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Human Rights Groups Join Criticism of WikiLeaks

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the of-heat-and-kitchens dept.

Censorship 578

e065c8515d206cb0e190 writes "Several human rights organizations contacted WikiLeaks and pressed them to do a better job at hiding information that endangers civilians within their leaked documents. From the article: 'The letter from five human-rights groups sparked a tense exchange in which WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange issued a tart challenge for the organizations to help with the massive task of removing names from thousands of documents, according to several of the organizations that signed the letter. The exchange shows how WikiLeaks and Mr. Assange risk being isolated from some of their most natural allies in the wake of the documents' publication. ... An [Amnesty International] official replied to say that while the group has limited resources, it wouldn't rule out the idea of helping, according to people familiar with the reply. The official suggested that Mr. Assange and the human-rights groups hold a conference call to discuss the matter.'"

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HAPPY 8/9/10 to you !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33198952)

See you next 9/10/11 !!

Re:HAPPY 8/9/10 to you !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33198966)

Who is #1?

!#6

Re:HAPPY 8/9/10 to you !! (1, Offtopic)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199068)

Er, for the rest of us, it will actually be Sept 8th, 2010 (8/9/10). I don't know why Americans insist in writing the date the wrong way around...

Re:HAPPY 8/9/10 to you !! (3, Insightful)

hldn (1085833) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199154)

huh? today is 10/8/9..

nice (5, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#33198982)

An Amnesty official replied to say that while the group has limited resources, it wouldn't rule out the idea of helping, according to people familiar with the reply. The official suggested that Mr. Assange and the human-rights groups hold a conference call to discuss the matter.

Mr. Assange then replied: "I'm very busy and have no time to deal with people who prefer to do nothing but cover their asses. If Amnesty does nothing I shall issue a press release highlighting its refusal," according to people familiar with the exchange.


Kind of comes off as a narcissistic jerk here.

Re:nice (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33199000)

Kind of comes off as a narcissistic jerk here.

He *IS* a narcissistic jerk. And, pro or con, I predict an appointment at Gitmo.

Re:nice (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199396)

Kind of comes off as a narcissistic jerk here.

He *IS* a narcissistic jerk. And, pro or con, I predict an appointment at Gitmo.

I predict a nasty reception for the US in the future if they start detaining Australian citizens without even attempting to have them arrested, charged and extradited. Its one thing if you pick them up in Afghanistan, quite another if you abduct them from a country officially allied to the US.

The USA can assassinate US Citizens. (1, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199440)

Do you really believe that any law would stand in the way of military objectives? Look at US law. Look at the fact that a US citizen is currently on the governments hitlist. The US government has the capability to capture or kill anybody anywhere in the world if they become an armed combatant.

I don't think that will happen to Julian Assange, but lets not pretend like the US government wouldn't do it.

Re:nice (5, Insightful)

RabbitWho (1805112) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199046)

Amnesty International are an incredible organization that are making real change on a daily basis. I haven't read much of the leaks, but if they're worried about this then suddenly I'm worried.
Mr. Assange should show a little respect for an organization that have educated and mobilized so many people around the world with real life consequences for human rights. Guess he's too busy talking about himself to every journalist he can find.

Re:nice (1, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199204)

Look, you either have a: freedom of the press, or b: you give it up for "safety of civilians". There isn't an imbetween.

However, this would never be an issue in the first place had the gov't released the information via FOIA. It wouldn't have had this much coverage. [techdirt.com] Read that and you'll understand why Amnesty International attacking Wikileaks is avoiding the real problems entirely.

Re:nice (5, Insightful)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199294)

Look, you either have a: freedom of the press, or b: you give it up for "safety of civilians". There isn't an imbetween.

Right. Guess we've just hallucinated the last hundred years or so.

Only fools see such issues as black and white. The statement you've just made sounds every bit as retarded as Bush and his "You're either with us or against us" nonsense. Mature adults understand that life is a series of compromises rather than a list of ultimatums.

Re:nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33199382)

Only fools see

sounds every bit as retarded as

Mature adults understand

*sings* One of these things, is not like the other things... */sings* [youtube.com]

Re:nice (2, Informative)

RabbitWho (1805112) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199348)

What? Of course there's an in between. If there wasn't an in between then the names and addresses and phone numbers of ever celebrity or criminal or person of interest would be up on the Internet.

Re:nice (5, Insightful)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199432)

Look, you either have a: freedom of the press, or b: you give it up for "safety of civilians". There isn't an imbetween.

Wow, talk about false dilemma! You have a serious lack of imagination if you cannot think of any way the press could responsibly report on the actual conduct of the war without endangering operational details and local friendlies? Let's try this:

American troops swept into this village in NW Afghanistan today after receiving information about a Taliban arms cache. Three insurgents were killed, as was a civilian caught in the crossfire.

versus

The 23rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne (strength 120 men, two APCs, 10 HMMVs), based in gridsquare* 423-12 sent a single platoon (strength 18 men, 4 HHMVs) swept into the village of Almar after receiving a tip from local tribal elder Khalifa Abdullah. Three insurgents were killed after they called in Apache support that is 16 minutes away from the airbase at 412-22 in Herat, as well as one civilian. The soldiers seized 12 AK-47s and 4 RPG-7s and an IED kit that was reverse-engineered and so now they are jamming the particular RF bands used to trigger it.

Do you see the difference? There's just no need for that kind of detail, especially where it's irrelevant to reporting the actual story. I will be the first to say that I don't trust the Army not to overclassify the hell out of the operation and generally apply a coating of whitewash. The logic that means that therefore it's OK to release sensitive operational details, however, escapes me entirely.

*I read the Wikileaks documents, most of them had 10-digit grids. I have no idea how anyone could consider that having locations down to the centimeter is at all relevant to the journalistic story. The events happened, the American public absolutely deserves to get the clean truth. I'm not disputing that bit.

Re:nice (1)

xmorg (718633) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199464)

True but if you are X contractor or X iraqi/afghani whos name appears in a document for all teh world to see and you get assassinated or have your family killed by someone who read wiki leaks, you never got a trial or due process.

Re:nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33199310)

"Amnesty International are an incredible organization"

pics or it didn't happen

Re:nice (2, Interesting)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199062)

Hmm. Is it narcissistic, or is it perhaps the typical OSS response of "you want to help? Ok, then show me the code you're writing".

It's easy for anyone to criticize any project. How do you propose to identify those who have useful skills and are genuinely trying to help a particular project?

Re:nice (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33199180)

That's a terrible analogy. People's lives aren't at stake if an OSS project comes out with shitty documentation. If Wikileaks lacked the manpower to properly scrub names from the documents, they shouldn't have released them.

Re:nice (4, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199312)

But lives are at stake if the information is not leaked either, since the leaks have proved that the US military forces sometimes act ... rashly. That kind of behaviour only gets worse when it stays secret.

Does an Afghan civilian prefer to die from a US missile or a Taliban bullet? How can wikileaks estimate the number of deaths in each alternative?

Re:nice (4, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199412)

That's a terrible analogy

Not really. Wikileaks may be a much more life-and-death situation than writing OSS code, but the notion of "You want to help? Then help!" is pretty apt..

I worry that the multi-million dollar "human rights" organizations sometimes get too cozy with the people who are in power. I'm not saying Amnesty International is necessarily guilty of this, but there were lots of "human rights organizations" running around Yugoslavia in the late 90s that were playing both sides of the fence, getting their mission mixed up with the very complex political situation and passing intelligence on to the people who deal in intelligence, sometimes at the cost of human lives. I saw this with my own all-American eyes, and it's one reason why some people in the Balkans came to resent some of the aid groups..

The US is also not above putting enormous pressure on the NGOs and human rights groups, demanding collusion for access. It can get very murky.

The "mission" in Afghanistan is such a cocked-up mess that there's nothing clear about any of it. You're not going to help a country by invading it, playing unprotected civilians against the enemy, while playing footsie with Pakistan, whose intelligence service is in league with the Taliban (after taking billions from the US in military aid). Remember, the Taliban are the guys we armed to the teeth a while back to fight the Russians, who are now our friends. And we originally went there to get rid of Al Qaeda, the enemy, who were funded by Saudi Arabia, our friends, who got rich because we just couldn't bring ourselves to try to get off oil back in the '80s.

It's all complicated shadows, and I don't see blaming Wikileaks for throwing a little light on the subject. This is what Jefferson was talking about when he said "avoid foreign entanglements".

Re:nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33199304)

Hmm. Is it narcissistic, or is it perhaps the typical OSS response of "you want to help? Ok, then show me the code you're writing".

Uh, no. The typical OSS user complaint is, "Why can't you get MythTV to support my brand of remote? I want it now!"

This is more like, "Hey, buddy, you know you are getting hundreds of Afghan civilians executed because they were trying to work against an oppressive theocracy? We are a nonprofit with limited resources, but can you get on the concall to talk about how we can help you to reduce the number of innocents you're getting slaughtered here?"

Re:nice (3, Insightful)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199328)

Hmm. Is it narcissistic, or is it perhaps the typical OSS response of "you want to help? Ok, then show me the code you're writing".

It's still a bullshit response.

One doesn't need to know how to find a solution in order to identify a problem. It's rather how the human species gets from point A to B. Fundamentally, this is why criticism is generally valid, and "the typical OSS response" is so reviled by developers and non-developers alike. It's a response that's aggressive, unhelpful, and, frankly, quite rude. No person is going to be inclined to help someone who is so rude. I understand that application support is tiresome and draining on developers who often answer the same question over and over or make the same argument over and over. It sucks, but reacting rudely is simply the worst possible choice. You alienate rather than build a community. It's anathema to the basic ideals behind OSS.

Re:nice (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199394)

It's easy for anyone to criticize any project. How do you propose to identify those who have useful skills and are genuinely trying to help a particular project?

I don't know, maybe by having that conference call Amnesty International was asking for?

Re:nice (1, Insightful)

Albinoman (584294) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199414)

Amnesty's sole purpose is to support the rights of humans everywhere. They should be having a huge outcry over the things found in the leak. A human rights group should be an authority on what is right and wrong. Instead they are calling for censorship. What could a meeting accomplish other than expressing our freedoms less? It's not like he's going to convince the Amnesty rep that what he's asking is entirely counter to their cause. Ever consider he might be right to out them too? You don't call a meeting so you can get someone to change your mind.

They're worried that putting Afghan's names out in the press releases might hurt them, yet seem rather indifferent to soldiers going on shooting sprees? I suppose technically you're aren't hurt if you're dead. Besides, I don't really believe in a country with a %20 literacy rate, that there are a lot of Internet using, English reading militants sifting through 76,000 documents looking for a reasons to kill their neighbor. If they want to kill them they don't need an excuse.

The sad part? (5, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 4 years ago | (#33198992)

I hate the need for wikileaks, if not wikileaks directly.

Freedom of the press was supposed to be a balance between this and the traditional media. However, with the major news outlets falling over themselves to appease different market segments, real news gets lost in the translations. Real information is not reported when it should be, letting situations like Iraq happen.

Re:The sad part? (4, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199018)

The problem is, thus far these leaks of U.S. "secrets" have revealed *NOTHING* that anyone with eyes and common sense did not already know. Except the names of those sources that are surly now on someone's "death list". In fact, nothing at all other than the possibility of these sources being murdered has come of the "leak" at all.

Re:The sad part? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33199028)

I'd be surly too, if some jackass leaked secret info that put me on a death list.

Re:The sad part? (1)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199038)

Except the names of those sources that are surly now on someone's "death list". In fact, nothing at all other than the possibility of these sources being murdered has come of the "leak" at all.

Yeah, and since they are foreigners, it's not like they are real people, right?

The ironic thing is that this has the potential to result in more civilians getting killed than the civilians the leaker and wikileaks were ostensibly protecting by airing the US military's dirty laundry.

Re:The sad part? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199140)

Except the names of those sources that are surly now on someone's "death list". In fact, nothing at all other than the possibility of these sources being murdered has come of the "leak" at all.

And hey, that's really nothing at all, right?

Re:The sad part? (-1, Flamebait)

arazor (55656) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199198)

These people already put themselves on "death lists" by associating with various foreign military organizations. If a few more deaths put a real end to the iraq and afghanistan wars it would be worth it.

Re:The sad part? (4, Insightful)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199344)

That's right, it's their fault for siding with the western capitalist pigdogs over the greater glory of Islamic Justice!

Seriously, I expect your kinds of responses from the fascist theocratic assholes whom we're currently fighting, but it's rather sickening to see such behavior from a supposedly educated, enlightened, and tolerant citizen of the free world. I guess every society has it's collaborators.

You are an idiot. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199376)

I highly suggest you read up on the spying business before you make a comment. You assume people in these situations have much choice in the matter as of who to associate with, as if there are human rights and as if there isn't torture going on, or bombs dropping on them, or the fact that they are starving. In some cases the only group capable of helping them is the USA. There literally is nobody else. The Taliban is not going to give these people a better life. The Taliban wont give them freedom. The Taliban won't give them food, water, medicine, education, limited human rights, and honestly having limited human rights beats not having any. The warlord or the US government, which do you think would give you a better life if you had to choose?

Re:The sad part? (3, Insightful)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199206)

The possibility of these sources being murdered? How about the actual fact of at least one Afghan tribal elder -- Khalifa Abdullah -- who was murdered because one E3 did not appreciate the actual risk to real life human beings from releasing these documents.

I am quite sympathetic to the argument that the documents needed be redacted. The American public needs to know about the nature and results of the operations. They do not, however, need to know exactly which grid-square they took place on, the composition and distribution of our forces or the names of the locals brave enough to cooperate with us. Those details are irrelevant to the policy questions.

In an ideal world, the government would redact the documents appropriately and the American public would be given a clear and accurate picture of what was going on without revealing operational information. It is utterly unenviable that we must chose between the palpably bad choices between the status quo (classifying everything and presenting the public with a Potemkin Village) or the Wikileaks solution (revealing operational details that endanger our troops and allies).

Re:The sad part? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33199232)

Wow. Perhaps you could collect further writings into a compendium of knowledge - may I suggest "Frosty Piss' Big Book of Unsubstantiated Claims"?

Re:The sad part? (5, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199352)

The problem is, thus far these leaks of U.S. "secrets" have revealed *NOTHING* that anyone with eyes and common sense did not already know. Except the names of those sources that are surly now on someone's "death list". In fact, nothing at all other than the possibility of these sources being murdered has come of the "leak" at all.

Oh, shit! Who are you working for these days? The same guys who did the whole "babies on the floor" thing for the first Iraq War? Oh, no, brilliant stuff. You guys are on top of your game, too, though.

When I saw that some asshole who didn't play by the rules was going to reveal the fact that the Taliban are using missiles we gave them back in the 80s to try and shoot our copters down, I was thinking "Uh oh - disaster!" And then when the documents revealed that accounts given by the military were wrong and that many more civilians died, I thought it would be a real shit storm. Don't even get me started on Task Force 373 extrajudicially executing people. Or the fact that many of the military operations are now classified and under the direct control of the CIA. You'd think in a place like the US that would generate a little buzz. Even the fact that the Taliban is growing stronger every day, despite official reports to the contrary seemed like a huge turd on top of a shit sandwich.

But you guys wrap all that up with "No Big Deal," and feed it to all the media outlets who depend on you for access to government officials? Fucking. Brilliant. They don't even have to pretend to have reported on those things before. They just say, basically, the emperor has clothes, and then Joe Sixpack nods his little beer storage unit up and down and switches back to WWE. I know, and now they're all uppity about this Australian guy possibly getting innocent people killed when we're laying civs out left and right - with secret police and secret budgets! God bless the US of Amnesia.

Anyway, I gotta get going. No, some more disinformation work with energy execs, and then later we have to pretty up the apologetics about the net neutrality crap.

Keep up the good work! See you at the Press Corps dinner.

Re:The sad part? (5, Informative)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199054)

And a point that isn't made enough: people complain that wikileaks didn't do a good enough job of redacting the info themselves yet wikileaks requested help redacting sensitive info from the pentagon(they would after all have all the knowledge required to pick out what could potentially reveal their sources in a roundabout manner after all) but they got no reply other than attempts to shut them up entirely.

In an ideal world wikileaks would not be necessary.

Re:The sad part? (1)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199146)

Someone please mod this up if it's true.

Re:The sad part? (5, Insightful)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199238)

It is, but nobodies listening.

Re:The sad part? (3, Insightful)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199264)

It is very true and there is a very large very powerful misinformation campaign going on against Wikileaks right now. Amnesty International does do good work, but they also bend over backwards to various governments requests in order to get anything that they would deem "more important". They've done it in the past, and I fscking HATE to be crying conspiracy but this just stinks too much.

Wikileaks should have never released those docs. (0, Troll)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199330)

It's so fkn simple Wikileaks should have never released those documents.

Documents with names, locations, and sources, should never be saved on any computer system. If they must be saved they should never be viewed by anybody who does not have Top Secret clearance. It puts lives at risk just for Assange to be able to view it. If Assange was able to view it, Bradley Manning is directly to blame and if people have died and importantly if Wikileaks dies, all blame should go to Bradley Manning. He is the moron who did what he did after swearing an oath. He is the moron who then went to Adrian Lamo of all people and openly compromised himself further.

Bradley Manning should of never have had Top Secret clearance. Julian Assange should have never have had those documents. Those documents should have never have been stored on any computer system including names and locations. That stuff should be code names no matter what.

Re:The sad part? (2, Insightful)

steve buttgereit (644315) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199340)

You have to be joking. That anyone would expect the Pentagon to abet the compromise of its own classified material is as assine as the idea that civilians don't die in wars and that the enemy is always given a trial prior to actions on the battlefield.

Mr. Assange had a clear choice and clearly he's made it. This choice was whether or not sacrificing the lives of others for your own political objectives is moral course of action. Clearly and without hesitation Mr. Assange made the choice that yes, his political objectives was paramount to the lives of those he outed. The fact that the Pentagon didn't save him from his own philosophy but rather forced him to accept its consequences is a side show. The choice was still his and his alone (OK, perhaps his 'organization') and it was a choice he made willingly.

Re:The sad part? (4, Insightful)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199366)

So true. This one time when I tried to rob a bank, I asked the cops for help so that I could do it safely without hurting anyone. But the fucking pigs just wanted to stop me. Clearly it wasn't my fault that people died.

Re:The sad part? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33199390)

I think the Pentigon just is about ready to redact Assange and his servers from orbit.

I for one, support our orbital redaction overlords.

Web of Trust. Access Control. (1, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199006)

It appears Mr. Assange does not know the basics of information security. Wikileaks does not have a system through which to vet it's insiders. These insiders who are supposed to help Mr. Assange in editing out or redacting the names could very well be foreign intelligence agents sifting through the data specifically to get the list of names to sell to Al Qaeda, Taliban or whomever has the money to pay for it. I expected more from Mr. Assange, if he does not take his information security a lot more seriously how do we trust this man to keep these secrets safe? The leakage of these secrets can cost lives, so this is very serious.

Who vetted Julian Assange? How do we know he's not foreign intelligence himself?

Re:Web of Trust. Access Control. (2, Interesting)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199030)

Who vets the reporters for the new york times or any other news agency?
There's a long tradition of documents getting leaked to news agencies over the years.

As a general rule the moment state secrets reach a reporter/news agency based in another country who are citizens of another country they cease to be secrets and the system supposed to keep them safe has failed utterly in every way.

The FBI and CIA. (3, Interesting)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199278)

Who vets the reporters for the new york times or any other news agency?
There's a long tradition of documents getting leaked to news agencies over the years.

As a general rule the moment state secrets reach a reporter/news agency based in another country who are citizens of another country they cease to be secrets and the system supposed to keep them safe has failed utterly in every way.

When classified documents get released to the New York Times the FBI and CIA get involved. The FBI has files on every American, especially journalists who work for the New York Times. The CIA probably has files on them too. They know who is loyal to the USA and who might be attached to foreign intelligence. The fact that we have domestic counter intelligence agencies that exist specifically to determine who the foreign spies are is why you don't see classified documents with the identities of sources included in them.

The last time classified documents of these sort were released, it was the covert action quarterly. For all who don't know what CAQ was http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CovertAction_Quarterly [wikipedia.org] , it was controlled by Philip Agee. Phillip Agee was a CIA agent who may have become a double agent for the KGB. He went on to release the identities of CIA officers through the CAQ publication.

The fact is the US Government considered him to be a traitor. In Julian Assanges case he was from Australia so it's not exactly the same, but if his publication released the identities of sources or released information which assisted the Taliban in determining the sources, if Julian Assange does not want to be looked at in history as being another Philip Agee he has to do everything within his power to protect the sources. There are lives at stake, and if lives have been lost he's just the same as Phillip Agee, Robert Hansen, or any of those others.

Re:Web of Trust. Access Control. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33199112)

These insiders who are supposed to help Mr. Assange in editing out or redacting the names could very well be foreign intelligence agents

US agents, more likely.

A team editing project will not be able to maintain security about the upcoming release. The risk is that the editing delay will be used by teams of US plumbers to stop the leaks.

Re:Web of Trust. Access Control. (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199342)

This.

Though I support the idea of them plugging *some* leaks. If they have a week or two to get any operatives that may still be working out of harms way then that would be a good thing.

The paranoia in the US may have some foundation in reality but its been taken to an extreme. Hell, the US has far more operatives than any other country. They have more operatives in Canada than Canada has operatives. The CSUS IT branch specifically warns new hires(who don't know anything important anyways) against anyone that looks/sounds like they may possibly be from south of the border, and a lot of the reason the US agents are in Canada is just to make sure that Canada itself is keeping tight security!

Re:Web of Trust. Access Control. (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199172)

Our students were told that they could be asses or incompetents but not both; however, every time I repeat this, someone tells me they have a counterexample to it.

Re:Web of Trust. Access Controle. (5, Insightful)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199202)

The correct answer, and ideal situation, would be for the Pentagon to be redacting the personal information and releasing these documents themselves in the first place. Instead, they choose to classify documents in order to manipulate public opinion. Manipulating public opinion blinds voters to the reality of the situation. If voters don't have the complete picture, they can't make an informed vote and we have a de-facto totalitarian state. Military personnel intentionally trying to manipulate public opinion by hiding information (as they've admitted that they do) should be considered an act of treason. Wikileaks is doing what they can because the Pentagon refuses to do their job.

Re:Web of Trust. Access Controle. (1)

flyingkillerrobots (1865630) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199400)

We complain enough about government bloat. Would you like have to hire 1,000 auditors to review all this information, and another 100 vetters to vet them, and another 10 vetters to vet those vetters? Most of the documents released by wikileaks were the sort that are compiled quickly at a debriefing, and just thrown into a 'classified' bin, often never looked at again. To have the government review everything by default, is kinda psychotic. The FOIA gives the public a means to review classified documents of interest and see if they they should still be kept secret. It might be understaffed with years of backlog, but it's a lot of information.

Re:Web of Trust. Access Controle. (2, Interesting)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199438)

You may complain about government bloat, but I would rather see them hire the number of people needed to get the job done right. An informed public is the bedrock of a qualified electorate. If that's what it takes to make sure that people can make an informed vote and not be manipulated by the people in power, then do what needs to be done and stop scrimping.

Free Speech (0, Flamebait)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199008)

It's time that people understand that information wants to be free. And we the people should want information to be free.

One of the secrets released was that the Taliban are quite a bit more violent and willing to kill innocents than has been reported. It has sums of civilian casualties created by the NATO (US) forces and the Taliban. Yeah, these guys are scum bags.

More importantly, wasn't Obama supposed to have the most transparent administration?

But most importantly, government secrets in the open are inherently good for the People. Why is there not an understanding of this? 9/11 did not teach us how bad the terrorists were. We already knew that. Instead, we should have learned that government cannot, under any circumstances, be trusted.

Re:Free Speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33199058)

You want information to be free. Information doesn't want anything, and it just told me it rejects your attempts to anthropomorphize it.

Re:Free Speech (3, Insightful)

Meshach (578918) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199066)

More importantly, wasn't Obama supposed to have the most transparent administration?

To be fair, all the information comes from 2006 or earlier; way before Obama came into power.

Re:Free Speech (4, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199090)

It's time that people understand that information wants to be free. And we the people should want information to be free.

One of the secrets released was that the Taliban are quite a bit more violent and willing to kill innocents than has been reported. It has sums of civilian casualties created by the NATO (US) forces and the Taliban. Yeah, these guys are scum bags.

More importantly, wasn't Obama supposed to have the most transparent administration?

But most importantly, government secrets in the open are inherently good for the People. Why is there not an understanding of this? 9/11 did not teach us how bad the terrorists were. We already knew that. Instead, we should have learned that government cannot, under any circumstances, be trusted.

Information wants to be free is a ridiculous quote coming from a person who does not understand the concept of the GPL. Information is power, in some cases the power over life and death. In some cases information released about you, can help your enemies plan to kill you. Personal information like names and identities have to be protected. The fact that these documents stored the names of informants is ridiculous in itself because all names in these sorts of documents should be replaced by code names, code words, etc. Redacting the names is not good enough. Also locations have to be changed so as to confuse the enemy. Anything which can allow the enemy to determine anything has to be changed.

Only a government or spy agency has the tools and skills necessary to deal with this. One man, Julian Assange, cannot possibly be qualified to do this type of work. If he is qualified then qualified through what experience? The point is that the global community is losing trust in Julian Assange. Unless Julian Assange can be trusted Wikileaks cannot be trusted. If Julian Assange cannot handle the task of declassifying the documents through a strict secure process, then he needs to find someone or some entity with the expertise to do just this.

Re:Free Speech (4, Informative)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199244)

I believe that it's, actually, a quote often taken out of context. My understanding is that the quote goes something like "Information wants to be free but, at the same time, information wants to be private". I don't think the original writer intended it to be a total endorsement of all information being free.

wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33199098)

I don't even know where to start....the naive idea that information wants to be free or that someone voted you up. I disagree that exposing all secrets is a good thing. Do you divulge to your co-workers how much you earn? Or a more appropriate question is, the employer who hired and is paying you to work - does he have the right to know your health problems and decided whether to hire you, or enroll you into the company health plans? Just because you pay your taxes, it does not entitle you to *everything*. You can't just walk into a military base and ask to see the f-22 or even fly it.

But if you don't trust the government at all, I hear Somalia is doing a great job governing itself.

Re:Free Speech (3, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199152)

t's time that people understand that information wants to be free. And we the people should want information to be free. O

Great - go ahead and start by posting your SSN, home address, and full medical history. Then we'll talk about how much information "wants to be free"

Re:Free Speech (4, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199186)

Yeah, see, and here's the thing... information, just like any other inanimate object, doesn't want anything. it simply *is*, and personifying it is akin to using the passive voice to try and sound authoritative when you're really just pushing your own opinion.

There is no real reason that everyone should be able to know everything all the time. First off, that's on its face impossible, and when less hyperbolic is merely impractical. Plus, the facts of the matter are:
- Most people aren't interested in actually knowing what's going on
- Most people aren't clued in to understand even if they suddenly develop an interest
- Facts without context aren't particularly helpful
- Some things shouldn't be known by some people (particularly the proverbial "them"; the outsider. the "not us")

Would it be nice if citizens had more information about the workings of their government? yes. and on domestic policy that's totally fine. However, documents dealing with the prosecution of a war are different, and putting them on the internet is completely irresponsible. This should be perfectly evident by the fact that the Taliban have stated their intention, and probably have already started, killing Afghan civilians who are mentioned as helping NATO forces.

So, now we have a situation where people who were helping us are going to get killed for helping us. That makes our job over there harder as we won't have those sources, and people are going to be a lot less willing to cooperate in the future because what if another pissed off nerd who never should have joined the army decides he's going to go all Deep Throat and leaks those names onto the internet, thinking he's doing something noble?

Well, you know, I think I'm OK with *NOT* having that information if it means there is less chance that those people are going to be killed and that the job that my friends over there are doing is going to become harder than it already was.

Information wants to be free my ass. This isn't a math formula and isn't a basic, universal truth about the universe. Some stuff needs to be secret. Loose lips sink ships and all that jazz.

Re:Free Speech (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33199208)

It's time that people understand that information wants to be free. And we the people should want information to be free.

If you think Julian Assange wants information to be free, can somebody please explain to me why I received this take-down request from him ten years ago?
This was to remove a transcript of his court case, and yes, I did remove it. (Note, I don't own mindrape.org any more.)

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                Subject: media articles
                To: caffeine@mindrape.org
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                Remove:

                                www.mindrape.org/media/queen_vs_julian_assange.txt

                Or at least have the decency to s/JULIAN PAUL ASSANGE/MENDAX

                While it is true that copies of the document cocerned are available
                via austlii and scale+, the above url is the only version of this
                document to be indexed by general web search engines i.e this document
                is on page two of a google `assange' search.

                Please get rid of it. Not everyone understands.

                --
                Julian Assange |If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people
                                                            |together to collect wood or assign them tasks
                proff@iq.org |and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless
                proff@gnu.ai.mit.edu |immensity of the sea. -- Antoine de Saint Exupery

             

If they fought war instead... (1, Insightful)

datakid23 (1706976) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199034)

Maybe those human rights groups should spend their time more vigorously fighting the wars, corruption and shenanigans that make wikileaks such a required global asset.

Torn (2, Interesting)

vgbndkng (1806628) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199042)

I'm still torn in regards to Wikileaks. On the one hand, transparency can be a phenomenal thing. On the other, it can't help but bleed interpretation, which in and of itself can lead to misgivings and the perversion of a "truth". Granted, there are concurrently 4 million different truths all bubbling away. Ew, interpretation just reared its ugly head. Does the right hand always want to know what the left is doing? In a perfect world, yes. In this one? I just don't know. Yep, still torn. I contributed absolutely nothing. Flog me.

This information is KILLING PEOPLE (0, Troll)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199048)

If I ran into Assange right now, I'd kill him with my own bare hands. He's a traitor.

This is what was told to me. There's some truth to this too. I tend to think of Wikileaks as a hero, but maybe they aren't. Maybe they are just a tool, like a gun or a hammer. A tool is neutral. It accomplishes a goal. It is neither good nor evil.

I'm wondering if I should consider this leak "good", or simply an "effective use of a tool".

I don't think it's evil as a whole, but if people are dying due to the individual parts, then perhaps the issue is not so simple as "good || bad".

I don't know.

Re:This information is KILLING PEOPLE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33199086)

He/they are indeed a hero.

Re:This information is KILLING PEOPLE (2, Insightful)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199138)

If I ran into Assange right now, I'd kill him with my own bare hands. He's a traitor.

And you'd be a simple murderer.

BTW, he's not from the US (and easy to assume you are since that is one of the few western country where they pull the traitor card so freely) so he can't really be a traitor against you/your country.

Re:This information is KILLING PEOPLE (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199228)

No, once someone is famous murdering them is called assassination. The difference is we'd likely learn the GP's middle name, too.

Re:This information is KILLING PEOPLE (1)

Hairy1 (180056) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199142)

Assange isn't a traitor because he isn't a US Citizen. Manning was a traitor. That said Assange should put more thought into the released information. There is a need for a safe way for people to blow the whistle on corruption. However, nothing to date in the Manning releases seem to show anything but normal operations. And the raw volume of data does expose people and put them in danger. The real WTF here is how a relatively junior ranking officer got such wide access. The Video of the reporter being killed actually had some value; it graphically displayed the rules of engagement on the ground, that is it was open season on anyone moving. The subsequent documents have not created nearly as much effect while potentially harming innocents.

Re:This information is KILLING PEOPLE (1)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199292)

There are Australian troops in Afghanistan and Assange is most certainly an Aussie last time I checked. He has put their lives in danger as surely as he has put the US troops in danger there. The Taliban won't differentiate. He is indeed a traitor by any measure of the word.

Wikileaks is a good yet naive concept. (1, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199150)

Wikileaks can only work as a concept in the same way that the UN works as a concept. You get all the governments of the world to agree to support Wikileaks with technological support, experience, advisory support, financial support, and so on. This would allow Wikileaks to work. The problem is that no government on planet earth is going to support Wikileaks releasing the names of informants. Once Wikileaks passed that phase it became a foreign intelligence instrument itself because now it's actually assisting the Taliban and is no longer neutral in the information warfare theater.

Wikileaks should have NEVER under any circumstances for any reasons released information which could lead to the death of sources. The sources in my opinion are more important than the Wikileaks project itself. Wikileaks exists to protect the sources, and to protect civilians from abusive regimes. Wikileaks did not however develop the appropriate legal, technological, and physical structures necessary to actually protect certain kinds of information. First of all Wikileaks has complete faith in AES256, and while the US government uses it and it's difficult to crack it may be crackable through mechanisms or math we don't know about. Wikileaks also does not seem to have a system to determine who can view what, who can access what, and if they do have such a system there is no indication as to how it would work.

They need an American with Top Secret Clearance to work with Julian Assange on certain documents. This requires working closely with the US government. They'd need to do this with every government around the world for the exact same reason, so they'd need people from all governments who they can contact and work with. This would present major information security problems which I don't see how they'd be able to resolve. Foreign intelligence agencies around the world know Julian Assanges face, and even if he hides his identity they have trained hackers to target him. This puts him and his information in constant danger and under constant attack. This constant attack means there will be nobody for Julian Assange to trust, so how can Wikileaks have the web of trust necessary to get anything done?

I would say it would be very very difficult to do without government support of some kind. So once again if a government is supporting Julian Assange then can the global community trust him? There are so many issues here that Julian Assange is very probably going to have to resign his position over this. Wikileaks can survive this, I just don't know if it will survive with Julian Assange as it's editor.

Re:This information is KILLING PEOPLE (1)

skyride (1436439) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199250)

"A tool", thats quite an interesting way to look at it, never really thought of that before.

However, I do think the problem with your analysis is that you're trying to think of it in terms of black and white, rather than with any sense of scale. Good things come of this, and bad things come of this, its really just a case of deciding whether the outcome is overall net-positive or net-negative.

I tend to feel its net-positive. I know this is going to sound an incredibly cold and disconnected way to look at it, but people are dying, every day, due to a pointless rich-man's war. I do truly fear for the safety of anyone put in-danger by this leak, but if the end result is that the people responsible for every other death (which are orders of magnitude greater than what could possibly be caused by this leak), then I'm sure that's something that those people would willfully put their lives on the line for.

We live in a fucked up world, there's stupid people all over the planet doing stupid things on a daily basis, we are just the people stuck in the middle who are smart enough to recognise and decent enough to not become the puppet masters ourselves, but equally powerless to do anything about it.

Re:This information is KILLING PEOPLE (2, Interesting)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199254)

Just curious, but how can a non-US citizen be a traitor to the US? Beyond that, is WikiLeaks doing us a service or not? I'd argue it is. More good things come out when people know the truth versus just pretending everything is going to be ok without checking up. Of course, it does depend on the information, but then again, WikiLeaks doesn't dig it up, it's handed to them. One could argue that if person x wants to release data, they are going to do so, WikiLeaks or not. The difference here is that WikiLeaks has media exposure and can take data that would have been lost to noise and broadcast it loudly. Then again, I've always been the type of person who walks towards that noise in the dark. I could be scared of it and merely hope it goes away or I can confront it for what it is and deal with it. Sticking your head in the sand isn't going to make whatever is happening stop and yes, sometimes finding something out can be damaging on its own, but being informed about what's going on is always a good thing.

Info sec, trust, access control. (1, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199050)

Obviously my last post resulted in an immediate troll rating but I'm going to say it again.
The US government and governments around the world go through ridiculous means to keep this information secret. It's not stored on a laptop somewhere. It's stored in such a way so that only people with top secret security clearance can access it. This classification system is called access control. Anybody who knows about information security knows that in order to secure or keep information secret you need absolute control over who accesses it. You have to control it on the "eyes only" level in some cases and in other cases you have to minimize it to only people who have been fully vetted and checked so as to find out if they are a member of a foreign intelligence agency, or if they are a compromised individual who can be turned into an informant for a foreign intelligence agency.

Wikileaks does not appear to have any internal classifications or compartmentalization. If Julian Assange thinks he can just let entire organizations with hundreds or thousands of eyes access top secret information then hes naive. If he thinks he can come up with his own classification system without government support hes also probably naive but at least this would be a step in the right direction. If he gives the documents out to one wrong person it will get to the Taliban. If he does not take information security seriously it will get to the Taliban. The only solution is for Julian Assange to work with the US government on this.

The real question is who vetted Julian Assange? If he has these documents how do we know he isn't passing it along to some foreign government himself? It's a matter of who to trust and how would Julian Assange know who to trust in this situation assuming he really is an honorable individual? And if he is a corrupt individual how do we know we can trust him? With no government or state protecting him or doing the process of handling the web of trust, it's like not having a certificate authority, or not having a web of trust for PGP. You don't know if there is a man in the middle or if the person you communicate with is friend or foe, or just a neutral who sells information to friend and foe.

Re:Info sec, trust, access control. (3, Informative)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199114)

There was a simple solution to this... Let the US government go through the documents redacting sensitive names and locations.

Unfortunately they refused putting those afghans in danger.

Logistics. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199188)

The logistics of how do you allow the US government to do it difficult. First problem is finding a trusted rep of the US government. I suppose Julian Assange could have sent a copy to Adrian Lamo via PGP who could have sent it to the people who could properly take out the information which needed to be removed and then send it back to Adrian who sends it to Julian all via PGP.

Let's not pretend like this system is easy to implement or that the web of trust cannot be compromised. It would not be easy, but I accept that it would have been possible and that Julian Assange should not have released these documents without doing the right thing.

Re:Logistics. (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199272)

The logistics of this would be no problem for an organization such as the US military... They do much more complicated stuff all the time

And btw, you mean 'the US military shouldn't have refused', rather than 'that Julian Assange should not have released these documents without doing the right thing', right?

Re:Info sec, trust, access control. (3, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199222)

There was a simple solution to this... Let the US government go through the documents redacting sensitive names and locations.

Unfortunately they refused putting those afghans in danger.

That's the same line of thinking that says "Well you didn't shovel your walk -- so it's YOUR fault I slipped and fell.". Nobody made Assange post the documents. His actions are his own responsibility; no matter what fingers are pointed or what excuses are given, he is the one that published them.

Re:Info sec, trust, access control. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33199224)

Yeah, everyone can trust the US government, they never do wrong.

Idiot.

Re:Info sec, trust, access control. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33199314)

The real question is who vetted Julian Assange?

Well, who vetted these [washingtonpost.com] guys [cbsnews.com] ? I'm sure I could find a few others if I spent more than 30 seconds looking. How do we know if the US government has these documents, someone won't leak them? Oh wait, someone did. How do we know no-one else leaked them elsewhere. How can we trust *anyone*?

Answer: we choose someone to trust, and we do.

Why [wikipedia.org] should [wikipedia.org] we [wikipedia.org] trust [wikipedia.org] the [wikipedia.org] US [wikipedia.org] government [wikipedia.org] ?

Identities HUMINT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33199072)

It is most interesting that the “leaker” had access to human intelligence sources true identities. Within most of the Intel community HUMINT is Top Secret Code Word material. SCI under special handling and access controls. Guess we didn't consider their lives worth protecting.

Re:Identities HUMINT (1)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199192)

Remember that the ongoing theory (possibly confirmed) is that Manning (are whoever leaked the documents and blamed it on it was) was the provider of not only these documents, but rumor has it that some of it went towards the latest WAPO article about the intel community, and I likely predict that by summer's end Assange will have at least one or two more of these style releases from documents provided by Manning. Also, often some of the HUMINT level stuff tends to get "leaked" into SIPR during operations in country and other hectic times (the surge for example).

Re:Identities HUMINT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33199488)

Note: Most DOD HUMINT is conducted and recorded at the SECRET and thus SIPR level.

wikileaks is politically biased (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33199084)

That's the only thing I really dislike about them, it makes you think if they only leak documents that fit their points of view.

Re:wikileaks is politically biased (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199230)

As a funny-man once said; Reality has a strong liberal bias.

Wikileaks and Assange own this (4, Insightful)

steveha (103154) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199130)

Wikileaks and Julian Assange own this now. The good, and the ill, from publishing that information are on them. And it looks pretty ill to me.

According to Newsweek, a man named Khalifa Abdullah was killed [newsweek.com] after the release of these documents. So that's one man dead already. The Taliban has vowed [channel4.com] to hunt down and kill anyone who is a "spy", and they are using the Wikileaks information to do it, so there will be more. Some of the people listed in Wikileaks have disappeared [wtop.com] , hopefully into hiding rather than dead.

Julian Assange's stance on this is callous [registan.net] . He "insisted that any risk to informants' lives was outweighed by the overall importance of publishing the information." Okay, at least one man is dead now. What is that "overall importance"? I sure don't see it.

I'm also not buying his idea [wsj.com] that this is really the US military's fault, together with Amnesty International, for not helping him redact the critical info. Much of the info is years old. What was the big rush? If Wikileaks didn't have enough volunteers to vet the info carefully, why rush ahead and publish it anyway?

If I were Julian Assange, I wouldn't be sleeping well at night.

steveha

Re:Wikileaks and Assange own this (3, Insightful)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199218)

There was no 'big rush', the documents were in the hands of reporters for months prior to public release for fuck sake.

And why aren't you buying that it's not the US military's fault? They were given a pretty simple choice; help us redact or risk sensitive information falling through. A simple choice. No rush.

Re:Wikileaks and Assange own this (5, Interesting)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199286)

As a USMC Iraq combat vet, who has for the past few months been studying the Afghan situation extensively, I can say that this is a good thing. Anybody who is actually involved knows that the Paki, and more specifically ISI, have been a problem for us since the early 80's, and not much has changed. The Paki's have and will continue to say "What? Not us!" but they are full of shit. The fact that the politicians are relatively good at hiding this fact undermines the general public's knowledge about the situation, and therefore it is a major part of controlling public opinion about our war. The facts are that we send money to ISI (often bypassing paki authorities completely) who then have (sometimes rogue) officers directly funding everything from afghan warlords, to Al Queda, to Paki Talibs, and on down the line. The fact of the matter is that Pakistan has absolutely no interest in really getting rid of their extremists, on either border, because Islamabad has so much fear of India, the militants are a tool they plan to use if needed. They will only do enough to keep our money flowing to them, but not enough to truly alienate the extremists. Its enormously complicated, with factors such as Iran and Russia playing into the equation. Regardless, I just hope that Assange did a good enough job purging of intel that could jeopardize people, but when so much is being hid, this kind of knowledge should be made public, albeit perhaps a bit with a bit more ambiguous information. But the real interest here is that that at the moment, as do many of the officers and enlisted I have talked to who are active in "Ganny" agree that we should not be there. First, not only does history show us that attempted conquer after attempted conquer, (including Russia, the British, and Rome as the most cited examples) Afghanistan is not a place that has ever been receptive to foreign rule. Second, our objectives are far too abstract. I often hear conflicting statements from politicians, some say we are there to prevent a safe haven for terrorists, but if that is the case, there are more AQ in places like Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, UAE, and especially Pakistan than there are in Afghanistan. Not to mention the amount of funding flowing from third parties with interest in AQ and AQ like organizations that we do little about. We even fund the militant talibs with protection money for convoys! Others say we are there to help prevent Pakistan being overrun with terrorists (who we are afraid will attempt to take control of Paki's nukes), but if that is the case, why are we not forcing ISI and Paki to help destroy these enemies? It is because, as I said before, they don't want to! Others say we are there to help restore the people of Afghanistan to a "Representative Government" but I have multiple problems with this. One, the culture is not conductive to such things, there is far too much fighting between Uzbeks, Tajiks, Hazaras, Pashtuns, Foreign Arabs, et al. If they don't even claim to be Afghan, but rather claim their ethnicity, how can they unite to rule themselves? Sure we could do it for them, but we would be there for another 150+ years. Not something I think we are willing to do. The other question this brings up, is, "Where do you stop in your effort to "liberate" peoples from oppression?" I have been places I might consider worse than Iraq or Afghanistan (usually in Africa). So should we be "liberating" the people of Darfur(in Sudan), Somalia (I thought we learned our lesson there, apparently not with recent events) etc? I have said it before, and I will say it again, tactically, our military is pretty much capable of anything you throw at them. It is strategically that we have failed, and I blame this on a handful of issues. A few of these being, a blatant disrespect for learning histories lessons, the infiltration of the military system with political "control/influence", and the lack of ranks above 0-6 not having the balls to tell truth to power, because once you get stars on, your are no longer military, you are a politician (With a few exceptions!) who is more concerned with keeping your job. Things like this are why we have had an influx of disillusioned CIA, DOD, and military people writings books (I hope one day I join the ranks) that call out these and many more fallacies. Give the American people a noble cause with their interests truly at heart to fight for, and they will fight for it till they bleed to death. Lie and tell them something is noble when it is not, the lie will only last so long before large amounts of us start to wake up. Ok, I really could go on and on about this stuff, (maybe I should start a blog) but I think you get my point, so I'll shutup now.

Re:Wikileaks and Assange own this (3, Interesting)

Klinky (636952) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199298)

From the Newsweek article you linked to:

While it is unknown whether any of the men were indeed named in the WikiLeaks documents, it’s clear the Taliban believes they have been cooperating with Western forces and the Afghan government.

Re:Wikileaks and Assange own this (1)

DrugCheese (266151) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199362)

Ok so that's one man dead already related to these documents.

The documents show 50-100 dead civilians on average every month.

Which outweighs which.

Re:Wikileaks and Assange own this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33199500)

Book a flight under Assange'es name see what happens. ROFL I crack myself up.

The bigger revelation is how biased the ./ moderators have been towards Assange and his miscreant minions. Look at the last 5 Wikileak related stories and the posts in them modded troll, you will see the posts modded troll are actually main stream opinions the ./ moderators just cant support.

The real story is how alleged editors and bloggers have stuffed their balls into a jar to support wiki leaks under the guise of being against censorship.

Full circle (1)

Albinoman (584294) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199166)

So we go to war, supposedly to "protect our freedoms," having soldiers willing to lay down their lives. We then censor all those said fatally defended freedoms. A journalist then decides to express their lost freedom by ousting the underhanded and barbaric activities of our own government. Another group whose sole premise is to advocate the rights of humans, ignores the whole barbarism bit and advocates censorship.

Yes, bad shit happens in war. Being willing to help cover it up makes them accessory to all those bad things. How many more years before can start taking all the Vietnam comparisons and switch them to Afghanistan comparisons?

war, or no war? (1, Informative)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199190)

These groups have correctly identified a life-or-death issue affecting real human beings. Nevertheless, they're failing to see the forest for the trees. The reason these people need to hide their identities for fear of being murdered is that there's a war going on around them. The real issue is this: should there be a war in Afghanistan, or should there not be a war in Afghanistan? There was more justification for invading Afghanistan than there was for invading Iraq, but that ain't saying much, considering that the best public justification for the war in Iraq happened when Dick Cheney convinced Bush to get Colin Powell to lie to the UN. According to our own country's intelligence, Al Qaeda members in Afghanistan number in the hundreds. For that reason, we're subjecting millions of people to a brutal war. We're supporting an Afghan regime that is in power because it committed massive fraud in the last election.

I'm a community college teacher. You know what army guys tend to do when they get their limbs blown off in Iraq and Afghanistan? They tend to show up at community colleges, hoping to go on and do something better with their lives. Brave guys. They've been ill-served by people like Bush and Cheney, but they move on. What about the U.S. soldiers who just plain died in Afghanistan? They're easy to forget. I don't see them sitting at the desks in my classroom. What about the innocent civilians getting killed by U.S. drone aircraft in Afghanistan? What about an entire Afghan society that can't make any progress because we invaded their country in order to go after a few terrorists? To me, that's the big picture. Solve that problem, and the problem of names not being redacted by Wikileaks will become a non-issue. That would be the right set of priorities, in my opinion. By the way, one guy who I think really had the right set of priorities is Bradley Manning. He committed a crime by blowing the whistle on war crimes. He's currently in solitary confinement, under suicide watch, in Quantico, Virginia. If you want to send him a letter and lift his spirits, the address is Inmate: Bradley Manning, 3247 Elrod Avenue, Quantico, VA 22134. If you want to donate to his legal defense fund, the information is here [clickandpledge.com] . (You can verify the donation link via the locked link from the WP article [wikipedia.org]

Re:war, or no war? (0)

siglercm (6059) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199318)

Boo-frickin'-hoo. Thank the Lord above this war is being fought in Afghanistan, not Manhattan. Then grow a pair and get a life.

Re:war, or no war? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199458)

You're joking, right? You want people to send mail to the traitorous piece of shit who started this mess, and endangered the lives of hundreds of Afghans as well as coalition soldiers? Right. Ask your community-college veterans what they think about that one.

Sounds typical for anyone who works on something (1)

dollarwizard (1806856) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199196)

Lots of armchair quarterbacks give you ideas. You say to one of them, "Great idea! Why don't you go ahead and do it." Then their excuses begin.

Hate the messenger (-1, Flamebait)

Dracos (107777) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199260)

I don't understand this hate for Assange and WikiLeaks. He isn't the one generating these documents. Any deaths that result from these leaks are casualties of this "war", and yes, that's tragic.

While we have this sycophantic media establishment, WikiLeaks is a brutal necessity.

Re:Hate the messenger (2, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199368)

Because he basically received stolen property from a guy who should be tried for treason. He then put it up for all the world to see in the form he received it in. The fact that names weren't redacted prior to him receiving the documents is immaterial because he never should have had them in the first place.

This isn't evidence of illegal dumping or insider trading. People are going to die because of this.

taking some responsibility (4, Insightful)

aslashjax (905872) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199276)

Assange needs to take some responsibility for his own actions and quit playing the martyr. His irresponsible behavior, by not redacting the documents, will quite likely get people killed. That is not the US government's or Amnesty's responsibility. It is his and he needs to man up to it and quit being such an ass.

Civilians (1)

siglercm (6059) | more than 4 years ago | (#33199282)

Their compassion for all human life -- as long as it's civilian life -- is touching.
</sarcasm>

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