Former Obama Advisor Says Wikileaks Is Wonderful For The US Government

from the if-only-he-would-tell-Obama-that dept

While the White House seems to be doing whatever it possibly can to try to file charges against folks involved in Wikileaks, a former Obama adviser is talking up how wonderful Wikileaks has been for the US government, in that it’s helped people understand the “challenges” the US faces. Mike Nelson who at one point was White House director for technology policy on IT says that the US government shouldn’t hate Wikileaks for the release of all those State Department documents:

?The US diplomats actually came out looking pretty good because the same thing they were saying in private was the same thing they were saying in public,” he said.

“The data that was divulged provided a lot of the justification for policies that the US government had been undertaking for years.”

Nelson said that the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, held a press conference to denounce WikiLeaks as a fraud because of leaked cables describing meetings between US ambassadors and heads of state in Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

“Memo after memo said, ‘The head of state reports that the guy across the [Persian] Gulf is crazy and they want the US government to do something about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’,” Nelson said.

“In public the heads of state would never say that, which was why Ahmadinejad concluded the memos were fake because he thought he was well-loved by his Arab brothers.

“Releasing this information is giving people a better understanding of the challenges that [US] foreign policy makers face.”

Later, he said that he hoped such revelations from Wikileaks would lead to more open discussions by governments, rather than trying to keep everything secret.

“If there is a corrupt official taking million dollar bribes from the Russians, maybe that should be public knowledge rather than hidden in a WikiLeaks cable?” he said.

I assume he meant a State Department cable, but the point makes a lot of sense. Too bad so few people in government seem to agree.

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Comments on “Former Obama Advisor Says Wikileaks Is Wonderful For The US Government”

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Anonymous Coward says:

So you’ll just grab onto any argument, no matter how tenuous, and give it conclusive weight to support your views? That’s not good for the old credibility, you know. Are you really going to adopt the position that “the same thing they were saying in private was the same thing they were saying in public”? That seems to directly contradict what you’ve said before. But hey, he’s saying the leaks were OK, so why not go with it, whatever his reasoning? Working backwards in action, my friends.

AJ says:


“I assume he meant a State Department cable, but the point makes a lot of sense. Too bad so few people in government seem to agree.”

Were you talking about Mike giving the above statement “conclusive weight”? How exactly did you come to that from from Mike’s “makes a lot of sense” statement? Or am I feeding the Trolls again…?

You do realize that this is a blog, and as such is full of both fact, and Mike’s opinions right?

Kevin (profile) says:

As loathe as I am to agree with an AC

This is ridiculous. I don’t specifically recall what you’ve said about Wikileaks in the past, so I won’t claim you’re contradicting yourself, because I simply don’t know. But this doesn’t seem like one lone-wolf gov’t official disagreeing with the gov’t at large about the official WH actions toward Wikileaks. Rather, this looks, as usual, like a calculated piece of PR released to all-to-eager stenographer-journalists who publish anything a “qualified source” tells them.

Anyone who has read reporting on those cables (or better yet, read them directly, though who has time) has seen numerous examples of embarrassing situation after embarrassing situation caused by flat out lies they make plain, particularly with respect to policies in the ME. While it’s certainly true, in the barest respect, that other ME leaders that we’re more friendly with are excited about the idea that we might depose Iran’s regime, the fact that a few cables prove they’re bouncing up and down about it certainly does NOT validate everything our saber-rattling leaders have said regarding Iran in the last few years. If anything, it just underscores that we’re itching to go to war with them and everyone in that region knows it.

I’m sorry, but this seems like the same pattern of “Bush says there are WMDs in Iraq, and we know because Cheney went on Meet the Press and confirmed it” type reporting, and I’m sad to see that a reporter I’m normally thrilled with (even in an off publication that won’t make much difference in this case, since it’s not geared toward political reporting) missing this obvious underlying theme.

xenomancer (profile) says:

but... but...

Counterfeiters, whistle-blowers, and pirates! Oh my!
Counterfeiters, whistle-blowers, and pirates! Oh my!
Counterfeiters, whistle-blowers, and pirates! Oh my!

(the chant of executives and officials who want to enshroud their lives in secrecy and lock up as much content as possible while foaming at the mouth for everyone else to lay bare their life’s details)

Anonymous Coward says:

“”I assume he meant a State Department cable”

No, he meant Wikileaks cable. He basically was saying that he hopes corruption would be spotlighted with public knowledge ahead of time, instead of people finding out about it through Wikileaks.

This is why you shouldn’t try to play Mr. Decipher and put words in other people’s mouths.

Mike54 (profile) says:


it seems you admit what Ahmadinejad has said about the aim of publishing these documents. he didn’t say these are fake but he said they issued intentionaly to make discord between Arabs and Iran. he is so smart that didn’t fall in US’s trap and said there is not any conflict between Iran and it’s neighbors. surly he doesn’t think they really love him!

Mike Kevitt says:


The gv’t. surely classifies things that need.’t, and so shouldn’t, be classified, plus it oughta be able to keep a lid on classified data in the Internet age. But, none of this excuses WikiLeaks, the press or the media for usurping the function of law, gv’t. and due process, which is what private entities are to work thru concerning such issues. The press and media have, in principle, been treasonous. The Australian gv’t., an ally of the U.S., has power over its own citizens’ criminal activities. Maybe it should be stepping on WikiLeaks. Freedom of speech and press, etc., doesn’t apply to crime.

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