Wikileaks release classified documents

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  • #26
ZQrn


Of course you're (generally) allowed to. But that doesn't give you any protection whatsoever from being called on it. :wink:
Sure, but I just think that asking for a citation for that is pretty strange, I mean, I can give one, it wouldn't be too difficult to find some political authority who calls Bush not that bright, or some psychologist who's estimate of Bush's intelligence is not that high. But what does that prove?

I'm sure you can find a political analyst or a psychologist that says the reverse, namely.
 
  • #27
mgb_phys
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Bush not that bright, or some psychologist who's estimate of Bush's intelligence is not that high.
Isn't that classified?
Presumably it would cause grave danger to national security if your enemies found out that your leader was an idiot - Doonesbury should be arrested for treason at once.
 
  • #28
ZQrn


Isn't that classified?
Presumably it would cause grave danger to national security if your enemies found out that your leader was an idiot - Doonesbury should be arrested for treason at once.
Oh bravo, I'm laughing some rudimentary organs off.

Other than that, it shows that it's in the eye of the beholder, yeah.
 
  • #29
Evo
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I agree that they're not unbiased. Can you source the doctoring for me? I hadn't heard that one.
Sure, that was shown in another thread. I'll have to look for it.
 
  • #30
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Note, the site for this info dump contains some pretty heavily biased editorializing - not a lot of it, just enough to let you know what his stance is. I realize the guy who runs the site just can't help himself, but I can't understand why he doesn't see that he undermines his own credibility by not simply dumping the information with a factual explanation of what it is.

If it is classified, absolutely yes!
Governments sometimes classify things simply to avoid embarrassing themselves, not because it is important to national security. That video of the gunship machine gunning Iraqi civilians was classified, because they wanted to conceal their crimes, not to protect the US.
 
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  • #31
Evo
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Governments sometimes classify things simply to avoid embarrassing themselves, not because it is important to national security. That video of the gunship machine gunning Iraqi civilians was classified, because they wanted to conceal their crimes, not to protect the US.
That video is the one that was edited and had intentionally misleading and false information provided by wikileaks.

I will find the discussion on it, I'm about to have company.

This is also in response to CR's request. The discussion of that video is closed now, this is just posted as an explanation of what wikileaks did.

http://blog.ajmartinez.com/2010/04/05/wikileaks-collateral-murder/ [Broken]
 
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  • #32
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Governments sometimes classify things simply to avoid embarrassing themselves, not because it is important to national security. That video of the gunship machine gunning Iraqi civilians was classified, because they wanted to conceal their crimes, not to protect the US.
Really? Or are all such videos classified?

Are you honestly trying to say that everything recorded etc. by the military in a war is unclassified information unless it involves crimes in which case they immediately find and classify all information pertaining to the crime?

This is incredibly stupid in my opinion.

All videos/recorded info etc. taken during fire fights or attacks are classified and it should be obvious why they are.
 
  • #33
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In my opinion this new leak of 90k+ files isn't damaging to the war effort. I don't think it undermine the war or anthing of that type either. The media is just hyping it up because it's a huge leak of files pertaining to the war.

As well I do not agree with leaking of classified information. This is a war we are atlking about and a lot is at stake. People sitting in America have no idea what it's like in Afghanistan I would be surprised if they could even locate Afghanistan on a map.
 
  • #34
ZQrn


Really? Or are all such videos classified?

Are you honestly trying to say that everything recorded etc. by the military in a war is unclassified information unless it involves crimes in which case they immediately find and classify all information pertaining to the crime?

This is incredibly stupid in my opinion.

All videos/recorded info etc. taken during fire fights or attacks are classified and it should be obvious why they are.
Now now, it's a bit of a dual standard. If there are videos which show heroic deeds of soldiers that aspire patriotism in the general population they are often directly given to the news. Even though it could hamper national security potentially, it does broker a favourable outcome in the midterms.

Let's just say that governments more often release such material when it casts them and good light than when it doesn't, which is of course what you expect.

In my opinion this new leak of 90k+ files isn't damaging to the war effort. I don't think it undermine the war or anthing of that type either. The media is just hyping it up because it's a huge leak of files pertaining to the war.

