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WikiLeaks Founder 'Free To Leave Sweden' 410

Posted by timothy
from the totally-generous dept.
An anonymous reader writes "AFP reports that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is free to leave Sweden, after prosecutors said there was no arrest warrant against him for an alleged case of rape. Assange said the charges against him were part of 'a clear set-up,' and that he had 'two reliable intelligence sources that state that Swedish intelligence was approached last month by the United States and told that Sweden must not be a safe haven for WikiLeaks.' The news comes just one day before the Swedish national election."
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WikiLeaks Founder 'Free To Leave Sweden'

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  • What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by binarylarry (1338699) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:21AM (#33627550)

    I'm an American but why the fuck is our govt telling Sweden "what they're allowed to do."

    Listen up US Military: you're the ones who fucked up, you're supposed to keep this shit secret and you failed it.

  • US Government (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sonicmerlin (1505111) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:26AM (#33627590)
    I thought we used our military intelligence on the enemy. I don't remember voting for our president and current government to use its powers to harm those who value liberty over secrecy. It would be interesting to hear more details about Julian's tipsters' info.
  • Free to leave (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:27AM (#33627600) Homepage Journal

    But still has his reputation scarred for life. I wouldn't take a private plane out of town, if i was him.

  • Re:What? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:32AM (#33627628)

    keep looking. follow the money.

    the reason the US keeps having 'big wars' is because of co's like halliburton and the rest that profit EXTENSIVELY from war and foreign aggression.

    the government does not directly profit from war; but certain companies surely do.

    a little lesson for you about how things work in the real world.

  • Re:What? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wampus (1932) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:35AM (#33627648)

    Yup. Trolling. Don't trust the government? Smart. Don't trust some guy with a website? Troll.

  • by pedantic bore (740196) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:35AM (#33627652)

    Is the documentation for this claim posted on wikileaks yet?

    Or is he just asking us to trust him, at the same time he's telling us to not trust anyone else?

  • Re:What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kestasjk (933987) * on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:41AM (#33627688) Homepage
    You think Assange could actually falsify the stuff WikiLeaks has put out?

    That's giving a "self promoting douche" quite a bit of credit..
  • Re:What? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:43AM (#33627710)

    As much as I support Wikileaks, Assange has been a little dickish lately, acting as though he "doesn't need" to prove anything with regards to Wikileaks' or his own credibility. Regardless of what he has done or is doing, he is a human being and not some deity. Whether Assange is being set up in some kind of smear campaign by the U.S. government, or he did something wrong and is using the reputation and history of the U.S. government to his advantage is open to debate, but honestly, questioning whether Assange himself can be trusted is not trolling in my opinion. Questioning Wikileaks or the credibility itself only after the U.S. government got egg on its face is another matter entirely.

  • by kestasjk (933987) * on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:44AM (#33627714) Homepage

    Is the documentation for this claim posted on wikileaks yet?

    Or is he just asking us to trust him, at the same time he's telling us to not trust anyone else?

    I didn't think he was asking us to do anything..

  • Re:What? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wampus (1932) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:45AM (#33627722)

    You think Assange could actually falsify the stuff WikiLeaks has put out?

    Nope. I didn't pay too much attention to wikileaks before, but given the reaction of the US government, the Afghanistan dox were authentic.

    That doesn't mean the things he says to the press are true or complete.

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:45AM (#33627730)

    He was asked a question and he answered. He is asked to do an interview on TED, and he did one. Newspapers report on something of his private life. How is this *self* promotion, exactly?

    Only douchebags attack the messenger.

    I notice you posted with your name flying high, Mr Wampus. If you use your own logic, don't post your self-promoting garbage, or if you do, post AC.

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by haruchai (17472) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:48AM (#33627744)

    A self-promoting douche who is telling the truth about military cover-ups get much higher marks than any amount of seeminly, nice, personable people who are hiding atrocities.
    It's past tiime that we looked past charm, respectability and authority as indicators of truthfulness - that has almost never been the case in gov'ts and organisations, especially when the stakes are as high as these.

  • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rainmouse (1784278) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:48AM (#33627748)

    why do you care so much about random other countries?

    This is an exceptionally 'American' statement that reinforces a rather negative stereotype about ignorance and moral detachment towards the rest of the world. To 95.5 percent of the worlds population, the USA is just another 'random country'.

  • by mtrachtenberg (67780) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:55AM (#33627792) Homepage

    In the United States, we are supposedly treated as innocent until proven guilty. But the early comments I see here seem to indicate that, despite the government of Sweden saying he is not charged with any sex crime, he should be treated as guilty until (an impossibility) proven innocent.

    I hope those of you who feel that way understand that whatever values you claim to support, they are not what were traditionally considered "American".

  • Re:US Government (Score:4, Insightful)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:58AM (#33627818)

    There is no such thing as an absolute liberty that allows you to do anything you wish without consequences.

