Mr. Wow Blog
Why WikiLeaks Matter…Or Does It?
10:00 am | December 6, 2010

Author: Mr. Wow | Category: Culture Point of View | Comments: 72

Mr. wOw is appalled

Mr. wOw is not a big fan of Julian Assange, publisher of WikiLeaks. He’s, well — just kinda creepy and washed-out looking and awfully thin-skinned for a guy who is such a truthseeker.  (I guess we never want to face our own truths in this old life.)  That his mother loves him doesn’t carry much weight.

But I am amazed and dismayed over the calls to put Assange on trial for “treason” or “espionage.”  First — Fox News! — he can’t be tried for treason because he is not an American citizen.  As for espionage — really? Interesting notion that all publishers should take into account with some trepidation. Especially as this latest batch of WikiLeaks are hardly the stuff of Top Secret spying.  What did we learn? What we already knew: that diplomats and politicians are a bunch of bitchy little girls. It just looks like serious stuff to us, heads of state confabbing. Actually, everybody’s still in high school. I was shocked, shocked, to learn that the U.S. is being urged to attack Iran. Boy, just when you think nobody wants another world war.  There was nothing I read, in what has been disseminated so far by our trustworthy media, that made me sit up and go “Hold on! Boris and Natsha hit paydirt!” (Despite the dramatic pronouncements, it is highly unlikely anyone will die because of these leaks.)

What I did think was that Moose and Squirrel (Obama and Mrs. Clinton) are royally embarrassed, as well they should be. Not because of what was revealed in the WikiLeaks, but that such information can escape, so easily. And that it is in so many hands. About three million people have (or had) access to this material. What’s with us? You don’t see this kind stuff of leaking anywhere else in the world. I’m all for “transparency” but I really don’t think the public is entitled to know everything. So, we sure look foolish and there’s gonna be a lot of international ass-kissing to be done, as if Mr. Obama didn’t have enough to cope with. Not that he’s coping very well. (Attempting to shut down WikiLeaks was a foolish move. The information is out. How about just making sure it doesn’t happen again?)

But there’s another player in this latest batch of leaks. Private Bradley Manning, age 23, a U.S. Army intelligence analyst. It is Bradley who encrypted the 250,000 cables onto a CD (he said he was listening to Lady Gaga.) He is a big crybaby who felt “isolated” and “ignored” all his life. And especially in the Army. Well, Geez! You volunteered. If you didn’t like it, get the hell out of Dodge. Go into therapy. Like mass murderers, Bradley wanted to be noticed. Well, he got noticed. Now he is going to spend the rest of his life in prison. I would like to be real humane here and say that I feel bad for the kid—and that’s all he is. But I don’t. He took his Army oath (whatever that is) and he either wanted to serve his country properly or he did not. He leaked this info with no regard for the consequences — there might have been material that would have done far greater damage than simply making steam come out of Mrs. Clinton’s head. Lives could have been lost.  And the effect on our future diplomacy, not to mention a greater fervor for dangerous secrecy amongst world leaders, is yet to be seen.

Even worse, from Mr. wOw’s point of view, Bradley is gay. I am surprised — shocked, even — that more has not been made of this, as the debate over DADT rages. Brother, what a poster boy for those who oppose repeal. “See, they can’t be trusted. Too emotional and neurotic.” (Perhaps this aspect of the story will get a bump if DADT is actually repealed.)  For this reason alone — for shaming all the brave gay men and women who go out and risk their lives on battlefields — I have no pity for the next 52 years of Bradley’s existence behind bars. (Memo to the media: Don’t give him the attention he craves. No interviews, no book deals.)

As for Mr. Assange, he is receiving hundreds of death threats, has been called a “terrorist” by politicians such as Mitch McConnell, and he is still dodging those European sex-assault charges. He’s clearly not a big fan of American government. He’s strictly on the slimy side. But that doesn’t mean the American government has a right to prosecute or persecute him. They don’t. Stop over-reacting, you guys. When you pay too much attention to something, you can change the entire dialogue; you create a victim.  Have we learned nothing from Sarah Palin?

  • Paul Smith

    Finally, finally, someone has said it: Private Bradley Manning, a gay man, who could not have chosen a worse politiical moment to have a hissy fit and a personal meltdown to the strains of Lady Gaga.  Perhaps JetBlue has an opening for a hysterical flight attendant.   

    10:42 am | December 6, 2010
    • Mr. Wow

      Very funny, Paul!  But not, you know?  It makes me crazy. 

      11:15 am | December 6, 2010
  • Baby Snooks

    It sounds odd but in a way I thought about Martha Mitchell when reading about Bradley Manning. They both took an oath to “honor and cherish” so to speak. Both decided we have a right to know. So they broke their oath. Sounds flip. Perhaps it is. I’m in a flip mood this morning. When I’m in a lethal mood, I turn flip. My contribution to world peace. Bradley Manning is in the brig. Martha Mitchell would have been in the brig as well if Nixon had thought he could get away with it. Both are heroes to me. Because they exposed the heroes who really were zeroes.  As are those who “ran with it” and published it. 

    We do have a right to know. That’s the way I feel. I’ve posted so much elsewhere about why I feel this way it would be redundant to post it again.

    Maybe I expect too much of our “leaders.”  I am never suprised by Prince Phillip. I am quite surprised by all of this. Including Prince Andrew. I suspect Elizabeth II wishes she had followed in the footsteps of Elizabeth I and not married and had children. I suspect there are quite a few mothers at this point who wish the same. And some turning in their graves. Along with the founding fathers. 

    Maybe if the “bank revelations” make it online everyone will be a little less outraged. At least about Julian Assange. 
    Whether we have the right to know or not, now we know. Well, I already knew I guess. Some of it anyway. Now everyone else does. 

    Knowledge is power. Period.

    11:30 am | December 6, 2010
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Baby…I agree that knowledge is power.  But whose power?  I’m not convinced Wikileaks has made any of us more powerful, or less likely to be victimized by our own government. 

      I’m in semi-agreement on Martha. And she was a lot of fun, too!  But soldier Manning?  I doubt very much he sat and read all 250,000 cables.  This was the act of a neurotic attention seeker, hiding under the cloak of  “doing right for his country, even if it’s ‘wrong.’”   Mr. Assange is simply the benficiary of Bradley, whatever his  own agenda.  He hasn’t committed any crimes.  (Well, not sure about the rapes, but that’s quite another matter.)

      11:41 am | December 6, 2010
  • Maggie W

    Reading bits of the cables are about as newly informative as reading our 1700 page tax code.  We all know what’s there to despise and try not to look.  Having to face up is painful.  The cables confirm that the Saudis continue to pressure the USA to take out Iran but continue to also funnel money to terrorists world wide.  These are our allies?   If we could commit to alternate energy pursuit on our home turf ,we wouldn’t need to grovel for that 28 billion a month we import in foreign oil. ( Thomas Friedman, 12/6). 

