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Obama Wants Allies To Go After WikiLeaks 1088

krou writes "Coming on the back of human rights groups criticizing WikiLeaks, American officials are saying that the Obama administration is pressuring allies such as Australia, Britain, and Germany to open criminal investigations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and to try limit his ability to travel. 'It's not just our troops that are put in jeopardy by this leaking. It's UK troops, it's German troops, it's Australian troops — all of the NATO troops and foreign forces working together in Afghanistan,' said one American diplomatic official, who added that other governments should 'review whether the actions of WikiLeaks could constitute crimes under their own national-security laws.'"
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Obama Wants Allies To Go After WikiLeaks

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  • Re:How does (Score:5, Informative)

    by Godskitchen ( 1017786 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:12PM (#33216364)

    From TFA:

    "The initial document dump by WikiLeaks last month is reported to have disclosed the names of hundreds of Afghan civilians who have cooperated with NATO forces; the Taliban has threatened to hunt down the civilians named in the documents, a threat that human-rights organizations say WikiLeaks should take seriously."

    Maybe not troops, but civilians were apparently endangered.

  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:13PM (#33216368)

    Wow, who is being alienated?

    There has been quite an outcry from various humanitarian organizations who think the documents were not redacted well enough to hide the identities of civilians who may now become targets of reprisals.

  • Re:How does (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:15PM (#33216400)

    While not necessarily directly harmful to the Allied forces, the leaks include the names of informants and those sympathetic to Allied forces.

  • Re:How does (Score:5, Informative)

    by localman57 ( 1340533 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:25PM (#33216576)
    Since the names started showing up on Wikileaks.
  • Re:How does (Score:5, Informative)

    by ( 1853046 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:41PM (#33216848) Homepage
    Don't forget Guantanamo Bay. Didn't he win the election in part thanks to those promises to shut that hellhole down?
  • Re:How does (Score:5, Informative)

    by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:48PM (#33216950)

    and no NEW states secrets policy is more stringent than anything that came before

    Uhm... reality check. []

    - That new state secrets policy that is WAY more stringent than anything before. []

    - The Obama admin claiming that the details of a copyright treaty are "state secrets." []

    - Obama administration invoking "state secrets" FAR MORE OFTEN than the previous administration []

    - Obama administration having political appointees vetting FOIA requests intended for the Dept of Homeland Security, and making decisions on what can be released on the basis of political expediency...

    The question of no "new" Gitmos - Yes, but the one we have isn't anywhere close to shut down.
    The question of "no new pointless, unwinnable wars have been started" - How many are we on the brink of still?

  • by FriendlyLurker ( 50431 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:50PM (#33216980)

    While not necessarily directly harmful to the Allied forces, the leaks include the names of informants and those sympathetic to Allied forces.

    To Shillnonymous and friends. Reality: Out of the thousands of records only three records contain a name of an "informant". One of which died and another was a pro-Taliban double agent. Not to mention that the White House also had the opportunity to redact names via the New Your Times contact, but declined to do so - they could not have cared less

    All those news channels (and there are many - mostly US based []) all all standing on very shaky moral ground [], considering the news channels and their parrots talking about "thousands of Informants exposed" just happen to NOT talk about the murdered 20K+ civilians. What is more important - actual deaths or your self delusion/lies over thousands of imaginary Informants "and their families" dying.

  • Re:Infoquake... (Score:1, Informative)

    by JockTroll ( 996521 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:57PM (#33217114)

    "Information wants to be free" - That's a misquote that became an inane internet meme. Information does not "want" anything. Information is not a thinking entity. And if it wants to be free, would you like your bank account details, credit score and other sensitive stuff that might deprive you of a job out for everybody to see?

    "If wikileaks dies..." - Depends on its death. If Assange is arrested, deported to the US, tried and sent to jail or executed, NOBODY will rise to take wikileaks' place because of the fear factor.

