Raise A Glass to Wikileaks

by craig on November 29, 2010 11:23 am in The Telegrams!

The Guardian CIF has radically shortened and buried in a panel a piece I wrote for them – at their request – on Wikileaks.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/nov/29/us-embassy-cables-middle-east

Here is the original:

The well paid securitocracy have been out in force in the media, attacking wikileaks and repeating their well worn mantras.

These leaks will claim innocent lives, and will damage national security. They will encourage Islamic terrorism. Government secrecy is essential to keep us all safe. In fact, this action by Wikileaks is so cataclysmic, I shall be astonished if we are not all killed in our beds tonight.

Except that we heard exactly the same things months ago when Wikileaks released the Iraq war documents and then the Afghan war documents, and nobody has been able to point to a concrete example of any of these bloodurdling consequences.

As these are diplomatic telegrams, we have also had a number of pro-secrecy arguments being trotted out. These are arguments with which I was wearily familiar in over twenty years as a British diplomat, six of them in the Senior Management Structure of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

It is seriously argued that Ambassadors will not in future give candid advice, if that advice might become public. In the last twelve hours I have heard this remarkable proposition put forward on five different television networks, without anybody challenging it.

Put it another way. The best advice is advice you would not be prepared to defend in public. Really? Why? In today’s globalised world, the Embassy is not a unique source of expertise. Often expatriate, academic and commercial organisations are a lot better informed. The best policy advice is not advice which is shielded from peer review.

What of course the establishment mean is that Ambassadors should be free to recommend things which the general public would view with deep opprobrium, without any danger of being found out. But should they really be allowed to do that, in a democracy?

I have never understood why it is felt that behaviours which would be considered reprehensible in private or even commercial life ?” like lying, or saying one thing to one person and the opposite to another person ?” should be considered acceptable, or even praiseworthy, in diplomacy.

When Ambassador to Uzbekistan, I was rebuked by the then head of the Diplomatic Service for reporting to London by unclassified email the details of dreadful human rights abuses by the Uzbek government. The FCO were concerned that the Uzbeks, who were intercepting our communications, would discover that I disapproved of their human rights violations. This might endanger the Uzbek alliance with British forces in neighbouring Afghanistan. For the FCO, diplomacy is synonymous with duplicity.

Among British diplomats. this belief that their profession exempts them from the normal constraints of decent behaviour amounts to a cult of Machiavellianism, a pride in their own amorality. It is reinforced by their narrow social origins ?” still in 2010, 80% of British ambassadors went to private schools. As a group, they view themselves as ultra-intelligent Nietzschean supermen, above normal morality. In Tony Blair (Fettes and Oxford), they had both leader and soulmate.

Those who argue that wikileaks are wrong, believe that we should entrust the government with sole control of what the people can and cannot know of what is done in their name. That attitude led to the “Dodgy dossier” of lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Those who posit the potential loss of life from wikileaks’ activities need to set against any such risk the hundreds of thousands of actual dead from the foreign policies of the US and its co-conspirators in the past decade.

Web commenters have noted that the diplomatic cables now released reflect the USA’s political agenda, and there is even a substantial wedge of the blogosphere which suggests that Wikileaks are therefore a CIA front. This is nonsense. Of course the documents reflect the US view ?” they are official US government communications. What they show is something I witnessed personally, that diplomats as a class very seldom tell unpalatable truths to politicians, but rather report and reinforce what their masters want to hear, in the hope of receiving preferment.

There is therefore a huge amount about Iran’s putative nuclear arsenal and an exaggeration of Iran’s warhead delivery capability. But there is nothing about Israel’s massive nuclear arsenal. That is not because wikileaks have censored criticism of Israel. It is because any US diplomat who made an honest and open assessment of Israeli crimes would very quickly be an unemployed ex-diplomat. I don’t want to bang on about my own case, but I wouldn’t wish the things they do to whistleblowers on anybody. .

It is is no surprise that US diplomats are complicit in spying on senior UN staff. The British do it too, and a very brave woman, Katherine Gunn, was sacked for trying to stop it. While the cables released so far contain nothing that will shock informed observers, one real impact will be the information available to the arab peoples on how far they are betrayed by their US puppet leaders.

The government of Yemen has been actively colluding with the US in lying – including to its own parliament ?” that US drone attacks that have killed many civilians, were the work of the Yemeni air force. The King of Saudi Arabia shows no concern over the behaviour of Israel or the fate of the Palestinians, but strongly urges the bombing of Iran. It is not only, or primarily, in the Western world that we need to know more about what is done in our name. Wikileaks have struck a great blow against the USA’s informal empire.

The people discomfited by these leaks are people who deserve to be discomfited. Truth helps the people against rapacious elites ?” everywhere.

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125 Comments

  1. “It is seriously argued that Ambassadors will not in future give candid advice, if that advice might become public. In the last twelve hours I have heard this remarkable proposition put forward on five different television networks, without anybody challenging it.

    Put it another way. The best advice is advice you would not be prepared to defend in public. Really? Why?”

    Well, if you think about it I wouldn’t want to be the guy who said, “Let’s put cyanide in Fidel Castro’s tea when he trots off to the loo!” would you?

    Thankfully, all those emails in which the J…Zionists had said they had a great idea to blow up the WTC and Pentagon haven’t leaked yet.

    Naturally, I am a bit suspicious about Julian Assange who may be some kind of secret agent man and part of the cover-up. In fact, it is really the only explanation.

  2. angrysoba

    That is precisely my point. If public scrutiny stopped people from suggesting things like assassinating Castro, it would be a good thing.

  3. Actually, Mr Murray, here is a possible counter-example to what you say:

    http://angrysoba.blogspot.com/2010/11/devious-plan-that-might-just-wordoh.html

  4. The contradictions between the US’ public persona and what it says behind closed doors is finally being exposed, and that’s what they don’t want to be made public, the duplicity, double dealings and hypocrisy.

    http://hotterthanapileofcurry.wordpress.com/

  5. Dick the Prick

    29 Nov, 2010 - 12:08 pm

    Very very funny indeed. Oh good grief – Corporal Bob Ainsworth on daily politics – wanker.

  6. “Among British diplomats. this belief that their profession exempts them from the normal constraints of decent behaviour amounts to a cult of Machiavellianism, a pride in their own amorality”.

    Nicely put. On an utterly unconnected matter, I wouldn’t be surprised if your old pal Charles Crawford shows up soon. Red rag to a bull.

  7. “On an utterly unconnected matter, I wouldn’t be surprised if your old pal Charles Crawford shows up soon. Red rag to a bull.”

    Charles Crawford or not, I have given a counter-example that I think would be worth considering. Is it or is it not?

  8. Craig, typo, last sentence, 2nd last para, “Wikipedia” / “WikiLeaks”.

  9. thanks clark – amended.

  10. In very angrysoba’s example the perception of international public responses and scrutiny seems to have changed policy, from a military attack to sending leaflets and using psychological means, a far more responsible attitude, although the content will probably be a pile of BS and total propaganda.

    The two are not comparable,imho, angry.

  11. “Charles Crawford or not, I have given a counter-example that I think would be worth considering”.

    Bully for you. I was responding to Craig’s post not yours, which I have not read.

  12. Indeed. Raise a glass to “We Open Governments” WikiLeaks, and three cheers for whoever posted the leak.

  13. Johan van Rooyen

    29 Nov, 2010 - 12:42 pm

    By far the best commentary on the current leaks I’ve read so far! I just wish Wikileaks would release all the material and be done with so that we don’t have to be forcibly grateful for the selectively spoonfeeding by The Guardian, et. al.

  14. Johan,

    hear, hear. I’ll tell them that.

    Craig

  15. Dick the Prick

    29 Nov, 2010 - 1:02 pm

    You can see why Assange is doing it peacemeal though. He’ll need the cash and must be a bit of a life insurance risk due to an accidental shaving decapitation.

  16. Wikileaks wrote to the the US ambassador in London asking which of the 250,000 plus cables might be a threat to life, offering to redact such information in consultation with US govt.

    Some lawyer from the State dept responded, repeating the same dreary tale of a general threat to life but no specifics. None whatsoever.

    Wikileaks, rightly in my opinion, took the view that the US govt was little more than a cheap liar caught out and trying to hide its embarrassment at what it was up to and they went ahead and published.

    In sharing their information with respected publications like the Guardian, Der Spiegel and the New York Times etc, and in giving the US govt ample opportunity to give information about any specific threats that may result from publication, Wikileaks have acted responsibly.

    The US govt has of course acted like the jumped up street thug and bully that day and daily threatens the lives of innocent people all over the world.

  17. Oh look. Those brave Australians are threatening to investigate Wikileaks for criminal breaches and perhaps cancel Assange’s passport.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/world/australian-federal-police-to-investigate-wikileaks-cablegate/story-e6frf7lf-1225962895317

    Hilarious. Funny the way these brave Australians never want to investigate mass murder and slaughter by their colleagues in crime.

    The Western world is now run by a vast criminal conspiracy totally disconnected from even the remotest semblance of the democracy that give rise to our modern civilisation.

    That generally means it’s all over.