    As if we don’t have enough political misery back here at the ranch, we have to continually nurse and appease Israel and Pakistan.. a failed state in the making.  Then there’s the Afghanistan fiasco.  While we literally give bags of cash to corrupt Afghan officials, our congressmen cannot decide if we should cough up 4 billion for a better child nutrition bill for our school children.

    Only in America….

    11:35 am | December 6, 2010
    • Mr. Wow

      Two billion a week to continue in Afghanistan.  But within a few years they’re going to force people over 65 to continue working until 70, because, well…there’s just not enough money for Social Security. (As for child nutrition, haven’t you heard?–that’s a liberal/Socialist plot to control our food and eventually lead us to starvation.)

      As Baby Snooks often observes—no wonder the empire of the United States is crumbling.  (I don’t think it’s disintergrating as rapidly as Baby does, but it’s going.)

      11:50 am | December 6, 2010
      • Baby Snooks

        At the rate it is going it will be a matter of “going, do I have another bid, going, last chance to bid, gone. Sold to…” as the Federal Reserve just gives up and auctions us off. 

        One thing I will say about all the change we were promised is how much things have changed at the State Department.  25 years ago Margaret Tutwiler would have come out and stated that the cables were not legitimate and had been altered or doctored and the State Department would have no further comment.   End of subject.  Called saving face. Everyone would have known she was lying. But accepted it. But heads would have rolled. Heads aren’t rolling in this. Although Hillary did say the other day again that she will be retiring from public life so to speak. But apparently not in order to run for president. If nothing else at least Julian Assange spared us that. 

        I suspect he fears for his life at this point given his threat to release everything. He should release everything anyway. That’s his best insurance. And ours in a way. 

        We are lied to every day and every which way. This just one of many stories about the reality of the Macondo well and about what is happening on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico.  I would starve before I would touch anything that might have come from the Gulf of Mexico. 

        12:39 pm | December 6, 2010
        • Miss Lee

          I would starve before I would touch anything that might have come from the Gulf of Mexico.”  Written by a woman who probably has never really been hungry, without food or money, and having no way to get it.  If you have ever been there, you know you would eat just about anything to make the hunger go away.  Having been there, it is an experience that I wish on no one.

          4:43 pm | December 6, 2010
          • Baby Snooks

            Actually I have been there.  Been rich and poor. And in-between. I talk about the two Americas because I’ve experienced both.  A check didn’t arrive once.  Never arrived at all.  My cats always eat. So one night I joined them.  And ate dry cat food. It was not a good time. And I didn’t feel like reaching out to people who should have already reached out to me. It is an experience I would wish on those who should have reached out to me. And didn’t. People I had always been there for.  Life is fair, like someone said, unfortunately it’s filled with schmucks. 
            So we are clear I would eat cat food again before I would eat anything from the Gulf of Mexico. 

            The community manager wouldn’t like it if I told you what I’d like to tell you so I will tell you simply not to assume things.

            7:27 pm | December 6, 2010
          • Baby Snooks

            Interestingly the “Deficit Commision” was tagged the “Catfood Commission” early on. I suspect everyone will realize why in a year or two. After the Republicans start “cutting the budget.” 

            Obama announced this afternoon he had reached an agreement with the Republicans, but not the Democrats apparently,over the tax cuts. Everyone will keep their tax cuts.  Not sure how much it costs for the poor to keep theirs but the estimate is $700 billion for the rich. And that apparently may be per year. So $1.4 trillion. So the rich can get a little richer while the poor get a little poorer.  Ain’t hopey changey wonderful?

            The only thing the Republicans are willing, or wanting, to cut are social service programs.  Oh, they will extend unemployment benefits. For maybe 26 weeks. And then probably will cut them altogether.  After all the rich will be hiring again. So you won’t need unemployment benefits.The rich will hire you. If you are willing to compete with “guest workers” to cut their lawn and cook their food and clean their kitchen. 

            Many will probably end up eating cat food. And dog food. Or may end up eating the cat or the dog.  No doubt one of the Republicans will point out that “culling for food” is “god’s way” and point out that cats and dogs are delicacies in other countries and we do have a problem with strays in this country. 

            Obama of course is repeating the mantra. Cut the taxes for the rich and the rich start hiring.  They really need to erect a monument to PT Barnum in Washington. There is indeed a sucker born every minute. 

            Even the social security cuts are aimed at the rich. Corporations will not have to pay 2% and the top wage earners will net somewhere between $1,500 and $2,000. 

            Happy days are here again. For the rich. But then they’ve been happy all along. And they think the hopey changey thingy is just great. It is. For them. 

            1:12 am | December 7, 2010
  • Mary Miller

    I’m thinking that we all better get used to hearing more and more and more and have to come to grips with the ambiquity (sp) of our information super highway.  I mean realy what do we expect when we have all this information available and most simply want more and more.  So Wikileaks is supplying the demand to know.  Only thing is that now we know what do we do with the info?  I cannot go to the super market anymore without hearing phone conversations that are indeed too personal or too much information about a persons private affairs, legal or not.  Twitter is alive with every piece of personal information a person wants to give out and indeed they do, from step by step the beginning to end of their day, to office secrets, politics and sex lives.  I suppose someone must care or else there would not be Facebook or Twitter.  Then we have places like Wikileaks where too much info can be dangerous but why do we look?  Because we can’t stand not knowing.  We have to get used to it I suppose and then again maybe there are things we should know?Some of this stuff actually makes Nixson look like a candidate for Sainthood, where was the internet when we realy needed it?  All in all it all goes back to money and how people are choosing to make it.  Morality is out the door.  Whether people make money on exposing information , ruining other peoples reputations, or winning elections, it realy is all the same it all puts money in pockets.

    12:37 pm | December 6, 2010
    • Mr. Wow

      “Because we can’t stand not knowing.”   I like that. 

      I can stand it.  Which is why I don’t have a cell phone, am not on Twitter or Facebook. Somehow, I survive.

