This is topic Statist whore wants wikileaks classified as "terrorist" org in forum General Comments at The Ornery American Forum.


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Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/11/29/politics/main7098919.shtml

quote:
The incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says WikiLeaks should be officially designated as a terrorist organization.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the panel's next head, asked the Obama administration today to "determine whether WikiLeaks could be designated a foreign terrorist organization," putting the group in the same company as Al Qaeda and Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese cult that released deadly sarin gas on the Tokyo subway.

"WikiLeaks appears to meet the legal criteria" of a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, King wrote in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reviewed by CNET.

What legal criteria are those? If wikileaks fits the criteria, then they must be pretty focking stupid criteria.

quote:
He added: "WikiLeaks presents a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States."
That may be true. But our definition of terrorism is anything that presents clear and present danger to state national security, then what separates us from the PRC?
 
Posted by philnotfil (Member # 1881) on :
 
If this was done, would it make the people who produced the material being leaked "terrorists"?
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
What legal criteria are those? If wikileaks fits the criteria, then they must be pretty focking stupid criteria.

I think you know.
quote:
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be the master - that's all."

Welcome to the new world order. Paging George Orwell, line 2010.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
It's my hope this political grandstanding dies a quick death. Wikileaks isn't the issue. Bad security and bad policies are.

Indeed, in this latest round of "leaks" there doesn't seem to be much of note. Let's look at some of the recent leaks.

*Arab leaders are privately urging an air strike on Iran

This isn't exactly a shocking revelation.

* US officials have been instructed to spy on the UN leadership
Bad policy to try and get the Credit card numbers, but requests for email addresses and their policy positions are perfectly reasonable. (This is probably the most embarrassing of all the leaks, and it's pretty minor.)

• Grave fears in Washington and London over the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme, with officials warning that as the country faces economic collapse, government employees could smuggle out enough nuclear material for terrorists to build a bomb.

Unremarkable, indeed, I'd be upset if official's in Washington and London weren't concerned with "the security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme"!

• Inappropriate remarks by Prince Andrew about a UK law enforcement agency and a foreign country.

LOL! Seriously!


• Suspicions of corruption in the Afghan government,

What there's corruption in Afghanistan? Shocking, just shocking I say.

• How the hacker attacks which forced Google to quit China in January were orchestrated by a senior member of the Politburo who typed his own name into the global version of the search engine and found articles criticising him personally.

OK, this one is just funny. We all knew that China was behind the attacks, but it's frakking hilarious that the entire security apparatus of China was directed at Google because of a personal black eye.

• Allegations that Russia and its intelligence agencies are using mafia bosses to carry out criminal operations, with one cable reporting that the relationship is so close that the country has become a "virtual mafia state".

What there's corruption in Russia? Shocking, just shocking I say.


• The material includes a reference to Putin as an "alpha-dog" and Hamid Karzai as being "driven by paranoia", while Angela Merkel allegedly "avoids risk and is rarely creative". There is also a comparison between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Adolf Hitler.

I'm pretty sure referring to Putin as an "alpha-dog" in secret communications is worth billions in PR. That's pretty much the opposite of an embarrassing leak.

Link
 
Posted by Omega M. (Member # 1392) on :
 
I don't think he's a terrorist, but can't we arrest Julian Assange for something if he enters the United States? It has to be against the law to publish classified information.
 
Posted by Mariner (Member # 1618) on :
 
Is there some sort of legal middle ground between shrugging our shoulders and declaring him a terrorist? I want to know what our options are when dealing with him or any others actively and effectively undermining our nation. If a Predator drone strike is off the table (and no, I'm not suggesting it should be an option; calm down), then what is on it? Declaring him a terrorist may be too far, and I don't think it meets that definition, but what other middle ground is available?

Espionage seems the most probable to me. But can that be expanded to an organization as opposed to just the founder?

For that matter, what laws are on our books to protect our allies from American scumbuckets who would do the same to them? If I was actively disrupting and undermining Sweden's sovereignty, could, would, and should the US government arrest me? I would hope so.

It bugs me horribly that our government recently shut down 70 or so websites unilaterally and without judiciary approval for copyright infringement, yet sits around and does nothing about this. Whatever motivation Peter King may have behind this request, hopefully it will accelerate the White House to do something about this.

JWatts, the leaks are more than just what they are stating. I have no doubt that these cripple the ability of the State Dept to do their job. Sure, it may not be as immediately repugnant as painting targets on the backs of courageous Afghan citizens doing their part to fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda by releasing their personal information to the terrorists, but it still hurts. Some stuff is meant to stay private.
 
Posted by cb (Member # 6179) on :
 
I find it hilarious that our intrepid HLS can act so quickly to close file sharing sites but seems hogtied to do anything about massive leaks of internal affairs.

crackdown

quote:
The US government has launched a new campaign to crack down on websites that facilitate illegal file sharing and infringe on copyright laws.

As a part of the crack down, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division of the Department of Homeland Security has seized more than 70 websites associated with the illegal file sharing of music and movies, and offering counterfeit goods for sale.

Fact is, nothing will be done to Wikileaks or Julian Assange. We are all quite familiar with black ops. All it would take is an accidental nudge on a long stretch of highway to get rid of the Julian problem. What role these leaks are playing is not clear as yet, but the first leak would have been the last if Mr. Assange were not doing exactly what the puppeteers want him to do.

[ November 29, 2010, 04:10 PM: Message edited by: cb ]
 
Posted by jasonr (Member # 969) on :
 
Wikileaks should be shut down, but the use of the T word does nothing to further this debate. Assange and his buddies may be arrogant, reckless, irresponsible, but they're not terrorists.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by cb:
Fact is, nothing will be done to Wikileaks or Julian Assange. We are all quite familiar with black ops. All it would take is an accidental nudge on a long stretch of highway to get rid of the Julian problem.

And I'm hoping that nothing does happen to him at this point. Since the US is generally the default "bad guy" if he dies we will be blamed. Which will be a far greater embarrassment to the US than anything leaked so far.

PS - The title of this thread really should have been "Statist Pimp" ...

