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Censorship Government The Military Politics

Wikileaks Founder Advised To Avoid American Gov't 632

eldavojohn writes "Media darling Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, has been told by his lawyers to avoid the United States on the grounds that the US military would like to ask him a few questions about his source of the Collateral Murder video. Assange claims to be holding yet more video (of a US attack on a village that allegedly killed 140 civilians in May of 2009), as well as a quarter million sensitive cables relating to the current foreign war operations from the US State Department. Assange surfaced for the cameras in Brussels while speaking about the need for the freedom of information. Can he build a high enough profile to protect himself from danger?"
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Wikileaks Founder Advised To Avoid American Gov't

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  • by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @10:02AM (#32652570) Homepage

    Maybe I missed that update, but last time I heard WikiLeaks never confirmed they had any sensitive cables, in fact, so far they have denied it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @10:10AM (#32652678)

    While the idea of Wikileaks is still quite popular; with more revelations about Wikileaks, Assange is no longer the media darling with everyone taking a more critical view of the man behind Wikileaks.

    America's oldest whistleblowing website Cryptome which Wikileaks described as a 'venerabe anti secrecy organization' has collated the most details about what happens within Wikileaks. Cryptome has published all of Wikileaks founder Assange's chats over a few years as well as Wikileaks insider details about how they need $55,000 to run servers but as much as $200,000 is used by the men who run Wikileaks for business class travel, hotels etc.

    Read Cryptome to see that despite its idealistic mission, at some level Wikileaks behaves like another secret Government department with a couple of people deciding what is public interest.

  • Re:Good on him (Score:4, Interesting)

    by magarity ( 164372 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @10:11AM (#32652698)

    I understand the need to keep things secret, and I understand that in war shit happens...but that doesn't mean when things go awry, we the people shouldn't know about it
    Which is why in the US with the first amendment guaranteeing freedom of the press one had to find a professional journalist and convince him/her and the editor and publisher that breaking a secret story was worth the potential penalties. With Wikileaks this process is reduced to a snickering game of airing dirty laundry just for the sake of doing it. One day truly serious info will be released and cause the bad sort of trouble that will make the Rosenbergs look like common gossips.

  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @10:15AM (#32652764)
    The majority of the 9/11 attackers were Saudi Arabian; why should Iraqis be attacking the Saudis? This is especially so considering that the last time Iraq even looked like it might invade Saudi Arabia, the United States attacked Iraq and made a successful push for UN-imposed sanctions.

    Had the USA invaded Saudi Arabia, I would be less inclined to disagree with you.
  • by MrNaz ( 730548 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @10:23AM (#32652816) Homepage

    Or perhaps a bathtub in a motel [].

  • by slyborg ( 524607 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @10:26AM (#32652848)

    And you have the information to back up this "often" claim, besides the one example you claim?

    I know a guy who worked for a number of years for Reuters as a communications tech in war zones all over the world, and he never "worked both sides" whatever that means to you but whose life was endangered on a number of occasions. He was paid for it and he accepted the possible consequences. However, he, along with I would suspect are the majority of Reuters employees, did not work for for Hezbollah, and didn't, as you appear to suggest, deserve a couple of 30mm shells for doing his job.

    Since this is the Internet, though, people who disagree with you of course deserve death, I suppose.

  • Re:Good on him (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @10:29AM (#32652900) Homepage

    Like in Vietnam.. News covered how the Americans were butchers, killing women and children. And how they were unrefined even killing their own officers.

    Yet the truth was that GI's were fragging officers because they would order them to kill the children or the scumbag enemy were forcing women to fight or they would kill their children (Sounds like the current cowards), or put the team in un-necessary danger... Oops 4 grenades went off in Lt. Dan's tent.... He must have been depressed....

  • by TheCarp ( 96830 ) <[ten.tenaprac] [ta] [cjs]> on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @11:17AM (#32653662) Homepage

    > The reality is that there's a lot of information that doesn't belong in the public domain, and it's in the best interest of the
    > country/corporation/individual to keep secured.

    For an indivudual, or a corporation sure. However, a corporation has share holders and/or trustees. There is no legitimate reason for a "corporation" to withhold information from them. They are the owners, the final deciders.

    With a government, or at least, any organization that I am willing to consider as such in a legitimate fashion, the people are the share holders, we are the board. There is no legitimate reason to hide information from even the lowest of us. We OWN IT. It is OUR SECRET.

    Keeping information (with the VERY narrow exception of individuals personally identifiable information like tax, employment, or social security records) is corruption. plain and simple. Justice Roberts claims the government deserves a lot of "leeway" in "national security" matters. I argue it deserves no leeway at all, ever, in any circumstance.

    The single most important function of government is to provide checks and balances against its own corruption. Even defense should be secondary.


  • No sir (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DesScorp ( 410532 ) < minus math_god> on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @11:58AM (#32654266) Homepage Journal

    "The military might of the US lies in its industrial output, not its secrets. Secrets only protect the US regime from its own population."

    The military might of the US is primarily about two things: the quality and training of its troops, and its lead in military technology over adversaries. Industrial output means nothing, as our focus is on small numbers of advanced weaponry. We have 20 B-2 bombers. That's it. We'll have 187 F-22 fighters. That's it. Whether it's wise or not, the US is counting on technological superiority, not the sheer numbers of industrial output. Industrial output was WWII, when a war with a peer enemy would last for years and you had time to make more weapons. A war with China would be very short, one way or the other. So blithely allowing our most advanced technology to be leaked to China, or anyone for that matter, is stupidity on a grand scale.

    Should the US rely on a few hyper-expensive, highly secretive weapons for its defense? That's another debate, and an important one. But as long as we have our current strategy, allowing those secrets to be given away would be self-defeating, no? "We're relying on our technology, but sure, here are the secrets to our latest weapons. Enjoy!".

  • Enough of this crap. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:49PM (#32654904)

    All you people out there who think Wikileaks is just fine and dandy need to ask yourself a question.

    Do you believe that government should have NO secrets at all?

    Think before you answer.

    This means troop movements, battle plans, agents of any kind, anywhere.

    It means no more sealed federal records of any kind. If you did your sister in 7th grade, we will know about it.

    IRS records (they are government records) are open for all to see, communications between you and your Congressional representative, communications between anyone in government about anything.

    Want to know the location, passwords, procedures to gain access to nuclear, biological or conventional weapons? No problem. There should be no secrets...right?

    We could know where Obama is, where he's going, when he'll get there, where the secret service is, how many there are and what their various plans are to protect the president.

    Delicate negotiations with a company to make available some revolutionary technology to solve "global warming"? FTS! It's all public subject to the whims of anyone with the information.

    Diplomats working behind the scenes to free civilians from captivity in some Islamic hell hole? Hell, we all should be in on that. Publish it!

    ANYTHING and EVERYTHING would be open and available.

    On the other hand, if you think that some of this stuff should be kept under wraps (your sister does I bet), then Wikileaks should make you sick. That's because Wikileaks thinks that anyone and everyone who thinks classified material of any kind should be public for whatever twisted reason, can publish it without repercussion.

    There is no firewall. No protection. Nothing. If someone has access and thinks it should be public...there ya go. The best you can do is to rely on some unknown people who are accountable to nobody to decide not to publish something....for now anyway.

    Is that really what you want?

  • by chriscappuccio ( 80696 ) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @01:20PM (#32655274) Homepage

    According to wikileaks, they don't have any embarrasing "international cables" but they do have other documents that expose war time/rights violations by the US Government/Army. []

    But there is dissention in the wikileaks contributor community, someone keeps sending documents to cryptome that exposes the real goals of wikileaks - to get julian flying international in style and to get money from major news outlets for major leaks. Supposedly Manning even expected to share in the cash for his videos.

    The motives make the site less noble, but the leaks are still great stuff. Especially the ones which deal with countries taking out "loans" to pay off the interest on the "loans" that they can't pay back anymore. This protects the banks that gave out the loans (usually part of the Federal Reserve banking cartel) because they can show the original loan and the new loan as "assets" (because they are still getting interest payments.) That means that the bank can actually loan out more money because they have more "asset" value on the books! When the pyramid finally falls down, the banks find some other way to clean up, usually with assistance from the Fed and the US Congress to get more imaginary (inflationary) money to be released from the "Federal Reserve."

    The way this inflation scam works is well explained in "The Creature from Jekyll Island." It explains the current economic boom/bust cycle like no economist ever would dream of - because the author doesn't believe that any monetary system with no back-end discipline can survive in the long term (which is a big part of economics - "managing" the economy) The basic idea it promotes is that of a disciplinary standard that prevents inflationary spending - such as the gold standard. But even if you could care less about the gold standard, it still well explains the issues inherent in our current system, how it is used by governments and how it's hard to accept the political realities of not going into continuous inflation, which is why inflationary systems keep popping up. Rome is his first example of an inflationary system corrupted, and Greece and the Byzantine Empire. The bezant was accepted from China to Brittany, from the Baltic Sea to Ethiopia, and kept a stable price for 800 years, with a strict, disciplinary banking system. We don't have that today, just a bunch of pomp and fluff designed to look respectable and disciplinary. Deserving of respect or an exemplar of discipline our current monetary system is not.

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10