Battling Wikileaks And The Art Of War

from the tactics-101 dept

Anyone who has studied tactics, for battle or otherwise, knows Sun Tzu's legendary work, The Art Of War. Or at least they should. In reviewing what the first chapter of that work teaches about the five factors a battling faction must consider when endeavoring to battle, you have to scratch your head and wonder if the United States government might need a refresher course. Take a look at some excerpts from this summary of the Giles translation:
"The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors...These are The Moral Law, Heaven, Earth, The Commander, and the Method and discipline."
According to Sun Tzu, these five factors are everything in battle. He goes on to describe what he means by each of these.

The Moral Law is the ability for a ruler or government to have the backing of its people in its actions. While certainly not definitive, polls such as this one by the New York Daily News, or this one by the CBC, or this one by Reuters all seem to suggest that, at best, our nation and the world are somewhat split on supporting Wikileaks and, in most cases, there is a definite leaning to supporting them. This would suggest that the US government does not have the advantage of Sun Tzu's first factor.

The second factor probably applies less in this particular case. The factor of Heaven deals with things like night and day, temperature, times, and seasons. However, one might note that the chief advantages of this factor are discussed later by Sun Tzu, particularly in advantages of secrecy and obfuscation, utilizing the cover of darkness or the glare of light. Relating this to a digital analogy, one notices that Wikileaks specifically operates based on a culture of openness, rather than secrecy. They utilize the "light" of factual information and have undone our government's attempts at secrecy and obfuscation. If anyone can be declared to have an advantage in Sun Tzu's second factor, it has to be Wikileaks.

For the Earth factor, we must take into account distances, danger and security, open ground and narrow passes, and terrain considerations. This is where the government begins to really have trouble. As has been covered previously, our leaders seem to be having trouble understanding how the digital world works. In this case, distances are mostly meaningless. The only terrain is the internet and it seems that, given how much trouble our government has had in achieving their goal of cutting off Wikileaks, Assange and his crew seem far more at home here. For all the saber-rattling, you can still get to the site. For all their firepower and supposed security, Wikileaks is operational and has received what has been deemed the largest leak of classified data in history. Clearly, Wikileaks has the advantage here.

The Commander factor considers a leader's wisdom, aptitude, sincerity, courage, and ability to inspire. Assange, whether you love him or hate him (and I'm taking no opinion in this post), is clearly someone standing up for what he believes in and acting with sincerity, courage and aptitude thus far. While some US leaders have had some sanity about Wikileaks, we've also seen several examples in which it appears our leadership doesn't really know what they're doing in this particular case. How can we listen to people in power, who supposedly should understand this stuff, do things like demand the "return" of the cables and ask toinvestigate the NY Times for publishing widely distributed information and believe that we hold any advantage in the Commander factor?

The final factor, Method and Discipline, concerns the proper prosecution of the "war". In this case, the methods and tactics of our government have been so ineffectual as to be laughable. They're trying to cut off access: failed. They're trying to stifle the flow of information: failed. They're trying to twist the law to charge him: failed. Why can't they make headway? Because they're fighting a digital battle with physical-world tactics. And, harkening back to the Moral Law factor, you'll notice that the allies springing to Wikileaks' defense are also far more at home on the internet battleground than many in our government appear to be.

The problem is that Wikileaks is inevitable. A smart adversary would recognize that and do as Sun Tzu concludes in his first chapter:
"One should modify one's plans...If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is of choleric temper, irritate him. Pretend to be weak, so that he may grow arrogant...Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected."
It reminds me of the advice Mike has previously suggested to media companies suffering pre-release leaks of their works. All this saber-rattling is doing is clowning America around the world, including our businesses. What if the government had instead come out, acknowledged what they'd done that was wrong, suggested that some of the things seen in the cables could be understood better in context, and just buried the whole thing? Why are they tactically playing directly into Assange's hands?


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  1.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 4:57am

    Neat piece :)

    I am an avid fan of the art of war, and have quoted it here several times. Applying it to the internet, in this situation, doesn't work. The US federal governmnet isn't fighting one enemy, they are fighting millions of enemies. Each person on the internet is a general. Each Mirror an army. The tactics used by each general vary in from slight to extreme. Even knowing who the generals is difficult.

