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edgeforpeace

Free Assange

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just expressing my right to free speech.....ASSange, this is for you:

 

bonofinger.gif

LOL--this is a long way from "Dirty Day."

(although, I do not wish to put words or sentiments into the mouth or mind of the B-man-- just convince him of which words/sentiments are the wrong ones, in case he doesn't know!  I can't read his mind; I am not a telepath like Rosa ;-) )

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just expressing my right to free speech.....ASSange, this is for you:

 

bonofinger.gif

LOL--this is a long way from "Dirty Day."

(although, I do not wish to put words or sentiments into the mouth or mind of the B-man-- just convince him of which words/sentiments are the wrong ones, in case he doesn't know!  I can't read his mind; I am not a telepath like Rosa ;-) )

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Hi.

I don't know if anyone here is still interested in this story, but I just found this article that was written on December 4 (a bit dated), but I thought it had some interesting info and examples of how professional journalism and its accompanying ethics and moral compass differ from the thoughtless anarchy of WikiLeaks.  The piece also includes some info on Assange's exchanges with Amnesty International, which had earlier granted him an award (what a manipulative ingrate he is!).    
I was pleased to see this op-ed appear on Huffington Post, which I browse almost daily.  

Today, in addition, Le Monde, the French newspaper, named Assange Man of the Year (TIME in the US chose the founder of Facebook instead), and Australia's media union gave him an honorary membership.

headshot.jpg

Larry Womack

Former Associate News Editor, The Huffington Post

Posted: December 4, 2010 02:50 PM

I love bloggers. I love amateur journalists. I really do. On more than one occasion (and still too few,) each has played a vital role in keeping larger media outlets honest. And on more than one occasion each has answered the call when major or minor print publications have been too afraid to break a vitally important story.

So it is difficult for me to look across the blogosphere today and see one show of support after another for a man who has consistently shown himself to have no ethical standards as a journalist, blogger or human being.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has certainly broken his share of hard news: Kenyan corruption, human rights violations at Gitmo, toxic dumping on the Ivory Coast and banking corruption have all been revealed by the site, and for that, he should be applauded.

But Assange's site has also repeatedly shown a wildly irresponsible disregard for the rights and safety of human beings around the world. And for all the hype surrounding it, what I find most disturbing about the latest WikiLeaks document dump is the resulting exposure of a broad divide between the ethics of responsible journalists and crusading poseurs like Assange.

When given a membership list of the far right British National Party, a responsible news organization would have exposed the police officers, solicitors, clergy and teachers involved in the organization. WikiLeaks posted the entire list of 13,500 members -- complete with home addresses.

When given the contents of Sarah Palin's private email account, a responsible journalist would have detailed the work-related emails that had been sent via that account in violation of the law. WikiLeaks posted full screenshots of personal emails from within the account, including email addresses of Palin's friends and family. (It's worth noting that the hacker himself reported finding "nothing incriminating, nothing that would derail her campaign as I hoped.") WikiLeaks showed itself capable of protecting at least some sensitive information... by concealing the identity of the hacker.

When given the contents of pager intercepts between Pentagon officials and the NYPD from September 11, 2001, a responsible news organization might have reported compelling exchanges or failures in the response system, leaving out details that might aid those planning future attacks. WikiLeaks saw no need to do all that reading, and just posted them all.

When given the names of Afghan civilians aiding the US, a responsible news organization would never have printed them. WikiLeaks didn't think twice about it. When Amnesty International complained, Assange denied responsibility, arguing that he is not a journalist. [emphasis mine--SIA]  He suggested that Amnesty provide staff to redact the names from the already-published documents. When they asked for a meeting, he replied, "I'm very busy and have no time to deal with people who prefer to do nothing but cover their asses," before threatening to issue a press release condemning Amnestyfor not giving him staff to redact the information he had already posted on his website.

Finally, when given a series of cables that detailed the surprisingly alright state of world diplomacy, The GuardianNew York Times and Der Spiegel worked together, vetting the most sensitive material through the US State Department to redact information that might pose a security risk to US personnel. Behaving as responsibly as was possible (given that the full documents were going to be posted by WikiLeaks anyway,) they were still able to cover the most intriguing stories: The US is spying on UN diplomats in ultra-creepy ways. (The UN's response?Yawn.) More and more of the Arab world would like to see strikes on Iran that the US doesn't want to be responsible for. The US is bargaining for safe releases places for Gitmo prisoners. China was behind a scary-as-hell global hacking effort. The Afghan government is corrupt. Syria is supplying arms to Hezbollah. The biggest bombshell? China is ready to accept a reunified Korea under South Korean rule. Interesting and important (if not earth-shattering) stuff, and a portrait of US diplomacy in its finest hour in a long, long time. And, look -- they did it without giving the Taliban a list of double-agents!

It is possible, you know, to break stories like this without endangering the lives of good people around the world. One does not have to print every line of every page of every document to report even the most important news. All it takes is a bit of that hard work and common sense that seems so popular with "elitist overlords" and so unpopular with bloggers this week. Those who leap to the defense of WikiLeaks' indiscretion seem hopelessly, fanatically and chillingly blind to that rather obvious point. The question is not, as so many seem to believe, government corruption or WikiLeaks. The question is responsible coverage of legitimate government wrongdoing or lives lost on a megalomaniac's whim. And all of the good work of those three publications becomes of little use once the documents are published in their entirety by a man who lacks the average person's regard for the safety and security of actual human beings.