    Your basement is not a safe and cozy place anymore when fearsome men in uniform with grim faces and a mean attitude can grab you anytime, drag you kicking and screaming in a dark cell, beat you up until there's no bone left unbroken in your body and subject you to all sorts of "vigorous" interrogation and assorted facial defecations.

  • Re:How does (Score:3, Informative)

    by locallyunscene ( 1000523 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:57PM (#33217120)
    Not only that but the documents contained the grid movements of troops to a highly accurate detail.

    I'm pro-leak, but the gov't's of the world also have just cause, IMO, to investigate.
  • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:58PM (#33217154) Journal
    Re professional trolling "hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering"
    Julian Assange did talk about the issue of informants.
    ""REPORTER: Do you lie awake at night wondering if you have found all those?
    JULIAN ASSANGE: They have a particular code within the reports. It wasn't too hard. That said, it is possible, there may be a stray report here or stray report there. The choice, again, we are forced to make hard choices and those hard choices are do we do best effort to minimise harm, which we have done with the understanding that this is an extraordinary body of material capable of producing extraordinary reforms. It belongs in the hands of the Afghan people. Give it to them. If the material is of a diplomatic, political, ethical and historical significance and has not been published..."" from SBS (Australian TV) []
  • by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @12:59PM (#33217174)

    Violations of the Geneva Convention are war crimes a priori.

    I think if you check you'll find that no-one in the previous Administration violated the Geneva Conventions.

    Alas, while it's still inconvenient as hell, the only part of the Geneva Conventions binding on the USA are the parts we're actually signatory to.

    Even more inconvenient, the parts we didn't sign onto include all those bits about treating guerrillas as the same as soldiers....

  • by dreampod ( 1093343 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:03PM (#33217250)

    That is correct. Wikileaks held off releasing the documents for several months while in discussions with the Pentagon regarding getting assistance in protecting the identities of the sources. When it became clear that the Pentagon was unwilling to assist they released them unaltered because they lack the manpower to do so themselves.

  • by clarkkent09 ( 1104833 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:05PM (#33217282)
    Geneva Convention doesn't apply to just any asshole with a gun (a pretty good description of both Taliban and Al-Qaeda), only to uniformed soldiers of an official army of an actual recognized country and to unarmed civilians. Armed people in civilian clothes using civilian facilities, unmarked vehicles and tactics like IEDs and suicide bombers are a fair game and have been routinely shot on the spot in every war without any legal repercussions.
  • Re:Journalism (Score:3, Informative)

    by Seumas ( 6865 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:13PM (#33217400)

    I can answer this for you.


    Remember that study that was done a few years ago where highschool students across the country were asked questions like "do you think freedom of speech should be limited?" and "does the press have too much freedom of the press?". An overwhelming number of students (the future of the country, yadda yadda yadda) stated things siding with restricting freedom of the press and limiting free speech.

    This country has no sense of the liberties they are supposed to value. It only knows platitudes and threats. That's why the market for yellow ribbon stickers on the back of SUVs is booming and criticizing anything that the government or military says or does is responded with some variation on "you want the terrorists to win?!" or "this is America! Love it or leave it!".

    source: []
    source: []

    One in three U.S. high school students say the press ought to be more restricted, and even more say the government should approve newspaper stories before readers see them, according to a survey being released today.

    The survey of 112,003 students finds that 36% believe newspapers should get "government approval" of stories before publishing; 51% say they should be able to publish freely; 13% have no opinion.

    Asked whether the press enjoys "too much freedom," not enough or about the right amount, 32% say "too much," and 37% say it has the right amount. Ten percent say it has too little.

