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Obama Wants Allies To Go After WikiLeaks 1088

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the they're-gonna-need-a-blimp dept.
krou writes "Coming on the back of human rights groups criticizing WikiLeaks, American officials are saying that the Obama administration is pressuring allies such as Australia, Britain, and Germany to open criminal investigations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and to try limit his ability to travel. 'It's not just our troops that are put in jeopardy by this leaking. It's UK troops, it's German troops, it's Australian troops — all of the NATO troops and foreign forces working together in Afghanistan,' said one American diplomatic official, who added that other governments should 'review whether the actions of WikiLeaks could constitute crimes under their own national-security laws.'"
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Obama Wants Allies To Go After WikiLeaks

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  • How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dyinobal (1427207) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:06PM (#33216266)
    How does a little egg on the Governments face = endangering troops? Seems to me sending them to Afghanistan and Iraq puts them in more danger than anything wikileaks could ever publish.
  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:08PM (#33216288)

    for bringing our own war criminals to justice.

  • Re:How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:10PM (#33216314)

    endangering troops

    They mean endangering their ability to lie effectively.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:10PM (#33216322)
    It's nothing personal. He just doesn't like freedom of speech when it's about him in some way. Nobody really does, though.
  • by not already in use (972294) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:10PM (#33216326)
    He blew any attempt at real credibility by sensationalizing "collateral murder." Exposing the Afghanistan documents has done very little in telling the public something we didn't already know (everyone was well aware that there have been civilian casualties). Ironically, all he really did was expose a bunch of innocent civilians as US informants, who are now likely to be beaten, tortured, and murdered (along with their families) by the warlords they had outed. How noble of you, you egotistical twat.
  • What about the US? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by warpmoon (654097) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:10PM (#33216328)
    What about investigations into the crimes that US troops (among others) and people higher up in the chain of command have conducted?
    Why do they never get put on trial and punished?

    Naive to think that they ever will be perhaps, but still...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:10PM (#33216330)

    This administration has proved time & time again that transparency is, at best, inconvenient. Tyranny is their preferred path.

  • Re: How does (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:10PM (#33216332)

    How does a little egg on the Governments face = endangering troops? Seems to me sending them to Afghanistan and Iraq puts them in more danger than anything wikileaks could ever publish.

    Because it's actually about the egg. The troops are just an excuse.

  • I love it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:11PM (#33216334) Homepage

    "These documents that this website released endanger the lives of men and women around the globe. THESE DOCUMENTS. THESE DOCUMENTS RIGHT HERE."

    If you don't want people to know about what's in the documents, stop fucking talking about them.

  • by ITBurnout (1845712) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:11PM (#33216342)
    "It's not just our troops that are put in jeopardy by this leaking. It's U.K. troops, it's German troops, it's Australian troops—all of the NATO troops and foreign forces working together in Afghanistan."

    It's not limited to just troops. I'm sure that the Taliban greatly appreciated suddenly having a comprehensive list of the names of hundreds of Afghan civilian informants.

  • by alexo (9335) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:11PM (#33216348) Journal

    The US is just doing what it does best: being a bully.

  • Re:How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dc29A (636871) * on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:12PM (#33216354)

    I don't think the leaked Afghanistan war documents are a 'little egg'. It's clear proof that the war is lost and there is no hope for winning. This whole fuss about the leaked documents are a diversion for other serious issue the current administration failed with: BP, the economy, watered down regulations, broken campaign promisses, etc ...

  • by dreampod (1093343) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:13PM (#33216378)

    They would get a lot more support for this sort of action if the leaked documents were legitimately classified due to national secrets rather than just because they are embarassing. Revealing that the US government has been lying to its citizens and the world about what is happening in Afganistan and Iraq is certainly something they wouldn't want but keeping the electorate in the dark prevents them from providing direction to the country by electing officials to serve its aims

  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PontifexPrimus (576159) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:15PM (#33216404)

    “It’s amazing how Assange has overplayed his hand,” a Defense Department official marveled. “Now, he’s alienating the sort of people who you’d normally think would be his biggest supporters.”

    You know, you could replace Assange's name in this quote with Obama's and it would read equally true. Trying to drag us Europeans in as allies to support what looks like a war on exposed government cover-ups will not do wonders for how the US government is perceived over here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:15PM (#33216412)

    This exactly sums up my own feelings about it. Julian Assange is doing it to fan his own ego. Any rational person can watch an interview with him and realize that he's completely ego-driven. He doesn't care one bit about the Afghan civilians he's put in danger just so long as he can get his name mentioned. It's disgusting.

    I think there's a need for a site *like* WikiLeaks, but it needs to be run anonymously to keep the media-chasing ego clowns out of the equation.

  • Re:How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dreampod (1093343) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:17PM (#33216426)

    It is really sad. I want to like Obama, I really do but he and his administration/party make it so damn hard. While he is undoubtedly better than the Cheney/Bush administration, I strongly dislike how he is continuing the exact same types of policies in regards to 'national security' so that it legitimizes the horrendous evils that the previous administration engaged in rather than marking them out as significant abberations in the United States moral code.

  • How about that... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by maugle (1369813) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:17PM (#33216432)
    Gosh, it's as if our government doesn't appreciate it when people leak videos of our soldiers murdering civilians! You'd think they'd be grateful, since it gives them a more accurate understanding of why the civilians there are turning to extremism.
  • Re:How does (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Peach Rings (1782482) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:19PM (#33216472) Homepage

    There's the problem with transparency in the military. If anything embarrassing happens, they can just claim that it's sensitive information and refuse to tell us what happened, and there's nothing anyone can do.

  • by swschrad (312009) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:19PM (#33216480) Homepage Journal

    and if the government can't keep its secrets, don't blame the folks who find them on the street. 95% of that stuff has already been in the papers, after all, within a year of its happening. the issue is level-1 security, the folks who have access. in the US, prior cases have established that if the press gets facts, they can print.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:19PM (#33216482)

    Im starting to think , there is professional trolling behind those posts.

    Slashdot has always had many different oppinions and POV's...Yet as soon as the US goverment "officially" spoke against Wikileaks there has been an increasing number of obtuse and retarded "think of the troops" posts claiming assange is a jerk...

    I know several boards who are regularly troled for commercial interests but... wtf this is slashdot.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:19PM (#33216488) Homepage

    I know I will hear a lot of counter-arguments to this but I'm going to say it anyway.

    The documents were leaked by people who are in a position of disagreement with their orders and the behavior of the military and political officials. Simply saying "I don't like it" isn't enough of a statement for anyone's needs or purposes. If they are in the know and have evidence that "bad things" are happening, presenting proof of these bad things is the only true means of expression.

    The U.S. and its involvements (interference) in the affairs of other sovereign nations is simply not appreciated by the majority of the world and this is especially true more recently. If there is anything that threatens the U.S. national security more than anything else, it is the increased disapproval of the U.S. in the world. People who are intent on sharing facts and truth wouldn't be as much of a problem if the U.S. was on the straight and narrow.

    The notion of "if you haven't been doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to fear" has been used by governments against its citizens for a very long time. But when directed against governments, we see a pretty different set of standards.

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:21PM (#33216508)

    Maybe a week or so ago. He simultaneously stated that there was nothing new or dangerous in the leaked documents, yet called it irresponsible for WikiLeaks for release this information. Normally, I'd take into consideration the "this will harm our intelligence assets" argument, but this has been going on for 9 years and every time we get a peek behind the curtain, we see that the public face on the war is a complete lie.

  • Re:How does (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:21PM (#33216510)
    Since when do talibans rely on wikileaks to tell them who to kill publicly to send a message to the rest of the population?
  • Re:How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jedi Alec (258881) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:21PM (#33216516)

    Gotta love the wording...

    "The initial document dump by WikiLeaks last month is reported to have disclosed the names of hundreds of Afghan civilians (emphasis mine)

    In other words, "I didn't actually check it myself but I gotta write this piece so I'll just go with whatever sounds the worst"

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:22PM (#33216524)

    So, if there's nothing new in this information, then why the concern? It's about the scope, not the empirical information.

  • Journalism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:22PM (#33216530)

    Wikileaks is journalism, and this is a test of the American principle of "Freedom of the Press".

    Sometimes the press publishes embarrassing, inconvenient, or dangerous information.
    Those are the times when society is asked, "Is the freedom to publish a core value enshrined in a special place in our society or not?"

    As an American, I hope the answer continues to remain "Yes".

  • by dreampod (1093343) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:23PM (#33216544)

    I find myself torn on the subject. While the Taliban was undoubtedly a terrible organisation that harmed the nation of Afganistan I don't believe that we have the right to unilateraly invade and 'make' them change. After all I imagine that during WWII that the Germans would have been extremely upset if records of their collaberators were released but we laud the French freedom fighters for discovering and executing them. The only difference in this case is that our side is the 'good' guys in this one.

  • Re:How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ClintJCL (264898) <clintjcl+slashdotNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:25PM (#33216574) Homepage Journal
    Well, you see, The Taliban kills when they have "reason" to - and they just gave them more reasons. (I'm pro-leak.)
  • by Pengel the squib (300408) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:25PM (#33216582)

    So when did reporting secrets become illegal Reporters do it all the time, it's their job. Half the time it's the politicians who leak the information in the first place. I really didn't see much in the stuff that everyone didn't already know or suspect anyway. Anyone remember the Pentagon Papers?

  • Re:How does (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:25PM (#33216586) Homepage

    How does a little egg on the Governments face = endangering troops?

