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Wikileaks Founder Advised To Avoid American Gov't

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the good-luck-with-that dept.

Censorship 632

eldavojohn writes "Media darling Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, has been told by his lawyers to avoid the United States on the grounds that the US military would like to ask him a few questions about his source of the Collateral Murder video. Assange claims to be holding yet more video (of a US attack on a village that allegedly killed 140 civilians in May of 2009), as well as a quarter million sensitive cables relating to the current foreign war operations from the US State Department. Assange surfaced for the cameras in Brussels while speaking about the need for the freedom of information. Can he build a high enough profile to protect himself from danger?"

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632 comments

The Whistleblowers' Blues (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652400)

The best thing he can do is get as much press as possible, make as many speeches as possible, engage in as much public activity as possible, and stay in a group at all times (no late night strolls alone). If the general public and press don't know who he is, the U.S. government can just grab him and quietly throw him in a secret jail cell somewhere (or even render [wikipedia.org] him to a country willing to get their hands dirty torturing him with more than a little waterboarding).

It would be nice to live in a world where whistleblowers were rewarded and praised for their efforts. But the truth is that whistleblowers almost always suffer for their sacrifice. At best, they lose their jobs and/or are harassed. At worst, they end up in a filthy jail cell with electrodes on their balls.

Re:The Whistleblowers' Blues (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652436)

At worst, they end up in a filthy jail cell with electrodes on their balls.

Don't you mean dead in a ditch somewhere?

Re:The Whistleblowers' Blues (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652464)

No, that's simply a likely outcome of the "filthy jail" option.

Re:The Whistleblowers' Blues (5, Interesting)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652816)

Or perhaps a bathtub in a motel [bradblog.com] .

Re:The Whistleblowers' Blues (1)

Prikolist (1260608) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652466)

Well first they will torture out all the sources. After that - sure

Re:The Whistleblowers' Blues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32652624)

Both in many cases...

Re:The Whistleblowers' Blues (1)

Bryan3000000 (1356999) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653170)

Dead in a ditch is significantly less painful, long term. There are fates worse than death, both for an individual and for an individual's family.

BDSM Rocks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32652446)

At worst, they end up in a filthy jail cell with electrodes on their balls.

MMF FMM MFM FFMMM MMFFF MMFFF FFMFMF MMFFF MFMM FMMF MFFF
(You're saying that as if it was a bad thing.)

-Pulp Fiction Gimp

Re:The Whistleblowers' Blues (0, Troll)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652502)

The Whistleblower is already in custody.

When it comes to pissing off the United States Government, well getting big and public doesn't always work.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_Hussein [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Madoff [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slobodan_Milosevic [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Calley [wikipedia.org]

Some were big, really big and one went public, and it didn't help them.

Re:The Whistleblowers' Blues (0)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653014)

The Whistleblower is already in custody.

There's a big difference between blowing a whistle, and breaking the law by divulging classified information.

The reality is that there's a lot of information that doesn't belong in the public domain, and it's in the best interest of the country/corporation/individual to keep secured.

Re:The Whistleblowers' Blues (3, Insightful)

MoriT (1747802) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653202)

The reality is that there is a lot of information that should be in the public domain, but it's in the best interest of the country/corporation/individual to keep it secured to avoid embarrassment, bad publicity or criminal charges.

Re:The Whistleblowers' Blues (5, Insightful)

tmassa99 (889186) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653020)

Obama, like Bush, has a horrendous track record of using "States Secrets" to cover the collective asses of this government and shield us from the big bad wars. Things like covering the illegal rendition and torture of innocents, like Maher Arar. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maher_Arar [wikipedia.org]

He's also using it to continually detain a man proven in court to be innocent, Mohamed Hassan Odaini, who has been wrongfully imprisoned for the last 8 years, in defiance of a court order that he be released. Why? Because mid-term elections are coming up soon.
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/06/21/pundits/index.html [salon.com]

The US government and MIC are monsters dressed in the stars and stripes and I thank %deityOfChoice% that there are sites like Wikileaks, and governments like Iceland who are beginning to see the light that is cast by transparency.

With the SCOTUS decision yesterday, the US can just put Wikileaks on the list of terrorist organizations, and Mr. Assange won't even be able to get a lawyer in the US, assuming he's still alive. The US government, or its people at large, don't care about rights of US citizens, who can now be extra-judicially assassinated (i.e. murdered). What do you think anyone would say if some Australian journalist disappears?

