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Former MI6 Chief Credits WikiLeaks With Helping Spark Revolutions 146

Posted by Soulskill
from the powder-kegs-need-not-apply dept.
EnergyScholar writes "Sir Richard Dearlove, former Intelligence Chief of MI6, credits WikiLeaks with helping spark revolutions in the Middle East, in (what was supposed to be) an off-the-record speech. 'I would definitely draw parallels at the moment between the wave of political unrest which is sweeping through the Middle East in a very exciting and rather extraordinary fashion and also the WikiLeaks phenomenon. Really, what ties these two events together, and of course a number of other events, is the diffusion of power, away from the states and the empowerment of individuals, and small groups of individuals, by technology,' he said."
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Former MI6 Chief Credits WikiLeaks With Helping Spark Revolutions

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  • Misstatement (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @01:10AM (#35415604)

    I don't think that any causal relationship is being drawn by Richard Dearlove in the article: he merely says that they're driven by the same phenomena ("Diffusion of Power").

    • Oh, come on! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rsilvergun (571051) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @01:33AM (#35415726)
      The technology he's talking about has been wide spread since 2001 at least, and here we are a few years into their last major release and we've got revolutions the like of which we haven't seen in 40 years. If nothing else, wikileaks made our rulers look like idiots, and their army's stopped supporting them. Any revolution ends when the military starts shooting, and in a few cases the army said no. This despite they've done it before. So there.

      And besides, this is the former HEAD of British intelligence. He wouldn't bother making parallels for the sheer fun of it. He's trying to make a point.
      • by schnell (163007)

        If nothing else, wikileaks made our rulers look like idiots, and their army's stopped supporting them.

        That's right! Wikileaks made the US government look bad, and they stopped obeying the President. Err... I mean, they showed the Saudis secretly dealing with the US, and their military ... um...

        I mean, Wikileaks showed a lot of malfeasance by the Egyptian government! Oh, er, no. That revolution came after weeks of massive civilian protests. Rather, Wikileaks has shown a trove of cables about the Libyan government showing... oh, wait, it didn't. Er, I mean, Wikileaks really skewered the Algerian government.

        • His point is that both wikileaks and that revolution are tied to the same thing: The power diffusion which is now in the power of individual or small organizations, and not totally in the hands of goverments.
        • Re:Oh, come on! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @02:37AM (#35415970)

          Er, I mean, Wikileaks really skewered the Algerian government...

          If you s/Algerian/Tunisian/g, then it may well have.

          Pre-Wikileaks-Tunisian: "Our government sucks. And the Americans support it. So there's nothing we can do. It sucks to be us."
          Post-Wikileaks-Tunisian: "Our government sucks. And the Americans know as well as we do that our leader is a total dickwad, but are only being polite when they pretend to support it. So if the Americans don't have the dictator's back when push comes to shove maybe there's something more than nothing we can do. It doesn't have to suck to be us."

          Wikileaked cables were the tinder. The dude setting himself on fire was the match. The rest was history. And anything in italics is just some anonymous coward's opinion, based on news reports written by journalists who may or may not have read some things that were never confirmed as having been authentic diplomatic cables.

          • by Canazza (1428553)

            Taking the analogy further, Wikileaks was part of the huge ball of burning gas called the sun that helped dry out the tinder enough for it to combust spontaneously.

          • by AmiMoJo (196126)

            I think you give the US too much credit. It wasn't so much that people thought that the US wouldn't help the dictator any more, it is that they saw individuals were capable of great change thanks to the power of the internet to disseminate information and organise people. If the US can't stop Wikileaks then how can any government hope to stop an internet lead revolution?

            Libya might prove them wrong but it looks increasingly unlikely.

      • Re:Oh, come on! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tancque (925227) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @05:09AM (#35416600) Journal

        we've got revolutions the like of which we haven't seen in 40 years. .

        Did you miss the fall of the Berlin wall and the changes in the eastern europe at the end of the nineteeneighties?

        • Interesting what sparked that revolution - the West Germans were broadcasting into East Germany. Many Germans had build Seacam > PAL converters and were watching on TV all the fun they were missing. People were hungry, cold and they were seeing on TV that not less than a mile away people weren't.

