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UK Asks News Outlets Not To Publish WikiLeaks Bombshell, US Prepares For Fallout

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the much-ado-about-something dept.

Government 606

Stoobalou writes "The UK government has issued Defense Advisory Notices to editors of UK news outlets in an attempt to hush up the latest bombshell from whistle-blowing web site WikiLeaks. DA Notices, the last of which was issued in April 2009 after sensitive defense documents were photographed using a telephoto lens in the hand of Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick as he arrived at No 10 Downing Street for a briefing, are requests not to publish, and therefore not legally enforceable." This news comes alongside a raft of articles detailing the US government's preparations for the release. Officials are warning allies that the documents will be more damaging than previous releases, to the point of potentially damaging diplomatic relations with countries like Turkey. The Vancouver Sun wonders if this will lead to a change in the way diplomats communicate.

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606 comments

What does Wikileaks get from this? (2, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353890)

Is Julian Assange trying to blackmail the US and UK governments into strong-arming the Swedes into letting him free?

Re:What does Wikileaks get from this? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34353912)

Look, the most important thing to Julian Assange is that he get babes and that his hair looks good at all time. And that he has hip life story. He doesn't care about helping anyone, he's just a self-centered narcissist trying to get power. He'd have played the role of Dick Cheney if it had been offered to him.

Re:What does Wikileaks get from this? (5, Insightful)

Voulnet (1630793) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353976)

Awwww. We still love him because he's exposing whatever they are that you're defending so valiantly. Guess what? People are tired from deceitful governments, and if a government is so scared of having something exposed; chances are it needs to be exposed.

Re:What does Wikileaks get from this? (3, Insightful)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354080)

Where are the big releases on Russia, Venezuela, and other corrupt governments? Sounds like a wimp to me.

Re:What does Wikileaks get from this? (4, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354202)

Or maybe people in those countries don't send Wikileaks stuff to publish? They're not an investigation organization, they just publish them protecting the identity of the source.

Re:What does Wikileaks get from this? (5, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354122)

This is exactly the point that needs to be made:

Assange? He could be a pedophile rapist who is completely self centered and arrogant and a total douchebag about it all - or he could be a living saint ---

Point is, it has no bearing on whats going on. He is simply doing his job as a journalist - and it has nothing to do with him. Could he be doing it for personal gains? Yes. Could he just be inflating his ego by doing all this? Absolutely.

None of it matters. What matters is that the story is getting out. If the government is going to ensure that YOU can't keep secrets, by harmful body scanners, deep packet inspection, warrant-less searches - why on Earth should we listen to a "Defense Advisory Notice" to keep THEIR secrets? If we have nothing to hide, they should have nothing to hide, simple as that.

I am perfectly fine with the government controlling the media, as long as they respect my privacy and stay the eff out of my life.

Re:What does Wikileaks get from this? (5, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353918)

That's kind of backwards. He's part of an organisation which doesn't think certain stuff should be covered up. This latest release is a case it point. It's going to embarass governments by showing them lying, trying to outdo each other etc. People are trying to shut him up by engaging him in pointless lawsuits. It'll make no difference; wikileaks is bigger than him.

I can't see the Guardian agreeing to this.

Re:What does Wikileaks get from this? (4, Insightful)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353924)

Releasing the facts, unaltered and un-commentated, in their original context and form, without any interpretation - THAT is real journalism. Don't let Faux News and other television channels with their ORLY commentators trick you into think that they're doing anything close to resembling reporting.

Wikileaks is an interesting and important information outlet to pay attention to. So rarely does fact reach anyone anymore in our opaque modern governments, only carefully-filtered truthiness.

Re:What does Wikileaks get from this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34354140)

Considering the quality of journalism in the past few decades, I'd say wikileaks appearance was bound to happen sooner or later, if not in this form, then another.

Re:What does Wikileaks get from this? (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354262)

>Releasing the facts, unaltered and un-commentated, in their original context and form, without any interpretation

If that was the objective, then why have we ever heard the name "Julian Assange?" Why don't we just have the information from some anonymous source? The source gives it a context and adds bias to any interpretation. It also creates a point where control can be asserted.

Re:What does Wikileaks get from this? (4, Interesting)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354302)

Don't let Faux News and other television channels with their ORLY commentators trick you into think that they're doing anything close to resembling reporting.

