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ricardisimo
12-04-2010, 03:21 PM
What responsibility does an Austrian journalist have to respecting the prerogatives of the Empire in Washington? For that matter why does his nationality matter? Why can't I post government leaks, particularly regarding war crimes, constitutional breaches, financial hocus-pocus and other misdeeds? Isn't that our job as responsible US (or world) citizens?

This is a nice commentary on the situation, and makes clear several things: Obama is simply a better dressed version of his predecessor, Sarah Palin is a Nazi dipshit, and Wolf Blitzer is a worthless, hairy cheerleader.

Weekend Edition
December 3 -5, 2010
CounterPunch Diary

Julian Assange: Wanted by the Empire, Dead or Alive

By ALEXANDER ****BURN
The American airwaves quiver with the screams of parlor assassins howling for Julian Assange's head. Jonah Goldberg, contributor to the National Review, asks in his syndicated column, "Why wasn't Assange garroted in his hotel room years ago?" Sarah Palin wants him hunted down and brought to justice, saying: "He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands."
Assange can survive these theatrical blusters. A tougher question is how he will fare at the hands of the US government, which is hopping mad. The US attorney general, Eric Holder, has announced that the Justice Department and Pentagon are conducting "an active, ongoing criminal investigation" into the latest Assange-facilitated leak under Washington's Espionage Act.
Asked how the US could prosecute Assange, a non-US citizen, Holder said, "Let me be clear. This is not saber-rattling," and vowed "to swiftly close the gaps in current US legislation…"
In other words the espionage statute is being rewritten to target Assange, and in short order, if not already, President Obama – who as a candidate pledged "transparency" in government - will sign an order okaying the seizing of Assange and his transport into the US jurisdiction. Render first, fight the habeas corpus lawsuits later.
Interpol, the investigative arm of the International Criminal Court at The Hague, has issued a fugitive notice for Assange. He's wanted in Sweden for questioning in two alleged sexual assaults, one of which seems to boil down to a charge of unsafe sex and failure to phone his date the following day.
This prime accuser, Anna Ardin has, according to Israel Shamir (http://www.counterpunch.org/shamir09142010.html), writing on this CounterPunch site, "ties to the US-financed anti-Castro and anti-communist groups. She published her anti-Castro diatribes in the Swedish-language publication Revista de Asignaturas Cubanas put out by Misceláneas de Cuba…Note that Ardin was deported from Cuba for subversive activities."
It's certainly not conspiracism to suspect that the CIA has been at work in fomenting these Swedish accusations. As Shamir reports, "The moment Julian sought the protection of Swedish media law, the CIA immediately threatened to discontinue intelligence sharing with SEPO, the Swedish Secret Service."
The CIA has no doubt also pondered the possibility of pushing Assange off a bridge or through a high window (a mode of assassination favored by the Agency from the earliest days) and has sadly concluded that it's too late for this sort of executive solution.
The irony is that the thousands of diplomatic communications released by WikiLeaks contain no earth-shaking disclosures that undermine the security of the American empire. The bulk of them merely illustrate the well-known fact that in every capital city round the world there is a building known as the U.S. Embassy inhabited by people whose prime function is to vanquish informed assessment of local conditions with swaddling cloths of ignorance and prejudice instilled in them by what passes for higher education in the United States, whose governing elites are now more ignorant of what is really happening in the outside world that at any time in the nation’s history.
The reports in the official press invite us to be stunned at the news that the King of Saudi Arabia wishes Iran was wiped off the map, that the US uses diplomats as spies, that Afghanistan is corrupt, also that corruption is not unknown in Russia! These press reports foster the illusion that U.S. embassies are inhabited by intelligent observers zealously remitting useful information to their superiors in Washington DC . To the contrary, diplomats – assuming they have the slightest capacity for intelligent observation and analysis -- soon learn to advance their careers by sending reports to Foggy Bottom carefully tuned to the prejudices of the top State Department and White House brass, powerful members of Congress and major players throughout the bureaucracies. Remember that as the Soviet Union slid towards extinction, the US Embassy in Moscow was doggedly supplying quavering reports of a puissant Empire of Evil still meditating whether to invade Western Europe!
This is not to downplay the great importance of this latest batch of WikiLeaks. Millions in America and around the world have been given a quick introductory course in international relations and the true arts of diplomacy – not least the third-rate, gossipy prose with which the diplomats rehearse the arch romans à clef they will write when they head into retirement.
Years ago Rebecca West wrote in her novel The Thinking Reed of a British diplomat who, "even when he was peering down a woman's dress at her breasts managed to look as though he was thinking about India." In the updated version, given Hillary Clinton's orders to the State Department, the US envoy, pretending to admire the figure of the charming French cultural attaché, would actually be thinking how to steal her credit card information, obtain a retinal scan, her email passwords and frequent flier number.
There are also genuine disclosures of great interest, some of them far from creditable to the establishment US press. On our CounterPunch site last week Gareth Porter (http://www.counterpunch.org/porter12012010.html) identified a diplomatic cable from last February released by WikiLeaks which provides a detailed account of how Russian specialists on the Iranian ballistic missile program refuted the US suggestion that Iran has missiles that could target European capitals or that Iran intends to develop such a capability. Porter points out that:
"Readers of the two leading US newspapers never learned those key facts about the document. The New York Times and Washington Post reported only that the United States believed Iran had acquired such missiles - supposedly called the BM-25 - from North Korea. Neither newspaper reported the detailed Russian refutation of the US view on the issue or the lack of hard evidence for the BM-25 from the US side.
"The Times, which had obtained the diplomatic cables not from WikiLeaks but from the Guardian, according to a Washington Post story Monday, did not publish the text of the cable. The Times story said the newspaper had made the decision not to publish 'at the request of the Obama administration'. That meant that its readers could not compare the highly distorted account of the document in the Times story against the original document without searching the Wikileaks website."
Distaste among the "official" US press for WikiLeaks has been abundantly apparent from the first of the two big releases of documents pertaining to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The New York Times managed the ungainly feat of publishing some of the leaks while simultaneously affecting to hold its nose, and while publishing a mean-spirited hatchet job on Assange by its reporter John F Burns, a man with a well burnished record in touting the various agendas of the US government.
There have been cheers for Assange and WikiLeaks from such famed leakers as Daniel Ellsberg, but to turn on one's television is to eavesdrop on the sort of fury that Lord Haw-Haw – aka the Irishman William Joyce, doing propaganda broadcasts from Berlin -- used to provoke in Britain in World War II. As Glenn Greenwald wrote in his column on the Salon site:
"On CNN, Wolf Blitzer was beside himself with rage over the fact that the US government had failed to keep all these things secret from him... Then - like the Good Journalist he is - Blitzer demanded assurances that the Government has taken the necessary steps to prevent him, the media generally and the citizenry from finding out any more secrets: 'Do we know yet if they've [done] that fix? In other words, somebody right now who has top secret or secret security clearance can no longer download information onto a CD or a thumb drive? Has that been fixed already?' The central concern of Blitzer - one of our nation's most honored 'journalists' - is making sure that nobody learns what the US Government is up to."
These latest WikiLeaks files contains some 261,000,000 words - about 3,000 books. They display the entrails of the American Empire. As Israel Shamir wrote here last week (http://www.counterpunch.org/shamir11292010.html), "The files show US political infiltration of nearly every country, even supposedly neutral states such as Sweden and Switzerland. US embassies keep a close watch on their hosts. They have penetrated the media, the arms business, oil, intelligence, and they lobby to put US companies at the head of the line."
Will this vivid record of imperial outreach in the early 21st century soon be forgotten? Not if some competent writer offers a readable and politically vivacious redaction. But a warning: in November 1979 Iranian students seized an entire archive of the State Department, the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at the American embassy in Tehran. Many papers that were shredded were laboriously reassembled.
These secrets concerned far more than Iran. The Tehran embassy, which served as a regional base for the CIA, held records involving secret operations in many countries, notably Israel, the Soviet Union, Turkey, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Beginning in 1982, the Iranians published some 60 volumes of these CIA reports and other US government documents from the Tehran archive, collectively entitled Documents From the US Espionage Den. As Edward Jay Epstein, a historian of US intelligence agencies, wrote years ago, "Without a doubt, these captured records represent the most extensive loss of secret data that any superpower has suffered since the end of the Second World War."
In fact the Tehran archive truly was a devastating blow to US national security. It contained vivid portraits of intelligence operations and techniques, the complicity of US journalists with US government agencies, the intricacies of oil diplomacy. The volumes are in some university libraries here. Are they read? By a handful of specialists. The inconvenient truths were swiftly buried – and perhaps the WikiLeaks files will soon be fade from memory too, joining the inspiring historical archive of intelligence coups of the left.
I should honor here “Spies for Peace” – the group of direct-action British anarchists and kindred radicals associated with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Bertrand Russell’s Committee of 100 who, in 1963, broke into a secret government bunker, Regional Seat of Government Number 6 (RSG-6) at Warren Row, near Reading, where they photographed and copied documents, showing secret government preparations for rule after a nuclear war. They distributed a pamphlet along with copies of relevant documents to the press, stigmatizing the “small group of people who have accepted thermonuclear war as a probability, and are consciously and carefully planning for it. ... They are quietly waiting for the day the bomb drops, for that will be the day they take over.” There was a big uproar, and then the Conservative government of the day issued a D-notice forbidding any further coverage in the press. The cops and intelligence services hunted long and hard for the spies for peace, and caught nary a one.
And Assange? Hopefully he will have a long reprieve from premature burial. Ecuador offered him sanctuary until the US Embassy in Quito gave the president a swift command and the invitation was rescinded. Switzerland? Istanbul? Hmmm. As noted above, he should, at the least, view with caution women eagerly inviting his embraces and certainly stay away from overpasses, bridges, and open windows.
In 1953 the CIA distributed to its agents and operatives a killer's training manual (made public in 1997) full of hands-on advice (http://www.counterpunch.org/****burn07242009.html):
"The most efficient accident, in simple assassination, is a fall of 75 feet or more onto a hard surface. Elevator shafts, stair wells, unscreened windows and bridges will serve... The act may be executed by sudden, vigorous [excised] of the ankles, tipping the subject over the edge. If the assassin immediately sets up an outcry, playing the 'horrified witness', no alibi or surreptitious withdrawal is necessary."

