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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Leaking Diplomatic Cables?

This blog post raises, in my mind, the additional question, why don't we get the MSM releasing classified information from State?  Why is it usually Defense?  Why the Pentagon Papers and secret NSA programs, but not the views of Ambassador Smith about some foreign dignitary or foreign crisis?

In this case it is someone working for DoD who may, at some point, release a quarter of a million cables from within the Department of State.

To be fair to the MSM, this person's release of a video of a Helicopter Attack that killed 12 people was to Wikileaks, not the MSM.  The video was put up by Wikileaks and then moved to a "mirror" site, here. Wikileaks is supposedly operated out of Sweden.

The Blog Post above, from the LA Times, references a post at The Daily Beast.  At the "DB" there is quite a bit more detail, but not greater insight.

And, here is a blogger from MIT on Wikileaks.

Hat tip to Instapundit.

It is important to note that the release of 250,000 Diplomatic Cables could do a tremendous amount of damage.  And, it is not just between the US and the nation in question.  If a cable says that Ambassador Smith of the UK and Ambassador Schmidt of Germany both agree that Prime Minister Whoever of Wherever is a schnook, then it is not just the US and Wherever that are going to fall out, but also the UK and Germany.  And people won't talk freely to us in the future.

There is a lot of information that needs to have the whistle blown on it.  There is a lot of information that should be released just because it is decades old and historians need to look at it.  There is also a lot of information that needs to be classified, to save lives.  The expression, "Loose lips sink ships" is still valid today.

In the mean time, so much for conducting diplomacy.

Regards  —  Cliff

1 comment:

ncrossland said...

There are much better ways of providing "transparency" than through the pathetic, often pathological needs of some obscure little worm who wants his or her moment of glory or "redemption" by "taking down the house." In the case of the Apache attack in Iraq, it was and is terribly old news and is the result of the disgruntlement of one pitiful soldier, who is now being seriously investigated for criminal action.

Leaks have, at least in DC, long been a tool of politics. By opening a perceived can of worms, the perpetrator hopes to alter the course of policy or procedure, or in the alternative, smear incumbents to a hoped for extent that results in their removal. Rarely is the leak merely the outcome of patriotism or some othe altruistic motive.

The role of the MSM today is, well, self serving and for my part, disgusting. In the time of my youth, journalism's role was not to simply inform, but also to enable a degree of understanding. The was, to a greater degree then than now, a certain integrity, code of honor...that was at least strived for, if not maintained. Today, the role of "newspeople" is to parrot facts as they interpret them without much investigation. They are like the most visible icon of modern day "journalism".....little more than pretty talking heads reading from a teleprompter and parrotting the views of someone in their chain of command.

The problem for Americans is that many receive that information with little or new criticality of thought.

The MSM is little more than a cheap sideshow of entertainment, each striving to outdo the other with the pretty perfect teeth, the designer clothing, the shock value of what they report. Bad news sells air time.....and newspapers.

Of course, we all pay for this endless drivel with higher costs of goods and services, because it is those providers who pay the salaries of the pinheads of the press.