Monday, November 29, 2010

Wikileaks......transparency and trouble?

SO, what do we do about Wikileaks?  Is our safety less important than the 'importance of transparency' behind which Julian Assange will hide, justifying ruining years of covert intelligence and besmirching the lives of courageous men and women who've died in the pursuit of intelligence and those still out there wondering how soon they can get OUT of the CIA and maybe find a plumbing job now that all this has happened?  Who would stay IN?   What do we do about Pfc. Bradley Manning, the "man" who leaked this information?  Which political group do you feel will be more apt to be easy on him if he is ever brought to trial?

The New York Times article I linked never even mentions Julian Assange, the "man" responsible for all of this.
But, he did give information to the NYTimes...interesting he'd give it to the left leaning Times, isn't it.  By the way, in the article, the Slimes refers to this as "fodder for history"......apparently, they aren't quite grasping the possible consequences of all of this.  Or don't much care?  Here's more on the New York Times:

"WikiLeaks said on Twitter early Sunday that its website was "under a mass distributed denial of service attack" but promised that Spain's El Pais, France's Le Monde, Germany's Der Spiegel, Britain's Guardian newspaper and The New York Times "will publish many US embassy cables tonight, even if WikiLeaks goes down." WikiLeaks had given the media outlets prior access to the diplomatic cables to publish in conjunction with their Sunday release on its site." 
Well, bully for the Times, eh?  I guess they worked a deal Really nice to know with certainty which side the New York Times is on.

I watched FOX last night for a discussion on this.........they had two liberal Democrats on, one was Professor Caroline Heldman at Occidental.  She and the Democrat Advisor who was on both thought these leaks are absolutely no problem, that it was really GOOD to get things out in the open.  One got a real sense for how hopelessly naive these leftists are. They couldn't address the damage done to communication with other countries, they almost seemed not to understand covert action or really didn't care.

SO, what can we do about all this betrayal of very important information?  Do you think Assange will come to trial? I don't.   Do you wonder why he'd give the information to  the New York Times?    All quite fascinating and highly dangerous.  Or do you, too, just think this is "fodder for history!"?
*I almost posted an image of Julian Assange, but A. Who'd want to see his face?  B. He looks too much like Bill Maher.



beamish said...

The Department of Homeland Security has already shut down the better known peer-to-peer file sharing server domains, likely in anticipation of the digital samizdats that will spring from the release of these cables.

Apparently there is something there that justifies the government pressing the stop button on the Internet.

That is if you believe a gay Army private had access to non-encrypted "ultra secret" communications.

Always On Watch said...

I've thought about this a lot since the story broke yesterday.

I'm not sure that our government can effectively do anything about such leaks.

The bigger problem is this: Why would any American want to leak such information in the first place? Why would any American want to jeopardize our security is such a manner?

Chuck said...

-I have some thoughts:

-I don't believe this all came from one Pfc. There's too much info for one man with such a low ranking to have access to. Even if he did, it seems just logistically it would have been hard for one man to get all of this.

-With that said, if this soldier did release info, charge him with treason.

- As far as Assange, let the CIA deal with him, we don't need the details.

-Finally, am I the only one that finds this whole thing fascinating?

>The left does not have a problem with the leaks and some even think it's a good thing?

>This info was kept secret for years with no real significant leaks, until Obama is in office?

>Obama knows about the original release of this info and does nothing to stop it, not even asking Assange not to do it?

>There's no apparent rush to investigate this horrendous breach of our national security by any governmental or congressional body?

FrogBurger said...

I blame people leaking the information and not necessarily wikileaks. It's like people who cheat. Who's responsible the most? The husband cheating or the mistress?

I'm just surprised it is taking so long for a strong reaction. The first occurrence of this and the traitor should have been found out and punished.

It's interesting it's on foreign policy leaks where Clinton and Obama could be embarrassed that things seem to move faster.

It's all about ego with those politicians.

Z said...

A part of the puzzle, the BIGGEST part, in my opinion, is the Pfc who released this information.

