December 5, 2010

The Wikileaks Doomsday Machine.

"Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, has circulated across the internet an encrypted 'poison pill' cache of uncensored documents suspected to include files on BP and Guantanamo Bay."

***

90 comments:

johannalapp said...

Luckily, we have President Merkin Muffley on watch.

What could possibly go wron g?

Bob Ellison said...

Assange's threat is implausible, because why wouldn't he just shoot his wad when he has one?

Furthermore, his threat is foolish, because it minimizes the leverage he may (or more likely may not) have with such as-yet undisclosed information. The people and institutions that can suffer from the release of such a "Doomsday" drop of information are sundry. They are not united in the Oval Office. No one person is thinking "oooh, I'd better not try to get Assange, or else he'll post those pics of me naked".

If this were a game of Hold 'Em, this would be an obvious bluff made by someone who hasn't read the other players at all well.

Rockeye said...

Bob, you understimate the "attention whore" motive. By dribbling his load (eww) he extends his exposure and increases his influence.

ricpic said...

I don't get the big threat that Assange poses. We're going to get more evidence that diplomacy amounts to misdirection?

edutcher said...

Assange reveals himself in this threat for what he really is - a cheap extortionist.

The talk of him being a freedom fighter of some sort is shown to be the hot air it is.

Quayle said...

Assange is a blip.

Its the financial stuff whats going to doom us.

Medicare and Medicaid are the two biggest dooms day machines we've got.

Can't keep them up. Can't kill them.

The Crack Emcee said...

The only damage he's done is to the idea of information's safety - none of the revelations has really spun anybodies wheels - we knew everything else already. Screw the perp:

That's what he's there for.

Or, as they say in Rap, punks jump up to get beat down.

rhhardin said...

The article is a little confused about who would be trying to break the code.

The security of the encryption protects the people leaked against, and only thus can protect Assange.

So they're not interested in breaking the code either.

If somebody breaks the code, then Assange has no threat.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Anyone who believes that Julian Assange is a real person is a fucking moron (and hasn't even read Rita Hayworth And The Shawshank Redemption).

John Kindley said...

The linked story seems misleading. I don't see there any indication or evidence that Assange has taken these steps to deter his detention, as something he'll put in motion only if he's detained. Rather, it appears he's taken these steps so that even if he's detained or the wikileaks site is effectively shut down the release of the leaks won't be stopped. Nothing more sinister or personally self-serving is indicated by the "insurance" name given to the file. I thought he'd already indicated this information would be released, and there's no reason to think he or his organization won't release it whether or not he's detained.

Political said...

As much as many prognosticators and so-called experts are saying President Obama is going to have a tough time getting re-elected, the reality of the situation is that President Obama will get re-elected against almost any potential GOP challenger.

However, one candidate cannot be over-looked. If we learned anything from 2008, we should've learned that organization and social media skills are paramount to a campaign. No one is actually going to "come out of nowhere". To become the most powerful person in the world, you have to build quite an organization. That's why only one person has a chance to beat President Obama in 2012.

This will make it all clear:
http://mittromneycentral.com/2010/05/07/no-apology-song-the-case-for-american-greatness/

George said...

Assange's "threat" is reminiscent of the black sheriff's threat in "Blazing Saddles" (holds gun to his own head and warns, "Nobody moves, or the N-word gets it.").

Joel C Anatoli said...

haha.. nice find

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"I thought he'd already indicated this information would be released, and there's no reason to think he or his organization won't release it whether or not he's detained."

And why should he be detained, exactly?

If you're not going to detain Catherine Graham or Ben Bradlee, then how can you entertain thoughts of detaining Julian Assange?

He is not, as has been suggested, a "terrorist." Unless the Washington Post is a terrorist newspaper. Or the NY Times ... which released the Pentagon Papers.

Look, either make the secrets secret. Or else shut the fuck up.

All Assange has done is to reveal just how fucking incompetent our governing "elite" are at doing the job we pay them very highly to do.

He's done a very good job of that.

stevenehrbar said...

