Liberal Wikians

The Wikipedia entry for the book Unrestricted Warfare is being “considered for deletion”. Here is the discussion by the WikiPolice:

This book appears to be somewhat controversial yet there is no sourcing given for the claims that are made in it. I see from Amazon that a translation was published by a publisher I have never heard of. I frankly question the notability of this book.–Samiharris 15:35, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

and this

This book is strange, as is this article on it. As pointed out in the PROD, there doesn’t seem to be any record of the publisher “Pan American Publishing Company” of Panama City. There is a “Pan American Publishing Company” of Los Angeles that publishes bilingual Spanish/English texts for grade schools. There doesn’t seem to be much on this from anywhere other than the book itself (btw would the Chinese authorize the publication of this? Is it a copyright violation?), and a couple of things from the “intelligence” community. In short this has propaganda, spooks, and unreliable written all over it.

I think it’s fair to say that while it does seem to be based on an authenic document, the translation and emotive cover of the book has the smell of a black propaganda effort, or at the very least, irresponsible sensationalism. This would not be inconsistent with the proto-neocon organisation Team B’s mistranslations of Russian documents in the late 1970s, and related CIA misinformation which indirectly convinced the then head of CIA William Casey into believing the agency’s own lies, lies suggesting that Russians were the masterminds behind seemingly unrelated global terrorist activities.”

I’ll suggest that any source on this seems unreliable, and that nothing should be put on Wikipedia until a RELIABLE SOURCE can be found.

PurpleSlog has been working with the sad and sorry WikiPolice to keep the article. Questioning the source of an entry isn’t new, especially if it is outside the thought realm of the WikiPolice (“I frankly question the notability of this book.”), as Kathryn Cramer documented earlier this year (scroll down to “Examples of things that didn’t fly”).

The fight PurpleSlog is in is a key reason the ConflictWiki exists: lunatic sysops and a source policy that is both too restrictive and too broad. (Note: the ConflictWiki will be undergoing an overhaul to make it easier to use.)

For real info on Unrestricted Warfare, see the website for Unrestricted Warfare Symposium earlier this year. To download, see the ConflictWiki.

UPDATE: see the “Articles for Deletion” discussion on Wikipedia if you want a good laugh. Especially humorous is this recommendation for delete:

delete – It’s not clear whether this meets the Threashold criteria from Wikipedia:Notability (books)It’s from an unknown publisher, published apparently in translation without the supposed authors consent, and claims to have been translated by the CIA. Checking notability critera beyond the threashold:


A book is generally notable if it verifiably meets through reliable sources, one or more of the following criteria:

1. The book has been the subject [1] of multiple, non-trivial[2] published works whose sources are independent of the book itself,…. such as newspaper articles, other books, television documentaries and reviews…. (I don’t see any evidence of this.)

2. The book has won a major literary award. (no evidence of this)

3. The book has been made or adapted with attribution into a motion picture … (no evidence of this)

4. The book is the subject of instruction at multiple grade schools, high schools, universities or post-graduate programs in any particular country. (There was ONE (not multiple) symposium at John Hopkins – but you needed a “SECRET” security clearance to attend.)

5. The book’s author is so historically significant…” (Don’t think so)
Most importantly – there is nothing reliable about any of the sources on this book, nothing verifiable. Smallbones 15:18, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Major motion picture? Correction, the symposium was two days, only the second required a clearance, but so what?

You’ll see others have joined in and noted references that “Smallbones”, a probably not-so-ironic name didn’t see.

If you want to contribute to the debate at Wikipedia, go here, or of course add your comments below.

8 Replies to “Liberal Wikians”

  1. Dare I say that if FBIS, now absorbed by the Open Source Center (Read: OUR GOVERNMENT), has taken the time to translate a book then they find it credible and worthy of examination. We should not disregard a source of information just because it does not subscribe to all “western standards” of publication. I smell censorship! (Minus 2 cool points for the Wikipedia crew.)

  2. I commented on that talk page to back Purpleslog up.But being a liberal myself, I have to ask, why did you title this page “Liberal Wikians”? Seems to me the wikipolice are just out of their depth, there’s nothing ideological about it.

  3. a517dogg,Valid question. Liberal really has two definitions here. First, I mean liberal in the sense of the extreme breadth of sources they allow. Second, there’s liberal in their political leanings, as clearly indicated in the conspiracy language in the sysops comments.
    It’s more than being out of their depths.

  4. The Wiki editor’s comments are typical netroot paranoia — common, I think, among college educated liberals long on partisanship and short on common sense.

  5. a517dogg,based on their choice of words, yes. The assumption that they are liberals is a safe one, and definetly not moderate. You have the same problem on the other side of the spectrum, so don’t think I’m picking on lefties. Righties can be just as confused with reality.

  6. Perhaps the answer is to move such material to ConflitWiki as an example of……I would think there would be many such publications written by persons unknown by western standards. It shouldn’t be shut out completely.

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