Quote Of The Day

“The document deluge has offered plenty of mortifyingly frank appraisals of foreign leaders (the Italian Prime Minister is “feckless, vain, and ineffective”), a smidgen of Gawkerish titillation (a British Labour minister was “a bit of a hound dog where women are concerned”), and some genuine news (China could accept a unified Korea under Seoul’s control). We have learned that our Foreign Service officers can be vivid writers, though their future prose is bound to be duller and their interlocutors more guarded, at least for a while. Above all, there are no grand revelations of epic lying, deceit, or criminality—nothing remotely on the scale of the Tonkin Gulf “incident” that justified the escalation of the Vietnam conflict, in 1964, the C.I.A.’s role in bringing Pinochet to power in Chile, in 1973, or, more recently, the Bush-Cheney embrace of torture. Perhaps the two biggest secrets that the WikiLeaks leaks leaked are that the private face of American foreign policy looks pretty much like its public face and that the officials who carry it out do a pretty good job. Both are true with respect to Iran and its nuclear ambitions, to judge from the cables, which add a great deal of textural detail to what was already known.” — The New Yorker, on WikiLeaks

79 Responses to “Quote Of The Day”


  • It seems very important to you to peddle this line, despite the significance of many of the disclosures, such as what I’ve compiled here.

    http://bigwhiteogre.blogspot.com/2010/12/wikileaks.html

    What do you think of the US reaction? A member of parliament in Iceland is literally afraid fly to Canada via the US for fear of being detained. She’s broken no law, but worked with Wikileaks. We have Assange with an ankle bracelet in Britain right now. He’s not charged with a crime. We have Bradley Manning held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day with exercise not permitted. He’s allowed to walk in figure 8′s for 1 hour a day in a small room. He’s not permitted to sleep between 5 am and 8 pm. They call his name every 5 minutes to ensure he stays awake. He must hand over his clothes at night and sleep in boxers with blankets that amount to carpet. He says he tries to stay motionless due to the rubbing discomfort while he sleeps. This has been going on for 7 months. This is pre-trial punishment which violates the Code of Military Justice.

    The government issued a subpoena to acquire non-public related information from Twitter of people that have followed Wikileaks, a perfectly legal organization that hasn’t been charged with a crime. The subpoena was secret, so Twitter was obligated to hand over the information without informing the persons being targeted. Twitter went to court on appeal and got a judgment that says they can notify the users, which they did, but they told them that unless they can stop it legally they will hand the info over in 15 days. One wonders what other social network sites have handed over information to big brother without resistance and this is not public knowledge.

    The government is confiscating laptops and detaining citizens for hours of questioning, such as when they re-enter the country of their birth. These people are not sure they will be permitted re-entry if they leave again. Once again, nobody would even charge them with a crime. Publishing classified materials is a basic journalistic function. People in government may not like it, but it’s legal. But people are being bullied and being scared off from supporting Wikileaks. Private firms under government pressure from people such as Joe Liebermann have refused to do business with them, blocking access to funds that were donated to them.

    I wonder if it surprises you that Wikileaks, which in your mind is revealing nothing of significance, is being subjected to these bullying and illegal tactics. If it’s nothing, why such an aggressive reaction? It’s all public anyway. It’s as if your government is sputtering and red faced in the face of these disclosures, but says “No, this doesn’t bother me” and you believe them.

  • I’m not peddling the line…others are. Here is my point in all of this: To show that the main lesson being learned from WikiLeaks is “there are no grand revelations of epic lying, deceit, or criminality”. This is the message that keeps coming up again and again. Not just by crazy warmongering right-wingers, but by liberal establishments like this.

    Maybe they are just delusional. Maybe they have a higher threshold for “epic lying, deceit, or criminality” than you do. Maybe they are lobbyists for corporate America. Whatever the reason really doesn’t matter, what matters is that that is the lesson being learned.

    And on that point, you can’t disagree.

  • This guy looks to be liberal like Obama is a liberal. Obama has a vast surveillance state, due process free assassination program, torture regime, and war expansion without Congressional approval. That’s liberal. When you define liberal and conservative as narrowly as that (all the way from the right wing war mongering Bush to supposed liberal war mongering Obama), then yeah, I guess everyone on all sides regards these disclosures as pretty mundane. At the same time they are breaking laws and bullying people like crazy, calling innocent people terrorists and calling for their assassination despite no criminal wrongdoing. You didn’t answer my question about that. If it’s all so mundane why are “liberals” like Bob Beckel calling out hits on Assange like they are Ayatollah Khomeni calling out hits on Salmon Rushdie?

    What is your threshold for criminality? Mine is lawbreaking. Killing kids in Nigeria, expanding wars without Congressional approval while lying to the American people about it, selling children as sex slaves, supporting the transparently illegal coup in Honduras (recognizing it as a coup had legal consequences our government didn’t want to invoke). Isn’t that law breaking? If not, what does the phrase mean? If sex slaves, dead children, illegal wars, and the illegal overthrow of a legitimate government doesn’t quality because it isn’t “epic” enough, what the heck would qualify as an epic crime?

  • You didn’t answer my question about that. If it’s all so mundane why are “liberals” like Bob Beckel calling out hits on Assange like they are Ayatollah Khomeni calling out hits on Salmon Rushdie?

    I’ve answered it multiple times: its because they assume that Assange is threatening our foreign policy for no real reason (nothing of significance uncovered), and maybe even personal gain.

    Given their perspective, I wouldn’t be too far removed either.

  • I don’t get it. How is it threatening to our foreign policy to reveal already known information?

    And then there’s my second question. If sex slaves, dead children, illegal wars, and the illegal overthrow of a legitimate government doesn’t quality because it isn’t “epic” enough, what the heck would qualify as an epic crime?

  • There is much in there that was not in fact known and the United States wanted to keep confidential (even personal conversations, and unflattering characterizations of foreign leaders).

    It’s all in the noise level Jon. Its not the incidents, but the magnitude and how much can really be blamed on particular people that is important. In a country fighting two wars and spending billions of dollar, you would expect, say, atleast 5% corruption. I would say in most peoples minds, this falls roughly within that category.

    That doesn’t mean people involved shouldn’t be punished, or that we shouldn’t take steps to prevent it in the future…but its not earth shattering.

  • And then there’s my second question. If sex slaves, dead children, illegal wars, and the illegal overthrow of a legitimate government doesn’t qualify because it isn’t “epic” enough, what the heck would qualify as an epic crime?