The game-theoretic rational response is, "If I shut you up now, Julian, all that can be released is what's in those encrypted files you've already distributed. If I let you go free, your potential distribution is unlimited. And if I shut you up messily, it'll make the next loudmouth think twice."

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Robert Byrd also said: "nigger."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FIBJt-c2o0&feature=related

Richard Pryor also said: "nigger."
http://www.last.fm/music/Richard+Pryor/That+Nigger%27s+Crazy

George Carlin also said: "nigger."
http://www.myvido1.com/wTDFTWNREaK5kVOR0Vr9WP_the-word-nigger-richard-pryor-gee-carlin

Lenny Bruce (and Dustin Hoffman) also said: "nigger."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOnkv76rNL4

Wikipedia also says: "nigger."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigger

"Nigger" is only a word.

Julius said...

The "Doomsday Machine" wording was never used by Wikileaks. That's an MSM-invented term.

The encrypted "history insurance" file has been available in torrentland for months, in anticipation of political censorship. It is not a "threat" made in attempt at leverage; it is a well-planned counter-measure to deal with censorship.

Another counter-measure is Wikileaks' new mirror effort. There are now 208 Wikileaks mirror sites and the number is growing. There will be over a thousand in a week or so. Wikileaks is rolling with the punches to get to what's real.

It's amazing to me how much vitriol you Althouse commenters have for Wikileaks and for Julian Assange in particular. They're just exposing the truth about the governments of the world, particularly our own. Nobody else is going to point out what is going on and provide proof to back it up.

The question of free speech is only controversial when that speech can cause problems for the established powers. It's sad to see you commenters side with the Establishment and abandon the principles of free speech and a free press that this country was built upon. If you folks were around in the 1770s, it seems that you'd be signing up with the British to fight the American "insurgents". You guys would have called out Thomas Jefferson for his "attention whore" motive.

woof said...

Has Dr Laura started posting here ?

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Cleavon Little also said: "To tell a family secret, my grandmother was Dutch."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFJp6SkNJzs

Chris said...

Personally, I'm aching to know what's in his "doomsday files". Of course it could just be more of the same shockers. The Mexican government no longer controls vast swathes of the country. Saudi Arabia funds terrorism. People in the administration have low opinions of world leaders who are, in fact, dicks. And other world-shaking tidbits.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"And other world-shaking tidbits."

It's not what he's revealing.

It's that he can.

The thing about secrets is that people attach a lot of importance to them until they're not secret any more.

Our "elite" are a bunch of fucking morons who think you should connect national security computers to the internet and let homos into the military.

Geoff Matthews said...

Does he really think that the US and BP are more dangerous than the Russian government?
Really?

Chris said...

The fact that he can shouldn't really be that shocking or surprising though. Thinkers like William Gibson were writing about this 30 years ago. If it wasn't Assange, it would be someone. In retrospect, I'm kind of surprised something like this hasn't happened sooner.

AJ Lynch said...

Assange sounds pretty damn smart to me. I'd bet his IQ against the collective IQ's of any five of our US Senators.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"In retrospect, I'm kind of surprised something like this hasn't happened sooner."

Huh?

It has happened sooner.

Democrat operatives have been releasing US secrets for 40 years.

The reason everybody is freaking out is that he's doing it for free.

The NY Times required a subscription (or at least six bits!)

Ralph L said...

Unless the Washington Post is a terrorist newspaper. Or the NY Times
New Ham reveals his mobiness. A true conservative knows the Post and Times are traitors.

Triangle Man said...

Anyone who believes that Julian Assange is a real person is a fucking moron

You posit some Keyser Sose phenomenon? Despite the interviews, arrest warrant, etc. It would be one thing to say that Wikikeaks is nit run by Assange, but makes little sense to say he isn't a person.

PS. Can't believe I am responding to Ham.

Revenant said...

Count me as one of the "I don't buy it" crowd. If he had something interesting on BP or Guantanamo, he'd release it.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Two Questions:

Does he have this set up as assassination insurance, so the key is released if he is killed?

And, who would have enough interest in embarrasing the US and/or outing people who cooperate with us such that it would turn his assassination insurance into assassination incentive?

