Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Wikileaks: The Cable Guys

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  • Mark Stewart,

    Russell - the date on that article is March '09. That happened a long time ago under a fairly different set of circumstances.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2010 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Russell – the date on that article is March ’09. That happened a long time ago under a fairly different set of circumstances.

    Quite. It happened because a list of supposed childporn URLs banned in Denmark was uploaded. Not that I’m defending the Australian filter, mind you, but that story has nothing to do with the latest Wikileaks release.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Brian Murphy, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    That is tabloid gossip, but it is interesting that the US embassy is collecting it. And reporting it back.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 48 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    From the leaked documents:

    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is "feckless, vain and ineffective as a modern European leader," according to a U.S. official in Rome. Another cable remarked on Berlusconi's "frequent late nights and penchant for partying hard."

    The same officials have also remarked that the sea is wet.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    For anyone who is interested: thanks to Danyl's perl-fu, we now have a spreadsheet of NZ cable headers. I've extracted a frequency list of the tags here.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1717 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Wow. The #cablegate hashtag is a productive one on Twitter at the moment. And there is months of this to come.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    They've only published 220 documents (out of approx 251,000), none with the NZ tag or originating from the Wellington Embassy.
    Looking through the headers, most cables from foreign embassies with the NZ tag relate to bird flu. There is, intruigingly, a cable from the US Embassy in Rome dating back to 1993 featuring the NZ tag. Counting the days until we get to read it . . .

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    It also mentioned Turkey and VAT - the Vatican? Not sure what's going on there.

    The 22 Dec 1997 cable (PGOV, ECON, PINR, NZ) will be about Jenny Shipley's overthrow of Bolger.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1717 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Brian Murphy,

    Not in the least bit interesting, really. The habits of foreign MPs are of interest, because they may represent levers in future negotiations. Or weaknesses that could lead to political instability. Our embassies doubtless collect and pass back to Wellington reams of similar information every year. Information-gathering is a significant function of diplomatic staff, because it can lead to all kinds of insights into the person across the table in future diplomatic meetings or exchanges.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Value Added Tax? Aka GST?

    Imposing such a tax is a requirement to join the EU, which Turkey has been trying to do for years.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    We opened an embassy in Turkey back then, maybe that's it. Be a bit prosaic though - where's Wishart when we need him?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    where's Wishart when we need him?

    You mean the pre-Intelligent Design Wishart? Not sure if he exists anymore. I'd say Nicky Hager has stepped up to the mantle now.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5443 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Actually I just want Wishart to fabricate a wild conspiracy theory - after all, there's a muslim country involved. Not sure if he also hates and fears the Vatican though.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    Isn't Wishart Catholic? And a fundamentalist one at that?

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    at KiwiCon over the weekend, we got advised by an Aussie speaker that they don’t have double jeopardy. Now that is scary.

    Not having double jeopardy is a good thing. It's why we used to have a rule against double jeopardy. Notice that I say "used to". We http://publicaddress.net/legalbeagle/if-britain-jumped-off-a-bridge/got rid of the absolute rule against double jeopardy a few years back.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Not sure if he also hates and fears the Vatican though.

    Don’t think so, although it’s been a while since I donned the ole mental hazmat suit and waded through the sewer of TBR.cc.

    ETA: Matthew's got it right I think - clearly more up to date than I am...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    I imagine Wishart will be looking over the Wikileaks stuff for mentions of George Soros (who he hates) and the US's participation with the 2012 World Domination Agenda (he believes) the UN is leading.

    And confirmation from the US Department of State of everything he write about Helen Clark in "Absolute Power" (which is the worst novelisation of a Stephen Fry sitcom ever, I might add).

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I'm getting confused, wonder if Matthew missed a negative. So in NZ, we can get busted for the same crime incident twice, but in Oz, they can't? Or has Oz become like NZ in this regard.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Meanwhile, Sarah Palin has called for the immediate shut down of Wikipedia.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Absolute double jeopardy may be bad, but the other extreme is worse. Better 100 guilty men go free, etc. In this case the discussion was around refusal to release encryption keys, and the situation in Australia where you could be found guilty of refusing to disclose for as long as the government wishes to pursue the matter. For those of us who believe in the absolute right against self-incrimination, that's a scary, scary thought.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to BenWilson,

    Double jeopardy is the concept of not being prosecuted for the same crime twice. So no missing negatives. We still have it, mostly, but I believe the current loophole of perjury by the defendant is being expanded to include "substantial new evidence" or the like to allow a new trial.
    The Australians have no such legal concept, so the state can keep on coming back and coming back as often as it so chooses.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Double jeopardy is the concept of not being prosecuted for the same crime twice.

    I understand the concept (and saw the movie), but it's the exact usage of the phrase that I'm getting confused about, since Graeme's comment, and I'm still not sure I get it, since Graeme seems to be using it the opposite way to you. Makes me think the phrase "double jeopardy" could confusingly mean either "getting done twice" or "laws against getting done twice". As in, double jeopardy laws are the same thing as anti double jeopardy laws.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    In very sad news: Leslie Nielsen is dead. I'm willing to stick my neck out and say it was retribution by the CIA for Cablegate.

    Also, can we please stop calling any scandal "something-gate" now. It's not, as David Mitchell once said, the case that we call Watergate "Watergategate." Why can't we just call it the US Embassy Cable Affair? Sounds like a lovely Leslie Charteris novel to me.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to BenWilson,

    My understanding is that the term "double jeopardy" means the protection against it, so saying "they don't have double jeopardy" means "they" don't have legal prohibitions against prosecution following acquittal.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

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