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Icelandic MP Claims US Vendetta Against WikiLeaks 227

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-paranoia-if-they-actually-are-out-to-get-you dept.
Stirling Newberry writes "Icelandic MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir details more of the evidence for what she calls a 'judicial vendetta' against WikiLeaks and its volunteers, including attempts to gain access to her Twitter account. Her efforts to block the National Defense Authorization Act were discussed here previously. The story was taken up last year by Glenn Greenwald and Wired. As a result, the International Parliamentarian Union adopted a resolution on her case. What's new? She asserts that there is a grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks and related organizations, and is calling on Sweden to provide assurances that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange not be re-extradited to the U.S. She says, 'There is no doubt that the U.S. wants to get even with WikiLeaks.'"
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Icelandic MP Claims US Vendetta Against WikiLeaks

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  • they only feed the fire by going after him

    the "damage" assange did is done, and there's no way you can hide what has been revealed

    just forget about him. move on

    because all the efforts the USA goes through just feeds the myth and makes the man a hero, deservedly or not

  • Rome (Score:5, Insightful)

    by damicatz (711271) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @06:51PM (#40545373)

    The US is like the modern day Roman Empire. Eventually, the rest of the world will get tired of being bullied by the US and stand up.

  • by oldredlion (1663421) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @06:59PM (#40545431)

    Of those who know who he is, I'd bet most think he is a rapist.

    I think that's the reason they pushed the women to bring charges - to discredit him.

  • Preposterous! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @07:01PM (#40545463)

    There is no secret grand jury investigation! I dare you to find the documentation! Besides, there's no place on the Internet where anyone could publish such a damning LEAK! No news site, message board, not even any sort of WIKI.

  • by pla (258480) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @07:13PM (#40545575) Journal
    I'd bet most people don't even know who he is. Of those who know who he is, I'd bet most think he is a rapist.

    I'll agree with your first point (though most people know of "that Wikileaks guy", and some vague notion that the government has tried to frame him for something-or-other); On your second point, I have yet to meet a non-feminist who doesn't consider this a blatant attempt to destroy a random guy's life for embarrassing the US government.

    Assange may count as the worst sort of scum. I have 100% confidence he has no shot whatsoever at ever getting anything even remotely resembling a fair trial, either in Sweden or in the US.

    I only hope "we" let him go down in a Swedish court rather than one of our sham anti-terrorism tribunals - They have a hell of a lot nicer prisons than we do.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @07:14PM (#40545579)

    How about:
    -Evidence of US soldiers murdering civilians
    -How the US was lying about keeping track of "collateral damage"
    -Proof of how the US gave Saddam a green-light to invade Kuwait
    I'm too lazy to find links for those examples, but google should get them quickly enough.

    There are many more examples, but the point is that while previously people only had suspicions about the US's wrongdoing, now there's evidence. That's the first step in doing anything about it. The cables I'm sure have also had repercussions diplomatically, what with all the cases of US ambassadors lying through their teeth. The leaks have also taken away a lot of the US's credibility, which will probably impact them strongly in the future, especially with regards to situations like Iran, and whatnot.

  • by F69631 (2421974) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @07:22PM (#40545635)

    Sure, most of the documents weren't important and some that were should probably have stayed secret... but that means they would've had to cherry pick which documents to publish. If they'd have cherry picked, people would have said "You obviously have some agenda, as you cherry pick documents that present [entity we like] in a bad light".

    Also, by publishing everything they allow people to analyze not only what there was but also what wasn't there.

    Also, there is no way that they would've been able to know what documents were important and what not. In some countries the press cross-checked the leaked stuff with their politicians' negotiations and foreign trips, saw if their politicians' public statements matched the data found in documents, etc... but there is no way that Assange or even some major newspaper would've been able to do that all alone.

    So... yeah. I am not in the "everything government/officials do should be public" camp as I think officials should be able to do their work and have honest exchanges between each other without the press being able to take quotes out of context to produce artificial scandals... but I don't think that saying "Only x% of the published documents were important" is that good argument.

  • by jythie (914043) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @07:35PM (#40545721)
    I thing the biggest thing he revealed was how mundane most information truly was.. and how out of control the US 'classified by default' culture has become.
  • by jythie (914043) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @07:39PM (#40545755)
    Just like that doctor who pushed fake vaccinations to find Bin Laden.. this is a classic example of where real behaviors can come back to haunt an organization. People might claim that is just a conspiracy theory that our own government would fake rape charges to discredit someone, but is exactly the type of thing the state department used to do in order to fix elections in 3rd world countries that we had economic ties to. Thus it is impossible to tell if he is actually guilty, or it is just the US government using an old (but disavowed) technique to influence public opinion on a persion... and it will probably take 100 years for the documents to be published...
  • by quixote9 (999874) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @07:55PM (#40545891) Homepage
    News organizations do the exact same thing -- find sources and publish their stories -- and you don't see the US gov going after the Guardian or the NYTimes. (They're some of the news outlets that did the actual publishing. Wikileaks worked through them precisely because they were trying NOT to endanger people on the ground.) The US can't go after news outlets. There's this little thing called the First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech.