    While I don't agree with this sort of logic, here's the way the military thinks about the Wikileaks papers:
    1. If the public hears about how stupid, ineffective, and immoral the war is via Wikileaks (or any other source), the public will stop supporting the war.
    2. If the public stops supporting the war, Congress and the President will eventually stop supporting the war.
    3. If politicians stop supporting the war, the President will have to order the troops to retreat.
    4. If President orders the troops to retreat, they'll be demoralized, which will make them fight less effectively.

    Of course, a reasonably smart person might notice that the real story here is that stupid, ineffective, and immoral wars end in a democracy.

  • Important to note (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Robotron23 (832528) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:25PM (#33216590) Homepage

    The leaked files were in possession of Wikileaks for months. During that time they contacted the Pentagon for assistance in minimizing the damage to informants that would likely be a consequence of the leaks.

    The Pentagon and US military railed against the idea of helping to mitigate the damage and condemned the notion of making this data public, and so after a few months of fruitless negotiation the entire 91,000+ files were leaked unaltered. The perception that this all happened in the space of a few days is false and not worth entertaining.

    Do note that Assange has subsequently been cavalier over the notion that people could die should the Taliban employ the documents to locate them; his comments have been of the blunt 'ends justify the means' flavour. Whether a person's life is worth the US losing this amount of face over controversial events in Afghanistan is down to individual perception but my point is that this situation isn't quite as clear cut as much of the mass media depict - and this goes for those in favour Wikileaks actions as well as those against.

  • Re:How does (Score:4, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:26PM (#33216598) Homepage

    I'm with you. I want to like Obama too. I'm not convinced that he is to blame. I am more inclined to believe that there are limits to what he can do in the face of extremely powerful opposition. I think that it wasn't until he assumed office that reality smacked him in the face. There are faceless and nameless people in power. There have been a good number of interesting journalistic works investigating these people. One of them is Dick Cheney's lawyer, for example. Wish I could remember his name. And there are countless other unknowns as well I am sure.

    I hoped that Obama was the new JFK. JFK was an ambitious leader who wanted to make great things happen. And the more he did, the more upset certain parties became. We know what happened to him. Obama is wise to choose his battles carefully.

    I want huge change. Obama won't deliver it. I doubt anyone can at this stage.

  • by eepok (545733) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:27PM (#33216610) Homepage

    The key part of the article, of course on the second page, is the following:

    "Pentagon wants to bankrupt us by refusing to assist review," he tweeted on Monday, referring to the effort by WikiLeaks to convince the Defense Department to join in reviewing the additional 15,000 documents to remove the names of Afghan civilians and others who might be placed in danger by its release. "Media won’t take responsibility. Amnesty won’t. What to do?"

    Wikileaks went to the Pentagon and/or White House and asked them to assist in the redaction of sensitive things... like the names of civilians. They refused to do so thinking it would prevent the release of the documents. Instead, Wikileaks simply did a cost-benefit analysis and found that the potential danger of the Taliban acquiring the documents, sifting through them, picking out suspect names, and then targeting them was not as valuable as releasing all these documents to the public.

    Now, the government is going to try to demonize Wikileaks in every possible way... not because they're endangering lives or missions, but because they are willing to unveil damaging secrets. It's the Pentagon Papers all over again. The government will lose this battle in the long run.

    Then again, as the immediate effects of the leaking of the Pentagon Papers showed, the public doesn't care. Ideally, people would be marching on DC, enraged at military mismanagement and lack of direction, but, just like before, they get excited by the sensationalism and then they forget.

    Lose-Lose

  • Re:How does (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:27PM (#33216614)

    While he is undoubtedly better than the Cheney/Bush administration,

    Really?
    So having Gitmo just as bad as it was is "better" than before?

    Having more MafiAA-friendly policies than the Bush regime is "better" than before?

    Gutting the part of the Justice Department that prosecutes abuse of law concerning monopolistic business practices, in order to ratchet up frivolous "civil rights" prosecutions, is "better" than before?

    Ramping-up of "targeted killings" by the Obama administration is "better" than before?

    Having a "state secrets" policy that treats FOIA requests like toilet paper and lets political staff vet them is "better" than before?

    Doing nothing when North Korea runs missile tests is "better" than before?

    Wasting money suing states that try to get a handle on the illegal alien problem, while simultaneously refusing to prosecute sanctuary cities (despite the fact that it is against federal law - 8 U.S. Code, sections 1324 and 1325; Immigration and Naturalization Act sections 274 and 275, Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA)) - that's somehow "better" than before?

    I'd hate to see what you think would qualify as worse!

    I'd hate to see what you think qualifies as worse than before. Really.

  • by AndrewNeo (979708) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:28PM (#33216620) Homepage

    What does this have to do with giant robots?

  • Lying for what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:29PM (#33216648)

    Let's not beat around the bush. What they REALLY mean is that wikileaks is threatening their justification for spending. Spending is what makes the business of government incredibly lucrative for the elite few, not lying. Lying is merely a means to more spending.

    The defense industry is worth billions of dollars per year, and the vast majority of that cash comes from government. The more money passing through the hands of the elite at the top, the better their position to exploit that flow of cash for personal gain.

    Am I saying that money is the primary motivator of war, and the underlying objective of defense spending? You're damn right I am.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:29PM (#33216654)

    Credibility?

    He doest fucking need credibility.He's(and wikileaks) the messenger not the author.

    Got leaked information.

    Asked the original source( not the leaker) for help in redacting out sensible information.

    Got told to fuck off.

    Published the information with whatever redeacting they could do themselves.

    Can you blame wikileaks for displaying(quite often) embarrasing information about powerfull entities? Hell Yes.

    Can you blame wikileaks for whatever you learn through that information, spoecially since they refused to hel redacting it? Fucking Not.

    Stop shooting the messenger.

  • Re:How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:30PM (#33216666)
    By revealing strategic/tactical information?
    By naming afghan civilians who cooperate with NATO troops?

    Abuses need to be reported. Fine. Just outing information for the sole purpose of outing information is plain stupid.
  • by dreampod (1093343) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:30PM (#33216668)

    I don't think that he 'sensationalized' the "Collateral Murder" video as it did a pretty good job of that on its own.

    Are the innocent civilians that got gunned down by laughing Americans from a helicopter gunship somehow deserving of death? It is tragic that there could be risks to informants that helped the US but to claim that they are innocent is a stretch. They choose to provide information to an invading army knowing that there were risks of being discovered by nationalist fighters. To me at least that is profoundly less innocent that the victims of Predator bombings whose only 'crime' was to go to a family members wedding.

  • Re:How does (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:33PM (#33216706)

    Or:

    revealing the names of sources for military intelligence, and/or how the intelligence was acquired (as has been proven, knowing the "how" quickly leads to a very small list of "who" possibilities), will get undercover agents or informers killed by the enemy.

  • Re:Just a thought (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AxemRed (755470) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:33PM (#33216718)
    This is my thought too. I think it's a good thing to have a venue where evidence of wrongdoing can be leaked. For example, I didn't have an issue when they leaked the video of the Baghdad strike that killed the Reuters journalist and other unarmed civilians. The military was trying to cover it up, and the video showed evidence of possible wrongdoing. But they shouldn't leak something just because they can. There are perfectly legitimate reasons for the military to keep much of their information classified.
  • by dreampod (1093343) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:34PM (#33216726)

    Anonymous sourcing. All the benefits and none of the responsibility.

    Is it any wonder that government officials demand it for any and all discussion since 'reporters' are unwilling to have a backbone and refuse it when there is no justification.

  • Re:What Crime? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jfredric (1724030) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:34PM (#33216740)
    Treason?
  • Bush light? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by formfeed (703859) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:35PM (#33216742)
    It has been noted before, that none of the Bush administration "special powers" have been revoked yet. The same overreaching control, but since it's the good guys now, it should be okay..

    So, this doesn't come as a surprise either. Similar foreign policy, not as blatantly arrogant as Bush, but not better as Clinton's. The right answer to the leaked documents would have been: "Of course the documents talk about human right abuses. That's why we have these documents. It just shows that we are investigating every claim and are really committed to justice..." Next step: work with international support (Amnesty International) to have names redacted ("in the interest of Afghan civilians" maybe). Not the dumb old "really bad if our dark secrets become public"-statement. That might work with some super-patriotic Americans but will damage any trust other countries had in the new administration.

    The European reaction to American pressure tactics? Quite predictable. European politicians will complain but play along, but the public will grin even more about the American claim that they are the champion of free speech.

    Not that the government wouldn't have a justified interest in keeping at least some war related documents secret for at least a period of time, but the way they are going after the leak is more damaging than the leak itself. It reminds people of past cover ups. Obama is about to loose all the good-will bonus he got after the election. His hope-slogan carried the hope that things could be done differently and not the same-old. Now it's the same old "pressure the Allies"? Well, that's how Reagan created the Green party in Germany. Maybe Obama can help the pirate party.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:36PM (#33216780)

    Also make sure to say what war crime they committed as per 18USC2441. Then please provide evidence of said crime to at least the standard of a reasonable cause to believe (what is normally required for a grand jury indictment).

    If you are talking about the helicopter video then no, sorry. While there were civilian casualties, that is not illegal. War is not pleasant and the rules of war are very different from normal civilian law.

    So if you really believe there are people who need to be indicted, then let's here specifics. If you are just grandstanding and/or talking without understanding what a war crime really is, then please stuff it.

  • Re:Just a thought (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AxemRed (755470) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:37PM (#33216790)
    In some cases, it is not. Consider police informants.
  • Re:How does (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:38PM (#33216804) Homepage

    Well, that settles the debate. The ethics of whistle blowing is irrelevant to this discussion; they are providing substantial military aid to the Taliban which is not needed as part of any whistle-blowing case.

  • by GrumpySteen (1250194) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:38PM (#33216812)

    A quote from an "American diplomatic official" becomes the Obama administration's position in an article and then becomes what Obama himself wants in the /. story that links to it.

