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Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:06 AM

What went wrong with WikiLeaks

By Joshua E. Keating
Fri Aug 17 2012 11:39:00

... One mistake WikiLeaks has made is that, over time, it has allowed itself to be associated with a particular political agenda notably Assange's ...

Assange also hasn't improved his credibility with his TV talk show, "The World Tomorrow" particularly with its first episode, a softball interview with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. It doesn't help that the show is aired by RT (formerly Russia Today), a network funded by the Russian government. And in an ironic twist, the transparency advocate has now cast his lot with Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, a past "World Tomorrow" guest and a leader with a less-than-sterling record on press freedom ...

Assange could have combated the charge of double standards by leaking some material about a government hostile to the United States, such as China or Russia. In October 2010, he promised in an interview with the Russian paper Izvestia, "We have about Russia, about your government and businessmen. . . . But not as much as we'd like. . . . We will publish these materials soon. . . . We are helped by the Americans, who pass on a lot of material about Russia." But "Kremlingate" has never materialized, which suggests either that it wasn't a major priority for WikiLeaks or that Assange was bluffing.

Overpromising on leaks the site can't deliver, as well as overhyping the ones it can, has been another hallmark of Assange's work ...

http://www.thespec.com/news/world/article/782250--what-went-wrong-with-wikileaks

26 replies, 3371 views

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Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply What went wrong with WikiLeaks (Original post)
struggle4progress Sep 2012 OP
AnotherMcIntosh Sep 2012 #1
jberryhill Sep 2012 #2
AnotherMcIntosh Sep 2012 #3
jberryhill Sep 2012 #4
AnotherMcIntosh Sep 2012 #5
struggle4progress Sep 2012 #6
AnotherMcIntosh Sep 2012 #7
truth2power Sep 2012 #25
jberryhill Sep 2012 #10
AnotherMcIntosh Sep 2012 #12
jberryhill Sep 2012 #13
AnotherMcIntosh Sep 2012 #15
jberryhill Sep 2012 #17
jberryhill Sep 2012 #11
truth2power Sep 2012 #23
fasttense Sep 2012 #8
bemildred Sep 2012 #9
yurbud Sep 2012 #14
struggle4progress Sep 2012 #16
yurbud Sep 2012 #18
struggle4progress Sep 2012 #22
woofwoof01 Sep 2012 #19
unc70 Sep 2012 #20
struggle4progress Sep 2012 #21
truth2power Sep 2012 #24
AnotherMcIntosh Sep 2012 #26

Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 02:18 AM

1. Is your question based upon a "loaded question" fallacy or a "begging the question" fallacy?

 

From Wikipedia:
A loaded question (fallacy) is a question which contains a controversial or unjustified assumption (e.g., a presumption of guilt).

Aside from being a logical fallacy, such questions may be used as a rhetorical tool: the question attempts to limit direct replies to be those that serve the questioner's agenda. The traditional example is the question "Have you stopped beating your wife?" Whether the respondent answers yes or no, he will admit to having a wife, and having beaten her at some time in the past. Thus, these facts are presupposed by the question, and in this case an entrapment, because it narrows the respondent to a single answer, and the fallacy of many questions has been committed. The fallacy relies upon context for its effect: the fact that a question presupposes something does not in itself make the question fallacious. Only when some of these presuppositions are not necessarily agreed to by the person who is asked the question does the argument containing them become fallacious. Hence the same question may be loaded in one context, but not in the other. For example the previous question would not be loaded if it was asked during a trial in which the defendant has already admitted to beating his wife.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loaded_question

Begging the question ... is a type of logical fallacy in which a proposition relies on an implicit premise within itself to establish the truth of that same proposition. In other words, it is a statement that refers to its own assertion to prove the assertion. Such arguments are essentially of the form "a is true because a is true" though rarely is such an argument stated as such. Often the premise 'a' is only one of many premises that go into proving that 'a' is true as a conclusion.
...
The fallacy of ... "begging the question" is committed "when a proposition which requires proof is assumed without proof", or more generally denotes when an assumption is used, "in some form of the very proposition to be proved, as a premise from which to deduce it". (The the fallacy) refers to arguing for a conclusion that has already been assumed in the premise, this fallacy consists of "begging" the listener to accept the "question" (proposition) before the labor of logic is undertaken. The fallacy may be committed in various ways.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question


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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 03:00 AM

2. What question?


From the article, I gather that "What went wrong with Wikileaks" is not posed as a question. It is a declarative description of the content of the article.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #2)


Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #3)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 03:26 AM

4. The article supports the "question"

Whether one agrees with the article or not is another matter. But if you are simply discussing structure here, then it is quite clear that the article purports to describe things which the author believes are wrong with Wikileaks.

