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The Media News

WikiLeaks Will Unveil Major Bank Scandal 1018

Atmanman writes "When WikiLeaks announced it was releasing 251,287 US diplomatic cables, we all thought we knew what was meant by its earlier ominous words that, 'The coming months will see a new world, where global history is redefined.' It now appears the organization is sitting on a treasure trove of information so big that it has stopped taking submissions. Among data to be released are tens of thousands of documents from a major US banking firm and material from pharmaceutical companies, finance firms and energy companies."
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WikiLeaks Will Unveil Major Bank Scandal

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  • So... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:02PM (#34393500)
    ...a lot of people recently said that Wikileaks has become an anti-US organization. We should probably wait and see what they actually release, but perhaps this news shows otherwise? Or is the fact that they are going to release data on US based corporations just going to be viewed as more evidence of an anti-US sentiment?
    • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <(eldavojohn) (at) (> on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:07PM (#34393590) Journal

      ...a lot of people recently said that Wikileaks has become an anti-US organization. We should probably wait and see what they actually release, but perhaps this news shows otherwise? Or is the fact that they are going to release data on US based corporations just going to be viewed as more evidence of an anti-US sentiment?

      You should probably clarify that you meant anti-US government as they might actually be providing the citizens a lot more transparency than previously thought possible. When a US company is targeted, both the government and the people might be happy -- especially if it's tax evasion or violation of laws. Here's a good snippet when they run down which industries they might have dirt on:

      Continuing then: The tech industry?

      We have some material on spying by a major government on the tech industry. Industrial espionage.

      U.S.? China?

      The U.S. is one of the victims.

      I'm going to go out on a limb and say that everyone would like the offenders of industrial espionage to be dragged out in the open. Especially the United States government.

      Anti-US, pro-US, who cares? This is going to get interesting and the knife is going to cut everybody.

      I'm really going to break down laughing if Wikileaks hosts dirt on Amazon, their knew hosting provider with EC2 []!

    • Re:So... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:09PM (#34393634)

      ...a lot of people recently said that Wikileaks has become an anti-US organization.

      Well, reality has a well established liberal bias.

      Or is the fact that they are going to release data on US based corporations just going to be viewed as more evidence of an anti-US sentiment?

      Well, or you could point out how the US's drive for globalization and (what they call) "free trade" is basically destroying everybody's economy because it's largely predicated on utterly meaningless economic theory. It's a race to the bottom, and apparently nobody has figured this out.

      It was the banking practices of US banks which directly caused the financial crisis, because they mixed up the imaginary, funny-money (bad US consumer debt) with the real money. And, when people discovered the funny-money had no value, the value of the real money tanked because it was now based on the funny money. The US essentially commoditized and exported bankruptcy.

      That's right America, it's your fucking fault.

      • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionar ... m ['oo.' in gap]> on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:30PM (#34394080) Journal

        American Exceptionalism is the sadly more and more common belief that America, by its very nature, can do no wrong. It is Manifest Destiny written on a global scale. When we kill, torture, rape and rob, it is okay because what we do is for the Highest Good, therefore, if we torture, it must be the right thing to do. When we spy on other countries and interfere in their internal affairs, it is for their own good. If we do it, it is right, just, good, and in fact, both necessary and Fated to Happen. We are God's chosen, his favorites, just look at the evidence: would he have made us the best, richest, most powerful nation on Earth if we weren't his special favorites? God Bless America, and no one else!

        This is what a growing number of Americans seem to believe. Scream and yell all you want. We don't hear you because we don't have to listen. That is one of the perks of being powerful, you simply do not have to listen to or pay attention to most of your detractors because they are not living in the same world as you are.

    • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by doconnor ( 134648 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:15PM (#34393744) Homepage

      Complaining that Wikileaks is anti-US is really an ad hominem argument. Just because they may be anti-US, doesn't mean what they have revealed it any less legitimate.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Zocalo ( 252965 )
        Also, they can only reveal information that they have been given. So far that much of that has been largely directed at the US Government could just be down to that being all they had at the time.

