WikiLeaks

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9 years 8 months

Posts: 1,234

Excuse me, but what on earth are you talking about? :confused: Same question.....what on earth are you talking about? :confused:
Q1. The question was about leaking classified info....would I break the OSA. No I wouldn't, but if terrorists had my kids then I would indeed sing. Seemple. Q2. Whilst you were squandering billions in your anti involvement post, I was kind of supporting you. No ground troops, bomb the living daylights out of the place. No nukes, that brings complications in a World such as present. Oh, and I signed the OSA, presently cleared to DV, like a lot on here.

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13 years 1 month

Posts: 9,689

Ah, right, I’m with you now. Keeping secrets under that kind of situation doesn’t bear thinking about. And thanks for your support regarding involvement but I don’t think that just dropping bombs on anybody is the answer; I still don’t have a satisfactory explanation as to why British forces are involved in Afghanistan at all. Look at the fuss there was during and after the Falklands, and that conflict, in my view, was much easier to justify; there doesn’t seem to be anybody now even questioning what is going on in Afghanistan? Feeling really left out now.....has everybody else signed the official secrets act?

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10 years 1 month

Posts: 4,956

CD - there doesn’t seem to be anybody now even questioning what is going on in Afghanistan? Oh, really.:confused: My impression was the exact opposite...........I don't think the majority of the population want anybody fighting anywhere, do they. Most have no idea why we are there, because the last government hardly made the effort to make the case, and the current government isn't doing much better.
Profile picture for user Grey Area

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15 years 7 months

Posts: 10,160

Feeling really left out now.....has everybody else signed the official secrets act?
I've signed it twice. :)
Profile picture for user BumbleBee

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10 years 7 months

Posts: 1,549

Yes,an interesting article. As someone with ( thank God ) no experience of war,I feel strongly that it's not for me to sit in judgement of anyone who finds themself in that situation.I understand that,given reasonable limits, unpleasant things happen. It's the concept of whistle-blowing that interests me.I was talking it over with the sprog last night,and like me she's got a well-developed conscience ( she's a horribly accurate mini-me actually ). Much to my surprise,she told me that when she gets into journalism she could never be a whistle-blower or she'd never work again. Is this really the case ? Are people who expose an inconvenient truth really despised ?

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10 years 1 month

Posts: 4,956

I perceive a clear distinction between a journalist who has a remit to "seek out the truth" and a civil servant who has sworn to respect an oath of secrecy. That doesn't mean to say that I agree with whistle-blowing per se, but the distinction is important. I would have thought that journalists who expose "foul play" so long as law abiding individuals and the security of their country are not compromised, would be applauded. It would be interesting to hear your daughter's reasons for her strongly felt comment.
Profile picture for user kev35

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19 years 10 months

Posts: 6,968

Perhaps not only journalism? I know people have left other professions/posts when they have witnessed something which, while detrimental to the client, would be detrimental to themselves if they were to report it. Stafford Hospital springs to mind as one potential example of this. Where standards break down and, in this case, patient care was suffering dramatically, conscience forces some to report the failings they witness (whistle blowing) while other staff, often very good staff, leave to avoid becoming embroiled in the problems which were unfolding. So for one reason or another the good staff leave and the employer takes on people who haven't necessarily got the skills or the aptitude for the job so the situation deteriorates further. There are times when the whistle HAS to be blown, irrespective of any document you have agreed to sign or expectations imposed upon you. The moral obligation can and sometimes does outweigh the legal implications. Just as an aside, and not knowing the terms of the Official Secrets Act, might not the simple fact that people are revealing they have signed it be a breach of said act? Regards, kev35

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10 years 1 month

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When the argument turns back to the morals then no one can argue the case as it it so subjective, as has been discussed earlier. Yes, of course, whistle-blowing is not unique to journalism although journalism or the wider media is usually the recipient of the story and so becomes a willing partner. And once that happens I wonder if the best interests of the parties are necessarily served, as in your example. In response to your last point - I don't know, but it is an interesting question. I am sure someone will enlighten us.
Profile picture for user BumbleBee

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10 years 7 months

Posts: 1,549

I perceive a clear distinction between a journalist who has a remit to "seek out the truth" and a civil servant who has sworn to respect an oath of secrecy. That doesn't mean to say that I agree with whistle-blowing per se, but the distinction is important. I would have thought that journalists who expose "foul play" so long as law abiding individuals and the security of their country are not compromised, would be applauded. It would be interesting to hear your daughter's reasons for her strongly felt comment.
What I could gather through the Red Bull fumes ( she has a college assignment that's overdue ),is that whilst she's starting out on her career she doesn't have the confidence to carry off a major exposure,if she found one,and thinks that making a hash of it would make her unemployable. I'd be interested to know why you don't agree with whistle-blowing.If you found something going on that you genuinely felt was wrong,as in kev's example of Stafford Hospital,wouldn't you feel morally obliged to expose it ? As for the official secrets act,I'd feel less guilty about breaking that promise than I would if I found something which I thought was quite unacceptable and kept silent. As it is,the only official secret I think I found out was which day the tea trolley had the home-made eccles cakes.