Arguably the most egregious example of WikiLeaks' undercutting of diplomacy (in this latest dump) comes in cable 10SANAA4, relating a conversation between General Petraeus and President Saleh of Yemen. In it, it is made clear that President Saleh is allowing the US to use fixed-wing bombers (rather than inaccurate cruise missiles) to strike al Qaeda targets in his country, then reporting to the people and Parliament that the attacks are carried out by Yemen with US weapons. Petraeus and Saleh are both revealed to be concerned about preventing civilian casualties while making effective strikes on al Qaeda. The arrangement is better for the security of both nations, but would cause a huge backlash if known in Yemen. In short: this is what we call a "good lie," boys and girls.

There are many other examples of diplomatic confidence violated by the release of the cables -- some important, some unimportant but all adding up to less open communication and more secrecy between nations who will now have to worry about their private conversations becoming front page news.

By publishing these cables as they were obtained, Assange has once again proved himself a fanatic incapable of distinguishing between newsworthy content and details that will endanger people working to make the world safer. That is, if he even read them. (Given his repeated use of the "I'm not a journalist" defense, one must wonder if he had.) One also must wonder if any of the adorably naïve people out there insisting that governments should never lie to the folks back home while secretly working toward peace recall how well the compromise thing worked out for Fatah.

Remember a few weeks back, when that video surfaced of Christine O'Donnell saying that if she was hiding Jews in her attic, she wouldn't lie to Nazis? Yes, we all had a good laugh at that one. Yet, here we all are now, many of us just as incapable of distinguishing lies that save human lives from lies that cost them.

It seems that there is no such thing as a "good lie" to fanatics who believe that all state secrets are bad on principle. They believe in transparency not as a means to just government but as an end itself. Why, to not publish the names of Afghan civilians aiding in the fight against the Taliban would have been so elitist, and Assange's right to feel cool surely trumps their right to, you know, live. Read the comments below, I'm sure you'll find examples of that very same non-argument.

So here I sit, shocked and profoundly disturbed by the knee-jerk reaction of many bloggers and Internet commentators to the latest WikiLeaks document dump. Many are even volunteering to donate subdomains to keep the documents up, so that they can continue the good work of endangering the lives of Afghan civilians, British citizens, peace-minded world leaders and American military personnel all in the name of some preschool reading of what constitutes government transparency.

Here's a thought: If you're a blogger who cares about getting the newsworthy information out, why not download the documents, redact the sensitive information, and post the results or relevant details on your own blog? Oh, right -- that would be big boy reporter work, which is elitist and so very 1999.

Perhaps my perception of Internet journalism is colored by a few experiences I've had working with amateur reporters on the web (not, it should be noted, on this site, which employs seasoned and fantastic reporters). Still, even without the benefit of that experience, it would be difficult to look out at a sea of pro-Assange solidarity and shake the feeling that many of the armchair muckrakers out there are all muck and no rake.

Assange describes the thought process behind his indiscriminate dissemination of state secrets:

"Firstly we must understand what aspect of government or neocorporatist behavior we wish to change or remove. Secondly we must develop a way of thinking about this behavior that is strong enough to carry us through the mire of politically distorted language, and into a position of clarity."

If your idea of a position of "clarity" is a belief that all pieces of obtainable information are fair game for worldwide distribution, and what you wanted to change or remove is the ability of peace-minded governments to work together while simultaneously keeping warmongers out of power... bravo, Assange. You've made a very beneficial move-not just for the martyr image you've cultivated, but for all the future Hamas governments out there.

Edit:

To address a number of the comments, which have invoked the "give one example of someone who's been hurt" defense of the leaks:

1. People suspected of collaborat­ing with the US in Afghanista­n, for instance, are routinely harmed. That is made very clear in the rights groups' letter to Assange. If some out there believe that Amnesty International and other groups suddenly turned on Assange because they are, deep down, tools of some tyrant, I suppose there is no arguing this point.

2. When dealing with classified informatio­n, one cannot expect the Pentagon to confirm any specifics, if they can even draw a positive link. It would be idiotic for several reasons to say, "Yep, that guy killed right there. He was working with us," or "No, many of those people who just disappeare­d were actually relocated by us, because they were helping us." Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, particularly when dealing with classified information.

3. That casualty list still would not include the damage done by lost resources when the people named fled (the State Department offered protection to those named) or stopped working with the US, or when dissidents and reporters lost their now-terrif­ied sources and connection­s.

4. And even if none of these things ever happened in some magical world where they do not... one does not throw a baby into oncoming traffic and then claim innocence because it wasn't hit by a car. That there have been no announced resulting deaths does not make dangerously irresponsible action suddenly morally acceptable.

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Hi.

I don't know if anyone here is still interested in this story, but I just found this article that was written on December 4 (a bit dated), but I thought it had some interesting info and examples of how professional journalism and its accompanying ethics and moral compass differ from the thoughtless anarchy of WikiLeaks.  The piece also includes some info on Assange's exchanges with Amnesty International, which had earlier granted him an award (what a manipulative ingrate he is!).    
I was pleased to see this op-ed appear on Huffington Post, which I browse almost daily.  

Today, in addition, Le Monde, the French newspaper, named Assange Man of the Year (TIME in the US chose the founder of Facebook instead), and Australia's media union gave him an honorary membership.

headshot.jpg

Larry Womack

Former Associate News Editor, The Huffington Post

Posted: December 4, 2010 02:50 PM

I love bloggers. I love amateur journalists. I really do. On more than one occasion (and still too few,) each has played a vital role in keeping larger media outlets honest. And on more than one occasion each has answered the call when major or minor print publications have been too afraid to break a vitally important story.

So it is difficult for me to look across the blogosphere today and see one show of support after another for a man who has consistently shown himself to have no ethical standards as a journalist, blogger or human being.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has certainly broken his share of hard news: Kenyan corruption, human rights violations at Gitmo, toxic dumping on the Ivory Coast and banking corruption have all been revealed by the site, and for that, he should be applauded.