          My Gran took a trip past Checkpoint Charlie in the 60's - the photo's she took look like the war ended yesterday (debris in the road, bullet holes in the walls, bombed out/burned out buildings etc) - and on TV th

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      yeah, they're caused by everyone having a gutenberg press that transfers the published stuff by magic to everyone and everyone has the access to the same magic library and the more they read the more they want to. and the technology has been available on hand here in the west for far longer than in middle-east - but also, in the west we've had more free press for far longer, and also the free press has had a lot longer to ponder what to do.

      but think about this: both mubarak and gaddafi paid good sums for we

    • Re:Misstatement (Score:4, Interesting)

      by chrb (1083577) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @07:45AM (#35417312)
      Several other high profile sources have drawn a causal relationship though: Foreign Policy magazine - The First WikiLeaks Revolution? [foreignpolicy.com] NY Times - Qaddafi Sees WikiLeaks Plot in Tunisia [nytimes.com] and the Guardian [guardian.co.uk]:

      In a speech last night Gaddafi, an ally of the ousted president, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, said he was "pained" by the fall of the Tunisian government. He claimed protesters had been led astray by WikiLeaks disclosures detailing the corruption in Ben Ali's family and his repressive regime. The leaked cables were written by "ambassadors in order to create chaos", Deutsche Press-Agentur reported Gaddafi as saying.

      The Iranian government have claimed that Wikileaks is a U.S. plot [presstv.ir] to destabilise anti-colonislist governments.

      the release was an organized coordinated move, adding that such a huge volume of documents could not have been released without the cooperation of intelligence services of Western governments, in particular the US.

      A former Pakistanti General has also claimed Wikileaks is a CIA/Mossad plot: [infowars.com]

      The US has a hand in this plot, and these reports (posted by the WikiLeaks website) are part of the US psychological warfare

      Disclaimer: Tunisia: Don't Call It a WikiLeaks Revolution [aolnews.com]

      • High profile sources? presstv.ir? infowars.com? seriously?

        • by chrb (1083577)
          You either misread or misunderstand. The claims were made by Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast and former Chief of the Staff of the Pakistani Army General Mirza Aslam Beg. Those are both high profile sources. The claims were not made by presstv.ir or inforwars.com - those are just media outlets that reported the claims.
  • Misrepresentation? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tal_mud (303383) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @01:11AM (#35415612)

    From the quotes in the article all the MI6 head said was that wikileaks and the revolutions both stem from the same empowerment of the public via technology, not that one caused the other.

    I admit that I didn't watch the 20 minute video where it actual causality might be mentioned.

    • by Adambomb (118938) * on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @01:16AM (#35415638) Journal

      No you're exactly correct. He's relating both phenomena as originating from recent changes in technology in how people can communicate and form groups, not that one caused the other

      • This is why I don't trust most UK media outlets. I have seen too much of this drivel from the Register.
        • by VJ42 (860241)
          The register is the sun of the tech world - don't base your entire opinion of UK media on it. Having said that, there are plenty of other reasons not to trust our press 100% but the papers are usually honest about their angle and don't pretend to be 'fair and balanced'.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Oori (827315)
      I think the fault is of the original reporter at the Register who either did not understand what is said (text comprehension) or decided to use a bit of journalistic 'slight of hand' to pazzazz his rather dull story. In any case it's clear the article contains no content supporting its title. And slashdot? I've been reading it on/off for 14 years and there's clearly an exponential decay (with us being just at the beginning of the drop; who know where this site will be in 10 years).
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Oh come on, the Register has always been the IT equivalent of the gutter press, even back when Slashdot was actually good.

      • by timbo234 (833667)

        Yeah the Register is pretty terrible sometimes, the Daily Mail of the IT press when it comes to sensationalism and making a huge storey about nothing.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Watch the last 5 mins. Worth it for the "mis quoted" line just before the end.
    • I just watched the whole 20 minutes and you're right - he's saying the two areas (wikileaks and Arab uprisings) that share a common root cause of technology empowering people rather than saying one caused the other. The story is fundementally wrong.

      He then launches into a string of character assassination comments dismissing wikileaks as not having a consistent philosophy (at which point the video pauses to provide counterevidence) and dismisses any notion of bias in the legal system as conspiracy theory (

    • by wvmarle (1070040) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @02:15AM (#35415872)

      Correct me if I'm wrong but I do recall that the protests in Tunesia were sparked by leaks (on WikiLeaks) about misbehaviour, corruption and self enrichment by their then-government. This sparked serious anger, and caused an uprising that quickly grew in strength when people realised that by standing together they were far stronger than their government.

