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Author Topic: Ellsberg: “EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange made against me  (Read 4574 times)

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Offline Silverfyre

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Then by all means, gather your followers and attempt it.  Let me know how that little social experiment goes.  I'm sure there are plenty of "believers" out there that will follow your idea of a transparent society without question.  I'll stay over here in my "skeptics" camp and continue to view the world without rose tinted glasses. 
« Last Edit: December 23, 2010, 12:48:28 AM by Silverfyre »

Offline Star Safyre

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Not disclosing one's weakness is a vital aspect of military, dating back to the very beginnings of the history of governments.  Establishing a strong government which is able to defend its citizens and resources must be the victor in matters of war.  Winning wars or succeeding in preventing the start of war because of a strong defense is critical to the continued existence of a state.

Disguising one's weakness and giving the illusion of strength are fundamental aspects of winning war and establishing peace.  Some quotes from The Art of War state it best:

"If you know both yourself and your enemy, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss."
"All warfare is based on deception."
"Never will those who wage war tire of deception."


The entirety of the codes of morality for the individual cannot be applied to the state.

Offline Silverfyre

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The entirety of the codes of morality for the individual cannot be applied to the state.

And if they were, we'd be living in a fascist state.  Hitler tried it and look what happened there.  Do you think that the opposite could hold serenity and peace for others?  No.  People are going to disagree and never reach a true consensus and thus, deception will be born out of even the best national intentions.  Completely transparent countries are a myth, plain and simple. 

Offline Zakharra

"Show me evidence where this has happened and maybe I could agree with you."
=> things shouldnt have to be proven elsewhere first before it is attempted.

" I live in the real world, not a dreamland of fairtales."
=> you live in the world as it currently believing what you beleive.

I lean towards entertaining what it could be and do not choose to believe the current system is the peak of the social model for humanity.

I beleive utopia is possible, i dont beleive utopia is an objective or a possibility with the current system.

" And not one society has ever lasted except with some secrecy. In diplomacy you literally cannot say to the other person what you truly think of them or their group/nation. You have to be polite and try not to offend them.  Every single government has secrets in their diplomatic, military and and espionage circles.   You cannot be completely transparent. That is a very stupid thing to do since you can bet the people you are talking to will not be transparent. They'll take your lack of secrets and ram them down your throat."

Not one society has lasted at all. All are in a state of flux and change. In diplomacy you dont HAVE to say what you truely think to anyone, you can however assume your role is transparent and act accordingly. Some people can be completely transparent. Those who are transparent among people who are not come over as more genuine - they can be trusted to be themselves what they are is played on the table - they are a known entity - people are drawn to it. lack of secrets is not a flaw - having them needing to maintain them assuming they stay so is a weakness

 Kate, do you even know how to use the quote function?  Reading your posts is more than a little confusing the way you have them structured.

 Anyways..  Dreams are nice, but you need to make live in the real world, this world first. You can work towards a utopia (which is always a dream, there's never a true utopia since it would be perfect and could never be improved upon.)  and try to get there, but first you have to deal with the world you live in now.

 Whether I believe in it or not, this is the way the world works. That is FACT, not belief, but fact.

 Your vision of transparaency is.. lacking, for a better term. Are you assuming that all of the diplomat's cards are on the table? What about intelligence efforts his side does on the other side? Should that be set out too  or should you be open about everything? Should the diplomat make the correspondance avalible to  the other side too?

 A person can be trusted to be honest and open, polite and such, but that person is also very likely to keep snarky opinions to themselves. Other wise if what they really thought, it might hurt their reputation as an honest person.   After all, what would you rather have? An honest and polite person, or an honest and very blunt spoken, possibly rude, person?

Offline Trieste

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Honestly, that's a pretty stupid belief. There needs to be some secrecy in the diplomatic process, and especially in the military and espionage. Being too transparant weakens your hand a lot, and it gives the enemy more information about your intentions.

 Any nation that ran as transparant as you seem to wish, would not last more than five years before being brought down.

