Morality of Unredacted Releases

A conversation with @PrinceofRazors about the morality and ethics of releasing the unredacted Cablegate files.
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Unrevealed @PrinceofRazors

I want to run a hypothetical situation by everyone. I'd appreciate some feedback. (Feedback can be instructive, in a lot of ways...)

02/09/2011 12:01:22 WIB
Unrevealed @PrinceofRazors

1. The State Department has a source in a country. We'll call the country X.

02/09/2011 12:01:36 WIB
Unrevealed @PrinceofRazors

2. In X, there's not only the security apparatus; there are other political and/or religious groups, including outlawed or oppressed ones.

02/09/2011 12:02:40 WIB
Unrevealed @PrinceofRazors

3. Some of these groups perceive (or publicly claim) the U.S. as hostile, and they do this as loudly as X's government does.

02/09/2011 12:03:46 WIB
Unrevealed @PrinceofRazors

4. A cable identifies a person from one of these "dangerous" groups-- we'll call the person B-- as a U.S. source.

02/09/2011 12:04:11 WIB
Unrevealed @PrinceofRazors

5. Journos, officials (from the U.S. and perhaps-- only perhaps-- from X), people who followed the drama had access to a cable naming B.

02/09/2011 12:05:14 WIB
Unrevealed @PrinceofRazors

(Note that the very public pissing match between WikiLeaks and the Guardian increased *that* issue's visibility. Another issue...)

02/09/2011 12:05:44 WIB
Unrevealed @PrinceofRazors

6. Then someone releases the unredacted documents as a torrent or posts them.

02/09/2011 12:05:58 WIB
Unrevealed @PrinceofRazors

7. Does release of unredacted docs increase or decrease the likelihood of non-state groups targeting B.? Does likelihood remain unchanged?

02/09/2011 12:06:12 WIB
Unrevealed @PrinceofRazors

8. Does the revelation of such material help the regime or help resistance to it?

02/09/2011 12:06:34 WIB
Andrew @timeoutcorner

@PrinceofRazors I would say the release clarifies the dividing lines. Forces a clearer picture, helps make people make decisions.

02/09/2011 12:07:54 WIB
Andrew @timeoutcorner

@PrinceofRazors All sides. Both the establishment of X, as well as B. Forces them to regard their position, and that of other positions.

02/09/2011 12:08:38 WIB
Andrew @timeoutcorner

@PrinceofRazors To that end, I would say that is beneficial. Clarified situations are situations which will catalyse change.

02/09/2011 12:09:06 WIB
Unrevealed @PrinceofRazors

@timeoutcorner Say the group was reaching out to or passing along information, but wishes to maintain the appearance of *not* doing so.

02/09/2011 12:09:22 WIB
Unrevealed @PrinceofRazors

@timeoutcorner My question would be, do they get rid of the "source" for PR purposes, or does the state?

02/09/2011 12:09:52 WIB
Andrew @timeoutcorner

@PrinceofRazors It would depend on the actual intent of B, or of X's status quo.

02/09/2011 12:10:44 WIB
Unrevealed @PrinceofRazors

@timeoutcorner Can the people who release the documents know B's intent?

02/09/2011 12:11:10 WIB
Andrew @timeoutcorner

@PrinceofRazors If either are truly interested in walking their talk, plans will be accellerated. Otherwise, I opine 'source' would be gone.

02/09/2011 12:11:16 WIB
Unrevealed @PrinceofRazors

@timeoutcorner Interesting. I don't presume to tell B's group or X how to walk their walk.

02/09/2011 12:11:59 WIB
Andrew @timeoutcorner

@PrinceofRazors Again, depends. One would need to 1) have read docs, 2) understand situation whence they came, 3) understand doc's slant.

02/09/2011 12:12:25 WIB
Andrew @timeoutcorner

@PrinceofRazors Nor do I. However, they said what they said. If one doesn't really want something known, one doesn't say anything ever.

02/09/2011 12:12:52 WIB
Unrevealed @PrinceofRazors

@timeoutcorner Not sure I follow. If B. gave the State Department whatever information, of course B. had an agenda, as did State. As does X.

02/09/2011 12:14:10 WIB
Unrevealed @PrinceofRazors

@timeoutcorner How does the document 'clarify' anything to people unfamiliar with the nation?

02/09/2011 12:14:57 WIB
Unrevealed @PrinceofRazors

@timeoutcorner Other than give the identity of a potential target.

02/09/2011 12:15:15 WIB
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