Monday, November 29, 2010

WikiLeaks Database, Courtesy of the CBC

The CBC has set up a website for readers to search for the great "U.S. Diplomatic Cables" documents related to Canada.

The site provides a search utility, which includes a pull-down menu giving a long list of subject headings. A search brings up what can be described as a brief description, similar to a catalogue entry, of the document with what appears to be a hyperlink behind the date of the document. But so far, none of the links that came up in my searches seem to be active.

They are promising more as the days go by, so perhaps later in the week, that will change.

So far, I searched using the following headings, obtained from the drop down menu:

Bill Graham
Conservative Party
Gilles Duceppe
Liberal Party
Missile Defense
Omar Khadr
Patriot Act
- and -

Using these individual headings, the maximum number of documents (cables?) in the index that resulted from one of my searches is about ten. Most are much fewer than that.

The most recent document was dated 2009, but the vast, vast majority of the items recovered from my searches are dated from 2003 to 2005.

This is Liberal Party mandate era folks. It should be interesting to see what the actual documents say and whose faces the mud lands on, if any.

CBC commenters are, of course, slinging all sorts of mud at the Americans, accusing them of all sorts of sordid and disrespectful behaviour, and spouting all sorts of non-sense.  It doesn't seem to dawn on them that their language is sordid and disrespectful, which is highly ironic, since precious few, if any, of the documents have actually been uploaded yet.  So they are simply making assumptions, based on preconceived prejudiced notions.

I wonder if CBC has really thought through the possible consequences of letting people untrained in the art of journalism do their work for them. Are they saying a degree in journalism isn't worth squat? Are they simply going to take what these hordes find and run with it, without any further research?  I tell you, I am far more interested in seeing what this will do to the CBC, than to the Americans.

If the dates in my initial sampling prove to be typical of the whole database, I wonder how many of CBC's finest will take note that most of them pertain to the Liberal era.  If they do, how will they spin that?

Is there anyone at the CBC who understands what diplomats in foreign embassies actually do? I doubt it. The commenters sure don't.

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