible targets) – who saw the earlier and possibly more genuine dump as a means to achieve the sort of action their own work could not. The “smell test” comes back as much Valerie Plame as Pentagon Papers.

  102. 102
    martha says:

    @Jack Bauer: I guess what I’m glad about is that everyone’s feelings about Iran (John’s #2 in his post) are in the open. I may be all Mary Sunshine here, but I do hope that the one consequence (intended? unintended?) is that this sunlight will be a good thing. i.e., we will be less likely to take the fall/drop the bomb.

  103. 103
    Bill Arnold says:

    (No current open thread – try 2) A completely unrelated amazing article in the NYTimes about a businessman who built and grew a business by cultivating a bad online reputation to boost his Google page-rank on searches for the merchandise he is selling : A Bully Finds a Pulpit on the Web

  104. 104
    Hawes says:

    @General Stuck:
    Can I be a trust fund anarchist? At least the trust fund part?

    You’re right. The American public only gives a shit about foreign countries when the bombs fly in either direction.

    We still think half the US budget goes to foreign aid.

    There will be a few weeks of diplomatic damage control and crow eating, some re-assignments and then the same-old same-old.

  105. 105
    maus says:

    @General Stuck:

    If these leaks were confined to bad behavior of our government, then I would be for them. But what I really don’t like are nihilistic leftard asswipes that give liberalism a bad name, and give the wingnuts ammunition by validating their smears on the left.

    @General Stuck:

    They are no longer lies when they come true. … It’s all lose, except for the nihilists and trust fund anarchists.

    You’d make a fine rightist puppet.

  106. 106
    General Stuck says:

    @maus:

    Otherwise this is what we’ve got, as questionable as the spokesman is.

    Well, you don’t have much, but some reading material for a monkey slap.

  107. 107
    Jack Bauer says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Eventually Assange will be thrown in prison for something or another, a military grunt will go to prison for a long time. We will bomb Somalia, then perhaps Iran right before election 2012.
    Nothing ever changes.

    I think you’re right. I confess that I would be sincerely disappointed if it happened with Obama in 12, and someone does need to talk to him about the economy… but just imagine this as a McCain/Palin presidency. I think we’d still be at war with Russia.

  108. 108
    Max Power says:

    @JGabriel:

    liberals and others of the left

    Assange (& wikileaks) are radical libertarians, not liberals. They’re acting entirely in the tradition of “information wants to be free”. That’s why they just dump everything, unredacted, and let the chips fall where they may. Liberals are horrified by that.

  109. 109
    JGabriel says:

    Bella Q:

    Snap. And so accurate.

    I actually didn’t mean it to be a snap. I like matoka_chan. I also like Wm. Gibson novels and Joss Whedon movies.

    I just think her lefty brand of neo-anarchy would be presented better in her own words, rather than borrowings from other writers.

    .

  110. 110
    General Stuck says:

    @maus:

    You’d make a fine rightist puppet.

    lame, from the butthurt cheap seats.

  111. 111
    Hawes says:

    @martha:

    And North Korea wearing on the Chinese, too. I think this may be like a truth serum that gets a bunch of uncomfortable truths out in the open. There is a bunch of yelling and pounding on the furniture and maybe a few relationships are ruined. But maybe we also get beyond the stalemate in foreign affairs.

  112. 112
    Hawes says:

    @JGabriel:
    It is kind of hilarious that an anarchist would plagiarize.

  113. 113
    Delia says:

    Bbbbut we’re the exceptional nation, the light unto the peoples of the world, never acting according to mere Self Interest, but always for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. The wikileaks dumps must be socialist-progressive plot to undermine Our Ideals.

    (whimper, whimper, glycerin tears sliding down the fat cheeks)

    //glenn beck

  114. 114
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Hawes: On Iran, of course.

    On edit: But what Yutsano said. Iran bears the shame, but the Red Crescent will get all the flak.

  115. 115
    dhd says:

    2.) Apparently, near everyone in he world wants the United States to attack Iran. They also want to make sure that it is the United States who is blamed for attacking Iran, and want no credit/blame/perception of involvement.

    This is completely unsurprising to anyone with a cursory understanding of the Middle East. Remember the Iran-Iraq war? It may have been the US providing diplomatic cover for Saddam and feeding his military satellite images of Iran, but most of the money came from Saudi Arabia and friends.

    Israel, of course, secretly supported both sides.

    The only thing this says to me is that nothing has changed in the last 30 years.

  116. 116
    Jack Bauer says:

    @General Stuck: @martha: Absolutely. If a leak like this had happened before Iraq, it’s likely that Iraq wouldn’t have happened. It’s possible this might halt forward motion on Iran.

  117. 117
    JGabriel says:

    Max Power:

    That’s why they just dump everything, unredacted, and let the chips fall where they may.

    You’re actually quoting Gen. Stuck, not me. And Wikileaks is redacting the cables:

    WikiLeaks says that, contrary to the state department’s fears, it also initially intends to post only limited cable extracts, and to redact identities.

    .

  118. 118
    maus says:

    @General Stuck:

    lame, from the butthurt cheap seats.

    You’re taking their outrage upon yourself and wallowing in it, rather than realizing that we haven’t got anything like your fantasy defines. We don’t have a single “smoking gun”, we have a million of them to back up our activities.

  119. 119
    Delia says:

    Bbbbut we’re the exceptional nation, the light unto the peoples of the world, never acting according to mere Self Interest, but always for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. The wikileaks dumps must be sockalist-progressive plot to undermine Our Ideals.
    (whimper, whimper, glycerin tears sliding down the fat cheeks)
    //glenn beck

  120. 120
    JGabriel says:

    @matoko_chan:

    i am NOT WRITING SRSLY. this is a fucking combox, not a doctoral dissertation.

    Fair enough. Carry on, then.

    .

  121. 121
    Ned Ludd says:

    @Hawes: From the Guardian:

    [Clinton’s directive] 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”…

    The biometric data she wanted “included DNA, fingerprints and iris scans”. Clinton also wanted US diplomats to collect “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.”

  122. 122
    Keith G says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I hope they take that Pfc and hang him by his balls.

    What inspires that level of personal anger, or are you a parody?

  123. 123
    burnspbesq says:

    @Max Power:

    Perhaps the hang-em-by-the-balls wingnut wanking feels good – but it’s not pretty.

    What would you to with Manning? Give him a ticker-tape parade down Constitution Avenue?

  124. 124
    Hawes says:

    @Joseph Nobles: Like I said, truth serum.

    I don’t agree with the conspiracy minded who think the DoD and CIA are doing this.

    My conspiratorial bent says State did this themselves…

    “Oh, my God! We’re SOOOO sorry we said all those mean and true things about you!”

  125. 125
    martha says:

    @Hawes: Yes, North Korea is the other pain in the neck, but since they aren’t sitting on billions of gallons of crude oil like Iran, they just have nuclear weapons to wave around.

    Sometimes, clearing the air is good. Even if the means used to share the information is questionable (to me, anyway).

  126. 126
    Hawes says:

    @burnspbesq: Peyton or Eli?

    Just wait that it comes out that he’s Ghey and trying to protest DADT!

    Wingnut orgasmatonia!

  127. 127
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Hawes: Worth a knock-around, but no, the American government did not want this out and about.

    In other news, it’s being reported that Leslie Nielsen has died. Complications from pnuemonia.

  128. 128
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Jack Bauer: The obverse of both of those statements, I think.

    The Iraq war was, at its inception, the least popular US war going back to the Mexican war, and it went ahead anyways. In the absence of non-risible or compromised coalition support. In the presence of more information, more freely circulated, about its sheer groundlessness. Nothing was going to stop that war except deaths at the highest level of the US government of the day.

    And if you don’t think, ‘treason’ or no, that Wikileak’s peek into the thinking of highly placed people in countries neighboring Iran won’t be gladly accepted, regardless of the source, by the “Bomb Iran” lobby, your faith in mankind is greater than mine,

  129. 129
    General Stuck says:

    @dhd:

    The only thing this says to me is that nothing has changed in the last 30 years.

    And they won’t change as long as there’s oil in that sandbox. I should say change for the better, because things could get much worse.

  130. 130
    lawguy says:

    @Ash Can: No only vice presidents and their staffs get to do that.

  131. 131
    Keith G says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I might be well biased because once, a long, long, long time ago, I held a really high clearance….and I would have been hanged if I divulged like this bastard apparently did.

    Well maybe if you, or some patriot, would have “divulged” about nine years ago, we wouldn’t be up to our eyebrows in this clusterfuck.

  132. 132
    Belvoir says:

    I support Wikileaks and it’s mission, I do. More transparency is always always for the better.

    That said, considering the rather non-surprising revelations of the afternoon, it’s disheartening to see people abroad exulting as if we Americans have been exposed as the wicked people we are. I’m thinking of the comments at the Guardian. But even the article at Der Spiegel is sensationalistic and uh, shrill. How dare we say that Merkel is cautious!

    Diplomacy has always included assessment of the players, always. There’s no surprise that Putin is a thug, Medvedev is his valet, Berlusconi is a playboy, and the Saudis and Israelis want us to do their dirty work for them with Iran. “Intelleigence”, spying, whatever. They all do it. Does anyone not know this?

    There’s this glee abroad, a willingness to see this as somehow nefarious, not just the CIA and the people at the top, but all of us. So odd, you’d think there was never a massively popular film series about a British spy and the massive intelligence agency behind him. I hear he was licensed to kill. But the Guardian commenters are shocked by such things, I tell you!

  133. 133
    Delia says:

    @Hawes:

    And North Korea wearing on the Chinese, too.

    Yeah, old Kim Jong Il isn’t going to take kindly to that one. One can only imagine the hissy fit he’ll throw now that his only protector is ready to give up on him. But times change. It’s not 1951 anymore, and China can make better friends. It’s just hard to know what to do with the crazy old uncle in the attic.