  18. There is a single-word search facility of what has been released so far here:

    http://statelogs.owni.fr/

    Could you suggest some good words or names, Craig?

  19. The story is that a 22 year old member of the US military acquired all this information. I find it incredible that such a young person could have so much access to supposedly sensitive material. The US establishment’s bluster over these leaks is a face saving attempt, it isn’t just the content that puts them in a poor light, it is the fact that this content was so easy to take and distribute.

    I think we will shortly be hearing this cited as a reason for governments to take firm control of the internet.

  20. alan campbell

    29 Nov, 2010 - 1:35 pm

    Damp squib:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-11-29/wikileaks-diplomatic-document-dump-is-banal-sabotage/

    The new WikiLeaks document dump is fun in a voyeuristic sort of way?”a Putin-Berlusconi bromance!?”but fails to add much to the public debate about American foreign policy, says Peter Beinart.

    The hype to payoff ratio approximated Geraldo’s opening of Al Capone’s tomb. “Leaked Cables Uncloak US Diplomacy,” hollered the headline on NYTimes.com. The latest WikiLeaks document dump, instructed the grey lady, offers an “extraordinary look at” American foreign policy that “is sending shudders through the diplomatic establishment, and could strain relations with some countries, influencing international affairs in ways that are impossible to predict.”

    Then The Times began summarizing the documents, and the banalities began. Bullet Point 1: The U.S. is worried about loose nuclear materials in Pakistan but can’t do much about it. Bullet Point 2: American leaders are “thinking about an eventual collapse of North Korea” and hoping China will accept a reunified peninsula. Bullet Point 3: Washington is “bargaining [with various allies] to empty the Guantanamo prison.” Bullet Point 4: There are “suspicions of corruption in the Afghan government.” Bullet Point 5: The Chinese regime hacks into foreign computers. Bullet Point 6: Rich Saudis still fund al Qaeda. Bullet Point 7: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are tight. Bullet Point 8: Syria arms Hezbollah, but lies about it. Bullet Point 9: The U.S. tried to get Germany not to prosecute CIA agents accused of kidnapping. Bullet Point 10: Ireland is having financial trouble. (OK, I made that one up).

    But maybe this isn’t fair. Maybe the cables, while mundane when taken in isolation, combine to provide a fascinating synthesis of America’s position in the world. Or maybe not. Overall, explained The Times, “The cables show that nearly a decade after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the dark shadow of terrorism still dominates the United States’ relations with the world… They depict the Obama administration struggling to sort out which Pakistanis are trustworthy partners against Al Qaeda… They show American officials managing relations with a China on the rise and a Russia retreating from democracy. They document years of painstaking effort to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon?”and of worry about a possible Israeli strike on Iran with the same goal.” Valuable insights?”if you’ve been living under a rock all century.

    Oh yeah, and the dump will do real harm. Everybody knows that the Obama administration is worried about loose nukes in Pakistan, but not everyone knew that a U.S. technical team was trying to remove highly enriched uranium from one particular research reactor. Until now. A WikiLeaks cable quotes the U.S. ambassador as warning that “if the local media got word of the fuel removal,” it would scuttle the operation. Consider it scuttled. Similarly, it’s one thing to assume that when a suspected al Qaeda operative gets blown up in Yemen, it was probably the U.S.?”not the Yemenis?”that did the deed. It’s another to quote the Yemeni president joking with Gen. David Petraeus about how he lies about such operations. Maybe U.S. strikes against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are a bad idea. Let’s hope so, since they’re going to be a lot harder to carry out now.

    The point is that in foreign policy, even more than other aspects of government, secrecy is both necessary and dangerous. It’s necessary because concealing things from your adversaries often requires concealing them from your own people. There’s no way to tell the American people everything Washington is doing to battle al Qaeda without telling al Qaeda as well. But secrecy is dangerous because without public knowledge and oversight, battling adversaries can become a blank check for all manner of self-defeating and immoral behavior. Journalists shouldn’t simply trust government officials to draw the line, since government officials have a professional self-interest in secrecy. But journalists need to draw that line themselves, recognizing that their professional self-interest may tempt them to violate secrecy more than is necessary to keep the government honest. That’s exactly what WikiLeaks does not do?”for Julian Assange, virtually everything is fair game. And since Assange doesn’t care one whit about foreign policy secrecy, it no longer really matters if The Times does. People will see the documents no matter what.

    The latest WikiLeaks dump is to American foreign policy what the Starr Report was to presidential politics.

    For better or worse, this is the world we now live in. But living in it is one thing; celebrating it is another. When journalists gather information that genuinely changes the way we see some aspect of American foreign policy, or exposes government folly or abuse, they should move heaven and earth to make sure it sees the light of day. But that’s a far cry from publishing documents that sabotage American foreign policy without adding much, if anything, to the public debate. The latest WikiLeaks dump is to American foreign policy what the Starr Report was to presidential politics?”fun, in a voyeuristic sort of way, revealing, but not about important things, and ultimately, more trouble than it is worth.

  21. Craig,

    Have you examined the documents for anything relevant to the situation in Uzbekistan? Has there been anything that sheds new light, or adds supporting evidence of complicity in torture?

    That said, the ‘Diary Digs’ link in WikiLeaks seems not to be working at the moment. Probably overloaded – or possibly being attacked.

  22. “The mainstream media in the UK are serial offenders. Newspapers that have no compunction about invasions of privacy or about shrill comment devote precious little time or energy to challenging authority through rigorous investigative journalism. Most political “scoops” are merely stories planted by politicians on pliant lobby hacks. Editors and senior journalists are habitually invited into MI5 and MI6 for briefings. These are affable occasions, often over lunch. There is no harm in that. What tends to happen, however, is that journalists are tickled pink by the attention. They love being invited to the “D-notice” committee to discuss how they can all behave “responsibly”. It makes them feel important. Many suspend their critical faculties as a result.

    Far from being “feral beasts”, to use Tony Blair’s phrase, the British media are overly respectful of authority. Newspapers and broadcasters tend to be suspicious of those who do not play the game, people like Mr Assange who are awkward outsiders. Some editors are quite happy to help the authorities in their denunciations of him, partly out of revenge for not being in his inner circle.”

    John Kampfner: Wikileaks shows up our media for their docility at the feet of authority

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/john-kampfner-wikileaks-shows-up-our-media-for-their-docility-at-the-feet-of-authority-2146211.html

  23. @alan campbell

    Well at least that article is a slight improvement on the tiresome “lost lives” drivel these people normally trot ot.

    Its problem though lies in its rather curious assumption that the US is somehow a goodie, defending us against all the baddies out there.

    Anyone who believes that just hasn’t been paying attention.

    To put it at its simplest, US policy over the past few years has turned a Britain that was once the most liberal of the western countries into the most authoritarian and surveilled.

  24. alan campbell

    29 Nov, 2010 - 1:52 pm

    Another take on the squib:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/guywalters/100065834/the-biggest-losers-from-wikileaks-will-be-historians-%e2%80%93%c2%a0thanks-assange/

    Is there a bigger self-aggrandizing pillock in the world than Julian Assange? I doubt it. Thanks to his naive and reckless championing of freedom of information, Assange’s actions will ?” in the long term ?” make information far less free. Although what has been released by Wikileaks will be of benefit to historians, the effect of the leaks will, in the words of my friend Charles Cumming, “drive already fairly open, accountable institutions into greater secrecy”.

    Unsurprisingly, diplomats, intelligence agents and other government employees will now be less likely to commit information to paper or screen. As Michael Binyon observes in today’s Times, “as in Soviet Russia, important information may no longer be written down, especially not on computers, so that there will be no record”. Naturally, this will make matters considerably more difficult for historians of the future.

    Mr Assange feels that he has struck a blow for liberty and freedom. In fact, he’s done the very opposite. He has sacrificed future knowledge of today’s events in return for a quick information hit that merely titillates. Countries, just like people, are entitled to keep some things secret. Covert activity does not necessarily mean criminality. Why does Mr Assange not understand this?

  25. Ha Ha. The mainstream media find themselves in an awful bind. they haven’t been doing their job properly, and have been completely outclassed by Wikileaks. Hence the love/hate relationship: the mainstream media love WikiLeaks as a source, but hate being upstaged.

  26. Here is the WikiLeaks Cable Viewer:

    http://cablegate.wikileaks.org/

    Note the holes in the record of dates down the left side. I’d be interested to know why that is. Only a tiny fraction of the cables have been released so far, so maybe the timeline will be gradually filled in.

  27. Debbie Evans

    29 Nov, 2010 - 2:16 pm

    At last a sensible person who survived being in company ( for that read government in some way) but still realises ordinary people do need to know what is being done in their name, and when they are attacked or killed through terrorist actions or war they may – no always – know why. Until today I admit had never read anything you published but your blog is one I will be catching up on and reading from now on. Here’s hoping they don’t stop you

  28. “I find it incredible that such a young person could have so much access to supposedly sensitive material.”

    Why? In an I.T.-centric environment some people often have access to large volumes of supposedly secure data for a variety of reasons. It shouldn’t be assumed that he had access because he needed knowledge of the *content* of the documents as part of his role.