Kirk Parker said...

AJ:

"I'd bet his IQ against the collective IQ's of any five of our US Senators."

And who would you find to take this bet? You'd be taking advantage of the innumerate: everyone else knows that the sum of a series of negative numbers is still negative.

William said...

Doesn't the government have some privacy rights? If someone on the left wants to run on a platform of releasing all government secrets, let him do so. Until then, let him reflect on the fact that he has taken a position that is contrary to the will of our elected representatives and that their support for Assange is flagrantly anti-democratic..... Julian Assange strikes me as the kind of guy whose life contains many secrets. I'm sure that he feels his diary or the notes of his psychiatrist are sacrosanct. Why don't the notes of our diplomats deserve the same respect....I would be grateful if someone on the left would enumerate those rights, such as our own bill of rights, that exist above the will of the people.

Anita said...

And, who would have enough interest in embarrasing the US and/or outing people who cooperate with us such that it would turn his assassination insurance into assassination incentive?

The NY Times.

damikesc said...

So, when he dies, it'll be released...no matter if his death is natural or not. It's not like the people who he wants to leak it will wait for an autopsy to be done.

Where, exactly, is the downside risk of him disappearing?

Kirk Parker said...

Anita,

Touché!

AJ Lynch said...

Kirk:
That was not my intent but I agree with you now that you mention it.

I'd have been placing a bet with someone who did not realize the US Senate has a lot of dopes [maybe one less since Bite Me Biden got promoted].

Robert Cook said...

What Julian said.

Robert Cook said...

"Doesn't the government have some privacy rights?"

Why should it?

If we want to flatter ourselves that we are self-governing--as if--how we can we actually make our own decisions as to how to behave in the world if we don't know what information the government has and how they obtained it and how credible it is or how they're using it or what they intend to do with it or what actions they plan to take in the world at large?

Seven Machos said...

I worked for the State Department. I read this stuff daily. Having announced my bona fides, let me say this:

1. State Department cables are different information than, say, CIA and DIA reports. Nothing here is shocking.

2. If the spying apparatuses of the other countries are doing their job, and they probably are, not much that Assange has put out there is new information.

3. It really is true that reading the New York Times cover to cover each day would glean just as much information over time as reading these cables.

Seven Machos said...

Robert Cook -- Still waiting for an explanation about how American leaders can be arrested for war crimes. I've been waiting about six years for this valuable insight now. Why won't you tell us your secrets?

Seven Machos said...

So Julius -- Under your theory, there is no such thing as espionage. It's all just free speech.

Gotcha, chieftain. Brilliant! Good luck with that.

Cedarford said...

Not too many years ago, we heard Elites talking about the End of History, Free Trade for Freedom LOvers spreading Democracy and prosperity everywhere, and an interconnected world of elaborate intercommunication physical and electronic - passing through "essentially non-existent Borders".

Now we have seen that Brave New World Order.

Not only is it based on very flawed ideas (Free Trade always benefits) but the laws and security meant to protect everyday people have broken down at the seams, and through obstinate insistance by the Elites that things like illegal immigration and global leveraged capital flow continue.

Al Qaeda mounted a successful attack on the "interconnectedness" by attacking air transport, now air cargo transport. The Internet attacked by gleeful hackking and virus-wielding saboteurs and Chinese and NORK zipperheads. Now Assage is the borderless "information saboteur" - trying to tear things down by the power of globally interconnected IT.

In all this, the "power of the international community" and "the wisdom of lawyers applying majestic law" has proved pathetically inadequate.

Free trade adjustments are blocked by doctrinaire disputes by the tools of the rich in the West, and by those enriching (China) at the rest of the world's expense. International conferences to address the damage of free trade and borderless economy usually end up as redistributionist calls to transfer wealth from the West to more deserving "oppressed peoples".

WE are told our "revered, near-holy" laws are the only proper way to deal with Al Qaeda, Internet saboteurs, Assage - then told in the next breath that not only can they escape most prosecution but each "individual case" can take a decade for "the lawyers in charge" to properly adjudicate..

