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Wikileaks Receiving Gestapo Treatment? 667

An anonymous reader writes "Wikileaks announced on Mar 21 (via its twitter account) its intentions 'to reveal Pentagon murder-coverup at US National Press Club, Apr 5, 9am.' It appears that during the last 24 hours someone from the State Department/CIA decided to visit them, by 'following/photographing/filming/detaining' an editor for 22 hours. Apparently, the offending leak is a video footage of a US airstrike."
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Wikileaks Receiving Gestapo Treatment?

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  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @11:08AM (#31597924)

    There are national security laws for a reason.

    True, but those laws are not the highest laws of the land.

    Why anyone using/working on Wikileaks thinks they are above the law, I have never understood.

    Actually, many government officials think they are above the law and can apply state secrets laws indiscriminately and without regard for constitutionality. It has been a huge problem throughout the history of the US, because it is very difficult for the fourth estate and the judicial branch of our government to provide the proper checks to balance misuse of that power because of the secrecy involved. What Wikileaks has been doing in many (but not all) cases is protected whistleblowing, protected freedom of the press, and protected free speech that the courts most likely will rule as constitutionally protected if they ever actually make it to court.

  • More of the same. (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @11:14AM (#31598014)
    Sadly, it doesn't really matter what the truth is to people that are determined not to believe it. How well documented are atrocities like Operation Keelhaul or the USA's active involvement in the genocide of the people of East Timor in the 70s? Very. Many people have taken it upon themselves, at great risk to their own safety, to bring things like that to the attention of the public at large... most of the time it does no good whatsoever.

    For every 1 dedicated researcher out there, there is a countless myriad of parrots that simply read off the carefully prepared messages their teleprompter tells them to, to the slews of average citizens that are more concerned with bickering over which news channel is actually presenting unbiased raw facts.

    When you bother to alert said average citizens that no major news outlet is trustworthy because all major news outlets agreed with one another in 2005 that they should be allowed to lie on public airwaves, legally*, you get labeled as a conspiracy theorist.

    * http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/11-the-media-can-legally-lie [projectcensored.org]
  • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @11:14AM (#31598018)

    There is certainly a potential problem with classifying things inappropriately, but my opposition to Wikileaks is based on three principles that are not affected by such problems:

    1. If Wikileaks is useful, we already have a fundamental problem of insufficient checks and balances in our government (see my sig).
    2. Supporting an organisation that actively tries to place itself above the law is not the solution to those problems. We should fix bad laws for the good of everyone, not merely try to circumvent them.
    3. Wikileaks in particular has exhibited a lack of good judgement about what is really in the public interest in the past, so they get little sympathy from me on any sort of civil disobedience/public interest whistleblower argument.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @11:20AM (#31598114)

    The original tweet has been removed.

    This was the original text:

    "WikiLeaks to reveal Pentagon murder-coverup at US National Press Club, Apr 5, 9am; contact press-club@sunshinepress.org 10:43 PM Mar 21st via bit.ly"

    Two possibilities: they're planning immediate release, or they decided to give up with it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @11:47AM (#31598572)

    These higher premiums lead to even more people being unable to afford health care. It's a cycle that had to be stopped.

    So, to stop this cycle, we're changing from "we have higher premiums because some people use the ER for free" to "we have higher premiums because we're subsidizing the people who used to use the ER for free"?

    So you think its more expensive to send people to the doctor BEFORE they have to go to the ER... ER Costs > Doctors costs . I mean either way your going to pay for it, which would rather pay for? Dont shoot the messenger here, Im not saying its right, or fair or whatever. Its the facts of the situation, and honestly ive been one of those "poor" people, i just finished paying off my medical bills from 4 and a half years ago. My credit is ruined, im underemployed beacuse of my credit rating (Had interviewers specifically state this), And Ive lived well under the poverty line, even though I made more then the poverty level. Im not saying its right for people to not pay the bill. Im saying when you have a medical bill in one hand and a rent,power,gas,water,phone,food bill in the other, you have to choose one, and honestly which would you choose? All of this would have been avoided, if I could have afforded to go to a doctor before it got serious.

  • Re:[citation needed] (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @11:58AM (#31598792) Homepage

    What can be gained by holding it back [until] then??


  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:04PM (#31598916)
    Earlier this year, my work's insurance informed us that they're raising rates a mere 131%, mostly because of me, a 30 year old cancer survivor. Oh, and they reject all claims relating to my continued cancer screening, because it was a preexisting condition. So, they get to pull more money from me, while at the same time making me pay for everything. Joy! I can't even get insurance on my own. No individual policy will take me, even though I had insurance when I was diagnosed with cancer, and I have been cancer free for a few years now. But not the 5-10 years that most companies want before they'll even talk to me. If I have to pay more in taxes or whatever so that some other person out there can get screening for cancer/disease/etc., so that they can live a better life, I'm all for it. Oh, and I'm pretty sure that raising your rates like that is illegal in some manner, might want to have your employer look into it with their lawyers.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:04PM (#31598918)

    And here's where it gets worse.

    If I have 10 low-skilled employees such as yourself and I now must pay for expensive medical care, I'll simply cut the number of employees that I have to pay for.

    After all, I'm not getting more money, something has to give here.

    I've said many many times, you can put any sort of obligation on employers except that don't have to hire you, and they certainly don't have to keep you.

    You may have won a victory, but you've lost the war. Maybe when you get 10 years experience they'll pay for your healthcare; until then, you're unemployed. Oh wait, how will you get that experience?

    Oh well, you can always get it for "free" from the government.

    Good luck to you.

  • by SpeedyDX ( 1014595 ) <speedyphoenixNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:10PM (#31598994)

    I'm Canadian, but I may be able to answer your question to some extent. We've elected a Conservative government since 2006. They are on the far right of the Canadian political spectrum, even falling to the right of centre on the American spectrum. Since they've come in power, there are several small but significant changes to our country's traditions.

    - The Prime Minister now abuses his executive authority to evade Parliamentary accountability and mask his contempt of Parliament.
    - The Prime Minister now has an entire entourage of armed guards and travels with them in a fleet of at least 5 cars ... to a house across the street (our Governor General's house), instead of walking like every single one of the previous PMs.
    - We now have, for all intents and purposes, free speech zones, although they're not called as such. The RCMP blocks protesters from coming within a certain radius of the Prime Minister because the PM, and I quote from an RCMP letter, "could have been embarrassed."
    - The Prime Minister has, time and again, tried to intervene with arms-length governmental agencies by appointing to important positions those who share his neo-conservative views and equal contempt of Parliament. For example, the Rights and Democracy organization chair was appointed by the PM, and now that the organization is coming under fire, the chair refuses to appear before a Parliamentary committee.
    - The PM also intervenes with arms-length agencies by firing or replacing those in positions of power in those agencies for disagreeing with him. Paul Kennedy, former RCMP watchdog, is the latest victim of this campaign, as he was way too critical of the RCMP. For example, Kennedy wanted to hold officers accountable for their actions! Unthinkable.
    - The PM has, for a couple of years now, if I recall correctly, refused to do unscripted interviews with mainstream national media outlets (particularly with the public broadcaster, CBC) because he accuses mainstream national media outlets of liberal bias (where have you heard that before?). He's also tried, unsuccessfully, to dismantle the CBC, but has instead settled for reducing its budget year-over-year.

    To understand how that is relevant to your question, you will need some background information on Canadian politics and our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper. Mr. Harper LOOOOOVVVESSS you guys. He LOVES America. In a 1997 speech [www.ctv.ca], he blasts Canada for being a "Northern European welfare state" (like Norway or Sweden) and makes the case that America is the shining conservative beacon towards which we as a nation should strive to resemble. This is reflective of his practices while he was in office. He's hired former Republican consultants and PR people and strategists to help with his campaigning and policy decisions. To cut to the chase, Mr. Harper is an American Republican at heart.

    In Canada, we've had a long political tradition of responsible politics. There were some scandals here and there, but they were relatively minor. The most controversial use of the executive power of the PMO (Prime Minister's Office) was back in the Trudeau era, when Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act because of terrorism-related acts (bombings, kidnappings) by the FLQ in Quebec, a Quebec nationalist group. Even then, the use may be controversial or questionable, but it was undoubtedly a crisis situation. Otherwise, the executive power of the PMO has almost always been exercised responsibly. That is, until Mr. Harper came along. He abused Parliamentary process by defying the will of Parliament. In Canadian politics, the appointment of a PM is not technically decided by the party with the most seats. It is decided by whichever Member of Parliament has the most support in terms of the number of other Members of Parliament. So a coalition with the opposition parties would mean a new Prime Minister. Mr. Harper didn't like this very much, so he decided

  • by austinhook ( 656358 ) <austin@openbsd.org> on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:21PM (#31599160)

    A bit of suspense makes it more interesting. Also it provokes a reaction from the government, and thereby shows to what lengths they will go to suppress it. That itself then becomes news. We need to be reminded how hard the government will try to cover up their crimes, until we act to clip its talons. Otherwise we end up like China, where every government blunder is covered up.

  • by N. Criss ( 961443 ) * on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:28PM (#31599278) Homepage

    This essay from Bruce Schneier goes directly to this issue:
    http://www.schneier.com/essay-208.html [schneier.com]

    Government has a lot of power over you. Whereas you as an individual have very little power over the government. To balance things out, large/powerful entities should be transparent. Smaller entities and individuals get to have secrets (privacy).

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:47PM (#31599576) Journal

    >>>it provokes a reaction from the government, and thereby shows to what lengths they will go to suppress it

    I'm planning to create a website documenting U.S. government (and possibly EU government) abuses. Everytime someone says, "But government is good," it's a pain to have to scramble to gather all the info & educate them.

    This way I can simply point to www.governmentabuse.com and be done with it.

  • Advertisement (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kangsterizer ( 1698322 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:47PM (#31599584)

    Why do you think everyone else in ANY industry are pre-announcing what they do?
    Products, goods, actions, whatever..

    You need to create the expectation for your information to last long enough. Otherwise, its going to be on the news for 2 days and gone and forgotten even if it was rather sensationalist.

    We're at Slashdot, ever thought about Apple's marketing? It's all about that; Rumors, expectations, then a big announcement.. and actual product availability month later.
    You did not think it was related to their success?

    The other points are irrelevant. What wikileaks want, is to share some specific information with the population. To be shared in the fastest and widest way possible, you've to do like the "big boys" and use advertisement tactics. No way around it (unless they discovered aliens exist, maybe).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @01:47PM (#31600534)
    Sorry, but some anti-government organization simply saying on twitter that they have information and that the government is now harassing them doesn't mean it is so. If they start actually providing evidence, then I'll think about it. But currently, all they have are tweets.
  • by cduffy ( 652 ) <charles+slashdot@dyfis.net> on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @06:20PM (#31604678)

    Preventative care is a myth. Patients don't want it and will not use it. Those that do use it are going to experience a cost far greater than the benefit due to all the overhead and false-positives. They will soon stop using it, unless there's some kind of anticipated need for it.

    Mmm. I find that I make use of preventative care all the time now that it's conveniently accessible (my current very-large employer has an in-house clinic next door to the company cafeteria), but let me recount some of my personal history, such that you can perhaps better understand why I'm gung-ho about health care reform. Admittedly, it's pretty disjoint from the economic arguments I gave earlier.

    When my wife and I married, I was working for a tiny startup that couldn't afford health insurance, and she was recently unemployed. The company started doing better, after a while, and began offering benefits. Within a few months after this, she gets severe abdominal pain. Her first instinct was to stay at home and try to wait it out -- same way she was accustomed to dealing with everything, having no or very poor insurance. But hey -- we had benefits now -- so I took her to the doctor, who sent her directly to the medical imaging center, which sent her directly to the hospital to go into surgery, as she had an appendix that was about to rupture.

    If the timing had been just a little different -- if she'd tried to do the stoic wait-it-out thing for even another half-day -- there's a very good chance I'd be a widower right now.

    A few years pass, I find blood in my urine, and eventually have a benign tumor removed from my bladder. I think about leaving that still-struggling small startup to join a still-smaller venture some friends are running, and find that I'm effectively uninsurable except as part of a large company's risk pool... which is part of why today, I'm working at a very big company with very good benefits, despite having had a few good ideas in the interim that might have been something worth starting a new venture over. Republicans talk about representing the best interests of small business owners? I might be a small-business owner right now if I were able to buy decent health coverage on my own.

    I don't expect any kind of resurgence of the bladder tumor issue -- heck, I'd gladly allow an insurance company to disclaim responsibility for any further bladder problems if that's what it would take to be able to buy individual coverage -- but I'm still stuck where I am right now, forced by financial necessity to work for whatever form of Da Man is willing to put me in a large enough risk pool to make me insurable. The no-preexisting-condition-denial + individual-mandate system means I can buy my way into a larger pool on the exchange, decoupling my ability to purchase insurance from whom I happen to work for at the time.

    So -- there's my personal stake in the issue. Sure, making legislation is like making sausage -- there's lots that's not pleasant to know about involved in the process -- but I find it hard to see what was recently passed as anything other than a massive win for the public as a whole.

  • Re:[citation needed] (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gilgongo ( 57446 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @07:49PM (#31605528) Homepage Journal

    Which means they're idiots. Seriously.

    This gets modded as "insightful"??

    Here's a crash course in strategy vs tactics. Wikileaks isn't pulling some teenage prank solely for the purpose of seeing people in power with their pants down. In order to actually make a long-term difference to society, you need to play a long game by allowing your adversaries to respond in a way that allows you to be agile. By announcing ahead of time, Wikileaks can observe patterns of reaction which allows them to optimise the way in which they reveal the payload for maximum effect and minimal risk to themselves. At the very least, it's better to reveal several smaller scandals and live to fight another day then to blow the lid on a massive issue only to be totally silenced for all time.

BLISS is ignorance.