Leaking

β€žA freedom of speech, as long as you don`t say too much…β€œ

The number one news all over the world these days is 250,000 secret documents Julian Assange published on the web site WikiLeaks. Information he provided caused a lot of politicians all over the world to seethe inside, but most of all, he showed an inadequacy of the intelligence and security systems of major players on the world scene, USA, EU and China. Russia will probably soon be joining them.

Of course, the media exploded with information that showed how even close political and military allies have second thoughts about each other and are watching and spying on eachother whenever they can. Most of those documents showed the US government as two faced liars; even high level politicians were pretty embarrased by the fact that they ordered diplomatic representatives to spy and report about personal details of politicians in the countries of residence. This feels like a punch below the belt from the USA allies` point of view, or a backstab, if you prefer that expression.

There is a story that I always like to tell when I am discussing politicians. Some time ago, one famous Japanese expert in international economy was asked an interesting question. A person who interviewed him asked him to explain why, in trade negotiations, when there are western trade experts facing Japanese ones, the western almost always got the short end of a stick. He said that the answer is simple: In western countries, the best students stay at colleges, middle ones become economists and the worst go into politics. In Japan, the best students become economists, the middle ones stay in college and the worst ones end up as politicians πŸ˜† I am sorry but I forgot his name, it would be nice to find that interview and quote it here. :up:

But unlike the information WikiLeaks published before about intentional or unintentional killings of civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq (by allied forces or whatever they call themselves), friendly fire casualties, torturing in Guantanamo or extrajudicial killings in Kenya, the latest documents sound like idle gossip. I can`t really understand how information such as what tranquilizers president of Argentina is taking or if Nicolas Sarkozy, a president of France is jumping on the nerves of Angela Merkel, a Chancellor of Germany, or if Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish PM has eight secret Swiss bank accounts. It sounds comical to read that Putin and Medvedev, PM and president of Russia are compared to Batman and Robin :doh: According to USA diplomats, Putin wields less power than his "alpha dog" image in the media portrays :left: What does that information show? That international diplomacy has double standards? That politicians are liars? That some of them are crooked and ready to suck up to more powerful allies and friends? Well, it is pretty close to what a professional politician meant, since ancient Greek times to present days. There is nothing new here. Politicians are just like other people with all the positive and more likely, negative attributes we all have, but with the power to change the lives of all of us. And this is where the real value of that information lies. Politicians are sensitive to their public image and image of country they represent – of course, because their jobs depend on it. WikiLeaks put pressure on that spot and scored a lot. But, it all reminds me of an old joke about a husband cleaning the appartment and pushing all the dirt under the carpet; one day a child pulls up the carpet and the wife sees what is there and all hell breaks loose.

According to Wikipedia, Australian journalist, publisher and internet activist Julian Paul Assange founded Wikileaks in 2006. He published information about controversial procedures in Guantanamo Bay prison and became a target of a hate campaign (The Guardian) in USA, after publishing US diplomatic cables. About his work in WikiLeaks he wrote, "The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie.”

This is a fairly accurate explanation of what are we witnessing these days. So, no wonder, Swedish authorities suddenly issued an arrest warrant against Assange for alleged sex offenses and Interpol put him on a list of most wanted persons. The Wiki Leaks website also became a target of massive distributed denial-of-service attack (DoS), and internet data storage providers decided to refuse to provide storage for Wiki Leaks presentation and databases. PayPal even blocked money donations. Paranoid reactions? Sarah Palin, USA republican representative and Tom Flanagan, former key advisor to the current Canadian PM Stephen Harper, have gone the farthest; Palin said that Assange should be persecuted like Osama bin-Laden and Flanagan suggested that President of USA Barack Obama should put a contract out on Assange’s life or send out a drone to kill him. The very next day he retracted his statement saying: "I never seriously intended to advocate or propose the assassination of Mr. Assange. But I do think that what he's doing is very malicious and harmful to diplomacy and endangering people's lives, and I think it should be stopped." Yeah, right….

The story about Julian Assange and Wiki Leaks is not over yet and probably not for some time. Especially after USA warned some allies, stating that more β€œsecret US files will cause international embarrassment and may even damage some bilateral relations.” In my opinion, if someone really wanted to stop him, he lost his chance years ago. Now, when he gets all the media and public attention, it seems very hard, an almost impossible task. But it is hard to tell what Assange`s future will be like. He wanted to achieve something and, according to my experience, it is usually not what appears to be on the front sides of newspapers. We just need to be patient and wait. The story will be continued. For sure.

