Tag Archives: wikileaks

On Mr. Assange and Truth and Security?

“Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards”, and “Ha, ha, I hit them”, said the crew of a US helicopter as they machine-gunned Iraqi civilians, including a child, in Baghdad. (12/07/07)

That is part of what Chelsea Manning exposed and Julian Assange published, for which they are prosecuted and punished, apparently unlike that crew.

There appear to be two types of charge against Mr Assange. One relates to rape and one to accessing information about particular behaviours of a nation’s rulers. They are both to do with security – individual, group national and international.

Security matters to all of us and our descendants, for always.

Can citizens be secure when governments connive at atrocities such as that above, work to hide them, and prosecute the truth tellers?

Security needs equitable law, proportionate and accountable force, a well-educated and informed citizenry and a courageous independent main stream media.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Observations of an ex pat: Tough for Trump

Donald Trump is in a no-win situation as regards  Russian hacking vs. American intelligence agencies vs Donald Trump.

Putin, as we all know by now, has been accused by all the American intelligence agencies (and several foreign ones) of hacking into the computers of the Democratic National Committee and leaking the contents to help Trump win the US presidency.

The Russian President has denied this as he has denied many other misdeeds. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, he channel for the leaks, has backed him up. So has Donald Trump.

On the other side of the fence are, not surprisingly, a Democratic Party in search of a scapegoat to explain the inexplicable and America’s spy nerds.

Trump can’t really say that he agrees with the intelligence agencies. To do so would leave him branded as Putin’s poodle and undermine his mandate to govern. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

Opinion: It’s time for Assange to stop using WikiLeaks as a smokescreen

On Friday, three women in Russia were handed two year prison sentences for walking into a Moscow cathedral and performing a three minute protest song about the rotten state of their government, led by one man (Putin) in some shape or other, for nearly 13 years. The verdict has been condemned by the UK, US and German governments, human rights groups and the EU, who see this as a real test of Russia’s and Vladimir Putin’s credentials as a the leader of a ‘democratic’ state, something that has been …

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Opinion: 80 million people like this

In my previous post I said I thought the role of social media in Tunisia was a bit of a red herring. I wanted to expand on that thought.

As I said on my own blog Wikileaks and social media played a role in Tunisia, and also in Egypt, but these things should be understood as helpful tools, not the root causes themselves. I thought the Foreign Policy article George Kendall cited was weak and the case for Wikileaks as a direct cause of the protests somewhat thin – even by the Foreign Policy article author’s own …

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Opinion: Interesting proposal, Mr Kendall, but who is “us”?

George Kendall’s piece on Julian Assange was quite good. If it wasn’t I’d scarcely bother replying. And no, I am not Mr Assange’s spokesman, but as Mr Assange’s spokesman is quite busy I thought I’d jump in and attempt a defence.

Firstly I think Tunisia is a bit of a red herring here, and it would in any case provide only an empirical proof to say that Wikileaks is good or bad based upon one revolution or several. It would say nothing about the general morality. I’d much rather argue from general principles, as George Kendall then goes on to do.

As I can see it there are two elements to his proof:

  1. That some things do need to be kept hidden
  2. That the decision as to what those things should be should be taken by elected leaders.
Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Diana Wallis MEP writes: Turning Julian Assange from poacher to game keeper

As Julian Assange reappears in court this week and as the Wikileaks saga continues to play out in the national media I am tempted to ask if Julian Assange is the new ‘Catch me if you can’ figure of the internet. Not the iconic image of imposter Frank Abnagale Jnr as portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in a pilot’s uniform striding through the airport with glamorous air hostesses in the film, but a correspondingly, bright, articulate and believable Robin Hood of the internet. In short: an attractive rogue with a frighteningly forensic mind.

The ending could be similar: finally captured by his antagonists having maybe taken a step too far, but with them having a sneaking admiration for him. One only has to look at the previous legal case in which Assange was involved, in Australia, where he walked free after years of prosecution attempts to obtain a serious conviction against him. In that case the judges admitted that all his hacking activities up until then amounted to nothing more than ‘an intelligent inquisitiveness’!

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

Opinion: for the want of a nail

Joining the traditional Nativity story of revelation followed by deliverance, this festive season we have been able to enjoy even more revealed truths about our world courtesy of Wikileaks, the Daily Telegraph and more or less any senior Army officer near a microphone.

Although there are moral and technical differences between these sources of information, they have each attempted to lift the veil to reveal the ‘truth’ behind the public face of diplomacy, coalition governance and military strategy. But have we liberals been consistent in our responses to these revelations?

With the diplomatic cables released through Wikileaks, there’s been a strong …

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Opinion: Wikileaks – Time for Liberal Democrats to act

Recent revelations from Wikileaks have revealed comments about Nick Clegg that I made at a private event. That might be a problem for some but I personally don’t want to see Assange end up in jail for what he has revealed about me or anyone else. To paraphrase a British diplomat talking to Hilary Clinton about other Wikileaks revelation “You should hear what he says about me in private!”

Disclosure is far more important than that in a democracy which seeks to keep its public servants accountable. Revelations may be awkward for some, but those who have most to fear …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 31 Comments

The fallout from the Wikileaks cables

Yesterday, I blogged my initial reaction to the Wikileaks publication of the US diplomatic cables:

And the big news from the Wikileaks revelations is…
… that it turns out the world as told through secret US diplomacy is, er…, pretty much the same as the one we always thought.

That’s a view that looks to be holding up even as more details come to light. Many are fascinating, many fill out details of stories, but – so far at least – what they are doing is filling out stories we already knew rather than containing major revelations or over-turning what was previously …

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And the big news from the Wikileaks revelations is…

… that it turns out the world as told through secret US diplomacy is, er…, pretty much the same as the one we always thought.

Saudis not keen on Iranians? Chinese frustrated by North Koreans? Member of the Royal Family rude to someone else? Excuse me while I hold the front page for that scoop.

Some of the detail is fascinating but the big picture so far is that the secret world turns out to be pretty much the same as the public one.

Posted in News | 9 Comments
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