        Personally, I can't wait to see how major financial, energy and pharma companies have been shafting the general public, because apart from "Big Tobacco" and the media cartels I can't think of any more deceitful and greedy corporate scumbags out there. My only concern, and a seriously major one at that, is tha
      • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by flyingsquid ( 813711 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:49PM (#34394514)
        One of the revelations that emerged was that China is in favor of a unified Korea- under the control of Seoul. In other words, when push comes to shove they're hoping for the North Korean regime to fall. Given that the North Koreans have recently been torpedoing South Korean warships and shelling South Korean soil, this is an extremely provocative revelation. Maybe its the bitch-slap that North Korea needs to push them to the negotiating table... or maybe it's what finally sends their paranoid regime over the edge and provokes military action. It's damn risky, foolhardy, and irresponsible to release this kind of information.

        Furthermore, the majority of the communications are the legitimate, legal business of the U.S. governments pursuit of peaceful relations. Releasing these documents threatens alliances and negotiations, in the same way that blabbing all your friends' secrets hurts your relationships. People won't talk with our diplomats if they can't do so confidentially. How, exactly, does undermining the legitimate, peaceful diplomacy of the U.S. and other western powers make the world a better place?

        And consider that the release of these communications could ruin a lot of careers- not because of unethical activity, just because someone doing their job said something privately that shouldn't be said publicly.

        If Wikileaks wants to expose corruption and abuse of power, great. Why release everything else? There's a role for confidentiality. Would you want Wikileaks releasing your personal and business emails, financial information, and medical records just because someone, somewhere, might find evidence that you've been up to no good?

    • Well kinda depends (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 )

      If it ends up that the new leaks target all kinds of banks and companies, then no. If they are all conveniently US banks and companies, then I'd say that lends some credence to the anti-US idea. I mean after all in terms of corporate leaks you have one of three situations:

      1) Only the US companies are so incompetent as to allow any information to leak. Any non-US company is an expert at information security, as good or better than a national intelligence agency, and thus has no leaks at all. Ok well that is

      • by Nadaka ( 224565 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:36PM (#34394214)

        4) the US is the 800lb economic gorilla holding a major portion of the large banks of the world.

        5) this is a huge leak from a few or single source in the banking industry and just happened to be in the US... much like the recent US intelligence leaks are most likely from a single source.

      • by Volante3192 ( 953645 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:36PM (#34394230)

        FWIW, the most recent leaks, the State cables, were pretty embarassing to other nations and, surprisingly, flattering to US diplomats.

        Yemeni President joking about whisky, in a Muslim nation? Boned.
        Saudi King saying the West should bomb Iran? Uh-oh.

      • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:45PM (#34394412) Homepage Journal
        so what ?

        i dont remember any divine communique, any natural law, any galactic decree that says being 'anti-us' is something bad ? apparently, noone but americans got the memo.

        its ok being anti-china, its ok being anti-iran, its ok being anti-whatever, but, somehow, 'anti american' is a no-no eh ?

        what amazing level of self-centeredness.

        world doesnt revolve around u.s., note that.

        in addition, it was the wall street which scammed ENTIRE planet, in a fraud that was unparalleled in history. so much that they sold water vapor to governments, banks, major global corporations, and poisoned the credit supply of the world SO bad that, there is no end to it in sight. because noone can tell poisoned assets from valid ones.

        of course its going to be about a u.s. bank. geez.


        wikileaks puts out ALL kinds of shit. its you americans' fault that you ALWAYS check it when there is something involving u.s., and see the front page about u.s. then go about bullshitting how they are anti-us. here, for your convenience, the link to where wikileaks indexes the shit it spurts out. i dont see 'us, us, us' written all over it. it wouldnt be a problem even if it was. []
      • by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @06:20PM (#34396160) Homepage

        well then I'd say that is a reasonable indication that yes, they DO have an anti-US agenda.

