Winner 2013 Webby Awards for Best Political Website
Top Banner, Site wide
Apr 19, 2014

 Choose a size
Text Size

Top Leaderboard, Site wide

On Climate, Business as Usual




The Divide


Truthdig Bazaar
The Case for God

The Case for God

By Karen Armstrong
$18.45

more items

 
Report

WikiLeaks and the End of U.S. ‘Diplomacy’

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Nov 30, 2010

By Amy Goodman

WikiLeaks is again publishing a trove of documents, in this case classified U.S. State Department diplomatic cables. The whistle-blower website will gradually be releasing more than 250,000 of these documents in the coming months so that they can be analyzed and gain the attention they deserve. The cables are internal, written communications among U.S. embassies around the world and also to the U.S. State Department. WikiLeaks described the leak as “the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain [giving] an unprecedented insight into U.S. government foreign activities.”

Critics argue, as they did with earlier leaks of secret documents regarding Iraq and Afghanistan, that lives will be lost as a result. Rather, lives might actually be saved, since the way that the U.S. conducts diplomacy is now getting more exposure than ever—as is the apparent ease with which the U.S. government lives up (or down) to the adage used by pioneering journalist I.F. Stone: “Governments lie.”

Take the case of Khaled El-Masri. El-Masri was snatched in Macedonia as part of the CIA’s secret extraordinary rendition program, in which people are taken by the U.S. government and sent to other countries, where they can be subjected to torture. He was held and tortured in a secret prison in Afghanistan for months before being dropped by the CIA on an isolated road in Albania, even though the CIA had long established that it had grabbed the wrong man. El-Masri, a German citizen, sought justice through German courts, and it looked like 13 CIA agents might be charged. Then the U.S. Embassy in Berlin stepped in, threatening, according to one cable, that “issuance of international arrest warrants would have a negative impact on our bilateral relationship.” No charges were ever filed in Germany, suggesting the diplomatic threat worked. The 13 agents are, however, still facing charges in Spain, where prosecutors enjoy some freedom from political pressures.

Or so we thought. In fact, Spain figures prominently in the leaked documents as well. Among the cables is one from May 14, 2007, authored by Eduardo Aguirre, a conservative Cuban-American banker appointed U.S. ambassador to Spain by George W. Bush. Aguirre wrote: “For our side, it will be important to continue to raise the Couso case, in which three U.S. servicemen face charges related to the 2003 death of Spanish cameraman Jose Couso during the battle for Baghdad.”

Couso was a young cameraman with the Spanish TV network Telecinco. He was filming from the balcony of the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad on April 8, 2003, when a U.S. Army tank fired on the hotel packed with journalists, killing Couso and a Reuters cameraman. Ambassador Aguirre was trying to quash the lawsuit brought by the Couso family in Spain.

Advertisement

Square, Site wide
The U.S. ambassador was also pressuring the Spanish government to drop a precedent-setting case against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other Bush administration officials. In that same memo, Aguirre writes, “The Deputy Justice Minister also said the GOS [government of Spain] strongly opposes a case brought against former Secretary Rumsfeld and will work to get it dismissed. The judge involved in that case has told us he has already started the process of dismissing the case.”

These revelations are rocking the Spanish government, as the cables clearly show U.S. attempts to disrupt the Spanish justice system.

Ambassador Aguirre told Spain’s El Pais newspaper several years ago, “I am George Bush’s plumber, I will solve all the problems George gives me.”

In another series of cables, the U.S. State Department instructs its staff around the world and at the U.N. to spy on people, and, remarkably, to collect biometric information on diplomats. The cable reads, “Data should include e-mail addresses, telephone and fax numbers, fingerprints, facial images, DNA and iris scans.”

WikiLeaks is continuing its partnership with a global group of media outlets: Britain’s The Guardian, El Pais, The New York Times, German magazine Der Spiegel and France’s Le Monde. David Leigh, investigations editor of The Guardian, told me, “We haven’t seen anything yet,” with literally almost a quarter-million cables still not publicly revealed.

A renowned political analyst and linguist, MIT professor Noam Chomsky helped Daniel Ellsberg, America’s premier whistle-blower, release the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago. I asked Chomsky about the latest cables released by WikiLeaks. “What this reveals,” he reflected, “is the profound hatred for democracy on the part of our political leadership.”

Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 800 stations in North America. She is the author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.

© 2010 Amy Goodman

Distributed by King Features Syndicate


New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By Cachou, December 8, 2010 at 6:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

just a thought provoking quote : “There is not a crime, there is not a dodge, there is not a trick, there is not a swindle, there is not a vice which does not live by secrecy.” – Joseph Pulitzer.

Report this

By BruceJRobertson, December 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just so that there is no chance for miscommunication nor any slither of a hope for misunderstanding, clearly on a scale of “1 to 10” where:
  “1” is having very little interest in supporting the security laws that are being created to subvert the disemination of information or the traveling of people on behalf of national security or preservation of the homeland and  
  “10” is wanting to support and encourage the censor and banishment of information and people (personel employed by the voting and tax paying public included here on an equal footing) for the purpose of national or homeland security…
  I stand at a “0”.
  I cannot empower myself, nor others, to risk liberty for the promise, or even achievement, of security as both freedom and security will surely perish.
  Are we really at the stage of feeling each others balls before we let people be free? How embarrasing and degrading for the one country that literally sells itself as the protector and nourisher of freedom…Our government (yes, our employees) can’t let vistors be free to live and work where they want without idiotic and unrealistic prejudicial conditions…but they have time to embarass America and themselves with self-righteousness and then try to create laws to protect their own stupidity? Give me full transparency or give me death!!! Fire them all! Also, Obama has a golden opportunity to put a stop to this insanity yet he chooses to do nothing!! No empathy or sympathy left for him either! He reeks of frustration!! “Change” for the very worst on his watch!!!

