At ex-CIA panelist's insistence, Oxford Union reneges on promise to upload video of whistleblowing debate


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/06/01/petulant-loser.html


#2

Pretty thin skinned for a guy who worked with a bunch of torturers.


#3

I do, like, urgently wonder what the thought process is with stuff like this. Does he… I don’t know… does he want people to believe the accusations against him?

Unless he assassinates the woman making these accusations, she’s going to keep making them (in fact this will give her more publicity); the only thing we’re blocked from seeing is the one time he had a chance to respond. Bizarre.


#4

The Malcolm X speech at Oxford Union is one of the best things, ever.

It’s well worth listening to, and much of it is so true even today.

The whole thing is transcribed here as well:


#5

From the letter, quoting the invitation …and posted on YouTube “entirely at the panellists discretion.”
This isn’t censorship. It’s someone having a lengthy whine about their expenses and then moaning about the fact another panellist doesn’t want a video shared. FML but the awkward squad gonna be awkward, and then repeatedly harass some innocent woman who asked them not to call again.
Wouldn’t want to stuck in a shared Uber with this person.


#6

Well if there was any doubt who runs the world … it’s not us regular folks.


#7

And who is the real winner of this debate? Barbra Streisand.


#8

You are misquoting. The quoted letter, to her, from Oxford Union, says

"It goes without saying, though, that the level of media coverage would be entirely at your discretion.”

That sounds pretty fucking clear to me.


#9

Maybe he’s looking to stay on the tour circuit and doesn’t want his “A” material out there for free on the web; like a stand up comedian.


#10

It also says ‘can’ be filmed not ‘will be’ and I don’t see them entering a contract to do so.
BTW having read the transcript of her remarks, I’m not at all surprised David Shedd objected. Have a look, absolutely nothing to with whistle-blowing and simple attack on the CIA.


#11

Cockroaches don’t like the light.


#12

The letter describes the range of ways the writer believes the Oxford Union has taken advantage of her, (and, by extension, possibly others). Her greater point is that the video of the event will not be posted for public view due to the wishes of CIA Agent Shedd. She goes over the points about lack of reimbursement and misrepresentation of accommodations simply to amplify the greater point: that Oxford Union exploited her for their purposes, but will not meet what she feels are its obligations to her. I agree with her. Any person who agrees to speak or debate in a public forum has no expectation of privacy and their requests that videos of the event be withheld from public view should not be granted. However, when the CIA speaks…others comply.


#13

compliance_will_be_rewarded_5262_2

Someone forgot the reward part.


#14

That’s just like, her (and your) opinion, man.
The purpose of Oxford Union events is to benefit the members of the Union. They are not public events they are put on for members.
Guests agree to participate for a variety of reasons.
Your assertions about what people are agreeing to are just that - assertions.
If I went to a panel event and another of guests went off on a complete tangent to the discussion to smear the organisation I worked for - whether it was the CIA, the Peace Corps, the Women’s Institute or Chinese Communist Party. I’d object to my hosts promoting it. And if I was host and one of guests had been treated with such rudeness by another guest, I think I’d be looking for ways to mollify them. This isn’t about free-speech. Or censorship. It’s about an ill-mannered guest making demands of her host.


#15

Oh…they were rewarded. They haven’t been killed or disappeared into black sites to endure “reeducation” protocols.


#16

Re-education is what happens in the very many communist black sites which have existed from Siberia to Cuba (the communist bit).
I don;t disagree that the CIA black sites opened during GWB’s presidency aren’t a stain on America’s record but one thing they weren’t doing was re-educating.


#17

What seems to not have been mentioned is that historically the Oxford Union has been dedicated to freedom of speech, to the point of being called communist sympathisers by the 1930s right wing press.

Maybe the bursar should remember what happened to Randolph Churchill when he tried to have that debate removed from the record.

What is generally forgotten (but arguably more significant as an example of the Union’s commitment to freedom of speech) is that several prominent Union members (including Randolph Churchill) tried to expunge this motion and the result of the debate from the Union’s minute book. This attempt was roundly defeated — in a meeting far better attended than the original debate. Sir Edward Heath records in his memoirs that Randolph Churchill was then chased around Oxford by undergraduates who intended to debag him (i.e. humiliate him by removing his trousers), and was then fined by the police for being illegally parked.


#18

I don’t think deciding not to upload a panel discussion to YouTube is anything whatever to do with free speech. This is getting silly. The transcript (with the CIA man’s comments redacted by the person complaining about free speech) is online.


#19

The reasons why they haven’t are. As going off topic in a formal debate (as you claim Heather Marsh did) is generally seen as bad practice, I am wondering why David Shedd is so worried about it. What has he got to hide?

I’ll listen to the transcript later, I have to go out now.


#20

Except that they clearly did, presumably at one of the participants’ request, and that sentence clearly implies that it’s her decision.

I read the transcript. I’m not familiar with every episode described, but the ones Im familiar with are all true, and the rest certainly seem in keeping with the way the CIA has behaved for the last 65 years. Is there anything specific she said that you think is factually untrue? Calling somebody pointing out the truth an “attack” is doublespeak at its finest.