Whats your view of the WikiLeaks controversy?

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Our government should expect no privacy when it can't respect the constitution. They get no sympathy from me. 

 

"In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble."  Ron Paul

 

 

Political Terrorism? Hardly. If this is terrorism... I mean... fuck.

Transparency? Sure, but Woodward and Bernstein he's not.

There are a few significant differences between what W/B did and Assange.

1) W/B had a point. They found something evil that was being kept secret, analyzed it, researched it, did journalism and made their argument. Assange managed to get or find someone happy to indiscriminately lift documents and send them his way. I doubt sincerely that he looked at all of them and I don't know what his point was.

2) W/B had something worth disclosing. The Pentagon was hiding their conclusion that the war in Vietnam was already a failure while still spending lives for years. It has yet to be seen if anything on that scale of evil is going to show up. Given that no country has gone ape shit yet suggests to me that there isn't anything to be found -- unless Silvio Berlusconi being a giant douche is a surprise to anyone. Then again I could be proven wrong, we'll have to wait and see.

I believe in transparency but I also understand the need for secrecy. So when secrecy is broken there better some good reason for it. It's hard to believe that Assange really knows what he has if he has anything. Unless I figure out at some point down the line that he had a point to make besides "secrets are bad," this is just dickery.

I think Asange is doing a service for Americans by releasing the information he has on his website. I don't really believe one life in the military has been in any more danger since the release of this information than they were before its release. There's really only one reason for government secrecy and that is to protect the government from its own population.

I view it as a new model for journalism.  If we're to crack down on Wikileaks then we might as well crack down on the New York Times for collaborating with them.  And I for one out of all the news I've seen from Al Jazeera English, France24, and others have yet to see any information that warrants surrendering the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution. 

Stealing is criminal..... 

Transferring stolen goods is just as criminal as the thief that stole it.

If someone illegally obtains my personal data and then someone else publishes it aren't they both in the wrong?

Is stealing your personal data different than selling it without your knowledge? that happens all the time...  I guess the real question is do you consider government documents personal/private/privileged information, or do the citizens of a gov't have every right to know what that gov't is doing?

While I am not privy to government document classifications, something considered "Classified," "Secret" or "Top Secret" is taken very seriously by the US government, trust me.  On one occasion while servicing a system at the National Security Agency, I had to leave the room, because, using their protocol, I could not be in the same room with a given item!  No, I'm NOT kidding.

 

My take would be that any action outside of legal channels, subsequent to the theft or unauthorized distribution of any such classified document is going to be actionable as a Federal felony, at minimum.

I understand.  So, the fact that releasing this information reveals illegal activities and lies that the gov't has been telling the public doesn't weigh in on the matter?  Often times leaking information is the way that large corruption scandals are born, and people know the things that the gov't didn't want them to know because of their culpability.

I could justify it in my head if he really did uncover and reveal some seriously shady stuff but as of yet I haven't heard of anything worse than, "Our diplomats think their diplomats are shit heads."

What has been revealed that is both new and substantive?

We are conducting a small war inside of pakistan.  We are bombing targets in Yemen, whilst their gov't tells the world that it is them that is doing it, not us.

 

Point is, this cable leak is a good thing.  its given regular (blind) americans the ability to see a bit of why the world views us the way they do.  We are not a benevolent nation, but a nation of backdoor deals and power brokering to secure its interests at all costs.

Most of it that is new which I think people should be aware of involves our government's collusion with big business against 3rd world countries. The reason why I say it's collusion is that the government was hardly neutral by suppressing this knowledge in their cables.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/dec/09/wikileaks-cables-pfi...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/dec/08/wikileaks-cables-she...

I have a major problem with that Julian Assange did, in that he released US classified documents.  Is he releasing anything from Russia?  China?  North Korea?  In short, is he doing anything to counterbalance his actions which have the effect of compromising US diplomatic action and give the advantage to the above-mentioned and other powers?

 

Further, what do you suppose would happen if,  by some rare bit of luck, Assange WAS able to glean something from Chinese or Russian State Security and post it on WikiLeaks?  Back in the day, the KGB had NO problem with "eliminating" anyone who posed a security risk to the former Soviet Union, and with Putin effectively in the driver's seat, I doubt mightily that they'd be any less bold now.  Same notation regarding the PRC and as for North Korea, who knows?

 

Releasing just ONE SIDE's secrets creates an out-of-balance condition, a potentially dangerous condition depending on the content of the material released.  In what appears to be Julian's colossal naivete, he figures that ANY release is good, never mind pulling down the pants of the US as cyber-sport.  In this regard, I think he is badly mistaken, and his arrogance in indiscriminately publicizing US classified material (I hope) will have a high price tag attached for him.

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