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back to article Wikileaks: Berlusconi useless, Pope Catholic

The release today of leaked US State Department cables is unlikely, despite some media claims, to shake western democracy to the very foundation of sub-prime mortgages on which it stands. Among the Wikileaks shockers are the descriptions of Silvio Berlusconi as "feckless, vain, and ineffective as a modern European leader", …

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Alert

Meanwhile...

In woods everywhere, bears are shaking* themselves waiting for the next revelation.

*typo.

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Where the hell were these memos gleaned from?

some of this stuff sounds like the sort of thing one person says to another when they are having a piss in the gents. Hardly the sort of "leak" i was expecting!

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Joke

Re: SuperTim

How dare you question the great Assange? These gossipy tid-bits are crucial to the survival and proper functioning of Open Democracies!

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Happy

Never a truer word...

...spoken in jest!

Without shite like this, the circulations of magazines like OK and Hello, plus all the red-top papers and finally the shitty ITV reality and celeb gossip shows, would just crumble pulling civilization to its knees!

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It may be useful to some

Do not be fooled, there is a better explanation of this here:

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2010/11/just-what-is-wikileaks-aim.html

The rest is smoke and mirrors by various players.

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Royalty

It's good to know that Prince Philip has passed on his ability to speak plainly and commit diplomatic gaffes. Hopefully Prince Andrew will be at least as successful as his father in this respect.

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Prince Andrew

Hardly ever speaks publicly so this is all for nought...

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Reckless

Whilst it appears that most of the leaked documents are indeed very mundane it still cannot disguise the fact that the actions of Wikileaks are reckless. Assange should be charged with treason.

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FAIL

Er

So you don't actually know what treason is then?

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Anonymous Coward

Treason

Treason against what? He isn't American.

Also, treason is bollocks anyway - you should be more harshly punished because you operated against the interests of your own government? What happens when the interests or the government change - suddenly you are innocent again? A crime (if there is one) should be prosecuted as the actual crime regardless of who it is committed against.

/Unexpected treason rant

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Anonymous Coward

Treason?

So how do you propose to charge an Australian who's partly responsible for releasing US classified info with treason?

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title

Treason? how? he's Australian is he not?

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Difficult

I would imagine he would need to be American to be charged with treason, since these are American documents.. He isn't.

Mind, he probably shouldn't go to the States in the near future. Now that would be reckless.

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Troll

Reckless indeed.

Sharing a ragbag mix of diplomatic gossip and sensitive details across a network the size of the planet was (is?) indeed reckless; and that's what the US was (is?) doing.

Cowboy mentality.

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Treason?

The aspect of Treason that describes this behaviour would be -

(f) engages in conduct that assists by any means whatever, with intent to assist:

(i) another country; or

(ii) an organisation;

Seems clear enough this leak hasn’t just affected the US, but lots of other countries almost certainly including Australia.

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And?

Quote:

The aspect of Treason that describes this behaviour would be -

(f) engages in conduct that assists by any means whatever, with intent to assist:

(i) another country; or

(ii) an organisation;

Seems clear enough this leak hasn’t just affected the US, but lots of other countries almost certainly including Australia.

/Quote

To what?

Have a Tea Dance?

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Coat

Lovely! Pure delightful

American legalese.

Couple this with "It's moral because we're doing it!" and you'll never need any further explanations again, ever.

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@Titus re. Treason

Titus, thank you for confirming that you really don't know what the crime of 'treason' is. We all suspected this and wondered, but now we can stop thinking about it.

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And *that* . . .

. . . is how you troll, ladies and gentlemen.

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Anonymous Coward

Agreed

Wikileaks raised my expectations way high, and only released a bunch of pointless gay banter. I feel betrayed indeed. What am I supposed to do with this spanking new tinfoil hat I bought on eBay? Cost me a fortune, but then it did have the extra mind-waves blocking device. I'll have to wait for the next leak announcement to quickly flog it back.

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Big Brother

I wonder if the leaker could be charged with treason?

However, I think the deep issue here is whether or not secrecy itself can survive as a concept in this computerized age. Obviously Facebook thinks not, but how much of your personal data will be shared before you can't stand it? Will we see mass epidemics of suicides from public shaming? Will privacy become the most valuable luxury good available only to the super-rich?