As well I do not agree with leaking of classified information. This is a war we are atlking about and a lot is at stake. People sitting in America have no idea what it's like in Afghanistan I would be surprised if they could even locate Afghanistan on a map.
War? Declared om whom?

What sovereign entity exactly is there war declared on?

Also, name such a thing that's currently at stake for the American population in that 'war'?
 
  • #35


Yes but in all fairness, is a government really in the best position to objectively judge this? They can say this of all info that is damaging. If any, this should be judged by a supreme court.
The supreme court is a branch of the government. It has no authority to decide issues of national security and has a self imposed proscription against deciding issues of politics.
 
  • #36
ZQrn


The supreme court is a branch of the government. It has no authority to decide issues of national security and has a self imposed proscription against deciding issues of politics.
Depends on your definition of government, some people only include the executive branch in it, as in 'He was asked by the queen to form a government'.

This isn't as much politics as a constitution which defines what is considered threatening to national security which a supreme court must interpret by letter of law rather than by moral values or strategical ideology. Or at least in theory.
 
  • #37
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Now now, it's a bit of a dual standard. If there are videos which show heroic deeds of soldiers that aspire patriotism in the general population they are often directly given to the news. Even though it could hamper national security potentially, it does broker a favourable outcome in the midterms.

Let's just say that governments more often release such material when it casts them and good light than when it doesn't, which is of course what you expect.
Sure but this has nothing to do with what I originally stated. The military releases information/video files that they can GURANTEE won't negatively effect them by the enemy or by the coalition nations. As well when I watch the news and there are stories on the war in Afghanistan there's not really much portraying the military in good light... a lot of it is actually negative...

War? Declared om whom?
The insurgents in Afghanistan. Hence it's a COIN operation.

What sovereign entity exactly is there war declared on?
...uh there is no war declared on a sovereign entity. It's a war INSIDE Afghanistan. Are you so dense as to think that COIN operations are not considered wars?

Also, name such a thing that's currently at stake for the American population in that 'war'?
Well first of all this really has nothing to do with what I was talking about. I never once said that there's something at stake for the American population in this war.

Second of all it has to do with what negative results could come towards the military from
a)the enemy gaining information they are not supposed to have
and
b)from the public opinion in its own nation since they don't get the full story sitting at home watching the media and reading wikileaks.
 
  • #38


Depends on your definition of government, some people only include the executive branch in it, as in 'He was asked by the queen to form a government'.

This isn't as much politics as a constitution which defines what is considered threatening to national security which a supreme court must interpret by letter of law rather than by moral values or strategical ideology. Or at least in theory.
While the judicial may have authority in some areas of what is acceptable by law in the area of protecting national security, that issue falls most squarely on the executive and then congress. The SCOTUS' hands are tied for the most part. Aside from actions taken against American citizens they have no constitutional authority. Only the FOIA gives them any latitude in the area which we are discussing and theoretically the executive and/or congress can easily limit this.

There is nothing in the constitution that would give any such authority except to the executive and congress. The judicial auspice is theoretically open ended but a most 'faithful' interpretation would exclude such a possibility.

While I may agree with you in spirit in reality the judicial only has authority through the FOIA which is limited, at best, as we have seen in the past. The other issue with the SCOTUS is that they have absolutely no power to enforce their decisions; their power rests solely in a sort of platonic 'authority' that any one could theoretically flaunt if no one sees fit to enforce it. Theoretically the executive and congress may completely ignore any decision of the supreme court, though such would set a disturbing precedent that not many would likely support out of sheer principle. This is what led to the precedent of the SCOTUS not making 'decisions of politics'; the president could, and likely would, have ignored them and they rightly feared such a precedent.
 
  • #39
ZQrn


Sure but this has nothing to do with what I originally stated. The military releases information/video files that they can GURANTEE won't negatively effect them by the enemy or by the coalition nations. As well when I watch the news and there are stories on the war in Afghanistan there's not really much portraying the military in good light... a lot of it is actually negative...
Haven't seen those come by though, at least not officially released by the military, at max things from war journalism.

I have seen several official USGOV releases of video that could hamper the mission but does further the political image of the seating administration.