Calling something a 'stupid' belief is neither helpful nor progressive. It's mainly just hurtful. If you're going to denounce a belief, please use words that are a little more constructive such as 'uninformed', or I could even see the utility of 'naive'. "That's a stupid belief" is the equivalent of calling someone a poopiehead.

So please be more constructive. Thanks.

Offline Oniya

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* Oniya is beginning to suspect that her post on the reason behind 'privileged communication' got lost in the sauce.

Offline Callie Del Noire

* Oniya is beginning to suspect that her post on the reason behind 'privileged communication' got lost in the sauce.

It didn't. Not by me. I just don't know what I can say that would contribute to the conversation right now. I'm a bit confused at some of the statements here and how they could be formed.

Offline Zakharra

Calling something a 'stupid' belief is neither helpful nor progressive. It's mainly just hurtful. If you're going to denounce a belief, please use words that are a little more constructive such as 'uninformed', or I could even see the utility of 'naive'. "That's a stupid belief" is the equivalent of calling someone a poopiehead.

So please be more constructive. Thanks.

 That's acceptible. I'd go with naive though. Kate seems to be any but uninformed. More like a willing disbelief in seeing how things really are.


Tell me something - if you were seeing a psychiatrist, would you think it was right for transcriptions of your sessions to be publicly disseminated?  Medical ethics say they cannot be.  Likewise with priests and confessionals, attorneys (or solicitors) and clients and conversations between husbands and wives - there is a certain expectation of privacy in these relationships.  Without that expectation of privacy, the free exchange of information that allows those relationships to function.

I would submit that diplomats enter negotiations with the same expectation of privacy

 I can agree with that.

Offline Kate

Quote
". Kate seems to be any but uninformed. More like a willing disbelief in seeing how things really are."

I find myself on the other side of the grain compared to the majority of views in the politics and religious threads.

How thing "really are", the "truth" or what is right or which "right" is more releavent is subjective, and depends a lot on your belief patterns and intentions.

Belief patterns color what they see or deduce we all wear rose colored classes for them.

Offline Serephino

All right, let's go this route...

Do you tell the truth, and nothing but the truth all day every day?  Do you tell everyone exactly what you think?  Do you keep secrets that are confided to you, or do you tell everyone?  If a friend of yours was a blabber mouth, would you trust them with anything?

There are lots of people I don't particularly like, but have to deal with.  If I told them everything I thought about them all the time it would cause lots of unnecessary stress.  Instead I'm civil and polite, then later bitch to anyone who will listen.  Those people don't say anything either, because that would cause an issue too.   

Just because it's governments involved doesn't mean that basic social rules don't apply.  It would be nice if we knew a little more than we do, but no, complete transparency would not be a good thing.  When you play poker you don't show everyone your cards do you?  If it was made public that we were investigating country D for doing something they shouldn't, then country D will get better at hiding it.

Look around you.  The honor system doesn't work that well.  No matter what sample of the human population you look at, there will be at least one person who has done something they shouldn't, and lied about it.  If people behaved all the time we wouldn't need police.  It's not a pleasant side of human nature, but it is reality.

How do you propose catching the rule breakers if they know every move you make?  Like for instance, say I wanted to steal a DVD from Walmart.  I know they have a lot of security cameras that are always on in the electronics department.  I also know that there are magnetic strips inside the cases.  If I really wanted to, I could find ways around those things.  Of course I also know that they have security guards walking around pretending to be customers (was told this by a cashier).  I don't know who they are though, so they might catch me.

The same thing applies with governments.  If it was public knowledge that a bunch of different countries suspected Saudi Arabia of setting fire to their own oil rigs to drive up prices, and per their request we were setting up surveillance in certain locations on certain dates, I guarantee you we would find nothing because they would know we were watching them.  And if they had been doing it, we would never know, and never be able to prove it.   

Offline Zakharra

I find myself on the other side of the grain compared to the majority of views in the politics and religious threads.