        Speaking first as a patriotic American, frankly, my first priority is to fix corruption here in the US. If WikiLeaks was publishing stuff from all nations, I would be primarily interested in the stuff about the US. Because I am a patriot. Because corruption reduces GDP. Because I want America to excel in GDP growth. (regarding the GDP-focus; my hobby-to-the-brink-of-religion is economic research)

        Speaking as a pragmatic globalist, consider the correlation to monopolies. Small monopolies that have little power are not very hazardous. Large monopolies with lots of power are more hazardous. Anti-trust law focuses on the large monopolies because they have the greatest negative impact. That is rational. Similarly, the US has the most power on the global stage. I think that's a fine thing, being an American -- politically incorrect though it may be, it's good to be the king. However, being in that position means that any corruption or foul play on our part is subject to greater scrutiny. Just like big monopolies, that is a rational thing. Corruption in the US has a much bigger effect on the world than, for example, corruption in France. It only makes sense to focus on the most potent hazard, which is a combination of amount of corruption and ability to influence events. Our ability to influence is so massively outsized that it takes less corruption to make us a greater hazard.

        Take your pick: Patriotic American me is happy with all the US-oriented WikiLeaks stuff because it is my house and I have a duty to help keep it clean. Pragmatic Globalist me understands that my country has a greater obligation to end corruption because we have more influence on world events.

        Is WikiLeaks biased against the US? I don't care, as long as they keep publishing the US stuff -- that is the stuff that is most important to me. Frankly, Americans who feel otherwise strike me as unpatriotic.

    • by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:36PM (#34394234) Journal

      Here's what concerns me. We have large numbers of anonymous individuals sending information off to some guy who they assume is some sort of hero or on a moral high ground. In actuality we don't know what Assange's intentions or internal agenda is. It would be trivial for Assange to filter information and only display leaks that would damage the country of his choice. Not just at a government level, but at a corporate / economic level. It is impossible to monitor Wikileak's integrity or transparency. Do you think if Mr. Whistleblower's documents regarding Country X are not posted that Mr. Whistleblower is going to go to the established media and complain about that?

      Somehow Wikileaks has assumed a level of authority and trust that it has not earned nor that is remotely justified via its internal policies and structure. I have read numerous articles about Assange, and how he wants to be in control of everything and basically tells his "volunteers" to f*** off if they question him or disagree with what he does. He holds all the keys to the kingdom.

      Quotes of Assange's like this, from the interview linked in this story, concern me further:

      All I can say is it’s clear there were unethical practices, but it’s too early to suggest there’s criminality. We have to be careful about applying criminal labels to people until we’re very sure.

      Who is Assange to judge and / or label corporations or individuals? Isn't his role in life to throw static files on a server so other people can download them? Shouldn't the information speak for itself and be analyzed be individuals that know far more than him and his organization? I don't think Assange is the unwilling, unwitting sacrificial lamb that has been thrust into this horrible role. There seems to be an ego to stoke, or at least that is my opinion.

      Finally, one last personal nitpick. What the hell does "wiki" have to do with anything? I think he threw that term in there to gain additional trust and ride the coattails of Wikipedia. There is nothing "wiki" about wikileaks in any way whatsoever.

      • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:59PM (#34394736) Journal

        It is impossible to monitor Wikileak's integrity or transparency. Do you think if Mr. Whistleblower's documents regarding Country X are not posted that Mr. Whistleblower is going to go to the established media and complain about that?

        If it's bad for Wikileaks to operate without transparency, it's also bad for the US government and corporations to operate without transparency. Wikileaks is a partial solution to the latter problem. The former problem is quite easily solved. If you have information that Wikileaks won't publish, there's no shortage of ways of getting data on the internet anonymously.

        Who is Assange to judge and / or label corporations or individuals?

        He's a man with a conscience. It's the responsibility of all men with consciences to use them. That means calling out those who do wrong.

        Now I'd agree that Assange is on an ego-trip, but who in international politics is not?

      • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @05:00PM (#34394754)

        Obviously that bastard could care less about all the bankers who will lose their livelihoods as a result of this information being made public. He's nothing but a traitor to the free market--and probably a communist, socialist, fascist, muslim, Nazi, child molesting rapist too!

        I hear he wasn't even born in the U.S.

    • I disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:37PM (#34394250)

      Wikileaks isn't anti-US at all.

      Sure, most of the stuff released there puts the US in a bad light. But you know what? Wikileaks didn't actually do any of those things. They just let the world know about it. You think we'd be a better nation if nobody knew about any of this stuff?

      Not me my friend.

      I'm glad the untouchable people who harm the country I love just might get called to task for the things they've done. The end result will be a stronger (and hopefully more accountable) America.

  • Go, Julian, go! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lilith's Heart-shape ( 1224784 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:02PM (#34393510) Homepage
    Expose the corruption and tyranny of our ruling classes for all to see, and let the bastards be damned!
    • Re:Go, Julian, go! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by oldspewey ( 1303305 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:06PM (#34393570)
      Here's the question: if corruption and tyranny of the ruling class is exposed for all to see, how many people will put down the xbox controller or stop shopping for some idiotic black friday deal long enough to do something about it?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        They should wait until things are worse-off to release such damning and anger-inducing materials. We ain't going to spark the revolution this way!
        • Re:Go, Julian, go! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Dalambertian ( 963810 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @05:34PM (#34395398)
          Had the present leaks occurred when we were still considering war with Iraq, do you think we'd be in the mess we are today? As I recall, the media published only what the government wanted us to hear, that the rest of the world supported us. Because the public bought it, the congressmen bought it, and the debate was over before it began. Would you rather us wait until the next war starts?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DrSkwid ( 118965 )

        More than would if it wasn't exposed at all.

        • Re:Go, Julian, go! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by suso ( 153703 ) * on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:16PM (#34393772) Homepage Journal

          Maybe its like the whole fry a frog theory. By releasing so much information all at once, we're likely to get more enraged and do something, but the steady release of information is likely to just warm us up to it and likely to get Wikileaks closed for good before it gets ot the more juicy stuff.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by cool_arrow ( 881921 )
            In order to "get more enraged and do something" people would likely need to give up their idiotic TV shows and care about something real. Sure pal.
      • by shadowrat ( 1069614 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:14PM (#34393728)
        people will shift from bitterly complaining about the ruling class to smugly complaining about the ruling class. it will be totally different.
      • Re:Go, Julian, go! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by NFN_NLN ( 633283 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:14PM (#34393740)

        This is a quote from the article which sums it up nicely:

        Q: What do you think WikiLeaks mean for business? How do businesses need to adjust to a world where WikiLeaks exists?

        A: WikiLeaks means it’s easier to run a good business and harder to run a bad business, and all CEOs should be encouraged by this. I think about the case in China where milk powder companies started cutting the protein in milk powder with plastics. That happened at a number of separate manufacturers.

        Let’s say you want to run a good company. It’s nice to have an ethical workplace. Your employees are much less likely to screw you over if they’re not screwing other people over.

        Then one company starts cutting their milk powder with melamine, and becomes more profitable. You can follow suit, or slowly go bankrupt and the one that’s cutting its milk powder will take you over. That’s the worst of all possible outcomes.

        The other possibility is that the first one to cut its milk powder is exposed. Then you don’t have to cut your milk powder. There’s a threat of regulation that produces self-regulation.

        It just means that it’s easier for honest CEOs to run an honest business, if the dishonest businesses are more effected negatively by leaks than honest businesses. That’s the whole idea. In the struggle between open and honest companies and dishonest and closed companies, we’re creating a tremendous reputational tax on the unethical companies.

    • by Xibby ( 232218 ) <> on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:07PM (#34393582) Homepage Journal

      Many Bothans died to bring us this information.

