Friday, July 30, 2010

Do let me get this straight

From Gentle Reader D. Fisher in the comments to the "WikiLeaks" post:

"
Ethically, I don't think either Wikileaks nor the leaker is in the wrong, and that's coming from someone who's ex-military."

Do allow me understand you. WikiLeaks has released -- for all to read -- the names of Afghanistan citizens who have helped American and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Afghani citizens who have provided the names of Taleban leaders to American so that we may remove these Taleban.

WikiLeaks has released -- upon the World Wide Web -- the names of Afghani citizens who have identified Taleban who were hiding from Americans; who have provided invaluable intel on the activities of the Taleban; who have, in point of fact, aided NATO and the Americans in hurting the Taleban.

These informants -- whose names we held in secrecy to protect their lives, the lives of their families and the lives of their friends -- WikiLeaks has posted these names on the Internet for the Taleban to read at their leisure. And then to do ... whatever the Taleban feels to be appropriate.

And you don't find anything ethically wrong with WikiLeaks doing this.

Is that about right?

Correct me if I'm wrong, do.

LawDog

32 comments:

Doug said...

I'm guessing that he's "ex-military" for a good reason, and at the military's urging.

half_pint said...

The msm call this a leak but when the climategate emails came out it was theft.

Tim Covington said...

I concur LawDog. This to me is similar to a situation a friend found herself in. Her husband held her and her son hostage in a SWAT standoff. After he was released on bail. A clergy member they were both close to gave her new number to him "so they could work things out." This clergy member could not understand why suddenly everyone was so angry with her.
Some people are just to stupid to be given the information on a surprise birthday party, much less sensitive and secret information.

D.W. Drang said...

@Doug: Ditto.

Claims that "I used to be in the military" prove nothing. Even if said military service were, in fact, proven to have occurred, and even to have ended honorably, that service does nothing to make a silly, dim-witted opinion and less silly and dim-witted.

Or, I suppose, ignorant--that is, that military service could have been two years as a petroleum distillate transfer technician, which is a vital job, but contributes zero towards one becoming a Jedi Master of foreign policy.

Or, one could simply be a bigot, and not care about Afghanis.

Groundhog said...

Actually, his comments make perfect sense. Ethics, as seen by today's society, are determined by panels and commissions. They are voted on, watered down and situational. You can pretty much twist them how you want to. So "ethically" they did nothing wrong? Sure, why not.

Now "Morally", trial and firing squad is far too nice. Personally, I think the word 'ethics' these days has about as much effect as the word racist.

CalvinsMom said...

Excusing the leaker's behavior or explaining it away seems the height of douchebaggery to me.

Pardon my inelegant phraseology.

pdwalker said...

Everyone involved in allowing the leak should be tried as traitors and executed if they are found guilty.

It won't help those who are going to die from the released documents, but it might cause the next leaker to think twice about whether the action is appropriate or not.

Da Curly Wolf said...

They had the name and picture of the guy who runs/owns Wikileaks the other day. Looks like [in actual looks and in his name] Eurotrash to me. One doubts he's even an actual US citizen. Therefore he don't give a damn what kinda damage he might do in his self righteous indignation.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Since Afghani citizens are going to die because of the leaks, turn to leakers over to the mercies of the Afghan courts. If found guilty, the Afghanis can apply their brand of justice.

Anonymous said...

Releasing names or identifiable information that puts people at risk is wrong.

But I would like to see an independent investigation into the leaked material, and see if there were items that could have been released without damaging any person's safety.

And if there were items of that nature, I'd like to hear an explanation why they weren't released.

rsj said...

I would hope that the military would have combed through the leaked materially thoroughly and located each person named, and their family, and taken steps to protect and possibly re-locate them to safety.

Then, quietly track down the leaking douche and dispose.

KBCraig said...

Okay, let's all take a moment to adjust our moral compass:

1. Wikileaks posts leaked gunship footage of U.S. Army Apache helicopters killing and/or wounding innocent bystanders and children. Also included is footage of U.S. Army combat medics doing their best to save those children.
2. The action is officially defended by the U.S. Army.
3. The Army pursues the soldier who released the video, even while they claim it shows no wrongdoing.
4. ???
5. Lawsuit, slash Profit.

Beaker said...

The leaker signed agreements to protect the US's secrets and he violated to those agreements by leaking information. I'm sorry but I'm pretty sure that violating agreements is unethical.... and that's the BEFORE you consider the consequences of his actions.

tpmoney said...

The problem is, the idea and concept of wikileaks is great. Our government should have a considerably more checks upon it than it does, and if the threat of potential damaging leaks helps check the government, that's a good thing.

The problem is, the people who run these sites (and usually the people submitting to them as well) more often than not have an agenda and an axe to grind. They think far to highly of themselves and see themselves as some sort of crusader. This leads to extremely clouded judgment and stupid behavior.

JackL said...

Groundhog suspects ... the word 'ethics' these days has about as much effect as the word racist.

Yep. Once--once--an instructor at one of my employers' mandatory annual ethics training sessions asked for our personal definitions of ethics, then made the mistake of calling on me. The definition I gave was "Ethics: All we've got left after abandoning principles, morals, and scruples".

That earned me a couple of intense scoldings for being disruptive. The expression on the instructor's face was worth it.

Ian said...

1. The leaker(s), when found, should be turned over to the Aghanis or US or NATO units for summary (and I do mean summary) judgement and disposition as they find appropriate.
2. Seems to me that the same might be said for the folks who run the website, who seem to have no morals or ethics whatsoever.

