Assange Asshattery
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38
 meggysue
2 weeks ago
There are probably few beings on earth who don't know who Julian Assange is, and what he's done to claim his way more than 15 minutes of fame. For those of you who don't, here is the ever editable Wiki synopsis.

I have to wonder what ripples his throwing rocks into the pool of so-called classified and/or confidential information will bring. While some things would have better gone unsaid and/or undone, they were said, and they were done, and there's no changing the past. It's hard to know if bringing these things to light will force more personal accountability on our governments and officials (and ourselves, should the insurance info leak too) or create a cesspool of mayhem. Knowing how people hate accountability, I fear the latter.

I'd personally like to hang him by his toes and force feed him Ex-lax, but I have no doubt that others might have a differing opinion about him and his activities. What's your take?
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18
 tonynori...
2 weeks ago
I totally disagree. This government has been run on secrets for far too long. We (the public) are the ones who pay for these jerk off's in office to keep running in office.

I was also in the Navy and know what the military can sweep under the rug from the general public.

Enough hiding in the shadows, lies just dont work anymore...
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15
 TBA
2 weeks ago
I am all for accountability, but I have great concern. It isn't the secrets or whether or not they should be revealed, it is the fanatics that will blow things way out of proportion and take drastic actions without considering the long term consequences.
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48
 Moe
2 weeks ago
And it is the secrets too. Some of these should have been made public, such as the one about the pedo-parties thrown in Pakistan. But others have no use other than to titillate and cause unneeded problems. Still others, as I have said before, can actually be harmful to the US as a whole. IMO he should have been WAY more careful about what was made public.
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18
 tonynori...
2 weeks ago
« TBA : ...without considering the long term consequences.
That is where I believe accountability comes in.
People don't do drugs, or smoke becuase of the long term effects. They take into account their actions that may lead to a terrible demise.

The (US) government does not, or thought it seems to me. They are notorious for making split second idiotic decisions that affect the entire population.

Thier so called world dominance, or being the world power has gone to their heads. Its like a "we must do all that we can to remain in this position" mentallity...

Enough is enough...

To your point though... yes, people can blow things way out of porportion... however, we shouldnt have these items of reference to begin with to even go down that path of "porportion"..which i think is all objective anyway.
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quote #5
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58
 pocksuck...
2 weeks ago
« Moe :  Still others, as I have said before, can actually be harmful to the US as a whole.
There's an idiom here which a lot of people are overlooking (or looking the other way from):

Don't shoot the messenger.

It's not the revelation that is harmful, but the act itself.

Had the governments in question not carried out the actions that were carried out then the harm would not have been done.

There's a mantra I hear from governments and from citizens (and from Plimates too):

If you're not doing anything wrong then you've got nothing to worry about.

Normally this is applied to increased government surveillance.

That leads me to my last oft repeated piece of folky wisdom:

What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.


*Having used up my daily allowance, I promise that I shall avoid cliches in further comments for the rest of the day.*
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38
 meggysue
2 weeks ago
« tonynoriega : That is where I believe accountability comes in.
People don't do drugs, or smoke becuase of the long term effects. They take into account their actions that may lead to a terrible demise. The (US) government does not, or thought it seems to me. They are notorious for making split second idiotic decisions that affect the entire population.
I would hate to be any government official from any country, and have the lives of my populace in my hands. I don't believe that every action taken is knee-jerk. Call me an idealist but aren't there think tanks that run through various scenarios trying to anticipate crises, and how best to respond? Sure, unanticipated situations will arise that require a quick decision, but I would hope that (in the US at least) the balance of power would prevent gut reactions and mob mentality.


« tonynoriega :Thier so called world dominance, or being the world power has gone to their heads. Its like a "we must do all that we can to remain in this position" mentallity...

Enough is enough...
From what I've seen and read, the US is realizing that our position as a world power is shifting, especially since we owe our first born children to China now. No longer are we seen as the savior of the world, and that's no secret (especially thanks to JA). I'm sure the "diplomatic" emails coming from other countries have pointed that out on more than one occasion.

« tonynoriega :To your point though... yes, people can blow things way out of porportion... however, we shouldnt have these items of reference to begin with to even go down that path of "porportion"..which i think is all objective anyway.
In countries where there is no "freedom of information" or "freedom of speech", selected quotes will be publicized to sway the population to what the governments want the people to believe. They already see the US as evil and this will be persistently reinforced.