Only sites like Wikileaks can save us from ourselves. Getting the genie back into the bottle is a difficult task, indeed.

Re:The Whistleblowers' Blues (0, Redundant)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653026)

In school they call a whistleblower a tattletail. Many teachers even frown upon kids tattling on others. It's sad, it's engrained from a very young age that things that weren't seen should remain unseen.

Re:The Whistleblowers' Blues (1)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653086)

The problem is that fame doesn't last, but the memories of the military and intelligence institutions is forever. Eventually the cameras will get tired of him. Then they will be able to come for him with little or no press.

It sounds like he's hoping to change those institutions so that they would be too ashamed to go after him. I don't know if changing the world is a good strategy for self-defense, but I admire anyone with the balls to try it.

Re:The Whistleblowers' Blues (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653162)

How little faith you have in LIBERTY!

Re:The Whistleblowers' Blues (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653186)

The sword is already on top of his head. If he wants to be really famous, he should quickly post these 250,000 cables and the videos he has. Then, there will be a very good case to see where US army stands, respective to the first amendment. US troops are supposed to bring freedom, including freedom of speech. Lead by the example.

Good on him (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652422)

I understand the need to keep things secret, and I understand that in war shit happens...but that doesn't mean when things go awry, we the people shouldn't know about it. For the same reason why I think uncensored war footage should be shown on the nightly news, maybe if the average civilian actually saw what goes on in war, the public would be less likely to stand by idly while our government spends billions on killing people on the other side of the planet.

Just my $.02

Re:Good on him (4, Insightful)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652588)

I agree with you, but let's show both the killing on both sides and the good things that are done as well. Let people make an informed decision.

Re:Good on him (5, Insightful)

darjen (879890) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652882)

Any of the "good things" that might possibly come out of war can also be done without war.

Re:Good on him (1)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652952)

I agree with you in some cases. However, some times the people that have been getting their way for centuries though fear and intimidation start shooting at you when you help the people they prey on. So, do you leave and not do the "good things", or do you shoot back?

Re:Good on him (4, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652900)

Like in Vietnam.. News covered how the Americans were butchers, killing women and children. And how they were unrefined even killing their own officers.

Yet the truth was that GI's were fragging officers because they would order them to kill the children or the scumbag enemy were forcing women to fight or they would kill their children (Sounds like the current cowards), or put the team in un-necessary danger... Oops 4 grenades went off in Lt. Dan's tent.... He must have been depressed....

9/11? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32652950)

Were you in a cave on 9/11 or the weeks following? We've seen the damage inflicted upon our country, and we just whitewash the destruction and collateral damage being caused in Afghanistan because it WOULD erode homegrown support if people knew what was happening to innocents over there, as well as in Pakistan.

Convenient information control. The media is just an extension of the American propaganda machine which is alive and thriving.

Re:Good on him (3, Insightful)

strack (1051390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652990)

thats a great idea. and we gotta start somewhere, and footage that the US military has deemed classified due to its negative propaganda value is a great place to start.

Re:Good on him (1)

ncy (1164535) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653166)

unfortunately, it's hard to make an informed decision when the media chooses what it reports and how. even if there was an even number of "good" and "bad" news stories on both sides of the war, i'm sure the media can sway the public's opinion to favor one side or the other regardless of what's really going on.

Re:Good on him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32653174)

Al Jazera shows quite a bit of footage of "the other side" killing Americans/UN soldiers.

Re:Good on him (-1, Troll)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652596)

But, do you agree with editing exculpatory footage out of videos and then treating the video as the whole story?

I will feel sorry for the people on the other side of the planet just as soon as they start hunting down and killing the people on their side of the planet that are sending people to this side, to this country, to kill us. I will feel sorry for them when they stop supporting people who say I should die because I don't believe in their religion of murder and conversion at the point of a sword, or barrel of a gun if you prefer.

Re:Good on him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32652682)

You mean that I should not care about any USA citizens as long as they don't start hunting down and killing KKK members?

Re:Good on him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32652688)

I think certain elements on "their side" of the planet would say exactly the same thing. We can argue about who initiated the current mess of strikes and counter strikes but the fact is that the groundwork has been laid over the course of hundreds of years of disagreement and conflict, so it's not really possible to say "that's what kicked it off, it was them / us".

