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US Military Designates Julian Assange an "Enemy of State"

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the not-a-good-list dept.

Censorship 805

First time accepted submitter Cute and Cuddly writes in with some new Julian Assange news. "The U.S. military has designated Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the United States — the same legal category as the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban insurgency. Declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents, released under US freedom-of-information laws, reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with 'communicating with the enemy.'"

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805 comments

So I suppose Obama (5, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year and a half ago | (#41472915)

Can drone-strike him, with impunity, then?

America. It just keeps getting more like a bad Harlan Ellison story.

Re:So I suppose Obama (5, Insightful)

Todd Palin (1402501) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473049)

If the drone strike won't work, he can be imprisoned indefinitely without trial. Considering his war crimes and terroristic actions could we expect any less?

imprisoned indefinitely without trial (5, Insightful)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473343)

He already is.

Re:imprisoned indefinitely without trial (2)

dwater (72834) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473513)

I think he had a few 'trials', no? ...or perhaps 'trial' isn't the legally correct word. Anyway, they were just concerning extradition, but anyway, it's as accurate as 'imprisoned', imo.

Re:So I suppose Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473079)

Can drone-strike him, with impunity, then?

They don't even know who is being killed in the drone-bombed countries (Pakistan, Afganistan, etc.). No way to really tell who died, esp. when you hit a group of people

So attacking someone who's name they know should be a piece of cake. Enemy of state or not.

Re:So I suppose Obama (5, Insightful)

evil_aaronm (671521) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473161)

He already -can- drone strike him with impunity: who's going to charge Obama with anything? If we even question His Droniness, we're interrogated as to why we hate America, and put on a list of potential drone targets.

Love the Ellison reference: "At which time he merely sang a song about moonlight in a place no one had ever heard of, called Vermont, and vanished again."

Re:So I suppose Obama (2)

elucido (870205) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473333)

He already -can- drone strike him with impunity: who's going to charge Obama with anything? If we even question His Droniness, we're interrogated as to why we hate America, and put on a list of potential drone targets.

Love the Ellison reference: "At which time he merely sang a song about moonlight in a place no one had ever heard of, called Vermont, and vanished again."

Why would Obama use drones when they probably have all sorts of top secret weapons? Assange is in serious danger.

Re:So I suppose Obama (3)

OrangeTide (124937) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473437)

Those damn war hawk liberal democrats constantly destroying our personal liberty.

Re:So I suppose Obama (5, Insightful)

Atzanteol (99067) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473493)

They *are*... Not sure how you meant that. The current "liberal democrat" in the executive office has a Nobel Peace Prize and has assassinated two US citizens.

Re:So I suppose Obama (5, Interesting)

jcr (53032) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473473)

who's going to charge Obama with anything?

Certainly not any Ruling Party politician. Obama let Bush's torturers walk, so it would seem that there's an agreement between the Ruling Party brands to let each other's crimes go unpunished.

-jcr

Re:So I suppose Obama (4, Insightful)

Pheosics (2740045) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473531)

Of course they do. They are basically all just two peas from the same pod.

Another one... (4, Insightful)

stairmaster (2652939) | about a year and a half ago | (#41472929)

We seem to like waging war on vaporous enemies don't we?

Re:Another one... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473399)

We seem to like waging war on vaporous enemies don't we?

It's the American way. We fear that if we're not killing people, no one would take us seriously.

100 years of war (5, Insightful)

OrangeTide (124937) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473499)

There has to be a reason we pick fights that we can't win. War on drugs, War on poverty, war on terrorism, ...

It has been almost 100 years since the start of the War on Drugs.

Stay far away from him... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41472945)

"The authoritative joint study, by Stanford and New York Universities, concludes that men, women and children are being terrorised by the operations ’24 hours-a-day’.

And the authors lay much of the blame on the use of the ‘double-tap’ strike where a drone fires one missile – and then a second as rescuers try to drag victims from the rubble."

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2208307/Americas-deadly-double-tap-drone-attacks-killing-49-people-known-terrorist-Pakistan.html

Re:Stay far away from him... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473009)

I'd never heard of such an ugly tactic of war until recently (when I read the Hunger Games trilogy.)