[ November 29, 2010, 04:21 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]
 
Posted by philnotfil (Member # 1881) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
Assange and his buddies may be arrogant, reckless, irresponsible, but they're not terrorists.

I thought that this effort was quite responsible:
indexoncencorship.org
quote:
26 November
Julian Assange, Editor in Chief, WikiLeaks
to
US Ambassador to London, Louis Susman

Subject to the general objective of ensuring maximum disclosure of information in the public interest, WikiLeaks would be grateful for the United States Government to privately nominate any specific instances (record numbers or names) where it considers the publication of information would put individual persons at significant risk of harm that has not already been addressed. PDF

27 November
Harold Hongju Koh, Legal Adviser, United States Department of State
to
Julian Assange, Editor in Chief, WikiLeaks

We will not engage in a negotiation regarding the further release or dissemination of illegally obtained U.S. Government classified materials. PDF

28 November
Julian Assange, Editor in Chief, WikiLeaks
to
US Ambassador to London, Louis Susman

I understand that the United States government would prefer not to have the information that will be published in the public domain and is not in favour of openness. That said, either there is a risk or there is not. You have chosen to respond in a manner which leads me to conclude that the supposed risks are entirely fanciful and you are instead concerned to suppress evidence of human rights abuse and other criminal behaviour. PDF


 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by philnotfil:
quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
Assange and his buddies may be arrogant, reckless, irresponsible, but they're not terrorists.

I thought that this effort was quite responsible:
indexoncencorship.org
quote:
26 November
Julian Assange, Editor in Chief, WikiLeaks
to
US Ambassador to London, Louis Susman

Subject to the general objective of ensuring maximum disclosure of information in the public interest, WikiLeaks would be grateful for the United States Government to privately nominate any specific instances (record numbers or names) where it considers the publication of information would put individual persons at significant risk of harm that has not already been addressed. PDF

27 November
Harold Hongju Koh, Legal Adviser, United States Department of State
to
Julian Assange, Editor in Chief, WikiLeaks

We will not engage in a negotiation regarding the further release or dissemination of illegally obtained U.S. Government classified materials. PDF

28 November
Julian Assange, Editor in Chief, WikiLeaks
to
US Ambassador to London, Louis Susman

I understand that the United States government would prefer not to have the information that will be published in the public domain and is not in favour of openness. That said, either there is a risk or there is not. You have chosen to respond in a manner which leads me to conclude that the supposed risks are entirely fanciful and you are instead concerned to suppress evidence of human rights abuse and other criminal behaviour. PDF


That wasn't really that laudible, since the Ambassador wasn't about to specifically go into detail about what "Top Secret" data might cause harm. By doing so he would point out which data was the high value data and would quite likely reveal even more sensitive information.

If some of the massive amount of data involved was collected by a source in a high risk position, pointing out that data specifically would highlight that information. As it is, it's lost in the details. That's mostly a PR move for the gullible than an actual "responsible position".
 
Posted by cb (Member # 6179) on :
 
You find that correspondense RESPONSIBLE!?!?

I find it arrogant and audacious. Assange's last response shows he was simply looking for the response he received so he could justify any danger his leaks would cause by saying "Well, I tried to get the USDoS to edit my leaks for possible danger, so my hands are clean."

How self serving is that.
 
Posted by philnotfil (Member # 1881) on :
 
More responsible than not giving the US a chance to redact anything that might have been important, especially considering that he was self-publishing and didn't have any kind of pressure from his editors or owners to do so.

[ November 29, 2010, 05:39 PM: Message edited by: philnotfil ]
 
Posted by TommySama (Member # 2780) on :
 
quote:
You find that correspondense RESPONSIBLE!?!?
Of course it was irresponsible. The United States government cynically refused to help redact all the information that is supposedly going to lead to loss of life, like an obstinate child.
 
Posted by TommySama (Member # 2780) on :
 
Dramatic re-enactment of the administration's response to these leaks.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
WikiLeaks is, in my opinion, exactly the sort of genuine freedom-loving operation that every single human being who expresses any sort of grudging respect for the Tea Party should be lining up to support.
 
Posted by Viking_Longship (Member # 3358) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
WikiLeaks is, in my opinion, exactly the sort of genuine freedom-loving operation that every single human being who expresses any sort of grudging respect for the Tea Party should be lining up to support.

The primary purpose of the Tea Party is to make sure the baby boomers get their social security and medicaid (which to be fair they paid for). It's got zip to do with freedom, at least not for a gen Yer millenial or whatever you'd be.
 
Posted by 0Megabyte (Member # 1217) on :
 
I had a long post, but you know what? I agree wholeheartedly with TomDavidson here.

Wikileaks is vital. If the government wants to keep its secrets... well, I don't mind that someone's invading their privacy the way the government does to too many of its own citizens. I believe what Wikileaks is doing is the very thing that should be done in any freedom-loving society. Wikileaks is the embodiment of the vigilance needed to preserve freedom. It's the kind of tool necessary to root out corruption. Because from time to time, the government needs to be reminded that it can't keep its secrets forever. How else can it be ensured they'll behave?
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
WikiLeaks is, in my opinion, exactly the sort of genuine freedom-loving operation that every single human being who expresses any sort of grudging respect for the Tea Party should be lining up to support.

I have no respect, grudging or otherwise, for the T party.

Nor have I any respect for wikilinks.

Despite the latter statement, despite the fact that I agree that wikilinks poses a clear and present danger to our repubic, I stand by my statement that the **** that said that wikilinks is terrorist, is a statist whore.

Terrorism is terrorism.

Wikilinks is not terrorism.

It's a big focking inconvenience.

We might decare war on the SoB.

but if we have any interity, we won't call him a terrorist.
 
Posted by 0Megabyte (Member # 1217) on :
 
A clear and present danger to our republic? It's the salvation of the republic.

Here's a link to the New York Times' rationale for making articles based on the new leaks. I agree with them, in principle.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/29/world/29editornote.html

As they say, "The Times believes that the documents serve an important public interest, illuminating the goals, successes, compromises and frustrations of American diplomacy in a way that other accounts cannot match."

