The government can close down fake purse websites but not this one?
Our administration has no balls.
I'm not trying to stir debate but I'm concerned as to the ramifications of what WIKI Leaks is doing.
The "need to know" excuse is holding little water with me. When they release all of these confidential documents doesn't that then eliminate the very definition of "confidential". All we need is one bad apple to take what has been released and feel the need to overthrow another country and then we've got a World War III.
It does shock me that its happening and I wonder how long it will last and whether anything is confidential anymore. I feel that all of a sudden WIKI leaks feels that they deserve to know.
The government can close down fake purse websites but not this one?
Our administration has no balls.
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It's benefiting the wiki leaks folks with publicity.
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Let's not get into a political thing about which party is better or worse for security, or defense, or this thread will get shut down quickly.
The question of whether or not it is beneficial for classified documents to be released is a tricky one. There has to be a certain amount of security- it would be bad to release information on how military equipment works, or nuclear weapon designs, or anything else of that nature.
Take it to the other extreme and you have Soviet Russia- read Mig Pilot for an idea of the difference between living conditions and political climate. Even in current Russia, journalists die under mysterious circumstances after speaking out against the government, even without leaking anything classified.
In this case, during a time of war, releasing information that could cause the deaths of people working for us in Iraq and Afghanistan, or move us a little further towards nuking Iran, can't be a good thing.
To me, as former Army, the idea that a soldier violated his oath, his orders, and the trust placed in him as a defender of the nation and the Constitution is the biggest tragedy of this whole situation.
During a time of war, providing aid to enemies of the United States is treason.
The US state wanted a FULL data in one of the candidates for presidency in Paraguay, very clear was a DNA report about his genes, WTF is that?? then they don't want for people to be all paranoid about "reptilians" and "new world order" crap ..... :
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If releasing the documents embarrasses our government, then maybe our government will stop doing things that might embarrass them. I would say that's a benefit.
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The truth is all I want to know, and seldom that which I ever get.
While I agree that a lot of the recent war documents are doing more harm than good by being revealed, and that this new medium will need some form of regulation over time as it matures, the overall potential of what is happening is invaluable.
When the next mass batch of documents are revealed, and it moves away from the wars and onto the banks and financial industry, I wonder how many people will be crying foul as opposed to cheering the release of information. When the Enron level of corruption and unethical behavior of something like the major banks gets revealed sometime next year (according to them anyway), will the response from the public be as negative? When millions of unemployed and struggling people get wind of the information that is coming, I wonder what kind of reaction we will have in this country? Or will we once again take the approach that this information is detrimental, coming at a time when the economy is finally moving toward recovery, only to throw us back into another recession due to the anger and mistrust it creates against the financial industry at such a sensitive time. Even if that anger and mistrust is completely justified.
At some point, the cancer needs to be removed. While what is happening with Wikileaks right now, especially in regards to the war, can be considered borderline if not outright irresponsible, this goes far beyond Wikileaks. From my perspective, this is just the beginning in a possible new transparency of government and private business that could not come soon enough. As a true American and patriot, while I may loathe what this development is causing to our military relationships, I'm excited for the long term prospects of this new found transparency. Not from Wikileaks, who is certainly not going to be the best but just happens to be the first, but future organizations that spring forward to take that mantle away from them and do it more responsibly and effectively.
Our form of government was created because "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." And yet, over the centuries, as expected, those in power have found every loophole necessary to corrupt the founding fathers intentions and create a non-transparent, corrupt system. It may still be the very best system in existence, and I wouldnt trade it for anything else, but that doesnt change the fact there is a cancer growing within and it can be eliminated. We now have a possible vehicle to start giving transparency and some power back to the people. And once we, the people have the knowledge, our system that we have in place will allow us to change it for the better.
I am absolutely sick to %#$# of our corrupt political, judicial, and even private sector systems. I have not voted for a single candidate in over a decade because Im disgusted with the options we have been given year after year. I hold no political affiliation because Im mostly disgusted by both sides of the coin. I can vote for measures and props, but I can't remember last time I voted for a candidate.
So as terrible as I can see what is happening now, I am trying to look at it from a "ten years from now" perspective and not just about the current leaks about the war, wrong and damaging as they may be. If ten years from now, business are forced to run an ethical operation because they KNOW they will get nailed for it, it will be the dawn of a new era. If governments KNOWS their corruption and backroom deals WILL be revealed and cause possible revolts in unstable regimes, it will be the dawn of a new era. I personally can't wait to see what comes of this. When the average Russian citizen has a means of revealing information without fear of reprisal that exposes the corruption that occurs between their government and the mafia, it could finally cause true reform. When the average Chinese citizen can start exposing information, it could be the beginning of a true shift to democracy in that country as they expand as a world power.