Report this

By kak, December 5, 2010 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You can moderate this up & dawn, but it’s still over the top confusing: no one, not one official, ever said “Published cables and other documents are fake! We are NOT doing our business this way.” All they say is:“Get him. He’s a bloody traitor.”

Report this

By floordude, December 4, 2010 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bravo racetoinfinity

Report this
racetoinfinity's avatar

By racetoinfinity, December 4, 2010 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

I guess Amy will have to change the name of her organization from “Democracy Now!”  to “Philosopher Kings Now!”

A simple definition of “democracy” might be Lincoln’s:  a government of the people, by the people, for the people. (All men are born equal inherently).

Democracy is not outmoded; it’s just that it’s too rarely been accompanied by wise, compassionate, just leadership.

Yes, we need wise leaders (you can’t put human rights up for a vote) who are beyond ambitions for personal gain, power, status, and and who are working for the greatest depth (well-being, planet-centric consciousness being one of the “depths”) for the greatest span, that is, for all the people, not just for a corrupt elite—leaders who have vision, not narrow-visioned selfish ambition, which is ultimately based in fear and loathing, rather than in Love.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, December 4, 2010 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

canola oil to replace fossil fuels….Hmmm…that may the FIRST thing Monsanto has done that makes any sense, because bio-diesel is the first stepping stone to total renewable resources.  Generally, Monsanto is a blight on the world.  But what’s with you and canola oil?  Wait: Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know…

But Pillsbury? What’s the matter, don’t you like cookies and biscuits?

You need to come back to earth.  And bring DrDontBHealthy with you.

Report this
rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, December 4, 2010 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

drb:

“Stupid, verbal, put-down blogs is the only method
some people, especially israeli types, have of trying
to give themselves a feeling of power.”

Right again drb. God you’re good.

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, December 4, 2010 at 3:58 am Link to this comment

Nice summary, patriot10101.
Keep up the accurate summaries, and disregard
criticism. 

Stupid, verbal, put-down blogs is the only method
some people, especially israeli types, have of trying
to give themselves a feeling of power. However, this
group sometimes sets its villages ablaze, in an
attempt to gain sympathy.  This in an attempt to
override accurate criticism that more recently has
arisen, as its international crimes are brought to
the fore.

Have you heard the expression, ” shit-eating grin”?
When you see a picture of one, you will immediately
recognize it. Peace, doc b.

Report this
rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, December 3, 2010 at 10:57 pm Link to this comment

patriot10101:

Pillsbury!!!!

You’re a lunatic.

Report this

By gerard, December 3, 2010 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment

The idea that Wikileaks is a threat to the traditional practice of reporting misses the point of what Assange and his co-workers have put together - a powerful tool that can help reporters circumvent the legal barriers that are making it hard for them to do their job. Even as he criticizes the evident failures of the mainstream press, Assange insists that Wikileaks should facilitate traditional reporting and analysis. “We’re the step before the first person (investigates),” he explained, when accepting Amnesty International’s award for exposing police killings in Kenya. “Then someone who is familiar with that material needs to step forward to investigate it and put it in political context. Once that is done, then it becomes of public interest.”


Wikileaks is a powerful new way for reporters and human rights advocates to leverage global information technology systems to break the heavy veil of government and corporate secrecy that is slowly suffocating the American press. The likely arrest of Assange in Britain on dubious Swedish sex crimes charges has nothing to do with the importance of the system he has built, and which the US government seems intent on destroying with tactics more appropriate to the Communist Party of China—pressuring Amazon to throw the site off their servers, and, one imagines by launching the powerful DDOS attacks that threatened to stop visitors from reading the pilfered cables.

from Atlantic, 12/3/10 “hameful Attacks on Julian Assange” by David Samuels

Report this
blogdog's avatar

By blogdog, December 3, 2010 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment

rico, striking pretty good today, eh? - mayb shout out to GRYM - almost too much for one man to handle

but back to Wikileaks - Patrick Henry nailed it

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/12/02/gordon-duff-the-wiki-hoax/

the “Wikileaks psyop” has gone viral - google hits running 20+pages

Report this
rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, December 3, 2010 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

drbhelthi:

” Pilots of the Boeing 700
series have better things to do that pimp for a NAZI
administration located in the USA.”

How right you are.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, December 3, 2010 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

OK Guys: Step away from the bong and the macro-biotic wheat germ.  The 70’s are long over.

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, December 3, 2010 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

“BTW, it’s four white stripes and it’s a Boeing 777.”
Capt Suave, I thought it was a bus.” PatrickHenry

Driving a desk requires even less skill.

Pictures show only what they contain, often a vast
deviation from “the truth.”  Pilots of the Boeing 700
series have better things to do that pimp for a NAZI
administration located in the USA. 

Overlooking the meaning of screaming eagle reflects a
genuine, quasi-vacuum - - .

