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Is Wikileaks right to release secret documents?

20:41 UK time, Sunday, 28 November 2010

The US and Nato have drawn up plans to defend Nato's Baltic members against Russia, latest US diplomatic cables disclosed by Wikileaks show. What are the implications of these new leaks?

The cables, published in the Guardian, reveal plans to expand an existing strategy to defend Poland to include Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Previous leaks included a long list of key facilities around the world that the US describes as vital to its national security.

What are the implications of these leaks? What will they achieve? Are the leaks an attack on the world community, as the US claims?

Wikileaks cables: Key issues

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Personally, yes, they were right to release them. It's always easy to trot out the "It will endanger lives" argument whenever some one does anything like this. In truth it is more likely to be embarrasing to have their double standards brought into the public domain.

    Then again, I'm English and my Government is equally guilty of double standards.

  • Comment number 2.

    The USA is about to become even less popular than it is already.

    Seeing as the country is also technically bankrupt, the future isn't looking bright on the other side of the Atlantic.

  • Comment number 3.

    Assange apparently challenged the US to identify one specific individual who would be endangered -- they went all snooty and refused to talk to him.

  • Comment number 4.

    The one life that is most certainly at risk is that of Julian Assange

  • Comment number 5.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 6.

    Yes I think wikileaks is right. It's about time countries stopped playing the game of risk with all of us and started seeing the world as belongning to all those who live on it.

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    i cant believe the part about spying on u.n diplomats especially ki moon. how can you trust america if they dont trust their "allies". i'm glad about this leak

  • Comment number 10.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 11.

    Yes, absolutely Wikileaks has a right to release this information. We all have a right to know about it; it's time the governments of the world realised that they can't go on treating us like children and making world-changing decisions over our heads. And the old "it will endanger lives" nonsense is just a way to make the Daily Mail classes frown and tut and shake their heads and agree that we would really be better off being left in the dark. If the press or the government says anything is for our own good, frankly, it sets alarm bells ringing in my head.

    If I weren't so lazy, I'd start a revolution...

  • Comment number 12.

    Yes, they were right. The US is merely embarrassed and the claims that lives are at stake are unsubstantiated. No doubt it'll go further than make the Wikileaks founder out to be a rapist now though...

  • Comment number 13.

    Right without question.

    Why is it legal for a bunch of politicians to order their minions to 'gather passwords, credit card numbers and bio information' and yet if you do it then you go to prison as a terrorist.

    The governments, no the politicians, need to relearn which of us is the master and which is the servant.

  • Comment number 14.

    This is treason, pure and simple. A betrayal of a magnitude never seen before.

  • Comment number 15.

    Of course wikileaks is right!! We the people have the right to know what goes on, and even wikileaks wont paint the full picture, but it will give people the insight that is needed to look further in to whats really going on, to look into the 9/11 and 7/7 false flag ops, and to find out why we REALLY are in Ira and afghanistan. The 'national security' bulls*it line doesnt work anymore! We need an alternative media that is honest!!

  • Comment number 16.

    The real question is how did Wikileaks get hold of US Secret Information? not "Is Wikileaks right to release secret documents?", given all the safe guards to protect the security of this information it is more worrying that it was leaked not the content. If this was UK Secret information someone would be in jail under the 'Official Secrets Act' by now. Which makes you wonder how and why was it leaked? Could it be propaganda? Only time will tell.

  • Comment number 17.

    Preliminarily, the further Wikileaks documents reveal even more the skulduggery involved in countries' dealings with others. Of course, the U.S. continues to insist that the Wikileaks releases endanger lives, an excuse which attempts to deflect attention from the consequences of U.S. actions overseas which have resulted in the loss of many thousands of lives and much destruction as well as unknown numbers of injured people. What will the consequences of the releases be? Either more straightforward dealings by governments (extremely unlikely!) or the adaption of more technology to attempt to prevent future outside scrutiny of governmental skulduggery (far more likely!).

  • Comment number 18.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 19.

    Yes, they're right to release the info. Looks to me as if it's embarassing to various governments rather than dangerous. So publish and be damned as someone once said.

  • Comment number 20.

    I am so glad to know that those wanting to wage wars and attacks are not solely the Americans, but also the lapdog Arab regimes. After all, it's high time that their citizens know exactly in who's interest they are working...

  • Comment number 21.

    Any reader of The Art of War would know there is no such thing as a secret and the more people in an organisation the less you can keep information inside. People talk. I'm very glad for the public service that Wikileaks does, and what investigative journalism used to do.

    Those who are upset by revelations in Wikileaks should look to their own organisations and cultures. That's where the discontent has come from.

    Nearer to home I think the post of Prime Minister at the next election just became a bit more accessible. Never did like Cameron.

  • Comment number 22.

    Who is to say what is the truth ? who do we trust ? who gains from this and why ?........these are the questions you should be asking yourself

  • Comment number 23.

