Wikileaks Twitter feed selectively misquotes US diplomatic cable about Romania

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More evidence that Wikileaks' abuse of Twitter, instead of issuing proper, detailed Press Releases on their official website, gives the impression of either incompetent "investigative journalism" or just plain anti-US Government hate propaganda.

5.06 PM August 27th 2011
https://twitter.com/#!/wikileaks/status/107484074477760512

US marine kills Romanian rockstar. President promises to US embassy won't "serve a single day in prison" http://wikileaks.cabledrum.net/cable/2005/03/05BUCHAREST742.html


When did this happen ? Is that the then US President or the Romanian President doing the promising ? What sort of "killing" ?

It turns out to be the newly elected Romanian President, back in 2005 (over 6 years ago). The "killing" turns out to have the result of a traffic accident, probably involving drink driving by the US Marine who had diplomatic immunity as part of the US Embassy staff.

If you take this selective misquote from the diplomatic cable at face value you get the impression that the US Marine was to get off scot free due to some sort of political deal.

However if you actually bother to read the diplomatic cable which Wikileaks have published, in their current, "we don't care about anybody's personal information" data dump:

http://wikileaks.cabledrum.net/cable/2005/03/05BUCHAREST742.html

25.(C) Finally, the December 2004 accident involving the U.S. Embassy Marine Security Guard detachment commander that led to the death of Romanian rock star Teo Peter received wide press coverage and created public outcry. Basescu and his government are under considerable political pressure to make sure justice is done in a Romanian Court. Naturally, given that Marine Corps legal proceedings against the former detachment commander have not even begun, the question of extradition and lifting of the Marine's immunity cannot even be addressed at the present time. Nevertheless, PM Tariceanu and FM Ungureanu may ask for the Marine's return, possibly repeating a promise made earlier to our Ambassador by Basescu that the former detachment commander would receive a fair trial and, regardless of outcome, would not serve a single day in prison in Romania.

The deliberate omission of the words "in Romania" completely changes the meaning of the Tweet.

The democratically elected government of Romania is promising a fair trial and repatriation to the USA to serve any prison sentence , if the US Marine was to be found guilty of any charges. This is the normal, civilised state of affairs with most Extradition treaties around the world.

The wikipedia entry for Teo Peter has links to a few of the case.

If this deliberately misleading Tweet was from the army of Wikileaks cult hangers on, that would be bad enough. Wikileaks could, if pushed, issue an apology, and disassociate themselves from such alleged "supporters".

However this distortion of the truth is from the "official" Julian Assange controlled

https://twitter.com/wikileaks feed.

Any post-Wikileaks whistleblower websites should learn the lessons from Wikileaks and Julian Assange's increasingly inept handling of the mainstream media and social media.

The levels of disinformation, hype and spin which Wikileaks now relies on make them at least as untrustworthy as any Government or big business public relations spin doctors and propagandists.

The mainstream media have plenty of other, more current, more newsworthy stories to report on, so the effect of the publication of these diplomatic cables is now increasingly marginal and they are only of academic interest to future historians and to the world's intelligence agencies.

Why is there still no functioning WikiLeakS.org document submission system ?

It is puzzling why WikiLeakS.org, with all its army of cult followers and vastly more money than many other whistleblowing websites, has not re-launches itself with a secure, anonymous whistleblower leak submission system, so many months after it shut down.

See LeakDirectory.org for links to many of these and some analysis of the anonymity and security strengths and weaknesses of several of them.

The answer must be that Julian Assange does not want to relinquish any control or to be democratically accountable or transparent.


N.B. to be clear this WikilLeak.org blog is very often critical of Julian Assange for his control freakery, deceit, and disregard for other people's private personal data, but we do not think that he should be extradited to the USA to face espionage or other charges.

The European Arrest Warrant should not be allowed to be used to extradite Assange to Sweden from the United Kingdom for "investigation" purposes, without cross examination in a UK Court of prima facie evidence against him in the sordid sex allegations case.


About this blog

This blog here at WikiLeak.org (no "S") discusses the ethical and technical issues raised by the WikiLeakS.org project, which is trying to be a resource for whistleblower leaks, by providing "untraceable mass document leaking and analysis".

These are bold and controversial aims and claims, with both pros and cons, especially for something which crosses international boundaries and legal jurisdictions.

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LeakDirectory.org

Now that the WikiLeakS.org project is defunct, so far as new whistleblower are concerned, what are the alternatives ?

The LeakDirectory.org wiki page lists links and anonymity analyses of some of the many post-wikileaks projects.

There are also links to better funded "official" whistlblowing crime or national security reporting tip off websites or mainstream media websites. These should, in theory, be even better at protecting the anonymity and security of their informants, than wikileaks, but that is not always so.

New whistleblower website operators or new potential whistleblowers should carefully evaluate the best techniques (or common mistakes) from around the world and make their personal risk assessments accordingly.

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The WikiLeakS.org Submissions web page provides some methods for sending them leaked documents, with varying degrees of anonymity and security. Anybody planning to do this for real, should also read some of the other guides and advice to political activists and dissidents:

Please take the appropriate precautions if you are planning to blow the whistle on shadowy and powerful people in Government or commerce, and their dubious policies. The mainstream media and bloggers also need to take simple precautions to help preserve the anonymity of their sources e.g. see Spy Blog's Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers - or use this easier to remember link: http://ht4w.co.uk

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Recently, they have been using their new Twitter feeds, to selectively publicise leaked documents to the media, and also to report on the status of routing or traffic congestion problems affecting the main website in Stockholm, Sweden.

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