Report this
Peter Knopfler's avatar

By Peter Knopfler, December 2, 2010 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment

Truth Lies where. TAXPAYERS MONEY MIS-spent, where is
the public outrage, like in 1931 when Nazi
accusations fabricate charges, now execution for
Julian a Witch hunt, All countries lie SO WHAT why
teach the kids so called importance of honesty when
at the highest level, everyone lies and calls it
diplomacy. I have a training class of 13-14 year olds
who love wiki leaks, the youth know the difference
between KILLING AND STERIODS FOR BASEBALL BOTH
SACRIFICE, which is worse Pornography or wikileaks,
choices for children. Why not just tell the truth
always, this way you can´t step in your poop like
Mrs.Clinton, or Abdullah humpty dumpty king or any
other. Lets cover up the lies with more lies and
blame Julian the Judas, for Me Mr. Assange is a MAN
among mice-rats.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, December 2, 2010 at 10:18 pm Link to this comment

Jona, I think Rico may actually agree with that.

I like that definition…it’s got some real style and some real elements of truth to it.

But, implicit in it is the question: a balance of power between who and who?  As we saw in the Civil War it was the mercantilists and the industrialists in the North versus the agrarian feudal aristocracy in the South.  2/3s of the White South had nothing to gain, because they couldn’t afford slaves, but suckered into fighting anyway.

Still, also implicit in it is the idea of a viable, loud, criticizing minority, who can’t and shouldn’t be shut up.

Report this
rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, December 2, 2010 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment

jona:

Thanks. First time you said that.

Report this

By jonathonk99, December 2, 2010 at 8:33 pm Link to this comment

Rico,

Don’t tell me I’m out of my depth.  You’re out of depth.  I explained to you twice
what my view of democracy was.  A democracy is a civilization with balance of
power.

Report this
rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, December 2, 2010 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

Flummox, another sixth grader on the playground. Pathetic.

Report this

By Flummox, December 2, 2010 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

Suave,
It seems quite implied to me, nobody here has said that the US is “the only country that engaged in such behavior”. Gee, just sounds like some random non-sequitur remark to me, nothing implied! Nope! And not that every left wing site has their resident right wing mascots, and you all say the same things. Nosir!

PatrickHenry,
“I Thought it was a bus”, ha, yes! I thought it was either that or an airport shuttle.

Report this
rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, December 2, 2010 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment

Flummox:
“what is wrong with citizens getting angry when their government does nefarious things? You imply that all these posters have to equally and simultaneously get upset at every government on the planet.”

Nothing is wrong with citizens getting upset. I implied no such thing. I only said that to read these posts, you’d think the US was the only country that engaged in such behavior.

Report this

By Flummox, December 2, 2010 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

Suave, The definition of Democracy that Goodman and Chomsky are using, I think, is the fundamental right of self-determination. The argument has nothing to do with spying. When the US meddles into the justice systems of other nations, especially Democracies like Spain and Germany, then they are undermining the right of self-determination for the citizens of those countries. And yes, that is fundamentally undemocratic.

And by the way, what is wrong with citizens getting angry when their government does nefarious things? You imply that all these posters have to equally and simultaneously get upset at every government on the planet if they discuss America’s bad behavior, and that is nothing but absurdity.

Report this
PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, December 2, 2010 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

“BTW, it’s four white stripes and it’s a Boeing 777.”

Capt Suave,  I thought is was a bus.

Report this

By gerard, December 2, 2010 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment

Go to ZunguZungu via Google, to “Julian Assange and the Computer Conspiracy” for Assange’s thinking and purposes.  In part:

“To radically shift regime behavior we must think clearly and boldly for if we have learned anything, it is that regimes do not want to be changed. We must think beyond those who have gone before us, and discover technological changes that embolden us with ways to act in which our forebears could not. Firstly we must understand what aspect of government or neocorporatist behavior we wish to change or remove. Secondly we must develop a way of thinking about this behavior that is strong enough carry us through the mire of politically distorted language, and into a position of clarity. Finally must use these insights to inspire within us and others a course of ennobling, and effective action.”

Julian Assange, “State and Terrorist Conspiracies”

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, December 2, 2010 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

moni, December 2 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

American ‘Diplomats’, for all their superior education at the finest Universities (that money can buy)___failed to heed the most basic admonition of the good mother; ‘If you can’t say anything good (about someone); don’t say anything at all’.
*****************

Please keep us safe: Don’t join the Foreign Service!

Assessment of a foreign leaders and diplomats is a critical function. It has to be candid to be useful.

“Diplomat” can mean a lot of things but in the professional sense it is a career discipline just like the military or flying a commercial jet liner.  There’s rules and protocols to live by and a job to be done. There’s a HUGE difference between a professional diplomat like a Joseph Wilson or even an April Glaspie and political appointee like Aguirre to Spain or old Joe Kennedy to Britain.  Even John Gavin as ambassador to Mexico was better because he was totally bi-lingual.

The most skilled and experienced diplomats get sent to the worst places BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE THEIR EXPERTISE IS MOST NEEDED. The least skilled and least professional political appointees usually, or should get to sent places where they can’t screw things up too badly—unless they show unwanted “initiative”

Report this
rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, December 2, 2010 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

gerard:

“instead of trying to get the other guy to “define terms” we sort of open up and try to experience what in God’s name the other guy really means”


WHAT!!!!!???

Try that with me some time instead of making all those stupid assumptions about what you think I mean.

