Following the release this weekend of 251,287 confidential United States embassy cables, this First Wednesday debate focuses on the revelations of the latest leak from whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.
Joining the discussion are:
WikiLeaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson; Professor Colleen Graffy, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, US State Department and law professor, Pepperdine University; James Ball a data journalist who has been working with WikiLeaks; Sir Richard Dalton, associate fellow of the Middle East and North Africa programme at Chatham House.
The discussion will be chaired by author and broadcaster Tom Fenton.
James Ball is a freelance journalist based in London. He has worked as editor for the Oxford Forum, and been published in the Guardian as well as several regional publications.
Sir Richard Dalton
Sir Richard Dalton is an Associate Fellow on the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House, a post he has held since retiring from the civil service in 2006. He joined HM Diplomatic Service in the 1970s and was posted to the Middle East. In the mid-1990s he was consul-general in Jerusalem and was appointed as Head of Personnel in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1998. From 2003 until his retirement he was the British Ambassador to Iran. Dalton contributes sporadically to publications such as the Independent and the Guardian.
Thomas Trail Fenton (born 1930 in Baltimore, Maryland) is a former television correspondent who retired in 2004 after a 34-year career with CBS News.
Fenton graduated from Dartmouth College in 1952 with an A.B. in English and was an officer in the United States Navy from 1952 to 1961, serving on destroyers in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. His Navy service placed him in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 1952, and in the Mediterranean Sea during the 1958 Lebanon Crisis.
Colleen Graffy is a former deputy United States Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and former professor of law at Pepperdine University's London campus.
Kristinn Hrafnsson, born on June 25th 1962, is an Icelandic investigative journalist, and a spokesman for the Wikileaks organisation.
Would be good to have had the full discussion and with a better sound quality. It's complicated to take anything from this video when you have cuts in the middle of questions or even answers without questions. I know the full one might have 2 hours or more, but we should have the option, that's my opinion.
Perhaps drunk or bored?
Or perhaps parts were edited to honor the Bureaucratic tradition of never ever allowing the public to know all the facts;-)
I believe that’s why they are so upset with Wikileaks.
If I were a history professor I would fail the people on the panel representing various state departments and diplomatic services.
They ask for secrecy to protect vital negotiations that so that they might engender peace.
Lets look back at history so we can expose the lie inherent in their argument, I only need to mention one to make my point, though history is replete with scores of examples of secrecy resulting in generations of unnecessary conflict resulting in untold suffering and millions of deaths.
To whit the 1953 Iranian coup d'état which removed a secularist and democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammed Mossadegh, this coup was supported by the United States at the request of the United Kingdom through the covert Operation Ajax, done out of embassies.
This was done to protect the interests of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, later to be renamed British Petroleum Company (BP), see Wikipedia article for info;
If this atrocity had been exposed at the time by something like Wikileaks, the installation of the dictator Shaw Reza, the Savak and it’s murderous ways, followed by the Shaw’s overthrow which led to the rule of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, without the coup the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, would not have occurred.
A secular and democratic Iran would have stabilized the middle east and shown the value of open democratic government, a stable economy and thus removed most of the reasons behind the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.
For your education (and those in diplomacy who seem to be obtuse) a Wikipedia article on the 1953 Iranian coup;
And as I fervently believe that it is futile to have any serious discussion without injecting humor, might I suggest you watch this video, “the history of oil by Robert Newman”, laugh and learn at the same time, a concept that schools should seriously consider adopting;
Scientia Non Domus,
(Knowledge has No Home)