    Of course it will be said to be dangerous it is the usual accusation. If we and the US are a democracy then unless we know the truth how can we possibly know how to vote. The problem is that our news and politics have become the subject of so much spin by the media magnates that we rarely hear the truth. We, and even more so in America, are so indoctrinated that we accept without question the spin of our politicians and right wing press. It is the aim of the wealthy who own the media that the majority don't question their power and greed. They allow a little opposition as a safety valve but it is never allowed to predominate the slant on the news. They play on the fear the public have of unrest and losing the little they have in the way iof possessions.
    We are manipulated as much as they are in any socialist, left wing state it's just that we have lost the ability to question what we are told and the myth is constantly perpetuated that we are told the truth. One only has to read many of the views expressed on HYS to see that this has happened to a great extent. Just look at the repetitious attacks Brown was subjected to, the name calling and tabloid slant on the news was repeted over and over until it became believed by many. In the US it is even worse, the bias of Fox news is astounding,Obama is now their target. I have no doubt we are catching up with them fast. We still have a bit of hope with the BBC but the politicians are working on them and the critism is mounting

  • Comment number 24.

    It's good to see out in the open what anyone with half a brain has always suspected anyway.

  • Comment number 25.

    one thing is sure " usa security "is below zero. how cud this have happened.i thnk no one in his right mind will ever talk frank;y with anyone in the us government, as their 'talk' cud end up on the internet/published.people who say they were right to publish the info are wrong/very wrong, and time will show that this has only damaged relations between, not only the usa, but all countries, who must now fear that a similar leak cud happen in their country. i see the 'usa' has done nothing at all to try and find the 'culprit', and so this sort of thing will happen again and again

  • Comment number 26.

    No, No, NO! This is not whistleblowing, it is gross interference in the delicate business of international diplomacy. There are many reasons why high-level private negotiations and correspondence should remain secret, and it's not in the public interest to reveal them. I don't want or need to know these details, nor should anyone else.
    If world leaders can't talk honestly to one another in private the world will become a more dangerous place. I am surprised that the US hasn't closed this site down. They could, and should.

  • Comment number 27.

    I have no problem with Wikileaks releasing the documents - if it is not violating any international laws or Australian laws. The US should do a better job protecting its secrets if it does not want them posted on the Internet for all to see. I am sure the US would be gleefully applauding if the released documents belonged to its rivals. However, as an American, I am concerned about how the country's secrets are secured. If the US has not violated any laws, it should not be that concerned about the released information. Should it feel embarrassed? Yes.

  • Comment number 28.

    There is an old saying, oft forgotten, " When the people fear the government, one has oppression; but when government fears the people, one has freedom, "
    If this release by Wikileaks induces a degree of trepidation amongst governments on a reasonably wide basis, it can only be to the good.

  • Comment number 29.

    Maybe one day, no country will be able to keep its secrets safe. Then people will stop doing things that they'd rather be kept quiet about.

    Wikileaks was right.

  • Comment number 30.

    How confirming the fact that Cameron is a lightweight no to be taken seriously will endanger lives I don't know. Seems to me that more than anything else it will help protect the livelihoods of those the Tories seem to be aiming to destroy. If this shakes democracy to the core, all the better - it's a contaminated landfill that has be to be cleared up anyway.

  • Comment number 31.

    Wikileaks will force us to be honest and ethical.

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    Wikileaks appears to the the Sword of Damocls hanging over the heads of the worlds govenments.

    I find it amazing that such a small organisation can embarress a huge superpower.

  • Comment number 34.

    I'm all for freedom of the press and was in favour of the original wikileaks releases but this goes a step further. Revealing highly sensitive information about diplomatic relations is not a good idea. It has nothing to do with democracy. It has to do with undermining diplomatic ties by revealing confidential communication which the diplomats in question never meant for public consumption. In addition I don't understand why (as comment 16 highlights) the bigger question isn't being asked in the press more openly - where is all this information coming from? What is the agenda of the individuals submitting such information to wikileaks? Who is sneaking around the office of their superiors deciding what gets sent in? Does this represent only a very small proportion of the communication and only the most controversial? Information presented like this is incoherent, possibly suffers heavily from selection bias, and feeds the gutter press which is the direction most sources of news seem to be heading for.

  • Comment number 35.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 36.

    33. At 11:06pm on 28 Nov 2010, AndrewL wrote:
    Wikileaks appears to the the Sword of Damocls hanging over the heads of the worlds govenments.

    I find it amazing that such a small organisation can embarress a huge superpower.


    The truth is a very powerful weapon. It's a bit like nuclear weapons, that's why everybody is trying to keep it from us.

  • Comment number 37.

    Quote / "26. At 10:57pm on 28 Nov 2010, Rabbitkiller wrote:

    I am surprised that the US hasn't closed this site down. They could, and should. " /End Quote

    As the site is not based in the USA, and despite the huge influence of the aforementioned country it does not OWN the internet therefore it is pretty much stuffed in regard to shutting it down.