    Perhaps Manning (or whoever gave him the information) was responsible for backing up computer systems, managing a large database, transferring data for archival, statistical analysis or data-mining, or something similar.

    It could also be entirely a matter contingency. Perhaps someone handed someone the wrong CD or tape, or accidently granted the wrong access to a server’s shared folder structure, or some other resource. Perhaps someone filed a CD or tape in a filing cabinet when it should have gone in a safe, or handed it to the wrong courier.

    There are any number of ways large volumes of data can breach security, as frequently be accident as by intent Maybe they just lost the data. There was a period a year or so ago were this was happening almost monthly in the UK. I.T. security (including in the military) is often brittle, generally less good than is often presumed and daily subject to human error. There’s also a tendency for security systems and policies that worked once to devolve (or the situtation around them to change) so that they become less secure. And it is often difficult to identify the next scenario that might result in a breach (until it has already happened).

    During the data breaches that happened in the UK, I heard someone (it may have been ‘David Cameron’ speaking in opposition( asking why, in the age of the internet and encryption technology, this data was being passed around on a CD. He was (of course) taking a cheap shot. But the worrying thing was that he had completely the wrong answer. The safest way to get large volumes of data from one department to enough (or to achival) is to put it, encrypted, on disc or tape, then send it in an armed car with an escort. It is simple and the failure points are obvious, and hence more able to be planned for. Each extra level of complication added to a security system makes the system harder to understand and therefore more likely to have unnoticed holes.

    This is one good thing that has come out of the Con/Dem government (or, more realistically, the current financial situation) in the UK: the national citizen surveillence database (often, inaccurately labelled the ‘ID card’ scheme) has been abandoned (for now). So has the ContactPoint database of millions of children which would have allowed (quite legitimately, and by policy) hundreds of thousands or government and other workers access to personal data about children.

    The best way to secure your own personal data, by the way, is to give as little of it to as few people as possible. Corporations or government departments who request – or more commonly, assume your tacit agreement to collect – more data than they actually need to provide the services in question should be viewed with a great deal of suspicion. The degree to which corporations (or governments) can use apparently innocuous personal data to infer alligencies, poitical or other beliefs, and future behaviour, from the unnecessarily large amounts of data they collect would surprise many people, I suspect.

  29. I don’t think I’ve ever seen basic democracy and accoutability summed up so well, if it’s that important it should be peer reviewed at the very least.

  30. Hear hear, Craig.

  31. What i don’t get is how wikileaks gets hold of all this material…this is all managed by the US, surely there is some ulterior motive behind this. If the US did not want this to get out then i’m sure it wouldn’t

  32. Hear hear, Craig.

  33. So, as I read it, the Telegraph’s Guy Walters is saying:

    1) It is good that information is freely available.

    2) Making such information freely available i bad because doing so will result in similar information being unavailable to future historians.

    That type of argument is called something in logic, but I can’t recall what right now.

    We do know an awful lot about Soviet Russia, in spite of what Michael Binyon reportedly says. More than enough to know that it wasn’t a very pleasant regime under which to live.

    Frankly, I think that future historians would be likely to do more-or-less what current historians do and that is to draw on many disparate sources of information.

    And in what way, pray tell, is the SIS “a fairly open, accountable institution”? Open and accountable to whom? Pauline Neville-Jones, ‘Professor’ Andrew Fulton and Margaret ‘Meta’ Ramsey? Dominic Lawson, Con Coughlin and Frank Gardner?

    If someone’s been caught with their pants down, they’ve been caught with their pants down. It may indeed be titillating, but it also happens to be true.

    Like angrysoba and some others (what, angrysoba are you being ironic, or are you seriously suggesting that Assange is part of an establishment plot? If the latter, we need to find some flags to hoist {!}), to be honest, I haven’t made up my mind yet about Wikileaks.

    However, most of the arguments against release seem entirely predictable and to lack conviction. Is the whole thing another opera, or is it that the defenders of the MI complex have few real arguments left?

  34. @alan campbell at November 29, 2010 1:35 PM & November 29, 2010 1:52 PM

    It’s enough just to post the link Alan, and maybe quote a sentence or two for flavour. Thanks.

    Me, I’m still struggling to understand why it’s embarassing to be caught describing the likes of Cameron, Karzai and Putin as something short of the dog’s bollocks as politicians. Wouldn’t the embarassment have arisen if it had been revealed that the US actually rated these spivs?

  35. Nice, so Hilary gonna be arrested for ordering the spying on the UN?

    Man gotta love the Americas and their arrongant stance on truth, democracy and the right of law…

  36. “This is pretty devastating. The essence of our foreign policy is our ability to talk straight and honest with our foreign counterparts and to keep those conversations out of the public domain. This massive leak puts that most basic of diplomatic requirements at risk in the future.

    Think of relations with Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Afghanistan, governments who we need to work with us in defeating al-Qaeda. Their performance has been uneven in the past, for a variety of reasons, but this kind of leak will seriously hinder our ability to persuade these governments to support our counterterrorism priorities in the future.

    Whoever was behind this leak should be shot and I would volunteer to pull the trigger.” – Roger Cressey, former US cyber security and counterterrorism official

    A comment coming from counterterrorism official. This is very dangerous. I bet he always strangled terror suspects!

  37. “This won’t restrain diplomats’ candour. But people will be looking at the security of electronic communication and archives. Paper would have been impossible to steal in these quantities.” – Christopher Meyer, former British envoy to US

    LOL

  38. As I understand it, the US moved these cables to new servers or a new database which then made them available to 2.5 million people. No big surprise then that someone like Manning got hold of them. Apparently they’re going to tighten up their rules regaring the use of USB sticks!

  39. Allegedly Manning. It’s assumed he was the source both for the helicopter video and these cables. Not proven.

  40. “This means that a diplomatic dispatch marked Sipdis is automatically downloaded on to its embassy’s classified website. From there it can be accessed not only by anyone in the state department, but also by anyone in the US military who has a computer connected to Siprnet. Millions of US soldiers and officials have “secret” security clearance. The US general accounting office identified 3,067,000 people cleared to “secret” and above in a 1993 study.

    “Since then, the size of the security establishment has grown appreciably. Another GAO report in May 2009 said: “Following the terrorist attacks on September 11 2001 the nation’s defence and intelligence needs grew, prompting increased demand for personnel with security clearances.” A state department spokesman today refused to say exactly how many people had access to Siprnet.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/28/siprnet-america-stores-secret-cables

  41. alan campbell

    “Unsurprisingly, diplomats, intelligence agents and other government employees will now be less likely to commit information to paper or screen.”

    So they will have to remember it all then ?

    yeah, really.

  42. Paul

    “I find it incredible that such a young person could have so much access to supposedly sensitive material.”

    “Why? In an I.T.-centric environment some people often have access to large volumes of supposedly secure data for a variety of reasons. It shouldn’t be assumed that he had access because he needed knowledge of the *content* of the documents as part of his role.”

    read this :

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

    It was childishly easy, according to the published chatlog of a conversation Manning had with a fellow-hacker. “I would come in with music on a CD-RW labelled with something like ‘Lady Gaga’ … erase the music … then write a compressed split file. No one suspected a thing … [I] listened and lip-synched to Lady Gaga’s Telephone while exfiltrating possibly the largest data spillage in American history.” He said that he “had unprecedented access to classified networks 14 hours a day 7 days a week for 8+ months”.

  43. I often liked to taunt supporters of the UK imperial system of measurements by asking them if they’d like to go back to pounds, shillings and pence; I’d remind them that they’d need a new type of calculator.

    I don’t think the US is going to abandon computer communications. Leaks are nothing new; these WikiLeaks leaks are just much larger than pre-computer leaks. Digital data was DESIGNED to enable fast, accurate and unlimited copying. It’s a new age, and governments will have to get used to it.

  44. KingofWelshNoir

    29 Nov, 2010 - 3:44 pm

    Do those people who condemn the leaks really think we have no right to know that the King of Saudi Arabia has been urging the US to attack Iran? We would almost certainly become embroiled in such a war and people from this country would die. Warmongering kings can stick their right to privacy up their arses as far as I’m concerned.

  45. Craig,

    I’m sorry I didn’t have time to read your whole blog today, but these words caught my eye:

    “These leaks will claim innocent lives, and will damage national security. They will encourage Islamic terrorism. Government secrecy is essential to keep us all safe. In fact, this action by Wikileaks is so cataclysmic, I shall be astonished if we are not all killed in our beds tonight.”

    Well put! The public needs hear more talk like this.

    Your friend across the pond,

    rw

    Dr. Rebecca Wolf

    Undersecretary for Community and New Media, USDOF

    http://www.feardepartment.com/2010/11/senator-lieberman-wikileaks-has-blood.html

  46. so let count the blood from the Americans shall we

    how many died because of the food for oil

    how many civilians (collateral damage) being murdered by the Americans every day

    oh and lets not forget the depleted uranium deaths that will continue for decades

    lets talk proportions before you start slagging off wikileaks.

    what about the number of Americans killed by the first world Health Policy

    not enough Doves speaking up in this world

  47. “I have never understood why it is felt that behaviours which would be considered reprehensible in private or even commercial life ?” like lying, or saying one thing to one person and the opposite to another person ?” should be considered acceptable, or even praiseworthy, in diplomacy.”

    I think the obvious reason is that diplomats have to deal with people and states who are not be considered moral by idealistic standards either. On the level of states it is not about “doing the right thing”. It is about interests. Democracy has just deceived the common people into thinking otherwise when it never really was.Consequently deception and lies are the tools of the trade not only between diplomats but also between politicians and the people.

  48. Where’s Tony Opmoc these days?

  49. I believe Tony Opmoc is on the previous thread.

  50. @ KingofWelshNoir

    “Do those people who condemn the leaks really think we have no right to know that the King of Saudi Arabia has been urging the US to attack Iran?”

    I thought I already knew that the King of Saudi Arabia has been urging the US to attack Iran. Ditto, the report that the US is killing people in Yemen with Hellfire missiles fired by drones (see the Gardian report “Drones of death — Bush takes the law into his own hands” published November 6, 2002).

    So what is the real effect of the leaks? Merely, I suggest, to give the NYTimes and the Gruniard an opportunity to provide “new evidence” in support of the War on Terror.

    Amusingly, the Trikileaks release exposes the Himalayan heights of the NYTimes’ humbug. A year ago the NY Times “ostentatiously declined to publish or post any of the Climategate emails because they had been illegally obtained.” As Times reporter Andrew Revkin’s stated: “The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.” LOL.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2010/11/027788.php

  51. http://web.archive.org/web/20071020051936/http://iq.org/

    Wed 03 Jan 2007 : Witnessing

    Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love. In a modern economy it is impossible to seal oneself off from injustice.

    If we have brains or courage, then we are blessed and called on not to frit these qualities away, standing agape at the ideas of others, winning pissing contests, improving the efficiencies of the neocorporate state, or immersing ourselves in obscuranta, but rather to prove the vigor of our talents against the strongest opponents of love we can find.

    If we can only live once, then let it be a daring adventure that draws on all our powers. Let it be with similar types whos hearts and heads we may be proud of. Let our grandchildren delight to find the start of our stories in their ears but the endings all around in their wandering eyes.

    The whole universe or the structure that perceives it is a worthy opponent, but try as I may I can not escape the sound of suffering. Perhaps as an old man I will take great comfort in pottering around in a lab and gently talking to students in the summer evening and will accept suffering with insouciance. But not now; men in their prime, if they have convictions are tasked to act on them.

  52. KingofWelshNoir

    29 Nov, 2010 - 5:20 pm

    @Alfred

    ‘I thought I already knew that the King of Saudi Arabia has been urging the US to attack Iran.’

    Well I didn’t, and neither did my mum. And so I stick by my assertion that we have a right to know if some warmongering king is fomenting wars that will indubitably involve us.

    That is not to say I am totally sucked in by this and am very open to the view that it may not be all that it seems, that it is in fact the work of one of the intelligence agencies, most likely MOSSAD.

    And I take the point that it all seems to be aimed at reconfiguring the tired old war on terror. Even so, I can’t quite see how divulging that the Saudis want to attack Iran helps make the case to attack Iran.

  53. Peter Jenner

    29 Nov, 2010 - 5:25 pm

    Craig,

    Newsnight is discussing these leaks tonight with ‘senior diplomats and politicians’. Have you been invited to give your opinion? (lol)

    In any event, I have suggested they contact you for your invaluable insights into the inner workings of the diplomatic service.

    Am not holding my breath.

  54. “‘I thought I already knew that the King of Saudi Arabia has been urging the US to attack Iran.’

    Well I didn’t …”

    But that does not make the Wikileaks release signficant. The supposed hostility of the Saudis to Iran has been long in the news, e.g.,

    “Saudis give nod to Israeli raid on Iran” The Times July 5, 2009.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article6638568.ece

    And there are many other such stories.

    All that one can conclude from your response to Wikileaks is that it serves to reinforce the message of the MSM.

    @Clark

    “There is a single-word search facility of what has been released so far…”

    It is amusing that $5-million-dollar-man Assange, the supposed hacker prodigy has not only failed to put the bulk of the supposedly stolen documents on line, he cannot even provide a proper search engine.

    In contrast, the Climategate emails were online with a functional search engine within hours of release (see eastangliaemails.com).

  55. From Media Lens message board

    Newsnight discussing WikiLeaks with “senior diplomats and politicians.”

    Posted by Ed on November 29, 2010, 5:00 pm

    So Newsnight have the brilliant idea of having senior diplomats and politicians s discussing the corrupt and immoral actions of other senior diplomats and politicians.

    You couldn’t make it up!

    quote:

    But we’ll be leading tonight’s programme on the release by the controversial whistle-blowing site Wikileaks of a cache of secret messages sent by US diplomatic staff.

    We’ll have the latest revelations just out, will be considering what the diplomatic fall out will be. and will assess the impact this most recent release will have around the world with senior diplomats and politicians.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/fromthewebteam/2010/11/monday_29_november_2010.html

  56. technicolour

    29 Nov, 2010 - 6:20 pm

    (possibly stupid question) How do we know they’re real? btw the Spiegel has this to say:

    “It is unclear whether a complete set of documents was provided. It is entirely possible that an overly large or small number of reports from a particular country or region made its way into the data collection. It is also theoretically possible that there has been some falsification within the documents when it comes to the times or the issues they discuss.”

    Still, I agree with KingofWelshnoir: it doesn’t seem as though this will make an attack on Iran more likely. Otherwise have no idea what to think: there’s far too much going on. Also questions like ‘why are the US more or less owning up to this?’ and so on. I tried watching the X factor, but it didn’t work.

    ps What happened to the D notice? Did I miss something?

  57. alan campbell

    29 Nov, 2010 - 6:20 pm

    I know he might sound a bit Jewish for many of you, but his stuff is worth a read too.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/11/the-saudis-are-neocons-and-other-first-wikileaks-impressions/67094/

    The Saudis Are Neocons, And Other First Wikileaks Impressions

    Nov 28 2010, 5:17 PM ET

    1. How does the United States Government store its secrets? In shoeboxes?

    2. Quote of the year: “Ahmadinejad is Hitler.” This from Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Zayed in July 2009. And then there is this very astute comment from the Crown Prince: “‘Any culture that is patient and focused enough to spend years working on a single carpet is capable of waiting years and even decades to achieve even greater goals.’ His greatest worry, he said, ‘is not how much we know about Iran, but how much we don’t.’” Some of you recall the international kerfuffle that erupted when the U.A.E.’s ambassador to the United States told me at the Aspen Ideas Festival that a military strike on Iran may become a necessity. It turns out he was understating the fear and urgency felt by his government, and other Gulf governments.

    3. Since we all know that only Israelis and their neocon supporters in America seek a military attack on Iran’s nuclear program, Bahrain must be under the control of neocons: “There was little surprising in Mr. Barak’s implicit threat that Israel might attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. As a pressure tactic, Israeli officials have been setting such deadlines, and extending them, for years. But six months later it was an Arab leader, the king of Bahrain, who provides the base for the American Fifth Fleet, telling the Americans that the Iranian nuclear program ‘must be stopped,’ according to another cable. ‘The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it,’” he said.

    The Saudis, too, are neocons, apparently: The Bahraini king’s “plea was shared by many of America’s Arab allies, including the powerful King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who according to another cable repeatedly implored Washington to ‘cut off the head of the snake’ while there was still time.”

    4. How does Robert Gates know this? In a conversation with the then-French defense minister about the possibility of an Israeli strike on Iran, the defense secretary “added a stark assessment: any strike ‘would only delay Iranian plans by one to three years, while unifying the Iranian people to be forever embittered against the attacker.’” I am not suggesting that I know this is untrue; I’m just puzzled at how someone could reach this conclusion so definitively.

    5. None of the Iran-related revelations, so far at least, would be surprising to anyone who has followed this issue. Some of us have been writing for years about the potential for an Israeli-Arab alliance over this common threat. The depth of Arab worry about Iran gives lie to the notion that the neutralization of the nuclear threat is an Israeli concern alone. I believe I even mentioned this in this story, from the summer.

    6. I have something in common with Muammar al-Qadhafi, in that I, too, cannot travel with my senior Ukrainian nurse:

    Qadhafi appears to rely heavily — —– —– —- —–, and reportedly cannot travel with his senior Ukrainian nurse, Galyna Kolotnytska. He also appears to have an intense dislike or fear of staying on upper floors, reportedly prefers not to fly over water, and seems to enjoy horse racing and flamenco dancing. His recent travel may also suggest a diminished dependence on his legendary female guard force, as only one woman bodyguard accompanied him to New York. End Summary.

    I wonder if Qadhafi prefers not to fly over Lockerbie, Scotland, either.

  58. alan campbell

    29 Nov, 2010 - 6:23 pm

    http://www.slate.com/id/2276169/

    Watch Your Mouth

    How WikiLeaks’ new release will increase secrecy and damage democratic governments.

    By Anne Applebaum

    Posted Monday, Nov. 29, 2010, at 12:01 PM ET

    Nicolas Sarkozy is thin-skinned? Uh-oh.I’m sure the Russian people will be shocked?”shocked!?”to discover that U.S. diplomats think the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, “plays Robin to Putin’s Batman.” Italians will be equally horrified to learn that their prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is considered “feckless, vain, and ineffective as a modern European leader,” just as the French will be stunned to hear President Nicolas Sarkozy called “thin-skinned and authoritarian.” As for the Afghans, they will be appalled to read that their president, Hamid Karzai, has been described as “an extremely weak man who did not listen to facts.”

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    Yahoo! Buzz Facebook Digg RedditStumbleUponCLOSEAnd anyone perusing the semi-secret diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks this week will find more of the same. Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe is a “crazy old man.” Muammar Qaddafi of Libya travels with a “voluptuous blonde” whom he describes as his “senior Ukrainian nurse.” In the coming days, there will be many things to say about the specific details of these newly public documents. But before we get into all that, let’s not lose the main point: Above all, this leak contains a treasure trove of things people regularly say off the record that they never say in public. These aren’t records of human-rights abuses, they are accounts of conversations. And?”just like July’s WikiLeaks revelations about Afghanistan?”this one confirms much that was publicly known, openly discussed, and even written about before.

    The cables “reveal,” among other things, that the United States is (surprise!) lobbying others to organize sanctions against Iran, that South Korean diplomats have discussed what would happen if North Korea collapses, that U.S. diplomats have been bribing other countries to accept ex-prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. (I suppose it is “news” that the United States spies on the United Nations, but forgive me if I am not as horrified as I should be.) Germany’s Der Spiegel concludes, furiously, that the United States “seeks to safeguard its influence around the world.” I’d be a lot more worried if the opposite were true.

    Advertisement

    What is truly novel is not the information, much of which has been reported before, but the language. Normally poker-faced diplomats are quoted making unflattering and occasionally amusing assessments of their interlocutors. Not all of them are Americans: The Saudi king thinks the Pakistani president is “rotten”; France’s top diplomat thinks Iran is a “fascist state”; Britain’s national bank chairman thinks his prime minister is “shallow”; and so on.

    This is certainly embarrassing for those who made the remarks. I am less sure whether their revelation gets us anywhere: On the contrary, it seems that in the name of “free speech” another blow has been struck against frank speech. Yet more ammunition has been given to those who favor greater circumspection, greater political correctness, and greater hypocrisy.

    Don’t expect better government from these revelations, expect deeper secrets. Will the U.S. ambassador to Country X give Washington a frank assessment of the president of X if he knows it could appear in tomorrow’s newspaper? Not very likely. Will a foreign leader tell any U.S. diplomat what he really thinks about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad if he knows it might show up on WikiLeaks? I doubt it. Diplomatic cables will presumably now go the way of snail mail: Oral communication will replace writing, as even off-the-record chats now have to take place outdoors, in the presence of heavy traffic, just in case anyone is listening.

    In the modern world?”at least the sloppy, open, hackable Western world?”any other form of frank discussion will soon be impossible. The State Department isn’t the first to learn this: No American general will ever again give a journalist full access, as did the hapless Stanley McChrystal. Because he revealed that?”like every other general in history?”he sometimes disagrees with the politicians back home, and because his interlocutor chose to publish his grumbling, he had to resign.

    The result: Very soon, only authoritarian leaders will be able to speak frankly with one another. A Russian official can keep a politically incorrect statement out of the newspapers. A Chinese general would never speak to a journalist anyway. Low-level officials in Iran don’t leak sensitive information to WikiLeaks because the regime would kill them and torture their families. By contrast, the soldier who apparently leaked these diplomatic cables will probably live to a ripe old age.

    In fact, the world’s real secrets?”the secrets of regimes where there is no free speech and tight control on all information?”have yet to be revealed. This stuff is awkward and embarrassing, but it doesn’t fundamentally change very much. How about a leak of Chinese diplomatic documents? Or Russian military cables? How about some stuff we don’t actually know, like Iranian discussion of Iranian nuclear weapons, or North Korean plans for invasion of South Korea Korea? If WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange is serious about his pursuit of “Internet openness”?”and if his goal isn’t, in fact, embarrassing the United States?”that’s where he’ll look next. Somehow, I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t.

  59. @Technicolor

    “Still, I agree with KingofWelshnoir: it doesn’t seem as though this will make an attack on Iran more likely. ”

    Well of course it does! Now we know, everybody agrees, even the Arabs: we gotta attack the new Hitler, AhmMadforJihad before he gets a nuke and kills us all.

  60. Sorry for duplicating the subject of your post Peter Jenner.

    This is hilarious. The very thick and very arrogant P Andrew holds forth in

    Kyrgyzstan.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/175722

  61. alan campbell

    29 Nov, 2010 - 6:49 pm

    Marvellous.

  62. Alan, many thanks for these links, they are meaty and well worth a read. But if you don’t mind me saying, please do think about Vronsky’s suggestion of just posting the link and maybe lifting a poignant quote or paraphrasing or something. Otherwise, it just gets like gazing close-up at moving trains and the temptation is to not read it, or to skim it to meaninglessness, if you see what I mean.

    On another note, it is absolutely no surprise that the allies of the US, the Gulf Sheiks, are keen to limit Iran’s power and influence. That’s nothing new.

    Assange is not Chinese or North Korean – he is Australian, politically, he is a part of the ‘West’. He is therefore a Western Dissident (if you regard him and Wikleaks as bone fide, that is) and his critique must be primarily focussed on Western power. Of course, if someone in China or North Korea did what Assange/ Wikileaks appears to be doing, i.e. overtly ‘leaking’ info., they wouldn’t last very long. So they have to do it covertly, in association with Western intelligence agencies. But there have been many other whistleblowers, eg. in India (eg. Tehelka). They are Indian, so they focussed their criticism on India.

    The central point is, dissidence often is a sign that the person/ organisation actually cares deeply about the particular country/ society which they are critiquing. Think of Ellsberg (Pentagon papers), think of the Civil Rights Movement.

  63. shame on the media wikileaks is doing what the media is supposed to be doing exposing the truth not covering it up well done wikileaks…

  64. I hate all this terroist business. I used to love the days when you could look at an unattended bag on the train and think, ‘I’m having that’

  65. In the ‘old days’, the Gulf sheikhs and Saudi princes were known simply in vernacular as ‘imperial lackeys’. But even in those days of the Shah of Iran, that great, white-uniformed, Persepolising friend of the USA, the Gulf States (and of course, Saudi Arabia) were wary of Iranian power. It’s just a geopolitical fact. But it does exemplify that Middle Eastern politics is, firstly, extremely complex and secondly, that it is multipolar in nature. Black and white does not exist. So, in these respects, it’s not unlike most other parts of the world. Of course, divide-and-rule plays a role. But oil wealth – it has zilch to do with ‘Sunni/Shia’ blah-blah-blah, though that too has been instrumentalised by all parties – of course is the key.

  66. technicolour

    29 Nov, 2010 - 7:09 pm

    alfred: no, i really don’t think the people on the streets would be moved by the opinions of the saudi king. i’m remembering the band breaking into the Darth Vadar theme at the time of his last visit here. it’s almost too good to watch:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SG23bVpw65o

  67. Craig, one point (and forgive my cynicism here): Wrt insincerity and not speaking truth to power, have diplomats – as a political class – not ever been thus? Do they, like silver-flies, not exist and derive their raison d’etre, from germinating along the interface b/w the deep, dark, hard state and the eternal parade of wondrous imperial couture? Is this not the manner in which states have always interacted? Or has the mendacity just become more normative in recent times? I mean, obviously, I have enormous respect for your moral stance on torture and much else since – that of course is what sets you apart from the class to which you once belonged; it’s a sort of ‘Logan’s Run’ situation.

    Of course, if one is arguing from an anti-imperialist point-of-view, that’s a different matter.

    Please tell us your view. Thank you.

  68. A little dated, but a fascinating take on the strange Mr. Assange and his influential Neocon and intelligence connected backers from Webster Tarpley.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0sK4TjcUd4&feature=player_embedded

  69. technicolour

    29 Nov, 2010 - 7:31 pm

    hold on, i don’t see that this proves that US diplomats are liars, or insincere, or only telling politicians what they want to hear. Surely it shows them being robustly frank, to the point of embarrassment, in fact. And we should thank liberty for that. What would happen if all the telegraphs home sang praises of the glorious leader Putin? Where would we be then?

  70. “So what is the real purpose of Assange’s little charade? Propaganda.

    Propaganda is like rat poison. 95% of it is tasty, healthy food. But the purpose is to get you to swallow the poison. The same is true of the WikiLeaks document dump. The bait are all these old stories which we already knew about, used to convince us that the entire pile is “tasty, healthy food,” except that it isn’t. Buried in the pile of delicious, albeit past the expiration date morsels are the bits of poison which the US Government knows you will no longer accept at face value from the controlled media, but hope you will eat if handed to you by a con artist posing as hostile to the government. …”

    from: THE COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO WIKILEAKS LATEST DOCUMENT DUMP, by Michael Rivero

    http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/comidwiki.php

  71. It is naive in the extreme to imagine that wikileaks is anything other than a Zionist COINTELPRO outfit.

    When confronted with evidence like this one needs to consult the “absentometer”.

    What is not present in the so-called “leaks” is far more important than anything they purport to tell us.

    Perhaps Mr Murray would enlighten us as to the clandestine Israeli business operations set up to take control of Caspian gas and oil in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan?

    Magal and Merhav are two Israeli firms active in the first two Central Asian republics. Along with the US and Turkey Israel is engaged in a high stakes geopolitical strategy which is conspicuous by its omission in anything which will ever come out of wikileaks!

    http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=15318

    Check out Chris Bollyn’s The Great Game for some real info.

    and Magal

  72. alan campbell

    29 Nov, 2010 - 7:43 pm

    I’m loving the “Wikileaks is a Mossad conspiracy” stuff. Talk about the biter bit.

  73. Rhisiart Gwilym

    29 Nov, 2010 - 7:47 pm

    USuk policy has killed ‘hundreds of thousands’ in South West Eurasia, Craig. Shome mishtake,shurely. Millions! It’s a genocide already. Let’s call it by its right name.

  74. technicolour

    29 Nov, 2010 - 7:55 pm

    and go, Daily Mash:

    WIKILEAKS was last night accused of putting lives at risk after destroying an Afghan village with an unmanned drone.

    The slaughter came just hours after the website, popular with paedophiles and smokers, published 250,000 secret documents that revealed, for only the 78 millionth time in human history, that governments are run by the sort of utter tosspots you wouldn’t have in your house.

    Julian Cook, professor of international news stories at Reading University, explained: “Everyone that America has been spying on would have already assumed that America was spying on them and if they didn’t then they are even more cretinous than these leaks confirm them to be.”

    He added: “Nevertheless, the point about Wikileaks undermining the safety of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan would have some validity, if only it wasn’t such a humongous vat of liquidised monkey-shit from start to finish.

    “Because – and you might want to write this down and keep it somewhere safe – the key thing that has undermined the safety of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan is them firing their big fucking guns at Iraqis and Afghans.

    “And of course that is usually on the orders of weasely little inadequates with penis issues who like to keep everything secret in a bid to make their imaginary cocks even bigger.”

    But sources at the Ministry of Defence confirmed that Professor Cook’s comments had already put lives at risk in Belgium and Ecuador, adding: “And of course, he’s also a rapist.”

  75. technicolour

    29 Nov, 2010 - 7:56 pm

    ach, sorry,should have just linked.

  76. so this apparent ‘taking legal action against wikileaks’

    is that after the USA submits itself to the legal authorities (UN) for illgal spying of its diplomats, emails et al?

    or maybe warcrimes for use of depleted uranium in the iraq war?

  77. Funny I can’t get on Wikileaks through google chrome but I can through Firefox.

    Are the inmates in charge?

  78. “Everybody knows that the Obama administration is worried about loose nukes in Pakistan, but not everyone knew that a U.S. technical team was trying to remove highly enriched uranium from one particular research reactor. Until now. A WikiLeaks cable quotes the U.S. ambassador as warning that “if the local media got word of the fuel removal,” it would scuttle the operation. Consider it scuttled. ”

    seymour hersh has already reported on this almost 12 months ago … also reported how the usa had sent its special ops teams to abu dhabi in preparation of taking control of pak nukes.

    uk and usa have been actrively responsible for the expansion of the war into pak. in effect we are at war with pak, just not overtly .

    what the usa-uk are looking for is that 9/11 moment to provide the pretext – be it in pak (islammabad via usa-indian backed pak taliban)) or european/usa attack.

  79. KingofWelshNoir

    29 Nov, 2010 - 8:39 pm

    @Alfred

    ‘ little dated, but a fascinating take on the strange Mr. Assange and his influential Neocon and intelligence connected backers from Webster Tarpley.’

    Yeah, but Webster Tarpley doesn’t trust anyone. If Jesus Christ returned to earth Tarpley would say he was a Manchurian Candidate.

  80. A government that blanket bombs Baghdad, knowing full well that its target has fled, and kills thousands of people, including children, maiming thousands more, tens, maybe even hundreds of thousands, has some damned nerve to talk about risk to human lives does it not?

  81. tris, indeed. And that’s just one of the many murderous ironies in this matter.

  82. Only on gate-keeper sites like this one are controlled opposition like wikileaks given one shred of credibility.

    http://thejewishtribe.blogspot.com/

    The latest batch of disinfo fingers Iran again which we learn is the favoured target of all the Gulf puppet states. We learn also that N.Korea sold long-range missiles to Iran.

    Strangely wikileaks fails to mention that Israel was the source for the S.African nuke later detonated by N.Korea. The fact that Israel has the form,means and motive for nuclear proliferation is also omitted from discussion in the US diplomatic bags too!

    Gordon Duff is on the case:

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/11/25/gordon-duff-iran-korea-nuclear-lies-orders-from-tel-aviv/

    Wake up saps!

  83. Elite London escort agency, providing an escort service for a multinational selection of beautiful busty escorts in London for companionship.

  84. @KingofWelshNoir

    “Yeah, but Webster Tarpley doesn’t trust anyone. If Jesus Christ returned to earth Tarpley would say he was a Manchurian Candidate.”

    And if Jesus came with tidings of great fear concerning Iran’s nukes, I’d believe Tarpley.

  85. lets think logical. cameron and his sidekick have said that a new adwn and angenda is at play. Now after this release, should the media not be utterly interested in somebody like Craig, now completely vindicated?

    Who is scaring them off? Why has this new Coalition not offered Craig a leg up, a way back in?

    What do they know that Craig does not know yet, have they got any information about his ingested ‘illness’?

    Now should be Craigs time, they (the media) should also accept him as a mediator between Julian and a panicking world of scoundrels.

    To add to this, as somebody who has expertise in sea boundaries and disputes, Craigs expertise should also be sought to give a bearing on the North Korea issue

    Who is pulling the media’s strings?

    Why is there no Honduras exposee? Is it because it was a solelY US sponsored event? It sure looks like it, otherwisde we would have got to know about it by now.

    I also would like Julian to finish the job, he must need some rest and a holiday, should he ever be able to sit still for more than a day.

    Well said Craig and

  86. …reading about the character Bradley Manning who was supposed to have smuggled the data out on disks with songs from Lady Gaga, it just seems to be too good to be true. Apparently he was “openly homosexual” (what in the US military?) “a hot headed computer nerd who was bullied” he dropped out of school, product of a broken family etc etc And now he is in solitary confinement, and will be tried by a military court and can expect 52 years in jail. So we won’t be giving his side of events any day soon. Does the word patsy come to mind ? ….

  87. Off topic. The original coroner has been replaced in the case of Ian Tomlinson RIP. Will there be another whitewash as in the case of Jean Charles de Menezes? I hope not.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/nov/10/ian-tomlinson-inquest-thornton

    Three post mortems so far remember. Patel who performed the first has been suspended for misconduct.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7973372/G20-pathologist-Freddy-Patel-guilty-of-misconduct.html

  88. lets think logical. cameron and his sidekick have said that a new dawn and agenda is at play. Why are the Lib Dems not asking For Craig to be reinstated after all this?

    Will Gibson bring real change and vindication?

    After this release, the media should be all over Craig, be utterly interested in somebody who has had an insight, and who is vindicated, completely!

    Who is scaring them off? Why has this new Coalition not offered Craig a leg up, a way back in?

    What do they know that Craig does not know? yet, have they got any information about his ingested ‘illness’? that they do not want to become friendly?

    Now should be Craigs time, they (the media) should also accept him as a mediator between Julian and a panicking world of scoundrels.

    To add to this, as somebody who has expertise in sea boundaries and disputes, Craigs expertise should also be sought to give a bearing on the North Korea issue.

    Who is pulling the media’s strings?

    Why is there no Honduras exposee in the tarnsfers?

    Could it be its because it was a solely US sponsored event? It sure looks like it, otherwise we would have got to know about it by now.

    I also would like Julian to finish the job, he must need some rest and a holiday, should he ever be able to sit still for more than a day.

    Well said Craig and good luck with Burns.

  89. “Early next year, WikiLeaks’ chief says a major American bank will discover all its innermost workings exposed to the world.”

    http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2010/11/29/an-interview-with-wikileaks-julian-assange/

  90. Personally I would throw the contents of the glass in the faces of the smart but dumb ‘psyops’ group that decided to manipulate Wikileaks after the Iraq video was leaked by a not so dumb intelligence analyst incensed by stupid and arrogant American miltary in Iraq. This latest release is an affront to Craig and a cloaked warning to the diplomat service and US/allied embassies world-wide to keep their secrets well,who thinks whistle-blowing toA “Funny thing about rat poison. After a while the rats learn to eat the food and leave the poison behind.”

    Wikileaks has been expertly manipulated so that and information has been filtered and then ‘leaked’ thru main stream media

  91. Personally I would throw the contents of the glass in the faces of the smart but dumb ‘psyops’ group, sat picking their noses since the height of the Iraq war and now tasked to manipulate Wikileaks after the Iraq journalists slaughter video was leaked by a not so dumb intelligence analyst incensed by a stupid and arrogant American military engaged in the Iraq genocide.

    This latest release is an affront to Craig and a cloaked warning to the diplomat service and US/allied embassies world-wide to keep their secrets well, secret.

    Really – without sounding too pompous, are we that gullible?

    I looked at one record:

    cablegate.wikileaks.org/cable/2007/02/07BERLIN242.html

    The content was known in 2006 and reported here:

    secure.wikileaks.org/wiki/Protokoll_Befragung_Bundesinnenminister_a.D._Otto_Schily_zum_Fall_El_Masri%2C_2006

    The arrest and torture was deemed to be a mistake at the time when the name el-Masri, a German was confused with al-Masri a suspected terrorist – a case of ‘erroneous rendition’ – Heads-up people the intelligence services are laughing their bloated heads off!!

    The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, said the WikiLeaks disclosures will make it harder for American diplomats to be honest in their assessments of political situations abroad and will inspire more caution among foreign leaders when they are dealing with U.S. officials.

    BOLLOCKS – BOLLOCKS – BOLLOCKS

    “Funny thing about rat poison. After a while the rats learn to eat the food and leave the poison behind.”

  92. Extremely excellent piece.

    Do we want to live in a world formed by a carpet of private and government tyrannies or do we want to live in an actual democracy?

  93. “Now should be Craigs time, they (the media) should also accept him as a mediator between Julian and a panicking world of scoundrels.”

    “I also would like Julian to finish the job, he must need some rest and a holiday, should he ever be able to sit still for more than a day.”

    I’m confused now. Which of these two, Assange or Murray, is Jesus returned with warnings of Iranian nukes and Osama devilish tricks in Pakistan.

    Perhaps Kingofwelshnoir can set us straight. Or Craig? By what marks are we to recognize you as the annointed in whose unsupported word all must have faith.

  94. One of the Wikileaks disclosures is an American diplomatic note stating that Jim Judd, former head of Canada’s Intelligence agency CSIS, admitted (or boasted) that the spy agency was “vigorously harassing” known Hezbollah members in Canada. Apparently Mr. Judd does not understand that in Canada one is supposed to charge those who the authorities believe are law breakers; not arbitrarily torture them instead.

    CSIS is also “vigorously harassing” completely innocent citizens in Canada – click on my signature to view. They are bullies using a no-touch torture technique that was developed by the former Communist East German secret police, the Stasi, to persecute dissidents. The Stasi called it Zerzetsen; CSIS calls it “D & D” (disrupt and diffuse).

    Well done Wikileaks !!!! Hopefully there will be a great deal more disclosure about any criminal behavior by intelligence agencies in Canada and the UK. Either you believe in Democracy and Rule of Law, or like CSIS and the Stasi you don’t.

  95. After a lot of thought I believe, but can’t be sure, that Assange is genuine. I am still disappointed that Wikileaks published some of the crap that actually supports the U.S. propaganda machine though. Namely, the material which bolsters the drive to destabilise and dominate Iran, Pakistan and North Korea. No need for revelations about 9/11, as Fox News (aganeda) has heroically taken up the cause. Ha ha ha. ;-)

  96. If only we’d had wikileaks in 2003. Then it could have informed us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and links to al qaeda, and that the Pentagon had recordings of Baath party members threatening to destroy Israel.

    Anyway we’ve got it now and hopefully it should assist in the noble effort to nuke Iran, invade Yemen, and otherwise deal with sundry other countries on Oded Yinon’s shit-list.

    PS For those who’ve never heard of Oded Yinon google ‘oded yinon strategy for israel’.

  97. If Assange is not genuine, why would he be about to expose a load of internal documents from an American bank in the New Year? In an interview with Andy Greenberg at Forbes.com (blogs) he says

    “You could call it the ecosystem of corruption. But it’s also all the regular decision making that turns a blind eye to and supports unethical practices: the oversight that’s not done, the priorities of executives, how they think they’re fulfilling their own self-interest. The way they talk about it.”

    I can’t quite see how this would help in nuking Iran, invading Yemen etc etc. He’s hardly going to publish individual account details.

  98. Walter Schnaffs

    30 Nov, 2010 - 7:17 am

    Three reasons to suspect Wikileaks. It has no criticism of Israel. Assange does not question the official 9/11 nonsense fable. He believes that Osama bin Laden is still alive (he died in December 2001). Al Quaida is an invention of several ‘intelligence’ agencies. Some US commentators refer to it as Al-CIA-da. I believe it means ‘The toilet’. That should scare the enemies of Islam.

  99. I see that Hilary Clinton has thrown her oar into the pond. Give the woman a cigar !

  100. Craig, if you’re in touch with Wikileaks, can you ask if there’s anything in there on who bombed Kabul on the night of 9/11?

    http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2010/11/26/the-german-i-told-you-so/#comment-265693

    Thanks,

    me in us

  101. If people are going to claim that WL is an inside job, I’m afraid that links to the AlexJonesChannel and Michael Rivero just don’t cut the mustard. Both are hardly what you would call credible sources, and even the most left wing academic would laugh at these.

    The most common complaint is that the leaked material doesn’t fit peoples ideological framework. Instead of re-evaluating their position in light of new info, the reaction is instead to declare that it’s a CIA job. I think Craig sums it up best when he writes:

    “Of course the documents reflect the US view ?” they are official US government communications. What they show is something I witnessed personally, that diplomats as a class very seldom tell unpalatable truths to politicians”

    I don’t know why people expect US diplomats to send each other messages congratulating each other on committing massive war crimes. Of course the correspondence is going to try and normalise their own behaviour as much as possible. Also it seems that most of the leaks are fairly low level clearance stuff, so they are the most likely to be relatively innocuous.

    If this is a CIA job why do the documents say that Iran has NOT been helping the Afghan resistance? Why do the documents say that an Israel can’t attack Iran without drawing the US into the conflict? Furthermore the documents say that an Israeli attack wouldn’t even be effective.

    I’m not denying the possibility that WL is a CIA job, I’m just saying that the case presented thus far is hardly convincing. In fact the logic used to discredit WL could be applied against any western dissident group and hold up just as well. Personally I think the fact that both the left/right, authoritarians and libertarians are attacking WL increases its credibility.

    BTW I think that all those attacking WL are CIA attempting to discredit a valuable dissident resource. ***tongue firmly in cheek***

  102. “Where’s Tony Opmoc these days?”

    tony_opmoc v 1.0 has been withdrawn and will shortly be replaced by v 1.1. The new release has additional functionality over v 1.0, allowing random quotation from previous posts, occasionally correct punctuation and a generally more ‘realistic’ feel. The problem with the recursive insertion of CR characters will be dealt with in v 2.0.

  103. Vronsky:

    Hahaha, I just realised that Tony is the new Mark V Shaney (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_V_Shaney).

  104. Yo Brits!

    Yo Prinze Andy sure gotta lotta front ain’t He? Awl ar ambassdos sayin’ He jussa bout got hissa head up hissa Royal arsehole wid rite Royal arrogans an roodness!

    Who ever herd bout a Royal prinz what frontin’ for arms companies likka BAE?

    Din’ yo Ed Winsor rep for der Venezian Vickers Arms Co? I blieve He did sho’nuff!

    Hell when Ed and Missus Simson visited der Bosferous in 1936 ol’Attaturk put on a Venezian Regatta in dare honor! Dey was celebratin’ yo’Prinz Ed gettin’ de contract fo’ Vickers ta re-fortify de Dardanels.

    Vickers woz also settin’ up de hevy arment installashuns in Yugoslavea bout dat time too. Yo Ed wen down dare ta check dem out too.

    Yo Ed woz plannin’ fo war alredy anna so woz our FDR. Dey met one time roun’ 1940 offa de Bahamas on a cruzer talkin bout Eleuthra islan’ bein’ leesed by yo Royal Navy to US for wen war get started.

    Hell Iz jussa dum Negra from down St Lou an’ I no mo’ bout yo’ history than yu do!

    Ain’t youz even worked out yet dat yo Royals up to dare necks in arms and drugs anna fomentin wars all over?

    Anna dem Saudis youz allus sweetnin’ up wid cat-house favors ta get ‘em buy yo arms-well ain’t yawl ‘ware dey jussa bunch postate Bagdadi Juze?

    Holy shit-yo’ Brits jussa bout dum as dey get boy!

  105. I jussa seen one ma black sisters on BBC Brakefass sayin’ bout how imbarass de US iz rite now bout dem Wicked Leeks!

    She sayin’ ain’t no wurrys bout ‘ol Obama gown get awl riled up anna start bomin’ Iran jussa yet.

    Min’ yu dis same sista wossa tellin’ us back in 911 times dat ‘ol Captin Colin Pow wossa gon’ mek shore ol Dunbya gown keepa hissa cool after dem NY Towers come down.

    Jussa look yawl how dat dun turn out!

    Well wid ol Colin turnin up at de UN wid dem fials a anfrax an stuff sayin we goota go down onna Bagdad anna Saddam anna tare dat dam statu down quick!

    Hell Bonny sister yu shore dun sum dead-on forcasting afore now,ain’t ya gal?

