The doors open to the back room of international politics

A sea change is coming to international relations- and social media will be the engine driving the movement. The latest release from Wikileaks is a fascinating look at the good ‘ole boy/country club that’s making decisions on how the world turns:

A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at back-room bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.

via WikiLeaks Archive — Cables Uncloak U.S. Diplomacy – NYTimes.com.

Diplomacy is dirty business- and the brave moves by Wikileaks to hang the dirty laundry out for all to see, may give the people of the world a perspective on what governments believe their true objectives are- and world peace and ending inequality aren’t going to make the list.

This is the type of news reporting that can transform society. I highly recommend you read the article in the New York Times- and from other sources to get a feel for the way we project “American Power” throughout the world. [NOTE: Fast company delves into the different ways these leaks have been turned into online materials by the NYT and the Guardian- the presentation of the material is key to letting people get access: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1662770/infographics-of-the-day-whats-in-those-leaked-diplomatic-cables?partner=homepage_newsletter

By contrast- the Dayton Daily News has a story about “Power drills, covered in feces, found in driveway,” Considering there is still a digital divide in our country with as many as 1 in 12 not connected to the Internet, shouldn’t the local newspaper still focus on informing, educating and making the people of our region smarter?

There are back rooms to our local political scene as well. How do some developers keep getting deal after deal, while the taxpayers fully fund other projects that have no guarantee of success? Why is nepotism perfectly accepted in the County building- and in the City of Dayton- while not accepted in any of the well run suburbs?

When will we see the real reporting in our community? When will we realize that the new tools can give the pawns the power to at least question- if not start a movement to overthrow the corrupt private clubs that seem to run our country?

This batch of Wikileaks is more powerful than the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate tapes all rolled into one. Read them. Pay attention.

Change is coming.

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10 Responses

  1. John Ise November 29, 2010 / 9:21 am
    Is this journalism or “vandalism” more determined to hurt the U.S. than inform?  This is from Charles Johnson’s blog:

    I don’t recall voting for Julian Assange (Wikileak’s guru). As he sets himself up as the arbiter of government morality, and recklessly reveals secrets that will distort and vastly complicate international relations, and very probably cause innocent people to suffer and die, who will hold him accountable? Who does he answer to?

  2. Greg Hunter November 29, 2010 / 9:38 am
    Well John we vote for idiots and who is the biggest bully on the planet?
     
    Could this statement

    will distort and vastly complicate international relations, and very probably cause innocent people to suffer and die,

    apply to the United States of America and its actions everyday?
     

  3. David Esrati November 29, 2010 / 10:09 am

    If information is power- who has it now thanks to Mr. Assange? Can it also be conversely reasoned that these “secrets” also cause innocent people to suffer and die? War is very imprecise. How can countries treat each other with trust and respect, while secretly we are talking about killing off leaders?

  4. John Ise November 29, 2010 / 1:19 pm
    Good points all around.  I’m opposed to the Iraq way (ambivalent about Afganistan) but I can’t see any of this as helpful or constructive, particualrly from the perspective of the grunt on the ground.  This is from Slate.com that I think makes valid points:

    …Don’t expect better government from these revelations, expect deeper secrets. Will the U.S. ambassador to Country X give Washington a frank assessment of the president of X if he knows it could appear in tomorrow’s newspaper? Not very likely. Will a foreign leader tell any U.S. diplomat what he really thinks about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad if he knows it might show up on WikiLeaks? I doubt it. Diplomatic cables will presumably now go the way of snail mail: Oral communication will replace writing, as even off-the-record chats now have to take place outdoors, in the presence of heavy traffic, just in case anyone is listening.
    In the modern world—at least the sloppy, open, hackable Western world—any other form of frank discussion will soon be impossible. The State Department isn’t the first to learn this: No American general will ever again give a journalist full access, as did the hapless Stanley McChrystal. Because he revealed that—like every other general in history—he sometimes disagrees with the politicians back home, and because his interlocutor chose to publish his grumbling, he had to resign.
    The result: Very soon, only authoritarian leaders will be able to speak frankly with one another. A Russian official can keep a politically incorrect statement out of the newspapers. A Chinese general would never speak to a journalist anyway. Low-level officials in Iran don’t leak sensitive information to WikiLeaks because the regime would kill them and torture their families. By contrast, the soldier who apparently leaked these diplomatic cables will probably live to a ripe old age.
    In fact, the world’s real secrets—the secrets of regimes where there is no free speech and tight control on all information—have yet to be revealed. This stuff is awkward and embarrassing, but it doesn’t fundamentally change very much. How about a leak of Chinese diplomatic documents? Or Russian military cables? How about some stuff we don’t actually know, like Iranian discussion of Iranian nuclear weapons, or North Korean plans for invasion of South Korea Korea? If WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange is serious about his pursuit of “Internet openness”—and if his goal isn’t, in fact, embarrassing the United States—that’s where he’ll look next. Somehow, I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t.

  5. John Ise November 29, 2010 / 1:26 pm
    By the way, did the DDN ever find out whose feces was covering that abandoned power drill?  Look for special report.
  6. Ice Bandit November 29, 2010 / 9:24 pm
    Well John we vote for idiots and who is the biggest bully on the planet? (Greg Hunter)

    ….gee, Greg, as questions go that’s a toughie. The Japanese would probably say the North Koreans, since they think nothing of sinking ships, running a rogue nuclear state and occasionally fire missiles over their island. Hell, Greg, the North Koreans starve and keep theirpeople in the dark, so you can imagine the love they have for others. But then, the Old Dali Lama would probably nominate China for that title, since their campaign of cultural genocide against his innocuous little kingdom in going into it’s 50th year. But the release of the Wikileaks this week reveals that the Saudis think the Iranians, with their sabre rattling and rep as terrorist sugar daddy, are the biggest bully. Can’t keep the Russians off the (dis) honorable mention list, and keep an eye out for the Turks, who seem to have developed a new case of chip on the shoulder. No doubt about it, dear Greg, this planet has more bullies than a minor hockey league out of Quebec. The US, on the other hand, has a bloody civil war financed by narco-terrorist raging at it’s southern border, a growing pain in the patoot by a banana republic dictator in Venezuela, and a octagenarian neo-Stalinist who onced harbored Russian guided missiles who has been power since the time of Dwight Eisenhower, so the Old Bandito will argue that Uncle Sam may not have been bully enuff…….

  7. Teri Lussier November 30, 2010 / 10:07 am
    Wikileaks information is vetted and filtered, isn’t it? It’s not an open wiki in the tradition of wikipedia, right? So while there is information shared with the public, the information that gets leaked is first screened by a board of directors or editors, not the public? I don’t question the information that was leaked, but I am on my guard for any wikileak agendas and conflicts of interest. The site is down as I type this so I don’t know- Is it mostly US secrets being leaked?
     
    Aside from that, really, what’s the big deal. America sez “Putin is an alpha dog.” No kidding. “Sarkozy is the emperor with no clothes.” Yawn. This is news? It will force increased security, false leaks, and copycat sites, but all in all, it’s a fart in the wind, JMO.
  8. Greg Hunter November 30, 2010 / 10:57 am
    Ahh the bandit, the world view does not change and the writing is excellent, but I will give you a link for a little different perspective.
     

    The US, on the other hand, has a bloody civil war financed by narco-terrorist raging at it’s southern border, a growing pain in the patoot by a banana republic dictator in Venezuela, and a octagenarian neo-Stalinist who onced harbored Russian guided missiles who has been power since the time of Dwight Eisenhower, so the Old Bandito will argue that Uncle Sam may not have been bully enuff…….

    Financed by narco-terrorists…..really?  Who might be buying those drugs?  Americans, so it is American policy that is causing that particular war.  American policy with the Taliban also self financed the 911 debacle as our very own idiot Sen. DeWine voted to send the Taliban 22 million dollars in April 2001 because they destroyed the poppy crop.  Hmmm had there been no prohibition then ole Joe Kennedy would not have made enough money to buy his son the election and then Ole Curtis LeMay would have one the day and bombed Russia and Cuba to the stone age.  So again idiot policy on Americas part causes the problem.

    Dwight D. knew something as his farewell speech intoned…. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  9. Jesse November 30, 2010 / 1:05 pm
    Anyone interested in having the discussion about the legitimacy of the government prohibition on drugs?
     
    The government is bullying its own citizens, and causing a war on our southern boarder.  Lets let Americans be free and choose what they want to purchase and consume.
     
    Boy do I like linking to Walter Block.  http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-817266334044769153#

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