***
I didn`t want to start with conspiracy theory here for at least two reasons:
-first, I don`t believe in everything I hear; few days ago someone told me that it is probably some kind of β€œinternal American set up among CIA and Pentagon”; and that Assange is maybe some new Jason Bourne :doh: World has became paranoid enough without me contributing to that πŸ˜›
-second, Sanshan would criticize me and I appreciate her opinion a lot; somehow she seems to get to the heart of things without (seemingly) much effort from her part;
Sometimes I think and rethink too much and this is where conspiracy theories are born :psmurf: So I often tell myself: look at the facts, get to the point, don`t make theories, be as short as possible when posting. πŸ˜†

***
About WikiLeaks and Serbia, there were some documents published about how our politicians are seen in the eyes of western diplomats; nothing new we didn`t already know. The chief of the Serbian branch office of Interpol said that if Assange appears in Serbia, he will be arrested and since he is accused for non-political crime πŸ™„ there will be no problems for extradition. The same newspapers made a poll on their website and over 90% of people were against arresting.


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126 Responses to Leaking

  1. thetomster says:

    :up: great post, luckily I decided not to post anything about WikiLeaks, it would have been pretty much the same … apart from the "San-passage" in my case it would have been Teresia πŸ™„ seemingly getting to the point of of things while I'm still (re-)thinking.The high approach of WikiLeaks (too much and too often personalized) is something that we still need here even if everyone already knows about two-faced, crooked-tongued polit(r)ics and stupid, greedy polit(r)icians … there's no conspiracy too dumb and stupid that media won't make money out of it … and the only real conspiracy going on is the conspiracy of stupid polit(r)icians thinking they won't be caught by others … and then showing even more stupidity when they are acting like they do now …I really enjoyed this …:up:

  2. sanshan says:

    Wikileaks are just that…leaks. It's like letting a little bit of pressure off the reservoir behind a dam. Let some of the water out so the dam doesn't burst. The really big secrets are still hidden behind.

  3. LorenzoCelsi says:

    Politicians are nothing different from your neighbor.

  4. SittingFox says:

    Sounds to me like a bunch of controllers worried that just for a second they lost a tiny bit of control.

  5. Furie says:

    Funny, I was just writing something up about this myself, concentrating on the sudden reactionary aspect of it. I'll leave you with my conclusion:"I may be alone in this, but I believe that a politician who calls for the sanctioned murder of any individual for posting what amounts to gossip, whether they live in that politician's country or not, is very malicious, harmful to diplomacy and endangering people's lives. And yeah, I think it should be stopped."

  6. claudeb says:

    People always do all they can to shift responsibilities on somebody else's shoulders. They blame guns for violent crimes instead of blaming the criminals. They blame Wikileaks for endangering the soldiers in Iraq instead of blaming those who sent them there in the first place. At least whistleblowing bothers them… which means it hurts them. That's good to know.

  7. KYren says:

    Thank God, I have made all my taps, tanks and pipes leak proof. I am a professional plumber.

  8. gdare says:

    Originally posted by Furie:

    and photoshop a picture of the politician onto Santa porn

    πŸ˜† πŸ˜† :lol:Kyren, no advertising on my blog 😑 Unless we made some kind of deal :whistle: How much will you charge them? :devil:

  9. Furie says:

    No, you've pretty much covered what I wanted to say. Add in the conclusion I had and photoshop a picture of the politician onto Santa porn and it's there.

  10. gdare says:

    Dirk and Mik, I have found several websites with people blogging about that, probably some of the OC members has do the same before me. I didn`t want to draw any conclusions, just wanted to tell what I think about all of this. I don`t like big headlines because this is only projected part of the story. Sensacionalist part. It has nothing to do with the real problem.Mik, I like that conclusion, will you publish that post?Lorenzo, you are right; and I know some people from my neighbourhood who became politicians. It was no one I would respect :left:San, I don`t want to know how much dirt is in the main tank then :yikes:Felix, what bothered me was the fact they didn`t burst when he published things about Guantanamo, or civilian killings in Iraq and Afghanistan. Killings and torture seem not to disturb them. But when their personal dirt comes to open… :mad:Adele, at lest it was fun watching some of them having long faces on TV screens :PKyren, be careful they might hire you to do the plumbing, then πŸ˜›

  11. KYren says:

    My company's name is Leakyproof, this was a great opportunity to advertise my company. Gov officials, reading this, PM me for the details as to my telephone number and address.

