Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]
07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]
07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]
07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]
07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]
07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]
07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]
07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn
07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]
06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]
07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]
07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]
07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]
07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]
07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]
07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]
07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
International & Futurism
07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]
07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]
07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]
07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]
07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]
Thursday, 9 December 2010
None of the documents released by WikiLeaks were top secret
That Afghanistan is corrupt is not news. Just how corrupt is news.
According to a report by Scott Shane, Mark Mazzetti and Dexter Filkins of the New York Times, WikiLeaks exposes how, “From hundreds of diplomatic cables, Afghanistan emerges as a looking-glass land where bribery, extortion and embezzlement are the norm and the honest man is a distinct outlier.”
The New York Times report reveals how “ ...the collection of confidential diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to a number of publications, offers a fresh sense of its pervasive nature, its overwhelming scale and the dispiriting challenge it poses to American officials who have made shoring up support for the Afghan government a cornerstone of America’s counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan.”
Several commentators have complained of the embarrassment engendered by the WikiLeaks exposure. Washington Post commentator Charles Krauthammer claims that WikiLeaks have caused more problems than embarrassment.
First, says Krauthammer, “damage to our war-fighting capacity....Second, we’ve suffered a major blow to our ability to collect information....Third, this makes us look bad, very bad.”
As an example of damage to our war fighting capacity, Krauthammer says, “This will undoubtedly limit our freedom of action against [al-Qaeda’s] Yemeni branch. Translated into reality, that means the CIA will be constrained from going into Yemen at will and assassinating al-Qaeda suspects on its hit list.
But that’s an argument that you might expect from a neocon commentator who pushed for the invasion of Afghanistan and pre-emptive strikes and occupation of Iraq.
Krauthammer’s rationale for his second argument reads, “Success in the war on terror depends on being trusted with other countries’ secrets. Who’s going to trust us now?”
This displays Krauthammer’s ignorance of the US classification system. In the U.S., information is “classified” if it has been assigned one of the three levels: confidential, secret, or top secret.
If information related to “the war on terror” is vital to others' trust or US security, it should have been classified top secret. None of the documents released by WikiLeaks were top secret. “By law," as stated on Wikipedia, "information may not be classified merely because it would be embarrassing or to cover illegal activity; information may only be classified to protect national-security objectives.”
“Third, this makes us look bad, very bad,” writes Krauthammer. “What’s appalling is the helplessness of a superpower that not only cannot protect its own secrets but shows the world that if you violate its secrets—massively, wantonly and maliciously—there are no consequences.”
If there are consequences that should be imposed, they should fall to the US government. They complained bitterly about how Afghan informants' names were included in the WikiLeaks report, thus endangering the informants.
However, Australian investigative journalist John Pilger reported that prior to the release of the Afghan War Diary in July, WikiLeaks contacted the White House in writing, asking that it identify names that might draw reprisals, but received no response.
Yet Krauthammer has called the WikiLeaks documents “sabotage” and concludes by saying, “I’m not advocating that we bring out of retirement the KGB proxy who, on a London street, killed a Bulgarian dissident.”
If that’s not what Krauthammer advocates, why does he even mention such a fate in his hammering of WikiLeaks?
Countries and organizations need to protect their valid secrets with the right kind of classification.
Countries and organizations need to protect their valid secrets with the right kind of classification. Laws concerning classifications were not created to allow careless failure to protect legitimate national interests.
At the same time, classification should not be used as a shield to inhibit whistle-blowers and to prevent public disclosures of activity that should be exposed.
Transparency precludes keeping secrets that should not be secret.
Dr. Balles is a retired American university professor and freelance writer who has lived in the Middle East for over 30 years years. © 2010 Paul J. Balles. His stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on December 9, 2010.