Re:Good on him (5, Informative)

radtea (464814) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652716)

But, do you agree with editing exculpatory footage out of videos and then treating the video as the whole story?

Except that you have no evidence of that other than the Pentagon's say-so, and they aren't known for their honesty and forthrightness. Furthermore, the footage you're talking about is not the least exculpatory: it purportedly shows the same gun crew that asked permission to shoot and kill the good samaritans who were aiding the wounded victims of their previous attack, and then shot and killed the good samaritans who were aiding the wounded victims of their previous attack, did not kill another group of completely innocent people previous to shooting and killing the good samaritans who were aiding the wounded victims of their previous attack.

Only in the mind of someone deluded or evil would not killing innocent people prior to killing innocent good samaritans who are aiding the victims of your previous attack count as "exculpatory."

As to the rest: yeah, we'll stop killing them when they stop killing us; and they'll stop killing us when we stop killing them. Sounds like the security-industrial complex is going to be a major profit center for America for decades to come, building all that deadweightloss gear so young American men and women can go off to kill and be killed. Not a bad gig: getting taxpayers to fund the wanton destruction--body and soul--of their own children, all in the name of bigger profits for Lockheed, Haliburton and Blackwaster(Xe).

Why should Iraqis hunt Saudis? (2, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652764)

The majority of the 9/11 attackers were Saudi Arabian; why should Iraqis be attacking the Saudis? This is especially so considering that the last time Iraq even looked like it might invade Saudi Arabia, the United States attacked Iraq and made a successful push for UN-imposed sanctions.

Had the USA invaded Saudi Arabia, I would be less inclined to disagree with you.

Re:Good on him (4, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653042)

I will feel sorry for the people on the other side of the planet just as soon as they start hunting down and killing the people on their side of the planet that are sending people to this side,

It might be news for you, but Iraq had nothing whatsoever to do with 911. Zero, Nada, Zilch.

I also find it a bit hypocritical to complain about a few missing minutes (in which likely nothing of interest happened), when the military is censoring the whole fucking war. We are not taking about minutes of footage here, but months or even years of footage then ended up on the cutting floor or never being released in the first place.

Re:Good on him (3, Interesting)

magarity (164372) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652698)

I understand the need to keep things secret, and I understand that in war shit happens...but that doesn't mean when things go awry, we the people shouldn't know about it
 
Which is why in the US with the first amendment guaranteeing freedom of the press one had to find a professional journalist and convince him/her and the editor and publisher that breaking a secret story was worth the potential penalties. With Wikileaks this process is reduced to a snickering game of airing dirty laundry just for the sake of doing it. One day truly serious info will be released and cause the bad sort of trouble that will make the Rosenbergs look like common gossips.

Re:Good on him (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653090)

One day truly serious info will be released and cause the bad sort of trouble that will make the Rosenbergs look like common gossips.

Which is why we need to adapt. In the IT industry we've long understood that security by obscurity doesn't work. The military and political worlds had better start catching up. If it needs to be secret, find a way to remedy it, and quick. Make all your secrets public, and you'll have nothing to fear from Wikileaks and the like.

Same is good advice if you're about to take on the Scientologists, by the way.

Re:Good on him (5, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653098)

Tell me, what is the worst that could be released on Wikileaks? Total schematics for the F35 aircraft along with source code? What would the Afghans do with it? Build one out of moistened sand? How about the Chinese? Trust me, the so-called free-world has nothing to fear from a poorly injection-molded plastic F35.

The military might of the US lies in its industrial output, not its secrets. Secrets only protect the US regime from its own population.

Re:Good on him (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652706)

That sounds a lot like one of the 19th century arguments for public hanging, beheading, and firing squads to be used as the principle means of execution. The idea was that if that public saw the brutality of killing someone, they would be less inclined to support execution as a punishment except in the most extreme cases. Ultimately, the argument failed to sway state legislatures (particularly New York) because it turns out that public executions can actually be a catalyst for further crimes (i.e. the crowd is more likely to commit capital offenses after watching an execution) and because there was an easy alternative: private executions.

Likewise with war footage: the easy alternative is to simply make it unavailable, or to only make available videos that do not show the brutality of war (e.g. a video of an aerial bombing, taken from the airplane).

Re:Good on him (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652772)

That might just desensitize people to the horror of war, making war more prevalent.

Re:Good on him (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652842)

I might agree with you, except for the fact that people don't want to put themselves in those situations. Eventually the military won't have enough boots on the ground to get involved like that.

Re:Good on him (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652806)

But there are already systems in place to handle these issues inside the DoD. This guy isn't who they want. They want the person in their midst leaking information, going around the chain of command and leaking things to the press, so they can nail their balls to a wall and retrain them on proper procedure. They (DoD/JAG) have to follow the law even if they don't like it.

Re:Good on him (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652918)

But there are already systems in place to handle these issues inside the DoD.

And those systems are obviously broken. Top Secret information must cause "exceptionally grave damage" to national security if leaked. This information leaked, and has caused no damage to national security. The only person who deserves their balls nailed to a wall is the person who classified this inappropriately.

Re:Good on him (1)

ausrob (864993) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652810)

This would be the "war on terror", right? Seems a lot more like a war on Iraqis..

Re:Good on him (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653208)

Maybe they could spend a couple minutes once a year on the news displaying footage of why we're at war, then. You know, something like those "feed a kid in Africa for $1/day" videos, except with the cause of the hunger and depravity.

It makes absolutely no sense to air the consequences of war without understanding the causes. It's like lauding students for getting straight As but never once mentioning that hard study is typically/should be required for such a feat to be accomplished.

Complete failure of the Obama administration. (0, Troll)

glrotate (300695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652438)

Why is this still an issue? I understand that he can't be taken out as it is likely he has given instructions to others to release the info if he turns up dead. However, doesn't this guy have a family that he prefers to keep free from harm. The CIA or whichever countries were the counterparties on these cables need to start doing their job.

Re:Complete failure of the Obama administration. (1)

blackchiney (556583) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652754)

So you are perfectly fine with, and encourage the CIA to go after and do harm to his family? If the videos and cables are worth that much that innocent people should be killed over it than I hope he releases all of it, let the people hold judgement about what the gov't is doing in our name.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32652442)

He's basically a spy, if unwitting?

Re:So... (2, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652620)

Yes, except for the "spying" part.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32652852)

I'd say anyone gathering (or being handed) classified cables for another country is a spy by definition, regardless of intent.

He should really watch his back (-1, Redundant)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652450)

He really needs to watch his back because he is definitely a target for 'complete neutralization' by the US government.

Roman Polanski (0, Offtopic)

cgfsd (1238866) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652468)

If a child molester can avoid the US Government, he should have no problems.

Just don't give the US a freebie and step on US soil.

Re:Roman Polanski (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652524)

But, Polanski is a famous director and a darling of European arts and elite.

This guy isn't.

Re:Roman Polanski (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652630)

Not yet, he isn't. But that appears to be his plan: raise his profile sufficiently high that kidnapping him would raise even more questions (and virtually ensure plenty of people willing to step in and take his place).

Re:Roman Polanski (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652720)

The U.S. government would not have to kidnap him. All they have to do is indict him and request extradition.

All the foil-hatters like to talk about kidnapping and the like. But, it is not even remotely necessary.

Re:Roman Polanski (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652692)

But, Polanski is a famous director and a darling of European arts and elite.

Considering his movies won 6 Oscars since that event, I'm not sure that "European" is appropriate. Western, maybe.

Yes, he should. (2, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652470)

Because, he could probably be arrested and tried for espionage.

Re:Yes, he should. (1)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652662)

And it won't help him. It is just as easy to abduct & trial him regardless of location.

Pretty much every country will either ignore that or will even cooperate.

Re:Yes, he should. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32653184)

FUCK YOU,
"dave".

You are an ignorant piece of shit.

High Profile? (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652496)

"Can he build a high enough profile to protect himself from danger?"

Could JFK? Could John Lennon?

Re:High Profile? (3, Insightful)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652646)

Unless you buy into conspiracy theories, they were killed by lone nutters. The assassination of someone with a high profile wil draw a lot of unwanted attention on the way the US conducts this sort of business, as well as an public outcry.

Re:High Profile? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652700)

I think that would build him a higher profile, actually. I can't even imagine what kind of mad dash would happen to find out who owns Wikileaks...

One word: RENDITION !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32652516)

One word: RENDITION !!

You ain't never safe from RENDITION !!

But, the dude be axing for it, I tells ya !!

Baiting a nation's military is not a good idea (-1, Redundant)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652530)

This guy is playing a dangerous game. He's baiting a country's military. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that most of the members of those military organizations might not be his biggest fans.