SteelersinCA
12-04-2010, 04:18 PM
Greenwald actually had a good article about it too. I never agree with him on anything but his wikileaks piece is spot on.

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/11/30/wikileaks/index.html

The WikiLeaks disclosure has revealed not only numerous government secrets, but also the driving mentality of major factions in our political and media class. Simply put, there are few countries in the world with citizenries and especially media outlets more devoted to serving, protecting and venerating government authorities than the U.S. Indeed, I don't quite recall any entity producing as much bipartisan contempt across the American political spectrum as WikiLeaks has: as usual, for authoritarian minds, those who expose secrets are far more hated than those in power who commit heinous acts using secrecy as their principal weapon.

First we have the group demanding that Julian Assange be murdered without any charges, trial or due process. There was Sarah Palin on on Twitter illiterately accusing WikiLeaks -- a stateless group run by an Australian citizen -- of "treason"; she thereafter took to her Facebook page to object that Julian Assange was "not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders" (she also lied by stating that he has "blood on his hands": a claim which even the Pentagon admits is untrue). Townhall's John Hawkins has a column this morning entitled "5 Reasons The CIA Should Have Already Killed Julian Assange." That Assange should be treated as a "traitor" and murdered with no due process has been strongly suggested if not outright urged by the likes of Marc Thiessen, Seth Lipsky (with Jeffrey Goldberg posting Lipsky's column and also illiterately accusing Assange of "treason"), Jonah Goldberg, Rep. Pete King, and, today, The Wall Street Journal.

The way in which so many political commentators so routinely and casually call for the eradication of human beings without a shred of due process is nothing short of demented. Recall Palin/McCain adviser Michael Goldfarb's recent complaint that the CIA failed to kill Ahmed Ghailani when he was in custody, or Glenn Reynolds' morning demand -- in between sips of coffee -- that North Korea be destroyed with nuclear weapons ("I say nuke ‘em. And not with just a few bombs"). Without exception, all of these people cheered on the attack on Iraq, which resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000 innocent human beings, yet their thirst for slaughter is literally insatiable. After a decade's worth of American invasions, bombings, occupations, checkpoint shootings, drone attacks, assassinations and civilian slaughter, the notion that the U.S. Government can and should murder whomever it wants is more frequent and unrestrained than ever.

Those who demand that the U.S. Government take people's lives with no oversight or due process as though they're advocating changes in tax policy or mid-level personnel moves -- eradicate him!, they bellow from their seats in the Colosseum -- are just morally deranged barbarians. There's just no other accurate way to put it. These are usually the same people, of course, who brand themselves "pro-life" and Crusaders for the Sanctity of Human Life and/or who deride Islamic extremists for their disregard for human life. And the fact that this mindset is so widespread and mainstream is quite a reflection of how degraded America's political culture is. When WikiLeaks critics devote a fraction of their rage to this form of mainstream American thinking -- which, unlike anything WikiLeaks has done, has actually resulted in piles upon piles of corpses -- then their anti-WikiLeaks protestations should be taken more seriously, but not until then.

* * * * *

Then, with some exceptions, we have the group which -- so very revealingly -- is the angriest and most offended about the WikiLeaks disclosures: the American media, Our Watchdogs over the Powerful and Crusaders for Transparency. On CNN last night, Wolf Blitzer was beside himself with rage over the fact that the U.S. Government had failed to keep all these things secret from him:

Are they doing anything at all to make sure if some 23-year-old guy, allegedly, starts downloading hundreds of thousands of cables, hundreds of thousands of copies of sensitive information, that no one pays attention to that, no one in the security system of the United States government bothers to see someone is downloading all these millions -- literally millions of documents? . . . at this point, you know, it -- it's amazing to me that the U.S. government security system is so lax that someone could allegedly do this kind of damage just by simply pretending to be listening to a Lady Gaga C.D. and at the same time downloading all these kinds of documents.

Then -- like the Good Journalist he is -- Blitzer demanded assurances that the Government has taken the necessary steps to prevent him, the media generally and the citizenry from finding out any more secrets: "Do we know yet if they've [done] that fix? In other words, somebody right now who has top secret or secret security clearance can no longer download information onto a C.D. or a thumb drive? Has that been fixed already?" The central concern of Blitzer -- one of our nation's most honored "journalists" -- is making sure that nobody learns what the U.S. Government is up to.

Then there's the somewhat controversial claim that our major media stars are nothing more than Government spokespeople and major news outlets little more than glorified state-run media. Blitzer's CNN reporting provided the best illustration I've seen in awhile demonstrating how true that is. Shortly before bringing on David Gergen to rail against WikiLeaks' "contemptible behavior" (while, needless to say, not giving voice to any defenders of WikiLeaks), this is what was heard in the first several minutes of the CNN broadcast:

WOLF BLITZER, HOST: Brooke, thanks very much.

Happening now, a criminal investigation into the leak of U.S. diplomatic secrets. . . . The White House says it would be an understatement to say that President Obama is not pleased about these leaks. The Justice Department says a criminal investigation is ongoing and the State Department is leading attempts at international damage control right now.

Our foreign affairs correspondent, Jill Dougherty, is over at the State Department working the story for us.

And there's enormous potential damage for the United States in these -- in these leaks, Jill. I assume that's what officials there are telling you.

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: They are, Wolf. They're pretty overt about it. It could be very, very damaging. . . . The Secretary slammed the release of the cables, calling it an attack.

CLINTON: This is not just an attack on America's foreign policy interests. It is an attack on the international community. . . .

ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Let me be very clear, this is not saber rattling.

DOUGHERTY: The U.S. attorney general is not ruling out going after the WikiLeaks' founder, Julian Assange, even though he is not an American citizen.

HOLDER: To the extent that we can find anybody who was involved in the breaking of American law and who has put at risk the assets and the people that I have described, they will be held responsible.

That's CNN's journalism: uncritically passing on one government claim after the next -- without any contradiction, challenge, or scrutiny. Other than Blitzer's anger over the Government's failure to more effectively keep secrets from everyone, what would an overtly state-run media do differently? Absolutely nothing. It's just so revealing that the sole criticism of the Government allowed to be heard is that they haven't done enough to keep us all in the dark.

Then we have The New York Times, which was denied access to the documents by WikiLeaks this time but received them from The Guardian. That paper's Executive Editor, Bill Keller, appeared in a rather amazing BBC segment yesterday with Carne Ross, former British Ambassador to the U.N., who mocked and derided Keller for being guided by the U.S. Government's directions on what should and should not be published (video below):

KELLER: The charge the administration has made is directed at WikiLeaks: they've very carefully refrained from criticizing the press for the way we've handled this material . . . . We've redacted them to remove the names of confidential informants . . . and remove other material at the recommendation of the U.S. Government we were convinced could harm National Security . . .

