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Wiki Leaks = The Devil?

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Wiki Leaks = The Devil?

Postby edit the sad parts » Wed Dec 1, 16:36 2010

If you have been paying attention to current events lately, you know that the site Wiki Leaks -- international whistle-blower database-- has released 250, 000 political cables from ambassadors and the like around the world. The Obama administration is basically looking to charge the creator of wiki leaks under some kind of espionage act - still being looked into, but aside from that is condemning the information like it is H1N1 for the mind.

I personally have not personally looked at any of the cables yet, though there seems to be at least one story in the newspaper every day about them since they leaked.

I find it fascinating, and also I think it's very important that websites like this are here to stay. it's good to get a clearer picture of how things actually operate, every now and then. Or even just confirm your suspicions of something, no matter how bad they may be. (Like our world leaders don't seem to be much more than overgrown spoiled children, reveling in their own power and privilege)

Afghanistan is a mess, by the way.

What do you think?
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Re: Wiki Leaks = The Devil?

Postby Butterfly North » Wed Dec 1, 17:46 2010

I say kudos to Assange for going so far to do what he believes is right. I have no idea whether these things were good to release or not because I have no real knowledge of international relations. But he must have known his head would be on the block for this - his life is very difficult now, and actually in danger. He was already facing rape charges, which obviously he may well be guilty of, but then who the fuck knows. Whether he's a rapist or not, I wouldn't call it unlikely that in future there will be similar charges which are fabricated by some of the dangerously powerful individuals he's upset.
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Re: Wiki Leaks = The Devil?

Postby kelsa » Wed Dec 1, 17:47 2010

I can't actually see any of the cables right now, when I go to the site the pages with the cables themself are 404-ing. : (

I'm so down with wikileaks. Some of the stuff they've released in the past has been extremely eye opening and though difficult to see/read/watch, really important. The Iraq War Logs were wonderful to have out there.

I really wonder who leaked this particular info load, I mean...damn.
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Re: Wiki Leaks = The Devil?

Postby Aum » Wed Dec 1, 18:54 2010

I've heard pretty much all sides to the argument at this point and here is what I think.

First of all, Wikileaks didn't break in and steal the info; it was given to them by people working for the U.S. government. Wikileaks is an agent of the press, a specialized agent, but an agent nonetheless. The fact that the U.S. wants to go after a press agency for receiving information that was willfully given to it, shows that the U.S. government has lost its moral compass. I will say though, it's a clever diversion to make the public think that Assange is the enemy when really the enemy is from within. I've noticed that many people are willing to just kill the messenger at this point, instead of truthfully acknowledging where the message came from. But you know... the U.S. as a culture its very prideful and full of indoctrination from early ages, and it doesn't like to be shown its own weaknesses, especially the war-hawk conservatives.

Also... espionage charges? Last time I checked, Australia is not a state in the United States of America. So fuck off. They can charge him in absentia and nab him if he steps on U.S. soil, but other than that, they'd have to go through extradition, and he didn't break any laws by releasing info that was given to him by agents of the U.S. government. Finders keepers, bitches.

I do think Wikileaks as an organization has lost track a little bit. Their obsession with the U.S. has detracted them from their original base, which was to target corruption worldwide. They did some of that with the recent cables, but most of it hones in on the U.S. and the war in the Mid-East. Not that I'm complaining about that, info is info, but... there seems to be an agenda at play just a little bit.

If I'm to try my best to be unbiased, the cables are not really all that damaging from what I've read so far. Most of the dirtiest things relate to controversial things that individual politicians said. If anything, it just sheds light into the mentalities that we have already known and suspected for years now. The public increasingly does not matter. We are just cash cows, and the leaders do what they want with their foreign policies. It's true that if you have nothing to hide, then the cables shouldn't be a big deal... but one thing the cables reveal is that the U.S. and its intelligence arm are routinely playing devil's advocate with supposed enemies of the state.

In short, I don't think Wikileaks is the devil, but it's a good scapegoat for what the information reveals: that our bureaucracy is far from the pipe dream we are taught to believe in. I don't think Assange will last. He will either disappear, die, or end up getting caught on (what I feel is probably) a bogus rape charge. Rape is serious but the fact that he is now on Interpol's most wanted list is rather fishy to me. No rapist gets such international acclaim.
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Re: Wiki Leaks = The Devil?

Postby The Other Lizard » Wed Dec 1, 19:03 2010

I pretty much agree with Xinzang. None of it is a really huge deal, just embarrassing to particular governments.

And we forget that these governments are supposed to be accountable to us (or at least, the citizens of whatever country we are talking about. if it claims to be a democracy). So in less someone is actually in danger, we have a right to see all of it.
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Re: Wiki Leaks = The Devil?

Postby newlydiscovered » Wed Dec 1, 19:13 2010

Xinzang wrote:Also... espionage charges? Last time I checked, Australia is not a state in the United States of America. So fuck off. They can charge him in absentia and nab him if he steps on U.S. soil, but other than that, they'd have to go through extradition, and he didn't break any laws by releasing info that was given to him by agents of the U.S. government.

If he were in Australia, I doubt they'd have much trouble getting him extradited. Our government generally likes to pander to the US.
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Re: Wiki Leaks = The Devil?

Postby Aum » Wed Dec 1, 19:26 2010

newlydiscovered wrote:If he were in Australia, I doubt they'd have much trouble getting him extradited. Our government generally likes to pander to the US.


Yeah that's probably true... but the espionage charge is bunk IMO. Wikileaks didn't break into anything and it isn't working for any government. It has been very public about its acquiring of information and the time line of the release. The U.S. will try to make anything up that will stick otherwise it will look weaker.
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Re: Wiki Leaks = The Devil?

Postby Enigma » Wed Dec 1, 20:05 2010

I've been meaning to start a thread about this. It's crazy stuff. The interesting thing is that none of the countries mentioned are holding this against the states which leads you to wonder what they're saying behind closed doors.

I find this really interesting from a privacy standpoint. I mean the media is always going on and on about how the internet is destroying our privacy and we don't care, but it's interesting to see states drawn into this as well.

I think it's on the whole good though because the amount of politics based on rhetoric and nothing else these days is insane. It's good to see a bit of accidental honesty. Governments do need to be accountable.
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Re: Wiki Leaks = The Devil?

Postby monk » Wed Dec 1, 20:13 2010

Reporters and the press in generals job is to ferret out information. Most of the time, someone actually wants to spill their guts they just don't know who to do it to because they don't want to get their ass in a crack for spilling. Wikileaks just happens to be a destination that has shown it has the integrity to keep its' mouth shut about its sources. The government always calls foul in these situations because even if what was leaked wasn't "classified" or a "danger to current operations" its' likely the source has access to that material and they're obviously not to be trusted.
The state department obviously needs to beef up its security internally to prevent leaks. At the end of the day, the public is a little more aware of what's going on, which is good, and the state department security measures are a little more comprehensive, which is probably also good.
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Re: Wiki Leaks = The Devil?

Postby Tweek » Thu Dec 2, 3:21 2010

The story is made bigger by the loony politicians calling for the death penalty for the leakers; you can bet your bottom dollar that these people would be hailing the leakers as heroes if they'd been Chinese and then condemning Chinese politicians who called for their punishment... perhaps the guy who runs the site should get next year's Nobel Peace Prize :devil:
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Re: Wiki Leaks = The Devil?

Postby Mordak » Thu Dec 2, 7:38 2010

I love it! I've been reading the leaks for ages now. Gotta love a guy who plays the devils advocate. If he needs a place to hide out, he can have my garage to camp in.
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Re: Wiki Leaks = The Devil?

Postby helium » Thu Dec 2, 10:11 2010

New development, apparently Sweden is trying to arrest Assange on sex crime charges. He claims it's a smear campaige. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11898323
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Re: Wiki Leaks = The Devil?

