Comments on: WikiLeaks and the psychology of leaking Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: ERhoades Tue, 03 Aug 2010 16:33:54 +0000 I don’t believe that we can assume that people who leak to Wikileaks are seeking some form of fame. The reason being a hallmark of Wikileaks is the lengths it goes to to protect it’s informants, encrypting their indentities.

As for Wikileaks itself the breadth of the subject matter it covers should be ample proof that it’s main goal is simply total disclosure.

Aside from that I think that it is difficult to assess the “good” that Wikileaks does. The information provided can cause real harm, and knowing the information it provides may not increase our quality of life in a tangible way. What it does however is provide balance in the culture of information. I think it is pretty obvious that the scales of information availability are skewed heavily toward secrecy in many areas of our lives. While Wikileaks methods and results may be suspect in a era of secrecy a organization like Wikileaks does provide a service that helps balance the culture that exists.

By: CDNrebel Tue, 03 Aug 2010 16:00:29 +0000 Whenever one cannot argues the facts the debate must change to argue the debators – turning the exposure of ‘unpleasant details’ of the war into ad hominem attacks is really ugly. I think that this ‘campaign’ is on at all proves just how seriously we should be examining all that these documents are telling us about what American expeditionary forces are doing overseas. Americans HAVE a right to know – it’s their money paying for it! Keeping secrets and using that line to keep the public un/misinformed is the antithesis of what America is supposed to be, and I think a large part of that has to be on the shoulders of media who have generally given up on trying to challenge govt and it’s action. Instead they wait for spoon fed stories on this or that which distract from larger issues and reduce debate either to extremist corners or out of sight all together.

By: drewbie Tue, 03 Aug 2010 15:29:06 +0000 “It sickens me that there is so much more discussion going on about the fact of the leaking than there is of the facts which were leaked.”

Perhaps because there wasn’t much in the documents? The only big headline from all of them was the Pakistan-Taliban link, but that has been in the news for years. Most of the documents were radio chatter of daily events.

By: Moss_GR Tue, 03 Aug 2010 14:45:46 +0000 PASS THE SALT, PLEASE

As a psychiatrist, I suggest that readers take Dr. Kerry Sulkowicz’s views on the “psychology of leaking” with a large grain of NaCl. Why?

Dr. Sulkowicz speaks from a “psychodynamic” point of view derived from the original Freudian theories of psychoanalysis. These theories long have become archaic because they are unscientific. They are unscientific because they neither can be proven nor disproven. Unfortunately, most of psychiatry and clinical psychology still cling to them, explicitly or implicitly.

As Dr. Sulkowicz’s analysis demonstrates, psychoanalysis and its psychodynamic derivatives are mentalistic. Without going into technical details [I refer those interested to the recent novel, Inescapable Consequences (], mentalistic models confuse independent variables with dependent ones. They posit unproven, hypothetical factors of causation such as “motivation” instead of pursuing empirical studies based upon documented, scientific principles such as the Law of Effect (Thorndike, 1911). Furthermore, they fail to follow the scientific guidelines of specificity, objectivity, and accountability.

The modern alternative is behavioral science from the rapidly-developing, biobehavioral orientation. Applying mentalistic models to human behavior, personal or societal, only leads us astray.

I myself have no idea what factors caused Julian Assange to publish supposedly secret documents. I never have met the man, let alone spent time evaluating him psychiatrically. I doubt that Dr. Sulkowicz has either. The piece reminds me of the way our psychiatric colleagues smeared Barry Goldwater in 1964 with unsubstantiated, psychopathological labels amounting to psychopathological libels. We psychiatrists can do better. We must do better. We owe as much to society.

By: shimmy Tue, 03 Aug 2010 05:20:12 +0000 The premiss of this and other critiques of Wikileaks is just wrong. It is the US military that has created this situation and is responsible for any problems that lead from it. What seems to have been lost here is that the US military has an obligation to report, with some accuracy, to the people that pay and support them. War effort? There were never any press releases like “Smooth Sailing at Anzio” or “D-Day, Cake Walk: Same Thing”. Was the whole truth told. No, of course not. But neither was it acceptable to lie over and over again on a daily basis about even the smallest details. That is the story Wikileaks is reporting and it is an important one.
It shows the complete disconnect between the US military leaders and the people that they serve and serve for them.
What was the motivation for leaking? Everything.
It started in Vietnam, but now has become the only way the military knows how to function. And it is why the US military will never win another war. Generals don’t win wars, people do.
People who know what is at stake and what it might cost them and others. Not people who have been BS’ed into a situation that it just a PR persons fantasy.

By: danielCC Tue, 03 Aug 2010 03:52:31 +0000 the only reason the government keeps things secret is because they are doing things that are wrong. Media in lock-step with the government and corporations IS fascism. Reuters is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Our government is committing crimes, and the way they avoid the wrath of the people and prosecution is by marking things, illegal things, secret. The next step is to take away the freedom of the internet, already underway.

By: xtraeme Tue, 03 Aug 2010 03:13:34 +0000 It seems not only presumptuous but foolhardy to think narcissism had something to do with Pfc. Bradley Manning’s leaking classified data. This entire thought process presumes he wanted to be caught or at the very least identified. Is there any evidence for this? Reading over his conversations with Adrian Lamo it’s evident he was wrestling with a very real moral dilemma.

This article reeks of propaganda, or at the very least is built on ill supported reasoning. Lets discuss whether the material should have been public knowledge and therefore open to debate. Doing this might provide a better context to judge the character of the people making the decision to leak this information and those who as facilitators then published it to the public at large (i.e. The New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel).

By: cranston Tue, 03 Aug 2010 01:48:49 +0000 “Leakers”? These people are providing news – and the ‘media’ is providing gossip – this column being a reasonably good example…except Kerry J. Sulkowicz, M.D. has provided no further information about the mental state of Lindsay Lohan – so this is not even a very good article by modern ‘media’ standards. The real news is on the street – it used to be provided by the media but the media has turned to pop psychologists to ‘understand’ the reasoning behind talking about the things we need to know in order to make informed decisions in a free society.

By: marecki Tue, 03 Aug 2010 01:37:14 +0000 To better understand Mr. Assange actions it would be advisable to pay attention to his numerous presentations available on-line including extensive piece published by Australian centre left broadsheet The Age on 22 of May 2010.
Julian cams as a deeply narcissistic, hugely megalomaniac, insecure, delusional, alternative child of alternative upbringing in alternative environment.
Child predestined to change the world and quite willing to accept any “collateral” damage when doing so.
Bringing down governments, prime ministers, bankers and “squashing like bugs” any opposition is truly impressive even if only illusionary achievement of delusional mind of Mr. Assagne.
He can be very dangerous as he is likely to be used by anybody with any agenda.
Publishing “leaked” e-mails from Climate Research Institute was a huge blow to the collective effort to win public support for “climate action” and his latest stunt can cost lives of peoples he insist on representing and can help those who want to oppress them.
He, like leaders of religious cults prey on blind faith and ignorance of his audience, qualities which free his followers from the effort of independent inquiry and provide them with clear, simple answers for complex questions and a bliss of moral and intellectual superiority.
Mr. Assange seems to have expensive lifestyle and lives off a secret investment which nature he will not discuss; maybe he should, just for the sake of reasons he advocates.

By: centermassmedia Tue, 03 Aug 2010 01:18:18 +0000 and I thought TMZ was the lowest…