  134. 134
    Corner Stone says:

    @Spiffy McBang:

    but also in part because Assange keeps coming off like a total douche.

    Yeah. Funny how that happened, eh?

  135. 135
    Hawes says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    t’s being reported that Leslie Nielsen has died

    .
    Surely you can’t be serious….

    I haz a real sad…

    My kids just saw Airplane for the first time this week…

  136. 136
    Jack Bauer says:

    @General Stuck:

    They are no longer lies when they come true.

    You’ve internalized a good deal of right wing BS then. Assange isn’t in anyway representative of US politics. This Brave New World of information does complicate things a little but I think we’ll all get used to it soon.

  137. 137
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @General Stuck:

    But what I really don’t like are nihilistic leftard asswipes that give liberalism a bad name, and give the wingnuts ammunition by validating their smears on the left.

    Validation is in the eye of the beholder. The Democratic party’s continuing haplessness in defending itself against outright lies suggests that this will have a negligible effect. The people who are inclined to believe smears on the left are going to believe them whether they’re validated or not.

  138. 138
    Corner Stone says:

    @Joseph Nobles: Surely you can’t be serious!

    Too soon?

    ETA DAMMIT Hawes!

  139. 139
    martha says:

    @General Stuck: Yes, this. It could get much worse. And if it does, we are so screwed.

  140. 140
    matoko_chan says:

    @JGabriel: but they say it better.
    my brain is sticky for beautiful phrases just like its sticky for formulae and exquisite equations.
    like the crack’d haiku….as i wrote that Alfred Lord Tennyson was in my head!

    out flew the web and floated wide
    the mirror crack’d from side to side
    the curse is upon me cried
    the Lady of Shallot

    the never healing wound of Iraq..the knight in the bathtub, the deathless stain.
    i cant help it.

  141. 141
    maus says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I’m hoping for a few more exits between responsible acts and totalitarianism.

    If you give ten million dollars to the Transcendental Meditation movement, they will hire their monks to pray us to peace and responsibility with no hope strain on your part!

    Or, you could just hope yourself with the same effect and passively condone our behavior overseas.

  142. 142
    The Dangerman says:

    @Keith G:

    What inspires that level of personal anger, or are you a parody?

    Not anger, per se, just the knowledge that this ass hole needs to be made an example of how not to do it. Hanging sounds about right for treason.

  143. 143
    General Stuck says:

    @maus:

    We don’t have a single “smoking gun”, we have a million of them to back up our activities.

    And who exactly is we? And wtf is meant by a million smoking guns to back up what activity? You are talking like a crazy person pining for world wide chaos, or something. And all you have is an attack on the diplomatic soldiers, who I may have naively thought were the good guys in this mad play of human life on planet earth. Silly me.

  144. 144
    Corner Stone says:

    @General Stuck:

    I am a staunch supporter of targeted leaks that have a legitimate purpose of exposing illegal behavior by the government.

    Sounds like the very definition of “staunch supporter”.

  145. 145
    Delia says:

    @Belvoir:

    Well, the 007 series was always just for laughs. But John Le Carre always did up the British Secret Service better than just about anybody. Talk about stories of treason and betrayal . . .

  146. 146
    Jack Bauer says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    your faith in mankind is greater than mine

    You might be right. Ha! I’m thinking that Europe wouldn’t have played along with it all if this kind of info had been public. There was significant misleading which was believed at the time, leading up to Iraq. Could’ve been different.

  147. 147
    burnspbesq says:

    @matoko_chan:

    i am NOT WRITING SRSLY. this is a fucking combox, not a doctoral dissertation.

    Then I assume you won’t be offended if we point and laugh. After all, we’re taking you exactly as seriously as you take this community.

  148. 148
    Keith G says:

    @matoko_chan:
    Haiku?

  149. 149
    The Dangerman says:

    @Keith G:

    Well maybe if you, or some patriot, would have “divulged” about nine years ago, we wouldn’t be up to our eyebrows in this clusterfuck.

    I think some patriot DID divulge about 9 years ago; Joe Wilson.

    My Top Secret dates back to the days of the Soviet Union; can’t blame this clusterfuck on me.

  150. 150
    Hawes says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Manning or Assange? Assange’s Swedish, he can be a traitor.

    Manning released confidential government files and will likely serve jail time. As long as he knew this going in and feels like he’s a conscientious objector…fine.

    But he didn’t reveal “top secret” documents so it’s not “treason”. It’s criminal, sure, but not hanging criminal.

    I mean if we hanged everyone who embarrassed the US, the gibbets would be running non-stop.

  151. 151
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jack Bauer:

    The last decade. US foreign policy and it’s domestic economy. If you have followed these things closely and haven’t become a “full mental leftist” I contend that you don’t care. Or are somewhat comfortable with it in a DLC corporatist, Blue Dog benevolent empire, style.

    Or more accurately, they have a predisposition for authoritarianism in any event.

  152. 152
    eemom says:

    what wikileaks needs is an ombudsman.

  153. 153
    Hawes says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I think some patriot DID divulge about 9 years ago; Joe Wilson.

    If memory serves, Wilson broke his story AFTER we had already invaded Baghdad. Cheney et al were trying to justify why we hadn’t already found WMD and cited Wilson’s report, so Wilson went public at that point. I’ll check the timeline, and will apologize if wrong, but I think Wilson was ex post facto.

    update: four months after the invasion…

  154. 154
    General Stuck says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Well, that’s kind of strange given all the talk on this blog about dems changing the narrative to combat the right wing smears of the left in foreign policy matters. Agreed that the immediate effect is small, but building your own narrative as a party and ideology is a long term process. Each loss, no matter how small, does not help the cause, especially an attack on the diplomatic side of things, imo.

    And not addressed to you Dennis, but

    I SUPPORT LEAKS ON GOVERNMENT MALFEASANCE AND ILLEGALITY AND ALL THAT KIND OF SHIT.

    This just ain’t it.

  155. 155
    Svensker says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    In other news, it’s being reported that Leslie Nielsen has died.

    Aww. A very nice guy and a real gentleman.

  156. 156
    Hawes says:

    @eemom:

    what wikileaks needs is an ombudsman.

    I hear we have one to spare…

  157. 157
    Delia says:

    @Hawes:

    Assange’s Swedish, he can be a traitor.

    I believe Assange is Australian. I’ve seen videos of him speaking and he definitely has an Aussie accent. The woman/women accusing him of rape is/are Swedish and the charges are in Sweden.

  158. 158
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Hawes: I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.

    My fave of his will remain “Forbidden Planet.” He was the original Captain Kirk.

  159. 159
    WarMunchkin says:

    Atrios has this little post titled “The Great Game”, which will be familiar for those who have ever read the Wheel of Time series. Diplomacy, aka what people are defending so much as a more sacred reason to keep this stuff secret than fucking terrorism, is basically just a bunch of dilettantes jockeying behind secrecy and deception while everyone knows they’re being deceptive. Frankly, it’s worth it just to show how idiotic the people in power are.

    And no, this isn’t going to start any wars, everyone just got publicly called out for bullshitting, and the worst that’s going to happen is that people pretend it never happened for a while.

  160. 160
    General Stuck says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Sounds like the very definition of “staunch supporter”.

    You on the bottle again CS. What the fuck is this supposed to mean given the entire statement I made about leaks in general?

  161. 161
    MTiffany says:

    Apparently, near everyone in he world wants the United States to attack Iran.

    Except for the US’ number one banker: China.

  162. 162
    The Dangerman says:

    @Hawes:

    But he didn’t reveal “top secret” documents so it’s not “treason”. It’s criminal, sure, but not hanging criminal.

    Perhaps, and divulging 1 confidential document qualifies as an “oops, my bad” and jailtime, but divulging 250,000 documents, TS or not, should get you some bigtime penalties. Especially since it smells like something a Bush partisan would do (i.e. leaks don’t go back very far) to embarrass Obama.

  163. 163
    Downpuppy says:

    @Hawes:

    Somehow Jack Donaghy is behind this

    Or Hillary Clinton.

    C’mon! How many leaks are really official? And is there anything here that really hurts State?

    I thought at least some people here were more Hodgins than this.

  164. 164
    Hawes says:

    @General Stuck:

    I SUPPORT LEAKS ON GOVERNMENT MALFEASANCE AND ILLEGALITY AND ALL THAT KIND OF SHIT.

    Agreed, except for the stuff about spying on the UN. That’s probably illegal, depending on what they were collecting.

    OTOH, the UN has to feel pretty good that someone felt they were worth spying on…

  165. 165
    JGabriel says:

    @Keith G:

    Well maybe if you, or some patriot, would have “divulged” about nine years ago, we wouldn’t be up to our eyebrows in this clusterfuck.

    You mean like Joe Wilson? The Bush/Cheney administration would have crucified anyone who leaked like Manning allegedly did, and the clusterfuck would have proceeded apace.

    The only way to stop it would have been if someone got in a time machine and pre-emptively prevented Rehnquist or Scalia from being on the Supreme Court bench in 2000, whether through talking them into retirement or other means. Or maybe talked Nader out of running.

    .

  166. 166
    Mjaum says:

    Um, folks…?

    This is a dump of what US diplomats have been claiming is true, not what other nations have so claimed.

    Hence, assuming the truth of any info here about the actions or motivations of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, China, the Red Crescent or in fact anyone else at all, is really rather silly.

    Also, you (as in the US public) are not the target audience of the leak, nor the ones who will decide what is or is not newsworthy.

    Sorry. :-)

  167. 167
    The Dangerman says:

    @Hawes:

    update: four months after the invasion…

    My bad; I would have guessed before the invasion.

    Still, someone stood up … and not much happened.