At what cost do we enjoy our freedoms? We are no longer an isolated country extending feelers out into our neighbors and their friends' business, and using/abusing our power to protect our country's interests. The technology age has leveled that playing field and brought us all easily into each others' grasps. How can we expect others to respect our safety, while demanding we have the option not to respect others' by accessing whatever information we deem desirable? Pock's gander sauce comment holds very true.

I shall close with another cliche: do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
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20
 plurk
2 weeks ago
« pocksucket : There's an idiom here which a lot of people are overlooking (or looking the other way from):

Don't shoot the messenger.

It's not the revelation that is harmful, but the act itself.
There's that, and there's the matter that Assange - i.e., WikiLeaks - does not in fact reveal anything but rather facilitates revelations. WikiLeaks itself doesn't technically leak, it provides a platform for leakers.

And as for these State Department Cables:
Indeed, what's most surprising about the State Department cables -- to which some 3 million people reportedly had access -- is that nobody else had leaked them before. Though somehow I doubt that fact helps Hillary Clinton sleep better at night.
Quote taken from Foreign Policy's blog feature WikiLeaked: What is Julian Assange?

It's surely easy to scapegoat Assange for this whole mess, but even while I don't care much for the man or his "break the System" attitude, he is not the problem here. So far, I've seen several subjects from the Cables that belong in the public domain. From government contracters prostituting boys, to Shell infiltrating governments, to the international failure to stop blood diamonds, to the drugs- and alcohol fueled parties of the arab elite, and a ton of stuff in between. When a government decides to stamp the lable 'Secret' on things like these, I think you have something to worry about. And it's not WikiLeaks.

In a way I think WikiLeaks is an inevitable result of mixing governments' tendency towards secrecy, the publics rightful claim to information and medias dubious position as watchdog in the middle, with current technology. I expect we'll see more of this kind of blunderbuss-journalism where throves of information will be made available, in full, (largely) unedited an without context. We'll learn to live with it. Media will step right in as the middle man between raw information and the public as they always do. I mean, who here has read any of these Cables as is? I know I haven't. All I read is from the established media in between that do their usual jobs of dissecting the big pile of rubbish and providing the public with their contextualised findings. In that sense, little has changed since WikiLeaks sprang up.
This goes beyond Assange and WikiLeaks and will not stop. Not until totalitarian governments crack down on everything, or until governments make better judgements about their 'secrets' and accept accountability. Or until the media we are already accustomed to take over WikiLeaks job of getting to the bottom of things.
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48
 Moe
2 weeks ago
« pocksucket:There's an idiom here which a lot of people are overlooking (or looking the other way from):

Don't shoot the messenger.

It's not the revelation that is harmful, but the act itself.

Had the governments in question not carried out the actions that were carried out then the harm would not have been done.

There's a mantra I hear from governments and from citizens (and from Plimates too):

If you're not doing anything wrong then you've got nothing to worry about.

Normally this is applied to increased government surveillance.

That leads me to my last oft repeated piece of folky wisdom:

What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.


*Having used up my daily allowance, I promise that I shall avoid cliches in further comments for the rest of the day.*
Actually the revelation can be harmful.

What I see is 3 types of data being let out by Wikileaks:

1. Information about corruption or wrong doing. The pedo-parties in Pakistan is one example.

2. Stuff that while is not actually secret, was only meant for a few people to ever see. Things like what Mrs. Clinton thought of the hygiene habits of some diplomat as a made up example. Titillating yes, but in the end, this sort of shit is really none of our business. It does no actual good to release it and no actual harm keeping it under wraps, so what is the gain in letting it out? Especially if it is going to ruffle feathers diplomatically. Stuff like that can delay peace talks or negotiations of any type. Would YOU want to make a deal with a diplomat that you knew secretly thought your mom was ugly and joked about it?

3. Information that if leaked could cause actual harm to the US or its citizens. Stuff like the locations of security interests that are important to the US. Power stations, dams, chemical plants, etc. It is one thing to have some guys sit around making their own list of such places. It is something else entirely when said list is actually compiled by the US Government.

Seriously, what good does it do to have that knowledge public? How are "the people" empowered? Who's civil rights are saved? What harm is there is keeping those locations secret? Who benefits directly from the information being revealed and how?

From what I have heard from some critics, the US should NEVER keep ANY knowledge secret. Really? Are you sure about that?

