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Wikileaks, Ethics and Transparency

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Death Rabbit, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    I was a professional musician, and didn't consider it a "hobby" when I was playing. Being a musician, whether professional or not, doesn't make anyone less credible at anything else, but context is everything, if you stop to think about it. I don't know anything about "liberals" in Canada, and didn't consider the piece "liberal" nor "conservative," but mostly pretty dull writing with little content of any real importance. Generally, he just seemed pissed off because we spy on Canadians. That's really earth shaking news for the ill-informed, I guess. Also, the topic is really neither liberal nor conservative to start with. How could it be?

    this pretty much sums it up for me:
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-november-30-2010/the-informant-
     
  2. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    'Wikileaked' El-Masri Cable Appears To Implicate Rice In Ordering Abduction, Torture

    [​IMG]

    That caricature is in particular on spot about the case of Khaled El-Masri, a German national that the US, in a case of mistake identity, captured and tortured, and decided to better not release when they found he was innocent, far too embarrassing that, not to mention that criminality angle. From Harper's Scott Horton:
    That bizarre experiment they did on El-Masri is likely the result of the findings made in the torture memos, that the data gathered in interrogations shall be used to determine whether current or new techniques would qualify as torture under Bybee's and Yoo's new definitions (you know ... that brazen nonsense about pain equivalence to organ failure etc pp). As Horton puts it in another article, every detainee, including the hapless El-Masri, was also effectively a guinea pig to help make the case to help justify future torture. An excerpt from one of the torture memos:
    Charming. It is under that premise reasonable to assume that what El-Masri was subjected to, was likewise documented, and under the same rationale. Now that is criminal human experimentation, and a serious crime in its own right.
    What he experienced screwed up El-Masri so bad that was sent a mental institution, after he committed arson when he went berserk in a supermarket.

    Wikileaks might just help to make known which senior US administration officials is criminally liable for having ordered this. Even if it is unlikely to lead to what it should - a criminal prosecution - at least there is clarity about the responsibility, and perhaps even a reasonable public debate (fat chance).

    That is to say, it is not all junk in the Wilkileaks. But even the El-Masri cable isn't exactly all news. The only new bit is to whom Koenig was reporting. Anyway ... Assange sure is putting out pornography, and who has ever accused a pornographer of having good taste or being sympathetic? On the other hand, I am still not sure about the entire thing. I repeat, to me there is something fishy about Assange, and something fishy about Wikileaks proper. They might just not be the information anarchists they appear to be, or they may be being played (i.e. with selective leaks; thinking of it, that appears to me to be the best strategy against Wikileaks - co-opt them while condemning them publicly).
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
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  3. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    I haven't really being following the wikileaks as I think it is a lot about nothing. Although I did enjoy this.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Well, I kinda think the whole "Wikileaks puts our soldiers in danger" thing was a little contrived - it was neither new stuff nor particularly potent compared to what came before (wow, the Pentagon WAS keeping a tally of the dead civilians!). As for its effects, I don't think there was a meaningful upsurge in violence afterwards, so there you go. Then again, what can you expect from anyone who puts a hammer-and-sickle on Clinton and Obama, unbiased, facts-only view?

    By the way, there was one Salon article that I liked regarding the US foreign policy and its work on Iran. I think you might enjoy it, even if it's a bit on the long side.
     
  5. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    That Wikileaks put soldiers lives at risk is a canard. The Pentagon had to concede that they have no evidence to date that the documents led to anyone's death. The caricature just ignores that. Not that it mattered; the caricature is aimed at an audience sure to not question the assertions it makes because the addressees believe in the punchline (and/or the assertions) anyway.

    The caricature and the load of assertions are simply blatant partisan hackery, not that it needed the hammer and sickle on the Obama pic (or the ominously looming UN flag) to underline that. The implication that Hillary, like the Democrats proper, don't care another troops is not only unfair but unfounded. And beyond the punchline, both the 'UN takeover of America' as well as the 'Obama is a dangerous Socialist' themes are simply demented right wing fantasies. Their popularity and persistence in the absence of any basis in reality is disturbing.

    But I probably shouldn't be surprised, after all the Birchers are back, too. Probably a sign of the times.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  6. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    My thought on this is that not every person who reveals secrets is a hero. As some here have mentioned, there's no real surprises in most of the Wikileaks documents. Of course, this brings to mind the whole publication of abortion doctors addresses that has been discussed in other threads. Putting that data out there creates a risk, even though a lot of it is either already public domain or otherwise easily obtainable. The same could be argued for this material -- that it's only a matter of time before the stuff on Wikileaks does bring harm to someone.