  168. 168
    Hawes says:

    @WarMunchkin:

    My point, but put so much more pungently.

  169. 169
    WarMunchkin says:

    @eemom: you win

  170. 170
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jack Bauer:

    I actually think the whole leak issue fails to penetrate the national slumber much at all, it’s just for us politics nerds.

    IMO we’ll see several books come out in a few months, largely based on these leaks.
    It’s a starting point for the 4 serious investigative journalists we have left in the business.
    Other than that I think the end result will be a bunch of meh.

  171. 171
    dhd says:

    I’m eagerly awaiting to see what these documents say about Israel’s nuclear weapons. Presumably US diplomats know they exist and speak privately about them.

  172. 172
    Hawes says:

    @The Dangerman:
    The guy who DID stand up was whathisface, the former UN arms inspector. WTF was his name? Scott something?

    He did try. He got on every show he could get on and was ignored.

    WTF was his name?

  173. 173
    Corner Stone says:

    @maus:

    Otherwise this is what we’ve got, as questionable as the spokesman is.

    It’s just data. There is no spokesperson, as hard as a lot of people have tried to twist it that way.

  174. 174
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hawes:

    Fuck, the Israelis spend as much time spying on US as they do spying in Egypt. And they’re our “friends”.

    More. They need more info from us to decide how best to pressure their lobbyists to get the outcome Israel wants in the end.

  175. 175
    Hawes says:

    @Corner Stone:

    This stuff usually comes out fifty years down the road once everyone is dead or senile. Historians live for this.

    This is history in a hurry.

    I for one am waiting for WikiLeaks:China or WikiLeaks:Iran. I hear WikiLeaks:Luxembourg kind of sucks.

    It could be a regular thing, like Law and Order spinoffs.

  176. 176
    Hawes says:

    @Corner Stone:

    They need more info from us to decide how best to pressure their lobbyists to get the outcome Israel wants in the en

    d.

    Nah, they just subscribe to the WaPo and TNR and they get all the pressure points they need.

  177. 177
    Corner Stone says:

    @boatboy_srq: I for one am doubtful this was some kind of “false flag” operation to get selectively planted cables mixed in with genuine cables.
    IMO, it’s just a dump.

  178. 178
    General Stuck says:

    @Hawes:

    Every nation only cares about their own interests, this is no secret and neither is the cat and mouse game of sly interactions of diplomats for each country to serve their self interest the most. Diplomats all know this, and do the same things for their countries. So it is really not a big deal, except maybe in some hot spots like the ME, where memories are long and slights to and fro sometimes turn into bigger things.

    So the stuff about the Gulf States bears watching and a lot of glad handing and ego balm will now occur. To make it all better, or not.

  179. 179
    eemom says:

    thanks to the emailer who sent that in

    ahem.

    Is not this better now than groaning for football? Now art thou commenters, now art thou vitriolic jackals….

  180. 180
    THE says:

    I’m not happy about the diplomatic releases because I see diplomacy as the major alternative to war.

  181. 181
    Tom Q says:

    I’m with those who fully support significant, targeted leaks — like Daniel Ellsberg’s — that look to change bad policy, but get furious at nihilistic, fantasy-world “there shouldn’t be any secrets, ever” jackasses like Assange and his source.

    Of course the world needs some secrets, at least in the short term. The fact that certain things aren’t said out loud is the only thing that keeps peace in my frickin’ family — and none of us has access to nuclear arms. Diplomacy depends on keeping certain things on the QT. Assange would probably have published the communiques Kennedy chose to ignore during the Cuban missile crisis. It might have meant a nuclear exchange, but at least we wouldn’t have any of those nasty secrets to pollute his perfect world.

    I always thought I was decently far left, but the idiocy I’ve been seeing from some in that camp over the last year makes me re-think an awful lot.

  182. 182
    JGabriel says:

    Der Spiegel:

    Abdullah can’t stand his neighbors in Iran and, expressing his disdain for the mullah regime, said, “there is no doubt something unstable about them.”

    Wait, wait: a Sunni king doesn’t like his neighboring Shia mullahs and talks smack about him?

    Wow, what a shocker! Next they’ll be telling us that Pope Leo X didn’t like Martin Luther!

    .

  183. 183
    Hawes says:

    Scott Ritter! That was the guy who came forward before the Iraq war and tried to tell the truth.

    He either turned out to be a skeevy perv or a guy made to look like a skeevy perv.

    Of course, skeevy perv or not, he was right.

  184. 184
    The Dangerman says:

    @Hawes:

    I think you are referring to Scott Ritter; yeah, he was a “Good Guy”, but, in the end, we were always going to invade Iraq, 9/11 just provided a fine excuse.

    There was another U.N. “Good Guy” that ended up dieing; Hans Blix? I’m too lazy to look it up right now.

  185. 185
    Hawes says:

    @Tom Q:

    Think of this as an “intervention” then. Maybe we can force some truths out in the open.

    When life gives you crap, make crapade.

  186. 186
    Tom Q says:

    @Hawes: “made to look like” is the proper version. The accusation bumped him cold off the air, and the charges evaporated once they needed proof.

  187. 187
    burnspbesq says:

    @The Dangerman:

    but divulging 250,000 documents, TS or not, should get you some bigtime penalties

    The penalty for violating 18 USC section 641 is ten years in prison. How about conviction on 250,000 counts, with sentences to be served consecutively? That bigtime enough for you? He’d be eligible for parole right around the time the Sun goes nova.

  188. 188
    Hawes says:

    @The Dangerman:
    Yeah, Blix was standing in front of the cameras saying “No WMD!” But that was in early March. Too late.

    There was also a Syrian report that Saddam would abdicate and leave in return for guarantees. Bush wanted his war.

  189. 189
    Hawes says:

    @Tom Q:

    He did get stung again in 2009. So… Who knows?

  190. 190
    Keith G says:

    @The Dangerman:
    I can’t get too fired up about him.

    He broke the law and he will be punished severly – most likely the rest of his life in supermax style solitary until he goes nuts and offs himself.

    Meanwhile the fuckers who caused this, or who sat around with their securty clearence and watched this empire-ending fiasco come about, are already retiring on their government pensions and writing their whitewashing books.

    All the pfc has done is allowed me and all others to catch a glimpse of how craven and sordid this dénouement of American empire has been. The wounds caused by him are scant compared to those caused by the various serious men and women who led and misled this country.

    But nail him to your cross if it will make you feel better.

  191. 191
    JGabriel says:

    THE:

    I’m not happy about the diplomatic releases because I see diplomacy as the major alternative to war.

    If it’s any consolation, I think this dump may have less impact than most people expect. I’m not saying the Obama administration walks away with clean hands here; the Clinton memo that orders intelligence gathering by diplomats is embarrassing, albeit commonplace.

    That said, it looks like the current administration will be able to place blame for a large number of the more offensive memos on the Bush administration.

    .

  192. 192
    Hawes says:

    @Keith G:
    What was craven and sordid about the doc dump? The spying on the UN stuff is bad, but I have to think it’s hardly uncommon.

    Again, I don’t see anything in here that would not be in Wikileaks: China, Wikileaks:Russia or Wikileaks:Britain.

  193. 193
    burnspbesq says:

    @Keith G:

    He broke the law and he will be punished severly – most likely the rest of his life in supermax style solitary until he goes nuts and offs himself.

    There’s no Supermax in the military justice system. The only leverage that Manning has is to give up everybody he worked with in exchange for being court-martialed instead of tried in a civilian court. He’ll spend the rest of his life in Leavenworth, but that’s better than Florence.

    Also, FWIW, long-term confinement in Supermax-type conditions doesn’t cause people to off themselves. It makes them incapable of even doing that. Think Jose Padilla.

  194. 194
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Yutsano:

    The Red Crescent is going to come out of that looking the worst. Now every time they run a convoy anywhere it’s going to be suspect a target for a Paveway laser guided bomb.

    Yeah, they might want to do some house cleaning before the Israelis “accidentally” drop a couple of thousand pounders on a humanitarian convoy.

    Damn.

  195. 195
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G:

    All the pfc has done is allowed me and all others to catch a glimpse of how craven and sordid this dénouement of American empire has been.

    In near real-time, as compared to relative scholarly history timelines.
    To be less cynical for a moment, these dumps give us as a nation the chance to correct our history/path almost as it happens.

  196. 196
    Hawes says:

    My last comment before I fuck off for the night (because I’m +2 full bottles of Cisco beer):

    It sounds like wikileaks is a sort of Rorschach test. You see in it what you are already disposed to see in the world.

    America is a declining empire? Wikileaks proves that.

    America is a corrupt hegemon? Wikileaks proves that.

    America is just another fucking country doing what all countries do? Wikileaks proves that, too.

    Obviously, I choose the latter. And two scoutmasters kissing, I see that, too.

    I wonder what THAT means.

  197. 197
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @eemom:

    what wikileaks needs is an ombudsman.

    This goes too far, I think. They’d be just fine if they had an in-house critic.

  198. 198
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Hawes

    America is a declining empire? Wikileaks proves that.
    __
    America is a corrupt hegemon? Wikileaks proves that.
    __
    America is just another fucking country doing what all countries do? Wikileaks proves that, too.

    Can’t it be all three?

  199. 199
    Nellcote says:

    It seems awfully soon to be drawing conclusions about the latest wikileak since it’s going to be ongoing for the next week.

  200. 200
    burnspbesq says:

    @Hawes:

    And two scoutmasters kissing, I see that, too. I wonder what THAT means.

    It means you need more beer.

  201. 201
    robertdsc-PowerBook & 27 titles says:

    I don’t care except that I hate that this will make an already tough job for the President that much tougher.

