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Author Topic: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?  (Read 12380 times)

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Offline Oniya

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Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #100 on: January 04, 2011, 11:12:55 AM »
         Now on the OP column:  Disregarding huge hyperbole in its last paragraph, the column alleges that Wikileaks has harmed US interests by providing Mugabe with an excuse to prosecute Tsvangirai for treason.  There are certain built-in assumptions. 

I thought the point was that Wikileaks has potentially harmed Tsvangirai himself.

Offline kylie

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Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #101 on: January 04, 2011, 11:38:31 AM »
         You're partly right, Oniya...  However, consider the way the column pinned this man with the hopes of the US/West too: 

Quote
  ... But now, with the recent release of sensitive diplomatic cables, WikiLeaks may have committed its own collateral murder, upending the precarious balance of power in a fragile African state and signing the death warrant of its pro-western premier.

          I'm fuzzy on whether it's all more or less one in the same when he's bundled into terminology like "democratic opposition."  Although the fact might be that it's more nationalist and perhaps grass-roots...  The wording as used in our media, lends itself neatly to both human rights activists (should they choose to accept the characterization) or to some "security" types who feel Assange deserves the terrorist label.  With us or against us, and all that...  "Democratic opposition" could be mostly local.  Or it could be a lot of wishful thinking on the part of Western organizations with "their dog in the fight" (as they see it).

         To be fair, Tsvangirai just might be the upright sort of guy...  I don't really know, apart from the cable murmuring that he's not the most brilliant strategist etc.  Apparently he once led a massacre by the same party that Mugabe rode into power, but he later presented his remorse...  I'm a little skeptical when it comes to national candidates and such an embattled arena, though.  My hunch would be that he has some goo on his fingers, just hopefully not too much unnecessary blood? 

         But then generally: I tend to think you should admit cross-cutting interests and flaws, rather than see them all as scandal fodder...  I'm more worried about what kind of system sustains the regional mess he inherited, than whether we have a sort of temporary, possibly US-backed fix in his particular corner for a couple years.  Even the diplomats are saying, he may finally win only to lose it all again.

         All this doesn't mean that it would be meaningless if in fact the cable made that much difference (which I doubt it did)...  To me, though, it would downgrade the actual impact a lot.     

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #102 on: January 04, 2011, 12:03:08 PM »
The question I'm putting forward is this: 'Did the Wikileaks' release of a confidential discussion get this man killed'.

Not: 'Is this man the second coming of Ghandi/Nelson Mandela?'

A lot of folks have argued that the release of these documents have done 'no harm to anyone directly' or 'everything that was released was already known if you knew where to look'.

In this case it wasn't knowledge commonly available. And anyone that looked on Mugabe's past actions to political rivals (and their 'accidents') would know what would happen.

Offline kylie

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Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #103 on: January 04, 2011, 05:42:05 PM »
Quote from: Callie Del Noire
The question I'm putting forward is this: 'Did the Wikileaks' release of a confidential discussion get this man killed'.

Not: 'Is this man the second coming of Ghandi/Nelson Mandela?'

A lot of folks have argued that the release of these documents have done 'no harm to anyone directly' or 'everything that was released was already known if you knew where to look'.

          Well, if the capabilities of the person in question are not important, then why fuss over this particular case at all?  We have to look at his present situation and the ultimate goals we consider important.  Everyone can pick a different formula to say just how they tally the costs and benefits.  If some incremental increase in threat to this significant figure is a cost, then does it exceed the potential benefits?  Otherwise: I don't see the point arguing over how many different, mechanical ways various mortals could die and how soon precisely if we all do or don't know different things.  One doesn't call "collateral damage" or "terrorists" without a conflict over some kind of values, objectives -- and a specific group of people declared as worth more than others.

          All kinds of information can cause a change in history and may lead to a death, or to someone not being born for that matter.  We can stop opening all the newspapers, and maybe see who is lost because we were missing some pertinent warnings that day...  So yes obviously, the claim that information is harmless should not be read literally.  If you think about it, aren't we all guilty of collateral damage to the extent we don't stop pursuing lives that are at others' expense, somewhere along the economic supply chain?  I suppose it's possible to argue that this or that cable is more likely than others to increase the occupational risk for certain people...  But how many people stand to benefit from so many cables being released, and how and when?  Perhaps more honestly:  Which people exactly -- Not only what nation or faction of the moment, but which class, and what kind of ethical agents?     

