Saudi Arabia/USA: Analysis and Implications of Wikileaks

 

When is Freedom of Information and a public right to information taken too far? Why does the mass media or an entity such as Wikileaks believes it has the right to publicize official governmental documents of which some are classified?  Perhaps we need to have a refresher on the definition of classified.  According to dictionary.com, one of the definitions of classified is “confidential or secret.”  Yet, on Sunday, 28 November 2010, “Wikileaks began publishing 251,287 leaked United States embassy cables, the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain. The documents will give people around the world an unprecedented insight into the US Government’s foreign activities.”  Why should people around the world receive an unprecedented insight into a Government’s activities?  Yes; I purposely wrote “a” government rather than just limit to the US Government.

Publishing confidential documents may be an enticing ego trip, to be the first to “get the jump” and break a story so to speak.  However before publicly providing any kind of information there needs to be a modicum of responsibility.  Every action has a reaction and this is where an entity such as Wikileaks or other irresponsible journalists lose their credibility in my eyes.

Unilaterally choosing to publish confidential information has created a domino effect which impacts on relationships, trust, confidence building and achieving objectives.  Last but certainly not least, randomly releasing confidential information can put individuals and programs in jeopardy.  What may seem like a scoop to Wikileaks I see as foolhardiness.

Information such as the confidential documents acquired by Wikileaks is data that should have only been made available to recipients on a ‘need to know basis.’  Even if one has all the necessary official approvals (such as a security clearance) to access certain information, one would not be given access to such information unless one has a specific need to know; that is, access to the information must be necessary for the conduct of one’s official duties.

It is a standard procedure for a diplomat abroad to provide an assessment and an analysis of an individual or a situation which has political implications back to their home ministry.  This is common among all Government’s and enhances understanding and building bridges of cooperation.  However, if Wikileaks and other entities are able to acquire and publish data there will be ramifications which will impact bilateral or trilateral relationships between countries.  Official representatives will be less likely to candidly share with allies and confidential sources of information will be reluctant to cooperate due to fear of exposure.

John Q. Public or as Sarah Palin would likely say the average “Joe Six-pack” does not have a security clearance.  He or she does not have the authority to make decisions which can impact or change national and foreign policies.  Therefore, the average Joe Six-pack does not need to see or know what confidential interactions have taken place.

The universal public is not stupid and the majority can likely read between the lines of foreign affairs simply by following a multitude of sources…of public sources.  If confidential documents are going to be routinely published then every Joe Six-pack will start imagine him or herself a diplomat with the authority to have a voice and influence foreign matters which can pertain to global stability and security.

 

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104 Responses

  1. Oh Please! It was not ‘taken too far’, as far as I am considered. It was not taken FAR ENOUGH.

    These documents only confirmed what almost everyone knew all along: That we the Arabs are nothing more than a back-stabbing lot ready to dig the knife in whenever it suits us. We have an alliance with Israel, even if it is not official, would ally with the worst enemy because of a competing ideology.

    Saudi Arabia? You’ve never failed to disappoint me. USA? I had given up on you finding your morals again.

    This world is a mess.

  2. Sorry for the typo. *as far as I am concerned.

  3. occupiedbrain…

    LOL! well that about sums it up!

  4. I have to say that yes, we need transparency but not an anarchy. I have to admit I have purused some of the documents and warning, reading these documents might casue ‘sleepiness and headache’. Ironically, I think the wikileaks have casued less transparancy as information in small dabs here and there.
    I feel terrible for some of diplomats…If that were me, I would of felt raped.
    The cables, the ones I have read are not any different than an average day to day conversation.
    As crazy as this may sound, Mr. Dinnerjacket from Iran is correct, sor tof pyschological warfare.

  5. Politicians have been taught over and over again to not ever say anything in private you dont want made public…because at some point in the future it will come out. Always does.

    occupiedbrain…are you sure that America has absolutely no morals at all? If you havent found any….you arent looking in the right places. Im an American…in America and I consider myself a moral person….with immoral tendencies from time to time. 😉 as a great many Americans would probably claim.

    Now unless you are speaking of our govt specifically then I would probably agree with you and start searching for those elusive morals right along with you. Just be sure to bring some water and chocolate…gonna be a long hard journey.

  6. Carol, I don’t think that the Joe Sixpacks of the world are going to hold much weight if everyone else has the same information.

    It’s difficult for anyone to do much of anything without being recorded these days. People can lie all they want, but the truth remains the same.

  7. Quote: “John Q. Public or as Sarah Palin would likely say the average “Joe Six-pack” does not have a security clearance.: – and just about anybody else.

    Quote: “He or she does not have the authority to make decisions which can impact or change national and foreign policies.” – nor do most people.

    Quote: “Therefore, the average Joe Six-pack does not need to see or know what confidential interactions have taken place.” – Nope, Joe does need to know, maybe not the dirty details but public policy should be open and transparent.

    The so-called cable-gate documents change nothing and offer no surprises. If anybody things anybody in American government, particular the State dept, can keep a secret, they are stupid.

    Occupied – this is not about morals. Governments do not have morals, they have interests (old saying… something about friends). The US, Saudi Arabia and Israel all put interests above morals, and often also above good sense.

    J

  8. @Americanbedu,

    I disagree with the premise of your article. Wikileaks is not an organization founded by Americans. They do not have follow the US requirements for keeping state secrets. The people behind this never took any oath to protect documents. I think they are exercising the freedom to share information that they know.

    If there is any fault in this matter, it should rest with the state department for not guarding the information properly.

    I also, think the Wikileaks phenomenon might prove to be healthy in the long run. Governments should not be making back room deals that are contrary to what they release publicly to their people.

  9. @Coolred38,

    I am a global citizen, and both countries’ policies disgust me. I am not speaking of the populations, although both country’s peoples have been zombied-out a loooong time ago, they could do with some jolting awake.

    As a US citizen, one should be concerned about the fact that freedoms are eroding right before your eyes, and yet you stand there with your mouth agape. The media is nothing more than a government lackey, FBI raids on anti-war activists, … the utopia that once was within reach is no longer possible. The trappings are there, the core is gone. It is nothing more than a productive bubble, and one which is barely surviving, all it can do now is point the finger at China and other countries wrt their ‘unfair’ exchange rate policies and cry, without looking at the global nature of their own companies.

    As a Saudi citizen, when are you going to start waking up to the fact that change will never happen under the shifting loyalties between the monarchy and conservative establishment? The alliance was simply a matter of political expediency at one point, now it is almost irrelevant. The monarchy will play off the liberal violin just to appear progressive as opposed to the religious scholars, then when things get too far they slap the people down. The conservative establishment became ignorant and stale, it has no place in Islam. Muslims the world over look to Saudi Arabia with disgust. What a shame that Mecca and Medina are under our purview.

    The US/Saudi alliance is a mutually destructive relationship. No good is coming of it. All this military hardware, all this money spent on destructive job creation in the US while it could have been used to help the people of KSA…..60 billion USD? And then they spend 800 million on a STUPID clock that serves nothing and nobody!!! Tell me, what justifies spending so much money on useless crap (yeah, the US had to reassure Israel that the equipment would be somewhat outdated) when we have such a shabby or even nonexistent public transportation system in many areas, or when our education system is so shitty it produces indoctrinated sheeple?

    What pressure has Saudi Arabia brought to bear on Israel through the US since its last overture in 2002? Abbas is threatening to dissolve the PA, and rightly so: let the occupiers deal with the day-to-day rule over the occupied, and destroy themselves. Brazil has decided to unilaterally accept the country of Palestine.

    The Houthi rebellion was a HOAX!! A sham!! Yemen/US faked an attack!! Great!!

    Our Iran obsession is getting out of control! What right do we have to pour more salt on this wound, this rift that has done us no good!! What claim do we, Saudi Arabia, have on piety and purity when we are far from pious?! This land is the land of injustice. Saudi citizens are prisoners of their own mind, slaves of their pocket money or scholars who purport to speak for God, these serve to imprison us not to speak out and demand change.

    @Jay, yeah, well you’ve nailed it right there.

  10. To me it does not matter whether Wikileaks was a US or foreign entity. There remains the need for discretion and responsible ethics.

    It does remain a mystery how these documents were obtained by Wikileaks and since Wikileaks published them openly on the web, it also makes me wonder what might not have been published and sold to the highest bidder instead?

    I do not agree that the public has a right to know assessments of global leaders when such info is likely to be used for negotiations, treaties, resolutions and more.

    I think it is easy to discern who has or has not worked in government organizations. I would never want anything I had written in a formal capacity disclosed.

    There is more than just the information….if the cables indicate who wrote the data the public could also get the wrong impression of the official as well who was only doing his or her job to report unbiased.

  11. ‘responsible ethics’?

    It was extremely ‘responsible’ of the US to wage a war on Iraq, selling it to the public as pre-emption against Saddam’s usage of WMDs.

    It was extremely ‘responsible’ of the US to buttress a country whose raison-d’etre is the non-existence of the Palestinians and continued settlement expansion.

    It was extremely responsible of the US to go to war in Vietnam, oust Aristide in Haiti, impose Pinochet on Chile, …. I can go on but I fear I won’t stop.

    It was extremely responsible of the Saudi royal family to use Wahhabist lunatics when it was convenient to gain power and slaughter hundreds of people on the road to ruling the peninsula….then shun them aside when they were getting finicky and critical of their lifestyle and in the process, cause a perversion of Islam on a massive, unprecedented scale.

    It was extremely responsible of Saudi Arabia to fund indoctrinating groups of people in Lebanon and fight a proxy war with Iran, leading up to the conflict at Nahr-el-Barid, of which the only victims are the refugees living there.

    It was extremely responsible of Saudi Arabia to continue looting Saudi’s oil revenue, of which a massive leaking hole goes God-only-knows-where, military equipment and appeasing the masters so as to stay in power.

    I could go on, but I fear I won’t stop hyperventilating.

    “I do not agree that the public has a right to know assessments of global leaders when such info is likely to be used for negotiations, treaties, resolutions and more.”

    I disagree. Especially when these so-called ‘global leaders’ have lost sight of why they were given (except in the Gulf’s case, since we don’t really have much of a say in it) the responsibility to lead in the first place. Globally, the political elite is detached from the masses. I voted for Barack Obama. In hindsight, I probably should have voted for Homer Simpson.

    Yes, let’s continue being blind sheeple.

    “I think it is easy to discern who has or has not worked in government organizations. I would never want anything I had written in a formal capacity disclosed.”

    Of course, why would you? Nobody wants an organization’s dirty laundry, penned under their name, hanging out for all to see.

  12. The idea that the world should be one big open happy transparent place seems ludicrous to me…if we could implant a chip in everyones brain that forced them to behave with the utmost responsibility and kindness and integrity then I think transparency would be fabulous and certainly preferable.

    But since many of the people in power are anything but responsible and very much out for the best “position” and always looking for an advantage, I think international relations lend itself to alliances and secrets…It is no different than how we deal with each other on a daily basis…would anyone tell a stranger their family secrets? Probably not because they don’t know the person and think that the person can use that information against them.

    Assange IMO was wrong to leak the documents because they were classified therefore they are not public property…I don’t think that there is anything monumentally earth shaking in them, but it is the principal. The info was stolen…making the person who stole it legally liable to the US government. Julian I am sure paid something for stolen documents making him responsible too.

    The thing that most bothers me about the leaks is not embarrassment…people will survive that. It is the danger it puts people in for cooperating with the USA. Assange should not have played God and IMO should have not leaked things that could put peoples lives in danger…that was incredibly irresponsible. The USA did their part by protecting the sources…though I agree with MoQ that they could have done a better job internally.

    People talk about how wonderful this is but what can the average guy on the street do about it? So now they know that all governments are keeping secrets…is that a surprise to anyone?The problem is that I don’t think this will lead to more transparency…I think it will lead to less…and fewer people will be in the loop and those “in the know” will be fewer and even more powerful…

  13. I’ve enjoyed reading the various points of view. My Arab friends seem happy for the leaks because it shows what they’ve known all along: their leaders are hypocrites.

    But that’s not surprising. I’m not sure if anything was.

    Oby, what you said makes a lot of sense.

    Enjoyed this post and the comments.

  14. Transparency is a good thing. Carol, I know your career background so it’s natural you would not like WikiLeaks. I think they are a good thing. Bad things are done in secret and behind closed doors. True reasons for evil doing are seldom given. if everybody knew what everybody else was plotting there just might not be such evil going on. That probably sounds very naive but none the less it should be food for thought.

  15. It would seem the only ones worried about whats in those cables would be those who acted less than honorable or lied etc.

    I realize that closed door negotiations occur in politics and the public doesnt always need to know every single thing said or done, but maybe it will make them think twice about what they do or say from now on when they know there actually is some accountability they have no control over.

    I dont agree with the “they put lives in danger” aspect of it by revealing these cables…politicians in every country of this world put the lives of their own people as well as the peoples of other countries in danger with the flick of a signature on a piece of paper and dont worry too much about it. It’s called “collateral damage”…or should I say WE are referred to as such.

  16. Al Jeezera had a great article this morning and I will post it now. This is about the TSA but it touche on our privacy issues. I suppose I could/should post under the TSA blog a few days ago but here it is anyway
    —–

    As a very frequent flyer, I have wanted to write about the abuses of the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) for years now. To tell the truth, since I am such a frequent flyer and often recognised by individual TSA employees, I was a little timid about this because I did not want flying to become an even bigger hassle and more invasive than it already is. But the recent brouhaha over the Chertoff-O-Scanners has given me the courage in numbers to be able to write about my experiences.

