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The Wikileaks debate continues


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#41
Gorth

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The real point here is that the leak doesn't remotely serve any public need. It's pure spite. And it shows exactly how this is a power trip for Assange, not an exercise in democracy - leaving aside my persistent point that not a single bastard elected Assange to anything he's doing.

This...

As to putting the genie back in the bottle, so to speak, the best solution is to better police the people who have access, and stop them from leaking stuff. That's a far more credible approach here than it was in the Napster analogy you pose.

His (Assange) greatest accomplishment, besides damaging international relations, is going to be an increased security and information restrictions that is going to be way harder to access in the future, even by the normal democratically elected oversight institutions.

WikiLeaks also has lots of information on corrupt foreign governments (they've specified Russia at the least) and corrupt private businesses (they've specified banks among others) which it has stated it will soon release.

News at 11:00... the Russian government and Banks in general are corrupt, who would have thought that? >_<

I don't know if the sexual assault charges are legitimate or not, but that is what a court of law is for. If he is innocent, I hope he get cleared of them, if not, I hope he rots in jail for a very long time, People "getting away with murder" because they are headline stuff (c.f. O.J. Simpson) is disgusting.

In my eyes he lost any and all credibility when he compared himself to David Hicks in an interview. That makes him nothing but an attention whore and internet paparazzi in my book.

#42
Gorgon

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I'd say that getting a look at how governments interact at a high diplomatic level serves a useful educational role. It's not often we get to see what they really get up to before hearing the polished version, and why are we crying about the US' wounded pride, who cares about that.

They made a website and said 'come to us with your leaks', and lo and behold some people did, and once in a while it created a stir. Why has this become about blaming the messenger. It would have been someone else if not Wikileaks.

#43
Humodour

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To be honest I don't really like Julian Assange at all. But he deserves the same rights owed to every other human.

I am extremely frustrated that WikiLeaks has not been more responsible with its leaks (classic example being the list of critical terror targets) and I've lost faith with this particular organisation. But the core philosophy and concept is an extremely important evolution of modern-day journalism and government transparency which America is feebly trying to discredit and crush.

#44
Monte Carlo

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I know I've raised it before, and Di tried to explain it away as post-9/11 information sharing...

But allowing a disgruntled Private soldier have legitimate access to everything the US diplomatic corps has been saying in private, whilst kicking back in a tent in Iraq, is crazy. Lunacy.

Wikileaks to my mind is irresponsible and is reaping the whirlwind. But bejaysus the US government has been extremely lax with it's basic IT security. I'm amazed this hasn't happened before, so they probably (deeply ironically) owe Wikileaks a debt. Now the more serious stuff is likely to be protected so self-aggrandizing techno-geeks can't get their sweaty paws on it.

For me, this matter is of interest because it heralds, at last, the dawning of a new era in global journalism. If a respected dead tree press paper had done this, then there would be less of an uproar (The Guardian, in the UK, for example is deeply complicit yet comes up smelling of roses using a 'They were publishing it anyway' argument). Because it is a proactive online organisation (send us your secrets risk free!) Wikileaks is new and dangerous to a lot of people.

So watch this space folks, it's going to be a fun ride whatever side of the argument you're on.

#45
Moose

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And then there's leaks like this: clicky

Not sure how publishing a list of facilities vital to U.S national security is really helping anyone out, other than a potential attacker.

"A number of BAE Systems plants involved in joint weapons programmes with the Americans are listed, along with a marine engineering firm in Edinburgh which is said to be "critical" for nuclear powered submarines" - I mean come on, this is an obvious blatant attack on national security.

#46
Walsingham

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Enoch, full apology, and humble pie from me. I don't know how I failed to grasp your original post properly. :ermm:

To quickly recap, we've split into two discussions. One is on the behaviour of Julian Assange, and that is in two parts (rape and leaking secrets). The other is the principle of leaking in general.

- I believe the technical vulnerability leak puts the nail in Assange. His is not a crusade for information the People need, but a power play. Zoraptor's analysis that the targets aren't serious is interesting, but defunct. Mass casualty attacks on tourists may make the opposition feel good, but they don't pose an immediate threat to national well being. Whereas these are presented as vital. I see no reason why I should instantly dismiss their validity because I make an idle guess that they aren't.*

- The principle of leaking has - I can accept - some noble intentions. However, as free members of democracies we have it in our power to put in place real institutions with real power to whom leaks can be given. If we support leaks let us do so properly**, and not at the whim of dubious and unaccountable persons of unclear agenda.