    This is not the same study, but has similarly sad results:

    source: []

    The First Amendment Center has conducted the annual survey since 1997. This year’s survey, being released to mark both annual Constitution Day (Sept. 17) activities and the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, also found:

            * Just 56% believe that the freedom to worship as one chooses extends to all religious groups, regardless of how extreme — down 16 points from 72% in 2000.
            * 58% of Americans would prevent protests during a funeral procession, even on public streets and sidewalks; and 74% would prevent public school students from wearing a T-shirt with a slogan that might offend others.
            * 34% (lowest since the survey first was done in 1997) think the press “has too much freedom,” but 60% of Americans disagree with the statement that the press tries to report the news without bias, and 62% believe the making up of stories is a widespread problem in the news media — down only slightly from 2006.
            * 25% said “the First Amendment goes too far in the rights it guarantees,” well below the 49% recorded in the 2002 survey that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, but up from 18% in 2006.

  • Re:How does (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:17PM (#33217484)

    To be fair, the mission accomplished sign was in reference to the Aircraft Carrier's mission in the region...which was accomplished. To cite that without putting into context is just reusing the old broken talking points. It makes you look bad.

  • by FriendlyLurker ( 50431 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:23PM (#33217574)
    No, they cannot prove your wrong since it is damage control [] - the only shaky moral ground [] they can invent to stand on. Notice that these shills never talk about the 20K+ innocent Afghan civilians who are already murdered - not even an apology, or feign of concern - like they want you to think it never happened.
  • by PitaBred ( 632671 ) <> on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:29PM (#33217674) Homepage

    Wait, there's a list of hundreds of informants? Because Wikileaks took a hell of a lot of time trying to redact actually materially dangerous information (vs the politically dangerous info) for there to be hundreds of informants names available still... I haven't looked myself, but stating things as fact without evidence to back them up seems a hell of a lot like you're falling for the propaganda.

  • by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:30PM (#33217684) Journal
    It's hard to read the above, so I'll just say that it was supposed to be semi-humorous, I don't really think electing people due to their safe-size is an important criteria, I didn't really expect 'informative' [sigh]

    • Bush couldn't read the words, even *with* the teleprompter.
    • I've yet to see the use of a warship-sized banner in any of Obama's speeches..
    • That money-grab is still (unbelievably) a better deal than was previously available. Sad but true.
    • The shooting has to be a personal action to count, in this instance. Cheney has "shot" lots of people as well, if you count other-than-personally-doing-it statistics.
    • The emphasis here was on 'man-sized', not on 'safe'. I'm reasonably sure the Oval Office uses safes, but maybe not 'man-sized' ones in his *office*
    • Gitmo is still open, but people are at least being processed now. Starting an atrocity and stopping it are two completely different things.

    So, only "wrong on all counts" if you have a sufficiently-twisted world-view...

    Reply if you must, but this is the last comment from me on the subject, as I said, it was only supposed to be humorous, with one serious thing thrown in for each of them.


  • by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:49PM (#33218026) Homepage

    Not quite... such irregular force which we now called insurgents or 'illegal enemy combatants' were previously known by another term... 'spies and saboteurs'... in both cases were frequently simply executed on the battlefield if/when captured for their actions as they were doing so out of uniform... something that historically has offered a certain degree of protection (when captured).

  • by jbssm ( 961115 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:53PM (#33218118)


    Absolutely no human organization made any statement about Wikileaks. "Amnesty International spokeswoman Susanna Flood confirms there was no authorized statement on WikiLeaks."

    Just because some guy from an human-rights association said something about the matter, it's not the same as saying that a Human-Right organization said something about the matter. Because if you mix the two things, you would also say that the USA governments wants Wikileaks founder "Hunted Down And Grabbed And Put On Trial' " just because some idiot Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to former President George W. Bush Karl Rove said so on air in FoX News: []

  • by Shakrai ( 717556 ) * on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @01:58PM (#33218174) Journal

    If it weren't for these fools living in the Red States, war wouldn't be considered acceptable. Most people in the civilized Blue States would not stand for money being wasted like that.