Show me one single nation anywhere, anywhen that did not keep secrets. Keeping some knowledge hidden from view is vital to the health of a country and there is nothing inherently wrong with doing so.

What Assange is doing is lumping all three types together and releasing them as a whole. No apparent effort made to determine just how sensitive some of this stuff can be. Apparently no care as to the potential for people getting killed over it.

And for what? What in the end is actually gained here? We get our jollies by seeing something we aren't supposed to? Is it really worth it to have that same information be available to those who might misuse it?
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20
 plurk
2 weeks ago
By coincidence, I just came across the tl;dr version of my post above:

So enough with this gnashing of teeth about how WikiLeaks must be stopped. WikiLeaks is just the messenger here, not the agent. WikiLeaks is just doing what everyone in the press always says is the reason we should have press: Digging up information that powerful people don't want you to know.

Read more: here
0
quote #10
22
 zircon77...
2 weeks ago
« Moe : And it is the secrets too. Some of these should have been made public, such as the one about the pedo-parties thrown in Pakistan. But others have no use other than to titillate and cause unneeded problems. Still others, as I have said before, can actually be harmful to the US as a whole. IMO he should have been WAY more careful about what was made public.
Are you aware that he approached the Pentagon and asked them to help him interpret and screen the material he had?

They declined.
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48
 Moe
2 weeks ago
« zircon77777 : Are you aware that he approached the Pentagon and asked them to help him interpret and screen the material he had?

They declined.
Dear Pentagon -

I have some secret information that I want to make public. Please help me in weeding out what you really would not like everyone to know.

Sincerely,

Julian.




Do you really expect them to reply to such a request? If he were a US citizen, that request alone would have been grounds for the Fed to arrest him. He's treading on really dangerous ground...I'm not sure I have the answer as to what he should have done with the information that showed illegal doings. But what he did do is IMO definitely wrong.
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20
 plurk
2 weeks ago
« Moe : I'm not sure I have the answer as to what he should have done with the information that showed illegal doings. But what he did do is IMO definitely wrong.
I've thought about this. Let's say providing a platform for this information is wrong. Then what about Reuters, The Economist, BBC, Foreign Policy, CNN, Fox, Der Spiegel, Le Monde and the other hundreds if not thousands of major media that shared this information with us as well? Granted, portions of it, and with context, but still. Where does wrong stop being wrong? If the Cables had been leaked directly to any of the media above, would they have not written about it?
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quote #13
58
 pocksuck...
2 weeks ago
« Moe : Actually the revelation can be harmful.

What I see is 3 types of data being let out by Wikileaks:

1. Information about corruption or wrong doing. The pedo-parties in Pakistan is one example.
Assume that you're saying this is OK to come out - please tell me if I'm wrong there.

2. Stuff that while is not actually secret, was only meant for a few people to ever see. Things like what Mrs. Clinton thought of the hygiene habits of some diplomat as a made up example. Titillating yes, but in the end, this sort of shit is really none of our business. It does no actual good to release it and no actual harm keeping it under wraps, so what is the gain in letting it out? Especially if it is going to ruffle feathers diplomatically. Stuff like that can delay peace talks or negotiations of any type. Would YOU want to make a deal with a diplomat that you knew secretly thought your mom was ugly and joked about it?
Shift your perspective round and imagine that there was something about, let's say Gaddafi, and that he had privately called Obama an anal wart but publicly posed smiling in pictures at a peace summit. Wouldn't you want to know that that's the sort of snake that negotiations were going on with? Wouldn't that influence your view on the validity of any agreement made? If you start keeping secrets, you start undermining everything you're doing.

3. Information that if leaked could cause actual harm to the US or its citizens. Stuff like the locations of security interests that are important to the US. Power stations, dams, chemical plants, etc. It is one thing to have some guys sit around making their own list of such places. It is something else entirely when said list is actually compiled by the US Government.
Have you ever seen a nuclear powerstation?

This is one, from a distance:



Notice the way it fails completely to blend into the background.

Seriously, what good does it do to have that knowledge public? How are "the people" empowered? Who's civil rights are saved? What harm is there is keeping those locations secret? Who benefits directly from the information being revealed and how?
By the same rationale, what actual harm does it do to have the otherwise available information included? I fail to see the relevance of what you're saying here.

From what I have heard from some critics, the US should NEVER keep ANY knowledge secret. Really? Are you sure about that?

