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Icelandic MP Claims US Vendetta Against WikiLeaks 227

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

    • It's pretty obvious what crimes he committed, he's not even denying it. However, he'll get a trial anyway because that's how the law works here. You prosecute people who have broken the law and put them in jail (or execute them if that's the appropriate punishment) if they are found guilty. What you don't do is say, oh.. you avoided arrest for a long time, it's ok now - we'll turn the other cheek. In part to punish the perpetrator, and in part to dissuade others from committing similar crimes.
      • It's pretty obvious what crimes he committed, he's not even denying it.

        Exactly what crimes are you talking about? The rape charges he denies, and leaking secret US documents is not a crime for an Australian citizen.

        • Pissing off a world power is a crime in the real world. Its not right or just, but it is how the world works. When you are a sovereign, you are allowed to make up the rules as you go along.
    • The whole concept of the martyr is overrated. People like to bring up Jesus Christ forgetting that it was the official adoption of the religion by the empire that actually brought it to power.

      Simply going after someone and being fairly relentless about it has a long history of success.

      As to whether this is moral or just... that's a different argument. But this is having a chilling effect and many people that might otherwise want to play this game choosing otherwise.

    • ...they only feed the fire by going after him...

      No, they're doing a very good job of distracting people from digging for any real info in all the chaff.

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      Martyr only happens when people care and rally behind the cause. But if everyone sees what happens and doesn't want to end up executed for sharing documents, they'll keep quiet. If it's a better deterrent than rally cry, then the US comes out ahead.
      • the essence of martyrdom is that the martyr suffer. there is no such thing as a martyr who hasn't suffered for a cause. everyone sees them suffer, and this inspires them to suffer for the cause as well. previously ambivalent sympathisers now become active participants

        that's the psychology in play here

        so if you don't want to inspire martyrdom, you don't create martyrs, you don't torture them or make them suffer

        you let them get off unharmed, and they fade away, uninspirational and unimportant

        the process you a

    • "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
    • If the U.S. is instigating the situation with the rape accusations I don't think they're just doing it to get hold of Assange.

      Wikileaks released thousands of diplomatic cables and god knows what else since Assange's arrest and what has anyone heard about their contents? All I hear in the mass media is "blah blah rape blah blah extradition". I think this would pass as a masterful bit of misdirection.

      They may very well even not bother extraditing him from Sweden, maybe just make sure he goes down for rape, s

  • Iceland (Score:5, Funny)

    by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @06:51PM (#40545369)
    Forget Wikileaks. Let's invade Iceland.
    • by Svippy ( 876087 )

      We already tried to give you Iceland. But you did not want it. And I don't blame you for that.

      • Re:Iceland (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Rei ( 128717 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @08:52PM (#40546357) Homepage

        Don't know who "we" and "you" are in this post, but Iceland is awesome. Freaking beautiful landscape, freaking beautiful skyscapes, super-creative population, great food, no summer heat, surprisingly mild winters (warmer than NYC, for example), virtually no pollution, great infrastructure compared to the population density, virtually no crowds, awesome music and party scene, a well educated and generally non-bigoted populace, clean energy, abundant volcanic hot water delivered straight to the home, etc. I love my adoptive country. :)

        • And kill whales. Let's not forget they eat whale there.

          • by Rei ( 128717 )

            It's actually rather rare that people eat whale here. It's probably fair to say that most people *have* eaten it, but almost nobody eats it regularly. A surprisingly high percent is sold to tourists. And anyway, as a vegetarian, I think the *entire* meat industry is disgusting and immoral.

        • I've been to both Iceland and Hawaii.

          If I was going to live in either I'd choose Hawaii. Much warmer, 4 times the population and much more to see and do.

          Ultimately though it's still small and boring after a few weeks.

        • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

          ..and no jobs, away from everything and expensive.

          anyhow, usa already has iceland military-wise. they just didn't want to keep a base there anymore, hence the "we tried to give it".

          • by Rei ( 128717 )

            No jobs? Iceland has a lower unemployment rate than the US. Away from everything? Perhaps *immediately* away from everything but it's a nice, convenient halfway point between North America and Europe, increasing travel options. Expensive? On the upper end, but not ridiculously so (we're only the 8th most expensive cost of living in Europe). Some things are surprisingly cheap over here compared to America, like utilities and (excellent) dairy products.

    • 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 ;)

  • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      That's an interesting alternative history of the fall of the Roman Empire. What science fiction book is it from?

      • Roman history in science fiction? And yeah, pigs fly.

      • by Svippy ( 876087 )

        Yeah, all those tribes sure loved the Romans! I guess that's why they migrated into the Roman lands. And killed a lot of Romans.

        But yeah; the comparison with the US is inaccurate.

        • Actually, that's why they migrated into Roman lands. They wanted to become Romans. Rome was seen as wealthy and prosperous, even late in it's existence. Many of the invasions were of large groups that were tired of being kept on the margins. They decided to force their way into Rome.

          A great analogy I heard once compared the barbarian hordes invading Rome to Okies invading California.

    • Re:Rome (Score:4, Informative)

      by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @07:04PM (#40545491)

      Weird, I didn't know "the rest of the world will get tired of being bullied [...] and stand up" was synonymous with "fragment under it's own mass and economically stagnate when a system hinged on continual expansion and conquest is halted, eventually being broken by displaced tribes to the north who were themselves being pushed out by a stronger expansionistic empire, although one major fragment survived for hundreds more years before finally being conquered by yet another expansionistic empire".

    • Or we find out everyone in the US has been drinking lead-tainted water.

      And that's when the barbarians show up...

      • by Phrogman ( 80473 )

        Well one of the problems the Roman Empire suffered from at its end, was a reliance on hired foreign mercenaries rather than a strong army of primarily Romans. They hired a lot of those barbarian types to defend the border - then those barbarians had their cousins show up in town...
        The US still has the strongest armed forces in the world, and the Romans didn't have a superweapon equivalent to nuclear arms so the analogy is kinda weak of course, but if the US ever starts relying on hired military contractors

    • Re:Rome (Score:5, Funny)

      by Falconhell ( 1289630 ) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @08:47PM (#40546315) Journal

      Only difference is the Romans had a period of civilisation between their rise and fall, the US didnt.

    • 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.

      The Western Empire had a 500 year run.

      The Eastern Empire survived and prospered for the better part of 1,000 years after that.

      Iceland has a population of 320,000. The Iceland parliament 63 members. That implies that each member of parliament represents about 5,000 people --- about the size of an upstate suburban township in New York.

      There is no guarantee that the European Union will survive the year in its present form.

    • by dan828 ( 753380 )
      The US is more like Rome in the late of the late Republic at this stage.
    • by khipu ( 2511498 )

      An apt analogy, but your history isn't quite right. The Roman Empire was cosmopolitan and the center of commerce and culture in the world. Tribes and kings outside the Roman empire were jealous and decided to take their cut by force. Rome's citizens had gotten tired of maintaining a strong military and were unable to defend Rome. The result was worldwide collapse and the Dark Ages.

      And you're right, history may be repeating itself.

  • 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.

  • I'm pretty aware for an American, but this is the first time I've heard of the IPU. How much less relevant, then, than the UN?

  • 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.
  • Goes both ways (Score:2, Insightful)

    by brit74 ( 831798 )
    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.)
    • 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.

Where it is a duty to worship the sun it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat. -- Christopher Morley