User talk:Ericksommers

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Hello, Ericksommers and Welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions to this free encyclopedia. If you decide that you need help, check out Getting Help below, ask me on my talk page, or place {{helpme}} on your talk page and ask your question there. Please remember to sign your name on talk pages by using four tildes (~~~~) or by clicking Insert-signature.png if shown; this will automatically produce your username and the date. Also, please do your best to always fill in the edit summary field with your edits. Below are some useful links to facilitate your involvement. Happy editing! Joyson Prabhu Holla at me! 13:18, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
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Hi, Joyson and thanks for your kind welcome! If you don't mind and in the spirit of being bold I will rely on you quite a bit over the next several weeks as I get my bearings in the wiki, okay? Now that is settled, I have a question. Here is a quote from the article about Barry Seal, a notorious American drug smuggler and adventurer:

" A story appeared in the Washington Times in 1984 describing the infiltration of the Medellín cartel's operations in Panama and Nicaragua.[11] The story was based on a leak from a congresswoman(Diane Feinstein), whom in turn had been briefed by Oliver North, who in turn claims he had been ordered to do so by a higher authority. The alleged purpose was to prove the Nicaraguan Sandinistas' involvement in the drug trade and to build support for the Contra war effort. This leak and subsequent controversy eventually led to the Iran Contra Affair which unraveled a year later.[12]

The The Wall Street Journal also printed the story. The media coverage indirectly exposed Seal's involvement in the operation. "

This passage has many problems. No evidence is given that the leak led to the Iran-Contra Affair (indeed, wiki's own Iran-Contra article suggests (agreeing with Bob Woodward's book 'Veil') it began with a leak in a Lebanese magazine by an Iranian (Mehdi Hashemi) furiously opposed to the arms dealing with the United States and Israel. Also, Seal had been dead for months by the time the Lebanese article was published. So the claim in the Seal wiki seems overstated.

Also, and perhaps more importantly, I cannot find any suggestion in any of the cited sources (and many others besides, "no original research" provisions notwithstanding) that US Senator Dianne Feinstein was responsible for the leak the Washington Post story was based on. I don't expect to find any reference to it, either: In 1986, Feinstein was the mayor of San Francisco. As a Democratic mayor in America's most liberal city (on the other side of the continent, to boot) she seems an unlikely candidate to have been briefed into a highly secret, quasi-illegal undertaking being run by the the National Security council and a rabidly anti-Communist Republican White House.

Is this good faith gone awry? Am I missing some vital source somewhere? (I doubt this; I lived through those events, I am a trained journalist and I have a read a shelf-ful of books on the Iran-Contra scandal.) Is it political vandalism? (Entirely and sadly possible, I think in my guts.) More to the point: How best to resolve it? This is a serious claim; the way it is written is heavy enough to graze against NPOV as it is and if it is not factual … shall I just be bold and revise the whole article? It has other problems. Should I limit it to editing out that claim, or the mentions of Feinstein?

In digging teh interwebs around I found this article reproduced in full (often unsourced) several times. It's a problem.

  • Hey there! If you're attempting to communicate with another editor, simply click on the "talk" link in their signature. The help request template that you placed goes out to the community at large. Joyson can be reached here. As far as the Barry Seal article, you can ask questions and make suggestions on the article's talk page here. As a side note, please remember to sign your comments with four tildes, which are located in the upper corner of your keyboard, i.e., ~~~~ Happy editing! Best regards, Cind.amuse (Cindy) 14:19, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Ahoy there, Cind.amuse and most excellently thank you. I must've mis-read Joyson's message (I thought he seemed to say I should use that help tag to attract his attention) but thank you for the info, for the links and for not biting! I'm off to start reading those links now! Ps.: I apologize if I missed the edit summary on one or more of my contributions; I thought I had used it thoroughly. I will mos. def. endeavor to do so on each edit! Ericksommers (talk) 15:17, 28 December 2011 (UTC)Ericksommers