With Wikileaks Releasing Syrian Emails, Will People Realize It's Not Just Targeting The US?

from the radical-transparency dept

One of the bizarre issues that came out after Wikileaks began releasing its treasure trove of US State Department cables, was this suggestion from the US government that Wikileaks was clearly an anti-US organization. However, as has been pointed out time and time again, it's not: it's an anti-secrecy organization. You can agree or disagree with that position, but the various attempts to brand Wikileaks and Julian Assange as particularly anti-American (and to even look to use Espionage Act claims against them) always seemed misguided. With the latest release of millions of Syrian government emails, it makes you wonder if those same people who were complaining about the organization being anti-American are now also complaining about it being "anti-Syrian."

Randomly, this can't be particularly surprising when, as we noted a few months ago, some hackers had worked out that a large number of high level government officials in Syria used 12345 as their email password.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    hegemon13, Jul 6th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    Nope

    Already, I've seen countless ignorant comments about how the "embarrassing Syria's enemies" part means that it's treasonous to release any of it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    the US are only interested in the mails that were released about it, showing the war crimes that went on and the secrets they were trying to keep from their allies

     

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  3.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jul 6th, 2012 @ 2:35pm

    Wikileaks isn't an Anti-US organisation, it's an anti-oppressive government organisation. That's why the US government is so pissed off.

    And somebody change the combination on my luggage!

     

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  4.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 6th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

    One of Wikileaks first big leaks was on Swiss bank Julius Baer.

    Guess they're anti-Swiss, too. /s

     

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  5.  
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    GMacGuffin (profile), Jul 6th, 2012 @ 2:55pm

    Why I like Techdirt

    1. Insightful commentary on subjects that matter to me, both in the posts and the comments.

    2. "Spaceballs" references need not be explained (Ditto Star Wars).

     

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  6.  
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    dba1291ua, Jul 6th, 2012 @ 3:03pm

    Whoever said Wikileaks was specifically anti-US? As you can easily guess, they will release whatever info they can manage to get access to. They choose targets of opportunity. As for Syria, you know it is actually one of our allies. Why do you think the US government has allowed them to just keep on killing its own citizens, when they invaded other countries for less?

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

    Re:

    Woot spaceballs! Glad I am not the only one who always thinks of that.

     

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  8.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 6th, 2012 @ 3:16pm

    Re:

    "Why do you think the US government has allowed them to just keep on killing its own citizens"

    Probably to help maintain Iran. If you remove Syria, Iran falls in short order. Then the whole monetary and hardware support for terrorism thing starts drying up. In a couple years it leads to destabilization of a couple countries in south america. Its a bunch of domino's.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2012 @ 3:22pm

    It's easy to guess why, Wikileaks is anti-corruption, the US uses every tool it can invent for itself to keep getting away with it's corruption.

     

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    nraddin, Jul 6th, 2012 @ 4:23pm

    It does help that they actually targeted something other than the US. It's one thing to tell everyone you are willing to point stuff out from anyone and anywhere, actually doing it is a big step. It's not like there is nothing anywhere else in the world that is bad and should be exposed.

    It's a lot like the police saying they are not racist, yet they only pull over brown people. And then point to the one white guy they have a parking ticket to 3 months ago as proof they aren't racist.

    I don't believe that wikileaks is after America specifically, but actions speak louder than words. You want to make people stop saying that, prove it and this kind of thing goes a long way toward that.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2012 @ 5:02pm

    Anti-secrecy = anti- US gov't

    Because the US government is so fond of secrecy (consider the TPP negotiations, for example), by being anti-secrecy wikileaks must also be anti US government. And of course the government is supposed to represent the whole country, so wikileaks must therefore also be anti-US.

     

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  12.  
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    Huh?, Jul 6th, 2012 @ 5:33pm

    Re: What on earth are you on about?

    Wikileaks was not considered anti-US for the years between its launch in 2006 and the release of documents embarassing to the US in 2010.

    They've released plenty of stuff in the years since 2006 that is not "targeted" at the US. It's nonsense and fluff to suggest otherwise.

    Even Hilary Clinton was praising Wikileaks before the US was embarassed. If the people you speak of do not hate the US and its Constitution, if they are not determined to be slovenly and negligent in their democractic duties, they should not have a problem and in fact should be pleased that the citizens of the US would be given the information needed to check and balance their government.

    People in free democracies who resent hearing bad news about their own government are slovenly and negligent. People died for their freedoms. A bit of self monitoring of their own government is a small ask in comparison.

     

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    greenbird (profile), Jul 6th, 2012 @ 6:48pm

    Targetted?

    Ummm...wikileaks doesn't target anyone. People give them stuff and wikileaks makes it makes it public. That's how it works. No targeting involved.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2012 @ 7:37pm

    When you think of what matters in the world, and what honest people really care about, it's the quest for decency, honour and tolerance for all our fellow creatures.
    There's no point to life without it. We might as well stick our feet in the soil and grow leaves.

    I'm with the brave ones who have taken the rap for the human race for aeons and still do. Not for me that sly, devious, murderous wheeling and dealing to fill the puny Big Guys' bottomless pit of need and greed.

    Did any PhD correlate corrupt regimes with poor potty training?

     

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  15.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jul 6th, 2012 @ 9:44pm

    ...

    Remind me to change the combination on my luggage.

     

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  16.  
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    littleduck, Jul 6th, 2012 @ 11:48pm

    all fine and dandy - but you know that one of the news outlets that's been selected is a newspaper that's pro-regime and embarrassingly apologetic towards Bashar and his actions? Who do you think is going to be embarrassing who in this situation?

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/07/hold-syria-akhbar.html

    I can personally testify, that yes, the paper is staunchly pro-syrian - forget about reading any balanced viewpoints

     

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  17.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jul 7th, 2012 @ 1:23am

    Re:

    uhh, they've been doing ti for years. IT was just that the largest repository was of the US. Wikileaks has posted stuff from Russia, China and Syria, to name but a few.

     

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  18.  
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    A Guy (profile), Jul 7th, 2012 @ 2:13am

    Re:

    I'm guessing they have some sort of agreement with the Russians not to provide military equipment to the rebels. Is there a defense pact in place that could launch us into a larger conflict? That's just conjecture of course. I don't really know.

    Syria will probably take care of itself in short order anyway.

     

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  19.  
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    Qûr Tharkasdóttir, Jul 7th, 2012 @ 7:01am

    Good comments, really (curious how the level varies from one post to another.)

    Now, far away from me the thought of propagating any kind of disinformation, but: a relatively reliable French site dedicated to conveying information and comments you don't find everywhere in the French-speaking world stated yesterday (without citing its sources!) that Qatar might have paid 10 million British pounds to Wikileaks for the publication of those Syrian documents – within the next two months (?)

    Personally, I don't believe it, but then I've learned by now that it's not because I don't believe in something that it can't turn out to be true.

     

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  20.  
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    Charlie Chuck, Jul 7th, 2012 @ 8:22am

    Re:

    Just the fact that the thought of anyone being anti-Swiss, or anti-Italian, or anti- any other nationality is so ludicrous, should tell us all we need to know about US arrogance.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Asshole, Jul 7th, 2012 @ 3:14pm

    Re:

    Have you drifted over the borderline from merely slow to full-on potato retard?

    Wikileaks was so anti-USA that the US Government used its revelations to put additional pressure on the Kenyan government.

    Oh, wait. That's not anti-USA at all.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2012 @ 6:24pm

    Re:

    You seem more dismayed that Wikileaks is revealing corruption in the American government than you do that there's corruption in the American government. You need to work on your priorities.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2012 @ 5:27am

    No one cares! Only the indignant aholes in the US seem to care.

     

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