Ron Paul says...
Posted by Heath H (+641) 11 years ago
Re: Wikileaks- "In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble."





https://twitter.com/repro...6021003264
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 11 years ago
This Assange guy didn't expose any truth about anything, he more or less opened up everyones' diaries. Had he brought to light human rights violations or corruption he might be considered heroic, really he's nothing more than a gossip monger who didn't reveal anything we weren't all aware of.
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Posted by Mary1 (+158) 11 years ago
Treason: a crime that undermines the offender's government. He isn't American so he can't by definition commit treason against the US. Nothing I read in it seemed to be that dangerous anyway.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 11 years ago
"Nothing I read in it seemed to be that dangerous anyway."

By your statement, I'll assume that you've read EVERYTHING that was in the WikiDump (tho I seriously doubt that's possible). So the remaining questions are: Are you an expert on foreign relations? Or on methods of gathering intelligence that is critical to our national security?

If you're like me, the answer to both questions is NO. And therein lies the problem, which is simply that that people like you and me won't see anything that seems like a big deal in the cables and other documents that were released -- but you and I are very ill-prepared to make that call.

Chances are high that somewhere in that mountain of documents is some snippet of information that seems innocuous to you and me and Dupree, but that certain bad guys could trace (rightly or wrongly) to a unique "source - meaning a human being that has made the decision to risk their all by providing information to the USA. And if you are that source - or someone who is thinking of becoming a source for the USA - then chances are you won't ever do it again. In fact, chances are that you won't be able to do it again because you'll be deader n' a doornail.

Anyone who thinks diplomacy is all nicey-nicey talk at black tie dinners is a procreatin' idiot. And anyone who thinks diplomats don't diss each other is living in another world. Behind all the galas and photo ops there is a rough and tumble high stakes knife fight going on. And if we don't win it, well --- let's just say we'll be longing for the day when all we were worried about was keeping the TSA's hands off of our 'junk'.

Assange is no hero. He's a hacker. If he really wants to be a hero, let him figure out how to hack into Bin Laden's emails. Otherwise, I can't wait for him to hear the words "Book him, Danno."
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 11 years ago
Addendum:
Before anyone points it out, I do realize that Assange did not "hack" the documents. But that is where he got his start and now he is simply providing an outlet for stuff other people hack. In other words, he's an Executive Producer Hacker, which is even worse in my book.
And:
Regarding Ron Paul's statement, which I certainly hope was taken out of context when applied to the current situation, there is a method for obtaining information about the workings of our government. It's called the Freedom of Information Act and its designed to make sure that light reaches even the innermost sanctums of government without causing undue harm to individuals or undue risk to our national security.
For those who don't trust highly trained and publicly-accountable judges to decide what should be made public and what should remain confidential, I can only ask this: Why would you entrust our nation's safety and well-being to a self-appointed hack who is accountable to not one single soul?

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (12/3/2010)]
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Posted by SD (+1525) 11 years ago
You must be an attorney. Put out a shingle and see who hires you. It seems you know the law. Perhaps I will see you in court some day. I am glad to see that the electorate (voters,citizens) can see your ignorance. Ignorance , which applies to you , means that you are uninformed and moreso just do not know what you are talking about. And that you did not even try.

I hope you were not allowed to vote. A US citizen is taught in grade school that they have the right to vote at age 18 if registered , but that with that vote comes the responsibility of being informed of the issues and voting. You have failed USA.

SD
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 11 years ago
I'd reply SD - but I have no idea what your point was - or if you even had one.

And no, I'm not an attorney, although I did play one on TV.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 11 years ago
Denny Crane no doubt.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 11 years ago
Oliver Wendell Crapduck, at your service.
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 11 years ago
I heard a discussion of this on NPR the other day and the commentator used an analogy that I thought was interesting. He said that the publication of internal memos containing harsh criticism of foreign leaders and diplomats is akin to publishing your criticism of a family member in the newspaper. Maybe everyone in your family circle knows you can't stand your sister-in-law but it's a whole different thing to let the whole world know that you can't stand her. It changes the family dynamic and not necessarily for the better.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 11 years ago
That is a great analogy, but I think it does the situation a disservice by making it seem trivial, common, everyday-type stuff. That isn't the case.