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Or..

will we see a mass rejection of computer systems and modern communications?

No, I don't think so either, although it is not a long step to see that the most sensitive information may be declared not to be stored electronically, I suppose at least you can eat or burn paper...

I think we are moving to the the transparent society that the SF author David Brin have been banging on about for years, where it becomes impossible (and eventually illegal) to keep secrets.

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Big Brother

Re: I wonder if the leaker could be charged with treason?

Google for "human search engine china" and read about the stories - some uplifting, some horrible - of mass online searches by tens of thousands of people in China. Mass computerization and the fading of privacy is already changing things, and where it will end up is something we should be thinking about.

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Why?

The cut and pasted copy of the treason laws were Australian.

Just as an aside I have friends who have been to both Afghanistan and Iraq. I have family who may now be posted to Afghanistan. How come so many people who comment on here support Assange, and Wikileaks releasing operational data?

I find some of the revelations de rigueur, British Royals upsetting foreigners, Americans wanting to spy on the world and his dog etc. I find some of the leaks interesting e.g. China and North Korea. The leak about Saudi Arabia and Iran puts the US position in the Middle East in a much better light. But I could live without this knowledge to ensure the safety of my friends and family.

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Happy

Fact is many US so-called "Intelligentia" are not...

Those being commented on are obviously redneck Wallys who if you gave them a half a brain would have half a brain. They've opened their mouths with a little terse commentary about others from different countries & have been caught out. If we got the same info from another country regarding the rednecked Americans you'd be outraged but that's all. A pathetic excuse for getting upset about it & really comical.

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Pint

This needs a competition...

State Department officials repeatedly warned against having themes from The Third Man, The 39 Steps or any James Bond film as ringtones.

Robert Mugabe's barber was a CIA agent tasked with "subliminal tonsorial subversion"

Monthly diplomatic bulletins from Vanuatu and Tuvalu were identical for 3 years before anyone noticed.

At least one document ending with "hope this doesn't end up on wikileaks. Lolz"

Plans to smear media company using a biscuit-based sex scandal.

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Go

My entries

Not everyone wants to be an American.

Most people think that the invasion of Iraq was illegal.

Nobody else's' army wants to go into action in front of ours.

Pancakes are not a healthy breakfast food.

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combine 2 stories

"witch of the latest batch of new secraty of states are the hottest these are my top 13 picks"

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Alien

again.....

are these for real????

I'm convinced the CIA is producing these leaks

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What are you on about?

The *real* eye opener was that numerous Arab governments have encouraged the US to attack Iran, something which your story seems to have passed over!

Agreed, an awful lot of the rest falls into the 'bleedin obvious' category, but that one definitely is not. Even if it could have been guessed-at, the number of different governments doing this is a big surprise and the information will have major repercussions.

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Boffin

Actually,

Sunni Arabia wanting someone to attack Shiite Persia definitely does fall pretty squarely into the 'bleedin obvious' category.

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WTF?

Re: What are you on about?

Eh? That most of the Arab world wants the US to dismember Iran is an eye opener? Seemed pretty blatantly obvious to me. Where've you been living? Ah... in some imaginary world where war doesn't exist and we can all co-exist peacefully so disarm? Sheesh.

Here's another newsflash - Venezuelans would love the US to come in and remove Chavez.

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Black Helicopters

Oh, come on!

The presence of such "revelations" amongst these "leaks", so perfectly lined up with ongoing US/Israel policy, is precisely why some of us don't believe a word of any of it.

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Paris Hilton

No, that was not an eye-opener.

It *was* bleeding obvious. Even if you hadn't heard the rumblings about it before, the "everybody hates everybody else" mentality of the region should have made that perfectly clear.

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Not that surprised really

I've studied just a little history of that region and wasn't surprised at all by those revelations. Much like christians these guys are Saudis and Iraqis before they are Muslims. There's a history inter-regional strife down there that dates back to at least before Napoleon (that I know of) and would assume probably date back to Rome and before.