* I haven't read them, and don't intend to as that would be a crime.

** I have a further point on the validity of leaks in principle, in military and diplomatic affairs, but I'm hoping not to get a tldr.

#47
TrueNeutral

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I just skimmed through this thread, and the amount of posts I read advocating what is pure and simple murder angers me. It's also encouraging criminal acts, which I'm pretty sure is a bannable offense.

Anyway, I have just one question - how exactly did Assange get unto Interpol when there's only rape charges? Isn't that out of their jurisdiction? I thought they only did drug trafficing, human trafficing, mass murder, etc.?

#48
Walsingham

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True Neutral: This, represented with kind permission of Stratfor.com

Editorís Note: Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.

Hollywood depicts an organization like Interpol as having this global police presence that actually goes out and kicks in doors and arrests suspects but thatís not the case. In this weekís Above the Tearline weíre going to look at the role of the Interpol international Red Notice with the apprehension of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Interpol is an organization that was founded in 1923 and currently has 188 countries. Itís headquartered in Lyon, France, and has six regional bureaus that are scattered around the world. Interpol wears many different hats as a clearinghouse for international police cooperation to include piracy, human trafficking, sex crimes, international fugitive apprehension, training and various publications that they work on throughout the year. Interpol issues many different alerts in different colors. The most well-known alert is their Red Notice and in essence this is an alert requesting that an individual be arrested for the purposes of extradition. But itís critical to understand that Interpol themselves ó the organization ó does not actually execute the arrest. This notice or alert is sent to another country and that country thatís a member of Interpol carries out the actual arrest again for the purposes of extradition.

To help put the issuance of the Red Notice in perspective with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, I think itís important to recognize that Interpol issued over 5,000 red notices alone in 2009. Besides the Red Notice, Interpol issues five other kinds of alerts in different colors, for example, missing persons, criminal intelligence, and threats of disguised weapons. In general, and this is going to vary by country, you could have a local police organization go to their state police then in turn ask help from their federal system that contacts their regional Interpol bureau that would generate a lead to Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France, and that lead would be tasked out to that respective country to the Interpol representative in whatever country that lead needs to be run in. And then as the information comes back you just reverse the entire process. Process-wise I think itís important to also recognize that local police can reach out for help directly with Interpol for various investigative leads. This could be for interview purposes to track serial numbers on stolen cars or serial numbers on weapons. I, in fact, have use this process in the past to get information out of Iran of an investigative nature when we had no diplomatic relationships with Iran but I found Interpol to be very helpful in that circumstance.

Itís also important to recognize that Interpol acts as a clearinghouse for information where they collect the data, the investigative leads, the request for wanted persons and shotguns that material out to whatever countries that you need answers from. But in essence they do not go out and actually knock on the doors or apprehend the fugitives in whatever country that may be.

The Above the Tearline aspect of this is although Interpol at times is a very effective organization and the international Red Notice can help you get the job done there are some cases that are so sensitive because of the member nations inside of Interpol that youíre not going to want to share that intelligence with 188 different countries. Therefore youíre going to be working through your own organization ó and every country does this ó as well as your other law-enforcement counterparts such as the CIA or the FBI or the DEA with the United States Marshals service to help you accomplish your mission.



#49
TrueNeutral

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Ah, so sex crimes is their bit as well. I wasn't aware of that. Thanks!

(So how come they didn't nab Polanski?)

((That was in jest.))

Edited by TrueNeutral, 09 December 2010 - 01:56 AM.


#50
Walsingham

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LOL POlanski's another case in point. It's OK to be a rapist as long as you are a hip liberal rapist.

#51
Nepenthe

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LOL POlanski's another case in point. It's OK to be a rapist as long as you are a hip liberal rapist.

Just like lynching is ok as long as you're a political conservative? :ermm:

#52
obyknven

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lol! Kremlin suggests WikiLeaks founder for Nobel Prize.

http://en.rian.ru/ru.../161685835.html

#53
Rostere

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Well... Sweden has been reluctant to hand over prisoners to the US in the past, because of fears of torture (Guantanamo) or capital punishment. If that appears to be a serious risk, I don't think and I don't want Sweden to hand him over. On the other hand, if it appears very unlikely he'll recieve any of those punishments, I don't see how we could NOT hand him over.

