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billms

wikileaks lost me

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The point of this new dump seems to be to show that the US is a bit two-faced in diplomacy and there are things in the world the US government is really concerned about.

Which is to say its embarrassing but not enlightening and thus seems to be vindictive rather than in support of a set of ethics.

Perhaps more tangible and interesting/useful/important information will come out - I expect that to happen with the banking dump early next year.

This new release seems to have cost them some credit with a number of people who support exposing bad behavior but are not in favor of losing all privacy.

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It's the curse of fame. The first dump gets everybody talking, people know your name. After that it's all about fame.

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The problem with most crusaders is that they see the world in black and white. That is why they crusade. And probably like most crusaders the blindness of his fanaticism will ultimately discredit him and his 'movement'. That is if he doesn't decide to pick on the Russians and they do him in first!

Moscow's Bid to Blow Up WikiLeaks - Yahoo! News

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The point of this new dump seems to be to show that the US is a bit two-faced in diplomacy and there are things in the world the US government is really concerned about.

Which is to say its embarrassing but not enlightening and thus seems to be vindictive rather than in support of a set of ethics.

Perhaps more tangible and interesting/useful/important information will come out - I expect that to happen with the banking dump early next year.

This new release seems to have cost them some credit with a number of people who support exposing bad behavior but are not in favor of losing all privacy.

I'm looking forward to this. Did they say why they are waiting? I haven't read much about this so I'm being lazy.

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They claim to do a fair amount of review and analysis before each dumb to scrub info even they wouldn't want out - like maybe account numbers of names of afghan informers who would be killed if identified. And they prepare 'packages' to provide some context - at least their view of it. This recent dump is from the same source as the last big US dump - they just hadn't finished processing it yet.

I'm sure with anything incriminating or embarrassing to individual people in power - particularly governments and banks - they will not censor it.

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I don't know what to think of this. On the one hand I think the danger aspect, the whole this leaks puts American lives in danger angle, is overblown. American lives are already in danger, all over the world, because they're American, and I think this isn't going to exacerbate that much. It seems to me the danger here is more the loss of face for American diplomats.

On the other hand, to your point, there doesn't seem to be much this exposes that as consequential as the leaking of the Iraq papers, which exposed a truer scope of civilian casualties from that war. I'm a guy who likes to see duplicity and lies told on a grand scale exposed, but I was underwhelmed by this latest release. So much of this release seems to be pointless titillation and middle school-level backbiting. It's not as though American diplomats are the only ones engaged in this kind of backbiting--everybody knows everybody does it. But since it was our actions actually exposed, we're the ones that have to deal with the mess.

Two thoughts I take away from this:

  • I can't believe it was that one lone soldier who exposed all of these documents, as the government and media want to lead us to believe. It doesn't seem plausible that it's the work of a single person. This feels like Richard Jewell at the Atlanta Olympics all over again.
  • Unless he goes into 24/7 hiding, I don't think the guy who runs WikiLeaks is long for this world.

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my gut reaction is that I want to punch this guy (Mr. Wikileaks) in the face.

I guess that's wrong.

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Where's he from? If he's from the US, try him for treason and execute him when he's found guilty. If he's not from the US... well. Someone will take care of him.

I don't like it at all. Leaders need to be able to stick their neck out when discussing things with others and with people who work for them. It's bad enough with everybody writing books and cashing in on their gov't services, now they have to worry about this? I wouldn't want things said between me and other managers to be known by the general office staff.

It's just rotten.

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What he does isn't any different than when newspapers published the Pentagon Papers, it's just on a much bigger scale thanks to improvements in information technology. Prosecute the leakers, which is what our laws call for anyway.

I'd imagine that if it were possible or beneficial to kill him, it would have been done already. He probably is sitting on enough sensitive information that he can withhold until his untimely death to keep himself safe for the time being. He sure acts with the confidence of one who does. If he takes on Russia, however...

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wikileaks equals the victory of rootless globalism vs. the Atlantic Democracies

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I'd agree with half that equation. It's transnational, that's for sure...But nationalism is for suckers and rubes, as the global elites learned long ago.

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as long as it wikileaks does not put people physically in harms way, which i don't think they've done yet, i'm all for the openness. i'm not going to worry about intangible things like reputations of individuals that might be harmed.

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What he does isn't any different than when newspapers published the Pentagon Papers, it's just on a much bigger scale thanks to improvements in information technology. Prosecute the leakers, which is what our laws call for anyway.

I'd imagine that if it were possible or beneficial to kill him, it would have been done already. He probably is sitting on enough sensitive information that he can withhold until his untimely death to keep himself safe for the time being. He sure acts with the confidence of one who does. If he takes on Russia, however...

Big diff though. The Pentagon papers exposed information of about a government misleading the public in such a way as to subvert its ability to vote intelligently on the basis of policy. There was a democratic fundamental that the Johnson and Nixon admins were subverting. Where is the policy significance in any of the WIKI stuff so far? This latest batch is pretty much just gossip. The Iraq stuff was, in the final analysis, quite consistent with what the gov and DOD had already co-operated with in the public reporting. The detail level of the WIKI leaks has no policy significance to the public, only tactical value for our adversaries.

Being old enough to have been voting during the Vietnam era, I can say from personal experience, that while our entry into IRAQ had frightening similarities to our entry into 'Nam, once there, the ability of the public to know what was really going on (in so far as anyone really does in a war situation) without a deliberate effort by the Gov to obfuscate reality, has been totally different.

If Assange had managed to give us the detail level of what when on in the Bush admin in the run-up to 'Iraqi Freedom', it might have been a worthwhile service, but as far as I'm concerned, there is no story in his 'narrative'.

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Where's he from? If he's from the US, try him for treason and execute him when he's found guilty. If he's not from the US... well. Someone will take care of him.

I don't like it at all. Leaders need to be able to stick their neck out when discussing things with others and with people who work for them. It's bad enough with everybody writing books and cashing in on their gov't services, now they have to worry about this? I wouldn't want things said between me and other managers to be known by the general office staff.

It's just rotten.

He's not from the US and the best analysis that I've read suggests - much like Ellsberg - he would not be found guilty of treason. Under most - possibly all - situations a US citizen is not required to hold secret information that they receive just because the government wants them to.

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Big diff though.

If Assange had managed to give us the detail level of what when on in the Bush admin in the run-up to 'Iraqi Freedom', it might have been a worthwhile service, but as far as I'm concerned, there is no story in his 'narrative'.

I think there is a big difference in goals and ethics between the two but I don't think there is a difference in legality - though it sounds like you were not addressing that.

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- though it sounds like you were not addressing that.

Correct.

On the legal front, one difference between Ellsberg and Assange is that Ellsberg was the source of the material - he was the analyst that collected it and the person that released it, so he explicitly violated the terms of his security clearance. If the Nixon admin had not been guilty of the abuse of power that got the Ellsberg prosecution thrown out, it probably would have required an act of jury nullification for him to have been acquitted. Assange is only a recipient and as a non-US national, he has no legal obligations to the US. Unless he conspired in the removal of the classified info from the gov - which is probably likely but may be hard to prove, he is in a different situation.

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The mere fact that, apparently, the US government allowed sensitive information to be viewed on machines which were even capable to writing to an external drive (ffs, a CD drive?!!) is, in itself, as embarrassing as hell.

That someone with the rank of private could do so with all the apparent data which has come out is more so.

Seriously - that, by itself, is the embarrassment here. It's not rocket science to resin up the USB ports for example.

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I suspect the real problem is that so much information is routinely classified that it must be accessible from a wide range of computers.

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my gut reaction is that I want to punch this guy (Mr. Wikileaks) in the face.

I guess that's wrong.

My gut reaction is to hang the guy who gave him the information. Then punch Mr. Wikileaks in the face.

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Bill, about your original post... I think you might be inferring some intent to Assange. I heard a quote from him since this latest dump that he thinks Hillary should resign for having her department spying on the UN. Unless he's perpetrating, isn't it possible that he actually believes that there's wrongdoing going on here?

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The mere fact that, apparently, the US government allowed sensitive information to be viewed on machines which were even capable to writing to an external drive (ffs, a CD drive?!!) is, in itself, as embarrassing as hell.

That someone with the rank of private could do so with all the apparent data which has come out is more so.

Seriously - that, by itself, is the embarrassment here. It's not rocket science to resin up the USB ports for example.

Yes. This is just plain stupid. The level of exposure is unbelievable.

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those who support wikileaks...should stop paying taxes...because nations and governments are apparently artificial constructs.

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I love how it's wikileaks fault and not the fault of the US government for not being able to protect their own freaking information.

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I love how it's wikileaks fault and not the fault of the US government for not being able to protect their own freaking information.

I think there's a concerted effort every time one of these dumps happens to shift attention from the content of the dump and onto Assange.

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I love how it's wikileaks fault and not the fault of the US government for not being able to protect their own freaking information.

So after 9/11 everybody hollers because the US gov information systems are too compartmentalized, so the system gets opened up by single clearance level and the they get burned because they are too incompetent to either layer the logons and/or track the access so they flag suspicious or out of context access. Bureaucracy 101.

And the USB thing, pretty universal screw up. Most of the fortune 500 have all kind of propriety stuff they think is locked in that you can pull out with a thumb drive.

Edited by Gehringer_2

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