Report this

By gerard, December 2, 2010 at 3:13 pm Link to this comment

Let’s see, now—what was all this about?  Oh, yes!  Wikileaks and freedom of speech, the history of world governments, and—tangentially—democracy, what it is, was, could be, and why it isn’t. 
  When somebody asks me to “define” some amorphous concept like “democracy” or “compassion” or “peace”, I get the jitters because “define” means something like “draw a line from somewhere” which means keep some things out and let some things in, and then we can get a handle on where to attack you. It’s not too different from “confine”—all about boundaries.
  The only way we can talk to each other is if, instead of trying to get the other guy to “define terms” we sort of open up and try to experience what in God’s name the other guy really means, knowing at least something about him, his background, his intentions, his (or her) strengths, weaknesses, and our own.
  It’s a big help if we can see his/her face.  All things considered, we may be able to understand about 1/10th of what he/she is trying too say.
  “Democracy”—well now, let’s see. ...    And “diplomacy”—which is ALL about what people say and what they DON’T mean.  And then there’s there’s “diplomatic diplomacy” and “undiplomatic diplomacy”—and we’re off to the Wiki-races.
  It’s a good thing that 2 x 2 = 4, because if they didn’t, we’d all go crazy in a week.
  Just look back through this thread and you’ll see what I mean. . . maybe.
  That’s why speech has to be freely available to all—because nobody can define it.  They can only experience it, and to do that they have to allow everybody else to experience it, too.
  Kind of like “democracy.”

Report this

By moni, December 2, 2010 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

American ‘Diplomats’, for all their superior education at the finest Universities (that money can buy)___failed to heed the most basic admonition of the good mother; ‘If you can’t say anything good (about someone); don’t say anything at all’.

Report this
rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, December 2, 2010 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

drbhelthi:

Are you privy to all the secrets of all the other nations on earth? You must be to be able to make a claim like that. You may be right. And the moon may be made of green cheese.

“Meanwhile, I will go to Goodwill and try to find
a white pilot shirt with epaulets.  Then, have a
tailor affix seven instead of five black stripes to the epaulets.”

Did I say something to personally offend you? BTW, it’s four white stripes and it’s a Boeing 777.

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, December 2, 2010 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

What nation on the face of the earth has conducted
espionage on its international member states and its
citizenry similar to that of the U.S. in the last
twenty years ?
NONE.
Why?
1. They typically are looking out for their self-
interests and are not trying to colonize the
remainder of “nations” on the earth.
2. They cannot create a debt situation similar to
that which has been created by the israeli Federal
Reserve, located in the U.S.
(which JFKSr wanted to turn over to the
U.S. Citizenry. Hmm. )

As far as Assange and the Wiki crew is concerned, how
dare they release all this secretive information that
reveals the NAZI-type dishonesty of the WWII NAZI -
controlled U.S. Government ?  In an attempt to assist
them to acquire some really secret information,
instead of diplomatic gobbeldy-gook,
my next donation will be tripled instead of doubled.

Meanwhile, I will go to Goodwill and try to find
a white pilot shirt with epaulets.  Then, have a
tailor affix seven instead of five black stripes to the epaulets. 
Then, send a picture to Truthdig of me wearing my 101st beret,
holding onto the “stick” of an L-1011.  That might be
more impressive than a grey, ghost-type image.
However, I refuse to label myself as “suave.” 
Doesn´t fit a screaming eagle type PhD.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, December 2, 2010 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

Not me, Rico! I KNOW this kind of stuff would be there in the British, German, Russian, Italian, Libyan, Israeli, Saudi, and Iranian foreign ministries, just to name a few.

It doesn’t bother me that our leaders and leaders of other nations are embarrassed by this.  I haven’t seen anything damaging like missile codes or knowledge of coup d’etats before they happen.  Mostly it’s either been routine analysis or stuff that’s classified just to keep the person from embarrassment.

Plus this “shock” that diplomats engage in spying is silly. Anyone who thinks an embassy isn’t engaged in spying on the host, plus on all the other embassies, simply doesn’t understand foreign affairs and lives in a dream world.  Interfering in other nations is, of course, de riguer, but is frequently just stupid.  At best you get a short-term gain, and no more.  At worst, you end up causing decades of problems and misery.

The most serious stuff so far is just how WRONG the Bush admin was in their assessment of the effect of the Iraq war on Iran’s influence.  That’s important to know.

Report this
rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, December 2, 2010 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

What I still seem to be geting from all these posts is the opinion that the US is the ONLY rogue on the planet which engages in this type of duplicity. Of course I’m not surprised, coming from “bash America first and Israel second” truthdiggers.

The Wikileaks are, far more importantly, about how diplomacy is, was and always will be practiced by all nations everywhere.

Read about the court intrigues of Rome and Constantinople under the late Caesars, or of Baghdad under the early Caliphates, or of the Ottomans, or of ancient dynastic China, or the crap that went on between Stalin and Hitler.

Hell, we’re ingenuous naive tyros compaired to those people.

Report this
Peter Knopfler's avatar

By Peter Knopfler, December 2, 2010 at 12:34 am Link to this comment

Yes we are ruled by a 3% brain like military
intelligence or stuck on stupid, seems Julian is a
MAN among MICE, Hail to Assange USA caught with their
pants down, like 911, bay of Tonkin like Lusitana,
home of the what, sad, USA liar number one, now kill
Julian, what a bunch of creeps the american
mainstream media, blood thirsty morons, back to the
Ugly american, they should give Julian the Nobel
peace prize but the drone master already ran off with
it, public media master baiting over wikileaks,
foaming at the mouth to kill the messenger and hide
the truth, it seems most media is happy to condem the
messenger, there is nothing that we the public should
not know our tax money pays for ALL this display of
idiots, does not the taxpayer PAY TO BE THE BOSS,and
NOT TO BE DECEIVED like the Muslims who lie
religiously, only Americans lie habitually, YES
habitual liars, its like a drug addiction, break out
in a rash if they told the truth about anything. We
don´t torture, I did not have sex with her, And NOW
THE OBAMA DECEPTION, a change you can count on!

