Robert Baer Says WikiLeaks Is ‘A Catastrophe’

Car Bomb

The Deadbolt‘s Reg Seeton interviews Bob Baer, immortalized on the silver screen by George Clooney in Syriana, about his new film Car Bomb, but equally interesting are Baer’s comments on WikiLeaks:

BAER: WikiLeaks, I think it’s a catastrophe. I mean, here our most sensitive diplomatic sources are all being exposed and it’s the trustworthiness and creditability of the United States – I mean, in terms of what it’s done to our national security is much worse than any car bomb that could possibly go off.

THE DEADBOLT: As a former spy yourself, how would you deal with your cover being blown in a leak like that?

BAER: You tighten up security. There are certain communications that are protected. The New York Times doesn’t put its sources out on the net, so why should the government? I mean, I believe in openness, too, but not in all cases. Does everyone want their medical records out on the internet? Does everybody want their credit and where they went to dinner last night on the internet?

Society does feel a little less confidential and the State Department has just got to get into the position where it learns how to classify things and not send them everywhere in the world for people that don’t need to see them. It’s need to know.

THE DEADBOLT: Since the internet makes car bombs so accessible, and now that we have WikiLeaks, do you think there needs to be some form of government regulation to control the internet?

BAER: No. No, I don’t think we should touch it. They just need to tighten it up at the State Department. If there’s a protected conversation with a head of state like Saudi Arabia or Yemen, or anywhere, it’s candid and obviously not off the record but not meant to see public light. You just simply classify it and you limit the distribution. There’s no reason for a corporal in Iraq to have access to all of our diplomatic communications. That’s just stupid.

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  • Strummingbabe

    All spies are snitches, and snitches get stitches, and if you a stitch we gon’ know it, and we laugh when a government employee gets tossed in the line of duty to this failing errant laughable madhouse of corruption and spiritual disease, this extravaganze of human folly, so I think that it is good when spies get sent up the river, so to speak.

  • Strummingbabe

    All spies are snitches, and snitches get stitches, and if you a stitch we gon’ know it, and we laugh when a government employee gets tossed in the line of duty to this failing errant laughable madhouse of corruption and spiritual disease, this extravaganze of human folly, so I think that it is good when spies get sent up the river, so to speak.

  • Hadrian999

    it isn’t wikileaks that trashed the trustworthiness of the us government, it is the us government doing these things that trashed it. real national security comes from integrity and standing up for your principles, not doing dirtywork in the shadows and having backroom deals with dictators and deathsquads. If we actually practice the values we claim to no disclosure could embarrass us.

  • Hadrian999

    it isn’t wikileaks that trashed the trustworthiness of the us government, it is the us government doing these things that trashed it. real national security comes from integrity and standing up for your principles, not doing dirtywork in the shadows and having backroom deals with dictators and deathsquads. If we actually practice the values we claim to no disclosure could embarrass us.

  • Haystack

    ” I mean, here our most sensitive diplomatic sources are all being exposed”

    No, those are our *least* sensitive, which is why a private first class had access to them.

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      These are just mere civilian atrocities and terribly bad politics being publicized; you know small stuff!
      They wouldn’t dare let anyone hear about how lowly the politicians really think about the normal US citizen. Or outdated core beliefs involving the genetic superiority of those who happen to have more money etc…

  • Haystack

    ” I mean, here our most sensitive diplomatic sources are all being exposed”

    No, those are our *least* sensitive, which is why a private first class had access to them.

  • Strummingbabe

    post before me is genius

  • Strummingbabe

    post before me is genius

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I think having a stack of diplomatic cables revealed is considerably less terrible than what could have happened. More importantly…they were publicly revealed…not discretely sold to a foreign power that could shape their policy at an advantage without anyone being the wiser. Now the weak point in our systems are revealed and repaired…and we’re stronger for it…but our public has been left more aware of the doublespeak, dirty dealings and fraud that gets randomly committed every day. I don’t consider any of these outcomes bad…except that we have a population so adamant in their loyalty to party that they oppose being an informed population…as if they can make choices for leadership well while flying blind. I suppose thats the difference between the cynical and the naive. Some believe that despite widespread ignorance all will be well…because secrets are secret for a reason and they trust others to carry that burden…and some of us completely disagree and expect everyone to carry the weight of knowledge around and base their political decisions on it.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I think having a stack of diplomatic cables revealed is considerably less terrible than what could have happened. More importantly…they were publicly revealed…not discretely sold to a foreign power that could shape their policy at an advantage without anyone being the wiser. Now the weak point in our systems are revealed and repaired…and we’re stronger for it…but our public has been left more aware of the doublespeak, dirty dealings and fraud that gets randomly committed every day. I don’t consider any of these outcomes bad…except that we have a population so adamant in their loyalty to party that they oppose being an informed population…as if they can make choices for leadership well while flying blind. I suppose thats the difference between the cynical and the naive. Some believe that despite widespread ignorance all will be well…because secrets are secret for a reason and they trust others to carry that burden…and some of us completely disagree and expect everyone to carry the weight of knowledge around and base their political decisions on it.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    These are just mere civilian atrocities and terribly bad politics being publicized; you know small stuff!
    They wouldn’t dare let anyone hear about how lowly the politicians really think about the normal US citizen. Or outdated core beliefs involving the genetic superiority of those who happen to have more money etc…

  • Hypnos1

    Robert Baer has this all wrong. The actions these cables document are responsible for deaths around the world numbering in the hundreds of thousands. The number of deaths attributed to wikileaks is exactly zero.

    And besides that, anyone working with a US diplomat of any rank understands how world politics works and the techniques of the US State department. These cables reveal nothing to them.

    But noone should take this man seriously after the comment he made just before his opinions on wikileaks: Regarding the lack of car bombs in the United States, “It says a lot about the States’ ability to solve conflict peacefully.” lol

  • Hypnos1

    Robert Baer has this all wrong. The actions these cables document are responsible for deaths around the world numbering in the hundreds of thousands. The number of deaths attributed to wikileaks is exactly zero.

    And besides that, anyone working with a US diplomat of any rank understands how world politics works and the techniques of the US State department. These cables reveal nothing to them.

    But noone should take this man seriously after the comment he made just before his opinions on wikileaks: Regarding the lack of car bombs in the United States, “It says a lot about the States’ ability to solve conflict peacefully.” lol

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  • Soullab1

    Time to grow up and face the truth of what we’ve become as a nation.

    “Don’t Shoot the Messenger.” Rather, attend to the message- our government does bad things to the world and the world is pissed. It’s like a thug who cries foul when one of it’s victims retaliates. Hang in there America- our brightest days may be ahead but it could never happen if we remain the same and leave the secret dirty work continue.

  • Soullab1

    Time to grow up and face the truth of what we’ve become as a nation.

    “Don’t Shoot the Messenger.” Rather, attend to the message- our government does bad things to the world and the world is pissed. It’s like a thug who cries foul when one of it’s victims retaliates. Hang in there America- our brightest days may be ahead but it could never happen if we remain the same and leave the secret dirty work continue.

  • http://twitter.com/praticuschaotic Jon Doe

    Baer can suck a tailpipe if he doesn’t comprehend the difference between government documents that expose the wrong things the government is doing in the world versus leaking a regular person’s credit information or medical information. Two entirely different things. The government has no right to privacy; they’re PUBLIC servants. And don’t forget what this is all about: that the US government is committing NUMEROUS WAR CRIMES. This isn’t about someone committing identity theft, this is about the crimes of our politicians/diplomats/spy service coming home to roost.

  • http://twitter.com/praticuschaotic John Doe

    Baer can suck a tailpipe if he doesn’t comprehend the difference between government documents that expose the wrong things the government is doing in the world versus leaking a regular person’s credit information or medical information. Two entirely different things. The government has no right to privacy; they’re PUBLIC servants. And don’t forget what this is all about: that the US government is committing NUMEROUS WAR CRIMES. This isn’t about someone committing identity theft, this is about the crimes of our politicians/diplomats/spy service coming home to roost.