'Cablegate'

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Joost
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'Cablegate'

#1 Post by Joost » 29 Nov 2010 12:11

So, guys, what's your opinion about the recently leaked documents through Wikileaks? Based on what I read about it so far, I haven't found much that is truly shocking, but it's at least surprising to me that Arab leaders (the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, more precisely) are actually urging the US to attack Iran.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#2 Post by Joost » 29 Nov 2010 12:19

This is also interesting:
For example, a withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Germany and perhaps from Belgium and the Netherlands could make it very difficult politically for Turkey to maintain its own stockpile, even though it was still convinced of the need to do so.
So apparently there are, in fact, nukes stockpiled in the Netherlands. Nice that they've always been so open about that...
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

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Re: 'Cablegate'

#3 Post by ThePKH » 29 Nov 2010 15:33

As you said, nothing too shocking yet.
Apparently there are over 600 documents about Finland, and I'm rather interested to find out what they contain.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#4 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 29 Nov 2010 19:21

So far it's much ado about nothing, really. The only thing that's anything close to interesting is Arabia's stance on the nearing war with Iran.

As for US nuclear weapons stashed in this country: that's not exactly news either. It's public knowledge that they're stashed in the military base Volkel, and a simple google-search shows that it has been quite well documented in the press - through confirmations of other leaked documents and other means.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#5 Post by Skrymir » 29 Nov 2010 19:28

I read some of the ones from Munich and Berlin and I think they are quite interesting. There are actually quite a lot of negative comments about Guido Westerwelle. Almost every time his name drops. :D
Also, Horst Seehofer is called "unpredictable" and Wolfgang Schäuble is called "neurotic" and "paranoid" (source of the last comment seems to be from a FDP-intern source).

I'm not uncritical about some of the goals the US have, but some of these comments are quite right.^^

Also, I think topics like the relations to the Iran and Russia, as well as the nuclear disarment and the "anti-terror"-stuff are far away from beeing boring.

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Re: 'Cablegate'

#6 Post by somnia » 29 Nov 2010 21:31

One of our former ministers was a pedophile apparently. Not that it was a shock.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#7 Post by Sleeping Dragon » 29 Nov 2010 21:59

there's a leak from the toilet in my apartment. apparently it's not cause enough for initiating repairs.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#8 Post by ThePKH » 30 Nov 2010 00:40

Sleeping Dragon wrote:there's a leak from the toilet in my apartment. apparently it's not cause enough for initiating repairs.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#9 Post by Pure Steel » 30 Nov 2010 12:18

somnia wrote:One of our former ministers was a pedophile apparently. Not that it was a shock.
Hi Somnia, where are you from?

Our prime minister (italian one) is a complete failure... not a big news. We're all pretty sick of seeing this old man having party with underaged bitches and doing nothing for the country.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#10 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 30 Nov 2010 16:40

We're all pretty sick of seeing this old man having party with underaged bitches and doing nothing for the country
Hipocrisy. The guy's my fucking idol.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#11 Post by Led Guardian » 30 Nov 2010 23:06

The Rider Of Rohan wrote:
We're all pretty sick of seeing this old man having party with underaged bitches and doing nothing for the country
Hipocrisy. The guy's my fucking idol.
Sounds like he's been pretty idle fucking.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#12 Post by Gandalf de Grijze » 01 Dec 2010 01:15

The Rider Of Rohan wrote:
We're all pretty sick of seeing this old man having party with underaged bitches and doing nothing for the country
Hipocrisy. The guy's my fucking idol.
I really hope you are kidding there, otherwise I'm so damn happy you aren't in charge of this country
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#13 Post by Pure Steel » 01 Dec 2010 12:27

Gandalf de Grijze wrote:
The Rider Of Rohan wrote:
We're all pretty sick of seeing this old man having party with underaged bitches and doing nothing for the country
Hipocrisy. The guy's my fucking idol.
I really hope you are kidding there, otherwise I'm so damn happy you aren't in charge of this country
Me too... I really hope you're kidding.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#14 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 02 Dec 2010 19:18

