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Old 12-11-2010, 03:48 PM   #161
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Its the fact that the site was developed solely for the purpose of publishing leaked classified documents with the intent to damage the United States Government. That being said, in a time of war, that is an ACT OF WAR, and therefore punishable as such. While it may not "technically" be illegal, if you don't think that it's immoral or you think that it should continue to be up without any repercussions you're lieing to yourself, an idiot, or both.
What Shuiend said, plus, you are wrong. Outright wrong.

It is precisely BECAUSE it is a time of war that we need journalists to step up and tell us what is going on, not toeing the line. We need to know what is going on with our country, not hide in our little cages like sheep.
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:17 PM   #162
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OK let me try again... Developed solely for the purpose of publishing leak classified documents. How was that? Its not a news source, they are not journalists, freedom of the press/speech is not an argument here, partially for that reason and partially because AS YOU ALL HAVE STATED, Assange is not a US citizen.
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:49 PM   #163
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Assange is not a US citizen, which pretty much means the arguments about him violating classified laws is...null and void!

Nice that you've taken that tact. Guess what? Classified means something ONLY to citizens of that country.

Now, don't get me wrong. I personally despise Assange. But what he is doing is something that should be supported. His politics desperately need a punch in the face, granted, but transparency is only good for the common man - and bad for the politicians.
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:52 PM   #164
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Actually, blaen99 is right, and I'm an idiot for not realizing why sooner.

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo made photocopies of a Top-Secret DoD analysis of the US' military involvement in Vietnam (the so-called "Pentagon Papers"), and gave a set to to the New York Times, which published them.

Two interesting things came out of this:


1: President Nixon appealed to the Times requesting that they halt publication, which the Times refused to do. The administration then sought (and received) an injunction in federal court, requiring that the paper desist. The Washington Post then followed suit, publishing its' own series of articles based on a copy of the documents which it had received, and this time, the administration's effort to receive an injunction to halt publication was unsuccessful.

Within a matter of weeks (which is remarkable) the US Supreme Court heard both cases jointly, and found in favor of the Times and the Post, holding that the First Amendment was superior to the Government's need for secrecy in this matter, and that the burden of proof for prior restraint had not been met.

Note that this decision did NOT say that it was acceptable, 100% of the time, to publish classified material, but it did establish that it is not always prohibited, either.



2: Meanwhile, Ellsberg and Russo were brought up on charges of espionage. Unfortunately (for the purpose of this discussion), the government made a complete hash of the case, and the judge wound up declaring a mistrial and dismissing the charges against the accused, citing illegal wiretapping, illegal evidence collection, and gross misconduct in general.

So what this means is that no verdict actually exists. Ellsberg and Russo were not convicted, but neither were they acquitted.




Now, the one potential argument I can envision against Wikileaks is that it does not actually function in any journalistic capacity. Wikileaks does not do investigative reporting, it does not provide analysis and commentary, it seems to exist solely as a mechanism for distributing for confidential information. As such, turotufas is pretty close to the mark. Wikileaks could easily be construed to be an accessory (which is slightly different from an accomplice) to whatever crimes result in its gaining classified information, as their very existence is, in part, responsible for instilling the mens rea which results in the commission of the actual crime.
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:57 PM   #165
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Now, the one potential argument I can envision against Wikileaks is that it does not actually function in any journalistic capacity. Wikileaks does not do investigative reporting, it does not provide analysis and commentary, it seems to exist solely as a mechanism for distributing for confidential information. As such, turotufas is pretty close to the mark. Wikileaks could easily be construed to be an accessory (which is slightly different from an accomplice) to whatever crimes result in its gaining classified information, as their very existence is, in part, responsible for instilling the mens rea which results in the commission of the actual crime.
Honestly, Joe, I was waiting for someone to bring up what I addressed in my post above yours.

Accomplice/accessory is invalid for the simple reason of Wikileaks and Wikileaks staff not being based in the US. Classification and related laws don't apply to non-US citizens and foreigners not based in the US (The latter being why the NOFORN tag exists).

Last edited by blaen99; 12-11-2010 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:17 PM   #166
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Huh.

Ok, I honestly hadn't bothered to look up Assange's nationality. I just assumed he was a US citizen.

That does sort of complicate matter a bit. I suppose that we do have a mutual extradition treaty with Australia, and it wouldn't be the first time in history that a citizen of one country was handed over to a different country to stand trial, but me thinks that's not likely to happen short of someone stealing an actual nuclear bomb and selling it to Pakistan.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:52 PM   #167
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And people are talking about trying to charge him with treason. And yet he isn't even a US citizen. Do you see the problem in this logic, Joe?
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:00 PM   #168
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Well, like I said- the US could theoretically petition Australia to hand him over for prosecution, at which point they could charge him with jaywalking if they wanted to.

I just don't see it happening, given the attitude which currently seems to exist with regard to this matter amongst the global community.
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:06 PM   #169
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Eh, the whole situation makes me facepalm to be an American honestly.

The Pentagon Papers were far more damaging than anything Wikileaks has released to date - they've really released only fairly tame stuff. Wikileaks just embarrasses our politicians, which honestly need regular embarrassment to stay vaguely honest.
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:08 PM   #170
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We can publicly lynch Assange and broadcast it all over the world. But it won't stop wikileaks. If any harm comes to him, physically or by law, that just pours fuel on the fire. I've heard they've only released something like 1/3 of the material they currently have. If he gets thrown in jail, you can bet the organization will open the floodgates of their material.

What we're doing here is shooting the messenger. Doesn't change the message...
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:34 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Well, like I said- the US could theoretically petition Australia to hand him over for prosecution, at which point they could charge him with jaywalking if they wanted to.

I just don't see it happening, given the attitude which currently seems to exist with regard to this matter amongst the global community.
The US needs to petition England to hand him over because that is where is currently located and in police custody. The funny thing is Sweden is the only country trying to get him handed over, yet they have not even formally charged him with anything. Also the "rape" crimes that he is said to have committed in Sweden consist of having sex without a condom with 2 chicks, and it only subject to something like a $700 fine.
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:25 PM   #172
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We can publicly lynch Assange and broadcast it all over the world. But it won't stop wikileaks.
Ok, I just LOLed a little bit.

"Can't stop the signal, Mal."
-Mr. Universe



Quote:
What we're doing here is shooting the messenger. Doesn't change the message...
Well...

In theory, if you shoot enough messengers, then people will eventually stop applying for the job.

Practically speaking, this approach didn't work terribly well against the NVA (though it could be argued that we weren't really trying) and it has so far failed to work against the rather amorphous community of P2P sharists (though, again, we aren't taking particularly severe action).

I suspect that if enough people were executed for treason that matters such as this would tend to be taken a bit more seriously, and the frequency of such disclosures (and the audacity with which they are performed) would decrease considerably.

This approach has yielded positive results for most of the various fascist / totalitarian governments which have chosen to implement it during the 20th & 21st centuries. I am speaking here not merely of the biggies (Third Reich, USSR, China, N. Korea, Vietnam, etc.), but also to the various military dictatorships which have ruled small dominions in Africa and Asia as well as certain Islamic states which implement Sharia in an authoritarian manner so as to create a de-facto dictatorship.

I'm not suggesting that the US should (or would have the conviction to) pursue such a policy, merely pointing out that there are ways to stop the signal, or at least hinder its propagation. The NSA, for instance, has sufficient computational resources to commit a DoS attack the likes of which the world has never seen. And I suspect that if they really wanted to, they could probably make pretty much any server simply go away. ICANN is located within the US, and it operates at the behest of the Department of Commerce. He who controls the IANA controls the internet.
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Old 12-11-2010, 08:21 PM   #173
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Rather than to decide who Assange is, or what his mission is based on what your media and government tells you, I am offering a link to an interview he did back in April.

http://www.farmann.no/?p=1627

After reading the interview, and reading what the man himself has said - make your own decisions on what to believe.

To make another analogy, If you were sitting down to thanksgiving dinner and everyone is having a great time, and a niece at the table that raises the allegation that Uncle Joe molested her - how would your family react? I imagine your family would be repulsed, and not by the Uncle, but by the niece who made the allegation. We are hardwired to attack the messenger. We want to protect our "family" even when the things done are so vile.

I am siding slightly with Wikileaks for the moment. My opinion may change.
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:06 PM   #174
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I just don't get all this talk about treason, act of war, and confidential gobbledygook.

What the guy publishes for all to see is pretty simple..

Some ******** in uniform open fire at unarmed journalists, take extreme pleasure at shooting these helpless people to pieces... some other ******** decide it would be nice if some other country is bombed back to the stone age, just for giggles.... some two bit politician has a funny nickname for another...

This is damaging intel for enemies?
**** that.
Hiding behind the national security pretext is unmitigated bullshit.
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Old 12-12-2010, 06:07 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by Chiburbian View Post
To make another analogy, If you were sitting down to thanksgiving dinner and everyone is having a great time, and a niece at the table that raises the allegation that Uncle Joe molested her - how would your family react? I imagine your family would be repulsed, and not by the Uncle, but by the niece who made the allegation. We are hardwired to attack the messenger. We want to protect our "family" even when the things done are so vile.

I am siding slightly with Wikileaks for the moment. My opinion may change.
You've got one fucked up family, no wonder you're taking wikileak's side.
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:13 PM   #176
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I just don't get all this talk about treason, act of war, and confidential gobbledygook.

What the guy publishes for all to see is pretty simple..

Some ******** in uniform open fire at unarmed journalists, take extreme pleasure at shooting these helpless people to pieces... some other ******** decide it would be nice if some other country is bombed back to the stone age, just for giggles.... some two bit politician has a funny nickname for another...

This is damaging intel for enemies?
**** that.
Hiding behind the national security pretext is unmitigated bullshit.
This guy has been openly attacking the security of the United States and trying to compromise us in many ways. He should be treated like binladen, because he is acting like him. There are things that others don't need to know about. Hell, something as simple and "unclassified" as a work schedule, Dr's appointment or leave address can be dangerous to American lives. For instance, if some **** pickle walks into my office, roots around enough and finds my leave authorization form, he can scan it, put it on the web for all to see, and then if there is a terrorist in the local area, he has a rough estimation of what time I am arriving, when I will be leaving, My address and phone number. Then the terrorist (or group) comes and kidnaps me and tortures me for more information or kills me. Then what? Who is guilty? Everyone. The guy that leaked the unclassified/classified information, the guy that posted it, for providing terrorists means to find it, so he facilitated my murder and/or the release of more information, and the people that killed me. Clearly, if the middle man was taken out (wikileaks in this instance incase you have not caught on) the dumb *** that wanted to leak information would have no where to go, and the terrorist would have to look harder to find person a, which they probably wouldn't. Anyone, who deliberately takes actions to potentially harm any citizen, or group of citizens of the United States is a terrorist, and deserves treatment as such.
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:17 PM   #177
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:26 PM   #178
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Proof that one who attacks the United States will be defended? He isn't a traitor, he isn't a citizen, he is facilitating potential acts of terror. I don't know what was written, I don't want to, and have no interest in reading it. If this information could POTENTIALLY be used to harm ANY innocent United States citizen(s) he is a criminal.
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:26 PM   #179
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No, he's not. You even have a well-respected Senator saying this is not the case in a public forum - that is all the article says, doing nothing but quoting said Senator on the Senate floor. He even goes so far as to admit that NO HARM has been done, US politicians have only been embarrassed for being caught in lies.
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:28 PM   #180
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Proof that one who attacks the United States will be defended? He isn't a traitor, he isn't a citizen, he is facilitating potential acts of terror. I don't know what was written, I don't want to, and have no interest in reading it. If this information could POTENTIALLY be used to harm ANY innocent United States citizen(s) he is a criminal.
Well your car "could potentially" be used to harm a innocent citizen so we should ban cars.
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