    The first thing that bugs me is how complacent my fellow travellers are about the civil rights abuses we endure to be able to take the airplane seats we pay hundreds of dollars for. The second we click ‘purchase’ on the airline’s website, we are treated as though we are guilty just for wanting to go from point A to B by plane. This goes against our constitutional right of being presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    Every time a TSA operative asks me if he or she can “take a look in my bag,” I say: “Sure, if you can show me a warrant.” I cannot say how many times a fellow traveller has proclaimed: “It’s for your own safety!”

    Speaking of “it’s for your own safety”, who can forget Richard Reid, the “shoe bomber” who allegedly tried to detonate explosives on a flight from Paris to Miami in 2002? That incident is the reason why in the US we have to take our shoes off and put them through the x-ray machine. But did you know that the US is the only country that forces flyers to do this? Reid is a citizen of the UK and was flying from France, but if one flies in either of these countries, or anywhere else for that matter, it is not common practice to remove your shoes. So why are planes not dropping from the skies all over the world? Well, because this has nothing to do with our “safety”. Shoe removal and shoe throwing are the same act of disrespect and intimidation unless one is entering a Japanese home or walking on holy ground.

    I think the next opportunity for abuse that came from on high to us already weary and grouchy flyers, was when some nebulous plot was discovered in the UK to blow up planes by carrying explosive liquids on board. We were never shown any hardcore proof that our shampoo would blow up an airplane if it was in a four ounce bottle, but that the offending liquid in a 3.5 ounce bottle, safely ensconced in a Ziploc bag, would be okay. I was actually on my way to the airport with a backpack full of naughty liquids when I heard about this one on the radio. I had to throw away about $80 worth of toiletries and make-up and wait in excessively long lines since the glorified minimum wage workers of the TSA were not too sure how to handle this latest threat to our “freedom and safety” – except, of course, to do what they always do and take away more of our freedoms to “protect” us from “threats”.

    Shortly after the liquids scare, we could not even take liquids on airplanes that we had purchased after passing through security. There were huge bins at every gate to take away our coffee, water, lotions. I was sitting at the gate in one airport (I do not remember which one) drinking a cup of coffee when a TSA supervisor told me that I would have to finish the coffee before I boarded.

    I responded: “Why? Can you show me the store where I can purchase bomb-making material past security?” He replied: “You never know ma’am.” And, me being me, I said: “Really? What kind of airport do you run where anyone can purchase explosives past security?” At which point, the big-TSA-man gave me a look that said: “Lady, you better shut up if you don’t want a body-cavity search.” The other passengers were giving me surreptitious thumbs’ up, but I do not think many people would go as far as I did in my conversation with the TSA-man, who looked very confused that someone was challenging him.

    Over a barrel

    Even before the dreaded “underwear bomber” made all of this additional screening possible, I used to kid with the audiences that I spoke to that it was a good thing that the “shoe bomber” was not a “bra bomber,” as we ladies who wear those undergarments would then have to disrobe at the security line and put our brassieres through the x-ray machine. But my “joke” has now come into being in an even more horrid way than even I could have predicted. We do not have to take our underwear off to go through airport checkpoints, but, in many airports, we are forced to go through the Chertoff-O-Scanners which show a fully nude image to the TSA operatives and have been proven not to thwart the chemical agents that the “underwear bomber” hid in his Fruit-of-the-Looms.

    Today I saw a CNN poll that said 58 per cent of Americans do not like the new procedure. However, in all of the corporate media discussions about the scanners, no one talks about how Michael Chertoff, the former national security advisor, represents a company called Rapiscan that is profiting from every machine that is installed in airports. There is even talk about Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security, putting them in malls, schools, subways, train stations – and I am waiting to be told that we have to put a home version at our front doors.

    I always refuse to go through the scanners and am then subjected to the “feel up”. We have heard that toddlers, elderly people and those with medical problems have been violated by the TSA voyeurs. Each fresh incident produces a brief flash of outrage, but many people do not even know about the scanner/feel up.

    A couple of weeks ago, I was running very late for a flight that was leaving out of SFO, my home airport. I was literally running for my gate and dreading the dance that I do every time with the TSA there:

    Me: “I refuse to go through that machine.”
    TSA: “Why?”
    Me: “It is my right to opt-out.”
    TSA: “It is also our right to ask you why you are opting-out.”
    Me: “Because it is a violation of my human dignity and civil rights and I don’t want you all to see me naked.”
    TSA: “Female screening!” (As they yell for someone to come and grope me with gusto, and “someone” always happily obliges).

    I do not like the groping any more than I like the molestation of the scanners – one feels dirty and violated and super-wary of future travel. However, the police state knows it has us over a barrel, so the least we can do is to protest loudly while it is happening.

    Anyway, on this day, I noticed that the TSA was waving some passengers though the lane with the scanner and sending some through the normal metal detector. I was relieved to be waved through the lane without the scanner, but the woman behind me, upon noticing that her boyfriend was sent to the lane with the scanner, asked: “Why didn’t I have to go through that?” I told her: “You’re lucky, they can see you naked when you go through it.” Unbelievably, she responded: “Why didn’t they want to see me naked?” She was not kidding, but I just shook my head, gathered my stuff and ran to my gate.

    The point to these stories is that we can only have our rights taken away from us with our consent. There is a famous Benjamin Franklin saying that was often quoted when Bush was president that rings ever truer during the Obama regime: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” We are becoming a nation of lemmings running to the sea with the abandon of those that would rather plunge to our deaths than think for ourselves.

    While I was writing this, the FBI “uncovered” another “terrorist” plot where a Somali-American allegedly tried to detonate a bomb at a “Christmas event” in Portland, Oregon. Mark my words, the monstrous state will either ban “Christmas events” or institute mandatory travelling Chertoff-O-Scanners to be able to put us into an even deeper state of fear. Where would a “terrorist plot” have the most devastating affect? I cannot think of a more fitting one than a “Christmas event” in very progressive Portland, Oregon.

    Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Specialist Casey A. Sheehan, who was killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004. Since then, she has been an activist for peace and human rights. She has published five books, has her own Internet radio show, Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox, and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. You can learn more about Cindy at Peace of the Action.

  17. @ American Bedu–agreed
    I think Wikileaks is counterprouctive and hypercrtical. One of the main key issues of Wikileaks is to get transparent information. All I see is infomation in ‘drips and drabs’ and that is not transparancy.
    Also compared to other countries, we, in the US, have a lot more transparency than we think. Take Syria, Algeria, Burma, all state contolled media. I do not see Wilikleaks going into their data base which lets me deduce to the fact that is an attack on us and those who seek to protect us.

  18. @Carol and Obey,

    I do appreciate that anyone doing a job or did a job at the state department or any place for that matter can view that others do not understand the pressures and demand of the job. In the case of the state department secrecy and protocols are important. However, I think the way governments do their work is not optimum. It is not necessarily anyones fault, it is the nature of the work that does not have any external drivers, such as the case of market driven companies, which guides improvements.

    I view Wikileak in the same way as consumers driving companies to do better. In the absence of knowledge the people of government departments have not been fully responsible in their dealings and in having the proper respect for the people that pay their salaries with their hard earned tax dollars. It is this lack of knowledge that allowed one the most respected Americans, Colin Powell as secretary of state, to go in front of the UN and lie about the WMDs. The result is justification of war that killed hundreds of thousands.

    I think information, such as the one offered by Wikileaks, does provide a shock to the system. It allows a debate about the truth in government and the secrete dealings that can result in wars. Yes some of us do not view the information as shocking, but the average person in the street needs such issues to be highlighted with a marker.

    I am not naive enough to believe that all information should be shared and we should have complete transparency. However, having major leaks like this periodically does offer a chance for average people to know the truth and hopefully make better decisions about what transparency they require from the US government.

    In the case of Saudi Arabia, I think the same applies. The government has been engaged in support of armed groups across the ME. This includes Iraq, with deadly results. The average Saudi should know these facts in such clear documentation that the spin of the government will not be accepted.

  19. Ok, I’ve been trying to figure out what I feel about these Wikileaks as more and more info get released. As someone who wanted to join the State Dept in the foreign service I’m sad that it’s reputation has been tarnished. No one likes their private conversation exposed to ridicule. In the case of the State Dept what is official (sanctioned by the President/State Dept/etc) could be different from the is not officially said. Ideally it shouldn’t be but the reality there are things that governments should know to make informed decisions and they have the responsibility to protect our interest in the world. Diplomacy can and do hinge image and trust. The US has lost credibility simply because one man wanted expose things he has no business having. If this was a matter of corporate espionage where a companies’ business meeting minutes were released corporations would have the law as recourse. What’s more damaging with this info is you do not know what kind of info could be used by our enemies. Some say that well the State Dept shouldn’t be saying xyz but I think that is just hubris and people being sanctimonious. I don’t like back room dealings but I understand why they happen.

    I’m all for transparencies in our government and from what I understand all this info would have been declassified in 25 years anyway giving the world’s social/political climate time to change and the people whom this info was on to fade into the past. What bothers me the most is the fact the Western mass media has stop being journalist. They have now become merely gossip mongers. There are no ethics governing the media any longer. Even the papers I used to have respect for has slowly degenerated towards gossip rags with badly written expose type news (Washington Post, New York Times, CNN). Personally I don’t want the media to intrude into the private lives of our elected officials. Elected officials are still human beings. Think back on days you may be having a bad day and just spewing crap that you don’t mean since you are venting. Now imagine having that day recorded and then paraded for the world to see 24/7 for the duration of however long it takes a new “scandal” to pop up. It is the elected officials responsibility to watch his words and actions but I don’t like the media’s habit of trying to catch them off as if they were paparazzi. The whole fiasco with Sherry Angle (I think that’s her name) and the Dept of Agriculture should show you why we shouldn’t play the whole hypocritical backbiting housewife’s game. Think if this were medical records what the outcome would be, you would say it is unethical (I hope) for someone to steal private info and release it.

  20. I’m afraid that the USA was losing credibility long before Wiki Leaks. Some of the leaks only confirmed what others were guessing about anyway.

  21. @Wendy

    Perhaps to some we have lost credibility. However, countries need to have the ability to deny those claims. Having things confirmed only hurts the US’s image and can affect the US’s ability to negotiate with other countries. Think of it this way. There are rumors that A has AIDS everyone has guessed the truth but A has not confirmed them since 1. it’s not anyones business 2. it has not affected how people have interact with him or affected how he handles business. Now B thinks that “for everyone’s good” A should be exposed as having AIDS he then obtains A’s medical records and makes them public. Now everyone can well say you know I guessed that but see look it’s confirmed. What B did was unethical and the info made public could have an affect on how A is treated which in turn could affect how he handles business.

  22. I am wondering though about all the fuss. When Bush publicized the identity of a CIA-agent, thereby endangering her life and a lot of other peoples life, nobody was very upset.

    Crying out to have Assange, who is not even an American citizen, assassinated, while the guy who ”leaked” some really damaging info and really endangering many people’s lives got off on a presidential pardon…
    But then he was only acting on Bush’s orders in the first place.

    I guess there is a big difference between outsiders leaking some embarrassing information and American Presidents betraying and endangering their own people if they are miffed with them.

  23. One issue I have is that, Assange is all about world transparency for the good of all nations right? Sounds very vaulted and lofty…Yet as far as I know there has been nothing on wikileaks that is about anyone other than the USA. It seems to me that if he is about global transparency that would include more than one country. It feels and looks to me like Wikileaks is a site dedicated to trying it’s hardest to damage the USA. Until he starts publishing the secrets of other countries from other parts of the world…say some ME countries or maybe his own Australia or Asia he appears to be a one man band dedicated to hurting only the USA. I will believe his world transparency story when I see other countries exposed. Next is a US bank…how about instead of dedicating more space to the USA he takes on his own country or some other government….but he won’t because I don’t believe he is about global transparency…he is about destroying the USA…when I see China or Australia’s secrets on wikileaks I will believe he has world transparency in his heart.

  24. @oby, he would be totally stupid +suicidal to publish secrets of some asian countries.. they’d track him & off him before he he spells wikilieaks ….not many countries in the world give people a fair trial 🙂

    I asked my dad if there was any chance of the india-pakistan diplomacy to be leaked – will be quite entertaining and he just laughed – really hard ( he’s a former diplomat) and said not to worry india /pak has no secrets !!!! he thinks all this leaking will probably be limited to US/europe etc., the civilized .

  25. About why only the US –

    Wikileaks publish documents which others give them. So far the US documents only have been given to them. Somebody has to give them documents from other countries.

    Besides, the US documents provide information about the whole world. Embassy cables are more about the wrongdoings of other countries than of the US.

    Though, I would really wish someone to pass on Some Saudi documents to them, translated from Arabic into English. I think that will be good.

  26. Dear Onigiri,
    Sorry for late response…

    I am not sure if you are understanding my response to your questions because from reading your comments, you are repeating some of the things I have already talked about. But that is ok, I will try to explain perhaps in a better way. Sometimes I wonder, if you are asking the questions to get better understanding about Islam or if you are asking just for argument sake or twisting the words beyond their original shape. Because I find that even after some detailed explanation, the very same misunderstanding comes up again and again. (Not from you personally but from others). I am sure this is not because they did not read but because they are fond of finding faults.

    Anyway, Onigiri, I had understood from previous interactions that you were originally Buddhist and converted to Mormonism and now I believe you are Christian. Or that you coverted to Christianity and and now looking into Mormonism. Not sure which. I apologize if I am mistaken.

    Let me now go to your questions but Onigiri please do understand it for sake of knowledge and not for any other reason. I welcome your questions and am impressed with them.

    You said:
    God is omnipotent and all knowing is he not? So God was aware that people would be making changes did he not? Again you are making God seem short sighted. He would have save a lot of his people had he simply protected the message in the first place.