HOST (incredulously): Just to be clear, Bill Keller, are you saying that you sort of go to the Government in advance and say: "What about this, that and the other, is it all right to do this and all right to do that," and you get clearance, then?

KELLER: We are serially taking all of the cables we intend to post on our website to the administration, asking for their advice. We haven't agreed with everything they suggested to us, but some of their recommendations we have agreed to: they convinced us that redacting certain information would be wise.

ROSS: One thing that Bill Keller just said makes me think that one shouldn't go to The New York Times for these telegrams -- one should go straight to the WikiLeaks site. It's extraordinary that the New York Times is clearing what it says about this with the U.S. Government, but that says a lot about the politics here, where Left and Right have lined up to attack WikiLeaks - some have called it a "terrorist organization."

It's one thing for the Government to shield its conduct from public disclosure, but it's another thing entirely for the U.S. media to be active participants in that concealment effort. As The Guardian's Simon Jenkins put it in a superb column that I can't recommend highly enough: "The job of the media is not to protect power from embarrassment. . . . Clearly, it is for governments, not journalists, to protect public secrets." But that's just it: the media does exactly what Jenkins says is not their job, which -- along with envy over WikiLeaks' superior access to confidential information -- is what accounts for so much media hostility toward that group. As the headline of John Kampfner's column in The Independent put it: "Wikileaks shows up our media for their docility at the feet of authority."

Most political journalists rely on their relationships with government officials and come to like them and both identify and empathize with them. By contrast, WikiLeaks is truly adversarial to those powerful factions in exactly the way that these media figures are not: hence, the widespread media hatred and contempt for what WikiLeaks does. Just look at how important it was for Bill Keller to emphasize that the Government is criticizing WikiLeaks but not The New York Times; having the Government pleased with his behavior is his metric for assessing how good his "journalism" is. If the Government is patting him on the head, then it's proof that he acted "responsibly." That servile-to-power mentality is what gets exposed by the contrast Wikileaks provides.

* * * * *

Then we have the Good Citizens who are furious that WikiLeaks has shown them what their Government is doing and, conversely, prevented the Government from keeping things from them. Joshua Foust -- who says "he’s spent the vast majority of his adult life doing defense and intelligence consulting for the U.S. government" -- has a private Twitter feed for various intelligence officials and reporters, behind which he's been bravely railing against WikiLeaks defenders (including me) and hysterically blaming WikiLeaks disclosures for everything from Chinese cyber warfare to the next terrorist attack. Plenty of other people are reciting anti-WikiLeaks condemnations from the same script.

It's hardly surprising that people like Foust who work for the Government and depend upon staying in its good graces are screeching all sorts of fear-mongering claims (he's apparently a DIA analyst under contract for Northrop Grumman, though he doesn't disclose that to his readers). That's what the Government, its enablers and royal court hangers-on do: you wind them up and they insist that any restraints on, or exposure of, the U.S. Government will help the Terrorists get us, and subject us to other scary dangers. But what's extraordinary is that these strident claims continue even after the U.S. Government's prior "blood-on-their-hands" warnings have been exposed as wildly exaggerated. As the pro-Obama, pro-National Security State New York Times Editorial Page put it today with great understatement: "The claim by [] Clinton that the leaks threaten national security seems exaggerated."

Before setting forth why these WikiLeaks disclosures produce vastly more good than harm, I'll state several caveats as clearly as I can. Unlike the prior leaks of war documents, there are reasonable concerns about this latest leak (most particularly that impeding diplomacy makes war more likely). Like all organizations, WikiLeaks has made mistakes in the past, including its failure to exercise enough care in redacting the names of Afghan informers. Moreover, some documents are legitimately classified, probably including some among the documents that were just disclosed.

Nonetheless, our government and political culture is so far toward the extreme pole of excessive, improper secrecy that that is clearly the far more significant threat. And few organizations besides WikiLeaks are doing anything to subvert that regime of secrecy, and none is close to its efficacy. It's staggering to watch anyone walk around acting as though the real threat is from excessive disclosures when the impenetrable, always-growing Wall of Secrecy is what has enabled virtually every abuse and transgression of the U.S. government over the last two decades at least.

In sum, I seriously question the judgment of anyone who -- in the face of the orgies of secrecy the U.S. Government enjoys and, more so, the abuses they have accomplished by operating behind it -- decides that the real threat is WikiLeaks for subverting that ability. That's why I said yesterday: one's reaction to WikiLeaks is largely shaped by whether or not one, on balance, supports what the U.S. has been covertly doing in the world by virtue of operating in the dark. I concur wholeheartedly with Digby's superb commentary on this point yesterday:

SteelersinCA
12-04-2010, 04:19 PM
Continued

My personal feeling is that any allegedly democratic government that is so hubristic that it will lie blatantly to the entire world in order to invade a country it has long wanted to invade probably needs a self-correcting mechanism. There are times when it's necessary that the powerful be shown that there are checks on its behavior, particularly when the systems normally designed to do that are breaking down. Now is one of those times. . . . .As for the substance of the revelations, I don't know what the results will be. But in the world of diplomacy, embarrassment is meaningful and I'm not sure that it's a bad thing for all these people to be embarrassed right now. Puncturing a certain kind of self-importance --- especially national self-importance --- may be the most worthwhile thing they do. A little humility is long overdue.

The Economist's Democracy in America blog has an equally excellent analysis:

The careerists scattered about the world in America's intelligence agencies, military, and consular offices largely operate behind a veil of secrecy executing policy which is itself largely secret. American citizens mostly have no idea what they are doing, or whether what they are doing is working out well. The actually-existing structure and strategy of the American empire remains a near-total mystery to those who foot the bill and whose children fight its wars. And that is the way the elite of America's unelected permanent state, perhaps the most powerful class of people on Earth, like it.

As Scott Shane, the New York Times' national security reporter, puts it: "American taxpayers, American citizens pay for all these diplomatic operations overseas and you know, it is not a bad thing when Americans actually have a better understanding of those negotiations". Mr Shane goes on to suggest that "Perhaps if we had had more information on these secret internal deliberations of governments prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, we would have had a better understanding of the quality of the evidence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction."

I'd say providing that information certainly would have been a socially worthy activity, even if it came as part of a more-or-less indiscriminate dump of illegally obtained documents. I'm glad to see that the quality of discussion over possible US efforts to stymie Iran's nuclear ambitions has already become more sophisticated and, well, better-informed due to the information provided by WikiLeaks.

If secrecy is necessary for national security and effective diplomacy, it is also inevitable that the prerogative of secrecy will be used to hide the misdeeds of the permanent state and its privileged agents. I suspect that there is no scheme of government oversight that will not eventually come under the indirect control of the generals, spies, and foreign-service officers it is meant to oversee. Organisations such as WikiLeaks, which are philosophically opposed to state secrecy and which operate as much as is possible outside the global nation-state system, may be the best we can hope for in the way of promoting the climate of transparency and accountability necessary for authentically liberal democracy.

The central goal of WikiLeaks is to prevent the world's most powerful factions -- including the sprawling, imperial U.S. Government -- from continuing to operate in the dark and without restraints. Most of the institutions which are supposed to perform that function -- beginning with the U.S. Congress and the American media -- not only fail to do so, but are active participants in maintaining the veil of secrecy. WikiLeaks, whatever its flaws, is one of the very few entities shining a vitally needed light on all of this. It's hardly surprising, then, that those factions -- and their hordes of spokespeople, followers and enablers -- see WikiLeaks as a force for evil. That's evidence of how much good they are doing.

* * * * *

Two related items: FAIR documents how severely and blatantly the New York Times reporting distorted some of these documents in order (as always) to demonize Iran and the "threat" it poses. And Assange, in an interview with Forbes, says that the next leak will target a major U.S. bank.

And here is the above-referenced BBC segment with Bill Keller:





UPDATE: Defense Secretary Robert Gates was asked today about the WikiLeaks disclosures and he said this:

“Now, I’ve heard the impact of these releases on our foreign policy described as a meltdown, as a game-changer, and so on. I think those descriptions are fairly significantly overwrought. The fact is, governments deal with the United States because it’s in their interest, not because they like us, not because they trust us, and not because they believe we can keep secrets. . . .

