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Why the US Govt Should Be Happy About Wikileaks 232

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-I-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-leaks dept.
angry tapir writes "WikiLeaks' leaking of classified information should be considered a blessing for the US government, and other governments should take heed of the lessons when it comes to information sharing, according to Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) research associate, Professor Mike Nelson, who spent four years as Senator Al Gore's science adviser and served as the White House director for technology policy on IT, and was also a member of Barack Obama presidential campaign."
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Why the US Govt Should Be Happy About Wikileaks

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  • by identity0 (77976) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @11:13PM (#36383424) Journal

    "was also a member of Barack Obama presidential campaign."

    Too bad the Obama administration hasn't done anything to increase openness - in fact, they've done just the opposite.

    If only this guy had actually been appointed to a position of power - or maybe this kind of opinion is why he wasn't.

  • More to the point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sparx139 (1460489) on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @11:15PM (#36383440)
    The US Government should be relieved that Wikileaks 'cablegate' portrayed them in a relatively positive light, meaning that the backlash will be minimal from a domestic standpoint.

    95 per cent of those leaked memos were incredibly well written and well reasoned, with one paragraph that might be sensitive

    And the other 5% are the ones that cause a scandal. And while they may help garner domestic support (which is unlikely, because the media only covers that 5%), diplomacy could get a lot trickier when you have to explain your conversations with others.

    Before I get modded into oblivion for this, all I'm not passing judgement on Wikileaks in either direction. Leaking can be argued as being necessary depending on the situation, but saying that the US government should be happy about it is just ridiculous.

  • Re:Yeah, so bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @11:28PM (#36383514)

    Remember that one of the primary findings by the 9/11 commission was that a primary cause of us not catching the cell was lack of information sharing.

    What did you expect an official commission to say? That privacy and freedom are more precious than safety and that the terrorists win if we turn into a police state because of their actions?

    Duh. I tell you what else they won't say. They won't say that maybe we wouldn't have these problems if we didn't keep meddling in the Middle East's affairs, often brutally. Nah, there is no connection between repeatedly provoking them and finally getting attacked by them. Clearly information sharing now that they already want to attack us, yeah that's the real issue.

    Government lies to you. It lies to you routinely, naturally, and without remorse. Why you fucks can't bring yourselves to accept it is the only mystery.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @11:36PM (#36383562)

    However, Obama is actually more interested in stability in the region, and will do everything to maintain that regardless of what it takes to achieve that stability.

    As Noam Chomsky points out, in US foreignpolicyspeak "stability" means "obedience to US corporate demands".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 08, 2011 @11:44PM (#36383616)

    To clarify:
    'Stability' does not mean 'peace' or 'happiness of the local people' or whatever else in the context of the post above.
    'Stability' means things are calm and thus, easy for politicians and governments to deal with. The local population could be forced into working like slaves for their nation's leaders, women could be raped daily, kids taken from their parents to be brainwashed into becoming soldiers, as long as the people don't rebel against their government it's considered 'stable'.

  • Re:Yeah, so bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cavreader (1903280) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @12:43AM (#36383882)
    What people call meddling I call normal international interaction. Every country in the middle east has bargained with Western governments by leveraging their oil reserves and playing countries against one another to gain favor. This behavior has been ongoing since before WW1. In return for good deals the western countries had to support the leaders of the country. During the cold war all the little countries in world played the US and Russia against one another to gain concessions. The US or any other western country might have "meddled" but it has always been the citizens and leaders of the country who allowed and participated in the meddling who bare the responsibility for their problems. It's become an all to common practice today for all the little failed states to blame all their troubles on someone else thus alleviating their own culpability in screwing up their own country.
  • Arab Brothers? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by larsl (30423) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @01:01AM (#36383970) Homepage

    Iranians are not Arabs.

  • Re:Yeah, so bad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09, 2011 @01:18AM (#36384046)

    It's also worth recalling that the "meddling" that Osama bin Laden was concerned about was Operation Desert Shield. Not Storm, when the U.S. invaded Iraq, but Shield when the U.S., at the Saudi government's request, led a multinational coalition of forces to defend Arabia. He was upset that non-Muslims and non-Arabs were allowed to set foot in the land of the two cities, even if they were 1,000 km away from Mecca. To call this a justification for terrorism, you would have to assume that OBL is the proper authority over Arabia and the House of Saud is not.

    OBL was also upset that there were still Jews living in Judea, Indians in India, and Christians in Spain. Not everything is the Americans' fault.

  • Obviously not (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dbIII (701233) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @01:20AM (#36384068)
    It fails the obviousness test:

    Does it actually manage to do something in a reasonable timescale without completely stuffing it up?
    Yes?
    Well in that case the CIA are not running it.

    Remember that the only reason Homeland Security exists is because the CIA was unable to be a centre to co-ordinate all of those other intelligence agencies - you know, the job the CIA was set up to do in the first place.
  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @02:28AM (#36384448)
    What makes democracy so stable? One charismatic leader comes along and gets elected, and you've got World War Two to deal with.
  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @02:30AM (#36384462)
    If there was an assumption that all private conversations would be made public, diplomacy would take the form of hushed conversations in a broom cupboard with no written account being made. Politicians would play diplomacy like actors, putting on a show for the people, while the real work was done informally and secretively.
  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @03:47AM (#36384830)

    As Noam Chomsky points out, in US foreignpolicyspeak "stability" means "obedience to US corporate demands".

    Well, he who pays the piper calls the tune. The United States offers a host of pretty compelling benefits, not among the least of which is the protection of our vast military, to our allies and friends. It's only natural that we should ask for certain things in return for these benefits. That's the way the world works after all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09, 2011 @03:50AM (#36384846)

    Maybe the Noam-Chomsky-quoting-AC has the radical idea that the people in those foreign countries should be allowed to make up their own minds and have their own government that does what is good for *them*, not necessarily good for the USA.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 09, 2011 @05:29AM (#36385400)

    As Noam Chomsky points out, in US foreignpolicyspeak "stability" means "obedience to US corporate demands".

    Well, he who pays the piper calls the tune. The United States offers a host of pretty compelling benefits, not among the least of which is the protection racket of our vast military, to our allies and friends. It's only natural that we should ask for certain things in return for these benefits. That's the way the world works after all.

    There, corrected it for you.

    "Prosperous little democracy you have there going. It would be such a shame if something happened to it."

  • by XManticore (2128426) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @05:35AM (#36385442)

    This is the hypocrisy that the world hates the US for.

    Your government plays the democracy tune when they wish a people to overthrow a tyranny that doesn't suit their agenda. And when a peaceful, fair election [wikipedia.org] such as the one in Palestine happens, and somebody who you don't like gets elected, the West get their panties in a twist and starts their pathetic economic bullying [nytimes.com].

  • by voss (52565) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @09:10AM (#36386886)

    I find it amazing how Chomsky can be considered a public policy expert on anything with no training in public policy an economics expert with no training in economics and a philosopher with not much background in philosophy. The supply of oil to an advanced country can be a matter of life and death in a cold winter
    so yes stability isnt just about corporations. Whats even more funny is his awful writing style, it makes pseudo-intellectual rubes think how brilliant he must be that they cant understand him.

    see chomskybot http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chomskybot [wikipedia.org]

  • by GospelHead821 (466923) on Thursday June 09, 2011 @12:15PM (#36389438)

    Okay, we can consider price as the example. If I'm willing to pay as $3 for a loaf of bread and the seller is willing to accept as little as $2.50 for it, then there's 50 cents of grey area in there for us to negotiate over. If I were being REALLY idealistic, I'd say that we both reveal that information and then agree on $2.75 as the final price because we want to be fair to one another. Alternately, I offer $2.50 at first; the seller requests $3.00 at first, and we negotiate toward $2.75.

    I am, however, willing to pay $3 for the bread. I don't think it's being "taken advantage of" if I offer $3 and end up paying it. So what if the guy selling the bread makes 50 cents that he didn't really expect to make? So what if I could have had a share of that 50 cents? If I have set my boundaries such that paying $3 for a loaf of bread allows me to be content with my purchase, then I have no reason for complaint. In my opinion, this is a fundamental flaw in what I consider to be the typical free market. People allow their utility, wellbeing, happiness, etc. to be predicated on their ability to capture that grey area.

    Put another way, I don't think it's reasonable to choose to be happy because I saved a quarter on a loaf of bread and merely indifferent about getting a loaf of bread at my threshold price. I think it's more reasonable to choose to be happy about enjoying my bread that I paid a fair price for rather than fretting over how much less I could have paid for that bread.

C makes it easy for you to shoot yourself in the foot. C++ makes that harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg. -- Bjarne Stroustrup

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