Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Standard member shavixmironline
    Guppy poo
    29 Nov '10 08:57
    I remember spluttering wine together with my girlfriend a couple of years ago.
    There was an interview with the, then (I can only presume), top US ambassador to France. He was in Paris explaining why he didn't need to be able to speak French in his function.

    Obviously one doesn't need to be able to speak French to be ambassador to France, but then again, one doesn't need to be able to fly a plane to be an aeroplane pilot... But it sure as hell helps.

    These latest Wiki-leaks are nothing short of classic. It makes the, then (I can only hope), top US ambassador's statements look like serious, top-level, diplomacy.

    This coming out, for example:
    US officials being instructed to spy on the UN leadership by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

    Or

    US and South Korean officials have discussed plans for a united Korea, should North Korea collapse.

    Or

    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is referred to as "feckless, vain, and ineffective as a modern European leader" by a US diplomat in Rome

    God damn... It's hilarious.

    So, will this lead to a US diplomatic melt-down? Or will it blow over? And if so... Why?
    How on Earth can this just blow over and fade into history???
  2. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    29 Nov '10 09:11
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    So, will this lead to a US diplomatic melt-down? Or will it blow over? And if so... Why?
    How on Earth can this just blow over and fade into history???
    ...They'll get away with it, because the electorate simply does not care anymore. Real reality does not factor in anymore. We are more interested in Tiger Woods' peccadilloes and whether Lindsay should stay in rehab, than the state of the world.
  3. 29 Nov '10 13:56 / 1 edit
    I hope that something is done to ensure that all classified information isn't ultimately going to suddenly be leaked by someone.

    The real concern isn't the specific information being leaked at the current moment and any repercussions that may result. The concern is that it will be next to impossible for the US to negotiate with anyone in the future. What nation's leader is going to discuss sensitive topics when they know there's a good chance it's all going to end up on the internet?
  4. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    29 Nov '10 14:06
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    I remember spluttering wine together with my girlfriend a couple of years ago.
    There was an interview with the, then (I can only presume), top US ambassador to France. He was in Paris explaining why he didn't need to be able to speak French in his function.

    Obviously one doesn't need to be able to speak French to be ambassador to France, but then again ...[text shortened]... ow over? And if so... Why?
    How on Earth can this just blow over and fade into history???
    I don't see the big deal about any of those things. You mean Hillary told her people to keep their eyes and ears open? Stop the presses!

    Why should the US and South Korea not discuss possibilities for when N Korea collapses. Communist countries tend to collapse eventually? It would be pretty stupid not to plan for that eventuality.

    So one diplomat doesn't think much of Berlusconi? So what?

    Is this the worst that can be found in thousands of communications within the bureaucracy of the world's most involved foreign policy operation?

    I don't see anything even moderately strange about any of this.
  5. 29 Nov '10 14:11
    Originally posted by sh76
    I don't see the big deal about any of those things. You mean Hillary told her people to keep their eyes and ears open? Stop the presses!

    Why should the US and South Korea not discuss possibilities for when N Korea collapses. Communist countries tend to collapse eventually? It would be pretty stupid not to plan for that eventuality.

    So one diplomat doesn't ...[text shortened]... foreign policy operation?

    I don't see anything even moderately strange about any of this.
    So you're okay with the idea that someone is able to leak classified information.
  6. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    29 Nov '10 14:23
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    So you're okay with the idea that someone is able to leak classified information.
    Of course not. If the publishers of the information could be caught, I'd be in favor of having them hung, drawn and quartered for treason.

    But I don't see anything so terrible about the substance of the information that was leaked.
  7. 29 Nov '10 15:05
    Originally posted by sh76
    Of course not. If the publishers of the information could be caught, I'd be in favor of having them hung, drawn and quartered for treason.

    But I don't see anything so terrible about the substance of the information that was leaked.
    One good advice is - "If you cannot say it in public, don't say it at all."
  8. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    29 Nov '10 15:20 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    One good advice is - "If you cannot say it in public, don't say it at all."
    Every government has information that needs to be kept secret. If a police agent with a warrant to plant a hidden wiretap discusses it with his associate, should that conversation be played in public, where the target of the investigation can hear it? Should generals discussing troop movements have their conversations publicized?

