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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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i'm so very behind
children of dune - leto 1
*slow blinks*

Okay, so I fixed my server, which apparently took more attention than I thought; while I was busy, did someone leak 250,000 US diplomatic cables to Wikilinks?

Wikileaks is currently under DDOS.

Due to how successful Bush's hunt for Osama was, Palin thinks we should try that with Assange.

So, anything else?

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/65628.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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Palin is an idiot and likely a presidential candidate for 2012. What a world.

When she showed up as McCain's VP I said, "So... Reality has jumped the shark then?"

Palin said what now?

I mean, nothing will beat her 'we much support our North Korean allies', but this is definitely in the top ten.

And, yes, while you were out, wikileaks published a quarter of a million cables and gave them to various news organisations.

I read there sometimes, and I hate to say this, but my God secrets are sometimes boring.

This though might be interesting?

Secrets are, for the most part incredibly boring. Especially when it consists of diplomats saying what they think.

The one where someone said Berlusconi is vain and idiotic (or something to that effect) I was wondering where the actual story was. We've known that for years, surely?

But, overall, I think this could an interesting one. Spying on the UN probably won't go down well and I'm sure there will be other interesting bits and bobs coming out over the next week or so.

I've seen quite a lot of: "The son of the Duke of Edinburgh is rude about foreigners? Shock! Horror!"

Holder and the Justice Department are talking about prosecuting Assange, and the private suspected of being behind the leak might get charged with treason. You sign your life away when you get cleared to handle classified information, and the penalties for disclosure are severe (unless you're a political appointee talking to Bob Woodward, apparently). Assange is also wanted for rape in Sweden (I think it's Sweden -- one of the Nordic countries).

The contents of the cables haven't been that shocking yet, as far as I can tell. Oh noes, we think Medvedev is Robin to Putin's Batman! Like anybody who paid attention didn't realize that Russia's Once and Future President wasn't still mostly in charge? The biggest revelation is probably that the Saudis and other Arab states want to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. Holding the same opinion as Israel being automatically forbidden, of course.

Hilariously, DoD is closing the barn door after the horse has made it to victory in the Kentucky Derby -- they're going to disable CD-write capability on classified computers.

CD-write c... wait, are they living in 1999? That would explain a lot.

It explains a huge amount *g*

It would indeed! *headdesk*

Any time television or movies depict a goverment office as full of sparkly new technology, all I can do is laugh hysterically. Flash drives were disabled a few years back because of malware incursions (it's not like computers are used to share informat --- oh, wait). It takes so long for software to get through approval processes that government is usually two releases behind. It's nuts, but totally typical of the way bureaucracy works to complicate processes that should be far simpler and easier.

Right! I remember hearing a few months back that some important department, possibly the DoD, was ready to upgrade to Vista soon (at a time when I'd just gotten used to having Win7 in my life and the shiny had worn off a bit).

Cosigned. State bureaucracy isn't any better about it. Even when we write our own, which is just sad.

Oh, yeah. There's some good stuff in there, once you wade through all the "so-and-so is boinking some blonde with big boobs" stuff, which there's apparently a lot of. Just gossipy stuff, really. But they caught a lot of flak (deservedly) for editing the helicopter footage, and I think they're going out of their way now to prove that they're not editing anything.

I, for one, think that finding out the whole world - Arab nations included - thinks Ahmadinejad is off-his-rocker is worth it.

The DDoS attack is new to me, but not unexpected. OH NOES! PEOPLE ARE FINDING OUT WHAT WE REALLY THINK! WE MUST STOP THEM!!!!


And Sarah Palin's just an idiot.

No surprises, but the problem is people/Nations gets really insulted when they find out what people actually thinks about them, especially if it's true. It harms diplomatic relationships. And as this article points out:
I think they are exaggerating, but it has a point.

The private who leaked this needs to be charged with treason. His life and career should be in ruins. You can't leak govt. communication like that and he should be put up as an example.

I've seen a lot of hand-wringing over the whole thing, but I think my opinions on the whole subject are best summed up by this post quoting two articles. Basically, welcome to the digital revolution. And also a side helping of 'suck it'.

The thing people don't understand is that, when you get a classified clearance, you state that you will not divulge that information. The fact that this idiot did so is a treasonable offense. Yes, a lot of the stuff is boring and stupid, but...

Look at how fanwank works. Someone gets offended, even if the comment was meant in a harmless way. It gets blown out of proportion. And suddenly you have wank wars the likes of a small land invasion.

Well, what happens when people can literally blow that offense into a reason to stop diplomatic talks or use it as ammunition against a politician to gain their way?

I was in the military and used equipment that was from the Korean War! People think a lot of money is spent on the military, but only a very small portion of that is passed on to the lower ranks. The fact that this happened because of old technology doesn't surprise me. The fact that a person who swore an oath to protect the US put us in a position where we have to scramble to cover our asses? That not only pisses me off, it leaves me wanting to take a gun to him myself.

Say what you will, but treason is treason.

Yeah I just found it amazing how easily these files were taken out of secure facilities... "no worries man, it's just my Lady Gaga CD"! FFS, at least install read-only drives while you're destroying the USB ports.

The editorial page of my regional newspaper had an interesting point about the difference between this leak and the previous one: the previous leak, of the Afghanistan/Iraq documents, fleshed out a situation and provided new insight into known cases. For the most part, it didn't reveal completely new info and didn't endanger diplomatic relations. This new info? Reveals the candid thoughts of diplomats about their foreign counterparts, private critiques of foreign heads of state, and secure background communications about current diplomatic tangles. It harms current relationships and could potentially set back extremely important negotiations, like the Israeli-Palestinian standoff we just spent $3 billion bribing Israel on, or destabilize fragile situations like nuclear security in Pakistan, anti-terrorist operations in Yemen, or crazy dictators like Qaddafi or Kim Jong-Il.

As someone aspiring to be a diplomat, that horrifies me. As the person above pointed out, flame wars online hurt people's feelings; flame wars between nations have the potential for actual fire to be exchanged.

...Wow. I've, for all practical purposes, been offline for days and days, and just. WHAT? WHAT? WHAAAAT?

One (of the many) problems with the wikileaks fiasco is that it is likely to lead to even more doublespeak and obfuscation in reports and communiques. And while there were many descriptions that were unflattering to leaders in other countries, they were descriptions that fleshed out dry facts and gave decision makers here more information on which to base their decisions. It is dangerous for everyone if diplomats can't communicate honest judgments and assessments to policy makers back in the States.

And of course, as other people have said, it could start a flame war with real flames...

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