The stage is being set for a New, New World Order to develop. We go from "Global" down to power blocs reminiscent of 1984. Unstable parts of the world are isolated and left to burn out on their own - with travel by even "do-gooders" to be barred. Borders slapped up again, people on the wrong side of the Borders "cleansed" to the right side. Antiquated legal systems dropped for systems that work. Free trade ended - limited to only what is in the national or regional power block advantage to pursue.

A new day is coming in which both liberals and economic libertarians will have little influence.

Robert Cook said...

"2. If the spying apparatuses of the other countries are doing their job, and they probably are, not much that Assange has put out there is new information."

It's new to most Americans, who are the rightful parties who should have access to it.

Seven Machos said...

who are the rightful parties who should have access to it

Not according to laws passed by Congress and signed by the President, both elected by the said rightful parties.

Come on, though, Robert! Tell me about the international law that allows foreign judges to try Americans for their political decisions.

William said...

Robert: Just for the record: are there any secrets that our government is allowed to keep. If so, can you detail the mechanism by which our government can classify those documents as secret. As a secondary clause, can you tell me any secrets that Pfc Manning and Julian Assange are not allowed to divulge. Valerie Plame's secret identity as a CIA agent, perhaps. Wouldn't the world be a better place if the secrets for building a cheap, portable nuclear weapon were available for all mankind? The second amendment advocates have been strangely quiet on this important issue.

Seven Machos said...

Robert, like Julius and so many shallow leftists, picks his side first -- who he wants to win, based on nothing more or less than emotion. They work backwards to find the reasons for their beliefs and the arguments to make. Thus, the ridiculous sophistry and inconsistency.

Robert Cook said...

7 Machos, happy to be kept ignorant about the doings of his own government, says, about we, the people being the rightful possessors of the information published by Wikileaks:

"Not according to laws passed by Congress and signed by the President, both elected by the said rightful parties."

These laws, and those who passed them, are treason to the American people. But 7 is cool wit' dat. He doesn't think it's necessary for an "informed electorate" to really be informed at all.

Just by coinky-dink, Hullabaloo published today this from Thomas Jefferson:

"The most effectual means of preventing the perversion of power into tyranny are to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, and more especially to give them knowledge of those facts which history exhibits, that possessed thereby of the experience of other ages and countries, they may be enabled to know ambition under all its shapes, and prompt to exert their natural powers to defeat its purposes." --Thomas Jefferson: Diffusion of Knowledge Bill, 1779. FE 2:221, Papers 2:526

But 7 is all for the tyranny of the American empire. Better watch out...the power of empire is not just projected outward but is also applied internally toward its own society, as we're already seeing.

Cedarford said...

AJ Lynch said...
Assange sounds pretty damn smart to me. I'd bet his IQ against the collective IQ's of any five of our US Senators.

================
I'd take that bet.
I'd put Chuck Schumer (perfect SATs), Bernie Sanders, Dr. Coburn, Rand Paul, and James Webb out there.

As for the "brains" of Assage, I think he is smart...but the media and sometimes the "Heroes of Law Enforcement" love to ascribe exceptional genius or some particularly brilliant skill to the Evildoer du Jour.
It advances the storyline following or makes plodding FBI or cops obvious brilliant geniuses themselves if they can nab a fellow brilliant but evil genius.

Black, muslim illegal immigrant Lee Malvo (Sniper Boy) was called not just "angry white man" but also of near-legendary shooting skills, perhaps possessed by a handful of mortals on the planet and "supremely cunning". We find he spent a few weekend on a range learning how to shoot an easy, accurate scoped .223 - and neither he nor fellow black Muslim John Mohammed were that far off the IQ mean of blacks.
Bin Laden - the evil genius and matermind and CEO of all Global Terror? No genius, Al-Zawahiri is the surving brains of that crew, and Binnie was never "in charge" of more than 3,000 Islamoids and had no say in 59 of the other 60 big terror-using movements extent on 9/11.
Assage? We don't know. We do tend to follow the media and law enforcement's lead in thinking anyone doing bad things in a field we know little or nothing about Sure Must Be Smart.!! Those Wall Street nested derivative mortgage default creators and their relatives and brother-in-laws sent in to clean up the mess Sure Must Be Smart. Rogue computer hackers Sure Must Be Smart! Bank robbers are always Really Smart! and so on.