      People in nearby countries saw the news - Internet helps to spread it quickly - and organised themselves to rise against their respective governments. Egypt started, they also found their government to be weak and overthrown quickly, and again the news spread.

      Many more countries see serious unrest, and I expect it's far from over. Especially Lybia where the government is stronger than expected and which is now descending into total chaos and civil war.

      It's not just coinciding, it's a direct relation. Easy spread of information, in part facilitated by WikiLeaks, and easy and fast communication between people.

      • by tal_mud (303383) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @02:23AM (#35415898)

        Whether you happen to be right or wrong in claiming that there is a causal relation, the head of MI6 did NOT make that claim. So the article is a misrepresentation of his statements.

      • Agreed (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @08:38AM (#35417590)

        I can't understand the people who constantly chant "government by the people", yet at the same time, call for Assange to be jailed and Wikileaks to be destroyed. WAKE UP -- Wikileaks is EXACTLY what "government by the people" needs, since government by the people is impossible if government fails to disclose precisely what they did "for the people".

        If a man claims to be serving your interests and charges you a fee for those services, but refuses to disclose exactly what services are provided and when, would you buy into it? Of course not. Logically, he isn't serving your interests at all -- he's ripping you off. Wikileaks is letting us know that we're being ripped off. Repeat: Wikileaks is letting us know that we're being ripped off. We should be THANKING them, not mindlessly parroting the words of career politicians.

      • by bunratty (545641)
        I would agree that the easy and fast communication provided by the Internet is helping the news of successful protests spread, and it's also helping protesters organize. It's also helping Wikileaks spread leaks easily. It sounds like the protests and Wikileaks are caused by a common cause. Similarly, births in an area are tightly correlated with the number of cell phone towers [discovermagazine.com]. Both births and cell phone towers are caused by the human population in the area -- it's not the cell phone towers causing the birt
        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          As I said IIRC the first protests (Tunisia) were a direct result from leaked information. So for that one there was a causal relation. Of course Internet communications make distribution of the news a lot easier and faster than it used to be. The rest of the revolts indeed have no direct relation to WikiLeaks.

      • by Duradin (1261418)

        I thought it was the guy that immolated himself due to direct oppression and corruption. I suppose that won't get Manning sainted though, so it must not have happened that way.

      • by sjames (1099)

        I basically agree except that Libya's government is NOT stronger. It's already toast. There is no hope for it. It's just that it's more willing to engage in a pointless scorched earth campaign out of pure evil. Once you bomb your own population, you can only be an occupying force, never again a true government.

    • by Will.Woodhull (1038600) <wwoodhull@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @02:28AM (#35415932) Homepage Journal

      It seems like he is referring to something much more powerful than a causal relationship. He seems to be suggesting that Wikileaks and its ilk, and the recent revolutions and protests, are part of the same pattern.

      We really need to get a mathematician to take a serious look at human history. It appears to be fractal: it not only repeats itself, but the same patterns show up on different scales as if there were a great deal of self-similarity.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        We really need to get a mathematician to take a serious look at human history. It appears to be fractal: it not only repeats itself, but the same patterns show up on different scales as if there were a great deal of self-similarity.

        [pokerface]
        I heard that some math-and-history whiz named Hari Seldon has already got that covered. In spades. There's even a few books out there detailing some interesting things that happened when he published his findings. Any serious conversation about the subject really has to acknowledge his work as the foundation of the entire field.
        [/pokerface]

      • Somebody like Hari Seldon?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hari_Seldon [wikipedia.org]

      • by Anonymous Coward

        We really need to get a mathematician to take a serious look at human history. It appears to be fractal: it not only repeats itself, but the same patterns show up on different scales as if there were a great deal of self-similarity.

        Not really a job for a mathematician, philosophy has it covered. Nietzsche's take on 'eternal return' for example.

      • by c6gunner (950153)

        History doesn't repeat itself, except in the most broad, generic, useless sense (people are born, they do stuff, they die).

        People who repeat that phrase generally either have no understanding of history, no understanding of current events, no understanding of human psychology, or some combination of the above. Looking at history through the lens of current events is no different than looking at the clouds and seeing a pirate ship. Your mind is creating patterns based on your past experiences - that doesn'

        • by Shotgun (30919)

          People live communally and by mutual consent. Very free to do as they will. Then population begins to increase. Something happens and food becomes more difficult to obtain. It becomes easier to steal from their neighbors.

