Foreign Policy

Wikileaks vs. the U.N.

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Speaking of secrecy, the United Nations is notorious for same, especially when it comes to its own internal (mis)dealings. But a little sunshine was blasted through that front door this morning:

Wikileaks has released 70 United Nations investigative reports classified "Strictly Confidential". The reports expose matters from allegations of hundreds of European peace-keepers abusing refugee girls to generals in Peru using Swiss bank accounts to engage in multi-million dollar frauds against the UN. […]

Since the number reports exceeds the ability of the world press to digest them, we ask that journalists and other investigators take responsibility for those those reports immediately before and after the month and day of their date of birth.

I look forward to some digested remains in the comments. Reason on Wikileaks here.

NEXT: The Secrecy Won't Stop on Jan. 21

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  1. Neato. I always thought writing “Confidential” on a report was kinda like engraving “READ ME!” on it, given human nature being what it is.

  2. Given that most reporters are Saggitariuses, what are the Wikileaks people trying to hide about what happened in March?

  3. …Saggitariuses…

    Wouldn’t that be “Saggitarons?”

    /BSG geekout

  4. I fucked up when I went to Johns Hopkins, because I should have studied International Relations instead. Then I could have gone on to be a parasite with a cushy government job assigned to the UN. I wouldn’t have to do any work, and I wouldn’t be accountable for anything, and I could attend conferences. There’re a lot of women at these things, you know.

  5. Wait- are you trying to tell me the UN isn’t strictly on the up-and-up?

  6. P Brooks –

    Well, you might want to sit down for this, because I know it will come as a bit of a shock…

  7. The United Nations – Where Junkets Aren’t a Perk, They’re a Way of Life.

  8. Wait, the UN has a mandate beyond catering parties?

  9. Imagine that, a government agency doing shit like this.

    -JTP

  10. But don’t really awesome drug and alcohol fueled parties foster amity and good-will among nations?

    Sounds like money well-spent to me.

  11. Epi, I realized recently that instead of getting two engineering degrees, I should have studied finance or accounting and then gotten a law degree. Then I would be unstoppable at stealing. I’d do something where I set up a fake company and collect subsidies, or something like that. We need to do our part to convince the next generation that honesty is a sucker’s game.

  12. Warty, we need the next generation to mostly stay honest. Who are we going to steal from if they don’t?

  13. Warty,

    I have a finance BSBA and a JD, and I wish I’d been an engineer, like my father before me. Or maybe a physicist.

  14. Soon, the UN building will be the only place in New York where you can still light up.

  15. Warty, we need the next generation to mostly stay honest. Who are we going to steal from if they don’t?

    Reminds me of Scott Adams’ theory that people do Taijiquan so that when everyone gets old, they’ll be able to beat up the other old people and take their stuff.

  16. Pro L, maybe you should steal more. I hear swimming in a pool of money is a good tonic for job dissatisfaction.

    Epi, I’m not planning to steal from the next generation. No, I’m going to keep my basement full of them for meat, like in The Road.

  17. You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time.

    And that’s sufficient for most purposes.

  18. No, I’m going to keep my basement full of them for meat, like in The Road.

    Now I’m hungry.

  19. Whoever leaked this is obviously one of greatest heroes of the year and should be given a Nobel Prize.

  20. Small note: Not all of the 70 reports were released today; the site says 17 of them were made available back in October.

    Also, maybe I’m misinterpreting this, but I found it amusing:

    A number of the reports are both classified “Strictly Confidential” and have selected regions redacted. Often these redacted regions can be “unredacted” by “cut and pasting” the blanked region.

    Wow, that’s some tight security! Do they know the trick about setting the text and background to the same colors?

  21. A while back I read some of the UN’s internal (but non-classified) publications, just for the heck of it. I found that the reports fell into two categories:
    1. This project has been a big success, so give us more money (so we can continue doing it).
    2. This project has been a big failure, so give us more money (so we can do it right).
    That’s pretty much everything you need to know about the UN right there.

  22. I found that the reports fell into two categories:
    1. This project has been a big success, so give us more money (so we can continue doing it).
    2. This project has been a big failure, so give us more money (so we can do it right).
    That’s pretty much everything you need to know about the UN
    every single organized group of humans on Earth right there.

    Little tweak for accuracy.

  23. What I found amusing, in light of this story, was a report with the title:

    United Nations Economic Commission for Africa: Report into divulging official information to persons external to the organization without authorization (ID Case No. 0593-03), 23 Aug 2004

    You don’t say….

  24. Somewhere in the UN, there is somebody who leaked these documents.

    The only person in the UN, as far as I can tell, with a soul.

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