Jan 072011

The State Department is warning some people that they are at risk due to exposures in WikiLeaks, and even moving some.  But are people really at risk, or is this just a propaganda move to vilify those that have embarrassed people who should be embarrassed over their behavior?  In my opinion, the latter is the truth.

7WikiLeaksThe State Department is warning hundreds of human rights activists, foreign government officials and businesspeople identified in leaked diplomatic cables of potential threats to their safety and has moved a handful of them to safer locations, administration officials said Thursday.

The operation, which involves a team of 30 in Washington and embassies from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, reflects the administration’s fear that the disclosure of cables obtained by the organization WikiLeaks has damaged American interests by exposing foreigners who supply valuable information to the United States.

Administration officials said they were not aware of anyone who has been attacked or imprisoned as a direct result of information in the 2,700 cables that have been made public to date by WikiLeaks, The New York Times and several other publications, many with some names removed. But they caution that many dissidents are under constant harassment from their governments, so it is difficult to be certain of the cause of actions against them.

The officials declined to discuss details about people contacted by the State Department in recent weeks, saying only that a few were relocated within their home countries and that a few others were moved abroad.

The State Department is mainly concerned about the cables that have yet to be published or posted on Web sites — nearly 99 percent of the archive of 251,287 cables obtained by WikiLeaks… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

When all the bull is stripped away, State is not responding to anything that has happened.  They are reacting to what they fear might happen.  So far, the news organizations distributing the materials released so far have done an excellent job of redacting the names of people at risk, but State could ensure that such people are kept safe by helping the news organizations identify items that really would put individuals at risk and/or really would threaten national security.


  12 Responses to “Are People Really at Risk over WikiLeaks?”

  1. I seriously doubt if anyone is in danger because of WikiLeaks. The Powers That Be won’t be able to drum up much public sympathy by saying “This is embarrassing to us VIPs. When we meet at the country club to discuss our secret strategies, we expect these conversations to stay off the record!”

    So instead they have to conjure up all these scary images of “Danger!” and “National Security!”

    It’s the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate tapes all over again. The only people in “danger” are slippery warmongers and corporate thieves.

  2. As the saying goes: The greatest threat to national security is “National Security”.

  3. I agree with Tom – this shit is embarrassing, but I don’t think anyone is in danger of what’s been released. I think some people are making this shit up to scare into thinking that there is something going on when it’s all a bunch of BS.

  4. So what everyone above me is saying is that Clinton’s state department is Bush light? Using fear as a way to manipulate public opinion? Personally I think depending on the country and the cable, yes there could be some form of retribution from the government on a person quoted in a cable. Most governments know who knows what as far as state secrets go which narrows the field of possible talkers to our ambassadors and even redacted names can be figured out. Just because they are not Americans does not mean they are ignorant. Do you honestly think that if China or Myanmar thought their national security had been compromised by an internal source they would hesitate to use Angels second amendment solution to plug the holes?

    • Mark, they actually admitted that nobody has been targeted over what has been released so far, and that the reason for the warnings and moves is concern over what might be released. That’s why I said that, instead of fear mongering, they should help the Times and others publishing the leaks identify what needs to be redacted.

    • It’s really dangerous when any of us use China or Burma and their dictatorships as the standard our government officials should be judged by. (I prefer Burma in deference to the democratic opposition’s use of that name for the country.)

      • libhomo if you read the only comparison I made was the use of fear as tool between Clinton’s State Dept and w’s use of fear to motivate the movement of the herd. Please redact your statement that I was comparing America to Myanmar (the name on the plate of the rep to the UN) or China.

  5. Wikileaks is a danger to the job security of corrupt and criminal officials worldwide. That’s why they are fighting so hard to suppress it.

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