    All in all the logistics and support needed to take down wikileaks and what eventually replaces it are greater than the resourse available.

    Image a future wikileaks organization setup around the cellular structure used by spys or terrorists, its a no win situation ...

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 4:59am

    Neat Piece :)

    I am an avid fan of the art of war, and have quoted it here several times. Applying it to the internet, in this situation, doesn't work. The US federal governmnet isn't fighting one enemy, they are fighting millions of enemies. Each person on the internet is a general. Each Mirror an army. The tactics used by each general vary in from slight to extreme. Knowing who the generals are is difficult. Determining their strengths and weaknesses almost impossible.

    All in all the logistics and support needed to take down wikileaks and what eventually replaces it are greater than the resourse available.

    Image a future wikileaks organization setup around the cellular structure used by spys or terrorists, its a no win situation ...

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 5:00am

    Re: Neat piece :)

    oops delete this one please ... I was aiming for preview not submit

     

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    oba, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 5:02am

    what do you think the government should do?

     

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    Ben (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 5:03am

    Digital Divide

    " Why are they tactically playing directly into Assange's hands?"

    Because they simply do not understand the Internet. There is a huge gap in the understanding of the modern digital world between the modern generations (80's to today) and the generation in power in the government. It is like trying to explain the combustion engine to someone who lives with horse carriages. They simply can't wrap their heads around the concept. And as our world advances, those older generations will be left behind more and more. The same can be applied to RIAA/MPAA etc. These new concepts are totally alien to most in power.

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 5:04am

    Re:

    Realize they are in the moral low ground of a losing battle and back off?

     

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    Rich Kulawiec, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 5:15am

    One possible answer to that last question

    Why are they tactically playing directly into Assange's hands?

    Because they're not very smart.

    Which I realize is a glib answer, but I really do think it's the crucial factor in explaining why the US response has not just been inept, it's been laughably inept. While there are obviously some very smart people working for various branches of the US government (I presume the NSA, for example, has its fair share) they're a minority; moreover, they're a largely powerless minority. Policy decisions are made elsewhere, and they're made by inferior people equipped with inferior minds.

    And those people simply don't get it. It's beyond their comprehension, which is why they do absurdly stupid things like ask for "the return of the documents". These are people who've spent far more time kowtowing to primitive superstitions and the gods they've fabricated for themselves than learning how to reason and providing themselves with a rudimentary education in mathematics, science, engineering, medicine -- and IT.

    Their response to Wikileaks isn't the only the place this profound lack of intelligence and knowledge shows up; it's only necessary to read the Congressional Record or listen to press conferences or interviews to see examples of it on a near-daily basis. It's just that this incident shines a particularly bright light on the situation. (And it's a bipartisan phenomena.)

    As an aside: I find it highly amusing that (in some cases) these are the same people who are flogging the fiction of "cyberwar", and of course funneling a bazillion dollars to government departments and civilian contractors, all of which are quite happy to ride the gravy train. But if they really had to fight a cyberwar? "Game over, man." They're not even a match for a bunch of Dorito-gobbling script kiddies; any determined and clueful adversary would shred them at will.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 5:38am

    Re:

    gee, I dunno, stop acting like whiny baby's who got caught doing something wrong?

     

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    Bruce Ediger, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 5:49am

    Re: One possible answer to that last question

    The silver lining to your "inferior, unequipped minds" cloud is that large adversarys almost certainly suffer from the exact same problems as the factions in the US government "fighting" Wikileaks.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 5:49am

    > Why are they tactically playing directly into Assange's hands?

    Because Assange made it so?

    Repeating your own quote:

    "One should modify one's plans...If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is of choleric temper, irritate him. Pretend to be weak, so that he may grow arrogant...Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected."

    It seems at least part of that applies to what Assange has done. "If your opponent is of choleric temper, irritate him." is a particularly interesting one, given that the government reaction appears to be at least a bit full of anger.