    They may try a DoS attack to make it inaccessible but that would be expected.

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 40.

    US Foreign policy has only one Dictate.

    "Is it in the interest of the USA?" If not dismiss it, if yes, enforce it.

    The USA couldn't care less about its allies, or anyone else, all the USA cares about is the USA. After all it is the only country in the world that talks about Non US Nationals as "Aliens"

    That in itself makes clear what they think of the rest of us.

  • Comment number 41.

    It is a rare sign of health of our otherwise sick community to see somebody reveal what in fact is simply the dirty underground work of diplomacy that any sensible world citizen has suspected was there all along.
    This will not change the face of the world but for the public it is sometimes a pleasure to watch the red faces of those who want us to believe they are above common citizens. When you come to think of it many common citizens can afford to be totally honest but not politicians.

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    Let me answer metaphorically: When England's patron saint Saint George decided to challenge the children-eating dragon he knew what he was up to - he was fighting a monster and he could be certain that the monster would fight back and seek to destroy him. That did not stop him (which is why he's a saint now) and he even succeeded. That is why Wikipedia must not be intimidated, even if the monster starts to kill its supporters, which I am sure is only a matter of time. It is worth it because it is good, which is the oposite of evil.

    For the rehabilitation of the dragon back then one has to stress that as far as I am aware the dragon never tried to turn things upside down and suggest that it was Saint George who ate the children.

  • Comment number 44.

    Quote / "14. At 10:38pm on 28 Nov 2010, righteoussasquatch wrote:

    This is treason, pure and simple. A betrayal of a magnitude never seen before. " / End Quote

    Against whom?

    The Author and Publisher is Australian, the harm done (mostly) is to Countries and Governments that are not. Mostly against the USA to be fair.

    An Act of Treason is to betray ones OWN country, not to print an expose on the "secrets" held by another.

  • Comment number 45.

    Yeah, what is their to hide? Bring it on !! Be a man US !! this what you have been showing in Afghanistan n Iraq !! Freedom of speech Baabaaayyy !!

  • Comment number 46.

    erm... ...I meant Wikileaks in my previous post...

  • Comment number 47.

    "uncivil wrote:

    The one life that is most certainly at risk is that of Julian Assange

    A cynic might reach certain conclusions about the rape charge he's facing, though I couldn't possibly comment.

  • Comment number 48.

    38. At 11:18pm on 28 Nov 2010, SystemF wrote:
    We are now seeing the left wing actively engaged in aiding the Islamic war against the west.

    It is the left who're supporting these actions of releasing private and confidential communications. The left wing, anti-west Guardian at the forefront of making it more public.

    Wasn't it the left/Guardian who went after Coulson for similar shenanigans?

    America has to hit back, and hit back hard. Hound these left wing terrorists around the globe and bring them to justice.


    'ere we go. It's the 1950's all over again. I am afraid that to have a real say on this one needs a slightly broader field of vision.

  • Comment number 49.

    It is a bit rich that The USA are complaining about an expose, and the US Press are vilifying the person behind this, and in some cases condemning his actions, as are some members of the US Government.

    The First amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    It seems to me that the Constitution only applies as and when it suits the US Government.

  • Comment number 50.

    Has anyone claimed any of the wikileaks are NOT true.
    Do you want truth or politicians. Go figure

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    @ 43. At 11:24pm on 28 Nov 2010, markus_uk:

    "That is why Wikipedia must not be intimidated, even if the monster starts to kill its supporters, which I am sure is only a matter of time. It is worth it because it is good, which is the oposite of evil."


    What's Wikipedia got to do with this?

  • Comment number 53.

    Yes, Wikileak is right. Let's hear more of the Bush/Blair Bulls... we've been subjected to. What have they to worry about?.. we want the truth. Think of all those lives that have been lost since the invasion based purely on lies !!

  • Comment number 54.

    Wikileaks is absolutely right to reveal all 'secret' documents from anywhere, any regime including the US and UK. We are supposed to live in open and transparent democracries, but Wikileaks have exposed the lie that we are supposed to be governed by 'statesmen' who are now revealed as thorough war-mongers and heartless capitalists.

    Particularly galling are leaks concerning the Saudi ruling klepto-oligarchy who are more concerned about their Sinbad zillions than addressing the condition of the Palestinians kettled in Gaza/West Bank and the continuing ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem. And the Saudi regime calls itself 'Muslim' and considers itself a leading member of the Islamic 'Ummah' ! Thank Allah for Wikileaks !

  • Comment number 55.

    This reminds me of the embarrassing, unflattering British messages in "Foreign Dispatches" by British ambassadors to the Home Office about the countries and leaders of those countries. I still look askance at ambassadors and all they say. They are frauds.

  • Comment number 56.