Beamish is right; how the heck did HE get all of this? Did he get paid by Wikileaks?

it's like the pundits are watching America-loving Conservatives outraged by WIKILEAKS, the big focus of the story, when MANNING was the guy who supposedly gave it to them. WHy is HE not the focus? At least he's not in the news stories I'm seeing. It's all WIKILEAKS..why?

Chuck, our media apparently DOES think we "Need the details", just like they very unnecessarily and dangerously laid out the Oregon Christmas Tree bombing mastermind's whole story; how the FBI got onto him until how they stopped him.
I refer to FOX's detailed coverage as A PRIMER FOR WHAT NOT TO DO ANYMORE IF YOU WANT TO KILL AMERICANS.........

FrogBurger, the Republicans particularly seem silent to me on this..........I want to know why, if it's such a big story and SO HIGHLY dangerous to our intelligence now and, sadly, far into the future. It took years and years to build up trust and this monster destroyed it in a few days.

Ducky's here said...

As the man said, "You can't handle the truth".

Ducky's here said...

I get a kick out of folks who say they are shocked, just shocked to find out that the Saudis are backing action against Iran.

Like who didn't know?

The documents that will cause the most damage are those that are insulting and embarrassing, that stuff counts in the diplomatic world. As far as hard intelligence, nothing here.

Ducky's here said...

Good essay on the topic

FrogBurger said...

The Republicans don't say much b/c political cynicism prevails. Obama and Clinton may look like fools and it's good for them.

I don't need that to know Obama is an notorious incompetent. We all know it at this point.

Steve Harkonnen said...

Here's my thoughts: Let the leaks continue. It's more black marks on this administration's inept ability to secure classified information. Never before in history has such massive leaks occurred before in ANY administration.

Ticker said...

In 1993, Motorola hired Clinton national security advisor Dr. Richard Barth to be a lobbyist inside Washington. Barth, who then worked alongside CIA Director George Tenet, was a key member of the Clinton NSC White House staff. Barth was so important that Tenet wrote to him personally, trying to convince Barth to stay inside the White House.

Despite the emotional appeal by George Tenet, Barth left the White House to take a six-figure job with Motorola. In 1994, Barth returned to the White House, this time as a Motorola employee. Interestingly, Barth now sought to export sophisticated electronic scrambling devices to China.

"European firms have for a number of months been able to market and sell encryption in China as a result of a decision taken by the UK intelligence agency, GCHQ," wrote Barth in a 1994 letter directed to the White House. (That was a lie but it played well.)

"I understand that our National Security Agency is aware of this change in GCHQ's position and would support our request for a change in US requirements for export licenses for China. The NSA has agreed that there should be a 'level playing field' in regard to China."(Another lie, since NSA was never interested in a level playing field)

The Barth letter clearly illustrates that the Clinton administration was involved The UK intelligence agency GCHQ was now pitted against its U.S. counterpart, the NSA, in an export battle for bucks. (Britain had no intent to sell equipment to China but considered other countries)


Most Americans do not even know of the National Security Agency, much less the super-secret British GCHQ. I find it interesting indeed that the National Security Agency, well known for keeping its mouth shut, would spill its guts to an ex-NSC member employed in the commercial sector.

How did Barth know British GCHQ had changed its position? Who in the NSA told him there should be a "level playing field" for Motorola exports to China? How did Barth obtain this data for his company? No one in the NSA, GCHQ or Motorola will say, and Barth declined to be interviewed.

Documents from Barth clearly show that Motorola sought to export more than just scrambled radios to communist China. Barth's request included radiation-hardened electronics that are quite useful in nuclear combat.

Barth's correspondence also shows that President Clinton was directly involved.

"This is to request that your office initiate action to obtain a waiver from requirements for individual export license notifications to Congress for wireless mobile communications systems containing encryption for China," wrote Barth in a letter addressed to the State Department, dated Nov. 23, 1994.

"Such a waiver was issued by the President in September of this year for civilian satellite systems and encrypted products for use by American firms operating in China. Finally, while we now are not yet applying for licenses for encrypted systems for satellite positioning, we may within months be applying for such licenses for our IRIDIUM systems," noted Barth in his letter.

Clinton was intent on destroying our Intel and this bunch in the WH is willing to finish the job. Intel folks left in mass in the 90's . Those younger ones who stayed are now doing the same thing.

