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GLOBAL-L  October 2010

GLOBAL-L October 2010

Subject:

Re: Gavin McFadyen on Wikileaks

From:

Lucy Komisar <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Thu, 28 Oct 2010 08:11:01 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (144 lines)

In all their talk about Iraqis who theoretically might be killed as the
result of the leaked documents, the critics ignore the tens of thousands who
already have been killed, and more who certainly will be killed, as the
result of the policies and practices described in the documents. And that
the leaked papers might force changes in politics and practices that would
save lives. Which was the goal.

Secondly, given the choice between documents without analysis (Wikileaks,
which in any event gave the documents to media outlets to analyze) and
analysis without documentation (most of what we read or see by the pundits
and Fox-style "news" media), I'll take the former.

It's quite important that journalists sign a considered statement of the
kind Mark has proposed.

Lucy Komisar
Freelance & thekomisarscoop.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Drew Sullivan [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2010 6:06 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [GLOBAL-L] Gavin McFadyen on Wikileaks

We all agree the documents should be released.  Most of us agree that the
documents should have been redacted. The rest is really logistics.  I don't
know what problems or issues Wikileaks faced. I imagine they were
formidable.  They've been sitting on these for months so it seems there was
enough time for them have redacted and released them.  Yet they are not
redacting. 

This was a big responsibility for Wikileaks.  But what they've done is the
worst of both worlds - not getting the documents out in a timely fashion and
not mitigating harm. This is hard to fathom given the history. 

I don't buy the arguments that we don't mitigate harm because the military
are a bunch of assholes or that this story is so big or the military is so
evil that it has got to get out. Releasing data and mitigating harm are not
mutually exclusive. 

Also, we don't know that people haven't been killed because of the release
of the documents.  

Someone might conclude Assange has been incompetent on the border of being
irresponsible but not knowing what he has faced I won't throw that stone.  

And for the record, I am not swayed by the US government or weak US media
coverage because I am not in the US but that is really insulting and pretty
ignorant. 

As far as the espionage charge, its bullsh&t. We have to defend the rights
of whistleblowers and those that post documents no matter how bad this has
been handled.  It's like defending Larry Flynt's right to free speech.   


******************************************************
Drew Sullivan
Advising Editor
Center for Investigative Reporting (www.cin.ba)
Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (www.reportingproject.net) 
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
[log in to unmask]
+387 33 560 042 (office)
+387 61 139 403 (mobile) 

-----Original Message-----
From: HUNTER Mark [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2010 7:27 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [GLOBAL-L] Gavin McFadyen on Wikileaks

Hello all, Gavin McFadyen from London sent me the following, says our server
is blocking his messages:

"Yes, its true the original materials from Afghanistan were incompletely
redacted by WikiLeaks. That lesson was clearly learned in the subsequent and
vast release of the Iraq war logs by the NYT, the Guardian, Der Spieigel and
the Bureau of Investigative Journalism & Channel 4 in the UK. That criticism
resulted in what to anyone is a vast redaction -so the criticism was
apparently taken seriously and appears successful.  It was they argued the
first time researchers had encountered such an extensive and difficult trove
of documents in often difficult military language.  It's their importance,
however, which seems oddly unrepresented in the criticism. The documents
reveal that contrary to government assertions, the killing and maiming
civilians was in the tens of thousands, which includes the nauseating
torture by our trainees and allies - US troops reporting the use of electric
drills on children.  

A llttle perspective may be in order here.  Though not one person has been
injured or killed as a result of the Afghanistan documents, the release of
them with insufficient redaction was lamentable and has not been repeated.
But surely the factual reporting of major undisputed abuses and crimes,
including the shooting of innocents, the torture and killing of prisoners,
and the machine gunning of journalists has some value to investigative
reporters and to a society that values transparency and accountability. 

"The view that there is no difference between personal data, like between
you and your doctor, and information about mass killing of civilians,
handing over prisoners to be tortured, is disturbing.  Where is the
perspective? Or is it a reflect to always support the military no matter
what...?"
 

Best to all,

Mark Lee Hunter
Adjunct Professor and Senior Research Fellow, INSEAD Docteur en Sciences de
l'Information de l'Université de Paris 2
Portable: (+33) [0]6 27 81 00 87




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