11:17 Comment From Jason
Thu, 29 Jul 2010 19:17:07 GMT
Comment: We praise whistle-blowers and I understand they have led to some incredible changes (just look at Jeffrey Wigand and what that did to big tobacco), but it seems to me there are two issues: 1) Is our country (or the world) that deaf/blind that it takes some massive leak, like the current one, to get people’s attention? and 2) Why does the media blow it out of proportion, as if nobody knew what was going on? Every major contributor’s latest article on Truthdig this week has to do with this leak. Is this leak really going to change anything?; didn’t we already know the two wars were lost causes, especially Afghanistan?
Wonder if the White House not responding to @WikiLeaks shows their tactic is marginalise & discredit, prohibiting engaging #lateline
11:20 Robert Scheer
Thu, 29 Jul 2010 19:20:43 GMT
(To Jason) Well I disagree with the assumption that we haven’t learned much from this leak. It is true, as with the Pentagon Papers, there were few surprises, but there was validation to what we were able to figure out without having raw material. I have been reading it whenever I get a chance and I find it fascinating in the detail, because what it shows is that everyone in that country is on the take, whether it being on God and pushing that agenda, or Pakistan or one warlord or another, but everyone has a scam and at almost no point do they care about the US and their plans. I don’t think you realize just how ludicrous this is until you read those documents, and those saying it is irrelevant are wrong; it shows you how dangerous, and the cost of this experiment.
From D.H. Kerby in Philadelphia Mr. Scheer, Phil Kerby’s son, David, here. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange says he has a source in the U.S. government who has told him that there has been discussion in official circles of charging him as a co-conspirator to espionage. Given the administration’s hostility to whistle-blowers and with a federal shield law for journalists still in process, how best can a man who does what Assange does defend himself against an administration which fails to distinguish between openly releasing information to the people and secretly providing information to an enemy? Superb column, by the way.
Obama has had quite a handful lately. Oil leaks, wikileaks. Where is Joe the Plumber when you need him?
11:25 Comment From radson
Thu, 29 Jul 2010 19:25:12 GMT
Comment: Why not let India solve this Pakistani problem?; after all ‘Pakistan’ is a British invention along with the Durand Line, which in essence is a major cause of the ethnic tensions in the region, not to mention Kashmir.
11:27 Robert Scheer
Thu, 29 Jul 2010 19:27:31 GMT
(To D.H. Kerby) For those who don’t know your father’s reputation, he won the Pulitzer Prize for writing editorials which practice freedom of the press, for the LA Times, and I think it’s the spirit that has to inform the current debate. We have to defend the whistle-blowers, they didn’t jeopardize the troops; the president who sent them, who continues the war, is responsible. And the whistle-blowers, whether it be Ellsberg or in this case, people who can show them the necessary documents, end up protecting troops. We have to help them because they don’t have the money or lawyers to defend themselves. Better free press and no government than a government and no free press. Let me just add one point: the government leaks secret information all the time. The best foreign policy stories are from the US government, or other governments leaking otherwise classified information and documents to their purpose. But they are angry when information that is leaked is uncomfortable to them.
11:27 Comment From erniesfo
Thu, 29 Jul 2010 19:27:39 GMT
Comment: Bob: I may not put this right, but Gary Wills recently wrote an article about “what he told Obama” at a secret meeting with prominent historians in NYRB. Turns out they all told Obama not to go in on Af-Pak, to get out. He was warned about his economic advisers—Summers, Geithner, Goolsby, et at, that they were retreads who had never made a correct economic assessment in their careers. Yet here we are. Could it be that Obama is such an ideologue, and, it must be said, such an elitist (fawning over folks from Ivy League schools, etc.) that this degrades any native intelligence that he might possess?
11:32 Comment From Joshua W.
Thu, 29 Jul 2010 19:32:56 GMT
Comment: Anything to kick the oligarchy in the shin!
11:33 Comment From Jason
Thu, 29 Jul 2010 19:33:02 GMT
Comment: Do you think the hype and attention these sorts of leaks get prevents others from coming forward, even if it wouldn’t mean prosecution and jail time? Corporations and our government go to great lengths to discredit and destroy people who tell the truth. What does this say of the larger issue of “the people” actually finding the courage to rise up and do something about our failing democracy and corrupt government and corporate systems?
The mainstream media is willing to talk about how badly #Afghanistanwar is going, but won’t discuss US war crimes revealed by #wikileaks
11:33 Robert Scheer
Thu, 29 Jul 2010 19:33:14 GMT
(To erniesfo) I don’t think I could put it better myself. I do think, sadly, because I still find the guy quite appealing, but sadly I think you nailed it. The elitism, the unwarranted respect for someone like Summers, even screwed up being head of Harvard, has a terrible track record, is responsible for the deregulation, why would he have such a high position in the White House, it’s mind boggling. On Afghanistan, it started as a ploy, we were not attacked by Iraq, had no relations with Bin Laden, it is true that Bin Laden had a home in Afghanistan with the Taliban, what was left out is that they were part of a US government to recruit Arabs to go to Afghanistan because there weren’t enough Arabs there. Has any Afghan ever attacked the US outside of Afghanistan? No, I mean we turned it into a place of fanaticism, and we didn’t like it when the pro Soviet secular people took over there and we joined with the fanatics to get rid of him. It’s true that people we recruit turn against us, but that was a bizarre accident of history and something we helped engineer and during the campaign it seemed to work. If you want to stop terrorism you have to do police work, that would have stopped it.