But Assange's site has also repeatedly shown a wildly irresponsible disregard for the rights and safety of human beings around the world. And for all the hype surrounding it, what I find most disturbing about the latest WikiLeaks document dump is the resulting exposure of a broad divide between the ethics of responsible journalists and crusading poseurs like Assange.

When given a membership list of the far right British National Party, a responsible news organization would have exposed the police officers, solicitors, clergy and teachers involved in the organization. WikiLeaks posted the entire list of 13,500 members -- complete with home addresses.

When given the contents of Sarah Palin's private email account, a responsible journalist would have detailed the work-related emails that had been sent via that account in violation of the law. WikiLeaks posted full screenshots of personal emails from within the account, including email addresses of Palin's friends and family. (It's worth noting that the hacker himself reported finding "nothing incriminating, nothing that would derail her campaign as I hoped.") WikiLeaks showed itself capable of protecting at least some sensitive information... by concealing the identity of the hacker.

When given the contents of pager intercepts between Pentagon officials and the NYPD from September 11, 2001, a responsible news organization might have reported compelling exchanges or failures in the response system, leaving out details that might aid those planning future attacks. WikiLeaks saw no need to do all that reading, and just posted them all.

When given the names of Afghan civilians aiding the US, a responsible news organization would never have printed them. WikiLeaks didn't think twice about it. When Amnesty International complained, Assange denied responsibility, arguing that he is not a journalist. [emphasis mine--SIA]  He suggested that Amnesty provide staff to redact the names from the already-published documents. When they asked for a meeting, he replied, "I'm very busy and have no time to deal with people who prefer to do nothing but cover their asses," before threatening to issue a press release condemning Amnestyfor not giving him staff to redact the information he had already posted on his website.

Finally, when given a series of cables that detailed the surprisingly alright state of world diplomacy, The GuardianNew York Times and Der Spiegel worked together, vetting the most sensitive material through the US State Department to redact information that might pose a security risk to US personnel. Behaving as responsibly as was possible (given that the full documents were going to be posted by WikiLeaks anyway,) they were still able to cover the most intriguing stories: The US is spying on UN diplomats in ultra-creepy ways. (The UN's response?Yawn.) More and more of the Arab world would like to see strikes on Iran that the US doesn't want to be responsible for. The US is bargaining for safe releases places for Gitmo prisoners. China was behind a scary-as-hell global hacking effort. The Afghan government is corrupt. Syria is supplying arms to Hezbollah. The biggest bombshell? China is ready to accept a reunified Korea under South Korean rule. Interesting and important (if not earth-shattering) stuff, and a portrait of US diplomacy in its finest hour in a long, long time. And, look -- they did it without giving the Taliban a list of double-agents!

It is possible, you know, to break stories like this without endangering the lives of good people around the world. One does not have to print every line of every page of every document to report even the most important news. All it takes is a bit of that hard work and common sense that seems so popular with "elitist overlords" and so unpopular with bloggers this week. Those who leap to the defense of WikiLeaks' indiscretion seem hopelessly, fanatically and chillingly blind to that rather obvious point. The question is not, as so many seem to believe, government corruption or WikiLeaks. The question is responsible coverage of legitimate government wrongdoing or lives lost on a megalomaniac's whim. And all of the good work of those three publications becomes of little use once the documents are published in their entirety by a man who lacks the average person's regard for the safety and security of actual human beings.

Arguably the most egregious example of WikiLeaks' undercutting of diplomacy (in this latest dump) comes in cable 10SANAA4, relating a conversation between General Petraeus and President Saleh of Yemen. In it, it is made clear that President Saleh is allowing the US to use fixed-wing bombers (rather than inaccurate cruise missiles) to strike al Qaeda targets in his country, then reporting to the people and Parliament that the attacks are carried out by Yemen with US weapons. Petraeus and Saleh are both revealed to be concerned about preventing civilian casualties while making effective strikes on al Qaeda. The arrangement is better for the security of both nations, but would cause a huge backlash if known in Yemen. In short: this is what we call a "good lie," boys and girls.

There are many other examples of diplomatic confidence violated by the release of the cables -- some important, some unimportant but all adding up to less open communication and more secrecy between nations who will now have to worry about their private conversations becoming front page news.

By publishing these cables as they were obtained, Assange has once again proved himself a fanatic incapable of distinguishing between newsworthy content and details that will endanger people working to make the world safer. That is, if he even read them. (Given his repeated use of the "I'm not a journalist" defense, one must wonder if he had.) One also must wonder if any of the adorably naïve people out there insisting that governments should never lie to the folks back home while secretly working toward peace recall how well the compromise thing worked out for Fatah.

Remember a few weeks back, when that video surfaced of Christine O'Donnell saying that if she was hiding Jews in her attic, she wouldn't lie to Nazis? Yes, we all had a good laugh at that one. Yet, here we all are now, many of us just as incapable of distinguishing lies that save human lives from lies that cost them.

It seems that there is no such thing as a "good lie" to fanatics who believe that all state secrets are bad on principle. They believe in transparency not as a means to just government but as an end itself. Why, to not publish the names of Afghan civilians aiding in the fight against the Taliban would have been so elitist, and Assange's right to feel cool surely trumps their right to, you know, live. Read the comments below, I'm sure you'll find examples of that very same non-argument.

So here I sit, shocked and profoundly disturbed by the knee-jerk reaction of many bloggers and Internet commentators to the latest WikiLeaks document dump. Many are even volunteering to donate subdomains to keep the documents up, so that they can continue the good work of endangering the lives of Afghan civilians, British citizens, peace-minded world leaders and American military personnel all in the name of some preschool reading of what constitutes government transparency.