  • by orphiuchus ( 1146483 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:02PM (#34393512)
    Now this is the kind of stuff I want to see. I already know basically what the government is doing and how things are going in the wars on the ground, what I don't know is what the pharmaceutical companies and banks have been hiding.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )
      Now I want to see them publish stuff from other countries. The US isn't the only country with dirty laundry. But this is certainly a good start.
    • by DarthVain ( 724186 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @05:13PM (#34395016)

      Agreed. I didn't find the leaks all the surprising.

      I want to know the dirt on the banks and to a lesser extent big pharma.

      I know they are ripping me off 6 ways from Sunday, but the details should sure be interesting. I have a feeling there is going to be some really angry people soon, and they won't be directed at Wikileaks... (which might be the whole point really now...)

  • So in short (Score:5, Insightful)

    by durrr ( 1316311 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:03PM (#34393516)
    Wikileaks is embarassing everyone who deserves it. I approve.
  • by Nadaka ( 224565 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:03PM (#34393532)

    That wikileaks is exclusively an an ant-US govornment organization and that they no longer do "real whistle-blowing"?

  • by G3ckoG33k ( 647276 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:04PM (#34393550)

    "It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume"

    While one may not like all the steps taken by Assange, one should give credit for the understatement that the new documents will "stimulate investigations".

    • If the documents are sufficient, I wonder how they will continue to spin corrupt financial industry practices as the fault of Obama without actually doing anything useful to stop them. 9/11 spared them from Enron, and if lightning strikes twice...

  • Read all about it! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cablepokerface ( 718716 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:05PM (#34393556)
    Document will say that bankers are crooks.

    Life will go on unchanged. They will still get their buy-out.

    Carry on.
  • Seriously (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zero.kalvin ( 1231372 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:05PM (#34393560)
    Are we still going to ask them to stop doing what they are doing ? However with big banks and big pharm involved, I am more concerned about the well being of the individuals who run wikileaks, then if only governments were involved.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by spun ( 1352 )

      Are we still going to ask them to stop doing what they are doing ?
      However with big banks and big pharm involved, I am more concerned about the well being of the individuals who run wikileaks, then if only governments were involved.

      Absolutely. Governments world wide are just pawns for these sociopaths, they really don't care if governments take the blame. But when you start going after them directly, expect to wind up dead or in prison.

  • by bartok ( 111886 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:08PM (#34393618)

    I hope this is about Goldman Sachs!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DigiShaman ( 671371 )

      List of top US banks. []

      The following list shows the largest banks in the U.S., as of March 31, 2010. The assets are listed in millions of dollars.

      1. Bank of America Corporation (Charlotte, NC) $2,340,667,014
      2. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (New York, NY) $2,135,796,000
      3. Citigroup Inc.(New York, NY) $2,002,213,000
      4. Wells Fargo & Company (San Francisco, CA) $1,223,630,000
      5. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., The (New York, NY) $880,677,000
      6. Morg

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:09PM (#34393628) Journal
    Messing with multinational mega corporations are an entirely different thing. They might not care or even look at you indulgently when you take pot shots at the government. But come after them, they don't play nice. To put it mildly.
  • Wow. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Facegarden ( 967477 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:10PM (#34393656)

    I hope Assange is as well-protected as he seems to be. He may already have the US Gov't after him, but if it's banks and pharmaceutical companies too, things are only going to get worse.

    I really hope some of this stuff makes people stop saying "We hate wikileaks" and start saying "hey thanks for letting us know we were all getting fucked."

    The general public needs to be reminded that censorship isn't the answer. It seems to be the only thing they want nowadays.

  • Next year (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:11PM (#34393674) Journal

    The blurb makes it sound like this is an imminent release. According to the interview this information won't be released until "early next year".

  • by GPLDAN ( 732269 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:15PM (#34393750)
    So do you have very high impact corporate stuff to release then?

    Yes, but maybe not as high impactI mean, it could take down a bank or two.

    ... Will we?

    Yes. We have one related to a bank coming up, that’s a megaleak. It’s not as big a scale as the Iraq material, but it’s either tens or hundreds of thousands of documents depending on how you define it.