    There is no good reason that diplomatic actions made on behalf of a nation are not allowed to be known by that nation. If the US is embarrassed by wikileaks exposure of them, then it is evidence they knew what they did/are doing is below their own moral standards.

    If you think you have done what was correct, you would feel a sense of pride not embarassment.

    The US won't even learn from their mistakes.
    They are most likely looking into the lapse in security that allowed a leak. They most likely won't ever consider improving their diplomatic behaviour.

    Then there are the supporters of such insidious behiour, who call the revelations of such actions treasonous? Why is it treason? Because their public has been informed how their government is acting on their behalf?

  • Comment number 57.

    31. At 11:03pm on 28 Nov 2010, nyakairu wrote:

    Wikileaks will force us to be honest and ethical.

    Unfortunately it will probably have the opposite effect.

  • Comment number 58.

    No, they are not right to release any information that may harm national security. However, it seems puzzling that we can't arrest the Wikileaks leader and his cronies and shut down the whole operation, based on this threat to our security. Gee, I hope we didn't secretly want this information released, sort of like when you want a friend to know something, and you tell another friend the information in secret, knowing it will get back to the friend. You can just deny responsibility and say "you weren't supposed to hear that". I do that with female friends all the time - I KNOW they will tell everything.

  • Comment number 59.

    Reality check for everyone. Things are secret for a reason. The unpalatable truth is that war is messy, world diplomacy is messy and there is a big difference between the content of private backroom discussions between leading diplomats and the public policy of governments. These "well meaning" crusaders feed their own self righteous egos, playing at being the self appointed so called protectors of the free world. They seek to humiliate the major powers and do so with great zeal and glee...patting each other on the back and self congratulating themselves... All they have actually done is played into the hands of the enemy..they have simply thrown wood on a fire which will inevitably result in more bloodshed and world conflict. Wikileak is reckless and self indulgent.

  • Comment number 60.

    Hell yes! Why is it that we should slate countries like China and North Korea for not having press/internet freedom yet we dont allow western organisations this very same freedom?

    Im actually very surprised how anxious the Saudis were for Iran to be bombed. I thought theyd be the last country to want bloodshed on their doorstep after the Iraq episode. We really do live in a world of dirty politics tho has to be said!

  • Comment number 61.

    The question of right or wrong is both legal and moral:

    Legal: No one is claiming that Wikileaks has hacked databases to obtain this information, nor coerced anyone to provide this information, nor even that they've paid someone to give it to them. Someone inside the US government (one of 3 millions people with access to this information, according to Guardian) stole it. That person probably broke US law. Wikileaks is not based in the US, and Mr Assange is not a US citizen - Wikileaks has not broken any laws. Ergo, Wikileaks has a legal right to publish this information (and the US government has the legal right to block US citizens from seeing it online if they so choose).

    So the next question is, is Wikileaks morally right to publish? This is down to the content of what has been published. Does it genuinely risk life and limb? Or is it merely acutely embarrassing? I've seen nothing life-threatening so far - but had a good giggle at some of the cables. If governments are embarrassed by the truths of their actions and opinions begin leaked then perhaps they're not the right governments. The more informed electorates are, the better able they are when it comes to the ballot box. In many ways Wikileaks has done a moral good for democracy today.

  • Comment number 62.

    Of course they are right. If you express an opinion and document it then you are putting that opinion on record whether it is confidential, secret or for public record.

    Referring to Ahmedinijad as Hitler is pretty juvenile.

    The US government has the cheek to condemn Wikileaks for endangering people's lives by their actions.

    Sorry, but aren't the views expressed those of US diplomats? Aren't the covert activities authorised by the US government, acted upon by it's agents?

    It is the US government which has endangered lives, nevermind the untold number of deaths it has caused by it's action. Wikileaks has nothing to be ashamed of.

    Interesting too that although the US considers Pakistan a key and loyal ally, in the background it is effectively trying to wrest control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal from it's government/military because it is so concerned about it's (lack of) security.

    It will forever be impossible to trust a word coming from ANY American government. No change there then.

  • Comment number 63.

    "I am a big supporter of free internet and oppose any restriction on internet access, because it forces me to examine what I am doing and makes me a better leader and makes our democracy stronger."
    --- Obama, speech in Shanghai, China,16/Nov/2009

    I sincerely hope Obama could say this again to Pentagon and CIA.

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    I was in the US military 20 years ago. We had pride then. We swore to defend our country. I do not know what is going on in the heads of Amricans now adays. They vote for a communist president, they have unions who would rather ruin our country than take a cut in pay, and they give away secret communications to the public. Why is the public not investigating our politicians? Instead they want to destroy our country.

    To answer the question, no. It is not wrong. It is wrong for Americans to destroy their country.

  • Comment number 66.