    Response:
    Oni, I had told you in my last response that God had told the previous faiths NOT to change the message and left it in their hands. (Of course God knew that they will change it – but people did not know that). So people disobeyed God and tampered with the message and so the orginal was gone from them. God knows all that is happening. Why is He not just sending people to heavan or hell even before we are born? It is because, even if He knows, we don’t know; so living this life is a proof to ourself and to others why we are so judged. Besides this, God sent Moses and Jesus to certain groups of people and for that certain time. So there was not a need for protection of that message. All these messages are completed in the Quran which is protected.

    You said:
    It was my understanding that Muslims believe in the Apocalypse or final days. If “God who is not planning for our destruction” is true then how do you reconcile the Apocalypse with this statement?

    Response:
    This is one place where I thought you are twisting the words. Yes we believe in Day of Judgement but that is not now – and not when the message came – not when the Prophets were alive. That day is yet to come. The Final Day will be coming. He was not planning for that to happen when the messages were being revealed. Yes overall Plan, it was to happen much later on.

    You said:
    How do you explain all the plagues sent by God in Moses’s time? Was God “just, fair, truthful” then? Or does that only matter to God’s chosen ones and the Egyptians are not worthy of him being “just, fair, and truthful”?

    My response:
    God had sent His punishment to disobedient people before. After giving so many chances and warnings when people still reject the message, God sent His punishment of which He had already warned the people. How is this short-sightedness in your opinion? He is just, fair and truthful in all cases. Are people not able to keep their promises, and follow the message? Are you blaming God instead of the people?

    You said:
    You claim “It was the test for the people of the time” so people today no longer need tested? Are we all the same now, do we not all stand on our own at the time of judgment? Given that God at first only gave his message to the Jews and the Jews were the one who corrupted them why wipe off everyone in this earth (if you believe in Noah’s flood)?

    Response:
    From my claim, how did you deduce that we are not tested. We are tested all the time. Our whole life is a test. We are tested in our time and they were tested in their time. It is simple, is it not? Where is the circular logic here? Noah’s people were wiped out because they disobeyed same as Lut’s people. Not all were wiped out from the earth.

    You said:
    Actually memorization of hundred and scribes by the hundred CAN be wrong. Humans err every day.

    Response:
    Oni, humans can err however you have to understand that those who memorised did not just have it in their memory. They would recite to each other, even to the Prophet for any mistakes and the whole revelations used to be reviewed over and over again. They were very careful in not allowing any mistakes in the Quran. It is not something they took very light like any ordinary thing.

    You said:
    “This is an excellent observation and I appreciate it. You are right but you see FB, Prophet Muhammad mentioned about all these sects that will crop up and that is why he told us to stick to the Quran and his traditions, otherwise they would go astray. And only these (who follow Quran) will be the ones who are on straight path and this is also one of the reason why Muslims defend the Prophet so much and keep him on high status. Once you allow his teachings to be stepped upon then it loses its value. So Muslims are very carefully to perserve his teachings as is. You are absolutely right about all those sects that keep coming up; But the amazing thing is none of these sects have changed the Words of the Quran. God has protected His Words.?”

    So the Shiites are not Muslims by your definition?

    Response:
    I did not mention Shias in my reply so where did you get that idea. You have picked up something which I did not mention and ignored the reason for mentioning the sects which is that Words of the Quran is still amazingly the same.

    You asked:
    “Muslims defend the Prophet so much and keep him on high status” because of what again? You confused me here so please explain again, thank you. Because you have to believe what he did and the message he gave you is sacrosanct or it all falls apart?

    Response:
    Ok I will repeat. When you belittle the messengers and do not value their teachings, then what they bought (the message) also loses its value. Muslims do not want that to happen so they value the Prophet and his teachings which was revealed to him. You are adding something to what I said. I did not say it all falls apart. Either you are putting words in my comments for some reason (maybe to start something new) or you did not understand a simple explanation because of lack of clarity on my part.

    You said:
    I can understand he is in your belief of high status he is not elsewhere. Can you accept that non-Muslims would have a different opinion?

    Resonse:
    Definitly yes. I did not say that he was high status to everyone – I was talking about Muslims of course.

    You said:
    What is your answer to those who have killed (Pym Fortayn etc) or been given death threats for having a different opinion. When Muslims “defend” Muhammad in this way it makes it seem as if Muslims are too insecure in their belief to allow opposing or conflicting beliefs.

    Response:
    If you are talking about the violent reaction of people to defend the prophet, I do not agree with that and it is not the right way to deal with the situation. I know that some people go overboard. It is not that Muslims are too insecure but they feel they need to keep it intact.

    You asked:
    Why have hadiths at all if the Quran is complete. If the rituals are not in the Quran are they necessary? What makes a Muslim a Muslim? Saying the Shahada? Preforming the 5 pillars? Believing in One God (that can’t be right since Jews and Christians aren’t Muslims and non-book people aren’t human). The ritualistic prayers are not even in the Quran so those aren’t needed either? How to clean oneself is not in the Quran so I guess that isn’t needed either.

    Response:
    You are repeating this question. I will reply, anyway. Quran does not list the ways of prayers or pilgrimage ..etc. These were taught to the Prophet at various times and communicated to the people through the hadiths. The rites are necessary as they are still commands from God. So all things related to worship in the hadiths are still from God and need to be followed.

    A Muslim who believes in the Oneness of God, all His prophets, and follows the duties make one a Muslim. Jews and Christians are not Muslims now but when the message was revealed to them, they were, and hence they were true believers. They all believed in the Oneness of God and his prophets and did all the duties which were asked of them. Why did you mention non-book people are not human? Did I mention that or was that something that you know about or assumed. I did not talk about it. Prophets came to all nations. All nations were guided.

    To be continued …

  27. Daisy,I am happy you are back 🙂

    I cant undrestand why some people are upset about Wikileaks, I have no problem when these documents reveal ugly face of Arab governers which is now beautifully painted.

  28. Sorry … wrong thread

  29. Daisy

    If I had to guess I would bet that Assange paid for the documents. I would be surprised if Manning just handed them over without any compensation…that is not the nature of espionage…one exposes secrets and documents for a price. I would love to see the whole story come out about how he got them…did Assange solicit only people from the USA…does he have some connection to Manning did he pay for them and if so how much? Remember we are after transparency…we should have a right to know that. It would be interesting to see the trail to see if indeed world transparency is his goal or if he is after the USA in particular…if he was after world transparency it would seem that starting with one’s home country would be the easiest way to start…that being the case how come there is no info about Australia?

  30. Thanks, Mariam, though I am going to disappear again. Too much of work pending.

    Oby,
    Please read my comment again. No one has given him documents about Australia yet. He only publishes documents he receives from others anonymously.

    About payment –

    Even he doesn’t know about the identity of the person who gives the documents because his organisation has a system of receiving documents absolutely anonymously.
    So, the question of payment doesn’t arise.

    Manning was arrested because he told someone that he had distributed the documents and not because Julian Assange knew who had submitted the Embassy cables. Julian had no knowledge about the identity of submitter of these cables.

  31. Perhaps this video will be of interest –

  32. So you are saying that Manning did it for free? We’ll see. Maybe…it will all come out I hope. That is a lot of risk for no reward. They are both in jail. We will see what comes out of it. Interesting that the USA is the only country on the planet that has a whistle blower….

  33. Let’s shoot the messenger shall we?? And there have been leaks from about other countries. The last I heard Canada was still a separate nation and not part of the USA. 🙂
    Daisy, thanks for posting the TED documentary. I will watch it now but they are generally very interesting and thought provoking.

  34. What do you want to bet Assange’s rape charge is a set-up? Wasn’t it Sweden who originally threw the charge out??? Well he’s in jail in the UK now and we can be sure that the US of A will do it’s level best to make sure he stays there no matter how they have to do it.

  35. I find it incredible that the entire might of the US govt has brought down its weight on this one guy and his small organization in a matter of days yet real terrorists, arm dealers, human traffickers and all assorted typed of international criminals run uninhindered.

    What this dude is doing is of great public service, considering the US media is captured by corporate and govt interests and have not been able/unwilling to do their jobs to monitor and expose the powerful for quite some years now.

    In light of Dick Cheney’s stooge getting off scot free for his treasonous activity of exposing a CIA operative and her contacts for political purposes and Obama’s reluctance to look into the crimes of the Bush administration, the charges of “treason” towards J Assange are laughable at best and cynical at worst.

  36. Agree with Madalenas.

  37. Er isn’t Manning a US citizen? If he is then he is a criminal and traitor. I believe most people who have that kind of clearance (he had to have something since he was able to access the material unless he hacked it which is also a criminal offense) would have contracts that stipulate that if they give classified info to someone without clearance or permission it’s a criminal act. Carol you would know more about what government workers contracts care to chime in? If he is military then that’s even worse since he would have signed papers that he would protect and serve the US government. He is also violating the chain of command since I’m SURE that President Obama as his commander in chief didn’t give him leave. If he doesn’t go to jail as a criminal he’ll be court martialed by the military for being a traitor.

    J. Assange is living openly in a Western (you can assume civilized) country with extradition treaties. Of course it’s easy to find him. It’s not like he’s Osama Bin Laden hiding somewhere in the remote terrain of Pakistan with at least tacit protection from that country and money from Saudi Arabians. As to the other criminals it’s always easy to get one man as opposed to many. Also we tend not to hear about others. I would hope that the FBI, CIA, and Interpol do SOMETHING to earn their salaries.

    Personally I’m still in the opinion that what J Assange did was at least unethical if not in violation of a number of crimes. As to the whole Palmer fiasco I did and do not agree with what happened to her either. I wish the Obama administration would do something about the last administration but like many administrations probably has more important things to do… like running the country and trying to save it from economical meltdown. No matter that many people have this ideal that the US can do it all it really can’t. That would be like you (generic you) trying to save yourself from financial ruin while defending your interest and territory (the wars etc) while also trying to defend your decision making from members of your family (the Republican party) while etc etc. While I think Obama can do more I can understand why he hasn’t. The guys a busy man! At least he’s not like Bush who seemed to be a mere puppet of Dick Cheney’s. (Sorry to all you Bush/Cheney fans but I really really hated the last administration)

  38. To be fair, Assange did not hide himself.

    He turned himself in for questioning this morning once the warrant came out yesterday.

    I do believe though that the charges are politically motivated since Sweden has never requested extradition for “sex without use of a condom” (which is the actual charge – apparently the sex with the two women was consensual).

    In addition, never in the history of Interpol has a red alert warning been given for the request for questioning for an alleged sex crime like it has with Assange.

    The inequality of the law is glaring in protecting the powerful and shrugging off the lawless and most bloodthirsty crime of this past decade, the unwarranted invasion of Iraq, while pursuing with vengeance those who would expose those crimes.

    In light of the actions of the US govt and the its vassal clients, it seems that Assange is a threat to power hence the coordinated actions against him by state governments and corporate institutions whereas human traffickers, terrorists, arms dealers are only threats to the people.

    Priorities, you know.

  39. I watched half of the TED video and all I could see was a man with little to no conscience and no idea of ethics or the underlying ramifications of releasing classified information that should only be circulated on a “need to know” basis. I fear that Wikileaks will impact to a degree on clandestine relationships for who wants to enter into a relationship and give protected information with the higher risk of exposure? It will mean that intelligence operatives will have to work even harder and ensure that there are multiple mechanisms in place for the protection of data and especially so for the source.

    Classified data is classified to be used for specific purposes among governments and has never been meant as entertainment or ‘right to know’ of any Global citizen.

  40. I think this passage below from former Bush Advisor Matthew Dowd in National Journal, says a lot of how I feel. On a tangent, surprised that a Bush official (most of whom have proven themselves to be craven, incompetent idealogues) is articulating what I feel.

    “When as a country did we become a place where the government gets upset when its secrets are revealed but has no problem knowing all our secrets and invading our privacy?” . . . .

    In Washington’s polarized political environment, Republicans and Democrats seem to agree on a few things: That the government, in the name of fighting terrorism, has the right to listen in on all of our phone conversations and read our e-mails, even if it has no compelling reason for doing so. That the government can use machines at the airport that basically conduct the equivalent of strip searches of every passenger. That the government, for as long as it wants, can withhold any information from the public that it decides is in the national interest and is classified. And that when someone reveals this information, they are reviled on all sides, with the press corps staying silent. . . . .

    When did we decide that we trust the government more than its citizens? And that revealing the truth about the government is wrong? And why is the media complicit in this? Did we not learn anything from the run-up to the Iraq war when no one asked hard questions about the justifications for the war and when we accepted statements from government officials without proper pushback? . . .

    And shouldn’t news organizations be defending WikiLeaks and doing some soul-searching of their own about why they aren’t devoting more resources to the search for the truth? Why is it that the National Enquirer and Internet blogs sometimes seem better than they are at finding out what’s really going on?”

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/columns/common-sense/maybe-the-government-would-earn-more-of-our-trust-if-it-invaded-our-privacy-less-20101202

  41. Hrm… I didn’t know that about Assange. I consider “sex without a condom” a pretty trumped up charge. I knew about the charges in Sweden but thought he was arrested for something else outside of there. Hrm… The US can be pretty nasty when it wants to be I’ll agree. If I weren’t a US citizen I would probably feel the same way as other people about the US government. Hell, AS a US citizen my government used to disgust me on a regular basis and sometimes still does. I am no more a fan of the Patriotic Act then guy quoted (funny considering his bosses bush/cheney were the two that pushed that one thru) and I think the government has gone too far in its quest of “national security” (whatever that means anymore). One of the reason I voted for Obama is his promise to get rid of Guantanemo (not happened sadly) amongst other things. Unfortunately for the last two years his attention seems to have been mostly domestic economics (with good reason!) and shoring up the US’s badly damaged reputation around the world. Too bad this happened during his administration because all his/Clinton’s work just pretty much went down the drain. I feel more sorry for those in the foreign service who will probably be called up by the various countries to answer for the exposures of wikileaks. I pretty sure the service in Russia is probably having a hard time about now to name just one. I don’t think any ambassador likes being “invited” for what is usually a public flogging no matter how polite or diplomatically it’s done.

