« Morning Smoke: Pharmaceutical Company Ghostwrote Textbook Signed by NIH-Funded Researchers | Main | Morning Smoke: Gates Calls Some Concerns about WikiLeaks "Fairly Significantly Overwrought" »

Nov 30, 2010



All of the "concerns" are interesting but what I consider the valid points are being channeled to useless "side streets."

The main concern here is that those serving as the leaders of this country have information that is considered secret and top secret being pasted across the world for all to see. If Wikileaks can get this information how much more do you think the terrorist groups can get or have??? National Security has been proven a joke as a minimum here.

Secondly the old addage of "be sure your sins will find you out" can be upheld. If our representatives took their jobs seriously and performed them with the stated values of this country they wouldn't be embarrassed. Honor, Courage, Commitment, and above all Professionalism in all aspects of performing your duties as a representative of the American people should be focused on. The leaked documents are not only an embarrassment to those referenced but to each and every American citizen being represented. I find this unacceptable myself. If any one of the American public had been "caught" making the kind of statements shown here in any job they would have been fired immediately. Those bringing discredit to the American people should be given the same treatment.

Again, the idea that these documents were captured and released by any means shows how effective our so called National Security really is. The major concern should be on what information has been obtained by those out to bring this Great Nation down. The second concern should be on the actions bringing discredit to the American people by those that are elected to represent us. These people have accepted the position to be above reproach in the performance of their duties to the people. In accordance with our Constitutional responsibilies they should be replaced. In my opinion they are no less than traitors to this country, to me, and every American born. Those supporting the transfer of the seriousness of these offensives towards someone that disclosed the information should be held accountable as accessaries to the offense. Just my opinion.

Observer # something

Pretty awesome comment by Robert Maclean

Robert MacLean

I consider the federal whistleblower protection reform legislation (S. 372) like a good modern dam. With today's Internet technology, something like WikiLeaks.org was bound to happen, like a wild river that tends to flood and destroy farms and towns. You can never stop the river, but you can divert it and control it with a very well designed dam, even creating new energies to power communities.

After the terrorist attacks after September 11, 2001, that wild river was the paranoia to make ALL information secret or sensitive. For years there were no controls in place to prevent the abuse of information designations to hide embarrassing mismanagement -- like overspending on needless senior executive bonuses -- and whistleblowers were retaliated against using bogus secrecy markings.

Now more than ever S. 372 needs to get passed. The Administration should also stand up to the bureaucracy right now and consider resurrecting the careers of past whistleblowers who drowned in the post-9/11 river.

Observer V

Addendum: from watching the Time editor, who interviewed Assange a few days ago, on Charlie Rose last night, the apt label for Mr. A. is: information anarchist. Assange just wants to bash and bring down institutions and organizations he does not like. He paints them 100 percent bad, and that makes him completely indiscriminate, and dangerous. Any good effects from his anarchism are purely by chance and unintended by him. Someone that extreme is not a crusader for transparency, altho we could use lots more of that in govt and society at large.


> Are the WikiLeaks disclosures about blowing the whistle
> in the public interest?

The disclosures themselves are in the public interest though I wouldn't assign that motive to Wikileaks as an organization.

> While most agree that there should be far more
> transparency in government, and that, generally
> speaking, more information in the hands of the public
> can lead to a better informed citizenry, where should
> the lines be drawn?

The lines are quite clearly draw in Executive Order 13526 and that is where the line should stay. The problem and the voice I am not hearing from the talking heads is the failure of our government to policy it's own policy. Time after time over thirty years with every leak I keep hearing this or that will cause grave or serious danger to our national security (the criteria required for classification in Section 1.2(a)) yet not once have I ever seen a case where this was found to be true in the short, mid, or long run whereas what I seem to find in every case is the information was illegal classified per Section 1.2(c) and 1.7(a). Even in this latest go round the concern here is the "candid comments" and "embarrassing names" or the embarrassing fact we are using our diplomatic staff, instead of our intelligence agents posing as diplomatic staff, to conduct intelligence activities.

> Did WikiLeaks cross one of those lines?

Not give the context above. The fact that the oversight organizations are incompetent forces leaks in the first place.

> What should the role of motivation be in assessing this
> information?

None, motive is irrelevant to the information itself. Motive doesn't change fact.

> Should motivation matter at all?


> And what matters in the internet era?

What matter is should the information have been classified in the first place, the internet is irrelevant to this.

Just a general comment. The real problem here, and something I am not hearing in the debate, is instead of focusing on the political expedient straw-man of Wikileaks is the complete failure of our government to follow it's own standards and laws. What needs to happen here is the classification authorities need to be held personally liable for their illegal classifications, Department and Agency heads need to be held personally accountable for their continuing failures to protect this information IAW FISMA and DODII, and Congress, GAO, organization IG's, and OMB need to be held accountable for their continuing failure to provide oversight of the agency/department heads, classification authorities, and implementation/compliance with FISMA/DODII.

The problem here isn't wikileaks, the problem is a lack of accountability.

Observer V

It is not good to mess with our diplomatic relations. They are dicey enough as it is, often full of amateurish, insensitive content, insincere pledges, and transparent strategems. Even our friends, figuratively, roll their eyes at the latest pronunciamentos from Foggy Bottom. All the leaks do is make it harder for our embassies. Of course, the State Department headquarters already makes it hard for the embassies.

That said, the damaging chit chat revealed is probably known to the subject country and officials in almost every case. Even backward countries cheerfully bug our embassies or officials' homes or other venues where they can pick up conversation, or even communications. Our friends tend to do this expertly, one hears.

The problem w Wikileaks is that it takes a shotgun approach. Its leaders are indiscriminate. With the military communications revealed earlier this year, it was clear that the organization does not give a damn about risk to US or other nationals. Our government probably over-states the number of specific people so affected. But there were probably some that had to be on their guard as a result.

I am among those waiting enthusiastically for the rumored, upcoming US bank(s) documents that Wikileaks is said to be about to issue.


The real WikiLeaks issue:

The comments to this entry are closed.