Report this

By jsr, December 2, 2010 at 12:23 am Link to this comment

Thanks Amy for keeping us well informed!

On my side,  I found quite interesting that so many
commentators adopt rather alternative views re:
Wikileaks. So interesting actually, that I’ve just
published an analysis of conspiracy theorists’ views
of WikiLeaks (makingsenseofthings.info). I hope it
can bring the debate further.

Cheers,

jsr

Report this

By jsr, December 2, 2010 at 12:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks Amy for yet another relevant analysis.


On my side, I found quite interesting that so many
commentators adopt rather alternative views re:
Wikileaks. So interesting actually, that I’ve just
published an analysis of conspiracy theorists’ views
of WikiLeaks (makingsenseofthings.info). I hope it
can bring the debate further.

Cheers,

jsr

Report this
rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, December 2, 2010 at 12:12 am Link to this comment

mdgr:

mea culpa. deep breath.

Report this

By mdgr, December 1, 2010 at 11:37 pm Link to this comment

Be gentle, Admiral Suave. You’re beginning to act like me. One needs to find depth as it occurs. grin

Report this
rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, December 1, 2010 at 10:55 pm Link to this comment

jonathonk:

Don’t tell me what you think my definition of democracy is. I want you to tell me what yours is. If you can’t, you’re out of your depth here.

Report this

By Jacko, December 1, 2010 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ignorance implies complicity by involvement. Just like GW Bush in the elementary classroom, Obama has avoided making any public commentary or official statements on the wikileaks.

Report this

By jonathonk99, December 1, 2010 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

g,

I couldn’t help but agree with gerard about the education thing.  But, again
have schools ever made a big deal about politics?  The old saying goes you
learn more outside of school than in school.  Yes, it’s always been patriot
stories from the get go and you always learned more about the real world on
the streets than in class.  Problem is there ain’t no more streets just shopping
malls!  I definitely got lucky one day when I stumbled across some old
American History books of my fathers in some boxes in the basement.  They
were early 1900’s and smelled bad.  I started to read them and developed a
thirst.  Afterwards, luckily, I stumbled into a little book ‘Twentieth Century’ by
Howard Zinn at the bookstore.  They call it a game changer.  I’m not saying all
teachers are bad.  Only some, like people in general, stand out.  And as
teachers those are the ones that count.  Older generations were more real in
ways.  How they could tell stories that made things light up inside your head.

Report this
PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, December 1, 2010 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

Democracy loses much of its allure at the barrel of a gun.

Report this

By jonathonk99, December 1, 2010 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

By rico, suave, December 2 at 12:11

Rico it seems like you have a lot in common with our Founding Fathers.  You’re
a-ok with democracy as long as it’s confined to your own ilk.  I guess once the
slaves and ‘thugs’ show up then it’s time draw the line for you which is a
natural reaction based off of rational fears i suppose. 

James Madison, for instance, was chronically afraid that the ‘thugs’ he called
the majority would overthrow the minority of the opulent and take away what
they thought was their ‘private property’.  That’s why he wanted to define the
political system to least represent as many people as possible who were not
considered wealthy.  Is that your definition of democracy suave?

Sorry I can’t sum it up conveniently in a sentence for you.  Let me try again:  a
democracy involves HUMANS not CORPORATIONS that think they are humans. 
Saying that people’s lives are ruined because they gave in to advertising is a
disgrace.  Washington is the advertisement.  And everything you see on the
campaign is a bribe and a lie.  Take Big Business, and the dollars that flow from
it out of the picture, and you begin to see a new kind of democracy where shit
like Wikileaks isn’t necessary.

Report this

By floordude, December 1, 2010 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

mdgr
What do they need the dna, fingerprints and all that stuff for?
I bet u, that no reporter will ever ask that question.
I had to think all day about that.
I’m pretty sure they are not suspects of a crime, lol.
I mean burglary or theft. So what for?
Does anybody might come to the same conclusion as I?
It’s kinda scary if my conclusion is right. I still hope I’m wrong.
It needed me a long time, but it seems the only logical explanation.

Report this

By jsr, December 1, 2010 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you Amy for pointing out yet again the excesses
of the US administration.
Given that these excesses are very real, I found
quite interesting that so many commentators still
need to adopt rather alternative views re: Wikileaks.
So interesting actually, that I’ve just published an
analysis of conspiracy theorists’ views of WikiLeaks
(http://makingsenseofthings.info/2010/12/wikileaks-
is-the-product-of-cia/). I hope it can bring the
debate further.

Cheers,

jsr - http://makingsenseofthings.info

Report this
rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, December 1, 2010 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

mdgr:

Actually I read Investors Business Daily. Better stock tips. But that’s neither here nor there.

I liked your point about scale. 300 million multicutural souls are impossible to “democratize” because they literally do not speak the same language, in every sense of that phrase. The best we can do is nod to the mechanical definiton of “One man one vote”. That’s “political democracy.”

The reason Athens worked was because everybody was Athenian (except the slaves of course) and agreed on the rules of debate. The same with Germany in the twenties and thirties.