There was one very interesting quote by the founder in an interview I read with him. He basically stated that the biggest fear of various organizations is not the information itself, but the day when the average person no longer fears reprisal over exposing information. When the average person feels they can reveal information about an organization without fear of reprisal, imprisonment, or even death, the floodgates will open and the free flow of information will be unstoppable. That is what organizations, public or private fear most. When people can expose corruption and injustices without fear.
That strikes an interesting parallel with Dictatorial regimes that rule with fear. At any time, a population has the manpower to overwhelm any internal military or regime by sheer numbers. Yet they live in a constant state of fear and can never organize to execute such a revolt. You eliminate the fear and you eliminate the control. If people have a way of revealing information secretly without fear, there is no telling what can start happening across the globe.
Just like the Media, as the new medium matures, we will need safeguards against information that harms national interests and endangers citizens. And once again, the fine line will become even finer and more difficult to discsern. And that line will encourage discourse and analysis which is also positive in every respect and what this country was built upon. And over the years even that system will become corrupt and a new technology will have to emerge to once again combat the corrupt and put control back in the hands of citizens.
As dangerous as it may be, that is a line that has to be walked if we want to continue to evolve as a beacon and example of freedom. By my interpretation, that is the next evolution and the very definition of true freedom.
Last edited by ilya; 11-30-2010 at 09:08.
This will cause all activities, communications, decisions to be shifted deep underground and over time we will know less and less. This is not a good thing.
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I'm not sure I can agree that the very fact corruption will find other ways to remain covert, is a good reason to not seek transparency by all means possible and demand accountability in every way we are able.
The one thing we have learned with technology so far is the hacker/anti-establishment sector is almost always one step ahead. There is no protection that won't be cracked. There are no means of identifying informants that won't soon be hidden again by a more advanced technology and system. The scum can hide their dirt deeper and deeper, sooner or later someone will find it and they will need a new plan. I don't see this phenomenon changing anytime soon.
If I found out my son was stealing money to buy hard drugs, I wouldn't just let him keep doing it, for fear that once I nail him to the wall, he will just find other, even more secretive ways to keep doing it anyway.
That's not a philosophy we as citizens of a free country should support if we have any plans of taking the country back in a positive direction.
Again, I'm not saying that what is happening with Wikileaks is specifically right or wrong. That is a different discussion unto itself. I'm simply stating that this is only the first of a phenomenon that will explode in the next decade and we should be prepared for it. The Sh*t is going to hit the Information superhighway and it isn't going to be pretty for a lot of people we trusted.
You can't have a free country and not expect the people to want transparency. That is the problem China is already running into, but will be magnified exponentially as they grow as a financial power. As people become wealthier, self sufficient, and gain more freedom, they will demand transparency from their government and private sector. It will happen whether they like it or not.
I agree with everyone that the whole incident might cause damage, and the soldier that downloaded the documents is certainly violating our trust and his own oath, but I think in the long run--I am talking about future generations--it might bring about beneficial changes in our society. Basically, the embarrassment is that our behavior (the whole government/country/society) is more subject to examination by everyone when it is more transparent. The more honorable we are as a society, the better we would withstand such examination.
For a contrived example, if we are shipping people to secret prisons for torture, we are keeping them secret because they go against our own societal values. Whoever was in charge decides that it's worth doing it and the secrecy is a way to avoid facing judgement of society.
Now, our dirty laundry is being aired in public. It may be naive and idealistic of the wikileaks guy, but if our sausage-making behavior behind the scenes can be examined in detail, then it might make people keep the threat of exposure in mind next time they are faced with certain decisions. Compromising your morals is easier when you don't have to face anyone to explain what you did. If you feel truly justified, then you can make that decision confident you can make your case. At least you have made that judgement as best you can.
I'm not in favor of damaging or harmful information being released, and this guy has certainly decided to go on his crusade in a dramatic way. But I think I understand what he is trying to do--bring some of the internet's social media-style openness and transparency to the real world.
I think when this same kind of leak happens with documents from the banking industry, we'll see exactly who's responsible for the house of cards they have built. If that results in a more open structure for the financial industry so that we understand what our money goes into, then it will benefit us all.
Exsposing corruption doesn't stop it. At this late and advanced stage I don't think it's containable. Humans are easily corruptable beings, our prisons being full prove it. I think it's good to know as much truth as we can so we can live reasonable lives based on facts and not propaganda.
"Let the people know the facts and the country will be safe"
ilya - you give good perspective on the issue of releasing this information. Definately comments you have written are some that I hadn't thought about.
Here we go with the silly season:
Last edited by Jetpilot3; 11-30-2010 at 20:15.
So we've done horrible things to horrible people. So what? I'm still amazed that our country doesn't understand the fundamental truth that is war. People are mad about water boarding as torture??? Good thing I'll never be president, because I would sanction a hell of a lot more than that and follow through doing it myself if I knew it would protect my country.
I know I should be mad about the leaks, but I find myself mad that reality has to be buried from naive people.
Ilya has some good insight on this. Thank you.
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BTW Ilya, AWESOME post. I agree with you completely.
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