    I see your point regarding the news and the Iraqi War but does john q public really need to know this information to make informed decisions about our government? As far as I’ve read all the info seems more “gossipy” than anything. Also remember this info would have become available thru the Freedom of Information Act in about 20 years anyway. (Personally I want to read all the “classified” info about the Iraq War to see how much of a criminal Cheney (and his puppet Bush) were).

    I think respectable news organizations SHOULD consider the ethical implications of releasing news like this. While I value freedom of speech and freedom of the press there a boundaries. Tabloid generally don’t have any ethics. I really wish the news would stop being so “gossipy” and publish real news. I honestly cannot name a paper that I respect anymore. Hrm… maybe the Wall Street Journal? New York Times had it’s fiasco of made up stories (bad editor) and bad journalists. The Washington Post is too inside the Loop and can’t make up its mind if it wants to be gossipy or real. Ah… rueters… I still like rueters and the bbc. Associated Press sometimes…. *sigh* I used to be a CNN junkie but lost faith in them, FOX is FAUX News in my opinion, MSNBC too liberal. I miss Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw. I will occasionally watch Katie Couric but… eh… Brian Williams is ok but a little to wooden board for me. I don’t even know the name of the ABC guy. Anyone?

  42. Diane Sawyer

  43. Diane Sawyer What???
    @ OnigiriFB, You say that you don’t think John Q public needs to know a lot of stuff – well this is where Canadians and Americans differ. There is a big difference between the news that Americans in general get and what Canadians get and even Canadians have to go hunting it up. John Q Public would be much better off knowing what’s happening and perhaps then they could make good political decisions when voting, etc.

    May this be a good lesson to all politicians. Israel might have been caught out among others. Good!!!!

  44. Relax, Wendy. I was answering Onigiri’s question.

  45. Nowadays there is an easy solution to the American media. Foreign papers are easily available on line and often give a different perspective.

  46. @Wendy

    Have you ever run a business? There are quite a number of this the boss may or may not tell staff for various reasons with no ill-intent. I believe I said that from all that I’ve read so far of what wikileaks has let out I can’t see that it IS necessary for John Q Public to know. Yes the American public need to know some info to make good political decisions but in all honesty I think this will all blow over and the general American public will be saying wiki-who? after the next scandal hits the media. Hell for all we know Britney Spears will do something batshit crazy again or Lindsay Lohan and all the media will be focuses on that 23/7 with 1 hour of real news about the rest of the world.

    I’m confused are you saying Americans get more news that Canadians or vice versa. In reality I think Americans get bombarded by the news every day and it’s seems to have made people more stupider. if anything. Most would rather watch the latest (quick someone give me a popular tv show, I rarely watch tv so can’t think of anything right now) than watch the news or anything important. Half the time Americans can’t even say who our neighbor to the north is and if they can they sure as hell don’t know anything about it except perhaps that rx drugs are cheap but somehow the health care sucks there (thank you Tea Party and Republican dumbasses). Nowadays it’s not so much facts that gets someone elected but who has the catchiest easy to remember catchphrase i.e. Yes We Can! It’s the Economy, Stupid! Etc.

    Sad, isn’t it?

  47. OnigiriFB,
    Actually I ran my own business for 19 years – just retired from it this summer.
    I can’t tell you what the difference between Americans and Canadians is or for that matter the difference in the news. I can tell you that when I’m in the US I do not get the same news unless I really look for it. I turn on the nightly news on a local network and I get news for that city/county then maybe a little for the state and not very much international news. It is watered down. My American friends agree with me and watch Canadian news or BBC World New or Al Jazeera. They look might have to look for it but locally, it seems to me international news is diluted. I think Americans get bombarded with CNN which I think is about the worst news channel possible for anybody to watch. News with lots of images and not much substance IMHO! Well, there will always be differences. Wikieaks or something like that was bound to happen eventually. If it had happened on the other side of the world Americans and others would be cheering.

  48. @Wendy

    Ah, ok now I see what you mean. Local news channels are just that local news with maybe some regional or national news thrown in. Then you have the national syndicate news (Katie Couric et all) which is more national news with maybe a bit of international news. Yes CNN sucks now. I can’t watch it anymore for the very reason you stated. It started out ok. FAUX News and MSNBC aren’t much better. Like your fiends I also try to get my news from international sources BBC and the like. Google News aggregate is my friend! I think our news has gotten so bad that they keep trying to catch our attention any way they can and fail miserably. Most people I know here tune in to watch the weather and that’s about it. I watch the Today show every morning during breakfast but have noticed when I’m forced to stay home (today) that after 9 the quality goes WAY down. It becomes another tabloid/gossip type show instead of the more news type stuff 7-9am.

    If you ran your own business did you tell your staff everything, your clients everything, or your shareholders everything included the back office conversations? If you did it must have been unlike any business I’ve been are part of or my father owned and ran. I don’t know about Canada but in lawsuit happy America anything can damage a companies reputation. Why do you think Disney pays it’s victims of violence that happen in Walt Disney World Resorts’ so much? Most of it is to shut them up because they don’t want other potential guest to be alarmed or think that anything bad ever happens at happyland. There was an expose of someone who tried to blackmail them because of this reason awhile back ago.

    I’m probably more of a realist in this regard. SImply put I think the leaks damage US credibility and it’s potential to make deals/win friends. Bush already did enough to do that. The US still has more power than it probably needs but hey you never know. Everyone (ok almost everyone) still come screaming to us for help anyway. Even if they insult us, call us immoral, think we are the worse thing next to pigshit something happens and they cry for help FROM US (think Pakistan and it’s recent floods). OH US WHY DO YOU NOT GIVE US MONEY GIVE US FOOD? Why because you hate our guts and despite sending billions of dollars to your backwards country (sorry Carol) you still continue to try to play both sides on the war on terror. Thanks a lot. OH BUT WE ARE SO… And what does the US do? We hand them another check in hopes that this time they wont use it to shore up their army against India (you know the WRONG direction!) again. Sorry i’m irritated tonight. Tired of people around the world badmouthing the US while also having a hand out to us at the same time. Canada and all the rest of the countries that do not rely on American money, military, technology, etc you all are ok speak up but the rest of you sorry lot are just hypocrites. My solution we stop feeding the countries that keep trying to bite the hand that feeds them. They can sink or swim on their own. Oh wait but then people would badmouth us about that too. Go figure. *sigh*

    If N. Korea’s lunatic gets wind of something he can find insulting he will probably launch more attacks on S. Korea or Japan our allies. Even if we didn’t go to war N. Korea will/can probably blackmail us into giving it what it wants (food right now I think.). Either way it’s going to hurt US somehow and right now all we can really do is wait to see what the fallout is going to be.

    Now I’m going to bed because I can’t think of anything nice to say and Daddy tried to raise a Lady. Goodnight. I’ll probably feel back about this post tomorrow….

  49. *“When as a country did we become a place where the government gets upset when its secrets are revealed but has no problem knowing all our secrets and invading our privacy?” . . . .*
    Excellent quote, and again I agree with Madalena’s comment.

    Assange is doing nothing else as what all journalists used to do before they got owned by political factions.
    You will not have a ”watergate” now in America.
    Fox news is the worst exponent, they aren’t journalists, they are employees of the republican party.

    Assange has the bad luck of being the only one left who has not been brought, so it’s easy to go after him. And you see that no other ”independent” journalists or news agencies stand up for him and exposing the truth.
    Because they don’t exist anymore.
    Real independent journalism is dead.

  50. Btw, I can’t help noticing that while the ”free” press does not give a sound when it comes to defending Wiki-leaks, it has no scruples taking full advantage of Wikileaks’ information and is turning out article after article using Wikileaks.

  51. Everyone should read this, especially those who argue for secrecy for national benefits –

    Following quotes are taken from Obama’s memorandum to executives of government. It’s a White House release –

    “The Government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears. Nondisclosure should never be based on an effort to protect the personal interests of Government officials at the expense of those they are supposed to serve. In responding to requests under the FOIA, executive branch agencies (agencies) should act promptly and in a spirit of cooperation, recognizing that such agencies are servants of the public.”

    “All agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, in order to renew their commitment to the principles embodied in FOIA, and to usher in a new era of open Government.”

    “The presumption of disclosure also means that agencies should take affirmative steps to make information public. They should not wait for specific requests from the public. All agencies should use modern technology to inform citizens about what is known and done by their Government. Disclosure should be timely.”

    It seems Obama and his administration, especially Hillary Cllinton, have forgotten their own directives and promises they made.

    If they had remembered it, by now Hillary Clinton would have resigned and Obama and company would not be persecuting Julian Assange.

    I am beginning to wonder if the US is a democracy at all that it claims to be, or whether it’s a dictatorship in disguise.

    Read the full paper here –

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Freedom_of_Information_Act/

    I am not going to come back again for quite some time. See you all.

  52. From the us perspective, i don’t see how this info is going to improve my life, this govt is bad ok so.. the last one was worse!!! it’s not like this information is of any great value to me, is going to improve my quality of life, is making me any happier so no impact on me. I still have to vote for one of the crooks..no new lovely saint is going to rise up and stand for election ….
    Now if i were a diplomat i wheeled and dealed and got something together, now doing my job is probably no longer possible …yay!!!!

    I still think we say a lot of things good or bad to get a lot of things done. we say things we expect to be private,whent hat is broken it’s hard to recover..

    I don’t know the wider implications of these leaks and as such don’t care, everyone hates everyone anyway so what else is new 🙂

    all you guys looking for transperancy should take a peek into the world of medicine… any countries world of medicine .. ha ha ha i’d like to be a fly on the wall when you crack open that world 🙂 oh i forget we don’t keep anything like that for fear of exactly this … and therby compromising our potential to help so many people

  53. @OnigiriFB,

    About privacy in my business and this applies to life in general …. if you don’t want something known then don’t disclose it. If you do then you can expect that someone may find, repeat or do whatever with that information. It is obvious the leaks snowballed into something nobody could imagine. With time I’m sure the leaks would have, or will come from other parts of the globe. The game of ‘politics’ should be exposed and for so many many reasons – e.g. Lives Lost!

    I also hear what you say about the USA, aid, etc. Americans are not the only country who provide aid to others or even come to the aid of others but sadly it’s the country we most hear about. You can’t talk about being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, strongest country, best whatever and not expect people are going to be asking for things. I agree about aid money . Dambisa Moyo speaks very strongly on the subject of aid for Africa and how it doesn’t work. Here’s one of her articles and I don’t know how to make it a live link.

    http://eastafricapi.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=262:stop-giving-aid-to-africa-its-just-not-working-&catid=85:opinion&Itemid=269

  54. Just reading Al Jazeera on-line news now and they have some interesting articles about WikiLeaks!

  55. Daisy…
    What are you talking about? Unless I am reading it incorrectly Obama is saying he is in favor of disclosure…why are you down on him for saying what you have been wanting him to say?

  56. Somehow aid to the world…any aid…gets swallowed up in a big black hole of corruption and very little actually gets to the people. I try to be VERY careful who I give to for that exact reason…

  57. I am all for SOME transparency…I am angry at the USA for some of it’s dirty dealings. I think things can be done without of a lot of back door shady situations. The USA as a world leader IMO has a responsibility to handle itself with integrity and lead with dignity…I feel hurt that at one time the USA was very valued by the world and now they think we are no better than pigs. The PEOPLE want good honest leaders. I don’t agree with everyone who says that the USA does nothing good. I don’t believe that. I think at the heart of it the USA has it’s own interests at heart as do all other people/nations. I also think that they want democracy in the world because it is IMO the best way to govern a country. Not perfect for sure, but the best system out there at the moment. Somewhere along the way the USA has lost it’s moral compass on how to ACHIEVE that and that makes me sad…the world has enough corrupt places. We need at least a few that are less so.

    While I don’t think that Julien’s way will work and I believe it will drive the behavior underground more than anything if it does turn out to provide more transparency (within reason as I agree with Onigiri that people do not need to know every detail…they have neither the training or the background to understand some of it.) that would be GREAT…problem is I don’t believe in my heart it will. All people who are used to doing business behind closed doors will not all of a sudden open up their doors to all the eyes of the world to see. They will find a way to keep it quiet even more so than before. There will be fewer people in the chain of command, less transparency WITHIN governments, people hedging what they say to each other and I think it will slow down business within governments. Will people actually tell each other the TRUTH… I have doubts as they don’t want to relive this mess. So I believe even though there is a lot of slime in government this exposure will not make the guys at the top more open and honest. It will make them even more distrustful of each other and impede any diplomatic processes. Remember I said if it makes things better than Assange will be a hero in my book, but I don’t believe it will.

    I feel he has been very irresponsible in what he has done. More importantly in the WAY he has done it. Embarrassment is no big deal and a little could be good to shake things up as Moq said. I was glad to see that the Islamic countries are two faced and selling the “bad america” thing to their people while colluding with us. But it also made it clear to me that the USA does have a reason to worry and have been honest about N Korea, Iran and others to the world. They have told us, the people, openly what they are saying behind closed doors…for me there is comfort in that. their public and private story matches grossly. It makes me feel happy that the USA is not out to nuke Iran tomorrow even though a great deal of pressure was brought to bear on them by the MENA…. My biggest problem is that Assange did not protect things/people he should have.