    59. At 11:52pm on 28 Nov 2010, MH wrote:
    Reality check for everyone.


    I love it when posters like this come up with their half baked perception of reality and then reveal themselves to be as naive and gullible as a 5 year old toddler meeting Santa Claus. Leave reality to the adults.

  • Comment number 67.

    All Governments use.The"Its for your own good"argument.Generally used to cover up the fact,that they are as prone to mistakes as the rest of us.Now as for all this information,who hates who and who picks his or her nose.(Must be in there somewhere)I do not know if the loose tongues cost lives arguments stand up.If they do doubt we will hear about it but what it dose prove is despite all the claims.No government can be trusted to keep information safe and remember they got it on each and every one of us.

  • Comment number 68.

    Don't blame Wikileaks for any consequences, blame the various Departments who said these things in the first place. Easy to be brave and forthright if you think no one will ever find out what you're saying.

  • Comment number 69.

    At a quick straw poll from the posts so far it looks like about 90% support Wikileaks.

    One issue not mentioned is that the USA seems to be particularly embarrassed by these leaks, either because the site has more detail on them, because the content is more revealing, or because the USA is just screaming harder than the MANY other parties on which Wikileaks has blown whistles.

    Wikileaks HAS made an effort to involve the USA administration which says it is so concerned about 'lives being at put risk' but we are told the USA's reaction was to decline the offer! That's a strange way to demonstrate their national concern.

    If the USA administration wants to save face here the best that they can do is to ask Wikileaks to balance matters or at least argue that there is likely a lot of other dirt to be dug on other nations, but that would be admitting that it is dirt in the first place, so they won't go there. Anyway, there is no reason to think that Wikileaks is particularly targeting the USA - the goal is simply facts and truth and it's a sad day when it is only outside of all the massively powerful global media that we can actually find the real facts. (Under judicial threat, the BBC, as just one to-hand example, has dropped at least one story that Wikileaks pursued).

    It's very revealing that the UK media are already focused so much on the USA's position in all this. Clearly the leaks, albeit coming from the USA, already point some accusing fingers at Middle Eastern states, China, Russia... to name but a few. The pro-West bias of the UK media would do better to popularise the content than to plead the USA's case!

    I can only add my voice to the many supporting the Wikileaks efforts. It seems obvious that if we really saw all the dirt behind international politics dragged out into the open as a matter of course, warmongering and military threats would become less acceptable as a means of international negotiation and we'd be left with less tension and fear at every level of humanity. Yes there might be more than a few lumpy bits along the way - think omlettes and eggs!

    Whatever anybody thinks, Julian Assange is a certainly a brave man because no gambler would rate his chances. Too many prefer to be hoodwinked and safe in their illusions whilst the powers-that-be literally get away with murder.

  • Comment number 70.

    No, Wikileaks were wrong on this occasion in my view.

    Most of it largely not newsworthy. But leaking information like Saudis view of Iran is reckless, serves no purpose and risks heightening tension in an area which require sensitivity. It does nothing to help diplomatic efforts in the middle east.

    This round of leaks seems largely leaking info for the sake of leaking info and when you do that you begin to lose credibility as it begins to serve no purpose to society and I think on this occasion Wikileaks got it wrong.

  • Comment number 71.

    While I do not agree with Wikileaks and believe this release was reckless and an act of treason by any American citizens involved, I am glad it happened. I hope it hastens America's retreat as much as possible in today's world to one of isolationism. I realize that complete isolation is not feasible, but I hope that my government withdraws our troops from the ME, Korea and Europe. Let European blood, sweat and tears be shed. I hope we as a country re-invest in America. Lets find alternative energy sources so we don't need to be reliant on oil. Lets hold back on food production-or store the excess for when the coming catastrophe's begin to happen. You Europeans are so pompous-go ahead take charge-lets see you come to the rescue during the next crisis that hits the world. America- time to focus on your self-recharge the batteries. Let Europe and the Chinese have at it!

  • Comment number 72.

    @38. At 11:18pm on 28 Nov 2010, SystemF wrote:

    "America has to hit back, and hit back hard. Hound these left wing terrorists around the globe and bring them to justice".

    Terrorists? Isn't that the very keyword for everyone with whom you simply disagree?

    What makes you remotely think America should be as powerful as you seem to imply? How do you propose to "Hound these left wing terrorists around the globe"? Employ the tried and failed policies of the McCarthy era which was rightly cast off to the dustbin of history?

    I'm certainly glad I don't live in your world.

  • Comment number 73.

    If we in the west are aas virtuous as our leaders try to make out then there can be nothing to fear from the truth, on the other hand if as I fear we are not so then ..........................

    Nevertheless it would be a far better balanced thing if we heard a lot more of the truth from other parts of the world as well. We hear lots of voices with television, radio and the net but all too much of that is that which is the official line.

  • Comment number 74.

    57. At 11:47pm on 28 Nov 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:

    31. At 11:03pm on 28 Nov 2010, nyakairu wrote:

    Wikileaks will force us to be honest and ethical.

    Unfortunately it will probably have the opposite effect.


    Some of us mere mortals don't need any forcing to be honest and ethical whilst it seems pretty clear that nation states do.

  • Comment number 75.

    As the police mantra goes; "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear".
    Well, we found out about the Westminster Club thanks to the expenses scandal, didn't we? We also found out how they treat their own. No mass prosecutions, no justice.
    More power to Wikileaks if all it does is expose these shysters for what they are.

  • Comment number 76.

    Thank You Julian Assange for putting your Life at Risk to Expose TRUTH for a Change.
    Understandably, TRUTH will be more than Drones could bear, but those with Minds of their Own and Moral, Ethical Standards to Defend will always choose FACT over Spoon-Fed FICTION.

    Doesn't say much when Simple TRUTH becomes a WEDGE-Issue between ALLIES.
    Yeah! I'd say Knowing who your REAL FRIENDS are is VITALLY IMPORTANT.

  • Comment number 77.

    With the publishing of the mass of new Wikileaks documents political diplomacy, as we have come to know it across a span of some decades, is dead. The real significance of this is that alliances contrary to European Union and United States, essentially NATO, interests will inevitably be strengthened, and the efficacy of some more friendly relations greatly diminished, in terms of their ability to help to avoid more direct and destructive confrontations. The damage is so severe, coming at a particularly bad moment in our political history, that one cannot but avoid the possibility that some, behind the leaks occurring, are striving towards a major war that could involve most of the world community.

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    59. At 11:52pm on 28 Nov 2010, MH wrote:

    "Reality check for everyone. Things are secret for a reason. The unpalatable truth is that war is messy, world diplomacy is messy and there is a big difference between the content of private backroom discussions between leading diplomats and the public policy of governments."

    Absolutely right MH. It doesn't matter whose "secrets" we are talking about here. Assange and his cronies, for that is what they are, are as you say "crusaders feeding their own self righteous egos". They are almost certainly (and unfortunately) not the ones who will suffer immediately as a result of their inane actions.

    All of you who are gloating over the embarrassment of the US might be smiling now, but I suspect that when the true magnitude of Assange's "globally treasonous" actions are fully known known it will not only be Washington that is smarting. Diplomacy, in all its messy glory, involves everyone and many people will regret Assange's actions; I just hope that this criminal act does not lead to unnecessary loss of life. However, I believe it will.

    We must remember that war is the result of failures in diplomacy, and that peace is very often a hard-won result of back room discussions between people who know far more about what is Going On than many of us. Some of these discussions will, by their very nature, be of a Most Sensitive Nature. Their disclosure, and the threat of future disclosure, means that a tool for the prevention of armed conflict has been effectively blunted. Assange has much to answer for.

    If the death of innocents as a result of these actions becomes the case, then Assange, his cohorts and his backers (who may well be people many of us regard as allies) should be brought to justice for whatever crimes apply - the charge sheet could be significant.

  • Comment number 80.

    Why are they not releasing leaks from the Russian embassy,or any of the Arabic nations.I guess that is because you have to be in a free country to get away with it,and yet the only people who will be harmed by this are the free world.

  • Comment number 81.

    It is no right, leaking the superpower military or CIA secret documents would be dangerous for national security and war affairs. Obama is most responsibility person for that.

  • Comment number 82.

    As usual everyone here will say WikiLeaks was right to release them and the powers that be will completely ignore all these opinions.

    The reality is none of our opinions mean anything, the world is run by power hungry egomaniacs, and any agenda they want they push through mass media outlets and brainwash the 60% of the populations that don't know how to think for themselves.

    That is how these corrupt egomaniacs survive, and I'm talking about Obama, Cameron and Abdullah.

    These 3 people don't like Ahmedinjad, so lets just kill thousands of innocent Iranian civillians in the process of removing him. This mentality is sick and psychotic but it works on the brainwashed masses.

  • Comment number 83.

    I wonder how the founder of "Wikileaks" got this huge amount of highly classified information ! I FEEL it is a game of CIA and MI6 for some long-term objectives against some countries in the region . Anyway we will see .

  • Comment number 84.

    For those of you in favor of the release of Wikileaks documents, I wonder how many of you would favor the publication of every private conversation you’ve had or private comment you’ve made about a friend, family member or coworker?

    Would the sharing of such information make your relationships stronger or really do anyone any good in the long run?

    Think about it.

  • Comment number 85.

    matt-stone wrote:
    Yes, Wikileak is right. Let's hear more of the Bush/Blair Bulls... we've been subjected to. What have they to worry about?.. we want the truth. Think of all those lives that have been lost since the invasion based purely on lies !!


    I agree with you; Wikileak is right. But you are going to be very disappointed because most of the leaks are during the Obama administration and it is not complimentary about Obama or Bill and Hill Clinton. It is disturbingly blind for citizens from other countries continually "fawn" over Democrat politicians without doing any research or asking any hard questions. THE TRUTH is that Democrats are not much smarter than any of the rest of us when it comes to getting along. Happy reading!

  • Comment number 86.

    The leaks about Berlusconi hardly come as a surprise as recently alleged links to the mafia dating back to '75 have been unveiled. What's worrying is the friendship with Putin. You just wonder if British politics are infected by foreign organised crime as well. I mean, I don't want to romanticise Ronnie and Reg, but is even our organised crime imported now?

  • Comment number 87.

    This has basically exploded the middle east.

    Now that the multitude of requests to bomb Iran are out in the open it means the game has somewhat changed and is now much much more serious, same with Pakistan.

    Some of the information is common knowledge anyway.

    The fact that Saud Arabia is 2 faced in wanting USA military protection & help while at the same time much of the money used to support Al Queda comes from Saudi Arabia, I said as much on comments months & months ago.

    Ultimately this will greatly de-stabalise the middle east. Many countrys people believed their leaders were against bombing Iran, now they know different and the fact that Yemen allowed USA to bomb its people and took the blame and deceived its people is NOT going to help with an already growing problem with Al Queda terrorist activity in the country.

    Now that Iran knows there is HUGE INTENT from its neighbours, it can result in just 2 outcomes. The first is that it gets worried that it will be mashed up and turned into another Iraq. The 2nd is that it will just push ahead for nuclear capability much more quickly.

    The thing with this, is that USA has basically shot itself in the foot via stating its intentions to pull out of Afganistan & by when. Such provision of information is no less STUPID and damaging than this wilkileaks info.

    With regard to other things said about other leaders etc, its BOUND to have repercussions.

    I DOUNBT that certain politicians in Europe who are anti-USA anyway will let this drop.

    Its also one thing to suspect someone may be putting you down behind your back but its another when its printed around the world.

    Wilikleaks in my opinion has just made the world a very much more dangerous place.

    There is much behind the scenes which many ignoramouses just have no idea about.

    We in UK dont just accquire our resources & trade agreements because the world loves us. Among all others who also want resources and trade we have to pay a price in one way or another to ensure we attain them. Without them, our society and economy just collapses around our necks.

    I have said before, long ago, I think Iran will be very seriously bombed & even invaded at some point, it will not just be a few specific targets because this would still leave Iran with capacity to just pick up again. Such an attack would in my opinion need to take out the vast majority of Irans energy capacity and much of its economic and industrial capacity to ensure it has a massive way to go to get anywhere near where it is today regarding nuclear energy.

    I should also imagine that these leaks will also ultimately damage and further set back the world economy, even if it is just because so much attention will be diverted into repairing lost trust etc.


    The lives lost will NOT be those on documents etc, but basically nameless people who will die & suffer as a direct consequence of these leaks.

    What this will ultimately do, is to even damage our own national security and make instances of 9/11 become an increasing repetative reality and threat to MANY nations, due to close down of sharing important information between governments and even between various departments in governments.

    This latest divulgence is basically just a taster, much WORSE is still to come, hence the domino effect repercussions will be even more serious.

    I think it will ultimately result in countrys tightening up on their own self interests which will not help or advance world trade & economic/financial situation.

    Maybe, people may start to waken up to what is actually done to maintain our exsistance, its not a pretty world & NEVER has been. Liberalist humanitarianists have this impression that everything will just be fine & dandy just if everyone was nice to each other. Thats fine if humanity could be trusted & relied upon to be 100% fair in all respects. But the reality is is that governments have to be money/resources/wealth/power grabbing monsters just as much as the next person.

    People really really need to waken up to the fact that moral world society is basically just a thin veneer which covers over endemic jungleistic human nature & behaviours.

    Just look at crowd mentality when celebrating something or demonstrating. It takes very very little for that crowd to turn into a violent and destructive monster.

    This stuff may seem outrageous/attrocious but its just endemic behaviour of how the world tics and works/functions. Get over it, is it as bad as you yourself being part of people dieing from pollution etc just so you/we can be provided with cheap goods from China & other major pollutors, including ourselves.

    Just in UK 50,000 die each year from pollution, of which we are ALL a part of, so DONT get all moralistic about the behaviour of others when your OWN existance basically, fundamentally and FACTUALLY totally relies upon others dieing to maintain your existance and materialistic world.

    Its called collateral damage.

    If much of this information surprises you then basically you are a muppet thats been asleep continuously all your learning life, maintaining your own ignorance.

    Wake up.

    The REAL world & what it entails to mantain your existance is NOT particulary pleasent.

  • Comment number 88.

    Apart from anything else, if the USA's administration allows their security to depend on all of the (approx. 6,000,000,000?) global population to simply 'not reveal' national secrets that they cannot themselves contain, what sort of idiots are they?