    I also worry that context may be lost in some of the communiques. I concede that some things likely have no context that would ever make them acceptable to the public, but I don't know of many of us who could stand up to all of our secrets being aired out for the world to see.
     
  7. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    What I enjoyed even more was Sarah Palin saying that the Wikileaks were "treasonous." Some one needs to inform Sarah the "Mad Tweeter" that only Americans can be charged with treason by the American government. :lol:
     
  8. Morgoth

    Morgoth La lune ne garde aucune rancune Veteran

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    I like this one:
    [​IMG]

    Although Obama did more than nothing when he received the prize, and Assange didn't get his arrest warrant because he made "Incredible Achevements (sic)". Well, at least not officially.
     
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  9. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    :jawdrop:

    Ragusa - Well, yes, it is all in the cost of "the price of freedom." We enjoy it while someone else pays for it. :tobattle:
     
  10. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    What is interesting is that before it went public we could assume that much of this information could be dismissed as conspiracy theories and plain nonsense... Not anymore.

    It's very disquieting to have some "official" confirmation that political leaders in Europe are ready to do almost anything to get into Washington's good books. That seriously brings into question the idea of European sovereign nations when you find out about some of the things that have been going on behind the scenes.
     
  11. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    Morgoth, that brings up the next big issue. How many here believe his arrest warrant was actually issued because he's accused of rape?

    I mean, on the one hand, the timing really is perfect, and the handling of it is somewhat questionable (it is, it isn't, it is again, and almost immediately he's on Interpol's most wanted), and rape allegations are hard enough to disprove when the facts are clear cut without conspiracy theories. On the other hand, while I could easily see the UK doing something like that, I'm a little surprised to hear Sweden doing it. Or, maybe I just don't know the swedes very well.
     
  12. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    The descriptions about the events are that it was consensual sex and disagreement about whether to use condoms or not. The woman in question was a groupie essentially, and hooked up with him, and apparently or allegedly, Assange then had sex with her without a condom. To him it was clearly casual and he he then didn't return her calls. She then called another woman Assange has had sex with, told her, and they then together went to the police ... as far as 'rape' is concerned that's probably the broadest possible interpretation.

    Here's a good blogpost on it. It is not totally implausible that the groupie was in fact a 'honeytrap' and sent there to do what she did. That however will be difficult to establish since privacy of rape victims is protected under Swedish law, for good reason, and conveniently if this was indeed a set-up.
     
  13. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    But who would believe a female "groupie" anyway?

    Yes, of course, especially on this board the woman is "always lying." Case closed. You guys are something else....
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  14. Lynx Lupo Gems: 6/31
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  15. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    No one has ever said that the woman in rape or sexual assault cases is "always lying", Chandos. But the timing here is just far too convenient for me not to entertain the possibility that these women might be lying. The case reminds me of the whole Clarence Thomas case. I don't remember if he was found guilty but I do recall that the timing was such that people of all political stripes were suspicious.
     
  16. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    WhatEVER. So then what do you do?

    Thanks for proving my point so very clearly. :)

    No, but now we have a pervert for a Supreme Court Justice:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anita_Hill

    Here's more:

    http://articles.cnn.com/2010-10-25/...anita-hill-pornography-binge-drinker?_s=PM:US
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  17. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    To believe that it is possible that a rape accusation is false is a far cry from saying that all women lie about it 100% of the time. At no time have I ever said anything close to that stupidly ignorant.
     
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  18. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    No, that's not it. Everytime it comes up on this board it appears there is always the same group who seems ready to disbelieve the woman and take the side of the man. Typically Ragusa isn't one of that crowd, so I really should not have included him in that except in this instance, where it is the "same old song."
     
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  19. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Chandos,
    you don't get my point. I didn't even say they were lying, to the contrary, I actually I think that they are probably quite accurate.

    That said, I think it is hard to call that a rape. It is exceeding consent on specifics, and that means Assange acted irresponsibly and was being a jerk. But he is not a rapist. There was no coercion, there were no threats. As I said, if what Assange did was 'rape' then only under a broad interpretation of that term.

    Then there are the charges themselves. That doesn't necessarily mean it was a set up, but it is possible. Fabius Maximus has a point. Assange is practically asking for someone to do something about him, and rape charges would be a way to achieve that; they have already impeded his freedom of movement. It is may just be a set-up aimed at character assassination, or the story may used to that end. Curiouser things have happened. Now whether that possibility is fact I cannot and do not know. I simply wanted to suggest that there is more than meets the eye. The entire story as it emerges has an odd ring to it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  20. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Rape is quite broadly defined under Swedish law no force, violence or coercion is needed as I understand things.
     
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