Major said...

Anyone who jeopardizes our national security and trades in classified documents should at the very close to the Walker boys.

They can be classified as terrorists, spies, anarchists. Charge them with treason, espionage and sedition. Period.

Let the CIA contract out to a few foreign wet boys to follow up and get Assange. Then go after the NYT, whos history of leaking state secrets is well know. As well as causing the deaths of countless operatives and soldiers in the field.

The NYT needs to have their editor in chief as well as some senior writers...jailed. Set an example that this will not be tolerated in war time. Lest we forget we are at war. And we need to rid ourselves of the enemies within as well as without.


Major said...

Hypocrisy and the addendum.

"The New York Times is participating in the dissemination of the stolen State Department cables that have been made available to it in one way or another via WikiLeaks. My friend Steve Hayward recalls that only last year the New York Times ostentatiously declined to publish or post any of the Climategate emails because they had been illegally obtained. Surely readers will recall Times reporter Andrew Revkin's inspiring statement of principle: "The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won't be posted here."

Interested readers may want to compare and contrast Revkin's statement of principle with the editorial note posted by the Times on the WikiLeaks documents this afternoon. Today the Times cites the availability of the documents elsewhere and the pubic interest in their revelations as supporting their publication by the Times. Both factors applied in roughly equal measure to the Climategate emails.

Without belaboring the point, let us note simply that the two statements are logically irreconcilable. Perhaps something other than principle and logic were at work then, or are at work now. Given the Times's outrageous behavior during the Bush administration, the same observation applies to the Times's protestations of good faith.

Anonymous said...

PFC Manning should be tried for treason. He should be arrested, interrogated, and tried.

Assange should be considered an enemy combatant. He's making an effort to undermine the US while we're at war.

Anyone who takes this lightly, doesn't have a good understanding of how damaging it can be. That means you Ducky. We're talking about 250,000 classified documents.

Now, how long will other leaders in the world have any confidence in private discussions and/or agreements with our leadership regarding security measures, if it's going to be on the front page of a newspaper?

The fact is, for a layman, something may seem innocuous by itself, when in reality, it is not.

Intelligence gathering is a process of connecting the "dots". The more "dots" are out there, the easier it is for the enemy to build the larger picure. Like assembling a puzzle.

Mr. Pris worked in this business for many years. He never divulged anything classified, not even to me.

As for your essay author, who talked about more invasive background investigations being done because of these leaks, he obviously doesn't know those BI's already are invasive and have been for many years.

I fear now, there are those within the intelligence community who are so politicized they have forsaken the oath they took when they signed on to this kind of work. And that, is punishable by law.

IMO, the reason this is happening is because punishment for this act, has not been applied for far too long.

Oh, the current administration will engage in threats of censorship for dissenters, but for releasing classified documents, and weakening our country? So far the best they can do is pay lip service to it.

This is another example of the weakening of America, which given what the thugocracy has been up to, may be right in line with our slide into mediocrity and ineffectiveness on the world stage.

Z, Republicans, Congressman Pete Hoekstra of the intelligence committee, and Congressman Peter King have spoken out about this. It would be nice to hear more outrage from more of them wouldn't it.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Prisc:

"Oh, the current administration will engage in threats of censorship for dissenters"... wasn't that long ago that the "One" told them to get out there and fight your enemies! The Tea party and conservative American voters that is. He's fully capable of harassing and vilifying average, patriotic, law abiding American citizens...but he can't get to the real enemy, can he?

I think it's all going to be left up to us and those who are left standing over the smoking ruins of American exceptionalism to return the country to it's core values.

Major said...

"PFC Manning should be tried for treason. He should be arrested, interrogated, and tried."

And he should face a military trial...not a civilian one, please. Then after being found guilty of treason...he should be executed by a military firing squad as have all those in past times.

Have we come "so far" to become pacified, weak wimps in the faces of our enemies?

I'll maker a bet....when one of these Somali / Paki bombers succeeds in taking out a few hundred at a Macy's store...we'll ( the soccer moms and blase suburbanites ) demand some action.

Americans need their comfy malls and sales./sarc off


Brooke said...

