Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hip Hip Horray WikiLeaks

I like what is happening because of WikiLeaks. It has taken the Freedom of Information Act to the next level. Bravo! With all the amendments and interpretations of this Act, we should be prepared for some interesting legal battles. It's what we like to do when the status quo is about to be rocked. I don't like that it is blocked in the NYC public schools. What great fodder for classroom lessons. Our scholars should be reading these cables and doing what history, English scholars do with such primary documents. They look at threads for patterns, places, situations. They study the prose style of different authors. Who are the authors? The scholars produce secondary resources about their research and opinions that are to be passed on. Oh did I mention it comes in five other languages, too: Portuguese, French, Russian, Spanish, and Arabic. When will we see Chinese or other Asian languages?

The typical knee jerk reaction to WikiLeaks is important to watch and to hear what is said by whom. Future actions, too, will be important to monitor. Is this another excuse for the government to take more of our liberties away? Was this leak generated from within so they could enact laws and perform other political parlor tricks to dupe the public and to steal more freedoms from us in the name of our safety. I'm sure those we really do not want to read these cables, read them on the day they were sent.

In most cases, the cables are good prose, delightfully entertaining, and most assuredly informative. Names are xxxxx out. We are being treated to in depth behind the scenes reporting by those in the front lines. We have access to the primary documents and that is crucial. Are those in power worried about becoming obsolete? Information is power and there has been a major power sharing surge that continues on a daily basis. I love it. It nourishes me. I am gorging on these cables.

For example:
"Whatever the truth about his mood, it is hard to believe that Gul, a seasoned politician and operator, would let himself be pushed into something he didn't want to do, even “for the greater good for his party.” End comment.

Reading about Robert Mugabe was great fun. It is not a great surprise what I read.


"Russia is ranked second only to the United States in arms sales to the developing world, and a sizeable portion of its arms trade is with countries of concern to us." Russian Calculus.

The cables about the German Economics ministry turmoil was interesting and more detailed about something we knew but only on a cursory level. These cables fill in the gaps. They provide more details about something we know too little.
What I find fascinating about these cables is that some of those outlandish conspiracy theories we are told not to believe might be true or possibly true. These cables date back to 1966, so strolling through the years is fun. Reading about the Shah is interesting and educational. The study done in Iran in 1985, titled, "Negotiations" is deep and well worth reading.

Chevron gets thrown out of a meeting in Kazakhstan; the lifestyle of the wealthy in Kazakhstan; from 2008: "none of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's three sons is likely to be tapped to succeed him."; Afghan money to Dubai; Life in Beijing; the work to get Bout; State's request to Ambassador in Pakistan to press Pakistan to continue to hold Dr Khan in house arrest; our troubles with Pakistan; The President's briefing before Paris visit; the under the table dealing with drones in Pakistan; Cuba and Venezuela's relationship; how Cubans get to America, the Litinenko Assassination, Paragraph three is a pisser. Reading these cables can be addicting. And to think it will be months. Reminds me of the Watergate hearings.


¶15. (C) All of the above putative versions of events are handicapped by a lack of evidence and by the existence of other motives for the killings and other potential perpetrators. Whatever the truth may ultimately be --and it may never be known-- the tendency here to almost automatically assume that someone in or close to Putin’s inner circle is the author of these deaths speaks volumes about expectations of Kremlin behavior as the high-stakes succession struggle intensifies. BURNS

I'm liking the indexing by year, embassy, tag and other methods. My fear is getting lost in these cables. This is a great service to correct history or fill in the gaps. When we finally have time to read these cables and to sort through them on our own, we will see the importance of this event. We have only seen a very small amount of the cables as it is taking time to upload them all. I love this installment process as each day brings more great reading, just as the Watergate Hearings were good television watching.

Perhaps one of the most important points about these cables is that we are looking at primary documents. This is key to our own education. We don't need to rely on reporters, who may or may not have an agenda, to tell us the news. We can read the cables and make our own determination about things and don't need the pundits to interpret for us, tell us what we need to know, to be barraged by their spew. This is just another magnificent example of the power and beauty of the internet and sites like WikiLeaks and Wikipedia. Watch who is critical of the leaks and who is not. No big surprises here.

Power to the people and keep on keepin' on WikiLeaks.

We know some people will probably be leaving their posts because of these revelations and maybe find a new profession writing novels or screen plays. I can't wait for the movie or even mini-series based on these cables. Too bad "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" has already been used.

An important caveat is the age of these cables. The most recent is February of 2010. It news cycles , they are ancient history.

Now if WikiLeaks could explore the health industry, the pharmaceutical folks, and NYC politics to name a few, wow now that would be a real service.

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