Here's a thought: If you're a blogger who cares about getting the newsworthy information out, why not download the documents, redact the sensitive information, and post the results or relevant details on your own blog? Oh, right -- that would be big boy reporter work, which is elitist and so very 1999.

Perhaps my perception of Internet journalism is colored by a few experiences I've had working with amateur reporters on the web (not, it should be noted, on this site, which employs seasoned and fantastic reporters). Still, even without the benefit of that experience, it would be difficult to look out at a sea of pro-Assange solidarity and shake the feeling that many of the armchair muckrakers out there are all muck and no rake.

Assange describes the thought process behind his indiscriminate dissemination of state secrets:

"Firstly we must understand what aspect of government or neocorporatist behavior we wish to change or remove. Secondly we must develop a way of thinking about this behavior that is strong enough to carry us through the mire of politically distorted language, and into a position of clarity."

If your idea of a position of "clarity" is a belief that all pieces of obtainable information are fair game for worldwide distribution, and what you wanted to change or remove is the ability of peace-minded governments to work together while simultaneously keeping warmongers out of power... bravo, Assange. You've made a very beneficial move-not just for the martyr image you've cultivated, but for all the future Hamas governments out there.

Edit:

To address a number of the comments, which have invoked the "give one example of someone who's been hurt" defense of the leaks:

1. People suspected of collaborat­ing with the US in Afghanista­n, for instance, are routinely harmed. That is made very clear in the rights groups' letter to Assange. If some out there believe that Amnesty International and other groups suddenly turned on Assange because they are, deep down, tools of some tyrant, I suppose there is no arguing this point.

2. When dealing with classified informatio­n, one cannot expect the Pentagon to confirm any specifics, if they can even draw a positive link. It would be idiotic for several reasons to say, "Yep, that guy killed right there. He was working with us," or "No, many of those people who just disappeare­d were actually relocated by us, because they were helping us." Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, particularly when dealing with classified information.

3. That casualty list still would not include the damage done by lost resources when the people named fled (the State Department offered protection to those named) or stopped working with the US, or when dissidents and reporters lost their now-terrif­ied sources and connection­s.

4. And even if none of these things ever happened in some magical world where they do not... one does not throw a baby into oncoming traffic and then claim innocence because it wasn't hit by a car. That there have been no announced resulting deaths does not make dangerously irresponsible action suddenly morally acceptable.

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Hi.

I don't know if anyone here is still interested in this story, but I just found this article that was written on December 4 (a bit dated), but I thought it had some interesting info and examples of how professional journalism and its accompanying ethics and moral compass differ from the thoughtless anarchy of WikiLeaks.  The piece also includes some info on Assange's exchanges with Amnesty International, which had earlier granted him an award (what a manipulative ingrate he is!).    
I was pleased to see this op-ed appear on Huffington Post, which I browse almost daily.  

Today, in addition, Le Monde, the French newspaper, named Assange Man of the Year (TIME in the US chose the founder of Facebook instead), and Australia's media union gave him an honorary membership.

headshot.jpg

Larry Womack

Former Associate News Editor, The Huffington Post

Posted: December 4, 2010 02:50 PM

I love bloggers. I love amateur journalists. I really do. On more than one occasion (and still too few,) each has played a vital role in keeping larger media outlets honest. And on more than one occasion each has answered the call when major or minor print publications have been too afraid to break a vitally important story.

So it is difficult for me to look across the blogosphere today and see one show of support after another for a man who has consistently shown himself to have no ethical standards as a journalist, blogger or human being.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has certainly broken his share of hard news: Kenyan corruption, human rights violations at Gitmo, toxic dumping on the Ivory Coast and banking corruption have all been revealed by the site, and for that, he should be applauded.

But Assange's site has also repeatedly shown a wildly irresponsible disregard for the rights and safety of human beings around the world. And for all the hype surrounding it, what I find most disturbing about the latest WikiLeaks document dump is the resulting exposure of a broad divide between the ethics of responsible journalists and crusading poseurs like Assange.

When given a membership list of the far right British National Party, a responsible news organization would have exposed the police officers, solicitors, clergy and teachers involved in the organization. WikiLeaks posted the entire list of 13,500 members -- complete with home addresses.

When given the contents of Sarah Palin's private email account, a responsible journalist would have detailed the work-related emails that had been sent via that account in violation of the law. WikiLeaks posted full screenshots of personal emails from within the account, including email addresses of Palin's friends and family. (It's worth noting that the hacker himself reported finding "nothing incriminating, nothing that would derail her campaign as I hoped.") WikiLeaks showed itself capable of protecting at least some sensitive information... by concealing the identity of the hacker.

When given the contents of pager intercepts between Pentagon officials and the NYPD from September 11, 2001, a responsible news organization might have reported compelling exchanges or failures in the response system, leaving out details that might aid those planning future attacks. WikiLeaks saw no need to do all that reading, and just posted them all.

When given the names of Afghan civilians aiding the US, a responsible news organization would never have printed them. WikiLeaks didn't think twice about it. When Amnesty International complained, Assange denied responsibility, arguing that he is not a journalist. [emphasis mine--SIA]  He suggested that Amnesty provide staff to redact the names from the already-published documents. When they asked for a meeting, he replied, "I'm very busy and have no time to deal with people who prefer to do nothing but cover their asses," before threatening to issue a press release condemning Amnestyfor not giving him staff to redact the information he had already posted on his website.