They go on to say "But the more important reason to publish these articles is that the cables tell the unvarnished story of how the government makes its biggest decisions, the decisions that cost the country most heavily in lives and money. They shed light on the motivations — and, in some cases, duplicity — of allies on the receiving end of American courtship and foreign aid. They illuminate the diplomacy surrounding two current wars and several countries, like Pakistan and Yemen, where American military involvement is growing. As daunting as it is to publish such material over official objections, it would be presumptuous to conclude that Americans have no right to know what is being done in their name."

I agree with them fully in their rationale. They stated my principles in the matter better than I could.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by 0Megabyte:
A clear and present danger to our republic? It's the salvation of the republic.

Tomato, tomahto.

regardless, it ain't terrorism. It ain't arson. It ain't rape.

The rest is arguable.
 
Posted by 0Megabyte (Member # 1217) on :
 
On that, we do agree.

Even if we disagree on everything else on this matter, I think I can live with that.
 
Posted by TommySama (Member # 2780) on :
 
quote:
Even if we disagree on everything else on this matter, I think I can live with that.
Nonsense, you must reach a consensus. DESTROY EACH OTHER.
 
Posted by TheRallanator (Member # 6624) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
WikiLeaks is, in my opinion, exactly the sort of genuine freedom-loving operation that every single human being who expresses any sort of grudging respect for the Tea Party should be lining up to support.

So what about those of us who appreciate where WikiLeaks is coming from but think that the Tea Party is a movement founded by idiots, coopted by opportunists, and aimed at the gullible and easily inflamed? [Big Grin]
 
Posted by philnotfil (Member # 1881) on :
 
I would have thought the GOP response would be more along the lines of "if you don't have anything to hide, why don't you want to let them search you?"
 
Posted by OpsanusTau (Member # 2350) on :
 
Funny, phil - I said exactly those words this morning to my companion, while listening to the news coverage of this on the radio.

If the government isn't doing anything wrong, why are they being so secretive?
[Smile]
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
The government: "Public affairs require privacy."
The TSA: "Your privates need be made public."

[ November 30, 2010, 09:31 AM: Message edited by: Aris Katsaris ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
So what about those of us who appreciate where WikiLeaks is coming from but think that the Tea Party is a movement founded by idiots, coopted by opportunists, and aimed at the gullible and easily inflamed?
Those opinions do not, to me, seem to be incompatible.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Embassy cables, guys. Diplomacy. Yeah, it hurts the country and innocent people when this stuff is in the news.

I agree there's a strong argument that we have a right to know what's being done in our name. We also have an interest to have it done effectively, and these leaks have got to hurt the effectiveness, the trust that other countries will place in us.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
It hurts their trust in us only because it shows them why they shouldn't trust us. If we deserved their trust, we'd be fine.
 
Posted by 0Megabyte (Member # 1217) on :
 
I agree that we have an interest in having it done effectively.

But right now, if these leaks didn't happen here, then it probably never would have happened at all. It takes a stick to get the rabbit to eat the carrot, sometimes... by stick I mean wikileaks, rabbit I mean the U.S. government, and by carrot I mean an actual, honest transparency of government.

Even if Wikileaks went too far, it teaches a lesson the government needs to know. We will find out. We will know what they're doing. So they had better watch out.
 
Posted by TommySama (Member # 2780) on :
 
quote:
Even if Wikileaks went too far, it teaches a lesson the government needs to know. We will find out. We will know what they're doing. So they had better watch out.
Or government will crack down on and purge leakers, and declare another ****ing war against hackers/terrorists.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TommySama:
Or government will crack down on and purge leakers, and declare another ****ing war against hackers/terrorists.

That's almost certainly going to be the result.

Though I'm on the fence on this whole issue. On the one hand the US government tries to classify too much as Top Secret, on the other hand 'leaking' diplomatic messages which amount to nothing more than high level gossip does not serve any greater good and furthermore the inevitable reaction of a massive security clampdown will likely cause the US government to be even more secretive.

On balance, this probably does more harm than good. But at this point the cats out of the bag.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
You know Pete your thread title really is over the top.
 
Posted by The Drake (Member # 2128) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
It hurts their trust in us only because it shows them why they shouldn't trust us. If we deserved their trust, we'd be fine.

agreed. What the government should be doing is spending their time making sure that their diplomatic efforts have integrity and would not embarass us if ever exposed. Realpolitik is ugly in the light of day.

As for the leaks "putting lives at risk" - how many lives, compared the outcome of these diplomatic efforts? Isn't it possible that the public outcry stemming from such publication could actually save lives by reducing the likelihood for armed conflict? Not to mention that the government can't point to a single instance of the earlier leaks causing loss of life, as admitted to by the Pentagon? That truly damaging information, like the names of informants, have been redacted by Wikileaks?

quote:
Of greatest concern to Pentagon officials last week was the potential revelation of the names of 300-plus Iraqis that have worked with US forces and were identified by the Pentagon as being “potentially at risk if their identities were made public.”

For that reason, the Pentagon had a 120-member team working in the weeks before the leaks came out to identify and track down the Iraqis in order to be able to notify them in the event that their names were made public.

But the team, known as the Information Review Task Force, found that the 300-plus names of those most at risk for retribution were redacted from the Wikileaks posting.

The Pentagon continued to stress the danger of the leaks, however. “I’d emphasize that just because the names have been removed, it doesn’t remove the danger,” says Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan. “The names still exist in the documents that are in possession of Wikileaks.”

He added that, “As long as [Wikileaks] remain in possession of un-redacted documents, they’re still a danger.”

quote:
One of the most damaging charges to come out of the Wikileaks posting was that US forces may have observed instances where Iraqi security forces were abusing detainees without intervening.

If this angers some Iraqis, and they kill some US soldiers, is this really Wikileaks fault - or our own policy that lets Americans stand idly by while people are beaten and tortured?

at any rate, labelling these guys "terrorists" would be laughable if it weren't for the number of people buying into it. This is the sort of thing that we applaud when a Chinese or Cuban dissident does it.

quote:
A Chinese dissident said he was forcibly taken from prison after completing a 12-year sentence Monday because he protested the authorities' confiscation of his journals and letters.