To then take the title as a rhetorical device posed as a question with no question mark, seems to ignore an additional fact available to you in resolving the type of statement embodied in the title - I.e. that the article to which it is attached purports to describe things which are wrong with Wikileaks.

Even if understood as a question, the "question" is an invitation to read the article for an answer to that question.

Again, whether one agrees with the article is another matter, but to say that the title, standing alone, embodies a logical fallacy of one kind or another by assumption of a proposition is to miss the glaring fact that the article endeavors to provide support for the proposition.

Duh.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #4)


Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #5)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 04:17 AM

6. "Quelle horreur! Somebody posts something I disagree with! Whatever shall I do?"

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #6)


Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #7)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 09:21 AM

25. Yep...

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #5)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 09:13 AM

10. Yes, but...


If an article is written with the title:

"Why did the children put beans in their ears?"

And the article went on to explain why the children put beans in their ears, then it is a piss-poor objection to say:

"The title is a cheap rhetorical device to have us assume the children put beans in their ears!"

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #10)


Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #12)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 12:27 PM

13. Regardless


In the event of an article on the topic of "Why did the children put beans in their ears?" your complaint would amount to it being a "fallacy" that the question assumes the children put beans in their ears.

It is a silly criticism.


WHY DID THE CHILDREN PUT BEANS IN THEIR EARS?

"Why did the children
put beans in their ears
when the one thing we told the children
they must not do
was put beans in their ears?

"Why did the children
pour molasses on the cat
when the one thing we told the children
they must not do
was pour molasses on the cat?"


---CARL SANDBURG

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #13)


Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #15)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 01:42 PM

17. Oh good golly....



If an article is entitled:

"Why did the children put beans in their ears?"

And the text of the article is:

"Children put beans in their ears for several reasons. We surveyed 100 children who put beans in their ears to determine why they did it. The primary reason why children put beans in their ears is due to oppositional behavior in response to being told not to. Such oppositional behavior in children - i.e. doing things for no reason other than they have been told not to - is an important milestone in testing and developing an independent identity."

Again, the larger point here is that the article title is a descriptor of the content of the article. You have not made one comment on the contents of the article in question, but dismiss the title as a "logical fallacy".

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #5)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 11:11 AM

11. "Apparently, in your view, all readers should assume that as well"


That has got to be one of the most simplistic things I have ever seen.

When I see a title, or an article, expressing an opinion, what I assume is that it is the author's opinion.

My goodness, I don't know how you manage to avoid a coronary over things like "Why Barack Obama doesn't deserve to be re-elected" in order to resist being irresistibly hypnotized into thinking Barack Obama should not be re-elected.

Your argument reduces to "It is a rhetorical ploy for someone to disagree with me."

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 09:14 AM

23. "...daily anti-Assange post..." just about covers it.

*yawn*

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 08:18 AM

8. I find it amazing that people

who put up anti-Assange articles get all bent out of shape because Assange does not go after former or current Communist countries. Yet daily we get soaked with Communist China products and food without a word from the main stream media. It seems Anti-Assange people want perfection yet are willing to take all sorts of crap from the mainstream media.

I think they set up a double standard.

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 08:45 AM

9. Why is this moron speaking in the past tense?

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 12:34 PM

14. when does the flood of these kind of posts add up to a PR firm troll?

Honest to god, at some point, this goes from being mildly amusing to a pathetic embarrassment to DU, like allowing a flood of global warming deniers or something.

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Response to yurbud (Reply #14)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 12:59 PM

16. Maybe you should rethink your support for Wikileaks if global warming deniers embarrass you

Remember "Climategate"?

Remember how the global warming deniers scuttled the Copenhagen summit, with day after day of noisy outrage over phony scandals based on the emails from the University of East Anglia?

Now let's remember who released those emails! Wikileaks!

It is embarrassing to see DUers put the organization on a pedestal

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #16)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 07:11 PM

18. you don't like that one particular leak so the principle of transparency is bad?

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Response to yurbud (Reply #18)

Wed Sep 5, 2012, 07:25 AM

22. Since you mentioned PR firm trolls and global warming deniers, I thought I'd point out the

role Wikileaks played in "Climategate" -- which (you may recall) was a huge phony scandal run by PR firm trolls denying global warming

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Sep 4, 2012, 08:04 PM

19. nothing..

 

went wrong with wikileaks, what went wrong is that weak willed people began to believe the Bush doctrine: screw free speech if you're not with "us". Our forefathers always knew that it would cut both ways and (rightly) realised it was a worthwhile concept.