  • by Duradin (1261418) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:02PM (#33627844)

    Guilty until proven innocent is traditional for males accused of sex crimes in America.

  • by mangu (126918) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:02PM (#33627846)

    Don't trust the government? Smart. Don't trust some guy with a website? Troll.

    I would fix that for you as:

    "Don't trust an organization with $400 billion/year military budget? Smart. Don't trust some guy who's antagonizing the most powerful military organization on earth? Troll."

  • by David Gerard (12369) <slashdotNO@SPAMdavidgerard.co.uk> on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:03PM (#33627852) Homepage

    "Assange leaked information that caused real-world consequences. Big consequences, like death and torture"

    Citation needed. Even the Pentagon had to attach a "might possibly" to that claim. If you can actually back up that assertion, you'll be doing better than them.

  • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:05PM (#33627866) Journal

    >>>This assumes that you trust this self promoting douche to not be completely full of shit.

    I don't trust him. Good thing he provides video, such as the soldiers killing journalists/children, plus laughing about it ("Look a dead kid. Shouldn't have come into the middle of a warzone brat."). I trust video. Hard to refute video evidence, although I've seen a few nutcases try.

    What I wonder is why our government wants to cover it up. How many thousands of similar videos exist? We probably won't find out until most of us are dead.

  • by hitmark (640295) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:08PM (#33627894) Journal

    Or anywhere else for that matter. Especially if the sex crime involved someone who's age falls withing the local definition of "child".

  • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:10PM (#33627904) Homepage Journal
    Dickish? Well - if people started a smear campaign against me, I'd probably be a little "dickish" as well. Of course, I might handle things somewhat differently than Julian. I dunno - I'd have to wait til I were in his position to decide what to do. I do think Julian is wrong with his interpretation of the intel he has leaked so far. I very much disagree with his use of "murder" regarding that dead reporter and associates. But, whether I agree with him or not, he's taken on the role of a reporter, and it's his job to report. Not so much his job to editorialize, but reporting, yes. People need to get off Julian's ass, and start working on damage control at home. That little freak of a private never should have had access to all the material he leaked, and he CERTAINLY shouldn't have been able to carry that data out of a secure area. Where the fuck are the marines? When I was a sailor, we had a full Captain try to bluster his way into a secure area. The private on duty put that captain in the mud, with the muzzle of his M-16 poked right into the captain's ear. The private promptly was promoted to corporal, and the captain got an informal request to leave the island - and not to come back. So - WTF is some private doing walking out of a secure facility with disk loaded with data? The army doesn't understand security, or what?
  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by radio4fan (304271) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:20PM (#33627968)

    keep looking. follow the money.

    the reason the US keeps having 'big wars' is because of co's like halliburton and the rest that profit EXTENSIVELY from war and foreign aggression.

    Absolutely. I look back with fondness at how naive I was when the Iraq war started -- I thought the real motive was to steal money from Iraq!

    What a fool I was. It's now evident that the plan was -- and always was -- to steal money from the United States.

    7 Thousand Billion for the Iraq war so far...

  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:21PM (#33627976) Homepage Journal
    I partially agree with you. Manning violated US law, he violated his oath to protect and defend, he broke a myriad of orders from superior officers - burn him at the stake. Julian? Well - he's not subject to US law. He broke no oath, he disobeyed no orders, he was under no obligation to defend the US from anything at all. Say some harsh words to him, maybe even say a few bad things about him - but let the man go his way. Concentrate on Manning, and any other little freaks like him.
  • Re:US Government (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:22PM (#33627990)

    It would be interesting to hear more details about Julian's tipsters' info.

    Julian's tipsters? I believe I can identify them.

    They are:
    Julian's ego.
    Julian's imagination.

  • Re:What? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Blakey Rat (99501) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:32PM (#33628066)

    When the government wants evidence, they (usually) get a warrent. When the public wants evidence? Much harder.

    Yes. But that doesn't change a single thing I said.

  • Re:What? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Marcika (1003625) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:38PM (#33628118)

    But, the basic facts remain - the Apache took out a unit that had fired on American troops.

    So where's the evidence that the journalists - or even the people accompanying them - have fired on American troops? (Video evidence, preferably. DoD officials have been known to invent "facts".)

    BTW - both kids were taken to hospital and treated. I never did hear how badly they were hurt, or how well they are doing now - funny that the media doesn't cover stuff like that, huh? Stories about rescued children recovering in a US military hospital aren't very sensational.

    You seem to assume that the US DoD would hide away pictures of children they helped recover and that they would publicise the murder of children by American troops. Hint: War propaganda does not work the way you think.

  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Sunday September 19, 2010 @12:46PM (#33628174)

    What I find more disturbing is what has happened since then: We've seen both Petraeus and also some politicians start telling people how Assange and Wikileaks are "responsible" for the lives of soldiers, and are "endangering" the lives of soldiers. I mean yeah, shift the blame why don't you? Wikileaks is surely more responsible for soldier's lives than the politicians and generals who send them as an occupying force without a viable strategy.

    Even better, now Petraeus was making comments about how irresponsible Koran-burning would be. So what has happened, in a few short months, is the FIASCO which is the Afghan "war" has now turned into something to club the civilian population about the head with. Anything you do or say that doesn't represent the official government policy means that you're "endangering the lives of our troops".

    I am glad I am not American, but why do you keep voting for these people?

  • by westlake (615356) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @01:03PM (#33628316)

    Guilty until proven innocent is traditional for males accused of sex crimes in America.

    Historically, I think you would find many women who would disagree with you.

    Sexual assault experts dispel date rape myths [stripes.com]

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @01:12PM (#33628378) Homepage Journal

    Assange leaked information that caused real-world consequences. Big consequences, like death and torture, not small consequences like Microsoft missing out on seven bucks because you pirated Windows 2000.

    - you little piece of shit, how about the actual truth: USA government + military caused death and torture in Iraq and Afghanistan and also other places by proxy.

    Wikileaks may actually help to stop this insanity that USA is descending upon the world.

  • Re:What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sjames (1099) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @01:16PM (#33628414) Homepage

    And note well that this is the same government that routinely pleads poverty when the suggestion of national health care comes up.

  • Re:Free to leave (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @01:21PM (#33628456)

    But still has his reputation scarred for life...

    The issue of his ungentlemanly behavior with these two ladies has not yet been resolved. While Julian Assange continues to make suggestions of a "smear", in actuality there is no evidence of any such thing. In fact, one of his accusers is a long-time Wikileaks supporter.

    It *IS* relevant to consider "smear" campaigns and watch for them, but just because Assange is involved in a "noble cause" doesn't mean he isn't a creep with the ladies. Many males in his position would become susceptible to ego bloat, and geeks are well know to covet their porn. Who is to say if things didn't get away from Assange?

    Oh, and Hans Reiser didn't murder his wife.

  • Re:What? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cetitau (951106) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @01:37PM (#33628558)
    You language is so eloquent. It's so easy to say what you just said and unfortuntately its all true. What you left out, however, is that no matter how well intentioned (not the rape but the release of the documents) Mr. Assange's actions to release 90,000 classified US documents might have been, it showed very, very poor judgement. As a not-so-powerful individual, Julian assumed he could embarrass a world power (a real one, not a presumed one) with impunity. If this poor judgement is indicitive of his typical thinking, maybe he thought he could rape this woman with impunity as well. The US can (and should) swing a big stick but don't be to quick to assume that the US caused this to happen. WE may have done this, and if WE did, WE were well within OUR rights (given our big stick and all) but I would lay even money that Julian exercises the same poor judgement with his personal life as he does with his professional life.\n And, after all, life (the successful execution thereof) is about his big stick and OUR big stick, right. Regards, Another, more mature and experienced Larry. Oh, and a vet and a proud AMERICAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If WE did it, MORE POWER TO US! It's about time we started playing tit for tat.
  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Scrameustache (459504) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @01:46PM (#33628618) Homepage Journal

    Insurgents. Yes, insurgents.

    Those kids in the car were going to murder every marine in a 10 mile radius!

    One guy holding what may or may not be an RPG round doesn't make 19 insurgents out of everyone massacred around him. The people covering up those murders are telling you they found weapons? Let's believe them, after all they were telling the truth about Pat Tillman, weren't they? And they were telling the truth about Jessica Lynch, and about WMDs, right?

    But, like religion, people won't believe anything that they haven't already decided on.

    Yup, like if the DoD says someone is an insurgent, some people will have religiously faith that they were, no matter how much proof of the opposite piles up.

  • Re:What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdo ... org minus author> on Sunday September 19, 2010 @02:06PM (#33628774)

    This isn't really true, in my experience, due to the US's superpower role and especially its cultural exports. Whether it's what people are discussing on a daily basis, or what you find in newspapers, the US has a large role in a lot of countries, and gets treated much differently than just another random country with 5% of the world's population. Ask someone in Greece or Egypt what they think about the US, and what they think about Indonesia, and you get a lot more opinions about the US.

  • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @02:08PM (#33628780)

    There's a lot of trust given to Assange when he claims that governments are pulling strings in a personal vendetta. That's the part that bugs me.

    As for the video...

    The US military should have been much more forthcoming about that particular incident. I'm assuming that the video is of the reporter in question and that the military knew that after the fact. If that's the case, it would have been better for everyone involved if that had come to light well before someone felt they had to leak evidence of the event.

    Having said that... what we got to see was a nicely edited piece of propaganda. Yes, sure... there's also raw video. However, the edited version is just as much a part of the record and involves plenty of interpretations of what's going on while it glazes over other issues. I've always thought the leaking of this video was important but unfortunately overshadowed by the way it was turned in to a propaganda piece.

    As for the pilots "laughing" about it... watch the video again. There's nobody laughing. There's a lot of chatter right up to the point that they discover that there's children in the van. Then there's stunned silence. That's when one of the gunship crew says "Well it's their fault for bringing their kids into a battle."

    Note how this differs from your quote. What the heck did you quote? Wikileaks provides a transcript. They provide video. Yet what you've got you in your mind is very different than actual events. Ponder that over a bit. We all bring our biases to the table. You hear US troops jeering over the death of a child. I heard US troops being shocked and then pulling themselves together with bravado.

  • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Scrameustache (459504) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @02:09PM (#33628786) Homepage Journal

    The guys on the ground called the Apache in BECAUSE they were fired on.

    Shots were heard, but Americans were not actually fired at. There's a difference between "I heard gunshot" and "I was fired at". Go try to find evidence to support the claim if you want, but I warn you that you'll find nothing but the right-wing echo chamber of claims that they were fired at.

  • by couchslug (175151) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @02:11PM (#33628790)

    Don't trust anyone.

    Looks for ways to check assertions, but /government and /personyoulike all have agendas, and nothing prevents either from having MIXED agendas.

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @02:11PM (#33628792) Homepage Journal
    Because the traditional media, which is supposed to keep our elected officials somewhat in check, has completely failed and abdicated its position. None of the 24 hour News networks are actually News. They're adult drama entertainment. Vague fearmongering is so much cheaper and easier than actually having to go out and find stories.

    Good investigative reporters always draw the ire of the authorities, who would much rather their shameful behavior go unreported. Funnily enough it never seems to occur to them to not behave in a manner of which they're ashamed. I guess that would probably mean less gold for them to dip their balls in, or something.

    There may be some truth to the pentagon's assertion that operatives' lives may be put in danger by the release of these documents, but I bet there's a lot of juicy stuff in there that they'd just rather not have the rest of the world learning about. I'm pretty sure the American public is a lost cause, but the rest of the world still has some weight behind their opinion.

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WNight (23683) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @02:29PM (#33628924) Homepage

    There are multiple sections to that video, in the first the apache pilots discover a group on the ground and assume they're the ones who had been doing the shooting. They think they see an RPG but don't bother getting a better image, despite these streets being used extensively by the civilians whose city the war is being fought in. Furthermore, despite proof from after the event that the video was not enough to distinguish a weapon from a camera, these events aren't seen as a mistake and no changes have been made to prevent it from happening again.

    Even if, and there's no reason to assume they are, those men the reporter was with were the insurgents currently being sought, no efforts were taken to link them to the attack before killing them all.

    In the second they destroy a vehicle full of rescuers, calling them compatriots of the slain though independent sources verify that the man was driving his children elsewhere and they came across a pile of bodies in the street - in Iraq, usually the work of a roadside bomb - and stopped to help the survivor. The rescuers, despite crew expectations, were not seen to handle a single weapon (let alone collecting weapons as was feared) and when they were prepared to drive off, could have been followed, or at worst been stopped by disabling the van with a single round instead of trying to kill all the passengers.

    Finally, the building they fired the missiles into was occupied by non-insurgents (even if you assume the people seen with guns were insurgents and didn't just leave via the back door). They were not under pressure at the time and could have monitored the building until troops arrived and cordoned it off, but they took the expedient route.

    Murder, murder, and murder.

    There are vague excuses but nothing that would stand up if used by anyone else. If you even performed a citizen's arrest on a car thief on the same evidence they had on the rescuers (ie, incredibly circumstantial) you'd be locked up. And yet our military and ardent supporters can't even admit we made a mistake, let alone that it was a horrible one.

  • by sgt_doom (655561) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @02:31PM (#33628944)
    While I don't agree with Julian on everything (as in his opinion on 9/11), I certainly recognize that he exists among the group of the top 10 or 20 hackers in existence --- in other words, I've been (and others in the real hax community) familiar with his background for years. Assange is the real deal, as real /.ers are aware.
  • by elucido (870205) * on Sunday September 19, 2010 @02:57PM (#33629104)

    And your comment should be rated "ignorant" not funny.

    Libertarians believe liberty should be the guiding principle to all law making because liberty allows an individual to pursue happiness. You can't pursue happiness if all your actions and behaviors are "recommended" by bosses and other people who view you as property.

    Also among libertarians you have the cryptofascists who aren't libertarians at all who want to give all authority to corporations. Just as you have authoritarians who claim to be Democrat or Republican but what they all have in common is how they view us. They view you and I as either "consumers" or "taxpayers" and neither view us as individuals.

    A true libertarian values individual liberty above all other principles, because only individual liberty allows for happiness. The other principles allow for security in the form of a prison without walls. You don't have to make any difficult decisions becomes you don't have to make any decisions at all because you are too stupid. Not making decisions at all combined with technology leads to robotization.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 19, 2010 @03:13PM (#33629218)
    You think we are the only Government to do that or currently doing that? When it comes to war you are going to have people that will break the law and be trigger happy. There is going to be the need for information to WIN the war. I am sorry that for some of you that the war is not all about roses and daisies with puppy dogs and rainbows. The cold hard fact is that if you are attacking the US then regardless if you shot first or were thinking of shooting you did wrong.

    I take it you would prefer we just not be over there and not attack and use words to fix the issue correct? Hello Mr. Taliban I need you to leave power because your extremist attitudes, lack of humanitarian rights for people lacks, and your support of attacking someone else in another country is wrong. Come on you know that won't work.

    We would have just as many people crying if our armed forces were not doing anything to fight what these people did. We tried to be nice and it got us no where. Look at Iran we are using words and sanctions there but no change. Eventually it will have to change and if the words are not working punishment will be needed.
  • by hitmark (640295) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @03:18PM (#33629258) Journal

    Well the people i have encountered that most loudly proclaim "i am a libertarian!" seems to be spoiled brats that want to drink and drive 24/7, no matter who those activities may endanger beyond themselves (either directly or via the cleanup that follows). Or want to proclaim their right to jump of a mountain, but then call on the "accursed" government services to risk their people to rescue them when their jump got them stuck in a difficult to reach location.

    In essence, where are the libertarians with some sense of social responsibility?

  • Re:What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 19, 2010 @03:26PM (#33629312)

    I'm sorry, but I must call BS on this one. I, too, saw the vid, heard the radio chatter, and I got news for you, the group pictured did NOT appear to be armed. The resolution was not ideal,of course, so I might have missed something, sure. Were those people insurgents? Perhaps, the video was possibly out of context, so that wasn't entirely clear. Did THIS particular group of alleged insurgents recently attack THAT Apache? Not during the course of THAT video, they spent alot of their time either oblivious to the gunship before being attacked, or sustaining injury and casualties afterward. Not exactly the behavior of someone who'd recently engaged in hostile combat action, is it?

    What -I- got from this,was that an action had happened, and an adjacent patrol was queued into the matter, the video feed seen being from that adjacent patrol, which happened upon this group of individuals. Proximity to the hostile action was likely fairly close by,it was a war zone, after all, these things happen. My thinking was a case of mistaken identity, a support patrol took retaliatory action against a perceived threatening target, and got the WRONG DAMN TARGET. Well, shit happens in a war zone. Duh. The callousness and laughter in the background was real enough, again, shit happens in a war zone. Stupid reactions, but utterly comprehensible, given the circumstances.

    So far, none of this is exactly an atrocity, just a routine wartime FUBAR. What happened following the initial was where the line got crossed. After being gunned down, it should have been fairly plain by that point, that the targets were NOT in a condition to offer further resistance (not that they offered any to begin with, no time). A vehicle stopped to render aid to the injured, stupid, but civvies don't usually do sensible things. No weapons were evident, none were raised. Were there any warning shots? Were there any calls to vacate from a loudspeaker? No, but in a war zone, expecting that is less than reasonable. An initial strike was made to disable the vehicle, again, SOP. After a pause, more shots fired to guarantee casualties, without bothering to determine hostile capabilities. THAT'S where the line was crossed, but even then,only a little. Another FUBAR, well, okay.

    The atrocity is what happened once the recon team arrived to inspect casualties. The radio chatter bears this out plainly, the team requested to take two child casualties to the nearest medical facility, which happened to be a military med unit. Their superiors REFUSED, instead, after a cursory debate, decided to send them to an Iraqi med facility further away. The expectation of killing two witnesses, kids, no less, via refusal of medical services to treat injuries inflicted by OUR servicemen, is painfully apparent. THIS is why this was covered up. Not the combat actions against civvies, not the fact of callous disregard by the gunners towards a member of the press, no. The administrative decision to cover up a simple FUBAR by allowing two kids to die in less than adequate facilities, to cover their asses from freaking paperwork issues, THAT'S the atrocity here.

    But this is hardly the kind of atrocity that gets headlines or merits much scrutiny. It doesn't usually show on the field, it is, in fact, the domain of bean counters and logistics staff, generally. Too easy for it to be swallowed up in jargon and clerical reassignment. This kind of atrocity is easy to hide, easy to deny, and makes the higher ups all squeaky-clean.....until they screw up and get caught, that is.

    Again, sorry, but this IS an atrocity, not commited by the boots on the ground, but by the brass further up, which makes it a far worse thing than if the soldiers themselves had committed it. Why? because it's an INSTITUTIONAL atrocity resulting from command policy, that's why. Open YOUR eyes, sir, and don't be content to follow orders blindly, I'm willing to guess you are far better than that.

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 19, 2010 @03:34PM (#33629362)

    "Weren't no dead kids, and no one laughed."

    True. The kids were the only ones that survived. Their entire family was killed, though. You are also ABSOLUTELY WRONG about them not laughing, however. They were AUDIBLY ENJOYING THEMSELVES.

    "They properly blamed the INJURED children on the people who had dragged the kids along to rescue their compatriots."

    No, blaming it on random passers-by who saw bleeding, dying people on the street and deciding to do the right thing and bring them to the hospital was NOT PROPER. Excuse me, but the US military personnel were the ones that fired the bullets at both the dead journalists and civilians AND at the children. "Hey, I just shot a bunch of civilians, journalists and children, but it's totally not my fault!"

    "Those armed men in the video had fired on American troops, only minutes earlier."

    NO! You clearly didn't do your fucking research. THESE PEOPLE WERE CIVILIANS, PART OF A NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH, THAT HAD NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO WITH THE REPORTED SHOOTING. They were just hanging out with some journalists that came to take some photos. What the fuck? How fucking stupid can you be? PLEASE, I'm sure I'll be modded down as flamebait for saying this, but how the fuck can you possibly be saying EXACTLY what the military were saying even though there's empirical evidence that the army version of the story was an utter fabrication?

    "But, the basic facts remain - the Apache took out a unit that had fired on American troops."

    That's not a basic fact. That's a basic misstatement. A fabrication. A lie, and you're repeating it like you're on the US army's payroll.

    "BTW - both kids were taken to hospital and treated. I never did hear how badly they were hurt, or how well they are doing now - funny that the media doesn't cover stuff like that, huh?"

    Yeah. That dastardly liberal media!! Always covering up the good things the US army does.

    Actually, we know they were seriously injured. By the way, did you know that the commanding officer ordered the children to *NOT* be taken to the hospital, but instead be turned over to Iraqi police? Yeah, that happened. They did NOT go linea recta to the hospital.

    Again, I'll probably be modded down for flamebait due to the tone of my message, and that's probably accurate, but I most sincerely hope someone reads this and mods you down as well. You don't know a thing about the actual situation and it's painful to see you repeat this demonstrably false army drivel.

  • Re:What? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @04:16PM (#33629680) Journal

    Wow.. I guess everything is murder to you. Did someone murder the cow to make that hamburger for you? You see, some people have different ideas about what the definitions of certain things are and aren't and you obviously have decided to politically motivate yours.

    Even if, and there's no reason to assume they are, those men the reporter was with were the insurgents currently being sought, no efforts were taken to link them to the attack before killing them all.

    I wish I didn't have to say this, but it's a fucking WAR, not a police investigation or your third grade private eye play that you starred in. When you fight in a war, your priorities are a little different then determining if the clerk was part of the robbery or not. When the reporter attempted to aim the camera, the copter crew mistook it for an RPG and the correct way to proceed was to act like you are in a fucking war and kill them. Efforts were being made to identify them, Efforts were being made to make sure they were the right people. Those efforts went to the side when it appeared that they were armed enough to put them and others in jeopardy. In a war, you staying alive becomes a larger priority then making sure you are not killing the wrong person. It looked like a duck, it walked like a duck, and unfortunately in this case, it was a platypus and not a duck. You will not find that to be the case very often.

    Listen to the radio communications again. They got permission to initially fire not because they IDed them as insurgents, but because they thought there was an RPG. Now yes, it turned out to be a camera instead, but your fucking stupid if you think they should have landed or put themselves or other units in any more danger then they were to identify the RPG as a camera. If you fight wars that way, you will be dead.

    Yes, its unfortunate that it happened. But it's not murder. It not murder any more then someone losing control of their car on a slick street and causing an accident that kills someone else. was it Manslaughter- maybe, killing- yes, but not murder. The unmarked car that speed onto the scene and started running for the bodies and weapons is nothing more then an accident too. You see, in a war, if you wait for your enemy to arm themselves when it appears like they are running for their weapons, you end up dead too.

    The copter crew acted appropriately given the circumstances and known facts at the time. It's only after the fact and never being in combat that you can claim otherwise. If you have ever been in a life or death situation, I would you aren't responsible for the lives of others because I'm sure from what you appear to be requiring out of this crew means you will be dead and possible a lot of people next to you will too.

  • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @05:10PM (#33629966)

    I wish I didn't have to say this, but it's a fucking WAR

    I will not even bother mentioning stuff like war crimes etc for it would be clearly lost on the apologists like you.

    But this goes even beyond that. War you say? Fucking war YOU started, unilaterally, you mean. Without even bothering to officially declare it. And don't even try to pretend that the UN authorized it for some of us do not have the memory span of a goldfish and were actually watching the proceedings at the UN and witnessed the clear failure to obtain the approval of the Security Council, Powell's pathetic dog-and-pony show notwithstanding.

    So in accordance with this "logic", if I decide to rob you and so I proceed to your house wherein I blow away your kids and wife and then torture you for the location of your safe, but I am careful to call the whole thing "war on Internet users who call themselves sumdumass", this makes it all right then, no? After all "shit happens in war"!

    Oh you mean it is different because instead of me, just one guy, it is the Holy And Divine US Government Douchebags of Manifest Destiny who claim to be in a "war", backed up by the Infallible Gas Bags of Punditry on The Idiot Boxes of Infotainment! And so if your Holy Centurions do it, its righteous and just, but anyone else doing it is a clear sign of Satanic Villainy and Dastardly, Insurgent Defiance of The Rightful Rules of the Universe and they should get "what's coming to them". Intestines of children hanging on tree branches near blown up playgrounds and dismembered wedding parties in ruins of their homes. US Empire has its costs and others must pay them. Got it.

    Fuck I hate US jingoist, imperialist fucks who think USA can do no wrong and the shit of US mercenaries smells like roses. All of these people in these videos would be alive and well if you hadn't invaded Iraq on made up pretenses and lies, you stupid fucks. YOU and your countrymen bear all the responsibility for their deaths. And yes, it was murder.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday September 19, 2010 @05:37PM (#33630126) Homepage Journal

    I partially agree with you. Manning violated US law, he violated his oath to protect and defend, he broke a myriad of orders from superior officers - burn him at the stake.

    It is an illegal act to follow an illegal order. Murder of non-combatant civilians is illegal. Coverup of murder of non-combatant civilians is an illegal act as well. No one could possibly release this information without violating some type of nondisclosure agreement, but releasing this information was critical to the uncovering of crimes committed in the name of the people of the United States of America, who have a right to know.

    Julian? Well - he's not subject to US law. He broke no oath, he disobeyed no orders, he was under no obligation to defend the US from anything at all. Say some harsh words to him, maybe even say a few bad things about him - but let the man go his way.

    "Let" him go his way?

    Concentrate on Manning, and any other little freaks like him.

    Freaks? For delivering us information that we wouldn't have any other way? The man is a hero.

  • Re:What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @07:07PM (#33630712) Journal

    The definition of "poverty" in all these countries (including US) is really skewed, though. It wouldn't be considered that practically anywhere in the rest of the world.

    Heck, I see "poor" folk around here having cars. WTF? Where I come from, if you can afford to buy a car (loan or not), you're not poor!

  • Re:What? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Cyberax (705495) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @07:35PM (#33630896)

    "Exactly. That's the propaganda part. The edited video reads in a lot of what was going on and ignores other things that doesn't fit with the anti-US / anti-war message."

    Which 'other things'? The video clearly shows crimes committed by US military. Pure and simple.

    And no, you can't whitewash murder by saying that "it's a part of larger picture". Or by saying that "they have not killed anyone in 30 minutes of video before the accident".

    That's why this piece of video has this effect. It requires whitewashers to stretch reality to the point of breaking, and then beyond.

    "And with that, you've done a great job at making my point. The same treatment was done with the video."

    Nope, wrong. Only irrelevant parts were cut from the video, while my argument is just that - interpretation. It can't change the facts.

  • Re:What? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @08:42PM (#33631300) Homepage Journal
    Oh, thank you - I see the light now! Those troops on the ground and in the air on that day are THE VERY SAME PEOPLE who put out the propaganda about the WMD's, Tillman, and Lynch! Get a grip guy. It wasn't "the DOD" whose lives were on the line out there on a battleground thousands of miles from home. You were looking at dozens of men, each of whom had previously been through similar combat situations. Those men acted appropriately under the conditions. It would have been *nice* if they had actually identified the reporter as a reporter, and if they could have isolated him, and taken him into custody. It would have been even *nicer* if they had seen those children, and held fire to prevent wounding the children. But, combat isn't nice. You want to hate on Bush? Fine - I never believed the invasion of Iraq to be justified. Want to hate Cheney? Great - I think he's a sadistic son of a bitch, hate him. Want to hate on the DOD? Go ahead. I won't but if you feel the need, go ahead. When you start hating the soldiers who have been handed a near impossible mission, and they are just trying to stay alive while meeting mission goals, you're full of shit. Grow up, and separate the realities of war from your politics. Perhaps you believe that every single German who wore a uniform during world war two was a war criminal, too? Maybe you also believe that every single German soldier was a Nazi? And, that every soldier who ever wore the uniform of the old Soviet was a member of the party? Again, I say grow up.
  • by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3@nOSPam.phroggy.com> on Sunday September 19, 2010 @08:56PM (#33631352) Homepage

    Here's another recent example of a quote taken deliberately out of context. President Obama a couple weeks ago:

    Out of context:

    Taxes are scheduled to go up substantially next year -- for everybody.

    In context:

    I’ll give you one final example of the differences between us and the Republicans, and that’s on the issue of tax cuts. Under the tax plan passed by the last administration, taxes are scheduled to go up substantially next year -- for everybody. By the way, this was by design. ...Now, I believe we ought to make the tax cuts for the middle class permanent...

    YouTube [youtube.com]
    Full transcript [whitehouse.gov]

    Democracy only works correctly when the voters aren't being lied to by the media. We know politicians lie all the time, but I believe it is vitally important that their lies are reported to us accurately in good faith, so that we can exercise our own judgment. This isn't biased reporting, this is deliberate deception, pure and simple.

  • Re:What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @10:04PM (#33631718)

    I'm sorry, but I must call BS on this one. I, too, saw the vid, heard the radio chatter, and I got news for you, the group pictured did NOT appear to be armed.

    Go look at the unedited video. You can clearly see weapons. At least an AK-47 and something that appeared to be a RPG. Like you noted, resolution isn't very good so it's hard to tell. In the edited piece, all you get is the gunship crew mistaking cameras for weapons.

    Did THIS particular group of alleged insurgents recently attack THAT Apache? Not during the course of THAT video, they spent alot of their time either oblivious to the gunship before being attacked, or sustaining injury and casualties afterward. Not exactly the behavior of someone who'd recently engaged in hostile combat action, is it?

    That's one of the things that's misleading about this video. There's ground-forces coming down the road towards this location. The group is looking around the corner at them - I suspect that's what the photographer with the mis-identified telephoto lens is interested in. The gunship isn't there to make war fair. It's there to find threats and take them out well before those threats can act on ground forces. So once they think there's a threat, they open up.

    It's very likely this group had nothing to do with the hostilities that were going on around this time (though if that was a RPG, does a neighborhood watch really carry that kind of gear?). Most likely they were in the wrong place looking like a possible threat - partly due to their actions but mostly due to bad identification by the gunship crew.

    The atrocity is what happened once the recon team arrived to inspect casualties. The radio chatter bears this out plainly, the team requested to take two child casualties to the nearest medical facility, which happened to be a military med unit. Their superiors REFUSED, instead, after a cursory debate, decided to send them to an Iraqi med facility further away. The expectation of killing two witnesses, kids, no less, via refusal of medical services to treat injuries inflicted by OUR servicemen, is painfully apparent. THIS is why this was covered up.

    Wikileaks' treatment of the video pointed this out as well. I'm curious as to why this was done. I doubt it was with the intent to kill children (who tend to make bad witnesses). I'd expect that it was either a military issue (endangering or tying up emergency medical resources) or a turf war over jurisdiction. I'd be skeptical that command thought the best care was available at a local civilian facility.

  • Re:What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Monday September 20, 2010 @12:21AM (#33632480)

    There are major differences and they are the reason why this is not going to happen.

    • Germany and Japan were the aggressors and their citizenry knew and accepted it. Subsequently their defeat came to be seen by most of their populace as in some ways justified. This is certainly not the case with the current wars, particularly Iraq which was started based on blatant lies, and with Muslims (Arabs in particular) who have a very long history of being victims of various Western aggressors, culminating in establishment of the state Israel without any consent of the locals and with massive US backing. Add to it constant US meddling in affairs of all nations in the region, complete with CIA backed coups etc.
    • All of the major participants in WWII were on similar technological, industrial and societal level. This resulted in the aid offered by the US to be of acceptable kind to their populace. Also the Marshall plan was accomplished mostly by hiring locals in direct contrast to the activities in Iraq and Afghanistan where most of the "aid" is making its way into pockets of pan-national corporations who bring in foreign workers/mercenaries and what not to accomplish the woefully mismanaged, corrupt and totally ineffective "reconstruction" (the amount of clean water and electricity available to an average citizen actually deteriorated in Iraq as compared with the Saddam regime). The only projects that are a "success" in Iraq are those directly serving the US military and other Imperial institutions in establishment of permanent presence (such as permanent bases for the 50,000 permanent occupation troops and the massive multi-thousand-people "embassies" in fortified zones). This is of course not lost on the locals.
    • There is a long history of religious hatred between the locals and the supposed "liberators".
    • Due to all the copious lies and duplicity of the supposed "liberators" there is serious doubt amongst the locals as to the true intent of the invasions.
    • The various religious wackos who fulfill the role of "insurgents" come from a background culturally far closer to the locals than the invaders, they speak the local languages, respect local customs etc.
    • Many other similar reasons.

    So no, the locals are not going to simply roll over and play dead for the US mercenaries and the US "interests" will find continuous, low grade resistance into an indefinite future, thus making the project of turning the locals into obedient pets far less profitable then originally envisioned. This is however not a major concern as the war was already wildly more profitable then even the greediest executives ever imagined in 2001 with original estimates merely of a few billion dollars ballooning into trillions (with much more to come).

  • Re:What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday September 20, 2010 @06:36AM (#33633806) Homepage Journal

    So when the founding fathers laid their lives on the line by standing up for what they believed in it was patriotism, but when Julian Assange does the same it's poor judgement?

    Let's try to keep things in perspective. All Assange did was post some shit on a website.

    All Thomas Paine did was publish a flyer. Let's not have any historical perspective, though.

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James

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