Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 09, 2010

WikiLeaks: Observing The Effects

The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie. This must result in minimization of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive “secrecy tax”) and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold onto power as the environment demands adaption.
Julian Assange: The non linear effects of leaks on unjust systems of governance, Dec 31, 2006 (pdf) via

We can now observe this effect. As Steven Aftergood reports:

The Library of Congress confirmed on Friday that it had blocked access from all Library computers to the Wikileaks web site in order to prevent unauthorized downloading of classified records such as those in the large cache of diplomatic cables that Wikileaks began to publish on November 28.

Since the Congressional Research Service is a component of the Library, this means that CRS researchers will be unable to access or to cite the leaked materials in their research reports to Congress. Several current and former CRS analysts expressed perplexity and dismay about the move, and they said it could undermine the institution’s research activities.

The U.S. government regards the leaked cables as still secret material and has forbidden access to it from the regular government networks. This leads to the predicted cognitive decline as the Congressional Research Service is not allowed to include the information therein into its analysis.

The CRS is now asking the relevant Congress committees how it is supposed to handle this. But how are the committee members to determine that while they are not allowed to access the material in question?

This is of course only a small problem that the U.S. government will eventually solve, likely by ignoring its own rules. But it perfectly fits the point Assange was making.

We can be sure that there will similar blockades of other internal U.S. government functions which will have bigger effects and induce a much bigger "secrecy tax".

While totally different in all other aspects there is a basic U.S. reflex Wikileaks as well as the 9/11 bombers put their bets on, the overreaction to a very limited "threat".

Like its overreaction to a the 9/11 attack the U.S. government does and will overreact to the leaks. This will be very costly and in the end may well result in the destruction of the system.

Posted by b on December 9, 2010 at 05:43 AM | Permalink


Library of Congress Blocks Access To Wikileaks

*waves at beq and annie* !!!

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 9, 2010 10:07:49 AM | 1

Damn, I posted the wrong link above, it was supposed to be this: Observing The Effects?

"Operation Broken Trust", or "Operation DOJ Ass Blanket"?

From the comments:

Julian Assange's statement that wikileaks next release will reveal an ecosystem of corruption in a major U.S. bank has them scared shitless, especially after they just spent so much saving those banks. So now they are making mistakes, first by having Assange arrested, and now by this half assed attempt to pretend they're on the ball while blaming a few bad apples.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 9, 2010 2:00:00 PM | 2

Assange may get support from Australia:

Australian Foreign Minister Rudd blames the United States for cable leaks

Rudd also declared that Assange, now in a London jail, had sought Australian consular assistance, and “We have confirmed that we will provide that, as we do for all Australian citizens”.

Rudd’s position, and his criticisms of the US, are in stark contrast with the views of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who last week denounced as “grossly irresponsible” and “illegal” Assange’s placing of US cables and other classified government communications on the WikiLeaks web site.

Unable to state which Australian law Assange had broken, Gillard has tried to bluster her way out, defending her earlier stance by insisting that the “foundation stone” of Assange’s activities was an “illegal act.”

Posted by: juannie | Dec 9, 2010 5:25:29 PM | 3

The last time one man created so much controversy, legend has it he was nailed to a cross! Most Christians in America may have been convinced of this had they not devolved into warmongering fascists, who only worship wealth and power. Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee come to mind here.

Posted by: Cynthia | Dec 9, 2010 5:30:26 PM | 4

Tangentially related effects?

Pentagon Papers Whistleblowers Call for a New 9/11 Investigation

The main players in releasing the Pentagon Papers were Daniel Ellsberg and Senator Mike Gravel.

Ellsberg is, of course, the former military analyst and famed whistleblower who smuggled the Pentagon Papers out of the Rand Corporation.

Senator Gravel is the person who read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record. This act made the papers public record, so that they could not be censored by the government.

Ellsberg and Gravel are receiving a lot of media attention right now for their support of Wikileaks.

But little attention has been paid to Ellsberg and Gravel's support for a new 9/11 investigation.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 9, 2010 9:12:56 PM | 5

uncle, from the comment section of your link

911 Conspiracy predicted in X-Files

pilot aired 3/4/3001.


Posted by: annie | Dec 10, 2010 12:02:04 AM | 6

I dunno how many have senn Bill Blums latest missive , it was reprinted in Counterpunch during the week, but may have been easy to miss.

There is a piece in it that is enormously relevant to both the Wikileaks cables and the bigger issue the continued colonisation of the ME by outsiders.

As we discussed the media has been concentrating on those embassy cables which feature Iran, because it allows them to report the fantasies of State Department flunkies as news. At no point does the newspaper running the story inject reality, saying something like "Abdullah's views on Iran are not shared by his fellow Saudi citizens".

From Blum's column:

If the house where Julian Assange of Wikileaks is staying is destroyed by a Predator drone, and the United States denies any involvement ... Well, I'll believe them.