Not at all. When I'm that age I hope to be doing exact the same thing.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#15 Post by Gandalf de Grijze » 02 Dec 2010 20:12

screwing up democracy by changing laws to your own advantage, not to the betterment of the common good?
bailing out little criminal girls because they have a nice butt?
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#16 Post by End Of An Era » 02 Dec 2010 21:23

:lol: come on, don't act all serious and offended. I agree, Berlusconi is a shame of a leader, but you gotta give him credit for being Il f*cking Duce and getting away with it all. I admire his power, but i do not approve. Still i stand with Rider on this: at his age, doing what he does.. ohhh yeah 8)

Besides, show me one, just one government which isn't in the slightest corrupt? :P

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Re: 'Cablegate'

#17 Post by Belgarion » 02 Dec 2010 21:41

Joost wrote:This is also interesting:
For example, a withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Germany and perhaps from Belgium and the Netherlands could make it very difficult politically for Turkey to maintain its own stockpile, even though it was still convinced of the need to do so.
So apparently there are, in fact, nukes stockpiled in the Netherlands. Nice that they've always been so open about that...
Hi, Joost. I don't know if it's still a debated subject in the Netherlands, but it's been known for some years that the Netherlands is one of the 5 NATO countries participating in the US nuclear sharing programm along with Belgium, Italy, UK and Turkey.

Here is a good source:

http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/euro/euro.pdf

and more general information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_sharing
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#18 Post by End Of An Era » 02 Dec 2010 21:54

it is widely known but the government always refused to confirm anything. ;)

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Re: 'Cablegate'

#19 Post by Belgarion » 02 Dec 2010 21:57

As for the general nature of the leaked cables so far, I didn't find things that shocking so far. On the other hand, reading the character analyses about some of the world leaders and high ranking politicians from the perspectives of the US diplomats was amusing.

Just when you think the US is controlling/overseeing the world through their unparalleled intelligence network, you come across secret documents such as these and you can't help thinking that some of the US foreign policy is actually based on the rumors and rather uneducated guesses of the US diplomats about the working mechanisms of the respective countries :)

But it should be noted that:

-Only 290 out of some 250.000 documents have been released so far. More important documents might be released any time.
-None of them are classifed as top secret.
-Just because the documents are authentic it doesn't mean they actually contain 100% true information. As said before, some significant part of the documents (I've read so far) are rather personal opinions of the US diplomants, sometimes even relying on rumors. But I guess that's how foreign intelligence works.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#20 Post by Gandalf de Grijze » 02 Dec 2010 22:03

As a matter of fact, about a year (maybe a bit longer) ago, the then minister of foreign affairs (Verhagen) had actually admitted there were nuclear weapons stashed in the Netherlands.
Nothing new and not even something that has been denied up to today.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#21 Post by Led Guardian » 02 Dec 2010 22:11

It was a bigger deal when they leaked things like the names of contacts and moles in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. Those people have families who could get killed because of that leaked information. On a practical level, it's going to be harder to get people to work against terrorists if they're afraid their identity will be leaked. :roll:
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#22 Post by Belgarion » 02 Dec 2010 22:25

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange: Document Leaks Don't Endanger U.S. Troops

"This sort of nonsense about lives being put in jeopardy is trotted out every time a big military or intelligence organization is exposed in the media. However, this organization in its four years of publishing history -- we don't need to speculate, it has a history -- has never caused an individual, as far as we can determine or as far anyone else can determine, to come to any sort of physical harm or to be wrongly imprisoned and so on. That is a record compared to the organizations that we are trying to expose who have literally been involved in the deaths of hundreds or thousands or, potentially over the course of many years, millions."
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#23 Post by Led Guardian » 02 Dec 2010 22:37

Belgarion wrote:WikiLeaks' Julian Assange: Document Leaks Don't Endanger U.S. Troops