When someone takes it upon themselves to unilaterally publish documents that are considered sensitive and perhaps even critical to our nation's interests, then it isn't a question of did Aunt Betty's feelings get hurt or is Uncle Benny going to be embarrassed. The pertinent questions are:

Q1) Has the public benefitted in any meaningful way from the unauthorized release? (A: Not so far)

Q2) Is the Nation better off as a whole because the information was released? (A: Most experts say "No" - because we didn't really learn anything of significance on the macro-scale that we didn't already know, and there has been no discovery of gross negligence, malfeasance or criminal acts. So, what was the point of releasing the documents?)

3) Will the information make us safer or protect us from danger in any way? (A: Too early to tell, but it's doubtful at this point on a macro scale. On a micro scale, the potential for damage and risk is great - and on an individual level, it may be tragic.)

4) What is the potential harm to our national interests? How much will it cost to repair the damage in terms of dollars as well as time -- and perhaps even lives? (A: Despite Washington's attempts to downplay the significance of it, it's pretty clear that the Wikileaks stunt has derailed several important diplomatic discussions - at least temporarily. There is going to be fallout, especially in and between Middle Eastern nations, that will set back many efforts to deal with significant issues (like ho-hum, dealing with Iran's nuclear capactity). And the leaks will definitely have a chilling effect on gaining the trust of potential sources that are critical to gaining meaningful and actionable intelligence.

In short, we're WORSE OFF because of the leaks, and some individuals who have taken risks for America may now pay dearly for it. I for one - liberal as I am - hope the bastards who leaked the cables and documents pay for it in a way that will discourage others who want to follow in their footsteps.

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (12/4/2010)]
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6165) 11 years ago
Steve, I can see your point but I didn't intend to trivialize this. The point was that when you leak information about a small group to a larger group it changes the small group's relational dynamics both within the smaller group and with the larger group. Aunt Betty may just have hurt feelings but if she holds the purse strings or runs the family business it is no small matter to the rest of the family.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 11 years ago
I understand Wendy, and I agree. But I think many people would walk away from that analogy with the wrong impression -- in fact, I keep hearing people say that the leak was no big deal.

I have a nephew still actively serving in the Marines on the ground in Iraq, another Marine nephew who was in Afghanistan and will soon be in Turkey, and a niece in the diplomatic corps at the State department who was in Kabul and will soon (thank God!) be serving at the embassy in Constantinople (Instanbul for you modernists).

Anything that makes the job harder for them and others who are serving our Country, or prolongs their deployment, or places their welfare at risk -- well, let's just say it's a big deal to me.

The fact that Assange wreaks havoc while trying to appear a hero just adds insult to injury. And to see idiots like Heath trying to portray Assange's act in some sort of patriotic light makes my blood boil. Wise up and get real.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4463) 11 years ago
We've spent years building up this leak-friendly political culture.

Now we're reaping what we've sown.

You've got to hammer these kind of leaks even if they seem small in order to keep them from getting bigger and bigger.

If someone knowingly leaks classified information, unless maybe it's clear evidence of some kind of crime, there should routinely be hell to pay.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 11 years ago
I agree with you Rick (note to self: mark this day down as historic).

The days of "said a source who chose to remain anonymous because blah blah blah" needs to end. The authorized leak makes it impossible to crack down on unauthorized leaks. Besides, it's a chicken-excrement way of running the country.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4461) 11 years ago
I just don't like that they call him a whistle-blower.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17331) 11 years ago
If someone knowingly leaks classified information, unless maybe it's clear evidence of some kind of crime, there should routinely be hell to pay.


...and Scooter Libby's life has been a living hell.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 11 years ago
Quote from today's AP headline article on Wikileaks:

In a disclosure of some of the most sensitive information yet revealed by WikiLeaks, the website has put out a secret cable listing sites worldwide that the U.S. considers critical to its national security. U.S. officials said the leak amounts to giving a hit list to terrorists.

So Heath, we haven't heard from you in a while on this topic. Do you still want to portray Mr. Wikisqueaks as doing us a favor?
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 11 years ago
The silence from the "government is the problem/enemy" folks on this issue is - what's that word? DEAFENING!

That must be some really good tea they're drinking.
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Posted by Joe Whalen (+612) 11 years ago
While in college, I took the time one day to listen to Daniel Ellsberg, a marine and former military analyst for the RAND Corporation, deliver a campus talk on his experience of publishing the Pentagon Papers. I entered the Student Union believing he might be a traitor but, after hearing him out and visiting with him afterward, I returned to class convinced of the heroism of his actions and their contribution to ending public support for the Vietnam conflict.

Sadly, in the two years from the photocopying of the original DOD documents that exposed the lawlessness, lies & distortions of three presidential administrations to the publication of the Pentagon Papers in the NY Times, over 20,054 American GIs were killed in action.

Of course, at the time, Ellsberg was considered by the Nixon Administration as a threat to national security, much as Julian Assange is today.

So, what does Daniel Ellsberg think of Wikileaks and the power of raw information in a democracy?

"I still put my hopes in it, and in democracy - our democracy. A democracy requires this information. Unauthorized disclosures are the lifeblood of a republic. That remains true. We can't rely only on the authorized handouts from the government any more now than we could under [British King] George III. The First Amendment was a marvelous invention, one of our best contributions to human society. And it deserves to be instituted in every country."(Christian Science Monitor, 29 July 2010)

I wonder what ever happened to Scott Ritter?
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 11 years ago
Huge difference between Daniel Ellsberg and Assange - from their backgrounds (education, profession) to their motivations (targeted opposition to a specific war vs. general rebellion against any type of authority).

Ellsberg knew enough about the documents he was exposing to understand exactly what the implications and risks were (I mean, he was a Rand analyst, for pete's sake!). Though the Nixon thugs tried to discredit him by releasing his psychiatric records, etc., Ellsberg made a surgical decision based on what he believed (knew?) was best for his country. I don't give Assange anywhere near that much credit.

Buck brought up the term "whistleblower" earlier in this thread. I believe one could (and should) apply that term to Ellsberg. Assange - not even close.

Bottom line: Fresh apples and rotten oranges with only the most basic of circumstances in common.

[This message has been edited by Steve Craddock (12/7/2010)]
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Posted by J. Dyba (+1350) 11 years ago
I'd be interested to know what MC.com posters agree that Mr. Assange should fall into US Custody and be awarded either custody or perhaps even execution for his *crimes*.

It would be a good litmus test.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 11 years ago
I believe there hasn't been enough exposure of the this story for any of us to know what to believe.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 11 years ago
I don't know what to think about this guy. I am fully in favor of leaking any criminal or immoral activity being covered up by a classified label. This stuff on the other hand, doesn't seem to be that. Just leaking normal diplomatic cables like these doesn't seem to have any point that I can see. It's not particularly damaging either, but it's certainly not helpful.

On a third hand, it disturbs me a little that one of Joe Lieberman's staffers made a call and got it taken off of Amazon.com's servers. Assange has not been convicted or even accused of any crimes and it's a bad precedent to take down a legal website because one congressman said he didn't like it. Keep in mind that Assange wouldn't have any of this stuff if a US citizen with a security clearance hadn't given it to him. That guy is in jail but all Assange did was make the information that was already leaked publicly available.

It also deeply disturbs me that he has been referred to as a "terrorist" by the soon to be chairman of the house Homeland Security Committee. "Terrorist" is the new "communist", just a word we like to slap on anyone that we don't like and we want to deal with without the inconvenience of law and due process.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 11 years ago
Hey Levi. Darn nice post. The offer for the "smart and motivated" role in "The Not So Simple Life" is officially back on the table.

I disagree, though, that a bad precedent was set when Amazon took the link off of their website. The press has always been very cautious when issues of national security and military advantage have been involved. Even when valid information is handed to them, the editors and publishers go through a very deliberate process to determine the value vs. the risk (to the country, not their own) of publishing it. They do it by asking questions like the ones I posted above on 12/4 - and probably many more that I can't even dream of. So I'm glad Amazon did what it did.

As for one polititian having the "oomph" to get Amazon to take that action with one phone call, I have to echo what Richard said. We know far too little about what happened to conclude that Amazon is dancing to one congressman's call. My guess is that much more was involved.

I totally agree with your concern about the label "terrorist" getting bandied about whimsically. I don't think this guy deserves that label, but he certainly isn't one of the good guys either. For now I'll stick with Tattletale, Egoist and Anarchist - hmmm.... that spells TEA!
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Posted by Mindy B (+81) 11 years ago
He wasn't even arrested on any charges with Wikileaks.

"WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange voluntarily turned himself in last night to British police after a warrant for his arrest was put out on sexual misconduct accusations.


Two volunteers who worked for Assange at WikiLeaks claim that consensual sex turned nonconsensual when Assange quit using protection. He has not been charged with any crime as of yet, and none of the legal proceedings have any official ties to the cache of information WikiLeaks has released over the last 10 days."
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 11 years ago
WikiLeaks claim that consensual sex turned nonconsensual


That gives a WHOLE new meaning to the word "WikiLeaks"
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 11 years ago
Sounds to me like the site should be called "Dikileaks"
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Posted by Bridgier (+9195) 11 years ago
A person's opinion regarding wikileaks should be separate from their opinion of Mr. Assange.
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 11 years ago
Personally I wish the whole sexual assault thing wasn't a part of this picture and I have tried very hard to not let it color my thoughts on the Wikileaks matter.

If he is guilty, then two (?) women have been hurt directly by his actions, I feel badly for them, hopefully they weren't infected with anything, and perhaps they'll someday see justice done.

If the sex charges were trumped up, then the idjuts who trumped them up have given credence to Assange's beliefs that all government is corrupt as well as created a sideshow that is detracting from the bigger issues.

I'm still wondering where Heath is at? Strange that the person who started a thread extolling Assange's virtuous actions has completely left the scene ... of the crime?
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1905) 11 years ago
Assange/sex charges = Ellsberg/release of mental health records. No?
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 11 years ago
Perhaps. Too early to tell. He MAY be guilty, no?

But listen, I'm not saying government is always good. It's only as good as the people in it, and there are a LOT of bad people in government.

The thing is, most of the stuff Assange is releasing doesn't really uncover being bad or doing anything criminal. Some of it exposes government professionals as jerks. And some simply get exposed as human. Big deal.

Most importantly, we also know that at least some of the documents contained sensitive information that has NOTHING to do with official misconduct or high crimes, but that may prove very helpful to terrorists. (NOTE: I did not call Assange a terrorist.)

I'm all for whistleblowers who take RESPONSIBLE actions to expose high crimes and misdeamenors. I only WISH one of Bush's security council members had come forth with the truth about the Nigerian yellowcake, the smear job on Joseph Wilson, and the illegal exposure of Valerie Plame's CIA position.

BUT - Assange is making up his own rules, releasing information that he is not qualified to assess, and placing GOOD people at risk - maybe including you and me sitting right here in good ol' America.

I'm really amazed at the number of intelligent people who haven't yet figured out that the position of power Assange has bestowed upon himself is dangerous, and that Wikileaks as it exists today is not something we should be comfortable with at all. Not at all.
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Posted by J. Dyba (+1350) 11 years ago
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 11 years ago
Well, when thousands of documents get released, there's bound to be some hanky-panky uncovered. But Assange's approach is like swatting gnats with a sledge hammer.

It sounds harsh, but how many incidents like this are worth the disclosure of the location of some of our country's essential security infrastructure? That's the real-world math that, however distasteful, has to be done when considering the Wikileaks approach to "open government."

Am I glad the malfeasance was uncovered? Yes. Do I hope the parties involved get punished? Of course (tho I seriously doubt anything significant will come of this knowledge, which as the article itself notes was previously known).

But the question each of us has to ask ourselves and answer is simply this: Does a story like the one above, or even dozens of stories like it, justify the wholesale and indiscriminate release of thousands of classified documents that have the potential to do just as much or even significantly greater harm to good people who have risked their lives to provide our Nation with live and actionable intelligence?
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Posted by Joe Whalen (+612) 11 years ago
I learned as much by the paranoia behind several of the questions asked of Julian Assange during this Forbes interview as I did about Wikileaks itself.

http://www.forbes.com/201...ander.html

FREE JULIAN ASSANGE
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Posted by Steve Craddock (+2732) 11 years ago
That's a bit like the ardent "law and order" type who would say "First let's hang 'im, and then we'll give him a fair trial."

I wish that he was being held for something related to the release of classified information and not the sex charges. I hate the uncertainty around the validity of those charges.

I don't need a trial to conclude that an unauthorized release charge is valid (I'm talking documents here, not sex). But everyone needs a trial on charges of that nature to determine if he is guilty of committing a crime while engaging in that release. If he isn't, then we need to update our laws.

Again - I'm all for protecting those who uncover specific wrongs in ways that shed light on the specific wrong-doers. But there is much to be concerned about regarding the methods of Assange and his fellow hacks.

OK, I realize I've dominated this thread. I'll retire from the battle until something significant changes.
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Posted by Denise Selk (+1671) 11 years ago
If the Reuters report is accurate, and he was arrested for sexual assault because the victims became concerned about STDs, the first victim after the breakage of the condom during sex, and the second victim because they failed to use a condom in the first place, I agree...FREE JULIAN ASSANGE.

It's a scary, scary day when someone can be arrested because a condom broke during sex, or no condom was used in the first place, and not because they forcibly assaulted someone. I'll expect to see our prison populations soar, should this be the case.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3712) 11 years ago
Sex charges sound like a crock to me:

Apparently having consensual sex in Sweden without a condom is punishable by a term of imprisonment of a minimum of two years for rape. That is the basis for a reinstitution of rape charges against WikiLeaks figurehead Julian Assange that is destined to make Sweden and its justice system the laughing stock of the world and dramatically damage its reputation as a model of modernity....

The women here are near to and over 30 and have international experience, some of it working in Swedish government embassies. There is no suggestion of drugs nor identity concealment. Far from it. Both women boasted of their celebrity connection to Assange after the events that they would now see him destroyed for....

The phenomena of social networking through the internet and mobile phones constrains Swedish authorities from augmenting the evidence against Assange because it would look even less credible in the face of tweets by Anna Ardin and SMS texts by Sofia Wilen boasting of their respective conquests after the A¢â,¬Å"crimesA¢â,¬A_.

In the case of Ardin it is clear that she has thrown a party in Assange's honour at her flat after the "crime" and tweeted to her followers that she is with the A¢â,¬Å"the worldA¢â,¬â,¢s coolest smartest people, it's amazing!". Go on the internet and see for yourself. That Ardin has sought unsuccessfully to delete these exculpatory tweets from the public record should be a matter of grave concern. That she has published on the internet a guide on how to get revenge on cheating boyfriends ever graver. The exact content of WilAƒAcnA¢â,¬â,¢s mobile phone texts is not yet known but their bragging and exculpatory character has been confirmed by Swedish prosecutors. Niether Wilen's nor Ardin's texts complain of rape.




Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi...z17YDsenzL
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