    The next step will probably be someone linking to the /. article and suggesting that God wants the world's nations to rise up against Wikileaks.

  • Re:How does (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bemopolis (698691) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:38PM (#33216816)
    After eight years of being shit upon, yes, being pissed on is "better".

    It is, however, still piss.
  • by Bemopolis (698691) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:41PM (#33216856)
    I'm pretty sure he was referring to *cough*cough* higher-ups in the previous administration. Violations of the Geneva Convention are war crimes a priori.
  • Re: How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Seumas (6865) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:42PM (#33216864)

    Bingo.

    Freedom of the press only applies to the press that the government can directly or indirectly influence and control. If the domestic press is so valiant, why is it that Wikileaks is left to uncover and document this sort of thing? Simply, because the press is largely fed by the people and processes they cover, much like game reviewers are fed by the game developers and publishers that they cover. Abide by their rules or be squeezed out in favor of others who will. And few bother with their own reporting anymore, beyond parroting press-releases dressed as AP news wire.

    I certainly don't take Wikileaks at face value, but they seem to be adhering closer to the true worth of a free press than anyone domestically.

    What absolutely baffles me is how many months after the "Collateral Murder" tape was released, we're all still watching our sit-coms, sipping our lattes, and arguing about Arizona and immigration and having mild debates over whether or not Wikleaks should give the government a tug-job instead of calling them out with documented evidence.

    I mean, if we as a nation aren't livid over watching a video of outright condoned and covered-up murder in our name and on our dime, then what are we ever going to be upset by? How much Lebron is going to earn on a basketball team and how much we love Twilight?

    This is why I get so upset at other seemingly meaningless stories, like the whole "girl quits job on whiteboard hoax". Because small unquestioned stories like that are indicative of the lack of questioning and critical thinking that people in general exhibit toward more vital stories like *these*.

  • by bobetov (448774) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:44PM (#33216894) Homepage

    I'm not going to jump on you, but you're living up to your handle here a bit.

    Prosecuting war (or police actions, or whatnot) is an ugly business. It has to be - armed men, bombs, etc are dangerous. Soldiers are fallible. They have seconds to make the right call, and quite often, screw up. This is a fact of war, and no one disputes it.

    In an ideal world, full transparency would be great. If a country were being responsible in its usage of force, for every mis-called bomb strike or innocent victim there would be hundreds of examples of making the right call, calling off the troops just in time, doing the job professionally. A neutral reviewer could say "Yes, there were several major errors, but on the whole, the US troops are doing well in a very difficult situation."

    But that is not how the world actually works. One single graphic image, video, or similar can be taken from the overall picture, blown up, put on the front page of newspapers, and tar the entire country and all its soldiers. We see this all the time with politics in the US - good people done in by a goofy on-camera moment (Dean's scream comes to mind) or poorly chosen word or phrase (potatoe!).

    This is not to say that all transparency is bad. Simply that full transparency, in this real world we live in, is not all good. We still need something like wikileaks for the next Mai Lai massacre, or similar, where the authorities who should prosecute those who willfully screw up fail to take action. But we don't need full 24/7 coverage of every piece of the conflict. And in my personal opinion, the most recent set of disclosures crossed that line.

    We aren't responsible enough as a society at viewing all that information fairly to be trusted with it indiscriminately.

  • Who to believe (Score:2, Insightful)

    by taff^2 (188189) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:44PM (#33216896)

    Given the that officials sources have be shown to be full of shit, how can they expect us to believe them now?

  • Re:How does (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Seumas (6865) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:45PM (#33216906)

    That's how journalism rolls, dawg.

    The NYT reports that the WSJ reports today that the AP reports that some guy's blog reports that some anonymous guy told him that he heard from another guy that some stuff happened.

    Journalists don't investigate anymore. They "news gather".

  • Re:How does (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rsborg (111459) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:46PM (#33216916) Homepage

    In other words, "I wasn't allowed to check it myself but I gotta write this piece so I'll just go with whatever sounds the worst and keep my job"

  • Re:How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dave420 (699308) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:50PM (#33216982)
    You have to remember that Obama can't change the current situation too much, even if he wanted to. He is still an American president, after all, and there are some things so deeply engrained in the US common psyche, across great swathes of the center of the political spectrum, that any attempt to change would result in the president being removed from office as humanly possible. Foreign policy and the military are two of those. The US, as long as it is capable of doing so, will always be the asshole bully of the world. It will always be drenched in hypocrisy, as it actively seeks to undermine democracies in order to further its own goals while simultaneously worshipping democracy at home like Jesus, and so on and so forth. It's the way of the world - superpowers are superassholes. It's been that way forever, and I doubt it will change.
  • by Seumas (6865) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:51PM (#33216988)

    It's my understanding that Wikileaks makes attempts to redact what they're able to protect the supposed innocent wherever possible, as a policy. It seems likely that they would indeed have reached out to the Pentagon to assist in redacting the names before publishing it just as they had claimed. The government, of course, hides behind the claim that "we're primarily concerned with the safety of our troops and of civilians" while refusing to accept the offer to help redact information. If the safety of those people was such a concern to them, they would take any opportunity to redact those names given, even if it comes at some sacrifice to their principals (aiding Wikileaks in redaction). They'd rather cut off someone else's nose to spite their face.

    While I clearly have concern over the safety of persons who may be innocent, it's also vital to note that Assange does not (presumably) work for the government in any way. If they don't want information to be leaked, they should protect their information in the first place. I don't see how Assange is obligated to protect their data for them, other than to redact personally identifiable information where possible simply out of human decency.

  • Re:How does (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spicate (667270) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:51PM (#33216994)

    I'd hate to see what you think would qualify as worse!

    I'd hate to see what you think qualifies as worse than before. Really.

    Bush started two wars, one of which was for fraudulent reasons (Iraq), and the other was neglected so long that it is now "unwinnable." Bush and Clinton are as responsible as anyone for setting the stage for the current economic crisis that Obama is trying desperately to resolve. Bush CREATED Gitmo.

    There's plenty of blame to go around for everyone, but yes, I think Bush has been responsible for far more death and catastrophe than Obama.

    Obama was handed a sack of shit by the previous administration, and whatever happens the next 2-6 years, I doubt he'll add to it as much as Bush, Cheney, and Co. did during their tenure in office.

  • Re:How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HermMunster (972336) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:51PM (#33216998)

    The Taliban kills, period. Please don't give credit to an evil group of people.

  • by Seumas (6865) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:53PM (#33217052)

    That is utterly ridiculous.

    Sensationalizing the "collateral murder" footage? Sensationalizing? It's inherently fucking sensationalized in its nature. Water is already wet, to begin with.

  • Re:What Crime? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:54PM (#33217058)

    Probably 18USC798.

    It is against the law to release classified information. You'll notice that various people have been prosecuted for spying with regards to that sort of thing in the past. If it wasn't illegal to release it, well that couldn't very well happen.

  • Re:Journalism (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:55PM (#33217082)

    Wikileaks is leaking stolen documents, its no more journalistic than someone posting p0rn to /b

  • Re:How does (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dreampod (1093343) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:56PM (#33217110)

    When refering to him being better than Bush is was referencing the domestic end of things. He understands what a budget is (even if he can't work one), is working on fixing Bush tax cuts and having the most wealthy pay their fair share, pushed healthcare reform even though the results are crappy, pushed financial sector reform even though hefty loopholes are left, not attempting to dismantle social safety net, and driving environmental and consumer protection agencies to start doing their job again. While being FAR from what I consider a good job, I don't feel that on a domestic front Obama can be compared to Bush.

    When it comes to national security Obama is complete shit. He is deferential to the entrenched interests who created these horrific policies rather than cleaning house and replacing them with competent authorities. However in almost all these cases he is only continuing bad policies rather than creating them which doesn't make what he is doing better but hard to say it is worse. The only real new policy that he has introduced is the ramp up of assasination targets which is completely illegal, but no more so than most of the other policies that he is continuing.

    I'm not an American (thank god) and Obama is well to the right of Canada's Conservatives but he is better than any of the 2008 Republican candidates would have been (except maybe Romney who would be awful in entirely unique ways) and the vast majority of the Democratic candidates (Dennis Kunich being the exception and John Edwards if he hadn't turned out to be an adultering jackhole). I fully expect that the US will collapse into an authoritarian second world country within the next couple decades, but Obama presents a potential wedge to bring the leadership of the country back to mediocre from god-awful.

  • Re:How does (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:57PM (#33217116) Homepage

    4. If President orders the troops to retreat, they'll be demoralized, which will make them fight less effectively.

    NEVER in the history of man has a Retreat or pull out been demoralizing to anyone but the lazy assholes that are not fighting but sending people to die.

    Troops want to go home. Nobody that is sane WANTS to be in combat. a retreat or pull out increases morale and fighter vitality... they see a way to go home and want to actually get there alive.

  • by thewebsiteisdown (1397957) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:57PM (#33217132)

    Its neat that you can use your 20/20 hindsight to indict people for murder like that. However, you apparently dont have a clue about the conduct of war or the rules of engagement. I watched the video. The pilots of that Apache had none of the information that you and I have now, and they made the right decision. Armed men in an area of U.S. operation: check. Indications that these men were not coalition forces: check. Potential threat to ground forces: check.

    The reporters were in the presence of insurgents, not "civilians", and if they did not understand the risks of what they were doing, on a battlefield no less, then they were not cut out to be war correspondants. When the ground forces arrived they rendered aid to the "actual" civilians that were an unfortunate casualty of the incident. As for the men killed, they met the same end that any other combatant would have under the circumstances.