And I think the Brits should especially appreciate any attempt to convince two nations you are hostile towards (both culturally and politically) to go to war with each other. Either way you're coming up roses.

So in short not only am I not surprised by their encouragement but consider it incredibly hostile to both the U.S. and Iran.

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Joke

Really

I mean, teh Arabs are wanting to kick Irans butts but what on earth would such nations give back to the good old USA, i cant begin to imagin what it is,.....sand perhaps, you know help rebuild some of those nice beaches they have over there...... who knows hey! :)

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Welcome

Beaches

No, really, thanks to the combined effects of the "Green Movement" and various erosion protection plans, we really do need the sand on some of our beaches,

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Happy

RE: Actually,

I think the dig here is at those that have posted moronic bilge in other Reg forums, maintaining that Merkin foreign policy is just to kill brown people at every opportunity, when the truth is we have brown people begging said Merkns to kill other brown people and the US saying "no". What's the betting we won't see any of those idiots posting about these leaks soon?

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Unhappy

@ AC Monday 29th November 2010 21:22 GMT

"That most of the Arab world wants the US to dismember Iran is an eye opener? "

Perhaps it's not an eye opener for you. I'm sure it will be for most of the population of Muslim countries. Even if many suspected this, having 'proof' is very important. This will have lots of consequences.

The - already big- gap between Shiites and Sunnites will grow enormously. On the other hand they'll have to stop using the crappy "Muslim brotherhood" rhetoric. Who knows?Due to their public opinions pressure, they may even have to change their policies radically, and acquire some tolerance and democracy* in the process. One can always dream...

You remember that old meme that goes something like 'They know that we know, that they know...'. Governments are always playing this kind of games, which are chaotic with just a few players. Wikileaks has added many more players to the game and by doing so they have changed the rules.

Kudos to them

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Here's another newsflash - Venezuelans would love the US to come in and remove Chavez."

Chavez is a populist dictator, and he knows his trade so well that he has yet significant popular support after many years and many errors.

*Note: by 'more democracy' I mean things like human rights, transparent government, separation of religion and state... you know, all those values that once were abundant in our western democracies.

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um?

You should study chronology while you're at it. Particularlly the part about calendars, years, and dating of events.

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FAIL

leave Nero BERLUSCONI alone

A corrupt ineffective Italian leader? Can't be, no way, such things never happen.

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FAIL

Hurr! Durr!

The Lesterlowski twins are expecting the actual memos of Cigarette Smoking Man from WikiLeaks right now, otherwise they throw a ridiculous tantrum?

Go back to your tired Dan Brown novels, both of you.

In case you missed it, these are just the memos of overpaid government employees who are pulling us into directions unwanted by a dog leash around our necks.

But we knew that since at least Tony The Bliar, s'truth.

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This type of disclosure...

... was typically justified in that it EXPOSED Treason. It never even gets close to that. It is more like the USA secret-keeping mechanism got punked.

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Happy

Gordon Brown

Did we really need top secret memos to tell us Gordon Brown is a bit unhinged?

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Re: Gordon Brown

Please withdraw your comment. Don't you know that information is a threat to national security?

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Boffin

Own medicine?

"If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear."

Well that's what these Govs have been ramming down our throats since the post 9/11 security clamp-down debacle.

I wonder if they still believe this utter crap statement to be true?

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My thoughts exactly.

Hoisted on your own petard.

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FAIL

Hell hath no fury...

...like a hack upstaged.

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Major problem

Now the Pope is only 'probably' Catholic I will need to stop using my 'Is the Pope Catholic... does the bear shit in the woods'... statement when I am emphasising the answer is obviously yes - because now the americans will have it that the answer is only probably. Amazing these people are able to decide the fate of other countries...

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I'm interested in...

Only a little of what has hit the headlines recently fits into the interesting category for me yet. Although half the middle east asking the US to bomb Iran is interesting if not unexpected (the Saudi's did invite the huge military presence to be in their country, largely contributing to the unease which fed Al-Qaeda's rise). I want to see some more subtle stuff which may or may not be in the documents being released. For example official UK/US correspondence during the Falkland's Conflict. Or how the US dealt with their refusal to allow US service personnel to testify at inquiries into friendly fire incidents.

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