If the Bill Kellers of the world had any sense, they’d be pushing back hard against stuff like Marc Thiessen’s “let’s waterboard Assange” piece. Instead, they’re internalizing the same principle upon which Thiessen builds his whole argument: publishing classified information that may bring harm to someone makes Julian Assange a bad, bad man.
Assange is bad, according to Keller, because he didn’t vet his material like a true journalist. Keller’s justification is a bland assertion of something he can’t know:
In our own publication, in print and on our website, we were careful to remove anything that could put lives at risk.
The Times has no way of knowing what puts people at risk in the Wikileaks material. There’s always a chance that a story about a war is going to endanger lives, and the Times will have “blood on its hands”, to use Liz Cheney’s characteristically subtle formulation.
In better times, a New York Times editor might have the courage to use principles like the First Amendment to defend his newspaper’s right to print classified leaks. He might even be making noises about shield laws, which encourage more illegal leaking. Instead, because Assange doesn’t own a printing press or a broadcast station, he’s a bad, bad man practicing some other trade than the noble calling of the true journalist, and he’s to be derided, not protected.
It should be obvious to Keller and other true journalists that this is a very dangerous position to hold. Liz Cheney and Marc Thiessen think he’s a bad, bad man, too, and they’d be happy for the FBI to snap him up and throw him in jail for publishing something that might possibly harm the US.
I don’t see why it has to be an either/or proposition; you can criticize Thiessen and Cheney for being fascist fuckwads and criticize Assange for being irresponsible. Neither one excuses the other, nor are they really connected in any way.
My question is why on Earth would the Washington Post run this, or retain Thiessen’s employment? Then again, I don’t know why they hired him in the first place.
And we’ll never know,I suppose, how much blood the Times has on it’s hands for publishing Judy Miller’s crap on WMD in Iraq.
I guess Bush has more blood on his hands for saying “bring them on” and likening the war on terror to a crusade.
Are you suggesting the Times doesn’t vet its stories adequately?
Oops, sorry I forgot, that freaking idiot started all this shit. Oh, and he has a book coming out in November, wonder what he is going to write about..
Anywhere from a hundred thousand to a million dead Iraqis find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
I don’t know… I have a hard time defending Assange here… if some significant terribleness/corruption had been revealed, then maybe it’s worth it… but otherwise? We knew 99% of this stuff… so why should we be defending him for putting people at risk to learn that the Taliban has heat seekers?
Theissen wants to torture Assange for revealing stuff that’s been widely covered in news stories across the globe (just not in the USA). What a stand up guy Theissen is.
I wonder if he’d support torturing this homegrown terrorist who refuses to give up the organization he’s assisting?
Let me give an analogy for people claiming that all this Wikileaks news was already known.
Think of a game in which the purpose is to connect the dots. The game comes with a chart on which you lay down the dots, connect them and come to a conclusion. The dots don’t come with the game and are given to you after the game has started. The dots can be handed to you over a varying duration of time, like days or months and even years. Only one dot will be given at each time. Let’s assume the game started in 2001. Since you can’t be sitting with an open chart for days, weeks or years, you keep the chart in the box and think that you will collect all the dots before you lay them down on the chart and come to a conclusion. So the dots keep coming in at a varying time, you save them in one place for later use. Months pass and so do years, in fact 9 yrs have passed, you have moved and have become sloppy with collecting many of the dots and misplaced several of them. You still have a few dots which are good to have but don’t exactly help you form a conclusion and finish the game.
Now replace the dots with news provided by the MSM about the war in Afghanistan and the chart with a visual map of the war.
Now think of Wikileaks as providing you with most of the news (dots) in an instance and helping you come to a conclusion.
The info in the Wikileaks dump might have already been known, but the duration of the war has scattered them so far and wide that the general public doesn’t have a clue as to the efficacy of the Afghan war effort. Also, majority of the general public (exclude folks like you and me) is highly apathetic and indifferent in keeping track of a war which has largely been out of sight and out of mind.
I don’t agree that the Wikileaks revelations were more mousefart than hurricane, and I haven’t seen any proof that someone was hurt because of them, but let’s say that both of those things were true. Even if they are, it’s still the case that Wikileaks is fundamentally no different from any other journalistic endeavor. Sometimes journalists print stuff that’s wrong or damaging.
The “traditional journalists” who look down their nose at Wikileaks think for some reason that Wikileaks is radically different from them, and this just isn’t the case. That was the point I was trying to make.
Doesn’t Assange consider Wikileaks to be quite different from other journalistic outlets?
Snarki, child of Loki
Hell, why not start with Terry Nichols. He’s already a convicted terrorist, the magnitude of the terrorist conspiracy has never been fully examined, and with a D in the whitehouse, Terry’s co-conspirators are probably active again.