I'll be very interested to see how the BBC and Channel 4 handle this one, actually. Despite what many seem to think, the BBC are not 'state run' in the sense that the state has any say in their editorial process, and they are perfectly happy being pretty brutally critical of the government. They even make quite admirably even-handed (IMO) coverage of issues that portray the BBC themselves in a bad light.

That said, both organisations pretty much always obey voluntary blackouts. The difference is, those are usually temporary and for a well defined reason related to the direct safety of individuals (modern examples include the military deployments prince Harry while he was on active duty, and the movements of two civilians recently released by Somali pirates). This seems more like nebulous and indeterminate censorship for political reasons - the BBC are already quite publicly discussing the existence of the leak, and it will be interesting to see how far they go in discussing its specifics.

Re:What does Wikileaks get from this? (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353948)

Don't be so quick to assume that people can't act selflessly. It is rare, but exceptions exist and they make all the difference.

I wish I had the balls to become a martyr for my beliefs like TPB guys -- a fate that Assange will also meet in the end, perhaps in a much bloodier way.

Re:What does Wikileaks get from this? (1)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353992)

Ok, before the Homeland Gestapo come bashing through my door, I meant that in a non-violent way, so don't get too excited. #iamspartacus

Re:What does Wikileaks get from this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34354020)

Looks more like your standard, Wikileaks day.

User submits documents.
Wikileaks serves them up.

Nothing unusual there, unless you pull on your tinfoil hat..... then..... OMG!!!!!! Assange is actually the Dark Lord!!!!!!!!!

Re:What does Wikileaks get from this? (1)

moxsam (917470) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354040)

Wikileaks is the intelligence service of the people. You ask the wrong question. You should ask what we get from this!

Re:What does Wikileaks get from this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34354058)

Maybe some of the "diplomatic communications" is the US asking the Swedes to set him up?

Re:What does Wikileaks get from this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34354124)

No, you've just had too much exposure to people born in the 20th century. If you spent all your time with people born in this millennium, the question would not even occur to you.

Re:What does Wikileaks get from this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34354142)

I'm assuming that he and Wikileaks just hates the US of A.

Seeing as how a vast majority (if not all?) of the leaks are aimed at the USA, it seems likely either he hates the US or has difficulty getting into some of the hotspots we'd like some more internal information about (Pakistan, North Korea, maybe even China).

Re:What does Wikileaks get from this? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354232)

He doesn't "get in" anywhere. People who have the docs submit them to the site/organization and they publish them.

I Dunno (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353896)

I'm of two minds on this one. Private communications from diplomats to their masters at home are often rather brutally honest, as they have to be. To leak, intentionally, such communications is a risky venture. Think Franco-Prussian War here for a good example of just that sort of thing.

let me clear your mind. (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353966)

before ALL of these, come the question that whether the administration of a country is BETRAYING its FOUNDING ideals, or not.

Re:let me clear your mind. (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354054)

And I'm not saying the question isn't valid. But I think a great deal of care has to be taken. Let's take, for instance, a key ally, say the UK. Maybe the US Ambassador has some rather nasty, but truthful things to say about the Prime Minister, observations that suggest a man of lesser wits or perhaps of an unreliable nature. This informs the State Department, and ultimately the President, of how to proceed with certain topics of discussion.

To have such frank dispatches suddenly outed within the lifetime of the Prime Minister's ministry could create enormous rifts between two key allies. The kind of language used in these dispatches is extremely frank. What good would it do the citizens of either nation to have these observations broadcast for the world to see? Will it help American interests abroad? What exactly will American citizens be able to decide based on it? That the British Prime Minister is an ass? That the US Embassy is populated by people who say nasty things?

Re:let me clear your mind. (2, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354102)

What good would it do the citizens of either nation to have these observations broadcast for the world to see? Will it help American interests abroad? What exactly will American citizens be able to decide based on it? That the British Prime Minister is an ass?

I hate to disappoint you, but that's no secret to the British people. In fact I think most of them would put it rather more strongly than that.

Re:let me clear your mind. (5, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354144)

To have such frank dispatches suddenly outed within the lifetime of the Prime Minister's ministry could create enormous rifts between two key allies. The kind of language used in these dispatches is extremely frank. What good would it do the citizens of either nation to have these observations broadcast for the world to see?

