Jon Stewart explains Wikileaks’ Cablegate

December 2, 2010  |  Data Sources, News

You've probably already heard and read about Wikileaks' Cablegate. If not, Andy Baio has a fine roundup with significant coverage and events to get you caught up quick. Alternatively, you can watch Jon Stewart and The Daily Show explain in the clip below (slightly NSFW, because it mentions a body part).

Personally, I haven't decided how I feel about the whole thing. I'm all for government transparency, but there's no need to put everything out there. And as data is captured and released, who and what do we trust? Do we trust the data? Do trust the government? Do we trust the people hacking their way through confidential files? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

[Daily Show via @kevinweil]

14 Comments

  • So frustrated. We aren’t at war with anyone?!! What are we doing if we can’t be proud of ourselves, how we act and what we say? So frustrated.

  • Similarly torn–it’s clear that Assange believes that he’s taking on a corrupt shadow government. Is he right? Who knows!

  • It’s a tough scenario. You never want to see leaked info that might get military or government people killed while abroad.

    But since we are, at least in theory, supposed to know the truth but the truth — especially if Assange’s data can really take down a Too Big To Fail bank — becomes treasonous, we’re living in scary times.

    • I’m with Matt.

      We are citizens. If we take the duties of citizenship seriously, we need to know what our government (not a shadow government, OUR government) is actually doing in our names. If our agents are hiding their actions from us with no real justification, then the system has run amok and needs to be corrected. If they are using their power to prop up “too big to fail” banks to save the few uber-wealthy at the expense of the rest of us, then they need to be exposed and corrected. Few and far between should be the facts kept from we the people.

      Scary times indeed.

      • Do I really have to point out that Assange is not a US citizen? By definition, nothing he does can be treasonous.

      • @Steve – I think Matt meant that the banks are treasonous. If the data Assange releases can really take ‘em down, then obviously the data would have to contain proof of guilt or wrong-doing of some type. In other words, the truth about the banks is that the banks become treasonous if we had real information to judge it by – not just what the banks and governments want us to believe.

  • Sebastian Hamm December 6, 2010 at 2:04 am

    “but there’s no need to put everything out there”

    … but if they do, could they please put it out in csv so we can make some nice graphics?

  • I think the cables are OK as long as precaution is taken in protecting the identities of agents and informants who may or may not be voluntarily making huge sacrifices and taking dangerous risks. I have heard that Wikileaks does omit names of informants but I don’t know if I really trust Assange to be execute this precaution properly and consistently.

    That said, even as an American citizen, I do believe government secrecy has gotten wildly out of control and the insanity must stop. That’s not an easy job to expose the facts and the person who does it will not win any popularity contests (apparently) but somebody has to do it.

    However, I don’t know why Assange hasn’t released the password to the “doomsday file”. If he was all for government transparency, why hold back? Its for this reason that I can’t completely trust Assange. I’m not saying I know either way, but one has to acknowledge that the man may be full of boloney to a point.

    • It might be worth considering that Wikileaks did approach the US government for guidance on how to safely disclose this information. They got no response.

      • Good. Still, response or no response, they better be careful. If people start getting killed over what is released on Wikileaks, its going to get really ugly. Like, out of control ugly.

        I’m not saying this is a reason to shut down Wikileaks because I don’t think anybody should be shutting down wikileaks or any website for telling the truth. I just hope that the people in charge of wikileaks data are being damn careful.

        Enough people have already been killed already. We don’t need to add to the total body count when it could have been easily avoided.

  • IndoctriNation February 26, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    “who and what do we trust? Do we trust the data? Do trust the government? Do we trust the people hacking their way through confidential files?”

    I pretty much think, seeing as the US has put down Julian as one of their top-most wanted people, Julian isn’t the one that releases lies and made-up information… The US government is the one exposing lies… For all the time they’ve been ‘government’… The people SHOULD support Julian… The people SHOULD open their eyes… We SHOULD rise up…

  • Every one goes on that he may get people killed with leaked names but we would never be aware of the Apache footage and many other atrocities. I know who the criminals are.

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