“Is this embarrassing? Yes. Is it awkward? Yes. Consequences for U.S. foreign policy? I think fairly modest.’’

To recap: warnings about the dangers from WikiLeaks are "significantly overwrought" and the impact on foreign policy: "fairly modest." So it appears that the political class and its eager enablers in the media world and foreign policy community have -- as usual -- severely exaggerated national security threats in order to manipulate the public and its emotional reactions. Shocking, I know.



UPDATE II: I was on Canada's CBC earlier tonight talking about these issues; it can be seen here. I'll also be on MSNBC tomorrow, at roughly 10:00 a.m., on the same topic.

More: Glenn Greenwald

ricardisimo
12-04-2010, 05:41 PM
Thanks for that piece. Great quote:
To recap: warnings about the dangers from WikiLeaks are "significantly overwrought" and the impact on foreign policy: "fairly modest." So it appears that the political class and its eager enablers in the media world and foreign policy community have -- as usual -- severely exaggerated national security threats in order to manipulate the public and its emotional reactions. Shocking, I know.

SteelersinCA
12-05-2010, 02:12 AM
The interesting thing about all of this, to me, is that given the theories of accomplice liability in the U.S., the New York Times would be JUST AS GUILTY OF ANYTHING CRIMINAL that Assange would be. Where's the outrage over the NYT hosting the leaks???

ricardisimo
12-05-2010, 03:17 AM
The interesting thing about all of this, to me, is that given the theories of accomplice liability in the U.S., the New York Times would be JUST AS GUILTY OF ANYTHING CRIMINAL that Assange would be. Where's the outrage over the NYT hosting the leaks???
Or why didn't all of these same people - Palin, Hawkins, Goldberg, et al. - insist on having the CIA assassinate Robert Novak after he leaked Valerie Plame's identity? That was a clear breach of national security, and by a US citizen, no less. He should have been strung up by his pubes, by most accounts. But Novak was never under the microscope for even a millisecond.

The reason is obvious: since it didn't involve the daily functions of empire, partisan politics trumped "security" in that instance.

SteelersinCA
12-05-2010, 02:37 PM
I like how Palin said he was treasonous.

steelax04
12-05-2010, 02:49 PM
Maybe the gov't should fix their "leaks" instead of going after those that brought them to light. My concern is more with that the information got out rather than it being posted.

If they don't fix that, then I'm not exactly sure what going after wikileaks or Julian is really going to accomplish other than saving face. While I don't necessarily agree with wholesale posting of classified documents like wikileaks did, that's not really the problem here.

Atlanta Dan
12-05-2010, 05:13 PM
Or why didn't all of these same people - Palin, Hawkins, Goldberg, et al. - insist on having the CIA assassinate Robert Novak after he leaked Valerie Plame's identity? That was a clear breach of national security, and by a US citizen, no less. He should have been strung up by his pubes, by most accounts. But Novak was never under the microscope for even a millisecond.

The reason is obvious: since it didn't involve the daily functions of empire, partisan politics trumped "security" in that instance.

Hater:chuckle:

zulater
12-05-2010, 07:57 PM
http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/human-rights-groups-say-wikileaks-endangered-afghan-civilians

Some of the leaks don't bother me, but the ones where he gave names of Afghan nationals cooperating with coalition forces, those do. Anyone who can't see the danger in that hasn't given it much thought.

SteelersinCA
12-06-2010, 02:00 AM
Yes, let's deflect to a couple lives endangered as opposed to the human right violations our government overlooks according to our own diplomatic cables. Then we'll pretend if that doesn't change one's mind they haven't thought about it. Typical.

The danger of not thinking is being caught up in the spin about assange being a villain. If someone actually reads the cables, they'll find out our government is doing a lot of shit we probably wouldn't approve of. I mean why would anyone want the citizens to know they lost 4 billion dollars. These aren't state secrets theyre a window into the day to day operations of our government and it's not the slightest bit pretty.

Are some lives in danger? Maybe but that pales in comparison to the truth exposed.

ricardisimo
12-06-2010, 03:05 AM
Exactly, SiCA. Wikileaks' entire point is transparency in government. Absolute transparency. I think that's a good thing, and I would have to assume that anyone claiming to come from a libertarian stance would tend to agree. You don't get "smaller government" by insisting that they keep all of their transactions and decisions secret.

Far and away the most embarrassing element to this particular batch of papers is the primacy of corporate interests in the design and functioning of our foreign policy. You better believe that getting big, fat contracts for Boeing and GM trump the lives of those Afghanis.

Just because it's obvious doesn't make it any less disgusting. Hopefully something good will come of this. Third-graders can tell you this: you're less likely to do stupid shit if you know people are watching you.

zulater
12-06-2010, 07:31 AM
Yes, let's deflect to a couple lives endangered as opposed to the human right violations our government overlooks according to our own diplomatic cables. Then we'll pretend if that doesn't change one's mind they haven't thought about it. Typical.

The danger of not thinking is being caught up in the spin about assange being a villain. If someone actually reads the cables, they'll find out our government is doing a lot of shit we probably wouldn't approve of. I mean why would anyone want the citizens to know they lost 4 billion dollars. These aren't state secrets theyre a window into the day to day operations of our government and it's not the slightest bit pretty.

Are some lives in danger? Maybe but that pales in comparison to the truth exposed.

Name me one Government ever that hasn't had some degree of corruption assocciated with it? It's just the way it is, and always has been. Not saying you don't clean up what you can when you can, but if you're looking for complete transparency in government you're barking mad. It never has happened, never will.

And there was absolutley no reason to include the Afghan nationals names, Assange isn't a hero, he's just a self absorbed, self serving puke who's basking in his 15 minutes of fame. I hope he soon wakes up just as dead as many of those Afghan nationals he put in harms way.

:coffee:

SteelersinCA
12-06-2010, 10:46 AM
Name me one Government ever that hasn't had some degree of corruption assocciated with it? It's just the way it is, and always has been. Not saying you don't clean up what you can when you can, but if you're looking for complete transparency in government you're barking mad. It never has happened, never will.

And there was absolutley no reason to include the Afghan nationals names, Assange isn't a hero, he's just a self absorbed, self serving puke who's basking in his 15 minutes of fame. I hope he soon wakes up just as dead as many of those Afghan nationals he put in harms way.

:coffee:

While it doesn't surprise me you wish someone dead, please explain to me how this is a zero sum game. You see, when people have devastatingly lost argument they usually resort to a few things, ad hominem attacks, trying to make things a zero sum game or something to do with Nazis. (see Godwin's law) Not one single person argued for complete transparency, in fact, you are the first to suggest it.

The discussion is about how much corruption you are willing to put up with and how much you are willing to sacrifice to get there.

Again, people like you want to attack Assange like he's the only one doing this, like he's the one who put those names in there. He along with the 5 media outlets had tons of correspondence with the State Dept. re: what info to redact.

Where is your outrage with those 5 media outlets for not censoring it??

Where is your outrage with the State Dept?

Where is your outrage that the Afghani Govt is corrupt and playing both the Taliban AND us???

Assange is an easy feel good target. See the other problem with people is they don't like to admit when they are wrong and they want to run as far away as possible from the real problem.

Edit: I see Rico talked about absolute transparency, I did not read that before I replied to your quote of me.

zulater
12-06-2010, 12:46 PM
While it doesn't surprise me you wish someone dead, please explain to me how this is a zero sum game. You see, when people have devastatingly lost argument they usually resort to a few things, ad hominem attacks, trying to make things a zero sum game or something to do with Nazis. (see Godwin's law) Not one single person argued for complete transparency, in fact, you are the first to suggest it.

The discussion is about how much corruption you are willing to put up with and how much you are willing to sacrifice to get there.

Again, people like you want to attack Assange like he's the only one doing this, like he's the one who put those names in there. He along with the 5 media outlets had tons of correspondence with the State Dept. re: what info to redact.

Where is your outrage with those 5 media outlets for not censoring it??

Where is your outrage with the State Dept?

Where is your outrage that the Afghani Govt is corrupt and playing both the Taliban AND us???

Assange is an easy feel good target. See the other problem with people is they don't like to admit when they are wrong and they want to run as far away as possible from the real problem.

Edit: I see Rico talked about absolute transparency, I did not read that before I replied to your quote of me.

Thje reason I hope he gets himslef dead? Because his blatant disregard for the lives of people who may have believed they were doing the right thing by helping coilition forces. So basically I hope he meets the same fate they do, how's that unfair.

