If Wikileaks Is About Cyberwar, Was The Pentagon Papers About A Wood Pulp War? [Updated]

from the overhyping dept

The guy behind the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg, recently tweeted a link to my blog post about how some believed the US government was trying to make the case that Wikileaks was a part of a "cyberwar" because it helped further the agenda of certain government officials and defense contractors to use FUD about "cyberwar" to give the government more technological snooping powers and make those contractors tons of money supplying the tools. Of course, this is ridiculous. Wikileaks is no "cyberwar."

But Ellsberg's quote on the matter sums it up so eloquently, that we thought it was worthwhile to repeat here:
If @wikileaks is a "cyberwar," then what were the Pentagon Papers, a wood pulp war?
Indeed. Wikileaks is no more a cyberwar issue than the Pentagon Papers was a wood pulp war. The infatuation with adding "cyber" to the front of things just to pretend it's somehow "different" is really misleading.

Update: As was pointed out in the comments, I am a moron with this particular story. Ellsberg was apparently quoting my own original statement asking if the Pentagon Papers were a wood pulp war. I honestly did not remember writing those words (as you my know, I write an awful lot...). But it explains why the words resonated. Though, of course, now that makes me look egotistical. Point taken: this post shows I'm an egotistical moron. I still like the quote though.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 1:53pm

    "The infatuation with adding "cyber" to the front of things just to pretend it's somehow "different" is really misleading."

    People have been saying that for a long time. They use it to point at things that have already been solved and say they are somehow different, then create new laws or cause moral panic. Its BS everyone knows it.

     

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  2.  
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    MrWilson, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 2:25pm

    Re:

    It's also been said that anyone who still uses the prefix cyber- either doesn't know what they're talking about or are intentionally being misleading, or are referencing how stupid other people are for using the prefix.

    What are the common uses?

    Cyberwar - Total b.s. term for scaring tax payers into paying for internet security theater.

    Cybersex - Does anyone do this anymore? If so, do they still use this term to describe it?

    Cyberspace - Aside from cyberpunk fiction, if anyone uses this term seriously, they're either an ignorant Babyboomer or a reporter trying to use a term other internet or world wide web (or information superhighway).

    Cyberpunk - Not as popular as Steampunk these days and mostly relegated to geeky enthusiasts anyway.

    Cyberbullying - This is another minor issue overhyped by the media when there are very few instances where it's led to anything more serious than bruised egos, and you can get that from face-to-face bullying.

    Cybergoth - A very specific sub-subculture of a very specific subculture.

    Cybermen - Okay, Doctor Who is awesome. We'll excuse this one since they were created in 1966.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 2:26pm

    Does this mean peering at things in outher space is us waging star wars?

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 2:39pm

    BS abounds

    Cyber war is a purely political invention. It is more about achieving a political goal then protecting us. This is brought to us by people that can barely use Twitter and are all but technically illiterate. This is BS from professional bullshitters, not intelligent authorities.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 2:41pm

    Re:

    Just like the AV makers are creating "Cyber Smoke and Mirrors", with their alleged (false) sense of security

     

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  6.  
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    Jon B. (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 3:59pm

    Mike, I'm confused... You're praising Ellsburg for a great quote, when Ellsburg was just quoting you. Either way, it's a good quote, and it's great that he recognized you for it, but are you quoting him quoting you?

    Maybe he'll tweet this.

     

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  7.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 30th, 2010 @ 5:26pm

    Re:

    Mike, I'm confused... You're praising Ellsburg for a great quote, when Ellsburg was just quoting you. Either way, it's a good quote, and it's great that he recognized you for it, but are you quoting him quoting you?


    Um. Wow. You're right. I'm a moron. :)

    I had totally forgotten that original quote was mine.

     

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  8.  
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    Andy, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 5:46pm

    If Wikileaks is a "cyberwar," then what were the Pentagon Papers, a fiberwar?

    Fixed.

     

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  9.  
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    Darryl, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 7:23pm

    You can be an egotistical moron, and not have to lie !!

    Though, of course, now that makes me look egotistical. Point taken: this post shows I'm an egotistical moron. I still like the quote though.

    No it just confirmed that you are egotistical, and have been for quite some time.



    what do they say, a good liar needs to have an equally good memory !!!! :)

    What parallels are there between the pentagon papers and the wikileaks cable ?

    One showed how the US President, and government did not act constitutionally.

    And the other, has cables about what some diplomat called some politician.

    there is no comparison, and the motives for both leaks were totally different.

    Wikileaks is for self promotion, and the pentagon papers, was proper whistleblowing, regarding a very specific subject. (and after the fact of the war), not like wikileaks that is leaking military information about operations that are current.

    but thanks for your admission Mike, refreshing.. but allready common knowledge.

    But get a better memory if you intend to lie, and refer to your own comments.

    Just because you say alot of things, does not give you the excuse to say things that are not true, if you have to do that, you are better of saying nothing at all..

     

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  10.  
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    teka, Dec 30th, 2010 @ 8:24pm

    Re: You can be an egotistical moron, and not have to lie !!

    So what you are saying is.. Mike is Not a moron, though he may be egotistical, and he is not a good liar, meaning he tends to speak truthfully?

    Why Big D, i never knew you had those feelings deep down inside!

    Now, on to the rest of your rambling.. hmm..

    blah blah, two things that are similar are not similar.. you have a godlike power to determine why anyone did anything in any situation, and you finish up by saying that someone who cannot say things that are true should instead say nothing at all?

    But you are still talkin' D, so good luck with that whole internal inconsistencies problem. When will we see the Darryl edit to reveal your problems?

     

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  11.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 31st, 2010 @ 2:24am

    Re: You can be an egotistical moron, and not have to lie !!

    you are better of saying nothing at all..
    Amen. So get lost already, a$$hat.

     

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  12.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Dec 31st, 2010 @ 2:25am

    Re: Re:

    I still like the quote though

    LOL!

     

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  13.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Dec 31st, 2010 @ 8:08am

    Re: You can be an egotistical moron, and not have to lie !!

    One showed how the US President, and government did not act constitutionally.

    And the other, has cables about what some diplomat called some politician.


    Also, Wikileaks has shown that our President and government acted unconstitutionally, over and over and over again.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 31st, 2010 @ 8:27pm

    For an egotistical moron, you write pretty well :D

     

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  15.  
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    Irate Pirate, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 3:27am

    Re: Cybermen

    MrWilson wrote: "Cybermen - Okay, Doctor Who is awesome. We'll excuse this one since they were created in 1966."

    Actually, this term may be applicable to those whom are desperately trying to police the internet, like Web Sheriff. You know who I'm talking about, the ones that are easy to identify because they are always running around yelling "Delete! Delete!". ;)

     

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  16.  
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    Michael, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 3:30am

    Re: Re:

    Blog infinite loop.

    I think you just broke the internet.

     

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


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