Finally, when given a series of cables that detailed the surprisingly alright state of world diplomacy, The GuardianNew York Times and Der Spiegel worked together, vetting the most sensitive material through the US State Department to redact information that might pose a security risk to US personnel. Behaving as responsibly as was possible (given that the full documents were going to be posted by WikiLeaks anyway,) they were still able to cover the most intriguing stories: The US is spying on UN diplomats in ultra-creepy ways. (The UN's response?Yawn.) More and more of the Arab world would like to see strikes on Iran that the US doesn't want to be responsible for. The US is bargaining for safe releases places for Gitmo prisoners. China was behind a scary-as-hell global hacking effort. The Afghan government is corrupt. Syria is supplying arms to Hezbollah. The biggest bombshell? China is ready to accept a reunified Korea under South Korean rule. Interesting and important (if not earth-shattering) stuff, and a portrait of US diplomacy in its finest hour in a long, long time. And, look -- they did it without giving the Taliban a list of double-agents!

It is possible, you know, to break stories like this without endangering the lives of good people around the world. One does not have to print every line of every page of every document to report even the most important news. All it takes is a bit of that hard work and common sense that seems so popular with "elitist overlords" and so unpopular with bloggers this week. Those who leap to the defense of WikiLeaks' indiscretion seem hopelessly, fanatically and chillingly blind to that rather obvious point. The question is not, as so many seem to believe, government corruption or WikiLeaks. The question is responsible coverage of legitimate government wrongdoing or lives lost on a megalomaniac's whim. And all of the good work of those three publications becomes of little use once the documents are published in their entirety by a man who lacks the average person's regard for the safety and security of actual human beings.

Arguably the most egregious example of WikiLeaks' undercutting of diplomacy (in this latest dump) comes in cable 10SANAA4, relating a conversation between General Petraeus and President Saleh of Yemen. In it, it is made clear that President Saleh is allowing the US to use fixed-wing bombers (rather than inaccurate cruise missiles) to strike al Qaeda targets in his country, then reporting to the people and Parliament that the attacks are carried out by Yemen with US weapons. Petraeus and Saleh are both revealed to be concerned about preventing civilian casualties while making effective strikes on al Qaeda. The arrangement is better for the security of both nations, but would cause a huge backlash if known in Yemen. In short: this is what we call a "good lie," boys and girls.

There are many other examples of diplomatic confidence violated by the release of the cables -- some important, some unimportant but all adding up to less open communication and more secrecy between nations who will now have to worry about their private conversations becoming front page news.

By publishing these cables as they were obtained, Assange has once again proved himself a fanatic incapable of distinguishing between newsworthy content and details that will endanger people working to make the world safer. That is, if he even read them. (Given his repeated use of the "I'm not a journalist" defense, one must wonder if he had.) One also must wonder if any of the adorably naïve people out there insisting that governments should never lie to the folks back home while secretly working toward peace recall how well the compromise thing worked out for Fatah.

Remember a few weeks back, when that video surfaced of Christine O'Donnell saying that if she was hiding Jews in her attic, she wouldn't lie to Nazis? Yes, we all had a good laugh at that one. Yet, here we all are now, many of us just as incapable of distinguishing lies that save human lives from lies that cost them.

It seems that there is no such thing as a "good lie" to fanatics who believe that all state secrets are bad on principle. They believe in transparency not as a means to just government but as an end itself. Why, to not publish the names of Afghan civilians aiding in the fight against the Taliban would have been so elitist, and Assange's right to feel cool surely trumps their right to, you know, live. Read the comments below, I'm sure you'll find examples of that very same non-argument.

So here I sit, shocked and profoundly disturbed by the knee-jerk reaction of many bloggers and Internet commentators to the latest WikiLeaks document dump. Many are even volunteering to donate subdomains to keep the documents up, so that they can continue the good work of endangering the lives of Afghan civilians, British citizens, peace-minded world leaders and American military personnel all in the name of some preschool reading of what constitutes government transparency.

Here's a thought: If you're a blogger who cares about getting the newsworthy information out, why not download the documents, redact the sensitive information, and post the results or relevant details on your own blog? Oh, right -- that would be big boy reporter work, which is elitist and so very 1999.

Perhaps my perception of Internet journalism is colored by a few experiences I've had working with amateur reporters on the web (not, it should be noted, on this site, which employs seasoned and fantastic reporters). Still, even without the benefit of that experience, it would be difficult to look out at a sea of pro-Assange solidarity and shake the feeling that many of the armchair muckrakers out there are all muck and no rake.

Assange describes the thought process behind his indiscriminate dissemination of state secrets:

"Firstly we must understand what aspect of government or neocorporatist behavior we wish to change or remove. Secondly we must develop a way of thinking about this behavior that is strong enough to carry us through the mire of politically distorted language, and into a position of clarity."

If your idea of a position of "clarity" is a belief that all pieces of obtainable information are fair game for worldwide distribution, and what you wanted to change or remove is the ability of peace-minded governments to work together while simultaneously keeping warmongers out of power... bravo, Assange. You've made a very beneficial move-not just for the martyr image you've cultivated, but for all the future Hamas governments out there.

Edit:

To address a number of the comments, which have invoked the "give one example of someone who's been hurt" defense of the leaks:

1. People suspected of collaborat­ing with the US in Afghanista­n, for instance, are routinely harmed. That is made very clear in the rights groups' letter to Assange. If some out there believe that Amnesty International and other groups suddenly turned on Assange because they are, deep down, tools of some tyrant, I suppose there is no arguing this point.

2. When dealing with classified informatio­n, one cannot expect the Pentagon to confirm any specifics, if they can even draw a positive link. It would be idiotic for several reasons to say, "Yep, that guy killed right there. He was working with us," or "No, many of those people who just disappeare­d were actually relocated by us, because they were helping us." Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, particularly when dealing with classified information.

3. That casualty list still would not include the damage done by lost resources when the people named fled (the State Department offered protection to those named) or stopped working with the US, or when dissidents and reporters lost their now-terrif­ied sources and connection­s.

4. And even if none of these things ever happened in some magical world where they do not... one does not throw a baby into oncoming traffic and then claim innocence because it wasn't hit by a car. That there have been no announced resulting deaths does not make dangerously irresponsible action suddenly morally acceptable.

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"It is possible, you know, to break stories like this without endangering the lives of good people around the world"

 

[/font]thank you sia, great job here.

 

guess we found out who our "friends" are when the chips are down, didn't we.

 

others make heros out of someone with careless disregard for safety, if not human lives.

 

absolutely sickening.

 

 

 

 

 

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I also like very much that a few weeks ago, Assange was insisting that he is NOT a journalist in order to defend himself against criticism from Amnesty International and others for having put people's lives in danger by revealing their names (see above article).  

And, now, a few weeks later, he has decided that he is, in fact, a journalist, and that WikiLeaks is a journalism enterprise-- he is trying to weasel out of his crimes by diverting people's attention onto alleged loss of press freedoms.  This guy is just so sleazy.  

I honestly do not see how any respectable professional journalists would possibly want to degrade themselves and their profession by finding common cause with Assange.  This makes me question the integrity of the media union representing Australia's journalists.  What are they thinking is to be gained by granting him  an honorary membership???


Journalists' union shows support for Assange


Australia's media union is staging a show of support for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in Melbourne.

 

The Media, Arts and Entertainment Alliance (MEAA) will present an honorary member card to Mr Assange's Melbourne-based lawyer, Rob Stary.

The union's Louise Connor says Mr Assange has always been a member, but his fees will be waived in a show of solidarity.

She says all journalists should be disgusted by the way he has been portrayed by the world's governments.

"We've been very disappointed in the way his journalism has been characterised," she said.

"We'd like to remind everyone that Julian, like other members of the media alliance, is covered by our code of ethics that covers journalists," she said.

"We're pointing out that we don't believe that Julian Assange has in any way broken the code of ethics, we believe that he's upholding two of its important principles - not to disclose his source, and secondly, to publish in the public interest."

Ms Connor says his situation is extraordinary and he must be supported in the name of free speech.

Australian-born Mr Assange remains in the UK on bail over Swedish sexual assault allegations.

WikiLeaks continues to progressively release 250,000 leaked US diplomatic cables, as promised.

ACTU president Ged Kearney, who will be presenting the award, said Mr Assange and WikiLeaks deserved support.

"WikiLeaks is simply performing the same function as media organisations have for centuries in facilitating the release of information in the public interest," she said in a statement.

"Mr Assange's rights should be respected just the same as other journalists.

"WikiLeaks has broken no Australian law and as an Australian citizen, Julian Assange should be supported by the Australian Government, not prematurely convicted."

ABC/AAP

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I also like very much that a few weeks ago, Assange was insisting that he is NOT a journalist in order to defend himself against criticism from Amnesty International and others for having put people's lives in danger by revealing their names (see above article).  

And, now, a few weeks later, he has decided that he is, in fact, a journalist, and that WikiLeaks is a journalism enterprise-- he is trying to weasel out of his crimes by diverting people's attention onto alleged loss of press freedoms.  This guy is just so sleazy.  

I honestly do not see how any respectable professional journalists would possibly want to degrade themselves and their profession by finding common cause with Assange.  This makes me question the integrity of the media union representing Australia's journalists.  What are they thinking is to be gained by granting him  an honorary membership???


Journalists' union shows support for Assange


Australia's media union is staging a show of support for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in Melbourne.

 

The Media, Arts and Entertainment Alliance (MEAA) will present an honorary member card to Mr Assange's Melbourne-based lawyer, Rob Stary.

The union's Louise Connor says Mr Assange has always been a member, but his fees will be waived in a show of solidarity.

She says all journalists should be disgusted by the way he has been portrayed by the world's governments.

"We've been very disappointed in the way his journalism has been characterised," she said.

"We'd like to remind everyone that Julian, like other members of the media alliance, is covered by our code of ethics that covers journalists," she said.

"We're pointing out that we don't believe that Julian Assange has in any way broken the code of ethics, we believe that he's upholding two of its important principles - not to disclose his source, and secondly, to publish in the public interest."

Ms Connor says his situation is extraordinary and he must be supported in the name of free speech.

Australian-born Mr Assange remains in the UK on bail over Swedish sexual assault allegations.

WikiLeaks continues to progressively release 250,000 leaked US diplomatic cables, as promised.

ACTU president Ged Kearney, who will be presenting the award, said Mr Assange and WikiLeaks deserved support.

"WikiLeaks is simply performing the same function as media organisations have for centuries in facilitating the release of information in the public interest," she said in a statement.

"Mr Assange's rights should be respected just the same as other journalists.

"WikiLeaks has broken no Australian law and as an Australian citizen, Julian Assange should be supported by the Australian Government, not prematurely convicted."

ABC/AAP

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I also like very much that a few weeks ago, Assange was insisting that he is NOT a journalist in order to defend himself against criticism from Amnesty International and others for having put people's lives in danger by revealing their names (see above article).  

And, now, a few weeks later, he has decided that he is, in fact, a journalist, and that WikiLeaks is a journalism enterprise-- he is trying to weasel out of his crimes by diverting people's attention onto alleged loss of press freedoms.  This guy is just so sleazy.  

I honestly do not see how any respectable professional journalists would possibly want to degrade themselves and their profession by finding common cause with Assange.  This makes me question the integrity of the media union representing Australia's journalists.  What are they thinking is to be gained by granting him  an honorary membership???


Journalists' union shows support for Assange


Australia's media union is staging a show of support for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in Melbourne.

 

The Media, Arts and Entertainment Alliance (MEAA) will present an honorary member card to Mr Assange's Melbourne-based lawyer, Rob Stary.

The union's Louise Connor says Mr Assange has always been a member, but his fees will be waived in a show of solidarity.

She says all journalists should be disgusted by the way he has been portrayed by the world's governments.

"We've been very disappointed in the way his journalism has been characterised," she said.

"We'd like to remind everyone that Julian, like other members of the media alliance, is covered by our code of ethics that covers journalists," she said.

"We're pointing out that we don't believe that Julian Assange has in any way broken the code of ethics, we believe that he's upholding two of its important principles - not to disclose his source, and secondly, to publish in the public interest."

Ms Connor says his situation is extraordinary and he must be supported in the name of free speech.

Australian-born Mr Assange remains in the UK on bail over Swedish sexual assault allegations.

WikiLeaks continues to progressively release 250,000 leaked US diplomatic cables, as promised.

ACTU president Ged Kearney, who will be presenting the award, said Mr Assange and WikiLeaks deserved support.

"WikiLeaks is simply performing the same function as media organisations have for centuries in facilitating the release of information in the public interest," she said in a statement.

"Mr Assange's rights should be respected just the same as other journalists.

"WikiLeaks has broken no Australian law and as an Australian citizen, Julian Assange should be supported by the Australian Government, not prematurely convicted."

ABC/AAP

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Excellent piece by Larry Womack on Huffington Post! He hits the nail right on the head. Anyone who thinks what Assenge has done is ok are extremely naive and really don't understand how governments, diplomacy and the whole world actually works. We expect professional journalists, news outlets, etc. to keep governments on their toes, answer to any wrong doing, questioning, informing citizens of whats really going on, but not at the expense of risking people lives who are trying to do something to make lives better for people around the world. Ad hoc releasing of information is not productive, useful or helpful, it's the opposite, as we're seeing.

 

If he and his 'followers' were legitimate, why would they be attacking websites like Mastercard, Visa and a host of others.  That's not journalism, that's illegal hacking and a cyber form of terrorism.

 

He's a wimpy useless piece of excrement.

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Excellent piece by Larry Womack on Huffington Post! He hits the nail right on the head. Anyone who thinks what Assenge has done is ok are extremely naive and really don't understand how governments, diplomacy and the whole world actually works. We expect professional journalists, news outlets, etc. to keep governments on their toes, answer to any wrong doing, questioning, informing citizens of whats really going on, but not at the expense of risking people lives who are trying to do something to make lives better for people around the world. Ad hoc releasing of information is not productive, useful or helpful, it's the opposite, as we're seeing.

 

If he and his 'followers' were legitimate, why would they be attacking websites like Mastercard, Visa and a host of others.  That's not journalism, that's illegal hacking and a cyber form of terrorism.

 

He's a wimpy useless piece of excrement

very good point surrenders, regarding the mastercard attacking..it is illegal and it is a crime..his lemming followers are embarrassing themselves!!

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"Many are even volunteering to donate subdomains to keep the documents up, so that they can continue the good work of endangering the lives of Afghan civilians, British citizens, peace-minded world leaders and American military personnel all in the name of some preschool reading of what constitutes government transparency."

 

only ignorant fools would support this.

 

gee, should we publish their home addresses and phone numbers?

 

and, hey, why not just hack into their personal emails and then post them on the world wide internet?????

 

I seriously doubt they would just think that was soooooooo cool.....

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"Many are even volunteering to donate subdomains to keep the documents up, so that they can continue the good work of endangering the lives of Afghan civilians, British citizens, peace-minded world leaders and American military personnel all in the name of some preschool reading of what constitutes government transparency."

 

only ignorant fools would support this.

 

gee, should we publish their home addresses and phone numbers?

 

and, hey, why not just hack into their personal emails and then post them on the world wide internet?????

 

I seriously doubt they would just think that was soooooooo cool.....

i think you need to ask yourself though who really reads this sort of stuff anyway!

 

and I'll say this again funny how no one cared in 2006 when it started. I wont point this out but if the USA and the UK government knew this why not stop it fromt the start. Is it a matter of to little to late??

 

The only thing i'd congratualte them for is putting the names of BNP members online

 

and Spicey there are always hackers around to hack into everything so make sure you have a good firewall and other security

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Claire wrote:  " if the USA and the UK government knew this why not stop it fromt the start. Is it a matter of to little to late??  "

Because, Claire, when this started in 2006, WikiLeaks was, in fact, releasing information that  probably belongs in the public domain -- Information about wrong-doings being committed all over the world...including some  by the US government, but mostly by other nations.  Read the Womak article  above for some examples--he lists a few in his opening paragraphs.  That editorial really is worth reading, even though long.  Even Amnesty International awarded him in the beginning (again, read the Womak piece above).

But-- as has already been articulated and explained at great length in this thread-- with the whole-sale document dump and the Afghanistan papers, Assange crossed an unacceptable  line, committed crimes, put people's lives at genuine risk and devastatingly undermined legitimate and peaceful efforts by nations around the world.    

Based on his "manifesto' written a few years ago, I do not believe he ever intended to do anything other than intentionally damage the US if possible, so I never liked him.  But, he did not get around to actually endangering people (mostly non-Americans) and committing crimes, until more recently.  

And, regardless of the omnipotent power you seem to think the US government has...it cannot "stop" every crime  and sleaze bag in the world.  Especially when so many good (but not particularly sharp) people get duped into supporting manipulative criminals.

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Claire wrote:  " if the USA and the UK government knew this why not stop it fromt the start. Is it a matter of to little to late??  "

Because, Claire, when this started in 2006, WikiLeaks was, in fact, releasing information that  probably belongs in the public domain -- Information about wrong-doings being committed all over the world...including some  by the US government, but mostly by other nations.  Read the Womak article  above for some examples--he lists a few in his opening paragraphs.  That editorial really is worth reading, even though long.  Even Amnesty International awarded him in the beginning (again, read the Womak piece above).

But-- as has already been articulated and explained at great length in this thread-- with the whole-sale document dump and the Afghanistan papers, Assange crossed an unacceptable  line, committed crimes, put people's lives at genuine risk and devastatingly undermined legitimate and peaceful efforts by nations around the world.    

Based on his "manifesto' written a few years ago, I do not believe he ever intended to do anything other than intentionally damage the US if possible, so I never liked him.  But, he did not get around to actually endangering people (mostly non-Americans) and committing crimes, until more recently.  

And, regardless of the omnipotent power you seem to think the US government has...it cannot "stop" every crime  and sleaze bag in the world.  Especially when so many good (but not particularly sharp) people get duped into supporting manipulative criminals.

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Claire wrote:  " if the USA and the UK government knew this why not stop it fromt the start. Is it a matter of to little to late??  "

Because, Claire, when this started in 2006, WikiLeaks was, in fact, releasing information that  probably belongs in the public domain -- Information about wrong-doings being committed all over the world...including some  by the US government, but mostly by other nations.  Read the Womak article  above for some examples--he lists a few in his opening paragraphs.  That editorial really is worth reading, even though long.  Even Amnesty International awarded him in the beginning (again, read the Womak piece above).

But-- as has already been articulated and explained at great length in this thread-- with the whole-sale document dump and the Afghanistan papers, Assange crossed an unacceptable  line, committed crimes, put people's lives at genuine risk and devastatingly undermined legitimate and peaceful efforts by nations around the world.    

Based on his "manifesto' written a few years ago, I do not believe he ever intended to do anything other than intentionally damage the US if possible, so I never liked him.  But, he did not get around to actually endangering people (mostly non-Americans) and committing crimes, until more recently.  

And, regardless of the omnipotent power you seem to think the US government has...it cannot "stop" every crime  and sleaze bag in the world.  Especially when so many good (but not particularly sharp) people get duped into supporting manipulative criminals.

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Just to keep things clear--wikileaks is not accused of hacking.  Those who did the hacking of Visa etc., were self-appointed online "defenders"  of Assange who launched their criminal protest campaign after he was arrested.   And after a few days of Assange saying he "[neither supported nor criticized]" the hackers, he finally got around to saying that the they are not a part of the WikiLeaks organization and he does not approve of their actions.  laugh....It took him awhile to figure out that it is probably in his best interest to distance himself from overt criminal action.  

Claire, I am not trying to put you on the spot or anything, but I am not sure you really have a good understanding of cybersecurity, IT, hacking, or this wikileaks thing.  As far as having good firewalls, etc... yeah, those are something.  And for most people, enough, because nobody is going to try to hack most of you.  

But if someone wants in...I promise, they can get in.  The best-defended networks in the world are still porous as hell.

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Just to keep things clear--wikileaks is not accused of hacking.  Those who did the hacking of Visa etc., were self-appointed online "defenders"  of Assange who launched their criminal protest campaign after he was arrested.   And after a few days of Assange saying he "[neither supported nor criticized]" the hackers, he finally got around to saying that the they are not a part of the WikiLeaks organization and he does not approve of their actions.  laugh....It took him awhile to figure out that it is probably in his best interest to distance himself from overt criminal action.  

Claire, I am not trying to put you on the spot or anything, but I am not sure you really have a good understanding of cybersecurity, IT, hacking, or this wikileaks thing.  As far as having good firewalls, etc... yeah, those are something.  And for most people, enough, because nobody is going to try to hack most of you.  

But if someone wants in...I promise, they can get in.  The best-defended networks in the world are still porous as hell.

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Just to keep things clear--wikileaks is not accused of hacking.  Those who did the hacking of Visa etc., were self-appointed online "defenders"  of Assange who launched their criminal protest campaign after he was arrested.   And after a few days of Assange saying he "[neither supported nor criticized]" the hackers, he finally got around to saying that the they are not a part of the WikiLeaks organization and he does not approve of their actions.  laugh....It took him awhile to figure out that it is probably in his best interest to distance himself from overt criminal action.  

Claire, I am not trying to put you on the spot or anything, but I am not sure you really have a good understanding of cybersecurity, IT, hacking, or this wikileaks thing.  As far as having good firewalls, etc... yeah, those are something.  And for most people, enough, because nobody is going to try to hack most of you.  

But if someone wants in...I promise, they can get in.  The best-defended networks in the world are still porous as hell.

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hey there claire

 

Hows life? I know that you are a sweetie and that you care about me, so thank you for the info regarding the firewall.

 

thats good advice for anyone and i thank you for that.

 

and as for who reads all of that stuff, i can totally relate. while you and I are going out and having fun, living life and going about our daily life, we arent at all bothered to care about piles and piles of boring data and/or paperwork...

 

I mean, yawn, who has the time, right?

 

well, there are very sick and disturbed peeps out there who do care...they want to kill us-americans and british--in fact, any one--if it serves their purpose...

 

which is terrorism.

 

i cant relate to people like this, so i understand how you cant either...

 

they must feel pretty powerless in their lives

 

maybe even bored..

 

i think the terrorists must be the ultimate in drama queens!!

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thanks claire for having the guts to speak up on this thread..

 

I always admired your moxy!

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and sia, thanks for always helping to clarify any confusing and/or convoluted issues or arguments...

 

we really need you on this.

 

it could be so easy to get lead astray in the mix......

 

we need a voice in the darkness, that shows the truth through sound arguments and documented proofs.......

 

you make great arguments that helps me to learn and be enlightened, and for this gift, I thank you.

 

 Happy Holidays and may you be kept safe, happy and healthy, now and every day, my friend, sia.

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