As for the rest, i don't give a shit.

SteelersinCA
12-06-2010, 01:26 PM
So then you hope the people at the NYT, the Guardian, etc meet the same fate as well or just Assange?

Also, of import is the fact that your link is dated Aug 10&12, who says the names weren't redacted? Nice job on exposing yourself as bloodthirtsy for Assange's head without confirming the names were actually released. Class act all the way around, Bravo!!!!

SteelersinCA
12-06-2010, 01:37 PM
Just a little research would reveal that the Pentagon not only refused to work with Assange to redact names, they also lied about it.

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/08/20/wikileaks

So that means those people at the Pentagon must meet the same fate as well?!

http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/declassified/2010/08/20/wikileaks-lawyer-says-pentagon-has-been-given-codes-granting-access-to-unpublished-secret-documents.html?from=rss

Newsweek's Mark Hosenball follows up on the issues raised here in a new article today, with more evidence proving that WikiLeaks has been attempting to secure the Pentagon's cooperation in redacting names -- exactly as Assange has been explaining -- while the Pentagon has been issuing multiple false denials of these facts. Shouldn't anyone who criticized WikiLeaks for its lack of redactions also be criticizing the DoD for refusing WikiLeaks' requests for redaction assistance (and then falsely denying it happened)?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/29/AR2010112905743.html

The disclosure of a huge cache of diplomatic cables has alarmed human rights groups, which fear that WikiLeaks or news outlets could publish the names of local activists who have spoken with U.S. diplomats in countries with repressive governments.

While there are so far no known cases in which activists have been publicly identified in the cables, two leading groups, Human Rights Watch and Human Rights First, have written to the founder of WikiLeaks to urge him to scrub any references from the documents that might allow other countries to identify the activists.

The State Department has identified what one senior official described as a significant number of activists and journalists whom it believes will be endangered if named. The official said a number of "very sensitive sources" could be arrested or targeted with violence if their names are published.

"These are red-flag lists," the official said.

U.S officials declined to provide specifics on people who were at risk or to characterize those individuals' contacts with American officials. The State Department also refused a WikiLeaks request, made over the weekend, to provide information on the names of individuals whose lives may be "at significant risk of harm."

Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, said that he urged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in writing over the holiday weekend to "redact from the documents the names of any U.S.-supported human rights defenders who might be placed in jeopardy."

At the same time, however, he voiced concern that the State Department was trying to use the "fear of disclosure about human rights defenders as an excuse to pursue WikiLeaks or restrict access to this kind of information."

Roth said that he had discussed "the theoretical possibility" that rights groups could be targeted by repressive governments in a conversation with Assange's lawyer, Jennifer Robinson. He said Robinson "assured me that they were aware of this problem and would deal with it. We have no evidence yet that any human rights defender has been disclosed and can't say for sure it won't happen."

Elisa Massimino, the president and chief executive of Human Rights First, expressed even greater alarm in a Saturday letter to Assange, saying the disclosure of activists' names "is extremely reckless," as it would "increase their risk of persecution, imprisonment and violence."

U.S.-based rights groups say activists in the field have expressed growing anxiety about the prospects that their contacts with U.S. officials may surface as WikiLeaks rolls out tens of thousands of additional diplomatic cables.

"People are scared. We're getting lots of e-mails from people who might be mentioned even tangentially in these documents," said a U.S.-based human rights advocate who declined to be identified. "Our biggest concern is for foreign nationals who do research for us. Do you think someone who found out damaging details about a foreign government's human rights abuses is going to be invited over for tea? Not a chance. They are going to get their head busted in."

The senior U.S. official said the United States has taken a number of steps in the last two weeks to protect those most at risk, and those efforts continue. The official declined to identify the countries where those believed to be at risk reside, except to say they are in "places with terrible governments."

The official said there was a great deal of debate within the government about whether redactions should be negotiated with WikiLeaks. "It's a very sensitive issue," the official said. "The problem is if you point out the most sensitive things to them, then you are implicitly saying that other things which are comparably sensitive are not being pointed out. And they can legitimize a large group of disclosures."

WikiLeaks has said it will do its own redactions, but the official said, "We don't trust their judgment."

The official said the group had already released the material to various media outlets before it offered to discuss redactions.

lynchc@washpost.com finnp@washpost.com


This is too easy.

zulater
12-06-2010, 03:32 PM
:So then you hope the people at the NYT, the Guardian, etc meet the same fate as well or just Assange?

Also, of import is the fact that your link is dated Aug 10&12, who says the names weren't redacted? Nice job on exposing yourself as bloodthirtsy for Assange's head without confirming the names were actually released. Class act all the way around, Bravo!!!!



I think he's a self gratifying douche bag with no general sense of higher purpose other than to "stick it to the man".( sound familiar?) and get his 15 minutes of fame, maybe impress some easily dazzled liberal groupies in the proccess ( oh yeah he's already done that ) http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/7489119-julian-assange-wikileaks-founder-now-interpols-most-wanted-man

Do I want him dead in the literal sense? Not really, whatever fate awaits him I have a total disregard for. Live, die, , rot in prison? Who cares, he made his own bed, let him lie in it, better yet, let him lie in it with big Bubba. :chuckle:


Long story short, go ahead champion the son of a bitch if you like, but he's not my hero.

:coffee:

SteelersinCA
12-06-2010, 04:25 PM
I'll take that as you admitting you were incorrect with your first comment in this thread saying something he did which "bothered" you. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with the comment about not giving things much thought, because it's apparent you don't or, more appropriately, can't.

Although I am still curious, if you fault the litany of others who are doing the exact same thing. This may operate on a plane of thought higher than you are accustomed to, but no one is championing him so much as they are pointing out even when the government is exposed as hypocrites, they continue to be such.

BTW, I thought I was on ignore, what did I do to redeem myself to be removed from that place of esteem?

zulater
12-06-2010, 05:21 PM
I'll take that as you admitting you were incorrect with your first comment in this thread saying something he did which "bothered" you. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with the comment about not giving things much thought, because it's apparent you don't or, more appropriately, can't.

Although I am still curious, if you fault the litany of others who are doing the exact same thing. This may operate on a plane of thought higher than you are accustomed to, but no one is championing him so much as they are pointing out even when the government is exposed as hypocrites, they continue to be such.

BTW, I thought I was on ignore, what did I do to redeem myself to be removed from that place of esteem?



Honestly I'm not that interested in the subject matter, to some extent I think it's funny, and somewhat ridiculous. But I also think it's equally ridiculous that you guys are trumping up this asshole as if he's some kind of hero. He's not. Ask his "dates" if you don't want to take my word for it.

And I never had you on ignore, I just usually choose to ignore you.

MasterOfPuppets
12-06-2010, 07:54 PM
i'm not so sure "the leaks" , aren't some kind of US government / CIA shenanigans.
kinda strange that next to nothing about israel has been divulged.

ricardisimo
12-07-2010, 03:13 AM
i'm not so sure "the leaks" , aren't some kind of US government / CIA shenanigans.
kinda strange that next to nothing about israel has been divulged.
Interesting theory. There was a lot of talk under Bush that his spy corps was feeling mightily disrespected and abused, and that they may have been purposely trying to embarrass him on occasion, either by feeding his staff bad info or by publicly disavowing the White House's claims on this or that. Maybe there's some of that still going on under Obama.

As far as Israel, I still say they and the UK are basically states 51 and 52. No point in spying on them or bribing them or whatever.

zulater
12-07-2010, 07:14 AM
http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Julian-Assange-WikiLeaks-Founder-Meets-Police-In-Britain-Over-Sexual-Assault-Claims-In-Sweden/Article/201012115849036?lpos=UK_News_Carousel_Region_1&lid=ARTICLE_15849036_Julian_Assange%3A_WikiLeaks_F ounder_Meets_Police_In_Britain_Over_Sexual_Assault _Claims_In_Sweden

Good news, he's been nabbed.

ricardisimo
12-07-2010, 01:44 PM
Honestly I'm not that interested in the subject matter, to some extent I think it's funny, and somewhat ridiculous. But I also think it's equally ridiculous that you guys are trumping up this asshole as if he's some kind of hero. He's not. Ask his "dates" if you don't want to take my word for it.

And I never had you on ignore, I just usually choose to ignore you.
So, I just want to be clear on this: "self-gratifying douchebags" with bad romantic histories are worthy of being targeted for liquidation by the CIA in your worldview?

