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UK Asks News Outlets Not To Publish WikiLeaks Bombshell, US Prepares For Fallout 606

Posted by Soulskill
from the much-ado-about-something dept.
Stoobalou writes "The UK government has issued Defense Advisory Notices to editors of UK news outlets in an attempt to hush up the latest bombshell from whistle-blowing web site WikiLeaks. DA Notices, the last of which was issued in April 2009 after sensitive defense documents were photographed using a telephoto lens in the hand of Assistant Commissioner Bob Quick as he arrived at No 10 Downing Street for a briefing, are requests not to publish, and therefore not legally enforceable." This news comes alongside a raft of articles detailing the US government's preparations for the release. Officials are warning allies that the documents will be more damaging than previous releases, to the point of potentially damaging diplomatic relations with countries like Turkey. The Vancouver Sun wonders if this will lead to a change in the way diplomats communicate.
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UK Asks News Outlets Not To Publish WikiLeaks Bombshell, US Prepares For Fallout

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  • Re:The last release (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 26, 2010 @08:25PM (#34354418)

    The last release was marketed as definitive proof that the US military actively practiced murder.

    No. The last release was definitive proof that the US military condoned torture. You're thinking of the Collateral Murder video, which was about four releases ago (you know... BEFORE the two largest military leaks in history).

  • Re:The last release (Score:4, Informative)

    by Xest (935314) on Friday November 26, 2010 @09:03PM (#34354734)

    "The last release was marketed as definitive proof that the US military actively practiced murder. The big "bombshell" was a video in which people on the ground have clearly visible rifles. Then it appears one peeks around the corner with an RPG and points it at a US helicopter."

    You haven't actually watched the video have you? A couple have rifles or so - that's maybe two out of 13 armed which, in a place like Iraq during this period wasn't unusual and is absolutely not evidence of them being a threat- many armed civilians in Iraq were actually on side with coalition troops. There is absolutely no RPG, just a camera, and even if there was the idea that it was being aimed at the US helicopter makes no sense- I don't think you quite grasp the kind of range Apaches sit at in this kind of confrontation and the fact that an RPG against an Apache would be entirely ineffective at this range- the people being watched were probably not even aware the Apache was there and watching them. In fact, it's even visible in the video itself- you can see quite clearly on the Apache's FLIR display that it's sat at a range of ~1.3 kilometres, an RPG-7 has an effective range of no more than 920m, and according to Wikipedia has a hit probability of a mere 4% at even 500m.

    Certainly the shooting of the van can be labelled as nothing less than random murder, there's no other description for firing upon unarmed civilians without good cause, there was simply no reason to engage whatsoever, at absolute minimum the pilots should have observed to ensure there was a clear threat for much longer- they fired without any confirmation there was a actually a real viable threat.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday November 26, 2010 @10:46PM (#34355432)

    Is that really what you want? You are cheering on Wikileaks even when its actions are going to do no good at all, and might even lead to you personally being hurt?

    I don't see you doing anything better.
    It just doesn't get any worse than a government that is no longer accountable to the citizenry.
    Nothing trumps that because it circumvents the democratic process - we can't vote on what we don't know.
    Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of americans have died to prevent that from happening.
    Wikileaks is doing their damndest to fix it. Your opinion may be that it doesn't work, their opinion differs and they are doing something about it.

    So yeah, even if it does lead to me personally being hurt, that's the price of freedom.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 26, 2010 @11:15PM (#34355564)

    Oh really?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_journalists_killed_in_Russia [wikipedia.org]

    I'm sure they go for the source of the leaks too, but they have no qualms about killing the messenger too.

  • by Simmeh (1320813) on Friday November 26, 2010 @11:50PM (#34355752)

    This is absurd. I opposed the Iraq War too but it's not a "war crime". The previous regime was in violation of the ceasefire agreement that ended the Gulf War and numerous UN resolutions passed subsequent to that agreement. The Iraq War was perfectly legal under American and international law. It was a foolhardy adventure that distracted us from more pressing concerns but it was not illegal or a war crime.

    The United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan disagreed [bbc.co.uk].

    Furthermore, the UK Attorney General could only get the invasion to be legal in UK law through Resolution criteria dating back to the 1990 invasion [bbc.co.uk] of Kuwait. Allegations he was pressured into giving the OK lack sufficient evidence.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday November 26, 2010 @11:56PM (#34355774) Homepage Journal

    It's going to embarrass democratic governments. The oppressive nations of the world, meanwhile, are breaking out the popcorn and sitting back to enjoy the fun.

    You know, there's oppressive nations and then there's oppressive nations.

    If Assange decided he wouldn't leak any documents from countries that don't have oppressed populations, it would make for a very short list.

    You let me know which country's hands are clean, and I'll personally send Assange a notes asking that he leave them alone.

    It's interesting that wikileaks is going after governments with impunity, but he dare not go after the real oppressors, which are the multinational corporations. It's a stark reminder of where the real power lies in this world.

  • Re:relevance (Score:2, Informative)

    by Mr. Slippery (47854) <tms@@@infamous...net> on Friday November 26, 2010 @11:58PM (#34355784) Homepage

    The founding fathers didn't include slavery in the constitution. Slavery wasn't mentioned at all until it was abolished.

    The historical ignorance of my fellow Americans never ceases to astound me. No, the word "slavery" doesn't appear in the Constitution, but the framers included it in the document via various euphemisms:

    "...according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons." Those "other Persons" who counted as three fifths of a human being were slaves.

    "The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person." What sort of persons are "imported" into a state and taxed? Slaves. The Framers built in a clause that Congress couldn't ban the import of slaves until at least 1808.

    "No person held to service or labor in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due." I.e., escaped slaves must be handed back even if they make it to a free state.

    of course that amendment didn't really abolish slavery it made the citizens of the individual states that united into citizens of the federal government that was supposed to negotiate with foreign powers on behalf of the individual and independent member states.

    You are confusing the 13th and 14th Amendments.

    The States were not "individual and independent". We tried that under the Articles of Confederation. It failed miserably. The States gave up a large part of their sovereignty under the Constitution -- they couldn't "enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility," nor "lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports", nor "lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war".

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Saturday November 27, 2010 @12:05AM (#34355830) Homepage Journal

    it's partly because of the freedom we enjoy in America that people are able to get this information to Wikileaks

    That's bullshit. It's not because of the "freedom we enjoy in America", it's because of an accident called "the Internet", a technology that got away from the powers that be before they had a chance to lock it down and now the genie is out of the bottle.

    Believe me, if it happened any other way, if it had been in the hands of "private enterprise" there would never be the kind of free exchange of information on the Internet that has created Wikileaks. If it had been in the hands of private enterprise, the Internet would be cable television. And if there aren't strict net neutrality laws, the Internet will become cable television.

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Saturday November 27, 2010 @12:13AM (#34355862) Homepage Journal

    Maybe there isn't as much dirt because those governments aren't as corrupt as western propaganda would have us believe?

    Or maybe it's because so many of the most repressive regimes and terrorist states that have arisen in the past fifty years came about specifically because of sleazy secret stuff the US government and its corporate masters did.

    Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, much of sub-Saharan Africa come to mind. Take away the manipulations and assassinations and coups and other ways the US and certain multinational corporations have "spread freedom throughout the world", and those countries may not have become "rogue nations" and "state sponsors of terrorism".

    There are those that might add Israel to that list (who happen to be one of the top three countries that commit espionage against the USA, by the way), but I choose not to go there.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @05:26AM (#34356808)

    Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of americans have died to prevent that from happening.

    When did that happen?

    Ostensibly every war we've fought has been to preserve the freedom of the republic.
    If you include the reduction of lifespan due to causalities, that puts the number over a million.

  • by Pharmboy (216950) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @08:34AM (#34357290) Journal

    wow, a whole million dollars? rly? In 1997, the US spent more than that every 20 minutes on intellegence. Imagine what they are spending AFTER 9/11 (cite) [umsl.edu]

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Saturday November 27, 2010 @08:58AM (#34357342) Homepage Journal

    Respectfully, Wikileaks simply does the kind of job that used to be performed by guys like Woodward and Bernstein back in the days when the word "journalism" still meant something and newspapers did that job.

    Absolutely right. But corporate money has so badly corrupted media journalism that it's all but dead.

    Leaks are not new. Government's dirty secrets were leaking with regularity long before the Internet existed.

    Maybe. A lot of stories were also put on ice when the government visited an editor or publisher and asked real nice.

    And yes, there is a huge failure of "private enterprise". That's why the US in a short 30 years, has become a second-rate nation. Because of the power moving into the hands of "private enterprise".

  • by Pascal Sartoretti (454385) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @12:06PM (#34358020)

    And that's the problem our government has brought upon itself. I completely understand the need to keep some things secret

    I never thought I would one day quote this guy, but :

    If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place

    This is totally wrong when applied to individuals, but I think it perfectly applies to governments. Especially democratic ones.

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