How thing "really are", the "truth" or what is right or which "right" is more releavent is subjective, and depends a lot on your belief patterns and intentions.

Belief patterns color what they see or deduce we all wear rose colored classes for them.


 That is..   Kate, wether you believe it or not, how nations and the world operates isn't a 'truth', it is thee truth. Things are as they are right now. A cold hard and often ugly fact. You can work to change them but to say that it's merely a perception of belief is very foolish. Just because you don't believe it to be so doesn't mean you're right. The truth you so gleefully ignore will come up and  slap you alongside the head.

 I do admit you are very good as obfuscating facts and mixing things up. you keep muddying the waters, so to speak and it confuses people. I imagine that getting a straight answer out of you is very hard.

 Simple to say that there are things the government, military and industries need to keep secret. None of them could ever survive for very long if everythng was made public and transparent.

Offline Star Safyre

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Kate: Would you advocate nuclear launch codes being made available to the criminally insane?

Offline Callie Del Noire

Kate: Would you advocate nuclear launch codes being made available to the criminally insane?

Or the private keys everyone's emails, routers and such so that the hackers can do as they wish with the internet?

I'm still reeling a bit at implications of a 'privacy free' world. No protection from anyone trying to do you harm. Is there a 'need to know' the world at large to know the root certificate of say.. the regional power grids, rail control lines, aircraft control networks?

Offline Kate

We have a social structure based on assuming secrecy is needed to manage - likelihoods of internal conflict and external conflicts. Laws and so on, punishment options etc.

For say the punishment process to occur, some police operations have to be kept secret from the crims up until the point of a bust.

For internal conflicts to be resolved, some intentios of focus of one party has to be kept secret from the other while they build up a momentum.

For external conflicts to be resolved, some intentions and operations of the military (eg nuke codes)need to be kept secret.

I am not saying that the culture is ready to release all secrecy in a heart beat, for a culture to be transparent many of these things have to be readdressed and focuses, authoritiy, perhaps even ownership revisited. The tools we have in our current culture would make the current step of "nothing is secret" disasterous. I am not saying we are ready for true secrecy yet. Just that some examples of when secrecy facilitates actions against what the culture desires means that secrecy is perhaps not the answer to deveopement. My hope is soon new governing models are proposed - which are debated and a phased approach for the adoption of one which seems to be in agreement with many leads of anthropology / psychology etc are met that can resolve these conflicts in an integrated matter not a top down or with crude tools  - ie remove "we have a tool for what if it gets out of control - which is an implicit thread constatnly, but its an all or nothing thing mainly other than the threat stuff - "
« Last Edit: December 25, 2010, 02:43:06 AM by Kate »

Offline Oniya

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Let me try a concrete example.  I enjoy my time here on Elliquiy.  I have threads that range from the Light/Romantic to the Extreme, but within site guidelines.  Let's say I apply for a position teaching math to fourth graders (in this fairy world where I could pass the psychology part of the teaching cert, and get over my paralyzing fear of large groups of people under 4'6" tall).  Would you, Kate, agree that it would be advantageous in any culture for my activities here on Elliquiy to be transparently available to the people who are looking over my application for that teaching position?

Even more concrete:  I have a roommate that I often have 'differences in opinion' about.  I have no likely candidates to replace this person, and in the current economy, it is necessary for me to have a roommate.  As a result, I frequently come on here and vent about the situation (because I can't afford a shrink).  What would be the advantage to those conversations which I presume to be private being released to the public?  If I were to take these issues to an actual shrink, I would have a legal expectation of privacy.  What would be the advantage for transcriptions of my therapy sessions to be transparently released to anyone (including that roommate) who wanted to look at them?

As I mentioned in my previous post, there are certain relationships (confessor/penitent, solicitor/client, husband/wife, doctor/patient) where the presumption of confidentiality is necessary to maintain the communication that nurtures that relationship.  If I thought that my confessor was blabbing about everything I told them, I wouldn't feel comfortable confessing to them.  If I thought that my counterpart in an embassy was blabbing about everything I told them, I would most certainly not tell them everything.  The suspicion that whatever I told them would be transparently available within moments of telling them would be harmful to any negotiations that we were working on.

Offline Callie Del Noire

We have a social structure based on assuming secrecy is needed to manage - likelihoods of internal conflict and external conflicts. Laws and so on, punishment options etc.

For say the punishment process to occur, some police operations have to be kept secret from the crims up until the point of a bust.

For internal conflicts to be resolved, some intentios of focus of one party has to be kept secret from the other while they build up a momentum.

For external conflicts to be resolved, some intentions and operations of the military (eg nuke codes)need to be kept secret.


So, given that the examples we used for why secrecy should be preserved in some instances, you're okay with in a general sort of way but when we cite specific areas you're against them?

Offline Kate

Callie you do have a point.

It is justified if the ends justify the means... the "right" of him doing so will be retrospective.

What I mean by that is "if we are not ready for it and he does this" it

a) Is "bad" for the current methodology we have - concerning stability (faith in government - letting them do their job with the aces they have being played like no tomorrow)
b) Is a valuable stepping stone for the next evolution of democracy (because it gives us insights proving secrecy isnt doing what we have put faith in it being used for - its being exploited in a way that is against why what we beleive and pay governemnts to see done properly ).

WE ARE PAYING TAX FOR SOMETHING.

WHAT ?

Are we getting it ?

How do we know if we are ?

What signs to we look for to indicate we are not ?

I personally lean towards "b" being more releavent.

Some lean towards "a" being more releavent.

For "b" his actions are vital.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2010, 08:00:55 AM by Kate »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Callie you do have a point.

It is justified if the ends justify the means... the "right" of him doing so will be retrospective.

What I mean by that is "if we are not ready for it and he does this" it

a) Is "bad" for the current methodology we have - concerning stability (faith in government - letting them do their job with the aces they have being played like no tomorrow)
b) Is a valuable stepping stone for the next evolution of democracy (because it gives us insights proving secrecy isnt doing what we have put faith in it being used for - its being exploited in a way that is against why what we beleive and pay governemnts to see done properly ).

WE ARE PAYING TAX FOR SOMETHING.

WHAT ?

Are we getting it ?

How do we know if we are ?

What signs to we look for to indicate we are not ?

I personally lean towards "b" being more releavent.

Some lean towards "a" being more releavent.

For "b" his actions are vital.


Okay.. to use your logic (If I'm following it right), the disclosure of NOC (No Offical Cover) Valerie Plame by sources within the White House to the media was a GOOD thing. Since it was clearly a secret and thus needed to be disclosed.

Okay.. I can refute that easily enough.

1. The disclosure in the media revealed to the world the identity of a real world spy, Valerie Plame. Instantly putting her and her family at risk to the people she had dealt with in the past, since they now had a name and face to put to possible past failures and leaks.

2. As a NOC agent, Plame's job in the CIA was to recruit people to give her information that foreign governments didn't want the US to know. Research into weapons of mass destruction, smuggling of arms/controlled goods, atrocities, negotiations/interactions with terrorists groups and such. Some of these agents did it for money, power, influence, the desire to make their country a better place, and any of a number of reasons from there.

You know what happened to said 'recruits' in some countries in the Middle East and Africa after her name came up? Some, possibly the lucky ones, of the ones that could be linked to her were possibly shot. Others lived short but eventful lives of torture and pain before dying. Others might have seen their family and friends killed before being killed themselves.

All because a 'unneeded' secret, according to you, was revealed. Secrecy is NOT an evil. It isn't always a method of 'covering up the MAN's actions'. Sometimes it is the methods needed to find out the RIGHT things and to SAVE people.

Why was Plame outed? Because her husband, who was unaware of her unofficial role as a NOC for the CIA, was doing his due diligence as an elected official and opposed the US' justification for entering Iraq at that time. Some TOOL in the White House (and I don't think it was 'Scooter' Libby) decided that he was above the rules and protections we give to our agents and their contacts and outed her.

A lot of outrage was given about outing Plame, but the media said little or nothing about what might have happened to the men and women she worked with and who trusted her to keep their identities secret (which according to you isn't 'right').

I'm sorry. It is nice to wish for a world like you think we can have, but the road to it is far from being done. The places you live and go might be in the modern 21st century and ready for it, but the world as a whole isn't much more civilized than what it was in the 1800s on a cultural standard. Anyone who looks into the actions of the Taliban, various groups in Asian and Africa and South America can see a lot of examples of bandit kings gone big thanks to modern weaponry.


Offline Will

I think it's pretty clear that there are things that should stay classified.  The problem, for me, is who gets to decide what those things are.  Doesn't it seem like a conflict of interest for the government to decide what government information is too sensitive for the public?  I suspect many, many things have been classified for no good reason, or even for very bad reasons.  Manipulating public opinion, saving face, etc... these are not reasons to keep information under wraps, are they?  And yet, there's no real way to stop it.

I just wish there were a way to choose between the extremes of "information must be free!" and letting the government classify whatever they deem unnecessary to the public.  Sadly, I don't have a clue what that way would be, but I consider both of those extremes to be a little naive.  One side believes that "honesty is the best policy," so to speak, while the other believes that "father knows best."
« Last Edit: December 26, 2010, 12:17:39 AM by Will »

Offline OldSchoolGamer

I have some sympathy for the argument that some things should remain secret.  But in a way, WikiLeaks is just karma, chickens coming home to roost.  In an era where I have to disclose my complete financial history just to get a frakking cell phone...and can get turned down or charged outrageous fees if it's not to the corporate state's liking...well, perhaps those who created the corporate state now know what it's like to live in a goldfish bowl.  Turnabout is fair play.

Is WikiLeaks wrong.  Perhaps.  So here's my song of sympathy for the corporate state, played on this instrument:


Offline Will

The image isn't working, so I'm just going to assume it's the world's smallest violin.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

The image isn't working, so I'm just going to assume it's the world's smallest violin.

Indeed it is.   ;D  Fits in the palm of one's hand with room to spare.

Offline Star Safyre

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I figured it was a violin or one of these:



Regardless, yes, I concede there is certainly a conflict of interest by allowing the government to decide what and what not should be considered secret.  I think the human factor plays a great deal into this though; we forget that the same "government" (regardless of the degree of its democracy) is still created and staffed by human beings.  Throughout history, individuals who feel morally obligated will disclose government secrets, and it is these people the world champions in history.  The same can be said for those who do so for power, glory, and greed, though we remember them as traitors.  Same actions, very different motivations.  Teasing out these motivations is a job for the international court system or historians. 

Offline Callie Del Noire

That is why you have oversight groups, both outside the normal government channels and within congress. Closed hearings are often done to explain to a certain few congressmen/senators how the money is being spent, who is doing what and to ensure someone who (nominally) doesn't have a vested interest in the outfit at hand knows what is going on.

The system isn't perfect, but dropping a quarter of a million documents on Wikileaks isn't the same as Ellsberg spending a LOT of time trying to get the Pentagon Papers dropped into the minutes of a congressional or senatorial debate. The man tried long and hard to work within the system, talked to a LOT of elected officials before going to the New York Times.

Too many people these days seem intent on saying the system is totally broken without even trying.


Offline Serephino

I won't claim that there aren't abuses going on.  Even with oversight groups I'm sure there's bribery and what not happening.  Still, the average person doesn't understand the workings of government and diplomacy.  All we can really do is keep ourselves aware.  The clues are what is in public knowledge. 

Thanks to modern media we are more informed now than our grandparents.  Of course that also means that false information can be put out there too, so you kind of have to take everything with a grain of salt.  You can go online and look up what Congress votes on.  I think they even televise things, though I'd only watch something like that if I had trouble sleeping.