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WikiLeaks and Julian Assange

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by SeaEagleRock8, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. SeaEagleRock8

    SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    http://bigpondnews.com/articles/TopStories/2010/11/29/WikiLeaks_defy_demands_on_leaked_files_545093.html

    On 12 November this bloke was leading the poll in Time magazine for 'Person of the Year, 2010'.

    His work to expose corrupt government activities has made him a prime target of those governments.

    The US govt in particular desperately wants to shut him down. WikiLeaks.org is currently inaccessible on-line. What a coincidence.

    Also coincidentally, a few days ago there was an arrest warrant issued for him in Sweden on sexual asault charges that have all the hallmarks of being trumped up -
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange#Interpol_arrest_warrant

    He has won a number of awards for free journalism and anti-censorship. Apparently Assange advocates a "transparent" and "scientific" approach to journalism, saying that "you can't publish a paper on physics without the full experimental data and results; that should be the standard in journalism". [Wikipedia]
     
  2. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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  3. Rusty

    Rusty Well-Known Member

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    A lot of what was in the Afganistan and Iraq war files could honestly have had names blanked out, the same could be true for the current set of files.

    I couldn't care less about the world leaders, diplomats and generals, if they didn't want these things to leak they should have had to foresight to say them in a more diplomatic way, or to ensure they were not recorded at the very least. But I do care that the names of soldiers, informants and agents are published, surely the impact would not have been lost without us having to know the details of these people. And the risk that some of the people may end up dead because their names are now in the public domain and connected with certain comments is unacceptable.

    I have no issue with the idea that the government should be held to account, and certainly this achieves that to an extent, in fact I think that the idea of holding government up to the highest level of scrutiny is a great idea. What I do want to avoid however is publishing of materials that are going to cause individuals to be killed, for what ever reason. Be it revenge attacks or the availability of specific information relating to the security of military installations, or the like.

    Assange has risked a treason charge over these papers, since Australian soldiers are currently engaged in combat in active military actions that are adversely affected by these publications. I wouldn't think it would be hard to prove that our efforts in the war are adversely effected, if only be the increased difficulty in recruiting willing informants.

    Even if you don't support the war it is hard to argue that someone should be allowed to make the jobs of troops over there harder.
     
  4. SeaEagleRock8

    SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    That argument does not hold water. From the first batch published months ago there has been no suggestion that a single life has been put at risk. The US govt was invited to vet the documents prior to publication to point out which ones they considered too risky. The fact the administration refused showed the risks were fanciful, according to Assange.
    http://bigpondnews.com/articles/TopStories/2010/11/29/WikiLeaks_defy_demands_on_leaked_files_545093.html

    The US and various other governments do not wish to be politically embarrassed nor do they want the public exposure of human rights abuses or criminal behaviours perpetrated in their name.

    Indeed there are already calls from conservative politicians in the US to have him charged with treason. This is simply to be expected for anyone who so brazenly stands up against the US govt. There is zero evidence that anyone's life or any military operation has been compromised, and this was virtually admitted as soon as the material was published (contrary to the dire warnings beforehand). The harm for the US govt  (and others) is largely embarrassment at this stage.

    Those calling for Assange's arrest for treason and for WikiLeaks to be classified as a foreign terrorist organisation are simply falling for the rhetoric of those in power who want the right to continue to sweep their errors or sins under the carpet.
     
  5. WAMF

    WAMF Well-Known Member

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    SER8, that last paragraph sums it up perfectly.
     
  6. Rusty

    Rusty Well-Known Member

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    I am not calling for anyone to be arrested, or even suggesting this is a bad thing for these papers to be published in balance. I think more care could have been taken thats all.

    There are two ways people are put at risk by the way, firstly by being mentioned. Are you serious is thinking that some one mentioned as giving information to the US in Afghanistan is now at the same or less risk of being killed, or how about someone saying something negative about Putin. To say that no one has died is rubbish, no one in the world would have known that some of these people even existed before hand, how many tribal chiefs in northern Pakistan do you keep tabs on? How would you know if they were now dead or why. You think the US would tell you that because their secrets were revealed someone died? No, they will do everything they can to minimize the impact of this both real and perceived.

    The second way people are put at risk is by the flow of information to the US and its allies being dried up. Having seen these peoples names mentioned who in their right mind is going to give the US information? I wouldn't if I feared it would become public knowledge and I could end up being killed for it.

    Our soldiers will have to act on less intel in the future, simply because less people will be sharing.

    How about some of the more subtle but still significant global political concerns, we see in these new documents that the King of Jordan urged the US to bomb Iran at the same time he was talking to Tehran and using all the soft power he could to get them to step away from seeking the Bomb.

    So now we have the leader of a middle eastern nation that is internationally regarded as reasonable and pro-west who will be less willing to tell the US when he feels it is time to take action and less trusted by his Arab and Islamic region and therefore less effective at finding peaceful solutions. Good thing? Not really.

    I don't want the government to be able to sweep anything under the carpet, nor do I care if Assange is charged with anything. In reality he has broken the law so I have no doubt he will be, I don't know if that is right, really I don't.

    What I do think is that this could have been done in a better way, the fact that it reveals huge problems with the way the US is behaving is good, the way it reveals so much more, stuff that really didn't need to be revealed is not.
     
  7. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    I think some of the government ones probably didn't need to be released, but from what I can tell this looks like the start to get as much publicity as possible.

    Moving on to the big business next, I think that is the real aim and I also think this will have the greater impact.

    I look forward to seeing the leaked information from the big banks
     
  8. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    Good luck. They are all out to Xmas lunches or withholding cash from customers. :)

    On a serious note WikiLeaks has a place - but I am going to side in general principle with Rusty on this with some of the material released. We are talking about national security in some of these docs. Laugh it off if you want but it will cost lives, maybe Australians. I apologise for getting political but anyone who thinks that the battle against the Taliban isn't worthwhile just doesn't see the small or big picture and the negatives they inflict on this planet.
     
  9. tookey

    tookey Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    He should have released the info on the pharmecutical company's, banks and oil companies first as he and his site may be shut down before he gets a chance to release the best info.
     
  10. clontaago

    clontaago Well-Known Member

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    He'll end up dying in a car accident or similar.
     
  11. Rusty

    Rusty Well-Known Member

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    Will be interesting to see if he releases any of the Australia documents it is being suggested he has, apparently 300 files that were sent from us to the US embassy or vis versa.

    Until he does that I don't know that he has broken an Australian law, and after reading the statutes that many are suggesting he has violated in the US I am certain he will not be charged there, at least not for this - perhaps on some trumped up nonsense, but nothing relating to what he has actually done.

    By being a registered member of the union that covers all media in this country he has actually done a very smart thing, it may protect him in the US as he has a much easier task arguing that his publishing of documents online is more akin to a newspaper article then simply a method of passing information of foreign governments.
     
  12. WAMF

    WAMF Well-Known Member

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    Why? he is not the only one with the access or the ability to release the files/leaks they have stored.

    He didn't create the damn documents. The US should just pursue the original 'leaker'. Not the pizza delivery man.
     
  13. clontaago

    clontaago Well-Known Member

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    I'm not saying its right or wrong WAMF. Just saying thats how it is. You think he raped someone? It was always going to happen.
     
  14. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    Most of the stuff reported here has just been embarrassing, especially for the Labor govt. Anyone know how the US managed to 'lose' these thousands of confidential documents?
     
  15. clontaago

    clontaago Well-Known Member

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    One of their IT blokes was on the take apparently.
     

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