Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WikiLeaks: what does it mean?

WikiLeaks: What We’ve Learned from them

Napoleon was a lunatic who thought he was Napoleon, and the joke applies to the 44th United States president with a vengeance. What doesn't the president know, and when didn't he know it? American foreign policy turned delusional when Barack Obama took office, and the latest batch of leaks suggest that the main source of the delusion is sitting in the Oval Office.

From the first batch of headlines there is little in WikiLeaks' 250,000 classified diplomatic cables that a curious surfer would not have known from the Internet. We are shocked - shocked - to discover that the ARAB GULF STATES FAVOR AN INVASION OF IRAN; that members of the Saudi royal family fund terrorism; that PAKISTAN MIGHT SELL NUCLEAR MATERIAL TO MALEFACTORS; that SAUDI ARABIA WILL TRY TO ACQUIRE NUCLEAR WEAPONS IF IRAN DOES; that Israel has been itching for an air strike against Iran's nuclear facilities; that the Russian government makes use of the Russian mob; that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan tilts towards radical Islam; or that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi mixes politics and business.

American career diplomats have been telling their masters in the Obama administration THAT EVERY THEATER OF AMERICAN POLICY IS IN FULL-BLOWN ROUT, forwarding to Washington the growing alarm of foreign leaders. In April 2008, for example, Saudi Arabia's envoy to the US Adel al-Jubeir told General David Petraeus that King Abdullah wanted the US "to cut off the head of the [Iranian] snake" and "recalled the king's frequent exhortations to the US to attack Iran and so put an end to its nuclear weapons program"…..

The initial reports suggest that the US State Department has MASSIVE EVIDENCE THAT OBAMA'S APPROACH - "ENGAGING" IRAN AND CODDLING PAKISTAN - HAS FAILED CATASTROPHICALLY. The crisis in diplomatic relations heralded by the press headlines is not so much a diplomatic problem - America's friends and allies in Western and Central Asia have been shouting themselves hoarse for two years - but A CRISIS OF AMERICAN CREDIBILITY.


This is a scary look at what Obama’s foreign policy is reaping. Rather than getting the USA the respect of the world, it appears we are becoming an untrustworthy ally.


Here is another perspective on WikiLeaks. The author is not impressed by them.

Another WikiLeaks whirlwind has hit us…..

This correspondence was never intended to enter the public domain, and its entry into the public domain may have thrown American diplomacy into a crisis of confidence.



3. Mr. Assange may not have endangered lives directly in this latest round of leaks, compared with the reprehensible mischief in July, when HE IMPERILED HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE IN AFGHANISTAN. But Mr. Assange has certainly made immeasurably more difficult the conduct of American diplomacy abroad.

4. Of course, the fault for the exposure lies, in large measure, with THE STATE DEPARTMENT, AND ITS ASTONISHINGLY PROFLIGATE APPROACH TO CONFIDENTIALITY. Thousands of people, it turns out, have access to this material. Why are we so lax, so trusting? …

5. On the bright side: The leaks show, happily, THAT FOGGY BOTTOM ISN’T AS CLUELESS IN PRIVATE AS IT APPEARS TO BE IN PUBLIC. ….


7. The key to understanding the WikiLeaks phenomenon lies in the erosion of the distinction, once clear and accepted, between the public and the non-public. Diplomacy, to work at all effectively, must draw a line between the “consultative process” and the “work product.” …..


What WikiLeaks told us

If you want to know more about the latest WikiLeaks you can check out the highlights below or go to the link and read the commentary that goes with the headlines.

1. Yemen Takes the Fall for U.S. Drones

2. China Hacked Google—and the Dalai Lama

3. Hillary Commissioned U.N. Spies

4. “Feckless” Berlusconi Has “Shadowy” Ties to Putin

5. Saudi King Wants a U.S. Military Strike on Iran

6. Corrupt Afghan V.P. Caught With $52 Million in Cash

7. U.S. Offers Payouts in Exchange for Guantanamo Detainees

8. U.S., S. Korea Are Planning to Reunite the Two Koreas

9. State Department Gives Low Marks to Germany’s Merkel


NYT Drops ClimateGate-era Ethics Qualms, Publishes Scores of WikiLeaks Docs

The New York Times has taken an admirable stand on the potentially-criminal release of diplomatic cables by the online "whistleblowers" at Wiki Leaks. Said one Times reporter: "THE DOCUMENTS APPEAR TO HAVE BEEN ACQUIRED ILLEGALLY AND CONTAIN ALL MANNER OF PRIVATE INFORMATION AND STATEMENTS THAT WERE NEVER INTENDED FOR THE PUBLIC EYE, SO THEY WON'T BE POSTED HERE."