      1:20 pm | December 6, 2010
      • Baby Snooks

        “Schadenfreude, schadenfreude…”

        7:09 am | December 9, 2010
  • Lila

    Mr. Wow, I disagree, but to spare wOw’s servers from repeat Lila drivel, please see the comments under Liz Smith’s article for the very detailed Snooks/Lila pro-and-con arguments on Wikileaks.  I will just say a couple of things here:
    First, I admit my vested interest.  My Dad worked under official cover for his whole career, sometimes under aliases.  Keeping the secret was a huge part of keeping him and his family safe, and I learned early to deal with that.  I went on to work with classified for many years in the Army and I was aware of some very delicate situations which, if revealed, would mean US deaths and the deaths of those who are on our side.  I have no tolerance for that.
    Second, I couldn’t care less that Manning is gay.  I knowingly worked with gays in the military, they had TS clearances, no problems.  Manning’s issue is not that he is gay, it is that he is disgruntled, has weak loyalty to the US, and – like many of Wikileaks’ defenders – probably had no grasp of how far-ranging the damage would really be.  Disgruntled people or those whose loyalty even might be weak are not good candidates to have clearances.
    Yes, responsible publishers have long had to balance what they see as a public right to know (which is NOT a Constitutional guarantee) against the harm that publication can cause.  We have gotten away from publishing the names of juvenile offenders or sex-crime victims.  We keep the press away from hostage situations and sieges.  We don’t give them unfettered access to ongoing police investigations or trials in progress.  For what reason?  Because the potential harm outweighs the “right to know.”  With classified, that harm is a lot bigger than any of those civil examples.
    I cannot condone the unauthorized release of classified in any way, ever.  Those who think there has been no harm, are wrong.  Those who say “knowledge is power”?  Yes.  Power for our enemies. Here’s one of the latest threats to emerge from the leaks:
    Notice that CNN, being responsible, does not publicize the actual information.

    1:38 pm | December 6, 2010
    • Mary Miller

      Lilah, my dad worked most of his life with government, often military, contracts and always had to be cleared by the government so he had top security and could not even tell us what he was doing, we just rolled along to where we were going and that was that.  In 1989 however I was very ill in the hospital and I think no one thought I was going to leave alive.  My dad came and visited and he sat and talked a long time about something he was working on.  It was quite frightening and very alarming, but I have never told a soul because I know that had he just wanted to confide in me because he thought I was safe and he needed so  badly to vent his fear.  There are things we should know, things we might want to know but would cause harm to others, and things that we don’t know now but will in the future and somewhere along the line we have to trust that someone is looking out for us.

      2:00 pm | December 6, 2010
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Lila…I don’t think we disagree that much. (nothing you say is drivel, by the way)  I am not happy about WikiLeaks.  I think at the very least we are deeply embarassed and a weak-appearing president appears weaker.  Not that it had anything to do with him,  but…he’s the guy in charge now.

      As I said, I don’t believe the general public is entitled to know everything.  Some things–yes.  But a great deal, no.  Certainly not our communications with other countries.  Especially when it reveals–for example–our continued distrust of Russia. We all continue to distrust Russia.  But why have it out there, officially?  I don’t condone this degree of “sharing.”

      As for Mr. Manning, as a gay man who would like to see DADT repealed, the fact that Manning is gay means a great deal to me. That’s personal. But it could also affect so many really patriotic gay men and women who wish to serve, honorably.
      Assange cannot be touched by U.S. authorities.  And shouldn’t be.  Instead of witch-hunting him they should be plugging the holes in their security system.   Mr. A. is going to live out a very unpleasant rest of his life.  If he lives to be 90, he’ll be forever looking over his shoulder, suspicious of every new “friend” or lover.   He made his bed.  His sleep will be always uneasy.

      2:00 pm | December 6, 2010
      • mountain girl

        Last night I read a profile on Mr. Assange that THE NEW YORKER published last summer. It was very interesting. Thinking about it left me with the impression that while some of what he does has some merit, he does it for all the wrong reasons. He does what he does for the thrill of it. Just knowing he can do it.
        He claims it’s to expose the US position on collateral damage that kills innocent victims, but his reaction to the collateral damage HE does is a shrug. I’m appalled by how many people think he’s a hero!

        2:43 pm | December 8, 2010
    • Baby Snooks

      Truly classified material should be in files behind closed and locked doors. Not on internet accessible data bases that are accessible to anyone with a password including a password that has been hacked.

      I believe David Manning was sitting at a computer while listening to Lady Gaga? Some of this classified material no doubt will end up on Saturdahy Night Live. Which maybe will wake everyone up to the reality of the lunatics who are running the asylum so to speak. 

      Hillary Clinton should not be playing Mata Hari turning diplomats into spies. Obviously she has been adopted by the Bushes.  Enough already with the classified material. 

      I doubt our enemies need Wikileaks to know our “ports of entry” unless the Pentagon is using Royal Caribbean cruise ships for transport.  I say that with levity. But also accepting that is always possible given how much the Pentagon likes to waste the taxpayer money.  

      2:21 pm | December 6, 2010
      • Lila

        The government does NOT keep classified anywhere on the internet or on anything connected to the internet in any way.  PFC Manning bragged about pretending to listen to Lady Gaga when he was, in fact, downloading reams of classified from government systems (which are not connected to the internet) to CD or iPod or whatever he used as his external storage device.
        Please read the CNN article.  The cable in question does not discuss ports of entry or cruise ships.
        As for Clinton, once again, please also level your indictment at all previous SecStates right on back to Thomas Jefferson.  Clinton has been SecState for all of two years, and these leaked cables go back to 1966, and decades prior to that, nothing was any different except that State did not compete with CIA… but only because CIA did not exist yet.
        Do you know why the OSS, later the CIA, was founded?  Because prior to WWII, intelligence was a function of either the diplomatic corps or the military, and the US WWII experience starting with Pearl Harbor, as well as the postwar experience trying to rebuild Europe and the onset of the Cold War, demanded a change in how we did business.  But every country’s diplomatic corps has always had an information-gathering function.  With the end of the Cold War, there were actually some folks who thought we should dismantle CIA as no longer necessary… until 9/11… and now we have dozens of agencies with intelligence as part or all of their mission.

        5:16 pm | December 6, 2010
        • Baby Snooks

          Do you know why the OSS, later the CIA, was founded? 

          The why is answered by the who.  Prescott Bush and the Dulles brothers.  It provided the foundation by which to establish the military-industrial complex Eisenhower warned us about in his final speech as he left office.  Which in turn provided the foundation to establish a shadow government that in turn established the oligarchy we have become. Sorry but there are no “good shepherds.” 

          As for internet access you forget who developed the coding systems as well as the programming systems that allow the internet to work. Our government. If you know the numeric routing code which is similar to an IP address and have the password, you can access it from the internet. Nothing is 100% secure.  Some of the military systems are not accessible because they are on computer systems that are still networked by the FTS although as a phone system even that is not 100% if someone manages to find a way to “tap” in.

          You obviously like Hillary Clinton.  She makes a wonderful Mata Hari. Maybe if they remake “Casino Royale” they can cast her in the role. For the time being I expect she will have to settle for being parodied on Saturday Night Live. 

          Did you ever see “Casino Royale?”  The spies in the end manage to blow themselves up along with the casino.   Rather prescient I suppose.