The insurgents in Afghanistan. Hence it's a COIN operation.
I'm pretty sure they never formally declared war on them, and I'm sure that no international body like the UN would recognize such a 'declaration of war' to begin with.

...uh there is no war declared on a sovereign entity. It's a war INSIDE Afghanistan. Are you so dense as to think that COIN operations are not considered wars?
Yap, the point about war is that martial law is in effect. Different rules count, shooting is no longer murder et cetera.

The most important thing however is that you can say 'We're at war here!' as a justification for various things. The point is that when you attack soldiers, you attack people who are under authority of some sovereign nation and who are ordered to attack you. This is why there are certain rules about taking prisoners of war, these people never chose to attack you from their own ideology. Their own political beliefs are irrelevant as a soldier, they are ordered to attack and have to do so or else face discipline from their own commanders.

In the case of terrorists / insurgents, they aren't ordered at all, they are volunteers, not payed soldiers. They fight you for ideological reasons, and they are free to leave at any time. They also don't answer to one supreme commander in chief, surely there is some form of hierarchy and co-operation, but in the end the buck stops at no point, they are relatively isolated cells.

What you're formally dealing with is criminals here, not soldiers, they choose to attack you, they cannot say once you hold them at gunpoint and they pose no thread 'We were just following orders from our commander, it's not our decision' which soldiers can, and this is why you can't just shoot soldiers that are harmless and prisoners of war are not kept for justice or punishment but for security reasons. They are basically people living in a country which has a government, and they do not abide by the legal codes that government has established and enforces. This is very different from war and martial law. And this is why technically you can't just shoot them without a trial unless they resist arrest.

This distinction is quite important in international law.

Well first of all this really has nothing to do with what I was talking about. I never once said that there's something at stake for the American population in this war.
You said This is a war we are atlking about and a lot is at stake.

For whom is a lot at stake then if not the American population?

You know that internationally if you attack a country preventively without a direct risk for your own nation, this is internationally considered a war crime. This is of course different from pre-emptively.

Second of all it has to do with what negative results could come towards the military from
a)the enemy gaining information they are not supposed to have
For who's stake is the military fighting if not the American people?

b)from the public opinion in its own nation since they don't get the full story sitting at home watching the media and reading wikileaks.
Journalism never tells the whole story, that's why there's counter journalism and pluriformity of newspapers to keep a check.

The right side newspapers will tell the right side, the left side will tell the left side. Wikileaks is obviously biased to the left, as any journalistic entity is to one or the other.
 
  • #40
Gokul43201
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By definition, a top secret document risks
Quote by Wikipedia:
"exceptionally grave damage" to national security if made publicly available.​
My understanding is that none of the leaked documents were classified "top secret".
 
  • #41
mheslep
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I never really got this strange fixation people have with 'treason' really, but I'm not a nationalist or patriot and never got that either, so...
Then why not leave? No tears here.
 
  • #42
ZQrn


Then why not leave? No tears here.
Let's see, do I live in a country because of devoted love for the history of that country, because of unquestionable allegiance to what ever parliament or cabinet is currently elected democratically regardless of me voting against them in the election or not. Because of my love and appreciation for our hereditary head of state, because of our excellent performance at football and ice skating.

Or simply because I've friends, a life, a job here and most importantly because I speak the language fluently?

I don't love any other country blindly too and I don't see myself moving up to space, better stay at a place where I got a life, friends, kids and whose customs and language I happen to know.
 
  • #43
mheslep
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I said I found a world leader stupid in a politics board. I am not allowed to criticize a world leader on his by my perceived intellectual shortcomings for the job?
You didn't say 'I found', you stated it as a given.
 
  • #44
ZQrn


You didn't say 'I found', you stated it as a given.
"People sitting in America have no idea what it's like in Afghanistan"

"If it is classified, absolutely yes!"

"Some information is just plain not fit for public consumption"

"the wikileaks on Afghanastan is a big yawn"

Go bug the people for sources who said those things too, we do want all things sourced don't we?

Oh wait, I forgot, you're just trying to find a reason to attack me on because I said something you didn't agree with regardless of context obviously implying it was an opinion, how can some one's intelligence be fact to begin with? Silly me, assuming that when people ask 'citation please?' to an opinion that they actually want one rather than picking hairs over opinions because they don't like your side of the debate.
 
  • #45
CRGreathouse
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Sure, but I just think that asking for a citation for that is pretty strange
It's not the first thing on this thread that's caused me to ask for a citation. In fact, a sizable portion of my Politics & World Affairs posts are requests for citations. I come here [edit: that is, to P&WD, not to the Physics Forums in general] to learn, not to explain my beliefs to others.

I'm frequently asked for citations myself -- twice over the last two days, though I don't think either was on this forum. (One was a source on Frobenius pseudoprimes, backing my claim; the other was on the solvability of NP-hard problems, which showed that my claim was wrong (!) but repairable.)
 
  • #46
ZQrn


It's not the first thing on this thread that's caused me to ask for a citation. In fact, a sizable portion of my Politics & World Affairs posts are requests for citations. I come here to learn, not to explain my beliefs to others.

I'm frequently asked for citations myself -- twice over the last two days, though I don't think either was on this forum. (One was a source on Frobenius pseudoprimes, backing my claim; the other was on the solvability of NP-hard problems, which showed that my claim was wrong (!) but repairable.)
Yes, but those are citations on facts, not on opinions.

It's like asking 'citation?' if you say 'The mona lisa is truly the most beautiful painting ever!'

It's an opinion, it's not a fact.
 
  • #47
Hurkyl
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My understanding is that none of the leaked documents were classified "top secret".
It was just an example, and the other classification markings were in the list I linked.
 
  • #48
Gokul43201
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Citation, please.
Make of these what you will.

Opinions from people that engaged personally with Bush:

1. Richard Perle (Bush's foreign policy adviser): "The first time I met Bush 43 … two things became clear. One, he didn't know very much. The other was that he had the confidence to ask questions that revealed he didn't know very much."

http://www.ciponline.org/nationalsecurity/news/articles/mullins112406.htm

(fwiw, I consider the second attribute a positive trait)


2. Bob Woodward (Bush biographer, Washington Post correspondent): “He’s not an intellectual. He is not what I guess would be called a deep thinker.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/04/15/60minutes/main612067.shtml


3. David Frum (Bush's speechwriter): "As Andy Hiller ascertained, Bush had a poor memory for facts and figures. … Fire a question at him about the specifics of his administration's policies, and he often appeared uncertain. Nobody would ever enroll him in a quiz show."

Source: The Right Man: An Inside Account of the Bush White House, by David Frum (pg 77?)


4. Paul O'Neill (Bush's ousted Treasury Sec): "This meeting was like many other meetings I would go to over the course of two years. The only way I can describe it is that, well, the President is like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people. There is no discernible connection."

Source: The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill, by Ron Suskind (pg 149?)


5. Laura Bush (Bush's wife): "George is not an overly introspective person. He has good instincts, and he goes with them. He doesn't need to evaluate and reevaluate a decision. He doesn't try to overthink. He likes action."

http://www.allgreatquotes.com/laura_bush_quotes.shtml


6. George W. Bush (Bush's self): I'm not a textbook player. I'm a gut player. I play by instincts. I don't play by the book.”

From Woodward's book, Bush at War


See also:

Peter Galbraith (hearsay, but not disputed by the White House): Ambassador claims shortly before invasion, Bush didn't know there were two sects of Islam


No doubt you've also read/heard many of the so-called Bushisms which are another source of insight into Bush's thought process.
 
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  • #49
CRGreathouse
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Gokul, thank you very much for those! #3 seems most to the point in this context, but they're all interesting.

I don't consider the 'Bushisms' to be of much value in determining intellect -- we all say stupid things at times, and someone as public as the US President has all of it captured on tape. (Also, plausible accusations of media bias make this even more difficult to determine.) You're right that they can be indicative of the thought process, though.
 
  • #50
CRGreathouse
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This is also in response to CR's request. The discussion of that video is closed now, this is just posted as an explanation of what wikileaks did.

http://blog.ajmartinez.com/2010/04/05/wikileaks-collateral-murder/ [Broken]
Evo, thank you! Somehow I missed that you posted this earlier. I will review this carefully.
 
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