    Should my business plan with my partners be leaked to my competitors?

    Some information has to be kept secret to protect its effectiveness. There's a word for leaking such government information to the public. It's called treason.
  9. 29 Nov '10 15:36
    The truth is... none of this information was 'Top-Secret' that is why a Private could get it. What it does show in spades is how little information is given to the American public. An informed citizenry is required to have a Republic (but we no longer have that.) An honest government would have already told us for example that the Saudis were urging us to attack Iran. It makes me sick that Bradley Manning is destined to spend a large chunk of his life in jail and Bush and Cheney (who actually outed a secret-agent to name just one crime) are walking free. Yeah, a nation of laws! What a laugh!
  10. 29 Nov '10 15:54
    Originally posted by sh76
    Every government has information that needs to be kept secret. If a police agent with a warrant to plant a hidden wiretap discusses it with his associate, should that conversation be played in public, where the target of the investigation can hear it? Should generals discussing troop movements have their conversations publicized?

    Should my business plan with ...[text shortened]... ss. There's a word for leaking such government information to the public. It's called treason.
    Yes I really think that statements like "Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is referred to as "feckless, vain, and ineffective as a modern European leader" by a US diplomat in Rome" shouldn't even be said at all. Now it was. The US diplomat in Rome should have thought about the saying "If you cannot say it in public, don't say it at all." He should be ashamed.
  11. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    29 Nov '10 15:57 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Yes I really think that statements like "Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is referred to as "feckless, vain, and ineffective as a modern European leader" by a US diplomat in Rome" shouldn't even be said at all. Now it was. The US diplomat in Rome should have thought about the saying "If you cannot say it in public, don't say it at all." He should be ashamed.
    Why shouldn't he say it in a private communication to his superior? That's what he thought. It's his job to convey his impressions to his superiors. He has no reason to expect every memo he writes to his superior to be made public.
  12. 29 Nov '10 16:05
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Yes I really think that statements like "Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is referred to as "feckless, vain, and ineffective as a modern European leader" by a US diplomat in Rome" shouldn't even be said at all. Now it was. The US diplomat in Rome should have thought about the saying "If you cannot say it in public, don't say it at all." He should be ashamed.
    And of course, there's the case where you should say something. Maybe your organization is covering up things that should be public like secret bank accounts for tax-dodging millionaires, scientific reports that prove your product is killing your customers, production reports that show high-levels of toxins escaping, or lies to the public to incite or continue a failing war. Is that 'treason' or ...? Is it treason to out a secret-agent for political advantage when their associates will surely die? Is it treason to assist a foreign government to profit from selling drugs in your country? Is it treason to sell weapons to a known enemy state?
  13. 29 Nov '10 16:15
    I think the information was intended to be leaked.

    Where is the good stuff? What about depleted uranium and all the serious issues?

    Perhaps this was all a setup to find out who takes the bait and put out information they wanted to be released.

    This is a whole lot about nothing. It is a laugh that people think this is serious info.
  14. Standard member shavixmironline
    Guppy poo
    29 Nov '10 18:22
    Originally posted by sh76
    Why shouldn't he say it in a private communication to his superior? That's what he thought. It's his job to convey his impressions to his superiors. He has no reason to expect every memo he writes to his superior to be made public.
    Are you suggesting this information isn't embarrassing?
  15. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    29 Nov '10 18:31
    Originally posted by sh76
    Every government has information that needs to be kept secret. If a police agent with a warrant to plant a hidden wiretap discusses it with his associate, should that conversation be played in public, where the target of the investigation can hear it? Should generals discussing troop movements have their conversations publicized?

    Should my business plan with ...[text shortened]... ss. There's a word for leaking such government information to the public. It's called treason.
    No, it isn't. The Constitution defines Treason:

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.


    Leaking the information that some of our diplomats don't think much of the Italian PM is hardly treason and it's hysterical, Whodeyism to suggest it is.