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Sun Aug 19, 2012, 03:09 PM

"What if we had a WikiLeaks in August of 1964, when we were told the North Vietnamese fired on...

...on a U.S. ship? Which in fact was a lie. It was a concocted lie at the Pentagon. And we didn't find out about that until Daniel Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers some 6-7 years later. But what if there had been a WikiLeaks? What if someone could have gotten that information out? Told the American people at the beginning of the Vietnam War: 'My fellow Americans, you're being lied to. This was all made up."

"I think anybody who supports WikiLeaks is commiting an act of patriotism. Because it guarantees, I think, I hope, that we have a better shot the next time the bad guys try to pull one off on us."

These quotes from an excellent Keith Olbermann interview of Michael Moore. With all the slime and smearing going on, it's important to remember that if we do not have access to the truth, we will be misled by those in power.



PB

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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply "What if we had a WikiLeaks in August of 1964, when we were told the North Vietnamese fired on... (Original post)
Poll_Blind Aug 2012 OP
Jackpine Radical Aug 2012 #1
WHEN CRABS ROAR Aug 2012 #19
Swagman Aug 2012 #21
treestar Aug 2012 #2
Electric Monk Aug 2012 #3
treestar Aug 2012 #15
WillyT Aug 2012 #25
treestar Aug 2012 #26
Bonobo Aug 2012 #28
Egalitarian Thug Aug 2012 #6
treestar Aug 2012 #17
Egalitarian Thug Aug 2012 #27
Bonobo Aug 2012 #29
randome Aug 2012 #4
Lionel Mandrake Aug 2012 #24
Robb Aug 2012 #5
Poll_Blind Aug 2012 #8
Robb Aug 2012 #10
Poll_Blind Aug 2012 #14
Spider Jerusalem Aug 2012 #7
coalition_unwilling Aug 2012 #11
coalition_unwilling Aug 2012 #9
KG Aug 2012 #12
coalition_unwilling Aug 2012 #13
Cleita Aug 2012 #16
Swagman Aug 2012 #18
Poll_Blind Aug 2012 #20
freedom fighter jh Aug 2012 #22
JHB Aug 2012 #23
pinboy3niner Aug 2012 #30

Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 03:33 PM

1. Information management is, and always has been,

a bipartisan scandal.

FDR, Ike, JFK, LBJ, Crafty Richard, Reagan, Clinton, everyone named Bush, and into the present.

We expected it of the Republicans, but the punishment of whistleblowers and toleration of the evildoers, the outright witch hunt of Assange (despite what you may think of him as a person)…is this the America we once thought we knew?

And don't even get me started on the Surveillance State.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #1)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 04:33 PM

19. This is the America I started to see in the sixties.

What's the solution?
Not many seem outraged.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #1)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 04:40 PM

21. that management is so terrifically sophisticated now that any talk of

Pentagon Papers etc today would immediately bring claims of "Elsberg worship" and "bowing down to the alter of Elsberg".

When people went out of their way to support Elsberg as they did in their tens of thousands it would not be a sort of them and us debate about beliefs but a discussion about Elsberg, his habits, how he looks and so on.

The Papers would be successfully diverted to being a sideshow of no particular importance.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 03:35 PM

2. where is the equivalent here?

What did we find out and what war has it prevented?

The laws were different then too and the media much less able to get things out.

Ellsberg had specifics. Wikileaks has none. It just stands for the general proposition that classifying information is somehow wrong.

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Response to treestar (Reply #2)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 03:37 PM

3. Wikileaks has plenty of specifics, even if you can't be bothered to read them.

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Response to Electric Monk (Reply #3)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 04:23 PM

15. Why do none of them stand out?

None of them made the news very dramatically. The news is all about Julian.

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Response to treestar (Reply #15)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 05:54 PM

25. Um...

On July 17, 2009, the American Ambassador in Tunisia, Robert F. Godec, dined at the beachfront mansion of Mohamed Sakher El Materi, a member of the country’s ruling family. The home displayed Roman columns, frescoes, and a stone lion’s head spouting water into an infinity pool. A live caged tiger on the grounds “consumes four chickens a day,” Godec noted, in a secret cable to Washington. His host’s pet reminded him “of Uday Hussein’s lion cage in Baghdad.”

WikiLeaks published Godec’s report early last December, alongside other acid accounts from the U.S. Embassy about the abuse of power in the court of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, the leader of Tunisia for more than two decades. “Whether it’s cash, services, land, property, or yes, even your yacht, President Ben Ali’s family is rumored to covet it and reportedly gets what it wants,” Godec wrote. “Corruption . . . is the problem everyone knows about, but no one can publicly acknowledge.”


That ended on December 17th, when Mohamed Bouazizi, a twenty-six-year-old fruit seller, set himself on fire in the central town of Sidi Bouzid. He was protesting the demands for bribes and the abuse that he had endured at the hands of the police. Bouazizi lay in a hospital for more than two weeks, his face wrapped in thick bandages. Anger spread in the streets and online. Ben Ali made an awkward pilgrimage to his bedside, promising reform. On January 4th, Bouazizi died. On January 13th, the state security forces, after having killed dozens of unarmed civilians in the previous week, refused orders to keep shooting. The next day, Ben Ali and his wife fled fist-shaking mobs in the capital, Tunis, by hopping a private jet to Saudi Arabia.