"I was not released, I was kidnapped and forced out of prison," Qin Yongmin, a co-founder of the banned China Democracy Party, told the German Press Agency dpa by telephone.

Qin, 57, was jailed for 12 years in the central city of Wuhan after he was convicted in 1998 of "endangering state security" for his part in organizing the opposition party and editing the Human Rights Observer newsletter.

Shame on us that we're even contemplating this kind of state behaviour. You "middle ground" people need to drink a big glass of freedom, and accept potential state embarassment or even some loss of life as the consequence of an open society.
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
quote:
One of the most damaging charges to come out of the Wikileaks posting was that US forces may have observed instances where Iraqi security forces were abusing detainees without intervening.

If this angers some Iraqis, and they kill some US soldiers, is this really Wikileaks fault - or our own policy that lets Americans stand idly by while people are beaten and tortured?

Why would Iraqi's kill American soldiers for something Iraqi soldiers did? This seems nonsensical. Are you personally upset at American policy for this? Do you think America should always commit it's soldier to fixing every problem in Iraq? In the Middle East? in the world?


I still think there is very little in this round of leaks that is truly embarrassing to the US.

quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
at any rate, labelling these guys "terrorists" would be laughable if it weren't for the number of people buying into it.

It is laughable to refer to Julian Assange as a terrorist. He is a criminal, but a minor one.


quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
quote:
A Chinese dissident said he was forcibly taken from prison after completing a 12-year sentence Monday because he protested the authorities' confiscation of his journals and letters.
Shame on us that we're even contemplating this kind of state behaviour.
I haven't seen anyone advocating this position as US policy.

[ November 30, 2010, 03:20 PM: Message edited by: JWatts ]
 
Posted by TommySama (Member # 2780) on :
 
quote:
The Pentagon continued to stress the danger of the leaks, however. “I’d emphasize that just because the names have been removed, it doesn’t remove the danger,” says Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan. “The names still exist in the documents that are in possession of Wikileaks.”

BS. There are nearly a million people with access to classified data in the United States. Adding a handful of hackers is hardly a risk.
 
Posted by Mariner (Member # 1618) on :
 
WikiLeaks is, in my opinion, exactly the sort of genuine freedom-loving operation that every single human being who expresses any sort of grudging respect for the Tea Party should be lining up to support.

The primary purpose of the Tea Party is to make sure the baby boomers get their social security and medicaid (which to be fair they paid for). It's got zip to do with freedom, at least not for a gen Yer millenial or whatever you'd be.

I would have thought the GOP response would be more along the lines of "if you don't have anything to hide, why don't you want to let them search you?"

There is not a rolleyes smiley big enough for this.

First of all, Viking Longship, I'm calling you out. Your post is the exact sort of stupid that I used to see earlier in the year when I moved away from this site. It adds nothing to the conversation, casually attacks members of this board, is insulting, and really shows nothing but your own ignorance. You're a decent member of the forum with valuable contributions, so I was surprised to see it coming from you. What were you thinking? What do you think the response would be if I said "The Mormon Church is nothing more than an excuse for horny guys to have a socially acceptable outlet for obtaining multiple sexual partners"? It would be insulting to LDS members by reducing their thinking to one minor manner and, to make it more pathetic, would be incorrect on the face of it anyway given the LDS' move away from polygamy! That's no different than what you wrote. I don't know where you get your info from, but one of the primary methods of attack that the Dems used against the Tea Party candidates was to tell the baby boomers that the TP would take away their social security and medicaid benefits!

Do you think that taking a random aside to smear a political movement is constructive or in any way conducive to maintaining the type of debate Ornery was built on?

As for the other comments, it's also eyeroll-worthy. You're putting your own biases and thought processes onto others without fully thinking about it. There is apparently no room for nuance, a word that I hear oh so often that conservatives don't understand. Well, guess what? There is no contradiction between limited government, desire for transparency, and belief that Wikileaks is a criminal organization.

Should the public have access to files from the Witness Protection Program? Hey, we need to know how our government makes its decisions. It's the kind of information necessary to root out corruption. How else can it be ensured that US Marshals behave?

Oh wait, there's a difference there? There is some nuance involved in what should be made public? Hmmm.... And if you think that's an unfair comparison, it is exactly the same as the issue with the informants in the first leak. Just because this one leaker was intelligent enough to redact the names, what makes you think the next one will be?

Should the public have access to ongoing investigations by the FBI? Hey, these are sensitive materials, after all. Crime investigation is ripe for civil abuses. Surely everything the FBI is doing should be out in the public. We should know who their suspects are, who they're secretly surveying, the terrorist wannabes like the Portland bomber that are already in their trap, but can't be arrested yet because they might lead us to more terrorists. Public right to know! If the government wasn't doing anything wrong, they shouldn't have to hide it!

Oh wait, that's different, too? Actually, no, it's not. Several years ago, the treasonous New York Times leaked a classified (and perfectly legal and non-controversial) program the US was using to monitor terrorists, which kinda sorta relied on the program remaining secret. They actively dismantled an effective tool at protecting us, and their stated reason for it was to embarrass Bush. Is that a good reason to leak it? Is that in the public right to know?

Drake and the isolationists/leftists seems to think that these dumps make US foreign policy look bad, and make the case for US militarism look bad as well. Actually, as JWatts said, its quite the opposite. This latest dump has almost nothing that makes us look bad, other than some spying on personal lives and general confirmation that Obama's foreign policy is clueless. Instead, it shows that China is willing to work with us on unifying Korea. It shows multiple Arab states wanting us to militarily take out Iran's nuclear sites. It shows that the world is a dangerous place, that there are alliances among the rogue nations, that our enemies use human shields and spit in the face of honorable actions. Drake may think that this document dump makes the world a safer place and exposes how eeevvill the US is, but there's really no evidence of that.

And indeed, it could easily be the opposite.

Let's take a hypothetical example that wasn't leaked (yet). Suppose the documents showed that the Stuxnet virus was a CIA operation. For those that don't know, this virus is an extraordinarily sophisticated virus that appears to be designed for the sole purpose of dismantling Iran's nuclear weapons program. For all the possible approaches to dealing with the problem, this could quite possibly be the most peaceful approach. Sure, it's not nice, but it's a whole lot better than a military strike, or allowing Iran to obtain nuclear missiles and using that for military aggressiveness, for that matter. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if this was a CIA or Mossad or something operation. But I don't need to know that. More importantly, Iran doesn't need to know that. They can suspect all they want, but the plausible deniability is there.

And what happens if Assange blabs to the world that the CIA was behind it? Then Iran can deign righteous indignation. Who knows what will happen? Perhaps they'll invade Iraq to eliminate the Great Satan's occupation, destabilizing a fragile democracy and causing countless more lives. Perhaps we'd be drawn into a war that we were trying to avoid. All because we have a right to know.

Or maybe that wouldn't happen, who knows? Who knows how the crazed North Korean regime will react to knowing our secret talks regarding them? Perhaps they'll feel that their back is to the wall and launch a preemptive strike on Seoul. Who knows how the Arab countries will react to having the public know they were supporting the US a lot more than commonly believed? Perhaps Al Qaeda can use that to destabilize some countries and put them in civil wars and/or terrorist havens. Who knows how delicate trade negotiations, security negotiations, or anything else will react to knowing how our state dept works? Perhaps it will weaken our ability to conduct proper negotiations and therefore hurt the US economy. Its possible. It's also possible that these leaks might do more good than harm. Who knows? Not Assange, that's for sure. Not Drake either. Or TommySama, TomDavidson, 0Megabyte, or anyone else who thinks these leaks are a good thing.

You're playing with fire here. Some things are meant to remain secrets. Military secrets are fine. State secrets are fine. Frank analyses of our enemies and our allies are fine. And all of that relies on keeping things secret. All of that relies on keeping a straight face and providing plausible deniability. As nice as it is to know what's going on behind the curtain, sometimes, we just don't need to know.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
They actively dismantled an effective tool at protecting us, and their stated reason for it was to embarrass Bush.
I would like you to find the citation in which they say their goal was to embarrass the president.

quote:
You're playing with fire here. Some things are meant to remain secrets.
I disagree. I can think of few things more corrosive to liberty than secrecy, and am not such a coward that I'm willing to exchange the former for potential security -- especially when I know that secrecy is being used to conceal atrocity and protect the powerful.
 
Posted by TommySama (Member # 2780) on :
 
quote:
Who knows? Not Assange, that's for sure. Not Drake either. Or TommySama, TomDavidson, 0Megabyte, or anyone else who thinks these leaks are a good thing.

You're playing with fire here. Some things are meant to remain secrets. Military secrets are fine. State secrets are fine. Frank analyses of our enemies and our allies are fine.

Well, that's your take on state secrets. I think that they are dangerous for our liberty. For instance, there are people in our government who want to label organizations as terrorist because they might hurt national security. How do we know? Well, because they told us so. But masta don't want us folk askin too many questions.

You wouldn't have eaten the fruit, would you have?
 
Posted by Animist (Member # 674) on :
 
The hate-on some people have for Wikileaks really bothers me. It seems to be based on the idea that "some things are meant to remain secret." "Meant" by whom? From whom? And what are the broader implications of secrecy, of having a government able to keep secrets?

It's similar to some peoples' reactions to the foreclosure crisis: "****er couldn't pay his bills, he deserves what he has coming to him!" bray the onlookers as the banking class (bailed out at taxpayer expense when they couldn't "pay their bills") deprive yet another American of his human right to shelter.

It's a misplacement of loyalties-- with the powerful and with "rules" created by the powerful, for the end of exercising power. Like Stockholm Syndrome.

Julian Assange is my hero, and I can't wait for the next round of leaks.

[ November 30, 2010, 09:22 PM: Message edited by: Animist ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
I wouldn't say Assange is my hero, but I'm very glad that someone is providing this service.
 
Posted by RickyB (Member # 1464) on :
 
Under the normal course of things, some things SHOULD remain secret, at least in real time. Diplomacy, for instance, is entirely based on an intensely duplicitous system of manners - everyone knows what you say privately among your country's diplomats and politicians isn't what you say to other nations' faces - and it is precisely for this reason that when the private honesty becomes public it becomes something that must be addressed. It's not really *that* different from everyday interpersonal life, even though in America we have more latitude to be bluntly honest in that sphere than is tenable in international relations.

You may think your co-workers are assholes, and they may think the same, and you both may be fairly certain this is the case, but if you or they voice this frequently to their face it makes for an untenable work environment. Your boss sends you to meet someone. She wants your assessment of the person. Can you do business if you can only give such impressions with a cc to the subject? Of course not.

However, when wars are sold on lies and the world seems headed to a dangerous place, it is most helpful from time to time to set the record straight. I wouldn't want the type of diplomatic correspondence that was exposed to be regularly available, but under current conditions I'm not upset that it was revealed. I think that under normal circumstances the drive to leak - without some huge bribe, for free as with wikileaks - is much lower.
 
Posted by The Drake (Member # 2128) on :
 
Some things should remain secret, which is why the government employees and contractors with that clearance are not allowed to share it. But publishing these secrets should not be punished. I doubt that we have to depend on journalists to keep our nuclear launch codes secret, or the Presidential motorcade route. In order to have a leak of this type, somebody must be willing to go to jail in order to reveal it. That means that your policy is so messed up, that even lifetime public servants think that it needs to be exposed at any cost.

I think that diplomacy as practiced is often unethical two-faced behaviour. When Saudi Arabia secretly wants to bomb Iran, but publicly supports them as Shiite brothers - that's unethical. If Saudi Arabia gets hurt because of their lies to the International public, too damn bad. If we get hurt because of it, shame on us for letting them get away with it.

So, can some say with specificity what the harm will be of any of these cables? So we called Sarkozy an authoritarian who is mean to his staff. So? And? Embarassing, not dangerous terrorism.

I don't disagree with Ricky that there are one-on-one assessments that may be too brutally honest (for instance, about a difficult customer in business). But these are widely available, although restricted, cables. Would you cc your message denigrating a co-worker to 20% of your company and available to new hires as a database?

There's a time and a place for a phone call or a personal visit. Why do you think Clinton logs all those frequent flyer miles, anyway? So that the really sensitive stuff never gets recorded - except perhaps by the US if the meeting is at the UN.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
At present, these cables would have become fodder for historians within 20 years, neh? Now policies will go into effect giving this stuff premature burial. So in the long run, this leak will result in less sunshine, not more.
 
Posted by edgmatt (Member # 6449) on :
 
Well, I can understand why people woudl be upset about these particular leaks, I think Ricky posted just about exactly what I think about this.

I think the bigger issue is the concept of allowing Top Secret information be public. I don't think this is a problem for our public, but for whoever might be our enemies at the time.

We don't care, today, if out government has called the President of Russia a name, or insulted him somehow. Will we care when the leaked information allows a nation we are at war with, or are close to being at war with, use that information to gain a tactical or political advantage over our government or over the public?

I wouldn't call the Wiki leaks guy a hero. I think the potential for some really bad events could spring from top secret information being regularly leaked to the rest of the world.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
Now policies will go into effect giving this stuff premature burial. So in the long run, this leak will result in less sunshine, not more.
Only if we let our government bully us. Do you plan to?

quote:
I think the potential for some really bad events could spring from top secret information being regularly leaked to the rest of the world.
Practically speaking, all hypotheticals aside, really bad events have sprung from top secret information not being leaked. So it's six of one, half-dozen of the other.

[ December 02, 2010, 10:14 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
 
Posted by KidTokyo (Member # 6601) on :
 
What impresses me most about WikiLeaks is not any of the specific leaks themselves, but rather that the government is so damn leaky.

Isn't that really the important revelation?

It reveals government for the big, messy, improbable operation that it is. It shows the limits of top-down management and control.

[ December 02, 2010, 10:21 AM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]
 
Posted by JWatts (Member # 6523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
What impresses me most about WikiLeaks is not any of the specific leaks themselves, but rather that the government is so damn leaky.

Isn't that really the important revelation?

You do know that all of these leaks were probably provided by one individual.

quote:
Wired’s Threat Level blog reported late Sunday that “an Army intelligence analyst who boasted of giving classified U.S. combat video and hundreds of thousands of classified State Department records to whistleblower site Wikileaks,” was arrested by the Pentagon.
Leaks

However, it's almost certain that all of that information that was previously available to anyone with a certain level of clearance will be divided up and access will be further limited. The government will become even more secretive after this, not less. And almost certainly less efficient.

I like the free flow of information, but I understand the limits. This event will almost certainly result in less future flow of information.
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
Interesting take here.For the shockingly large number of you that refuse to follow links, here's the summary:
quote:
Because we all basically know that the US state — like all states — is basically doing a lot of basically shady things basically all the time, simply revealing the specific ways they are doing these shady things will not be, in and of itself, a necessarily good thing. In some cases, it may be a bad thing, and in many cases, the provisional good it may do will be limited in scope. The question for an ethical human being — and Assange always emphasizes his ethics — has to be the question of what exposing secrets will actually accomplish, what good it will do, what better state of affairs it will bring about. And whether you buy his argument or not, Assange has a clearly articulated vision for how Wikileaks’ activities will “carry us through the mire of politically distorted language, and into a position of clarity,” a strategy for how exposing secrets will ultimately impede the production of future secrets. The point of Wikileaks — as Assange argues — is simply to make Wikileaks unnecessary.

 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
Thanks for the article, G2.
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
Welcome. [Wink]

It's quite informative about what's driving Assange and wikileaks. For those, like the Obama administration, that want to dismiss him as insignificant and claim they're "not scared of one guy with one keyboard and a laptop" then I think you're underestimating this guy and this situation.
quote:

... he begins by describing a state like the US as essentially an authoritarian conspiracy, and then reasons that the practical strategy for combating that conspiracy is to degrade its ability to conspire, to hinder its ability to “think” as a conspiratorial mind.

<snip>

He decides, instead, that the most effective way to attack this kind of organization would be to make “leaks” a fundamental part of the conspiracy’s information environment. Which is why the point is not that particular leaks are specifically effective. Wikileaks does not leak something like the “Collateral Murder” video as a way of putting an end to that particular military tactic; that would be to target a specific leg of the hydra even as it grows two more. Instead, the idea is that increasing the porousness of the conspiracy’s information system will impede its functioning, that the conspiracy will turn against itself in self-defense, clamping down on its own information flows in ways that will then impede its own cognitive function. You destroy the conspiracy, in other words, by making it so paranoid of itself that it can no longer conspire:

<snip>

The leak, in other words, is only the catalyst for the desired counter-overreaction; Wikileaks wants to provoke the conspiracy into turning off its own brain in response to the threat. As it tries to plug its own holes and find the leakers, he reasons, its component elements will de-synchronize from and turn against each other, de-link from the central processing network, and come undone. Even if all the elements of the conspiracy still exist, in this sense, depriving themselves of a vigorous flow of information to connect them all together as a conspiracy prevents them from acting as a conspiracy.

Looks like we're gonna get a chance to see if his theory works since he claims to have even more to release.

[ December 02, 2010, 08:11 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Now policies will go into effect giving this stuff premature burial. So in the long run, this leak will result in less sunshine, not more.
Only if we let our government bully us. Do you plan to?
Gee, Tom, thanks for reminding me that the government can do nothing unless I plan to allow them to do so. While we're at it, why don't we just teach kids to just say no to rape and incest?

[ December 03, 2010, 02:16 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]
 
Posted by 0Megabyte (Member # 1217) on :
 
Pete, while you bring up a point that requires clarification, I'd trust, as a capable lawyer, you can find more ways to interpret Tom's words than just the silliest, chip on your shoulder or not.

I don't speak for Tom, but I'll say this: We DO have ways to affect the government. We can always fire the people who make these decisions, and replace them.

I presume Tom suggests something like that. Admittedly, it would require a lot of work. A whole lot. That's probably still a large understatement. In fact, it might not even be feasible. That's debatable. But you seemed to go for something more simplistic and easier to make fun of. Isn't this kind of like making an opponent of straw and beating it?

---

Thank you for the informative link, G2. Some interesting food for thought. I, too, am curious to see how Assuange's theory pans out.

I'm... not sure where you stand on this, G2. What is your opinion on it? If I'm reading the little you've said, you don't really seem against it, but stop me if I'm reading you wrong.

[ December 03, 2010, 02:37 AM: Message edited by: 0Megabyte ]
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by 0Megabyte:
Pete, while you bring up a point that requires clarification, I'd trust, as a capable lawyer, you can find more ways to interpret Tom's words than just the silliest, chip on your shoulder or not.

I don't speak for Tom, but I'll say this: We DO have ways to affect the government.

If Tom had said that, I'd agree with him.

quote:
We can always fire the people who make these decisions, and replace them.
Is that your final answer [Big Grin] You might want to be more careful about the word "always."

Fact is, some lefties do hold Americans fully responsible for the acts of their government, and ultimately that's about as just as blaming a rape victim. Yes, there are things you can do to prevent certain bad things from happening, but sometimes sh!t happens regardless.


quote:
But you seemed to go for something more simplistic and easier to make fun of. Isn't this kind of like making an opponent of straw and beating it?
You're making a lot of positive inferences about Tom's meaning. Yes, I do have a grudge against Tom, but I have and will continue to defend him when I see him mischaracterized or done wrong. Nothing I say or do will ever cause Tom to respect me as a fellow human being, and yes, I'm bitter about that, and yes, that comes out in my style and sometimes colors my reading. ---
 
Posted by 0Megabyte (Member # 1217) on :
 
Yes, yes, always is a bit optimistic. In general, we can sort of choose now. The current party system does make it harder to choose what our choices will be, however. Still, that's why I feel primaries are important.

Anyway, I'll admit I'm suggesting positive inferences about Tom's meaning. But I feel it's no less valid than automatically making negative inferences.

And yes, your bitterness is very obviously coming out in your style, when it comes to Tom. I'm not going to defend him in any larger sense, he doesn't need me for that. But maybe you should just stop talking to him, if he's bothering you so much. If your view is really that nothing you can do will ever make Tom respect you... just respectfully stop doing anything in regards to him. Why spend the time? You could always do (insert fun hobby here) instead.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
I strongly suggest, Pete, that you read the article to which G2 linked -- and then consider my comment within that context. It might help.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
I did, and it blows my mind to consider the possibility that you may have meant "we" in that kind of inclusive teamish way. I need some time to contemplate a response. Thank you.
 
Posted by Viking_Longship (Member # 3358) on :
 
quote:
We don't care, today, if out government has called the President of Russia a name, or insulted him somehow
Our Secretary of State said the once (and probably future) president of Russia and current "Batman" didn't have a soul. Somehow I think that Medvedev will survive being compared to The Boy Wonder and I bet Putin rather likes being called Batman. [Smile]

So far most of the State Dept stuff sounds catty, a bit like our nation is a teenage girl whose diary got published on the web.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
OK, Tom, I've thought about it. 0Meg was right, and I thank you both for your patience with my unreasonableness in this matter. I made an unfair inference based on my my history with you, and I apologize.
 
Posted by Mucus (Member # 6573) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
... Our Secretary of State said the once (and probably future) president of Russia and current "Batman" didn't have a soul.

Also said:

quote:
... President Obama held a town hall meeting with an online component to highlight the importance of the internet. In response to a question that was sent in over the internet, he defended the right of people to freely access information, and said that the more freely information flows, the stronger societies become. He spoke about how access to information helps citizens to hold their governments accountable, generates new ideas, and encourages creativity. The United States’ belief in that truth is what brings me here today.
http://memex.naughtons.org/archives/2010/12/05/12412
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by 0Megabyte:

I'm... not sure where you stand on this, G2. What is your opinion on it? If I'm reading the little you've said, you don't really seem against it, but stop me if I'm reading you wrong.

Assange is engaged in espionage. He should be arrested and prosecuted and wikleaks should be shut down.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
What espionage has Assange himself committed?
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
What espionage has Assange himself committed?

Really. Perhaps a review of the relevant US Code is in order. Specifically see Section 793 and 798.

In a nutshell:
quote:
The act of obtaining, delivering, transmitting, communicating, or receiving information about the national defense with an intent, or reason to believe, that the information may be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation. Espionage is a violation of [Title] 18 United States Code 792-798 and Article 106, Uniform Code of Military Justice.
By virtue of receiving and then transmitting classified information, Assange has committed espionage as defined under title 18 of the US Code. There is no gray area here, he did it.

[ December 06, 2010, 07:36 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
Do you believe that Assange's intent is to injure the United States or advantage a foreign nation? (Note, by the way, that Assange is not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and has as far as I can tell committed no crime.)
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 888) on :
 
quote:
The act of obtaining, delivering, transmitting, communicating, or receiving information about the national defense with an intent, or reason to believe, that the information may be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.
So wait, if I *receive* information about the national defense, I'm guilty of espionage?

So the fact I went to the Wikileaks site and read stuff there makes *me* guilty of espionage, even though I wasn't involved in distributing it further?

This definition seems to me very flawed.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
Actually, if you were in fact subject to the UCMJ, receiving such information intentionally -- i.e. wandering out to the site and reading it while having some idea what it contained -- would indeed be a violation. This is why the government is within its "rights" to tell soldiers that they face discharge if they visit the page, or even read articles about the revelations.

Luckily, the UCMJ doesn't apply to most people.

[ December 07, 2010, 07:29 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by G2:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
What espionage has Assange himself committed?

Really. Perhaps a review of the relevant US Code is in order. Specifically see Section 793 and 798.

