Wikileaks

I have been, I suppose, almost remarkably silent about the whole wikileaks fiasco.  The data drop is of such enormous proportions, it’s actually difficult for me to process all the implications.  I have, however, got a laundry list in mind of some conclusions to be drawn and some of the things it means, which I’ll just drop here in no particular order.

1.  This is truly Pandora’s box.  Once opened, it cannot be closed again.  This does not mean, however, that the U.S. government should do what it is doing regarding Assange — namely, nothing.  If he is allowed to get away with this, the U.S. will have given carte blanche to other, similarly situated anti-U.S. anarchists.  The purpose of punishment, after all, isn’t simply to make the wrong-doer suffer; it’s also to serve as a grim deterrent for others contemplating the same type of action.  Dragging Assange back to Sweden to face pseudo-rape charges (pseudo because of Sweden’s bizarre rape laws) scarcely suits anyone’s notion of the punishment fitting the crime.

2.  To switch metaphors, I’ll abandon Pandora, and move to Rorschach.  If nothing else, the way different people have latched onto the documents is a fascinating insight into their political, social and economic desires.  To conservatives, the documents vindicate long-held beliefs about Iran; about the fear it inspires in the Arab world; about the Obama administration’s ineptitude; about Hillary’s bungling and deviousness; about Israel’s intelligent navigation of impossibly difficult situations; etc.  To liberals, it proves that the U.S. is evil and addicted to oil.  (That last is from Tom Friedman, who’s been repeating the same trope for more than a decade, even as he cheers on cutting off any avenues to oil independence, such as domestic drilling or nuclear power.)  To the Arab world, it is, of course, all the Joooos’ fault, as is everything.  Gosh, if only the Jews had more fun and got better press from their omnipotence.

3.  The leaks are undoubtedly evil.  People who have helped America are now at risk.  People who might have helped America (thereby saving American and allied lives) will refuse to do so.  America’s vulnerabilities around the world now have big targets drawn on them.  We can assume that the next round of leaks will be even more damaging.  Assange has been consistently upping the ante, and rumor has it that the next leaks will involve Gitmo and other topics near and dear to America-haters’ hearts.

4.  All of the above means that this is a game-changer.  Much as it is tempting to assume that governments and people around the world, out of long-term self-defense, will adopt an ostrich strategy and try to pretend none of this happened (much as one would ignore a loud burp at a fancy dinner party), the implications are too extreme.  Assange has proven that there is no information that can truly be protected (and that’s a comforting thought in an ObamaCare age, isn’t it?).  The “bodyguard of lies” that surrounds our nation’s — indeed, all nations’ — national security has been massacred.  It no longer exists.  We now live in a binary world that sees either no secrets or only secrets, both of which are equally dangerous to freedom and security.

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  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Part of the reason why Manning was able to get out so much data in one or a few goes, is simply because Bush broke down the walls between intel agencies. The original reason intel agencies didn’t share information with the FBI or with the military or vice a versa was because they didn’t want their souces compromised and didn’t really trust other government agencies. This made it much harder to infiltrate or conduct espionage on the US.
     
    After 9/11, the decision was made to allow intel combination and access. Thus a military person could access civilian intel data from the CIA and FBI and vice a versa. It has allowed the FBI to catch many terrorists, as they plotted and even before they started plotting.
     
    These leaks, of course, will cause an avalanche of intel walling off and CYA efforts on the part of many intel agencies: FBI, CIA, ONI, Army/Marine intelligence, etc.
     
    The next terror attack that goes through, Book, just look at Assand’s smiling face. Cause he helped let it through. That’s why he’s smiling. He knows he got little children blown up. They like that sort of thing.
     
    People who have helped America are now at risk.
     
    Actually, the ones in Afghanistan are already dead. The Taliban killed them months ago.
     
    If ever you needed an example of Leftists and Democrats not giving a damn about this nation’s security, look at their alliance with Assand. Do people now, even still, see them as simply “people that you disagree politically on”? Really
     
     

  • SADIE

    The ramifications are vast and huge cut into every facet of life. Assange, cannot possibly be working alone nor is he a lone terrorist – and the leaks are a manifestation of terrorism no matter what your political persuasion. The big question as yet unanswered and probably will never be revealed: Who are his accomplices (other than the obvious below).

    RICHARD STENGEL, MANAGING EDITOR, “TIME”: You know, our job is to publish and be damned, Howard, and that’s what we have done. Those accusations against Assange in some cases are unfair. I mean, the criminal here, if there is a criminal, is Bradley Manning, who is the PFC in the Army who leaked those documents to Assange in the first place.

    Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/12/05/time-mag-editor-publishing-wikileaks-our-job-not-protect-us#ixzz17NG9uOwf

  • CollegeCon

    To be honest, I’m rather disappointed in Mr Assange.  Close to none of what I’ve seen regarding the leaked docs is honestly anything more than mildly embarrassing.  Much of it is just comical, and not really harmful at all.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    The easiest way to counter act these wannabe spies is to give them disinformation. If you can produce enough disinformation to ensure that 75% of all incoming data from their point of view cannot be trusted, they will have a significant decrease in their credibility and sorting ability.
     
    If you can increase it to 90%, you have essentially nullified their credibility and ability to even transfer your secrets to other people. There’s no way anyone can figure out which is true and which is false, when 9 out of 10 times the data they get is false and actually favors the defending nation. Which would be the US in this case.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Much of it is just comical, and not really harmful at all.
     
    Assand held back almost everything that would incriminate the Left or Democrats.

  • suek

    >>Assand held back almost everything that would incriminate the Left or Democrats.>>
     
    Or Russians, or Chinese, or North Koreans or Muslims in general – in other words, any one who might decide to actually _do_ something about it.

  • jj

    I have no actual problem with Assange, he is what he is, and gets to live with that every day of the rest of his life.
     
    But PFC Manning wears the uniform, and only had access to any of this stuff owing to that circumstance.  He is what used to be known as a “traitor,” a term not much utilized in the last couple of decades.  For traitors there is a tried and tested remedy, a remedy in which blindfolds and brick walls feature prominently.  Manning is ripe for the application of this remedy, and it should be applied.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    In that scenario, Obama would have a pardon written up ahead, but not signed, with Manning’s name on it. But instead of using it to pardon Manning, he’ll just wave it in front of the military judges and lawyers and tell them that if they go too far in the sentencing, Manning will be pardoned.
     
     

  • SADIE

    Too late to close the door on the barn gate now . We all know what Assange and PFC are and deserve, it’s the thousands of others that still are holding a lit match after pouring fuel on the entire farm, who remain unknown and dangerous.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    in other words, any one who might decide to actually _do_ something about it.
     
    If it was me running the show, I’d hack his website and release compromising information on the Russians and Chinese. Real information. Meaning, I’d take a chance in compromising human and intel sources on Russia and China by releasing enough data that they’d be motivated to take out Assand.
     
    And guess what? An even more effective solution would be to release Mohammed cartoons and calls that Mohammed was a nutjack child rapist and make people think Assand released it. Muslims will not be happy. Some will even feel the need to cut his head off.
     
    Problem solved if people are too weak kneed to kidnap him and execute him directly.

  • suek

    Hmmm.  I think I’ve reached the “please don’t throw me in the briar patch” stage…  Or as used to be said “in for a dollar, in for a dime”.  You reach a point where it really doesn’t matter any more – you might as well get it over with.  Blackmail is an ugly thing…sometimes, _who_ considers it blackmail is an interesting factor.  There’s another aphorism out there that I can’t quite remember…something about putting info out there and seeing who reacts…
     
    http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=174261