When Frederick Olmsted created Central Park in NYC back in the 1850s he said he did it to “democratize” New York by giving people from all walks of life the opportunity to mix and mingle of a Sunday afternoon, which they happily did (until the thugs showed up a century later). That sense of “democracy” has stuck with me.

To say that corporations have outsized political power is merely to say that “real” voters are suckers for advertising, which is unfortunately true: A candidate’s chances are not measured by his ideas but by the size of his campaign chest.

“Economic democracy” is a pipedream.

“Social democracy” is a walk in Central Park of a Sunday afternoon.

But enough of this diversion- back to Wikileaks.

Report this

By mdgr, December 1, 2010 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

P.S.

Democracy is also reflected in the likes of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos’ endeavor to make instant gratification available to almost anyone with a computer.

It’s the new populism. And just now, Amazon cut off Wikileaks.

No problem, however. Amazon “just acted in its own best interests” and assumed that people would care more about their freedom as consumers than their freedom of speech.

Ayn Rand would have been proud. Hillary too.

Thus it is that I add Bezos’ face to the Janus-like portrait of “democracy” to which I alluded in my earlier comment.

Report this

By mdgr, December 1, 2010 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

By rico, suave, December 1 at 9:48 pm:

What is democracy? You didn’t ask it of me, but please permit me a little rant:

Democracy is an anachronism.

It helped bring Hitler to power; almost gave us McCain, but instead gave us Barack Obama, which <<whiplash-like>> appeared to be better at the time.
In 2012 or 2016, it will probably give us Sarah Palin. SO much for the America-version of this time-honored mythos.

It worked well in Classical Greece—but mostly because it was built to scale and it fit right in with a small city-state. Rome gave us a somewhat different form of representation based on an implicit acknowledgment of greed, power and the need to keep the masses more or less ignorant.

The person who talked most loudly about “democracy” very recently was George W. Bush, who himself was a blithering idiot, incapable of spluttering anything more substantive than homilies and platitudes. Moreover, he was evil.

Ask me to define evil, and I’ll have a bloody field-day.

“Democracy” too is a darling of the Wall Street Journal, which I bet you read this morning. Democracy is a cliche, a political solution in a world that has long since hit its glass-ceiling in terms of political solutions.

I’d vastly prefer a philosopher-king, but the last one I remember seeing was Gorbachev, and we know what happened to him. Democracy is the last refuge of scoundrels.

Janus-faced, it refracts the likeness of Obama, Karzai and Karl Rove. It gave us Netanhayu. It gave us Gaza and Iraq. Putin is more honest.

So is death.

Report this
rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, December 1, 2010 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment

gerard:

With all due respect, jonathonk didn’t answer my question. I’ll ask you the same one- What, in your view is “democracy?”

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, December 1, 2010 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

In my youth, one heard repetitions of the statements
of and references to Jesus of Nazareth quite often. 
Many religious scholars suggest that switching from
these beliefs to fast foods and TV sex and violence
is responsible for the disruption in American life
that has been advanced by NAZI Satanism. 

Of the many thought-provoking statements made by
Jesus of Nazareth, one seems to fit the current
times, very explicitly, found in Luke 12:4-5:
“My friends, be not afraid of them that kill the
body, and after that have no more that they can do. 
But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear Him
that, after He hath killed, hath power to cast into
hell; yea, I say unto you, fear Him!”

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, December 1, 2010 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment

” basically, i feel like there is a lot we do not know about the whole thing. 
afterall, the cia is everywhere”

John Stockwell, a former CIA chief, said that the CIA conducted 10,000 illegal assassination-type events in various foreign countries since 1950.  Congressman Ron Paul established a similar history for the CIA.  Former assassin for George H. W. Bush Sr., Mr. Chip Tatum, provided his “chronicles,” before he was murdered by his “associates.”  His “chronicles”
provide some details, also about 30 years of illegal drug-smuggling for the U.S. government” via U.S. Army and Air Force aircraft. 

Former “associates” of the Army and Air Force and CIA are slowly revealing similar involvement in the illegal drug smuggling done during the years GHWBushSr was the director of the CIA.  He denied for over twenty years, that he was CIA director, til
insiders revealed his “secret.”  So far, no one has had the honesty - or guts - to reveal how many assassinations he ordered through various operatives. Probably, only an insider with access to his letters can add them all together.

Since NAZI SS General Gehlin was hired by Allen Dulles to convert the OSS into the CIA, which he did with assistance of NAZI sympathizers in the US Gov., one need not guess too much to discern that NAZI types were placed into leadership positions.  Thus, realistically
viewed, it is no wonder that the U.S. Gov has been overtaken by NAZI-types and their offspring.  Just read a little of the family history of Karl Rove, for example.  Do not “google”  Bush - NAZI.  The results might give you a 2-hr puking spasm.

The Patriot Act has initiated conditions that parallel those of NAZIism in Germany, 1938-1945.  Sad that the leadership of Bavaria permitted Adolf Hitler to seduce the Bavarians to his persuasion, first, which made it possible to “suck in” all of Germany.  Of course, the power-crazy types continue to exist, and have a controlling influence via the two “union” parties. 

One wonders how many millionaires the “Stuttgart 21” train station project is planned to produce, similarly, how much is to go into Union party bank accounts?
Remembering the Dr. Kohl election donation affair, more recently the zum Winkel affair in the German postal system, obviously, the German folk continue to be milked like cows. Unlike Americans, they still have a little milk - - .

