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Peregrine flight

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sticky Wicket

Statecraft, like sausage making, is a nasty and brutish business. A sometimes ugly process that hopefully culminates in a satisfactory end product.

Diplomats are fully aware that their peers are lying, as they themselves are, but a gentleman's agreement is adhered to, and cover is granted to the most beastly of sins. A distasteful but necessary game.

That being the case, the publication of over 250,000 United States diplomatic cables by Julian Assange's Wickileaks organization is the most dastardly act of irresponsibility that I can remember in recent memory.

This australian anarchist, luxuriating in his own power, has undertaken the most extensive vacuuming of classified information that has ever been seen in the modern age. While a case can be made for the probity of his prior release of video showing american troops killing Iraqi civilians, that was a surgical undertaking compared to this one which used the broadest and most indiscriminate suction in its efforts to steal and divulge state secrets. His brazen and reckless actions are reshuffling the entire world diplomacy deck and turning international affairs on its head.

Mr. Assange' s gift to the world was initiated by  22 year old American Intelligence analyst Private Bradley Manning, who was lip synching Lady Gaga  while in reality recording the whole of the American diplomatic corps SpiroNet communication bank on his 1.6 gigabyte memory stick.

Only time will tell how much damage this pair has inflicted on international relations. It is conceivable that people could die as a result of their covers being blown. Sources and moles are sure to be uncovered. Assange behaves like a petulant child, disbursing his gems in a morally neutral universe while in reality we live in a world of rogue governments and some very bad actors.

I was taught at an early age that just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should do something. Shedding light on government is different from dumping the family jewels on the front lawn for all to see.

What have we learned exactly that was worth bringing the innards of our foreign policy machine to light? That the arab states feared a nuclear Persia but were afraid of siding with Israel? That Putin operated Berlusconi like a straw puppet? That China thinks that North Korea behaves like a spoiled child. China has been hacking our computer networks since 2002.  Iran uses the Red Crescent to smuggle weapons? North Korea supplies Iran with long range missiles capable of hitting western europe. Our state department spies on their state departments? Ho hum. However the revelations regarding the lebanese president's true feelings about Iran are likely to get someone killed.

Assange should be horse whipped. His american accomplice must face the most drastic punishment available for his treason. We have to find a way to secure our private information to keep it away from these unconscionable youngsters who treat world affairs like a big freaking video game.

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Interesting article on Manning from Wired. And another.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

what did you think of the pentagon papers?
comeon, the guy is a hero. if the government cant stand some sunlight, fuck em.

Blue Heron said...

Total bullshit, anonymous. The Pentagon Papers revealed that the United States was lying to both the American public and Congress about its bombing of Laos and Cambodia. That is exigent. This is not. It doesn't shine "sunlight" on anything except private matters of statecraft that aren't any body else's business.

windowdancer said...

Julian Assange should be shot in the head. End of story.

WD

Blue Heron said...

concur.

Anonymous said...

BH, I've heard this line of BS before when Nixon claimed that playing his secret tapes would compromise "National Security"...more like it would compromise his lying crooked ass, which it did.
Same with these. Who cares if some diplomats who made snarky gossipy comments get embarrassed? I want to know what the pols I'm paying with my tax money are up to.
There are too many "secrets" (which these weren't, btw, being only classified as "confidential"). No one is going to die over these; stop echoing the Rightwingnut talking points.

Blue Heron said...

And I suggest that you grow up. You actually think that you have a right to know the private conversations of our diplomatic corps? Voyeurism to the nth degree. You elect a government to do its best, to keep you secure, the notion of total transparency is pure hogwash.

And might I add, the BHB is apolitical. I have never taken doctrinaire stances, either from the left or the right. I prefer to emulate Yogi Berra and calls em I as see em.

The right wing is actually chortling right now. I have been on various websites where their glee over this black eye on the Obama administration overwhelms any patriotic notions one might have about our country's national security concerns.

If you want to play anarchist, I suggest you dress up and bring your cocktails to the next G-8 meeting. Not that it will solve anything but it makes a hell of a nice fashion statement.

grumpy said...

this is the disaster du jour; with luck, it'll blow over in a week or so; then we'll be on to the next, and greater, crisis.

Anonymous said...

The cables leaked by WikiLeaks, about 1 percent of which have been published so far, have low secrecy classifications and were written by relatively low-level diplomats. They were stored in a computer system to which more than 2 million people had clearance to access.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Assange's treason

Mr Assange's "treason" was nonexistent because he's not an American citizen or national.

Blue Heron said...

Mr. Assange's treason? Who ever mentioned that? Kindly read what I actually wrote prior to commenting.

Anonymous said...

The Patriot Act spys on every American citizen.
The Pentagon papers [helped] stop an illegal war.
The US has illegally spied and used its embellished information on its own citizens such as Martin Luther King.
Blue Heron is being read by others [sic] than the Avacado belt and beach stoners.
Julian Assange isn't doing anything that Nixons thugs and Oliver North didn't do.
Challenging an unjust action of the Government could be viewed as an act of patriotism.

Blue Heron said...

uh, right. whatever you said.

windowdancer said...

Dear Blue Heron...

With the vast majority of your blog readership appearing to be toe the line liberals I have to applaud the brazenness of this last post and your rebuttals to the comments it has generated.

I have been an avid reader of the Blast for quite some time now and while i don't always agree with your position, I have found you to be a man of conviction in search of the truth.

I believe that you truly do "calls em I as see em."

Keep up the great work.

WD

Blue Heron said...

I am not sure about the credibility of the source but I read today that Assange is bout to make a big spill re: Russian corruption and that if he does his days are definitely numbered, they not being nearly as tolerant as we are.

Blue Heron said...

Actually, rereading my post, I did accuse him of treason as well. Legally spurious since he is not an american, morally I think that a case can still be made..in an international sense. My apologies.

windowdancer said...

Actually... you said "His American accomplice" must face the most drastic punishment available for his treason. You said Assange should only be horse whipped.

WD

Blue Heron said...

Well I did say that but the anonymous commenter is correct, previous to that I suggested that Assange's conduct was also treasonous. I changed my wording from treason to "gift to the world" this morning." I don't like changing my posts because anything can be altered in this world - gives us all 20-20 hindsight so I try to cop to it when appropriate.

windowdancer said...

I see said the blind man to the deaf and dumb twat... God I love that word.

WD