          8:13 pm | December 6, 2010
          • Lila

            G’morning Snooks!
            Interesting that you refer to “The Good Shepherd.”  The movie was loosely based on the career of James Jesus Angleton, who my Dad knew in passing (odder in reality than the movie depicted, but then Hollywood has to glam things up).  Also interesting that you mention a Bond movie.  While Ian Fleming did work in that world (he was the brain behind the “Man Who Never Was” ruse that deflected Nazi attention from Normandy), his Bond stories were really OUT THERE and not at all representative of what really goes on.  “The Good Shepherd” was not totally factual, but pretty well represented what it’s like to live in that world.  As my Dad said – especially the strain on families.  My Mom died young, it was partly related to that stuff, ‘nuf said on that.
            Re: classified systems and Internet:  different pipes, different switches, different processors.  They don’t touch.  Yes, DARPA planted the seeds of Internet tech, but it’s a completely separate system.
            Nope, not a Clinton fan, there’s too much in her background that I do not approve of.  But her tenure as SecState is no different that those of her predecessors.  Also – I think she will not run for Pres in 2016, but mainly because she will then be the same age as Reagan was when he was elected as our oldest Pres.  Gender plus age will be too large of a hurdle to overcome.

            8:19 am | December 7, 2010
          • Baby Snooks

            Julian Assange has surrendered in London and so that will be the end of Wikileaks since the banks in particular seem intent on blocking any further funding in an attempt, obviously, to block release of anything involving our banking system. 

            What many ignored in the New York Times or the Los Angeles Times they haven’t ignored on Wikileaks for some reason.  Which makes it all the more dangerous. Mainly because no editor is editing to please someone. Even the newspapers that have run the releases have not edited them. Freedom of the press at work. Still alive.  Much to the chagrin who thought they had removed that freedom from the Bill of Rights. 

            There is nothing in any of this that could or would, in ordinary circumstances, be considered a threat to national security or could or would, in ordinary circumstances, be classified. 

            It doesn’t do much for our “image” but then at this point it merely adds to the “image” we already have. I suppose to some that represents a threat to our national security. It really merely represents a threat to their security as the facade of “of the people, by the people, for the people” is torn away. 

            As for the “good shepherds” there was probably more truth to the film than most would like to admit. Maybe not all of it related to one man. But certainly related to the CIA.   Maybe you along with the Roman Catholic Church find it acceptable to play “Flying Nuns” in Central America. I do not.  The CIA has deserved its aka of Murder, Inc. and despite the “romantic picture” presented by Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame the CIA is nothing more than a group of common thugs and murderers. Who promote the cause of the vulture capitalism of oligarchy rather than democracy.  Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame may have sat behind desks. But they are in the end no different from the mercenaries the CIA hires to push nuns out of helicopters.  Rome of course sat silent while the nuns were being pushed out of helicopters. Perhaps trading off the nuns for the cardinals who were protecting the priests who were molesting the choir boys and girls. Perhaps some of them “good shepherds” as well. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that 6 of our Supreme Court justices are Roman Catholic. 

            I somehow doubt the oligarchy of the Bushes and the Bakers and the Candlestickmakers aka the “military-industrial complex” and the CIA that helps maintain it is what the founding fathers envisioned in terms of democracy.

            The military doesn’t appear to be much better than the CIA particularly in Iraq and war crimes are war crimes no matter who commits them and declaring yourself to be above the law as we have done does not mean that you are.  At some point the world rises up against you and the world declares you are not above the law and sends you to Nuremberg.    

            The founding fathers are not amused. Pluto is not amused.  So, well, off to the Boom Boom Room we shall no doubt go. 

            Probably about the time the Federal Reserve realizes it cannot continue to issue funny money backed only by debt which will probably happen about the time some of the banks begin to default on their loans from the Federal Reserve. 

            Mayer Rothschild was wrong. Sometimes it is not enough to control a nation’s currency. Sometimes you do have to care who makes the nation’s laws. Particularly when they simply do not know what they are doing. Congress has saddled us with tens of trillions of dollars of debt the past ten years. And is intent on saddling us with more in the curious belief that wealth must be protected from taxation and regulation because it “trickles down.” At this point the only thing being protected is the enormous debt being carried on the books so to speak. 

            And that matter no doubt was what led to the demise of Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

            Turning Wall Street into a casino was not the brightest idea. But then those who did really aren’t the brightest light bulbs.

            Oligarchy is about wealth. Debt is not wealth. And it causes empires as well as oligarchies to fall. 

            11:09 am | December 7, 2010
          • Lila

            “As for the “good shepherds” there was probably more truth to the film than most would like to admit.”
            In fact – my Dad said it was in many ways the most realistic of all the “spy movies” he ever saw.  At the other extreme – though a humorless man, he would laugh at the old Get Smart series, saying that it was closer than we knew to some of the more ludicrous things that go on behind the scenes.  Once I got behind the “Green Door” I could see what he meant.  If curious, find a book called The Night Watch by David Atlee Phillips, a former acquaintance of my Dad’s.  The book describes his experiences in the CIA, including a hilarious chapter on some of their more juvenile antics.  One of the episodes got me to laughing and I showed it to my Dad.  “That didn’t happen to him, it happened to me.  And that’s not quite how it went, here’s the real story…”  Oh.  Actually the real story was much funnier but Mr. Phillips had glossed it over and changed some details to get the permission to publish.  The book is mostly serious, though.
            Another good read you would be interested in is Legacy of Ashes: the History of the CIA.  Dad knew many of the players mentioned in that one and pointed out some of the episodes there that he had personal knowledge of  (the Felfe case was a particular irritant).  Despite his many years in the world of espionage/intelligence, he was not a fan of the CIA and disagreed with much of the attitude and approach.  Just as, in my time, I did not agree with the whole Iraq invasion thing nor with much of our approach to it.
            But even with all our dissatisfactions, I still cannot condone the unauthorized release of classified.
            Oh, Mr. Assange’s arrest:  fear not, Snooks, electronic data is nothing if not fecund.  Wikileaks has been copied many times over by now.  And Assange does have a staff.  It’s not as if he does all this by himself.

            12:58 pm | December 7, 2010
          • Baby Snooks

            I just read a reminiscence of Elaine Kaufman and her response to a lengthy diatribe from Norman Mailer. She wrote “This is boring” on it and mailed it back to him.

            This is boring. I have heard worse and possibly more damaging revelations at dinner tables. 

            “Where’s the beef?” as the lady used to say in the television commercial.

            1:40 pm | December 7, 2010
          • Lila

            Well – it’s only boring to you because it’s not your milieu.  Growing up I was aware of this stuff in a general way because of my Dad, but it was not interesting to me, either.  In fact I actively tried to avoid the stuff – majored in hard sciences in college and started out working in marine science labs.
            It was only later, when I was in the middle of it thanks to the Army, that it became interesting.  Intensely so.

