Printer-friendly versionSend to friendPDF version

Wikileaks: What's The Point?

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government, Science & Technology
 History Is The Only Guidebook Civil...

Image by Fräulein Schiller via Flickr

As much as I like the idea of a rebellious man-without-a-country causing grief to all the world's governments in the name of freedom, I must admit I'm having some serious misgivings in light of the latest Wikileaks' release.

I'll let you read about the latest bombshells at the New York Times special section or The Guardian. What I'm having trouble with is understanding exactly how these leaks are supposed to help anyone. I'm not alone. As Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor of the The Atlantic puts it:

"What responsibility does Assange have to this country? Does American media exist to serve the immediate good of the American public? Or is there some longer, greater, good in disclosing these dispatches? Is information, in and of itself, good?"

Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations continues the sentiment. He says:

"For WikiLeaks and its media enablers--the New York Times, Guardian, etc.--the payoff is obvious in terms of publicity you can't buy. Beyond that, the benefit is harder to see."

Wikileaks claims to have an ethical imperative. But it's hard to see how the dumping of thousands of pages of diplomatic secrets is going to help the world; if anything it destabilizes it. Certainly one can see the benefit of challenging the established order of things, but the boat is probably better rocked slowly rather than completely overturned. The laying bare of diplomatic secrets which should probably stay secret is more likely to lead to the outbreak of armed conflict than it is to cause any real change in the way governments operate.

Benjamin Radford at Discovery.com suggests that Wikileaks is having difficulty deciding whether releasing certain secrets is ethical or not, and in the process has fallen prey to releasing gossip.

Journalism Ethics professor Stephen J.A. Ward has pointed out that Wikileaks doesn't operate under the same code of ethics that traditional media outlets do, and has called for them to establish formal (and specific) rules of conduct governing what they will and won't release in the future.

Whatever the world's current perspective on Wikileaks, as soon as war breaks out or someone dies as a direct result of these leaks, public opinion will change. Assange will be ostracized, sidelined, and possibly charged in criminal court. If his latest threats of unmasking and exposing a large American bank in the next few months are true, then it's not hard to imagine him being assassinated, as TalkingSkull postulated back in July. Shockingly, many prominent politicians are now openly advocating exactly that, including Sarah Palin and Tom Flanagan, former senior adviser to the Canadian Prime Minister.

What's your opinion? Are the secrets released by Wikileaks likely to lead to deaths and conflict, as Bill Clinton has concluded? Or are they a means to transparent governance, a necessary evil in the fight to keep our rulers honest? Seize the skull - post a comment below! 

timedesign's picture

diplomatic secrets

Sorry Kuncen, have to disagree with you.
It seems to me that if Sarah Palin wants him dead, he must be doing something right.

"The laying bare of diplomatic secrets which should probably stay secret"

Well, now that you have read them, you are in a position to decide if you think these secrets should have been kept secret or not. In this case, your opinion is that we didn't really need to know. Wikileaks has enpowered us make this decision. Did you think the same about Guantanamo of Abu Graib? Of course not, I know.
It also seems to me that if there is the market out there for this kind of information (and judging by the media coverage, there's a big one), wikileaks doesn't actually have to have a point.
I'm baffled by Ta-Nehisi Coates' (is that a real name?) commments.

"What responsibility does Assange have to this country?"

Well, as an Australian citizen, probably not a great deal.

"Does American media exist to serve the immediate good of the American public?"

What is he trying to say here? Would he prefer to ape the the Chinese, North Korean or [insert authoritarian regieme here]'s media in 'serving the public good'. The American media has a responsibility to publish things that the government doesn't want it to. That seems to be serving the good of the American public.

On a slightly different note, the leaks don't seem to have done the US any real harm. Most of the revelations (Russia's corrupt, China's annoyed with NK, the Saudi's are afraid of Iranian power) are stuff we already knew anyway, it's just facinating for this to be revealed in such a candid way. In fact, the leaks show that the American diplomatic service is doing it's job well. I think they should give themselves a pat on the back.
It would be nice if wikileaks could find similar sort of stuff from China, just to even it out. Now there's so grubby secrets!

