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WikiLeaks and The Guardian - The Afghan War Logs

Discussion in 'Serious' started by NuTech, 26 Jul 2010.

  1. Combinho

    Combinho Ten kinds of awesome

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    Then who should decide? The US Government?

    "Sorry, can't release that, or that, no, not that. In fact, you'd probably be better off forgetting the whole thing. Look at the red light." *Puts on sunglasses*
     
  2. stuartpb

    stuartpb Well-Known Member

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    If that's how you get your kicks.............:sigh::rock:

    That poem was a good one. For the record, I'm not some gung-ho type who thinks that military service is all flags and glory. I do place value on military service, and I respect those who choose that career. This doesn't mean that I wouldn't prefer seeing our troops to be coming home now. I would love for our government to pull out tomorrow, and I would have loved it if our government had never sent the troops over there in the first place. Our troops are there though, and I will do everything I can to show my support as long as I can.
     
  3. NuTech

    NuTech New Member

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    That's a very good question, and one journalists have been struggling with since...forever.

    There is a huge amount of moral, legal and ethical issues whenever leaks are involved. And "Will this information do more harm than good out in the wild?" will always be a very difficult question to answer.
     
  4. stuartpb

    stuartpb Well-Known Member

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    Tricky question, and that's my honest opinion. If it was left to the government, then none of the info would have come to light. On the other hand though, there is the potential for the info to hamper operations there because wikileaks simply do not have the necessary expertise to place strategic value on info. There probably will be some stuff where it is obvious, but I'm willing to bet that there is just as much which may seem quite benign, but would be valuable to the taliban. Just my opnion though.
     
  5. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    The financial reward over the duration of enlistment might be a pittance, but I don't think that is factored in much. Instead, emphasis is placed on the short-term gains with promises of tens of thousands of dollars in enlistment bonuses. Telling a high school graduate that you'll put $40,000 in his bank account amounts to a significant proposal.

    I'm not so sure that people are willing to put in the required effort to find out what they'll really be up against, and what they're really being asked to do. If people had the ability to plan long term, and had the desire to do that kind of research, I would argue that we wouldn't be dealing with a war at all, people wouldn't have bought homes they couldn't afford, and families would feed their children nutritious meals instead of living on fast food.

    You rightly point out that some people aren't content with a 9-5 desk job, and that they crave adventure and excitement. That drive gives us firefighters, police officers, extreme sports athletes, too. I'm not suggesting that the military is inherently bad and that all soldiers are idiots - forgive me if my posts gave that impression. I just think that most soldiers were conned into a game they didn't fully understand. In this manner they are no different than the rest of the population - simply uninformed.
     
  6. Combinho

    Combinho Ten kinds of awesome

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    You're probably right about stuff that may seem benign. But in the absence of an arbitrator (unless Wikileaks were able to obtain the advice of an unbiased military expert), i guess you have to decide whether the benefits of making the information public outweighs the risks, and on which the decision has clearly already been made.
     
  7. stuartpb

    stuartpb Well-Known Member

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    Dangerous games, and one which could easily result in blood being spilt. I think wikileaks is really treading on thin ice. For all I know though, they may have sought expert advice already.

    We don't have a scheme like that here in the UK, thankfully. We do have the usual TV and media ads, that look all rosy and nice, but I mentioned before in another thread that this isn't unique to the armed forces. When the police advertise for their jobs, they fail to mention that you may end up getting shot etc. etc.
     
  8. Nexxo

    Nexxo Stopped treating this country as if it was his own

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    If we are so concerned about the Taliban gleaning sensitive strategic information, perhaps we should start by encrypting the radio transmissions of military airplanes and drones. Security begins at home. It is not a convenient excuse to pull out for hiding uncomfortable truths.

    And perhaps we should have a strategy to keep secret in the first place.

    People generally join the military to have some sort of structure that their family at home did not offer (it is better than the alternative of ending up in prison), or for reasons of social mobility. One of the very few good things about the army is that it is great for social mobility: anyone can join, of any class, any socioeconomic background, any education, and get some of the best education for free and climb up through the ranks. Many an officer and a gentleman came from a deprived background.

    Interestingly, since the war in Iraq and Afghanistan recruitment has been steadily dropping. I guess people do know what they sign up to.

    Actually, Wikileaks has a large number of experts in all sorts of fields who do freelance consultation for them on a charitable (and anonymous) basis (even some military experts). Where do you think they get some of their leaked info? It is not just a bunch of guys with a fire in their belly and a website on the net. It is a much more elaborate and professional setup than you imagine.
     
    Last edited: 26 Jul 2010
  9. NuTech

    NuTech New Member

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    Fantastic quote from an interview with Julian.

    When asked why he decided to start Wikileaks:
     
  10. ccxo

    ccxo On top of a hill

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    If wiki leaks actually posted something that was really sensetive they would have disappeared along with the information.
    What purpose does wiki leaks serve trying to further damage a war effort to build a country or would they rather the us and nato pull out and leave the country.
     
  11. walle

    walle Well-Known Member

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    We have no business being in either Iraq or Afghanistan to begin with and I frankly find it troublesome that so few recognizes this but instead resort to try defend and rationalize our presence there. Some people are even supporting for the "glorious" "war" effort.

    How many years has it been now?
     
  12. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    What is the difference between wiki leaks unwittingly putting our forces in danger by doing something they believe in and our respective governments deliberately putting our forces in danger for what they believe in? (rebuilding countries or grabing resources). Either way it's the boys and girls in the forces who suffer.
     
  13. stuartpb

    stuartpb Well-Known Member

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    Because it wouldn't be one or the other, rather it would be a compounded effect. The troops are already in danger because of the government's actions, wikileaks could make things worse.
     
  14. Combinho

    Combinho Ten kinds of awesome

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    Well, I think it's a bit harder than that to make a website disappear. Sadly for conspiracy theorists, the US Government does not control the internet/ world/ universe.

    Secondly, a war effort to build a country? Are you serious? As far as I can recall, wars have only ever served to destroy. Also, how does this damage the war effort more than making it increasingly unpopular. If the truth makes something unpopular, it should still be outed if possible.
     
  15. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    The difference is the "boys and girls" who join the military sign on with some conception of risk and danger. It could be argued that they may not have complete knowledge of the full extent of the risks involved in military service. And conditions in combat can take an unexpected turn for the worse. But anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of US military history (WWII and Vietnam for just a few modern era examples) should have some idea of the dangers. It is my personal experience that they have a high understanding of the role and the risks involved but I'm probably biased as I have a large portion of my family that has been, and is currently, in the military - all of which had university degrees (with the exception of my grandfather who died flying a B-17 over Europe).

    Introducing the risk of someone from your own country unloading huge amounts of secret military intelligence is a variable that could make their situation much worse is something they couldn't have possibly anticipated.

    Nation's aren't built, they evolve (or develop, if you like). War is a compromise between ideals of power. Some ideals prevail during the normal discourse of the evolution of society. Others present such a conflict of interests that it can only be resolved with large-scale violence. Is England a better place than it would have been if they had let Hitler do what he had done to Poland, France and Czechoslovakia? The Soviets burned Stalingrad in their retreat rather than let the Germans have it, that was their trade-off to make.

    People use the Marshall Plan as a successful example of nation building but it wasn't. It was nation re-building. It was restoring the societies and economic systems that had successfully existed prior to the war. Anyone with a "nation building" theory as it applies to Iraq or Afghanistan is kidding themselves in my opinion. The very best you can do is, maybe, establish a new foundation and nurture (protect it from outside aggressors while they are vulnerable) it as they develop it for themselves.

    I can't allow wikileaks the benefit that the unwittingly didn't know the prospective risks they put the soldiers into. They weighed the risks and rewards and made their call based on their set of well established values.
     
    Last edited: 27 Jul 2010
  16. Frohicky1

    Frohicky1 Awaits his moosey fate . . .

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    Chomsky will like this info :D
     
  17. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    You kidding? America was born out of kicking some lobster-back ass! AMERICA! **** YEAH!

    Anyway, serious discussion. Following that, a fun quote from Assange: "It is our experience that courage is contagious". Thank you brave hero, only through the power of truth* will the war end and peace will flourish!

    *Truth, as we all know, does not have to mean the whole story. Merely a snippet of events which are, indeed, true. Right now people want to see Coalition soldiers shooting civilians so, sick as that may be, that is what people put on display. Tens of thousands of logs and of course, anything good will be ignored and forgotten until that's what people want to see as the truth.
     
  18. Nexxo

    Nexxo Stopped treating this country as if it was his own

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    Well, so far the alternative hasn't worked. :blah:

    Good, like truth, is relative to the beholder.
     
  19. Mr Mario

    Mr Mario New Member

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    Whether it's just or not doesn't mean anything. We were fighting a just war by 'honourable' means against Hitler in ww2, that doesn't mean we should have shown him all our military intelligence, had we done then it would have costs many lives and ultimately the war. How many lives will be put at risk because of the recruitment surge the Taliban can ride off the back off using some of these leaks?

    Edit: I'm not saying that ALL of this information should remain secret, I'm agreeing with Stuart pb, that it's a complex issue about what should be made public and not, but a military should have a right to hold it's own intelligence secret, it's not for some renegade analyst to decide. If a paper leaks a story fine, it's the truth and the media has acted as a balance. I guess I just don't have a lot of respect for someone who swears an oath to something, and then betrays it so easily, he knew the kind of stuff he would be dealing with, if he didn't agree with it he should have staged his protest by independently investigating it, not stealing classified information.
     
    Last edited: 27 Jul 2010
  20. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    True! And it would indeed be great if there was more openess over civilian casualties and such actions which only get worse when dug up years later. I merely question how responsible such a large dump of classified material is. Taking such leaked imformation and pressuring governments to safely release them in a manner which does not cover up the underlying material but makes it have no impact on current operations would seem like a much sounder plan. If no one plays along they can always release it raw on their own. But of course that doesn't have to the "Ooh and awe" shock appeal such things thrive off of.
    I'm about to argue semantics here, but isn't truth pretty objective? A record of an event can generally be classes as "accurate" or "innaccurate" depending on how well it represents the original event. Truth will always be a measure of that accuracy. The only relative part is when people starting claiming false things are the truth.

    The view of good I was using was the "terrorists out to kill innocent people getting arrested/captured/killed" version.
     

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