  106. The strange Assange seems now entirely deranged. He is claiming that (a) he was responsible for the Climategate emails release, which is certainly a lie, and (b) the Climategate emails are all bollocks and don’t mean a thing. LOL

    http://climateaudit.org/2010/11/30/assange-on-climategate/

  107. Craig,

    Many thanks for the wonderful article. I wrote something about this release myself. As a former ambassador with some expertise in this area, I wonder what you think of it.

    http://freshhorse.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/whose-intelligence-is-this-anyway/

  108. Ah, Jaded, hello. How are you, these frozen, northern days?

    The question is, is Wikileaks riding the longship, and steering the wind of truth onto the blasted face of US imperialism, or are they in its lee?

    I admit that I truly don’t know. Best, perhaps, to take the information (at least as much as one human can apprehend) in the manner in which one takes all information – as forming a part of a complex, five-dimensional landscape. The fifth dimension? No, not The Byrds’ groundbreaking album and not Kenny Rogers’s pop psychedelic group, but the iron dialectic of lies and truth.

    Let us, then, sail on.

  109. Hullo Dreolin,

    Late reply but never mind. Have you read The Spy Who Came In From The Cold? You really must. And when you do see if you can spot yourself in there. As a theoretical character, that is. I’ll help you out – you will be that East German saying, ‘But Mundt can’t be a spy because… (insert vaguely-convincing-but-otherwise-meaningless-reason-here)’.

    Appearing convincing is sine qua non territory for spooks mate. And Assange has you convinced does he?

    And all on account of him saying he’s going to out some banks? Wow. Fans of small potatoes the world over rejoice. I look forward to the media being all over that in the precise way they utterly ignored the fact that the bank owned by Executive Director of the CIA, AB Buzzy Krongard, made millions in put options during 911.

    As per usual bombshells are turned into squibs, and squibs are made into big, big headlines.

    Everyone raise your glass to the big, big headlines!

  110. If Assange were truly leaking stuff the US didnt WANT seen, he would not be walking around a free man. The CIA have kidnapped people from all over the world for far less in the past.

    Either knowingly or unknowingly he is peddling US propaganda (mixed in with insignificant titbits to mask the poison).

  111. Paul,

    Canadian lawyer and journalist Ezra Levant argues in an article published in yesterday’s Toroto Sun that Assange should indeed be targeted for assassination:

    “He’s not anti-war. He’s on the other side.

    Assange published the names of Afghan human rights activists and others who have co-operated with the U.S. ?” giving out names of villages and GPS coordinates.

    That’s not journalism. That’s not whistleblowing. That’s setting up “deadly revenge attacks,” says Reporters Without Borders.

    Zabihullah Mujahid is grateful. He’s a Taliban spokesman who says “we know how to punish them.”

    Assange published details about technology used to stop improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from being detonated. WikiLeaks calls roadside bombs a “rebel investment,” proudly pointing out for every dollar spent by the terrorists, the U.S. and Canada have to spend a thousand to defend against them. So Assange published those anti-IED details online.”

    http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/ezra_levant/2010/11/29/16364691.html

  112. It is interesting to note that although Assange falsely implies in this video to have broken the Climategate story:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W17dW_aJEwU

    there is no reference to Climategate anywhere on the Wikileaks.org home page or any search function or index whereby one might find any information about the climategate emails on that sight. So, Clark, it seems to me that Assange’s claim is totally nuts.

  113. Horace Simpson

    1 Dec, 2010 - 8:38 pm

    Wikileaks is a propaganda front. Last week, the Department of Homeland Security in the U.S. seized the domain names of some 70 websites for copyright infringement, without warrants, court orders, or court hearings before a judge. The DHS used their authority to grab websites on the basis they are perceived threats.

    If WikiLeaks is really exposing dangerous classified diplomatic cables that are a threat to the United States, why didn’t DHS seize the WikiLeaks domain? Assange was dropping hints of a major leak to come. If WikiLeaks was a real whistleblower, DHS could shut them down by grabbing their domain name just as easily as it shut down the copyright violators. They didn’t.

    WikiLeaks is a fake whistleblower, an attempt to repackage old ABCNNBBCBS lies in a new form that the public will swallow.

    There is no other possible explanation for DHS not to seize the domain as a real threat, especially since Assange was not shy about dropping hints as to what was to come!

  114. Street products,” said Naders. While investors think they are diversifying by buying a variety of stocks and funds, history shows that when the stock market goes down, all sectors of the market go down. The better option, he explains, is to get off Wall

  115. Wir spezialisieren uns auf Notebook-Akku, alle Arten von Modellen.

  116. Alfred, I’m not certain, but I’m fairly sure that I remember seeing the Climategate e-mails on the WikiLeaks site. However, it would have been some time ago, before the site shut down, when you could still browse all their leaks. I don’t know where to find them now, but the same is true for most WikiLeaks articles.

  117. uk.news.yahoo.com/5/20101201/twl-wikileaks-online-after-amazon-pulls-3fd0ae9.html

    Senator Joe Lieberman, that doyen of unbiased political altruism? That Joe Lieberman? Lieberman is the enemy of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    Ian Bell of The Herald has penned a good article on the Wikileaks matter, entitled, ‘The Greatest Revelation is How Widely Known are the Secrets’, but The Herald’s internal search facility has always been frustratingly poor and so even though it was published on 1st Dec 2010, I am unable to locate it now on the web.

    So here’s a different link:

    heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/hacker-behind-leaks-is-former-bullying-victim-1.1071976

    Interesting. Well, he’s getting his own back now. Hague’s comment about being one of “Thatcher’s children” reminded me for a wishful moment of the story of Medea.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medea

    But then I was reminded of Craig’s whistleblowing in relation to the actual boiling alive of people by our wonderful ‘War on Terror’ allies in the state of Uzbekistan and to the maxim that the reality is always worse than the fiction.

  118. keith williams

    2 Dec, 2010 - 10:32 am

    Well said Mr. Murray!

    Am I correct in saying that the current ‘charges’ against Mr. Assange for sexual misconduct are similar to those you faced from the F.O. following your whistleblowing on events in Uzbekhistan? How strange!

    Keep up your excellent web-site:it is a breath of clean fresh air among the putrid solicitous nature of the mainstream media.

  119. Wir spezialisieren uns auf Notebook-Akku, alle Arten von Modellen.

  120. Wir spezialisieren uns auf Notebook-Akku, alle Arten von Modellen.

  121. I think Wikileaks should be off the internet..

  122. And for whom do you work, ‘Mark B’?

  123. Wiki is off:

    But you can switch it back on again here:

    http://213.251.145.96

    WikiLeaks website disconnected as US company withdraws support

    The WikiLeaks.org web address is no longer functioning after an American internet company pulled the plus on the site.

    By Victoria Ward 9:16AM GMT 03 Dec 2010

    While still accessible by typing in the domain number, people trying to access the site by typing WikiLeaks into a search engine or their browser will not be successful.

    Julian Assange is wanted by Interpol The US-based provider, EveryDNS.net, took the controversial site offline earlier today, claiming that the constant hacking attacks were so powerful that they were damaging its other customers.

    It said it had become the “target of multiple distributed denial of service attacks” which threatened the stability of its structure.

    Related Articles

    WikiLeaks: revelations summary 03 Dec 2010

    WikiLeaks: Hillary Clinton to leave on four-country diplomatic trip 29 Nov 2010

    WikiLeaks: Putin ‘knew of Litvinenko plot’ 02 Dec 2010

    Putin’s ‘secret billions’ 02 Dec 2010

    WikiLeaks: do they have a right to privacy? 30 Nov 2010

    Wikileaks revelations: highlights 29 Nov 2010

    The California-based company’s terms and conditions state that “members shall not interfere with another member’s use and enjoyment of the service”.

    It hosts more than 500,000 sites around the world.

    WikiLeaks confirmed the drop on its Twitter account, saying: “WikiLeaks.org domain killed by US everydns.net after claimed mass attacks.”

    It was given 24 hours notice of the termination.

    The site had been consistently attacked after exposing hundreds of thousands of classified US state documents.

    Host servers have come under huge pressure by the US government to close it down.

    But it is still available by typing in the IP address, which WikiLeaks has tweeted and which was immediately circulated by hundreds of users of the social networking site.

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the development was an example of the “privatisation of state censorship” in the US and is a “serious problem”.

    “These attacks will not stop our mission, but should be setting off alarm bells about the rule of law in the United States,” he warned, according to the Guardian.

    WikiLeaks has released a file that it dubbed its “insurance policy”. The file is encrypted with a code that is so strong it is deemed impossible to break.

    It is said to be planning to release a key that unlocks the files if anything happens to the site or its founder, Julian Assange.

    The latest move follows Amazon’s decision to drop WikiLeaks from its servers following political pressure.

    The company was originally hosting the site and giving it memory to share its database.

    Its decision to drop the site earlier this week was praised by US Senator Joe Lieberman, who said it should “set the standard” for companies being used to distribute “illegally seized material”.

    The site remains on the servers of a Swedish host, Bahnhof.

  124. Thanks, arsalan. We are witnessing a full-blown cyberwar. Let’s hope that a million mirror-sites are created on a thousand-and-one servers, so that the more the sites are hacked, the more they disseminate.

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