Re:Stay far away from him... (3, Informative)

Nimey (114278) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473145)

That's been fairly standard terrorist tactics for a while, actually.

Re:Stay far away from him... (4, Insightful)

ZosX (517789) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473181)

America is very guilty of war crimes by now.

Re:Stay far away from him... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473123)

America KICKS ASS! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kshqj1rIyEo

Re:Stay far away from him... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473147)

But doesn't take names ...
Or numbers since that would reveal the terrifying statistics behind these US terrorists attacks upon Pakistani civilians are... wait .... what?

Re:Stay far away from him... (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473191)

The same tactic that is banned in the First Geneva Convention, of which the US is a signatory. Anyone ordering or carrying out those kinds of drone strikes is a war criminal.

Re:Stay far away from him... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473261)

I hope I live to see those war criminals, Bush and Obama among them, hauled in front of the Hague and sentenced to spending the rest of their lives in jail.

Re:Stay far away from him... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473527)

What, not Cheney and Rumsfeld, too? They all thought torture was a good idea, despite treaties against it.

And with no time limit to war crime prosecutions, as with the Nazi's still being prosecuted, I'd say they all ought to be a little concerned about their futures.

Not the military's job. (5, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about a year and a half ago | (#41472953)

The constitution places the power to declare war and issue letters of marque with the congress, not the executive. It's up to the congress to tell the military who's an enemy, not the other way around.

Whoever has taken it upon themselves to do this has libeled Assange.

-jcr

Re:Not the military's job. (5, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473021)

The constitution places the power to declare war and issue letters of marque with the congress, not the executive. It's up to the congress to tell the military who's an enemy, not the other way around.

We have a "legal" category called "enemy of the state"? How does that work? What are their rights and responsibilities in US?

Despite the whole "War on Terror" thing, I don't think there is a war declared on al-Qaeda seeing how that is at best a loosely connected organization rather than a sovereign entity.
Well, at least "War on Assange" has an interesting ring to it.

Re:Not the military's job. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473099)

We have a "legal" category called "enemy of the state"? How does that work? What are their rights and responsibilities in US?

Apparently you're new here. Let me fill you in. They're making it up as they go along. Republics don't collapse according to rules. Treason in high places doesn't follow orders.

Re:Not the military's job. (5, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473257)

They're making it up as they go along.

I agree with this. There's an interest excerpt from the constitution for the state of Massachusetts:

Article XXX. In the government of this commonwealth, the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them: the executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them: the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them: to the end it may be a government of laws and not of men.

This is precisely what the action of the US military preempts. This is far from the first such abuse, but it should be resisted. Why should a citizen of a peaceful ally, conducting his business legally, even though it be to the disadvantage of the US or the US military, be classified as a "enemy", especially, when it is not within the authority of the US military to make such a designation?

Re:Not the military's job. (2)

elucido (870205) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473351)

They're making it up as they go along.

I agree with this. There's an interest excerpt from the constitution for the state of Massachusetts:

Article XXX. In the government of this commonwealth, the legislative department shall never exercise the executive and judicial powers, or either of them: the executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them: the judicial shall never exercise the legislative and executive powers, or either of them: to the end it may be a government of laws and not of men.

This is precisely what the action of the US military preempts. This is far from the first such abuse, but it should be resisted. Why should a citizen of a peaceful ally, conducting his business legally, even though it be to the disadvantage of the US or the US military, be classified as a "enemy", especially, when it is not within the authority of the US military to make such a designation?

It doesn't matter. They can kill us all. Their weapons are the rules.

Re:Not the military's job. (2)

evil_aaronm (671521) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473217)

Like Congress would do anything to doubt the motives, integrity, and superior intelligence of the military leaders? To do so would put Congress at risk of being seen as "soft of terrorism." Likely, what'll happen is the junta tells Congress, "This guy is an enemy," and Congress says, "Yeah, this guy's an enemy!" The latter proclamation making it legit.

Re:Not the military's job. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473301)

Actually, you're wrong but not in a good way. After Vietnam Congress passed the War Powers Act which was supposed to severely limit the president's ability to wage war. Basically, the president could send emergency troops for 30 days then if Congress didn't declare war he had 30 days to bring them back.

However, at the behest of small-government president George W. Bush Congress passed the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF). It says, not joking, the president may use the force he deems necessary against those he determines to be terrorists. That's not an exact quote, but it is scarily close. It really does say the president can basically go to war, sans declaration of war by Congress, against those he determines to be terrorists.

So, unfortuneatly, the part your're wrong about is that Congress has to do anything at all. They've already ceded power to the president when it comes to war. Now, to me, this is an over delegation of authority and is unconstitutional. The power to declare war was vested in Congress for a reason, but it's not been brought to court to be struck down. The closest was Doe v. Bush but that was ruled to not be a case or controversy even though it was one week before invading Iraq. (And had they brought it after invasion it probably would have been moot).

*sigh* I just made myself sad.

Imagine that.. (5, Insightful)

GigaBurglar (2465952) | about a year and a half ago | (#41472961)

For a country that prides itself on freedom of speech - they like to tell people to shut up.

Re:Imagine that.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473053)

For a country that prides itself on freedom of speech - they like to tell people to shut up.

There are limits.
Freedom of speech stops when national security is compromised.
Also, the US Constitution was written on behalf of WE THE PEOPLE. Assange is not a citizen on the United States. As far as I am concerned, he is not protected under the Constitution.

Re:Imagine that.. (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473219)

Thats the problem. This is not about "we the people", is about the government/people in power/etc. The people don't know what they are doing in their name, and if someone dares to give them a hint, then its an enemy of the state.

Re:Imagine that.. (2)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473323)

If the United Stated wishes to prosecute Assange under THEIR Laws, then they had damn well better afford him the Rights guaranteed under the Constitution!

Re:Imagine that.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473433)

NATIOANL SECURITY COMPROMISED??????

Fuck you, thats EXACTLY when freedom of speech is important

Re:Imagine that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473155)

For a country that prides itself on freedom of speech - they like to tell people to shut up.

Not at all. We wouldn't tell him to shut up, that would violate the free speech

US might of course imprison him and anyone that comes in contact with him, indefinitely and without trial. But that's "our" free speech. If money is free speech and maybe illegal detention is also free speech?

Re:Imagine that.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473229)

Yes, I love this viewpoint. If only we could bury everyone that annoys us, so they have freedom of speech in their grave, we could both cut prison costs and preserve what rights we claim to have. I think we might need to reword and update our laws to reflect the more accurate reality, to express that we have freedoms that are economically feasible. Any attack aimed at a corrupt ruling class harms the economy and upsets the rights of those involved. Obviously, this fact needs to be clearer within the judicial system.

Re:Imagine that.. (3, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473411)

Since when has classified material ever been included under free speech?

There are all sorts of restrictions on so-called "free" speech. Racism, hate, right-wing rhetoric, Islamophobia, all these have been banned at one time or another, with the approval of the courts and to the applause of the American public. Heck, just last week the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon called Koran-burning pastor Terry Jones and told him to shut up. Here's another one: "We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others." Spoken by the US State Department. Heck Obama himself last week reached out to Youtube in an unprecedented move and asked them to block a trailier of a satirical film of Mohammed (Youtube denied the request). So, I'm not sure where this freedom of speech pride is coming from. You sure this isn't some Hollywood fiction that you believed?

Re:Imagine that.. (5, Informative)

russotto (537200) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473457)

Since when has classified material ever been included under free speech?

How soon we forget: New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971)

The US Constitution is not a suicide pact (2, Informative)

voss (52565) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473481)

We are not required to give free speech to citizens of foreign nations who leak diplomatic confidential communiques and battle plans.
They are not calling assange an "enemy of the state". They are calling him an enemy of the United States. It doesnt mean
the US is going arrest him anymore than the US would arrest an Iranian military attache. It just means now that US government
employees and military personnel who leak information to him would be committing a crime.

Leaking information to legitimate journalists regarding specific wrongdoing is protected , whats not protected is wholesale information dumps
regardless of sensitivity of the information or any sort of legitimate public interest.

Fascist America (5, Insightful)

danbuter (2019760) | about a year and a half ago | (#41472965)

Stories like this are really starting to worry me. Our country is rapidly losing civil rights, not to mention disregarding international laws regarding things like drone strikes in other countries.

Re:Fascist America (2)

mSparks43 (757109) | about a year and a half ago | (#41472985)

Wrong way round.
You are rapidly gaining civil rights - via the internet - the only difference is you now know about how they have been curtailed for centuries.

Re:Fascist America (5, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473015)

Wrong way round.
You are rapidly gaining civil rights - via the internet - the only difference is you now know about how they have been curtailed for centuries.

It's not rights people are gaining. It's power.

Re:Fascist America (4, Insightful)

ZosX (517789) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473197)

Wrong way round.
You are rapidly gaining civil rights - via the internet - the only difference is you now know about how they have been curtailed for centuries.

It's not rights people are gaining. It's power.

And they are very much trying to take that away.

Re:Fascist America (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473273)

Stories like this are really starting to worry me. Our country is rapidly losing civil rights,

Maybe you shouldn't have voted for president HopeNchange.

not to mention disregarding international laws regarding things like drone strikes in other countries.

They aren't disregarding international law, they are well aware of it. They just don't care. When you send your military forces across an international border to kill people it's an act of war.

Re:Fascist America (2)

Pheosics (2740045) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473401)

Ah right, because the other choice for president, Mr. McCain would have been totally different.

The weapons make the rules. (1)

elucido (870205) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473359)

And they have the weapons. They can kill us all. Their weapons are the rules. It's as simple as that.

Diplomatic Immunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41472967)

It's just been revoked.

US Military? (4, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#41472995)

That's not their job, is it? Wouldn't this be up to Congress, the courts, the State Department?

I guess its official. We are being run by a military junta.

Re:US Military? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473055)

Isn't it possible congress already has ... in a closed session? Similar to the sealed indictment against him?

Re:US Military? (4, Insightful)

atriusofbricia (686672) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473101)

That's not their job, is it? Wouldn't this be up to Congress, the courts, the State Department?

I guess its official. We are being run by a military junta.

I'm going to go with "Alarmist and Misleading Title"

There was an investigation into a contractor who expressed support of Assange and Wikileaks and attended rallies supporting same. Given that said contractor had access to classified material, I can't say that it is entirely unreasonable to launch an investigation to determine whether or not this person decided to cross the line from mere expressions of support to leaking data. The suspected offense was "communicating with the enemy". Perhaps not the best choice but I'm not sure they have a better sounding title/rule to do the investigation under.

That's a extreme far cry from designating anyone anything. Of course, we can't have a story about Assange and/or Wikileaks without the requisite amount of drama and puffing up so you end up with "Enemy of State". On slashdot we're also not "allowed" to mention the massive amount of harm that Wikileaks has caused. Only the good. So, I'll just leave that part alone.

Re:US Military? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473153)

You're allowed to mention it. So go on. Sources. What harm has wikileaks caused?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kshqj1rIyEo

Re:US Military? (5, Informative)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473223)

That's a extreme far cry from designating anyone anything.

reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with "communicating with the enemy", a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death.

The article claims (and that's TFA not the summary), that technically any military personnel communicating with Wikileaks/Assange may be charged with a crime that goes all the way to death as penalty. That does seem alarming.

Re:US Military? (4, Insightful)

atriusofbricia (686672) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473423)

That's a extreme far cry from designating anyone anything.

reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with "communicating with the enemy", a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death.

The article claims (and that's TFA not the summary), that technically any military personnel communicating with Wikileaks/Assange may be charged with a crime that goes all the way to death as penalty. That does seem alarming.

The article does claim that. However, that too is alarmist. If you're a member of the military and you send an email to Wikileaks from home, it is likely nothing would ever happen. If you send one from your jrandomguy@army.mil address then can we really say it is shocking if that might get some attention at this point? The part that is alarmist though is that merely communicating with them isn't going to result in anyone getting even remotely close to the death penalty.

If such a person passed operational secrets that could reasonably lead to US or other forces being compromised then it should be no surprise at all if said person ended up making little rocks out of big rocks or worse.

Sometimes I think people get so caught up in the Wikileaks/Assange is awesome thing that they forget that actions have consequences. They get so caught up in the idea that "information wants to be free" and some variation of "the US is evil!" that they forget that sometimes releasing such information can do far far more harm than good. The people in the States may not be at war, but those guys over in Afghanistan sure as hell are. I hope that makes sense.

To directly address your point about it being alarming, passing military secrets to the enemy has always meant serious punishments. This is nothing new. Dressing it up as something else doesn't change what it is, no?

Re:US Military? (1)

Pinhedd (1661735) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473375)

It's up to Congress to declare war but it is up to the military to decide how it conducts itself, the behaviour of its members, and how to administer its own judicial punishment. A declaration of war is not necessary for the military to say "yeah, you can't talk to these people".

Re:US Military? (1)

elucido (870205) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473413)

That's not their job, is it? Wouldn't this be up to Congress, the courts, the State Department?

I guess its official. We are being run by a military junta.

You would think so but no, they passed laws to already make it so they can do this legally. NDAA.

Re:US Military? (1)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473477)

Our congress and state department are all so dysfunctional right now that I don't particularly want to bring them into this.

america is a shithole... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41472999)

if you're stuck here, for the better or worse, there's only one thing to do: get rich or die trying.

Still claim they have nothing to do with the UK sh (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473003)

This just proves Assange's conpiracy theory...

If we needed more proof that is.

This is actually good news (1, Funny)

dokebi (624663) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473011)

Well, that's nice of them. In Soviet Russia, he would simply have bee#RC@HREU

NO CARRIER

Re:This is actually good news (2)

evil_aaronm (671521) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473239)

I know this meme is a slashdot staple, but I wonder how long it'll be before we'll say, "In post-9/11 America, $X does you!" and it won't be hyperbole.

just fair (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473065)

I designate US military an "Enemy of the world"

Re:just fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473491)

U$tArds love to mod down what is obvious...

The U.S. Military is now the enemy of the U.S. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473081)

If they believe they can get away with illegal activities and blindly attempt to maim / capture / kill someone or someone(s) purely on the basis that they had the gall to stand up to them, and expose them for the mewling pieces of shit that they are, then they have become the enemies of this nation. They have become the terrorist organization they were supposed to defend this country from.

It's time for the leaders of the armed forces involved in this, along with the leaders of the FBI that were illegally and immorally entrapping citizens in fake terrorist plots designed and developed by the FBI to be arrested and sent to gitmo with no chance or hope of appeal or parole, or just line them up for summary execution, whichever is easiest and fastest. That is the only way we can re-secure out country.

Association with him possibly treason? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473085)

Could/would this designation be used against any American citizen who provides any type of aid or comfort to him, as in the US Constitution's definition of treason?

Re:Association with him possibly treason? (3, Informative)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473403)

no; guilt by association is not recognised in common law - the United States is, when all is said and done, a common law jurisdiction.

When the most used maxim in US judicial proceedings, whether military or civilian, is "Balance of Probabilities*" over "Beyond Reasonable Doubt", then it's time to start worrying. The UK is already there.

*Balance of Probabilities: based on the testimony of "experts", in an often biased proceeding, and where the decision is often already made before the "judge" even takes the Bench, a "finding of Fact" is made if the balance moves 1% over either way of the midline. A finding does not even need a witness to events; in fact, a witness is more often than not ignored by the *single "judge"* in favour of the State who pays him. The "judge" is also jury and executioner.

Interesting (5, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473093)

It appears that this might be designed to prevent further leaks by military personnel.

Ftom TFA:

Declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents, released under US freedom-of-information laws, reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with "communicating with the enemy", a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death.

They may never go after Assange. But the next Brad Manning may find him/herself swinging from the gallows.

Re:Interesting (4, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473293)

They may never go after Assange. But the next Brad Manning may find him/herself swinging from the gallows.

Wouldn't it be easier to designate everyone as "enemy of the state"? Then the military could have unlimited flexibility.

It's not like there is an appeal process or even a publicly available list of these "enemies of the state"

Re:Interesting (3, Insightful)

wall0159 (881759) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473365)

"the next Brad Manning may find him/herself swinging from the gallows." ... and compared with what has happened to Manning, it might be a kindness.

Makes his life 'easier'... (4, Insightful)

craznar (710808) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473127)

.. in a way.

Now that the US has designated this status, it gives many more countries the freedom to protect him. It gives him official 'political' refugee status in way more places.

Of course - it also paints a big target on his head, but everything has a down side.

Re:Makes his life 'easier'... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473383)

Of course - it also paints a big target on his head, but everything has a down side.

He had a fucking target painted on his head for a while now

While there was no legal status attached to it, a number of people who run this country (including Biden, the vice-president of US) had called for him to be hunted down and dealt with. What do you call that, encouragement?

Freedom of Speech is such a smokescreen. (5, Insightful)

TigerPlish (174064) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473133)

When what you're talking about is things businesses and governments wish to keep secret, there is no such thing as free speech. You pay for it in blood.

Were I Assange, I'd be far more worried about a bullet in my head or a mickey in my drink than a legit arrest.

Am I insinuating that a government or business would kill over information they wish to keep secret for legitimate reasons, or otherwise?

Hell yes, I am.

I'm sure there are many secrets that should remain so -- but buried in that pile are atrocities and behind-the-scene dealings that impact people like you and I in the worst ways -- and those are the dirty bits of laundry that need to get out.

Frankly, I still think the Internet is nothing but television magnified by 1000, with all the lolcatz and pr0n and myface and spacebook and all that -- but the ability to shed light on nasty, shady dealings -- that's what I had hoped the Internet would be able to do.

We need more of this. We need to know more about what businesses and governments do in secret to line their pockets by picking ours. The mainstream media can't quite be trusted to do so, I feel they're in the payroll of government and business -- so the last resort is.. this.

But, who vets this kind of leaks? Who can assure the reader that it isn't misinformation? Wow, paranoids are right, I think!

Still, there's a little place in my heart that tells me.. we really don't want to know. I think it could be that revolting, that repulsive.

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473281)

Ran out of mod points real quick in this thread...

Attack on Journalists that publish Wikileaks (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473285)

Article 104 is NOT restricted to the military, the army can arrest anyone under Article 104:

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/punitivearticles/a/mcm104.htm

"Scope of Article 104. This article denounces offenses by all persons whether or not otherwise subject to military law. Offenders may be tried by court-martial or by military commission. "

What they're doing is to say "deal with Wikileaks and you're an enemy of the state", which is aimed at journalists publishing the leaks surely? This is an official leak, i.e. the kind the US Military does when it wants to send a message out. Assange isn't the leaker here, he's just a journalist in the chain. The major distribution is the 100s of newspapers who publish the leaks.

Gee, why not just make fake rape charges or something like they usually do?

Re:Freedom of Speech is such a smokescreen. (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473291)

Frankly, I still think the Internet is nothing but television magnified by 1000, with all the lolcatz and pr0n and myface and spacebook and all that ...

I don't, and here's why: Because it allows ordinary people to converse for basically nothing. That information allows people to radically change their perspective on current and past events.

I'll give you an example: If you watched the Arab Spring on Fox News, you'd think it was something like Iranian agents with the support of Barack Obama overthrowing benevolent US-friendly governments as part of Obama's nefarious plan to betray America. If you watched the same events on MSNBC, you'd think it was Obama single-handedly bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East. If you watched the same events on Al Jazeera English (which you wouldn't be able to do in many areas without the Internet), you'd think it was the people in a spontaneous uprising. And if you were reading what ordinary Egyptians and Tunisians were saying about what was happening, you'd know that all 3 of the networks were at least partially wrong.

Re:Freedom of Speech is such a smokescreen. (1)

Pheosics (2740045) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473453)

And which one is right? We get the same problem with TV. The interenet allows us to spread our opinions and "the news" and an incredible rate. But it is still up to the viewer to determine what is reality and what is BS. Sure it allows Mr. Smith to converse with Mr. (whateverthecommonlastnameisinthemiddleeast). But that doesn't mean either of them are who they say they are, or that what they have to say has any importance. I am a scientist so I can't speak for everyone, but if Joe Schmo says something about the nature of the universe it immediately gets put on the back burner. Why would I listen to someone who has no background in the thing they are taking about. Realities can be warped, and perceptions can be deluded. Human beings are flawed. Just because I can talk to someone from the other side of the world who is living through something doesn't mean I should trust their opinion or their interpretation.

Re:Freedom of Speech is such a smokescreen. (1)

elucido (870205) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473373)

When what you're talking about is things businesses and governments wish to keep secret, there is no such thing as free speech. You pay for it in blood.

Were I Assange, I'd be far more worried about a bullet in my head or a mickey in my drink than a legit arrest.

Am I insinuating that a government or business would kill over information they wish to keep secret for legitimate reasons, or otherwise?

Hell yes, I am.

I'm sure there are many secrets that should remain so -- but buried in that pile are atrocities and behind-the-scene dealings that impact people like you and I in the worst ways -- and those are the dirty bits of laundry that need to get out.

Frankly, I still think the Internet is nothing but television magnified by 1000, with all the lolcatz and pr0n and myface and spacebook and all that -- but the ability to shed light on nasty, shady dealings -- that's what I had hoped the Internet would be able to do.

We need more of this. We need to know more about what businesses and governments do in secret to line their pockets by picking ours. The mainstream media can't quite be trusted to do so, I feel they're in the payroll of government and business -- so the last resort is.. this.

But, who vets this kind of leaks? Who can assure the reader that it isn't misinformation? Wow, paranoids are right, I think!

Still, there's a little place in my heart that tells me.. we really don't want to know. I think it could be that revolting, that repulsive.

They would probably just capture him and interrogate him for the rest of his life.

Of course he is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473151)

By exposing state corruption and other wrongdoing, he's a friend of the people, which makes him an enemy of the state simply by closure.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473157)

The US Army thus shows the same behaviour of China and Russia.

If you're no better than bullies, what does that make you?

So that's what he gets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473159)

For getting the truth government corruption out there, huh. They really want to shut him up.

Not good at all. (1)

Scott Lockwood (218839) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473167)

That is a really bad sign. That makes giving them classified message traffic treason, which is punishable by death during time of war. This does not bode well for Bradley Manning.

Naivity, paranoia, the military, and us. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473193)

Not that I agree with everything the military does, or even the majority of what we as a country do, and I also believe that much of what wikileaks does is good. When they release information that puts people at risk, or personal letters between our representatives with the explicit purpose of causing controversy and turmoil, I think that is fucked up. People who say that all information should be open are naive, and people that say everything should be controlled are paranoid. Finding a middle ground has always been the problem, and always will be.

Re:Naivity, paranoia, the military, and us. (2)

Pheosics (2740045) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473357)

This is my first post on slashdot since I felt compelled to respond. I am surprised that this is the only post so far that is critical of both the US military and Wikileaks. Everyone seems to think that Assange could do no wrong, and that Wikileaks is a saint for revealing unto us the corruption of the government. I for one, am more skeptical. While I will agree with most comments about our government and its over reaching and almost tyrannical military and political prowess. There are some things that I don't want posted. I understand the importance of secrecy and of believing one thing but doing another. For instance, a know a good friend of mine is against homosexuality (rare where I am from), but he still votes for equal rights. If you leak his personal emails you might see his bigotry, but didn't the new batman teach us anything? It's not what you say, but what you do that defines you. And thus I think wikileaks has done wrong in some cases. Should he be an enemy of the state? No. But he shouldn't be considered some saint either. Some information should be kept classified and/or personal. In this day and age surely people can understand the importance of privacy.

Is anyone surprised? (4, Insightful)

jesseck (942036) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473221)

The United States was embarrassed by WikiLeaks, and they are looking to "fix" that. The problem is, they can't take any of it back. This is all reactionary, and not real rational. If anything, they need to review how/why Bradley Manning had access to the State Department cables, since it doesn't make sense Manning would have had that access in the first place (just because people have a security clearance doesn't mean they have a need-to-know- and the information system should enforce that). They need to put blocks in place to prevent future problems.

The US can't change the past this early- they need to wait a long time to spin this (probably a couple generations). Punishing WikiLeaks won't accomplish much in this case, because the next time a leak happens another proxy will be used. They are trying to punish Assange, as they punished Manning, to deter future "leak" hosts. It won't work- while the US can control the military personnel and their actions, they can't change the rest of the world.

The US is acting like a child- "I told Timmy a secret, and he told Jeff, and Jeff told the rest of the school. I'm no longer going to be Timmy's friend, and I'll tell the teacher to suspend Jeff. That way, the school will know not to tell my secrets." It doesn't work- everyone knows, and you can't wipe the world's memory with legislation or prison.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473463)

And that's why Timmy "fell down the well."

RIP Bradley. (1)

koan (80826) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473247)

They need to show an iron fist on this one, can't have people embarrassing the military and government.

How quickly they forget... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473311)

So the rules are:

1) Out an undercover spy (Valerie Plame) and directly or indirectly causing the death and/or compromising of countless intelligence sources -> Penalty = nothing
2) Out the US government's dirty laundry list -> Penalty = being set up for the death penalty...either officially or through a drone strike

I think Jon Stewart was right...anyone wishing to create a Constitution for their country should use ours...we aren't using it...

I donated to Wikileaks (5, Insightful)

future assassin (639396) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473329)

TWICE. Never though I'd be a terrorist supporter so soon. I'm so fucking proud of myself.

Re:I donated to Wikileaks (3, Insightful)

brit74 (831798) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473443)

Never though I'd be a terrorist supporter so soon.

They didn't say Assange was a terrorist. They said he was an 'enemy of the state', a category which includes terrorists but is not synonymous with terrorism. Should I draw a Venn diagram?

Communicating With The Enemy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473331)

In this case the Enemy is the World ... So Obama's America interprets the World as the Enemy.

Lovely. LOL

So will Lord Obama dial up SAC and have London evaporated? No! And Why! Obama's got no balls!

If Assange is an 'Enemy of the State' then Obama as 'President of the USA' has latitude to kill all
of the citizen of London ... who are aiding and abetting an 'enemy of the state' of the 'USA'.

On legal terms Mr. Assange is NOT an 'Enemy of the State' ... rather ... he IS an Enemy of Mr. Obama.

A grudge match and fight to attrition.

Will Mr. Obama take a 'Leap Of Faith' from the balcony of the White House on the morning of November 7
just when he realizes his 'Empire' has crumbles to ashes?

Stay Tuned! :)

8D

Re:Communicating With The Enemy (1)

Pheosics (2740045) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473381)

Interesting to read this, and then look a couple inches below and see the headline "UK Authorities Threaten to Storm Ecuadorian Embassy to Arrest Julian Assange". Not sure why you think declaring him an enemy of the state means that we should consider the UK an enemy. But hey, have fun in your conspiracy bubble.

Hey U$A, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41473345)

go $**k the neare$t d**k... freaking $tupid bully-s**tland.

Giving aid and comfort to the enemy (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473421)

I couldn't think of a better call for donations and support for wikileaks than to have my government demonstrating Assanges central points for him.

The real reason for this action (3, Interesting)

stox (131684) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473441)

They're doing this to go after Bradley Manning. If they don't, no crime, or at least a lessor one, was committed by Manning.

Not Surprised (4, Insightful)

brit74 (831798) | about a year and a half ago | (#41473539)

I'm not surprised. Assange released a bunch of classified military documents - at a time when two wars were going on. Now, a lot of people might disagree with those wars and would, therefore, agree with Assange releasing the information. Assange, himself, has said it was his mission to end the wars - presumably, he meant that the release of classified US documents would damage the war effort so badly that the US would withdraw.

Although, I have to wonder what our response would be if this was the early 1940s, the US was fighting Germany and Japan, and a character named 'Assange' released a bunch of documents relating to the US war effort. Would this be the same thing? Would we label Assange a hero or a traitor if he was degrading the US war effort against enemies which we all hate? I wouldn't be surprised at all if a 1940s-era Assange released this information (he talks about how he'll release anything), and I wouldn't be surprised at all if the US labelled him an enemy of the state, either. I would hope that people's outrage over this didn't seem to hinge on whether or not you agree or disagree with the US war.
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