A hit job on Wikileaks

Joshua Keating an otherwise excellent blogger of international affairs for Foreign Policy‘s blog Passport (i am a subscriber), wrote a blog piece that oddly seems like a slanderous hit job on Wikileaks. Probably socialized by his pals at the State Department into hating Wikileaks, i dont know.

The post is titled “Collaborate with WikiLeaks at your own risk”. It accuse Wikileaks of “no longer seems very good at protecting its sources.” Then imply that Wikileaks has something to do with the arrest of PFC Bradley Manning and soon-to-be-arrest of Swiss banker Rudolf Elmer; and generally abandon its original mission.

From Passport:

[Wikileaks] now relies more on cooperation with major news outlets like the Guardian and the New York Times rather than its own website, which can no longer really be described as a Wiki. WikiLeaks’ primary adeversaries these days are global superpowers and the world’s most powerful corporations, rather than the “oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East” who were its original stated targets.

But perhaps most important for the WikiLeaks project, the site no longer seems very good at protecting its sources. Pfc. Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier thought to be the source of the Afghan and Iraq war logs as well as the WikiLeaks cables, has been held a detention center in Quantico, Va. for the last five months without even a pre-trial hearing, kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day and prevented from excercising or sleeping during the day. WikiLeaks dragged its feet for months on a pledge to donate money to his defense fund.

Yesterday, Swiss banker Rudolf Elmer was arrested by Swiss authorities after handing over two CDs of client data to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Elmer had just avoided jail time related to a previous release of data to WikiLeaks in 2007.

Granted, Elmer’s motives seem more than a little suspect and he had no interest in anonymity — he handed over the data to Assange at a news conference. But the fact that the sources behind WikiLeaks’ biggest revelations are winding up in jail — contradicting the site’s original stated purpose — doesn’t bode very well for its ability to continue attracting whistleblowers.

This post have no obviously journalistic value, other than demonstrating the negative bias Joshua Keating have toward Wikileaks.
I was going to write a retort of this sleazy hit job on Wikileaks but instead of i am just going to quote a commentator signed “J-BENTHAM”. Links in the quotation are obviously mine.

Misleading and Untrue

This piece contains elements that are misleading and untrue.

Wikileaks does rely on cooperation with the Times and the Guardian, but it alone hosts the entire document database, surely an arduous task.

Given the recent Tunisian revolt brought about by Wikileaks revelations, I think that it’s difficult to say that Wikileaks has not done enough in the Middle Eastern realm.

Bradley Manning was responsible for his own arrest, revealing himself as the one responsible for the release of thousands of documents and the collateral murder video. To imply that the intolerable way in which he is being treated is the fault of Wikileaks as opposed to the U.S government is wrong.

Neither is Wikileaks responsible for the release of Elmer’s name, as the author mentions. In fact, Wikileaks couldn’t have been responsible due to the way its publishing system is set up. It does not know the identity of its sources. The author of this piece seems to know this at the beginning, and then apparently not.

The reason Wikileaks has not contributed to Manning’s defence fund is because the organization itself is struggling to stay afloat. It is by no means “dragging its feat.”

Knock it off! Joshy


Wikileaks used as a propaganda tool against Ma Ying-Jeou

Update 2011/01/07: a commentator point out to me that the subject article is in fact satire.

Why are there so much bull shit out there….

I was sent an online news article that reports (my translation): according to US diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks, Ma Ying-Jeou and Hu Jintao often secretly discuss Taiwan Strait relations over Skype.
Sounds very phony so i search through the released cables using Cablesearch.org using key words like “Skpye”, “VOIP“, versions of “Ma Ying-Jeou” and “Hu Jintao” and found nothing. Althought a negative cant be proven, i think it is safe to say that this report is a lying propaganda trying to paint Ma as a mainland loving traiter.

Full copy of the article below.

維基洩密公開台海機密 ! 兩岸領導常用 Skype 溝通

十一月三十日 記者魏軍梓 台北報導

昨天專門公布美國機密檔案的維基洩密,正式開始公布他們所取得的美國外交機密文件。這次的公布量包括 25 萬份美國大使館與國務院的通聯記錄,被美國政府認為是一項重大的「情報災害」。維基洩密將分三個月的時間把這些資料一一放在網路上,供網民瀏覽。驚人的是,今天公布的檔案當中,有一則關於台海兩岸領導階層的溝通互動模式,裡面描述馬政府與中國政府竟然常常用 Skype 視訊商意兩岸未來走向。

這一份新公開的文件是由美國在台協會 (AIT) 寫給華府的例行通訊,裡面提出美國對台海問題的擔憂,並擔心與中國走太近的台灣會使美國失去一個重要的陣地。因為馬英九政府傾向開放兩岸商業利益的緣故,台灣與中國的聯絡已經越來越熱絡。在這篇例行文件中,最引人注目的,是一則美國線民在台灣總統府得到的消息。消息來源指出,馬英九政府為了避免過多的社會與國際關注,常常在總統辦公室內,用自己的電腦跟中國領導人胡錦濤聊 Skype 。

線民情報更說,兩人為了避免被其他政府內部的官員與政敵發現,所以只有在辦公室內沒有人時,才會開 Skype 聊天,除了秘書以及少數官員之外,很少有人知道這個溝通管道。不過因為兩人都不是很會用電腦,設定 Skype 的時候都會請祕書幫忙。根據估計,馬與胡大約一個禮拜會聊到一次,而每一次的內容都是關於兩岸未來的走向,但是有時也會涉及一些無關緊要的寒暄問候,像是如何減少爬樓梯時的膝蓋疼痛。線民在通信中表示,由於馬與胡 Skype 的資訊相當保密,所以更多的細節幾乎不可能取得,但是可以知道的是,兩岸領導階級的溝通已經比想像中的密切了。



Defending Wikileaks: leaks kills innocent lives

Information published by Wikileaks will allow informants to be identify risk countless lives.

1. Let me be absolutely clear, U.S. officials concede that they have no evidence to date that the documents led to anyone’s death. NO EVIDENT!!!

2. Wikileaks and other news organization who worked on information released by Wikileaks are very careful and they self reduct information that they think might potentially cause warm to innocent informants. For further measures, Wikileaks and others invited the US government to review the information before each of the 3 major releases, Afghan War Diary, Iraq War Diary and Secret US Embassy Cables. Wikileaks were rejected by the US government all three times. This is one of the reason why Wikileaks has been slow in their release of information, they need to look through these information to minimise harm, to the best of their ability. Of couse, this process would be faster and damage further minimise if the US government helped. As of now, only 960 of the 251,287 diplomatic cables has been released contrary to what media organizations are reporting. More on this and other propaganda against Wikileaks.