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What’s Really Wrong with WikiLeaks - Theodore Dalrymple
City Journal ^ | 12.02.10 | Theodore Dalrymple

Posted on 12/02/2010 5:18:03 PM PST by Chickensoup

We hardly needed WikiLeaks to tell us, among many other things, that Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France, is a vulgar man with authoritarian inclinations, or that Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, is interested in sex. It isn’t even particularly reassuring to have our judgments confirmed for us by American diplomatic messages, for if they had said anything different we shouldn’t have believed them in any case.

After the first slight frisson of pleasure at the discomfiture of powerful people and those in authority has worn off, a pleasure akin to that of seeing a pompously dignified man slip on a banana skin, the real significance of the greatest disclosure of official documents in the history of the world—without, that is, the military downfall of a great capital city—becomes apparent. It is not, of course, that revelations of secrets are always unwelcome or ethically unjustified. It is not a new insight that power is likely to be abused and can only be held in check by a countervailing power, often that of public exposure. But WikiLeaks goes far beyond the need to expose wrongdoing, or supposed wrongdoing: it is unwittingly doing the work of totalitarianism.

The idea behind WikiLeaks is that life should be an open book, that everything that is said and done should be immediately revealed to everybody, that there should be no secret agreements, deeds, or conversations. In the fanatically puritanical view......

(Excerpt) Read more at city-journal.org ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government
KEYWORDS: dalrymple; leaksdalrymple; wiki; wikileaksdocdump
Excellent commentary
1 posted on 12/02/2010 5:18:09 PM PST by Chickensoup
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To: Chickensoup

I don’t blame Assange one bit for leaking the info provided to him. He’s not an American citizen and has every right to publish the leaks. Who we should be concerned with are the source(s)of the leaks. They should be tried, convicted, and executed.


2 posted on 12/02/2010 5:26:23 PM PST by WackySam (To argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.)
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To: WackySam

Who we should be concerned with are the source(s)of the leaks. They should be tried, convicted, and executed

agreed. but I am not sure the country has the will to do that.


3 posted on 12/02/2010 5:31:48 PM PST by Chickensoup (In the Leftist protected species hierarchy, Islamics trump Homosexuals trump Women trump Blacks)
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To: Chickensoup

Dalrymple is right on the target as usual.


4 posted on 12/02/2010 5:33:26 PM PST by mylife (Opinions ~ $1 Half Baked ~ 50c)
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To: Chickensoup
Agreed. but I am not sure the country has the will to do that.

That's exactly why the focus in the media is on Assange and not the real criminal(s).
5 posted on 12/02/2010 5:39:49 PM PST by WackySam (To argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.)
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To: Chickensoup

In my opinion, this is where democracy tends to fail. The idea we have to have a secretive government in order to function in the world. Yet such a small percentage of the voting population has any clue what is going on. How can an average voter make an informed decision on candidates or the issues when they don’t know how China and Russia operate behind the scenes?

There is also the fact that democracy is simply mob-rule. There is nothing to prevent 51% of the population from trampling the rights of the other 49%. Which is why there are certain protections in the constitution (ie: super-majorities needed to change the document). Our founding fathers were very concerned over this if you read their writings and speeches. We did not want to trade one tyrant 5,000 miles away for 500 tyrants 5 miles away. How can we prevent the American government from turning into tyranny unless there is transparency? Unless we are able to watch what they are doing?

Im not saying the Pentagon should release it’s war plans. Im not saying the CIA needs to tell everybody everything. But why not tell the truth about China and their human rights abuses in Tibet, and their suppression of democracy and free speech? Why not tell the people that Russia truly is a mafia state? Why are we forced to accept trade agreements with China? Why are we told we have to “reset” relations with Russia? Why do we have to make secret deals with the Saudis? Why are we still fighting wars that should have been over with years ago? Why can’t we audit the Fed and find out who our own government is handing out OUR MONEY to?

Politicians and elitists think they know what’s best for us. They think they know how to spend our money better than we do. They think they know what’s in the world’s best interests. I beg to differ. Their opinion carries no more weight than the average voter.

Feel free to disagree. But that’s my opinion on it. As George Orwell said, “In a time of universal deciet, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”


6 posted on 12/02/2010 5:42:31 PM PST by jerry557
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To: jerry557

I understand what you are saying. I think Dalrymple has a point, that one should be able to speak ones mind privately and comfortably. That not everything is for public consumption.


7 posted on 12/02/2010 5:45:19 PM PST by Chickensoup (In the Leftist protected species hierarchy, Islamics trump Homosexuals trump Women trump Blacks)
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To: WackySam
I don’t blame Assange one bit for leaking the info provided to him. He’s not an American citizen and has every right to publish the leaks.

You are correct that the traitors who passed these secrets on to Assange, and those further up the chain of command who allowed it to happen, and possibly those in the White House and elsewhere who arranged for it to happen, should be punished for their treason.