            4:35 pm | December 7, 2010
          • Baby Snooks

            It’s boring because apart from the revelation about Mata Hari and the revelation that “royal foot-in-the-mouth disease” is hereditary there is nothing I didn’t already know.  We all know most of this. Gossip from the dinner tables in Georgetown makes its way to dinner tables everywhere else. And occasionally into columns and news stories. We just ignore it. Believing it doesn’t matter. It does.

            When you put it all together, however, it’s not boring. Quite scary actually. The lunatics have taken over the asylum.

            One thing I will say. State Department employees apparently need to learn to use the telephone to “call home” and limit the gossip to the dinner table. And avoid cables and emails.

            That said, well, again, where’s the beef?

            6:15 am | December 8, 2010
          • Lila

            OK, well, we’ve tapped out our pro/con discussion.
            For me, Manning’s leak and Assange’s publication of the docs is wrong and damaging, and I do perceive specific damages and threats.  However, the fact that State collects intel and deals in classified is no surprise to me, and in fact has always been a function of every diplomatic corps worldwide.
            For you, Assange is a hero, everyone should have a right to know what the gov’t is doing behind closed doors, you don’t see any damage from the leaks, and diplomacy should be separate from intelligence activity.
            Never the twain shall meet… we are at polar opposites on this issue.  I guess we can’t help it, it’s just where we come from.

            7:21 am | December 8, 2010
  • Baby Snooks

    I think at the very least we are deeply embarassed and a weak-appearing president appears weaker.


    And enough already with the poor doomed Barack Obama who everyone hates because he’s an African-American. He intervened with regard to the war crimes investigations by Spain?  Hopefully the next president will send him along with the others to Nuremberg. That must have been quite a “fireside chat” with Daddy and Jeb.  I guess he’s been adopted as well. 

    Quite a few years ago astrologers talked about the Pluto return in our national chart.  Pluto returning to Capricorn where it was when the founding fathers picked up the pen and set it all in motion. Pluto likes to send you off to the Boom Boom Room if “to thineself you have not been true.”  Looks like we’re on our way to the Boom Boom Room. 

    2:34 pm | December 6, 2010
  • Scarlett Ohara Mitchell

    Does anyone else find it totally ironic (and perhaps KARMA) that the Swiss are trying to have Assange extridicted (back) for rape after refusing to return Polanski to the US?

    2:54 pm | December 6, 2010
    • Mr. Wow

      With U.S. Intelligence (I use that phrase lightly) pressuring them, suddenly they don’t know from “neutral.”

      If Assange gets to Brazil he can undergo some serious plastic surgery. (aside from the lucrative T&A, typical nosejobs and lipo, the Brazilian doctors perform miracles of reconstruction and identity-altering.)

      3:04 pm | December 6, 2010
      • Baby Snooks

        Well interestingly they have seized his bank account for violation of Swiss law. I doubt he is in Switzerland.  Switzerland tends to honor legitimate extradition requests.  Rule of law is pretty absolute. 
        If he hasn’t already left I doubt he will go anywhere.  It will be interesting to see if Sweden manages to extradite him from Great Britain.

        And I suspect Scarlett has confused the Swiss with the Swedes. Sweden, not Switzerland, is seeking to have him extradited.  It is still not clear if he has actually been charged.  In which case, Great Britain most likely will tell Sweden what Switzerland told the US in the case of Roman Polanski. “Forget it.”  Great Britain for the most part still believes in the rule of law. Although of course some in Great Britain believe they are above the law just like some in the US do. 

        5:10 pm | December 6, 2010
    • Baby Snooks

      Enough already with the “Roman Polanski is a Pedophile Rapist” saga. He was not charged with rape. He pleaded to guilty to consensual sex with a minor who was three weeks away from not being a minor. There was a sentence handed down. The judge decided he didn’t like the sentence and made the mistake of stating publicly that he was going to ignore the sentence and send Roman Polanski to prison for life. Roman Polanski fled. Who wouldn’t?

      Actually he didn’t flee as in he hid in the trunk of a car and crossed the border. He called the airlines and went to LAX and took a flight to Paris. Maybe he glued on a fake mustache and booked the flight in the name of Groucho Marx. And told them they misspelled the name on the passport. 

      The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office needed some good public relations so it decided to pursue the “fugitive” charges which basically had some merit. But the matter of the merit was another thing. The Swiss said, no. He had been sentenced and then the judge said that sentence didn’t count. In essence the Swiss said you need to hold your judge accountable first, and then your district attorney’s office, and then come back to us.

      The Swiss believe in the rule of law. We don’t. As evidenced again by all of this. 

      4:36 pm | December 6, 2010
  • Haunted Lady

    I agree that the most disturbing part of this is the lack of care in handling classified material. I’ve worked in the defense industry for better than 30 years and have always been very careful about what was said and seen outside the “need to know” requirements. I’ve known many others in the industry and in government who felt the same way. That doesn’t mean I condone dishonesty but I’m more than minimally aware that the government is and always has been dishonest to some degree. I guess that’s part of the legacy of the 60s but whatever. At the very least, any information that has potential to harm the U.S., its citizens and/or its allies must be protected a whole lot better.
    As for Bradley, I swear by all that’s holy that I hope I live to see the day when gay-straight, black-white, man-woman, etc. makes no difference to the way someone does their job.

    3:06 pm | December 6, 2010
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Haunted Lady….to your last sentence—I hope so, too.  But given human nature, I doubt it.  And given the fact that this was a young man very much aware of the issues swirling around DADT, I am appalled by his actions–as a gay man, and as a soldier, committed to his duty. He did a great deal of harm on any number of levels. There are other ways to protest perceived injustices.  One doesn’t have to leak secret documents. And why drag in poor Lady Gaga? (Madonna is probably wishing Bradley had been forty and still into her.  La Publicite!)

      But for heaven’s sake, if you don’t want to be involved in lying and injustice and a hell of a lot worse–don’t join the army or become a politican. 

      3:34 pm | December 6, 2010
  • Chip Griswold

    I have more respect for Hillary Clinton since the leaks.  At least I now know she was willing to spy! 

    3:10 pm | December 6, 2010
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Chip…Everybody’s always willing to spy.  Mrs. Clinton is a tough cookie.  I bet she’d be willing to do a lot more.

      3:37 pm | December 6, 2010
      • Baby Snooks

        I’m not willing to spy. Well, spy to gossip, yes. But spy to spy, no.  

        All of this is boring. Surprising only in how boring it is. If Julian Assange is reading this, well, have someone hack the IRS for us.  I want to know how much the Clintons are making. And how much everyone else in Washington is making. And how much in taxes they aren’t paying. 

        Let’s get into some real “state secrets.”  And scandals.  