"This sort of nonsense about lives being put in jeopardy is trotted out every time a big military or intelligence organization is exposed in the media. However, this organization in its four years of publishing history -- we don't need to speculate, it has a history -- has never caused an individual, as far as we can determine or as far anyone else can determine, to come to any sort of physical harm or to be wrongly imprisoned and so on. That is a record compared to the organizations that we are trying to expose who have literally been involved in the deaths of hundreds or thousands or, potentially over the course of many years, millions."
I'm not talking about troops, I'm talking about citizens of those countries who act as contacts. Do you really believe that if terrorists (and I mean actual terrorists from an organization, not just a general term that some ignorant Americans use as a synonym for Muslim) discovered that a neighbor was giving information about their leaders to other nations that they would not act to prevent that? I should hope not. Such people lead dangerous lives because their lives ARE in danger if they are compromised. Don't let your disapproval of American foreign policy cloud your sight.

Also, a better source would be an independent assessment of the impact of the leaks, as opposed to a statement by the person who runs the site. A statement by the man who has the most to lose should it be determined that his activities are harmful is not the person I'm going to trust about the effects of his actions. If you can find a report on the consequences that backs this up, I will lend more credence to your argument.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#24 Post by Belgarion » 02 Dec 2010 23:04

First of all, although the title of the article says "Document Leaks Don't Endanger U.S. Troops", the article clearly states that "[Wikileaks] has never caused an individual, as far as we can determine or as far anyone else can determine, to come to any sort of physical harm or to be wrongly imprisoned and so on." That obviously also includes contacts you mention.

Second, there is no "better" source as you would also agree that there are only 2 sides to the argument. The US side (including most other countries naturally disapproving of leaking secret documents and eventually denying them) and the side of Assange and his supporters that believe it's their responsibility to make people aware of what's really happening behind the closed doors.

Third, I think they don't really give away key names (apart from the names of ambassadors etc. that are not a secret) that could endanger lives. They censor such critical information by typing stuff like "XXXX" instead. Also, what would be the purpose of revealing real names? It wouldn't help their cause in any way. I would very much be pleased to be directed to any Wikileaks document that reveal such lives endangering names.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#25 Post by Led Guardian » 03 Dec 2010 00:47

Belgarion wrote:First of all, although the title of the article says "Document Leaks Don't Endanger U.S. Troops", the article clearly states that "[Wikileaks] has never caused an individual, as far as we can determine or as far anyone else can determine, to come to any sort of physical harm or to be wrongly imprisoned and so on." That obviously also includes contacts you mention.
I would contend that the context of the statement within the article implies troops, but I can accept that it includes contacts.
Belgarion wrote:Second, there is no "better" source as you would also agree that there are only 2 sides to the argument. The US side (including most other countries naturally disapproving of leaking secret documents and eventually denying them) and the side of Assange and his supporters that believe it's their responsibility to make people aware of what's really happening behind the closed doors.
That is false. There are many degrees between releasing most everything, and preventing any information from being released at all. These are the two extremes, but there are many combinations of the two in between. It is possible to be of the opinion that while some, or even most, should be released, that not all should be.
Belgarion wrote:Third, I think they don't really give away key names (apart from the names of ambassadors etc. that are not a secret) that could endanger lives. They censor such critical information by typing stuff like "XXXX" instead. Also, what would be the purpose of revealing real names? It wouldn't help their cause in any way. I would very much be pleased to be directed to any Wikileaks document that reveal such lives endangering names.
If they do in fact do that, then that is much better. I read their damage minimization policy, and it seems that they do take such things into consideration. However, they apparently have not done that with all individuals.

"The defense secretary [Robert Gates] said that the published documents do contain names of some cooperating Afghans, who could face reprisal by Taliban."

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-10-16/us/w ... s?_s=PM:US

"After the release of Afghan war documents, human rights groups criticized the publication of information that identified Afghan civilians who had assisted U.S. security and development efforts. Taliban and al-Qaida members can access WikiLeaks data as easily as anyone else.