I'm assuming that your answer is no, that his real crime is his blatant disregard for the lives and well-being of a several dozen Afghanis. I'm wondering if Bush and Obama should be targeted by the CIA for their blatant disregard for the lives and well-being of several hundred thousand Afghanis, if not the entire population.

SteelersinCA
12-07-2010, 03:43 PM
You're asking him to engage in intelligent debate; Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage haven't put out their talking points on those topics yet, we'll have to stay tuned.

ricardisimo
12-07-2010, 03:50 PM
http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Julian-Assange-WikiLeaks-Founder-Meets-Police-In-Britain-Over-Sexual-Assault-Claims-In-Sweden/Article/201012115849036?lpos=UK_News_Carousel_Region_1&lid=ARTICLE_15849036_Julian_Assange%3A_WikiLeaks_F ounder_Meets_Police_In_Britain_Over_Sexual_Assault _Claims_In_Sweden

Good news, he's been nabbed.
Yes, fantastic news. I particularly liked the news source's own political affairs commentator's assessment:
Sky News foreign affairs editor Tim Marshall said: "The longer he is in this country, the more possibility there is the Americans will find a law they can reasonably charge him with and get a prosecution."
He added that legal workers had been surprised at the court decision to refuse bail.


Arrest him first, then scour the books for a law with which to charge him. Classic.

zulater
12-08-2010, 07:11 AM
So, I just want to be clear on this: "self-gratifying douchebags" with bad romantic histories are worthy of being targeted for liquidation by the CIA in your worldview?

I'm assuming that your answer is no, that his real crime is his blatant disregard for the lives and well-being of a several dozen Afghanis. I'm wondering if Bush and Obama should be targeted by the CIA for their blatant disregard for the lives and well-being of several hundred thousand Afghanis, if not the entire population.


You're obviously too pompous to distinguish the difference between unaviodable collateral damage, in a wartime situation and the sort of betrayal and exposure that the wikileaks situation brought about for people who thought they were probably doing the right thing for their country. Because to you there is no just war, we are the bad guy, not the Taliban or Al Queda. To you American Imperialism is the root of all evil, so therefore there's no sense even trying to commincate on this sort of subject with you.

I can distinguish between two bads, the lesser of two evil so to speak, and that my friend is what world history is all about. Was the bombing of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Dresden evil? Yeah of course it was? Were those bombings absolutley essential to bring about a winning outcome? No, but they served a purpose nonetheless. They brought about a quicker resolution to the war, because they served to take the fight out of a civilian populace that prior to that wasn't willing to face the fact that they turned a blind eye to their own countries mayhem, and had wrought what they sewn in the end.


Look I know you guys are firm in your opinions, and that's fine. I know you can trot out all sort of rhetoric to support your arguemtn and that's fine too. But I'm not going to bother with that. Because, I'd never change your minds, and it's not worth my time to bother.

What, you don't think there are people of brilliance on both sides of this ( or any) argument? You don't think I could go and find supporting articles and columns just as insightfull and well thought out as anything that you can produce? Are you really that arrogant and self righteous that you can't fathom that there's two rationale sides to this discussion?

While I know this country is flawed, I accept that, because I also know that in the end it usually serves the greater good. I also know that there's never been an unflawed world power and never will be. In the end, in the real world, the people that matter, the ones that genuinely influence world events ( not Ivory towered granola eating, idealists like you and your buddy here) have to choose a side. Not that I matter any more than you, but I've chosen my side, flawed as it may be, and I'm on the side of our country and against those that wish to bring it down or do it harm. I consider Julian Assange to be among that group, and what comes of that is on him


. As they say, you don't grab the tail of the tiger unless you're prepared to deal with it's teeth.Good luck with that Mr Assange, or better yet, not.

cubanstogie
12-08-2010, 10:52 AM
You're obviously too pompous to distinguish the difference between unaviodable collateral damage, in a wartime situation and the sort of betrayal and exposure that the wikileaks situation brought about for people who thought they were probably doing the right thing for their country. Because to you there is no just war, we are the bad guy, not the Taliban or Al Queda. To you American Imperialism is the root of all evil, so therefore there's no sense even trying to commincate on this sort of subject with you.

I can distinguish between two bads, the lesser of two evil so to speak, and that my friend is what world history is all about. Was the bombing of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Dresden evil? Yeah of course it was? Were those bombings absolutley essential to bring about a winning outcome? No, but they served a purpose nonetheless. They brought about a quicker resolution to the war, because they served to take the fight out of a civilian populace that prior to that wasn't willing to face the fact that they turned a blind eye to their own countries mayhem, and had wrought what they sewn in the end.


Look I know you guys are firm in your opinions, and that's fine. I know you can trot out all sort of rhetoric to support your arguemtn and that's fine too. But I'm not going to bother with that. Because, I'd never change your minds, and it's not worth my time to bother.

What, you don't think there are people of brilliance on both sides of this ( or any) argument? You don't think I could go and find supporting articles and columns just as insightfull and well thought out as anything that you can produce? Are you really that arrogant and self righteous that you can't fathom that there's two rationale sides to this discussion?

While I know this country is flawed, I accept that, because I also know that in the end it usually serves the greater good. I also know that there's never been an unflawed world power and never will be. In the end, in the real world, the people that matter, the ones that genuinely influence world events ( not Ivory towered granola eating, idealists like you and your buddy here) have to choose a side. Not that I matter any more than you, but I've chosen my side, flawed as it may be, and I'm on the side of our country and against those that wish to bring it down or do it harm. I consider Julian Assange to be among that group, and what comes of that is on him


. As they say, you don't grab the tail of the tiger unless you're prepared to deal with it's teeth.Good luck with that Mr Assange, or better yet, not.

Great post, well said!

Whodis
12-08-2010, 01:28 PM
http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/human-rights-groups-say-wikileaks-endangered-afghan-civilians

Some of the leaks don't bother me, but the ones where he gave names of Afghan nationals cooperating with coalition forces, those do. Anyone who can't see the danger in that hasn't given it much thought.

I agree with this.

I stopped looking into all the dirty shit our govt. is doing..... really scary

JPPT1974
12-08-2010, 09:58 PM
Wonder what else he has planned up his sleeve? As Assange really has ruined national security. And top secrets. Because he should be locked away for good. Warrants all over the world, are out for him. He needs to be punished and put away for good!

ricardisimo
12-09-2010, 07:53 AM
Wonder what else he has planned up his sleeve? As Assange really has ruined national security. And top secrets. Because he should be locked away for good. Warrants all over the world, are out for him. He needs to be punished and put away for good!
But he doesn't have warrants out for him all over the world. He has trumped-up charges in Sweden of "sex without a condom", a country barely mentioned (if at all) in these recent leaks. If he had broken any sort of security laws, here in the US or internationally, don't you think those charges would have been filed against him?

He's ruined national security? Or has he improved people's understanding of how government functions? He's done neither, from what I can tell. The leaks only work if people a) want to know what's going on; and b) they take the time to read the documents. Willful ignorance appears to be the overwhelming choice by most people with whom I have spoken, and even the people who do think he's done us a favor haven't even glanced at the documents.

Ten years from now, only a few specialists in think-tanks will have looked these over in any sort of depth, most likely. And you can all go on believing that the most aggressive, militarized country in the world does what it does for noble reasons. Curiously, the Empire is in fact falling apart, which is probably a good thing, but if we wanted to salvage anything good from the massive concentrations of wealth and power we currently have, we would do it by looking in the mirror from time-to-time. That's clearly just not going to happen.

SteelersinCA
12-09-2010, 12:01 PM
You're obviously too pompous to distinguish the difference between unaviodable collateral damage, in a wartime situation and the sort of betrayal and exposure that the wikileaks situation brought about for people who thought they were probably doing the right thing for their country. Because to you there is no just war, we are the bad guy, not the Taliban or Al Queda. To you American Imperialism is the root of all evil, so therefore there's no sense even trying to commincate on this sort of subject with you.

I can distinguish between two bads, the lesser of two evil so to speak, and that my friend is what world history is all about. Was the bombing of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Dresden evil? Yeah of course it was? Were those bombings absolutley essential to bring about a winning outcome? No, but they served a purpose nonetheless. They brought about a quicker resolution to the war, because they served to take the fight out of a civilian populace that prior to that wasn't willing to face the fact that they turned a blind eye to their own countries mayhem, and had wrought what they sewn in the end.


