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What about Morgan Tsvangirai?

Discussion in 'Wikileaks' started by Anonymous, Feb 1, 2011.

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  1. Anonymous Member

    Let me play devil's advocate. WikiLeaks has been all over the news recently (duh), as well as the people who defend it. But what about Morgan Tsvangirai?

    For those of you who don't know of him, a Wikipedia summary will suffice: "Morgan Richard Tsvangirai (born 10 March 1952) is the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. He is the President of the Movement for Democratic Change - Tsvangirai (MDC-T) and a key figure in the opposition to President Robert Mugabe. Tsvangirai was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe on 11 February 2009. Tsvangirai was the MDC candidate in the controversial 2002 presidential election, losing to Mugabe. He later contested the first round of the 2008 presidential election as the MDC-T candidate, taking 47.8% of the vote according to official results, placing him ahead of Mugabe, who got 43.2%. Tsvangirai claimed to have won a majority and said that the results could have been altered in the month between the election and the reporting of official results. Tsvangirai initially planned to run in the second round against Mugabe, but withdrew shortly before it was held, arguing that the election would not be free and fair due to widespread violence and intimidation by government supporters."

    Morgan Tsvangirai: Good Man.

    Now, the following is an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal editorial dated January 21, 2011. The authors have a clear bias against Assange, but if you ignore that, they seem to make some very valid points.

    "Late last month Julian Assange secured a million-dollar advance from two publishers to write his autobiography. The WikiLeaks founder says he needs the money to cover the legal expenses arising from charges that he raped two women in Sweden. But perhaps Mr. Assange would do better to defend himself and pay the lawyers' fees of the people now in legal jeopardy thanks to his wanton disclosures.
    One worthy candidate is Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's long-time opposition leader and now its powerless Prime Minister. Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that Zimbabwe Attorney General Johannes Tomana, a loyalist to despot Robert Mugabe, has assembled an "expert panel" to review 3,000 U.S. diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks for evidence that Mr. Tsvangirai committed treason. "Treason," AP adds, "carries a possible death sentence in Zimbabwe."
    The charge that hangs most heavily on Mr. Tsvangirai's head is that he privately urged Western diplomats to maintain sanctions on Zimbabwe—sanctions that target Mr. Mugabe's cronies—even though the Prime Minister has opposed those sanctions in public. Maybe Mr. Assange imagines that he's usefully exposed a case of blatant political hypocrisy. The rest of us are more likely to forgive Mr. Tsvangirai for trying to help his country in private while having no choice but to concede in public to a desperate political reality.
    This is not the first time the regime has sought to indict Mr. Tsvangirai for treason, and no doubt it would resort to other dirty tricks were it not for the convenience of the leaked cables. But there's no doubt, either, that Mr. Assange has made the regime's work that much easier. Even a million for Mr. Tsvangirai's defense wouldn't begin to cover WikiLeaks' collateral damage."

    So, in a den of WikiLeak's supporters, I ask: what about Morgan Tsvangirai?
  2. Anonymous Member

    Blame the Guardian - they were the ones who leaked that cable. Wonder why that little factoid didn't make it into your post?
  3. Anonymous Member

    Ah, but isn't that a lot like giving a convict a gun, learning that he shot someone with it, and then denying any responsibility for the murder?

    If you give damaging information to newspapers that like to publish information (as they seem to do), that's the same as giving a gun to a man who likes to kill. You didn't make him do it, but you made it possible.

    And besides, didn't WikiLeaks make all the information freely available on the Internet? How can a newspaper "leak" something once it's already been leaked? Regardless of the Guardian, Zimbabwe can access that information and use it against Tsvangirai.
  4. Anonymous Member

    When the papers redact and publish a cable, Wikileaks then host that redacted cable.

    Funny to watch someone so keen to attack wikileaks that they didn't bother to learn the relevant facts.
  5. Herro Member

    It's an interesting situation that should give us pause and urge us to think. Let's assume that the editorial's characterization of Tsvangirai is correct. Let's assume that this is a man working to make positive changes in Zimbabwe and lets assume that there is information in the leaks hosted by Wikileaks which could be used to remove Tsvangirai from power or even result in his execution. I think that if these assumptions are correct, we can very reasonably argue that the publishing of that information has had a very unfortunate result in this situation. And I think if we argue that, then Private Manning and the individuals who hosted the material on Wikileaks, while not guilty of any crime, do share in the ethical responsibility for what might happen to Tsvangirai. Now we could bury our heads in the sand and reassure ourselves that Wikileaks is all good- just like we can bury our heads in the sand and assure ourselves that the war in Iraq is spreading freedom and democracy and no wrongdoing has taken place. That's the easy thing to do.

