Sunday, 28 November 2010

THE WIKILEAKS DILEMMA


On the one hand there is probably a very strong case for the fact that confidential communications of governments should remain secret.

No one would deny that details of military capabilities or planned exercises can only be in the public’s domain, if they are equally in the domain of the enemy. On the other hand, what little bit of information we have got recently courtesy of the Freedom of Information Act (an Act Labour must regret passing more than any other), which still leaves the U
K as one of the least informed countries in the West, tells us that our “lords and masters” are a sack of lying, cheating, self serving, horse manure. Incompetence is legend, stupidity is habitual and greed endemic.

So, what of the WikiLeaks that the American government is so almightily scared about now? Leaks, as far as I can make out by some ex-senior people in the American government, they are reputed to be full of candid assessments of personnel and efficiency from America (and sometimes British and other) representatives all over the world.

Although it would take a complete moron to assume that the diplomatic words that pass between representatives are anything other than complete bullshit, I expect that no one wants to have what people REALLY felt about them made public!

According to pundits embarrassments for the Americans may include candid assessments of Gordon Brown and David Cameron and details of mistakes made by both Brits and Americans in the wars we have engaged in since the beginning of the century.

Well, no prizes for guessing that they will have assessed Brown as mad as a hatter and as creepy as Uriah, and his Cabinet as a bunch of fag days
’ loser ministers. Whilst they probably haven’t labelled Cameron as mad (yet), they will undoubtedly be concerned about how naive he is, and how little he knows or understands of international diplomacy beyond which way the port is passed.

And before anyone accuses me of leaving him out, they may well be painting a picture of Alex Salmond too, not because the government of Scotland is important to them in the normal way of things, but they will have found Alex neither mad nor incompetent, and that very fact may worry them. Smug, oh yes, found of curry, oh yes, but sharp as a tack, and right on to them over Megrahi.

So I was impressed by this post from a man I much admire and respect. Ian Hamilton QC.

"UK Government has issued a “D-notice” warning to all UK news editors, asking to be briefed on upcoming WikiLeaks stories. 9:13 AM Nov 26th via web”.

A “D Notice” is a press censorship notice.

This particular D notice is thought to refer to emails passing between governments about the Megrahi case and how he was stitched up.

This blog will not be silenced by a D notice.

So you thought we had a free press.

AS a QC I once took an oath of loyalty to Queen Elizabeth as head of state. I no longer wish to be loyal to a state which uses press censorship. I repudiate my oath.

Ian

It’s a sobering thought that ‘D Notices’ could be used to save the backsides of people who collaborated to provide American families with closure at the expense of an innocent man’s life.

But it doesn’t shock me.

I’m not a QC, so I have never made any oath to the Queen. Nor would I ever do so. I have nothing to repudiate. I’m just with Ian.


Pic: WikiLeaks, Gordon March Hare Brown, Ian Hamilton, QC.


26 comments:

  1. Excellent posting Tris, truly excellent, I love the Ian Hamilton quote, there stands a 'man'.
    I wonder if I can ivite you to view the latest post of mine which you may enjoy
    http://nominedeus.wordpress.com/2010/11/28/a-letter-to-ireland-circa-1880/

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  2. Nothing to hide nothing to fear. unless your a government.

    The following quote is taken from here Defence Advisory (DA) Notice System

    "The Notices have no legal standing and advice offered within their framework may be accepted or rejected partly or wholly."

    BAE and there bribes to the Saudi's is one thing that might surface.

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  3. Tris

    Whoever thought we have or ever had a free press? a most strange chain of thought from a man who as a QC spent his whole life upholding the UK state
    and coining in English gold all the while.

    A fair weather Nationalist who in his dotage makes a another pointless gesture

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  4. You certainly can invite me Nomine, and I shall accept.

    Thanks.

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  5. Yeah CH. I think that the "all this could cost lives" is a tad on the hypocritical side when you bombed the hell out of a city (Baghdad) on the basis that .... well, we might find out why on earth "Shock and Awe " happened. But to accuse people of putting lives at risk after you did that for nothing is a bit on the rich side.

    I think what we might put at risk is a lot of reputations and some careers.

    Hopefully we shall find out why the man that said he sold Megrahi the stuff found on the plane came into so much money and now for some odd reason lives in Australia.

    Scots law may have something to fear.

    I didn't know they were voluntary, but I read that huge pressure can be brought to bear.

    I'm guessing that some people in the media will buckle under the threat of the set in the Lords going up the Swanee, but there must be some who don't give a damn about anachronistic titles.

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  6. Elaborate on that, if you will Niko.

    Scots law, which he upheld, and which most of us kinda uphold, is Scottish, not British. He swore his oath to the Queen of Scots.

    English gold? As every halfpenny we have comes from the largess of the English Treasury, don't we all live by English gold?

    They take it out of our sea, having done their damnest to change the borders, they then give some of it back to us.

    He’s a good lad is our Ian.... but so are you Niko. Just a daft one sometimes.

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  7. I think hypocritical sums that up tris as the northern branch of the Labour party takes English gold to fund its agenda of misinformation.

    This Wikileaks could be interesting for Scotland The First Post

    Neither government has, however, made any reference to the other revelations the documents are rumoured to contain, including details of secret talks with Libya about the repatriation of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

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  8. Hear hear, bravo Ian Hamilton!
    It wont take them long to get the measure of the bunch of cretins now in charge of the keys to the SS GREAT BRITAIN. But I very much doubt they need a D Notice to keep that silent, after all it would be a bit like censoring “have I got news for you”, all they will be keeping from us is yet another belly laugh at the unbelievable, mind-bending stupidity of the current lot of junior monkeys in the British government.