Although this is possible, there are other bigger issues. For example, with regard to Turkey, there is fear that it will be revealed that both the U.S. and Turkey are secretly doing things that they publicly say they are not -- Turkey helping Al-Qaeda militants in Iraq, and the United States helping Iraq-based Kurdish rebels fighting Turkey. Which is exactly why these things need to be exposed.

Re:let me clear your mind. (1, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354226)

Most likely the embarrassing part of this is that Turkey is helping us (USA) more than it wishes to be publicly known for the sake of it's internal politics. This is the most damaging part of these leaks: it put our friends in a difficult position and reduces their trust in us and reduces the number of friends we are going to have in the future if we can't be trusted to keep a secret.

Re:let me clear your mind. (4, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354310)

And that's the problem our government has brought upon itself. I completely understand the need to keep some things secret; however, by abusing that privilege to cover up things which are only embarassing/illegal/whatever else, the government has decreased our trust in them. Now, we don't trust them to make public the things we need to know, so we sit cheering on folks like Wikileaks, because they may well be uncovering actions our government has taken that we need to be aware of. Yes, of course that's dangerous due to the risk of revealing the wrong things, and I don't know if I entirely condone the actions of Wikileaks as a result. That does not mean, however, that I sympathize with the government on this one. Fuckers brought this on themselves, now they're reaping the consequences. Even if Wikileaks is wrong, that just makes both parties wrong, it doesn't make the US government right.

Re:let me clear your mind. (4, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354184)

To put it bluntly: if that's enough to cause an incident then people on both sides need to grow the fuck up.

These are mature adults, world leaders no less, so if (to take your example) it turns out that the US ambassador thinks the UK prime minister is an ass, the prime minister should be more than capable of realising the difference between personal feelings and an appraisal of one's technical ability, not to mention understanding that interactions that affect millions are not to be decided on the say of one official.

Re:let me clear your mind. (1, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354210)

And I'll remind you again of the Franco-Prussian War. Leaked dispatches can spell disaster.

I agree that if something important like evidence of, as someone put it, the Turkish government giving Al-qaeda a helping hand, then release it. A journalist would. What a journalist wouldn't do is release the whole fucking bag, because a journalist, hopefully, has enough sense and sense of proportion and reality not to imagine that every dispatch is just a hunk of toilet paper to slung out for the amusement of the masses online.

Re:let me clear your mind. (4, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354092)

It's one thing to complain about the rule of law being followed, but do you really give a damn about what some guys who were born 300 years ago thought?

Personally, I thought they were damn good ideas, but "sticking to founding ideals" for its own sake personally sounds like a horrible idea to me. The founding fathers were innovative politicans...not prophets.

Re:let me clear your mind. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354112)

And the reality is that long-term alliances are important and necessary. It was a good deal of idealism, idealism I admire, that lead to this idea that the US should stay away from foreign attachments, and just sort of drift along as a nice neutral state, but it's quite frankly impossible. It was a Utopian vision that, like all Utopian visions, ends up being pure fantasy.

ok. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354240)

Personally, I thought they were damn good ideas, but "sticking to founding ideals" for its own sake personally sounds like a horrible idea to me. The founding fathers were innovative politicans...not prophets.

then lets abolish equality, freedom of speech, freedom of choice, reinstitute slavery, reestablish feudalism, and repeal declaration of human rights.

Re:ok. (0, Flamebait)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354268)

Is this the point where I reminder the poster that slavery and inequality for a group of Americans was written into the Constitution by the Founding Fathers?

Re:I Dunno (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354096)

If there was more brutal honesty there would be fewer conflicts. If the brutal honest truth about various situations were known we wouldn't be involved in them in the first place.

The only reason this is 'damaging' is being people/countries are behaving like complete assholes because they think they can get away with it. Shine the light on them, and they'll shape up.

If country X is playing dirty and country Y is playing clean, then country Y has nothing to fear from this sort of exposure. The problem is EVERYONE is playing dirty ALL THE TIME. We need a hell of a lot more light being shone into this crap.

Perhaps governments should behave lawfully, if they did, they'd have nothing to hide. ... hmmm... why does that sound eerily familiar...