Retired Spook said...

So if I personally think that Bozo here is up to no-good, I am morally justified in putting all his pertinent information on the web?? Is that what he's getting at?

Fine with me. And if someone gets hurt because of it, I can still claim the moral high ground, right?

Heath said...

We whacked the Rosenbergs for less.

Iowa Gunslinger said...

Wikileaks has shown it isn't interested in the slightest with what is right....they appear to be concerned more with what can sink the effort in Afganistan the most.
They just showed, to the world, where their true feelings and political leanings are.

Freedom of info be damned: you still have to do what is morally right, if for no other reason than to be able to look at yourself in the mirror, and not come to the realization that pond scum cares more about people than you do.

Diane said...

The guy that posted that comment evidently is lacking in *any* sort of sense. And IMHO leaking all those documents would be considered treason, and let's hang him from the yardarms.

D. Fisher said...

LawDog, et al.:

Perhaps I should have been more clear in my comment and, indeed, perhaps I should have read through more of the documents prior to commenting. Mea culpa.

In short, I do not condone the release of information identifying Afghan informants, sources, agents, etc. Such information should have been redacted prior to publication. I certainly don't approve of whatever nefarious action the Taliban is likely to consider doing; supporting such actions would be indefensible in the extreme.

However, I agree with Anonymous' and tpmoney's above comments: Wikileaks serves as a valuable check against government (both US and foreign) secrecy and malfeasance. The leaked documents reveal a different side of the Afghan war than is portrayed through official government sources, and has identified several troubling aspects of the war that were otherwise unknown by the public.

Blowing the whistle on wrongdoing, wherever it might be found, is valuable, even though the whistleblower may later be punished.

I hope that the original source knew what he was doing when he submitted the documents to Wikileaks, and that he is personally willing to accept the consequences of his actions. I hope that he thought long and hard about his actions, and believed that the benefits of bringing these documents to light outweighed the negative repercussions to himself and others.

Like Anonymous, I think it would be prudent to commission an independent investigation into the leaked documents, specifically into the troubling actions detailed therein.

I won't bother to reply to or comment on the various ad hominem comments made above other than to say that while people may disagree with me, there's no reason for personal attacks.

Firehand said...

KBCraig, it's been shown that the section of video the WikiLeaks weenies and the traitor released was shown WAY out of context specifically to make it look like the US military didn't care about killing unarmed civilians.

Second, whether the video showed wrongdoing or not, the bastard who slipped it out violated his oath; hell YES they're going to find and prosecute him.

Fisher, they've got the jerk who dumped the documents to WL; we'll find out if he thinks his game was worth the consequences. But I wonder if he and the WL dirtbags care about the Afghans and troops lives they've put at high risk?

I doubt it.

Firehand said...

By the way, some new info on the suspected leaker:
http://tinyurl.com/3any47q

Midwest Chick said...

Link of interest...

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9HA9VB00&show_article=1

For the record, anyone who would violate their oaths and STEAL this information and pass it to a foreign national, is a traitor and should be dealt with as such.

bogie said...

Since the 1960s, our country's children, myself included, have been very heavily indoctrinated in several areas:

War is Bad. And is never necessary, because you can always reason with lunatic dictators.

Activism is Good. Anything that is wanted by the majority must be made to happen. And if the majority doesn't like it, well, they are not enlightened, and must be made to see the light, at least until they advocate some form of mob rule...

The Police and Soldiers need to come when you have a problem, but should be locked away in cells otherwise, because they are all racist baby killers.

And all the basic offshoots... Military training, and group peer pressure, cannot overcome this. It's built into a lot of people. They actually refuse to open their minds and think for themselves, and then someone comes along and tells them...

"Psst... Support freedom by telling us everything that is going on! Be an enlightened activist, like we are! Not a bad racist baby killer, like Bush!"

Ladybug Crossing said...

Good gracious! I hate stupid people.

.45ACP+P said...

+1 to Well Seasoned Fool's comment. We should bundle WikiLeaks entire operation up and extridite them to Afganistan to await trial for complicity in the reprisal murders that are sure to follow. Actions have consequneces and PEOPLE MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS! I do not excuse governmental agencies in that statement but goverments are always eventually taken to task for wrong headedness. The same must apply to leakers, traitors and profiteering scumbags who think they are above it because their "goals" were lofty.

CarlS said...

Most everyone seems to believe that the government is being truthful. Hmmm. Given their record, I have to wonder if this is not a planned leak, a disinformation campaign, a false flag operation. How do we KNOW that the names leaked are those of U.S. sympathizers? If they are, how do we know that they are not dangerous to their control, and thus in need of elimination? Wheels within wheels, mirrors, and smoke .....

Larry said...

Ethically I think the leaker should be strung from the nearest yardarm by the neck until dead, dead, dead. That's the usual sentence for treason.
And that's coming from someone who is retired Navy, DD-214 available upon request.

Anonymous said...

Anyone got any instances of wiki posting anything derogatory about socialit/commuist/theocratic/
oligarchic governments? I don't remember seeing any. Which pretty much kills their whole "We do it for the good of the world." blather.

phlegmfatale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CDH said...

D Fischer, the problem is as mentioned...the leakers usually have an agenda. You/we/everyone only gets the side of the story they want to get out, and like the old saying goes, the accusations are front page, denials are 2 lines buried in the D section, and the acquittals don't even make the evening edition.

...and there is a good likelihood that both Afghani's will die, and our sources of information will be much less likely to come forward, meaning Americans and our allies will die.

Inexcusable.