#54
Nepenthe

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Well... Sweden has been reluctant to hand over prisoners to the US in the past, because of fears of torture (Guantanamo) or capital punishment. If that appears to be a serious risk, I don't think and I don't want Sweden to hand him over. On the other hand, if it appears very unlikely he'll recieve any of those punishments, I don't see how we could NOT hand him over.

Because he wasn't extradited to Sweden to face espionage charges.

#55
Gorgon

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The charge he is wanted on is 'being a grabass'. That is to say other types of lude and unwanted behavior than rape. Obviously he should return and face the music, but this is just not like drugging and then raping a minor.

I have no doubt Polanski is guilty, but I think it's possible that some of the many enemies Assange has made set him up. It doesn't seem so fantastical a notion to me.

Also, why are we still talking about an extradition to the US. There has been no request, and there isn't going to be one, or am I missing something.

#56
Zoraptor

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- I believe the technical vulnerability leak puts the nail in Assange. His is not a crusade for information the People need, but a power play. Zoraptor's analysis that the targets aren't serious is interesting, but defunct. Mass casualty attacks on tourists may make the opposition feel good, but they don't pose an immediate threat to national well being. Whereas these are presented as vital. I see no reason why I should instantly dismiss their validity because I make an idle guess that they aren't.

Shrug.

The biggest hint that it really isn't that important (apart from the information almost all being publically available, and generally much more specific too) is that the US itself didn't classify the information particularly highly. Manning didn't have access to the really juicy stuff at all.

It's still a mistake for WL to publish it. There's only a marginal need to know (after all, it is almost all information available already) and its primary effect has been to give ammunition to anti WL people.

Collusion between the US, Ukraine and Kenya to subvert arms regulations wrt to South Sudan is a far more relevant and better use for the leaks, even if it too was strongly suspected prior.

#57
Rosbjerg

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Putin apparently finds it ironic that the West talks of democracy and criticizes Russia, while going ballistic themselves over Assange.. I kinda agree.. It seems a little stupid to criticize China and Russia for arresting people who speak out against coverups, when we do it ourselves (also hilarious proverb in the article).

#58
Meshugger

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You seem to want hold him accountable for the leaks in the US. But what about Russia, Saudi-Arabia and China? Should he stand trial for civil disobiedience there as well? Should he face the consequences and retribution from their part?

However, if one takes a realistic approach to this, he is what Napster was to the recording industry. It doesn't matter whether you try to hang him or shut wikileaks down, pandora's box has been opened and nothing will be the same. The days of old-style realpolitik and backroom deals has come to an end.

If realpolitik and backroom deals have come to an end, then diplomacy itself is pretty much over. The whole idea of having little enclaves of sovereign ground in the capitals of other nations-- the violation of which is considered by the community of nations as something greater than a simple act of war-- is still a very good and useful innovation. And it absolutely requires a great deal of privacy and confidentiality to function. Public disclosure of leaked communications between these enclaves and the mother country is an attack on one of the core principles of diplomacy in our civilization. I don't know about legal liability to any one state, but the ideology that puts unaccountable, unreviewable, and sometimes anonymous private parties in the position of deciding what secrets should be publicized is misguided and regrettable.

(Of course, exceptions are justified for truly important disclosures. The world became a better place when the Pentagon Papers hit the street. But I add that the parties involved with leaking and publicizing those documents all went through extensive legal battles in dealing with the consequences of their actions. (The NYTimes won; the leaker, Daniel Ellsberg, turned himself in and faced trial, but the charges were tossed due to gross misconduct by the FBI.))


As to putting the genie back in the bottle, so to speak, the best solution is to better police the people who have access, and stop them from leaking stuff. That's a far more credible approach here than it was in the Napster analogy you pose.


There's one slight problem here, how will you be able to tighten the ability to leak without creating a more close and less transparent society? (maybe that should be for another thread)

Edited by Meshugger, 09 December 2010 - 02:33 PM.


#59
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Putin apparently finds it ironic that the West talks of democracy and criticizes Russia, while going ballistic themselves over Assange.. I kinda agree.. It seems a little stupid to criticize China and Russia for arresting people who speak out against coverups, when we do it ourselves (also hilarious proverb in the article).

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#60
Humodour

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It's worth keeping in mind that Julian Assange is still innocent. Nobody has proven him guilty and it's as likely that intelligence organisations are trying to frame him as it is that he is actually guilty of continuing with sex once consent was withdrawn.




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