There's something rotten in Denmark...

Imagine if this was happening under Bush's watch! The howling from the left would be deafening, but under Obama, it's no big thing, SNAFU.

Ducky's here said...

Shouldn't we all feel better knowing that apparently the State Dept. knows what everyone else in the world had figured out some time ago?

WomanHonorThyself said...

Really nice to know with certainty which side the New York Times is on.
..we've known that for a longggggggg time hun.pffttt..traitors!

Z said...

Ducky, you are sounding more and more like an unthinking ...something, ..not quite sure WHAT.

You would be the VERY first person who'd discount all of this when people all over the Right and Left actually DO understand that nuance counts, that there are allies who didn't want things they'd said out there, who now look at US as people they can't depend on. I will never quite grasp how much you hate this country, but the comments you make like yours today do help. thanks. Quite an eye opener. For you to have thought this nightmare was real, I guess we'd have to have a whisper of Socialists in cables from E Europe to America admitting "SOCIALISM REALLY DOES NOT WORK, COMRADES!"

Everyone else, of COURSE Manning is in custody and must be tried. I hope you all linked on his name on my post....that's what I think he is.

Assange must be found, also, but he's become rather like Interpol's CARLOS, only leftwingers now support and hide criminals so he's a bit more incognito than Carlos even was.

Leticia said...

Don't count on our pathetic president or government to intervene. They are inept in handling any kind of crisis larger than Michelle Obama's shopping bill.

Ticker said...

"I fear now, there are those within the intelligence community who are so politicized they have forsaken the oath they took when they signed on to this kind of work. And that, is punishable by law."

I fear you are correct. I saw it happening in the 90's under Clinton. The dedicated were forced out or got out because they could no longer do their jobs. A few of the younger ones stayed to "get their time in" and now are getting out by the droves. The director's position became so political under Clinton and yes under Bush II that those who worked in Intel had no confidence in their bosses. That occurred both at CIA and NSA .

Z said...

Ticker, about 25 years ago now, I heard an ex CIA bigwig speaking on CSPAN saying that we get ZERO good applicants anymore for the CIA or FBI..not 'few', ZERO.
NONE pass the lie detector tests re stealing, etc.
ALL are found wanting but we have to take the best of the worst. THat was eye opening and I've never forgotten it.

Then, of course, with situations like leftwingers more intent on making our intel look bad than keeping us safe, how can they OPERATE? Plame and Wilson are STILL believed 100% when there was plenty of evidence against Wilson....they even have a film out now about which a leftwinger critique had the nerve to say "there was very little political bias in it"! Ya, I'll just bet.

beamish said...

I'm waiting to find the leaker responsible for telling Joe Wilson his wife's name is Valerie Plame.

In all seriousness, that a mere Army private has access to so much "classified" information unencrypted is so ludicrously goofy and the concept so diametrically opposed to any minimal definition of intelligent that all of a sudden, I'm not surprised it happened under a leftist's administration.

My only conspiracy theory is that it may have been on purpose by the "open society" left (George Soros, treasurer) and done to give the Obamunists a pretext for shutting down domain name servers.

I hate to impugn motives though. It may well be just another case of what happens when you put an idiot in charge of the State Department.

Ticker said...

Z you heard correctly. Psychological problems galore as well. Psychology was my business so I know a bit.

MK said...

I'm not against transparency, but like you say we have to be careful not to screw over our finest and bravest and also the many who help us around the world.

After all, when they word gets out and people get burned [literally], it'll be us paying the price and this julian ass and the ny slimes won't step up.

Susannah said...

AOW said, "Why would any American want to jeopardize our security is such a manner?"

Sadly, I have a theory...when one isn't taught that one's country is Exceptional, when one isn't taught to respect one's flag, not taught to make a convincing pledge of allegiance...when the highest Office of the land is continually & repeatedly lambasted & ripped to shreds, then denigrated by the behavior of a sitting President --- how can one expect that one's fellow citizens will hold to high esteem one's country???? Heck, even our Lord Jesus Himself was sold for 30 pieces of silver...Heaven help us.

Speedy G said...

“I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast.” --William Tecumseh Sherman