In a nutshell:
quote:
The act of obtaining, delivering, transmitting, communicating, or receiving information about the national defense with an intent, or reason to believe, that the information may be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation. Espionage is a violation of [Title] 18 United States Code 792-798 and Article 106, Uniform Code of Military Justice.
By virtue of receiving and then transmitting classified information, Assange has committed espionage as defined under title 18 of the US Code. There is no gray area here, he did it.

Haven't we all done it, by reading this stuff on this board, and re-posting and linking to it?

Off with our heads.
 
Posted by philnotfil (Member # 1881) on :
 
wired.com

quote:
A truly free press — one unfettered by concerns of nationalism — is apparently a terrifying problem for elected governments and tyrannies alike.

It shouldn’t be.

In the past week, after publishing secret U.S. diplomatic cables, secret-spilling site WikiLeaks has been hit with denial-of-service attacks on its servers by unknown parties; its backup hosting provider, Amazon, booted WikiLeaks off its hosting service; and PayPal has suspended its donation-collecting account, damaging WikiLeaks’ ability to raise funds. MasterCard announced Monday it was blocking credit card payments to WikiLeaks, saying the site was engaged in illegal activities, despite the fact it has never been charged with a crime.

Meanwhile, U.S. politicians have ramped up the rhetoric against the nonprofit, calling for the arrest and prosecution and even assassination of its most visible spokesman, Julian Assange. Questions about whether current laws are adequate to prosecute him have prompted lawmakers to propose amending the espionage statute to bring Assange to heel or even to declare WikiLeaks a terrorist organization.


 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
The act of obtaining, delivering, transmitting, communicating, or receiving information about the national defense with an intent, or reason to believe, that the information may be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.
So wait, if I *receive* information about the national defense, I'm guilty of espionage?

So the fact I went to the Wikileaks site and read stuff there makes *me* guilty of espionage, even though I wasn't involved in distributing it further?

This definition seems to me very flawed.

It seems flawed because you are only reading the first half of it. If you were to take information (typically classified) from someone and you knew or had reason to believe the information was intended to to be used to damage the United States or to give advantage to any foreign nation, then you very well might be guilty of espionage.

That you've gone to Wikileaks and read it is not necessarily a crime because the information has already been leaked into the public domain.

quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
Haven't we all done it, by reading this stuff on this board, and re-posting and linking to it?

Not unless the information was classified and then you revealed it with the intent to injure the US or aid other foreign nations. I doubt anyone here has done that.

quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Do you believe that Assange's intent is to injure the United States or advantage a foreign nation? (Note, by the way, that Assange is not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and has as far as I can tell committed no crime.)

I left the UCMJ stuff in just to place a full quote rather than snip it, hope that didn't confuse too much.

Is it Assange's intent to injure the United State? Certainly, there is no doubt. His stated desire is to essentially destroy the "conspiracy", his word for the government, and reduce its ability to act - likening it to assassination - in order to create his vision of a more "just" system.

As for giving advantage to foreign nations, he is indeed doing that but I think that's just a side effect of his actions. I think if he could get information on those countries, he'd leak that too.

There is a very fine line in what Assange has engaged in. Leaking classified cables has crossed that line.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
quote:
There is a very fine line in what Assange has engaged in. Leaking classified cables has crossed that line.
What, in your opinion, would not cross that line?
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
There is a very fine line in what Assange has engaged in. Leaking classified cables has crossed that line.
What, in your opinion, would not cross that line?
Finally releasing Obama's birth certificate! [LOL] [Razz]
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 99) on :
 
So there is no classified information that you believe it would be justified to leak? Only the privacy of private citizens can be ethically violated?
 
Posted by DonaldD (Member # 1052) on :
 
quote:
His stated desire is to essentially destroy the "conspiracy", his word for the government
This is such an oversimplification that it approaches falsehood.

Assange's 'conspiracy' is neither the government, nor the country. It is a subset of the people inside and outside of the government, acting together (though not necessarily in concert) to further the cause of the conspiracy - in this case, increasing the power of the conspiracy itself.

How can we be sure that he does NOT mean the country in total? Well, we could look at his own words:
quote:
Firstly we must understand what aspect of government or neocorporatist
behavior we wish to change or remove. Secondly we must develop a way of
thinking about this behavior that is strong enough carry us through the mire of
politically distorted language, and into a position of clarity. Finally [we] must use
these insights to inspire within us and others a course of ennobling, and effective
action.

I'll point out the following: "what aspect of government or neocorporatist
behavior we wish to change or remove" – if we can use his words to describe his intent (and he has not been reticent to share his opinions on this topic – he has not exactly kept them 'secret') then it is clear that his target is some aspect of government behaviour – not the government in total, and certainly not the country.

Which brings up another point: the wording of the statute is "with an intent, or reason to believe, that the information may be used to the injury of the United States" - the current government is NOT 'the United States'. That aspect of the current government behaviour that he wishes to change is even less so, notwithstanding that there are many in the government who wish to conflate the two, to the point of claiming that resistance to or disagreement with any government position approaches treason.

It is completely consistent with his stated objectives that rather than trying to injure the United States, he is actually trying to protect it from an internal clique that is, in effect, injuring the country.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by G2:
There is a very fine line in what Assange has engaged in. Leaking classified cables has crossed that line.

OK. Suppose you're an American Citizen, and you leak cables classified by the Israeli government showing that Israel government intentionally sunk the USS Liberty in order to cover up its plans to invade the Golan Heights.

You've never been to Israel. You're not an Israeli. Should the US extradite you to Israel for trial as a spy?
 
Posted by KidTokyo (Member # 6601) on :
 
I look it at this way: capturing Assange will not stop wikileaks.

Even stopping wikileaks will not stop other similar organizations from coming into existence and improving on the operational model.

Governmental and corporate secrecy will be harder to maintain, and powerful people will have an incentive to behave better.

We are entering an era in which we will know more about those who lead us, and have more say in what they do, than we ever have before. Technology makes this possible.

I welcome it.
 


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