Federal

Dec 7, 2010

‘Critical infrastructure’ = hysterical
reaction

The "critical infrastructure" apparently leaked by WikiLeaks is a bureaucratic exercise that tells us nothing. Why is the press overreacting?

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

What a load of rubbish the media are going on about over the alleged list of terrorist targets published by WikiLeaks. Fairfax and News Ltd newspapers are running virtually the same line as Robert McClelland about how this is allegedly some serious breach of security.

So let’s consider the list of purported targets here in Australia that WikiLeaks has apparently leaked.

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39 comments

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39 thoughts on “‘Critical infrastructure’ = hysterical
reaction

  1. Misanthropic Dave

    Too true Bernard!

  2. Altakoi

    I have wondered about the shock value of a lot of the wikileaks stuff, unless you count it being shocking that the government thinks much as everyone else does. US concerned Pakistans nukes not secure – should bloody hope so, ’cause I am. US advised to be ready with conflict with China – well thats only been the subject of god knows how many foreign policy papers and a recent quarterly essay. Saudi Arabia on the nose – well Saudi’s did do a lot of the flying in 9/11 and they are a despotic state that even other despotic states think is the work of the great Satan. So, having not read the gigabytes of leaks, the media reportage is just a litany of uncomfortable truths everyone knows but the media seems just faintly embarrassed at not having mentioned themselves.

  3. David

    Our slack MSM should be bloody ashamed of themselves. It has taken one man to arouse this shabby lot (Crikey excluded) from their disinterest, sloppy reporting, shock jock, glossy magazine attitude. Bernard has covered it well and once again we are better served by Crikey than the Murdoch and Fairfax empires combined.

  4. ronin8317

    It’s a planted story to make ‘Wikileak’ look irresponsible. They’re preparing the public for the arrest of Mr Assange. The US Government is not worried about the diplomatic cable, they’re worried about what Wikileak will release on Bank of America.

  5. Perry Gretton

    I can’t find NAB’s online banking system on the list.

  6. freecountry

    Yeah, I to do a double-take of the “non-military assetts” alarum. This is all missing the point, which is that state officials all over the world will now feel that every single word they say to US consular officials is on the record. As a result, diplomatic lines of communication will become strained.

    In 1961 the UN formulated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, to codify age-old conventions for the protection of privileged between diplomats and their governments, in the hope of fostering dialog between states.

    The reason this needed codifying was pretty obvious at the time. It was underlined the following year, when the whole world held its breath waiting for a runaway exchange of nuclear-warhead missiles to draw the final curtain on the human race.

    I hope in some way the Wikileaks saga progresses beyond childish assertions like the right of the public to know everything, and gives rise to an evaluation of global diplomacy today. On the one hand we talk and talk with governments of North Korea and Iran while they arm themselves with post-cold-war nukes and hold their own populations as hostages against our aggression. On the other hand our invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were done in such a clumsy way as to alienate much of the Muslim world, when I feel we could have made common cause with most Muslim countries–and even with most of the Mujahidin who freed Afghanistan from Russia–being the enemy of my enemy.

    Julian Assange no doubt has his own views on all this, maybe insightful, maybe not, but whatever his motives are it’s likely they go beyond personal gain. Annoying as he is, it should be fairly clear that the sheer volume of off-the-record talk he has in his possession, if not the banal nature of most of it, gives him enormous leverage.

    It would be interesting to know if any approach was made to him–using diplomatic methods to argue for the concept of diplomatic privilege–to ask Assange what he wanted, and whether there might be a way to address his objectives without exposing the back room chatter of every US diplomat and every world leader.

  7. Jimmy

    I had to laugh yesterday at the media’s coverage of the rudd/clinton discussion, they sounded almost happy that Australia was important enough to be leaked about, but the headline was “Rudd encourages military action against China” when to me it seemed he was encouraging the carrot diplomacy to bring them into the fold while still holding the bloody big stick just in case.

  8. julieb

    Too true – love the footnote

  9. Venise Alstergren

    The reality of all of this is that America has been made to look foolish. And if there is one thing a world power will not tolerate, it is the loss of face.

    The MSM are nothing if not fond of their jobs, so they followed the PMs command. They are dutifully outraged that we, at America’s behest, have brought brought some Western peoples’ live a bit closer to the end of the road.

    They fail to think of the amount of lives lost in invaded countries by America’s endless wars.

  10. SusieQ

    Sadly, trumped up hysteria and celebrity tittle tattle seems to sell these days. As the media cut resources, they seem to become more and more reliant on the ‘press release as story’ option and whatever they can republish from overseas sources. If a story can incorporate a pretty girl in a bikini, a famous sportsman and a sick child, then all the better!

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