The transcript of a conversation between US President Joe Biden and ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani from July[https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/white-house-biden-ghani] was leaked earlier this month, causing a diplomatic stir during an already tense political situation in Afghanistan.
While White House press secretary Jen Psaki refused to be drawn into a discussion over the “private diplomatic conversations or leaked transcripts of phone calls”, she did say the content of the conversation reflected what had already been reported publicly.
Historical transcript leaks
Leaks like this are not new – consider WikiLeaks[https://wikileaks.org/], the international organisation started by Julian Assange in 2006. WikiLeaks has made a name for itself by publishing millions of news leaks, restricted documents and pieces of classified information on war, spying and corruption. In Mr Assange’s words: “WikiLeaks is a giant library of the world’s most persecuted documents. We give asylum to these documents, analyze them, promote them and obtain more”.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian found herself being asked some very personal questions during a regular coronavirus press update after leak in 2020[https://www.news.com.au/national/nsw-act/politics/icac-apologises-to-nsw-premier-for-uploading-private-transcript-to-internet/news-story/2ae6a67d9c9256331b5e0e130a9a39ca]. The transcript from her ex-partner Daryl Maguire’s private testimony during an ICAC hearing was accidently uploaded to the body’s website and promptly downloaded by media. It made for a difficult few news cycles for Ms Berejiklian.
Despite referencing Washington’s Watergate Hotel where the burglary of the US Democratic Party’s National Committee offices occurred, Watergate has become shorthand for any major political scandal. The Watergate tapes[https://www.history.com/topics/1970s/watergate] revealed the Nixon administration’s role in the burglary and ensuing cover up, which eventually led to Richard Nixon’s resignation.
What happens when information is leaked?
Leaked transcripts have become the stuff of legends – and the making of journalistic careers. However, there is a darker side to such leaks and that can be dangerous for establishing and continuing important relationships – political, business or even personal. If someone is worried their private conversation will be leaked, they might be more reserved than usual with the other person. This could hamper international relations, national security, business deals and partnerships.
Leaked documents can be used to shape public opinion about an event, investigation, or a person, especially if one party has a lot to lose if the information gets out. This might lead to negotiations coming to a head quicker than expected but, equally, it could also break down an arrangement too.
The moral of the story is that while leaking transcripts can be beneficial there are definite risks. But if you have a recording you need transcribed – leaked or otherwise – we’re the right people for the job.
Contact The Transcription People at email@example.com to find out how we can transcribe all manner of information for you.