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What’s The Point?

Mark Seibel of McClatchy Newspapers says Forget policy, some of this WikiLeaks stuff is great to read. One of the stories he recounts, from Panama, is interesting because it is the most highly classified leak I’ve seen, and it is an admitted fiction. The cable was expected to be intercepted by Noriega’s security apparatus and was used to obscure the imminent US attack to arrest the Panamanian strongman. It is a prime example of why people should not accept these leaks at their face value.

Juan Cole wonders Is AIPAC a Wikileaks Operation? Dr. Cole notes the difference in reaction to Wikileaks, as opposed to other leaks which were a good deal more damaging to national security.

Greg Mitchell of The Nation is blogging the story every day and makes some wonderful catches today:

9:25 Interestingly, Guardian investigations chief David Leigh reveals in a tweet that his paper declined to publish the “terror list” below, while noting that the Murdoch-owned Times in London did. “Murdoch is helping terrorists?” he tweaked.

9:20 German mag Der Spiegel out with its 2nd issue on its access to cables. A lot on Iraq. One headline: “US Diplomats Bewildered and Bamboozled in Baghdad.” Say its based on their reading of 5500 cables. This raises key point: WikiLeaks itself has still posted less than 900 cables — due to relying on heavy redacting by its news org partners. But the same partners do have the complete 250,000 cables. So they, not WikiLeaks, are the ones breaking news and quoting from — even if not posting — all the cables.

8:50 WikiLeaks releases long list of potential U.S. targets around the world in “war on terrror,” all the way to China. Much controversy in UK as this broke, some claiming it was worst move yet by group.

They are Spartacus: The number of WikiLeaks mirror sites now up to 355…. WikiLeak tweets: “Sarah Palin says Julian should be hunted down like Osama bin Laden–so he should be safe for at least a decade.” Still, surprised that Palin, on Sarah Palin’s Alaska, did not shoot Assange from a helicopter last night..

To recap, four media organizations {The Guardian [United Kingdom], El País [The Country – Spain], Le Monde [The World – France], and Der Spiegel [The Mirror – Germany]} have all of the leaked documents and are redacting them to remove things that might endanger people. [Note that the New York Times is a parasite on The Guardian and clears everything with the government before publishing it.] WikiLeaks is only putting up the redacted material, not dumping everything, and is posting it after the media sites.

The same people who are yelling and screaming about WikiLeaks have routinely ignored things like the Valery Plame outing, and passing documents to AIPAC. We already know from the AIPAC case that receiving stolen classified documents is not considered worthy of prosecution, even if those receiving them are American citizens who then pass them on to intelligence agents from a foreign country.

And finally, we know that many of the documents that are in the minority of classified documents, are fictions created to mislead foreign intelligence agents as to US intentions.


1 Kryten42 { 12.06.10 at 10:56 pm }

You are completely correct, and I couldn’t agree more. But we both already knew from day one the people screaming were either totally hypocritical morons, or had something to hide. So, nothing really new for anyone who has a clue. (I read that post by Cole last night. He’s on a roll, good to see!) 😀

It’d be funny if… hmmmm… it… wasn’t… so…errrrmmm… funny?! 😉 LMAO (Yeah… still laughing!!)

2 Steve Bates { 12.06.10 at 11:59 pm }

“Sarah Palin says Julian should be hunted down like Osama bin Laden–so he should be safe for at least a decade.”


To be ignored by the US Government, Assange would have to do something truly pernicious and highly illegal… torture, unleashing attacks that terrorize thousands of civilians, etc. As far as I can tell, nothing he has done is actually illegal for him to do, even if the same act might be illegal for an American citizen… so of course they go after him, and the law be damned.

Pursuing him is pure, unadulterated harassment. But in this day and age, that might be good enough to assure him an indefinite prison term. These are not the glory days of the rule of law.

3 Bryan { 12.07.10 at 12:06 am }

Well, I don’t know many will understand why the fiction is classified, but that is justifiable for a lot of reasons. Protecting the people who wrote them from looking like they were ignorant of policy or just twits, isn’t the purpose, but people who follow events would know that. Games within games within the Great Game … I don’t miss having to keep track of that kind of crap – it’s like the poison drink scene in The Princess Bride – really stupid when you see it at a distance, but it does make things like the Normandy Landings in WWII possible.

The bit about Congresscritter King supporting the IRA really ticks me off. The IRA came closer than anyone else in eliminating me during one of their campaigns in London. After all the things I had done, to be killed while shopping would have been really embarrassing at the funeral. What kind of dangerous mission is buying a Christmas present for your Mother? I have no desire for people to be maudlin at my funeral, but I would appreciate an absence of snickering.

4 Bryan { 12.07.10 at 12:14 am }

Well, Steve, they are totally incompetent at pursuing real terrorists, so they invent terrorists that they think they can catch.

Apparently Treasury got to his Swiss bank and they have frozen his accounts, just like PayPal did with the Dutch non-profit that supports WikiLeaks. The thoroughly absurd excuses that are coming from these businesses are really tiresome. The Swiss bank “just discovered” that he doesn’t live in Geneva? Has anyone frozen Roman Polanski’s accounts? Nice bit of consistency there.

5 Badtux { 12.07.10 at 1:10 am }

Or as someone snarked on Twitter, “Swiss to Assange: You’re not Nazi enough for us.” :).

It is becoming clearer and clearer that the outrage over how much damage Wikileaks is going to do to America is as manufactured as the outrage over how much damage Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction would do to America. The question is, what is the desired end game of this manufactured outrage? Clearly it’s not capturing Assange and putting him into Gitmo, that could be fairly easily done just by asking MI-5 politely. Assange may be able to hide from journalists but in heavily-surveilled Britain, which has more CCTV cameras monitoring its population than the rest of the world combined, it’s basically impossible for someone of his profile to hide from the government. We know what the end game of the manufactured outrage over Saddam’s imaginary weapons of mass destruction was — the invasion of Iraq. But you can’t invade Wikileaks…

— Badtux the Paranoid Penguin

6 Bryan { 12.07.10 at 11:38 am }

Well, if Obama is following the same path as Dubya, I expect that at some point Lebanon will be pulled into the mix and then the US will launch a preemptive strike. Dubya fixated on his dad, and Obama fixates on Ronnie. Iraq was considered GHW Bush’s mistake, and Lebanon is considered a failure by RR.

There has to be a war so Obama can prove he’s a real Republican in Dem-ouflage.

7 Kryten42 { 12.10.10 at 12:07 am }

I assume you have heard about all the hack & DDoS attacks against all organizations operating against WikiLeaks? ROFL

Normally, I wouldn’t condone this sort of thing, but I actually think it’s justified in this case (since many of the targets have behaved, or are behaving, illegally against WikiLeaks). *shrug* Besides, anyone who who shuts down that stupid cow Palin’s site should get medals IMNSHO! 😆 It may not be legal, but it is Justice! 😛

Just BTW, if a company the size of Visa (and Amazon, MasterCard, Paypal, etc) can be shut down for a day by a relatively simple DDoS attack by mostly teenagers, I have no idea what they are paying their IT dep’t for, they are morons and the US is so totally screwed! Never mind worrying about China! LOL If this is an example, China probably have had complete mirror dumps of most US corp & Gov sites for ages! 😆 Too funny! 😆 What Maroons! 😀 Amazon have decided that the loss of revenue for a day is incentive to put WikiLeaks back up! Ahhh yes… The Power of the All Mighty Dollar! Amazon (and others) will happily screw the law, but when it comes to loosing profits…! 😈

Operation Payback: Hacktivists for WikiLeaks

Assange supporters attack Visa website

Amazon Hosting WikiLeaks Again, for Now

And to think I was getting bored! 😆

8 Bryan { 12.10.10 at 9:58 pm }

What really gets me about these attacks is that they are having an impact on the sites. Give me a damn break, these are scriptkiddies doing a voluntary DDoS attack, not the orchestrated ‘botnet attacks against WikiLeaks. My hosting service sloughs these things off all the time because of some of the sites they host, and these major financial service companies can’t deal with them? Who the hell are they hosting with – The Grace L. Ferguson Internet Hosting (and Storm Door Company)? [Ancient Bob Newhart reference from before he had a TV show]

The corporate jerks have out-sourced their Internet services to the lowest bidder, and they probably have few, if any, IT people on staff.

“People” are saying that the Chinese are the most probable source for the ‘botnet attacks, as they were unhappy about the revelations about their North Korea relations coming out at such an unsettled time.

You have to wonder that none of these fools looked a calendar and said, we aren’t doing anything risky during the Christmas season.