     

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    Schmoo, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 5:51am

    Re: One possible answer to that last question

    @Rich Kulawiec: Spot on.

    @TD: Where's the insightful button gone? You don't want your comments cluttered with this kind of 'I agree' post, do you? (Lesser of two evils, IMHO, in this case)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 5:51am

    Analogy

    "They utilize the 'light' of factual information"

    *groan*

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 5:53am

    Re: Re: One possible answer to that last question

    It's still there, but if you're using noscript, the buttons don't show. You have to allow scripting for Techdirt.com.

     

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    Transbot9, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: One possible answer to that last question

    Odd, I still see it...and *click!*

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 6:01am

    Re:

    ....Er, did you read my final paragraph?

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 6:04am

    Re: Neat Piece :)

    "All in all the logistics and support needed to take down wikileaks and what eventually replaces it are greater than the resourse available."

    But that's the part that DOES make Tzu's teachings applicable. This "war" is different, but the rules of being willing to engage are the same. If your opponent is better prepared for battle than you, do something unexpected to cripple him and take the advantage away.

    Wikileaks "fights" by exposing wrongs and then allowing the world to watch as govt. flops around like a dying fish on a dock. Stop doing that. Be open, be honest, don't deny what's already been revealed, and move on....

     

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    Richard Kulawiec, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 6:04am

    Re: Re: One possible answer to that last question

    Y'know, I suspect that you're absolutely right -- about large adversaries, such as other governments.

    But small adversaries? Maybe, maybe not. And small adversaries can still constitute a formidable threat, because "small" doesn't matter nearly as much in this arena as it does in some others, e.g., military force.

    (Let me pause to note that I don't consider Wikileaks to be an adversary of the US. Now...certainly some people think the US should be an adversary of Wikileaks -- but that's a crucial mistake.)

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 6:05am

    Re: Re: Neat Piece :)

    Don't play into the enemy's hands, as it were.

     

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    droslovinia (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 6:06am

    "leaks?" really?

    There are still 2 things about this that puzzle me:

    !. Since when do we have a serious problem with people who tell us the kinds of things that most of us already know, or at least strongly suspect, anyway?

    2. Whenever there's a school shooting, we have no end of talking heads and "elected representatives" lining up to defend the Second Amendment, for fears that squirrel hunters won't be able to buy a bazooka anymore. Where are the people lining up to defend the First Amendment in light of the things that might happen after this incident?

     

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    cc (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 6:07am

    Re: Re: One possible answer to that last question

    THAT's the silver lining? Really?? There's a silver lining to having retards run a country?

     

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    bob, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 6:08am

    Assange has his own troubles

    WikiLeaks it seems is becoming ego driven, it's new competitor OpenLeaks is soon to be online.
    Assange is not about open with NDA's.
    Assange has stated that he wishes to cause harm to the USA.
    What has come out so far is really not that bad, but what is left only only a few know.
    If Assange wanted to be open as he claims, all the info would have been out by now.
    That which has been dribbled out so far, only seems to have been done so as the do the most harm to the USA.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 6:12am

    Re: Assange has his own troubles

    When did Assange say he wanted to cause harm to the US?

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 6:13am

    Re: Re: One possible answer to that last question

    "Where's the insightful button gone?"

    Still there for me. Although it sometimes doesn't show up at first for the most recent comments...

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 6:19am

    Re: Assange has his own troubles

    This is a fun game I like to play when arguing w/people who have a really strange vitriolic reaction to Wikileaks. It's a drinking game. You have to drink every time they make a statement and then say something contradictory to that statement. Play along at home if you like:

    "What has come out so far is really not that bad...That which has been dribbled out so far, only seems to have been done so as the do the most harm to the USA."

    DRINK!

    Oh, and another thing:

    "Assange has stated that he wishes to cause harm to the USA."

    I'd be interested in where you heard him specifically say that. I know he's said that he wants to end some harmful US policies, but never that he specifically wanted to harm the States....

     

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    Leaky Joe, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 6:23am

    Re: Assange has his own troubles

    Assange does seem to be a bit of a weirdo. He is however a weirdo on a mission, and goodness knows that should not be underestimated.

    But hey, whatever happens, happens. For all we know in six months, Assange will be spending his time in a Swedish prison, WikiLeaks will be under new management, and instead of being the only game in town, it will be one Leaks site in crowd of many.

    In my mind, what really matters is that government's (everywhere) monopoly in secrets becomes broken.

     

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    Richard Kulawiec, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 6:51am

    Re: Assange has his own troubles

    That which has been dribbled out so far, only seems to have been done so as the do the most harm to the USA.

    Two points.

    First, the leaked cables are only a tiny fraction of "all documents released by Wikileaks". There's plenty in there to embarrass every major government on this planet and most of the minor ones.

    Second, the "dribbling" you've referred to is quite obviously NOT an attempt to harm anyone; it's exactly the opposite. All the documents are being reviewed by professional journalists with expertise in the topic matter areas and they're being redacted -- all in order to minimize the chance that someone, somewhere winds up in mortal danger. If Wikileaks was trying to do the most harm, then they could have saved themselves a heck of a lot of time and trouble by just releasing all 250K as-is. Along with whatever else they have. (Surely nobody thinks this current release is the end?)

    Alright, I lied. Three points. There is an excellent piece by Naomi Wolf here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/naomi-wolf/jaccuse-sweden-britain-an_b_795899.html

    It discusses Assange's personal troubles from a rather unique viewpoint and -- I think -- neatly dissects the show trial/political persecution currently under way.

     

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    Improbus, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 6:52am

    Our Stupid Government

    One silver lining to having morons run our country is that they will inevitably frak up their police state through sheer stupidity. The government has been waging the "War on Drugs" for forty years and the criminals are thriving. Just think how effective their police state will be.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 6:54am

    Re: Re: Neat Piece :)

    "But that's the part that DOES make Tzu's teachings applicable. This "war" is different, but the rules of being willing to engage are the same."

    I agree the rules are the same. But their is no single battle, or war. There is no leader to take out, there is no central point to blow up, there is no centralized structure. Yes there is Jullian Assange, when he is gone the next group is probably going to be run like a warez group. Driving it deeper underground. Every attempt to stop this will only cause it to expand. It is the classic tale of hercules against the hydra (I know the hyrda lost) with millions of hydras. At techdirt we have talked about distributed system, anon-4chan, operation payback, Whac-A-Mole. This is where sun tzu becomes, not irrelevant, but an un-workable solution resource wise. Which is something I believe Mike Masnick has been saying for a while now, govenments can't fight distributed systems.

    "Wikileaks "fights" by exposing wrongs and then allowing the world to watch as govt. flops around like a dying fish on a dock. Stop doing that. Be open, be honest, don't deny what's already been revealed, and move on...."

    Interesting solution, be open and honest, Governments don't do that. Leopard meet spots ...

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 7:00am

    Re: Re: Re: One possible answer to that last question

    "THAT's the silver lining? Really?? There's a silver lining to having retards run a country?"

    Yeah it is a silver lining ... it makes them easier targets when the revolution comes ;)

     

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    Transbot9, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 7:07am

    Question

    Would not applying Sun Tsu only make it easier to argue that this is cyber warfare?

    Not saying that I personally think it is, only that it makes it easier to argue such.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 7:07am

    Re: "leaks?" really?

    "Where are the people lining up to defend the First Amendment in light of the things that might happen after this incident?"

    They are here online. If you had not noticed, the TV and newspapers all have their agendas. They don't rock the boat where the government is concerned. They do this to maintain access to the politicians and press releases that pass for news now. Jullian Assange happens to be the first person in a while to do what the newspapers (soon to be gone) and new channels should be doing. Reporting where the government is being untruthful.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 7:09am

    Re: Re: Assange has his own troubles

    "In my mind, what really matters is that government's (everywhere) monopoly in secrets becomes broken."

    Well said ...

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 7:10am

    Tactics 101

    It would appear that the Tactics 101 dept hasn't been in contact with the Politics 101 dept.

    The assumption is that the US is trying to win a war against Wikileaks.

    That doesn't appear to be the case at all. It appears that business as usual is taking place in D.C. Sure Wikileaks has all the advantages in this mock up war, but what if the goal is for the US government to increase "security"?

    In that case, Wikileaks is providing a platform to show why we need to be "protected" from the cyber "terrorists". Sound familiar? Legislating based on fear doesn't require facts, it just requires that the sheeple be scared enough to allow their rights to be trampled so they can feel more secure.

    If you revisit the premise with the goal being a War on the Constitution and its various freedoms, then you may find that the US government has a lot more advantages in the 5 constants.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 7:37am

    Re: Re: Re: One possible answer to that last question

    Just realized something we should give them all guns and take them on a hunting trip in texas ...

     

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    chris (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 7:37am

    Re: Re:

    Realize they are in the moral low ground of a losing battle and back off?

    lollerskates.

    take a number, they'll get you after vietnam and iraq.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 7:38am

    Re: Question

    "Would not applying Sun Tsu only make it easier to argue that this is cyber warfare?"

    The opposite I think. If the govt. wants to look at it like a war, then they should follow war tactics. Basically, Sun Tzu is saying they should not go to war here. Therefore, there is no war.

    And now I've talked myself cross-eyed....

     

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    princefeliz (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 7:51am

    Battling Wikileaks And The Art Of War

    You can’t apply the Art Of War to Wikileaks. We the people are transforming into wikileaks making it a completely different war. There is no Moral Law, or Heaven or Earth, no Commander, and no discipline. There is only the Arrogance of the powerful and the rest of us. And the digital world is on our side.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 7:57am

    Re: Tactics 101

    I'm inclined, when wearing my not to tight tin foil beret, to agree, that this is much like the TSA scanner monster maker situation. I've seen Op-Eds to that effect, spreading the clamor.

    Then I have another think and it is that the gov't. just may not be that clever and/or foresighted.

    Whichever it is, they really aren't doing themselves any favors in the long run with the current reactions and flailing about...

    ...yet those scanners are very real and don't seem to be going anywhere soon...

    As I build my lead-lined bunker, I imagine sparkly tin-foil snowflakes I could decorate with...

     

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    Transbot9, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Question

    Well, proponents of "Cyber War" could say that it is still a war, but by allowing Sun Tzu they would be admitting that they are doing a terrible job at it. THen comes the question of what are we spending all our money on?

     

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    J.J. (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 9:39am

    Honestly ...

    Why does kicking denial into overdrive surprise you when you live in a country where it's perfectly acceptable to advocate Creationism over Evolution?
    I mean, does this strike you as a place where rational thinking prevails by default?
    No, no and hell no.
    They will keep thinking that this is a battle that can be won, while more and more Wikileaks mirrors pop up and more and more Wikileaks clones.
    Censoring Wikileaks will just add to the problem, it will further damage the image of the US in the eyes of the rest of the world.

    “In morals what begins in fear usually ends in wickedness; in religion what begins in fear usually ends in fanaticism. Fear, either as a principle or a motive, is the beginning of all evil.” -Anna Jameson

     

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    Joe-da, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 9:53am

    Re: Honestly ...

    Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

     

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    Jay (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Neat Piece :)

    Yep, it's the same as fighting terror, poverty, or any other idea.

    If our government wanted to change that around, it could, but it requires a restructuring of how it operates, which no one wants to do.

     

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    Jay (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:11am

    Re: One possible answer to that last question

    Well... Let's think about another reason. Joe Lieberman grew up in the time of Watergate, right?

    So did many other people when their government seemed infallible until Nixon ruined everything. I've kind of had an idea that perhaps a lot can be explained on personal biases.

    Nixon was afraid of Communism to the point of paranoia. This idea of sharing an untold amount of information seems to conflict with Democratic ideals. But doesn't the internet do exactly this?

    So in the end, our government is run by people that have been fighting to keep things secret.

    Of course, it doesn't help that those complaining the loudest are also the most morally bankrupt in the first place but that's an entire new ballgame.

     

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    Jay (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:15am

    Re: Assange has his own troubles

    Last I checked Wikileaks was an equal opportunity government embarrasser. The US just has a much longer back catalog.

     

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    Jay (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Question

    Those whiskey shots of the 4 star generals that forgot to read Sun Tzu for their final.

    Now it's coming to bite them in the arse.

     

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    Jay (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:20am

    Re: Battling Wikileaks And The Art Of War

    I would disagree.

    The Art of War tells us that there are certain things we should look for in our commanders (to find the right ones, and exploit the weaknesses of weak ones), to win our battles (be they in the digital landscape or the military battlefield), to use our advantages and strengths, and avoid our weaknesses against the enemy.

    It's like playing The Game. Even if we're not playing it, we are. ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re: Assange has his own troubles

    Thanks for pointing this out. The people who think Wikileaks are on a vendetta against the US are invariably ignorant of the information that Wikileaks has released in the past.

    It tends to cross the MSM radar more when it's about America. That's all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:51am

    Re: Tactics 101

    Precisely what I have been thinking.

    The furor appears nearly orchestrated. It has all the needed aspects of villification in order to whip people up into a frenzy, and then get something done that wouldn't otherwise be doable without the justification that it is needed to fight these "enemies".

    I really am expecting the online equivalent of the patriot act to get proposed quite soon, in the shadow of all these happenings. COICA isn't it, as it doesn't go far enough to suit them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 10:53am

    Re: Battling Wikileaks And The Art Of War

    Ok so you dichotomize the people into factions, expostulate on how they are in conflict, and then say that the premiere work on how to win in a conflict isn't relevant?

    How exactly is it not relevant?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Honestly ...

    And all of them are forms of energy, if, once objectively analyzed or "off-gassed", could be harnessed for direction toward better ideas, smarter solutions...

    But creation and progress are always harder than destruction.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:00pm

    "The Commander factor considers a leader's wisdom, aptitude, sincerity, courage, and ability to inspire.

    Figuratively, the President is the Nation's leader. Realistically the Nation's "leader" is an amalgam of the President, Senate, House, Supreme Court, and lobbyists. The Nation's virtual "leader" suffers from severe case of Schizophrenia that has essentially paralyzed our ability to formulate solutions to long standing problems such as balancing the budget and repairing the tax code. Not to mention the emergence of paranoia and a bunker mentality that emphasizes "security" over courage. (Hunkering down as opposed to taking the offense) Given this paralysis; countries such as Iran and North Korea feel empowered to blow-us-off and other countries such as China can out-compete us simply because we are stuck in the starting gate. Given this deplorable state of affairs, what country would really be inspired to follow our "leader".

    Furthermore, if our esteemed virtual fearless-leader had any wisdom, sincerity, and courage; Wikileaks would be a non-issue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
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    David Liu (profile), Dec 15th, 2010 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Neat Piece :)

    That's because you're identifying the wrong enemy.

    The government has identified WikiLeaks as the enemy, when the real enemy is the public. The government has identified as conquering the internet as the way to engage in battle, when the real way to engage is to actually engage with the people with empathy.

    Taking your hydra analogy, it's obvious that engaging in battle will only create more hydra heads. But what if you were to sidestep the whole situation by convincing the hydra to become your ally?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
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    monkyyy, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 4:00pm

    Re: Re: Assange has his own troubles

    maybe destroy the american government?some people tend to confuse places and governments and im all for starting anew, old english is to easy to twist into anything u want :/

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 6:43pm

    Just want to comment that the second factor is better translated to "atmosphere", to cover all the climate and weather things. As if the will of God is involved, it would be way beyond the scope of second factor. :P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2010 @ 8:54pm

    "In war, moral factors acount for three quarters of the whole; relative material strength accounts for only one quarter." - Napoleon

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
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    The eejit (profile), Dec 16th, 2010 @ 4:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Honestly ...

    "Fire is life, not just destruction."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
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    Len, Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 4:22pm

    Re: "leaks?" really?

    1. Certain US Officials/people have that problem. Certainly not all of us. Probably not even most of us.

    2. You're preaching to them pal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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