          The people pass the responsibility of protection to men who become warlords, who agree to fight back invaders. In return, they are relieved of the responsibilities of menial everyday chores.

          The "protectors" become haughty, and eventually become kings. The people are subdued and enslav

  • USA next! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Gible (526142)

    If only it would have a similar effect in the USA.

    • It already has. With the implosion of our financial system along with an exponential increase in deficit, you sir have a front row seat to a slow moving train wreck. Pass the popcorn please. I'm sure it will be the last bag I can afford.

    • by istartedi (132515) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @02:25AM (#35415916) Journal

      In case you haven't noticed, most revolutions suck. That's why the founders institutionalized revolution in the form of elections, and gave us cherished tools like freedom of speech and association with which to peacefully foment revolutions now and then.

      So. Instead of just asking for revolution, why don't you name the shape and form of your desired change, broadcast it, and see if anybody else wants to associate with you.

      Chances are, most don't. That's a major clue that your vision for revolution sucks.

      Really, we got lucky to have the people in power that we had, when our revolution occured. Not only were these guys smart, they were wise and moral. It was the perfect combination that just doesn't come along often enough when things change like that.

      In fact, there are already a lot of people working to bring about revolution in the USA, in the manner in which the founders envisioned. They're marching, they're blogging, they're voting. We already live in revolution. The revolution will not be revolutionized.

      • In case you haven't noticed, most revolutions suck. That's why the founders....

        ...and people say Americans don't understand irony! ;-)

        • by c6gunner (950153)

          In case you haven't noticed, most revolutions suck. That's why the founders....

          ...and people say Americans don't understand irony! ;-)

          I would have expected Roger Moore to have a better understanding of English. The word "most" isn't that difficult to comprehend.

          • The word "most" isn't that difficult to comprehend.

            It isn't...so perhaps you are having trouble understanding the "irony" part after all so let me explain. For people from a country founded by revolutionaries you would not expect them to regard most* revolutions as a bad thing. Hence the OP was ironic.

            * even if they are trying to use most to mean "all of them except the one I happen to agree with"

            • by c6gunner (950153)

              For people from a country founded by revolutionaries you would not expect them to regard most* revolutions as a bad thing.

              How in the world would you come to that conclusion? If I shoot a man who's trying to kill me, would it be ironic for me to believe that most shootings are bad? If I take aspirin when I get a headache, would it be ironic for me to say that most drugs are bad?

              I wasn't confused about what you were trying to say - I just don't think you've thought this through very well. There's nothing ironic about the situation you're describing.

              • If I shoot a man who's trying to kill me, would it be ironic for me to believe that most shootings are bad?

                No, but then I would expect you to regard the fact that you had to shoot someone as a bad thing as well even it is was in self defense. I take it from this that you regard the American revolution as a bad thing which just necessary like a shooting in self-defense. Since I've never heard an American express that view before I admit I had not considered that. So looked at from your point of view I understand why you would not find it ironic. However given the more typically portrayed American view it is iron

                • by c6gunner (950153)

                  No, but then I would expect you to regard the fact that you had to shoot someone as a bad thing as well even it is was in self defense.

                  That doesn't follow either, unless you have a very black-and-white version of "good vs. bad". Real life is a little more complicated.

                  I take it from this that you regard the American revolution as a bad thing which just necessary like a shooting in self-defense.

                  I regard it as a less-than-ideal way of arriving at a positive result. If a non-violent approach could have led to the same result, I would favor that approach. If the same action had led to a brutal dictatorship, I would consider it a "bad thing". You can't (usually) say that a particular action is "bad" in and of itself - you need to look at it in context.

                  • by istartedi (132515)

                    This whole thread is an illustration of a "law" I have observed on the Internet. AFAIK, this law has no person of note associated with it such as Godwin's law. I've never actually tried to phrase it succinctly, but I'll take a stab at it. It should go something like this:

                    For even the shortest phrase posted in an online forum, there is virtually no limit to the number of ridiculous inferences that may be made.

                    It further follows (or perhaps should be a separate "law") that: "It is impossible to strawman-

      • If you mean to say the revolution will happen through the system we have, then you are mistaken. There are vested interests who are past masters at gaming the system we have. That's why whether Republicans or Democrats hold power in Washington, everything continues to get worse for the vast majority of Americans. Those vested interests have recently decided they're gonna go for broke, and wipe out the most hospitable nest for their kind that has ever existed in human history (READ: the United States).