    You are an idiot. Off the top of my head:

    Wilson - Democrat - WW1
    FDR - Democrat - WW2 (FDR went even further than most, he had the US Navy attacking German warships months before war was declared by Germany or authorized by the Congress)
    Truman - Democrat - Korea
    JFK/LBJ - Democrats - Vietnam

    And those are just the major wars. Democrats have engaged in their share of police actions too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:06PM (#33218288)

    No names have turned up, it's made up. The deaths are not people who have names in wikileaks, so they can't be the reason these people were killed, unless the Taliban get a heads-up into WL. Unlikely. More likely is that someone started that bullshit point to make WL the baddie and idiot mouthbreathers haven't bothered to check because it fits with their "if yer not wi' us, yer agin' us" mentality.

  • Re: How does (Score:5, Informative)

    by jbssm ( 961115 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:08PM (#33218326)

    What do all of those countries have in common? No immigration whatsoever.

    See, that's why we Europeans, call you Americans stupid. You are here, in the net, could easily check the fact before open your big mouth, but you choose to say just the shit you hear in Fox News. Some of these countries have in fact MORE immigration than the USA. 12% in Sweden against less than 10% of population in USA. So what about find another excuse?

  • Since always. (Score:3, Informative)

    by sean.peters ( 568334 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:10PM (#33218358) Homepage

    It's called progressive taxation, and it's been a foundational principal of our tax system since the income tax was invented. And that's as it should be. Rich people get proportionally more out of a functioning society than poor people do by definition, and should pay proportionally more. Think about it this way: if society collapsed tomorrow, who would stand to lose more: Bill Gates? Or the bum sleeping under the overpass? Having a livable society requires paying taxes, and rich people should pay proportionally more of them.

  • by jbssm ( 961115 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:17PM (#33218466)
    3 names! Just 3 names have been confirmed. 1 was already dead, one is a double agent for the Taliban. The 3rd I don't know.
  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:25PM (#33218586) Homepage Journal

    Wow really. So do you don't mind if I publish your phone call records, credit card purchases, SSN, credit card numbers, bank account informations, home address, phone number, and voting history?

    There is your answer.

  • by Cyberax ( 705495 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:33PM (#33218692)

    "by redacting all of the names"

    Which they actually did.

  • Re: How does (Score:2, Informative)

    by Rayonic ( 462789 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @02:48PM (#33218890) Homepage Journal

    What absolutely baffles me is how many months after the "Collateral Murder" tape was released

    I mean, if we as a nation aren't livid over watching a video of outright condoned and covered-up murder in our name and on our dime, then what are we ever going to be upset by?

    Because that video clip wasn't nearly as controversial as you believe it to be? The most controversial thing about it might be the editorial title that Wikileaks gave it.

    I'm not going to bother trying to explain that to you, though. It's been months since the video was released, so you clearly must have avoided or ignored every analysis of it that challenges your worldview.

  • Re: How does (Score:4, Informative)

    by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @03:26PM (#33219340)

    So it's really 9% cultural foreigners. Face it Scandinavians are much more similar then Americans regionally and don't hate each other nearly as much (damn Yankees).

    Looking at your reference I note that at most half are not from other first world nations (taking wild ass guesses for 'Europe' and 'Americas' but assuming Asia and Africa are mostly third world immigrants).

    Care to comment on how much of Sweden's social system is funded by rapidly depleting Oil reserves?

    Further both Sweden and the United States of America are mixed economies (just mixed differently). Neither is pure capitalism or socialism. IMHO social-democracy has had so many definitions over the last 100 years a to lose all real meaning (like 'Liberal' in the USA).

    I don't accept your premise that 'social-democracy works better then capitalism' (assuming you define capitalism as the USA's system).

    People vote with their feet. Are there more Sweeds in America or Americans in Sweden?

  • Re:How does (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @03:27PM (#33219360)

    Strange. I found a bunch on the first day I looked at them.

    Look at the category: MEDCAP

    Shouldn't take you very long to find quite a few documents with names in them. MEDCAP is the category where medical patrols goes from village to village to help people and also establish good ties with the locals. You'll quickly be able to see that a lot of the documents in that category includes both village names and names of locals that are friendly and cooperative.