    Imagine you went to your government with secrets that could be very dangerous to the powers that be in another country…you are plain old citizen X simple citizen of your country with nothing to gain from telling other than heroic patriotism…and maybe a few $$$$$ (which i have no problem with). Along comes Assange and spews all that info and where the government got their information. You may not have anything happen to you but you now can never ever live a secure life unafraid…you never know when and if someone will kill you for your info. You are not one of the big guys with security…you are vulnerable. ( I am thinking of all the little guys, ordinary people that cooperated with the USA and allies)

    Or why is he telling what installations are important to not only the USA but other countries…that has NOTHING to do with dirty dealings and back door secrets…but it very much has to do with the functioning of a country and the safety of it’s people. There are things that should not be revealed…if it has nothing to do with transparency why do it?

    Imagine that you, little citizen X, have your bank records, credit card info and the like leaked onto the internet for all the world to see…is this responsible? If he did that (he is going to reveal a bank) then Assange is making a LOT of problems for innocent people who had nothing to do with any scandel that a bank might have been involved in. In order to hurt the bank he will screw millions and millions of the people associated with that bank…now your info is out there and what do you do now? You are naked and your private info is available to all to see and use in any way possible that they choose. Is this fair to you and all the others who trusted that bank? How does this make him any different than a terrorist…he is a cyber one…he doesn’t use a bomb but he uses a keyboard instead. If you are going after people to expose them, the MINIMUM you should do is protect those that will get trashed in the fallout.

    If you want to expose do it responsibly…this is my major problem with Assange. I am not so thin skinned that I don’t think the USA can take some embarrassment. He is playing God and HE chooses who to hurt and not hurt and he is being indiscriminate IMO. Reveal all you like but don’t put innocent people and others who should not be harmed in harm’s way. That makes me SUPER pissed off… journalists have gone to jail to protect their sources because it is a code that if a person speaks in confidentiality they shouldn’t get screwed for it.

  58. Radha, I would not be surprised about any filthy secret coming out of the medical world. I have no trust whatsoever in the medical world, and worse for Big Pharma.

  59. I agree about Big Pharma! Grr! They are only chasing dollars!

    Hey, this is an interesting perspective on Wikileaks from Ron Paul. He says we are asking the wrong questions and Wikileaks just reveals our “delusional foreign policy.”

  60. @Wendy

    Seriously? As a business owner you have NEVER disclosed any “for your eyes only” info to your staff? Even in life are we all 12 and upset that Mommy read our diary? No and even if we were all that info really hurts is yourself and possibly your family. How on earth do you expect the US government to run the government without any disclousure between its depts? How is the foreign service supposed to let the home office know about anything? Fly back and report everything word of mouth to every person that needs to know? It’s not as if the US disclosed this info. Wikileaks is unauthorized release of information he shouldn’t have had in the first place.

    I agree with Radha nothing leaked so far makes me want to write my elected officials and complain. Nor does it have any bearing to my liberty or pursuit of happiness. It does have on a affect on how my government that is FOR the American people protects my countries interest which could affect my liberty and pursuit of happiness.

    I NEVER said that other countries to not donate or help countries in need. I fully understand as a world leader the first place people seemed to turn to is us. So let’s speculate. If the US suddenly decided to become a protectionist country only concerned with the US needs while not accepting anything from outside the US then a lot people better be prepared to walk (less oil/protection of oil transfer, protection of treaties and countries producing oil), feed themselves (no exportation of US grown food stuff (subsized by the American people), and protect (no military assistance, monetary assistance, medical assistance, etc) themselves. As an American I do not want to see my country return to a protectionist foreign policy. Therefore it needs to build alliances, have credibility, and function. I personally think that any countries citizens need to trust the government to a certain extent. I didn’t trust the last administration but certainly had to still put up with it.

  61. Of course I’ve said things, wrote things I wished I hadn’t but there it is. As a Canadian please don’t get me going on American protectionist policies. You’re ‘supposedly non-existent’ protectionist policies have played havoc with the Canadian lumber industry, and our farmers to name two big issues. Thank goodness California voted down their latest marijuana issue or else we’d be losing that major cash crop too!! 🙂

    Of course the US does good things but they are not the boss of the world and more often or not the US comes across that way.

  62. Wendy…

    “Thank goodness California voted down their latest marijuana issue or else we’d be losing that major cash crop too!!”

    Is marajuana legal in Canada? Not sure I understand that statement.

  63. Wendy, the best weed is grown in Holland!
    😈

  64. Aafke …. NOT!!! 🙂
    Oby – no it is not legal but a lot of what is grown in BC goes south because it’s good stuff. I was joking about the cash crop but seriously, if California had legalized it Americans would be buying locally and putting subsidies on it like they do with just about everything else. 🙂

  65. @Wendy

    When I was talking about our protectionist foreign policy during i meant the time, I think the 1930s/1940s, when we didn’t want to get involved in wars etc around the world. Why do you think the US didn’t join WWII until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor years after the European front started? If you look at history you will see it was mainly after WWII that the US stepped up to be the “boss” where it could be. Some we did because people wanted our help, some because we needed to defeat an enemy (even after occupying Japan for years we gave it back to the Japanese AFTER helping that country recover from a war we didn’t want to be part of in the first place), some we did to protect our allies/interests. If Britain and Europe hadn’t lost a lot of it’s power and colonies we wouldn’t have I don’t think become as powerful as we are. We used to at least have the USSR to keep us in check and I truly hope China can fill their shoes as I think we need another superpower that can keep us in line (absolute power corrupting and all). China has not fully stepped up into the world as a superpower but they are dang close. Good for us but maybe not so good for Japan, S. Korea, or Taiwan. Since we are those there countries allies (and China has already been making territorial rumblings around there) we are going to be butting heads eventually. Right now as is I believe China has surpassed us in per capital spending on military (we’ve just been at it longer). I’ve been watching China since the late 80s/ early 90s as all the diplomats we knew said to. This was before there was any inkling that the communist rule would be relaxed allowing China to gain the power it has now.

    Of course we protect our trade! Hello, just about every country does though many now have free trade agreements. It could be worse we could be Japan that has probably the strictest trade policy I know of so that they can protect their rice farmers etc.

  66. oh and if you’ve ever read Gibbons Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire you will some of the same things happening to the US “empire”. Roman empire first began to fall because of it’s internal crumbling, bad leaders, and poor military. Then the vultures set in and I see the same thing happening to the US if we aren’t careful. I don’t think any empire is meant to last forever.

  67. onigiri…I just had that roman empire discussion today with someone.

  68. Not surprising. History repeats itself over and over and over. Humanity never seems to learn. 😦

  69. Oby said:

    “Imagine you went to your government with secrets that could be very dangerous to the powers that be in another country…you are plain old citizen X simple citizen of your country with nothing to gain from telling other than heroic patriotism…and maybe a few $$$$$ (which i have no problem with). Along comes Assange and spews all that info and where the government got their information. You may not have anything happen to you but you now can never ever live a secure life unafraid…you never know when and if someone will kill you for your info. You are not one of the big guys with security…you are vulnerable. ( I am thinking of all the little guys, ordinary people that cooperated with the USA and allies)”

    “Or why is he telling what installations are important to not only the USA but other countries…that has NOTHING to do with dirty dealings and back door secrets…but it very much has to do with the functioning of a country and the safety of it’s people. There are things that should not be revealed…if it has nothing to do with transparency why do it?”

    Your words above are what I mean by ethics and protected information. People tend to forget or ignore that for every action there is a reaction.

  70. I agree with the Young Turks

    Amazing that sex charges always happen happen the day after anybody does something the American Government doesn’t like…
    While real rapist do not get international arrest warrants after them.

    America has been killing a lot more civilians that we know of, including journalists, and we should know. We live in a democracy, there should be transparency otherwise we do not live in a democracy.
    America’s foreign politics suck, and they have sucked for many decades and it is really time the American people realize that, and for hat they need independent journalism and transparency of the American Government.
    Journalism should be challenging the government, not covering up the governments mistakes.

    Saudi Arabia has been doing a lot of insidious nasty hidden foreign politics, and it is about time the rest of the world learns about that.

    And I am all for exposing the nasty selfish games the banks are playing on us, I can ‘t wait too see what they dig up on the banks.

  71. *sigh* Aafke I so like you as a person but sometimes your comments come across as smug, sanctimonious, and idealistic. Sorry but sometimes your comments make me want to bang my head against my desk. (You could probably say that mine come off as heartless, condescending and pedantic and I won’t take offense 🙂

    I’ll agree with you that Sweden’s charges against Assange are suspect but I really don’t think Sweden has a history of being a sycophant to the US. I’d rather the authorities went after someone if there is a possibility of rape. Or would you rather that officials ignore ANY claim of rape however unsubstantiated or possibly fake? I don’t know how Sweden’s legal system works but here you do have to prove there is something suspect to get a warrant.

    Could you please substantiate this claim: “America has been killing a lot more civilians that we know of, including journalists, and we should know.”? Also WHY should YOU know or is that a generic “we”? If not what real business does any non us citizen really need to know about America? Are they in a position to change anything? Will knowing make you boycott anything with a possible American label? Even if those goods are made by American people who agree with you and want to change things? Because unless you or the rest of the world makes a LOT of noise many American who are American-centrist will not care. Unlike Saudi right now that CARES about it’s reputation because it wants a foothold in the world politics. Not saying that you can’t have your opinion so please don’t think that. You have an opinion that’s why we are talking now.

    I will never claim that the US foreign policy or government is perfect. Please don’t think because I defend the US as a whole that I condone the evils we have committed around the world. Right now I’m not too happy with it considering the WH is trying to push thru extension of the billionaire tax breaks which I don’t agree with. I also was very against the Iraq war (I thought Bush wanted only to finish Daddy’s war and never bought the whole wmd line), did not vote for Bushie in either election, and hate the right-wing political christian faction of the US political system. I did and do support the US troops because they are fellow human beings who couldn’t help that their commander in chief (Bush) sucked.

    No human being is so therefore no human institution is perfect. Think about it your own countries history which cannot be said as perfectly humane either. I think our free media (even with all it’s faults right now) and some transparency is a good thing which at this time is easier merely because the explosion of the internet. (But that’s got its faults too, too many idiots posting things as if they were authorities on the subjects they quack on and full of bias *cough* huffington post, ALL the republican bloggers *cough* Er, me! And if you think the media is covering up for the government here you are sadly mistaken. Biased yes, government stooge no. Nowadays beside the main mass media there are citizen journalist (bloggers etc) out there now so I think it’s going to be harder to hide anything like watergate, clintongate, etc. The problem more lies in the fact the old media and new media are highly biased as opposed to “old” days where they imparted fact and let us be the judge. I can understand why since the general American public isn’t that bright (there’s a problem when the media have to write as if everyone has the comprehension level of an 8 grader and even then people don’t seem to get it *face palm*). Sorry stupidity irritates me.

    I agree the KSA has a horrible political-social government. And yes people around the world need to make noise about it mainly because average Saudi citizens do not have the luxury of free speech we do in the West. I’m not even sure I could see Saudis having respected protest that we can have in the West. If I remember right its news media is still state controlled. Also Saudi responds to world wide condemnation and embarrassment. (The US kind of turns a deaf ear to all of that ex. Iraqi war be that a good or bad thing. Heck the US government tends to ignore its own citizens criticism)

    Personally I’d like to turn the next witch hunt on the pharmaceutical companies and the big food industrial complex that has it’s fingers in the FDA and other government entities that are SUPPOSED to be unbiased.

  72. @OnigiriFB,

    “America has been killing a lot more civilians that we know of, including journalists, and we should know.”? Also WHY should YOU know or is that a generic “we”? If not what real business does any non us citizen really need to know about America? Are they in a position to change anything?”

    I think you are forgetting that the US needed international cover to invade Iraq, I was actually in England at the time Bush was going on his public offensive to drum up support for the war. It was a big deal in England. You also forget that the US went to the UN and lied about the WMD. If the opinion of the world did not matter, then the Bush administration would not have went through the trouble.

    I also, believe journalists have forgotten their role in discovering the truth. The US military has developed a very effective strategy to nullify the role of Journalist. We have a new phrase added in the last 3 wars (Iraq1, Afghanistan, and Iraq2) “Embedded Journalists” . Yes, our journalist just became a tool of the military. They ride with military units. They only see what the military wants them to see. They report from the military perspective.

    I am an American and I do see this as a dangerous development. What Wikileaks did is no different than Journalists used to do in the past. They pursue information and offer it to the public.

    By the way your idea on turning towards big pharma, would not work either. The reason is big news organizations have gotten so addicted to advertising dollars from the large corporations, they do not dare challenge them. The next time you watch CNN, check the percentage of drug commercials.

    Real journalism is dead in the big news media. We are left with only small groups on the internet trying to cover the gap. Yes, Wikileaks may not apply the same editorial ethics of real news organizations of the past, but the sad truth it is the only real form of independent information gathering we got.

  73. Charges against Assange were originally thrown out by Sweden. They were revived again and you can bet they were revived under pressure. Sweden is no different from other countries. When push comes to shove they will bend under pressure. Regardless, I think WikiLeaks will continue.

  74. Amen to that MoQ!

  75. No doubt the pressure has something to do with Assange turning himself in, but as someone said Sweden is not a puppet of the USA. I think it is possible that Sweden used the advantage of him being under such extreme pressure that he was willing to turn himself in to address the rape issue. However, I couldn’t help wonder to myself what NONTRANSPRENT back door wheeling and dealing between authorities and his lawyer got Mr Transparency to turn himself in…kind of ironic if true. Let’s see if he is willing to tell.

  76. @MoQ

    you have a good point but I disagree on this:

    “I think you are forgetting that the US needed international cover to invade Iraq, I was actually in England at the time Bush was going on his public offensive to drum up support for the war. It was a big deal in England. You also forget that the US went to the UN and lied about the WMD. If the opinion of the world did not matter, then the Bush administration would not have went through the trouble.”

    I think Bush didn’t want the world’s opinion but he wanted allies (really the military, money, etc those other countries had) but mainly he wanted to the world and Americans to THINK that it wasn’t an American war. He failed miserably just like he failed in most things of his two administrations but sadly took down some I truly respected with him. Colin Powell just to name one. Bush Jr.s second administration is the one that truly held power covertly first and openly later.

  77. as to the big pharma/food industrial complex I know 😦 *sigh* it always comes down to money and power. ALWAYS! The mass media won’t take down a lot of things because they have been just as corrupted as the rest of the world (governments, business, ngos, etc). If I truly thought about it I’d cry and lament on the humanities downfall. But I keep hope that human ingenuity will find an out.

  78. @OnigiriFB,

    We are in agreement on facts, just different conclusions. For allies to support Bush, their people’s opinion matters. The NATO countries would not have joined if the war was extremely unpopular. So the point is when it comes to US foreign policy, wars, etc. any individual in the world can criticize us. In the case of citizens of countries who are part of US alliances, their opinion can matter in a significant way.

    We cannot reject other people’s opinion about the US actions and then expect that we should be vocal about issues of Saudi as an example. Our government has not acted responsibly and we should know and hopefully develop a better understanding in the future, so this is not repeated. I for one want to know all the ugly details, not to weaken the country, but to have our citizens well informed when the next Bush beats the drums.

  79. I hate pharma, actually i hate phara pushing us drs. We can always ignore them but i have patients who like thm, who get taken in by advts an dalso by webMD and choose to come to me only to justify their diagnosis … sorry my rant 🙂

    We try and fight pharma as much as we try and fight insurance ( in the us they are a big pain and a scam ) .. you have to be in the profession ot know how muchthey suck.i hate pharma but they also spend a hoge amount of money on r&D so for the new drugs i will put up with them, sue they are after money ..who isn’t..

    As for Assange..i don’t know what to think, when i have a private conversation with someone and i tell them it’s private , i’m going to be mightily pissed if a 3rd person gets a hold of my conversation an d[publishes it to the world. sure my privacy is diff from the govt’s privacy ,still i don’t know how transparent the govt is, not very i think ,but in cases of diplomacy if the US is transparent and the rest are not.. does it really make sense to show all your cards.. as for public there are highly intelligent ones, normal ones andthose that should in my opinion have NO ACCESS to anything – the destructive kind..

  80. Onigiri, most has already been answered by

    Well, I understand that according to the new information uncovered by Wikileaks, there have been 15.000 more civilian deaths than officially reported.

    There is a video where the crew of an Apache helicopter shoots down a group of people on the street, including a few children and I think 2 Reuters journalists.
    Where is the journalistic outcry over two of their colleagues being gunned down?

    And, yes, that was a generic ”we”.
    It is ”us” nowadays, we are all connected.

    I don’t know about Sweden, but their politicians are as spineless as the Dutch ones, and I do know that the Dutch spineless politicians have been weak enough to sign a very unequal treaty with America, so now America can demand extradition of people they would like to punish, even if they live in the Netherlands and did nothing wrong according to our laws, but it doesn’t swing the other way around, no chance America will deliver any kind of criminal to us if we want them.
    So Assange better not come for asylum to the Netherlands because the next day he would get a one-way ticket to the US!

    Maybe Wikileaks will get a whistleblower to explain to us what pressure America put on Sweden to re-instate the dismissed allegations against Assange.
    Now I am all for it to have rapists severely punished, but have you read the actual allegations? They sound pretty silly, and were therefore dismissed immediately. Apparently that judge was not ordered to make a big business out of it.

    And have you noticed that whenever anybody goes against the American government the next day there is a sexual assault crime filed against them? Maybe they should think of something else next time. It’s getting a bit too obvious.

    Actually I agree with a large part of your comment.

    And it’s definitely high time Big Pharma and it’s employees in the FDA get spotlighted!

    Those pharmaceutical advertisements on tv in America are just too weird!

  81. @Moq

    “We are in agreement on facts, just different conclusions. For allies to support Bush, their people’s opinion matters. The NATO countries would not have joined if the war was extremely unpopular. So the point is when it comes to US foreign policy, wars, etc. any individual in the world can criticize us. In the case of citizens of countries who are part of US alliances, their opinion can matter in a significant way.

    We cannot reject other people’s opinion about the US actions and then expect that we should be vocal about issues of Saudi as an example. Our government has not acted responsibly and we should know and hopefully develop a better understanding in the future, so this is not repeated. I for one want to know all the ugly details, not to weaken the country, but to have our citizens well informed when the next Bush beats the drums”

    Hrm. Ok I get what you are saying. What I am saying is that more than the world’s opinion and their effect on their governments opinion I truly believe what Bush was doing was to justify the war to the AMERICAN people and congress so they could give him permission to wage wart. Remember unlike the uncommonly quick Afghanistan war that rode the wave of American anger the Iraqi war had to pass a sceptical congress (if I remember right) and American people who were leary of getting into another war when we were still warring with Afghanistan. After Iraqi war I Americans I think thought other wars would also be over as quick as that one (what was it 2 months after months of troop buildup?) but turns out the AW turned into a long war. That makes Americans who remember the Vietnam war leery of getting bogged down. So in 2003 (I believe thats when the QW2 started?) Bush had to really do some quick stepping to get congress to agree to another war. No country likes a war on two fronts. If I remember there were already protest about the US going to war in Iraq again for what seemed like no reason. I certainly remember him talking about wmds and thinking that was crap.

    Let me clarify. All people are welcome to criticize any country no matter what their opinion or where they live. I firmly believe in freedom of speech. In this particular situation (speaking only about wikileaks) I was truly wondering if there was any info leaked so far that anyone’s opinions (unless they were American who can immediately speak up to the government and hope they would listen) have an affect on how the US government’s foreign policy works. Even if it were criticism about US foreign policy it’s still the US governments main purpose of protecting and serving American citizens. So basically if someone complains and it’s still in the best interest of the American people or it’s the something the American people still want it’s not really going to do anything. Agreed? But I would never try to shut anyone up. I am still in the opinion that NO government can function on 100% IMMEDIATE transparency (again from what I understand this all would have been available after 25 years) it just doesn’t work that way. If it did we’d NEVER have the upper hand in any negotiations because the other country would always be able to find out what our true position is. So I think the government can keep something as “need to know”.

    As to criticizing KSA I think we are both in agreement that the world NEEDS to voice it’s condemnation because it WORKS. And again Saudi citizen sadly do not have the same freedom of speech/protest/media? so I would hope that at least some of them appreciate that the world will take notice and make condemnations as needed. What I was basically saying is that Saudi right now cares about the world’s opinion because it wants to join world politics. The US is already established as the sole (not for long) superpower we do not NEED for people to have good opinions of the US because we are ALREADY part of world politics, IMF, World Trade Federation (or whatever it’s called the world bank thingy) and any other International organization. So I honestly do not see how other people of the world besides American being able to influence our foreign policy unless perhaps EVERYONE is united against something the US does. I highly doubt that will happen.

    @Aafke

    Another thing to hate Bush for I believe it was his administration that relaxed the regulations on Big Pharma advertising. It’s got to be a headache for drs. I know it’s a headache for the insurance co (I work for a midsized one every tells us we are the nice one) when our members demand highly priced non generic drugs but get upset that they have to pay more than generic drug. Heh.

    Republicans IMO have a LOT to answer for in their quest to cuddle up to big business. There has been so many regulations relax that it almost seemed like business could function as if this were the wild west. And then they have the nerve to complain about Obama bailouts when they were the ones that wrecked the countries economy or at least help it be wrecked by the big banks and their gambling.

  82. @OnigiriFB,

    I will start with your last statement then work through some of the rest.

    “So I honestly do not see how other people of the world besides American being able to influence our foreign policy unless perhaps EVERYONE is united against something the US does. I highly doubt that will happen.”

    That conclusion falsifies your initial premise. Which was that Wikileaks revealing information, gave away US secretes making it hard for the US to do deals with other countries. Now if the rest of the world does not matter, then Wikileaks revealing such information would not be an issue, would it.

    Just for the record, I believe the rest of the world and the opinions of others really matter in a global economy and in forming alliances.

    “As to criticizing KSA I think we are both in agreement that the world NEEDS to voice it’s condemnation because it WORKS.”

    I do agree that Saudi should be condemned by the world for its treatment of its citizens. We as Americans have a lot of freedoms and for the most part we do very well in the issues of liberties. However, that does not relieve our government from the responsibility of treating citizens of other countries justly. When we started a careless war that resulted in the death of 100’s of thousands, I do expect the world to condemn us. Although not officially as governments, but we lost credibility with the people of other nations and it matters in the long run. We should not do a Medina and bury our heads in the sand out of a feeling of patriotism. I feel that patriots are the ones that accept responsibility and change their countries for the better.

    “Even if it were criticism about US foreign policy it’s still the US governments main purpose of protecting and serving American citizens. So basically if someone complains and it’s still in the best interest of the American people or it’s the something the American people still want it’s not really going to do anything. Agreed?”

    No i do not agree in multiple levels:

    1) it is not in the American citizens interest for the world to think of us as an aggressive nation that does not care about others.
    2) it is not in the best interest of the American citizens to be ill informed about the actions of our government and for corporations and the US military to manipulate our journalists.
    3) It is not in the American citizens interest for our government to start a war based on false information and we have no impartial press to offer a counter statement. We lost less than Iraqis did in this war, but our losses are still significant. Theses include 6000 dead soldiers, countless American contractors (not included in the official statistics), 10’s of thousands injured or suffered mental trauma, and trillions of dollars in debt ruining our economy.
    4) It is not in the best interest of the American citizens for our government to align its foreign policies, including waging war, with the interests of major corporations like Halliburton…

    Etc.

    My point is we lost the journalistic integrity of the past. Where news organizations actually pursued the stories and provide a balance. The information that Wikileaks provided would have been considered a treasure by any respectable news organization in those far gone days. The only difference is news organizations would have had the resources to weed through the information, analyze it and may be have some discretion about some sensitive info, then provide the results to the American people in easy to understand chunks. I still prefer that over Wikileaks dumping raw info. Actually, that is exactly what our media is doing now. They are taking the raw info provided by wikileaks and analyzing it. The difference is the cowardly media can have cover in this case. They can say t their corporate sponsors and the US government, look its not us that brought this info forward.

  83. @MoQ

    “That conclusion falsifies your initial premise. Which was that Wikileaks revealing information, gave away US secretes making it hard for the US to do deals with other countries. Now if the rest of the world does not matter, then Wikileaks revealing such information would not be an issue, would it.

    Just for the record, I believe the rest of the world and the opinions of others really matter in a global economy and in forming alliances.”

    Hrm, perhaps it would help to explain that I am separating the common citizens (john q public) from official government. While I firmly believe in We The People I’m cynical in thinking that We The People’s opinions for countries around the world have that much sway their various government (maybe this is too American-centrist here because I think We The People in America can have a difference i.e. the squeaky wheel gets the oil and Americans can be LOUD!).

    From my perspective of an Asian-focused wanna be diplomat (my focus is far east not India/Near East or ME whatever the PC term is now) I do not see China’s citizens really being able to do anything to change their government, that Japan’s non-functioning government with it’s merry-go-round PMs and submissive citizens will even SAY anything critical, feel S. Korea’s citizens are quite loud on KOREAN internet not Engrish sites but S. Korea needs us to keep N. Korea and ultimately China in line. SE Asian is quiet, Thailand still digging out from it’s 4 years of political upheaval for it’s citizens to even pay attention to much of the global community, Malaysia/Singapore/Indonesia have large Muslims populations who at worst hate on sight or at best are apathetic (I could be wrong since Muslim countries are not my strong point). Burma=totalitarian junta.

    The ME’s citizens don’t have much a voice.(Though I will defer to know superior knowledge of Muslims/ME/terrorist here.) India… hrm… don’t know how well citizen voices get heard there it’s still very poor with a growing middle class. Europe, ok Europe is vocal and thank God (they did wonders keeping us knowledgeable when our media left us in the dark regarding the IW). Though I have to say the UK is mostly just our, not doing so well, big brother and followed us like a good little boy into both the AW and IW2 and are still there I think.

    Now you will have to excuse me because I don’t care much for S. America so do not pay any attention to S. American politics/countries to have an opinion about them. So to sum up a bit what the citizen’s around the worlds opinions are I do not think they will truly affect how their government deals with us except for Europe (though they can’t seem to make up their minds if they hate us or likes us so you never know.) Again I am basing this ONLY on wikileaks from which I’ve only seen info on CURRENT poly-social news. While I don’t think citizen’s opinions will sway much (with some exceptions) I think wikileaks DOES make other’s country’s GOVERNMENTs think thrice about aligning themselves with us. In the end we’ll see what the fall out is but I think the countries that hate us (Iran, envious but hoping to regain it’s lost power Russia, N. Korea’s lunatic, etc) will find some reason to make things harder for us. The countries that are apathetic about us (are there any?) may or may not care or may be swayed to the “other” side see above countries again making things harder for us. The country that like us but find out something due to wikileaks that’s critical of them or something not ideal could make things difficult for us. So that is my uneducated political armchair diplomay wannabe analysis. Now call me naive/misimformed/plain wrong but for all the world’s peoples and some government’s criticism of the US’s Iraqi war it didn’t stop the Bush/Cheney/Halliburton’s colonization of Iraq did it? Nor has it changed Guantanemo, the Afghan war, the secret arms deals to places they should go, the sneaky trading, the horrible meddling the CIA (who needs to fire every staff member and be built back from scratch), or anything else we have done wrong and not lived up the ideal our country was founded on. The world’s criticism didn’t stop us from spending billions of dollars, killing hundreds of thousands, letting loose the sectarian violence Saddam had kept in terror, give Iran a good power boost, or all the other wrongs we did in Iraq.

    Yes I agree we NEVER should have done what we did and I will criticize the last administration probably to my dying day. And maybe this is where we differ I can seperate the Obama administration that is still cleaning up the mess (though I do wonder if Obama’s short time as a Senator did not give him enough experience to know how to juggle the various factions like he has to now. He did pretty much go right to campaigning) and Bush’s administration. I also as a whole do not have a problem with democratic governments maybe because I’m a democrat? I don’t like big government but I’ll take government over nutjob individuals/white Christian majorities who want to turn the US into a Christian utopia or wants to cause the Apocalypse I can’t figure out which yet or apathetic Americans who cares about nothing but the latest Lindsey Lohan scandal. Without the government I feel racism, sexism, gay hating, discrimination for “name a minority” would have a more sway on society and our government say circa 1950s.

    As an disabled Asian American I am well aware of how white/”normal” I am not. And lucky fos us after majority Americans hating Chinamen in the 1800s we East Asians became a more ‘quaint” funny looking good food minority that’s relatively harmless compared to the welfare black women/criminal black men/job taking dirty hispanics, and terrorist Muslims. Not my opinion btw I’m quoting Republicans or at least rightwing Republican/Teabaggers that sadly I personally know. I am also aware that for minorities it wasn’t as much of We The People for us pre-1970s and the US still has a long way to go to being a truly equal (gender, race, sexual choice, etc) country. While compared to KSA we look like angels but I still expect more from a country whose ideal is supposed to be equality for ALL.

    Now I will admit I have not read much actually wikileaks documents but of the news articles I’ve read so far the info seems to me to be nothing more than straight-forward critical analysis about various countries around the world ex. Russia=mafia state that is corrupt etc. If there is something about the Iraq war and Bushies horrible administrations in wikileaks then yes I’d like to read that. Please point me to the nearest wikileaks page if that be the case.

    However, i have to and perhaps this is my optimistic side that this administration i HOPE (too much time on the Obama campaign maybe? Yes We Can!) that it isn’t going to throw us under the bus like Bush Jr’s two administration and the Republican lackeys who help him by driving the bus really fast over the American public. If you are talking more about the transparency of government BY the government I will agree to an extent. Wikileaks IMO is nothing more than an unethical infodump of someone using stolen information in attempt to undermine the US foreign policy and diplomatic corp. I see him as probably similar to some of the more extreme liberal factions of the democratic party (political environmental terroist or anarchist as an example) that I hate just a little less than I hate the extreme right wing republican/teabaggers. Maybe as a Libra I crave balance in our politics too much.

    I also agree with you about the mainstream mass media. When I talked earlier about ethical journalism I was meaning more what you said. I would like to see MORE articles that have had ethical journalist/editors imparting fact while being sensitive to the info that SHOULD NOT be common knowledge. I will also agree that our government has become too much of a stooge to big business, big agriculture, and big medical/insurance/pharmacutical. The best thing we could possibly do is make lobbying a crime against humanity. As well as limit how much people can donate to those who want to get elected. Obama did great with the $100 each from a great number of people campaigning. I even think we should limit the amount of time presidents are allowed to campaign to something similar to other countries that only allow very short time frames.

    So in closing I would like to say I am enjoying this debate as I know I can trust you not to give me pat answers, condescend to me, be nice to me only because you think I’ll convert or attack me instead of the issue at hand. I commend you on your knowledge about politics, human rights, etc. I say again I will defer to you in the matter of political Islam, Muslims countries and peoples, and the like. I would also like to apologize for my wordy reply and informal debating style.

  84. Onigiri…

    Being married to an MD I can tell you Big Pharma is a BIG pain the a**. More often than not a patient has come into the office having seen a drug on TV convinced that they know what their problem is…many times they have investigated it n the internet through web MD and now they are the expert. Meanwhile, they have no understanding of the interactions drugs have with each other, how a few symptoms does not mean that they have that condition. And worst of all if my husband tries to prescribe the generic equivalent, some patients get all huffy because they want the best…what they don’t realize is that they are paying a premium for a name only…for a BRAND. Example: Ambien a sleep drug used to cost $120/30 before it’s patent ran out…meaning that they can now offer generic. Now that EXACT same drug under it’s “scientifc” name costs $15/30…do the math…when calling it Ambien it was $4.00/pill, calling it zolpidem tartrate drops that cost to $0.50/pill. Imagine the savings to Medicare/Medicaid if everyone took a generic when available. My husband does it for himself and if he does it, then I think it is fine for any patient…big pharma has sold the world a bill of goods that it HAS to be requested by name…in my next post I will get into the insane cost of chemo drugs…gotta run and get daughter to school.

  85. @OnigiiriFB,

    I do not mind heated debates. I actually enjoy them 🙂

    I do not blame the Obama administration for the wars, that is a Bush/Chaney deal. I do however, think Obama is not strong enough as a president. I am even thinking I picked the wrong person in my vote in the last election. No, I would not have voted for insane McCain, but at this point I think Hillary may have done a better job than Obama. In the situation where partisan politics is the rule and the other party is set on destroying the presidency, a more combative president would have got things done more effectively. Obama still has 2 years to turn it around or I am not voting for him again.

    This administration can actually take the info from Wikileak and work it to insure the American people understand the mistakes of the previous administration. Their focus so far has been defensive and taking the hit on the actual leak, rather than utilizing the content for their advantage. Same goes for the economy, the Obama administration in its mild manner actually allowed the republicans to take the charge and place the blame on their party for the terrible job Bush did. The result is losing the mid term election soundly.

    Now back to the media issues, I am not sure if you watched the Healthcare debate closely. The public option was attacked harshly by the republican side. There were many false comparisons with existing systems like the British system. The typical argument is they take a few well publicized cases of neglect from Britain and build a case that public options do not work. The media and the Obama administration did not even attempt to build a case showing how we have more horrible cases in the 100’s of thousands in the US, where people are denied coverage or did not even have insurance. Additionally, they always compared only against the antiquated British system. The far more successful systems of Japan and France were not even in the discussion. Both countries by the way spend far less than the US and beat us in every stat that matter (infant mortality, physicians per 1000, life expectancy, etc.)

    I watched a lot of the debates at the time and I was incensed on how our media just let such arguments by without any challenge. What is worse is the Administration did not put much of a fight either. The result was the Insurance companies won through their influence on our media (in real advertisement dollars) and the politicians (in real contribution dollars). We the people got an ineffective health plan, which does not stop the rising costs and does not provide proper coverage.

  86. @oby,

    Don’t even get me started on self diagnosis and the drugs.. i had a patient come in who told me he knows what he has and also the drugs to use unfortunately he couldn’t prescribe it himself andhence needed me 🙂 sweet …

    I have no issues with the diagnosis part, hey if you want to imagine diseases go ahead, but drugs are drugs, would you take heroin or cocaine… no ? why not these are the same, I had a patient who diagnosed himself and decided to go to a all fruitjuice diet… killer on the kidneys but hey it’s natural, and he didn’t regress so i’m okwith that type , but looking @ ads and begging for that brand makes me mad.

    and heaven help you if you get a medicare pat andprescribe generics. ” we are cheating them by not giving the best because of medicare !!!eh ”
    I wish the AMA ran massive ads informing the public that generic are the same as labelled. maybe after a few yrs it’ll sink into the brains.

  87. Radha…

    I know believe me. My husband worked in a place where they served a lot of medicare/medicaid. BECAUSE these folks were on tight budgets (elderly and welfare) he tried often to prescribe generic to save them money out of pocket if there was any…you would have thought he was the worst doctor possible. IF the name brand was better than the generic he would prescribe the name brand but if not he didn’t. He was amazed at how people were upset with him when all he was trying to do was help them. They believed the TV ads over his advice even when it was the identical drug.

    That is part of the reason health care is so expensive IMO. People want the latest and greatest and every possible option even when he tells them it is not needed and not indicated for their situation. I guess they figure they are paying high insurance rates why not take advantage…but that is part of the problem and WHY insurance rates are high. If it came out of their pocket each time they saw a doctor they might think twice about it. That is why I love HSA’s. I think it makes the patient more responsible for their care spending. In my husband’s office, they pay the amount of the deductible for the HSA to an employee’s account. If the employee doesn’t use it, then the money rolls over to next year. It is like a little savings account and puts the responsibility into the patient’s hands. This year the deductibles are going to be about $2500.

  88. I can relate only to well to what Oby and Radha have stated about prescription drugs. It is my understanding that medicaid requires generics to be prescribed. Where medicaid can limit a patient is if a doctor prescribes a prescription and medicaid declares “that” prescription is too expensive (even if generic) and a replacement prescription is offered because it is cheaper (also another generic). I am speaking from firsthand knowledge as my oncologist made out a new prescription to help alleviate bone and joint pain due to the cancer. He wrote this prescription because what I had been taking was no longer working as effectively. However the new prescription was denied due to cost and ironically the alternative offered was the one I was already taking! As a result my doctor increased the dosage of what I’ve been taking.

  89. @Oby

    Yeah, I see what you are saying. I’m going to explain a bit so if you already know this then just skip it. I will also say that I am not so much defending big pharma but trying to give another side of the story.

    Ok, I work in the medical/dental/life/STD insurance area of a mid-size to large company in the MidWest. Like insurance companies pharmaceutical companies run on a similar business platform. We the American people unfortunately have to pay for the R&D cost of the drugs sold around the world. The reason we pay so much is that we are subsidizing the cost of creating that drug (and all the millions of drugs that do not even make it market or pass the strict FDA approval procedures) whereas the rest of the world just has to sit back and wait and buy them. Now to take that Ambien as an example that was $4/pill while the patent was still in effect. It takes YEARS if not DECADES to bring a medication on to the market. So while it may seem that Lilly (I think that’s the co. that made Ambien forgive me I’ve wrong) is making $3.50/pill if they spent as long as most companies do on any drug from conception to research to development to trials (animal and human) to FDA approval then the cost that company bore for the last decade or so needs to be recouped somehow. While I understand the anger at what seems to outsiders making money on other peoples pain and sickness I thoroughly understand that it’s a BUSINESS not a charity or NGO. So out of that 3.50 per Ambien I’m willing to bet that Lilly-Pfizer(?) makes about .30 cents or less if you minus all the cost that the company had to absorb for the last 10 or so years it took to bring that drug to market. I’ve known HUGE companies that only work on getting a drug (not R&D) just to get FDA approval that went bankrupt after 10 years of working on ONE drug when it was found that the phase 2 human trials showed the drug’s adverse reactions were too great to justify taking that drug. Overnight it went from strong company (100s of employees) with lots of investors to bankruptcy. And that is normal for drug companies. It’s rarer than you think to see a drug that gets to the final stage (on the market) or even becoming a bestseller/high rx’d drug. So when you see what the gamble drug companies do it kind of make sense as to why the drug prices are when they still hold patents are so high. If drug companies are anything like the insurance companies then they mostly make their money from good investing of the premiums then the actual premiums themselves.

    On the insurance end many people do not understand that insurance companies first have to answer to their investors (not a bad thing per se) then to their clients (the small/large companies that contract with us) THEN their members. Member are often not aware that it’s not the insurance companies themselves that often deny procedures/drugs but that the contract their company agreed to is the reason for denial. They think they are paying for a product instead of insurance (there’s a difference). Members also do not understand that most insurance companies employ 100s of actuaries that have the sole job of figuring out risk per dollar ratios.

    That was my BIGGEST problem with the whole health care debacle (it wasn’t really a debate) is that there was too many ignorant claims being made when if you understand the BUSINESS of insurance you would not make. While I understand the possible life-threatening denials that anger members we often have to do that because we have to answer to our clients (their employers) without letting it be known that it’s mostly the client’s fault. Also our decisions are not always made by non medical people. We (my company) employs hundreds of nurses and have thousands of consultants who are also peers of the drs that rx’d or treated the patient, i.e. if you see an oncologist we have an oncologist review your claims if it’s something that could be iffy. Every insured person can appeal any decision made by their insurance company within a federally mandated time frame (60 days from notification of medical claim decision). You usually get 3 appeals and if it’s necessary we use 3 different medical consultants to review that claim. Keep in mind that the premiums you pay are first to your company then the company pays us yearly (when they renew the contracts with us) and they (the hr admin/CFOs/CEOs/broker/sales agent) are the ones that agrees on contracts. There are contracts out there that will just about pay for ANYTHING but the employess of that company are paying higher premiums for those cadillac type plans. Oh an that’s only for fully insured plans if it’s a self-funded plan (where your company pays for all the medical cost and the insurance co only administer the plan) then it’s the clients that dictating what “insurance'” companies pay. (There are unethical insurance co but I am only basing my opinions on my own company). One thing I liked about the HCR law is that it made it a law that forces the insurance companies to use a medical loss ratio. Which means basically that for every 80 cents of the premium dollar that has to go to medical expense the remaining twenty can be used for administrations (and it’s COSTLY to administrate ANY type of insurance). Sadly that same law is what is making my co close the medical insurance side of the business (we still are keep the others since the HCR only affects medical). We are too small nationally to be able to absorb all the cost it will take to maintain that medical loss ratio and still keep to our company code of ethics. (Other large companies *cough* Kaiser *cough* pad their bottom line by claiming certain medical cost instead of admin/profit so make more money and that isn’t how my company wants to operate.)