    If you are simply "anti-war" or just dont have the stomach for combat then by all means say so, but dont try to sieze the moral high ground. Without the post-production editing and the accompanying story, (which of course the pilots did not have the benefit of) I would have pulled the trigger myself, and I would posit that nearly 100% of soldiers in the U.S. or any other army would have done the same under the conditions.

    War is brutal and ugly and people die in a lot of not-very-nice ways. Monday morning quarterbacks screaming "murder" is pointless and hypocritical... If you pay your taxes you support the troops, and the government that puts us in harms way, and I appreciated that during my 2 combat tours.

    What turns people "extremist" is poverty, ignorance and religion. Since we are missing the "poverty" ingredient in the recipe here in the U.S., and the religious nuts have their own T.V. shows and just want money in most cases, we get ignorant hypocrites instead (A.K.A. Activists). If the majority of people thought like you do we would not be there to begin with.... there is a lesson in that.

  • Re:How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fulcrum of Evil (560260) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:57PM (#33217134)
    They aren't stupid - give them a list of people who've informed on them and they'll round them up, kill them, and say that this will happen to anyone else who cooperates with us. Now, has this actually happened, or is it just more Wharrgarrbl?
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:59PM (#33217158) Homepage

    Kill 1 man and it's murder. Kill 20,000 and it's a statistic.

    History is written by the victors... A man that kills 20,000 is a hero to the winners if he is on the winning side. he is a war criminal only if they lose.

  • Re:What Crime? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SirWhoopass (108232) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:01PM (#33217216)

    It is illegal to disseminate classified information, period. It doesn't matter that he's doing it second- or third-hand.

    Just as dealing with stolen property is a crime, even if you aren't the person who stole it in the first place.

  • by bannable (1605677) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:05PM (#33217268)
    The entire data set was not released: 15,000 entires were withheld because of their relative recent happening.
  • Re:How does (Score:2, Insightful)

    by interkin3tic (1469267) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:05PM (#33217270)

    Doing nothing when North Korea runs missile tests is "better" than before?

    If there's a "right" thing to do about insane old North Korea, I think only Miss Cleo knows.

    Obama can barely convince his own party to do what he wants. Convincing China to either deal with or let us deal with North Korea would be a tall order for Jesus Christ. Doing in regards to North Korea without China's blessing is either pointless diplomatic theater, or would be getting into an armed conflict with two of the world's biggest armies.

    And not for nothing, but Obama has yet to start one war. In my book, that puts him up at least two on Bush.

  • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:05PM (#33217276)

    Or, possibly, Wikileaks and it's leadership aren't beyond criticism.

  • Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:05PM (#33217284)

    So bring the informants to United States already. They did their jobs. I'm sure there will be new informants to come forward.

    Do you let a spy stay in foreign country if (s)he's been exposed?

  • by HermMunster (972336) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:05PM (#33217286)

    I viewed Obama's actions as simply a way for him to skirt our laws. We have laws that protect whistle blowers. Other do not. I have the impression that this is his way of overcoming that legal limit--get your allies to attack when our laws fail you, even if they are there to protect against retaliation.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:07PM (#33217310)

    Government is only part of the picture. The other half is what I like to call "Red State Stupidity".

    Red State Stupidity is the phenomenon whereby people who heavily favor the Republican Party and "conservative" ideals act in a way that's completely detrimental to themselves and their interests.

    Take war, for instance. People living in the Red States are often the poorest people in the USA, and thus the first to get shipped off to hellholes like Afghanistan and Iraq as the front-line troops. They'll often wind up dead or seriously wounded, all for very little compensation. Intelligent people in such a situation would obviously not vote for politicians who scream for war. Yet that's exactly what we see these Red State Citizens doing; they actively support warmongering, when they're the Americans who suffer the greatest from war.

    Furthermore, these Red Staters are already the primary recipients of most federal welfare and transfer payments. Their poverty in fact puts them in the best position to receive more such funding. Yet they go out of their way to support politicians who seek to eliminate all social programs that benefit the citizens.

    Even worse, these Red State Fools support politicians who actively support free trade, which is just another name for shipping the jobs of these Red Staters over to Mexico and Asia. These Reds have in fact caused the very unemployment that has brought them so much poverty!

    If it weren't for these fools living in the Red States, war wouldn't be considered acceptable. Most people in the civilized Blue States would not stand for money being wasted like that.

  • Re:How does (Score:3, Insightful)

    by locallyunscene (1000523) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:08PM (#33217324)
    I think the disparity between campaign policy and actual policy stems from two things:

    1.) The Democratic Party leaders called in their favors to keep Obama more centrist so the party is likely to retain office in the executive branch.
    And 2.), as you suggest, that once you know some of the secrets at the top you have fewer courses of action than appear to everyone else. Or it appears that way to you when you are in the insular bubble of Washington.

    This is not excusing his behavior, merely positing likely reasons for it. I'd wager that they are more likely than secret society assassination attempts, but it's just conjecture anyway.
  • Re:How does (Score:1, Insightful)

    by nschubach (922175) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:09PM (#33217348) Journal

    having the most wealthy pay their fair share

    I'm sorry, but since when is more a fair share?

  • 180 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by freedumb2000 (966222) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:11PM (#33217376)
    Is it just me or has Obama done a full 180 turn around on what you expected his policies to be since he came into office. So far I have yet to see a strong indication that he does things differently. So much for "change".
  • by jeff4747 (256583) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:12PM (#33217384)

    Then why were the documents being kept secret?

    Because they contained classified information. Such as the names of informants. WikiLeaks claims to have redacted the names, but it turns out they weren't very thorough. Hundreds of names were left in. And in cases where the name was redacted, they left in details like the village the informant lived in and the name of his father. Even without that, the date of the reports would likely be enough to track down the informant, as it's just a large logic puzzle ("This one didn't know about the bomb plot on that day, so he's out. That leaves this guy. Go shoot him.")

    Now that this information is out, it's quite likely that these informants will die. Informants dropping dead stops the information flow, and makes it a lot harder to get new informants. So the documents were kept secret.

    Why wouldn't the Pentagon help in redacting them before Wikileaks published?

    Because:

    1. They weren't asked to
    2. It would violate federal law.
    3. The redacted versions would be unacceptable to Wikileaks, since all of the content would be redacted.
  • Re:What Crime? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:15PM (#33217448)

    Then why isn't anyone going after the New York Times, who republished that information?

    This has all happened before, and it'll all happen again:

    In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. [...] The word 'security' is a broad, vague generality whose contours should not be invoked to abrogate the fundamental law embodied in the First Amendment.
    --New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713, 714 (1971)

  • by GooberToo (74388) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:16PM (#33217450)

    Reality: Out of the thousands of records only three records contain a name of an "informant".

    Reality is right. Get it into your heads that zero names need be provided to compromise a source. Its extremely likely, and in fact, extremely common, for an informant to be identified without ever need knowing their name.

    The reality is, this prick does not know or understand what constitutes a source being compromised. The fact he and others believe they do know means they are an egotist to the extreme. Not to mention a traitor. Not to mention, complete indifference about the blood he has on his hands.

    Its been widely reported the Taliban have long tracked down informants and collaborators. They are frequently picked up, tortured for days at a time, horribly murdered and frequently beheaded. Its not uncommon for them to then simply murder the entire family afterwards. They then repeat with any names they were able to torture out of the poor fellow. The fact this is well known is exactly why informants and collaborators actively seek anonymity.

    The reality is, the wikileaks traitor deserves the same fate he so willingly begs to happen to others. The fact he's a traitor just so he can jerk off his ego makes him all the more despicable.

  • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@gma ... minus herbivore> on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:16PM (#33217454) Homepage
    "Media won't take responsibility. Amnesty won't. What to do?"

    Take responsibility himself? Or is that asking too much? Why is it everyone else's responsibility?

    Instead, Wikileaks simply did a cost-benefit analysis and found that the potential danger of the Taliban acquiring the documents, sifting through them, picking out suspect names, and then targeting them was not as valuable as releasing all these documents to the public

    Who is competent at Wikileaks to do such a cost-benefit analysis, though?
  • Re: How does (Score:1, Insightful)

    by pcfixup4ua (1263816) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:16PM (#33217460)

    The only real difference between a terrorist and a revolutionary is the cause they represent.

  • Re:How does (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:16PM (#33217464)

    Well, since you ask, here's some off the top of my head - there are lots more...:

    Obama vs Bush:

    • Can string a sentence together without making up words or stumbling over words with more than one syllable.

    image

    Has not prematurely announced 'mission accomplished' when the mission is barely started.

    PR

    Actually seems to give a shit about health-care for other-than-the-rich.

    image

    Obama vs Cheny:

    • Thus far at least, he hasn't shot anyone in the face, and then had the victim apologise (!)

    no impact on public policy

    Doesn't, to my knowledge, keep a man-sized safe in his office. Always been curious about the 'man-sized' thing...

    image

    Doesn't support the indefinite holding of suspects without charge in internment camps. One measure of a society is how you treat undesirables, and Guantanamo bay is an indelible stain on the Bush/Cheney years.

    isn't actually doing anything differently

    Simon.

    so you like his image better than bush's. congratulations, you're part of the problem.

  • by Seumas (6865) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:19PM (#33217512)

    That's a flimsy excuse, too. They must have a list of the people they're concerned with protecting. How hard is it to programmatically apply that to a copy of the documents and send the results back? They can't find a small handful of people out of the 1.5million in the Armed forces to task with this? Or they're concerned with people's lives, but not enough to bother spending some resources protecting them?

