Wikileaks: Diplomats Scoff at German Libertarian Party’s Concern for Data Security

From Third Party and Independent Daily:

The recent Wikileaks diplomatic document dump contains a cable from shortly before Germany’s 2009 general election, articulating worries among US diplomats that the German Free Democratic Party’s strong support for individual data privacy and protections against unreasonable search and seizure might hinder the efforts of the American national security state.  Ironically, the author of the leaked cable scoffs at claims by FDP officials that the US government lacks effective data protection measures.

Germany’s Free Democratic Party, or FDP, is the junior partner in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition between the CDU/CSU and FDP.  The party’s chairman is Guido Westerwelle, who is currently serving as Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany in Merkel’s cabinet.  In Germany’s 2009 general election, the FDP garnered almost 15% of the vote and now holds 93 seats in the German parliament.  The FDP is usually referred to as a classical liberal, or libertarian, party for its strong defenses of economic liberalism and civil liberties.

The cable frames the FDP’s support for citizens’ privacy rights and individual liberties as a hindrance to US security strategy, and states that, if it were to join a ruling coalition in Germany, the party would scrutinize any proposals that would require sharing or accessing of information concerning private individuals.  The cable faults the party’s “limited government viewpoint” for its opposition to data-sharing measures that would infringe on the privacy rights of individuals.

In a most ironic turn, the leaked cable scoffs at FDP Parliamentarian Gisela Piltz, who cautioned against data-sharing operations with the US government on the grounds that the US government as a whole lacks effective data protection measures even as it accumulates massive amounts of data on innocent citizens.

See also TPID’s follow-up post on a series of cables from 2009-2010 detailing the tension between the FDP’s strong stance on the right to privacy and US information-sharing proposals:  Liberty vs. Security: the FDP and US Data Privacy Policy.

6 thoughts on “Wikileaks: Diplomats Scoff at German Libertarian Party’s Concern for Data Security

  1. Carey Campbell

    D. Eris,

    Thanks for post re: German libertarian party aka FDP… now at 4 per cent in the polls…

    Meanwhile the German Green Party is polling 20 to 25 per cent….on the energy intelligence platform of green renewable energy, growing green business…

    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,623633,00.html

    The Green Party is also calling for hearing’s on the German Defense secretary’s trip to Afghanistan where he did a TV talk show. Greens want to know the cost to tax payers.

    Here’s der Spiegel..
    http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,734695,00.html

    and video from Green Party celebs..
    http://www.youtube.com/user/IndependentGreens?feature=mhum#g/u

  2. NewFederalist

    Campbell- Why don ‘t you take a hike? You spam all sort of threads with non-related garbage.

  3. George Phillies

    Meanwhile, the American Libertarian Party continues to ignore WikiLeaks, despite the enormous exposure it gives to failed Republican/Democratic war and war crimes policies, and crimes against the fundamental truths our country’s founders honored.

  4. paulie

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Reaction to WikiLeaks threatens liberty

    BURNET, Texas (Dec. 15) – The reactions from American politicians and elected officials regarding the latest WikiLeaks publication of classified U.S. documents poses a greater threat to liberty than anything in the documents themselves, R. Lee Wrights, a libertarian writer and potential 2012 Libertarian presidential nominee said in a statement today.

    “The greatest threat to our liberty comes not from anything published by WikiLeaks, but from the irresponsible, irrational and hysterical comments from politicians and government officials,” Wrights said. He noted that Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, has been called a terrorist, an enemy combatant, and a traitor.

    “Such characterizations are much worse than merely being inaccurate and irresponsible,” Wrights said. “They are chilling and sobering assertions, since President Obama has claimed the U.S. has the authority to kill anyone they label an ‘enemy combatant,” Wrights said. “In other words, the government’s war on civil liberty has no frontline or boundaries. Anyone who is labeled an enemy is a target.”

    “Government has become deadly because those who possess it demonstrate an appalling arrogance. American leaders who in effect are claiming that the United States can punish anyone who disagrees with or opposes American foreign policy and uncovers anything embarrassing about the way U.S. diplomats operate,” Wrights continued.

    “Once again the very people who have taken an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution attest by their words that they are either ignorant of that document, or have contempt for the limitations the Constitution places on their power,” Wrights said.

    “Calling Assange a traitor, for example, is one of the more incredulous comments that’s been made, since he’s an Australian citizen living in Sweden,” Wrights said. He said that Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution, which defines treason applies only to U.S. citizens.

    “Another ludicrous comment is the suggestion by some Congressional so-called leaders for a bill to punish WikiLeaks, disregarding the Constitutional prohibition on ex post facto laws enumerated in Article I Section 9,” Wrights said.

    “All this is a smokescreen, designed to cover up, obfuscate and obscure revelations about the lies and deceits perpetrated by the U.S. government in pursing an interventionist foreign policy,” Wrights said. “Those of us who lived through the Vietnam War recall this tactic all too well.”

    “There’s been no evidence or proof presented that the information contained in these leaked documents has resulted in the death of anyone, let alone any American, or caused any direct harm to American security,” Wrights said. He noted that none of the information released had high classification and that most of it appears only to have been classified in order to avoid embarrassment.

    “Besides being embarrassing to American diplomats, the bulk of the information released has simply confirmed what was already widely reported,” Wrights noted. “This includes the fact that the Saudi Arabian government is a principle supporter and financier of al-Qaida, and that there was no al-Qaida in Iraq before we invaded that country.”

    Wrights said that one of the most interesting documents he’s seen is a report by Dan Lawson, deputy political counselor in the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela. Lawson’s analysis of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was that despite his “professed allegiance to socialism,” Chavez “lacks any consistent ideology” but relies on “an increasingly authoritarian playbook” to stay in power.

    “In the authoritarian playbook Lawson outlines, some points struck me as eerily familiar to our own government,” Wrights said. “They include centralization of power, polarizing society along political and class lines, hyping the existence of external and internal enemies and promoting chest-thumping nationalism.”

    “Perhaps this document was classified because it hit to close to home. It is little wonder that the current administration wants these documents to disappear. Government prefers the cloak of darkness to the illumination of information.”

    Wrights concluded by observing, “Sadly, it appears those controlling government are willing to kill in order to keep their petty little embarrassments hidden from the people they are supposed to represent.”
    Wrights is considering seeking the presidential nomination because he believes the Libertarian message in 2012 should be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war. He has pledged that 10 percent of all donations to his campaign will be spent for ballot access so that the stop all war message can be heard in all 50 states.

    The 52-year old writer and political activist was born in Winston Salem, N.C. and now lives in Texas. He is the co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All.

    -30-

    Contact:
    Brian Irving
    Press Secretary
    Wrights 2012 Exploratory Committee
    http://www.wrights2012.com
    919.538.4548

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