Dr. Andreas Bulow, former Minister of Science and Technology in Germany, has written several revealing books that accurately provide insight into events prior to 9-11, and subsequent to that date.  I find it sort of a wonder, that he and Jesse Ventura have not been assassinated for their honesty.

Three cheers for Amy Goodman types !  Stand up and blow the whistle, Americans !

Report this

By gerard, December 1, 2010 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, Jonathonk.  And one more thing for Rico and others to think about:  Why have democratic ideals deteriorated so much over the last century—not counting the fragile 60s?
  Education, education, education. Schools have been discouraged from “making a big deal” out of “politics in the classroom.” It’s too “controversial.”
  Consequently,a couple generations of people have almost ceased thinking about “citizens’ (meaning their) responsibility” which should be the hallmark of democracy. People have allowed themselves to remain ignorant of what goes on at City Hall, the State House, the halls of Congress, the Supreme Court and the White House—except for gossip, of course.
  This loss of knowledge and power has been leached out of the general popuation in planned attacks on school facilities, curriculum and personnel, via the onslaughts of “private enterprisers” and tax-cutters.
  My grandfather read newspapers and discussed politics as a serious matter around the stove at the corner store.  My father dug politics out of books, newspapers and radios, put 2 and 2 together, and understood what was happening in the steel mills and coal mines.  I was jerked into political consciousness by an ardent Progressive who saw that public action benefited the working people amd helped wake up the oligarchy in New York and Washington. He also made it his business to find out what was going on in Germany.  I myself learned a lot while working against the testing and use of the A-bomb. 
  As to democracy—use it personally or lose it nationally. “Demo-” means people, as in democracy and demonstration.

Report this

By jonathonk99, December 1, 2010 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

Rico,

In my opinion what we have in the U.S.A is failure to communicate.  I don’t like
it anymore than you do. But, that’s why whistle blowers like WikiLeak are a vital
service to serve as a viable check and balance (when there are none else)
against a distorted and inept political power system.  The level of so-called
debate in the media, left or right, is highly centralized and reflects the lack of
balance.  Like I said, corporations legally now have more rights than people
which makes them ridiculously influential.  A working democracy cannot exist
in my mind with such a discrepancy.  Corporations are essentially anti-
democratic, yet they are the ones calling all the shots and deciding the entire
framework of it all, whether it’s who gets elected, what policies are carried out,
what wars are fought, how much you get paid, how much the dollar is worth,
how much the stuff you buy costs, and they will make sure it’s all highly
classified!!  Corporations, Wall Street, the CEO bankers, and other such scum
are kind of like the wizard behind the curtain of democracy.  Until we fully de-
robe them and uncover all the scandal that is then they will continue to devour
the last rotting innards of this democracy along with all the hard won rights
won by workers through violent struggle over the last century.  Give Americans
one last vote:  Do you want to go back to the nineteenth century, or not?

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, December 1, 2010 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

Aguirre is clearly a bumbling idiot.  His actions show why political appointees should NEVER be sent to nations where there’s a hint of a chance they can f*** things up.  No competent career diplomat would EVER have acted as Aguirre did in Spain.  Ambassadorships are given as political rewards or to career professionals, yet the two are as different as a PhD and an honorary Doctor of Letters. Political appointees should NEVER be allowed to engage in real diplomacy.  They are inevitably rich, powerful, egotistical fools who fail Dirty Harry’s observation: “A man’s got to know his limitations”.

But outraged leftists fail to realize that MOST of what’s come out of Wikileaks would look the same from every other nation’s diplomatic records.

Report this

By tedmurphy41, December 1, 2010 at 9:19 am Link to this comment

It may have slipped under the radar in America, but we here, in the UK, are bidding to hold the 2018 World Cup and have raised objections over a Panorama(BBC) programme exposing the venality of the officials in charge of FIFA, whose officials decide which Country gets this prestigious prize. Bribes and “hospitality” were claimed to have been offered and accepted.
The various interested British institutions here, were up in arms against the BBC for damaging our chances of winning the bid, instead of requesting that the bid be withdrawn until these most serious matters were resolved, if necessary, in a Court of Law.
It just goes to show that we, in the UK, can do business, along with the best of them, with any allegedly corrupt institution/s when our financial interests are at stake.
Principles and morality, in such circumstances, go straight out of the window, that is if we ever held any in the first place..

Report this

By glider, December 1, 2010 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

Rico,
You are certainly not one to change your mind no matter what facts are presented.  So I am sure I am wasting my breath.  But you are distorting Amy’s point to reword her comment to restrict it to “spies” lives.  She is rightly pointing out that this sort of diplomacy of lies and manipulation is used to start criminal wars such as the Iraq War which is documented to have caused a massive number of innocent civilian deaths.  But go ahead and keep chanting USA USA USA, and don’t think any unpleasant thoughts grin

Report this
rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, December 1, 2010 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

jonathonk:

What is “democracy” in your view?

Report this

By jonathonk99, December 1, 2010 at 1:07 am Link to this comment

Let’s get something straight.  There is no democracy and there never was
intended to be anything like democracy if you knew anything about the
background of the U.S Constitution.  (The erosion of democracy has been pushed
even further with the decision by the High Court in January to allow corporations
to buy presidents). If anything Wikileaks is perhaps the last vanguard of any
chance for a democracy because real democracy is based on truth and honesty
not cover ups.  The bottom line is that if the government was good they would
have nothing to hide from the American People.  But they’re not good.  And
remember, this isn’t even the most-classified material.  This is just tip-of-the
iceberg stuff left out for any John Doe to find.  I believe the real confidential
material would outrage the American people to such an extent that they would
demand for a real democracy quite unlike the one we have today.

