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Why WikiLeaks Is Worth Defending

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the well-there's-that-cool-logo dept.

Government 257

SomePgmr writes "By now, anyone with even a passing interest in the WikiLeaks phenomenon is familiar with most of the elements of its fall from grace: the rift between founder Julian Assange and early supporters over his autocratic and/or erratic behavior, the Swedish rape allegations that led to his seeking sanctuary in Ecuador, a recent childish hoax the organization perpetrated, and so on. Critics paint a picture of an organization that exists only in name, with a leadership vacuum and an increasingly fractured group of adherents. Despite its many flaws, however, there is still something worthwhile in what WikiLeaks has done, and theoretically continues to do. The bottom line is that we need something like a 'stateless news organization,' and so far it is the best candidate we have."

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put more effort in your postings! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121519)

âoestateless news organization,â

Honestly... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121521)

I can't believe it happened, but upon reading this summary, I expelled flatulence out of my very own asshole. That is a spectacularly rare occurrence indeed! To bring one such as I... to this...

Re:Honestly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121749)

This discussion is about Wikileaks, not Windows 8.

Re:Honestly... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121751)

Why do only the very toughest knee-growz ride motorcycles?

Because their lips flapping in the wind will beat the living shit out of them.

childish swine (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121523)

Childish swine, answerable to no one, and promoting a largely anti-American agenda? Funny, but I'm not likely to get behind that.

Re:childish swine (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121535)

soo, you'll stand up for the USA, even if the USA has become corrupt and every bit as criminal as the nazis were during WW2? you spineless piece of shit haven't you got any integrity worth anything?

Re:childish swine (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121545)

Yes, Godwin, no and maybe!

hitler loves you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121687)

no really he loves godwin cause no one talk of atrocites and other bad crap too bad you have no clue what the real meaning was about and why your a tool for bringing it up

Re:childish swine (0)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121551)

Feel free to compare the United States to any other nations they express a serious interest in from a military, economic, or overall political standpoint. Try living in both nations for five years apiece. Then report back on your findings, provided you have the spine to actually try this for yourself.

Re:childish swine (3, Insightful)

dcblogs (1096431) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121561)

Feel free to compare the United States to any other nations they express a serious interest in from a military, economic, or overall political standpoint. Try living in both nations for five years apiece. Then report back on your findings, provided you have the spine to actually try this for yourself.

And the point of this is what?

Re:childish swine (1)

homey of my owney (975234) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121603)

Sorry, maybe you're being coy - but someone who pretends to hold the moral high ground, calling out someone for their belief, while posting anonymously... probably hasn't actually seen the other side of the coin.

Re:childish swine (2)

bondsbw (888959) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121691)

The point is Godwin's law [wikipedia.org] .

More importantly, comparing the USA today with Nazis during WW2 is like saying the Nazis weren't all that bad, and that the genocide of millions of people is comparable to modern Western civilization.

The USA isn't perfect by any means, and there have been innocent lives lost due to unnecessary wars. But Nazi Germany? Get real. This is more like "hindsight is 20/20" than "the USA is specifically targeting millions of a particular race for death due solely to their race". And the USA promotes freedoms that are nearly as good as, if not often much better, than most other nations today.

Re:Millions (0, Flamebait)

Archtech (159117) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121733)

>More importantly, comparing the USA today with Nazis during WW2 is like saying the Nazis weren't all that bad, and that the genocide of millions of people is comparable to modern Western civilization.

"Millions" isn't enough to differentiate. South-East Asia 3-4 million; Iraq 1.5 million; already we are pushing that famous figure of 6 million, and that's without even mentioning a score of other nations that have seen their citizens killed by US aggression. (But as war wasn't declared, and few if any Americans were hurt, that's OK).

Re:Millions (0)

inthealpine (1337881) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121833)

Your point of view typically comes from the extreme left wing which is responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths. You have those like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Mussolini, etc., etc. who not only have war time body counts, but much of the count comes from 'peace time' genocide of undesirables in the population.

Re:Millions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121859)

Nice strawman you have burning here.

Re:Millions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121907)

I love this line of argumentation: "Your point of view "typically" comes from <insert ideology I do not agree with>, hence the US never did anything wrong."

Doubleplusgood, citizen #42784932. Your chocolate ration will be increased by 42%.

(Protip: Other people's atrocities are no justification for your own.)

Re:Millions (0)

Archtech (159117) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121923)

Your point of view typically comes from the extreme left wing which is responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths..

As it happens, I am a libertarian conservative.

Re:Millions (2)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121955)

Your point of view typically comes from the extreme left wing which is responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths. You have those like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Mussolini, etc., etc. who not only have war time body counts, but much of the count comes from 'peace time' genocide of undesirables in the population.

That's a straw man argument [wikipedia.org] . Killing people is bad. War is bad. Lying about motives for war (i.e. Casus belli like the threat of WMD) is evil.

Of the five you name only three are considered "left", two were prototypical for the exact opposite. Better example would be the Khmer Rouge (but then again they were supported by the UN, including the USA after the Vietnamese had driven them from power)

Re:Millions (1)

aurispector (530273) | more than 2 years ago | (#41122211)

The only thing anyone is proving is that it's impossible to own the moral high ground. Many seem to assert that there is nothing worth fighting for. Yet when you actually speak to someone from, say, behind the iron curtain or from someplace like Vietnam, suddenly the picture changes. Even with Iraq. messy as it was, there was twenty years of almost cartoonishly bad oppression that included the actual use of WMD, yet the anti US crowd dismisses it all with the wave of a hand.

What is worth fighting for? Should the US simply stand by and watch as the rest of the world descends into dictatorship and religious extremism?

Peace comes from strength and credible military deterrence, not from wishing hard.

Re:Millions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121883)

How in sweet hell is this +4 insightful? He pulled the numbers out of his ass and you morons just jump on the bandwagon. Isn't this site supposed to be frequented by "smart" people? At least, engineers are always saying how smart they think they are.

Re:childish swine (4, Funny)

StormyWeather (543593) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121711)

I would but last time I did the comment section was closed when I got back.

Re:childish swine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121639)

Will you reserve the same judgement for yourself or any other who complain about North Korea or China? Or those who compare themselves FOURABLY to Cuba, Europe, Australia, China, et al?

No, you won't will you.

Because you have nothing to be proud of than the nation in which you got pinched out your mothers' clacker.

Re:childish swine (3, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121559)

even if the USA has become corrupt and every bit as criminal as the nazis were during WW2?

I guess I missed the part where the US has annexed sovereign states by force, or systematically imprisoned, impressed into forced labor, and murdered millions of people based solely on their ethnicity.

Although, our economy would probably be in a lot better shape if we had someone like Albert Speer. That man did wonders for Germany's wartime economy.

Re:childish swine (5, Insightful)

miletus (552448) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121675)

I guess I missed the part where the US has annexed sovereign states by force, or systematically imprisoned, impressed into forced labor, and murdered millions of people based solely on their ethnicity.

That was during the 18th and 19th century (you know, the Indians, slavery, annexation of Hawaii, etc.) so it's understandable why you missed it.

As far as world domination goes, the US has far surpassed the Germans, and even the British -- that's why there are hundreds of military bases all over the world, and why there's one set of rules for countries in the imperial fold (e.g. Israel's nukes) and those outside (e.g. Iran's legal nuclear program).

True, the U.S. empire is "softer" than the German one -- it doesn't need mass extermination camps, it merely needs to imprison over 2 million of its own citizens, and apply surveillance over the rest, in order to keep the lid on things. That plus mass narcotization of its population via consumerism, entertainment and actual pharmaceuticals has proven a more effective form of centralization of power than the crude 20th century models.

Re:childish swine (3, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121881)

"As far as world domination goes, the US has far surpassed the Germans, and even the British -- that's why there are hundreds of military bases all over the world, and why there's one set of rules for countries in the imperial fold (e.g. Israel's nukes) and those outside (e.g. Iran's legal nuclear program)."

The difference is one of consent. Poland did not consent to German military bases. Nations benefit heavily from American military bases on their soil, that's why they're there. The only exception I can think of where a nation doesn't want an American military base on their soil is Cuba, and even there Guantanamo was put there pursuant to (at the time) Cuba's consent.

Re:childish swine (2, Insightful)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#41122009)

And when that consent was withdrawn, they did not leave...

Re:childish swine (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121705)

"where the US has annexed sovereign states by force,"

Texas?

"or systematically imprisoned"

Gitmo.

"impressed into forced labor"

100% of military helmets are made by prison inmates. This is not all they're forced to do.

"and murdered millions of people based solely on their ethnicity."

Chinese/Japanese, WW2? Negroes both before emancipation and in the tests on them in the ghettos in the 60's.

I mean, if you're going to pretend that the holocaust was SOLEY based on ethnicity, you'd have to include every ethnic race in the world. And it was religiously led for the jews and politically motivated (kill the outsider, the source of all our problems and things will be fine) for them all.

Re:childish swine (5, Insightful)

mathmathrevolution (813581) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121719)

I guess I missed the part where the US has annexed sovereign states by force, or systematically imprisoned, impressed into forced labor, and murdered millions of people based solely on their ethnicity.

Really? Are you saying that your history class literally failed to cover the Mexican American War, slavery, and the systemic genocide of the native population? These were standard topics in American History when I was growing.

Re:childish swine (5, Insightful)

Archtech (159117) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121765)

I guess I missed the part where the US has annexed sovereign states by force, or systematically imprisoned, impressed into forced labor, and murdered millions of people based solely on their ethnicity.

Then you must be Rip Van Winkle. There is an element of truth in your assertion, in that - since the 19th century, as others have pointed out - the USA has not seen fit to annex other nations in the sense of adding them to its own territory. Instead, it finds it more convenient to invade them, destroy their existing political systems, and set up puppet "Quisling" regimes. But dead people are dead however they got that way, and wherever the US armed forces have gone there seem to be an awful lot of "excess deaths". Maybe the liberated brown people simply die of excessive joy at their newly-conferred rights and freedoms.

Re:childish swine (3, Interesting)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121565)

Funny, until the "anti-American" bit, I could have sworn you were talking about the US government. Amend it to "anti-American people", and you still could be.

Re:childish swine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121635)

Fully agree with this. Just make US secrets available to everybody, while doing nothing about those of countries like Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, China and so on. When they start leaking the secrets of our enemies as well, I'll consider getting behind that.

Snrk. Pffft. Gnnn. Bwahaahahaa!!! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121655)

"When they start leaking the secrets of our enemies as well, I'll consider getting behind that."

Wikileaks cables reveal China 'ready to abandon North Korea ...
www.guardian.co.uk News World news China

WikiLeaks Spurs On Protests By Releasing New Egypt Corruption ...
articles.businessinsider.com/.../30066985_1_police-brutalit...

Wikileaks Goes After The Saudi Royal Family - Business Insider
articles.businessinsider.com/.../29970450_1_saudi-prince-sa...

and so on....

Re:Snrk. Pffft. Gnnn. Bwahaahahaa!!! (2)

UsuallyReasonable (2715457) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121715)

Try reading before you post. First link - source is leaked US embassy cables. Second link - unstated, but some digging shows source is leaked US embassy cables Third link - US diplomatic cables. I'm sure you can see the pattern here. These were US secrets.

Re:Snrk. Pffft. Gnnn. Bwahaahahaa!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121771)

Aye, wikileaks leaked those cables.

Where did you think WL got the cables about the USA? Russia?

Re:Snrk. Pffft. Gnnn. Bwahaahahaa!!! (1, Troll)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121997)

BTW, am I the only one amused by the fact that Wikileaks supporters champion "the embassy cables", the release of every private thing US embassies around the world have done.... while getting furious about the possibility of violating the privacy of embassies by shutting a single one down, giving the diplomats a week to leave with all their papers, then entering the building?

Re:Snrk. Pffft. Gnnn. Bwahaahahaa!!! (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 2 years ago | (#41122153)

I think you have to agree with me that the Chinese government knew that China was ready to abandon North Korea. So, it was their secret too. And if China is an enemy, then Wikileaks leaked a secret of the enemy. They didn't have them as a source, but nevertheless it was a secret of theirs that got leaked.

The same goes for the other two. So, yes, secrets of "our enemies" were leaked.

Bert
Who is rather amazed that people can talk about "our enemies" when they're not at war with them. What a worldview. Gasp

And the USA knew what their troops did. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41122201)

They knew what their diplomats were saying.

So I guess that means that you think that WL has leaked nothing.

Re:childish swine (2, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121701)

Anti-American Agenda, what is that? Is that like Alcoholic Anonymous Association?

Hi, my name is Julian Assange and I used to drink a lot, I mean I used to be pro-American, but I've been sober for 5 years now, so sorry, for all my 'anti-american agenda'.

WTF does that mean? Is it un-American to point out that the government is now essentially tyrannical? How is it un-American to be politically active, to bring to light all the transgressions of the powerful elite running the system?

Is telling truth to power a bad thing somehow? How about telling truth to majority [youtube.com] .

Re:childish swine (5, Informative)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121721)

You don't get it, don't you? Lets say, you have some important information to reveal. If they make the Republicans look bad, put it into the NY Times! If they make the Democrats look bad, put it in the Wall Street Journal! If they make the lower classes look bad, put it into !Forbes. If they make the upper class look bad, put it in the Daily News!

You see the pattern? Whenever you find a larger group in the U.S. who likes the information to be known, you will find a news outlet to publish it. Only if no news outlet in the U.S. will publish it, because it makes nearly everyone look bad, where do you go? - Tada! Whichever news outlet will publish it, to the U.S. as a whole it will look as if it has an anti-american agenda - just because it publishes the stuff, no other news outlet will publish, because they fear the anger of nearly all groups in the U.S.

No, a news outlet like WikiLeaks will always look as if it was anti-american. If the news was somehow neutral or pro-american, it would have been published in the U.S. already. So your "anti-american agenda" just turns into "I don't like the information to be known, because they make me look bad."

Re:childish swine (0)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121855)

By the way, you don't need to leak classified information of any kind to be considered 'anti-american' and to be locked up for decades in jail in USA, even as an old retired guy, all you need to do is to piss off the government agencies [youtube.com] something fierce by taking them on [youtube.com] .

Re:childish swine (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121985)

Only the simplest minds cannot tell the difference between healthy criticism and anti-patriotism.

Internet, not necessarily Wikileaks (3, Insightful)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121543)

Freedom to post whatever you want in a public forum is important in our world today. Wikileaks seems to self destructing and isn't necessary in the grand scheme of things.

Re:Internet, not necessarily Wikileaks (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121755)

Wikileaks is a bit like Anonymous. Anybody can just pick up a Wikileaks-like sounding domain name and claim to be working for "Wikileaks". So in that sense, it can never really be destroyed.

That being said, any government could just create a fake Wikileaks organization, infiltrate an existing one, or coerce existing members, so for some types of whistle-blowers, the only branches of Wikileaks that can be trusted are the ones that keep on publishing negative embarrassing materials against their own governments.

Re:Internet, not necessarily Wikileaks (5, Insightful)

Jahava (946858) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121795)

Freedom to post whatever you want in a public forum is important in our world today. Wikileaks seems to self destructing and isn't necessary in the grand scheme of things.

Came here to say this. There will always be a vacuum for leaking facilitators, especially with the vast-reaching scale of the Internet and strong cryptography and anonymization technologies, and it will always be filled. Even without Wikileaks, there are other sites like Cryptome [cryptome.org] . Hell, even Gawker's [gawker.com] filling that role. Hell, here's a compiled list [leakdirectory.org] . With decentralized file-sharing sites, any torrent tracker or public file server can operate as a host for information. As Brand famously said, "Information wants to be free" [wikipedia.org] , and the "99%" of any country will continue to be hungry consumers of that information.

It doesn't matter if Assange wants to be a showman or douche things up. He doesn't matter at all in the grand scheme of things. He's merely the current public face of a system that has always existed and will always continue to exist. You can't make an example out of a thing like that.

The Powers that Be aren't stupid. They have to know this. Our job as the Public is to systematically remove any alternatives that they have to being good and respectful to their fellow man, and leaking is a critical and and inevitable part of that mission. With the Internet, we are closer than ever to having the tools to actually accomplish this. This doesn't mean that all leaks are good and noble; it does, however, mean that we need to respect their role in making the world a better place. It also means that legislating against this inevitability is both futile and self-destructive in the short term.

Re:Internet, not necessarily Wikileaks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121815)

No, in this case it's not internet that's significant
Please see this post [slashdot.org] for a good explanation.

Re:Internet, not necessarily Wikileaks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121861)

Freedom to post whatever you want in a public forum is important in our world today. Wikileaks seems to self destructing and isn't necessary in the grand scheme of things.

No, Wikileaks is not self-destructing. It is being targeted by various governments who don't like having their dirty laundry aired.

Sure, they could just send in a military team and take it down by force. But then everybody would know who did it and why. It would look bad. It would make martyrs of Wikileaks. People would demand more of this kind of news. Tyrants understand these things. The kind of tyrants who have secrets to keep.

So they discredit. They find a nation with the worst possible rape laws (she says yes, you do it, she changes her mind, now you're a rapist - wtf?!) to generate trumped-up charges. Then people say "well that Wikileaks must be bad (like sheep, baaa baaaaaad)) if it's run by a rapist. I don't like rapists! Look how bad they must be!" Then they sow discord among the remaining members. Then they prosecute Manning.

No this is typically how the Establishment likes to deal with anyone who won't fall in line. You are surprised that tyrants play dirty? You are amazed that intelligence agencies (and Wikileaks is right up their alley) who train every day for these tactics might be used by those tyrants? The US does and has done worse to nations, like overthrowing Iran's democratically elected gov't in the 1950s and replacing it with a tyrant more friendly to US interests. You just can't believe the US would do that to a thorn in its side constantly making it look bad? Just how naive are you?

We don't need Wikileaks (2, Interesting)

dcblogs (1096431) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121547)

It's a reckless, amoral organization, that doesn't care who it hurts, doesn't care if it gets blood on its hand, and could care less about the fate of the people who supply its documents. What the world needs, and still has plenty of, are people of good moral character, who will fight for what's right, who will take stands, and who will take risks. I have way more respect for the three young women of Pussy Riot and what they have accomplished than anything Wikileaks has done.

Re:We don't need Wikileaks (-1, Offtopic)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121615)

Mod up!

Re:We don't need USA (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121625)

I corrected that for you.

(PS Valerie Plame ring a bell?)

Re:We don't need USA (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121809)

Yeah, what about her?

I think you just proved the opposite of what you wanted to prove. She got her message out. She testified before the Congress, Press and the American people. Its just that no one cared enough. Democracy is about freedom, but it is not free. It takes a lot of hard work and no one is going to hand it to you.

And a secret agent was named (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41122057)

By the US govenrment who employed him.

Reckless endangerment merely to get back at someone who embarrassed the US government.

Re:We don't need Wikileaks (5, Insightful)

penix1 (722987) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121633)

It's a reckless, amoral organization, that doesn't care who it hurts, doesn't care if it gets blood on its hand, and could care less about the fate of the people who supply its documents. What the world needs, and still has plenty of, are people of good moral character, who will fight for what's right, who will take stands, and who will take risks. I have way more respect for the three young women of Pussy Riot and what they have accomplished than anything Wikileaks has done.

This is rich. In the US we don't have investigative journalism anymore and haven't had it since Iran-Contra for political and Vietnam for war coverage. In both circumstances, the government learned not to allow the media too close. That is why reporters were not allowed to investigate Iraq and Afghanistan on their own without being "imbedded". That is why you have no focus on the trillions spent on these war efforts and no reporting on the corruption of our government by the deep pockets of those who financially gain from fear (read Homeland Security) and war (read military industrial complex). Instead what we get for "news" is spoon fed us by the Pentagon and the White House and taken as gospel. It then gets repeated by every new organization without a single fact verified. In short, what we got for new organizations are merely propaganda machines.

Re:We don't need Wikileaks (5, Insightful)

dcblogs (1096431) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121693)

This is a canard. Oh the media's spineless, everything it publishes is spoonfed, etc. That's just garbage. The real problem is we too many people don't want to think critically anymore; who would rather whine than ask questions or participate. They outsource responsibility for civic engagement to other people. That's why they don't notice that there are many, many reporters who are committed to discovering the truth and who take risks to do so.

Re:We don't need Wikileaks (2)

dcblogs (1096431) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121727)

Who moderates this crap anyway? "Score 5 for, Insightful."

Re:We don't need Wikileaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121739)

Dumping a quarter million documents that you have no idea of what their total content is is not journalism and it's certainly not whistleblowing.

Re:We don't need Wikileaks (4, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121759)

This is rich. In the US we don't have investigative journalism anymore

Wikileaks was neither investigative nor journalism. It was a data dump of sensitive information. Anyone that doesnt know the difference, such as apparently yourself, can offer no opinion that would be worth consuming on the subject. You are already too far gone to have any real grasp of reality.

Re:We don't need Wikileaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121969)

Wikileaks was neither investigative nor journalism.

It was the closest to investigative journalism that we had in US for a while, that is GP's point. Typical journalism is now about repeating what government officials claim without investigating whether it is true or false.

Re:We don't need Wikileaks (4, Interesting)

Smauler (915644) | more than 2 years ago | (#41122007)

GP wasn't claiming Wikileaks is investigative journalism (at least that's my reading of it), it was claiming that it fills a similar role that investigative journalism used to. Back in the day investigative journalism used to be used to hold governments to account a lot more effectively than it does now - without it being effective, the government has carte blanche to do what they like and control the media. Wikileaks and sites like it, whether you love or loathe them, do mean governments are more accountable for their actions. Without both sites like these and investigative journalism, governments could be completely unaccountable to the populace.

Re:We don't need Wikileaks (1)

theswimmingbird (1746180) | more than 2 years ago | (#41122165)

Maybe so, but investigating is a lot easier when you have dirt to investigate.

Re:We don't need Wikileaks (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#41122175)

Wikileaks was neither investigative nor journalism. It was a data dump of sensitive information. Anyone that doesnt know the difference, such as apparently yourself, can offer no opinion that would be worth consuming on the subject. You are already too far gone to have any real grasp of reality.

This is a straw man as big as a house! The GP never said that WikiLeaks was investigative or journalism.

Re:We don't need Wikileaks (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121783)

>>> That is why reporters were not allowed to investigate Iraq and Afghanistan

Sorry, this is a load of drivel. We know more about those two wars than any war before it. The problem might be, might be, I said, that we know too much about it. War is an ugly mess and most can't deal with the reality of it.

If you really believe that you have not gotten anything about the war, except what the US Government wants you to hear about, then you have not been looking too closely. There are a lot of non-US and non-US friendly news sources out there. You just have to look a little harder than Blender Underground or Slashdot.

Re:We don't need Wikileaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121737)

It's a reckless, amoral organization, that doesn't care who it hurts, doesn't care if it gets blood on its hand, and could care less about the fate of the people who supply its documents.

What? Is this that "no deaths are acceptable" mentality?

and still has plenty of

It does?

Re:We don't need Wikileaks (4, Insightful)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121975)

I have way more respect for the three young women of Pussy Riot and what they have accomplished than anything Wikileaks has done.

Except that they can't help us. For democracy to exist there they have to do it their way, which is what Pussy Riot was attempting to do. For democracy to survive in the West we have to defend it our way because freedom has potent domestic enemies. The truth hurts those enemies and neither you or I am innocent whilst we are choking on apathy and ignorance. This isn't a question of Nation or Party. The corruption that poisons our world governments seeks to crush any freedom of speech and expression of democracy anywhere. That's the reality we live with everyday.

What the world needs, and still has plenty of, are people of good moral character, who will fight for what's right, who will take stands, and who will take risks.

If a man hiding in a Embassy because he faces life imprisonment for standing up for the truth in the face of corruption isn't exactly that then who is? Murdoch, Faux News? Ok he has flaws, what human doesn't? Does that mean Wikileaks is tarred by his iniquities? Whose opinions sway judgement and control rhetoric, the corrupted organisations that own the media outlets around the world whose interests are at stake?

The irony in all of this is astounding. An Australian, is a refugee in an Ecuador embassy, on British soil who seek to extradite him to Sweden where he fears extradition to the United States where he faces life in prison for exercising freedom of speech and defending democracy.

Wikileaks is the front line for the war on freedom, all our freedom. While the lies rule our governments we are all slaves.

Re:We don't need Wikileaks (3, Insightful)

Archtech (159117) | more than 2 years ago | (#41122097)

It's a reckless, amoral organization, that doesn't care who it hurts, doesn't care if it gets blood on its hand [sic]

Yes, that is true of the US Federal Government. That is what you meant, isn't it?

and could care less about the fate of the people who supply its documents.

Now maybe you are referring to Wikileaks. But your argument is disingenuous in the extreme. Ever hear the story about the mice who decided to bell the cat? A wonderful idea in principle, as then they would always know when the cat was approaching. Only one small practical problem: who gets the honour of actually belling the cat? Knowing that the odds of dying horribly are very high. My name for someone who deliberately volunteers for a mission like this is "hero". The fate of the people who supply the documents is altogether, and solely, the responsibility of those who inflict that fate. Your government.

Remember what Benjamin Franklin said, back when there was some hope that the USA would actually become a free country? "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety". Well, Bradley Manning refused to give up his liberty in order to obtain safety - and now he is being punished for it. Assange has laid his life and liberty on the line, and he may very well be next.

What the world needs, and still has plenty of, are people of good moral character, who will fight for what's right, who will take stands, and who will take risks.
I have way more respect for the three young women of Pussy Riot and what they have accomplished than anything Wikileaks has done.

I'll assume you are misinformed, rather than anarchically vicious. Read this, and say that again:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/08/23/the-secret-history-of-pussy-riot/ [counterpunch.org]

Enemy of the state (2, Insightful)

autonomousautomator (2709383) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121581)

Just a coincidence or a witch hunt, amazing how things fall apart when you are Enemy of the State.

Re:Enemy of the state (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121829)

Right that! But Julian Assange is still a sack of shit. WikiLeaks on the other hand is a great idea that should be in the hands any one person. Especially Assange.

Re:Enemy of the state (2)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#41122011)

Only a person like Julian Assange would have the balls to lead WikiLeaks. People who better fit into society tend to... yes... rather try to fit into society.

Re:Enemy of the state (4, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#41122017)

Wait, a person can do good things *and* bad things? Stop it, you're hurting my simple brain! Can't conceive of two such concepts about the same person at the same time!

Re:Enemy of the state (1)

Archtech (159117) | more than 2 years ago | (#41122117)

But Julian Assange is still a sack of shit.

So now we know your opinion about that. Do you have any facts with which to support your dismissive condemnation?

Um...... no (1)

radiumsoup (741987) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121589)

Submitter's idea of "need" and mine are apparently worlds apart. I need Wikileaks like I need a shovel for that big steaming pile of dragon shit in my front yard that doesn't exist.

#1 Reason - Pentagon Papers (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121591)

#1 Reason - Pentagon Papers https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagon_Papers [wikipedia.org] .

When the USA keeps secrets, the entire world suffers. Sad, but true. There probably isn't a single country that the USA hasn't screwed over in one way or another, including herself.

To the rest of the world, it is the government, not the people making these dangerous decisions. It has happened with both political parties. JFK lied and every President since has too. The military has kept many secrets.

Ask Manning what he thinks about them (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121595)

They should try helping and protecting their sources, not dropping them and pretending they don't exist.

Re:Ask Manning what he thinks about them (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 2 years ago | (#41122157)

How exactly could they help and protect Manning? You think they have the power to convince the US government not to prosecute him?

Rape allegations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121599)

I thought, from all the commenting being done by the media that it wasn't merely *allegations* but that he HAD DEFINITELY raped two women!

PS is it equally odd to anyone else that when someone says about someone who has merely been accused (and not even by the 'victim' herself) of rape that, if you say "There was no rape", you're being a rape apologist? I mean, from context, that would mean "rape apologist" would be someone saying "I'm sorry you weren't raped".

Re:Rape allegations? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121695)

According to the republicans it wouldn't have been "legitimate rape" anyways.

Re:Rape allegations? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121989)

According to the republicans it wouldn't have been "legitimate rape" anyways.

Actually, it would be legitimate rape even in their crazy world, because the women didn't get pregnant...

Yes. Wikileaks is worth defending. (4, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121601)

But not Assange. He's not WikiLeaks. Simple as that. He betrayed them with this massive stunt.

Re:Yes. Wikileaks is worth defending. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121725)

Of course not. He's a terrorist [facepunch.com] .

Re:Yes. Wikileaks is worth defending. (4, Insightful)

thue (121682) | more than 2 years ago | (#41122181)

> He betrayed them with this massive stunt.

Massive stunt? He has offered to go to Sweden if he is not extradited to the US [google.com] . And the whole handling of the rape allegation is obviously related to WikiLeaks. This is an attack on WikiLeaks, not a stunt by Assange.

stolen property (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121621)

The thing I wrestle with is that its a clearing house for stolen property. In the ral world, even pawn shops have to check serial numbers to see if they are dealing with stolen property. I can understand the fascination that access to secret or unknown information can bring. But at the same time, whoever is giving the files to wikileaks has no right to give away the files. Sometimes real, innocent, people's lives are at risk by unmanaged disclosure. Communications that are made with every expectation of privacy are made public without context. This is the part I don't like. Its like watching that movie "Angus" where the bad kids play a stolen video of him dancing with a doll at the homecoming dance.

Re:stolen property (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 2 years ago | (#41122197)

As to what constitutes stolen property. The information they leaked was legally obtained by the US government? Nothing surreptitiously obtained?

You would have preferred it if Wikileaks had returned the info to their rightful owners (foreign governments etc.) then? Because that is what you do with stolen property.

Well, it was information. Where is the Slashdot notion that no one got deprived of his information if that information is copied?

Bert

Easily swayed? (3, Insightful)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121623)

If you are the kind of person who's easily swayed by the media's depiction of Assange, then yes, you most definitely need wikileaks

The problem with ideologies.... (1)

ScottyLad (44798) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121629)

The problem with most ideological stances, is that they only work if the ideolody is applied to everyone else

Hence, Wikileaks stands for openness and public scrutiny of everything and everyone except Wikileaks. How much money has Wikileaks received in donations, and how much of it went in to Assange's pockets? Maybe an insider could post the answer on Wikileaks. No, wait...

Communism works great if everyone is equal and everything is shared equally... unless you happen to be a Party Member, in which case you have have all the trappings of Capitalism

Democracy is great idea, giving everyoe an equal say in how things are run. Until you get elected, then you don't need to worry about the electorate for another 4 or 5 years.

Dictatorships work well unless you disagree with the ideology of the dictator

Freedom of Information is a great idea, until you realise that all governments and companies need to undertake certain discussing in private in able to function effectively.

Re:The problem with ideologies.... (5, Informative)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121929)

The problem with most ideological stances, is that they only work if the ideolody is applied to everyone else

Hence, Wikileaks stands for openness and public scrutiny of everything and everyone except Wikileaks. How much money has Wikileaks received in donations, and how much of it went in to Assange's pockets? Maybe an insider could post the answer on Wikileaks. No, wait...

No, wait... Indeed. They already posted financial transparency reports on Wikileaks by the Wau Holland Foundation [wikipedia.org] , in the form of a press release [wikileaks.org] no less.

Freedom of Information is a great idea, until you realise that all governments and companies need to undertake certain discussing in private in able to function effectively.

While that is true in the general sense, there is also the fact that governments describing themselves as democratic (let alone shining examples of that) should be as diplomatic and as open as possible. And at least our Western governments have not been all that great about that lately, ranging from ACTA, to war crimes (Abu Grahib, "Collateral Murder"-the-full-version-and-not-the-Wikileaks-edit), to unsavoury governmental-corporation incest (STRATFOR, News Corp), to ...

Wikileaks (even if it remained as effective as in its heydays) would never be able to get its hands on every piece of confidential information nor be able to publish it. Just like the fact that we beat ACTA doesn't mean that the IP-crazies are suddenly completely stopped in their tracks. Or just like the fact that we get to vote doesn't mean that corruption doesn't exist nor that we live in an ideal representative democracy.

However, society always has been and presumably always will be a melting pot influenced by everything that happens. Wikileaks, beating ACTA and voting are all part of that. In the grand scheme of things, I see them as counteracting forces against wrongfully denied freedom-of-information requests, warrantless wiretapping, trying to get IP-legislation enacted under the guise of free trade agreements without public oversight, ... I don't see that in the sense of fighting fire with fire or an eye for an eye, but as opposite influences that affect society as a whole and how it will continue to evolve.

And the problem appears to be that without actions that "open up" things, the natural reaction of many people in power appears to be to keep much more secret than is warranted or than is a good idea. Reasons could be because that is the way of the least resistance, or because those people at large probably often genuinely believe that they do know best, and that public debate would only slow down things and/or muddy the facts.

That behaviour however has to be counteracted and compensated for in some way to keep a democratic society healthy, and as far as I'm concerned Wikileaks is one expression of that in its own unconventional and loose-cannon way. I don't think Wikileaks is dangerous to a healthy society though. It will obviously cause at least inconveniences and may even lead to deaths or other catastraphies, and there are many more desirable ways to achieve the same goals (such as freedom-of-information requests, and the normally automatic public oversight over creating any kind of legislation). However, I think Wikileaks' wide general public support (or at least sympathy) is mainly a reaction to the failure of exactly these more convention means of openness in democratic governance.

TFS forgets Daniel Domscheit-Berg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121651)

He really should get mentioned as well. "Mr. Delete" has done a lot of good for evil men, disapointed many who risked a lot to leak, and kicked Wikileaks as much or even more than anyone else could have...

If you're doing no wrong, you have nothing to fear (5, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121659)

Why we need WikiLeaks: Remember the article on the Australian tax authority the other day where they want expansive powers to snoop on businesses on the off-chance they might be paying less taxes than the government would like?

OK, then, we the citizens need powers to snoop on government bureaucrats on the off-chance they're doing something illegal. If they're not doing anything wrong, they should have nothing to fear.

Re:If you're doing no wrong, you have nothing to f (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121773)

Why we need WikiLeaks: Remember the article on the Australian tax authority the other day where they want expansive powers to snoop on businesses on the off-chance they might be paying less taxes than the government would like?

OK, then, we the citizens need powers to snoop on government bureaucrats on the off-chance they're doing something illegal. If they're not doing anything wrong, they should have nothing to fear.

Every time there's a discussion about government snooping here on /. there's a reply like this that gets modded up, and while I agree with the sentiment what interests me more at this point is how you propose to implement such a plan?

Re:If you're doing no wrong, you have nothing to f (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41122171)

How to do this? Fund Wikileaks. Duh.

Re:If you're doing no wrong, you have nothing to f (4, Insightful)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121823)

The disturbing thing is that you see a few people in every Wikileaks story saying that we have no right to know what our government is doing. We are the government! We have every right to know, and I firmly believe that politicians should be hounded by investigative reporters like paparazzi hound vapid celebrities. However, as a society, we are more interested in who Tom Cruise is currently dating (or if he's secretly gay) than we are how much money a state Senator is embezzling. Even when we do get any kind of investigative reporting, it's usually just sex scandals. Wikipedia even keeps a list of them [wikipedia.org] .

Wikileaks isn't exactly my ideal candidate, but it's one of the few organizations that's willing to actually shine a light at something important. Everyone else is either too scared or compensated not to do so.

Really food for thought... (1)

CyberPhart (954001) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121699)

Good article that really made me think. But whether Wikileaks itself continues to exist or not, the genie is out of the bottle and someone else will take up the cause and activity. And much of its function really was useful and perhaps beneficial. Julian himself is an arrogant fool. Did he ACTUALLY think he'd get away with releasing truckloads of U.S. intelligence info? And when it was pointed out to him that he may well have killed people who were working with us, he said that anyone working with the U.S. deserved to die (yeah, he did. it was in an interview broadcast by the BBC). And Julian, take a lesson from these remarkably coincidental sex charges in Sweden. You might consider turning yourself in. The next "coincidence" might involve an automobile accident or "falling" out a window. You'd probably be safer facing espionage charges. Hell, we don't shoot people for that anymore :)

Re:Really food for thought... (4, Insightful)

Archtech (159117) | more than 2 years ago | (#41122207)

Julian himself is an arrogant fool. Did he ACTUALLY think he'd get away with releasing truckloads of U.S. intelligence info? And when it was pointed out to him that he may well have killed people who were working with us, he said that anyone working with the U.S. deserved to die (yeah, he did. it was in an interview broadcast by the BBC).

An exact quote, preferably with a source, would be preferable. Then we would have some idea what it was, exactly, that Assange said.

Maybe it was something like, "Anyone who participates in what the Nuremberg Tribunal described as the supreme war crime - unprovoked aggressive war - deserves to die". After all, the USA and its allies hanged a lot of Germans and Japanese for exactly that crime. And if they shot them before they had a chance of a trial, no one shed any tears.

"The International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, which followed World War II, called the waging of aggressive war "essentially an evil thing...to initiate a war of aggression...is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_aggression [wikipedia.org]

Wikileaks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121707)

The problem I have with Wikileaks is that they paint themselves as brave, heroic, and noble, when they are actually bullies and cowards.
It does not take a lot of courage to criticize institutions in the most open, free societies; that's easy. No one is going to put you in a gulag
for that. Try doing the same thing to the Chinese, or other repressive government, and see how long you continue breathing. My guess is about
24 hours. And 23 of them will be under the hot lights, or worse.

Re:Wikileaks (0)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121901)

Yep, Assange's claims that the Americans are out to get him are ludicrous, and I think he knows that. If someone put embarassing information about Russia or China in Assange's hands I guarantee you he wouldn't release it because he knows perfectly well he actually might have very serious, very dangerous people after him.

Re:Wikileaks (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#41122085)

You just critisized the repressive government of China (by calling them repressive), and you are still breathing. See, how easy that is? How much courage did it take you? Nothing! It just came out of your fingers without much thinking.

And that's exactly your problem. You demand from WikiLeaks things, that happens everywhere anyway. Atrocities in Syria? Open the next newspaper! Torture in Iranian prisons? Switch on the TV evening news! Propaganda trials against critical voices in Russia? Read it up on the Internet! So what's the point for WikiLeaks to repeat that? What's the unique selling point for WikiLeaks to publish that? WikiLeaks publishes stuff it deems genuine, and which are not published everwhere else. Mostly this is stuff many other people in the Western world don't want to see published.

Sorry Wikileaks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121805)

Assange is trying to attract attention. Wikileaks only really has the support that it does because people are trying to take it down. If credit card companies weren't blocking his site, would all these people still be trying to donate to him? If Assange didn't needlessly put the lives of his informants in danger, how would he stay in the spotlight? Did they really need to run that fake NY Times article? There's got to be something new on each episode of this man's strange little life or else people will stop watching. We need news sources that don't run themselves like celebrity burnouts. And that's not Wikileaks.

2nd Amendment (5, Insightful)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | more than 2 years ago | (#41121959)

Information is power; If a government is forced to be wide open then they lose power. Open information should replace or be added to the 2nd Amendment. The whole point of the 2nd Amendment was to act as a brake on out of control government. But at this point in history a bunch of guys running around with 9mm pistols isn't going to change a thing. But open information can change everything. Corrupt contracts become a whole lot harder if the whole process becomes open. Things like ACTA become impossible if every step of the lobbyists become open and accountable. When I am talking open I mean really really open. Things like the DHS would be wide open. The only time I would think the government should be allowed to be even slightly closed would be open investigations which would require a judge to say, OK this is closed for 30 days. Then wiretaps and whatnot would be effective. But the second the investigation ends the records are instantly open.

All finance should be open right down to the paperclips. Wasteful spending can't happen if everyone can take a peek into their area of expertise and say, "Whoa there cowboy. You don't buy laptops for $2000 and a service plan of another $1000 per year." Or "That isn't the right concrete for an overpass. It will fall down in 10 years."

Think of the steps that had to be taken in private in order to create the Dick Murtha Airport.

Keep in mind that there are Nordic countries where they publish income tax records onto the internet. They do record who looks though. So you can see your neighbour's taxes but they can see that you are a nosy bastard. The result has been some fantastically rich people somehow claiming around $100,000 in income being busted by people finding this and then it becoming front page news.

How many times have the police gotten out of control where the whole thing was dealt with "internally"? Open government would end this.

Wikileaks is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41121987)

When I get up in the morning I have a cup of joe and read Slashdot, not Wikileaks. The information they compile is newsworthy for a bit, then the world moves on until the next whistle blower publishes something interesting. What has that accomplished aside from pissing off politicians and getting people thrown in jail? A few people from the news have followed Wikileaks, and some people follow those stories. That's all fine and dandy, but Wikileaks hasn't accomplished this so called policing of governments it claims is so important. Bottom line, no ordinary person gives a shit.

governments succeed at ruining Wikileaks' name (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#41122089)

And the world is full of fucking idiots for being duped once again.

/., news for nerds, confuse the jargon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41122159)

To nerds, who this news is purportedly for, "stateless" is the opposite of stateful -- the outputs are an instantaneous function of the input. Thanks to our retarded editors who cannot be arsed to translate or annotate political jargon when it collides with engineering jargon, I (and no doubt many others) wasted a couple minutes trying to figure out what that could possibly mean in the context of a news agency, and why it would be desirable.

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