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Old 12-08-2010, 03:09 PM   #241
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idealism is nice, but it's a luxury not everyone has.
that´s true, but i think people like us who can easily afford idealism should work for peace, freedom and equality and justice.

arms dealers could also afford that luxury, but don´t give a shit - they sell tons of arms to make money and gain power, and they don´t care about soldiers or civilians dying in the wars for which they supply material. politicians could also afford that luxury and let idealism or values like justice influence their actions, but most of them don´t.

that´s why we need NGOs like amnesty and oxfam international.

here´s a link to a discussion with an ex CIA analyst and a journalist
http://www.therealnews.com/t2/
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:37 PM   #242
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And of course if this were some Iranian soldier/website combo leaking 250,000 cables detailing evidence of nuclear progress, terrorism support, election corruption etc, those people would be universally hailed as heroes, with AchtungBono leading the charge.

Still haven't made my mind up on exactly where I really sit, overall, but the two extreme sides of the argument, as usual, need to sit down and shut up. Julian Assange is not a terrorist who needs to be shot. And indiscriminate public flooding of private government documents is not some holy act ushering in a new age of brilliant transparency.

A really interesting argument will take place over the next few days within Australia, re what to do about citizen Assange. It's already started - noticeable split in the government too.
you must keep us posted re. how things unfold over in Australia - that would be interesting to read...

i support freedom of information, anti-corruption activism etc, but feel responsibility is essential though...

have to say it heartens me to see people like John Pilger and Naomi Klein defending wikileaks...
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Old 12-08-2010, 05:37 PM   #243
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Far out, flicking through US news sites - the coverage on this is really, really poor. Gun shy?
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:02 PM   #244
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^ What sites are you looking at? The NYT is one of the five international papers releasing the cables, so they're the obvious prime source for American readers seeking US coverage specifically. Everyone else here is mostly just selectively scooping the NYT's stuff, as well as reporting on the drama surrounding Assange (by far the most interesting part for most Americans) and running opinion pieces pro or con. As Le Monde's managing editor said, "the vast majority of these documents are of no journalistic interest," and that's probably especially true in the US, where the average citizen pays little attention to foreign policy or international news.
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:30 PM   #245
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The US told Uganda to let it know when the army was going to commit war crimes using American intelligence – but did not try to dissuade it from doing so, the US embassy cables suggest.

America was supporting the Ugandan government in its fight against rebel movement the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), providing information and $4.4m (£2.8m) worth of military hardware a year.

But a year ago officials became concerned that the Ugandans were guilty of war crimes in the long-running battle against Joseph Kony's rebel movement, which is famed for its brutal atrocities and abduction of children.

Jerry Lanier, the US ambassador to Kampala, reported on 16 December to Washington that the country's defence minister, Crispus Kiyonga, had verbally assured him that American intelligence was being used "in compliance with Ugandan law and the law of armed conflict. This pledge includes the principles of proportionality, distinction and humane treatment of captured combatants."

But Lanier continued: "Uganda understands the need to consult with the US in advance if the [Ugandan army] intends to use US-supplied intelligence to engage in operations not government [sic] by the law of armed conflict. Uganda understands and acknowledges that misuse of this intelligence could cause the US to end this intelligence sharing relationship."


Nowhere, though, does it appear that the ambassador directly told the Ugandans to observe the rules of war.

The following day the embassy reported that a captured colonel, Peter Oloya, held in prison in Gulu, had been shot on the orders of Colonel Charles Otema, the head of military intelligence in northern Uganda who was virtually running the war. Otema is reported to have been in daily contact with Uganda's president, Yoweri Museveni.

During the past two years the Ugandan army has deployed 4,000 troops in Operation Lightning Thunder to chase the LRA out of Uganda into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and now into the Central African Republic where, 800 miles from its original area of operation, the rebel group is thought to have fewer than 300 followers. Several of the LRA's senior commanders have been killed or captured but Kony is believed to remain alive.

Despite US support for Museveni, the US ambassador reported widespread disillusionment with the Ugandan leader's 24-year rule. In October last year, Lanier wrote: "The president's autocratic tendencies, as well as Uganda's pervasive corruption, sharpening ethnic divisions and explosive population growth, have eroding [sic] Uganda's status as an African success story.

"Holding a credible and peaceful election in February 2011 could restore Uganda's image which failing in that task could lead to domestic political violence and regional instability."
This looks a lot like a wink-wink-nudge-nudge operation. The caveat ironically tells us the opposite- I see no reason for them to bother "consulting" if the US line would be a flat "don't commit war crimes".
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:10 PM   #246
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Rightly so? So what you think is all crimes that governments, secret services and corporations commit - whoever suffers from it - are totally ok and rightly so because, oh, it´s "real" politics and that´s just how the world works? and this is where our views differ. I believe in democratic values, in justice, in exposing those dirty secrets and tricks of "realpolitik", and I believe society as a whole and every living being has the right to decide what is right and what isn´t.
I think that on certain occasions it is necessary to target and kill terrorists, and to keep such activities entirely secret and hidden from public view and from the prying eyes of potentially hostile governments.

As for democratic values and justice, do you think they just exist by accident?

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I believe society as a whole and every living being has the right to decide what is right and what isn´t.
There is at least one inherent contradiction in this sentence.
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:02 PM   #247
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:53 PM   #248
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Freedom of speech... priceless!

for everything else... there's wikileaks
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:20 PM   #249
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Where do we draw the line on these secret releases?
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:23 PM   #250
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An alternate reality -- WinkyLeaks.org | Leaking Parody In Your Pants
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:02 PM   #251
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Where do we draw the line on these secret releases?
What do you mean?

Morally?

Legally?

What are your thoughts?
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:31 AM   #252
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And of course if this were some Iranian soldier/website combo leaking 250,000 cables detailing evidence of nuclear progress, terrorism support, election corruption etc, those people would be universally hailed as heroes, with AchtungBono leading the charge.
Hi Earnie,

I'm sorry but you're wrong.

Again, the contents of the documents don't matter to me one iota - they could say that Israel is a paradise on earth and that all the other countries have agreed with us and bow down to us and that we're the best people on the planet - I would still be furious about this.

Top secret documents should remain top secret because there's a REASON they are top secret. I'm not talking about war crimes and criminal activity, I'm talking about issues dealing with national security and diplomacy (disregarding the diplomatic gossip).

So I must correct you there. I am against any kind of leaks where people's lives are at stake.

Let me ask you a question, would you feel the same if Wikileaks revelaed the identities of undercover detectives going after drug dealers and criminals? Does that come under the same "freedom of information" that you hold so dear?

We must draw the line somewhere because, as I've said before, freedom of the press and the public's right to know should not be at ANY cost.
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:53 AM   #253
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Hi Earnie,

I'm sorry but you're wrong.

Again, the contents of the documents don't matter to me one iota - they could say that Israel is a paradise on earth and that all the other countries have agreed with us and bow down to us and that we're the best people on the planet - I would still be furious about this.

Top secret documents should remain top secret because there's a REASON they are top secret. I'm not talking about war crimes and criminal activity, I'm talking about issues dealing with national security and diplomacy (disregarding the diplomatic gossip).

So I must correct you there. I am against any kind of leaks where people's lives are at stake.

Let me ask you a question, would you feel the same if Wikileaks revelaed the identities of undercover detectives going after drug dealers and criminals? Does that come under the same "freedom of information" that you hold so dear?

We must draw the line somewhere because, as I've said before, freedom of the press and the public's right to know should not be at ANY cost.
as far as i know no actual "top secret" documents have been released...
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:02 AM   #254
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It's true, there's a reason those documents are secret:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/09/wo...20masri&st=cse

Quote:
American officials exerted sustained pressure on Germany not to enforce arrest warrants against Central Intelligence Agency officers involved in the 2003 kidnapping of a German citizen mistakenly believed to be a terrorist, diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks show.

John M. Koenig, the American deputy chief of mission in Berlin, issued a pointed warning in February 2007 urging that Germany “weigh carefully at every step of the way the implications for relations with the U.S.” in the case of Khaled el-Masri, a German of Lebanese descent. Mr. Masri said he was held in a secret United States prison in Afghanistan and tortured before his captors acknowledged their mistake and let him go.

[...]

In one cable, written before Mr. Koenig’s warning to Germany’s deputy national security adviser, the embassy in Berlin reported that diplomatic officials had “continued to stress with German counterparts the potential negative implications for our bilateral relationship, and in particular for our counter-terrorism cooperation, if further steps are taken to seek the arrest or extradition of U.S. citizens/officials.”

[...]

Mr. Masri was seized on Dec. 31, 2003, as he entered Macedonia while on vacation; border security guards confused him with an operative of Al Qaeda with a similar name. He says he was turned over to the C.I.A., which flew him to Afghanistan, where he says he was tortured, sodomized and injected with drugs. After five months, he was dropped on a roadside in Albania. No charges were brought against him.
I also would like to keep that secret if I were in their shoes. And the German government, too, as they bowed to the pressure.

WikiLeaks doesn't just publish everything they get their hands on, that's wrong. And in the case of the cables, the US government received what WikiLeaks had before publication and could weigh in.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:29 AM   #255
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And if you actually have a look through the raw cables, you'll find a LOT of censorship. Names, places etc. A lot of "XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX".
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