  • Wow Jon. What sheltered little world do you live in where sex slaves, dead children, and illegal wars and overthrows are “shockingly” going on? I don’t get it. It is not surprising. if anything is saddening that we aren’t doing anything to stop, not shocking.

  • What would qualify as an epic crime if sex slaves, dead children, illegal wars, and illegal overthrows of legitimate governments aren’t. I didn’t say I’m shocked that such crimes occur, but the claim is that Wikileaks hasn’t revealed any “epic” criminality. What would qualify as epic criminality?

  • I can’t think of anything, but to me epic would have to be shocking. If it is not shocking, then I would not classify it as epic. That assuming that shocking means that you had no idea that something was going on. But to me none of the wikileaks was epic, it was just showing governments doing unethical, immoral, things that would be expected of human beings.

  • Jon,

    I answered in my response what would be considered epic:”Its not the incidents, but the magnitude and how much can really be blamed on particular people that is important.” How widespread was it? Who knew about it? Those are the important questions.

  • I guess I’m having trouble understanding your overall point. I think you’re saying that Wikileaks is really not all that valuable. Yeah, they’ve revealed crimes, but crimes that are not so big. But that’s true of most journalistic institutions, right? So for instance do you think the Washington Post is not all that valuable because I don’t remember any epic crimes that they’ve revealed. Is the whole journalistic enterprise a waste of time?

    The NY Times revealed Bush’s warrantless wiretapping enterprise. Maybe that’s an epic crime. Or no? And they haven’t done anything since then. So for the last 6 years they’ve been a waste of time.

    Here’s what I think is actually happening. The echo chamber wants to pretend that Wikileaks isn’t providing a useful function, so they keep downplaying the value of it. That’s the propaganda model in action. But when we look at the actual revelations and contrast them with other journalistic institutions, nothing else really comes close in terms of the information in the public interest that has been disclosed.

    Wikileaks is outside of the mainstream media. They don’t operate under the same incentive structure. They aren’t owned by enormous corporations. Their customers are not wealthy advertisers. So their product is naturally very different due to the different incentive structure. It’s a product that the mainstream media wants to pretend that they offer. That’s how they portray themselves. Iconoclastic truth diggers looking out for the public interest. But they don’t actually do it. They really serve the interests of their customers and owners, naturally. Wikileaks can serve the public. They are in fact exposing crimes amongst the powerful. So they must be demonized and brought down. They can’t be controlled, like the NY Times and MSNBC can. As I mentioned, Donahue was fired for not being “patriotic” enough. This is the so called “liberal” media. So members of this liberal media hate Wikileaks and say they do nothing, but their actions reveal that they don’t believe what they say.

    I don’t think you can say they aren’t valuable without saying that every other supposedly journalistic institution isn’t valuable (NY Times, Washington Post, Foxnews, CBS News, NBC News, ABC News, etc). But you aren’t repeatedly citing those that regard mainstream media as unimportant. Why the difference? I believe the difference is that propaganda works.

  • But here is the thing you dont get:

    Wikileaks also published alot that wasn’t particularly useful in terms of corruption or epic…but at the same time, could be damaging to the United States foreign policy efforts (private conversations, characteristics of others, supposedly off the record discussions). This is the main thing that I think separates it from mainstream media. Particular information with no real gain (no corruption, or scandal) but damaging to US efforts overseas. It would be like the NYTimes intentionally reporting the wherabouts and future strategic plan of troops in Iraq. What good does that do? It certainly helps the enemies of the United States, but how does that help make the USA a better country???

    So that pisses people off. Understandably. Can you atleast understand that?

    Regarding the difference between Wikileaks and mainstream media, you make the example for me, you write: “The NY Times revealed Bush’s warrantless wiretapping enterprise. Maybe that’s an epic crime. Or no?”

    But that indeed DOES meet my criteria. Again, my criteria is:”…the magnitude and how much can really be blamed on particular people that is important.” In this case, the president of the United States was involved! And the magnitude was ENORMOUS. Basically the whole United States was affected in some way.

    Out of the stuff Wikileaks leaked, how much can be blamed on Obama in particular? How much affects the whole United States? If you find me something like that…then its apples to apples comparison. But so far, we only have particular incidents of corruption that I would expect to watch one day on 20/20 or 60 minutes. Certainly corruption that warrants attention and punishment, but nothing too widespread and/or going all the way up to top government officials.

    With that said, I want to bring up another point, you acknowledged that, Wikileaks is outside of the mainstream media. They don’t operate under the same incentive structure. They aren’t owned by enormous corporations. Their customers are not wealthy advertisers. So their product is naturally very different due to the different incentive structure.

    And yet what they reveal is not that far out of the mainstream than what we’d expect mainstream media to report. Atleast not to me! What does that tell you about the influence of “enormous corporations” or “wealthy advertisers”??? That tells me their influence isn’t really all that influential afterall!

  • I think Wikileaks has a negative connotation because it is also a source for people to commit treason, bradley manning. Americans dont like it when their soldiers are the ones in a position to betray the country, and as long as wikileaks is around, the temptation to commit treason is around. nothing in the released documents seemed beyond the realm of human immoral behavior, so really we ended up just showing that there is a site that allows our soldiers and possibly politicians to betray their country in the most public way. That being said I hope bradley manning rots in prison. hes clearly an idiot, he used the screen name bradass87 and thought he wouldn’t get caught…

    Also, of course propaganda works. but also, alot of times when you read all these other websites and newspapers, they tell you alot more local news and it can have a more immediate impact on you, wikileaks is just trying to undermine in some way the legitimacy of our government, thats y its not a news source.

  • I think it’s very important to unpack the underlying assumptions of your statement, HP. You say Wikileaks is “damaging US efforts” and pisses “people” off. Who is the US and what are it’s efforts? Who are these pissed people? US efforts apparently aren’t efforts that are desired by the American people. The population doesn’t want to be engaging in a war in Afghanistan right now for instance.

    Some Americans do, namely certain wealthy and powerful Americans. But that’s a very narrow group. In my view enhancing “US efforts” means creating conditions that would lead to actions supported by the American people, not creating conditions that further the interests of certain powerful segments. For you furthering “US efforts” means furthering the interests of a powerful minority that is opposed by the majority of the American people. A strange definition in my view.

    Here’s what motivated Bradley Manning. Certain Iraqis were being imprisoned for distributing “insurgent” literature. Manning had a translator read some of this literature and it turned out it was nothing more than a scholarly critique of the Maliki government and how it was being wasteful. So he ran to his commanding officer because he thought people were being detained for doing nothing more than expressing the kind of sentiments that should be freely expressed in any healthy society. His CO didn’t want to hear it. Just do what it takes to round up more “insurgents.”

    Manning decided that it was in the best interest of America that the American public should understand what was really happening. They should understand how their government is imprisoning innocent people, firing on innocent civilians, etc, because they need to be informed in order to make an appropriate decision about whether or not this war is in their best interest or something they want to support. So to me these releases do support “US efforts”. It’s just that I define our efforts not by the desires of a tiny war mongering elite but by the general population and how they need to be informed in order to have good government.

    The implication that these disclosures have caused problems with US safety, revealing troop movements and so forth, is just flat out false as our government already admits. I could understand why that would tick people off IF it were true, but it’s not, so what’s the point? Wikileaks is very cautious about what is being released. Last I heard they had released less than 1% of the cables they had, because they read them and redact them as necessary to protect innocent people. Are they perfect? No. Have they made mistakes? Probably. On balance I think it’s a huge benefit. But this is a separate argument that you’re making here against them. Let’s focus on your claim that they are basically not disclosing anything of importance.

    You like the NY Times disclosure about warrantless wiretapping. I agree that it was huge. You say Wikileaks hasn’t revealed anything that big. That’s a subjective thing, but that’s fine. These were Top Secret documents. Wikileaks isn’t leaking anything with that level of secrecy, so we’d expect the NY Times disclosure to be bigger. But what has the NY Times done in the time that Wikileaks has existed? The wiretapping disclosure is from like 6 or 7 years ago. Wikileaks wasn’t around. In the time that they have existed, who has revealed more things that are in the public interest than Wikileaks? If you think they aren’t valuable then nobody is. They’ve done far more than any other journalistic enterprise in the time that they have existed. If you think it’s all ho-hum uninteresting, then so is all other media. They are MORE worthless than Wikileaks. Yet we don’t see you making the same point about them. Why is that?

    You want stuff going all the way to the top. We have Hillary Clinton’s illegal behavior. Getting biological information on diplomats would appear to be a crime. We have Obama engaging in undeclared wars and lying about it. When was the last time any other journalistic enterprise exposed anything of this magnitude? So if you think it’s all uninteresting and not valuable be consistent and say the same thing about every other news organization. We should all just be totally blind to the events that are happening in the world.

    This is not out of the mainstream for the media to report you say. Pfizer’s deaths? Monsanto’s behavior? If the media talks about this stuff all the time why is it only Wikileaks disclosing this stuff. You can assert all day long that 20/20 reveals stuff like this. But they don’t. Only Wikileaks does. And they do it with no budget. Pretty amazing. And very valuable.

  • J, how do you define treason? Betraying powerful criminals in order to bring awareness to the general population? That’s not treason to me. That’s patriotism.

    In Manning’s chat logs he mentioned that if he wanted to be treasonous he could have sold this information to the Russians or Chinese and made fat money. But it wasn’t about harming the government to make money. It was about informing the public so they could correct their government. Classic whistleblowing. Massive criminality has been revealed, not just in the US, but also in other states.

    You talk about people in a position to “betray the country.” Who is the country? The few powerful criminals hiding their behavior by stamping a document “secret.” Or is “the country” the people of the country that need to know about the crimes of public officials and corporations in order to stop suffering and abuse? What he did was not a betrayal of them. It was a betrayal of criminals. Would that they were betrayed more often.

  • who are the criminals? show me a list of names.

  • There is a basic premise of government that I would argue 90% of the population supports: namely, protecting the security of our country. For example: reducing the likelihood of another terrorist attack.

    That is the “US efforts” I was referring to.

    Sometimes Jon, no disrespect intended, but I think you need to get your head out of the books and talk to everyday people. Take breaks. Sometimes just getting the most basic point across to you is difficult. It didn’t use to be that way. Your new world view clouds all your thoughts now.

    Regarding, The implication that these disclosures have caused problems with US safety, revealing troop movements and so forth, is just flat out false as our government already admits.

    That was an analogy Jon. I didn’t say WikiLeaks did that…I said it would be LIKE that. In other words, the general reaction people have to WikiLeaks is its giving away secret conversations and characterizations that in no help uncover any epic corruption, but do make “US efforts” more risky, or more difficult.

    It would be like going into your house and stealing pictures of your wife, or your mother, without makeup and posting the pictures all over the internet. That would piss off your wife. That would piss of your mother. And naturally, that would piss YOU off. Why? Because you care about your mother. Your main qualm would be: it was unnecessary. It was spiteful of me to do that. THATS how people see Wikileaks.

    Now if WikiLeaks uncovered some huge sex slave trade that Obama, or any top government official, is intimately involved with…well then okay, it was worth it. But so far it is far from such scandals.

  • Yeah, I agree that the government needs to protect its citizens. Reducing the likelihood of terrorist attacks would be great. Since occupying a foreign country is known to produce massive increases in terrorism our government predicted that an invasion would increase terrorism worldwide. And it has. If Wikileaks somehow makes it more likely that we’d pull out of Iraq then I guess that means their actions support US efforts, not damage them as you say.

    Maybe people do perceive Wikileaks as you say. Like displaying our dirty underwear for no purpose. You said what they have done could damaging. There’s no evidence that it has been though. At least not yet. And given that the media falsely asserts that what they have done is damaging and dangerous I think it’s worth noting that there’s no evidence of that.

    Sorry if I’m not understanding you properly. We used to talk on the phone more. That probably helped. Just give me a ring if you think I’m not getting something. I’d be happy to get clarification.

    I just don’t agree that there’s nothing substantial here. If it’s not on the level of “Obama is operating a sex slave trade” it’s not valuable? When has anyone revealed something of that caliber? If that’s your threshold for valuable then nobody is valuable. Don’t single out Wikileaks as not revealing anything of substance. Criticize everyone. I keep making this point and I don’t see you addressing it. Maybe I should call you.

  • If it’s not on the level of “Obama is operating a sex slave trade” it’s not valuable? When has anyone revealed something of that caliber? If that’s your threshold for valuable then nobody is valuable.

    We just had an example of that earlier. Namely, “The NY Times revealed Bush’s warrantless wiretapping enterprise.” In other words, my caliber requirements are not that hard, they basically involve a) something relatively widespread and b) something that implicates top government officials.

    The evil corporate funded NY Times revealed warrantless wiretapping. What has WikiLeaks revealed even comparable (again, given my simple requirements)???

  • Over the last 6 years who has come close to meeting that standard if not Wikileaks? And if you single out Wikileaks for their lack of substantive stories, why do you not also single out the other journalistic institutions. What is this, like the 6th time I’ve asked this now?

    What scoops do we get from major media? Well, Tiger cheated. So did John Edwards. A couple of years back we had Jessica Simpson and Nick divorcing. What else? Tell us the big stories from the major media. You don’t single out the Washington Post or Fox News for revealing nothing of substance. Tell us what they’ve revealed so we can see what it takes to avoid this criticism you like to offer of Wikileaks.

  • And don’t get too impressed with the NY Times. They story was set to be published prior to the 2004 election, but at the urging of the Bush administration they held off until after the election. You can sarcastically call them corporate and I’ll sarcastically call them liberal.

    http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/137698

  • Over the last 6 years WikiLeaks has had the potential of meeting the criteria, but it has fallen far short of it.

    You are right, journalists have fallen short of it too. But there is a major difference: Journalists don’t also ‘display our dirty underwear for no purpose’. That is the point.

    What is this, the sixth time I’ve explained this???

    You ask, Tell us the big stories from the major media.

    For the sixth time now, we just had an example of that earlier. Namely, “The NY Times revealed Bush’s warrantless wiretapping enterprise.”

    Here is a point that I have made repeatedly, yet you have yet to respond to: you claim the mainstream media is “corporate influenced” and concede that WikiLeaks is “pure” of corporate influence. Yet what is the big difference between the two? I dont see that much. Sure, WikiLeaks shows some pockets of corruption here and there…but really nothing that I wouldn’t expect to see on a Friday night episode of 60 minutes. What does that say about your corporate influence hypothesis then?

  • Since I haven’t disputed that Wikileaks does reveal lots of mundane but yet embarrassing things I am not addressing the point. I could repeat that the sky is blue 6 times, but should I fault you for not addressing it? Yes, Wikileaks has embarrassed some people and much of that is not surprising. It also makes people upset.

    Of course every other journalistic enterprise does the same. Tiger Woods and John Edwards were embarrassed by journalistic disclosures. It’s not surprising that sometimes people cheat on their spouses. Nothing earth shattering. I think the National Enquirer broke the Edwards one. Sarah Palin can’t name a Supreme Court decision other than Roe that she disagrees with. She doesn’t know what the “Bush Doctrine” refers to. She was mad at Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson for exposing that I guess. So you should also talk about how CBS sucks. Yeah, they embarrassed some people and they’ve revealed no Obama sex slave trade type stories. What good are they?

    I’m addressing this other point you make, repeated here:

    http://hispanicpundit.com/2010/12/10/no-big-lies-in-wikileaks/

    that Wikileaks has revealed nothing big. When I ask “Who in the last 6 years has revealed anything bigger” I mean who, since the NY Times wiretapping disclosures (which they dutifully withheld until after the elections like good state propagandists) has revealed anything bigger. The answer CANNOT BE the wiretapping disclosures. I want to know who has revealed anything SINCE the wiretapping disclosures. Wikileaks wasn’t around then. If they had been around you can bet they wouldn’t have waited until after the election to reveal them.

    And if nobody, as you now admit, has done more, then why are you singling Wikileaks out for this criticism? As if the major media doesn’t reveal trivial, mundane, embarrassing things all the time. It’s all they do. Sarah Palin said “refudiate”. Obama referred to “57 states.” All non-earth shattering. All irrelevant. No criticism for them from you.

    Your assertion that this is nothing more than what you would expect to see on 60 minutes is proved false by the fact that you can’t name a single story, from 60 minutes or any other news source, that rises to the level of what Wikileaks has disclosed. I did respond to this point before. It’s false. Think about this. Fox News is a billion dollar enterprise. Owned by a mega corporation they have correspondents all over the world. All the resources you could want. What have they revealed? Nothing. Rag tag Wikileaks has scooped the hell out of them and everybody else over and over again.

    There’s a reason for that. It’s not like people don’t try to get the NY Times to publish stuff. They do. One example was the Gulf War. Saddam was making peaceful withdrawal offers, but the media wouldn’t cover it. Suddenly this tiny newspaper in New York called Newsday is publishing it. That’s weird. Why would they get it but the NY Times didn’t? Well, Newsday may not have wide circulation, but it is in newstands in the city. What probably happened is someone leaked it to the Times, but they wouldn’t publish it because they are state propagandists. So someone then leaked it to Newsday thinking it will then hit the stands, be visible to New Yorkers, and this will have the effect of smoking out the NY Times. And it worked. The Times ultimately gave it a few lines towards the back of the paper, but dismissing the offers as uninteresting.

    Wikileaks is different. Give it to them and they will not bow to powerful interests. They’ll publish it. Hence their repeated scoops. Billion dollar Fox News has no journalism to show for their investment. And that’s not surprising.

    Every criticism of Wikileaks you offer applies doubly to Fox News, with their coverage of Chandra Levy, Anna Nicole, Monical Lewinsky, and whatever other embarrassing nonsense they cover. Why do I not see you criticizing them? The Arab leaders are embarrassed that it’s been revealed that they encourage strikes against Iran in opposition to the beliefs of their populations. At least that’s news worthy embarrassment.

  • I gave you a criteria for what I consider worthwhile: namely, something wide ranging and implicating top government officials.

    Based on that criteria, NEITHER the mainstream media NOR WikiLeaks has come through. What does that tell us? Maybe the government is – just as the numerous WikiLeaks quotes I have been posting have alluded to – pretty much as it seems.

    That theory would explain why the mainstream media hasn’t reported anything “bigger” – there isn’t anything. Which explains why the mainstream media spends their time reporting on Al Gore’s divorce.

  • Do you think Wikileaks is valuable and providing news worthy information?

  • I do think it provides some newsworthy information. Again, I acknowledged that above. It provided some stuff that I would have expected to one day see on 60 minutes. Worthwhile, informative stuff that affects a small pocket of our foreign policy.

    But it also comes with a cost. It also provides needless “dirty laundry” (ie wifes picture without make up) that needlessly harms our foreign policy interest.

    Your next question is going to be why hasn’t it then been reported on mainstream media, why did it take WikiLeaks to report it? Again, I would say because of the magnitude (or lack thereof) of the newsworthy information. It just doesn’t seem all that big.

    I bet if you put every single one of the corruption examples WikiLeaks uncovered on the front page of the NY Times, you would get, at most, alot of low level people fired. Some task force to make sure the corruption does not continue and thats it. Foreign policy views wouldnt change that much. It’s not record breaking stuff. At some level, we expect this kind of corruption when fighting two wars and spending billions a year.

  • Well!!! Since if there was any damage done by wikileaks? That information would be classified.

    Publicly and for the record; There was no long term damage done by wikileaks. Just embarrassing cables.

  • You say the “cost” is that it “harms OUR foreign policy interest.” When you say OUR who do you mean?

    Because revealing info about sex trafficking doesn’t harm me and doesn’t harm the boys that are being sold as prostitutes. If anything it helps us. Revealing that Pfizer is killing kids in Nigeria may harm Pfizer’s major stock holders, but it doesn’t harm me and it doesn’t harm the families in Nigeria seeking justice.

    If OUR foreign policy interest is synonymous with the foreign policy interest of super wealthy stockholders at the expense of the general population, then sure, Wikileaks is “costly.” So it seems the downside to Wikileaks in your view is that it helps the little guy that’s being oppressed but harms certain powerful wealthy people. To me that’s actually upside.

  • I was referring to the private conversations and other parts that reveal no such sex trafficking and so forth. And “our foreign policy”, is synonymous with “US efforts” which means protecting the security of our country. For example: reducing the likelihood of another terrorist attack.

  • I guess I’d want to see how this makes a terrorist incident more likely. I think it will make criminal behavior less likely since it can no longer be hidden as well.

  • Here is how:

    a) It makes the agencies less willing to share information (for fear of another WikiLeaks)

    b) It makes others less likely to give us personal information

    c) It makes others less likely to give us sensitive information

    I’m sure there are others, but these are enough to make my point.

  • That’s not always bad. In fact these limitations could conceivably make terrorist actions less likely.

    For instance, suppose the House of Saud doesn’t share that they want to see Iran bombed. Good. Our government and Israel don’t need more encouragement to bomb Iran. If their encouragement was the final push needed to encourage Israel or us to bomb Iran then this action would lead to massive terrorism. So their unwillingness to share would reduce terrorism.

  • I go by the assumption that more honest conversation is good (its the assumption that underlies the concept of a UN, for example). It shouldn’t be a controversial assumption, but even on that you won’t agree.

    I don’t know what else to say. What seems obvious to me just doesn’t to you. And you will grant even the absurd to defend WikiLeaks.

  • I’m not sure what you mean with honest conversation. The plutocrats in Saudi Arabia, as stooges of the US, may honestly want to see Iran bombed and honestly stand in opposition to their subjects, but if they are afraid to express that because of the embarrassment I think that’s good. Diplomats that aren’t doing evil aren’t afraid of publicity. They go in to negotiations with foreign diplomats and they want the whole world to know what’s happening so we can see who is working on behalf of people and who is a stooge.

    Not that I can’t see the value in occasional secrecy. But I think in light of all the criminality that’s going on behind a wall of secrecy for now I like the idea of full disclosure. It’s not an ideal situation, but our government hasn’t proved that they can be trusted with secrets, nor have other governments throughout the world.

    Check this one out. How can you not love Wikileaks? Tons of wealthy, powerful criminals will be exposed shortly. Crimes aren’t just for poor for Wikileaks.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70F0TF20110117?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FtopNews+%28News+%2F+US+%2F+Top+News%29

  • What about point a) alone Jon? Some argue that is precisely why 9/11 was able to happen. WikiLeaks makes a) more likely.

  • Let me set the hypothetical, because I’m not sure what you are asking.

    Suppose there is a terrorist plot. An internal spy knows that his life is in danger if he reveals the plot and is exposed. So yeah, those informants will be wary. This is why Wikileaks redacts the documents to hide such people so they are not put in danger. As far as I know nobody has been harmed thanks to their efforts.

    But that spy is in danger with or without Wikileaks. That’s a dangerous job, and they are there for the very purpose of exposing such things. Wikileaks doesn’t put them in any more danger than they already are.

    On the other hand let’s suppose King Abdullah is informed by a spy he has installed. Would he hesitate to inform us? Actually I think the opposite would be the case. If he knows of it but doesn’t inform us and that is exposed he’s in deep crap. If he does inform us he’s doing the right thing and is not embarrassed. Would King Abdullah be embarrassed today if it was revealed that he tried to warn us about 9/11? No. He would be a hero.

    Maybe you have something else in mind. Explain with a hypothetical a case where you think an unwillingness to share puts us in danger. Thinking about it myself most examples of can think of where people are unwilling to share are good things. It’s better that they don’t share because what they want to share is for the purpose of some nefarious thing. Like encouraging us to bomb Iran. Bombing Iran is a bad thing. They’d be unwilling to share because they fear their own populations. So the fact that they don’t share that is only good.

  • I am referring to internal communication. Communication between the FBI, and Homeland Security, or the local police departments, or the CIA.

    More sharing of information between the United States departments reduces the success rate of terrorist attacks.

    WikiLeaks makes sharing less likely.

    Therefore WikiLeaks makes a terrorist attack more likely to be successful.

  • Give me an example. What would the FBI be unwilling to share with Homeland Security?

  • Nothing specific – just in general. Information wont be as easily accessible as it was now. Information that may be useful.

    This shouldn’t be controversial, in fact, this is the very thing Assange is banking on. Have you seen the interviews of him? See here.

    The relevant quote is here:

    The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie. This must result in minimization of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive “secrecy tax”) and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold onto power as the environment demands adaption. Hence in a world where leaking is easy, secretive or unjust systems are nonlinearly hit relative to open, just systems. Since unjust systems, by their nature induce opponents, and in many places barely have the upper hand, mass leaking leaves them exquisitely vulnerable to those who seek to replace them with more open forms of governance.

  • Yeah, that’s what I’m getting at. Secretive, unjust organizations really get crippled by mass leaks. You want communication between evil groups to be difficult/inefficient. Cognitive decline amongst the unjust is ideal. In the case where an unjust system barely has the upper hand, leaks could weaken them to where they can be replaced by open governance. Why is this bad?

    Homeland Security and the FBI fear exposure the most when that exposure reveals criminal/unjust behavior. Crippling their ability to communicate with regards to criminal/unjust behavior reduces their ability to engage in criminal/unjust actions. That’s not bad. That’s good. If their communications reveal benevolence/efforts to engage in public good, then the exposure is not feared and so those communications won’t be hindered.

  • Secretive behavior is a result of WikiLeaks, whether criminal/unjust behavior or not. That is my point.

    Much of what was reported by WikiLeaks was neither criminal nor unjust…but it was still secretive.

  • Either I’m not getting your or you’re not getting me. Or both.

  • WOW! I’m so confused by everything that is going on here. It was not “epic” and that is really why no one cares anymore. They released cables which for the most part were just like “waving dirty underwear” and there were no “epic scandals” revealed. Honestly, I think the main issue from this is that we now know that we live in an age of whistle blowers, and now governments will be more secretive because of it, therefore the whistle blowers got the opposite outcome than they expected.

  • Okay!!! Lets get down;

    When the military set up their intranet they didn’t put protocols in place in how the information should be disseminated and they also didn’t put in passwords.

    It was an honor based system. Anyone with in the military had access to it.

    Now it’s no longer an honored based system “Thank god”.

  • For those that missed Greenwald’s latest on Wikileaks, I think it’s very good as is all of his Wikileaks coverage.

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/01/19/wikileaks

  • I read that Greenwald link and the links he provides. A good book for you to read would probably be the one Dan Drezner mentions here.

    In fact, Drezner’s response and even bloggingheads discussion, which he links to in the post, is worthwhile. Especially for someone of your viewpoint.

  • Jon That article means nothing to me.

    Wikileaks has undermined this country ability overseas.

    You are just going to have too take my word for it, and if not? Then Don’t.

  • Yeah, I believe you Fernando. The article means nothing to you. It draws conclusions based on reason and evidence. You think it makes sense to base conclusions on statements like “take my word for it.” No, I won’t take your word for it. You shouldn’t take my word for it. You shouldn’t trust me or HP and neither of us should trust you. We shouldn’t trust Greenwald. We should trust the evidence. If you decide instead to have a “take my word for it” approach then you can be sure that you’ll remain misguided and wrong.

  • Let’s just say Fernando has stronger evidence than the link. He has high government connections.

  • Really? Higher than Secretary Robert Gates who calls these accusations “seriously overwrought”?

  • Actually, you are talking about two different things. Fernando concedes that there has been no harm from WikiLeaks. Scroll up (Jan 14th, 2011 at 12:35 pm). He said so above.

    What he is arguing is that WikiLeaks makes FUTURE foreign policy efforts more difficult – going forward.

  • Yeah, but as I’ve already said I regard that as a good thing. For instance it undermines the President of Pakistan’s ability to lie to the National Assembly and pretend he’s outraged about US drone strikes that kill civilians almost exclusively. Thanks to Wikileaks we learn that he approved the strikes and also told us that he would pretend to be outraged and condemn the strikes. It’s going to be tougher to do that going forward and I like it. I like it that people will have a tougher time lying and covering up crimes, but maybe I’m weird.

  • Jon, I get how it could be a good thing, but that is the criminality of pakistan. a country notorious for being corrupt. it wont be harder to keep secrets, they will just keep it under more security now. the release of this information will never stop secrets. as long as there is competition secrets will be kept. as far as foreign policy goes, alot of that information in the cables was to help our diplomats understand the mindsets of other diplomats and now they can visibly see our view of them, good or bad, it will make it difficult to keep relations at the status they were before the cables were leaked because there is a feeling of mistrust now.

  • All governments that are puppets of the US are criminal so I don’t disagree with you there.

    You’re right that it’s not as if people won’t try to keep secrets. They will. They’ll have to work harder to do it. It’s not easy to engage in communications that you don’t want to see leaked though. A document identifying tactics for dealing with Wikileaks that was secret was leaked to Wikileaks. In the chain of communication if there is any moral individual you are at risk. So they have to know everyone in the chain. If you don’t know you can’t communicate. So it’s difficult. Makes evil communications inefficient. Harms evil regimes.

    Moral regimes that don’t fear exposure can continue to communicate in an efficient manner.

    I see your point about how it is now difficult for us to communicate honestly regarding other diplomats. It would be nice to say “Watch out for Putin, his insecurity tends to make him have odd behavior, etc.” Now a diplomat will hesitate with honest evaluations even if that’s is useful. That’s a cost of having Wikileaks. I think it’s more than offset by the mass criminality that has been exposed.

    “But I see nothing regarding an Obama led sex trade.” Whatever.

  • You have a misplaced understanding of Justice Jon, and you are weird.

    In general it’s ignorance like yours and the general public that gave us 9-11.

    Of which people like me tried our best to get this country to avoid. But the democrats’ best weapon to keep people like you ignorant was to label people like me as bigots “Well played”.

    The American People Finally Understand that there are people out side The United States who really want to do us harm.

    What a hell of a price for people to learn it though ” The Twin Towers and Two Wars”.

    I DON’T LIKE Democrats, and not just for those reasons either.

  • Fernando, think about why we were attacked on 9/11. It’s pretty obvious to anyone that can look beyond initial superficial rhetoric about hatred of freedoms and other such nonsense. Look to the CIA experts or commissioned governmental studies.

    Take for instance the Pentagon Advisory Board commissioned by Donald Rumsfeld. Page 40 is illustrative. “Muslims do not “hate our freedom,” but rather, they hate our policies.” They point to support of tyrannies in the Islamic world and resultant violence of our actions.

    The Christian Science Monitor had a good article just after 9/11 in which they got reactions from people in the Muslim world. There was universal condemnation of the atrocities, but there was also massive sympathy with OBL’s goals and recognition that really this reaction is not surprising. Lots of talk about violent behavior from the US which has killed hundreds of thousands of people naturally elicits rage and the violent reaction we saw on 9/11.

    There are so many sources that make the same point. The reason we were attacked is because of our policies, especially our violent ones.

    What Wikileaks does is it makes it more difficult for people to communicate regarding things like evil and criminal bombing raids. That’s a step towards slowing the violence perpetuated against Muslims, which means it’s a step towards removing the fuel that is their primary motivation for violence against us.

  • Ignorance is not just jermain to people with in this country.

    There are many factors in play when one views the events leading up to 9-11 not least of which is also cultural differences of which instigated misunderstandings between the two groups.

    It’s also the democrats’ use of civil rights as a weapon against our own country security should be noted.

    The policies of other countries and using our country as a scapegoat
    For their failures as well as the misuse of the classification system by democrats for there mistakes.

    The Future Damage of Wikileaks leaks is extensive in terms of the broader security for our country.

    HispanicPundits’ analysis is correct “Well-Done”.

  • Fernando, do you have any commissioned studies or expert opinion you can point to to justify your claims about the causes of 9/11? Or am I supposed to just take your word for it that the problem is the Democrat’s use of “civil rights”. You may not have noticed, but I had a lot of links embedded in my prior reply. That’s because I don’t think it makes sense to just spin these things out of your head. I also don’t expect you to accept a claim merely because I’ve expressed my opinion.

    “Cultural differences” eh? They seem to get angry when their children are starved and we would feel differently? They don’t like it when dictators are imposed on them by outside governments and we would have felt differently? They don’t like it when their leaders permit a foreign government to bomb their civilians with drones and then pretend to object in public and we would feel differently? It doesn’t seem to me that they are much different from us. Unless there’s some respectable, expert opinion you could cite to justify this claim.

  • Jon, did you know that more that 75% of Afghanistan civilians don’t know about the 9/11 attack? They think we are there for a holy war. Two of my buddies in the marines came back from there and told me that they had to explain to every civilian they got a chance to talk to that we were viciously attacked and that was our initial reason being there. So as far as cultural differences, they don’t know about world events. So how can they all know that a US government put a dictator in control of a, still today, lawless country?

  • “… selling children as sex slaves …”

    I assume this refers to the time a company hired a young boy to dance at a conference for Afghan citizens. He was not sold as a sex slave. This comment is often told along with the fairy tale that the Taliban was trying to end paedophilia — for some reason, people feel a need to make the Taliban look like good guys. But that too is a lie. The Taliban encouraged paedophilia, and often found koranic scriptures to justify it.

  • Dom, it’s always useful to back up your claims with sources. Often doing that helps you come to know that your claims are false.

    According to the Washington post it was not at a “conference of Afghan citizens” but at a farewell party thrown by DynCorp, who is responsible for training Afghan police.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/26/AR2009072602358.html

    You say he was not sold as a sex slave. We don’t have video footage of him being raped, but we do know that this practice of dancing boys, called “boy play” typically involves intercourse. We also know thanks to Wikileaks that an Afghan diplomat did what he could to quash the story when he learned that a reporter was present. If it merely involved a dance it seems strange that he was so concerned. So you can’t say he wasn’t sold as a sex slave. You can say that we don’t know it for certain. In my view it seems likely in light of the diplomat’s reaction.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/02/foreign-contractors-hired-dancing-boys

    You say the Taliban didn’t try to put the practice down. The Guardian says the Taliban banned the practice.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/12/dancing-boys-afghanistan

    So your multiple unsourced claims are directly contradicted by the reports.

  • J, it’s actually more than 75%. I understand it’s 92%. Yeah, I’m well aware of that sad fact.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22027

    Still, I imagine it wouldn’t make a lot of sense to them if your buddies tell them we were attacked on 9/11. They’d probably wonder why you are attacking them? They didn’t do it. In fact the Taliban offered to turn OBL over to a third party.

    http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=006i5Z

    But they do know that they are being occupied by the US. They do know that they have dictators imposed on them by the US (not in Afghanistan, but elsewhere in the region). We know this due to opinion surveys and also the words of the terrorists themselves. My sources for those claims are in my post above. But here’s one link since the above are hard to see.

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Why_do_they_hate_us%3F

  • Bachabaze, or playing with boys, is a product of the burkha. Women are covered, and the only sexual outlet is young boys. The phenomenon is similar to what happens in all prisons. The burkha, of course, was mandated by the Taliban. Saying the taliban “put down” the practice, is like saying Iran eliminated prostitution (which they do say); of course, the mullahs in Iran run the whore-houses — they changed the name to houses of temporary marriages — and since they forbid women to hold jobs, they effectively forced them into prostitution.

    Of course the company official tried to squash a report about the party. Why wouldn’t he? It obviously had sexual overtones. I hardly see that as evidence of a sex slave trade.

  • Dom, you said that the claim that the Taliban was trying to end this practice is a “fairy tale.” Anybody that knows how to use google can see that you are wrong. In fact this practice was a key factor in the mobilization of the Taliban resistance according to this source:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/MA11Df03.html

    According to this source:

    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/246409/Boys_in_Afghanistan_Sold_Into_Prostitution_Sexual_Slavery

    the practice is “virtually faded” in the southern regions where Taliban influence is present.

    And it wasn’t that DynCorp was trying to squash the report. Maybe they were too, but I’m referring to the Afghan Interior Minister.

    You say he may have squashed the story because he’s simply afraid of the sexual overtones. Maybe. Maybe not. You don’t know, so you can’t just say as you did above that he “was not sold as a sex slave.” You don’t know that. This is what the practice typically involves. Here’s an excerpt from the Asia Times article I link to above:

    “How prevalent are homosexual relations among Pashtuns? The researchers note that “medics treated an outbreak of gonorrhea among the local national interpreters on their camp. Approximately 12 of the nearly 20 young male interpreters present in the camp had contracted the disease, and most had done so anally. This is a merely anecdotal observation and far too small of a sample size to make any generalizations regarding the actual prevalence of homosexual activity region-wide. However, given the difficulty in procuring such data, it may serve as some indicator.”

  • From http://www.utne.com/Media/Photographs-of-Taliban-Groomed-Affectionate-Guntzel.aspx:

    “He also speaks of a “very strong homosexual tradition” in Afghanistan, “in which an older man will kind of adopt a young man and become a lover and teach him whatever skills he may have.”

    Though Taliban leader Mullah Omar banned homosexuality, Rashid explains, this tradition, particularly in Southern Afghanistan, “continued, but it was done surreptitiously.”

    In other words, they didn’t ban it, they looked the other way … for themselves. You can see some pictures of the Taliban, in full effeminate splendor, at the site above.

    It’s really very simple. You have an organization (I won’t call it a religion) that commonly tossed homosexuals from roofs, threw acid into the faces of women if their shoes made too much noise when they walked, encouraged marriages to children, honor killings, etc, all in the name of a prophet who was himself a paedophile. But on slight (very slight) evidence, you think they eliminated boy rape. On the other hand you have a company that held a party for a boy who danced, and you call it a sex slave trade. Your priorities are all wrong. Trust me on this, there is nothing to praise in the Taliban.

  • And now in comes the straw men and red herrings. They throw acid in the faces of women. They throw homosexuals from roofs. That’s awful.

    Who has denied that this is awful? Who has claimed that the dancing boy practice was ENTIRELY eliminated under the Taliban or that NO Taliban engaged in the practice of wearing make up? My sources, already provided, say the Taliban banned the practice. Your evidence that they didn’t is that pictures of adult men with make up were found. That’s not reasonable.

    A call for honesty, even for enemies of the state and even for awful people, is not the same as a defense of those people or a claim that they are great people. Even Hitler probably did something nice in his life at least once. Be comfortable facing that because that’s reality sometimes and you need to be able to face reality if you want to make sound judgments.

  • “Even Hitler probably did something nice in his life at least once.”

    I don’t think I want to continue this argument.

  • It seems unfair to both Jon and HP to summarize this epic thread into a couple of sentences, and so I apologize beforehand, but…

    In a nutshell, it seems to me that Jon values a greater openness over an increased security and HP vice-versa.

    In Jon’s mind, we’re plenty “secure” enough, and if Wikileaks makes us a little less “secure” in the future then he’s willing to live with that in exchange for more accountability and visibility into potential government/military misdeeds.

    In HP’s mind, Wikileaks unquestionably harms the interests of the U.S., and the benefits of openness and accountability that Jon values seem minimal in comparison.

    I have mixed feelings. I definitely side with Jon that I would be perfectly willing to give up some “security” in exchange for more openness. He and I are on the same page about the current wars and a host of other “security” issues. Basically, they don’t make me feel any more secure. But, on the other hand, I see why HP is queasy about airing dirty laundry. Regardless of whether or not this particular “airing of dirty laundry” was damaging, Jon (and Hillary Clinton) are correct that, if this kind of document dumping is allowed to continue, it will wreak havoc with whatever the State Department or Pentagon or whoever is next is trying to accomplish.

    So, I can’t say I’ve formed a complete, concrete position. But the conversation was thought-provoking, and I apologize again because I’m sure this little summary completely misses important points you were both making. Thanks

  • LaurenceB,

    Your summary hits it on the head. The only clarification I want to make is the point I was arguing is not necessarily my position. I was just trying to get Jon to atleast concede that there are potential negatives to WikiLeaks. There are trade-offs involved, trade-offs that must be balanced.

    I havent thought through it enough to say which way, on net, is my preference. But the fact that there are trade-offs, both positive and negative, to WikiLeaks seems clear to me.

  • I do agree that there are trade offs. It’s nice to be able to have a secret once in a while. If we had a government that was responsive to people and also only invoked secrecy for genuine security concerns or concerns that really were in the public interest, then I would oppose Wikileaks. But that’s not what we have. We have a government that invokes secrecy to cover up crimes and evil behavior. Also a lot of completely boring and otherwise uninteresting stuff.

    And I think it’s true that really there is no terrorist threat. There were 25 American non-combat fatalities from terrorism last year. Freaking 25.

    http://blogs.mcclatchydc.com/nationalsecurity/2010/08/terrorism-in-2009.html

    150 people die every year from falling coconuts. 350 drown in their bathtub. We would be more rational to accept a vast surveillance state, impose murderous dictators throughout the world, due process free assassination program for US citizens, and torture program in an effort to combat lightning strikes since they kill more. This minuscule threat causes some to freeze in fear, saying give the state every authority with no exposure because I’m so scared. This never ending ceding of transparency and liberties is unreasonable in light of the real scale of the threat.

  • Jon,

    Immediately after 9/11, what would you put the probability of another terrorist attack in the next, say 4 years? What about in the next 10 years? I don’t know what it would be, but I bet it would surely be far from zero.

    In other words, I could interpret the data differently. I could argue that the absence of a terrorist attack proves that the “harsh interrogations”, “vast surveillance state”, and all the other programs actually worked. And there is no way, post priori, for you to argue otherwise.

    To say this another way: the data doesn’t speak to this question. It’s like the fiscal stimulus, only comparing ourselves to an alternate universe can we ever really know.

  • You always say “I could argue”. Please do. Make that argument if you can. Attempting to support the claim with evidence I think would be a good exercise for you.

    Because the pool of Muslims hostile to the US has grown by hundreds of millions due to our policies over the last 10 years. If anything these actions should be expected to increase terrorism. Maybe they have. Still it’s such a small amount as to be insignificant.

    Check this out:

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/01/25/whispering_at_autocrats?page=0,0

    The subtitle is:

    “In one fell swoop, the candor of the cables released by WikiLeaks did more for Arab democracy than decades of backstage U.S. diplomacy.”

    So much good coming of these that I’d say that even if the terrorist threat rose to the level of lightning strikes it still would be worth it.

  • It does hurt our future security “point in fact”;

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2011/0127/1224288397749.html

    There is no way that you can argue this one away.

  • I don’t know how it harms our future security to learn of this. Can you explain?

  • Jon you kept on saying it’s good for us. So how is it good for us?

    There names are known, it puts their lives at risk. How is that good for us?

  • I’m sort of baffled, Fernando.

    In 2008 Israel in a pure act of terrorism invaded Gaza on absurd pretexts and slaughtered 1400 people who put up virtually no resistance. I shouldn’t even say virtually. There was no resistance. They just huddled with their families, often in the middle of streets for fear of their homes being targeted, and just hoped they weren’t hit. Many of them were, including those that saw their children melt in their arms as white phosphorous disintegrated them. That’s not just me being inflammatory. That’s the reporting of human rights organizations that were there interviewing the victims.

    So we’ve learned two things from Wikileaks. First, Israel didn’t want the truth to be reported. That’s why they wouldn’t allow media any access during the assault. They also blocked the Goldstone Report. The reports from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch all said the same thing, but Goldstone was singled out by Israel because he’s credentials were impeccable and his reporting was commissioned by the UN. They didn’t want to face war crimes investigations. So they enlisted the PA to block the information and now we know that the PA did collude with Israel to block publication and acceptance of this report. We learn further that the PA may have had advanced knowledge of the brutal and ridiculous mass slaughter that happened right under everyone’s noses. An absolutely horrific display.

    So somehow it’s bad and dangerous that we would come to know of these awful atrocities. It’s almost like you want mass murderers to be able to operate in the dark. Nobody should know what Jeffrey Dahmer has done and those that enable and cover up his crimes because this somehow puts us in danger. I have no idea how this puts us in danger. What’s dangerous is a system that covers up his crimes and covers up our ability to see who it is that is trying to obscure truth.

  • Your group has played that game very well. Just like when the democrats supported chavez.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/002/346jorji.asp

    Your group has a very good track record in support of people who always want to limit peoples civil rights.

    When you type to me about who supports what? It’s best you look in the mirror first.

    http://fresnozionism.org/2007/06/jimmy-carter-support-hamas/

  • There’s one democratically elected government in the Arab world. It’s Hamas. Hezbollah sort of is though it’s a little complicated. Are they perfect? No. Do they engage in terrorism. Yes. But not nearly as much as Israel or other US favorites.

    You attack Chavez. You know which country has the worst human rights record in our hemisphere? Colombia. You know who also receives the most US military aid? Also Colombia. They are the third highest in the world, trailing arch terrorist Israel and Egypt. Egypt has been another favorite terrorist state amongst American elite.

    Seems a little strange to me that you focus on the much smaller evils of states we can’t control and ignore the much larger terrorism committed in your name and with the support of your own government.

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