        Someone should push for a new disclosure law. You feed at the public trough, your income tax returns are public information. Forever.

        4:44 pm | December 6, 2010
  • slapbangwallah

    You are correct.  It doesn’t matter.  With this latest batch of “leaks,” Wikileaks is beginning to look like a propaganda site anyway rather than a true whistleblower site.  A bunch of ho-hum news that has already been discussed on the web months ago with some side humor of petty, little comments by our criminals-in-charge.  Now, something you may not be aware of, since our wonderful mainstream media does not talk about anything of import:  there is a big controversy going on in Sweden right now about the U.S. embassy performing surveillance on Swedish government offices.  Sounds typical, right?  But, the Swedish government knew about it and condoned it.  What word is appropriate here?  Owned.  The Swedish government is owned.  By who?  The U.S.  And who is falsely accusing Mr. Assange of all these crimes so that they can arrest him to appease Fox News?  Sweden.  Well, being owned, I guess that’s us.  And Mr. Bradley being the “leak?”  A gay guy?  Aren’t you just laughing right now?  You caught the timing thing.  Well, duh!  How fortunate for the right wing!  And I can see a right winger fuming over Lady Gaga and her performance art, just like they did for John Lennon’s tirades on peace (can’t have that here in Amerika).  It just gets funnier and funnier.  The problem is is that these people are deadly serious.

    4:36 pm | December 6, 2010
    • Baby Snooks

      I’m surprised the fundies haven’t chimed in yet with their “god will destroy the wicked and god is not pleased with these homosexuals all over the place” television pitches.  You know, pray for America’s redemption. And call the number and contribute $25 for the cause. God loves the generous heart.  But only if it’s heterosexual of course. 
      The embassy surveiliance is not news. The stories I could tell. But I don’t want to do 10-20.  What went on in Sweden went beyond surveillance of who was talking to whom from what embassy. It’s important to know who is talking to whom. They all keep our embassies under surveillance as well. Just in case no one realized that.  Sometimes they bug the embassies. Everyone likes to gossip I guess. But again this went beyond bugging the embassies.  My guess is gossip.  Bedroom type gossip. Hacking personal email accounts. Who sends state secrets out on personal email?  The whole thing is curious. But then everyone in Washington at this point is curious. The hubris is quite amazing.

      5:00 pm | December 6, 2010
  • Harriet Shoebridge

    Wikileaks … selfish … that’s what.  A 23-year old listening to popculture’s flavour of the decade publicity hound (I would have used the ‘w’ word … ), feeling isolated and therefore entitled by way of and when did this happen when entitlement is based on ‘feeling bad’ then again just watch an episode of Intervention or maybe Hoarders or better yet Celebrity Rehab (ah, god … ) … when ‘feeling bad’ is the ticket to those much sought after 15-minutes of fame, in this case, 52-years, and every last year so very well deserved and not thinking of the ‘leaks’ but the countless lifes put on the line because someone was ‘feeling bad’ … (pause) … selfish.  Then again, the CEO Wikileaks, self appointed guru of free speech and me thinking nothing more and certainly not less than a computer nerd gone way south, another twist on entitlement, this time ’round, techno know-how equals entitlement equals the right to disseminate information that, from what I’ve heard, is no big surprise.  The president of Afghanistan is neurotic and selfish and what’s not to know but he’s our neurotic and selfish you-know-what and that somehow justifies sending in troops to back up one of the most corrupt regimes on the planet.  And I needed Wikileaks to tell me this?  Selfish … entitlement … I’m feeling bad … I’m a techno wizard … I can and will do what I want.  Mr.Wow … I don’t know about you but, speaking for myself, I sometimes want to simply walk up to people and give them a good, hard slap across the face … not violence but … this thing of ‘and what in god’s name are you thinking?’

    5:03 pm | December 6, 2010
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Harriet…I have an upcoming post on a terrifying taxi ride.  Slap?  I wanted to punch this guy.

      What is anybody thinking at this point?

      7:01 pm | December 6, 2010
      • Baby Snooks

        I missed this somehow. Discovering your inner Zsa Zsa?  

        1:47 pm | December 7, 2010
        • Mr. Wow

          Dear Baby…It’s coming.  No slaps were landed.  It was, in fact, a quite terrifying adventure. 

          1:00 am | December 9, 2010
          • Baby Snooks

            I miss the days when slaps were acceptable. Not that I ever slapped anyone mind you. Well, maybe once or twice.  Taxi drivers aren’t worth slapping.  Not tipping is much better. 

            I thought Zsa Zsa was in the right and the cop should have gone to jail instead of her but Zsa Zsa was in the wrong so many other times that, well, everyone got their revenge. Which is fine. But the cop still should have gone to jail.  I mean she’s obviously Zsa Zsa Gabor and the car is obviously hers and so what’s the problem? The cop didn’t know how to write a ticket?  If it had been me and he grabbed me and pulled me out of the car all I can tell you is he would have been walking funny for awhile after I kneed him.  Hopefully he ended up writing tickets in Des Moines.

            7:37 pm | December 9, 2010
  • Bonnie O

    Mr. Wow -

    YES … the actions of Private Banning are what is truly dismaying about the WikiLeaks story.  I did not know that Banning was gay, a fact which I do not consider significant …. except for some Americans who will link his gayness to his treasonous actions.  Shame on them;   Banning should do time in a federal penitentiary.

    By the way, O’Reilly on Fox News squelched the idea of trying  Assange for treason for the same reason you said, “the man is not an American!”.

    6:52 pm | December 6, 2010
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Bonnie….he will do time.  And I hated to mention Banning’s gayness, but had I not– since i have been so open about myself and riled up on this or that gay issue–somebody surely would have brought it my attention in this venting on Wikileaks.

      Straight or gay—he’s an an asshole.

      O’Reilly and I agree?   Wait, wait—do I see the Four Horsemen?!

      7:32 pm | December 6, 2010
      • Baby Snooks

        Is there really any difference between Bradley Manning and Daniel Ellsberg or any difference between Julian Assange and the New York Times?

        What is being said about Bradley Manning and Julian Assange is really not too different from what was said about Daniel Ellsberg and the New York Times. 

        Quite a few called Daniel Ellsberg an asshole too I’m sure. 

        1:19 am | December 7, 2010

        Not only do you and O’Reilly agree on this one, but Beck defended the Wikileaks guy on the “rape” charges in Sweden the other day.  Beck basically stated he’s a jerk, but looks like he’s being set up on that.

        3:06 am | December 12, 2010
  • Mary E. Sayler

    Wikileaks told me nothing new.  The children involved are very young adults and have not lived long enough.  I was a History/Political Science major in College. My studies then (1957-1961) and my continued education in those areas has made what has happened no surprise to me.  This type of thing has happened in the past; what makes it different, in a sense, is the ease and speed it which this able to happen, via the internet.  Received my Masters of Science in Computers in 1985 and am amazed where this technology has taken us.  Regardless of what some of the people think–Technology is not always a good thing.  We need to put safegards in place to protect us from those that think that they have a right to all our secrets–private and State (Government).

    7:12 pm | December 6, 2010
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Mary…this is indeed a scandal bred of technology.  And we are all in the grip of it, one way or another. 

      I could cry to think I once waited for the morning papers, or listened to to the radio. 

      7:25 pm | December 6, 2010
      • Haunted Lady

        I’ll cry along, too. One of my greatest pleasures in life when I lived in L.A. was to get up Sunday morning, put a pot of coffee on and spend the day reading the L.A. Times cover to cover. There’s something about getting that damned newsprint on my hands that was perversely satisfying. Now, I read the news online and catch some on TV. It’s still the news but not quite the same. Such is progress.

        7:51 pm | December 6, 2010
      • Mary E. Sayler

        As a child I couldn’t wait for the comics to arrive on Sunday morning, from there I read the sections that my folks had finished.  Saturday mornings with Captain Midnight, Bobby Bensen of the B-Bar-B, Let’s Pretend, etc.  I remember laying of the floor listening to the marriage of Princess Elizabeth.  We didn’t need a lot of pictures or action to enjoy something–WE HAD OUR IMAGINATIONS.  Sometimes I think our progress in some areas has actually ended up hurting us as a Society and as individuals.

        8:43 pm | December 6, 2010
  • Mr. Wow

    UPDATE: Well, Mr. Assange has been arrested in Britain on those Swedish charges of having consensual sex without a condom. In Sweden, this constitutes rape. 

    Whatever Mr. Assange’s fate, I certainly think we’ve all learned something important about traveling to Swenden.  Pack those Trojans, guys. Especially if you’re famous.  I’m just saying…

    10:39 am | December 7, 2010
    • Baby Snooks

      He surrendered. He was not arrested. There will be a hearing on the matter of extradition.  There is a question still of whether he has actaully been charged with anything in which case he most likely will not be extradited. Great Britain most likely will not extradite someone to another country for mere questioning. 

      As for Wikileaks who knows. The banks seems intent on making sure it has no funding.  So it will prove interesting if the newspapers start running the disclosures on their own.

      What would Katerine Graham do?  Probably tell everyone to “go for it.” But probably asking them to avoid using the word condom. Those were different times. Just because some used certain words at the dinner table didn’t mean you should put them to paper so to speak. Although of course she would have read Liz Smith’s column this morning and roared over the thought of Truman Capote talking about pussy at Elaine’s. Maybe he did. And maybe no one understood he was talking about his cats.

      As for the condoms we could learn from the Swedes. But we won’t. Especially with the Republicans in office.  Who want to ban sex altogether of course. Except in hotel rooms and bathroom stalls.

      11:34 am | December 7, 2010
    • kermie

      I don’t know about the charges–from August?  They have a certain smell to them.  I am caught in wondering how to feel about this whole matter.  I have read the impassioned posts from you, Mr. Wow, Baby, Lila, and I have close relatives in capital G Government (thank goodness for anonymity and goofy avatars).  I applauded the journalism that exposed Watergate (that dates me), etc., and realize that this is different, a different age, a different medium.  WikiLeaks still has its monetary supporters in spite of these charges in London.  Assange still has supporters.
      I am trying to put this into perspective.  There are people waiting in line to take Assange’s place.  Arresting him will do nothing.  This will continue.  No matter how many laws are put in place, there will be “bad boys” champing at the bit to flaunt them, one step ahead of arrest.

      11:56 am | December 7, 2010
      • Mr. Wow

        Dear Kermie…Assange surrendered, was arrested and has been denied bail.

        Let’s go full force turning him into a martyr.  The people who should be heading to jail are the idiots in our “security system.” 

        2:16 pm | December 7, 2010
    • Lila

      Uh… how… how… do Swedes reproduce?

      10:04 pm | December 7, 2010
  • Lisa D

    I’m not sure why Baby is so confident in the British. They’ve never shown such respect for extradition laws when it comes to the Irish. Just saying. Nobody’s clean.
    I respect Mr. Wow’s views on this matter and I agree in principle with those who have argued that these leaks are, at heart, malicious, not constructive, in any political or moral sense. Still, I can’t help remembering the saying that all politics are local. Well, in my local politics, my daughters aren’t getting homework because the school can’t afford to run the photocopier. And next year their school, with nearly 1000 students – half of whom are on free lunch – will lose their nurse (not to mention the asst. principal, secretaries, and librarian). And nobody’s talking about it. People could change it – but that would mean thinking and talking and doing. But the local papers have Wikileaks on the front page. And, for the majority of people here, it’s just gossip.

    12:15 pm | December 7, 2010
    • Baby Snooks

      All reason goes out the window with regard to the British versus the Irish. Always has. Always will.  The Queen has had her “those people blew up my Uncle Dickie” moments similar to George W Bush’s “that man tried to kill my Daddy” moment.  It is Northern Ireland. Not Northern England.  But pointing that out will get you banned from Buckingham Palace I suppose. And probably get you shot in Belfast.
      And I am far more worried about what is going on in Washington than what is being revealed on Wikileaks. The only thing that is going to be “trickling down” are the budget cuts.  It’s a shame we cannot recall our representatives in Congress. Or the latest “Emperor with no Clothes” in the White House. I suspect everyone would be bounced at this point if we could. Unfortunately we can’t.  Maybe the next election everyone will remember that “incumbent” is a synonym for “enemy” at this point. 

      6:33 am | December 8, 2010
  • Chip Griswold

    My final comment (maybe).  The more I think about this the more incredulous it seems.  I was in the military for ten years.  Highly classified information was usually impossible for a single person to access, required the “two man concept.”  As annoyed as I am at the leaks, I can’t for a second be overly annoyed at Assange.  The fact that our government didn’t have a protective measures in place and a lone PFC could download literally hundreds of thousands of documents is nuts.  No one regardless of rank should have that ability.  Perhaps we should thank this PFC and Assange for showing how inept our security system is.

    I do worry that something leaked or a future leak will bring harm to an innocent person, but if that doesn’t happen our government should feel blessed that they learned some hard lessons and no one died. 

    Now I said I can’t be annoyed at Assange.  That doesn’t mean I think he is a noble or good person, I just think the finger pointing is smoke and mirrors and the real problem is our security process, not him.