    Now, I personally think it was entirely appropriate of wikileaks to release the documents. However, there is no doubt that quite a few names are leaked in the documents.

  • Re: How does (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @03:42PM (#33219604)

    Acoording to a BBC report I saw the wikileaks documents contain the names of Afghan informants. They couldnt even be bothered to black them out. If even one informant is killed as a result of having his identity exposed, then Julian Assange is a murderer, at least morally speaking, and I would be happy for him to be charged for something. He is responsible for the consequences of his actions and speech can be an action; if an officer in the army says to his troops "kill every civilian you see", and they kill every civilian they see, its retarded to say that he was only exercising his right to free speech. Obviously, the officer has just commited a war crime. In the same way revealing the names of informants ruins a bunch of peoples lives and Assange is directly responsible.

  • Re: How does (Score:3, Informative)

    by ckaminski ( 82854 ) <slashdot-nospam@darthcoder . c om> on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @03:57PM (#33219824) Homepage
    I would like to think the difference would be that a revolutionary has specific targets - courts, military, seats of government, warmaking apparatus (Boeing, Lockheed, for example)

    I don't see how blowing up sidewalk cafes and city buses could EVER be counted as revolutionary.
  • Re:How does (Score:3, Informative)

    by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @04:05PM (#33219900) Homepage Journal

    I agree with your assessments, however
    Thus far at least, he hasn't shot anyone in the face, and then had the victim apologise (!)

    Have you ever been hunting? You don't blindly walk up to a hunting party from behind the game unless you're an idiot. The victim there actually was Cheney.

    When those two were in office I fantasized that Bush would go hunting with Cheney; Cheney would shoot Bush dead, and the shock would make Cheney's weak heart fail, and we'd have had the first woman President!

  • Re: How does (Score:5, Informative)

    by spyfrog ( 552673 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @04:37PM (#33220556) Homepage

    Oil? In Sweden? You are thinking about Norway - Sweden doesn't have any oil and have never had any oil.

  • Re:What Crime? (Score:2, Informative)

    by skozsert ( 1714328 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @04:54PM (#33220862)
    You might want to let the US Supreme Court know that, they evidently have a different opinion according to New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713.
  • Re:How does (Score:3, Informative)

    by poity ( 465672 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @05:29PM (#33221542)

    Took me less than 5 minutes to find a name in the Affiliation -> Friend category. []
    I have to give credit to WL for some nice info organization despite the incompetent redaction.

    My condolences to the Gorbez tribe for whatever violence that may (or may already have) come their way from the Taliban. While I doubt it was their intention to aid the US special forces in any way -- probably wanted to be left alone by all sides and were just cooperating to avoid any trouble and to get the strangers with guns to leave asap -- the fact that they communicated peacefully with US forces is likely enough justification for retribution in the eyes of the Taliban.

    Also, you should spend at least 5 minutes searching before resorting to an argumentum ad ignorantiam (well actually you should never resort to it). It's sad you should be modded so highly for merely professing ignorance.

  • by Cyberax ( 705495 ) on Wednesday August 11, 2010 @07:34PM (#33223066)

    "Depends who you ask. WikiLeaks says they did, the US Government says they didn't."

    Who are you going to believe? I don't think WikiLeaks are lying (what for?).

    "Um...Don't really know much about the law, do you? Leaking classified information is a crime. If the Pentagon helped WikiLeaks leak classified information, that would be a crime."

    They could help with editing this information, using staff with appropriate security clearance. Pentagon wouldn't be leaking the data.

    "Again, it's classified. Thus if the Pentagon releases it, it's going to be redacted."

    They wouldn't be releasing it.

    Anyway, this is useless lawyering - they COULD have helped to protect civilians. But they hadn't.

    So by their own action, Pentagon shows that civilian casualties are non-issue for them. And acutally can _help_ them.

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson