Pentagon Papers vs Cablegate and wikileaks as the new porn

I’ve been trying trying to play around with a graphic to show the difference between the wikileaks driven cablegate and the pentagon papers (ah to live in an era before the suffix gate appeared everywhere).

Here is the best I’ve got so far – would love to hear others suggestions or their own versions.

PP-vs-Cable-Gate

While doing this yesterday, something came over my desk that showed me how completely backwards parts of the US government has become around dealing with wikileaks. Turns out that the US Airforce has banned access to the New York Times and the Guardian because of wikileaks. Of course discussions about the leaked documents and their contents are not limited to these websites… one presumes that banning access to the Internet is what comes next?

The Air Force “routinely blocks Air Force network access to websites hosting inappropriate materials or malware (malicious software) and this includes any website that hosts classified materials and those that are released by WikiLeaks,” she said.

Apparently wikileaks is malware. Or it is porn.

More importantly, the government is telling its employees to blind themselves. That they should pretend like the information about wikleaks, the leaked documents and how the world is reacting to it – the type of information an organization whose mission it is to engage with allies and a public that care about this a great deal – doesn’t exist. If some information is bad… more information must be worse!

The attempt at thought control is all kind of Orwellian. It’s also doomed to fail. In the 21st century, information and knowledge is power. Cut yourself off from it and you cut yourself off from your capacity to think and react effectively. In other words the US Airforce has been played. They are doing pretty much what I think wikileaks was trying to accomplish.

6 thoughts on “Pentagon Papers vs Cablegate and wikileaks as the new porn

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Cablegate vs Wikileaks and the new porn | eaves.ca -- Topsy.com

  2. Neil Edmondson

    Whoops. As I was saying, Canadian Federal Government generally does not allow newspaper surfing for ordinary employees and contractors; some departments have a clipping service, some will ban you from the internet for surfing newspapers (this I know from experience). There is also a disturbing blacklist policy which seems to ban right wing blogs but not comparable left wing ones (this too I know from experience), speaking of Orwellian. Point being that the US military banning a couple of news sites that are posting leaked classified information seems quite rational, at least compared to, say, GoC policies.

    WikiLeaks is the worst thing to happen to Gov2.0. All governments are now justified in being more careful about allowing access to classified material. Even a low level keyboard jockey like me has had access to tombstone data for entire Fed Gov and military (I never snooped, let alone leaked). It is said a million Americans have Top Secret clearance.

    Another problem is that an extremely high number of Gov2.0 advocates sincerely believe the childish aphorism “information wants to be free”; can you blame managers for being nervous about hiring these people?

    And another thing: Gov2.0ers skew very much to the left, publication bias becomes an issue: would Bradley Manning have leaked info which suggested gays in military were enormously problematic, for example? Would Assange publish it? Would an Obama fanboy leakpublish anything harmful to Obama?

    On the other side, there’s been plenty of leaking of Harper gov’t documents by obviously left wing individuals with axes to grind and who vastly outnumber right wingers in the bureaucracy.

    But getting back to Wikileaks: what was released was primarily embarrassing gossip, this wasn’t a whistle blowing operation. Assange has explicitly stated Wikileaks’ raison d’etre is not as a platform for whistleblowing and exposing gov’t wrongdoing because he’s a swell guy, but rather to destabilize and destroy governments, any and all governments. Presumably when this is done we will all spoon with each other and live happily ever after.

    In a word, he’s immature, so are his fanboys, and they’ve done enormous harm to the Gov2.0 movement.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Hyne

      The second to last paragraph in Neil’s comment is bang on. The “Change/Truth/Accountability” motive listed under the Cablegate column is plain wrong. Those may be the motives of the former Wikileaks staff that have splintered off to create their own “Openleaks” organization, but they are NOT Assange’s motives, and since Assange is the primary behind Cablegate those motives do not apply to Cablegate.

      Reply
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