    It's clear that they're responding to this the same way we reportedly respond to hostage incidents. We don't negotiate and we'd rather you kill everyone than compromise with you in any regard. Sensible in real hostage crises. Not so much in a journalistic release.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:19PM (#33217514)

    So you're saying the Pentagon should have helped him cleanse the stolen classified documents instead of telling him to not release them... So it would go something like this:

    Hey, some guy stole this private sex tape from your house, can you help censor the names screamed while you're being ridden doggy style with the strapon and the neighbor guy? Yeah, I know I'm going to do it anyway, and it's going to cost you a lot of money and time to do, but this way I can release it all faster and tell everyone in the neighborhood what a dirty little perv you are, while simultaneously letting everyone know that you did the censoring so I can absolve myself of any responsibility AND be able to say that if too much is censored that you're covering up your various deeds. Oh, and yes, they'll all still know it's you and the neighbor and all, they'll figure out who the neighbor is 'cause they'll recognize the room he's in, but that way I'll cover my ass (no pun intended you sick disgusting freak whom I despise). Thanks...

  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:20PM (#33217520) Journal

    and so after a few months of fruitless negotiation the entire 91,000+ files were leaked unaltered.

    What now?
    My understanding is that (1) Wikileaks tried to redact names from the documents (and wasn't completely successful)
    and (2) Wikileaks held back 15,000 or so files which they deemed too sensitive to release right now.

    Unfortunately, the story about Wikileaks' failures at redacting is going to (in the long term) completely overshadow the massive document dump.

  • Re:What Crime? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gknoy (899301) <gknoy@nOsPaM.anasazisystems.com> on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:29PM (#33217668)

    I didn't realize you could commit Treason against a country of which you are not a citizen... but the wording of that seems to imply it, since it says Person and not Citizen. I'm curious if I'm missing something important.

  • by johndoe42 (179131) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:29PM (#33217670)

    I know that slashdotters automatically love anything involving making information more free, but...

    I liked Wikileaks, too, until they published all the reports from the ground in Afghanistan. Up until then, at least the high-profile stuff revealed actual coverups of things that could be damaging because the fact that it happened was embarrassing or wrong. But the latest stuff? It's pretty much mundane, but it reveals important sources of information to American troops. Revealing that the troops have sources of information would be fine if completely unsurprising. But who benefits (other than the Taliban) from revealing their names?

    C'mon, Wikileaks. Step up and act like real journalists. Think before you post. And if you fsck up, don't be surprised when people get pissed off.

  • Re: How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KarrdeSW (996917) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:30PM (#33217690)

    The only real difference between a terrorist and a revolutionary is who wrote the history book.

    FTFY

  • by Script Cat (832717) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:30PM (#33217702)
    Those documents were reviewed by Wikileaks removing names. And some docs were withheld.
    If these were just dumped on line somewhere this would not be the case.
    Wikileaks is not the system that is broken. And Wikileaks saved lives.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:32PM (#33217726)

    I've been wondering at what point invading Afghanistan changed from being about finding Bin Laden and Al Qaeda to bringing down the Taliban. As near as I can tell it actually happened before the invasion, but what I've never figured out is how the change seemed to slip past everybody. I mean, the Taliban was no more responsible for 9/11 than Saddam Hussein was, but there's been lots of people pointing the faulty Iraq connection but nobody pointing out the faulty Taliban connection.

  • Re:How does (Score:3, Insightful)

    by locallyunscene (1000523) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:32PM (#33217734)
    Actually, he denies more FOIA requests that Bush did(slashdot article), he's expanding our de facto war with Pakistan(google UAV and Pakistan), and he's refusing to use the Bully Pulpit to do what needs to be done with Gitmo.

    Without fail, he and his administration take the politically safe route over any campaign promises. Instead of proposing a clear plan for healthcare, he lets congress hash it to pieces. Instead of trying to erase the stain of Gitmo ASAP, he lets conservative talking points stall trials of Gitmo detainees he could try and erase that stain ASAP. He could have acknowledged that the provisions in the Patriots Act were used mainly for the War on Drugs(slashdot article), but instead he promotes the renewal of the Patriot Act(slashdot article).

    Hell, he even campaigned on reducing the amount of lobbyist influence in Washington. Imagine if instead of letting things continue and promoting ACTA, and appointing RIAA lackeys to Judiciary positions, and influencing FBI priorities to look at copyright over missing persons and identity fraud he did something different. Imagine if he had stood up and called out every senator that had a conflict of interest with the bill they were working on and the industry money they've taken. Even if he had just called out the Republicans imagine the firestorm that would have resulted. A pipe dream, I know; it would take a third party to reach the white house for that to ever happen, but I get energized just thinking about the possibility.

    So while I agree he's not made things much worse, he's not doing what he was elected by popular vote to do and made some of the abuses of the previous Bush administration standard where they should have been reversed. In some ways, that's just as bad.
  • Re:How does (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bobb Sledd (307434) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:33PM (#33217738) Homepage

    Obviously you haven't thought this through:

    Obama vs Bush:

            * Can string a sentence together without making up words or stumbling over words with more than one syllable.

    and he needs a teleprompter to do it...

    * Has not prematurely announced 'mission accomplished' when the mission is barely started.

    Aside from the fact that he hasn't actually accomplished anything, he did get the Nobel Peace Prize for... what was it again?

    * Actually seems to give a shit about health-care for other-than-the-rich.

    Which healthcare bill are you reading? Because mine sure has a lot of pork in it. For the rich.

    Obama vs Cheny:

            * Thus far at least, he hasn't shot anyone in the face, and then had the victim apologise (!)

    Hey I'll give credit where credit is due.

    * Doesn't, to my knowledge, keep a man-sized safe in his office. Always been curious about the 'man-sized' thing...

    I'm not even sure what your point is.

    * Doesn't support the indefinite holding of suspects without charge in internment camps. One measure of a society is how you treat undesirables, and Guantanamo bay is an indelible stain on the Bush/Cheney years.

    OK, completely wrong. Obama even said during his campaign that he would close Guantanomo bay. Well??? Why hasn't he? The fact that he hasn't makes it just as much fault as Bush/Cheney.

  • Re:How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IICV (652597) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:36PM (#33217800)

    When you own three mansions each in a very nice, quiet neighborhood, you're using far more of the police's time and money than someone who rents a shitty rathole. When you have a bunch of stock options in the market, you're using up far more of the SEC's time and money than someone who keeps their savings in a sock under the mattress. When you drive a huge hummer or an expensive sports car, you're wearing down the roads far more than someone who is too poor to afford to drive. When you have made your money by employing cheap laborers who come in to work on busses, you are implicitly using far more public infrastructure than your laborers.

    Being wealthier almost inevitably leads to using more public resources, which means you should commensurately pay more in taxes.

  • There has been quite an outcry from various humanitarian organizations who think the documents were not redacted well enough to hide the identities of civilians who may now become targets of reprisals.

    There has been a bought and paid readings of a prewritten script as part of a coordinated effort to progressively demonise, discredit and finally destroy Wikileaks. The PR divisions of most organisations, charities included, can simply be viewed as part of the modern media sector. And as part of that sector, their primary purpose is to echo the opinions and worldview of their benefactors.

    No-one cared about these civilian risks when the documents were first released; the Pentagon was still reeling from the shock of encountering actual investigative journalism. The scriptwriters were called in, but it took them a week or two to come up with hooks. The civilian risks has so far been the most successful way to paint the leaks in a negative light. The mainstream media, literally incapable of digesting the data load it was faced with, has swallowed this propaganda far more easily, and found it more palatable than doing the job they claim to do--showing truth to power.

    The powers said that the war in Afganistan was going well; that the US and the UK were winning. The Wikileaks expose proves that they were lying. The war was going terribly all along. See what that is there? That's journalism; not paid propaganda. Wikileaks did the people of the US and the UK a enormous service, virtually unparalleled in history. And instead of their thanks, Julian Assange is going to be drawn and quartered.

    The Western free press is dead; Dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead. It is not possible to expose hard truths or challenge those in power in any modern Western state(or at least the Anglo-Saxon ones). Those who try will be destroyed, discredited or simply ignored. This is made possible by the modern media, which has become a propaganda complex of terrifying size, power, and influence.

    The definitive proof of all this will be the fate of Assange, which is now playing out before our very eyes. He is going to be torn apart by the monstrous media; A feral pack--on leashes. He is finished. No idealistic journalists, no cadre of bloggers, no editorials, no law, no person, no country can save him now.

    And if you try anything similar, they'll get you too.

  • by jeff4747 (256583) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:37PM (#33217810)

    Reality: Out of the thousands of records only three records contain a name of an "informant"

    Reality: one doesn't have to have the literal name to identify an informant. There are many cases where the home village of the informant is mentioned, and/or the name of the informant's father. Both make it easy to figure out the informant.

    Even without that information, identifying the informant is just a logic puzzle: "(possible informant A) didn't know about the bomb plot until after it was reported to NATO. So he's not it. (possible informant B) did, but was out of town so he couldn't have told the NATO officer who was in town. That only leaves (possible informant C). Go shoot him."

  • Re: How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jbssm (961115) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:37PM (#33217818)

    Replace a plutocracy with a more socialist-minded system, ask cubans, chinese, russians, and many other nations how well that shit worked out for them.

    Yeah, ask those poor Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finish, Icelandic and mostly ask the French. Poor lost souls. Oh the humanity.

  • Re: How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rene S. Hollan (1943) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:42PM (#33217916)

    I think it's more than "the cause". I think it's the moral justification that matters: developing as objective as possible a sense of law (to replace the existing corrupt one), and having sufficiently many subscribers to it to lend some credence of neutrality and respectability, knowing full well that it is technically illegal under existing law.

    At the worst, you just have an armed and aggressive "gang" that wins not through taking the moral high ground, but through sheer force. At best, you have a manifesto that truly external observers can examine and conclude you are in the right.