    So while I can empathize with those who’ve had bad experiences with their medical insurance (I’ve had to deal with bad ones too with prior crappy plans and a chronic medical condition that currently needs 8 medications just so I can get out of bed in the morning) I can also see the sides of the ethical insurance companies out there. I did not agree to the whole public option that was briefly on the table with the HCR law simply because I’ve seen how Medicare/Medicaid works. THEY SUCK!!!! They do not pay nearly enough to doctors, hospitals, or to even their own members. Many doctors refused to treat patients with medicare/medicaid simply because they aren’t going to get paid enough to keep their practices open if they do. I wish all the people who wanted the public option had a chance to really LOOK at what/how Medicaid/Medicare is run to see what your potential public option would have been. No thank you! As to Japan and other countries that have nationalized health care you do realize WHY American health care is often better (people wouldn’t travel here if it weren’t ex. King Abdullah) then others found around the world don’t you? Personally while I would trust a Japanese doctor with things like the common cold I would NOT trust them to adequately care for me with my medical condition that often needs a specialist who keeps up on medical innovations/new drugs to treat well. The Japanese medical training is NOT what I would call er…. hrm… let’s just say up to par with American doctors. (They rely too much on rote memorization even in MEDICAL SCHOOL and do not seem to have anything like the AMA journals.) If you doubt me go see a Japanese dr in Japan that may have just cost you nothing (but you pay a high tax for) to see and realize how many dumb RXs they make you take just to get rid of a simple viral infection that a good American doctor would just give you a Z-pak for. It’s like 4 to 1. The reason? Japanese doctors have to find some reason to get paid by the state so they often have multiple appointments when you would have had just one in America.

    That being said. I would like the American public to see the things big pharma does that IS unethical (pushing meds thru without reporting the adverse sided affects, etc, the “bribing” of the FDA, etc). I do not think it’s ethical of Phama to advertise as they do. And here ties to wikileaks in that sometimes it’s not ethical to release some info. I do not want a government to work like big business where dollars are the bottom line and they have to basically advertise to get anything done. The whole health care debacle would have been better if it did not have the teabaggers influencing ignorant people. The State Dept trains or at least hires educated people that need various info to be able to do their jobs wells. Unintelligent or at least those who aren’t trained in international politics or laws tend not to make the same correlations (not a bad thing sometimes) that those trained in poli-sci do. Or they take it out of context or only look at the small picture.

    Sorry to be pedantic but I spend all day trying to explain to clients, providers, and members HOW insurance really works. I’ve had to deal with the most ignorant ranting and raving ever (from clients, doctors, and patients) and that tends to make me irritated. I hate people who assume they know all when in fact they do not anything at all. Myself included. 😛

  90. Oh I think this quote from I believe Dr. Gregory House is apropos of this conversation, “A person can be intelligent but people as a whole are dumb, stupid, and panicky.” Anyone who’s been in a natural disaster can testify how horrifying it is not so much because of the natural disaster but because how people react to them, i.e. trampling people when trying get out of a burning building. Look up the psychological research done on “human group think”. Sad. Very sad.

  91. im sticking with coolreds comment…gia in jed

  92. This was in a local newspaper the other day. I fully agree with the editorial.
    ———–
    WikiLeaks provides a good check on power.

    There was a comment spread via Twitter last week that provoked a bit of discussion. It went something like this: “They’re closing in on the WikiLeaks guy but not Osama Bin Laden. That’s really all you need to know”.

    The point being that finding the man who has disseminated thousands of pages of ‘confidential’ U.S. based war documents via WikiLeaks was much more important than finding the man who is planning and leading terrorist attacks on the Western World.
    Julian Assange’s latest release of thousands of emails and cables sent the U.S. into a tizzy – for good reason. If the ‘most powerful nation in the world’, as it is keen to call itself, can’t keep it’s secrets safe then who will trust it?
    Now of course the reality is that no countries fully trust each other but diplomats like to think that their confidential missives are safe. That is clearly not the case.
    In fact one former aid to Prime Minister Harper is in hot water for suggesting Assange should be assassinated. He was joking and has since apologized.
    We think WikiLeaks provides a valuable check on power. That check on power comes from reminding governments that their private plans and interests may be revealed for all to see. That our leaders are often making decisions based not on what is best for the people in countries but what is best for those who rule the countries.
    The fact is, more blood has been spilled and more damage caused when citizens were kept in the dark about the actions of their governments.
    The weapons of mass destruction that didn’t exist yet were used to justify starting a war comes to mind.
    There’s also the small issue of the sub-prime mortgage meltdown and global economic crisis that was ignored by those who were in a position to see it coming.
    If knowing information means preventing war and economic collapse, we say Long Live the Leaks.

  93. “We think WikiLeaks provides a valuable check on power. That check on power comes from reminding governments that their private plans and interests may be revealed for all to see. That our leaders are often making decisions based not on what is best for the people in countries but what is best for those who rule the countries.
    The fact is, more blood has been spilled and more damage caused when citizens were kept in the dark about the actions of their governments.
    The weapons of mass destruction that didn’t exist yet were used to justify starting a war comes to mind.
    There’s also the small issue of the sub-prime mortgage meltdown and global economic crisis that was ignored by those who were in a position to see it coming.
    If knowing information means preventing war and economic collapse, we say Long Live the Leaks.

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    Hrm.... I guess I didn't realize the US government is for OTHER COUNTRIES people...

  94. […] Comments onigiriFB on Saudi Arabia/USA: Analysis and…Wendy on Saudi Arabia/USA: Analysis and…Coolred38 on Saudi Arabia/USA: Analysis […]

  95. onigiri…what is it you were saying?

  96. Yes, what are you saying????

  97. Er…. what the heck? That is DEFINITELY not what I wrote. Hrm…. I think I said something along the lines of I didn’t know the US was supposed to act FOR OTHER COUNTRIES’ PEOPLE. Also wonder who the US is supposed to deal with if they don’t deal with the governments of the various countries and why we are blamed for that countries’ government’s corruption? Isn’t the government of any countries job is to protect that countries citizen and work for them? Unless people think the US should go around toppling leaders around the world that don’t follow our ideal? That was what I was getting from the article. Sometimes I wonder if people really give the US too much credit on it’s ability to put who it want in power in whatever country. If the government of a particular country is corrupt what are we to do? I think it’s is sanctimonious of people to think oh well don’t deal with that country at all (which sometimes we do) but it’s undeniable that somehow countries need work together. Like the Musharraf(sp?) who took over Pakistan by a coup. It seemed like the US had no choice to work with him didn’t have a choice (since this was right about the time we launched the war in Afghanistan and we needed Pakistan’s help) on who it got to deal with. Usually the US is quick to condemn any takeover by coup in a democratic country, ex. Thailand. I can agree that I do not like the US delving or trying influence any other countries government (whether the intentions are good or bad). Again though the US is supposed to be working FOR THE (American) PEOPLE. I’m sure the US isn’t the only country that has read “how to influence people and win friends”.

    Also so many people (Michael Moore who bailed Julian out) point out that if we knew this info before the Iraqi war things would have been different. Since I firmly believe the WMD was a made up claim EVEN BEFORE WE WENT TO WAR I think Bush/Cheney would have found SOME WAY to take us to war because it was never about some “humanitarian” reason. If I recall correctly it came out YEARS later that various government workers (Val Palmers husband to name one) and various governments (France) already knew it was trumped up. Personally I think it was a sense of Bush’s administration (taken from Bush 1’s reign) of not having finished what it was supposed to do in the first Iraqi war (remove Saddam). Also I think the Iraqi war was more about keeping the military industrial complex in business and it’s owners *cough* Cheney *cough* rolling in blood money. So what do American people think that they would have been able to do? HOnestly?

    I personally would like to think the US keeps and upholds its ideals but reality (like Islam vs reality when Muslims try to defend it) is different. Too many people seem to be idealistic in how the US government OR any government works. So I haven’t changed my mind in agreeing with Carol that some things John Q Public (with no training, education, etc) really doesn’t need to know. Especially if that info is stolen. All this wikileaks will do is force the various government entities to keeps in secrets even MORE hidden. If people think the government of ANY COUNTRY is going to be entirely transparent to it’s citizens or other countries then I have a bridge to sell you. Still waiting btw to see any info that is not “gossipy”.

  98. Oh I forgot. I find it ironic that the same person who wants an ideal country which he thinks we fall short of (Michael Moore) also wants that same “corrupt ” government to takeover health care. Why in God’s name do you think the US government is going to do any better at universal health care (ala Medicare) than it does in running the country as it does now? Have you (generic) ever tried to file for disability in this country? It’s a painful, long, bureaucratic trying thing to do (unless you have cancer and are DYING or potentially dying). Trust me. People get denied for all sorts of reason including administrative errors. Many people have to spend YEARS trying to get money and have to appeal many times with the help of lawyers to get anywhere. Why in heaven’s name would people want a huge bureaucratic mess dealing with our decisions for health care? Too many people assume that Medicare does not deny care and that is false. I see it every day. Also Medicare doesn’t cover nearly enough (Medicaid a bit different) that’s why people often need supplemental plans. Too bad people think “free” health care is really FREE (higher taxes so not free). I talk to people all day who seem to think they are entitled to something for free or without working for it.

    Example: I spent today dealing with a nasty woman who seemed to not want to take responsibility for anything and just sit on her ass while we (my company) and the hospital she had surgery at duked it out. She was in the mind that it wasn’t her problem anymore since she was not insured with us anymore even though this was about a claim we had paid erroneously (we got addition info about it after payment so was asking for out payment back) for her a year ago. She was upset we were sending her a letter asking for payment after not getting our money back from the hospital. She couldn’t understand that it IS her responsibility and if she didn’t do anything we would be recouping the money from someone and we didn’t really care who. Even if we DID get the money back the provider all the hospital would have done was send HER a bill. I ended up dumping her problem on another dept (our couldn’t do anything anymore) but she really ruined my day.

  99. “Sometimes I wonder if people really give the US too much credit on it’s ability to put who it want in power in whatever country.”

    I was just thinking that the other day..the USA is powerful but it is not God and I think it does get blamed for stuff it has no control over or had nothing to do with. If a country is corrupt we get blamed for it and if we don’t get it cleaned up we get blamed for it and if we try to get it cleaned up we get blamed for those methods and if we work with the country as it is in trying to get other things done (admittedly sometimes subversive) we get blamed for it. It feels like there is little we can do in some situations without getting blamed.

    “I can agree that I do not like the US delving or trying influence any other countries government (whether the intentions are good or bad).”

    Meidcare is just as bad…one of my best friends told me this the other day and it infuriated me. Her son, 25, had a head on collison with an elderly woman about a year ago. The woman was at fault and dead at the scene…they are not sure what happened and surmise she may have had a stroke…anyway, he wound up in the hospital for months having surgeries trying to save his leg(might still need amputation). He was a student and had no insurance. they tried in vain to get him on Medicaid (welfare for those who don’t know…mediCARE is for the elderly. MediCAID is for the poor.) His mother, my friend, was told point blank to her face by the person in charge that her son didn’t qualify because

    1. He wasn’t an ILLEGAL alien
    2. He wasn’t a minority
    3. He didn’t have an illegitimate child (thereby needing to be on Medicaid to support a family)

    I didn’t believe this and challenged my friend on this and she told me that in her county these are the rules for qualifying for medicaid…meanwhile he is $600,000 in debt for all of his yearlong care and will probably lose his leg (and certainly be handicapped the rest of his life) because he doesn’t fall under the three things listed above. Talk about unfair and bureaucratic! Let’s reward all the ones having the babies out of wedlock and the people who enter the country illegally, but the poor guy who goes to school to better himself and contribute to society…nah…we won’t help him when he needs it. How messed up is that?

  100. Onigiri…

    “I can agree that I do not like the US delving or trying influence any other countries government (whether the intentions are good or bad).”

    Sorry…I meant to say that I agree with that statement before launching into my diatribe about medcaid.

  101. Oh don’t start on medicaid!!! Errg. I am well aware of people who are denied for not being illegal, minority (Asian don’t qualify often btw as we aren’t a “protected” minority) or have illegitimate babies. It pisses me off that the taxes I pay don’t even (often) go to the Americans I wish it would help when the government gives us the “oh woe is them” tale about. While I am a liberal I HATE that illegal immigrants (who came here by CHOICE knowing full well that the are here illegally) are using our taxpayer money when AMERICANS are not able to. That is one of the biggest reasons I have against illegal immigrants. I’m all for immigrants. Our country was built and is strong because of them no matter what race, religion, etc. I am fully in approval of accepting the world’s poor that no one else wants. I would agree to the US changing it’s difficult immigration policy. i WILL NEVER AGREE TO ALLOW ILLEGALS TO GET OFF SCOT FREE WITHOUT SOME KIND OF PUNISHMENT FOR BREAKING THE DAMN LAW. Call me heartless if you want but when liberals say “oh but they are so poor and can’t make a life in the countries they leave” I want to scream. Because often the reality is that illegals CAN live in their countries just not as WEALTHY as then can here. I also reply to them that Thailand’s people (rural) are poor to the point of having no running water, etc. You don’t have millions of Thais invading the US illegally. What makes it right for the illegals here to do so? If I had my way they would all be deported and MADE to go the proper channels (with a better streamlined immigrant policy here) to get here just like everyone else around the world has to do. Nor IMO should government funds be used by those who are basically breaking the law everyday they are here. I will be humanitarian about the children who had no choices though and say I like the Dream Act that allows illegals access to college if they agree to military service or something else..I can’t remember.

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