  202. 202
    soonergrunt says:

    @burnspbesq: Soliary Confinement is Solitary Confinement is Solitary Confinement.
    If he’s convicted, he’ll spend his whole sentence in solitary. Whether it’s a civilian federal prison or USDB, the administration won’t be able to protect him in general population.
    Child molesters are about the only people lower on the prison totem pole than traitors.

  203. 203
    AB says:

    Uh, no John Cole. The biggest irony is that 92% of Afghans do not know what 9/11 is, and that the great communicator can’t communicate a damn thing and this statistic is just another manifestation of that.

    CNN: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61Ktb9HJjAQ

  204. 204
    soonergrunt says:

    @fasteddie9318: They had a couple of those. Assange fired them because he didn’t like their attitude.

  205. 205
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    President Obama has just assured the greatest nation in history that he finds all this looking back as distressing and uncalled-for as all his balloonbaggers do.

    He also reiterated that General Stuck Up knows everything that has happened, everything that is happening, and everything that will happen.
    .
    .

  206. 206
    maye says:

    The State Department is supposed to do diplomacy, not CIA work

    My father was a CIA analyst from 1960-1975, and I grew up believing everyone who worked in an embassy was a spy.

  207. 207
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @soonergrunt:

    Assange fired them because he didn’t like their attitude.

    Obviously they were unable to convince him of the totalitarian nightmare that is the town council-sanctioned refuse collection monopoly.

  208. 208
    Belvoir says:

    @Mjaum:

    Also, you (as in the US public) are not the target audience of the leak, nor the ones who will decide what is or is not newsworthy.
    Sorry. :-)

    Oh, kiss my ass. May we speak of it, Your Majesty? No one’s saying it’s not newsworthy, just dull and expected information.

    This is a dump of what US diplomats have been claiming is true, not what other nations have so claimed.

    No one said it was anything other than American intelligence assessments. Yes, that is what they are. What’s your point?

    So, please keep your “Um..”s and smiley-faces please. They’re both juvenile and annoying.

  209. 209
    THE says:

    @robertdsc-PowerBook & 27 titles:

    I don’t care except that I hate that this will make an already tough job for the President that much tougher.

    This.

  210. 210
    Fat Tony says:

    @Hawes:

    Good one! *snickerz*

  211. 211
  212. 212
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @AB:

    Uh, no John Cole. The biggest irony is that 92% of Afghans do not know what 9/11 is, and that the great communicator can’t communicate a damn thing and this statistic is just another manifestation of that.

    Look, that figure is as frustrating as anything, but how the fuck is Obama supposed to communicate the facts to people who have literally no outlet to the outside world beyond whatever their local Taliban-affiliated strongman tells them? This is a great argument for getting the hell out of that “country” yesterday, but doesn’t say much about Obama’s failures as a communicator.

  213. 213
    Ash Can says:

    @JGabriel: It does even more damage than that. Look at it this way: Suppose the company you worked for did a lot of business with another company, and in order to keep that business coming in, you and a co-worker had to interact with the head of that company on a daily basis. Now, suppose the head of that company was an asshole and treated you and your co-worker like dirt. But, that business relationship was bringing in a lot of money, and your own boss gave you and your co-worker pats on the back and bonuses for putting up with Asshole’s crap. So now suppose your co-worker had a particularly bad run-in with Asshole, and after the phone call you zapped off a quick e-mail to your pal to cheer him up, including in the e-mail some highly uncomplimentary remarks about Asshole.

    Now imagine someone at your company hacking into your computer, looking through your e-mail log, and deciding he’s doing the world a favor by forwarding that e-mail to Asshole.

    People who haven’t studied the world of diplomacy or seen it up close just don’t understand how it works. It thrives on protocol and face-saving, and its operations often appear silly, petty, pointless, or even shady to outsiders. But it’s the machinery by which trade deals are made, cultural ignorance is overcome, and wars are avoided. And it works because the people involved act polite and keep their snottiness to themselves.

    I really don’t see any value to releasing confidential diplomatic communications at all. Whoever turned the material over to Wikileaks is a traitor, Wikileaks is wrong for disclosing it, and the NYT et al. are wrong for publishing it.

  214. 214
    burnspbesq says:

    @soonergrunt:

    Soliary Confinement is Solitary Confinement is Solitary Confinement

    Not necessarily. See Grassian, Psychiatric Effects of Solitary Confinement, 22 Journal of Law & Policy 325, 346-52 (2006) (available at law.wustl.edu/journal/22/p325grassian.pdf ).

  215. 215
    soonergrunt says:

    @fasteddie9318: grin.

  216. 216
    Keith G says:

    @Hawes: The docs in the news today are not what I was solely relating to, but the entire scope of all the leaked info.

  217. 217
    General Stuck says:

    @Ash Can:

    People who haven’t studied the world of diplomacy or seen it up close just don’t understand how it works. It thrives on protocol and face-saving, and its operations often appear silly, petty, pointless, or even shady to outsiders. But it’s the machinery by which trade deals are made, cultural ignorance is overcome, and wars are avoided. And it works because the people involved act polite and keep their snottiness to themselves.

    I really don’t see any value to releasing confidential diplomatic communications at all. Whoever turned the material over to Wikileaks is a traitor, Wikileaks is wrong for disclosing it, and the NYT et al. are wrong for publishing it.

    Thank you, I may be in love. er just kidding . blush

  218. 218
    Anya says:

    I’ve read the some more wikileaks via the Guardian; what is surprising is how the Arab Golf states’ rhetoric on Iran is so similar to our right wing lunatics. I wonder if they are being used by the neocons or if they truly fear Iran’s nuclear proliferation?

  219. 219
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    @soonergrunt:
    .
    .

    Child molesters are about the only people lower on the prison totem pole than traitors.

    Don’t you have some pep-talks to give somewhere on the much-needed U.S. art of cowardly baby killing rather than calling heroes “traitors” behind their backs?
    .
    .

  220. 220
    soonergrunt says:

    @fasteddie9318: Whether or not Afghans have CNN has fuck-all to do with the talibs killing their daughters and stealing their foodstocks, and is a pretty piss-poor metric of the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of US combat operations.
    Rather, the talibs killing their daughters and stealing their foodstocks is a somewhat more useful metric.

  221. 221
    west coast says:

    @Ash Can:

    Nah. That’d be the GOP.

  222. 222
    soonergrunt says:

    @burnspbesq: I didn’t say anything about the effects. And I suspect that the document you note is TLDR material.
    But if one is in solitary, I should think that it would suck ass whether one has a view of a prison wall in Colorado, a prison wall in Illinois, or a prison wall in Kansas.

  223. 223
    General Stuck says:

    @Anya:

    I wonder if they are being used by the neocons or if they truly fear Iran’s nuclear proliferation?

    The Saudi keepers of Islam, view the Iranian’s and all Shia muslims as blasphemers/ The bad blood goes back centuries. So I suspect they wet their britches at the thought of a nuke armed Iran, with warhead deliverable missiles, which they also happen to exist in the line of fire with Israel.

  224. 224
    The Dangerman says:

    @Keith G:

    The wounds caused by him are scant compared to those caused by the various serious men and women who led and misled this country.

    Can’t argue your point, there were some serious stupid fuckers running the show, and they will have Secret Service protection until they pass (which, in Cheney’s case, could be any time; he looked like death at the Bush Library groundbreaking)…

    …but still doesn’t justify this ass hole doing what he did. Two wrongs and all that stuff; more importantly, we have to pick fights we can win. Charging Bush, et al, with War Crimes would lead to a mess of unimaginable proportions.

    Yes, we have a mess; how that mess is cleaned up without causing more of a mess is the challenge at hand.

  225. 225
    soonergrunt says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas: Wow. Aren’t you just THE prissy little bitch?

  226. 226
    General Stuck says:

    @soonergrunt:

    The fucker gives sewer trout a bad name.

  227. 227
    Yutsano says:

    @soonergrunt: Let it go good soldier. That thang ain’t worth your time or notice.

  228. 228
    Keith G says:

    @The Dangerman: Well put.

  229. 229
    Tom Q says:

    @Ash Can: That’s more or less what I tried to say above. not as well. I’m stupefied by the people who don’t see this.

  230. 230
    JAHILL10 says:

    @Hawes: I hope you don’t think a well timed leak would have stopped Bush from invading Iraq. That was number 1 on the agenda the day the man took office. Remember? Only a war president is ever remembered in the history books.

  231. 231
    Tom W. says:

    My God, Mr. Cole – did you honestly write this line without a crumb of irony?

    For me, the biggest surprise is they would openly ask diplomats to spy.

    Never read any Graham, Green, Buchan, or Le Carre? C’mon man!

  232. 232
    Nick says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    but how the fuck is Obama supposed to communicate the facts to people who have literally no outlet to the outside world beyond whatever their local Taliban-affiliated strongman tells them

    Did he mean Obama? Because for as much as I rail on firebaggers, I can’t imagine someone would be so irrational to blame Obama for not messaging to a country of illiterate people who probably don’t even know who he is.

  233. 233
    soonergrunt says:

    @General Stuck:
    I always defer to those who outrank me. Even those who do so virtually, as it were.
    @Yutsano: I especially defer to those more classy and refined than myself.

  234. 234
    Keith G says:

    Speaking of spending one’s life in the hoosegow, this part of a news story on the attempted Portland bomber fascinated me:

    A resident of Corvallis, Oregon, and a student at Oregon State University, Mohamud — who now faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine — was arrested on suspicion of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, the FBI said. He will make his initial appearance in federal court in Portland on Monday, the Justice Department said.

    If I was spending my life in prison due to a terrorism conviction, I am not sure how much extra punishment the $250,000 fine would be.

  235. 235
    soonergrunt says:

    @Tom W.: Not just reading spy novels, but how about some common sense?
    Diplomats observe the happenings and meet the business-people and government functionaries in the foreign countries to which they are posted, and report those observations and meetings back to their superiors. Sometimes the superiors back in the capitol direct the diplomats to observe certain things and meet with certain people to discuss certain business. This is done by EVERY nation-state on the face of the planet. We do it to everybody, and everybody does it to us. Even our ‘friends’ and ‘allies’ do these things to us while we do these things to them.

  236. 236
    Anya says:

    @Ash Can:

    People who haven’t studied the world of diplomacy or seen it up close just don’t understand how it works. It thrives on protocol and face-saving, and its operations often appear silly, petty, pointless, or even shady to outsiders. But it’s the machinery by which trade deals are made, cultural ignorance is overcome, and wars are avoided. And it works because the people involved act polite and keep their snottiness to themselves.
    I really don’t see any value to releasing confidential diplomatic communications at all. Whoever turned the material over to Wikileaks is a traitor, Wikileaks is wrong for disclosing it, and the NYT et al. are wrong for publishing it.

    This!

    Regarding the leaker, I understand Bradley Manning was an intelligent analyst but what I don’t understand is how did he get access to all of these documents? They are not connected, so how did someone so young, so junior have that much access? Also, what was his motivation? Maybe he was disillusioned with the war, but why leak diplomatic cables that had no connection to the war?

  237. 237
    soonergrunt says:

    @Keith G: yeah, but if you get 10 to 20 years in prison, the quarter-mil fine might be significant. If a person cannot pay the fine, that almost always has a negative implication for that person at a parole hearing.
    This might be an issue for this guy if he gets life with parole eligibility.

  238. 238
    jwb says:

    @General Stuck: I rather think all that oil and all that money those Saudi princes control is far more important to them than their little religion. In fact, one suspects that they use their little religion rather like our corporate overlords use their little fundamentalist Christianity here.

  239. 239
    suzanne says:

    @matoko_chan:

    the Lady of Shallot

    She was the lover of the Knave of Garlic, no doubt.

    I heard she went through those aromatics like wildfire…

    Does this meet your standard as mocking you to your face?

  240. 240
    Yutsano says:

    @suzanne: Wait wait whoa whoa back up there.

    .

    She has standards?

  241. 241
    NobodySpecial says:

    ‘s funny to me how every single one of you jaded watchers is horrified, horrified at the idea that other countries may get the idea that the US wears a false face when it goes to negotiations, doesn’t think much of other leaders, and acts in it’s self-interest, like they don’t already think that.

    The only implication of this is that the 90% of America that doesn’t really know anything about this stuff and fully believes in American exceptionalism will get a look at the real deal and (very unlikely, but possibly) have their worldview changed for a couple of weeks before it fades into the ether like everything else from who won American Idol last year to the lineup of their local pro football team. It IS like the Pentagon Papers, only instead of a populace that worried about troops overseas and our government doing bad things, we’re a populace that worries about ephemera. Therefore instead of Daniel Ellsberg, you get….that guy.

  242. 242
    soonergrunt says:

    @Anya: A big part of Manning’s motivation was to show all those people who he perceived as mistreating him and not valuing his work and his perspective just how smart and special he really is. If you’ve ever read the chat logs of his chat with Adrian Lamo, they’re dripping with contempt for his superiors. And not contempt for the things he saw (there is plenty of that, and I do believe that he honestly saw and sees himself as some kind of great hero on the side of truth, justice, and the American Way ™) but for his immediate supervisors and peers as human beings. He brags a lot about how smart he was in compromising the system and how easy it was for him because of their stupidity. He was right about that by the way. Anybody who does IT for the government, even if they’ve never been in a SCIF would be shocked at how lax the operation there was and the fact that it was a SCIF makes it all the more galling.
    Shorter Soonergrunt–he did it for the same reason that people turn traitor all the time, that most basic of reasons–because it satisfied his ego to do so.

    SCIF=Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility–facility designed and built for the express purpose of protecting sensitive information.

  243. 243
    Ash Can says:

    @Anya: I agree; the idea of Manning acting alone doesn’t pass the sniff test for me. I doubt that the DOJ’s Civil Rights division is the only government entity suffering from a case of Burrowed Bushies.

  244. 244
    General Stuck says:

    @jwb:

    Maybe, to a degree, but they still see themselves as the real Muslims, and the Shia not so much, and the bad blood exists whether some rich Prince in the House of Saud cares more about his money, than religion.

  245. 245

    […] Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Wikileaks Reaction "I have a hard time getting worked up about it- a government that views none of my personal correspondence as confidential really can’t bitch when this sort of thing happens." (tags: qotd wikileaks) […]

  246. 246
    Meh says:

    There is a certain beauty in watching an anarchist ply his trade in a post-modern dystopian America

  247. 247
    burnspbesq says:

    @soonergrunt:

    I do believe that he honestly saw and sees himself as some kind of great hero on the side of truth, justice, and the American Way.™

    Which is the basis for my belief that Assange is guilty of conspiracy. No rational person takes the risks that Manning took unless he/she is certain that they have a kick-ass distribution channel for the stuff they are stealing. The only logical inference is that there was an agreement in place that Wikileaks would publish whatever Manning could steal. And that agreement, if it can be proven, makes the case for conspiracy.

  248. 248
    Kenneth says:

    Assange should be given a fucking Nobel Peace Prize. He’s up there with the Soviet dissidents and Mandela.

  249. 249
    BillinChicago says:

    More confirmation that the Saudis are the ones truly responsible for Al Qaeda. And of course, they’re not just writing the checks, they’ve also consistently been the ones pulling the trigger:

    http://www.asecondlookatthesaudis.com

  250. 250
    soonergrunt says:

    @burnspbesq: I don’t know if I’d go that far. IANAL, but I think you have to show some inducement on Assange’s part, and a quid pro quo.
    I think however, that if Wikileaks didn’t exist, then Manning might have tried to shop his wares to some other country’s intelligence apparatus.

    I do, as an intellectual exercise, find it interesting that Assange’s main target seems to the US Government, and that he has passed up airing information from other parts of the world in order to keep damaging the US. His lifestyle of jetting around the world and staying in high-end hotels costs a lot of money, and I find it ironic and hypocritical that the guy who runs the biggest leak outlet in the world is so hyper-secretive and paranoid that nobody including his closest associates within that organization knows where the money’s coming from. He’s the most secure person on the face of the planet, because there is no political upside for the US or any other western country to kill him. Nothing but major downside, as a matter of fact. Kind of makes one wonder if the whole thing isn’t a front operation or false flag. People who would never sell secrets to the Chinese or the Russians just might put them on a website for the whole world to see.

  251. 251
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Nellcote:

    It seems awfully soon to be drawing conclusions about the latest wikileak since it’s going to be ongoing for the next week.

    What are you talking about? We most definitely know all of the ways this leak will have an impact both domestically and internationally. As such, we can disregard this entire event.

  252. 252
    Nick says:

    I think the problem here is that while WikiLeaks brought us throngs of info that we have a right to know, it also brought us a handful that we shouldn’t have known and can compromise security, risk war and people’s lives.

    The latter will override the former.

  253. 253
    Matthew says:

    @suzanne: WTF

    “The Lady of Shalott” is a Victorian ballad by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892). Like his other early poems – “Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere” and “Galahad” – the poem recasts Arthurian subject matter loosely based on medieval sources.

  254. 254
    GregB says:

    I remain convinced that an attack on Iran will unleash such a catastrophic unfolding of events that it will likely lead to global cataclysm.

    Other than that it seems like a great idea.

  255. 255
    WarMunchkin says:

    In these trying times it’s important to understand that as tempting it is to examine and scrutinize the content of the leaks, we shouldn’t forget how vitally important it is to focus on applying judgment to wikileaks first. /snark

  256. 256
    WarMunchkin says:

    @WarMunchkin:

    … why is it that I get beaten to all the snarky comments

    RT @pourmecoffee “Wikileaks release may color your attitudes about US wars. Important to block this out and focus on judging Wikileaks.” about 6 hours ago via web

    via glenn greenwald

  257. 257
    Corner Stone says:

    @WarMunchkin: Approve of the snark. Trying to twist the focus to Assange and/or WL has been the repeated primary task of quite a few people.
    It’s a pretty loud bell they’re ringing, signaling their inability to handle what has happened.

  258. 258
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Indeed. This site is such a haven for catty overaged hipsters who think they know everything about everything. Way to call the case closed after skimming one NYT article on the first day of coverage, gang. Cole should change the masthead’s rotating byline to just “Meh.” on a permanent basis and sum this site’s mantra up perfectly.

  259. 259

    None of these “leaks” mean jacke shitte to government allies or enemies, for whom none of this is news at all. The only relevance of this is that it reveals to the non-elite of Western democracies that everything they are told by their governments about international diplomacy is a complete fucken lie.

  260. 260
    burnspbesq says:

    @WarMunchkin:

    Snark FAIL. In effect, you’re saying that the end justifies the means.

  261. 261
    Yutsano says:

    @WarMunchkin: It’s not your fault. Pourmecoffee is just that fucking good. When I used to hang at the TIME commenting boards, he had the best snark lines faster than anyone.

  262. 262
    General Stuck says:

    @burnspbesq:

    It’s a wildly fired lament by finely scrubbed liberals deflecting on the fact they are cheering an assault on diplomacy and diplomats which is more akin to one chewing off one’s own nose to spite one’s own face, or, smacking down the only real alternative, warts and all, to wars we all hate here on planet libtard.

  263. 263
    ChrisNYC says:

    @Kenneth: It really is a barometer of how far we’ve come when Assange is compared to those people. Assange is so sloppy and/or of bad motive, that he stood in London and said, “These documents show war crimes,” and when pressed by journalists as to what documents, exactly, showed the war crimes he spoke of (this non-lawyer) Assange said, basically, “See for youself. Not my job.” He couldn’t be bothered to elaborate, but he made sure he made the charge.

    Did you look at the Af/Pak military communications dump? It was fucking unintelligible. Full of military acronyms and insider stuff that no regular person (those who Assange purports to serve) could make heads or tails of. He says he’s for transparency but he’s shown that what he’s for is throwing accusations not based on evidence but on what he says is evidence of what acts. Just trust Assange. Up to the accused to prove him wrong.

    He’s not Mandela, he’s McCarthy, “I have here in my hand a list of 205 . . . a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department. . . .”

  264. 264
    soonergrunt says:

    I don’t think there’s any meaning to it at all. It’s kind of interesting to see all the bullshit bootstrapping going on.
    Somehow the fact that a diplomat in one country had a meeting with a deputy defense minister about the purchase of Mark III Waterproof Left-Handed Widgets, that means America is crumbling, and the fact that a diplomat reported to his superiors that some people in Afghanistan don’t have cable TV is the basis for the position that the war is somehow magically lost because the fact that even the Taliban know they’re getting their asses kicked, as recently reported in Dawn, a major newspaper in Pakistan, is irrelevant. Afghan farmers can’t watch “Ren and Stimpy” reruns so therefore we’re totally fucked.
    There’s also a rather pathetic desperation to equate Julian Assange’s standing against America with somebody actually standing FOR something, and that’s just not the case. There is nothing morally, ethically, or factually wrong with pointing that out, no matter how much some may wish that to be the case or try to make it appear so.

  265. 265
    Yutsano says:

    @soonergrunt:

    I don’t think there’s any meaning to it at all.

    I have to disagree. Assagne is gaining some sort of benefit from managing all of this (which is all that he is really doing, he is acting like the ringmaster but I get the feeling he doesn’t have that much control) and figuring out THAT will lead you to the true cause of this. The fact that the leaks are so biased against the United States demonstrates there is a TARGET, not just the willful dissemination of information. Something is quite rotten in Denmark.

  266. 266
    Corner Stone says:

    Ahh, the value of making value judgments.
    Keep making this about Assange. That’s the ticket.

  267. 267
    Kenneth says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Shh! Don’t make them think twice about being good Imperial Citizens.

    War on Terror! USA! USA! USA!

    I can’t wait until this rotten country collapses like the USSR in five-ten years.

  268. 268
    soonergrunt says:

    @Yutsano: Well, where Julian Assange is concerned, something is rotten in Sweden, but that’s another issue.
    I definitely think he’s up to something and that something isn’t good for the west or for the US in particular. I mentioned earlier that it is the height of hypocrisy to spill other people’s secrets while keeping one’s own so tight. Who pays for all of the business-class and first class jetting around and four and five star hotels this guy stays in? And why has Wikileaks been holding off on posting things from other parts of the world that former staffers say they have? Surely their server architecture can support more than one folder at a time? Couldn’t they at least have two folders for people to browse? One titled Fuck_America and one called Everywhere_Else if they were really about information without borders or restrictions? Because then they could’ve put the stuff that’s been coming into them into the Everywhere_Else folder and people could look at that too while they waited for the next Fuck_America dump. It kind of makes one wonder why they sit on stuff that doesn’t pertain to the US. Like somehow it’s not as important to Julian Assange to show what’s happening elsewhere.
    If Assange’s motives were so pure, and the intent behind them so virtuous, why has he fired so many people in the organization that have voiced various concerns about his statements and behaviors and how they were damaging to the organization? Apparently, in Assange’s mind, America is a special evil that requires his full attention and other things must be forgotten. After he fired so many of his staff, he probably has to prioritize more than he used to. And we see what his priorities are now, don’t we? Why, if he’s such a wonderful guy, hasn’t he donated some money to Bradley Manning’s defense fund? Surely he could stay at a smaller bed and breakfast down the road and fly coach a couple of times to support that right?
    Apparently we’re not supposed to mention these things, though. It hurts people’s feelings, I guess.

  269. 269
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Kenneth: Well, don’t hold your breath or anything.

    Seriously, this batch of leaked cables is only confirming what I already suspected or unleashing some groaners (like Lieberman telling the UAE officials that Plan B in Iraq was making Plan A work). I’ve not heard anything that is a true game-changer.

    What I’d like to see is Wikileaks release a ton of Iranian diplomatic cables where the entire Middle East trashes the United States. And that wouldn’t surprise me at all, either. You can read that in any random newspaper or website.

    LOVE to be a fly on the wall at the next OPEC meeting, though…

  270. 270
    Kenneth says:

    @soonergrunt:

    As Der Speigel points out, other countries aren’t superpowers.

    And fucking over the American Empire IS a pure motive AFAIAC.

  271. 271
    Kenneth says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    LOL, this is only the first day, moron.

    The real juicy stuff will come later, especially the China cables next Sunday!

  272. 272
    NCReggie says:

    @ Kenneth
    Hey buddy fuck you with that I hope America collapses shit. I hate dumbasses who wish the ship would sink with the rest of us on it. I also like how Assange attributes the blame to western actors only. Its very courageous to criticize the US after all, one can stay in five star hotels and be feted by the press as some crusading truth seeker. Funny how one can criticize western governments but not one bit of criticism about say the fuckin Taliban? Must be a sweet gig not to take one’s own personal ass over to Kandahar and protest the Taliban’s killing of women and girls, must be great work.

  273. 273
    Kenneth says:

    @NCReggie:

    America created the Taliban.

  274. 274
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Kenneth: Riiiight. I can hardly wait. Diplomatic cables saying that China is propping up Kim Jong-Il and that it’s manipulating its currency and it’s talking with Iran. Mother of God, is this the end of America?

  275. 275
    Kenneth says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    I notice you’re not saying anything about Hillary spying on the UN, or her support of the Honduran coup.

    The Germans are none too pleased about our insults towards them, btw. Maybe if you read something besides the American media you would realize that. They’re pissed.

  276. 276
    General Stuck says:

    @Kenneth:

    But what accident of nature created you? You’ve been here a week and already with the full on self parody. Yawn. Wankers come and go. This too shall pass.

  277. 277
    WarMunchkin says:

    Anyway, some of these cables actually show that our Team USA is actually pretty competent.

    One of my favorites so far is what must a tongue-in-cheek one from Zimbabwae titled “The End Is Nigh”. When I saw this I laughed out loud.

    ¶2. (C) Robert Mugabe has survived for so long because he is more clever and more ruthless than any other politician in Zimbabwe. To give the devil his due, he is a brilliant tactitian and has long thrived on his ability to abruptly change the rules of the game, radicalize the political dynamic and force everyone else to react to his agenda. However, he is fundamentally hampered by several factors: his ego and belief in his own infallibility; his obsessive focus on the past as a justification for everything in the present and future; his deep ignorance on economic issues (coupled with the belief that his 18 doctorates give him
    the authority to suspend the laws of economics, including supply and demand
    ); and his essentially short-term, tactical style.

    … FYWP

  278. 278
    soonergrunt says:

    @Kenneth: I like pie, too.

  279. 279
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Kenneth: Things suspected and now confirmed. Really, when Lanny Davis signed up to help support people around the coup, was Hillary that far behind? And I see you’re not mentioning that Rice was doing the UN spying before Clinton. And I see you’re actually surprised that diplomacy and spying are more than kissing cousins. Are you so foolish as to believe the United States was the only group doing spying at the United Nations, or even seeking the same kinds of information?

  280. 280
    Kenneth says:

    @Joseph Nobles:

    Convering up the weakness of the rotting Empire, I see…the Germans have it right, the superpower is weak and crumbling.

  281. 281
    burnspbesq says:

    @Kenneth:

    Yawn. You’ve reached your sell-by date in record time. Congratulations.

    And now, comic relief, courtesy of the Prime Minister of Italy.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....girls.html

  282. 282
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Bob Loblaw:

    Indeed. This site is such a haven for catty overaged hipsters who think they know everything about everything. Way to call the case closed after skimming one NYT article on the first day of coverage, gang. Cole should change the masthead’s rotating byline to just “Meh.” on a permanent basis and sum this site’s mantra up perfectly.

    It just seems kind of insane to dismiss this entire episode as No Big Deal when it hasn’t even really happened yet. These are the kinds of things Der Spiegel is writing in their International section:

    251,000 State Department documents, many of them secret embassy reports from around the world, show how the US seeks to safeguard its influence around the world. It is nothing short of a political meltdown for US foreign policy.

    The compendium of reports, most of which cover the period from 2003 until the end of February 2010, sheds light on America’s at times arrogant view of the world. Never before have so many political revelations embarrassed the US State Department in one fell swoop.

    I’m just thinking, maybe we should let this play out for 24 hours a fortnight or so before we start with the grand pronouncements of how inconsequential this latest round of documents are were.

  283. 283

    Technically, I believe diplomats are always spies. What’s surprising is the *extent* to which they’re asking them to spy.

    As much as anything else, an embassy is an intelligence gathering operation. It’s just, the intelligence is often low-key stuff. You’re not trying to get military secrets or anything like that… you’re trying to get mostly-public knowledge that only local people can sort out.

    This is one of those things that made me want to smack people around over the Wilsons. They scornfully asked “Why send Joseph Wilson on an intelligence gathering mission, when he’d been an ambassador?”

    And it’s a stupid question, because this is (part of) what ambassadors do; they talk to people, ask questions, inspect records, and send back reports. They do so under official cover – with diplomatic immunity, so they can be kicked out, but can’t be arrested. But that’s intelligence gathering… it’s just, sometimes, it’s done in a much more sneaky manner, without official cover (or the permission of the host government).

  284. 284
    Joseph Nobles says:

    @Kenneth: Yes, yes, yes. Say, do you have any 9/11 Truth CDs you could sell me?

  285. 285

    […] On that, see John Cole: […]

  286. 286
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Hawes:
    __

    The guy who DID stand up was whathisface, the former UN arms inspector. WTF was his name? Scott something?
    __
    He did try. He got on every show he could get on and was ignored.
    __
    WTF was his name?

    Scott Ritter. As a reward, he’s been pursued by police-sting allegations of a penchant for underage girls ever since.

    And he’s still better off that his English equivalent — David Kelly ended up dead, officially a suicide, under circumstances so unlikely as to fall under the “not even trying to make it believable” aegis.

    And yet pundits wonder why the rest of us seem so… cynical about the horrible horrid horrors of which Wikileaks is guilty!

  287. 287
    Ossi says:

    @Ash Can:

    Well, it was ok for George Bush to out CIA agents, so why not wikileaks?

  288. 288
    WarMunchkin says:

    Having read through a lot of these cables now, while yes, some of them are “embarrassing” and just totally freaking wrong, I’m actually coming away really quite impressed with how informed, interested and politically aware our diplomats are. I think host countries reading this probably will come away with an admiration of how closely our guys have observed politics in other countries… and as for spying *in general*, I come away with these guys just reporting their impressions of people and conditions in countries based on local media reports, though there are egregious fails like the UN DNA thing.

    I’s some pretty cool stuff, even though the bulk of it is just Daes Dae’mar – which really, imho indicts the absolute farce that is the entirety of international diplomacy as an institution rather than the American diplomatic team. Also, the U.S. doesn’t even come out that badly if you read the full cables.

    All that said, we’re at less than 0.1% of the cables being leaked. If reactions around here and at GOS were any indication, it’s going to be a long next few months.

    Also, it’s worth seeing the disagreement in policy recommendations in different cables. It’s almost like people in government who are responsible for stuff have an entirely different debate than people in media. Weird, huh?

  289. 289
    Keith G says:

    @WarMunchkin: Frankly, I am amazed at the instances of Chicken Little naivete that I am reading here.

    I also like how Assange attributes the blame to western actors only.

    I can’t describe how damaging that is to us as a nation. Remember that we need the help of other countries in finding out about terrorists and their plans. Think this helps?

    The leaks will/can not do things that change foundational relationships across the globe. Those are based on intersections of military and economic power combined with the perception of “What will you do for me today?” and “What can you do for me tomorrow?”

    Those who hate us will continue to do so and those who don’t still have their reasons for not hating us. The power elites know how to process this stuff and the rest of humanity are too busy trying to earn a living and/or stay alive.

  290. 290
    WarMunchkin says:

    @Keith G: Oh yeah, that’s another good point I should have made in previous threadwars on other sites… does our diplomacy work because people like us and have some idea of American goodwill? I think it works because we’re rich and have aircraft carriers.

  291. 291
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    As much as anything else, an embassy is an intelligence gathering operation.

    In a very real sense, that’s the worth of an embassy to both the originating annd host countries. You want a country which is important to your interests to have some understanding of you and your society if you’re going to deal with them – which requires ‘low level intelligence’ gathering.

  292. 292
    Xenos says:

    @burnspbesq: Thank you for the Grassian link. Very interesting stuff.

  293. 293
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    @JGabriel: Hey, at least she’s an American who understands how the rest of the world has come to see you guys.

  294. 294
    amk says:

    This too shall pass after the drama quotient of it fails to grab the masses. Anyone remember anything at all about the last wikileaks thingy about misdeeds in Iraq ? Wanna bet this leak will also seep out of collective zombie brains ?

    Journalism world over is all about the brouhaha of smokes & mirrors instead of about actual substance.

  295. 295
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Kenneth:

    You would probably be one of the first to be put against a wall and shot, depending on who takes over after your much anticipated collapse. Those sorts of things generally don’t end well.

    If you like anarchy so much, go to Somalia and leave us alone.

    Oh, and eat a big bag of salty dicks.

  296. 296
    bjacques says:

    I think the world is a slightly better place with Wikileaks in it. There are still a lot of cables to go through (and more to to be released) but so far the fact of the release is causing more uproar than its contents.

    @Ash Can,

    With all due respect, I’m glad this stuff came out in the open, but I wish there wasn’t a need for it to do so. As someone pointed out upthread, this is the kind of material that we read in history texts after 20 or 50 years–of living with the results. And this is also the bowl of sweet tidbits that Old Mr. Cheney uses to lure the Kewl Kids into the back of his van. “If you only knew what I knew” is often the only justification offered to support some noxious policy. And that insider knowledge is usually something on the order of these released cables. The best candy, like Milky Way bars, goes only to the most reliable of pipeliners.

    I’m enjoying immensely that butthurt that the NYT and other Very Serious People are undergoing right now, because us helots get to see the same stuff they do without handing over their balls and their souls first.

    In a lighter vein, the website has a handy browser, so why not take some time to check out what’s causing the hubbub, bub.

    My favorite so far:

    A UK-registered company is suspected of violating sanctions against Iran. Insultec have reportedly been supplying Iran’s nuclear program with knobs, toe rags and tossers. A warehouse belonging to their US subsidiary was raided before it could ship a consignment of hockey pucks, numb nuts and douche bags.

  297. 297
    Mjaum says:

    @Belvoir:

    Well, that was nice.

    Actually, @90 Joseph Nobles claimed, and the claim was then echoed by others, that this leak proved that the Red Crescent had been used by Iran to supply Hizbollah. That was an impressive mental leap given the source of this information, and I am sure it is not the only example.

    And truly, the staggeringly navel-gazing, “we are the center of the world”-insisting behaviour of US citizens, even such as have the mental capacity to at least question the narrative given to them by the US government, is notable to those of us who originate elsewhere. The repeated insistence that this “is not news to anyone” and that the “news cycle” will quickly leave this in the past where it belongs is, again, unfounded. The ones who will decide whether or not this is relevant to their relationship to the US is everyone else in the world. Not you. So you can discuss it all you like, but that does not change your essential role. Spectators.

    And you, madam, are rude and using mere schoolyard bullying tactics. I am sorry you found my observations so hard to swallow, but I am neither sorry I made them nor sorry that they are true.

  298. 298
    matoko_chan says:

    @suzanne:

    She was the lover of the Knave of Garlic, no doubt

    way to beclown yourself, oldgrrl.

    Assange has said himself that he is the lightening rod to draw fire so wikileaks can do its job.
    And he just got an award for doing it.

    You are not likely to learn this from “mainstream media,’ but WikiLeaks and its leader Julian Assange have received the 2010 Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence award for their resourcefulness in making available secret U.S. military documents on the Iraq and Afghan wars.
    If the WikiLeaks documents get the attention they deserve, and if lessons can be learned from the courageous work of former CIA analyst Sam Adams-and from Daniel Ellsberg’s timely leak of Adams’ work in early 1968-even the amateurs in the White House may be able to recognize the folly of widening the war from Afghanistan to adjacent countries. That leak played a key role in dissuading President Lyndon Johnson from approving Gen. William Westmoreland’s request to send 206,000 more troops-not only into the Big Muddy, but also into countries neighboring Vietnam (further detail below in the description of SAAII).
    This year’s award was presented Saturday, with the customary “corner-brightener candlestick,” by SAAII awardee, and former UK ambassador, Craig Murray, after Julian Assange and Daniel Ellsberg discussed WikiLeaks’ release of almost 400,000 classified battlefield reports from Iraq.

    You aging hipsters bitch about my scifi analogies, but we are living in Neuromancer and Snowcrash.
    Scifi is the way we test drive the future before it gets here.
    And Assange is a cyber-insurgent, so i guess you can call him a terrorist.
    Our War on Information is the purrfect analog of Our War on Terror Islam, but Assange’s religion is hacking, not Islam.
    This is also a meaningless, immoral and unjust war that we will eventually lose, after ten years of spending money furiously to turn into a police state while futilely trying to play whack-a-mole with hackers like we did with al-Q.

    Sooner has me pied to protect his information cocoon, but Manning was a just a conduit for an analyst revolt.
    can’t stop the signal.

  299. 299
    Rome Again says:

    Everyone (except many Americans) knows that a ground war in Iran is impossible to win, so instead of getting their own countries involved, they’re asking us to sacrifice OUR military to help them achieve their goal. How quaint! I’m afraid we’re too stupid to not understand this and will take the bait. ARGH!

  300. 300
    Hawes says:

    The docs prove that nations pursue self-interest. Fuck, George Washington was the first to say that in America.

    The leaks ripped some of the tissue of polite lies that typify diplomatic behavior, and American diplomats will have to eat some crow.

    But nations will still pursue their self-interest. And so they will still conduct diplomatic relations with the US.

    As far as Manning and Assange go, they’re narcissists more than anarchists. There are a few truly damaging revelations about spying, but really it’s not so much “spying” in the sense of bugging phones and paying off informants as data collection. So even the bombshells are kind of M-80s rather than 500 pounders.

    Which makes you wonder why they bothered to leak them. Maybe they’ve buried the lede and they have TEH AWESOMEST leak yet to come. I doubt it.

  301. 301
    WarMunchkin says:

    @matoko_chan: I thought Zaphod Beeblebrox was the better comparison, myself.

  302. 302
    matoko_chan says:

    you stupid cudlips don’t even feel the jackboots on your necks n/e more.
    USA! USA! TEAM AMERICA FUCK YEAH!

    On one side, WikiLeaks has assembled the brightest and most dedicated hacker-activists in an effort to turn the Internet into a bastion of transparency and information freedom.
    On the other side, the United States has combined its Department of Defense, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency in an attempt to clamp down on the Internet with censorship and encryption-banning laws.

  303. 303
    matoko_chan says:

    @Hawes:

    they have TEH AWESOMEST leak yet to come. I doubt it.

    Garani massacre video. 97 afghan children and teens slaughtered in an American bombing run.
    Can you say….Blackhawk Down Redux?
    COMING SOON TO A THEATER OF WAR NEAR YOU!

  304. 304
    matoko_chan says:

    @JGabriel:

    I just think her lefty brand of neo-anarchy would be presented better in her own words, rather than borrowings from other writers.

    Call it quellism. it isnt borrowing. its tribute.
    Morgan is the first place i read it. Heres some of my words plus some of Quell’s.
    Quellism is a third culture political philosophy based on a fictional revolutionary in sci-fi author Richard K. Morgans Takeshi Kovacs cycle. In this fragment Quellcrist Falconer speaks of the demodynamic nanotech metaphor that informs her vision of an empowered populace.

    Quell: ..A Quellist society is an aware populace….demodynamic nanotech in action.
    Kovacs: Right– so the big bad oligarchs have switched off the nanotech.
    Quell: Not quite. The oligarchs aren’t an outside factor; they are like a closed subroutine that has gotten out of hand. A cancer if you want to switch analogies. They are programmed to feed off the rest of the body no matter what the cost to the system in general, and to kill off anything that competes. That is why you have to take them down first.
    Kovacs: Smash the ruling class and everything will be fine?
    Quell: No, but its a necessary first step. Every previous revolutionary movement in human history has made the same basic mistake. They have all seen power as a static apparatus, as a structure. And its not. Its a dynamic, a flow system with two possible tendencies. Power either accumulates, or it diffuses throughout the system. In most societies, its in accumulative mode, and most revolutionary movements are really only interested in reconstituting the accumulation in a new location. A genuine revolution has to reverse the flow. And no one ever does that, because they are too fucking scared of losing their conning tower moment in the historical process. If you tear down one agglutinative power dynamic and put another one in its place, you’ve changed nothing. You have got to build the structures that allow for diffusion of power, not regrouping.
    –Woken Furies

    Like Quell, I also believe the oligarchs have to be smashed….and that means the conservative fusion of big business, boutique libertarianism and judeo-christian dogma that has held a stranglehold on the American Republic for the past 2 centuries.

  305. 305
    matoko_chan says:

    @soonergrunt:

    SCIF=Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility—facility designed and built for the express purpose of protecting sensitive information.

    you do understand need-to-know and compartment codeword access, dont’ you sooner? that means NO FUCKING WAY Manning had access to diplomatic cables. Someone or someones fed him.
    moron.

  306. 306
    meh says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Scifi is the way we test drive the future before it gets here

    USSOCOM are the new Envoys donchaknow…

  307. 307

    […] John Cole notes an added irony of the furor over this latest disclosure:  "I have a hard time getting worked up about it – a government that views none of my personal correspondence as confidential really can’t bitch when this sort of thing happens."  Note how quickly the "if-you’ve-done-nothing-wrong-then-you-have-nothing-to-hide" mentality disappears when it’s their privacy and communications being invaded rather than yours. […]

  308. 308
    matoko_chan says:

    @meh: doubtful.
    wannabees at most.
    spec ops are more like envoys…rogue envoys i guess.
    i totally see McChrystal and his cohort as Carrera’s Wedge.

  309. 309

    @matoko_chan:

    @soonergrunt:

    SCIF=Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility—facility designed and built for the express purpose of protecting sensitive information.

    you do understand need-to-know and compartment codeword access, dont’ you sooner? that means NO FUCKING WAY Manning had access to diplomatic cables. Someone or someones fed him.

    I’d be willing to bet that as a former military officer soonergrunt has a better understanding of “need-to-know” SCIF than you do, you stupid twat. Hell, I’d be willing to bet that soonergrunt has a better understanding of just about anything than you about just about anything based upon the fact that most of your posts are completely incoherent and you come off like some Techno-Hipster dipshit version of Brick Oven Bill.

    Here’s the thing that anyone who deals with security needs to understand and which you obviously don’t. It doesn’t matter how many impressive codewords you have or how fully buzzword compliant your systems are or how much nifty technology you have in place, if the people who are using those systems aren’t following the rules because they’re lazy, or because following the rules makes it impossible to get your job done, or because they’re pissed off and have a grudge, or because they’re crooks or spies or because they’re not properly trained or don’t take it seriously. Again, let me reiterate this for you because you’re abysmally fucking stupid, it doesn’t matter how much technology or how many rules, policies and procedures you have in place if the technology isn’t being used and/or the rules, policies and procedures aren’t being followed. Technology is not a panacea for bad behavior on the part of human beings.

    If you have a situation where your policies and procedures aren’t being followed then it’s entirely possible for someone like Manning to get the information he did. A SCIF is only as secure as the individuals working in it. If those individuals aren’t taking security seriously, for the reasons outlined above, if security isn’t part of everything they do and you’ve got someone like Manning working there then none of it matters.

  310. 310
    Blaine says:

    I find the reaction of so many in this comments section quite hilarious.

    First and foremost, the smug and cynical approach to these leaks (“Everybody who knows anything about National Security and Diplomacy already knows whats in these papers”) is the epitome of thoughtlessness. You may well know the general facts and theories of National Security/Diplomacy, but don’t act, that upon reading a fucking summary account of thousands of pages of documents that have just seen the day of light, as though you were aware in way, shape or form what is in these documents (or what was going to be). My guess is no one in this comments thread has sifted through these documents thoroughly (correct me if I’m wrong on that), so stop with the “I totally saw this coming” shit. You didn’t, because you really don’t know much of what’s actually in these documents.

    Secondly, this cynical reaction coupled with the apocalyptic scenarios of how this will affect the “global order” is somewhat of a contradiction. Are we to assume that other nations in the world aren’t as aware (if not probably more so) of the fact that nations are out for themselves as a bunch of fucking commenters on a blog? Yes, the people in power are routinely wrong and I’m certainly not saying they’re infallible by any stretch (and as a matter of fact, I think they don’t see enough scrutiny many a times), but if anyone knows that nations routinely go behind each others backs, play dirty tricks, etc. it is likely the people in charge (given the fact that most of them are doing all the same). So the question is, why do so many who say we “already know all of this” turn around and act like this leak will have ridiculously huge consequences?

    And, lastly, as a side note…. I can only imagine these same peoples reaction to the leak of the Pentagon Papers by Ellsberg. “Governments lie about wars all the time, we already knew. Why even leak these documents? It’s not like we didn’t understand this already.” Fucking pathetic.

  311. 311
    Corner Stone says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    Technology is not a panacea for bad behavior on the part of human beings.

    The main reason Kevin Mitnick had any degree of success at all. If you measure success by getting people to do the little things they weren’t supposed to.

  312. 312
    elaineland says:

    The next G20 summit is going to be sooooooooooo awkward – like the day after the office christmas party.

  313. 313
    elaineland says:

    The next G20 summit is going to be sooooooooooo awkward – like the day after the office christmas party.

  314. 314
    Belvoir says:

    @Mjaum: Well, that was nice.

    And truly, the staggeringly navel-gazing, “we are the center of the world”-insisting behaviour of US citizens, even such as have the mental capacity to at least question the narrative given to them by the US government, is notable to those of us who originate elsewhere. The repeated insistence that this “is not news to anyone” and that the “news cycle” will quickly leave this in the past where it belongs is, again, unfounded. The ones who will decide whether or not this is relevant to their relationship to the US is everyone else in the world. Not you. So you can discuss it all you like, but that does not change your essential role. Spectators.
    And you, madam, are rude and using mere schoolyard bullying tactics. I am sorry you found my observations so hard to swallow, but I am neither sorry I made them nor sorry that they are true.

    I’m a man, a gay man at that, so I’ll put your calling me “madam” in the same box with your other supercilious nasty bullshit put out in bad faith. I imagine you think yourself a brave truth-teller rather than someone with a bone to pick, a dreary bore like a thousand other Guardian commenters. No, you’re quite incorrect: this American liberal here has every right to assess this leak just as much as you do, don’t bloody tell me whether this concerns us, what pomposity.

    You sound like a joke, and I see I was placed in moderation for telling you to kiss my ass. But really, you can, because your sort of anti-American rant here isn’t very enlightening. None of us here are the strange patriots you imagine, but dislike of smug certainties like yours I hope remain a constant.

    So don’t call me madam, you fake. You’re a joke, right?

  315. 315
    Mjaum says:

    @Belvoir:

    Content: Ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem, etc.

    Understanding of what I actually wrote, except for the (intended) insult, very close to zero.

    Effect of returned insults and attempt at inducing a state of ‘oh my god, I called a gay guy “madam”, I am so not a nice person’: Well, you did make me smile.

    And thus the thread dies, not with a bang, but with me wondering what that flatulent sound was.

  316. 316
    wikileaks88 says:

    Find all the current Wikileaks Mirrors here. Helpful, if the main site – wikileaks.org – is down :
    http://www.wikileaks-cable.com – Wikileaks Cables
    http://www.wikileaks-mirrors.org – Wikileaks Mirrors
    http://www.wikileaks-news.org – Wikileaks News
    http://www.wikileaks-website.com – Wikileaks Website

  317. 317
    yoli says:

    origin of words

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] John Cole notes an added irony of the furor over this latest disclosure:  "I have a hard time getting worked up about it – a government that views none of my personal correspondence as confidential really can’t bitch when this sort of thing happens."  Note how quickly the "if-you’ve-done-nothing-wrong-then-you-have-nothing-to-hide" mentality disappears when it’s their privacy and communications being invaded rather than yours. […]

  2. […] Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Wikileaks Reaction "I have a hard time getting worked up about it- a government that views none of my personal correspondence as confidential really can’t bitch when this sort of thing happens." (tags: qotd wikileaks) […]

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