Wednesday, December 01, 2010

More Cats Out of the Bag

So more cats got out of the bag.  And now our fearless leaders are all upset over being caught calling their foreign counterparts nasty names behind their backs. 

I don't want to belittle the signifigance of having some of our classified network compromised, but come on, the US government with it's over the top penchant for paranoia is more likely to classify something not worth classifying just because that is their habit.  Nevermind not letting the right hand know what the left one is doing, they love to not let any hand know what they are doing.


Because secrets held close will tell the real story, not the story manicured and molded for public consumption.  What tickles me no end is that often the real secret is already out there, yet the government continues to act as if it is not.

Take for instance the cables swapped back and forth between US officials regarding that bastion of ethics, Afghanistan’s President Karzai.  In these cables apparently, the diplomat's true feelings about him were made public.  Like it was a secret he and his crew were corrupt assholes who were raping their country for fun and profit.  I guess though, it did not become "truth" until these cables became public.  Right.

An article I read about the increased reliance on the electronic storage of classified secrets is turning into a laugher.  The claim is that every government is working 24/7 to hack into the electronically stored classified records of every other country - friend and foe alike.  The article points up that if it is stored on a computer, no matter what security is in place, someone always finds a way to hack past the electronic guards on duty.  It goes on to say a good safe with a combo lock and paper records are still the surest way to ensure safe storage of secrets the government does not want to see the light of day.

There are claims that people will die as a result of this exposure.  The Right has new ammunition in it's neverending seige of Obama land.  And the leaks has anyone dealing with government business thinking twice about what they do say in electronic communication. 

Contrary to Julian Assange's claim that leaking these electronic communications lends transparency to the notion of government and is a good thing, the Wikileaks founder is just stirring the pot and making things worse.  Instead of opening up government to the light of day, his stupidity is just going to cause governments to be more secretive, not less.

And yes, the diplomatic efforts of the US have been damaged.  Our diplomatic corp has been doing such a lousy job of late, I wonder if I will even notice.  And with this release of information, the hawks of this country have one more reason to consider diplomacy less than useful in covering our interests abroad.  All in all, another small ingredient added to the chaotic global stew simmering just waiting to come to a full boil. 



Demeur said...

Seems the quality of our diplomats has gone down with the quality of our educational system.

I also note how this came out right when there was a vote on unemployment. Merry Christmas peons! No gruel for you. Scrooge will be keeping any bonuses all your presents and the Christmas goose this year.

But as I noted in another comment maybe it's a good thing to shed some light from time to time. It tends to keep people honest at least for a while.

Kulkuri said...

I waiting to see the next batch which is supposed to be about a major bank. If we had a media that would actually go after news and report facts instead of regurgitating the puke of politicians, we wouldn't need WikiLeaks.

And yes, this will have the government tightening up their controls on information. I'm surprised that a low ranking enlisted man was able to get all the info in these various leaks. If it was only one man.

Randal Graves said...

They were well on their way to becoming more secretive anyway, so I see this is a chance to nelsonmuntz our social betters, and those are rare, precious things.

Chef Cthulhu said...

My overall reaction is "meh".

Government "security boat" results in classifying waaaay too many documents and then giving waaay too many people access to them. What does this mean? As you pointed out, many "secrets" aren't really secrets (or even worthy of the classification). The dilution also means the "damage done" is not as extensive as many would have you believe. There will still be reams and reams of the stuff generated, and waaaay too many people with access. Trust me, you'll get to see more of it. The kid who copied the crap to CD's isn't any kind of super-spy. He took advantage of ease of access to what is, anymore, relatively lowly-classified stuff. Is it damaging? Yeah, sure. Is it embarrassing? Yeah, sure. Are they "national secrets"? Laughable. The media dubs them "national secrets" because it sounds better.

It's not going to stop dealings between governments because, as Gates said, governments don't deal with each other because they like each other or they want to be talked nicely about. They do it to get something. So this will change how diplomacy happens, but it won't halt it.

Diplomacy and politics haven't really changed over history...we just get to see more of it.

Again, "meh".