In any case, his lawyers are right. For his own safety's sake, he needs to keep a low profile, not just avoid the US government.

Re:Baiting a nation's military is not a good idea (3, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652626)

He has balls. Bigger balls than your balls and bigger balls than my balls. I guess the point I'm trying to put across is that he has big balls.

So, even if he fails, he has shown that one man is able to wander around the world in a particular way credibly announcing he has sensitive government information without being David Kelly'd. Sure, he has to be white and rich, but that's better than nothing. If there's one thing we can learn from Assange, it's that we're mostly a bunch of fucking cowards not to stand up to Goliath, and we are getting the government we deserve. So, that's two things. Two things we can learn.

Re:Baiting a nation's military is not a good idea (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652880)

Heh... to refine your point, I'd say we (in the US) are definitely getting the government we've asked for, whether or not we deserve it.

Re:Baiting a nation's military is not a good idea (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653126)

He hasn't gotten David Kelly'd *yet*.

The US Government would like... (0, Troll)

augi01 (1209002) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652558)

to ask him a few questions. At which time he might fall down a flight of stairs, trip and bump his head on the desk, or mysteriously disappear into a classified detention center. These things happen, yanno?

"quarter million sensitive cables" (2, Interesting)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652570)

Maybe I missed that update, but last time I heard WikiLeaks never confirmed they had any sensitive cables, in fact, so far they have denied it.

Re:"quarter million sensitive cables" (1)

Revotron (1115029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652610)

I dunno, unshielded Ethernet can be pretty sensitive, especially in high-EMI environments.

Re:"quarter million sensitive cables" (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652648)

Like they would tell the truth about such a thing?

Re:"quarter million sensitive cables" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32652652)

Maybe I missed that update, but last time I heard WikiLeaks never confirmed they had any sensitive cables, in fact, so far they have denied it.

Yeah, but that's because we haven't asked them hard^H^H^H^Hpolitely enough. I mean, have they denied it under tort^H^H^Haggressive interrogation techniques? :)

At least you're asking the right question. The video was embarassing, but the cables, if they exist, are actually important. But as long as everybody's screaming about the video, nobody's talking about the cables.

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers."
- Pynchon, "Proverbs for Paranoids", from Gravity's Rainbow

Re:"quarter million sensitive cables" (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652786)

I give up.

What exactly IS a cable?

"State Department cables"
Are these memos? Orders? Operating procedures? What?

Re:"quarter million sensitive cables" (2, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652860)

To the best of my knowledge, "cable" is a general term for official communications that are conducted electronically, which dates back to the use of telegraphs.

Re:"quarter million sensitive cables" (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652930)

Depends on the decade and the operations needed in that part of the world to secure US interests.
Death squad lists with names neatly cross off, cash, assassinations, long term mercenary use, deals, arms, the use of explosives to shape politics, rendition, false flag operations, pro democracy groups, election issues, the use of the internet during elections, instant well funded grassroots groups, shaping of tame US press on issues.
vs your locked down DIA/CIA networks.

I was at the meeting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32652582)

Here's what I wrote for our newspaper [neurope.eu] I also interviewed him and Christian Engstrom, the Pirate MEP and that will be online later.

Good thing he got his passport back... (1)

dragisha (788) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652612)

At least he's cleared by Australian gov to travel around, finish work on that second video in another safe house, and hide safely, if he thinks he need to - in Iceland or elsewhere outside both Australia and US.

It's clear from TFA that I was probably right in another post [slashdot.org] abount Manning being false target. All he said is Wikileaks is helping Manning with his case.

"Free Assange" t-shirt (1)

AceJohnny (253840) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652636)

I'd like to preemptively buy a "Free Assange" wikileaks t-shirt. It doesn't exist yet, but I figure it's only a matter of time before it's necessary.

Attention whore (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652638)

By teasing over the alleged videos and documents, he's shifting the focus of attention to himself and how he's treated by the US.

So. Fucking. What?

His story is utterly, totally trivial next to the things that he's allegedly holding back.

So publish already, or shut up. Or publish, then shut up. Either way, just shut up, as Wikileaks itself is rapidly becoming a distraction from the real stories that it ostensibly exists to publish.

Re:Attention whore (3, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652916)

Wikileaks itself is rapidly becoming a distraction from the real stories that it ostensibly exists to publish.

