Talk:Asia-Pacific Foundation/Archive Of Posts to May 2006

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July-August 2005

Inappropriate posting relocated from article

relocated from inapp posting to article page --Bob Burton 00:15, 11 Jul 2005 (EDT)

What a load of crap. Father and son operation. Their web page has been under construction for 4 years. The father simply waffles on TV cameras and seems to have taken a simple 'dye your hair and you will look great' TV course.

Ben Malcom's comments about the article

There is a very unfair comment about this organisation that is simply not true and based more on opinion than fact. These guys have done more to help promote civil liberties and the understanding of security issues than most. And unlike others they do not charge students for information on country profiles etc. "Man on the street statements" is a wrong description.

If you have a look at what they have said, they have spoken to the British House of Commons as well as the UN. In the UK they are respected across the political divide..

Some guy put a random comment because he may not agree with what they said. He is not even a registered user.

Also their website had not been under reconstruction for 4 years. If you want to be technical it’s been about 6 months.

There are plenty more organisations to make critical assessments which have not been done.

I'm not saying we praise these guys to heaven. Again that is based on opinion. But both comments put previously have no fact and are simply wrong to put down as if they are fact.

I can see some have tried to change those points but without stating why. I don't agree with anyone that vandalises web pages. There has to be an orderly way of doing things. It needs to be explained.

Therefore I strongly believe the opinion comments should be removed as well as how long the website has been under construction. - Ben Malcolm

Hi Ben, welcome to SourceWatch. Firstly, I agree that the "Constantly making man on the street type pronouncements..." comment doesn't belong in the article. Deleting it has been on my not-quite-got-round-to-yet list for a while. As for the comment on the talk page, that's another matter. Although I wouldn't choose to put things quite that way myself, it's not libellous, and does belong in the realm of fair comment. By convention, such comments are acceptable on SW talk pages. The correct response if you are upset by it is to append a rebuttal, which is how the talk page now stands. --Neoconned 09:03, 29 Jul 2005 (EDT)
Hi Neoconned - Thanks for your comments. Dr.Gunratna is no longer on their board. If you check on the net you can see that. That stuff is quite old as you probably know! He was also at the University of St.Andrews and he left the posts after he went to Sinagpore in 2003. He now is the director at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies in Singapore. Therefore that should be removed. Ben Malcolm
Hi Ben, whoa, steady on. In that case, we put him under "Past members". He still belongs in the article. But, how do you know he's no longer on their board? You say that "If you check on the net you can see that", but since APF don't publish a convenient membership list for their Advisory Board, that's not easy to do. --Neoconned 10:57, 29 Jul 2005 (EDT)
Sorry I'm still trying to get a hang of how to use the discssuion page on this website, you'll have to forgive me. I know that Gunuratna is not on their board because I attended a seminar in which I spoke to one of their coordinators. Are you going to keep a list of everyone that was on every organisation's board? There is no relevance in having that. Paul Wilkinson and Magnus Ranstorp are on their board. You could put that down. Yeah it does not clearly say that but then they don't seem to be computer WWW savvy. Ben Malcom
That's ok. You can sign your comments using the little signature icon at the top of the page, and you do indents by using colons. You ask, "Are you going to keep a list of everyone that was on every organisation's board?" I think that really depends on the size of the organisation and the staff turnover. In this case it's relatively small, and not much information about it is in the public domain. Therefore I definitely think it's appropriate - and manageable in terms of the article size - to mention Gunuratna's previous connection.
Thanks for the heads-up on Wilkinson and Ranstorp. While we're here, could you shed light on any of the following?
  • Sources of funding?
  • What did M J Gohel do before the formation of APF? His biographies are remarkably uninformative.
  • I've looked for APF in the Companies House register, and in the Charity Commission register. It doesn't seem to be in either. Do you know what it's registered as?
Cheers, --Neoconned 11:11, 29 Jul 2005 (EDT)

Comment by AI

APF Newsletter Link: Pic of the Earl, 2002.

  • Nick Fielding, "Pearl murder case Briton was a double agent," April 21, 2002: "'Sheikh is a vital key that can open the doors to the Al-Qaeda network (and) to the links between the Pakistani military intelligence establishment and the terror groups,' said MJ Gohel of the Asia Pacific Foundation, a group that has been investigating Pearl’s murder."

Artificial Intelligence 12:21, 30 Jul 2005 (EDT)

I'm glad the APF and Gohels have piqued your curiousity, AI. Given the frequency with which the Gohels appear in the media (especially UK media) at the moment, I think it's important to understand the exact nature of the APF, and especially where it gets its money from. --Neoconned 12:53, 31 Jul 2005 (EDT)
PS. Several of the links you give above were in fact already in the Asia-Pacific Foundation article. --Neoconned 12:55, 31 Jul 2005 (EDT)

The latest batch of anonymous edits

Sorry Neoconned - I've tried to restore the article to your previous version I think I made a mistake. I did it also when not logged on. This guy that has added extra stuff is maiking a lot of allegations. He has not even identified himself. What you had put was at least referenced. Thats the way it should be. Lets look at fact and not theory. If you can restore it to your version then that fine. Once again I'm sorry, perhaps you can explain how things can be restored to previous versions. Ben Malcom

I managed to get it back to your previous version. Sorry please show patience!

I managed to get it restored to your previous version. Please show patience

Sorry - both previous comments were mine, I did not realise I was logged in! I'm so bad at this, its a good website though! Ben Malcom

Well! The plot thickens. I hardly know where to start! So, in no particular order,
1. Don't worry about getting the hang of this software, it takes a while. You did indeed successfully restore the article to my version. As I said, if you want to sign your comments, look for the "signature" icon above the text editing area. It's the second button from the right. Just click it and the wiki code that produces your signature will be inserted into the text.
As for the comments made in the article by a user at IP address
2. I agree that they are unsourced and therefore should not be in the article. However, whilst reading around about the APF, I have noticed its preoccupation with Pakistan. And I am planning to add something about this.
3. I did an NSLOOKUP on That's a command that turns a numeric internet address into the human-readable form. It gave this: It seems that the anonymous author of those comments has a connection with RUSI.
4. The hidden pages on APF's website that the article links to have now been pulled off their website. I was expecting that. That's why I saved copies of all of them, and took screengrabs. If it was ok to publish those pages a few years ago, why isn't it ok now?
5. Ben, I hope you will agree that there is a need for greater transparency from the APF, given their frequent pronouncements on TV and radio news programmes, and there is a legitimate public interest in asking these questions about them. --Neoconned 08:04, 2 Aug 2005 (EDT)

Why list former staff?

Ben I noticed the comment questioning the inclusion of former staff in an organisations profile. One of the functions of SW is as a resource for journalists and citizen journalists. Often one of the most useful leads for investigating an organisation is in speaking to former staff. For this reason alone it is worth including though it is best if the dates they worked there are also added. --Bob Burton 20:17, 2 Aug 2005 (EDT)

Edits by

Hi, you added the following to the top of the APF article:

This page has mainly been constructed, written and edited by an individual called 'Neoconned' [1]

I've reverted your edits, because I'm not really sure what the purpose of that comment was. You won't find any SW article where the 'primary author' (often hard to define) is identified in the article text. So your edit is out of keeping with SW norms. If people want to find out about the article's editing history, there's a convenient link at the top of the article labelled "History".

The tone of your comment suggests to me that you are unhappy with the article. If this is so, and you feel it is inaccurate or misleading in any way, the proper thing to do is to either directly correct those problems, or to first raise them on this Discussion page. --Neoconned 05:38, 13 Aug 2005 (EDT)

The edits from a RUSI computer

Regarding RUSI issue (no.5). Anyone could have written it, anyone can use a RUSI computer who attends their conferences, lectures and seminars. They have loads of computers. The fact that Neoconned himself pointed to the issue that the anonymous user did not mention that Cobbold was the chairman of their advisory board shows that this anonymous user is someone who does not work at RUSI. Plus why would he leave his internet number which can easily be traced. --Schmil

why would he leave his internet number which can easily be traced?
Here's a few from the top of my head:
  1. ignorance as to the workings of the web
  2. ignorance as to the workings of a wiki site
  3. unaware of other possible tracking methodologies
  4. rash and hasty reaction to the article's content
It's pretty difficult to spoof your IP without mangling headers, but i haven't seen the original log entries intact. It is more likely, given your allegations, that someone had unauthorised access to RUSI comps and/or IP nodes. This doesn't speak well regarding their security, does it? Even if it was access through a comp provided at a conference, there were logs on their side, and could be tracked back to the original poster. It is a laughable self breach of personal data protection in this instance.
I haven't done the lookup. Is the address in question listed as fixed?
--Hugh Manatee 21:16, 17 Aug 2005 (EDT)
I agree with Hugh. A rash and hasty reaction, plus an ignorance of basic facts about the internet, could explain why a RUSI employee would have made such a posting without disguising his/her internet address.
Schmil says, "The fact that Neoconned himself pointed to the issue that the anonymous user did not mention that Cobbold was the chairman of their advisory board shows that this anonymous user is someone who does not work at RUSI."
Wrong! The anonymous RUSI user removed from the article the mention of Richard Cobbold's role at the APF. Quite a different matter from "not mentioning" it. It was a perfectly deliberate action performed in this edit, and was the first change that user made to the article. Why would a student attending a RUSI conference, and sitting down at a shared computer during a break, bother to excise Cobbold from the article?
I am going to restore the section about the RUSI edits to the article, but qualify it with a comment reflecting Schmil's concerns. --Neoconned 00:25, 18 Aug 2005 (EDT)