Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Wikileaks: The Cable Guys

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  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Tim Hannah,

    No one from Dyncorp is here, there's no one from Pfizer here

    My comment on the lack of outrage was cast a little wider than the readers of PAS. Show me the outrage in the US media. Or Joe Lieberman's words on this.

    I can but hope my horror is just a little part of a bigger noise. Hope....

    And just noting that I think each of these cables is awful doesn't seem like a good use of anyone's time.

    And not noting this story is somehow better? In years past an investigative media may well have run effectively with something like this but that time seems to have passed, at least in the USA, where the mainstream coverage of the substance of much of what is clearly important in the cables seems at best and noticeably minimal.

    Jay Rosen:

    The government had closed circle on the press, laundering its own manipulated intelligence through the by-lines of two experienced reporters, smuggling the deed past layers of editors, and then marching it like a trained dog onto the Sunday talk shows to perform in a lurid doomsday act

    What they mean is really quite important too.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to chris,

    A basic rundown of various fallouts

    And a gathering of much of the better commentary

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tim Hannah,

    Giovanni’s piece on Bat Bean Beam is definitely well worth reading

    Certainly is (and please add links to mentions like that).

    I want to single out above all Aaron Bady, who this time last week did the thing that wasn’t sexy and examined two of Assange’s own critical essays from 2006 in which the aims of the organization are laid out. It is a remarkably lucid and helpful piece of writing that I urge you to make the time to read. At a juncture when it is difficult to cultivate one’s optimism, it gives me a glimmer of hope that we might find ways to have the debate that Manning asked for, that we might give this thing the attention it deserves, because the topic is not trivial, but goes to heart of the functioning of contemporary democracies and international institutions; and in fact that looking, as Bady and Assange do, at the formal characteristics of the communication – who is allowed to talk to whom and in what voice, under what level of scrutiny – is fundamental to understanding how the debate can be framed in the first place, how we can make it about those topics that seem so often unspeakable except amongst the converted: the reforms, a critique of imperialism that connects with a broad enough public to make a difference, how to restrict the capacity of our nations to wage wars, be they economic or military.

    But then of course that glimmer is extinguished as soon as you let your mind wander back to the source of the information and to private Manning, who at this moment is isolated and allowed to speak to exactly no-one except his interrogators. We’d do well to ask what kind of society allows for people who aspire to be elected to the highest office in the land to suggest that such a person is the villain and ought to be executed; how is that public conversation framed, and how did it get that way?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    It appears at least some of Assange's supporters think it's appropriate to release information about the two women who laid the criminal complaints.

    Their first names only are in the link and I can't be certain of veracity of the report.The language is full of misogynist shit though.

    Someone, very early in this thread, observed that wikileaks principle was/ought to be privacy for individuals and transparency for organisations; clearly that principle is offended by this appalling action.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul Williams,

    principle was/ought to be privacy for individuals and transparency for organisations

    Yes - personalising any of this misses that crucial point. And who benefits from it?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Hannah, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    My comment on the lack of outrage was cast a little wider than the readers of PAS. Show me the outrage in the US media. Or Joe Lieberman’s words on this.

    Yeah, I know, I should really have replied to Chris, who responded to you and specified PA. The general point is bang on.

    Sacha - on linking to Bat Bean Beam, yes linking is almost always a good thing, but not sure if Giovanni is coming back to this discussion and felt slightly odd about linking to him, even though mentioning it is pretty much doing the same thing.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 228 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Tim Hannah,

    but not sure if Giovanni is coming back to this discussion and felt slightly odd about linking to him

    For the record I'm always grateful for mentions, links, recommendations, references in haiku or riddle form, song dedications and/or spontaneous offers of cheese.

    Also: thank you.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison, in reply to Paul Williams,

    Assange himself has decided it suits his case to conflate the sexual assault allegations and the cable leaks so it is I think only fair that he gets to be judged as a moral individual on the same basis.

    And on the same basis I think he's a very unpleasant person with all the characteristics of a cult leader.

    As for the leaks themselves, I don't have a problem with leaks that have specific targets but when the target is the broad functioning of Obama's diplomacy then I think one can disagree with the politics of all of this. I think the US is engaged in trying to deal with hugely complex issues mostly in a constructive way that advances human rights and democracy.

    These leaks want to destroy that in the name of a greater purity. Pilger, Klein, Counterpunch etc have all lined up behind Assange not just on the cables but on the sexual assault allegations - they're all well know for that sort of extremism. And none of them see the contradiction in their positions in the two issues.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    For the record I’m always grateful for mentions, links, recommendations, references in haiku or riddle form, song dedications and/or spontaneous offers of cheese.

    There once was a dude called Giovanni.

    ...

    ...

    ...

    I got nuthin.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I think the US is engaged in trying to deal with hugely complex issues mostly in a constructive way that advances human rights and democracy.

    That sounds great. Can we live on a planet where the US has been doing that for the past 10.... 20.... 30 years?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Paul Williams,

    Their first names only are in the link and I can’t be certain of veracity of the report.

    Actually, those are their last names, but never mind.

    If that information appeared under the Wikileaks name, I'd whole-heartedly agree with you. However, the names at least have been out in the wild for some time, as is the information that one of the complainants has moved to Isreal on a project.

    To assume that this release is the responsibility of Wkikleaks is a long bow to draw, given the involvement of Anonymous in the issue.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Neil Morrison,

    Assange himself has decided it suits his case to conflate the sexual assault allegations and the cable leaks

    References?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Neil Morrison,

    I think the US is engaged in trying to deal with hugely complex issues mostly in a constructive way that advances human rights and democracy.

    References?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    I'm on to my third glass of wine so references are a bit beyond me at the moment. But if Obama can't make the world a better place I sure as hell think no one can.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I read that second statement as an opinion ("I think") but the first seems like a declaration of fact, so I can only presume it's based on something more than speculation or wishful thinking.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Neil Morrison,

    And on the same basis I think he's a very unpleasant person with all the characteristics of a cult leader.

    they're all well know for that sort of extremism

    Hell, Neil, even way up here in Bangkok I had to duck to avoid the wild swings...

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison, in reply to Sacha,

    It would still be my opinion but do have a case for it. But it's Sat night so probably not the best time for me to get heavy like.

    But have you or Simon seen the film Matariki? RB is probably nursing some whisky-induced hang overs so didn't do the usual Fri culture thing so there wasn't an opportunity to bring it up. It's very good, a very difficult story structure to get right and Michael Bennett pretty much nailed it, apart from a few niggles.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Neil Morrison,

    seen the film Matariki

    Sadly no, although not for lack of desire. And I'm unlikely to in the near future - NZ cinema and TV doesn't make it this far usually.

    The Europeans and the Australians are very proactive culturally in this part of the world. NZ is MIA.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Giovanni digs
    the first hangi of summer.
    Viva Berhampore.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Nice one Stephen J-

    anyone know whether "Matariki" is out on dvd? That is the way I see most films, aue-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    References?

    Sacha - go Google and you'll find plenty of on-the-record mutterings about "honeytraps" and "dark plans" from Assange's lawyers. It is beyond credible that this stuff is being said without their client's knowledge and assent.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Ta, Craig. Saw the lawyers stuff, wondered if there were any direct statements I'd missed.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to nzlemming,

    To assume that this release is the responsibility of Wkikleaks is a long bow to draw, given the involvement of Anonymous in the issue.

    I didn't. I said I believe one of Assange's supporters have made public the last names of the complainants; that's my read of the story and it doesn't seem an unreasonable interpretation at all.

    And, so I'm clear, I think it's an obscene act.

    In the same way Assange is entitled to the presumption of innocence, these two women are entitled to protection from hysterical vigilantes.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Neil Morrison,

    But have you or Simon seen the film Matariki? RB is probably nursing some whisky-induced hang overs so didn’t do the usual Fri culture thing so there wasn’t an opportunity to bring it up.

    Ahem. I was speaking to a seminar of educations about the future of broadcasting.

    Didn't crack into the whisky till later ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And meanwhile -- good work Nicky Hager.

    I knew he was in London on a job and figured it was to do with Wikileaks.

    And finally the Star Times gets a decent story ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

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