    But by de facto torture of Manning and by making an example of Assange (they hope, if they can get their hands on him) they figure they can "discourage" repeat embarrassments.

    Because that's all they are: embarrassed. I didn't see anything come out we didn't already know. All Wikileaks did was provide hard evidence of the obvious.
  • by catmistake (814204) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @08:10PM (#40546005) Journal

    I thing the biggest thing he revealed was how mundane most information truly was.. and how out of control the US 'classified by default' culture has become.

    Well... something about some of the information sparked revolution in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya... you'd think the US would want to give Assange a medal for helping to accomplish what the secrets agencies of the West could not. And it would be great if all the US wanted was to extradite him... because the US has no legal standing to do so... is everyone forgetting about extraordinary rendition? That's what would be keeping me up nights... a bag over the head and a Polish vacation.

  • by Hentes (2461350) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @08:39PM (#40546225)

    Before Assange went rogue, the policy of Wikileaks was to only publish material where secrecy had been misused to cover up for bad things. That's a clear policy, and any organisation accusing them of cherrypicking is free to publish the context.
    Yes, that would have meant going over all the stuff which would have taken years, and Assange didn't have the patience for that. But if he did, the papers would have had to concentrate on the truly important parts, and maybe Wikileaks wouldn't be bankrupt today.
    This releasing everything philosophy have hurted the privacy of many, and is morally questionable.

  • Re:Iceland (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rei (128717) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @08:47PM (#40546301) Homepage

    Forget Wikileaks. Let's invade Iceland.

    Judging from the US embassy here, you'd think the US already did ;) It's the most paranoid place in the country. Concrete barriers in the front, armed security guards (even *pepper spray* is illegal here, the police don't even carry it**), etc. You could take all the pictures you want with a telephoto lens of any Icelandic government building, coast guard ships, etc, but if you snap a cell phone camera picture on the same street of the embassy and don't hightail it out of there, you'll be approached by the guards and they won't be happy. The embassy got in trouble about six months back for spying on all the homes and businesses in a several block radius.

    As for the concept of a Wikileaks person being in parliament, don't be shocked. Members of the Al(th)ing are mostly pretty walk-of-life people. Everyone here is connected anyway and it's all pretty casual. On 1st may, for example, I walked right into a Samfylkingin meeting from off the street and sat down a couple tables over from the prime minister (could have sat closer if I wanted to). And there were little kids running around in the room playing. People take "celebrity" and "status" in stride. The joke here is, what does an Icelander do if he sees someone famous on the street? He walks up to them and asks them if they wants *his* autograph. ;)

    Oh, and Slashdot? It's not 1992; implement proper unicode support already so that I can type a proper thorn.

    ** - Not only is pepper spray illegal, but tear gas has been used just twice in the history of the country. And people here talk about it like using it was the greatest war crime imaginable ;)

  • by lightknight (213164) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @09:23PM (#40546607) Homepage

    Nonsense. What he's pointing out is that various members of the US government are willing to sacrifice the farm for a cow, and should be taken out back and summarily executed.

    The price of finding OBL, or rather, in conducting this vaccination ruse, is already being paid; the global attempt to annihilate Polio is now in jeopardy because of it. If the history of botched American relations is anything to go by, this will come back to... inconvenience us at an ill-fated moment. And on behalf of those Americans who will be paying the price for this act of stupidity, I wish to salute all those involved for their dedication to promoting idiocy.

  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @11:34PM (#40547509)

    Complete Nonsense. Islamics in both Nigeria and Pakistan were making up all sorts of BS before the fake vaccination program to dissuade their followers from participating in the vaccine program. With success leading to continuing polio outbreaks well before OBL's death.

    They are the only ones responsible.

  • by brit74 (831798) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @12:09AM (#40547775)
    > Proof of how the US gave Saddam a green-light to invade Kuwait

    First, I didn't realize that the US-Iraq conversations, pre-1991 invasion of Kuwait was part of what Assange or Manning had in their documents. Second, it's highly misleading to say that the US gave Iraq the green light to invade Kuwait. The worst you can say is that the US didn't tell Iraq that they would counterattack if Saddam invaded Kuwait. More specifically, the US said it didn't have an opinion on the Iraq-Kuwait oil disputes (both countries were drawing from some of the same oil reservoirs, and were having a dispute over it). When you say the US "gave Saddam a green-light to invade Kuwait" you make it sound like the US was all "yeah, buddy, go ahead and invade Kuwait" when that's not at all what happened.
  • Goes both ways (Score:2, Insightful)

    by brit74 (831798) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @12:14AM (#40547813)
    To be fair, it's pretty clear that Assange has a vendetta against the US, as well. He takes the view that the US is a big bully and has made statements about being on a mission to stop "two wars" (i.e. the Iraq war and the war in Afghanistan). It's pretty clear that he was intending to use the documents to drive the US into retreat using the leaked documents as a weapon. (No word on why he thinks the Taliban would make great rulers over Afghanistan.)
  • by InspectorGadget1964 (2439148) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @12:32AM (#40547925) Journal
    If you are killing unarmed civilians and claiming a camera is a weapon, you are committing an assassination. Any questions about that?
  • Re:Goes both ways (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tftp (111690) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @12:38AM (#40547957) Homepage

    He takes the view that the US is a big bully

    He and the other 5,650,000,000 people.

    and has made statements about being on a mission to stop "two wars" (i.e. the Iraq war and the war in Afghanistan)

    Why would that be illegal? Publishing US secrets was not a crime for Assange because he haven't signed on the dotted line. Manning did, and he is being punished for that.

  • by Phrogman (80473) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @01:43AM (#40548223) Homepage

    Because of the US Govt's abuse of the polio vaccination service, every NGO representative worldwide is going to be viewed as a spy for the US by anyone with half a brain. This is going to severely limit their ability to try to help people in the third world.

    It doesn't make any difference that the Islamist groups out there were already suspicious of NGO reps - the US went and confirmed their suspicions completely. This will only serve to make some people think the Islamists are right in other things they say. We should not be doing things to make them look more credible :(

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 05, 2012 @04:08AM (#40548853)

    The worst you can say is that the US didn't tell Iraq that they would counterattack if Saddam invaded Kuwait. More specifically, the US said it didn't have an opinion on the Iraq-Kuwait oil disputes (both countries were drawing from some of the same oil reservoirs, and were having a dispute over it).

    US Government assured the Saddam administration they wouldn't interfere if Saddam invaded Kuwait, because "it's an internal regional matter".
    This is effectively (or at the very least indirectly) giving him a green-light.

    Geo-political events are not a game of checkers, but it is more akin to multi-dimensional chess.

  • by Uberbah (647458) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @05:22AM (#40549119)

    Fuck you. The Taliban offered to hand over Bin Laddin a good ten years ago - on the crazy condition that the U.S. provide some proof for it's claims that Bin Laddin was responsible for 911. Instead, the U.S. has spent the last decade bombing the shit out of large parts of Asia, committing many multiples the amount of civilian deaths that we've ever suffered in terrorist attacks.

  • by dbIII (701233) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @06:08AM (#40549337)

    First, I didn't realize that the US-Iraq conversations, pre-1991 invasion of Kuwait was part of what Assange or Manning had in their documents

    We've had that from multiple sources before anyway.

    Second, it's highly misleading to say that the US gave Iraq the green light to invade Kuwait.

    It's one thing to cheer for your team but another to be blind to the fairly public stuffups of various agencies in dealing with foreign policy at the time. The USA was informed and flocks of memos about it flew like birds to the highest level but a cowardly policy meant that the President could imply agreement while still pretending he'd never heard of it. It wasn't as transparent as Ford and East Timor (in Jakarta in person accepting a donation to the Republican party the same day), but pretending that the elder Bush was too useless to be involved when his agencies were is just a bit too naive for anyone that has been seriously following US politics. When it all came out it was then clear why he continued on his golfing holiday for so long while deliberately pretending to ignore the issue. Even when he reacted he didn't do it for his country and he didn't even do it for Kuwait, he did it because the Saudis were getting nervous and convincing important donors to Bush that it would hit their bottom line.

  • by Rei (128717) on Thursday July 05, 2012 @07:23AM (#40549671) Homepage

    I've written about this before several times, so I don't want to have to write it all again; here's a link [dailykos.com] instead.

    And, FYI, according to the charges, the first woman told friends at the party that same night about the "violent" sex with Assange and that she didn't feel safe, then subsequently moved out of her own apartment until he left. The second woman freaked out immediately after Assange started having unprotected sex with her while she was sleeping (something she hadn't even done with her boyfriend of 2 1/2 years). They only brought *charges* after talking.

    It took me about three months before I was able to simply use the word "rape" for what happened to me. It moved from "an unwanted sexual experience" to "some of my friends tell me I should call it rape" to "rape or something like that" before I could accept just using the term. You don't want to see yourself as a victim and you don't want to empower the perpetrator. You just want to try to forget it and move on. It's only when it becomes obvious that you can't just do that that you have to face up to it. I'm still trying to deal with some of the effects, like a fear of saying no (because if you don't say no, you can't be raped... I know, that's messed up, but I'm trying to get past it, and I'm doing better).

    People have often berated me for not reporting it (like most rape victims), on the grounds that he is free and could well do it again. But that's easy to say from your ivory tower (sadly, I in the past once did the same thing to a rape victim, something I now really regret). The last thing you want is to have to relive it and have people accuse you of being a liar, a slut, etc; you just want to get on with your life and not think about it. However, if I had talked to someone a couple days after it happened and found that the same guy had just done the same thing to another girl... I don't know how that would have my altered course of actions, but it definitely would have affected me.

How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else. -- R. Buckminster Fuller

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