Conservatards will never give up on torture unless they see it coming for them. Amazingly, Beck and his fellow travelers seem to be bound and determined to make that possible.
How does that matter?
@roshan: If he doesn’t claim to be a journalist, it’s rather silly to complain that he’s not doing journalism. That sets him apart from Bill Keller on a couple of counts.
@Brien Jackson: Yes. And journalistic outlets consider themselves quite different from Wikileaks.
But I don’t agree with either. At some level, they’re both in the same business and should get first amendment protection.
Bill E Pilgrim
Presumably the Wikileaks publisher doesn’t believe that he’s putting lives at risk. and yes he could be wrong. If you’re going to start issuing calls for arrest for guessing wrong about whether your material is putting lives at risk, then the NYT better call for its own arrest quick before the statute of limitations runs out on 2003.
You’re an ignorant idiot and a dangerous fool as well. There is no absolute right to print classified documents under the First Amendment; numerous court decisions demonstrate that. And the idea that journalists should print stuff that’s wrong or damaging without regard to potential consequences is beyond ignorance…it’s also potentially criminal and subject to civil and monetary damages.
What a moronic post!
Well, the basic thing here is that he published information coming from a whistle blower. As far as I recall, no one in the past has demanded that such reporting be put in a different category than journalism. Arguing over what he claims himself as is besides the point. It’s just a way of moving the goalposts so that certain individuals can be treated differently in regards to the whole journalist community.
Moar better trollingz plz.
They did not call for any of this when Plame was outed and all her sources and associates were at risk.
Probably would have made sense to omit names and the named persons location before throwing them all up on your Wikileak website.
I don’t think that’s really the reason. Keller wants to make sure that the those of his class have their asses covered and deflect or discredit anything that runs against their narrative. The merits or dismerits of Assange’s actions in moral or journalistic terms is beside the point.
That sounds like something Stalin would do.
You cannot throw people inside the country into jail for saying something that might hurt the US unless the US is a real dictatorship. That pesky constitution gets in the way.
And you most certainly cannot do that to a person outside the country. That is a good way to start yet another war.
I do have a question, though. What did Wikileaks expose that the enemy doesn’t already know? That other governments don’t know? Did they expose any facts that are new to anyone other than the American people?
Is that the real crime? Telling the US citizens some stuff that governments and military institutions all over the world already know?
@Michael: Almost makes you long for a return of Brick Oven Bill, doesn’t it?
The misdirect onto Assange is part of the whole scam-the-stupids core conservative strategy.
The war pimps want us to be in Af-pak forever.
The best way to cloak the critical mass of info in the Wikileaks docs is to throw radar chaff about Assange.
The truth is, our security protocols failed miserably, Manning walked 92k SECRET docs on r/w media out of a secure facility, and we hung our shield comrades and allies out to dry.
It is disgraceful and shamelessly craven to blame Assange for something that was our fault.
Why do that? Misdirection and sleight of hand.
The high value assets are intact, behind the TS codeword wall. The war pimps can go on playing RL tabletop, and the taxpayers can continue to pour blood and treasure into a bottomless rathole.
We have been trying to stand up western-style democracy in MENA for a decade.
Wikileaks proves it simply can’t be done.
COIN is just as fail as the “Bush Doctrine”….COIN IS the Bush Doctrine, just scaled down to villages and with a superficial gloss of SNT.
Can we go home NAOW?
Hugin & Munin
Ahhh, joy. More anti-Iran jingoism in the Washington Times & the Examiner. Indeed, the latter rhetorically elevates the situation into “the threat of a nuclear strike from Tehran,” which is a neat trick since they don’t actually havethe weapons, but apparently Iran has alredy decided to strike.
I think we are going to need more documents.
@roshan: Hey, man, I was only answering your question.
In fact, Keller’s whinging comes off like classic Republican projection, accusing others of the shittiest behavior you yourself are guilty of. As @guhm61 points out, the Times has some responsibility for every single casualty of the Iraq war. Those are actual dead and maimed people, hundreds of thousands of them, not some hypothetical person that might be injured at some point in the future. Has Keller ever evinced even half a gram of remorse for that horrendous act of journalistic malpractice? Has he even admitted to it? No? Then fuck him. I’d like to drown him in a giant bucket of the entrails of the people dead because of his reckless disregard for the truth.
interesting, Assange and NYT could have ‘blood on (their) hands’ for publishing but Dick “dick” Cheney dosen’t have blood on his hands for sending 4000 American soldiers to die in Iraq (we don’t worry about all the non-Americans, they’re only colateral damage) for non-existing weapons of mass destruction.