Look I know you guys are firm in your opinions, and that's fine. I know you can trot out all sort of rhetoric to support your arguemtn and that's fine too. But I'm not going to bother with that. Because, I'd never change your minds, and it's not worth my time to bother.

What, you don't think there are people of brilliance on both sides of this ( or any) argument? You don't think I could go and find supporting articles and columns just as insightfull and well thought out as anything that you can produce? Are you really that arrogant and self righteous that you can't fathom that there's two rationale sides to this discussion?

While I know this country is flawed, I accept that, because I also know that in the end it usually serves the greater good. I also know that there's never been an unflawed world power and never will be. In the end, in the real world, the people that matter, the ones that genuinely influence world events ( not Ivory towered granola eating, idealists like you and your buddy here) have to choose a side. Not that I matter any more than you, but I've chosen my side, flawed as it may be, and I'm on the side of our country and against those that wish to bring it down or do it harm. I consider Julian Assange to be among that group, and what comes of that is on him


. As they say, you don't grab the tail of the tiger unless you're prepared to deal with it's teeth.Good luck with that Mr Assange, or better yet, not.

Did you puff your chest out a little more when you finished writing that manifesto?? :thumbsup:

Don't lecture me about siding with our government, I picked up my rifle and stood my post proudly. It's easy to attempt to make this into a good guy vs bad guy argument for you because that's really all you have. You came out making claims that just weren't true and now you have nowhere to go.

If you aren't even going to look at the documents to make an intelligent decision about whether you agree with your government than why even post in this thread? You aren't siding with your government and those who rail against it; you're being an ignorant fool.

Imagine if the colonists took your approach! Imagine if they said, "our government knows best, let's just pay these taxes!" That's what you're doing. People like you would have us still kneeling at the feet of her majesty. Bravo, indeed for your "patriotic" diatribe.

This isn't so simple as you are with us or against us, it's how far are you willing to let your government push you, how many civil liberties are you willing to acquiesce?? Look around you. This or that is constantly done in the name of "national security." Read the damn cables, what's so "classified" about them?? Our government is over-classifying things and infringing upon the rights our founding fathers died for on a daily basis.

You want to trust the government and let them decided everything for you? That's funny to me because I bet you support the tea partiers and their anti-tax movement. What do you think the central theme to that is? Less government? Ring any bells? What do you think Wikileaks is trying to accomplish? A more transparent govt, is less government power. Hmmmm. :whistle:

The founding fathers wanted government out of our lives. Just read the Constitution, it's pretty apparent. You might say, "yeah, so do I," but then just dismissing Assange as some criminal, without even trying to understand what is going on is ignorant and hypocritical.

Our government is losing billions of dollars on a regular basis in Afghanistan. Billions and that's not on troop costs thats on suitcases of cash given to Afghani government officials who run away with it. How much is that war worth to you? There are millions of people suffering here and we've been there for 9 years. You ever think there is something maybe they aren't telling the truth about?

We know that about Iraq, but you are content to let them lie to you. I am not. That's the difference; you swallow the governments bullshit with a smile on your face and shit stains on your teeth. I want them held accountable for their actions.

I don't support a government that lies to it's citizenry, I support the government defined in our Constitution. So you side with the crooks, I'll side with the truth.

ricardisimo
12-09-2010, 04:10 PM
What he said.

zulater
12-09-2010, 07:15 PM
What he said.

Basically I said if he endangered Afghan nationals that helped coilition forces by exposing their identity to the Taliban and AlQueda, then I'd be happy if he meets the same fate that he exposed them to. I stand by that.

The rest of it, maybe it's not that big of deal?

But aiding and abetting the enemy in a wartime situation isn't something I take lightly. Doing it even once, to the point that you've not only put people willing to ally themselves with our cause in harm's way, but you also discourage further such cooperation with people that may have been inclined to help the allied cause.

While I'm not in favor of continuing the Afghan conflict aka war, I don't support those that try to sabatoge our mission while it's still ongoing.

http://forums.steelersfever.com/showthread.php?t=56304

ricardisimo
12-10-2010, 01:19 AM
What about the people whose lives he's saving by making chastened American leaders think twice before invading a country without a really good reason to do so? If he's going to factor the one in his thought process, shouldn't he factor the other? In either case, it's disingenuous in the extreme to hold him accountable for killings committed by others, whether they be Taliban or American soldiers.

SteelersinCA
12-10-2010, 10:37 AM
Basically I said if he endangered Afghan nationals that helped coilition forces by exposing their identity to the Taliban and AlQueda, then I'd be happy if he meets the same fate that he exposed them to. I stand by that.

The rest of it, maybe it's not that big of deal?

But aiding and abetting the enemy in a wartime situation isn't something I take lightly. Doing it even once, to the point that you've not only put people willing to ally themselves with our cause in harm's way, but you also discourage further such cooperation with people that may have been inclined to help the allied cause.

While I'm not in favor of continuing the Afghan conflict aka war, I don't support those that try to sabatoge our mission while it's still ongoing.

http://forums.steelersfever.com/showthread.php?t=56304


What about aiding and abetting Pakistan with billions of dollars in aid while they turn around and help the Taliban?

Don't you think we have a right to know that? Our government tells us one thing, knowing something completely different is happening?

While the lives of some Afghani nationals being lost is tragic, I'm more concerned about the thousands of American lives that have been lost in Afghanistan holding down the fort while we ATTEMPT to persuade these crooks to come to our side.

If Bush or Obama would have said to the public or Congress, "we're going to lose American lives, we're going to give money to our "friends" who will in turn just give it to our enemies, can we go to war now?" What do you think the answer would be?

That's what upsets me. If the truth comes out about why we are over there, what's happening or the same for any other location and it's different than what the govt spoon feeds us, i.e. lies. I believe we have a right to know. Then we can take that knowledge to the voting booth.



Just to be clear, Assange HAS NOT exposed their names by any account. If the government was so concerned, why have they NOT responded to numerous requests by him and media outlets to tell them what names to redact??

Also, just out of curiosity, how do you feel about media who know who and where the Taliban are but don't reveal their location in order to get a story? http://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/31/with-friends-like-these.html That seems much more unpatriotic than anything a non citizen could do.

steelerohio
12-10-2010, 08:11 PM
I'm concerned, not about the wikileaks, but that it might be a distraction from something else more sinister...

How about that riot in London all of a sudden? And what of that driver who somehow, someway. took the wrong turn into that mob that busted up a bulletproof window?

Then Obama changing his stance on tax cuts all of a sudden?

Something sinister I tell you...

zulater
12-11-2010, 08:37 AM
What about aiding and abetting Pakistan with billions of dollars in aid while they turn around and help the Taliban?

Don't you think we have a right to know that? Our government tells us one thing, knowing something completely different is happening?

While the lives of some Afghani nationals being lost is tragic, I'm more concerned about the thousands of American lives that have been lost in Afghanistan holding down the fort while we ATTEMPT to persuade these crooks to come to our side.

If Bush or Obama would have said to the public or Congress, "we're going to lose American lives, we're going to give money to our "friends" who will in turn just give it to our enemies, can we go to war now?" What do you think the answer would be?

That's what upsets me. If the truth comes out about why we are over there, what's happening or the same for any other location and it's different than what the govt spoon feeds us, i.e. lies. I believe we have a right to know. Then we can take that knowledge to the voting booth.



Just to be clear, Assange HAS NOT exposed their names by any account. If the government was so concerned, why have they NOT responded to numerous requests by him and media outlets to tell them what names to redact??

Also, just out of curiosity, how do you feel about media who know who and where the Taliban are but don't reveal their location in order to get a story? http://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/31/with-friends-like-these.html That seems much more unpatriotic than anything a non citizen could do.

I was going on the word of Amnesty International, who generally speaking are non partisan. If they were wrong in what names have been released, and what potetial damage could come of it, then I'm wrong too and stand corrected.

Still I think there's certain things that have to be kept secret, or at least kept secret until a later date. I mean I wouldn't have wanted Operation Overlord revealed prior to the Normandy invasion.

Right or wrong, while we're in a wartime envirorment, certain classified information specific to theatre operations, have to be kept classified until after our fighting men and woman are out of harms way. I don't trust Mr. Assange to make the right call of what is and isn't apporiate to be released at this given time.