Wikileaks is becoming one of its own valid stories: They're harassed at the international level by a government that keeps stating publicly that it supports freedom of press.
The leaks they have are only half the story, what people are willing to do to stop the leaks is the other half.

Re:Attention whore (1)

joeszilagyi (635484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653080)

The more this happens and the more that Wikileaks (as they have so far) stick by their guns, the more likely it will be that government and business interests will leak to them.

Learning more about Wikileaks everyday (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32652678)

While the idea of Wikileaks is still quite popular; with more revelations about Wikileaks, Assange is no longer the media darling with everyone taking a more critical view of the man behind Wikileaks.

America's oldest whistleblowing website Cryptome which Wikileaks described as a 'venerabe anti secrecy organization' has collated the most details about what happens within Wikileaks. Cryptome has published all of Wikileaks founder Assange's chats over a few years as well as Wikileaks insider details about how they need $55,000 to run servers but as much as $200,000 is used by the men who run Wikileaks for business class travel, hotels etc.

Read Cryptome to see that despite its idealistic mission, at some level Wikileaks behaves like another secret Government department with a couple of people deciding what is public interest.

Re:Learning more about Wikileaks everyday (1)

strack (1051390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653120)

cool story anonymous coward.

Paranoia (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652680)

After reading the comments in this post, I think I am going to go buy stock in Reynolds Aluminum. I never knew how many foil-hatters there were in the world and on the internet.

Assange should be paranoid (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652822)

Assange is spending his time publishing things that the most powerful people in the world want to keep private. If anyone has a reason to be paranoid, it is him -- this is not a case of tin foil hats, this is a case of a person with some really powerful enemies.

I am not very sympathetic and here's why... (0, Flamebait)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652684)

I lost all sympathy for him when I found out that he went on Colbert and admitted that Wikileaks went far beyond simply leaking the video and edited for "political impact." Don't believe me? Watch 3:00 to about 3:40 [motherjones.com] .

Furthermore, I have no sympathy for Reuters' guys because Reuters has a history of being embarrassed in that region by having its "correspondents" not only embed themselves with guerrilla forces, but often hires people who are working both sides (ex: the egg on Reuters' face when it came out that its subcontractors in Lebanon were actually members of Hezbollah).

Re:I am not very sympathetic and here's why... (2, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652790)

I lost all sympathy for him

Just as a matter of interest, how much sympathy do you feel for the good samaritans who were going to the aid of the wounded when the Americas shot and killed them?

Re:I am not very sympathetic and here's why... (5, Insightful)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652804)

Furthermore, I have no sympathy for Reuters' guys because Reuters has a history of being embarrassed in that region by having its "correspondents" not only embed themselves with guerrilla forces, but often hires people who are working both sides (ex: the egg on Reuters' face when it came out that its subcontractors in Lebanon were actually members of Hezbollah).

Well, how else are we to get both sides of the story? If journalists are only embedded on one side, then we're only getting half of the story, no? Journalism should be neutral, unless you're implying that we shouldn't hear their side unless it came directly from us. At that point, it is no longer journalism. Instead, it is full blown-out propaganda.

Re:I am not very sympathetic and here's why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32653190)

Journalism is neutral, bullets aren't. If you embed with combat forces in a war zone, you're likely to get killed. Don't piss and moan when this happens.

Re:I am not very sympathetic and here's why... (5, Interesting)

slyborg (524607) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652848)

And you have the information to back up this "often" claim, besides the one example you claim?

I know a guy who worked for a number of years for Reuters as a communications tech in war zones all over the world, and he never "worked both sides" whatever that means to you but whose life was endangered on a number of occasions. He was paid for it and he accepted the possible consequences. However, he, along with I would suspect are the majority of Reuters employees, did not work for for Hezbollah, and didn't, as you appear to suggest, deserve a couple of 30mm shells for doing his job.

Since this is the Internet, though, people who disagree with you of course deserve death, I suppose.

Re:I am not very sympathetic and here's why... (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653056)

So the government is the only one who gets to edit for political impact? Both sides inevitably play the propaganda game. At least Wikileaks made the entire video(that they had) available. Only the shorter, more YouTube friendly version was edited, and they never once tried to hide the fact. That's a lot more honesty than you can expect from the US military.