Kuncen's picture

What was gained?

Good points, all. I guess I'm just having a hard time understanding what was gained by releasing this information. It hasn't bettered the world, it hasn't helped anything, and we're not any more empowered for having learned it. We've fed our curiosity, but that's about it. I'm curious about what people around me are thinking, but it wouldn't particularly help me to be telepathic, if that makes any sense.

timedesign wrote:
It also seems to me that if there is the market out there for this kind of information (and judging by the media coverage, there's a big one), wikileaks doesn't actually have to have a point.

Certainly there's a market, but there's also a market for stories of alien abduction and bat-boys.  If it all amounts to essentially political gossip, then Wikileaks becomes a supermarket tabloid. They don't have to have a point, but they claim to.  And they're not in it for the profit anyways, so they have to have a point.

It just seems like this information has more potential to harm than to help the world.

Kuncen

Kuncen's picture

Coates

timedesign wrote:
"What responsibility does Assange have to this country?"

Well, as an Australian citizen, probably not a great deal.

"Does American media exist to serve the immediate good of the American public?"

I'm not sure, but I think that may have been Coates' intended meaning — that Assange has no responsibility to the US. He may have also meant to infer that American media does not exist to serve the immediate good of the American public, but again I'm not sure.

Kuncen

timedesign's picture

labour the point

Kuncen, I'm sorry to labour the point, no offence intended, but why do you feel that wikileaks has to have a point? What is the point of me and you on the website? Why don't we all just eat biscuits instead?

 Wikileaks is what it is, it doesn't appear to have a political agenda, it's just putting information out there. I'm sure we would all feel better if it was highlighting human rights abuses of corrupt dictatorships, and possibly it will. It's just a platform to put out information.

Also:

Quote:
It just seems like this information has more potential to harm than to help the world.
Quote:
It's mostly a bunch of revealed name-calling and childish comments about world leaders.

Which one?

timedesign's picture

complete fecklessness

Funnily enough, that wasn't my complete fecklessness that resulted in the above illegibility. Either my browser settings or your comment box is totally buggered up. I got bored of trying to sort it out and just posted it anyway. You get the idea.

Anyway, my main point was why does anything have to have a point? We do stuff in life all the time where we don't noticeably gain anything.

It also seems an extra-ordinarily odd idea to see some information and feel like it should have been kept from you, but maybe that's just me.

Kuncen's picture

There's something wacky going

There's something wacky going on with the "Quote" function, it's not your fecklessness. I'm going to try to fix that today. I fixed the formatting above for you.

No need to apologize about arguing. That's why I posted the article in the first place.  :)

You're right, that lots of stuff doesn't need to have a point. But Wikileaks claims to have a point. If they're going to crow about their mission, then they need to be a bit more selective about the information they release, and weigh the pros and cons and whether or not it makes the world a better/safer place. I don't feel particularly empowered by the information in the latest leak. Sure, it's interesting, but it doesn't impact me directly. The people who it does impact directly are in positions of power that could make the world significantly more dangerous if they don't take a deep breath and count to ten. There are unfortunately lots of leaders who aren't known for that particular skill.

I'm all for the freedom of information. I think that recent attempts to hack/attack/remove the Wikileaks website are appalling and shameful. But I'm just wondering about Wikileaks' goals, because they aren't guided by any clear ethics, just "dumping" information.

Quote:
Which one?

Point taken, but I think the answer can be "both". Even though the information is mostly pointless and childish, that can sometimes be enough to anger certain powerful people, as I mentioned above.

Kuncen

timedesign's picture

manifesto?

Kuncen wrote:
You're right, that lots of stuff doesn't need to have a point. But Wikileaks claims to have a point.

Where? Does wikileaks have a manifesto? Maybe it does, i've only been on the site once before and got bored and went to bikinibabes.com or something.

Kuncen's picture

Fixed

Yeah, I think so. Their website keeps getting shut down, but as of right now you can access it at http://wikileaks.ch. Mostly I've been relying on the grandiose statements that Assange keeps making in the press.

Kuncen wrote:

There's something wacky going on with the "Quote" function, it's not your fecklessness. I'm going to try to fix that today.