Quote
In this case it wasn't knowledge commonly available. And anyone that looked on Mugabe's past actions to political rivals (and their 'accidents') would know what would happen.

         Okay now Tsvingari is a VIP after all -- for just as long as he is useful or "virtuous" enough...  Yes, I understand that people may say this creates a problem for him.  I don't know well enough if this is the sort of problem where it's all threat and no gain, or if a higher profile works to his advantage (in this case, as he also goes on pointing to the diamond mines cables etc.). 
   
          Since there is always a conflict...  Will more information in the clear make the conflict heat up?  Will it contribute to a nicer outcome sooner or later?  Who really knows?  With more transparency, people may make better choices.  Governance might also improve.  If in the near future the prime minister is killed, then lots of people will blame Wikileaks for "increasing" risks, without any further evidence.  If that does not come to pass and more pressure lands on Mugabe, then some people will credit Wikileaks with throwing light on the whole situation...  In fact, either position might be too simplistic.  Who can really predict this with crystal clarity, through all the variables?  If you want to find some "line," I think it's wide and fuzzy rather than thin and red...  There are so many issues playing at so many levels.  It's too easy to say that journalists and lay people should never get involved.  That too easily blurs into arguing that they should never know anything, either. 
   
« Last Edit: January 04, 2011, 05:49:01 PM by kylie »

Offline Oniya

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Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #104 on: January 04, 2011, 06:13:35 PM »
What I saw was a simple counter to the argument that the release has done no direct harm to anyone.  Callie's post showed that yes, the release of this confidential information could indeed endanger this one specific person.  Had the contents of that discussion not been leaked (by Wikileaks or someone else), then Tsvangirai's role in the sanctions would have remained 'under the table'.  Had he transparently supported the sanctions, there's no question that he would have suffered the consequences for it.

True, Mugabe is probably looking for any excuse or opportunity to off someone who disagrees with him, but this does sort of hand it to him on a silver platter.  It's like saying 'Hi, you're pretty pissed off at that guy over there.  You'd kill him if you could.  Here's the firing pin for that gun over there."  A firing pin is a rather innocuous thing by itself, but without it, the gun is useless.

The problem I see is that the goal line is now being moved.  Rather than 'this hasn't done anyone any harm that we know of', it's 'this hasn't done any harm to any good-guys that we know of'.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #105 on: January 04, 2011, 06:16:35 PM »
Okay, I see four paragraphs and nothing to answer the question put forward by me.

It could be just as easily have been a Banker who was being coerced by human traffickers to launder money. I brought this up because this is the FIRST case that was as a result of the leaks explicitly.

The question was: 'If he's killed because the evidence that Wikileaks provided, can Assange and Wikileaks continue to say that they aren't responsible for it?'

Not a debate on the merit of the person being killed. Which is what you seem to be discussing Kylie.

If tomorrow the news comes out that Mutabe's wife, who was named in diamond smuggling, ordered the murder of the men her group pressed into hand picking them out of the soil would it still be a four paragraph debate on the merits of 'free information'?

Or is Wikileaks 'free data' more important than a bunch of pressganged farmers in Africa as well? When does responsiblity for their actions finally come up? One man, a dozen, hundred or does the release of the cables triggering a slaughter into the thousands still not stain their hands.

Mugabe is the type of man Wikileaks worked against with the release of evidence of their corruption, now they are aiding him in securing a hold on his only real rival? Sorry, time to face up to the implications of their actions.'

And since when do we measure the merit of the life our actions kill? Last time I checked murder, by proxy or action, is still murder.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2011, 06:19:07 PM by Callie Del Noire »

Offline Will

Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #106 on: January 06, 2011, 12:45:54 AM »
So America lost a chance to meddle in another country's politics?  I'm not sure that's a bad thing, regardless of whether the guy dies or not.  That sort of thing hasn't always worked out in our favor.  I won't argue that information released by Wikileaks could lead to people being killed.  I'm just saying that, in this particular case, I see plenty of upside to balance the down.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #107 on: January 06, 2011, 12:56:01 AM »
Wow.. it's amazing how well so many people think it's okay that a reasonably good man in a country run by bad men is going to die because Wikileaks didn't think before they put stuff out.

I guess it's alright because it's not us dying. It's only someone overseas in Africa. No one important apparently.

Offline Will

Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #108 on: January 06, 2011, 01:06:53 AM »
Oh, you've never thought it was okay for someone to die to serve a better purpose in foreign policy?

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #109 on: January 06, 2011, 01:25:41 AM »
Oh, you've never thought it was okay for someone to die to serve a better purpose in foreign policy?

Okay.. so you're saying that it's NOT okay for a journalist to out a Confidential Informant THIS (which is the same thing) IS OKAY?

Look. Diplomatic discussions go on ALL the time. A LOT of stuff isn't exactly kosher at the onset. For example, what would the folks of the 1970s congress had said/done if they knew President Nixon was opening diplomatic talks with China before he finished the initial work?

I'd tell you what.. He'd have been IMPEACHED and we'd have been decades building diplomatic bridges with them. Tensions today would be much higher without the work he did. And at the time he did it, it could have ended his career. It, if it hadn't been for his stupid actions over Watergate, would have been looked on as a measure equal in scope to the Camp David accords by President Carter. Both men, in those specific cases, did a LOT to build towards lowering tensions and building a diplomatic structure.

Mugabe has tried at least three times to kill Tsvangirai using the process of law, and I find it VERY coincidental that a mere month after he was forced to share power with Tsvangirai that the man and his wife were in a car accident. Mugabe is NOT a good man, he's done a LOT to keep ethic/tribal tensions at a peak. There are a LOT of bodies at his feet, and that of the party he leads.

You can't honestly tell me anyone that knows how to read Time, the New York Times, hell wikipedia wouldn't know what he'd do if he found out his MAJOR rival, and possibly the only threat to the power he and he party hold and possibly the man to build the country into something that won't be described as 'despotic', wasn't going use it as a way to justify killing him.

Wikileaks goofed. They are as culpable for his death, if it happens, as a journalist would be for revealing a confidential informant or the source in the White house who outed Valerie Plame was for the people she worked with overseas that were killed as a result of her identity as a NOC (No Official Cover) Agent of the CIA.

I know that from my outlook on the cables leak, that a good portion of the folks who disagree with me think I dislike Wikileaks. I didn't. They did a lot of good in Africa showing corruption, and in places in Asia, but this was irresponsible, reckless and now..
I'm fairly certain it's going to be the death of at least one man. Time will have to pass to see if someone other than Tsvangirai dies because of the way they handled this.

Offline Will

Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #110 on: January 06, 2011, 01:33:38 AM »
It was a yes or no question.

Do I think it was better that this guy die now, rather than us make a mess in another country and end up sending OUR citizens there in uniforms years down the line, just to have them get killed instead?  Yes, I do.

Quote
Okay.. so you're saying that it's NOT okay for a journalist to out a Confidential Informant THIS (which is the same thing) IS OKAY?

The case you mention had no positive results for us to outweigh the reckless outing.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2011, 01:35:36 AM by Will »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #111 on: January 06, 2011, 01:48:21 AM »
It was a yes or no question.

Do I think it was better that this guy die now, rather than us make a mess in another country and end up sending OUR citizens there in uniforms years down the line, just to have them get killed instead?  Yes, I do.

The case you mention had no positive results for us to outweigh the reckless outing.

I'm glad you don't make policy. That is an enormous amount of hubris there. Where, in the discussion of supporting UN backed sanctions against individuals in his country did Tsvangirai ask for military aid or was offered it?

Nowhere. Each of the incidents I cited (except Valerie Plame) were done in the interests of peace. Ironically Plame was outed to punish her husbands opposition to invading Iraq.

Tsvangirai's death will not stabilize his country, quite the opposite, and the man was perfectly willing to work with his rivals to promote change from within the government. That is reform, not revolt and most likely won't happen again. Leaders of his patience and sacrifice should be aided, not betrayed, by us.

Consider this, odds are Mugabe is behind the accident that happened to him a month after he took office. Could you work with a man that tried to kill you AND did kill your wife in that attempt?

This was not a prelude to us going in to invade. This was a normal diplomatic discussion behind closed doors.

Offline Will

Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #112 on: January 06, 2011, 01:55:27 AM »
I'm glad you don't make policy. That is an enormous amount of hubris there. Where, in the discussion of supporting UN backed sanctions against individuals in his country did Tsvangirai ask for military aid or was offered it?

Nowhere. Each of the incidents I cited (except Valerie Plame) were done in the interests of peace. Ironically Plame was outed to punish her husbands opposition to invading Iraq.

Tsvangirai's death will not stabilize his country, quite the opposite, and the man was perfectly willing to work with his rivals to promote change from within the government. That is reform, not revolt and most likely won't happen again. Leaders of his patience and sacrifice should be aided, not betrayed, by us.

Consider this, odds are Mugabe is behind the accident that happened to him a month after he took office. Could you work with a man that tried to kill you AND did kill your wife in that attempt?

This was not a prelude to us going in to invade. This was a normal diplomatic discussion behind closed doors.

I'm not talking about Tsingvari inviting our military into Zimbabwe.  I'm talking about us going in years down the line (like I said) after things didn't work out the way we'd hoped.  It wouldn't be the first time someone we helped take power ended up turning against us, would it?  This sort of thing has a way of ending badly, it would seem.

And you keep talking about Tsingvari like he's a saint.  It really doesn't matter to me. : /

Offline Kate

Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #113 on: January 06, 2011, 06:57:27 AM »
Quote
Wow.. it's amazing how well so many people think it's okay that a reasonably good man in a country run by bad men is going to die because Wikileaks didn't think before they put stuff out. I guess it's alright because it's not us dying. It's only someone overseas in Africa. No one important apparently.

Quote
"I thought the point was that Wikileaks has potentially harmed Tsvangirai himself."

Quote
'If he's killed because the evidence that Wikileaks provided, can Assange and Wikileaks continue to say that they aren't responsible for it?'

Quote
If tomorrow the news comes out that Mutabe's wife, who was named in diamond smuggling, ordered the murder of the men her group pressed into hand picking them out of the soil would it still be a four paragraph debate on the merits of 'free information'? Or is Wikileaks 'free data' more important than a bunch of pressganged farmers in Africa as well? When does responsibility for their actions finally come up? One man, a dozen, hundred or does the release of the cables triggering a slaughter into the thousands still not stain their hands. Mugabe is the type of man Wikileaks worked against with the release of evidence of their corruption, now they are aiding him in securing a hold on his only real rival? Sorry, time to face up to the implications of their actions.'

And since when do we measure the merit of the life our actions kill? Last time I checked murder, by proxy or action, is still murder.

Wiki-leaks => Murderer ?

Hmm. I don't think its Wikileaks which is abusing power they have. Nor is causing Tsvangirai harm, nor is trying to sue anyone or having any arrested. Wiki-leaks is releasing information to the public thats all. Those changing their actions based on information wikileaks produces do so for their own reasons. Reasons which Wikileaks did not create, nor stands for nor advocates.

~Actions~ others take based on information reveal their nature, not that of the messenger.

The more people who dislike what they see is in power and how power is used (or abused), the more difficult long term support will become, and the more particular they will to look for it in its germination stages. 

I beleive long term ~benefits~ of revealing the unethical nature of current ~institutions~ and ~governments~ behavior is what wiki-leaks advocates.

If he is killed ? That will likely backfire in the short medium or long term on the power choosing to do so, Martyrdom does have its place in positive aspects also - ie Biko south africa.

Quote
A lot of folks have argued that the release of these documents have done 'no harm to anyone directly' or 'everything that was released was already known if you knew where to look'. In this case it wasn't knowledge commonly available. And anyone that looked on Mugabe's past actions to political rivals (and their 'accidents') would know what would happen

What people do with the information isn't something that Wikileaks should be liable for.

Censoring information based on preventing A bad that COULD occur, even though GOOD could also is treating people like a second class
who "Can't handle the truth", and does assume the mantle of authority on what people should know and what they shouldn't, and frankly assumes short term complications is not worth that long term benefits that come from doing so...

What I think is more horrible than racism is information prejudiced for something that has far reaching implications of what currently done by people in power.

Taken to the extreme, biko - lets say the plight of biko was known to only wikileaks (and whoever gave it to wikileaks) but otherwise covered up. If the information was released it could be deemed that doing so is unjustified because of the danger to "whites" or those in government being violently overthrown. Thus deemed unethical to release the information, "too sensitive" to be released, the public being deemed "not being able to handle the truth"... if kept secret ... such abuse of power continues....

Short term complications (which can likely result in people being killed) vs long term benefits (fairer more ethical society generally).
I.E. our children inherit a "better world for it". I beleive its a governments role see to long term benefits for the world generally, starting with your own nation first. If governments don't ? Who should ? If governments aren't - Who should know ?

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #114 on: January 06, 2011, 10:24:53 AM »
I'm not talking about Tsingvari inviting our military into Zimbabwe.  I'm talking about us going in years down the line (like I said) after things didn't work out the way we'd hoped.  It wouldn't be the first time someone we helped take power ended up turning against us, would it?  This sort of thing has a way of ending badly, it would seem.

And you keep talking about Tsingvari like he's a saint.  It really doesn't matter to me. : /

Wow , that is an amazing amount of foresight there. So, folks we've had discussions with in the past diplomatically are all going to magically turn into bad people and thus it's perfectly okay to betray them ahead of time?

Tsingvari isn't a saint. There are no perfect men and women in the world, we all have feet of clay.  I just find that it is amazing that it's bad when a government official exposes a secret like this but when Assange and Wikileaks does it that it is a noble and 'good' thing.  That is an amazing amount of hubris there.

Have you looked at what has happened in zimbawa, what Mutabe's government has done and what Tsingvari's allies are trying to do?  Or is that immaterial as well?

"All that is needed for triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke said that. When I first heard of Wikileaks it was there disclosure of police murdering people , in Kenya I think, and later a few things similar. They were doing things no one else could/would cover.

So following your logic it's okay to betray Tsingvari's expectation of confidentiality with diplomats because you say that years from now he might become a tyrant and we might have to go into Zimbabwe like we did in Iraq. Despite the fact that he has repeatedly has worked within the system.

Since when did what a man MIGHT do justify making his death okay?

What I get from your statements is a sense of concern that Tsingvari might turn into a Saddam and we would have to come in and put him down. What about the opposite? Good men can be good leaders, look at Ghandi and Mandela.

Sounds like a lot of NIHD (Nobody Important Here Died) on your outlook.

I hope that it's never in the greater good that MIGHT be served by indifference and apathy. Wikileaks claims to look out for the greater good, and like all gathering of good men and women should hold ourselves to a higher standard of ethics. Our actions could and should be at a higher level of conduct. I hope that the folks at Wikileaks look over this and see that some secrets need to stay hidden.

Actions have consequences and good people should accept and acknowledge when they make mistakes and strive to avoid them. To do any less allows them to contribute to the evil and not good, or to say it another way: if you are saying that a death at your hands is immaterial, be it through your actions or inaction, you demean the victim and start to lose the moral high ground. You've started placing value on people.


Simply put: Wikileaks claims journalistic privilege.  That privilege comes with RESPONSIBILITY. They are not taking care of the responsibility to do due diligence. Of course I'm old and was raised to believe the Fourth Estate had duties and responsibilities.
 


Offline Trieste

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Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #115 on: January 06, 2011, 10:29:15 AM »
Wow , that is an amazing amount of foresight there. So, folks we've had discussions with in the past diplomatically are all going to magically turn into bad people and thus it's perfectly okay to betray them ahead of time?

Okay, rhetorical question time: When you wrote this, what was your goal? Was it to clarify a point? Further the discussion productively? Because if your goal was anything other than those two things, then it really doesn't belong in Politics and Religion.

Please, keep it civil. Think about what your goals are when you write your words. We do not have body language, tone, or facial expressions to mitigate harsh statements.

Thank you.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #116 on: January 06, 2011, 10:45:22 AM »
Okay, rhetorical question time: When you wrote this, what was your goal? Was it to clarify a point? Further the discussion productively? Because if your goal was anything other than those two things, then it really doesn't belong in Politics and Religion.

Please, keep it civil. Think about what your goals are when you write your words. We do not have body language, tone, or facial expressions to mitigate harsh statements.

Thank you.

Apologies.

I put up the link to show that Wikileaks claim of 'harming no one' was not entirely true. They claim a lot of the privileges of a journalistic organization but it seems that they don't want any of the responsibity or acknowledge that their actions have harmed people. It seems that the folks that support Assange and Wikileaks are willing to forgive a lot of things that they wouldn't accept from a journalist or government.

I see a lot of 'what might be' but since when do we act on what might possibly happen 10 years down the line and things like 'he's no saint'.

Its galling to hear people be okay with this sort of behavior. That secrets are bad and the consequence of actions aren't relevant in the 'grand view'.

I shall try to keep my language more moderate.

Offline Trieste

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Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #117 on: January 06, 2011, 10:48:54 AM »
Thank you. And, because I realized that I neglected to do so in my previous post, I want to stress that the quote from Callie was a convenient example, but she is far from the only one being harsh, here. I didn't mean to be targeted, but general.

The difficult thing is that both sides have merit to them. It's not really very cut and dried, this thing.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #118 on: January 06, 2011, 10:55:34 AM »
Thank you. And, because I realized that I neglected to do so in my previous post, I want to stress that the quote from Callie was a convenient example, but she is far from the only one being harsh, here. I didn't mean to be targeted, but general.

The difficult thing is that both sides have merit to them. It's not really very cut and dried, this thing.

No, it's not a cut and dried thing. I simply want Wikileaks to behave as the group they claim to be. It's hard and difficult to do so but the moral and ethical path isn't an easy road. I see a lot of arrogance these days in their actions and little accountability.

Secrets aren't inherently evil, and revealing them willy-nilly isn't always good. I guess I'm tired of everything thing the 'little guy' doing as being seen as good and any action a government does to 'protect' secrets as evil.

I'm not going to post anymore for the next two days in this thread since clearly my language has started to creep away from what I intended to say. Wikileaks has done some good, and now I think they've done at least one specific act of evil. I wonder what they will do to make up for it.

See you in two days, maybe.

Offline Will

Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #119 on: January 06, 2011, 12:46:36 PM »
Wow , that is an amazing amount of foresight there. So, folks we've had discussions with in the past diplomatically are all going to magically turn into bad people and thus it's perfectly okay to betray them ahead of time?
It's more than just a discussion.  You're trying to downplay it.

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Tsingvari isn't a saint. There are no perfect men and women in the world, we all have feet of clay.  I just find that it is amazing that it's bad when a government official exposes a secret like this but when Assange and Wikileaks does it that it is a noble and 'good' thing.  That is an amazing amount of hubris there.
I never said it was a noble thing; you're putting words in my mouth.  I won't argue that Wikileaks may be responsible for this man's death.  That would be obtuse.  I'm just saying, that as shameful and unfortunate as that may be, I believe there's a silver lining.

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Have you looked at what has happened in zimbawa, what Mutabe's government has done and what Tsingvari's allies are trying to do?  Or is that immaterial as well?
Of course.  I'm discussing it, aren't I?  I do try and read up on things like that.  But honestly?  Yeah, it's immaterial.  We don't have the resources to topple every tyrant in the world.

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"All that is needed for triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke said that. When I first heard of Wikileaks it was there disclosure of police murdering people , in Kenya I think, and later a few things similar. They were doing things no one else could/would cover.
Just because someone famous said it doesn't give it more weight than you saying it.  And yeah, Wikileaks performs a useful service, something that would have been done by someone eventually at some point regardless.  Assange just happened to be the guy that did it.

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So following your logic it's okay to betray Tsingvari's expectation of confidentiality with diplomats because you say that years from now he might become a tyrant and we might have to go into Zimbabwe like we did in Iraq. Despite the fact that he has repeatedly has worked within the system.
It wasn't okay to betray him, but it was more un-okay in my opinion to try meddling in another country again.  Would I prefer a situation where Tsingvari doesn't die, and America pulls its hand out of that fire willingly?  Definitely!  But, sadly, that doesn't seem very likely.  I can't really stop my country from screwing around where it doesn't belong no matter who I vote for, apparently, so seeing them fail at the attempt is about the only hope I have.

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Since when did what a man MIGHT do justify making his death okay?

What I get from your statements is a sense of concern that Tsingvari might turn into a Saddam and we would have to come in and put him down. What about the opposite? Good men can be good leaders, look at Ghandi and Mandela.
It's not just Saddam.  And Mandela and Ghandi went about their business largely without foreign intervention.  Not very convincing as a reason for us to intervene.

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Sounds like a lot of NIHD (Nobody Important Here Died) on your outlook.
I already told you why I feel that way.  Better him than us.  I won't deny that Wikileaks has blood on its hands if he is executed, but as far as I'm concerned, so does the U.S. government for getting involved in the situation to begin with.  There is blame to go around.

I really feel that this is starting to drift into the realm of an emotional appeal from you.  There hasn't been much in the way of refuting my points in any sort of rational fashion.  Basically, all I'm saying, is that while Wikileaks may not be a "noble" enterprise, its activities clearly have some benefit.

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #120 on: January 06, 2011, 04:33:59 PM »
Here's the thing about the Zimbabwe situation. It's being argued from a purely who is more helpful to us perspective. Is Mugabe, in my opinion, a morally reprehensible person who should be removed from power? Certainly. But That is -MY- perspective. There are those who support Mugabe who would argue the opposite, do they have a biased perpective and reason they want him to retain power? Of course, but then we have a biased reasoning for wanting him removed.

Now, imagine instead that it was the USA, and WikiLeaks revealed some information that the leader of the minority party in the United States was actively trying to topple the government with the support of a foreign power. Is WikiLeaks a murderer in that situation? Are they morally rephensible because the accused might be put on trial and killed? Or would you instead view them as patriotic for exposing a threat to your country? People in that other country would instead be calling for a crusade against WikiLeaks and we'd be discussing how wonderful they are - unless you were a supporter of the exposed person.

Offline Anithinum

Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #121 on: January 06, 2011, 10:52:53 PM »
Disseminating classified information is a Federal Felony.
Providing classified military information to a foreign national is TREASON.
A foreign national receiving classified American military information, then distributing it is ESPIONAGE.
The idiot private should enjoy his stay in Leavenworth. Assange better hope he doesn't get extradited, because I believe we still shoot spies.

...so, Wikileaks(Assange) is not a Champion of Truth, nor a Terrorist. Assange is effectively a SPY, while the soldier is a traitor. People may end up dead because this info was broadcast on the internet. I have no sympathy for whatever may happen to either of these two.

Don't you think that's a bit harsh?

Essentially, I think regardless of putting other people's lives in danger, what WikiLeaks is doing, is showing people what's really going on in a world they're quite blindly walking through.
People's lives are in danger anyway, regardless of who leaks Military information. The reason why the leaks are frowned upon most is because classified information normally have contents that break a law themselves, or aren't completely safe or otherwise enclined to be classified because there is something in there that someone doesn't want us to know. Why should we as the civilians not be allowed to know what the Military, or Government is doing behind our backs? The Military is our shield, if we can't rely on the one thing that protects us, then how can you be unafraid for your family, or yourself when you're walking around. The Government is our voice, if we can't trust in that, then again how can you live unafraid? I think it's more important to make people aware of what's going on 'outside the box' (or people's everyday thinking) so that we can work towards something better than we are now.
  It's the same thing a reporter does, just on a larger scale...I don't see anyone complaining about the newspaper's flaunting people's personal life situations on the front page. So why is this any different? It's someone reporting to us what we have a right to know as the body of the country. 

Offline Kate

Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #122 on: January 07, 2011, 09:22:43 AM »
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I put up the link to show that Wikileaks claim of 'harming no one' was not entirely true. They claim a lot of the privileges of a journalistic organization but it seems that they don't want any of the responsibity or acknowledge that their actions have harmed people.

Their actions have not harmed people.

Wiki-leaks is not bombing, shooting, hitting, slapping, poisoning people.

People harm.

"Wiki-leaks" being responsible for their actions ? You mean responsible for what OTHERS do using the information ?

This doesn't make sense.

Some people taught others English. It doesn't make them responsible for others swearing or using it for for ridicule, slander, words implying racism, emotional harm, social harm. All because "those others wouldn't be able to insult that way if they didn't know English in the first place",  who taught them English knew this could happen thus must have same as the values of those abusing it by proxy. This is like making knife manufacturers responsible for stabbing murders because they would know the knifes at some point would be used against people, by someone somewhere somehow sometime ... or electricity company's responsible for all deaths via electric shock because  "they would have known at some point someone would be electrocuted".. Do we sue manufactures of bleach if someone drinks it and dies? because "they would have known someone would at some point".

=> Murder by proxy => Criminal sentences on all those facilitating its production and distribution of knife, bleach, um .. english...
and on and on ..

Responsibility for ones actions?

Hmm ... a lot easier to manage responsibily for actions when none know of them.

Management ? Easy => It never happened it didn't exist. Thus managed. Job done.


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Its galling to hear people be okay with this sort of behavior. That secrets are bad and the consequence of actions aren't relevant in the 'grand view'.

Grand view ?

What grand view is possible when important things are secret ?

Painful as it may be to know or experience for others or themselves,
some prefer a grand view over an ignorant, delusional, incomplete or deceptive one.
Who has the right to choose this for them for reasons or values that may not be shared ?

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I won't deny that Wikileaks has blood on its hands if he is executed,

If he is executed. Blood doesn't exist on wiki-leaks hands.

Blood on one's hands relates to the person who DOES the killing... "thus caught red-handed"

*

The argument against wiki-leaks' actions seems to treat society as a static state-machine .. like so:

"if X sees yellow they may kill - thus yellow is banned to all
none have the right or justification to wear yellow.. talk of yellow...
if they do it means their ~values~ are for murder and death by proxy more than anything concerning adding yellow to art.
Yellow => Bad to all .. not just the killers or killed.
Advocates of Yellow "don't get it", to stop more, examples need to be made of them.
They must be managed. They must be repressed. They must conform.
Its not the governments, societies or the culture's role to change to integrate and empower its current individuals,
Its an individuals role to change to integrate and empower current society, culture and government.

If X hears the word "trumpet", they may kill - thus the word trumpet is banned to all
none have the right or justification to say trumpet or draw a trumpet
if they do it means their ~values~ are for murder and death by proxy more than anything concerning adding trumpets to music
Trumpets => Bad to all .. not just the killers or killed.
Advocates of Trumpets "don't get it", to stop more, examples need to be made of them.
They must be managed. They must be repressed. They must conform.
Its not the governments, societies or the culture's role to change to integrate and empower its current individuals,
Its an individuals role to change to integrate and empower current society, culture and government.

If X knows the concept of freedom, they may kill - thus the concept of freedom is banned to all
none have the right or justification to conceive of freedom
if they do it means their ~values~ are for murder and death by proxy more than the concept of freedom
Freedom => Bad to all .. not just the killers or killed.
Advocates of Freedom "don't get it", to stop more, examples need to be made of them.
They must be managed. They must be repressed. They must conform.
Its not the governments, societies or the culture's role to change to integrate and empower its current individuals,
Its an individuals role to change to integrate and empower current society, culture and government.

If X knows the truth, they may kill - thus the concept of truth is banned to all
none have the right or justification to deal with truth
if they do it means their ~values~ are for murder and death by proxy more than benefits of truth
Truth => Bad to all .. not just the killers or killed.
Advocates of truth "don't get it", to stop more, examples need to be made of them.
They must be managed. They must be repressed. They must conform.
Its not the governments, societies or the culture's role to change to integrate and empower its current individuals,
Its an individuals role to change to integrate and empower current society, culture and government.

1984

Big brother is authoritarian, big brother doesn't serve you. You serve big brother.

"Its not what the country can do for you, its what you can do for your country"

That poster of uncle sam was amazing and spoke a more horrible truth we are seeing the effects of, one that is insidious, poisonous that has an armor of secrecy and implied righteousness concerning its own actions, fangs of the law, and more secret fangs also for bites on others increasing abilities to be aware of.

As much as some may not like to think so, Wiki-leaks is a figurehead for causes for a want of an "else" to this.

A country role is to SERVE the will of its components, not the other way around.

Spy, Traitor, Terrorist ? To some perhaps. To me however, Wiki-leaks = Champion, Savaage = Hero.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 09:35:16 AM by Kate »

Offline Oniya

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Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #123 on: January 07, 2011, 11:30:17 AM »
The man who only drives the getaway car is just as guilty of murder as the bank robber who shoots the teller.

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Re: WikiLeaks: Terrorists or Champions of the Truth?
« Reply #124 on: January 07, 2011, 11:35:15 AM »
The man who only drives the getaway car is just as guilty of murder as the bank robber who shoots the teller.

+1.

You are really making some odd examples there, Kate, to support your opinion that "Wikileaks" is just a harmless tool that some "hero" has put out there.  How is he even anything resembling a hero, a champion?  Really, he has put out sensitive information that could be incredibly harmful.  As much as you may dwell in some idealistic paradise where everyone can be transparent and honorable, that is not how the world works in reality and in practice.