Dead man walking (1, Troll)

Moof123 (1292134) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652690)

Our US thuggery is fairly predictable. I'm sure the CIA or equivalent has already been given hit orders. It will be made to look like an accident (small plane crash, car crash, mystery disease, etc). Such is necessary for plausible deniability.

Poor bastard, he will be missed.

Re:Dead man walking (3, Insightful)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652898)

Our US thuggery is fairly predictable. I'm sure the CIA or equivalent has already been given hit orders.

You've seen a few too many movies.

More than likely, Assange is having his lawyers try to get some kind of amnesty deal in turn for testimony and/or returning the materials. The only danger to Assange is that he be arrested, held and tried like any other person who breaks the law. He may even get off at trial due to Constitutional protection of freedom of the press.

Playing up the danger does get Wikileaks more press, so bonus points for good guerrilla PR for Assange.

Easy Answer (1)

Timtimes (730036) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652694)

Can he build a high enough profile to protect himself from danger?" Not unless he were a former American President or VP who admittedly introduced torture into the war regime. I'd say he's got the half life of a gnat at this point. If I were him I'd make sure ALL those documents went public PRONTO. That's probably his best option. Enjoy.

Dead Man Walking x 5 (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652738)

x 5 because Assange may have U.S., British, Canadian, Australian and others looking to do a Mossad action on him as a warning to the others who have anything whatsover to do with Wikileaks.

Play in the bear cage? Better be the biggest bear.

Re:Dead Man Walking x 5 (1)

joeszilagyi (635484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653018)

If the system is built out with ruthless anonymity, security, and redundancy, the Internet may be the biggest bear of all, unless the governments take efforts to seize all the host names, which will then just push it all to torrent, or onto Freenet or onto YetToBeUnleashedNet. Can't stop all the signals. People have been trying that for generations.

The American public is so naive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32652800)

Can he build a high enough profile to protect himself from danger?

How naive could you be to believe that being "high profile" would offer any protection against the US military when they wanted to "neutralize" you? "He is a high profile public figure, let's think twice before shutting him up!" Yeah, right.

If the US military did anything to him, the only news you would hear about him (if at all) would be that he has gone "missing", and that's the end of it.

The American public is so naive that it is no longer even funny. The world's most powerful military working for a public with only the maturity level on par with children. God help the world.

Let us chat awhile. (4, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652894)

... the US military would like to ask him a few questions ...

Sadly, there was a time when this simply meant what it says. Now, the guy could end up getting water-boarded at some US secret prison in a third-world country - or New Jersey (shudder). Of course, the US doesn't torture people. Paying other people to do it is another matter.

Excuse me, there's a knock on the door ...

Nice eurotrash picture (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32652912)

Someone should leak that he looks like he should be in the movie Die Hard in that picture... I mean seriously, way to fuel the stereotypes...

Hey, Julian. Plan for the future. (3, Insightful)

joeszilagyi (635484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652964)

Even a future without you, one way or the other. Is Wikileaks structured--really, be honest--so that if you are forced to 'retire' that operationally it will be a blip on the radar? Is the project and it's resources designed to survive you?

Wait a minute (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32653076)

Julian doesn't claim to have the diplomatic cables, other people claim he does. This is very different.

It didn't work for Kennedy... (0, Troll)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653108)

these folks [killinghope.org] , random U.S. citizens [democracynow.org] , etc. why would they give pause for this guy?

Sound and fury, signifying nothing. (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653124)

Despite all the noise, the most sinister claims made about the US government are that

1) The self-confessed whistleblower, Manning, is being held "incommunicado" in Kuwait and
2) The military would like to question Assange.

Manning hasn't been disappeared, vaporized, liquidated, or what have you; there's not even an allegation that the UCMJ has been violated in his case. And there's nothing at all strange or nefarious about the military wanting to question someone who received classified material; they'd hardly be doing their job if they didn't. If I was Assange I'd certainly avoid the US, but ascribing evil intentions or actions to the US military or the government in general is at least premature.

leaking state secrets is treason (0)

dingDaShan (818817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32653200)

There is a reason for classification. Releasing classified documents knowingly is treason against the United States. It is written very clearly in laws. His lawyers know that he is breaking the law and are simply advising him as a lawyer should. This is not the US government being awful. This is a matter of this 'media darling' possibly performing treason against the United States of America. What do you think ANY country would do if he released their state secrets? What happens when he crosses a line and gets people killed because of this information that SHOULD? be available?
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