Postby monk » Thu Dec 2, 10:22 2010

I would imagine that Sweden is being put under a bunch of pressure to do something to the guy. He can't spit on the sidewalk, or double park or anything right now without getting the full extent of the law dropped on his head. I wonder how he could get an impartial trial?
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Re: Wiki Leaks = The Devil?

Postby Butterfly North » Thu Dec 2, 10:24 2010

The rape charges are from before he even released the cables. I think the new development is that he's been put on Interpol's most wanted. Just like every other suspected rapist...
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Re: Wiki Leaks = The Devil?

Postby Aum » Thu Dec 2, 14:39 2010

Just to clarify... he is not being charged with a sex crime, he is simply wanted for questioning. No formal charges have been pressed. That's why it doesn't make sense to me that Interpol is involved.

If they ever nab him on the sex charges, you just know that the American espionage charges will be added, and he will be extradited to the U.S.

When Wikileaks last leaked files on the war in Afghanistan, Sweden made similar charges, which were later dropped for no apparent reason. I really doubt the veracity of the claims.

Assange should stay well hidden. Maybe he can offer to do a video conference with the police to clear things up, but there's no way in hell I'd show up in person if I were him.
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Re: Wiki Leaks = The Devil?

Postby metawidget » Fri Dec 3, 9:30 2010

Tweek wrote:The story is made bigger by the loony politicians calling for the death penalty for the leakers; you can bet your bottom dollar that these people would be hailing the leakers as heroes if they'd been Chinese and then condemning Chinese politicians who called for their punishment... perhaps the guy who runs the site should get next year's Nobel Peace Prize :devil:

Hey, the Republicans are planning on going over the stolen climate science e-mails again (after something like half a dozen reviews have shown that they were nothing but slightly tactless scientists shop-talking) to try and make the world safer for oil companies. They're certainly taking a different tack with that leak.
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Re: Wiki Leaks = The Devil?

Postby ArtificialAmore » Tue Dec 14, 9:23 2010

I've been really torn on what to think of WikiLeaks. There are some things that I have always felt the government should keep to itself for the sake of society and that is because I know enough about our society (especially in America) that if the wrong kinds of information are released, and they cause panic, that people can be extremely violent and destructive. It's always very tempting for those in the intellectual realm to speak in broad generalities about the way they would react in a given situation, but we're not the ones who would cause trouble. It's the under-educated, under-privledged, ignorant masses that would cause chaos. Just look at any riot in history and see what happens when the populace learns something unpopular.

On the other half of the coin, because I am an intellectual person, I feel like I should be allowed to know the truth. I resent the fact that the government lies to me, and to each other about things, and I completely agree with edit and Enigma:

edit the sad parts wrote:our world leaders don't seem to be much more than overgrown spoiled children, reveling in their own power and privilege

Enigma wrote:It's good to see a bit of accidental honesty. Governments do need to be accountable.


They lie to everyone, and each other. We're always hearing about how in the United States our own intelligence agencies have repeated issues where they lie to each other and cause problems (FBI, CIA, Homeland Security and NSA). No one is honest with each other and I do sincerely believe that at times we suffer for it.

I've read through WikiLeaks a little, (the new site is http://wikileaks.ch/) and it doesn't seem to be releasing horrible things that would cause chaos. Like someone said before, the majority of it seems to be just airing the dirty laundry of who really doesn't like who in the fish bowl of politics. That's not going to make people happy, but it's also not going to cause riots in the streets. So, in that sense, I don't think he should be martyred as a saint of the information age.

My final comment is that if he is guilty of a sex crime, I don't care what he's doing for free speech, or against the country, he should go to jail and be punished. Period.

If you'd like to read some interesting articles about the struggle to keep WikiLeaks online, check out http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11928899.
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Re: Wiki Leaks = The Devil?

Postby Mordak » Tue Dec 14, 21:57 2010

oh man, it's so funny (and kinda scary) what australian diplomats have been up to. i can't get enough of the site.
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