    Look at the U.S. Declaration of Independence, and the U.S. Constitution. The declaration of independence makes clear why the colonies were rejecting British rule. The U.S. Constitution sets clear limits to the government. While there is a process for it's interpretation, and revolution usurps that process, contrary to other legal frameworks (with the possible exception of the Magna Carta), it establishes those restrictions on government that can be judged by anyone to see if they are violated, not just the established judiciary.

    We can all examine government action and decide if we think it is unconstitutional. While only the established courts (ultimately the supreme court), have legal weight in the present regime, it doesn't take a legal scholar to know something is corrupt when a confirmed supreme court judge (Elena Kagan) is on public record as believing that indefinite incarceration without trial may be acceptable when that is clearly disallowed in the Constitution she swore to uphold!

    The bottom line is that any legal framework expressed in imprecise language is subject to linguistic hacking to achieve any political purpose, and therefore, can not be overcome by lawful means within that framework: revolution is ultimately necessary if the state does not yield to the aggrieved and continues to have their numbers grow.

    The Magna Carta was significant because it first recognized limits to the King's rule, and the U.S. Constitution is unique because it recognized that the state power is not only limited, but bounded as well: with "all other rights reserved to the States and the people". In effect, these documents provide the impetus to justify the very overthrow of the governments they establish when they have become corrupt (as all concentrations of power eventually do). This does not mean they are immune from the hackery of linguistic interpretation, but it does mean that ultimately the "user" has a "plug" they can pull and they display a big arrow as the where that plug is.

  • Re: How does (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Seumas (6865) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:44PM (#33217938)

    I know there's a certain degree of that, but that video exposed something that any sane population should have found so profoundly rattling that they couldn't sleep at night. It should have been like waking up one morning to find out aliens have landed. Instead, a lot of people don't even know the video exists and it was a flash in the pan news-wise, stuffed between things like Lohan's county jail time and vuvazelas.

    People came home from Vietnam to shouts of "baby killer!" and here we have actual footage of us opening fire directly on identifiable children in the front seat of a mini-van (among other things) and the reaction is a yawn among one chunk and "yeah, bomb that shithole into a parking lot! yeehaaaaaw!" among another.

    When I saw the video and waited for something -- anything -- to happen as a response to it, the increasing distance from it grew and made me feel it was all even more surreal. People seem to have given more time, attention, and anger to *this* incident with Wikileaks than the former one. Truly blows my mind. I thought that my fellow countrymen had SOME threshold where the "hey, it's a bunch of brown people over THERE" part was broken down and irrelevant.

  • by conspirator57 (1123519) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:46PM (#33217974)

    people in the "civilized" blue states elected the current president who is doing the same thing the last president did, but worse. see for reference TFA regarding *Obama* chasing after wikileaks for exposing war crimes. The same Obama who committed to transparency and legitimate criticism of policies during the election. Also, read some Greenwald. Here's a representative sample: http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/08/10/gibbs/index.html [salon.com]

    How's that self-righteousness working out for you?

  • Re: How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Psmylie (169236) * on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:47PM (#33217996) Homepage

    My answer to your question is that, if I truly believed my government to be corrupt beyond redemption and that the only way to recover would be to clean the slate and start over, it wouldn't really matter how many others were marching as well. I'd go alone, even if that meant I'd have to go all Guy Fawkes on the situation.

    The thing of it is, I don't believe our government, even as corrupt and lost as it currently is, is anywhere near irredeemable. Or, at least, pragmatically speaking, any worse than what we would replace it with after an armed uprising. The existing system to enact change CAN still work, if enough people actually learn and vote and get the right people into office. It all comes down to the fact that we simply get the government we deserve. Lazy and uninformed voters are the root of all the problems we have. Everything else (government corruption, stripping of liberties, etc) follows from that.

    If the vote is ever suspended, or if our current or future President enacts martial law for anything other than a verifiable emergency and refuses to end it once that emergency is over... yeah, that would be the kind of situation that would encourage me to take up arms.

  • by IICV (652597) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:53PM (#33218104)

    Where? Where in the documents are these civilians outed? It's been weeks now, and I haven't seen anyone say "these are the locations in the documents where a civilian was outed".

    Look, if these accusations are true, there's no problem with you posting where the civilians were outed. Like I said, it's been weeks - every intelligence agency in the world knows where the civilians are outed in the documents by now, so there's really no harm in pointing it out so I can look for myself and maybe come up with a real count instead of "hundreds".

  • Re:What Crime? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:00PM (#33218182)

    Assange isn't American, thus 18USC798 doesn't apply to him.

  • by dreampod (1093343) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:00PM (#33218184)

    In Iraq and Afganistan it is extremely common for men to go about their daily business armed because of the instability and danger created by the US invasion. Unless the US is announcing where they will be conducting operations in advance, how do you propose that armed men avoid being in 'an area of U.S. operation'?

    There is no 'battlefield' in Iraq which is the entire problem with treating it like a war with 'rules of engagement' instead of a police action. These were men that were meeting in the street while armed, not engaging in any sort of overtly hostile acts. I bet that you could find a similar situation in any Texas city on a saturday afternoon.

    The fact of the matter is that they weren't combatants, no matter how many times you or the military claim that they are. Neither was the unarmed man who drove his van in to take the wounded to hospital. Nor were the children in his van which, while the helicopter weren't aware of them, is a strong reason not to shoot up a non-threatening vehicle just because you want to.

    The laughing while killing helpless targets and general chatter during the entire incident was profoundly disturbing. While you and many members of the army would have murdered those men too, it doesn't make it right. Ignoring the post production captioning (which was the only addition, and only to one version of the released tape) there was absolutely nothing that had been done that was threatening when the gunship opened fire, there was no indication that there was specific intel on the targets, and there was no indication that they had any idea who the targets were. Imagine for a moment that the reporters had been doing an interview with some Iraqi police force members, the situation would have looked exactly the same - a bunch of men with rifles talking on the street.

    It isn't monday morning quarterbacking to point out that the entire system we have in Iraq is designed to produce these sorts of outcomes. The military insists on keeping treating this like a war when it is a combination of police action and guerilla attacks. Once they stop treating it like something entirely unrelated to the real situation this sort of thing could be considered a tragic accident but until then it is an ignorant inevitability.

    Lastly people become 'extremist' out of those factors along with moral outrage. If you had your friends, family, and acquaintances murdered because a negligent bunch of imperialists invaded your country (say Iran to stop the outrageous seperation of church and state) you would act in the exact same way that these people do in taking up arms. If armed gangs of dangerous men wandered around your city you would probably ensure that you were armed when going out to. The populace supported invading Iraq because the US government lied about WMD being developed and no matter how hard you and your ilk try to change history there is recorded proof of the false claims that were made.

  • Re:How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Surt (22457) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:02PM (#33218228) Homepage Journal

    Obviously you haven't thought this through:

    Obama vs Bush:

            * Can string a sentence together without making up words or stumbling over words with more than one syllable.

    and he needs a teleprompter to do it...

    Unlike bush, who couldn't manage it even with the teleprompter.

    * Has not prematurely announced 'mission accomplished' when the mission is barely started.

    Aside from the fact that he hasn't actually accomplished anything, he did get the Nobel Peace Prize for... what was it again?

    So Bush was surprised when he showed up and saw that banner?

    * Actually seems to give a shit about health-care for other-than-the-rich.

    Which healthcare bill are you reading? Because mine sure has a lot of pork in it. For the rich.

    A lot of pork that is less than the previous massive amount of pork is still less pork for the rich. Or viewed another way, there was a wealth transfer from one group of wealthy companies to another group of wealthy companies and the poor. The poor are clearly better off, and the companies will rebalance the equation by adjusting B2B pricing.

    Obama vs Cheny:

            * Thus far at least, he hasn't shot anyone in the face, and then had the victim apologise (!)

    Hey I'll give credit where credit is due.

    * Doesn't, to my knowledge, keep a man-sized safe in his office. Always been curious about the 'man-sized' thing...

    I'm not even sure what your point is.

    * Doesn't support the indefinite holding of suspects without charge in internment camps. One measure of a society is how you treat undesirables, and Guantanamo bay is an indelible stain on the Bush/Cheney years.

    OK, completely wrong. Obama even said during his campaign that he would close Guantanomo bay. Well??? Why hasn't he? The fact that he hasn't makes it just as much fault as Bush/Cheney.

    So if my predecessor creates a huge problem, and it takes me time to find a solution that his cronies won't block, that makes the huge problem just as much my fault? To me there's at least a bit of difference between ineffective and evil.

  • by jbssm (961115) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:05PM (#33218270)
    3 names. 3! Are the only thing found so far. 1 of them was already dead. Another a double agent for the Taliban.
  • No context (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:09PM (#33218338)

    I don't think the leaked Afghanistan war documents are a 'little egg'. It's clear proof that the war is lost and there is no hope for winning. ...

    Bullshit. The Wikileaks documents a lot of out-of-context reports, mostly from low-level soldiers and unit commanders. Essentially, it's an internal bug-tracking database for the war.

    Look at any internal bug-tracking database for any reasonably-sized project and you'll immediately conclude that the project is a horrible steaming pile of crap that everyone hates. That does not necessarily mean that the project actually is worthless. Imagine what the MS Windows (or OS X, or whatever) internal bug database must be like. Millions of known, incompatibilities, crash reports, and unsubstantiated error reports. And yet MS and Apple make shit-tons of money from them, and millions of people use them every ay.

    Of course there are major problems with the war. It's a fucking war.

  • Re: How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by salesgeek (263995) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:13PM (#33218404) Homepage

    If you think we fight wars only with people who don't look like us, you are ignoring history and blind to economics. "Supporting the troops" is simply a way to voice that you understand that they are in harm's way on your behalf, despite your opposition to the fact they've been put in harm's way for reasons you disagree with. Those that say you can't support the troops while opposing the war have issues with simple logic.

  • Re:How does (Score:2, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:20PM (#33218512) Homepage Journal

    Wow.
    Just Wow.
    You just can not make President Obama take responsibility for his own actions!
    Faceless and nameless people in power... WOW

    How about this. President Obama found out all the same information that President Bush did. All of a sudden a lot of the polices started to make sense so he kept following what makes sense.

    As to JFK? I wish people would really read history. JFK ran on a platform that the US wasn't building enough nuclear warheads and missiles. Under his administration the US nuclear forces saw a HUGE increase in weapons. Kennedy also sent more troops to Vietnam.
    As to civil rights he was more of a follower in that category. It was President Eisenhower that singed the first civil rights acts since reconstruction and sent in federal troops to enforce desegregation laws in the south.

    President Obama had a super majority. The Republican party could do nothing to stop any bill from passing. And still you want to blame somebody else.
    WOW. Just WOW.
    This would be funny if it wasn't so pathetically sad.

  • Re: How does (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:20PM (#33218516)

    I know there's a certain degree of that, but that video exposed something that any sane population should have found so profoundly rattling that they couldn't sleep at night.

    You mean a bunch of people being some where they shouldn't have been had something bad happen to them when they are hanging out with bad people? Yea really profoundly rattling.

  • Re:How does (Score:2, Insightful)

    by inthealpine (1337881) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:25PM (#33218580)
    In every way?
    Name one crime.
  • Oh, please (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sean.peters (568334) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:26PM (#33218596) Homepage

    Not to mention a traitor.

    As a non-American citizen, Assange has no particular obligation to attend to the defense of the US. Calling him a traitor is simply a false accusation.

    Its been widely reported the Taliban have long tracked down informants and collaborators. They are frequently picked up, tortured for days at a time, horribly murdered and frequently beheaded. Its not uncommon for them to then simply murder the entire family afterwards. They then repeat with any names they were able to torture out of the poor fellow.

    Right, the Taliban does all this stuff, but they themselves are blameless. In fact, all these deaths are really Assange's fault. Please. The Taliban is going to go around murdering people regardless of any information released at Wikileaks.

    Assange-bashers need to pick an argument. Either the information he released is old news (in which case it was also old news to the Taliban), or it wasn't. And if there really are new revelations of misconduct by the US Armed forces there, then he was right to release the data. You can't go around insisting both that there was no cause to release it AND that it was horribly threatening to Afghan informers.

  • Re: How does (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:29PM (#33218642)

    No, what armies lack is the will to kill every living person and salt the earth behind them. Thank god. If the military is willing to kill indiscriminately, you're only going to win if the indiscriminate killing pisses off other people with conventional armies of sufficient size to scare the one you're trying to overthrow.

  • Re: How does (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Seumas (6865) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:37PM (#33218752)

    Sorry, but I have to outright dismiss your entire post as a bunch of biased bullshit. Newsflash, the fact that you have a different opinion than most sane people doesn't make those who have a different view from yours "liberal" or "left" (I'm a libertarian who thinks you are all fucking idiots on both sides of the aisle). And as someone who appreciates my country, I don't condone murder and I certainly don't condone government cover-ups.

    The fact that people are not horrified by such clear violations or *AT LEAST* the coverup (what's to cover up if they did nothing wrong?) does make people stupid and lazy.

    Go spread your "dittos" around somewhere else.

  • by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:39PM (#33218778) Homepage
    So much agreement. Glen Greenwald's first paragraph rocks [salon.com] -- it is about the best summary of the Obama administration imaginable:

    You may think that the reason you're dissatisfied with theObama administration is because of substantive objections to their policies:that they've done so little about crisis-level unemployment, foreclosures and widespread economic misery [nytimes.com]. Or because of the White House's apparently endless devotion to Wall Street [rollingstone.com]. Or because thePresident has escalated a miserable, pointless and unwinnable war that is entering its ninth year. Or because he has claimed the power to imprison people for life with no charges [washingtonpost.com] and to assassinate American citizens without due process [salon.com], intensified the secrecy weapons [talkingpointsmemo.com] and immunity instruments [eff.org] abused by his predecessor, and found all new ways of denying habeas corpus [aclu.org]. Or because he granted full-scale legal immunity to those who committed serious crimes in the last administration. Or because he's failed to fulfill -- or affirmatively broken -- promises ranging from transparency [politico.com] to gay rights.

    Remember, a vote for a Democrat or a Republican is a vote for the status quo, no matter what BS they vomit during the campaign.

  • by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:44PM (#33218846) Homepage
    Democrats==Republicans for the most part. They only try to distinguish themselves by adhering to one side or the other of a limited number of hot-button issue.

    I think what we need is a constitutional amendment to allow voluntary secession of the states. The system is beyond fixable, and it would be nice to be able to start over locally.
  • I have to disagree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sean.peters (568334) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:47PM (#33218884) Homepage

    But we don't need full 24/7 coverage of every piece of the conflict. And in my personal opinion, the most recent set of disclosures crossed that line.

    It would be one thing if we were doing something like WWII here - fighting for our own survival. But we're not. We're spending a bunch of money we don't have, getting a bunch of our own people killed, and only God knows how many Afghans killed, fighting a war that is essentially useless. No one realistically thinks that we're going to transform Afghanistan into a model of peace and democracy no matter what we do. No one thinks that if we just left Afghanistan tomorrow, our national security would be affected in any way whatsoever. Given that, yes, I think this war needs to be shoved in America's face every day, 24/7. This is what we're buying with our tax dollars and the blood of our soldiers. We're killing a bunch of guys who hate us, but live in caves and have no realistic capability to do anything to us. Plus blowing up wedding parties, schools, etc, etc. Yes, most of our operations are going correctly and not killing civillians. But the number of civilians it's OK to kill when there's no threat to you? That would be zero. America needs to see these images, over and over and over.

  • Re: How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:56PM (#33219010) Homepage

    5.1 million people who are eligible to vote, but do not, could legally replace the great share of the national, state and local government if they'd only VOTE. It takes far less to swing an election that you'd think, most are not more than 60%-40%

    No revolution, less people, and no violence.

  • by Cyberax (705495) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:56PM (#33219016)

    Assange told in an interview that informants' names were tagged with special code. So they just removed all of them, only 3 names have slipped. Undoubtedly, some more names can be deduced from indirect data.

    However, there's nowhere close to hundreds of informants's names leaked that Pentagon wants us to believe.

  • by jythie (914043) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @03:12PM (#33219194)
    If nothing else, it shows how little power the president REALLY has. No matter who you put in office, if they want to get anything done, they have to play the exact same games with the exact same players as the previous one.
  • by DarkKnightRadick (268025) <the_spoon.geo@yahoo.com> on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @03:22PM (#33219298) Homepage Journal

    Unfortunately you are entirely correct.

  • Re: How does (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sir_Sri (199544) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @03:24PM (#33219324)

    A terrorist is someone who uses terrorism, which is some combination of a strategy and tactic. Revolutionaries can be terrorists, or not, governments can be terrorists or not. Terrorism is just a a method, and not exclusive with other, more traditional methods. They grab guns and shoot at americans in iraq, that isn't terrorism, that's resistance,

    Whether terrorism was justified (or perhaps in the case of WW2 accepted as something we did which, while not always the right choice was part of a broader strategy that was basically acceptable) or not may be written by the victors, but the losers still write their own books.

    Al Qaeda is so interesting (and dangerous) because while it uses terrorism it doesn't ever intend to manifest itself as the entity to lead once it has it's goal(s). That's because it's an amalgam of many groups that want different things (usually the overthrow or removal of a government allied to the US or Russia, such as israel, saudi, egypt, to some degree pakistan, chechnya, dagestan, but sometimes they want a more 'conservative' muslim government in places such as the phillipines, indonesia, malaysia). Where before Al qaeda all these sub organizations existed, and were working against for example the aforementioned governments, al qaeda came along and said the real enemies are the Americans, and if you can terrorism them out of backing governments around the world, then the rest of them will fall to the local cells. It is, in it's own words, 'the base'. Whether that makes it a revolutionary is up for debate, but even they would acknowledge they're terrorists, they merely think it a necessary tool in their arsenal (along with all of the other things they have tried).

  • Re: How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jythie (914043) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @03:29PM (#33219388)
    Which still depends on who writes the history books. If you look at most modern terrorist groups, once you get away from press releases and individual rants, they generally have a very specific manifesto, grievances that can not be address through the current legal framework or political process.

    Al Quaeda for example has a very specific goal:
    Drive Americans off "Muslim soil" (most notably Saudi Arabia)
    Topple Western backed local dictatorships in the middle east.
    Destroy Israel
    Build Muslim nations based on the first Caliphs.

    Which functionally comes down to 'we want independence, to form a government of our choosing based off XYZ rues'. While the methods and final government are different, the basic idea is pretty much the same. A similar thing could be said for the IRA too. 100 years from now, just like America today, they will be judged on if they win.... until then the weaker party in a conflict is almost always called a 'terrorist'.. well, unless your local government wants them to win; then they get pained as 'revolutionaries' and are given public support ^_^
  • by the_bard17 (626642) <theluckyone17@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @03:30PM (#33219410)

    You seem to imply that the public should need a reason to know any given piece of information... and if the government believes that the public has no good reason (or the government's need for secrecy is greater), then the public should not know.

    I'd counter the opposite. Our government is *OUR* government. It should not keep secrets from the general population without a darn good reason to do so. Furthermore, there should be a neutral third party involved determining the need for secrecy, instead of those in power.

    Put simply, I'd rather our government keep too little secret than too much.

  • Re: How does (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jythie (914043) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @03:34PM (#33219480)
    If you had 100 million americans ready to die to overthrow the government, they could trivially take over via the existing voting system.
  • by houghi (78078) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @03:36PM (#33219522)

    I could do it. Perhaps I would get to a different conclusion, but I could easily make that analysis. I am hopeful that every sane person is able to make that analysis. They will differ in the conclusions, but people should be able to dot it.

  • by Aristophon (913386) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @04:12PM (#33220048) Homepage Journal
    ** note to NSA/CIA/White House/RNC/DNC/Goldman Sachs: If you've overlooked my name, please add me to all your various watchlists. ** The campaign against Wikileaks insults the dignity of the people of the United States and the world. It is long past time for the United States to become a good neighbor in the world instead of continuing to become a nakedly imperial power. p.s. to Mr. Gibbs and Obama: I'm a human being, a former naval office and I vote.
  • Re: How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @04:28PM (#33220346)


    I don't see how blowing up sidewalk cafes and city buses could EVER be counted as revolutionary.

    If Italy had soldiers with full military equipment in my hometown, and said I had to vote in this new election to select my new representatives for a government that Italy was kind enough to setup for me. What are my options for resisting these Italian troops after they have confiscated my arms and replaced my police force with their own appointees.

    Italy could be doing it for all the 'right' reasons. But I understand why someone would lash out at the only target that was available.

  • Re: How does (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jythie (914043) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @04:34PM (#33220492)
    When your options are 'hit soft targets' or 'give up because hard targets are not viable', generally people who are willing to die for a cause will go after the targets that have the highest return for the lowest cost. Humans rarely take 'you can not win because you can not beat us by our rules' very well. America's own revolutionary army did not.
  • by dreampod (1093343) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @04:46PM (#33220720)

    That attitude is precisely why Iraq is an unwinnable war. You can't defeat an amorphous concept like terrorism and when you operating procedures are so flawed that your actions create more 'terrorists' you are trapped in a hopeless loop.

    I'm not claiming that under the rules of engagement what the soldiers did was illegal. However those rules should never have been implemented past the first couple months in the first place or in areas where active combat operations are taking place. The fact that you think that they are legitimate targets simply for bearing arms is indicative of a lack of understanding of the situation. While it is a bit unusual to do so in the city the inability of the US troops to maintain the peace is why they carry weapons despite the prohibitions because it remains dangerous to do so.

    Also as a side note have a read through the leaked documents. Some of what is revealed is precisely that there are 'units idly driving around the country side' on patrol in areas that are believed to be clear while avoiding areas known to have 'insurgents'.

  • Re:No context (Score:2, Insightful)

    by notknown86 (1190215) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @05:19PM (#33221352)

    Bullshit. The Wikileaks documents a lot of out-of-context reports, mostly from low-level soldiers and unit commanders. Essentially, it's an internal bug-tracking database for the war.

    Look at any internal bug-tracking database for any reasonably-sized project and you'll immediately conclude that the project is a horrible steaming pile of crap that everyone hates.

    And sometimes it is. Vista springs to mind.

    You are correct, though. We cannot judge a project by bug reports alone. We should think of all the people that are benefiting from these wars.

    Ummm.... Haliburton employees?

  • by IICV (652597) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @05:27PM (#33221504)

    There are names there on every page.

    If they're on every page, then it would be easy for you to provide the filename and page number for the very first mention of a civilian informant? I mean, it would be trivial: "Page 1 of the document named 'secret military stuff.txt' identifies an American sympathizer in Afghanistan, and puts his/her life in danger".

    Surely you, the honorable Anonymous Coward, wouldn't exaggerate for effect?

  • by IICV (652597) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @06:11PM (#33222120)

    Thus the "comprehensive list" that I referred to is one that the Taliban (and/or other enemies) are compiling, not some handy-dandy list to which someone can simply point. ...
    That stated reason that the NYT and other news agencies are not even referencing a single name in particular or location in any document as to where this information can be found is to avoid placing said persons in jeopardy -- that is, more jeopardy than they are already in anyway.

    Like I heavily implied, that reasoning is specious bullshit. It's been weeks now. Our enemies in Afghanistan have already sucked all the useful information out of those documents; there's no operative reason not to cast more substantial criticism against Wikileaks now. We should see people saying "In this document on this page, you guys didn't redact someone's father's name and now he's in danger". Instead, all we're getting is vague statements that Julian Assange "has blood on his hands" and that "hundreds" of civilians were put in danger.

    Do your goddamn jobs, reporters! Don't just parrot the government's line that "civilians have been killed"; find out which ones, find the document excerpts that killed them, and nail Mr. Assange with it. If he's responsible for the deaths of hundreds of civilians, he deserves to have their names and the pages he revealed that killed them beaten into his skull by every radio station and every newscaster. Don't be shy; if he's been the cause of a significant number of civilian casualties, you'd be totally in the right by executing the man in the court of public opinion, and you'd have the support of almost every mainstream government and non-government organization.

    Of course, this takes more effort than just uncritically repeating what your next anonymous source at the Pentagon said, so I'll probably have to wait for the Daily Show to talk about it.

  • Re:Lying for what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @06:24PM (#33222232) Homepage Journal

    The defense industry is worth billions of dollars per year, and the vast majority of that cash comes from government.

    More precisely, it comes from taxpayers, and somehow, it's become off-limits to even suggest cutting back on military spending. For chrissake, Defense Sec'y Gates, a conservative Republican who worked originally for the Bush Administration, finds room to cut a few billion, and there's screaming from the Right that we're leaving the nation unprotected.

    The defense industry has successfully gamed the debate so that even thinking that we spend more than enough on military qualifies you as a terrorist-loving traitor.

     

  • Re:What Crime? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @07:40PM (#33223124)

    This. If he's a criminal, so am I (currently seeding the leaked docs on torrent).

  • Re: How does (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lennier (44736) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @09:33PM (#33223930) Homepage

    "Supporting the troops" is simply a way to voice that you understand that they are in harm's way on your behalf, despite your opposition to the fact they've been put in harm's way for reasons you disagree with.

    If the troops are in harm's way for reasons I totally disagree with, and I vehemently and publically opposed the decision to put them in harm's way, and I believe that their being in harm's way is utterly counterproductive to my and the nation's interests --

    -- then by what definition could the troops possibly be said to be in harm's way 'on my behalf'?

    I don't want them there, I want them NOT there, they're not doing me, themselves, or the world any good by being there. Whatever military command it is that they're 'defending', it is not my rights, it is not my freedom, it is not consistent with my ethics, and I want them to stop doing it.

    I don't support the troops in their current mission and in the career decisions they have made which have led them to support that mission - including oaths of obedience to a system of command which has been revealed to be fatally, hugely, ethically in the wrong.

    And nor should you.

    I want them to stop killing people against my express wishes and telling people falsely that it is 'on my behalf'.
    I want them to stop blindly following the illegal orders given them which caused them to start an illegal war.
    I want them to stop using my money and reputation to do things that appall me.

    Once they do that, THEN we can start discussing whether I 'support' their new career and mission, whatever that may turn out to be.

  • Re: How does (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Smiths (460216) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @10:33PM (#33224312)

    those are not the aims of AlQueda according to Osama. those are the aims of AlQueda according to the US govt.

    Osama says 2 things -

    get your bases out of KSA
    stop supporting the occupation of palestenians via israel

    there were some other things about sanctions on iraq and supporting dictator regimes in the middle east.

    there was no destroy israel, no Build Muslim nations based on the first Caliphs, this is purposeful propaganda to make it seem like an endless war with religious undertones instead of one based on us political decisions. try reading osamas transcripts some time....you'll be shocked.

  • by Nyder (754090) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @12:55AM (#33225032) Journal

    I'm not going to jump on you, but you're living up to your handle here a bit.

    Prosecuting war (or police actions, or whatnot) is an ugly business. It has to be - armed men, bombs, etc are dangerous. Soldiers are fallible. They have seconds to make the right call, and quite often, screw up. This is a fact of war, and no one disputes it.

    In an ideal world, full transparency would be great. If a country were being responsible in its usage of force, for every mis-called bomb strike or innocent victim there would be hundreds of examples of making the right call, calling off the troops just in time, doing the job professionally. A neutral reviewer could say "Yes, there were several major errors, but on the whole, the US troops are doing well in a very difficult situation."

    But that is not how the world actually works. One single graphic image, video, or similar can be taken from the overall picture, blown up, put on the front page of newspapers, and tar the entire country and all its soldiers. We see this all the time with politics in the US - good people done in by a goofy on-camera moment (Dean's scream comes to mind) or poorly chosen word or phrase (potatoe!).

    This is not to say that all transparency is bad. Simply that full transparency, in this real world we live in, is not all good. We still need something like wikileaks for the next Mai Lai massacre, or similar, where the authorities who should prosecute those who willfully screw up fail to take action. But we don't need full 24/7 coverage of every piece of the conflict. And in my personal opinion, the most recent set of disclosures crossed that line.

    We aren't responsible enough as a society at viewing all that information fairly to be trusted with it indiscriminately.

    Um, but if we had transparency, then we would of known years ago Afgan was a failure and pulled out. If we had transparency, then they wouldn't of needed to cover up the killing of the journalist. (which was what people were pissed about, the cover up, not that person got killed, imo).

    I don't want people I didn't vote for (after all, I can vote for my state's senators & congress, but I can't vote for other states, or I don't directly vote for the president) deciding what is good for me to know.

    Anyways, when the government can cover stuff up (top secret, classified) it leaves government officials able to abuse their positions easier.

    And seeing as man has been abusing power and greed since the beginning of time, I don't have any faith in anyone with that sort of power.

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