“President of the Country,” a searing Arabic rap song, served as a soundtrack for the revolution. The week before Bouazizi’s death, Hamada Ben Amor, who is twenty-two and goes by the name El Général, used a handheld camera to tape himself singing the song, a baseball cap pulled over his eyes. “Mr. President,” he exclaimed, “your people are dead!” Al Jazeera and various social media picked up the video. The secret police arrested Ben Amor, inflaming his followers, and hastening Ben Ali’s exit.

Since then, diverse protesters have immolated themselves in Egypt, Algeria, and Mauritania. Muammar Qaddafi, in Libya, lamented the role of WikiLeaks, which, he said, “publishes information written by lying ambassadors in order to create chaos.” But the impact of the disclosures is impossible to measure, and unlikely to have been decisive. Tunisians hardly required the U.S. Embassy to inform them that their government was corrupt.


From: http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2011/01/31/110131taco_talk_coll


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Response to WillyT (Reply #25)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 07:02 PM

26. Impossible that people in Tunisia did not have an inkling

about their leaders before that. That alone could not have done it. That's really a stretch. Insulting to the people there, really. They had to learn that to rise up against a dictator? What that particular ambassador said? It hardly seems worth classifying, too.

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Response to treestar (Reply #15)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 02:08 AM

28. Ha ha ha ha ha.

Yeah, if something doesn't make the news dramatically, we all know it can't be very important.

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Response to treestar (Reply #2)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 03:43 PM

6. If you had any desire to know, you would look. Your history shows that what you will look for is,

 

should anybody bother to show some of the specifics, some way to pretend that the information doesn't count.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #6)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 04:24 PM

17. If you had specifics, you would cite them

I'm not falling for that old ruse. I can search and search and find nothing and you can just keep claiming I can't find it. Yet you claim it's so obvious.

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Response to treestar (Reply #17)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 01:35 AM

27. In your dreams, I don't do other people's work for free and I don't bother with fakers like you.

 

There are hundreds of diaries on Daily Kos alone from the times of the releases. But I'm happy to kick this thread again.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #6)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 02:11 AM

29. Well to be fair...

Sasha and Malia ARE very cute and Michelle is hawt.

The love affair between her and the president is great stuff. Way more fun to watch then the murdering of innocent children or American teenagers by secret order.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 03:41 PM

4. Well, we had better investigative journalism in the 1960s.

Not simple data dumping. So I would put my chances as better with the 1960s than now.

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Response to randome (Reply #4)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 05:21 PM

24. Yes, there was good investigative journalism in the 1960s,

but you had to seek it out. The mainstream media didn't start covering Vietnam in any depth until after LBJ had sent large numbers of troops there (mid-1960s). I used to subscribe to Viet Report and go to teach-ins at a college campus, just to find out something about what was going on.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 03:42 PM

5. All thinking people support Wikileaks' mission.

When we're asked to bow at the altar of Assange by the uncritical fanboy choir, things get a touch messier.

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Response to Robb (Reply #5)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 03:50 PM

8. "bow at the altar of Assange by the uncritical fanboy choir"? Somebody's projecting! LOL!

Robb, don't you think it's time to kick it up a notch and show us you're serious by posting in Swedish?

It's like your heart isn't in it.

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #8)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 03:58 PM

10. Truly, if you self-identify as an uncritical fanboy, I cannot help but have obliquely offended you.

A man's character is his fate, and so on. My apologies.

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Response to Robb (Reply #10)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 04:23 PM

14. Damn, that's deep-sounding. If I didn't have facts to rebut you with, I'd say shit like that too.

Again, though...I'm thinking better if you would have said it in Swedish.

I'm just sayin'. Nobody's saying you have to. But if you feel it, don't fight it.

If posting a one-liner subject and an image with a passive-agressive swipe helps, think of it as baby steps.

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 03:48 PM

7. Kind of an irrelevant question really

in 1964 there was no Internet. There were three national television networks. People still got most of their news from newspapers. And the Gulf of Tonkin incident wasn't so much made up out of whole cloth as based on mistaken reports by overeager commanders on the spot and flawed and conflicting intelligence assesments. It would have happened anyway.

Reinforced by Turner Joy, Herrick returned to the area on August 4. That night and morning, while cruising in heavy weather, the ships received radar, radio, and sonar reports that signaled another North Vietnamese attack. Taking evasive action, they fired on numerous radar targets. After the incident, Herrick was unsure that his ships had been attacked, reporting at 1:27 AM Washington time that "Freak weather effects on radar and overeager sonarmen may have accounted for many reports. No actual visual sightings by Maddox."

After suggesting a "complete evaluation" of the affair before taking further action, he radioed requesting a "thorough reconnaissance in daylight by aircraft." American aircraft flying over the scene during the "attack" failed to spot any North Vietnamese boats.