I've already gone on the record and said I'm opposed to any further continuation of the Afghan conflict. But just because I disagree with it doesn't give me the right to expose classified information ( if I had it) that could potentially damage our ongoing mission. Nor does Mr Assange have that right imo.
As far as Pakistan goes, that's a whole different discussion, for a different day.

zulater
12-11-2010, 08:51 AM
Also, just out of curiosity, how do you feel about media who know who and where the Taliban are but don't reveal their location in order to get a story? http://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/31/w...ike-these.html That seems much more unpatriotic than anything a non citizen could do.

I doubt that reporter knew exactly where he was, from a GPS perpective, when he talked to those Tailban members. He probably agreed to be met somewhere, where he was probably blindfolded and taken the rest of the way to their camps. Either that or they were planning on abandoning those locations upon the release of the reporter. Not to say the reporter neccessarily would have violated their position, but I don't think the Taliban would assume that sort of risk if they could have been damaged by it.

Reporters have been doing that for as long as I can remember, there were even members or the American media encamped with the Nazi's during the blitzkrieg I believe.

I think the value of the information that was provided helps the American cause, and certainly didn't put American interests at further risk.

SteelersinCA
12-11-2010, 11:42 AM
I was going on the word of Amnesty International, who generally speaking are non partisan. If they were wrong in what names have been released, and what potetial damage could come of it, then I'm wrong too and stand corrected.

Still I think there's certain things that have to be kept secret, or at least kept secret until a later date. I mean I wouldn't have wanted Operation Overlord revealed prior to the Normandy invasion.

Right or wrong, while we're in a wartime envirorment, certain classified information specific to theatre operations, have to be kept classified until after our fighting men and woman are out of harms way. I don't trust Mr. Assange to make the right call of what is and isn't apporiate to be released at this given time.

I've already gone on the record and said I'm opposed to any further continuation of the Afghan conflict. But just because I disagree with it doesn't give me the right to expose classified information ( if I had it) that could potentially damage our ongoing mission. Nor does Mr Assange have that right imo.
As far as Pakistan goes, that's a whole different discussion, for a different day.

I agree that state secrets, troop positions and movements and the like have a rightful place being kept secret, but that's not what he has releases. What I don't agree with is saying a document calling a french guy vain being labeled as classified and then when someone releases that document them being vilified as thought they released a state secret. That's essentially what all these leaks have been so far.

I mean, how is the French being vain in any way secret or classified? That's like saying Americans being loud is a secret. :toofunny:

This is all a testament to the power of the media hype machine. They jumped all over Assange and the majority of Americans (and the world for that matter) followed like blind sheep.

Amnesty was scared about the names being released back in August when Assange turned over the documents to be released to the government and the media. So far, he (or should we say his organization) has redacted the names of any covert informants.

MasterOfPuppets
12-11-2010, 02:29 PM
i seen where the one cable from bush , he said the saudi king was a good kisser , but had B.O. ....:noidea:

MattsMe
12-11-2010, 02:48 PM
i seen where the one cable from bush , he said the saudi king was a good kisser , but had B.O. ....:noidea:

You're confused.

That was a cable from our current president, B.O., stating that the king was indeed a good kisser, but had too much bush.

MasterOfPuppets
12-12-2010, 07:42 AM
Don't you think we have a right to know that? Our government tells us one thing, knowing something completely different is happening?



That's what upsets me. If the truth comes out about why we are over there, what's happening or the same for any other location and it's different than what the govt spoon feeds us, i.e. lies. I believe we have a right to know. Then we can take that knowledge to the voting booth.
.
i highly recommend watching this video. it gives a whole new perspective when it comes to deciding if what the government tells you is true or not.

http://veehd.com/video/4551973_Dispatches-Iraqs-Secret-War-Files-Wikileaks-2010

if you don't have, or want to download the DIVX webplayer you can watch it on youtube in parts
part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc21vUbWKPc
part2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kcv78RkFG58
part 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0ajG2Vq4Nc
part 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X8dqPWrjsI

The Patriot
12-12-2010, 11:11 AM
This whole thing is overhyped. Ignore Assange. He wants you to chase him. He wants to be an international fugitive.

And think about it. If some Australian guy can get at hundreds of thousands of secret US documents, don't you think China can too? Why doesn't the military try doing a better job of securing their information.

ricardisimo
12-12-2010, 06:56 PM
This whole thing is overhyped. Ignore Assange. He wants you to chase him. He wants to be an international fugitive.

And think about it. If some Australian guy can get at hundreds of thousands of secret US documents, don't you think China can too? Why doesn't the military try doing a better job of securing their information.
That's part of the point, I guess. Assange doesn't "get" the information; it's given to him, mostly by disgruntled Pentagon and CIA employees who are feeling abused, ignored, or overworked and underpaid. I imagine there's a few idealists in the mix as well, who perhaps believed our own propaganda and thought they were signing up for something nobler.

There's another possibility as well, and MoP touched on it when he was asking why there's nothing on Israel: these documents could have been selectively leaked. They are real government documents, but not everything. Ahmadinejead is convinced they are CIA-initiated. He's not the brightest bulb on Earth, but he would know a thing or two about CIA programs.

The Israel tidbit is perhaps the most telling. I mean, think about it... since the Soviet Union collapsed, there's really only been one country heavily spying on the US, and that's Israel. And yet we have NO documents on them? What are the odds of that?

SteelersinCA
12-12-2010, 07:17 PM
i highly recommend watching this video. it gives a whole new perspective when it comes to deciding if what the government tells you is true or not.

http://veehd.com/video/4551973_Dispatches-Iraqs-Secret-War-Files-Wikileaks-2010

if you don't have, or want to download the DIVX webplayer you can watch it on youtube in parts
part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc21vUbWKPc
part2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kcv78RkFG58
part 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0ajG2Vq4Nc
part 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X8dqPWrjsI

good videos

MasterOfPuppets
12-21-2010, 01:37 PM
INDYMEDIA: WikiLeaks ‘struck a deal with Israel’ over diplomatic cables leaks

“Assange met with Israeli officials in Geneva earlier this year and struck the secret deal. The Israel government, it seems, had somehow found out or expected that the documents to be leaked contained a large number of documents about the Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza in 2006 and 2008-9 respectively. These documents, which are said to have originated mainly from the Israeli embassies in Tel Aviv and Beirut, where removed and possibly destroyed by Assange, who is the only person who knows the password that can open these documents, the sources added.”

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/12/08/wikileaks-struck-a-deal-with-israel-over-cable-leaks/

SteelersinCA
12-21-2010, 02:58 PM
I find it hard to believe a source that can't even spell "were."

MasterOfPuppets
12-21-2010, 04:35 PM
I find it hard to believe a source that can't even spell "were."
lol... well i'm not positive , but i think it was arab media that "cracked" , the story. normally i wouldn't put too much stock into anything muslim when it comes to israel , because it's obviously going to be biased and filled with propoganda , but the fact that no israel dirt has been exposed is a bit fishy no ? does washington never have under the hat discussions about israel that gets recorded like they have every other country ? hell considering israel is the eye of the middle east storm , and a major reason why we are the "big satan' , i'd think at least half of those half a mill cables woulda been dedicated to them. i also found it pretty strange that , be it true or not , i haven't heard a peep about it in our media.

CaliStillersFan
01-12-2011, 08:43 AM
While I know this country is flawed, I accept that, because I also know that in the end it usually serves the greater good.

IMHO that's a pretty naive statement. When our government starts illegal wars, dominates the majority of the countries financially and militarily on the planet, controls most countries resources, crashes global financial markets; they should expect that some people are going to do whatever they have to do to get people the information. If you think what Manning and Wkileaks released is bad you need to see a movie called:

The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1319726/plotsummary

Younger American's especially should this movie. This is what it used to be like before 95% of the world media was controlled by 5 or 6 corporations. What Manning and Wikileaks released wasn't anything comparable to the release of the Pentagon Papers and Daniel Ellsberg is an American that worked in the Pentagon. The Pentagon Papers was the pre-cursor that lead to Watergate and brought down a presidency. When someone is willing to risk going to prison for over 100 years, trust me they have something important to say. People died because of the release of the Pentagon Papers, but how many more peoples lives were saved by ending the illegal war in Vietnam? All Americans need to stop listening to media rhetoric telling them how great we are, and open a history book. Then they would realize some of the vile things we've done around the world since WW2. Personally I applaud Wikileaks and all other websites like them, I actually see them as "serving the greater good". I wish the American public spent the amount of time we do watching football reading sites like Wikileaks, asking questions, and searching for the truth. I think we'd be living in a much better world, at least a safer one.