The quote function has been fixed, and should work as expected now.

Kuncen

Anonymous2's picture

I found this article a fairly

I found this article a fairly surprising stance for talkingskull to take, but the issue is complex and I see the validity of some of the points you made, but I don't agree.

There are several important points which I feel were neglected.

The first, as timedesign pointed out, is that quoting Sarah Palin gives no credence whatsoever to an argument that hopes to stir more than a nationalistic knee-jerk reaction to a superficial paranoiac reading of deeper issue. 

The second, which seems to be the emphasis of most of the liberal media is the issue of the US illegally supressing a website that operates outside of its borders. Lets not fool ourselves that the US haven't been involved in illegal activities that have been suppressing nations and toppling legitimate governments for decades, and that their foreign policy isn't one of the biggest reasons for over half the population of the world still living in abject poverty. The American government have so much blood on their hands I honestly can't see how they can still play the victim, especially when the classified documents (in the first instance) all pertain to an illegal war which they instigated.

Off the top of my head I can think of two reasons why the latest documents are significant. For one it shows to some extent the agenda and hidden forces driving US policy concerning certain countries. The example of Saudi Arabia's stance regarding Iran, I'm sure, will be of some interest to the Iranians. Secondly, it goes some way to undermine international confidence in US foreign policy (or the confidentiality of it at least). Since they actively participate in illegal activities to benefit their own ends, I think they're fair game in this respect. Obviously other countries are at fault, but I doubt Assange would exercise restraint in leaking documents exposing them, either. The problem for the US is that since they are the primary aggressor in most cases, and one of the most politically influential (and in most cases you should read politically "aggressive"). If someone wants to provide information which may help other countries make better informed decisions about their dealings with the US, I can't see it as a terribly a bad thing. It's a corrupt world order, it's inevitable that a revolution is on it's way. Obviously it's a scary thing to see the boat being rocked, but only in so far as we fear REAL change.

Kuncen's picture

Not defending the US

Anonymous2 wrote:
The first, as timedesign pointed out, is that quoting Sarah Palin gives no credence whatsoever to an argument that hopes to stir more than a nationalistic knee-jerk reaction to a superficial paranoiac reading of deeper issue.

I think my reference to Palin may have been misunderstood. I referenced her (didn't quote her actually) as someone who is calling for Assange's assassination, not to support any point I was making. It was simply an interesting development. Her opinion is only relevant inasmuch as it reflects the opinions of many of her followers.

I'm certainly not an apologist for US aggression. I'm not complaining that the US has been harmed. Heck, I think the US should be called to account for the misdeeds it commits around the world. But I don't see how the Wikileaks dump really does that. It's mostly a bunch of revealed name-calling and childish comments about world leaders. I'm sure other countries have similar documents. Of the new revelations, I haven't seen anything particularly damning about US foreign policy, but correct me if I'm wrong.

Certainly the US is fair game, but all I'm seeing in the new documents is information that is likely to make the world more unstable, and most of that info involves other countries (Iran, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, China).

Anonymous2 wrote:
If someone wants to provide information which may help other countries make better informed decisions about their dealings with the US, I can't see it as a terribly a bad thing.

Agreed, but I haven't seen anything significant along those lines yet.

Welcome back, Anonymous2.  :)

Kuncen

Hewy's picture

Investigative Journalism.

Wikileaks should be applauded for it's release of facts which would, not so long ago, be winning awards for investigative journalism. In our lifetime we have seen the news and mainstream media turn into a circus spouting out non-news and or news which turns us in on ourselves. In the 1980's the "News" was simply that. Some wrinkled old uncle behind a desk telling you what was happening in the world without any bias. Even as recently as 9/11 and it's immediate aftermath the BBC news was heralded around the world for not being afraid to tell the truth, un-tarnished with agenda. It's online facility became the most viewed web page in the world and people in the US viewed it to get a true picture of what was happening within their own society.

Sadly we live in a time where the news is nothing more than another propagandized ratings device and therefore has pulled in it's claws and fangs and turned into a pussy.

