The Wikileaks Question

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The Wikileaks Question

Postby JackRiddler » Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:10 pm

Why does it take so long to accept new views even when the evidence is clear? Wittgenstein tells the following anecdote (I presume to show that first impressions about why views change are generally wrong):

Two philosophers meet in the hall. One says to the other, Why do you supposed people believed for such a long time that the sun goes around the earth, rather than that the earth rotates? The other philosopher replies, Obviously because it looks as though the sun is going around the earth. To which the first philosopher replies, But what would it look like if it looked like the earth was rotating?

-- Zenon Pylyshin at http://edge.org/3rd_culture/thaler10/th ... index.html

This is not meant to replace or displace any of the ongoing threads concerning Wikileaks, but to ask a question in light of the certainty with which some declare Wikileaks to be a psychological operation of one kind or another.

If Wikileaks were genuine, what it would like?

In other words, what would it look like if Wikileaks is an independent group of anti-statist hackers who came together over years in an ad-hoc fashion, who are not working for an undisclosed intelligence operation, who are committed to undermining the rule of secrecy in international politics, who have gotten their hands on caches of classified documents, and who are releasing these to the public?

My answer is that it would look like what we are seeing.

However, if they are not genuine, it would also look like what we are seeing.

Furthermore, if Wikileaks is genuine, you can be certain that stories would circulate to smear the people involved in it, and that among these there would be the accusation that Wikileaks is actually a front for an intelligence agency or for a nefarious hidden agenda.

Therefore judgement should be reserved and should be based on a review of the released material, or actual evidence about the organization or its members. Judgement should not be based on our a priori assumptions or on what we would like to see.

On this site I've read several categories of suspicion about wikileaks:

- They aren't releasing what a given critic would consider important. (Examples I've seen: Wikileaks releases are not exposing 9/11 as an inside job, or they lack evidence of some assumed Israeli crime, therefore Wikileaks is designed to distract from these.)
But if Wikileaks is genuine, then they don't have a free run of all possible secret documents. They have what they can get their hands on. That might be arbitrary. I'd rather see the CIA operations division files dumped online than the State Department cables, but if it's the State Department cables or the Afghan and Iraqi war logs that Wikileaks acquired, then that's what they have and that's what they can release.

- The Times/Spiegel/Guardian are suspect organs who have disseminated disinformation in the past, and cannot be trusted to filter the documents and decide what the important stories are.
But these papers are receiving (and no doubt begging for) first access for the purpose of publicity and to force the US government (in this case) to confirm that the cables are real. If Wikileaks continues with its practice until now, the State Department documents will be made available in searchable and downloadable forms for anyone to evaluate themselves. If NYT spins things in a way designed to protect given interests, that is on NYT, not Wikileaks. It's up to us and a million other people who will be looking at this stuff not to be distracted by unflattering portraits of personalities or other trivialities, and to look instead for whatever meat is present.

- They are serving, perhaps unwittingly, as the conduit for "limited hangouts" and distractions.
Distractions from what? If you think so, make the case with evidence. If they got the material via Bradley Manning, things on the surface would look as they do now. If they got it from an intel agency or from intel agency dissidents (and many might be the culprits), and if Bradley Manning is being used as a cover story, then things on the surface would also look as they do know. Should they not release what they get?

- They are releasing information that will be exploited to drum up support for a war or bad policy.
The first question is whether the cables or dispatches are real or forged. If they're real, you can be certain that everyone's going to try to place their own spin on everything. No one is requiring you to agree with an NYT interpretation of the cables when you can read them yourself.

- We knew that already. Or "It's old news!"
That was the reaction of many to the releases on the Afghan and Iraq wars. I usually find such statements unreasonable, contemptuous of history, and motivated by denial. To know that the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are murderous is not the same as having documentary evidence of specific massacres in detail. In the mainstream, such denial usually comes from those who didn't want to know the wars were wrong in the first place, and who want to dismiss the proof and change the subject.

- They are redacting to protect identities of sources.
A real problem, as this could also be redaction to change or hide significant details. However, you can't a priori assume that to be the case. Again, if you make a claim, you should do the work to support it.

- It's all a set-up to justify war on whistleblowers and repression of the Internet.
This I find ridiculous. We see propaganda campaigns and set-ups to justify repressive policies every day, like the FBI stings involving "terror attacks" orchestrated entirely by FBI informants. The US for one would never choose to release the documents confirming mass murder by US forces and their allies in Afghanistan and Iraq for this purpose. They could make up a security breach about a new attack on America. They could make up a million other stories and use the Mighty Wurlitzer. This isn't to say that the long-running war on whistleblowers and attempts to repress the Internet are not going to be intensified because of Wikileaks, but if so, that still isn't evidence about the intent of Wikileaks.

