Is disclosure of Podesta’s emails a step too far?

… a conversation with Noami Klein (the transcript and the podcast, 32.21 min) – Published on The Intercept, by Glenn Greenwald, Oct 19, 2016.

… GG: … //

  • … I think WikiLeaks more or less at this point stands alone in believing that these kinds of dumps are ethically — never mind journalistically — just ethically, as a human being, justifiable.
  • We do need to figure out a way to say both at the same time: Powerful institutions and powerful actors need the kind of transparency these leaks can provide, but at the same time, even people who are in powerful positions and wield influence continue to retain the right to privacy, and there should never be any publishing of personal matters or things that aren’t directly in the public interest.
  • Is that what you mean when you say this needs to be more prominent? Is that the distinction that you think is crucial?


  • I think we have a very strong interest in continuously reasserting the right to electronic privacy, particularly when we’re talking about people who are not elected officials.
  • It’s just so subjective what criteria we’re using to define powerful, because that word is flexible. And I’m not saying that emails are out of bounds — I think about emails that came out about legitimizing torture during the Bush administration. But those were particular, relevant emails, rather than: “You’ve just lost all your electronic privacy. We’re dumping the whole thing, or rather, we’re dumping it in stages to maximize damage.”
  • We need to defend that because certainly in the climate movement, we are up against forces that will always have massively more resources than the movement does. We can encrypt our emails, and we should encrypt our emails, but the principle still has to be defended because we lose if this gets blurry.


  • But let me ask you this. We started out by saying that with this particular leak, because of WikiLeaks’ philosophy, the hacker went in and grabbed everything, which sometimes hackers will do even if they’re well-intentioned — because you don’t have time to grab only the relevant material, you hope that the people to whom you then give the material are going to do that. That was Snowden’s theory: I’m going to take as much as I can but make sure I’m only giving it to journalists who promise to safeguard the material and let the public see the stuff they should see, not what they shouldn’t … //

… GG:

  • I don’t want to get a little bit ahead of at least where I think things should be. Chelsea Manning is also regarded as a hero; even though the way in which her material was published, at first, was incremental and careful, it ended up just published indiscriminately. But I do think there are types of information where this concern you’re expressing, which I share, is less compelling.
  • You’re talking about logs of military fighters who are simply describing what they’re seeing every day in the field in Iraq and Afghanistan. To publish those doesn’t really have a lot of privacy implications the way a private email inbox would. Same with diplomatic cables — it might make embarrassment between countries, and there may be other reasons not to do it, but I think different types of archives present different kinds of privacy concerns. When you’re talking about hacking into the personal email inbox of somebody — although they are quite powerful and in three months will probably be the chief of staff of the United States White House — there are still serious privacy implications from dumping it indiscriminately, and the problem is that this is going to continue. There’s not a lot that can be done about it because these hackers and WikiLeaks believe in this model.


  • I think the main thing we’ve learned from these emails is that the folks around Hillary Clinton are just as venal and corrupt as we thought they were, for the most part, with all the conflicts of interest. I don’t think we’re learning a huge amount. Your colleague Lee Fang tweeted yesterday that the WikiLeaks emails show that Hillary respects and values the opinion of rich people, lobbyists, loyal partisans — while activists are losers.
  • What it really does is just reinforce that because all you have to do is look at the way she treated Black Lives Matter activists on the campaign trail — the absolute disdain. The way she practically spat “I’m so sick of this” to a young climate activist who asked her about her fossil fuel money. We knew this.


  • We knew it — … //

… (full long transcript).


Published on KASHMIR and IDPs, by Dr. Kashinath Pandita:

Overflowing Camps: EU-Turkey Refugee Deal Dying in the Greek Islands, on Spiegel Online International, by Eren Caylan, Giorgos Christides and Maximilian Popp, Oct 18, 2016 (Photo Gallery): ever since the failed military putsch in Turkey, the number of refugees making the trip across the Aegean to Greece has been rising again. The camps on the islands are full and the EU-Turkey deal is in danger of collapse;

How Brazilian Bank Workers Learn to Dream Bigger, on Labor Notes, by Steve Payne, Oct 17, 2016;

Hillary Clinton’s New Cold War, on Left, by Wayne Deluca, Oct 12, 2016: with Donald Trump’s campaign in shambles, Hillary Clinton is racing toward the Presidency. But her rhetoric contains a danger of deepening hostility toward Russia and dangerous saber-rattling over the Middle East.

Dining Workers Strike at Harvard, World’s Richest University, on Labor Notes, by Samantha Winslow, Oct 05, 2016;

Lines of Debate: the Subaltern and the Proletariat of the World, on Left, By Marcel Van Del Linden, May 16, 2016: reverberations of the international crisis have resurrected the idea of the working class as revolutionary political actor from the crypt. Today, with evidence of growing labor unrest in both “emerging economies” as well as imperialist nations like France and the United States, there has been a renewed interest in the working class, its organizations, and potential to lead resistance against austerity governments and increasing inequalities.

Comments are closed.