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Wed Sep 5, 2012, 05:54 AM

20. Not a "Good Read". More like a concern troll on DU, or a planted disinfo story

In addition to the issues described in earlier replies, there is the general problem with Mr. Keating's work. With the disclaimer that this is "opinion" he routinely implies as facts things that are at best as beliefs, opinions, or theories

Just how has WikiLeaks "allowed itself to be associated..." and in whose mind and based on what? Allowed by what action? What topics are off limits?

Another question one might ask of Mr. Keating is why has the Washington Post (which owns Foreign Policy) not seemed interested of late in writing about or publishing further documents being released by WikiLeaks?

Foreign Policy magazine and its parent, The Washington Post, are widely seen as representing the views of the very rich and powerful, both those in the government and those not. The WP has had a close relationship with the intelligence agencies since the 1930's, particularly with the CIA.

Katherine Graham's father, Eugene Meyer, bought in bankruptcy the WP in 1933 to make sure Wall Street had a voice in Washington. Meyer was a very wealthy banker and industrialist, with held a variety of government appointments. Meyer was Chairman of the Federal Reserve under Hoover and later the first President of the World Bank.

Katherine's husband, Phil Graham, had been in Naval Intelligence during WWII. After the war, he returned to the Post where he was enlisted by the CIA on of the leaders in Operation Mockingbird, which put roughly 3,000 reporters and columnist worldwide in the employ of the CIA. Although against the law since the 1970's, the CIA and others still operate large networks of "journalists" who plant stories, sometimes keep things unreported, and generally disrupt, discredit, confuse, or otherwise mislead groups domestic and foreign. Phil's younger half-brother is Bob Graham who was Senator from Florida and Chair of the Intelligence Committee.

Many of the articles regarding Assange show tell-tale signs of being part of a disinfo operation. Presumptive "facts" inserted 3-5 paragraphs down in a story about something else, maybe as an aside or a barely related anecdote. Enough info to satisfy someone doing a quick verify, but lacking enough details to determine if it is really true. We have discussed these a lot here, regarding things like the Irag war, Valerie Plame, the banking crisis, etc.

Here is a link to an exmple of how Keating's story is being interpreted around the world.

http://hameed247.blogspot.com/2012/08/standing-up-for-assange_27.html

For anyone who is new to these topics, search on these topics (Some of the Wiki's appear to have been scrubbed 1-3 years ago. Discussions on DU2 archive may have more details.):

Operation Mockingbird, Ben Bradlee, Katherine Graham, Phil Graham, Mary Pinchot Meyer, Cord Meyer

Operation Gladio, Operation Northwoods, Operation Condor

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Response to unc70 (Reply #20)

Wed Sep 5, 2012, 07:22 AM

21. It is peculiar how support for Wikileaks has become, in some quarters, a surrogate

and substitute for any other analysis: the thinking seems to be that if one does not ooh! and aah! over Mr Assange and his largely defunct organization, then one must be either (1) a mindless stooge with no understanding of how American power has been misused repeatedly since WWII or (2) an amoral shill for some still nameless interest group

At this point, of course, very little is needed to explain why Wikileaks has fallen from the front page. Assange's histrionics alienated many of his media partners; after the organizational split in late 2010, Assange no longer had access to the secure submission software that originally defined the organization; and Wikileaks had in any case developed a bit of a record for promising what they could not deliver. So the media found Wikileaks unpleasant to work with, as well as unreliable -- and with almost nothing new coming from them anyway, there's little incentive to pay much attention to them

Nor is any great conspiracy is needed to discredit Assange: his own history by now has exposed quite some substantial character flaws. It is apparently regarded, in certain quarters, as rude even to mention these, but they are well-documented. He has been willing to pretend to ready to make significant revelations, that he was not really in any position to make, motivated by the media storm that his threats create -- and he has done that more than once. He is quite callous about the fall-out from his leaks: when people die, he says they should have been more careful; when warned people might die, he says it is their own fault -- and, again, there are multiple independently-documented examples. He has a tendency to engage in activities that begin to resemble blackmail -- and, once again, this can be said of more than one incident. What I find strange is the cult of hero-worship, according to which one simply must not notice any of this unattractive behavior but must instead pay constant homage to the alleged greatness of the man

No doubt there are interesting stories about those various Meyers, that could perhaps stimulate our thinking somewhat -- but Eugene Meyer has been dead over fifty years, Mary Pinchot Meyer almost fifty, and even Cord Meyer has been gone more than a decade, so nothing about them can be immediately and directly relevant to Wikileaks, which was founded around 2006

If you are interested in complicated stories, I might suggest you look at this post of mine, being sure to click and read the links; I mention it because it has some reference to Operation Condor

Argentina's ambassador to the UK badly needs a history lesson
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021244276

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Response to unc70 (Reply #20)

Thu Sep 6, 2012, 09:19 AM

24. Thanks for taking the time to flesh this out, unc70.

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