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13 years 1 month

Posts: 9,689

My impression was the exact opposite.....I don't think the majority of the population want anybody fighting anywhere, do they.
The fact that there seems (or seemed) to be widespread public opposition for both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars makes the lack of 'professional' opposition more surprising don’t you think? I was thinking back to the fuss made by Tam Dalyell about the sinking of the Belgrano which generated a lot of anti-Thatcher reporting in the media. Apart from the voices of Tam Dalyell (again) and George Galloway (both out of government) I can’t really think of many MPs that have put their heads above the parapet; does everybody else agree with these wars, are the media not interested, or is everybody simply too afraid of criticizing the government(s) despite the apparent popular anti-war feelings?

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10 years 1 month

Posts: 4,956

It will not be the first time that politicians have been out of step with their electorate. And to your second point the current conflict in Afghanistan I don't believe there is a large opposition to it amongst the political elite. And probably fewer politicians wanting to make political mischief out of it.

Member for

10 years 1 month

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BB - her attitude is quite understandable. Give her a couple of years. though! Much depends on which "whistle" is being "blown". I certainly would not blow just because I thought something was wrong. I would take the matter to whomever my superiors were and resign. I have resigned twice over matters of principle, with which I did not approve. That was between me and my employers, and no one else. Today's world demands that everything is in the public domain, whereas I am of the view that my moral viewpoint on particular problems is a matter for me and my conscience to resolve.
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19 years 10 months

Posts: 6,968

Sometimes though, matters of principle mean more than you throwing yourself on your sword and moving on. In situations where there is a culture of bad practice and maybe even corruption, one resignation is hardly going to rock the world of those guilty of carrying out bad practice or their management who like the savings bad practice leads to. Sometimes more is necessary, much more than one person's complaint could provide. An example. In another lifetime I worked for two and a half shifts at an unnamed nursing home. The first shift I was wary of the practices going on there. I spoke to a superior at the start of my second shift but was told to mind my own business and just get on with the job. I walked out in the middle of my third shift because a man was clearly dying, unnecessarily, and the senior staff would not call an ambulance. Would it have been right for me to just walk away and leave that man to die? This man, and others, were suffering because of a culture of bad practice not only condoned but actively supported by senior management. I did walk out in the middle of my shift. And at the first phone box I came to I dialled 999 and requested an ambulance. I then informed the local authority of all that I had witnessed and the reasoning behind the actions I had taken. These things I did not do anonymously. Was it the right thing to do? I have never regretted it. I later learned that the client had survived, but only by the skin of his teeth. What I am trying clumsily to say is that sometimes, just sometimes, you have to make a stand. Sometimes it's not about the tenets of something like the Official Secrets Act, or loyalty to an employer, or even the simple self interest of keeping a job. Sometimes it's simply about doing the right thing. Regards, kev35
Profile picture for user 27vet

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9 years 11 months

Posts: 2,657

Gonna be interesting...

Member for

19 years 10 months

Posts: 2,886

Gonna be interesting...
A masterpiece of understatement but I take your point. It WILL be interesting to see just what the leviathans of corruption, hypocrisy and self interest have been up to, supposedly in the interests of us all.

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10 years 1 month

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In the name of balance, it would be even more interesting if the same access was available to EVERY nation's confidential dealings. But then of course it wouldn't be so much fun for the anti-US brigade.

Member for

19 years 10 months

Posts: 2,886

In the name of balance, it would be even more interesting if the same access was available to EVERY nation's confidential dealings. But then of course it wouldn't be so much fun for the anti-US brigade.
Agreed. Devils advocate time now. It could be argued that the countries who seem most outraged by this event are the very same ones that hold themselves up to be paragons of freedom and openness. Not all countries claim to be so. The ironic thing here is that the regimes concerned appear to have fallen foul of the very same technology that they have used against others. Just an observation.
Profile picture for user Grey Area

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15 years 7 months

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In the name of balance, it would be even more interesting if the same access was available to EVERY nation's confidential dealings. But then of course it wouldn't be so much fun for the anti-US brigade.
Fair enough point, but you'd need a source with access to the diplomatic cables of every nation on earth together with the inclination to leak them. How likely is that, do you think?