Wikileaks: Crossing the Line?

November 28, 2010

Does anyone else (besides a few members of the U.S. Congress) think the Wikileaks guy, Julian Assange, could be out of line? I totally support freedom of speech, but is publication of sensitive classified government documents freedom of speech or theft? It seems that there should be a balance of sorts. I mean would we be happy if our social security and bank account numbers were published? Should nuclear secrets or battle plans also be published? How does publishing confidential diplomatic communications serve anyone? Isn't there a line that shouldn't be crossed?

  Assange leaked over 250,000 diplomatic cables that some claim will cause a world-wide diplomatic crisis for the United States.  John Hayward from Human Events said:
"The effect of the WikiLeaks vandalism is to destabilize the governments on the other end of these diplomatic cables. The American government may suffer a degree of embarrassment, and a pinch of spice may be added to domestic political debates... but in some of these foreign nations, the information published by WikiLeaks could cause serious, even violent, unrest. This works to the advantage of al-Qaeda and the Taliban, who gain their strength by radicalizing uneasy populations."
What's your view on the leaks?

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't understand this. If you "hack" into a computer you get jailed.
If you steal and sell Govt documents you get charged for espionage.
How can this US Govt. not do anything to stop this?
If indeed these are confidential, or secret documents, how did this guy get these and how is it that he keeps getting these type of documents.
Isn't the person who is "leaking" these documents committing a crime?
Can't this guy be charged with receiving stolen property?
Is this guy an Australian Cit?
If he is publishing these from Aust. I would think that it would also be in the interest of Aust.(and other countries) to some how prosecute him or target and block his server.

Anonymous said...

I don't think any of us would like our private notes, e-mails, and even some documents being seen by everyone. There are some things that might not be illegal or un-ethical, but just embarrassing. What if you got caught sending an email and talking negatively about a superior. Everyone does it, but not everyone expects it to be out in the open. Neither side wants that to happen.
No, this Assange is acting very childish and children are very dangerous when given weapons they don't know how to use.

The Saipan Blogger said...

I was fine with the Afghanistan and Iraq leaks, but I think this one goes a bit too far. You make a good anaology with the nuclear secrets and social security numbers.

Wendy said...

This guy creeps me out. There is something quite scary about him.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 11:47

I am not sure how many sources Assange has, but one is PFC Bradley Manning.

Anonymous said...

Another link on Manning:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8166395/Bradley-Manning-The-prime-suspect-of-giving-files-to-WikiLeaks.html

Anonymous said...

Thankfully there are people out there willing to put their freedom on the line to get out the truth.

The last batch of military documents that went out, were forwarded to the pentagon en-masse, to provide them with the opportunity of blacking out names and other information they deemed sensitive. They refused to even review the documents, and instead went on a campaign to get Assange.

If the documents contained information the Pentagon stated would put people in danger and harm operations, why wouldn't they have cooperated and made sure that information didn't become public. That wasn't really their issue. Their issue was with their inability to control all information, that was represented very clearly by the potential release.

I want to know if my country is planning on spying on the United Nations. I want to know if my country is trading weapons for favors. I want to know what is Colonel Ghadafi's favorite color of underwear.

Anonymous said...

Noni 2:34 Hmmm, you are pro disclosure but don't sign your name?

I guess motive and the end result have to considered when considering rightness or wrongness with this act. Diplomatic relations are sensitive already without foreign countries freezing up talks because confidential conversations may be leaked. The trust among allies and all foreign nations that will be lost and may take years to rebuild is worth it for the chance to read outed intelligence and confidential correspondence?

Anonymous said...

I don't consider my government's plans to use the United Nations to carry out a mass spy operation on delegates, an action that should be kept in the closet.

With regard to my anonymity, I refer you to the first and congralulatory statement of my prior post.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 2:34 and 3:59

I understand your points and I too support open government and freedom of the press. Still, I remain conflicted on this issue. Partly because Assange seems such a shady character (He is wanted in Sweden on rape charges), and partly because it is said that the leaks could possibly harm diplomatic relationships and cause unrest or even loss of life. I am still on the fence right now on this one.

Anonymous said...

I think you should research the steps that have been taken to "get" Assange. Including pushing absolute falsehoods about him. The rape charge was a false charge that was dropped. It was in fact part of the whole disinformation campaign against him, to fool the people. Not that his background should matter where the dispensing of the truth is concerned.