But Assange has shown himself to be an enemy to our country, who has deliberately set out to damage our country and its relations with others, as well as to cause the deaths of informers and others whose identities have been revealed.

It's like the difference between a foreign spymaster and the domestic traitors who are willing to work for that spymaster. Both deserve fit punishment for their crimes.

The usual penalty for such crimes is death.

8 posted on 12/02/2010 5:54:30 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius.)
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To: jerry557
There is also the fact that democracy is simply mob-rule. There is nothing to prevent 51% of the population from trampling the rights of the other 49%.

"Ochlocracy" is really what we're talking about...

"Democracy: The God that Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order" -Hans Hermann Hoppe

"The Menace of the Herd, or Procrustes at Large" -Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

9 posted on 12/02/2010 6:00:28 PM PST by Ozone34 ("There are only two philosophies: Thomism and bullshitism!" -Leon Bloy)
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To: Chickensoup
From the text.

Wikileaks goes far beyond the need to expose wrongdoing, or supposed wrongdoing of transparency: it is unwittingly doing the work of totalitarianism.

I agree and it is a timely post. Now the leftist bunch usually love to use an analogy as a rebuttal. If someone who opposes them uses this means, they are quick to stomp on that usage. I will use this means to indicated what Assange has been doing.

Let us suppose that a vital exchange of information and impending cooperation took place between to entities. It could be a banking system or a nation wide commercial business. Everything seems to be going according to plan.

Later, at a sort of get together of the one side, an executive, is into the sauce. He says of the other counterpart in the other organization that:

"He is the biggest fool, I have met. I would not trust him further than I could throw him".

Panic stations! Someone says to him "you are going to foul up the whole merger/plan if this gets out. You may be looking for another job. that man has more qualifications in his little finger than in your whole body".

All it would need is for some spiteful minor employee to leak that statement as it stands. Sure some things are said and best not repeated. People are human. Give them a chance to "bite their tongue" as the saying goes.

10 posted on 12/02/2010 6:16:45 PM PST by Peter Libra
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To: WackySam

Assange and his Wikileaks operation solicited and enabled the leaks — it’s not like Assange was some passive recipient and the, let’s call it by the right name.... STOLEN documents just dropped into his hands from the sky.

The fact that Assange is not a US citizen may affect his legal standing in some respects, although it should also (in a rational world) make it easier to ban him from ever setting foot in the USA again. It seems unlikely that he’ll ever be prosecuted by the US for anything, but I’ll be very happy if he ends up in jail somewhere, preferably some hellhole of a jail.

Your sympathies for Assange are badly misplaced. The guy is an radical anarchist scumbag who’s would destroy counter-terrorism and military operations worldwide if he can.

If some of the leaked info is proving to be innocuous, amusing, or even helpful from almost any perspective (for purposes of battling dishonest politicians for instance), that does not change the FACT that these kinds of massive leaks attack the necessary confidential communications which allow all kinds of important military and diplomatic goals to be advanced.... especially in the area of counter-terrorism.

What I am most concerned about is that it is now much more difficult for any non-US politician to cooperate with us on counter-terrorism (especially referring to leaders in Arab and Muslim countries). Assange’s deeds attack any basis for confidential cooperation by Arab/Muslim leaders who can often be deposed or even murdered if they are perceived as in any way cooperative with our efforts against jihadists.

It will be ‘interesting’ to see how long the President of Yemen lasts now that he’s revealed cooperating with our efforts against budding jihad scum on the Arabian peninsula.


11 posted on 12/02/2010 6:22:46 PM PST by Enchante (Wikileaks = a vipers' nest of traitors, anarchists, sleazebags, and simple-minded criminals)
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To: Cicero

yes, Assange is an enemy of the USA and is doing his damnedest to undermine military, diplomatic, and counter-terrorism operations worldwide.

The fact that as a non-citizen he cannot be charged with “treason” does not mean he should not be regarded as a very dangerous spy committing espionage against legitimate national security interests of the USA (and many other countries).


12 posted on 12/02/2010 6:26:25 PM PST by Enchante (Wikileaks = a vipers' nest of traitors, anarchists, sleazebags, and simple-minded criminals)
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To: Chickensoup
Company security has warned cleared employees that accessing WikiLeaks is cause for termination of your clearances. If your livelihood depends on that clearance, stay away.
13 posted on 12/02/2010 6:32:38 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: Myrddin

Company security has warned cleared employees that accessing WikiLeaks is cause for termination of your clearances. If your livelihood depends on that clearance, stay away

what do you mean?


14 posted on 12/02/2010 6:33:56 PM PST by Chickensoup (In the Leftist protected species hierarchy, Islamics trump Homosexuals trump Women trump Blacks)
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To: Enchante
Your sympathies for Assange are badly misplaced. The guy is an radical anarchist scumbag who’s would destroy counter-terrorism and military operations worldwide if he can.

I have no "misplaced sympathies" for the man. Hell, I'd put a bullet in his head myself if he were standing in front of me. What I do feel is misplaced is the focus on him, instead of those (presumably US citizens) who leaked the info to begin with. It makes absolutely no sense at all.
15 posted on 12/02/2010 6:34:43 PM PST by WackySam (To argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.)
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To: Chickensoup
If you hold a clearance to work on classified material, accessing WikiLeaks will be treated as a violation by DISA. You will lose your clearances for unauthorized access to classified material. The warning is front and center on my company website. Just passing along the warning to others who may be in a similar situation.
16 posted on 12/02/2010 6:37:37 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: Myrddin

Oh, I see.

I am not even cleared for takeoff so it doesnt apply.

Interesting.

Why would they prevent you from accessing the information the world knows?


17 posted on 12/02/2010 6:38:59 PM PST by Chickensoup (In the Leftist protected species hierarchy, Islamics trump Homosexuals trump Women trump Blacks)
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To: WackySam

My main point is that Assange is right at the center of the problem — without him and his “Wikileaks” young Bradley Manning would be just another unknown, ineffective frustrated loser — Assange is the huge enabler of this treasonous behavior, not some sidelight.


18 posted on 12/02/2010 6:44:49 PM PST by Enchante (Wikileaks = a vipers' nest of traitors, anarchists, sleazebags, and simple-minded criminals)
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To: Chickensoup
Why would they prevent you from accessing the information the world knows?

Just because information has been disclosed, doesn't mean it has been declassified. That's the issue. You're accessing an unauthorized disclosure of classified information. DISA will be tracking the IP addresses of everyone who accesses the sites. If it comes from the IP address traceable to a cleared employee, you're screwed.

19 posted on 12/02/2010 6:51:28 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: WackySam
I don’t blame Assange one bit for leaking the info provided to him. He’s not an American citizen and has every right to publish the leaks.

And since he's not an American citizen, America has every right to have a Predator drone visit him, without trial. He has repeatedly said he is trying to bring down the U.S. He's a spy, that's all, collecting foreign secrets. Robert Peters put it well, and almost gave a heart attack to the Lamestream interviewer questioning him:

"He belongs on a 'kill-or-capture' list."

I'd say capture would be preferred, temporarily, because as a spy, rather than a uniformed soldier, he can be cross-examined very, er, intensely, and induced to reveal contacts, server locations, passwords, that sort of thing. He doesn't look like a tough-guy who would be able to hold anything back.

Then he can be hanged with a length of Monster cable.

20 posted on 12/02/2010 7:18:19 PM PST by SamuraiScot
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To: WackySam

I am not sure who Assange is an agent for. My guess is it is O/Soros. I think the idea of leaks exposing political corruption and the corruption of the Federal Reserve is a good idea. I think Wiki Leaks has a lib agenda and a tool for Hussein.

If it was done to help citizens in countries around the world - I would support it. Not one world but to encourage citizens in their countries to push for freedom. If some Web leaks site attacked the EU, Hussein and other left wing fascists then I would be all for it.


21 posted on 12/02/2010 7:41:00 PM PST by Frantzie (Imam Ob*m* & Democrats support the VICTORY MOSQUE & TV supports Imam)
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To: Enchante
My main point is that Assange is right at the center of the problem

And my main point is that he really isn't. There are thousands, maybe millions, of people on this planet who would expose this information to the world if given the chance. We need to stop these leaks at the source. And, if they somehow do get out, we need to focus 99% of our efforts on tracking those who released the information and punish them severely enough as to be a deterrent to future breeches.
22 posted on 12/02/2010 8:02:20 PM PST by WackySam (To argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.)
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To: Myrddin

Just because information has been disclosed, doesn’t mean it has been declassified. That’s the issue. You’re accessing an unauthorized disclosure of classified information. DISA will be tracking the IP addresses of everyone who accesses the sites. If it comes from the IP address traceable to a cleared employee, you’re screwed.

_____________________

I imagine that one can also put two and two togetehr with information already known...


23 posted on 12/03/2010 9:39:40 AM PST by Chickensoup (In the Leftist protected species hierarchy, Islamics trump Homosexuals trump Women trump Blacks)
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To: WackySam

it’s not an either/or in any case

What Pfc Manning was able to do (if reported semi-accurately) showed an appalling lack of elementary security on the computer/IT infrastructure where Manning was posted.

Improving security to crack down on traitor wannabes is in no way incompatible with turning the screws on Assange and WikiLeaks. I still can’t see why you would think the latter is not relevant.


24 posted on 12/03/2010 5:40:25 PM PST by Enchante (Wikileaks = a vipers' nest of traitors, anarchists, sleazebags, and simple-minded criminals)
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