Stories about wikileaks

Of the great America and its need for coups around the world

In the past few months, there has been a successful coup in Zimbabwe, preceded by a failed attempt in Turkey. While local elements involved in such a takeover are in view of the public, the same cannot be said about foreign conspirators. Talk of foreign involvement is often shrugged off as a “conspiracy theory” by the global mainstream media, and evidence implicating outside actors is often ignored. However, a brief review of recent history (post World War II) unveils the role played by the strongest power in history – the United States (US) – in coups around the world. The history presented in this piece is not based on the opinions of people, but rather on official declassified documents released under ...

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If Amal Alamuddin can bag George Clooney, so can we!

Dear Mr Clooney,  To most of us, Amal Alamuddin was just another name – she could be a friend, a neighbour or another acquaintance. But what we really didn’t know was that this name would one day be linked to you. We would have never guessed that you of all people, the fantastic silver fox of Hollywood, would tie the knot and that too overnight! She is engaged to you, the ‘world’s sexiest man’ and one of the most sought-after bachelors. I hope your ego has taken a huge boost while you read this. She has set the standard so high that if we had to ...

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I am Bradley Manning and you should be too!

As the sentencing hearing gets underway for Bradley Manning, who faces 136 years in prison after being convicted of 20 charges including espionage and theft, it’s hard not to feel that a travesty of justice is taking place. Here is a person who had made a commitment to serve his country and was put in a difficult situation of deciding whether to follow protocol and turn a blind eye to abuses and war crimes being carried out in his country’s name, or to do the morally right thing and bring the atrocities to light. Bradley Manning chose to follow his conscience, knowing ...

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Pak-US relations: The lies of the allies

US Ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter recently gave a major policy speech – or so we expected before it happened. Coinciding with DG ISI Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha’s visit to Washington, the talk given at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad covered a lot of ground. From renewal of relations to perception building, from drone attacks to economic aid, a host of issues was addressed in the speech and question/answer session that followed. But as someone present on the spot, I failed to find anything new in Munter’s words. Granted that after the Raymond Davis episode, the ambassador needs a fresh start in his efforts to ...

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Is hacking always immoral?

Recently, two teenagers were tried for hacking the Pakistan Supreme Court’s website. Geo News reported that the hackers demanded the immediate release of detained Pakistani neuroscientist Dr Aafia Siddiqui. This raises the question: is hacking morally wrong? Hacking then The old-school concept of hacking was taking something and making it do something it was not intended for. A perfect example of this is how a group of hackers managed to unlock Apple’s iPhone which, even after four years of its launch in the US, is still not officially meant to work outside a handful of countries, but hackers have bypassed this official clause. To ...

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PakLeaks: Did I miss the humour?

I used to believe that blogs were a great way for people to express themselves. Old school bloggers have a way with words and express themselves in an interesting manner. Unfortunately, a new generation of bloggers seems to think that the medium gives writers a license to go around making personal attacks just because it seems fun. I heard about a new blog called PakLeaks which seemed to be Pakistan’s equivalent of WikiLeaks. The blog claimed to have 35,000 leaked direct messages or “DMs” from members of Pakistan’s Twitterati. It claimed that it is being hacked because of the nature of its ...

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Partying in Jeddah: The elite immunity syndrome

A recent US consulate cable released by WikiLeaks describes a Halloween party at an elite residence in Jeddah; the funds of a prince, alcohol, ‘working women’ and a scene resembling ‘ a nightclub anywhere outside the Kingdom’ was highlighted. The news caused a burst of outrage. I came across more than one online forum where comments ranged from: ‘I wonder what kind of Islam Pakistan has imported from Saudi Arabia’ to ‘If anyone still blindly have faith in these low lives gutter mentality people’. It disturbs me that there is such outrage over a nation that is run by a monarchy-the very concept of ...

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Selective coverage: What the stories we never hear about mean

Keeping an eye on how the media has been working in Pakistan, I have been confused about whether it is actually performing its role –  its real role as an unbiased observer to events – and providing masses with untampered facts and information. Aside from its highly anti-government policies and the Zardari obsession, there are other reasons that makes its role suspect. With reference to the Pakistan army, the media’s role remains ambiguous. For reasons that are obvious, there has been a serious lack of reporting on exactly how the army has been conducting activities in Balochistan and Fata. But recent events are alarming. Last week ...

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WikiLeaks: Democracy undressed

WikiLeaks has now been added to our burgeoning dictionary of new labels of social media but undoubtedly, it is one of the most controversial. The proliferation of different types of social media from Facebook to YouTube is raising deep questions about public discussion, and the workings of democracy itself. It is not so much the content that is released by WikiLeaks that is of concern or indeed of any great surprise, since they merely confirmed what many suspected. Democracy looks like a sham The great concern is how foreign policy is being conducted behind closed doors, in secret corridors of power where only an elite ...

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WikiLeaks: Is the truth unpatriotic?

Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks indomitably dominated the headlines of late. The content of the leaked US diplomatic cables is definitively headline worthy. The repercussions of the unveiling of dangerous government secrets are colossal. As the US Justice Department considers the Espionage Act of 1917 to charge Assange with, I wonder if speaking out the truth is unpatriotic or if it’s just the only right thing to do? According to the Espionage Act, “unauthorised possession and dissemination of information related to national defence is illegal”. But then what about the First Amendment to the US Constitution? It guarantees freedom of press. Robert Wright ...

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