    12:32 pm | December 7, 2010
  • Mark Rowe

    Nice. But one has to remember that the new’s use to be just the fact’s. Now day, the new’s is not just the new’s, it’s also opinion. New’s and opinion’s is like oil and water. They don’t mix! New’s and opinion is lies with truth, it’s not new’s. This is one of the many things wrong with America today. Wikileaks is like a child that stole a friends toy, and is trying to sell it to another friend.
         True new’s people have a responsablity to hold back certain things they find out about in order not to endanger fellow humanbeings.
         Having spendt  time in the military I understand top seceret, and when someone takes advantage of such things then one is a spy, plane and simple, and must be delt with accordingly.

    1:24 pm | December 7, 2010
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Mark…but who is the spy?  American soldier Manning, or publisher Assange?  Neither, actually.  Mr. Manning is in deep shit and probably a traitor.  But he didn’t “spy.”   Mr. Assange is just a man who wants to embarrass the United States with material given to him. 

      Manning will never see the light of day again. (Uh, no–I don’t want him executed.)   Assange is rapidly becoming a folk hero.  I say leave these two to heaven and work on better securing vital info, you careless fuckers.

      3:32 pm | December 7, 2010
      • Mark Rowe

        Hello Mr. Wow, I feel the dumb private is the spy, but I also feel that all thoes who knowingly accepted the clasified material is just as guilty. To think like you do, is like saying “ya, I bought a stolen item, but I didn’t steal it.” To me your just as guilty, because you are paying the person to steal it for you. In fact you should be more guilty because the guy would not have stolen it if he had no one to sell it to! But there again this is the difference between real news and today’s “so called” news. Today everyone wants to know everything about everyone. Sounds to me there are far to many people melting into the couches eating far to many bon bon’s!

        10:09 pm | December 7, 2010
        • Lila

          I agree.
          Mmm,  bon bons.

          10:50 pm | December 7, 2010
        • Mr. Wow

          Dear Mark…I’m on the fence about how much we “need” to know. Not eveything, for sure.   That said, for all of its intrusions and abuses, what a blessing Wikileaks and the world of the internet would have been from 1935 to ’45 when millions of Jews were murdered by the Germans. 
          Everybody knew–and I do mean everybody–but most of the info was ignored, played down.  Sad to say, nobody cared very much–before, during and after the war. 

            This latest batch of Wikileaks was kinda lame.  Someday, perhaps, the leaking won’t so lame.   

          Again–Assange is a publisher, and not even an American citizen.  We approach the slippery slope in attempting to muzzle or imprison him. What then do we do to American authors, publishers and reporters who…report?   

          11:16 pm | December 7, 2010
  • Baby Snooks

    In its landmark ruling in the Pentagon Papers case, the US Supreme Court said “only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government”. The swirling storm around WikiLeaks today reinforces the need to defend the right of all media to reveal the truth.

    Bradley Manning is merely another Daniel Ellsberg. And Wikileaks merely another New York Times. 

    It’s boring. But then the Pentagon Papers were also boring. They didn’t reveal something we didn’t already know.

    But saying that I realize that they put together all the things we didn’t already know in such a way that we had to look in the mirror and see ourselves as well as our government.  Truth.  Reality is that Americans don’t want truth.  And we have the right to know the truth.  We have the right to know when our government has lied to us.  When it has deceived us. And we have the right to know. And the Supreme Court made that clear in its ruling on the Pentagon Papers. 

    “Classifying” truth does not change it. It merely makes it more damaging to those who “classified” it. There is no treason in exposing the truth. There is treason, however, in hiding it. 

    Truth forces us to look in the mirror. And at the moment it’s not a very nice reflection.  Just the same the reflection is there.

    2:33 pm | December 7, 2010
  • macwoof woof

    very interesting reading from all.  i am actually glad of the leaks. transparency and all that…   such twisted logic and trade offs- it is good to know how crazy the people that run our world actually are . we aren’t just imagining or inventing it.  looney tunes.

    10:05 pm | December 7, 2010
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Mac (is it okay to abbreviate you?)  Are we at all surprised by the “crazy people” who rule our world?  I’m not.  We aren’t crazy.  They are.

      3:06 pm | December 9, 2010
  • Baby Snooks

    In its landmark ruling in the Pentagon Papers case, the US Supreme Court said “only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government”. The swirling storm around WikiLeaks today reinforces the need to defend the right of all media to reveal the truth.
    Bradley Manning is merely another Daniel Ellsberg. And Wikileaks merely another New York Times. 
    It’s boring. But then the Pentagon Papers were also boring. They didn’t reveal something we didn’t already know.
    But saying that I realize that they put together all the things we didn’t already know in such a way that we had to look in the mirror and see ourselves as well as our government.  Truth.  Reality is that Americans don’t want truth.  And we have the right to know the truth.  We have the right to know when our government has lied to us.  When it has deceived us. And we have the right to know. And the Supreme Court made that clear in its ruling on the Pentagon Papers. 
    “Classifying” truth does not change it. It merely makes it more damaging to those who “classified” it. There is no treason in exposing the truth. There is treason, however, in hiding it. 
    Truth forces us to look in the mirror. And at the moment it’s not a very nice reflection.  Just the same the reflection is there.

    5:58 am | December 8, 2010
  • Baby Snooks

    In its landmark ruling in the Pentagon Papers case, the US Supreme Court said “only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government”. The swirling storm around WikiLeaks today reinforces the need to defend the right of all media to reveal the truth.
    That’s from the piece by Julian Assange in one of the Australian publications.  A reminder of once before. 

    I’ve tried twice to post the link the piece. Now it is awaiting moderation. I think the moderator is missing in action?

    6:01 am | December 8, 2010
  • robertsim

    You heard it’s a threat to your nation because people in power in your nation have committed crimes against you, other citizens, and your constitution, they’re afraid of being individually and collectively found out and removed from power, and so they’re spreading lies against those who threaten them.
    Wikileaks is simply publishing the truth of criminal behaviour. They’ve been very responsible about blanking out anything that could put soldiers in danger and things like that. If you see anyone insulting wikileaks, you should think one of two things: a) they’re idiotic sheep who’ve believed what they’re told without thinking about it; or b) they’re on the wrong side.

    2:14 am | December 10, 2010
  • Mark Rowe

    Hello again Mr. Wow, in reply to your commet about would we have been better off in WW2 if this had happened. And I would like to say to you what my 90 year old Mother said to me after reading what I wrote and your commet about it. She, at the time was working for the local paper, the muskegon chronicle. She said that they knew about the jew’s and several other things that were going on, but didn’t know for sure if it was true, so they didn’t print it. She also said that if the government asked them not to print something, they didn’t! And my Mother said that this was the reason we won the war. It was the responsalbity of the press to print the truth, and to make sure it was true before they print it. Unlike today. She also said there personal opinon had no place at the job and in no way reflected what they printed in the paper. Unlike today! So can you see why our country today is falling, and our so called new’s companies are helping to run it in the ground?

    1:03 pm | December 10, 2010
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