Oh, wait. That wasn't in reference to the Wiki Leaks documents. That was the Times's former environmental blogger Andy Revkin discussing the so-called ClimateGate emails. The Times has, in fact, posted a number of American diplomatic documents obtained illegally by Wiki Leaks, and containing massive amounts of sensitive diplomatic communications.

And so we get another glimpse of the amazing depths of the Gray Lady's hypocrisy
Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-markay/2010/11/29/nyt-drops-climategate-era-ethics-qualms-publishes-scores-wikileaks-d#ixzz16hyDpclJ

I’m not sure if it is hypocrisy or simply schizophrenia.

Europe's Ominous Reckoning

One of the reasons the dollar hasn’t fallen further is that there really isn’t a good currency out there to take its place. The Euro has been down this year and then when QE2 was announced, the dollar plunged. Now the Euro is going down again because of the fundamentals of what is happening in Europe. This article explains a lot of what is happening and what might happen.

What you need to know about IRELAND'S ECONOMIC CRISIS IS THAT IT'S NOT ABOUT IRELAND: a small country of slightly more than 4 million people and an economy of roughly $200 billion. IT'S ABOUT EUROPE. For decades, Europe has pursued two great political projects. One is the democratic welfare state, designed to improve economic justice through various social safety nets. The other is European unity, symbolized by the creation in 1999 of a single currency -- the euro -- now used by 16 countries. The fact that both contributed to Ireland's troubles SUGGESTS THAT EUROPE COULD BE ON THE BRINK OF A BROADER CRISIS.

Ireland's problems are not isolated, and IF THEY PORTEND A WIDER MELTDOWN, THIS WOULD MARK A DANGEROUS NEW PHASE IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC TURMOIL that began in 2007. Europe represents about one-fifth of the world economy, comparable to the U.S. share. If the continent relapsed into recession, worldwide economic nationalism would intensify, as the already-weak global recovery faltered and countries competed for scarce sales. For example: Europe buys about 25 percent of America's exports, which would suffer. Protectionism and predatory behavior would increase……

That Ireland, after Greece, has come to grief is ironic. Until recently, IT WAS ADMIRINGLY DUBBED THE CELTIC TIGER for emulating Asian countries in attracting foreign investment -- Intel and others -- and achieving rapid export-led growth. From 1987 to 2000, annual economic growth averaged 6.8 percent; unemployment fell from 16.9 percent to 4.3 percent. But then, SOLID GROWTH GAVE WAY TO A HOUSING BOOM AND BUBBLE WHOSE COLLAPSE LEFT IRISH BANKS AWASH IN BAD LOANS.


The EU and Democracy

An interesting speech in the EU parliament. I’ve thought for a while now that the EU IS A FASCIST STATE and it appears so does this speaker.


Candidate Obama vs President Obama

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama CRITICIZED THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION FOR ITS EXCESSIVE SECRECY, noting that it had “invoked a legal tool known as the ‘state secrets’ privilege more than any other previous administration to get cases thrown out of civil court.” Obama also promised to end “extraordinary rendition,” a practice through which “we outsource our torture to other countries.”

IN SEPTEMBER, HOWEVER, THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION USED THE STATE SECRETS PRIVILEGE TO BLOCK A LAWSUIT BY FIVE FORMER CAPTIVES who say they were tortured as a result of extraordinary rendition. Although candidate Obama surely would have been outraged, President Obama is for some reason less concerned about abuses of executive power.


I wonder how he will respond to these kinds of charges when he runs for reelection in 2012? Or will he do a Lyndon Johnson and drop out of the race?

A Blue Dog survivor assigns blame

Rep. Ben Chandler (Ky.), who won reelection by only 648 votes, said in a recent interview that he BLAMES OUTGOING HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI (D-CALIF.) FOR DEMOCRATS' DEEP DEFEATS IN THE MIDTERMS.


"If not there, where else does the responsibility lie?" Chandler told McClatchy. "You're talking about the loss of 60 or something seats held by capable public servants. There had to be something going on at a level above them."

He added, "If that isn't the lesson, I don't know what is."

Chandler, a member of the moderate Blue Dog Coalition, VOTED AGAINST PELOSI FOR CAUCUS LEADER, saying that her opponent, Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), was a "better fit" for his district.



I’d venture a guess that he won’t be getting a Christmas card from either Ms. Pelosi or the President.

Crack!—Was that the sound of Hell freezing over?

After vilifying W for the past three years, the pundits are telling him to emulate George W. Bush. That MUST have caused hell to freeze over.

If Obama is serious about reclaiming his own narrative, HE MIGHT WANT TO LOOK TO THE EXAMPLE OF A MAN WHOSE RECORD HE TRASHED AT EVERY TURN in the presidential election: George W. Bush.

Six years ago, Bush's reelection campaign faced a daunting set of circumstances. Iraq had spiraled into a brutal civil war, while the rationale for the invasion had collapsed along with any signs of weapons of mass destruction. Job growth across Bush's four years in office was anemic, and there was deep concern about a so-called jobless recovery. Polls showed only about 40% of voters saying the country was on the right track.


Should we profile at the airports?

In the wake of yet another Muslim terror plot, we can't ignore the threat profile any longer—or the solution. Asra Q. Nomani argues the case for religious and racial profiling.

AS AN AMERICAN MUSLIM, I’ve come to recognize, sadly, that there is ONE COMMON DENOMINATOR DEFINING THOSE WHO’VE GOT THEIR EYES TRAINED ON U.S. TARGETS: MANY OF THEM ARE MUSLIM—like the Somali-born teenager arrested Friday night for a reported plot to detonate a car bomb at a packed Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in downtown Portland, Oregon.

We have to talk about the taboo topic of profiling because terrorism experts are increasingly recognizing that RELIGIOUS IDEOLOGY makes terrorist organizations and terrorists more likely to commit heinous crimes against civilians, such as blowing an airliner out of the sky. Certainly, IT’S NOT AN EASY OR COMFORTABLE CONVERSATION BUT IT’S ONE, I BELIEVE, WE MUST HAVE.

I know this is an issue of great distress to many people. But I believe that WE CANNOT BURY OUR HEADS IN THE SAND ANYMORE. We have to choose PRAGMATISM OVER POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, and allow U.S. airports and airlines to do religious and racial profiling.


And here is a link to at 27 page report she refers to in her article. It’s on Rational Profiling.


And you thought solar power would be free!

After billions of years THE SUN FINALLY HAS AN OWNER -- a woman from Spain's soggy region of Galicia said Friday she had registered the star at a local notary public as being her property.

Angeles Duran, 49, told the online edition of daily El Mundo she took the step in September after reading about an American man who had registered himself as the owner of the moon and most planets in our solar system.

There is an international agreement which states that no country may claim ownership of a planet or star, but it says nothing about individuals, she added.

"There was no snag, I backed my claim legally, I am not stupid, I know the law. I DID IT BUT ANYONE ELSE COULD HAVE DONE IT, IT SIMPLY OCCURRED TO ME FIRST."

The document issued by the notary public declares Duran to be the "owner of the Sun, a star of spectral type G2, located in the centre of the solar system, located at an average distance from Earth of about 149,600,000 kilometers."

Duran, who lives in the town of Salvaterra do Mino, said SHE NOW WANTS TO SLAP A FEE ON EVERYONE WHO USES THE SUN and give half of the proceeds to the Spanish government and 20 percent to the nation's pension fund.

She would dedicate another 10 percent to research, another 10 percent to ending world hunger -- and would keep the remaining 10 percent herself.

You have to think that the UN Is kicking themselves in the pants on this one. They’ve been trying to do what she proposes to do for years (not own the sun, but slap a fee on everyone in the world).

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