Stop the presses! Too much information already!

So, Kevin Rudd is a control freak. Oh my! That US ambassador guy really noticed something there.

Memory lane time:

Mind you, it seems Beazley and Rudd after him were much less diplomatic about some future China threat than Howard and Downer — a bit of a surprise that. See the ongoing WikiLeaks collection by Irfan Yusuf: MEDIA: WikiLeaks hysteria … Hysteria? Well things like “Assange has threatened America with the cyber equivalent of thermonuclear war.” I do doubt that.

Heaps of posts out there on the subject. Like Jim Belshaw I do wonder about the man: Musings on blogging & the Assange case and Mr Assange’s ego.

But I really do think we are being treated to too much information. How can we really assess its significance, amusing as much of it may well be? The real moral: don’t trust technology so much, America, especially when millions of people apparently have the keys to the cookie cupboard.

Far more useful: My friend, the terrorist. Noor Huda Ismail on Slow TV.

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One thought on “Stop the presses! Too much information already!

  1. But see James O’Neill on Matilda:

    …Arising from the latest Wikileaks documents however are three other topics, among many other, that are worthy of comment and reflection but which are barely present in mainstream coverage. They should have been scrutinized more closely and their implications discussed more fully. Two of those three are disturbingly similar.

    In 2003 a German citizen by the name of Khalid El-Masri was kidnapped while on holiday in Macedonia. He was taken to Morocco by CIA agents where he was tortured on behalf of the US government. He was then flown via Baghdad to Afghanistan on a so-called “rendition flight” that had originated in Spain. There, El-Masri was held incommunicado, tortured, subjected to experimental drugs, and subjected to prolonged stress amounting to inhuman treatment.

    The Americans eventually realised that he was who he had always said he was, an innocent victim of mistaken identity. They were reluctant to release him, despite instructions to do so from US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice because “he knew too much”. At Rice’s apparent insistence he was eventually released, but instead of being returned to Germany was dumped on a roadside in Albania.

    Upon his return to Germany El-Masri complained to the German authorities who instituted criminal proceedings against, among others, the CIA officers responsible for his kidnapping, torture and unlawful imprisonment. According to the Wikileaks cables John Koenig of the US embassy in Berlin pressed the German government to block the investigations as the outcome could have “a negative impact on bilateral arrangements”. The German government, to its great discredit, acceded to the request.

    The Spanish government, much to the chagrin of the Americans, has shown greater resilience. They took up the issue of El-Masri’s treatment because the CIA agents responsible for the kidnapping, rendition and torture had entered Spain on false United Kingdom passports.

    The Spanish also had another inquiry ongoing at the time into the death of a Spanish cameraman Jose Cuoso. Cuoso had been in the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad when it was shelled by an American tank, notwithstanding the American’s knowledge that the hotel was occupied principally by members of the international press. Cuoso died, along with several other civilians, as a result of the shelling.

    The Wikileaks cables record an extraordinary, large scale and co-ordinated effort by the US State Department, senior politicians, and the US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to obstruct the criminal investigation. The Spanish authorities were warned by the Americans that the investigations would “be misunderstood” and would harm bilateral relations. US diplomats sought out and communicated directly with Spanish judges and prosecutors in an attempt to steer the investigation into “friendlier hands.”

    The third illustration relates to the Chilcott inquiry in the United Kingdom set up by the Brown Labor government “to identify lessons that can be learned from the Iraq conflict.” At the same time that the British government was promising transparency in the inquiry Jon Day, the Ministry of Defence’s Director-General for Security was telling US Under Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher that the UK had “put measures in place to protect your interests during the UK inquiry into the causes of the Iraq war.”

    The cable, dated 22 September 2009 did not disclose what those measures were, but it hardly matters.

    All three cases illustrate a pattern of unlawful conduct by Australia’s closest allies.

    In the case of the United States it is an ally moreover with whom Gillard is willing to doing anything to co-operate, including presumably avoiding an inquiry into how Australia came to be involved in two illegal wars. Anything furthermore, except observing the rule of law and protecting an Australian citizen from persecution for doing what politicians fear most: exposing their misdeeds, lies and hypocrisy for the entire world to see…

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