In the early 1990's Armando Iannucci and Chris Morris satirized the way in which they saw the news heading, firstly with On The Hour on BBC Radio 4 and then the televised version The Day Today on BBC 2. The fact that the BBC pulled the plug on the show and it moved to Channel 4 as BrassEye may have been a sign of things to come. When you watch now what was at the time a a radical satire on TV news coverage, with surreal graphics and insane fear mongering plot-lines and compare it with current news coverage the two are indistinguishable. Indeed if I watch the DVD of the show with people only a few years younger than me they do not understand why I'm laughing my tits off! The same goes for anything by Charlie Brooker.

If you care at all about investigative journalism and wikileaks check this free video from one of the best sites online

http://fora.tv/2010/04/18/Logan_Symposium_The_New_Initiatives#fullprogram

As for the world leaders being up in arms (no pun intended) regarding the threat these leaks pose to the security of our society, that is complete and utter bollocks. They don't care about us. They do however care about their own position and the only threat they fear is the threat posed by an informed society.

Well done wikileaks. Keep it up. All you have done is confirm what most free thinking people already know about world events.

Cheers peeps!

Bernard's picture

For once, it appears that

For once, it appears that liberals and conservatives in the United States are not at complete odds with each other. The conservatives want to hang Assange, and while the liberals won't go that far, they are nevertheless pessimistic about the significance of the latest dump.

Aasif Mandvi sums up quite nicely: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-november-30-2010/the-informant-

Arn&Barn's picture

assange is obsessed with fame

assange is obsessed with fame and the cult of personality. sure hes gone into hiding now, but the face of wikileaks continues to be his. if wikileaks was really about fighting the good fight, it would be a faceless corporation, and the debate would be less muddled as to one persons intentions

timedesign's picture

"if wikileaks was really

"if wikileaks was really about fighting the good fight, it would be a faceless corporation"

eh?

I actually see the self self-publicisation (is that a word?) of JA as a kind of survival tactic. Now that everyone knows his name and face, it would cause an uproar if he was found in a shallow grave somewhere. The public appetite to find the perpetrator would be immense. The powers that be would be taking a risk if they chose to rub him out.

Arn&Barn's picture

moot

you got me there, i didn't think of that. but I guess its a moot point now that hes arrested. wikileaks should go on without him

Hewy's picture

Clarity.

Assange states clearly why he has released these leaks. For a man seeking fame he's gone about it the wrong way if you ask me. Like Chomsky says what the governments of the world fear is nothing more than their own people waking up and realising their leaders are liars. The only threat to security is the threat to their own secure grip on power. Ignore the intentions they are not important. Read the leaks and wake up, and act.

Winston Smith's picture

Belabouring the point

Playing devil's advocate again, but tell me why the average person needs to know the following:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/07/world/07sites.html

"A State Department cable released by WikiLeaks provides a compendium of sites around the world — from hydroelectric dams in Canada to vaccine producers in Denmark — that, if lost, might “critically impact” public health or the national security of the United States."

Why is it somehow good to release this information? The upside is minimal, and the downside is colossal...

Hewy's picture

Hypocrisy.

Why should any member of the public be bothered about any of these leaks? All it does is enlighten them as to how our "masters" conduct their sordid little affairs of business behind our backs. I didn't see any political uproar when the banks and communications companies started making money by selling all of their customers (our) details to the highest bidders starting off a "humans as commodities" direct sales culture even our soon to be Queen's folks' dabbled in. And what happened to that money by the way? Maybe they can pay for the f*cking royal wedding! More to the point what happened to the money the banks made from selling customer details? Along with the extortionate charge fee's? And the tax bailouts? And... well you know the rest!

And what about Google's accidental collection of the whole of the UK's e-mail details when trawling the streets creating Street View? As if the concept of Street View wasn't disturbing enough. Oh, forgot to mention BT's accidental online leak of unencrypted customer details too... http://www.techeye.net/internet/bt-confirms-it-sent-customer-info-to-acs...

What a leaky world we live in!

I'm off to call a plumber!

Kuncen's picture

Assange arrested in London

Assange has been arrested in London: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11937110

Despite all my debating, this still feels like an ominous development. Anyone think he'll get a fair trial?

Kuncen

timedesign's picture

raping spree

The claims seem highly suspicious and originated pretty soon after wikileaks' first came to the world's attention. Why would JA found the world's most important website and then go on a raping spree around Sweden? Fishy.

Hewy's picture

It's okay folks!

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/12/152465.htm

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Woo.

Aint laughed so hard in years!

timedesign's picture

concerned

Nice Hewy,

"At the same time, we [US Department of State] are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals"

That doesn't really need any additional comment.

timedesign's picture

Rape-rape

Jennnifer Abel in the Guardan:

"If the US succeeds in prosecuting Assange it's game over for American freedom. Even the Soviets never had the gall to insist "Every single person on earth is subject to Soviet law."

With a little luck, maybe the governments of Sweden and Britain will grow some balls, or at least open a damned history book and realize "The Cold War's been over for a generation and more, and our own national security no longer requires us to cravenly grovel at America's feet."

Winston Smith's picture

Alternate perspective

An interesting story from Salon about the rush to smear the rape accusers:

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/index.html?story=/politics/w...

Winston Smith's picture

Extradition

Anonymous Coward's picture

I'm surprised that the author

I'm surprised that the author of the above piece seems not to have read the superb essay at the link below:

http://zunguzungu.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/julian-assange-and-the-comput...

which lucidly reveals the reasoning of Assange/Wikileaks, with links to Assange's "intellectually substantial" 2006 essay "State and Terrorist Conspiracies".  Below is an extract from the Zunguzungu blog essay:

"[Assange] decides, instead, that the most effective way to attack [a conspiratorial/secretive organisation] would be to make “leaks” a fundamental part of the conspiracy’s  information environment. Which is why the point is not that particular leaks are specifically effective. Wikileaks does not leak something like the “Collateral Murder” video as a way of putting an end to that particular military tactic; that would be to target a specific leg of the hydra even as it grows two more. Instead, the idea is that increasing the porousness of the conspiracy’s information system will impede its functioning, that the conspiracy will turn against itself in self-defense, clamping down on its own information flows in ways that will then impede its own cognitive function. You destroy the conspiracy, in other words, by making it so paranoid of itself that it can no longer conspire:

The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie. This must result in minimization of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive “secrecy tax”) and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold onto power as the environment demands adaption. Hence in a world where leaking is easy, secretive or unjust systems are nonlinearly hit relative to open, just systems. Since unjust systems, by their nature induce opponents, and in many places barely have the upper hand, mass leaking leaves them exquisitely vulnerable to those who seek to replace them with more open forms of governance.

The leak, in other words, is only the catalyst for the desired counter-overreaction; Wikileaks wants to provoke the conspiracy into turning off its own brain in response to the threat. As it tries to plug its own holes and find the leakers, he reasons, its component elements will de-synchronize from and turn against each other, de-link from the central processing network, and come undone. Even if all the elements of the conspiracy still exist, in this sense, depriving themselves of a vigorous flow of information to connect them all together as a conspiracy prevents them from acting as a conspiracy. As he puts it:

If total conspiratorial power is zero, then clearly there is no information flow between the conspirators and hence no conspiracy. A substantial increase or decrease in total conspiratorial power almost always means what we expect it to mean; an increase or decrease in the ability of the conspiracy to think, act and adapt…An authoritarian conspiracy that cannot think is powerless to preserve itself against the opponents it induces.

In this sense, most of the media commentary on the latest round of leaks has totally missed the point. After all, why are diplomatic cables being leaked? These leaks are not specifically about the war(s) at all, and most seem to simply be a broad swath of the everyday normal secrets that a security state keeps from all but its most trusted hundreds of thousands of people who have the right clearance. Which is the point: Assange is completely right that our government has conspiratorial functions. What else would you call the fact that a small percentage of our governing class governs and acts in our name according to information which is freely shared amongst them but which cannot be shared amongst their constituency? And we all probably knew that this was more or less the case; anyone who was surprised that our embassies are doing dirty, secretive, and disingenuous political work as a matter of course is naïve. But Assange is not trying to produce a journalistic scandal which will then provoke red-faced government reforms or something, precisely because no one is all that scandalized by such things any more. Instead, he is trying to strangle the links that make the conspiracy possible, to expose the necessary porousness of the American state’s conspiratorial network in hopes that the security state will then try to shrink its computational network in response, thereby making itself dumber and slower and smaller."

Jonathan Toth from Hoth's picture

"The Pentagon Papers" Supreme Court ruling applies to WikiLeaks

I'm reading "Obama's War" by Bob Woodward ©2010, and on page 179 he says:

"On June 30, 1971, Supreme Court decision on the Pentagon Papers case, nearly four decades earlier and just three months before I joined the Post, opened the door for such conversations with the government. In its 6 to3 ruling, the court essentially said THE GOVERNMENT COULD NOT RESTRAIN THE PRESS BEFORE PUBLICATION OF CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS, which permitted The New York Times and The Washington Post to CONTINUE PUBLISHING the top secret 47-volume Vietnam War study, which showed that the government had repeatedly lied to the public about the war.

Because the government COULD NOT LEGALLY STOP US FROM PUBLISHING the McChrystal assessment, we had the upper hand in listening to arguments for deleting passages from the report. For the Pentagon Papers, the Times and Post did not consult the government in advance. To do so would have alerted the government and likely resulted in a court action to stop publication, which is exactly what the government did in federal court after the initial articles ran.

The beauty of the Supreme Court's Pentagon Paper ruling--WHICH FORBIDS RESTRAINT--is that IT ENCOURAGES US TO ASK THE GOVERNMENT FOR THEIR SPECIFIC OBJECTIONS TO THE PUBLICATION OF CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS."
[my CAPS...but interesting timing on Woodward's part to bring this up now]

Since this IS the case, the US government CANNOT seek any kind of "espionage" charge against Julian Assange. They know this.

My questions are:

-If our government would take this again to the supreme court, do they have enough pull to change the ruling or alter it to depict WikiLeaks as something other than "The Press"?

-Do any of these political assassinations that happened in the last two weeks have anything to do with WikiLeaks?
1. John Wheeler III-bio/chemical warfare expert for both Bush's, found in land fill after the birds and the fish started dying (1/4/2011)
2. John Roll-federal judge placed in office by Bush Sr. in 1991, who in 2009, faced death threats after presiding over a $32 million civil-rights lawsuit in Arizona, killed by Jared Loughner (1/8/2011)
3. Ashley Turton (married to Daniel A. Turton, 43, the White House's deputy director of legislative affairs for the House of Representatives)-lobbyist for Progress Energy, that Duke Energy bought for $13 billion in stock the day after her death, found in her burned car, in her garage (1/10/2011)

-Now that these people are dead, what new options does the government have in regards to WikiLeaks (meaning: did any of them have any damaging info or power that some in the government might have felt was a threat)?

-Were these assassinations simple vendettas performed by the CIA to intimidate anyone who might think of snitching to WikiLeaks?

Just questions...but transparency will sort it all out...
Transparency is the Apocalypse.

Kuncen's picture

Tunisia - The first Wikileaks revolution?

Foreign Policy magazine has an interesting article about this week's turmoil in Tunisia, asking if it might be the first Wikileaks revolution.

http://wikileaks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/01/13/wikileaks_and_the_tu...

Certainly, the former rulers of Tunisia sound like despots, real evil folks. So then the conclusion would be that Wikileaks has helped to change an unjust situation.  But what about the people hurt in the violence?

Kuncen

Kuncen's picture

Or not. Jamal Dajani writes

Or not. Jamal Dajani writes in Salon magazine:

"Crediting social media with these revolutions however, trivializes them and does a disservice to the deep rooted issues that cause them."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamal-dajani/tunisia-social-justice-or_b_8...

Kuncen

Jonathan Toth from Hoth's picture

What's the Point?

My vote is "Freedom of the Press"...that's the point. The Pentagon Papers ruling by the Supreme Court explained why.

It keeps governments honest.

Jonathan Toth from Hoth's picture

Here's the point:

because  the greatest leaders in history would’ve supported WikiLeaks:

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”

-Buddha

“Speak the truth, and do not yield to anger…”

-Confucius

“They deem him their worst enemy, who tells them the truth.”

-Plato

“The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.”

-Aristotle

“…ye shall know the Truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

-Jesus

“Say what is true, although it may be bitter and displeasing to people.”

-Muhammad

“There is no truth existing which I fear, or would wish unknown to the whole world.”

-Thomas Jefferson

“If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.”

-Mark Twain

“Truth never damages a cause that is just.”

-Gandhi

“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important ones.”

-Albert Eistein

“The truth is found when men are free to pursue it.”

-Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“The world is now too small for anything but 'the truth' and too terrible for anything but 'brotherhood.'”

-Adlai Stevenson

Truth is rock, lies and secrets are sand. When mankind builds upon rock, the structure stands strong, but when we attempt to build upon lies and secrets, it doesn’t take long before our building falls apart.

Historically, the US military has practiced “withholding” of truth based on the premise of “national security”. We are now finding out that in addition to withholding the truth, they are also lying about their actions as seen in leaked videos of Iraqi civilians being killed by US soldiers, recorded by our own surveillance, and leaked by concerned personnel who tried to go thru legal channels but were rebuffed several times over.

If US Military culture has shifted from withholding the truth to lying about their actions, the American people have a right to decide if that culture still suits our beliefs. We fund the military with our tax dollars, and they must be held accountable to us. We’re supposed to be the good guys!

Would we have found out the truth without WL? I don’t know, but some questions to ask are, how long has this culture of lying pervaded the military, do they have a reason to stop and how long will the world tolerate distortion of the truth by the most effective killing machine on the planet?

I love America, or I would not seek to hold our leaders accountable. I believe in our military, or I would not attempt to correct what I believe to be a short-sighted, quick-fix to accomplishing their goals. WL is a whistle blower operation that has become the most reliable source of truth, since our own media has been manipulated through monopoly takeovers that enable people of power to keep the truth hidden about their actual agendas.

Until our government, our military and our media become accountable, please join me and the millions of people whose eyes have been opened, in supporting WL and Julian Assange to insure the truth can be no longer hidden, twisted or spun into that which is no longer truth. Otherwise we are living in the words of Adolf Hitler:

“The victor will never be asked if he told the truth.”

Until next time, this is Jonathan Toth from Hoth signing off, and remember:

“Transparency is the Apocalypse…and we’ll find out what that looks like…very soon”

Kuncen's picture

Transparency

Wow, that's quite an in-depth collection of quotes there! It must have taken some time to research and compile them all.  If you're willing to do all that for a comment, imagine what you could do if you created an article (hint, hint). You could even title it "Transparency is the Apocalypse".

Kuncen

Jonathan Toth from Hoth's picture

I got more than that

You can hear it if you don't read very well. Wikileaks is just truth...from a reality we didn't know about...yet.

"I Support Julian Assange and WikiLeaks"

http://vimeo.com/19188696

I urge everyone hear to do the same kind of video blog, because the more our govenments see them, the easier they know what we want. Please record yourself and put it up online.

Winston Smith's picture

In the latest development,

In the latest development, Wikileaks has accidentally released some cables which they didn't intend to, carrying the names and personal info of informants, putting their lives unnecessarily at risk:

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/08/wikileaks-leak/

Jonathan Toth from Hoth's picture

WikiLeaks responded to the

WikiLeaks responded to the leak on Twitter on Monday by writing: “There has been no ‘leak at WikiLeaks’. The issue relates to a mainstream media partner and a malicious individual.”

Winston Smith's picture

Wikileaks releases ALL cables, unredacted

Wikileaks has now bizarrely released ALL of the cables on their website, in their entire and unredacted form, meaning that the names of countless informants have been exposed.  The lives of these informants are now at risk, as any oppressive gov't which so desires can now take revenge.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/wikileaks-puts-all-its-us-cables-online-unredacted-2348388.html

Kind of ironic that a whistleblowing website would expose informants.  I guess they're not the same as whistleblowers, but still it seems kinda crappy...