  • Vaporware Syndrome (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tuqui (96668) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @01:16AM (#35415644) Homepage

    But Wikileaks now is sick of the 'Vaporware Syndrome'. they are announcing their next leaks for month without releasing them.

    • by anti-pop-frustration (814358) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @05:15AM (#35416644) Journal
      That's why you don't "announce" leaks. You either release or don't release documents.

      This is one of the reasons why Daniel Domscheit-Berg (and several others) left Wikileaks. He thought it was wrong of Julian Assange to make threats about releasing specific leaks.

      Also: Since last year, Wikileaks doesn't have a working submission system. There's still no way to send wikileaks anything right now. Assange stated in several interviews that Wikileaks wasn't accepting documents anymore because they were overwhelmed with the Iraq war/Afghanistan/State cable leaks and that they didn't have the staff to process new submissions. That was only half of the story. The other half is that one of the Wikileaks members that left last year at the same time as Daniel Domscheit-Berg was the guy who coded the submission system. When the coder left, Wikileaks wasn't able to keep the submission system running because there was no one else capable of maintaining it and making sure it stayed secure (given that the submission system is probably the most sensitive part of the site).

      Check out this interview with Domscheit-Berg [artificialeyes.tv] for more about why he left Wikileaks.
  • Paradox (Score:1, Insightful)

    It's a pity not many people have the balls to make such comments while they're in office. The saddest thing is that thinking is actually arguably impaired while people are in office. It's baffling, but people do the stupidest things when their level of assumed responsibility notches up. It's a paradox...
    • by Xest (935314)

      People do speak out whilst in office but then they quickly find themselves out of office. I suspect many figure it's better to keep their mouths shut and influence things the best they can in office, than be kicked out to be replaced by a puppet.

      I don't know US politics terribly well but isn't this basically what happened with Colin Powell when he realised he'd been duped over the WMD claim and started to speak out about it? He was quickly replaced with a more subservient puppet - Condoleeza Rice.

  • by Breeza (2008484)
    Does he mean to say that specific leaks have led to the movements seen in these countries? (If so, which?) Or that they now have a general feeling of moral support for freedom, justice, transparency and accountability for governments from the west? I'm not sure wikileaks can be credited entirely but what else was the catalyst for such widespread uprising? An intriguing speech nonetheless. Would love to hear more candid thoughts from people who held/are holding similar positions.
    • by c0lo (1497653)

      Would love to hear more candid thoughts from people who held/are holding similar positions.

      The leaked State dept cables are quite candid, you know? Maybe by reading them, you'll discover which of them (if any) catalyzed the uprisings?

  • Summary wrong. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    He said nothing about crediting Wikileaks with the wave of unrest in the Middle East. He said you could draw parallels between them. The rest is just the submitter's fantasy.

    • by fishexe (168879)

      He said nothing about crediting Wikileaks with the wave of unrest in the Middle East. He said you could draw parallels between them. The rest is just the submitter's fantasy.

      What???! Claiming two things are similar is the same as claiming one caused the other! Didn't you know? That's why every time you say someone is like a Nazi, you're also blaming that person for causing the Holocaust!

  • Other factors (Score:5, Insightful)

    by istartedi (132515) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @01:30AM (#35415712) Journal

    Technology in general facilitated the revolutions (but didn't cause them).

    Economic policy probably had more to do with it.

    First, the nations involved are effectively if not explicitly dollarized. Second, the dollar has been weakened due to US economic policy. When you consider that these people spend a much higher percentage of their incomes on food and other basic items that are heavily impacted by inflation, Ben Bernanke probably deserves more credit (or blame, depending on the outcome) for these changes.

    Really though, even that is stretching it a bit. Dictatorships as heavy-handed as those are probably just unsustainable anyway. There was no WikiLeaks or global economic crisis impacting Eastern Europe in the late 1980s. They were all just sick and tired after a few decades of oppression, and did something about it.