It's not your money! said...

People who leak this type of classified stuff could get people killed, so we should treat him just like Vice President Dick Cheney when he outed CIA covert operative Valerie Plame.

Anonymous said...

8:08 The rape charges were not dropped. Character and motive should be a concern.

Anonymous said...

How was Cheney treated? He remained VP.

Sweden dropped the Assange rape charge on August 21, finding no evidence backing the claim.

Assange exists so the rest of us can remain anonymous. Every American has the right to know what there government is doing, especially when they're doing things they shouldn't be. Without the few willing to put themselves up as sacrificial lambs like Assange, much of the crime would go unheard of.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 12:30

I rechecked the facts and in every current article there is mention that Assange is wanted for rape charges in Sweden, although he denies the charges.

He is currently hiding in England where he claimed the next leaks will attack an unnamed U.S. bank.

On November 18, 2010 CNN reported:"The Stockholm Criminal Court on Thursday issued an international arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on probable cause, saying he is suspected of rape, sexual molestation and illegal use of force.

The court also ordered Assange arrested in his absence, which requires Swedish authorities anywhere in the world to detain Assange if they come across him. Sweden's director of prosecutions, Marianne Ny, had requested the arrest in absence.

"The background is that he has to be heard in this investigation and we haven't been able to get a hold of him to question him," Ny said earlier Thursday.

Assange faces five counts that appear related to two incidents, according to the request Ny filed with the court.

He faces one count of rape and one count of sexual molestation related to an instance around August 17 in Enkoping, just outside Stockholm. He then faces two counts of sexual molestation between August 13 and 18 in Stockholm, and one count of illegal use of force between August 13 and 14, also in the capital."

Whether innocent or not on these charges, I still get a bad vibe from this guy. The New York Times states: "As a young computer hacker, he formed a group called International Subversives. As an adult, he wrote “Conspiracy as Governance,” a pseudo-intellectual online diatribe. He talks of vast “patronage networks” that constrain the human spirit.

Far from respecting authority, Assange seems to be an old-fashioned anarchist who believes that all ruling institutions are corrupt and public pronouncements are lies.

For someone with his mind-set, the decision to expose secrets is easy. If the hidden world is suspect, then everything should be revealed. As The New Yorker reported, WikiLeaks has published technical details about an Army device designed to prevent roadside bombs from detonating. It posted soldiers’ Social Security numbers. This week, the group celebrated the release of internal State Department documents with a triumphalist statement claiming that the documents expose the corruption, hypocrisy and venality of U.S. diplomats...." Read more.

Anonymous said...

fabricated charges

Anonymous said...

Comeon people, don't be so naive. You don't find it odd that the charges were filed this August, after two women had intercourse with Mr. Assange, and then went straight to the station to file a claim, later to state that the event was "consentual"? This is a set up that is the modus operandi of the CIA and other intelligence operatives. Assange will end up in jail, and ten years from now the two women will again recant their story. We'll find out they were "coerced" and/or paid. It's a sham, a fraud, a scheme to put away a man who is exposing the misdeeds of the powerful.

Anonymous said...

11:11, seems like you are related to this guy.
Just how do you "know" all of the details on a rape charge?? Or are you "tied" to this somehow?(doubt it)
Bottom line is this guy is wanted for these crimes and has to answer to them eventually.
There may also be other criminal charges lodged against him by the US and the Australian Govt (Int. news)
This "warrant" issue was also on international news this morning in the Phil.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny that interpol suddenly includes him on their most wanted list, for the charge of rape, only after a new set of documents are released. It's a set up. It stinks to high heaven.

Anonymous said...

11:11 Today "interpol" issued an arrest warrant also for Assange.

Anonymous said...

So in these “fabricated” sexual assault cases, Sweden is the dupe, proxy or “puppet” of the USA and its CIA?

HA!

Anonymous said...

Yes. Sweden dropped the charges. Under great pressure they reissued the warrant, however, reduced the charge from rape to sexual misconduct.

Don't chastise the US for violating the UN Charter, or secretly and illegally inserting CIA agents into ally countries to go around snatching citizens and setting up makeshift interrogation operations. Don't question your government. Go after the messenger.

Trumped up charges.