An anonymous U.S. official told ABC News the new documents distressingly reveal the names of foreign dissidents who met with or received support from American embassies in nations with poor human rights records. “These people will disappear,” the official said."

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/articl ... 851461.php

This source seems a little biased, but these statements should be fairly reliable, as they are verifiable and backed up by the Gates' statement.

Also:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/07/ ... 5935.shtml
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 22558.html

All these affirm that yes, in spite of Wikileaks' policy, names were released, and that truly could endanger them. That is an irresponsible use of information. I support government transparency, and think that something like Wikileaks can serve an important function in revealing corrupt activity, but the organization MUST be responsible. With such sensitive material, they cannot afford to 'do a pretty good job' or 'remove most of the names of people who could be harmed.' That is just not good enough. They are responsible for considering every consequence that is humanly possible before they release information. Some of this information is not harmless, and has very real consequences beyond just revealing improper activity. Responsibility. That is all I ask for, and I am not satisfied that they are currently acting with enough of it.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#26 Post by Led Guardian » 03 Dec 2010 00:49

Led Guardian wrote:
Belgarion wrote:First of all, although the title of the article says "Document Leaks Don't Endanger U.S. Troops", the article clearly states that "[Wikileaks] has never caused an individual, as far as we can determine or as far anyone else can determine, to come to any sort of physical harm or to be wrongly imprisoned and so on." That obviously also includes contacts you mention.
I would contend that the context of the statement within the article implies troops, but I can accept that it includes contacts.
Belgarion wrote:Second, there is no "better" source as you would also agree that there are only 2 sides to the argument. The US side (including most other countries naturally disapproving of leaking secret documents and eventually denying them) and the side of Assange and his supporters that believe it's their responsibility to make people aware of what's really happening behind the closed doors.
That is false. There are many degrees between releasing most everything, and preventing any information from being released at all. These are the two extremes, but there are many combinations of the two in between. It is possible to be of the opinion that while some, or even most, should be released, that not all should be.

By "better source," I meant an assessment of what the documents released contain, and a reasonable analysis of what the implications could be, made by a reliable group without a stake in the matter.
Belgarion wrote:Third, I think they don't really give away key names (apart from the names of ambassadors etc. that are not a secret) that could endanger lives. They censor such critical information by typing stuff like "XXXX" instead. Also, what would be the purpose of revealing real names? It wouldn't help their cause in any way. I would very much be pleased to be directed to any Wikileaks document that reveal such lives endangering names.
If they do in fact do that, then that is much better. I read their damage minimization policy, and it seems that they do take such things into consideration. However, they apparently have not done that with all individuals.

"The defense secretary [Robert Gates] said that the published documents do contain names of some cooperating Afghans, who could face reprisal by Taliban."

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-10-16/us/w ... s?_s=PM:US

"After the release of Afghan war documents, human rights groups criticized the publication of information that identified Afghan civilians who had assisted U.S. security and development efforts. Taliban and al-Qaida members can access WikiLeaks data as easily as anyone else.

An anonymous U.S. official told ABC News the new documents distressingly reveal the names of foreign dissidents who met with or received support from American embassies in nations with poor human rights records. “These people will disappear,” the official said."

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/articl ... 851461.php

This source seems a little biased, but these statements should be fairly reliable, as they are verifiable and backed up by the Gates' statement.

Also:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/07/ ... 5935.shtml
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 22558.html

All these affirm that yes, in spite of Wikileaks' policy, names were released, and that truly could endanger them. That is an irresponsible use of information. I support government transparency, and think that something like Wikileaks can serve an important function in revealing corrupt activity, but the organization MUST be responsible. With such sensitive material, they cannot afford to 'do a pretty good job' or 'remove most of the names of people who could be harmed.' That is just not good enough. They are responsible for considering every consequence that is humanly possible before they release information. Some of this information is not harmless, and has very real consequences beyond just revealing improper activity. Responsibility. That is all I ask for, and I am not satisfied that they are currently acting with enough of it.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#27 Post by Belgarion » 03 Dec 2010 03:09

If they really revealed those names at the cost of endangering those persons' lives, then shame on them. There is nothing to argue here, that's unjustifiable and plain wrong.