One of the most common threads running through the Wikileaks papers is Washington's manic obsession with Iran. In country after country the United States exerts unceasing pressure on the government to tighten the noose around Iran's neck, to make the American sanctions as extensive and as painful as can be, to inflate the alleged Iranian nuclear threat, to discourage normal contact as if Iran were a leper.

"Fear of 'different world' if Iran gets nuclear weapons. Embassy cables reveal how US relentlessly cajoles and bullies governments not to give succour to Tehran," read a Guardian of London headline on November 28. And we're told that Arab governments support the United States in this endeavor, that fear of Iran is widespread. John Kerry, the Democratic head of the Senate foreign relations committee, jumped on this bandwagon. "Things that I have heard from the mouths of King Abdullah [of Saudi Arabia] and Hosni Mubarak [Egyptian president] and others are now quite public," he said. He went on to say there was a "consensus on Iran". (Guardian, December 2) If all this is to have real meaning, the implication must be that the Arab people feel this way, and not just their dictator leaders. So let us look at some numbers.

The annual "Arab Public Opinion Poll", was conducted this past summer by Zogby International and the University of Maryland, in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. A sample of the results:

* "If Iran acquires nuclear weapons, which of the following is the likely outcome for the Middle East region?" More positive 57%, Would not matter 20, More negative 21.
* Amongst those who believe that Iran seeks nuclear weapons, 70% believe that Iran has the right to its nuclear program.
* "In a world where there is only one superpower, which of the following countries would you prefer to be that superpower?"
France 35%, China 16, Germany 13, Britain 9, Russia 8, United States 7, Pakistan 6.
* "Name TWO countries that you think pose the biggest threat to you." Israel 88%, US 77, Algeria 10, Iran 10, UK 8, China 3, Syria 1.
* "Which world leader (outside your own country) do you admire most?" (partial list) Recep Erdogan [Turkey] 20%, Hugo Chavez 13, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 12, Hassan Nasrallah [Hezbollah/Lebanon] 9, Osama bin Laden 6, Saddam Hussein 2. (Barack Obama not mentioned) 1

Also in Wikileaks: " ... during a meeting of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (an) enraged Revolutionary Guard Chief of Staff Mohammed Ali Jafari allegedly got into a heated argument with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and slapped him in the face because the generally conservative president had, surprisingly, advocated freedom of the press."

How will the White House and Israeli propaganda machines and the US media deal with this? Their favorite whipping boy, President Ahmadinejad — oppressive dictator, stager of fraudulent elections, "Holocaust denier", nuclear threat to all that is decent and holy — a champion of press freedom? And how powerful can he be? It's not mentioned whether the man who slapped him suffered any punishment.

What will we learn next from Wikileaks? That Hugo Chávez doesn't really eat babies?

The results of the Zogby survey have been around yet I don't recall any discussion in the media, normally so keen to tell us how much "they" hate our freedoms, telling us that the majority of people in the ME consider Israel followed closely by America, to be the biggest threat to peace in the region.

Yeah this is all truisms but it is handy to have some recent figures from a source rednecks can't allege is an Islamofacist conspiracy, isn't it?

I have had a look but haven't been able to find the original. A large splash off the top shelf for anyone who does find a web source for the survey.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Dec 10, 2010 12:19:21 AM | 7

Some looks at the international echo of the cables.

The Guardian does a country by country view and the fallout is everywhere from Bolivia to Bangladesh
After 12 days of WikiLeaks cables, the world looks on US with new eyes

Interesting also the view from Spain as El Pais also does most of the South America stuff: WikiLeaks cables had a huge impact in Spain, says El Pais editor-in-chief

All in all, it's been the biggest story I've had in my five years as editor of El País, without any doubt. And measured by its international impact, it's probably the biggest story this newspaper has ever been involved with.

Interesting is this NYT piece with an overview of reactions from Europe which sounds like a warning to the U.S. establishment to not lose Europe: Europeans Criticize Fierce U.S. Response to Leaks

The Al Akhbar website in Lebanon is still down. It was attacked after releasing cables about the Saudi dictators.

More to come ...

Posted by: b | Dec 10, 2010 3:19:15 AM | 8

@Debs - the Zogby survey is a few month old: 2010 Arab Public Opinion Poll: Results of Arab Opinion Survey Conducted June 29-July 20, 2010

Posted by: b | Dec 10, 2010 3:24:49 AM | 9

Anonymous may shift Wikileaks tactics away from DDoS attacks

Youtube : A Letter from Anonymous, 9th of December 2010

God, this is so weird and creepy...

Anonymous as a flashmob? I can't remember, and haven't the energy to look them up, at the moment, but l was working on posts either here or on my blog or elsewhere about the odd overzealous criminalization of the flashmobs.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 11, 2010 1:00:39 AM | 10

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