Report this

By cruxpuppy, December 1, 2010 at 12:04 am Link to this comment

“Is the United States the only country on the planet that practices espionage and engages in duplicitous behavior toward other countries? And does that behavior make the US “undemocratic?”

It does, Rico. The duplicitous behavior is not simply directed at other countries, but also at the people of the US who know nothing at all about what these bastards are doing, nor how much money they are spending and to what ends.

We do not live in a democratic country. If the work of heroes like Assange to tear down the carefully constructed veils of secrecy is ever successful, it will reveal to the people just how undemocratic a place this is. Do you like to be lied to? Do you want people you don’t know and wouldn’t like if you did know them, spending your money to create wars for you and your children to die in?

Democracy? That’s a good one, Rico!

Report this

By gerard, November 30, 2010 at 11:58 pm Link to this comment

We can expect “entrapment” (which may have occurred already), and a loud and bleating effort to “kill the messenger”.
  Actually, Clinton’s self-righteous “There’s nothing laudable about endangering innocent people” sets forth the very question the United States should be asking itself—that is, what about “the endangerment of innocent people” caught up in wars for resources, national dominance and pride?
  If that question had long ago been allowed to penetrate the walls of power in Washington, there would probably never have been a Wikileaks exposure to try to get the madness stopped by throwing some light on hidden inanities such as who is buying whom behind the scenes at what price, to do what.
  A lot of noses may be out of joint over these leaks, but if the redactions were sufficiently inclusive, Assange will survive—with a little help from friends of justice. Manning may be in greater danger, if he has less than sufficient defense resources.

Report this
Queenie's avatar

By Queenie, November 30, 2010 at 11:55 pm Link to this comment

We live in a time when we have witnessed the complete destruction of the rights of citizens to go about their business secure in the knowledge that their constitution will protect them from unlawful search and seizure. Now we are all treated as potential “terrists” and we are watched, listened to, and spied on in our emails, our phone calls, and subjected to undue harassment in our travels. Our vaginas and penises are fondled by strangers. We are all presumed guilty before being found innocent. For most, this may take only a few moments. For others, weeks, months, or years.

Now the worm has turned. Now those who, in secret, have taken every opportunity to de-humanize us, those who tell us, “If you have nothing to hide, quitcherbitchin’” may have to live with a limelight shoved up their arse for a change, exempt no longer.

What a delicious moment this is. Savor it. Celebrate it. Sing it in the streets. Dance to the beat. Those bearing the flames of fascism will now have to feel the heat.

Report this

By WriterOnTheStorm, November 30, 2010 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment

The demonization of wikileaks has entered phase two with the arrest warrant for
Assange. According to NBC nightly news Nov. 30th, Assange is a suspected rapist,
an “anti-American, deeply disturbed and dangerous individual”.

Sounds like they copy/pasted the Ahmadinejad script. State department hacks
couldn’t even be bothered to write something new, had to ask Interpol to trump
something up for them.

If only Wikileaks could get its hands on that communique.

Report this

By ronjeremy, November 30, 2010 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

all information is good information when it comes to governments.  i really want to know more about Julian Assange(sp).  from where does all this money come?  i remember that picture of the wikileaks batcave a few months ago, it did not look cheap.  also, why not just dump all the information at once and be done with it?  why the redactions on wikileaks part?  basically, i feel like there is a lot we do not know about the whole thing.  afterall, the cia is everywhere

Report this
rico, suave's avatar

By rico, suave, November 30, 2010 at 10:08 pm Link to this comment

Allow me to parse, Amy.

“Rather, lives might actually be saved, since the way that the U.S. conducts diplomacy is now getting more exposure than ever.”

So, naming spies who tell lies will save their lives. Got it.

“In another series of cables, the U.S. State Department instructs its staff around the world and at the U.N. to spy on people, and, remarkably [are you fucking serious!!!], to collect biometric information of diplomats.”

Now how shocking is THAT!? What other country in the world, besides Israel, behaves in such a fascist manner? Can you imagine China or Russia asking its diplomats to spy on other diplomats, even to the point of finding out their phone numbers and their DNA profile and what they look like!? Why, it’s enough to make you sick to your stomach! Even Obamacare isn’t that intrusive. Oh, wait…

Goodman (and Noam Chomsky) and I have a serious difference of opinion concerning the definition of “democracy.”

Is the United States the only country on the planet that practices espionage and engages in duplicitous behavior toward other countries? And does that behavior make the US “undemocratic?”

Report this

By cruxpuppy, November 30, 2010 at 10:03 pm Link to this comment

The leaks reveal to what extent a government is a criminal conspiracy to manipulate the public interest for insider advantage. We the people are meant to share the outage of professional fraudsters like Clinton over the “threat to national security”, that is to say, the threat to the lying bitch’s power and prestige. Therefore, Assange is a “terrorist”. Obama can issue a fatwah and have him whacked.

Report this
PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, November 30, 2010 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment

America needs to use its bully diplomacy to deal with the one foreign nation causing many of the foreign relations problems we have today.

http://criminalstate.com/2010/11/wikileaks-the-tel-aviv-connection/

Report this
Newsletter

sign up to get updates


 
 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook