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Bad Reputation Open Thread

One of the news stations this morning couldn’t stop talking about whether the Wikileaks documents were contributing to a Bad Reputation for the U.S. Well, maybe or maybe (with Fair Game on my mind) it’s our own dumb decisions making the biggest contributions.

Anyway, here’s Freedy Johnston singing Bad Reputation:

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46 Responses

  1. Once I get going, I can’t stop:

  2. In a rare piece of good news, Bob Geldof is smarter than I imagined.

    He said: ‘I am responsible for two of the worst songs in history. One is Do They Know It’s Christmas? and the other one is We Are The World.

    ‘Any day soon, I will go to the supermarket, head to the meat counter and it will be playing. Every ****ing Christmas.’

    It’s not Wikileaks but that stuff will be coming out for months. 😉

  3. Interesting, look like wikileaks is going after financial institutions next. It’s one thing to go over military secretes and state secretes, but the second he starts going after the owners, I think he may get in trouble. Of course I want him to uncover lots of crap they’ve been doing. But I predict something bad happening to him and that process before it leaks out. We’ll see.

    • Kind of sounds like it’s one of the biggies, aka Goldman Sachs to me. That leak he may not survive.

      • He probably has set the plan in motion. As he has done before copies are already in the hands of some news organizations.

    • Here’s an interview where he mentions it:

      But, as Assange explained to me earlier this month, the Pentagon and State Department leaks are just the start.

      […]

      In a rare, two-hour interview conducted in London on November 11, Assange said that he’s still sitting on a trove of secret documents, about half of which relate to the private sector. And WikiLeaks’ next target will be a major American bank. “It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume,” he said, adding: “For this, there’s only one similar example. It’s like the Enron emails.”

  4. Sorry to keep with the “US and Bad Reputation” thread, but I find this a fascinating read regarding the spy work at the UN: “US diplomats spied on UN leadership” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/28/us-embassy-cables-spying-un?intcmp=239).

    Some key excerpts:

    A classified directive which appears to blur the line between diplomacy and spying was issued to US diplomats under Hillary Clinton’s name in July 2009, demanding forensic technical details about the communications systems used by top UN officials, including passwords and personal encryption keys used in private and commercial networks for official communications.

    [snip]

    The operation targeted at the UN appears to have involved all of Washington’s main intelligence agencies. The CIA’s clandestine service, the US Secret Service and the FBI were included in the “reporting and collection needs” cable alongside the state department under the heading “collection requirements and tasking”.

    [snip]

    The directives, signed simply “Clinton” or “Rice”, referring to the current and former secretaries of state, Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice, form a central plank of America’s intelligence effort and reveal how Washington is using its 11,500-strong foreign service to glean highly sensitive information on both allies and enemies.

    They are compliant with the National Intelligence Priorities Framework, which is approved by the president, and issued by James Clapper, the director of national intelligence who oversees the CIA, the Defence Intelligence Agency, FBI and 13 other intelligence agencies.

    [snip]

    Taken together, the directives provide a vivid snapshot of America’s perception of foreign threats which are often dazzlingly interconnected. . .

    The whole thing, to me, reflects the “global war on terror” run amuck, intelligence agencies out of control and cannot be controlled (hence the original leaks), and enhanced US efforts to keep control of friends and foes alike while it is declining in material (economic) power.

    • Good find. Passwords? Jeebus, you have no security if your system relies on passwords. Who’s in charge of security there?

      • He-he! Good point, DT. But I think the UN system (and probably the US gov system) is still pretty much below what many in the private sector have become used to. I remember Hillary saying early on in her tenure at State that when she and Bill came to the White House in 1993, it still used the old switch board and rotary phone, while they already had digital phones in Arkansas (so much for the hillbillies).

      • Gee, look at all the money spent on developing a fighter that can’t fly in the rain or how the military was put in harm’s way by shoddy goods and services performed by crony contractors and you wonder how some geek pfc could lift reams of intel?

    • http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/29/wikileaks_un_cyber/

      Read to the end to see what ex-diplomat Sir Christopher Meyer has to say.

    • Haven’t we been spying on people since the cold war? If you ask me, I think this is a little overblown. What is so revealing about anything in these documents?

      • It’s against the U.N. charter to use U.N. personnel to spy on other countries.

        • Yeah right. The five permanent members of the UN Security Council: Russia, China, France, UK, US. Can’t see them engaged in any espionage at all via the UN. 🙂

          • In April ,China got caught spying on the UN and India and just this past July we exchanged spies with Russia.

            That was spying just within the year.

      • “Haven’t we been spying on people since the cold war?”

        Completely agree, Little Isis. And even well before that. What’s making the whole docu dump a big deal is that it provides fodder for US (and Hillary’s) critics because it’s “straight from the horse’s mouth” stuff, not to mention that it allows other countries and their diplomats to self-servingly raise their stature compared to the US.

        I wish though, that the US media gave this kind of attention to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars’ docu dump, which got a lot of mileage elsewhere in the world and to me constitute the more damaging aspect of current US national security policy.

        • It just seems to me that sometimes the press does not have it’s priorities in order, but that is probably an understatement.

          • The priorities of the press are not our priorities, that’s all. The elite own the government and it’s not in the best interest of the elite to dwell on the abuses of government.

          • Their priorities are to sell advertizing, something they can’t do if they go after the hand that feeds them by reporting on how well health care is done in single payer countries or just how ginned up the reasons for going into Iraq were.

      • Agreed. Speaking as a non-American, color me not even remotely shocked. It’s all hype.

  5. Blue Shield, Kaiser among state insurers fined

    State regulators Monday fined seven of California’s largest health insurers nearly $5 million for systematically failing to pay doctors and hospitals fairly and on time.
    The California Department of Managed Health Care issued the fines following an 18-month audit in which investigators looked at a small but statistically significant sample of claims. The investigation found the plans were paying on average about 80 percent of the claims correctly, far below the legal threshold of 95 percent.

    more at link.

    All those penalties will be passed on to consumers because we know these companies will always make money.

    • I HATE kaiser! HATE HATE HATE! My best friend was dying and they turned him away and are still screwing him over to this day!!! He is in constant pain and they keep switching his doctors and screwing up his medication and it messes with his head, I HATE THEM!

      • All HMOs are bad. I worked for an HMO. I switched to Kaiser, my spouse’s HMO, because I found out my employer was worse than Kaiser. The bottom line gets in the way of paying for claims.

      • Sounds like “Kaiser” is too good a name for them.

        How about “Fuehrer”? 😈

        • His insides were tearing apart and they sent him home with a bottle of vicoden. He almost died on numerous occasions and now to top it all off they quadrupled the premium and are making him go to different doctors who are putting him on the wrong medication. HATE. THEM.

          • I know of someone with pneumonia who was sent home because Kaiser said it was the flu. When the flu didn’t improve she went back, and again she was sent home. After more than a week with a flu that got worse everyday, she went back to Kaiser determined not to leave until she got the necessary care. That’s when the doctor put her in the hospital because the pneumonia was so advanced that it demanded hospitalization.

            What you’re gonna do? — Homer Simpson

            All HMOs are bad.

          • I would call them “Scrooge Inc.”, but that would be unfair to Mr. Scrooge, who did reform.

            Health insurance companies indeed suck, and Obummer sucks for sucking up to them.

            The for-profit health “care” system is insane, and should be scrapped in favor of making it a public service, just like fire, police, and military protection.

      • There needs to be a Canadian charity marriage site, where sick Americans can date people with Canadian citizenship and marry into universal healthcare.

    • And Cali came so close to passing a good health care bill. Darn you Arhnold!

  6. Article 105 of the U.N. Charter:

    The premises of the United Nations shall be inviolable. The property and assets of the United Nations, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation and any other form of interference, whether by executive, administrative, judicial or legislative action.

    That’s why spying at the U.N. is a violation of the rules. Most suspect the rules are violated, but the wikileak removes suspicion.

    • Agree, Dario. The interesting thing to watch is whether any member of the Security Council or the UN leadership will actually dare to take up the US on it. CNN reported the Russia’s UN Ambassador’s response as “Surprise, surprise.”

      • Clinton was continuing the policy that Rice had in place, which means it was Bush’s policy, and Obama continued that policy.

        I feel bad for Hillary.

        • Please, again. And it was Reagan’s policy after it was Kennedy’s policy after it was Truman’s policy. 🙂

          • As far as I know there’s no “smoking gun” that before G.W., other administrations used the U.N. to spy. That’s my point. There’s a difference between suspicion and having a cable from the SoS that says to gather specific sensitive information from U.N. diplomats.

    • What suspicion. I thought spying was half the reason the UN continues to even exist. No nation’s delegation is under any illusion about that.

  7. Brace for the post-WikiLeaks information big chill

    WASHINGTON – After the latest WikiLeaks revelations, the government is setting in motion a new information “big chill,” reversing almost a decade of post-Sept. 11 efforts to nudge U.S. officials into sharing sensitive documents.
    The Pentagon has detailed new security safeguards, including restraints on small computer flash drives, to make it harder for any one person to copy and reveal so many secrets. The clampdown parallels efforts at other agencies.
    snip
    Access to much of that diplomatic material had been loosened after the Sept. 11 attacks. The success of the al-Qaida plot was blamed in part on evidence that the U.S. intelligence community had adequate information on the impending attacks but failed to connect the dots because it did not share its intelligence. The walling-off of such critical information is known as “stovepiping.”
    As part of the 9/11 Commission reforms, the position of director for national intelligence was created to serve as nexus and arbiter for the 16-agency intelligence community and to ensure stovepiping was avoided. Various government agencies were given access to terminals in each other’s data systems. In the case of the Pentagon and State Department, it brought wholesale sharing of information on the same computer system.
    That loosened access may have helped enable a lone Army private to obtain sensitive files

    Back to square one.

    • That always seemed inevitable from this…everyone will clam up again. Repubs get to slam the administration and give another boost to FISA. Win win for them. Good job wikileaks.

  8. With all the schisms and schasms that are occurring on blogs, I’ve come to the conclusion that blogs are for like minds. It seems when the minds part, so do the bodies.

    • Maybe, but I like my independence, hate being spoon fed. On facebook for instance, you have the Joan Walsh type threads where everyone says the same thing over and over again, and you have the Jake Tapper type threads where progs, tea partiers, pumas, and everyone in between have at it on whatever topic, and every once in a while Jake throws somebody out because they get uncivil. Anyway, I find the Tapper type threads more interesting. Same for blogs.

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