    But I would argue that the best thing to do in this case is to recognize that bad things can happen and that Wikileaks can cause harm to others. That doesn't mean we should condemn it. But it does mean we should ask ourselves important questions such as how do we best prevent things like this from happening without unduely limiting the positive things that Wikileaks can do, and when bad things do happen, how should we respond to that?
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Anonymous Member

    You're right that I didn't know that fact. I briefly tried to look it up but the info wasn't clear. That's why I worded that part of my statement as a question. And I am not particularly "keen to attack wikileaks." The tone of my original post ought to sound very reasonable--it's the editorial I quoted that sounds harsh. I think wikileaks is a great idea, if executed wisely, and from stories like Morgan Tsvangirai's, I do not believe that has been the case so far. Although I wasn't right about the availability of the info, the first part of my statement (which you did not address) still holds true:

    "Ah, but isn't that a lot like giving a convict a gun, learning that he shot someone with it, and then denying any responsibility for the murder? If you give damaging information to newspapers that like to publish information (as they seem to do), that's the same as giving a gun to a man who likes to kill. You didn't make him do it, but you made it possible."
  7. Anonymous Member

    /Thread
  8. Anonymous Member

    (FYI comment #6 is a reply to comment #4).

    Herro, very reasonable attitude. I don't think we should condemn it, as a whole, either. I don't know how one can respond to damage that has been done, but in the future I think the people who leak documents must screen more wisely, before even giving anything to the press. So, for example, if you do not know about the situation in Zimbabwe, you should not leak information about it because it might cause harm. (Of course, selective leaking--as all leaking really is--also raises the very interesting question of what information has been withheld). Furthermore, I think the best use of WikiLeaks, which will avoid harm and do good, is to obtain and leak information relating to abuses of the world's worst regimes: Myanmar, Russia, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Cuba, China, Belarus, etc. Regular diplomatic interactions, such as Tsvangirai's, would not fall into this category. (Zimbabwe is on my list because Mugabe is evil, but in my scenario only information relating to him and his thugs would be leaked.) If leaked information is limited specifically to clear cases of abuse, then WikiLeaks can do no harm and much good.
  9. Anonymous Member

    If that means end thread, then no, because you didn't read the rest of my statement. Answer me the latter part and I shall leave you alone.
  10. Herro Member

    Here's the problem with that, if we already knew with certainty who the "good guys" and "bad guys" are, we wouldn't need something like Wikileaks.

    Well yeah, because removing something from a heavily viewed website after hosting it for a period of time means it's removed from the entirety of the Internet... right?

    PS, how do you know that Wikileaks does that? I'm not saying you're wrong, I just haven't heard that.
  11. Anonymous Member

    I don't think you statement has merit. With that reasoning you could blame the diplomats for writing the stuff. You can stretch blame with crappy logic if you want to, but I think missing key facts while hiding behind shitty analogy is pointless and pathetic.

    /thread
  12. Anonymous Member

    But we do know with certainty who many of the bad guys are. I can name a few:

    Fidel Castro
    Hugo Chavez
    the soon-to-be-rid-of Hosni Mubarak
    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
    the Burmese junta
    the Chinese communist party
    Vlad Putin
    Bobby Mugabe
    Alexander Lukashenko
    Kim Jon-Il

    We should be hacking and stealing every piece of harmful information we can about them. (Although we wouldn't have to go to the trouble if more people just started caring about these things).
  13. Anonymous Member

    How can you blame people for writing potentially harmful information in classified documents? Things have to be written, even things that can be harmful. Writing is how we communicate! But if a piece of information is suppose to be secure, then how can you be blamed for someone ELSE actively stealing it? If we were talking about facebook, you'd be right, but we're talking about classified information. To use another of my "shitty analogies," that's like blaming a homeowner for having their nice tv stolen. You could blame the homeowner for owning the tv in the first place!
  14. Anonymous Member

    In the same way you are blaming Wikileaks for a cable that was released because of the editorial decision making at the Guardian. See how attaching blame in a bullshit way doesn’t work?

    /thread
  15. Anonymous Member

    Oh, just noticed the rest of Herro's #10 post. I knew I had a reason for believing the info was publicly available! It was, it just got taken down later. Herro makes the point that once public, always public, so I don't have to.
  16. Anonymous Member

    The Guardian published the cable in full. In line with the arrangement they had with Wikileaks they submitted it to them and thus it was reproduced on the Wikileaks website AFTER the Guardian published it. These facts are stubborn things I know.

    Basically this is just a thread about correcting your misunderstandings isn’t it?
  17. Anonymous Member

    Hahahahaha: BUT WIKILEAKS MADE THAT INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO THEM. [INSERT MY "GIVING A CRIMINAL A GUN" ANALOGY HERE]. Let me lay it out again: secret information = secret. Person who reveals secret information to newspapers who publish secret information = partially responsible for any damaging outcome.
  18. Anonymous Member

    Blame the diplomats for making that info available to Wikileaks. At least be consistent in your bullshit logic.
  19. Anonymous Member

    I knew the information was publicly available via the Guardian, I thought it was also on the wikileaks website, someone told me it wasn't, but then someone else said it was for a time. So I was correct that harmful information was public in the Guardian and wikileaks, but in both cases wikileaks was the source of that harmful information.

    The thread is not about a misunderstanding. I intended to use Tsvangirai's story as a cautionary tale to diehard wikileaks supporters. Some information is secret for a good reason, so all I'm saying is that anyone who comes into the possession of classified documents should decide carefully what and how much to release. I would accuse wikileaks of not doing that in this case.
  20. Anonymous Member

    Diplomats didn't make it available. A random army guy did, and he wasn't supposed to, and he knew that he wasn't supposed to.
  21. Anonymous Member

    Fixed that for you. Why do you think Wikileaks has been working with the Guardian and Le Monde et al on this? So they could pool resources for redaction. The Guardian fucked up and released the cable in question. Ignoring that makes you sound less about issuing a ‘cautionary tale’ and more like a wilfully clueless faggot.
    I’m just taking your shitty logic and showing its absurdity.
  22. Anonymous Member

    Imho it was a good decision to release this information about Tsvangirai, because it shows that he is a liar. If the sanctions target only Mr. Mugabe's cronies, why does he need to pretend to the public that he would be against them? It's no secret that Tsvangirai opposes Mugabe.
    The information was in the public interest and the Guardian (yes, the Guardian selected this cable for publication and not wikileaks) made the right decision by releasing it.
    If Tsvangirai can now get charged with treason for it, which i highly doubt, then it is his own fault.
  23. Anonymous Member

    And the lack of corresponding incriminating leaked cables about Mr. Mugabe shows that HE is an honest guy, and does not lie.
  24. Anonymous Member

    ^ There is some truth to that, but I'm not sure I fully agree.
  25. Anonymous Member

    ^ That was intended as a response to post #22
  26. Anonymous Member

    Monsieur, WikiLeaks provided the Guardian with the information. Even if it was for purposes of redaction, they are still equally (or 40%) RESPONSIBLE for its release. If I had posted something good that the Guardian had published, you would be giving Wikileaks credit. Here, you defend them.

    For me, the lesson is that people shouldn’t just go digging around trying to grab information just because it’s classified. That’s how you end up with so many documents that you need to share them just for redaction. If an abuse is occuring, look for information about that topic. Use a fishing rod, not a thousand foot net.

    As to being a faggot, it’s always nice to have a little homophobia with my after dinner drink! You must be from Uganda, where that kind of raging prejudice is encouraged.
  27. Anonymous Member

    And the diplomats wrote the cables which made the whole thing possible in the first place. At least apply the shitty logic consistently, otherwise it might look like you are trying to target a certain leaking site with ad-hoc reasoning.
  28. Anonymous Member

    Yes, he lied. But who thinks lying is always wrong? Certainly not me when I tell my best friend that yes, she sings wonderfully.

    Tsvangirai doesn't have to pretend to the public, he has to pretend to Mugabe. Mugabe knows Tsvangirai is against him, but--perhaps because of fear of more sanctions--he isn't so brazen as to have Tsvangirai murdered in cold blood. But if he had a "good" excuse, i.e. "treason," then, even though we'd all know treason had nothing to do with it, he could have Tsvangirai executed. This would hold up as an act of sovereignty in a court like the ICC.
  29. Anonymous Member

    You know what pisses me off most about this thread? The OP is doing his damnedest to tar Wikileaks for a decision the Guardian made, and then using that false basis to decry Wikileaks for causing harm.

    Compared to the fucking mountains of harms detailed in the cables I think the OP, for not decrying those hamrs which secrecy helped make possible, should go fuck themselves.
  30. Anonymous Member

    Dude. They wrote the cables, but the cables were CONFIDENTIAL, until someone STOLE them. Just reread comment #13 for my prior reply to this argument. If you weren't so fanatical, maybe you could detect your own "shitty reasoning."

    Why is it so hard to admit that there are good and bad things about Wikileaks? I can even admit that sort of thing about myself! But in Wikileaks case, like mine, there are ways to do better. That's why I started this thread in the first place. As a cautionary tale so people could do BETTER.
  31. Anonymous Member

    Who gave Guardian the cables? And what secret information has been released that was so helpful?

    Also, I'm not trying to tar wikileaks. Read my comment #30.
  32. Anonymous Member

    What does this have to do with the completely false premise upon which this thread was based, and which you have been shredding logic trying to defend? If you want to start a thread on the bad things about Wikileaks it might help if you fucking discussed something they, and not the Guardian, were responsible for. Until I’m just going to continue giving you grief about your fucking misconceptions on this.
  33. Anonymous Member

    And who wrote the cables? Be consistent in your shitty logic.
  34. Anonymous Member

    Off the top of my head:
    The kidnapping and torute of an innocent German civilian who they dumped on a roadside in Albania, and then applied political pressure to stop the German government from investigating.
    The murder of a Spanish journalist which the US then applied political pressure to shut down the investigation.
    Proof of extraordinary renditions through my country despite YEARS of denials.

    More facts you weren’t aware of perchance?
  35. Anonymous Member

    How is that information helpful?
    Terrorist. Serves him right.
    Terrorist. Serves him right.
    Your country licks my country's boots.
    You may continue licking.

    (Or rather, you would if that the information had remained secret.
    We're currently re-evaluating your permission to lick boots, so keep licking.)
  36. Anonymous Member

    It exposes the US foreign policy for the cancerous thuggery that it is. But apparently this cancerous thuggery is not of concern to you, yet your misunderstandings over this particular cable are. Makes little sense.
  37. Anonymous Member

    Not "more" facts, but these two facts yes. Up until now there hasn't been anything I haven't known (well there was one thing but it turned out I was actually rather correct).

    If you don't mind explaining further: Who did the German kidnapping? The Albanian government? I don't know them, but that truly is awful. What was the deal?
    As to the journalist, what was the context of the story? I'm not trying to fight what you're saying, I just have to know more before I judge. Murder is always wrong, but I need to know if there is more to the story.

    But there is something else. Let's say Zimbabwe uses the cables as an excuse to execute Tsvangirai. As a result, hypothetically, Zimbabwe starves for another 20 years, when with Tsvangirai, maybe it only starves for another 5. Would you have any regret that maybe the costs outweighed the benefits?
  38. Anonymous Member

    That wasn't me (the OP). I'm #37. But what that fellow said does resonate. The two cases you mentioned could very well be a case of "You say innocent, I say terrorist." Are you really sure you have all the info to make that distinction?
  39. Anonymous Member

    Here's another hypothetical:
    what if Superman used his powers to go back in time and teach Hitler how to be a successful artist.
    And Hitler then spent the rest of his days painting landscapes, and never accidentally the whole
    And what if this allowed Mussolini to take over, and he invaded Germany and then used Enrico Fermi's scientific wizardy to invented a nuclear bomb that destroyed Chechnya?

    What then?
  40. Anonymous Member

    Actually, that fellow was mocking, not agreeing with you.

    mockery-derision-derogatory-scoff-ridicule.png
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