But, as I said, critical company names and/or information sources mentioned in the US cables that I've read so far were all censored.

Examples:

¶5. (C) An AKP xxxxx and two other long-term Embassy contacts with deep relations in...

¶11. (C) Contacts such as Prime Ministry advisor xxxxx who has provided a wealth of accurate insights into...

¶1. (S) Summary. During a February 12 meeting, the Ambassador raised with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva the ongoing extradition case concerning Russian international arms trafficker Viktor Bout and serious concerns that Bout’s associates had been able to influence testimony given by [xxxxxxxxxx]. Abhisit told the Ambassador that he would address any “irregularities” in the case through “appropriate channels.” The Ambassador also raised USG concerns with the xxxxxxxxx testimony...

And I don't see why they would willingly endanger lives since there is nothing to gain by doing so.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#28 Post by Led Guardian » 03 Dec 2010 05:08

Belgarion wrote:If they really revealed those names at the cost of endangering those persons' lives, then shame on them. There is nothing to argue here, that's unjustifiable and plain wrong.

But, as I said, critical company names and/or information sources mentioned in the US cables that I've read so far were all censored.

Examples:

¶5. (C) An AKP xxxxx and two other long-term Embassy contacts with deep relations in...

¶11. (C) Contacts such as Prime Ministry advisor xxxxx who has provided a wealth of accurate insights into...

¶1. (S) Summary. During a February 12 meeting, the Ambassador raised with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva the ongoing extradition case concerning Russian international arms trafficker Viktor Bout and serious concerns that Bout’s associates had been able to influence testimony given by [xxxxxxxxxx]. Abhisit told the Ambassador that he would address any “irregularities” in the case through “appropriate channels.” The Ambassador also raised USG concerns with the xxxxxxxxx testimony...

And I don't see why they would willingly endanger lives since there is nothing to gain by doing so.
That puzzles me as well. That information is not useful. If they edit everything as they did in the quotes you provided, then that's okay, although I do think they should also consider the consequences of releasing documents before they do. If they reveal something to touchy, it could potentially create problems that outweigh the right of the people to know the actions of their government. I don't consider that right to be infinite in scope.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#29 Post by The Rider Of Rohan » 03 Dec 2010 18:40

Gandalf de Grijze wrote:screwing up democracy by changing laws to your own advantage, not to the betterment of the common good?
bailing out little criminal girls because they have a nice butt?
I wasn't talking about democracy, just about young bitches and doing nothing.
it is widely known but the government always refused to confirm anything. ;)
True. Though they didn't deny it either.
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Re: 'Cablegate'

#30 Post by spamel » 04 Dec 2010 13:00

Belgarion wrote:If they really revealed those names at the cost of endangering those persons' lives, then shame on them. There is nothing to argue here, that's unjustifiable and plain wrong.

But, as I said, critical company names and/or information sources mentioned in the US cables that I've read so far were all censored.

Examples:

¶5. (C) An AKP xxxxx and two other long-term Embassy contacts with deep relations in...

¶11. (C) Contacts such as Prime Ministry advisor xxxxx who has provided a wealth of accurate insights into...

¶1. (S) Summary. During a February 12 meeting, the Ambassador raised with Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva the ongoing extradition case concerning Russian international arms trafficker Viktor Bout and serious concerns that Bout’s associates had been able to influence testimony given by [xxxxxxxxxx]. Abhisit told the Ambassador that he would address any “irregularities” in the case through “appropriate channels.” The Ambassador also raised USG concerns with the xxxxxxxxx testimony...

And I don't see why they would willingly endanger lives since there is nothing to gain by doing so.
I feel sorry for Mr XXXXXXXX, he is well in the shit!
My mother in law is a Balrog, and I'm telling you, she has wings!

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