    • by PiMuNu (865592)
      Also increase in oil price, food price. This foreshadows much bigger political instability to come as oil prices go up. Lots of literature on his (see peak oil stuff). I would say dictatorship is considerably more stable than democracy - that's why most nations end up with dictatorships rather than democracies. It's only when people are wealthy enough to worry about who is ruling them that democracy can do okay.
    • Re:Other factors (Score:5, Informative)

      by Sique (173459) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @05:02AM (#35416572) Homepage

      here was no WikiLeaks or global economic crisis impacting Eastern Europe in the late 1980s. They were all just sick and tired after a few decades of oppression, and did something about it.

      I beg to differ. There was glasnost, which was mainly about being transparent about everything in the government and the industry. You could call (albeit with a stretch) glasnost a governmentally mandated WikiLeaks. But for the overly secret communist governments of the time, glasnost was a revolution. And there was a very low oil price causing the USSR to bleed because they couldn't earn enough for their crude oil to sustain the Afghan War, the overblown military in the satellite states and the social benefits which kept the soviet people mainly quiet.
      The same oil price low also hit East Germany, which made a fortune in the early 80ies by selling refined gasoil to Western countries, because the oil price within the COMECON was set as being the average oil price of the last five years. As long as the price was steadily climbing, this was a source of income for East Germany. But when the oil price started to tank, East Germany in average paid more for crude oil than the Western countries, and the business went sour.

      So your theory about transparency and economic turmoil not influencing the Change in 1989 has some problems with the facts.

    • The nations in question were suffering from food riots in 2008 the last time the oil price spiked.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007%E2%80%932008_world_food_price_crisis [wikipedia.org]

      Inflation is the cause.

      You can thank Helicopter Ben and Peak Oil.

       

  • To be fair . . . (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cyberllama (113628) on Tuesday March 08, 2011 @02:50AM (#35416024)

    The quoted section is not crediting Wikileaks, but rather crediting a general movement and then citing Wikileaks as another EXAMPLE of the sort of things happening in said movement. He's pointing out correlation moreso than causation -- that is to say, they share the same causation.

  • I've been saying this about WL from day one.

    WL > Tunisia uprising > Middle East firestorm

  • by Anonymous Coward

    In case anyone missed it. Tunileaks sparked the revolution in Tunisia, by providing american-quality documentation of the corruption in the Tunisian leadership.

    If you missed this, do take a look at Tunileaks.com

  • A couple of weeks ago I went to a talk by Sir Richard Dearlove called, "National Security - how much secrecy does the State need?"

    His view was that the State does need secrecy (about the same level of secrecy as it has had for the past 50 years) and so his opinion of Wikileaks was not positive. He parrots the same "trust us" vibe as everyone else who represents the government intelligence agencies.

    I do not think that his intention with these comments was to credit Wikileaks with anything.

  • For me, this is the first sensible thing said by anyone who has played a role in politics / warfare.
    I, for one, welcome our new technology overlords

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Anybody else read what he said in Patrick Stewart's voice?

  • for the increased gas prices that they're currently attributing to the Mideast revolts.

    • by sjames (1099)

      There's a Wikileak we really need, the smoking gun showing how the oil companies jack up the prices instantly when someone in the Middle East sneezes (even if we don't get any oil from there). Note that when problems in the middle east resolve, they claim it'll take 6 weeks for prices to fall again due to the length of the pipeline.

      • They would need to tie it all in with the Wall St. commodities speculators who get to cash in on it, as well.

  • what ties these two events together, and of course a number of other events, is the diffusion of power, away from the states and the empowerment of individuals, and small groups of individuals, by technology

    If you have not already you should read David Brin's Earth. His version of th 21st century with ubiquitous personal media and world wide networking was amazingly prescient.

    In fact, every politician and journalist should go out and read this.

  • I find the post totally misharacterized.

    If you watch the video it seems clear to me what he said was basically that he couldn't deny it! Wikipedia undeniably had an effect and what has been exposed so far hasn't been quite so bad and has in fact to the surprise of his ilk let to possibly something good. But he still bashed Assange left and right in his disdain for him and his policies and politics, basically reiterating the company line.

    Overall I felt the confrontation at the end of the video with the pre

  • As Étienne de la Boétie [wikipedia.org] put it, even dictators rely on the consent of the governed.

    Tyrannical rulers must be generous enough to their closest advisers, military, and secret police to avoid having guns turned back at the ruler.

    But even a small population of enforcers cannot keep the people under the ruler's thumb if they don't like the arrangement.

    Ever notice how every ruler of a one-party state has his (always a male!?) picture all over the place with enthusiastic slogans and proclamation

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