- I don't trust it because it's getting too much attention from the world.
Now you're blaming them for success. Or assuming that post-reality has completely taken a stranglehold over everything, so that nothing can be a "real" story.

Here's what I know and like so far about the Wikileaks story:
- It is exposing the contradiction between secret policy and claims of democracy.
- It is encouraging others to do the same thing.
- It seems to be distracting the imperialists no end.

What's being covered so far in the new release may not be on the earth-shattering level of "9/11 is an inside job" but it is interesting, plausible, and damaging to bad characters. US conducting electronic spying and harrassment on the UN leadership, the Saudi king lobbying for a US attack on Iran and further confirmation that Israel is doing the same or looking for an excuse to go it alone are not limited hangouts (though they certainly are only partial pictures) and not the sort of information that the State Department or CIA secretly longs to release so as to set in motion some other, nefarious plan.

.
Last edited by JackRiddler on Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby lupercal » Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:16 pm

Undermining diplomacy serves War & Torture Incorporated, and the rest you can pretty much figure out. I figured it out after they "leaked" the weather stuff.
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby JackRiddler » Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:19 pm

lupercal wrote:Undermining diplomacy serves War & Torture Incorporated, and the rest you can pretty much figure out. I figured it out after they "leaked" the weather stuff.


Now you can go home and rest on your certainties.

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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby sunny » Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:49 pm

JackRiddler wrote:If Wikileaks were genuine, what it would like?


I am not entirely sure since official records are most likely scrubbed, hidden, and altered all the time. I've never expected some huge smoking gun.

But I'm pretty sure it wouldn't look like a hit job on Iran.
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:02 pm

when the actual cables become available there better be some stuff about bush cheney and rumsfeld, then we will know there's somethin' rotten in leakyville
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby JackRiddler » Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:04 pm

sunny wrote:
JackRiddler wrote:If Wikileaks were genuine, what it would like?


I am not entirely sure since official records are most likely scrubbed, hidden, and altered all the time. I've never expected some huge smoking gun.

But I'm pretty sure it wouldn't look like a hit job on Iran.


It doesn't look like that to me.

The State Department cables speak of a desire to hit Iran -- in the US, in Israel, in Saudi Arabia. These are the ones that have been forefronted so far by the big papers. (Much of this is the hated "old news," though the Saudi king's entreaty to bomb is news, and may cause troubles for him at home.)

The release of these cables is not an endorsement of that desire. In fact, even the big papers' coverage of these cables first does not qualify as an endorsement. Rather, I would expect it to complicate any plans to attack Iran.

Anyone know if the full download is available yet? I find the Guardian et al. interfaces to be a pain. For one, they're not searchable. For another, only a small fraction of the claimed total is accessible.

(See above, "They are releasing information that will be exploited to drum up support for a war or bad policy.")

.
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby stefano » Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:24 pm

Good OP, Jack. Sunny - the leaked cables are US State Department cables from ME stations. So of course they look like a hit job on Iran: any bright young dip wants to send stuff like that back to Washington.

Wikileaks hasn't published the cables itself, and it's worth noting this from the Guardian's editor: "There are some cables the Guardian will not be releasing or reporting owing to the nature of sourcing or subject matter. Our domestic libel laws impose a special burden on British publishers." The Guardian so far has put up fewer than sixty of the cables. The NY Times will auto-censor in the same way, as will Le Monde (where the front page is given over to Iran-bashing but the most-read story is about Clinton trying to get diplomats to spy on UN staff).
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:19 pm

This is going to be bad for a whole bunch of people and not just Americans

just look at Der Spiegel front page for tomorrow

Image



America will pay for her war crimes


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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby wintler2 » Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:51 pm

Excellent piece JR, cuts through the "well my spidey-sense is telling me.." bullshit.


Would like to elaborate on one point:
JR wrote:..However, if they are not genuine, it would also look like what we are seeing. ..
.. if its evil sponsors were amazingly onto their game.

In other words, if wikileaks is a front, then it is far and away the most sophisticated and deep-cover front we have seen in a long long time, if ever.

Think of all the other fronts we see daily pushing the fascist agenda: Rita Katz; New York Times; Americans for Prosperity; Democrat/Labor parties; Institute for Public Affairs; the Tea Party; .. - these are supposedly helpful, but in practise are badly disguised purveyors of bad data and it doesn't take that much knowledge or savvy to work them out.

I think the fascists have difficulty fooling anyone who is really paying attention, because they just don't get the life-loving value system and have little experience engaging with it or with independent thought. Thats why they rely so much on trance-induction and cognitive science end of 'convincing' people, they can't cut it on the moral analysis and reasoned debate.
And now the bad guys are supposed to have mastered the art of saying and doing powerfully good things, yet still being somehow someway that nobody can quite identify, bad guys? I don't think so.
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby eyeno » Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:54 pm

Very thought provoking sentiments Jack. Thank you for sharing.



My thoughts:

1. Regardless of what Wikileaks is or is not the PTB probably has the ability to mitigate damage in various ways. One way being blocking/deleting the information as soon as it is published on the web due to the fact that they have control over/own the internet. Another way to mitigate damage is controlling the mainstream media.

2. Information not blocked/deleted is may be allowed to slip through as planned even if Wikileaks is not a psyop.

3. If Wikileaks is not a psyop then it is not.

4. If Wikileaks is a psyop then it is.

The end sum of all being that regardless if Wikileaks is or is not a psyop the end result for the well being/lack of for humanity will be the same due to total control of mainstream media. Regardless of what is released on the internet the mainstream media will spin it into legislation that will censure the internet to the detriment of the masses.

Game, set, and match. Score another -1 for the impoverished masses.
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby seemslikeadream » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:00 pm

This is why WikiLeaks is useful.

Meanwhile, the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, introduces a fake Taliban commander to ‘peace talks’ with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. A Pakistani shopkeeper, pretending to be the Taliban second-in-command Mullah Mansour, then defrauds MI6 out of £600,000, his fee for taking part in the charade.
He was flown into Kabul for three secret meetings with Afghan and Nato representatives, including one at President Karzai’s palace.
Karzai’s chief of staff says: ‘The British authorities are responsible. This is embarrassing and has undercut the notion there was some momentum towards talks.’
Never mind WikiLeaks, how many lives might this exercise cost? The imposter has disappeared with the money — and information useful to the Taliban.
What does MI6 have to say? Why hasn’t its chief offered his resignation?

There’s a conspiracy of silence over what’s going on in Afghanistan, except when our military chiefs want to leak details of successful SAS attacks on the Taliban.
We’re told they are being hit so hard now by special forces, helicopter gunships and pilotless drones armed with Hellfire missiles that they’re desperate for a peace deal.
Meanwhile, MI6 wheels a Pakistani conman posing as a Taliban commander into President Karzai’s office for peace talks. We’re being lied to. Count on it. Bring it on, WikiLeaks!
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby eyeno » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:05 pm

"In other words, if wikileaks is a front, then it is far and away the most sophisticated and deep-cover front we have seen in a long long time, if ever."

(I know the above is not proper format for a quote but my computer is having some issues, or its user is?)


I think this gives far too much credit to this entire situation because we have not seen the end effects yet. So far this does not strike me as very sophisticated even if it is a psyop. It is only a few documents that have been released and successfully contained so that they have no real benefit to the masses. The lead in and maintenance operations to most wars are much more sophisticated psyops campaigns than this little Wikileaks situation has been so far. So far if this is a psyop it seems very unsophisticated and easy to pull off due to the spin of mainstream media.

edited 2 times for typo
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby Jeff » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:17 pm

Just State Department cables, right? It's like reading a diary aloud. Embarrassing, but it hardly gives the game away. The Deep State rolls along.

And you couldn't buy this spin. Well, we couldn't:

WikiLeaks documents reveal Arab states' anxiety over Iran
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby justdrew » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:23 pm

sunny wrote:
JackRiddler wrote:If Wikileaks were genuine, what it would like?


I am not entirely sure since official records are most likely scrubbed, hidden, and altered all the time. I've never expected some huge smoking gun.

But I'm pretty sure it wouldn't look like a hit job on Iran.


but it would, this is the beast talking to itself, of course such memos would reinforce it's preferred reality and magnify any Iranian issues. I'm sure a similar sample from say 2001-2003 would be full of memos showing Iraq to be up to all kinds of scary things.
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Re: The Wikileaks Question

Postby Project Willow » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:37 pm

Jeff wrote:Just State Department cables, right? It's like reading a diary aloud. Embarrassing, but it hardly gives the game away. The Deep State rolls along.


Yes. Thanks. and a big :roll: to Wikileaks.
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