    This is like keeping your PC clean with anti-virus that spots the nasty stuff before it does its damage. If it's possible for someone to plant malware on it, it's a rule that someone is going to do it. So much as anti-virus is a pain to maintain, the fact is that it's essential to keep the bad guys in check, and keep your computer under your control rather than spreading the contagion. So if Wikileaks is the means of disinfecting the international skulduggery of 'national lies' and media-led deceit, I'm all the more for it.

  • Comment number 89.

    I'm still laughing at the revalation that its not the Israelies and US pushing to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, its the other gulf arab countries trying to push the US into it.

    More seriously, diplomacy is as much about personal relationships between rulers/diplomats as it is about economic/military relations
    If our diplomats cannot speak clearly and frankly in private, then we lose those personal relationships between leaders.
    What wikileaks has done is blow open those private relationships for all to see, with the resulting loss of trust between the US and its allies.
    If you think thats a good thing, then publish everything you've said about other people in private.

    As for the guy running wikileaks.... heres a tip.... do not go anywhere near North or South America... Supermax prisons are not nice places to end up

  • Comment number 90.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 91.

    No, this isn't whistle-blowing, this is a mass release of documents. Whistleblowing is a specific thing, where only specific documents relating to a specified case are released. I would categorise this as an attack on the USA, and support any reasonable actions to defend against that attack.

  • Comment number 92.

    I certainly agree that Wilkileaks should be classified as a terrorist organisation as this will enevitably result in consequential deaths, whether in Yemen or wherever.

    I also think it would be lucky for Julian Assange to last another year as he and his accomplices will not be flavour of the decade for quite a few countrys and groups.

    I wonder who he and his accomplices will seek to protect them.

  • Comment number 93.

    It depends on the document.
    There are an awful lot of things which are kept secret because those in power don't want the electorate to know about them.

    There are other things that are kept secret for what most of us would agree are good reasons.

    I'm willing to bet the Iranians already knew Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah urged the US to attack Iran and end its nuclear weapons programme. I also suspect mamy other governments around the world knew it so releasing it isn't going to do any great damage. He maybe didn't want Saudi Arabians to know it but that's not really our concearn.

  • Comment number 94.

    Let's not fool ourselves. Any and all leaks in the last year is information that Cheney, Wolfowitz and Richard Perle want released. No one is good enough to access or leak this kind of information unless someone wants it out there. Cheney and his ilk have tentacles deep into the intelligence community and the halls of government. They will do what it takes to shape public opinion to suit their longterm plans.

  • Comment number 95.

    76. At 00:24am on 29 Nov 2010, lordBanners wrote:
    Thank You Julian Assange for putting your Life at Risk to Expose TRUTH for a Change.
    Understandably, TRUTH will be more than Drones could bear, but those with Minds of their Own and Moral, Ethical Standards to Defend will always choose FACT over Spoon-Fed FICTION.

    Doesn't say much when Simple TRUTH becomes a WEDGE-Issue between ALLIES.
    Yeah! I'd say Knowing who your REAL FRIENDS are is VITALLY IMPORTANT.

    So, do you think that all the diplomacy etc between the allies during WWII was all teas & cream cakes & happy smiles, no plotting, no bullying, no nastiness behind backs. Remind me, what planet are you from!!!

    A FRIEND is someone who will stand by you EVEN if they think you are a bit of a muppet or have genuine reason to think you are a muppet, whether they do so for ulterior motives is beside the point, the important point is that they are there.

  • Comment number 96.

    We are beginning to find out what the "communications revolution" really means. For my generation we had to wait 30 years to find out what our elected representatives were doing "on our behalf". Unless those same elected representatives felt we couldn't handle the truth, in which case we could wait 50 years. Unless the people whose salaries we paid thought we might get shirty about what they'd done, in which case we could wait 100 years. Unless the people who remind us at every election that we , "the Public", are the real masters think that we should never know what they have done "in our interest".

    That is an approach that makes no sense in a world where communications are global, rapid and designed to be robust. It may be naive to think that this may make our politicians more honest, but sites like Wikileaks may make it clear that they are likely to be found out. That's good enough for me

  • Comment number 97.

    No 79: We must remember that war is the result of failures in diplomacy...


    This is certainly debatable. I'm more inclined to think of it as the 'success' of paranoia and fear. All sorts of parties have absolutely NO diplomacy - not even failed diplomacy - but that does not put them at war. Contrast this to the fact that paranoia and fear between two parties NEVER brings any good between them.

  • Comment number 98.

    Simple fix, the USA just needs to put copyright notice on all it's documentations, stopping them being reprinted without permission without breaking copyright laws.

  • Comment number 99.

    when is Wikileaks going to start publishing documents concerning Iran, South Korea or Burma? Or does that not suit there agenda, or are they just too scared.

  • Comment number 100.

    I can't believe this question is even posed on BBC HYS. I find it disgusting.


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