Seven Machos said...

These laws, and those who passed them, are treason to the American people.

A law duly passed by the elected representatives of two Houses of Congress and the President, all duly elected by the people cannot, by logic and by common sense, be called treason.

But 7 is cool wit' dat.

Perhaps your poor argument here is why you, the whitest person in the history the social construct of race, chose to resort to black vernacular.

Finally, do you really believe that Thomas Jefferson, as president, as a leader of a revolution, did not have classified documents? Delusional.

Robert Cook said...

"Robert: Just for the record: are there any secrets that our government is allowed to keep. If so, can you detail the mechanism by which our government can classify those documents as secret."

I'd say there probably are, but only a minute fraction of what is kept secret today. Any such information as is desired to be kept secret should be accessible and available to all Senators and Congressmen, any and all of whom should be able to make public with legal immunity any such secret information they discover if they see that we are secretly engaged in activities that are illegal.

Seven Machos said...

Robert -- Good to see you backtracking from your delusional argument that an Australian should be able to publish secret American information because to do otherwise would be, hilariously, "censorship."

Robert Cook said...

"Finally, do you really believe that Thomas Jefferson, as president, as a leader of a revolution, did not have classified documents?"

It's not about Jefferson's having failed his own best principles when in office...it's about his best principles, as apt and true as they are about what is necessary for us to have anything approaching a functional representative democracy.

At present, we don't have anything approaching functional, or representative, or democratic.

Seven Machos said...

At present, we don't have anything approaching functional, or representative, or democratic.

Bullshit.

But, come on, Robert. Tell us how it is that these representatives are simultaneously not democratic and yet so august that they passed a mystery law that only you know about allowing American leaders to be hauled before foreign tribunals. Why the silence on this vital issue?

Robert Cook said...

"Robert -- Good to see you backtracking from your delusional argument that an Australian should be able to publish secret American information...."

Not backtracking at all...I recognize that there is some information that should be withheld from immediate publication, but it is only a fraction of what is withheld from us. All information should be published in reasonable time, after the immediate need for secrecy may have passed. And again, I assert that every Senator and Representative should have access to ALL information held or generated by the government, and they should have legal impunity to publish any of it at any time if they deem that we are engaged in harmful or illegal activity.

Given the current state of our secrecy policies, Wikileaks is better than nothing.

We know that most classified information is not kept secret because it could bring harm to us by our enemies; most of the time it is to hide the failings, incompetencies, and crimes of those in high office.

Robert Cook said...

"Robert -- Good to see you backtracking from your delusional argument that an Australian should be able to publish secret American information...."

Not backtracking at all...I recognize that there is some information that should be withheld from immediate publication, but it is only a fraction of what is withheld from us. All information should be published in reasonable time, after the immediate need for secrecy may have passed. And again, I assert that every Senator and Representative should have access to ALL information held or generated by the government, and they should have legal impunity to publish any of it at any time if they deem that we are engaged in harmful or illegal activity.

Given the current state of our secrecy policies, Wikileaks is better than nothing.

We know that most classified information is not kept secret because it could bring harm to us by our enemies; most of the time it is to hide the failings, incompetencies, and crimes of those in high office.

Seven Machos said...

Wikileaks is espionage, dude.

Freeman Hunt said...

How is Wikileaks still around? I find myself annoyed by this.

reader_iam said...

Spent a lot of time over the weekend reading stuff about and by Assange. Given his abilities and those of some of both his supporters and detractors, this led to other ancillary reading (because, God and everyone else knows, as do I know, that I'm no true techno-geek, for starters). I'm done wading through, for now, and am now in percolation mode.

All that said, I am very much alarmed by Assange, personally (and his history, in toto, whether of his own making or not, ought provoke concern, IMO); I very sharply question his and his followers' background motivations and justifications; and I am appalled by the baseness of the blackmail which he--and, more important, others--would prefer to be spun as an expression of nobility in purpose.

At the same time, there's a serious problem with how to define an outlet such as Wikileaks, and--more to the point--how to define it (at least precisely enough, in terms of alternative media) as out of the norm, much less beyond the pale, in Internet terms as we've all been defining yea, these many years.

-----

I'm thinking out loud here. Feel free to yell, and yell loud, at me if you wish, but keep in mind that I'm not yelling at you. I'm thinking out loud and wouldn't mind some outside noise as I'm thinking things through, including the implications all the way around.

Seven Machos said...

It's difficult for me to believe that either a foreign intelligence entity (or an American one) isn't behind this.

Freeman Hunt said...

Since the focus is anti-American, and the site is giving the upper hand to the Chinese and Russians by omission, why hasn't it been dealt with?

Whistle blower site? Fine.

But anti-US espionage site? Unacceptable. And I mean that in the sternest sense of the word.

reader_iam said...

How is Wikileaks still around? I find myself annoyed by this.

Indeed. So then what?

Very glad you're around at the same time... .

Freeman Hunt said...

Indeed. So then what?

Maybe the President could make my same comment to some capable and merciless person. Heh.

Julius said...

@Seven-

Wikileaks is espionage, dude.

You mean legally? As in that the U.S. Government could try Julian Assange and his cohorts at Wikileaks and convict them of espionage? How about the reporters NY Times-- would they be convicted too? How about the reporters at Wired Magazine?

Maybe it's espionage, legally speaking. But probably not.

It's irrelevant, tho'. These guys don't see themselves as bound by any law except what is right. They are moral crusaders who have seen, throughout their short lifetimes, the freedom of information exchange on the Internet being overtaken bit by bit by greedy regimes. They've seen the media become more and more cozy with the regimes, abandoning its watchdog "Fourth Estate" responsibility in favor of profit-generating sensationalism and propagandizing. And the Wikileakers see governments like ours engaging in more and more lies and manipulation in order to keep society the way they want it.

Julian Assange and Wikileaks and the folks like them want information to be free. They think that they are the last line of defense and if they don't act, and act now, governments will be able to keep uncomfortable or incriminating information away from public view forever. The rules for the future are going to be set now, just like America's Bill of Rights set the rules going forward at our country's beginning.

That's the moral mindset upon which they are doing what they are doing. I think they are in the right. They are acting with the same sort of bravery that our Founding Fathers did back when it was capital treason to support the American Revolution.

Seven Machos said...

I think they are in the right.

Then you are a fool.

reader_iam said...

Freeman: Sorry for the cross-posting, assuming you've already answered, and definitively. : )

---

Off to bed. Seriously would be interested in thoughts from the Althouse-commenters community in general and in its broadness, though, over time, on this topic and its implications. If no one's interested--then, no one's interested: That, as they say, will be that,

Freeman Hunt said...

They are acting with the same sort of bravery that our Founding Fathers did back when it was capital treason to support the American Revolution.

Leaking much on China or Russia?

I thought not.

No one likes to find himself drinking radioactive tea.

Julius said...

@Freeman-

Wikileaks would not hesitate to publish leaks that incriminate Russia or China if that info were sent to them. It's not an anti-U.S. organization, but they realize that the U.S. is the big bully of the Western World when it comes to keeping information from being free.

The folks at Wikileaks are not spies; they just disseminate what people send them.

And Russia and China generally don't allow troves of state secrets to be burnt to a CD labeled "Lady Gaga" by their equivalent of a Private First Class.

Freeman Hunt said...

So they're supporting freedom by damaging the interests of the most free nation in the world, thus favoring the interests of the most oppressive?

madawaskan said...

Julius


Maybe it's you with a disproportionate amorous for Assange.

Assange is a hero to you?

Assange is brave?

I can quote Assange himself putting faith in the fact that we the US must follow the letter of the law and that he has determined that the Espionage Act is unconstitutional.

So you define that as bravery?

I'll tell you what most of us here would define as bravery the student in Tiananmen Square who faced down the tank. He is a hero.

The people that go up against the oppressive regimes...

There a lot of the faceless and nameless that went up against the Taliban that massacred tens of thousands.

That went against the Al Qaeda terrorists that murdered the children of "informants" or people that dared to fight them back.

Your hero Assange-named them from the comfort of his couch.

You've got something all twisted up, and backwards.

Assange glorifies himself, earns his name as it were, by naming those that dared to fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists.

The Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists that would murder Manning and Glenn Greenwald on the spot but somehow through Assange- Glenn Greenwald, Manning et vous have aligned your interests with them and against those that have risked much, who only wanted to remain unnamed-and who are the truly brave.

madawaskan said...

Julius

Wikileaks would not hesitate to publish leaks that incriminate Russia or China if that info were sent to them..

You know this how?

Julius said...

You are just playing word games, Freeman.

You could just as well say that Wikileaks is saving America from becoming a more oppressive regime like Russia or China. Haven't we all seen more and more freedom being stripped away by our political Establishment? Doesn't it seem that our leaders will lie to us and manipulate the media without a second thought so long as it seems politically expedient for them?

Here's a piece along these lines: Only WikiLeaks Can Save US Policy. This run-down resonates with me:

But the whirlwind around this batch of WikiLeaks leaks seems to point to a deeper concern among the public, one that stems from the increasing distance between the international reality they see and what their leaders describe to them. In recent years, the US public has had to hear its leaders repeatedly tell Americans that black was white: President Clinton said he didn’t know Monica (in the biblical sense) or who attacked the USS Cole in Yemen; President George W. Bush said Saddam was a WMD threat and then that there was no insurgency in Iraq; and President Barack Obama has said we are winning in Afghanistan, jihad is self-improvement (like stopping alcohol consumption) and that Indonesia is a model of sectarian tolerance. The latter is a particularly remarkable black-is-white moment—there have been times in Indonesia in recent years when you probably could have turned off your car lights and driven safely at night by the illumination provided by burning Christian churches.

The Saudis are on our side? We aren't bombing in Yemen? On and on and on with lies...

If Wikileaks doesn't stop the lies, who will?

madawaskan said...

Julius

Also for your theory to hold that the simple reason WikiLeaks does not have information other countries you'd have to jump through your own port hole to explain why more than a few have quit working with Assange at WikiLeaks.

Here is WikiLeaks spokesman Schmitt explaining to Der Speigel why he quit-

SPIEGEL: With the publication of classified Afghanistan reports, also through SPIEGEL, you have taken on the United States, a superpower. Washington is threatening to prosecute you for espionage and WikiLeaks supporters have been interrogated by the FBI. Bradley Manning, who is believed to be one of your informants, is sitting in jail. Are you afraid of the massive public pressure?

Schmitt: No, pressure from the outside is part of this. But this one-dimensional confrontation with the USA is not what we set out to do. For us it is always about uncovering corruption and abuse of power, wherever it happens -- on the smaller and larger scale -- around the world.


Der Spiegel

madawaskan said...

Julius

Right -because you are more interested in defeating and handicapping the US who is the only balancing force remaining in the world that will sometimes (however self interested) take on oppressive and dangerous regimes, and/or terrorists?

We should let true evil flourish until America can conduct diplomacy with countries in truly precarious situations with the upmost transparency?

Again you would disarm America first-because she the enemy.

That's what Assange is accused of engaged in-compulsively and exclusively by his own contemporaries.

BJM said...

@Ignorance

Putin.

BJM said...

@Mad

Exactly, if Assange is so fucking brave, let him post the Danish Allah cartoons.

madawaskan said...

BJM-

LOL!

That's one way to put it-and a hell of a lot more succinct.

Revenant said...

How is Wikileaks still around? I find myself annoyed by this.

How would you get rid of it?

Seven Machos said...

How would you get rid of it?

Arrest the people running it for espionage and/or sabotage.

Revenant said...

Arrest the people running it for espionage and/or sabotage.

A short list of problems with this:

(1): Republishing classified documents that someone else has stolen is generally legal. You could arrest the individual people who post to Wikileaks, but the site itself is legit.