  12. gdare says:

    This is what Jason Bourne said :eyes::jester:

  13. KYren says:

    Being professional, Leakyproof doesn't discuss these matters in public. My contact details will be sent to you, Darko, it will look like a harmless thing, but remember nothing is as it looks like.P.S. (James Boon works for us)

  14. raniakasim says:

    the way of dealing with American diplomats will deffer to the degree that some divided it to two periods "before wikileaks documents and after wikileaks documents ", that's what i heard in the news today

  15. gdare says:

    Rania, you are right, this time will be divided in those two categories :up:Martin, I was not worried about reactions from my readers; no matter if someone else already wrote about same subject or not, I know I have devoted readers and visitors here and their comments are appreciated and wnated here. And comments from any other party, as well :up: I had something else in mind when I was thinking about whether I should post it or not. But I spent about 3 hours writing it and Sanshan spent some time in errors checking; she assured me it was worth publishing, so here it is πŸ˜€

  16. Aqualion says:

    I can't belive you actually considered not to post this because you were worried about consequenses, reactions from other Opera members and such. You should never consider publishing anything, friend. Just do it. We did not fight the fight for freedom of speech and go the distance to just sit back and keep our mouths shot. Statements – posts, articles, etc. – that doesn't have consequences, that doesn't make people react; those are the statements you should consider not to state.

  17. Aqualion says:

    I do believe Sanshan is a good woman. In general, but especially for you. :up: That was exactly what I meant. I know how long it takes for people like us who are not English to write a story like yours, and it would really be a bummer if you suddenly got second thoughts after writing it. I wish I had the time to do substancial posts like this, i really do.Keep it up!

  18. gdare says:

    Martin, take your time, you are doing nice posts anyway :yes:San, what I don`t get is why he reacted like that? I can`t remember his name was mentioned in any of those cables. Not that I read them all but no one mentioned him in public. And as a political advisor (former or not) he should have had more self control and think-before-tell state of mind :left:

  19. sanshan says:

    Well, Flanagan is the "former" advisor to Stephen Harper. He is a university professor now. I think what he said was taken out of context…a bit. He has apologized since. But he probably said something that a lot of people were thinking anyway.

  20. sanshan says:

    Yes, of course he should have had more control over his tongue. But I appreciate his honesty. We all know world leaders are wishing Assange dead but don't have the balls to say so.

    Flanagan, a University of Calgary professor who once served as Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief of staff during his days as Opposition leader, has said he regrets his "glib" comment on CBC's Power & Politics with Evan Solomon calling for the assassination of Assange."I never seriously intended to advocate or propose the assassination of Mr. Assange," Flanagan told the CBC's Solomon on Wednesday."But I do think that what he's doing is very malicious and harmful to diplomacy and endangering people's lives, and I think it should be stopped."Government House leader John Baird has said Flanagan does not speak for Harper's Conservative government and has not worked for the prime minister for several years.

    If you go to this link you can then click on the video link on the right hand side to hear a bit of the interview. http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2010/12/03/wikileaks-assange-flanagan.html#ixzz17GkgULbWAnyway, I heard the interview and I could see he was being very "tongue in cheek", trying to be funny. The tone of his voice does not translate to print. Hey, we live in Canada. Our national broadcaster doesn't censor people.

  21. Furie says:

    I think I've got my sources crossed somewhere. I've got that quote down as coming from a Pentagon chief. Good job I didn't post. :left:

  22. gdare says:

    Yeah, media can twist that sometimes :left:

  23. sanshan says:

    Smart man. :flirt:

  24. gdare says:

    Originally posted by sanshan:

    Let me make this clear, Flanagan is not a politician.

    My word has to be the last!!! :knight:Yes, dear! :heart::lol:

  25. sanshan says:

    Let me make this clear, Flanagan is not a politician.

  26. sanshan says:

    That's a secret even Wikileaks can't reveal. πŸ˜‰

  27. Furie says:

    How on earth did you get someone so tall under your thumb like that? :eyes:

  28. Furie says:

    :sst: Stepladder?

  29. sanshan says:

    Originally posted by Furie:

    Stepladder?

    Yes! I make him kneel on it. :devil:

  30. gdare says:

    πŸ™„

  31. Suntana says:

    IMO, this Julian Paul Assange is a Scumball, Sleazebag A-Hole Rebel Loose Cannon who is engaging in an equivalent of breaking & entering on some level … and extortion, blackmail and terrorism.Just because governments, politicians, militaries and such were negligent with the security of the Info that was acquired, it does NOT make it OK for the aforementioned A-Hole to get it and spread it … AND theaten to make it worse. It doesn't matter what the content is. If he didn't have authorization to have access to that Info, it HAS to be illegal. That Julian Paul AssWipe is no better than your regulation Computer Virus Creator.Threatening government worldwide as he is doing amounts to terrorism.

  32. Stardancer says:

    Very good post, Darko.:up:

  33. sanshan says:

    American policies rub me the wrong way even more. The guy is a scapegoat. US politicians should be breathing a sigh of relief that he's taken some of the pressure off them.

  34. Suntana says:

    Originally posted by sanshan:

    American policies rub me the wrong way even more.

    The difference is … as far as I know, you're not hacking computers, acquiring Info illegally and threatening the USA with it.

  35. claudeb says:

    Originally posted by Suntana:

    It doesn't matter what the content is. If he didn't have authorization to have access to that Info, it HAS to be illegal.

    Yeah, and free speech was illegal under Communism. And being a Jew was illegal under Nazism. And torture of prisoners is apparently legal under… whatever the current US regime is called. Not to mention warrantless wiretapping and abusive searches of ordinary citizens.

  36. Suntana says:

    Whatever … that guy rubs me the wrong way in the manner he's decided to conduct his stunt.

  37. sanshan says:

    He's not the only one hacking computers. Every country hires their own. Besides, I'm sure the really secret documents have not been disclosed yet. Don't you think it's important to know what has really happened in Guantanamo and Afghanistan?HELLLOOOO Chinese spies!

  38. Suntana says:

    To me, what that guy is doing is equivalent of:If I forget to lock my place's door, it is perfectly OK and legal for someone to walk in and steal all my stuff because HEY! The burglar had the know how of how to get in … as in the unlocked door. If I had the blueprint for some revolutionary product in my computer's hard drive, it would be perfectly OK and legal for some Hacker to steal them and profit with them because HEY! I didn't have a secure enough system and he / she had the know how of how to acquire them.There are different ways of looking at this.Obviously a certain angle might make him appear like he's doing a good service. And then there's the other angle from where he's committing as much wrong as whatever is in the secrets he's divulging.

  39. studio41 says:

    "by the fact that they ordered diplomatic representatives to spy and report about personal details of politicians in the countries of residence. This feels like a punch below the belt from the USA allies` point of view, or a backstab, if you prefer that expression."I understand (I haven't finished the entire post yet, Darko) why we do it. it may embarrass officials, but they've an entire country of people to keep safe and sound as do all governments. "intelligence gathering" AKA "spying" is simply part of it. our best friend and ally isn't just one person met over many cups of coffee, it's high level officials w/ job desciptions that they all hopefully take very seriously- I don't believe they are creating intimate relationships together, but mere professional ones- when managing the interests of many citizens I imagine they believe it doesn't hurt to be too careful. someone can lie straight to your face and all these men and women do is share diplomatic functions and phone calls…what are your thoughts?loyalty is assumed, not guaranteed. meaning, as a country, one trusts its friends' loyalty, but cannot be certain… I think history and time of trust effectuates this, but over time… and these are precarious times we live in. I'm not justifying it necessarily- just saying it is what it is.as I said, I haven't read the entire article. just wanted to comment at that point.I think it is interesting, too, that so much of recent history has hinged on US economy- or many countries criticise/critique US for economic issues and failures… at least is my understanding… and US is a "super-power" with that wields great expectation from foreign countries to 'maintain' things such as economic viability, leadership, stability… because of ripple effect… and, too, her citizens expect protection- a different world now we live in… things seem to be changing w/ 'globalisation' and new expectations and demands from other nations, and hasty and mad judgments…I love my country but not all of the choices "she" has made. I'm not a Obama advocate, I'm more in line w/ Palin values…my daugher says, "they gonna call you craycray." πŸ˜† oh well, so be it.

  40. raniakasim says:

    Originally posted by gdare:

    I spent about 3 hours writing it

    when i read the first lines of it i thought that it is a quoted article , but when i finished it i realized that u wrote it , i find ur article so interesting article , thanks to u and to Sanshan

  41. claudeb says:

    Originally posted by Suntana:

    To me, what that guy is doing is equivalent of:If I forget to lock my place's door, it is perfectly OK and legal for someone to walk in and steal all my stuff

    Except he only publishes those documents; other people leak them out. And again, it's not like somebody entered the home of a completely innocent man and taken away his hard-earned material possessions. We're talking information — which is not matter (really, how hard is that to comprehend?) — about the way world leaders, who are supposed to, you know, protect their countries, abuse their power and terrorize their own people instead.