    Is it a U.S. bank?

    Yes, it’s a U.S. bank.

    One that still exists?

    Yes, a big U.S. bank.

    The biggest U.S. bank?

    No comment.

    When will it happen?

    Early next year. I won’t say more.

    What do you want to be the result of this release?

    [Pauses] I’m not sure.

    It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume. Usually when you get leaks at this level, it’s about one particular case or one particular violation.

    For this, there’s only one similar example. It’s like the Enron emails. Why were these so valuable? When Enron collapsed, through court processes, thousands and thousands of emails came out that were internal, and it provided a window into how the whole company was managed. It was all the little decisions that supported the flagrant violations.

    This will be like that. Yes, there will be some flagrant violations, unethical practices that will be revealed, but it will also be all the supporting decision-making structures and the internal executive ethos that cames out, and that’s tremendously valuable. Like the Iraq War Logs, yes there were mass casualty incidents that were very newsworthy, but the great value is seeing the full spectrum of the war.

    You could call it the ecosystem of corruption. But it’s also all the regular decision making that turns a blind eye to and supports unethical practices: the oversight that’s not done, the priorities of executives, how they think they’re fulfilling their own self-interest. The way they talk about it.
  • messing with governments gets mixed up in equivalency and nationalism and generates more heat than anything actually useful. iran is already saying wikileaks is an american plot []

    something that hurts the usa should be a subject of celebration in the iranian government, right? no. because people are so mixed up in their prejudices, any reveal of what a government did or said can always be conveniently reexplained with some creative thinking such that your prejudices are never really examined. whether pro-usa, or anti-usa, your opinion of the usa is completely unaffected by wikileaks, as iranian spin shows

    wikileaks clearly shows that the great satan is not the one who hates them and wants their destruction: all their neighboring countries secretly push the usa to topple iran, while those countries say nothing publicly. that's what wikileaks shows. this challenges the narrative of the great satan plotting your downfall, and so proof that the great satan is not a great satan. therefore, wikileaks must be explained away with plots and conspiracies, where julian assange is actually an agent of the CIA. it would be hilarious, if maintaining the prejudicial narrative weren't such a deadly serious effort by those who love, or hate, the usa, for prejudicial reasons. so it's a complete wash: wikileaks has zero effect on the usa's standing in the world, or in the minds of committed pro-usa or anti-usa partisans.

    however, the corporations, they need unmasking. a lot of people in the usa have this phony narrative of their poor neighbors and their government being the enemy of their prosperity. the real enemy of their prosperity: corporations. there is nothing wrong with capitalism, but corporatism is not capitalism. corporatism is buying off the government to permanently warp the markplace against the smaller players and to entrench your dominant position in it. the government is not the enemy, corporations are. the greatest enemy capitalism has ever known, in fact, is not communism, but corporatism, in all of economic history, the big players have always warped the markplace in their direction. yet so many fools believe this phony narrative of the government and poor people being the enemy of capitalism, and large corporations heroes, or at worst, harmless victims on the sidelines, of evil government regulations (that are written by those same corporations)

    so hopefully, a reveal of how corporations are your real enemy, not your government, might open some foolish eyes, for once, i hope

    • by Spad ( 470073 ) <slashdot.spad@co@uk> on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:42PM (#34394356) Homepage

      It's similar to what the US Republicans did with Obama. They hate the guy so much that even when he was offering them exactly what they wanted in terms of legislation, they were compelled to reject it simply because he had suggested it and he was the enemy, to be opposed at all costs.

      When you oppose someone or something that strongly the human mind is capable of amazing cognitive dissonance; no matter how illogical the reasoning or how hypocritical your position, you can find a way to explain how all of your problems are somehow their fault and that nothing you've done could have in any way contributed to it.