Re:I Dunno (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354178)

Force diplomats to couch their language, and all you guarantee is poorly informed governments. How exactly this is supposed to help anyone is beyond me.

Re:I Dunno (1)

Meshach (578918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354166)

I'm of two minds on this one. Private communications from diplomats to their masters at home are often rather brutally honest, as they have to be. To leak, intentionally, such communications is a risky venture. Think Franco-Prussian War here for a good example of just that sort of thing.

This reminds me of the famous quote from MLKJ: "An unjust law is a code that a majority inflicts on a minority that is not binding on itself. This is difference made legal. On the other hand a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal." [1] [wikiquote.org]. It is often paraphrased "An unjust law is no law at all."

What do they have to hide? (2, Interesting)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353898)

That's insane... What is there to hide people? One thing is for certain... We - the people - need this information. Maybe now it will become clear to anyone what sort of 'friend' the US really is. (For your US-dotters, I - like a lot of people - truly hate your politics. But, I like the regular American Joes and Janes... So don't take it personally. Not even if you have mod points.)

Re:What do they have to hide? (4, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353914)

Don't be daft. The USA is a strong ally to those countries that are strategically important to it.

Sorry if that breaks your worldview where everyone ought to get along in peace.

Re:What do they have to hide? (1, Interesting)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353932)

Yeah a true friend... That's why they threaten countries that are not willing to go into illegal wars that are over oil. The USA is no ally, the USA uses countries. And when they are done with them, when there is nothing more to gain. They say: fuck you. If the US was such a good friendly country, how come they didn't sign the The Hague treaty? All it says is that warcrimes are punishable. The US is the only country with Israel that hasn't sigend... Sjee I wonder how that came.

Re:What do they have to hide? (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353962)

Did I say the US was friendly? I said it is a good ally to those countries that are strategically important to it.

If another country is unimportant to it strategically (say, just about all of sub-Saharan Africa), that country is ignored.
If another country is strategically menacing, then the US does what it can to maximize the situation.

The US always acts in its own best interests. It never acts in the best interests of others. Other countries could learn a thing or two about that instead of constantly whining about how put upon they feel by the USA.

Re:What do they have to hide? (5, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354078)

The US always acts in its own best interests. It never acts in the best interests of others.

So explain the invasion of Iraq.

Re:What do they have to hide? (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354130)

Saddam put a hit out on George Sr. and George Jr. was like "No one's gonna mess with my pappy!" and we went to even the score.

Re:What do they have to hide? (0, Flamebait)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353986)

Greatest source of freedom and liberty in the history of the planet. Saved you from living under hitler and then the politburo. Ungrateful pricks. Deserve your fate

Re:What do they have to hide? (1, Insightful)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354022)

Lol... that's what they told you. When was it that the US got involved in the war? Oh yeah. After pearl harbor. Why did they free us? By demanding soil for 100 years (lend-lease anyone?) where they put those nice dishes to commit economical spionage. Learn your history bro if you want to discuss WW2 with me. Having said that, I have adopted a grave of an unknown American soldier in Margraten, Netherlands. Look it up if you don't know it.

Re:What do they have to hide? (0, Troll)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354134)

Yeah, your version is gods unvarnished truth. /rolls eyes

Re:What do they have to hide? (1, Interesting)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354158)

Buddy you can look up the facts too. They books written over it, history books. It's quite well documented. This has nothing to do with gods truth but with facts that are very well documented.

Re:What do they have to hide? (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354038)

And besides, we were freed by the Canadian, the UK and the Aussies... the role the US had was pretty slim compared to those countries. What the hell do they teach you kids over there?

Re:What do they have to hide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34354072)

They teach us enough science to be the first to come up with the atomic bomb. By any measure, we won WWII.

Re:What do they have to hide? (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354116)

Actually, they had a lot, if not most of their knowledge, from former nazi's that they payed greatly to come work for the us.... And again: the only country in the world that was insane enough to use not 1 but 2 of those bombs while it knew Japan was ready to surrender was the usa. That big bomb had to be tested... Despite the lost of 300.000 innocent people. They bombed 2 cities for fucks sake! If that is winning in your book, well... abandon all hope, you are lost. That is what we call a genocide, mass-murder, warcrime.

Re:What do they have to hide? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354138)

There's a little matter of the Soviets. The bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima put a bright American flag on the islands of Japan. As awful as it was, I suspect the Japanese would much rather prefer to have been conquered by the Yanks than Stalin's Red Army.

um 98% wastage was Re:What do they have to hide? (2)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354216)

or the fact that the Generals had said that the first waves ashore in operation Olympic would be facing 98% wastage - you can see why they used the Bomb

Re:What do they have to hide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34354060)

The Brits saved us from Germany. America sat on the sidelines until Germany declared war on them.

Re:What do they have to hide? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354224)

The soviets did more to end hitler, and the fact that state-capitalism can't work ended the politburo.

Re:What do they have to hide? (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354174)

Ah fuck it, everytime you try to tell an American here on ./ the truth they close their eyes, start yelling and modding for troll. Even if you only say facts that they could look into themself. What a bunch of winers.

hahahahaha (0)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353980)

yeah, usa is INDEED a STRONG ally to those countries that are strategically important to it.

so strong an ally that, it doesnt refrain from setting up secret organizations that are committed to assassinations, creating scandals, and even fake terror organizations in order to protect 'western interests'. naturally, you can understand that, western interests coincide with u.s. interests, as u.s. sees it fit.

See how STRONG an ally usa is below :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Gladio [wikipedia.org]

Re:What do they have to hide? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34353994)

That's insane... What is there to hide people?

This made me think about how funny it is that they tell us only criminals have something to hide when they screw our privacy. Now when we screw their privacy, they turn it all the way around and we are the criminals again.

Re:What do they have to hide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34354024)

What is there to hide people? One thing is for certain... We - the people - need this information. Maybe now it will become clear to anyone what sort of 'friend' the US really is.

Well hello there logic behind supporting the Patriot Act.

Hello Censorship (5, Funny)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353904)

Hello Censorship, my old friend,

You used to be suppressed by Free Media. But now I think you're needed again. People shouldn't know everything - especially if the truth will hurt them. In fact, people knowing things is stopping us from doing whatever we want - without any bad reprecussions.

Lots of Love

Me.

Re:Hello Censorship (1)

yotto (590067) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354272)

After your first line, I couldn't help but read the rest of your post to the tune of "Sound of Silence."

I got surprisingly far before it broke down.

Security is an embarassment (5, Insightful)

guanxi (216397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353920)

If Wikileaks can get this stuff, imagine what foreign intelligence agencies can do. The U.S. government needs security proportional to the value of the data.

Re:Security is an embarassment (3, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353990)

imagine what foreign intelligence agencies can do

It's not -quite- the same, I suspect that Wikileaks might have an edge precisely because they are not a foreign intelligence agency. They take the info and toss it to the world, whereas a foreign intelligence agency will definitely want to keep stuff secret. If you're trying to blow the whistle on wrongdoing and believe you're doing whats best for your country, you probably won't listen to another country's intelligence agents. After all, -that- would be treason.

That and they'd probably want less information of higher quality, not a massive deluge like this.

Re:Security is an embarassment (1)

d474 (695126) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354066)

Great point, and who's to say that most intelligence agencies don't already have all this information? I think the people Wikileaks will be upsetting by this isn't the USA, but the nations that thought they were going to be able to use the information as a bargaining chip but now can not, because it's out in the open.

On the other hand, perhaps nations that already had this information couldn't act on it, because that would expose they had spies in certain places, but now they are free to publicly act out in defiance.

Incredible Incompetence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34353936)

Sack this imbecile commissioner and hire someone competent enough to use a BRIEFCASE.

If you don't treat your own security with any respect, why would anyone else?

Despicable isnt it. (3, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353956)

And this is how freedom dies. With open and blatant moves by the ELECTED representatives keeping the public in the dark about their wrongdoings. Right up to the betrayal of the very ideas those countries were founded upon ....

The appalling part is that, they are no longer doing this secretly. They have no issues going about in the open and being open about trying to keep people in the dark about what wrongdoings are committed. They slap 'national security' tag to it, and think that this is a magic word that totally stupefies the public and makes them impossible to understand wrong things are being committed....

Re:Despicable isnt it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34354004)

Well, they're failing.

Re:Despicable isnt it. (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354006)

Can you ever think of a time when diplomatic dispatches were released publicly. Diplomats have to be able to communicate with their foreign ministries, State Department, whatever in an honest, often brutally honest manner. How else is any government, democratic or otherwise, supposed to make any kind of foreign policy decisions? If diplomats have to start couching their language, governments will have a much more difficult time making sensible decisions.

As much as we would all love to live in a perfect world of absolute information, we in fact live in an imperfect world where our governments have to make very critical decisions based on as factual and open information as they can gather. Forcing diplomats to censor themselves for fear that somebody might find out what they said about foreign figures; ministers, presidents, leaders and so forth, will starve governments of that kind of useful information, making things more dangerous, not less.

Re:Despicable isnt it. (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354062)

Here's an idea, radical as it may be:

"It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world, so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense, but in my opinion it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them."

Re:Despicable isnt it. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354088)

Yes, of course, the Ambassador to Russia should just say "You know what, Putin, you're a nasty fucking bastard."

That will really make things so much better for everyone.

Re:Despicable isnt it. (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354136)

Yes, of course, the Ambassador to Russia should just say "You know what, Putin, you're a nasty fucking bastard."

That will really make things so much better for everyone.

Putin would probably drink to that.

Personally I can't think of any occasion where America has benefited from cosying up to 'nasty fucking bastards'. Doing that with Stalin, for example, handed half of Europe to him and led to decades of Cold War.

Re:Despicable isnt it. (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354172)

The alliance with Stalin allowed an end to the war in three years, and besides, it was the Brits who first got friendly with Stalin, seeing as the USSR was invaded by the Nazis while Congress fiddled while Rome burned.

As Churchill so famously said, "If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons." The real world and the utopian fantasy so many of you guys live in are quite different. Yes, it sucked that Stalin seized Eastern Europe, but do you think having the Nazis controlling all of Europe would have been better?

bullshit about bullshit (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354214)

excuse me.

what part of the irrelevance in between

"diplomatic dispatches arent released publicly"

and

"betraying a country's founding ideals"

you dont understand?

and the unfathomable importance of the latter ?

so, diplo dispatches of a country should not be released publicly, because, what, precisely ? so that their administrators can safely betray their founding ideals ?

well, that was what they have been doing behind the pretense of national security for close to a century now. apparently, THAT DOESNT WORK.

it seems its better if they are released publicly.

Re:bullshit about bullshit (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354250)

Dispatches are not released for long periods of time because they often have very frank observations.

But everyone here defending this seems to think history stops when Assange releases the documents. I'm asking people to ponder what this holds for how diplomats behave in the future.

Do you think self-censorship will be helpful? Because what you will get in the future isn't more frank postings from lands abroad by US diplomats, what you'll get is couched language, self-censorship and less information.

What I find pretty sad is I'll wager a whole lot of folks defending Wikileaks here were probably up in arms when those vile evil little dirtbags in the Bush administration blew Valerie Plame's cover.

Re:bullshit about bullshit (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354296)

What I find pretty sad is I'll wager a whole lot of folks defending Wikileaks here were probably up in arms when those vile evil little dirtbags in the Bush administration blew Valerie Plame's cover.

And they were never prosecuted, you think the wikileaks folks will get so lucky?

Honestly at this point I want as much damaging evidence to come out as possible, the American people need to wake the fuck up.

WHO doesn't want to be embarrassed? (3, Insightful)

helbent (1244274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34353970)

Don't want to end up red-faced?

Then don't engage in pointless wars started over lies. It's that simple.

Re:WHO doesn't want to be embarrassed? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354010)

You are so mean. Why should being an elected official mean having to give up having my cake and eating it too? I want to do shameful things and be hailed as a good and honest man!

Humanity sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34354048)

News at 11.

Treason plain and simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34354074)

Might want to take another look at what the penalty is.

And I though slashdot articles were badly written (2, Insightful)

Lloyd_Bryant (73136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354098)

after sensitive defense documents were photographed using a telephoto lens in the hand of Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick as he arrived at No 10 Downing Street for a briefing,

Well dammit, tell him to get the telephoto lens out of his hand...

Can't wait (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354114)

A lot of us up here in Canada are looking forward to this release. Not because it might damage relations, but simply because it'll be a damn good read. What does the US government REALLY think of their northern neighbor? You don't get truth like this very often.

Get a big bowl of popcorn out and enjoy the show!