While there was some doubt in Washington regarding the second attack, those aboard Maddox and Turner Joy were convinced that it had occurred. This along with flawed signals intelligence from the National Security Agency led Johnson to order retaliatory airstrikes against North Vietnam. Launching on August 5, Operation Pierce Arrow saw aircraft from USS Ticonderoga and USS Constellation strike oil facilities at Vinh and attack approximately thirty North Vietnamese vessels.

http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/vietnamwar/p/gulfoftonkin.htm

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #7)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 03:59 PM

11. Admiral James Stockdale (later to be Perot's running mate in 1992) was flying over the

 

scene of the supposed 2nd attack and saw absolutely no sign whatsoever of any N. Vietnamese boats. Stockdale said he had the 'best seat in the house."

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 03:56 PM

9. Much as I like MM, the lie was NOT concocted "at the Pentagon." If any lie

 

was concocted, it was concocted at the White House. Accurate reporting of the supposed raid -- that it did not happen as originally reported -- was received at the Pentagon as soon as the day after the incident and relayed immediately to LBJ's White House. If the lie were 'concocted at the Pentagon,' it would mean that senior military officers lied to LBJ and his staff. No serious historian maintains this. Instead, the record convincingly shows, LBJ and his staff exerted pressure on the Pentagon to get after-action reports to confirm that the North Vietnamese had fired upon the Joy and the Maddox because LBJ needed to be able to prove that his retaliatory airstrikes had not been ordered on false pretexts.

I hold no warrant for the desk jockeys at the Pentagon, but history demands accuracy and precision.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #9)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 04:10 PM

12. well, somebody wanted a fucking war, and they got it.

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Response to KG (Reply #12)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 04:18 PM

13. Oh, I have no doubt that many of the Pentagon desk jockies 'wanted

 

a war.' In fact, as time has gone by, LBJ appears as a more and more tragic figure in the era, trapped by a war he never wanted but unable to allow himself to be the first president to 'lose' a war.

If you're interested, here's a transcript of a phone call between LBJ and Senator Richard Russell that bears on this:

https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/vietnam/lbjrr.htm

However, 'wanting a war' and 'concocting a lie' are two entirely separate matters.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 04:23 PM

16. What if?

No crying over spilled milk, but our world might be different today. I want transparency in our government. I just don't think there should be so many secrets. Perhaps for a short time if there is a real crisis. But it should be for a very short time.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 04:30 PM

18. if we had the internet then, Elsberg would be a "narcissistic fool"

who "loves the attention" and some way would have been made to stitch him up as a "rapist" and "coward" who won't face the music and all attention would be successfully diverted from the Pentagon Papers and onto Elsberg's character or "lack of it" because many seem to believe that the sensibilities of diplomats and what they say is somehow far more important than exposing the lies that lead to war and misery...

..and many would claim that Elsberg's disclosures had surely lead to the deaths of many Vietnamese who aided the USA (without being able to point to any actual proof of this) and the fact that tens of thousands of Americans died in Vietnam along with hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese was incidental.

If it was today many politicians and talking heads would openly call for the assassination of Elsberg without fear of condemnation.

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Response to Swagman (Reply #18)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 04:37 PM

20. Funny you should mention that- it was literally "Hunt/Liddy Special Project No. 1"

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 04:44 PM

22. This illustrates why freedom of speech and of the press is so critical to democracy. nt

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Sun Aug 19, 2012, 04:56 PM

23. Then Wikileaks would be said to be "on orders from Moscow"...

...just like they said about just about anything the conservatives back then didn't like.

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Response to JHB (Reply #23)

Mon Aug 20, 2012, 03:28 AM

30. Ain't that the truth

It's funny, but it was those accusations that led, inadvertently, to adoption of the Yippie catchphrase, "Don't trust anyone over 30." The original quote, from activist Jack Weinberg in the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley, was "We don't trust anyone over 30."


Credit where due. The phrasing "We don't trust anyone over thirty" came from Jack Weinberg, who was indeed among the leadership of the UC Berkeley Free Speech Movement. Jack was, in fact, the person arrested on Sproul Plaza for trespass on October 1, 1964, and the more or less spontaneous protest where we surrounded the police car in which he was held was the tipping-point event that led directly to all of the sit-ins and strike actions - and eventual victory - that followed.

The line was a throw-away intended as a dismissive to a reporter who was pestering Weinberg, trying to get him to confirm false rumors that the FSM was controlled by powerful Communists. The point was that the students were running things, young people, not a bunch of old men in the Kremlin, but an SF Chronicle reporter latched onto it and ran it as an attack on the American Establishment.

Other activists, including Jerry Rubin, Paul Krassner and Abbie Hoffman among many, in turn seized on it for just that purpose, using it repeatedly because it provoked such a virulent reaction by the Powerful. In that sense, I suppose, it could reasonably be called a "Yippie" catch-phrase.

Weinberg is, last I heard, still alive and still raising hell. Thanks be to him and to the new generation of "Robert Ericksons" for having the guts to stand up in person for truth and justice.

Posted by: Graham Firchlis | Nov 16, 2009 at 10:48 PM

This link ceased working a long time ago, but is included for reference:
http://www.bluestemprairie.com/bluestemprairie/2009/11/ruthiehendrycksfail.html



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