  • Doing their job. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Beer_Smurf ( 700116 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:21PM (#34393870) Homepage
    If the media had been doing their job WikiLeaks would not be needed.
    But since the media is in bed with government and industry, this is what it takes.
    • Re:Doing their job. (Score:5, Informative)

      by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:55PM (#34394656) Homepage Journal

      Amen brother!

      Furthermore, this is what Obama PROMISED : "a more transparent government".
      Instead what we got was a more secretive government. So someone has to do the job if they are not going to.

      But yeah, "the media" are a bunch of spineless corporate mouthpieces. Every "anchor" is a former MTV V-Jay, with only entertainment experience and no journalism credentials. And no one is left to do actual, hard-hitting reporting. Walter Cronkite must be so ashamed of what has happened to "the news".

  • Revolution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jorl17 ( 1716772 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:28PM (#34394006)
    I don't really care if they're anti or pro American. This is a true Revolution to be remembered in future time. If all these documents are, indeed, real, then we may be watching the true Revolution of Freedom -- the discovery that our democracy has grown to be something riddled with shit and corruption. The question that I pose is: What's next?

    Democracy is still the best ideal that I believe we have. I am talking worldwide, not just in the US. What is the valid alternative? Alternatives that I often discuss with my friends are alternatives that establish different democratic hierarchies and especially voting restrictions. However, this ideal that I often propose to them is just not feasible for many reasons (mainly: Human non determination, Human misuse of resources, implicit discrimination and violation of human rights). What is our alternative? Where do we go from here? I'm sure many disagree, but it seems to many that most (notice not /all/, but *most*) democracy isn't working and will not work in the near future. What IS __THE NEXT STEP__?

    For starters, WikiLeaks seems to be going there. Freedom is a must have. Transparency is essential. Not everywhere, as some things must be made secret, but the fear of being discovered -- much like is happening now -- can force people to "behave". This is a true revolution if it gets spread and if it really gets worldwide. We must use this to our well being, we must show people that Freedom is essential and that a Democracy without proper freedom and ethically correct behavior isn't good. That IS the next step -- a Free, Ethically Correct Democracy. Unfortunately, that is the exact ideal that we can't reach, because even losers vote -- and losers can't vote decently. Plus, even if we didn't allow losers to vote, who is to say they didn't stop being losers? Plus, who isn't to say that "non losers" can't be bought or vote wrongly? Who isn't to say that the politicians that "ethically correct people" elect change their position and become "evil"?

    The World keeps going forward, but we're walking backwards -- and we don't seem to be willing to go forward...just check the possible comments and troll ratings I'll get instead of a logical and healthy debate.
  • um... YES. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Hatchet ( 1766306 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:28PM (#34394010)

    YES YES YES. YES. OH GOD YES. OH YEA. FUCK YEA. Please, release this data soon. I want this so bad. Hell, considering how incredibly evil the bank and corporate system in America is on a public level, I am terrified and excited and horny to find out how evil they have actually been being this entire time.

  • by webdog314 ( 960286 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:28PM (#34394018)

    Attacking the U.S. government was dangerous enough, but with the amount of collective money behind the banks, pharma and energy, I sure wouldn't want to be anyone associated with WikiLeaks right now. A ten-million dollar per head contract for these people would be chump change for the companies involved.

  • We'll see... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:35PM (#34394200)

    So far a lot of the stuff I've seen leaked hasn't been particularly shocking. A lot of it covers things people have already known or at least strongly suspected but for whatever reason hasn't gotten the attention it deserves. These leaks simply drag those details out into the light of day to be openly acknowledged and discussed. It seems to me like the media and government officials are making a bigger deal of this than the general public. On the other hand, I also believe that it's entirely possible to cross the line and start causing some real harm, even if it hasn't happened yet.

    I don't have a particular good impression of Assange; I get the impression he has too big an ego for his own good. I also have questions about about bias. I think Wikileaks can provide a valuable service, but only if it operates as an equal opportunity offender. There's a real problem if members of the organization can't see beyond personal biases, if they show reluctance in releasing information damaging to their particular worldview, for example. Or worse, they decide they have it in for a particular entity, in this case, the United States. Of it may be a problem that the US isn't nearly as good at securing it's sensitive information as, let's say, China.

