Collective, selected disclosure of cables
This one is for Matt: "Anti-wiki-leak lies"
WikiLeaks has posted to its website only 960 of the 251,297 diplomatic cables it has. Almost every one of these cables was first published by one of its newspaper partners which are disclosing them (The Guardian, the NYT, El Pais, Le Monde, Der Speigel, etc.). Moreover, the cables posted by WikiLeaks were not only first published by these newspapers, but contain the redactions applied by those papers to protect innocent people and otherwise minimize harm.
Just as they did prior to releasing the Afghanistan war documents, WikiLeaks -- according to AP -- "appealed to the U.S. ambassador in London, asking the U.S. government to confidentially help him determine what needed to be redacted from the cables before they were publicly released." Although the U.S. -- again -- refused to give such guidance, WikiLeaks worked closely with these media outlets to ensure that any material which has no valid public interest value and could harm innocent people was withheld.
Shell knew ‘everything’ in Nigerian ministries
By Sylvia Pfeifer in London
Published: December 9 2010 02:09 | Last updated: December 9 2010 02:09
Royal Dutch Shell had staff placed in key ministries of the Nigerian government, the Anglo-Dutch oil group claimed in a leaked US diplomatic cable.
The group’s top executive in the African state told US diplomats that it therefore knew “everything that was being done in those ministries”, according to leaked cables from WikiLeaks website published by The Guardian newspaper on Thursday.
The cables allege that the executive said the Nigerian government was unaware of how much the company knew about its internal deliberations. Shell also swapped intelligence with the US, according to the cables, in one instance providing US diplomats with the names of Nigerian politicians it suspected of supporting military activity, requesting information from the US on whether the militants had acquired anti-aircraft missiles.
Shell was for decades Nigeria’s biggest foreign oil operator by production although it is now selling some of its onshore oil-production assets following years of militant attacks.
The cables from Nigeria reportedly show how Ann Pickard, who was then Shell’s vice-president for sub-Saharan Africa, tried to share intelligence with the US government on militant activity and business competition in the Niger delta.
She is alleged to have disclosed the company’s reach into the Nigerian government when she met US ambassador Robin Renee Sanders, according to a memo from the US embassy in Abuja on 20 October 2009.
Shell declined to comment on the correctness or incorrectness of the alleged contents of the cable.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010. Print a single copy of this article for personal use. Contact us if you wish to print more to distribute to others.
I think this is wonderful in encapsulating a variety of different issues in support of and against Wikileaks. Check it out and see if you find yourself aligning with one or many of these perspectives!
More on WikiLeaks
WikiLeaks supporters are fighting back. Below is a link to an article that talks about recent attacks on popular websites, in particular mastercard.com is currently down. The article mentions that Mastercard in particular was targeted because it had pulled its funding of WikiLeaks. Withdrawal of funding from various sources seems to be one of the reasons why WikiLeaks shut down in the first place.
Julian Assange, Miss A, and Miss W
The link below will take you to a Guardian article published shortly after Assange's official arrest. While it discusses Assange, it's main focus is the two Swedish women - referred to as Miss A and Miss W in court proceedings - who have accused Assange of rape/molestation and the slander and conspiracy theories that have been being thrown around by bloggers and such on the web. One blogger asks if Miss A is lesbian, and then concludes that that would be evidence enough to disprove that Assange could have raped her. Other names have been slung around such as "a seasoned feminist warrior," "psychotic feminist," and even charges of one being a CIA agent - in the hopes, it seems, that one is true enough to discredit one or both of these women.
Iran’s Divorce Rate Stirs Fears of Society in Crisis
Interesting article on today's front page (12/7) about how the high divorce rate is in Iran, which took me by surprise beacuse I've always believed Iran to be a strict and extreme conservative, both the state and society. However, this article states that the divorce rate is 1 in every 3.76 marriages, close to the divorce rate in the United States. One of the reasons for such a high rate is that women are apparently manipulating the legal system in Iran to get out of unwanted marriages. According to a 33-year-old woman, society has changed and no one judged her when she got divorced.
Iranian women, mostly in urban centers like Tehran, appear to have more agency in recent years. Since they have access to higher education and trades, Iranian women are getting divorced and supporting themselves to not have to depend on men. I think an interesting question here is if whether or not the state's position on marriage and divorce should adapt to the change in the perspective of Iranian society at large on the issue.
More On WikiLeaks
Due to all the attacks on WikiLeaks, WL is asking other websites to mirror its documents. It gives instructions on how to set up mirror websites that would disseminate the documents as WikiLeaks released them.
"'All the censoring of WikiLeaks is more alarming than the actual content of the leaks. It only further justifies WL's actions,' read one widely distributed comment"
In this article, Assange states that if he is killed/arrested or that his websites are removed, he will leak out a "deluge" of files, assumed to be about BP and Guantanamo Bay.
"Women, know your place"
A British joke service announcement about women "knowing their place."
My question is whether the joking helps bring awareness or further engrains the passive role of women into society.
Thought it was interesting and pertinent so I thought I'd share it.