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  9. Thank God we have a decent competent Government in Scotland to offset the moronic ineptitude of the Tories and their lap dogs at least in some respects. All, however, may change if wee Iain Gray gets to the top of the greasy pole that he has been thrust to the top of more by Buggins turn that through merit(let’s face it he doesn’t have any). I’m sure him and Johann Lamont, Any Kerr and Jabba the Hut will show the Tories new heights of stupidity, redefine incompetence, miss every window of opportunity and generally make us the laughing stock of the entire UK. Some achievement in the current climate!

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  10. I think hypocrisy comes into play tris when the northern branch of the Labour party gets takes English gold to aid its misinformation propoganda.

    Panic at the top as latest WikiLeaks release begins

    Neither government has, however, made any reference to the other revelations the documents are rumoured to contain, including details of secret talks with Libya about the repatriation of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

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  11. Munguin

    miss every window of opportunity and generally make us the laughing stock of the entire UK. Some achievement in the current climate!

    Wot! like wot the snp have already dun???

    Alex and his making Scotland 'Ireland on the wold' Remember

    Letting a convinced mass murderer go home to die more than 12 months ago WTF happened there Remember

    Alex and swinney colluding in the attempt to keep their nefarious activities with the Tartan Tax.

    first they lie then they denies finally they Apologise over and over again do you want to tell me why?? remember

    Come the day of the Election then we will see the end of snp in power

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  12. Yeah Mungin... he's a good lad is Ian.

    I'm looking forward to hearing what Obama thinks of Cameron. And Cammy won't mind, he's all for ''political correctness gorn mad'' going out the window.

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  13. I don't suppose there will be anything abotu Iain Whatisname. The Anericans will never have heard of him. Even I can't remember who he is exactly, except I know he's the stupid one and not the stupid one with the long blond hair and vinegar face.

    Mind I've always thought that Andy Kerr was even stupider than any of them, if that's possible. Vacant really.

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  14. Well Mister MixedPickle lets just give Iain and his gang-show a go shall we and see!

    People will be getting down on their bended knee and begging for the SNP to return. Either that or laughing themselves into an epileptic fit! The best advert possible for the SNPs last four years in Government will be the next four under old crib-sheet Fudd. Better get the auto-cue and dumb-dumb cards out now.

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  15. Ah CH... the words 'sh**' and 'fan' come to mind.

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  16. LOL Munguin and Niko...

    I hope for their sake they have managed to get some reasonable sized names on the list so that they will have some talent in the parliament.

    Remember after all, it's Ok laughing about you half witted they are, but we are going to have to live in the bloody country for 4 years under them.

    A bunch of lightweight know nothings in England, and a bunch of muppets in Scotland.

    Maybe we should hang see if Norway will adopt us. Orphan Scotland, ungoverned.

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  17. Wrong thread but must commend Dean for this apologies if you've seen it before, Cannes next.

    The New Improved Wendy Show

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  18. Ha ha... that's excellent. I saw it ages ago, but always a pleasure. Man that woman had some facial expressions... probably still does; there's life after Labour!! Not much right enough.

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  19. Nice post, government secrecy just serves to perpetuate the false claims that there is a political class more suited to ruling than others. Anyone that obeys government mandate to keep their mouth shut over anything is just validating their lies.

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  20. One of the countless ways that Americans feel their government is superior to that of most other nations is the nature of the First Amendment to the federal Constitution and its "free speech" provision which makes government censorship by "prior restraint" next to impossible. I've heard that government censorship of the press in Britain is somewhat easier in this regard. Perhaps this "D Notice" is some aspect of that?

    There was a famous case in the US in the early 1970's in which a man named Daniel Ellsberg leaked to The New York Times and the Washington Post, a top secret pentagon report, popularly termed the "Pentagon Papers," about US involvement in Vietnam. The US government asked the newspapers to voluntarily refrain from publishing, but they refused. Then the government went into federal court to try to restrain publication. This was denied by the US Supreme Court, and both newspapers published the leaked information, to the anguished cries of Richard Nixon and the American government.

    Now Obama and his pentagon crowd are crying over the Afghan information on Wikileaks. And computer technology being what it is, this has taken on an international aspect. No doubt the Americans will try to get other governments to do the dirty work internationally that they cannot manage to do within America's own borders. And in the pursuit of war policy, Obama is not noticeably less evil than Bush in this regard.

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  21. Tris,

    That video of Wendy is, as usual, better with the sound off. Still, I like her boots .......

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  22. It seems Danny, that there is not much the government can do here. From what I can make out from the link that Cynical put up, a D Notice is voluntary, although non compliance probably means kissing goodbye to preferment by the government for anything in the future.

    There must be stuff that they can put you in prison for, I suppose, but it’s likely to be really stupid stuff; never repealed legislation from another age. Revealing what the Queen had for lunch last Tuesday.

    I don’t think that a newspaper editor would print information that would be likely to reveal the name of people working under cover, thus endangering their lives, but the US?UK scaremongering that this will cost lives sounds monumentally hypocritical given the abandon with which both governments have rushed into war, killing hundreds of thousands of people, without giving a moment’s thought to the consequences, or the next step...

    Sod the lot of them I say.

    I think most of the stuff is hilarious.

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  23. Ye gads John, you're a kinky sod. My mum better not get to hear about this.

    Don't you think her coat looks 2 or 3 sizes too big? Do you think she borrowed it from Jackie?

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