    I'm placing bets on the bank in question being Bank of America. They're quite despicable, but then that's already well-known which again raises my point of Wikileaks releasing information that's generally common knowledge.

  • by voss ( 52565 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:45PM (#34394424)

    One of the key parts of diplomacy requires diplomats to be able to give uncensored advice to political leaders that may offend the public or other leaders.
    In the long run this may reduce the quality of advice our leaders get which could have tragic consequences. Its the reason why executive
    priveledge exists. The most honest president the US has ever had, Grover Cleveland, fought tooth and nail for leaders being able to receive honest
    and confidential advice.

    A leak is only good think if it serves a legitimate public interest, not merely curiousity. If your intention is merely to cause
    embarassment for embarassments sake then youre not a whistleblower.

  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:46PM (#34394450) Homepage Journal

    All I can say it "It's about F'ing time." Go Wikileaks Go!

    For years, we have had to put up with our privacy and our rights being stolen. Now we even have to appear naked to fly. Our privacy is always under attack, and yet we are told "it's for our own good" either by the governments that assault us, or the corporations that rip us off and sell our personal data to each other.

    FINALLY the time has come that governments and corporations are under the same microscope as the average joe. The internet has become the great equalizer. And notice how governments and corporations bristle at the mere thought that *their* privacy is being invaded, while they continue to casually rape us.

    Yes, when it's the governments/corporations that have their privacy assailed, "ohhh the guy is a terrorist" "Assage must be imprisoned" "DDoS isn't good enough for him, hanging's too good for him!", etc..., meanwhile, few are DDoS'ing the RIAA, TransUnion, Equifax, et al.

    THIS IS OUR REVOLUTION. And it's about time. Grab your pitchforks. Heads must roll.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @04:54PM (#34394610) Homepage

    The most significant disclosure so far is that China's leadership is fed up with North Korea acting like a "spoiled child". Previously, China was considered to be a supporter of North Korea. Now, confirming the info from Wikileaks, Chinese officials are admitting that China's leadership is fed up with the drama. [] This leak was a win for both the US and China. It gets the word out that China isn't going to back any stupid actions by Kim Jong-il. without China's leadership having to say so publicly. This helps calm the situation down. That one item outweighs any harm Wikileaks may possibly have done.)

    (Here's the best analysis of the Korean situation I've seen in print. [])

  • by cdrguru ( 88047 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @05:01PM (#34394780) Homepage

    This should pose as a wakeup call to everyone - you clearly cannot trust governments, banks, pharamceutical companies or really anyone else. Everyone must be assumed to be untrustworthy until proven otherwise.

    And the proof is often 50 years after they are dead. So the message is Trust Nobody.

    The second thing is that if the government, banks and other corporations are evil and corrupt maybe we should do something about it? Boycotts are pointless but bombs, arson and executions might get somewhere. The idea would be that if you cannot trust the people with the power and money then they need to be eliminated. Maybe we can find some trustworthy people - or maybe things just need to be restructured in such a fashion so that nobody is required to be trusted any longer.

    This is probably another under-30/over-30 sort of battle, but this time there might actually be enough motivation to cause a worldwide revolt against anyone with more than a couple of nickles to rub together. The current US President has presented one possible dividing line between good and evil - $250,000 - but there may a more realistic one that is much, much lower. Sadly for Mr. Obama, it would appear that he is clearly in the evil camp with earnings well above $250,000.

    So? Are you ready for the revolution? Are you prepared to dedicate your life (or what is left of it) to eliminating oppression in the world by untrustworthy government and corporations? It sounds like Mr. Assange is clearly going down that road.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper ( 991155 ) on Tuesday November 30, 2010 @05:33PM (#34395372)

    In the final analysis, Assange only reports what is. If the politicians of the world can't handle that, the problem is with the politicians , not Mr. Assange.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"