(2): They're not in America, and other countries have little interest in helping us arrest them.

(3): If, somehow, we did manage to arrest them, they'd be replaced with somebody else. What Freeman is actually asking is "how is confidential information still being leaked?". Er, because humans are involved? Leaks happen.

Kirk Parker said...

Freeman: "How is Wikileaks still around? I find myself annoyed by this."

reader: "At the same time, there's a serious problem with how to define an outlet such as Wikileaks.. as out of the norm, much less beyond the pale, in Internet terms..."

Me (repeating myself, sorry): "You need to consult Phillipp Bobbit on this issue."

damikesc said...

Want to stop leaks?

Execute Manning. Start using treason for prosecutions.

Can't stop the press...but you can make leaking a bad idea.

DaveW said...

It seems to me that this just increases the payoff for eliminating this guy. If this is going to go on and on and on someone is going to decide there's no downside to killing him.

James said...

Although I don't think he's bluffing I think the threat should be ignored.

Here's why:

He's asking the authorities to trust him. "Don't arrest me and I'll not release this other stuff."

Assange is probably the most untrustworthy person on the planet. Who is to believe that he will not release this stuff some day just to get more attention?

Only fools would trust him and our top law enforcement people are not fools.

Robert Cook said...

"Assange is probably the most untrustworthy person on the planet."

Really? You mean, ahead of Obama and Biden and everyone in the Senate and the House and in the current administration, ahead of Bush and Cheney and Rice and Rumsfeld and Powell and everyone in their administration, ahead of the Clintons...ahead of virtually everyone in our government?!

You're seriously naive or deluded.

Jason said...

Julius
they realize that the U.S. is the big bully of the Western World when it comes to keeping information from being free.

Congratulations, Julius. You have just written the dumbest thing I've ever seen posted on this blog.

Lincolntf said...

The "information must be free!!!" people I see online are kinda funny considering that they're all posting under pseudonyms.
Sure, information should generally be freely accessible, just as individuals should generally be free to do as they please. But we have prisons for a reason, and we keep our financial/personal information private for a reason. We need to put at least as much value on protecting the secrets of our military as we do our rinky-dink PayPal accounts, no?

Anyway, with Assange reportedly releasing a list of worldwide sensitive sites and their relative security, he's an enemy combatant to me. Anyone want to put odds on whether he makes it to Jan. 1 without being placed in the custody of someone, somewhere?

Robert Cook said...

"Congratulations, Julius. You have just written the dumbest thing I've ever seen posted on this blog."

You must not have been reading this blog for more than 30 seconds.

Or perhaps you have and that's the problem: delirium is so much the norm here that a reasonably arguable statement of fact strikes you as "dumb."

GMay said...

Robert Cook confessed: "...delirium is so much the norm here..."

followed by:

"...reasonably arguable statement of fact..."

Given this example, I'd say it's not delirium so much as gibberish.

Unless of course you want to release your real name, SSN, bank info, mother's maiden name, and other vital personal information...then you really do understand that there is information that could be damaging to any entity if released to the general public. If you don't grasp this very basic premise, then I'll agree with your "delirium" comment.

Robert Cook said...

As a follow up to my remarks to Jason, here is a most pertinent column from today's COUNTERPUNCH by Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration:

http://www.counterpunch.com/roberts12062010.html

Sigivald said...

rhhardin: Well, I imagine that the State has an interest in cracking the archive simply to know exactly what's in it.

(For instance, they might want to see if there's any disinformation in there; if there was, they could counter it preemptively.

Hell, to a lesser extent they could naturally do that with real information.)

So I'm sure it's being run through some fairly serious computers somewhere secret right now, as an exercise if nothing else.

Tex the Pontificator said...

The threat is proof, if more were needed, that Assange is trouble and needs to be dealt with. We should crash the site and find a way to arrest Assange. whatever pain he can inflict now is smaller than what he'll be able to inflict later.

And all the sites that are standing by to wreak damage in retribution for attacking Assange's site? They should be crashed, too. As for arrest, are not all these people co-conspirators? It would be a fitting end for the New York Times.