Re:Can't wait (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354254)

You're boring, your maple syrup is not quite as good as ours and your hockey teams suck.

WLeaks restore access to files on other countries (5, Insightful)

poity (465672) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354128)

An agency such as yours must treat all the information it has with equal priority -- it is the only way to be neutral and unbiased. Otherwise you risk undermining the confidence of people everywhere -- the same people you rely on to effect the tangible changes that we all desire. Herein now lies the current problem with wikileaks.org [wikileaks.org]. You have at some point taken your previous database entirely offline. Before you became well known you were a nexus of information on nations around the globe. Now, there is access only to Iraq Diaries and Afghan Logs. A google search on wikileaks for Asia, Africa, and Europe reveals thousands of documents previously linked to that are now inaccessible. These must be restored immediately.

A coming shitstorm. (3)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354154)

The elected officials who are about to be embarrassed are in for one hell of a shitstorm from those who elected them. I bet they're going to be pissed to find out that the reason so much of the world hates US is because of the fucked up way they've been supposedly "representing the American people".

This may be a good thing for the people of the USA. Hopefully they'll remember what The Constitution and Bill of Rights is about, start letting the govt know who is boss and what they've done "in the name of the American people" is not acceptable and hopefully getting rid of the arseholes who are responsible for turning world opinion against what was once universally regarded as a great nation.

And hopefully our government in Britain will get to realise they've been fucked over for the last decade and start growing some fucking balls in regards to the so called "special relationship".

I dunno ... (5, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354180)

The people in the US and UK are routinely subjected to various kinds of surveillance and scrutiny - like the US warrant-less wiretaps and TSA peep-shows - and told by our governments and pundits, "If you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to hide." I say that what's good for the goose is good for the gander. I suspect our governments have been very bad at times and indeed have things to hide - not only from others, but from their own people.

Quite Predictable--If you Believe the Prophets! (1, Interesting)

istartedi (132515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354204)

I'm not as religious as I used to be, but I couldn't help but be reminded of some Bible verses:

"God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil" Ecclesiastes 12:14 (New International Version)

"On the day of judgment, men will render account for every careless word they utter." Matthew 12:36 (Revised Standard Version)

"Everything that is hidden will be shown, and everything that is secret will be made known." Luke 12:2

Re:Quite Predictable--If you Believe the Prophets! (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354308)

That scripture suggests that all actions will be exposed and judged in an afterlife. It doesn't mean all actions will be judged and revealed now. Plenty of secrets remain secrets in this life.

ABCNews unstoppable autostarting flash advert (0, Offtopic)

preaction (1526109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354260)

Our governments may all suck, but I've joined the tens of dozens of people who enjoy FlashBlock with their browsing experience! FlashBlock, now available for Chrome and other major browsers, lets you block stupid marketing tools that wake up your roommates with unexpected sounds. FlashBlock! Don't browse the web without it! (endorsement not paid for by anybody, unless they want to)

To stop being found out as being a douchebag... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34354290)

... maybe you should stop being such a douchebag?

The last release (1, Troll)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34354298)

The last release was marketed as definitive proof that the US military actively practiced murder. The big "bombshell" was a video in which people on the ground have clearly visible rifles. Then it appears one peeks around the corner with an RPG and points it at a US helicopter.

The US soldiers radio back and ask permission to engage. They don't engage until permission is given. There are some individuals that are shot, but survive. The US soldiers don't initially shoot again to kill. They wait for further orders, and then see a van pull up, trying to grab the wounded individuals. They are given permission to open fire again.

The questionable aspect of the whole scenario is opening fire a second time on wounded targets, even if they are being taken away from the scene. But if you truly believe these targets were going to open fire on you by firing an RPG on you in a restricted area, then anyone assisting those targets are targets themselves. In a combat zone where the enemy doesn't wear a uniform, the lines are not clear. The actions are not 100% defensible, but it was also a far cry from the random murder of innocents that it was marketed as.

Soldiers should be accountable for their actions. They are not above the law. But care must be taken when making snap judgments about them, when they are being asked to make rapid decisions of life and death. Most of the people making judgments have no understanding of what it is like to be in those circumstances. And while I was never deployed in a combat zone, I'm a Marine myself. So I've at least put some serious thought into what it means to take a life in the defense of another.

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