Show me one single nation anywhere, anywhen that did not keep secrets. Keeping some knowledge hidden from view is vital to the health of a country and there is nothing inherently wrong with doing so.
Your view is really corrupted here, like you have cataracts instilled by the lies you have been told thus far.

The only time you need to lie is when you've started lying. The only time you need to keep truths from the people is when you've done it before.

Lies and deceit are born of lies and deceit.

If no nation kept secrets, why would any nation need to?

You think it's important to keep the methodology of nuclear power a secret? Why? To stop it falling into the hands of the evil doers? To stop middle eastern countries secretly building their own reactors? Do you see where that house of cards collapses?

Probably not.

What Assange is doing is lumping all three types together and releasing them as a whole.
Yes, out of necessity. If Wikileaks censored any of the information that comes their way then do they not become the same as those they're trying to expose?

No apparent effort made to determine just how sensitive some of this stuff can be. Apparently no care as to the potential for people getting killed over it.
Don't you see that that goes back to the original act?

And for what? What in the end is actually gained here? We get our jollies by seeing something we aren't supposed to? Is it really worth it to have that same information be available to those who might misuse it?
If really you think it's just about getting jollies, let me know and I'll give up, because there's not a lot of point in continuing.

If you take a moment to listen to what I'm saying you'll realise that perhaps people may be held accountable over what happened with the release of Al-Megrahi. Does climate change matter to you? Would you want to give your vote to the politicians who wilfully scuppered the Copenhagen Climate Summit last year, in collaboration with the supposed enemy?
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58
 pocksuck...
2 weeks ago
« Moe : If he were a US citizen, that request alone would have been grounds for the Fed to arrest him.
Doesn't that scare the crap out of you?

Doesn't that, and that alone make you want to renounce your US citizenship?
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26
 jhordie
2 weeks ago
"Let the eye of vigilance never be closed."

-Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1821.

The Pentagon Papers
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quote #16
58
 pocksuck...
2 weeks ago
« jhordie:"Let the eye of vigilance never be closed."

-Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1821.

The Pentagon Papers
"Constant Vigilance"

-Mad Eye Moody

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20
 Interest...
2 weeks ago
« pocksucket : Doesn't that scare the crap out of you?

Doesn't that, and that alone make you want to renounce your US citizenship?
Not really, of course I can't renounce something I don't have :) Seriously though, in the US there are so many more liberties and so much more information available about what is going on it kind of cracks me up how much b***hing goes on about not being able to know EVERYTHING! I come from Canada, where I believe a high percentage doesn't know that there is such a thing as CSIS (Canadian Secret Intelligence Service) much less what they are involved in. In the UK you can't go very far without someone seeing in on CCTV. Shoot, Tanzanians out and out admit that they know their government is corrupt and there is nothing they can do. (And so lists the countries I have lived in and know something about)
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58
 pocksuck...
2 weeks ago
« Interesting:Not really, of course I can't renounce something I don't have :)
Yes, but it was addressed to Moe, an American.

In the UK you can't go very far without someone seeing in on CCTV.
You know that's BS, right?

I mean, Daily Mail readers believe it, but you're above that, surely?

(plus I'm not sure of the relevance of that particular faux fact)
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58
 pocksuck...
2 weeks ago
How do you spell hypocrisy?

A..M..A..Z..O..N

Just in case that gets taken down, here's a screen grab

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24
 delta
2 weeks ago
« Moe : Dear Pentagon -

I have some secret information that I want to make public. Please help me in weeding out what you really would not like everyone to know.

Sincerely,

Julian.


Do you really expect them to reply to such a request?
Yes, since he is behind Wikileaks, the pentagon is better taking him seriously. Or not. Whatever they want. It will have consequences.

If he were a US citizen, that request alone would have been grounds for the Fed to arrest him. He's treading on really dangerous ground...I'm not sure I have the answer as to what he should have done with the information that showed illegal doings. But what he did do is IMO definitely wrong.
He is not a US citizen. Just imagine the same thing coming out about China or about the soviet Union in the 80s. He would have been a national hero and the defender of democracy, etc... The situation is not that different now. Probably this is why Putin nominated him for Nobel Peace Prize. Not that he is an official nominator for such a prize, but it clearly reflects his sentiments in the case. One country's traitor can easily be a hero for the rest of the world. In a democratic world the majority counts, so suck it up, the US has only one vote in the UN, and he is laughed at by everyone else: the king is nude.
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