    Originally posted by Suntana:

    If I had the blueprint for some revolutionary product in my computer's hard drive, it would be perfectly OK and legal for some Hacker to steal them and profit with them

    Again, "legal" and "OK" are often different things. It was perfectly legal for Mr. Watt, as the inventor of the steam engine, to block any innovation by his competitors as long as the patent lasted. But that prevented any progress for 20 long years. And at least people weren't dying for lack of a better steam engine. They are dying for lack of better, cheaper medicines. Big pharma, anyone?

    But all this has nothing to do with the fact that the same people who keep telling us that we shouldn't mind naked body scans and warrantless wiretapping because "we have nothing to hide" are desperate to, whaddayaknow, hide their own shameful actions that are endangering all of us. Are you willing to follow the law to an early grave?

  42. Aqualion says:

    As far as I know what WikiLeaks offers is straght up leaks. They haven't hacked into any networks or stolen any classified information. The data they have comes from people within the organisations and government administrations, from 'the horse's mouth', so to speak. This is not illegal. This is what journalists have been doing for two centuries. The sources who have supplied the Wikees with data might have violated the laws of their countries or the rules of the organisations, but WikiLeaks is only a platform for these informations, like a newspaper or a television channel.Persecution and prosecution of members of the WikiLeak crew is not okay. Free press is free press, unlimited, global and universal.

  43. Furie says:

    Originally posted by Suntana:

    To me, what that guy is doing is equivalent of:If I forget to lock my place's door, it is perfectly OK and legal for someone to walk in and steal all my stuff because HEY! The burglar had the know how of how to get in … as in the unlocked door. If I had the blueprint for some revolutionary product in my computer's hard drive, it would be perfectly OK and legal for some Hacker to steal them and profit with them because HEY! I didn't have a secure enough system and he / she had the know how of how to acquire them.

    Actually it's more like this. A burglar waltzes into your house, steals your stuff and then your kids decide to sell the few remaining bits and pieces because they're bored. One guy lets it be known that he's buying these items, actually returns the ones you need to survive to you because they're too damaging to sell, but puts a photo of you wearing a kinky maid outfit on a market stall for everyone to see and surrounds it with regular legally acquired products he's selling from other people.

  44. Aqualion says:

    There has been no hacking. This is straight up whistleblower journalism. No theft.The reason why Wikileaks withhold some of the data they have collected is because they need the assurance. This is old school cold war intelligence procedure. To put pressure on CIA, in case Assange or associates should be prosecuted and put away.There is actually profound and substancial information in some of the documents that have been leaked. It is not only stuff that we already knew, as some criticists say. Actually some of the leaks about the COP meetings contained information that not even the deligated politicians knew anything about, of the substancial and important kind. So, it is not just a question of leaking already available data (and gossip) to the public. This is genuine whistleblowing.

  45. claudeb says:

    Hot news: Julian Assange has just been arrested in London. Can you guess what he's being charged with? Espionage, maybe? Naaah. Treason? Perish the thought. No, the arrest warrant is for alleged rape. Turns out you're right, Martin K: he hasn't done anything illegal, so they had to make up something just to get their hands on him.The world's most powerful governments are waging war against a single man. Sounds familiar? It should. A certain Ossama ben Laden is still at large. Makes you wonder what is true about him…

  46. Furie says:

    If they were after an actual crime to arrest him for, they should have arrested him for hanging around with Voldemort.:whistle:

  47. Aqualion says:

    Normal procedure for people in Assange's shoes would be to 'Pull a Polanski' – flea the country and go somewhere out of reach of the Swedish police. A rape claim is serious business, but not serious enough for international police organisations to red flag a person. Normally Europol and Interpol only deal with warrants based on a court decision for persons wanted to serve a sentence, like the original Polanski – 'red notice' or 'red flag'. Persons who are only accused are normally left under the juristiction of the country where they have committed the accused crime. A 'Polanski' sometimes includes fleaing to a country that has no extradition agreements with the country that has issued the warrant.Assange didn't flea, which propaply means he feels safe. It can also mean that he doesn't want to appear guilty.

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