“Exum’s is typical of the response of some who live inside the media-military bubble; the assumption that because it is not news to those whose job it is to be well versed in and write about the issue, it must be not be news to those they assume are reading their work. And, if it’s not news, then why the fuss?
The first instinct is to dismiss the leaked material, and, in the case of Exum, train their sights on Assange, the leaker.
It’s necessary to push back against Assange’s claims, but it is also necessary to move beyond them. Rather than taking the bait and engaging with the rather inane question of whether the WikiLeaks dump resembles the Pentagon Papers, we should be asking ourselves what we can do with the stuff we now have on hand, whatever it is. How can we use all these detailed fragments to give readers a better understanding of this war that is being fought in their name? The Times, Guardian, and Der Spiegel had a month to work that out. Many of the outlets given just the two days since Sunday night have, apparently, decided to do very little beyond downplaying the material’s significance and going to the White House for a response. And calling Assange names.”
And here Exum attacks Nir Rosen….
This is honestly what the war pimps believe– there should be no investigative journalism that undermines the war effort, even if the war is unwinnable, unjust, and immoral.
We aren’t the good guys anymore.
We aren’t even the better guys.
An alleged wikileaks sources was arrested and now a Republican congressman says it’s treason and is calling for the death penalty.
The New York Times is right to be concerned about the sorts of information releases which could endanger lives.
Such as ‘reporting’ in a billion dollar newspaper corporation conveying a government propaganda campaign regarding falsehoods about aluminum tubes being built precisely for nuclear weapons production, such that it fuels an invasion and occupation of a nation and the deaths of at the very least hundreds of thousands of people and the destruction of a semi-developed nation-state.
The New York Times is, of course, responsible enough to keep a report about illegal government surveillance secret for a year past an important election when the government asks it to.
That’s a big bottle of weak sauce.
It is entirely foreseeable that innocent Afghans will be killed because wikileaks was too lazy to properly redact the documents before releasing them. It may or may not have happened yet, but it will happen. You can bet your house on that.
Legally and morally, we are responsible for the reasonably foreseeable consequences of our actions. Julian Assange killed those people, just as if he pulled the trigger himself.
As I said yesterday, in a just world he would have to answer for those deaths.
He’s no more a hero than Timothy McVeigh.
That’s impressively psychotic. Not new, of course, you can read this crap back decades.
Still, it’s always a precious revelation when the implication that if you feel the war should be supported, you can be an ‘objective’ journalist, and if you don’t, you can’t be.
It’s not treason, and anyone who says it is is either a moron or a demagogue, or both. However, it does appear that there is probable cause to believe that a number of crimes were committed.
Let’s get a grand jury going on this. If they indict, give the guy a fair trial. If he’s guilty, he goes to jail. If you think he’s a hero, write a letter to the US Probation Office, which is the government agency that will be responsible for making a sentencing recommendation.
Hugin & Munin
Burnsbesq: Selective morality. In a just world the US would be invaded and pacified, while our leadership would be tried and executed.
1) Marc Thiessen is a self-admitted war criminal who should be ignored on matters of national security.
2) The media is consistently hypocritical about their own role in “leaking” confidential material and contributing to the lies of war.
3) Julian Assange’s unredacted release of the names of Afghans who cooperated with U.S. or NATO forces has increased the chances that those who were named in the documents will be murdered. He himself has admitted this.
Strawman. Who’s saying that?
Oh, you have a head start, just about 9 yrs later.
Would it be correct to assume that you might be thinking differently about this if the leaked classified documents showed that the US government is assisting the UN in its preparation of invading the country with the help of the UN’s black helicopter fleet?
this thread is SO last week.
Let’s look forward and not backwards, shall we?
@Hugin & Munin:
Why are you addressing that to me, idiot? Did I say something that suggests that I disagree? Or do you sincerely believe that “somebody else did a bad thing that went unpunished” should be a defense? That would be a truly stupid thing to believe.
Ah, our unforgiving lady of unseen consequences has graced us with a visit.
Chad N Freude
I agree with some of the points being made here and disagree with some others. Lacking time (and probably intellect) for an in-depth analysis, I’ll just assert:
1. What Assange did is not journalism, any more than someone putting up a billboard with raw information is practicing journalism. Displaying evidence with no context or explanation is not journalism.
2. Unless the leaker removed classified documents or disclosed classified information because Assange paid or ordered him to, Assange is no more prosecutable than were Woodward and Bernstein.
3. I liked the connect-the-dots metaphor. There are actually terms of art for this: aggregation and inference. But the problem is not disclosure to the public, who can’t and won’t connect them, but to (non-US) intelligence gatherers, who have serious marking pens to draw the connecting lines.
4. Establishment “journalists” like Keller are incapable of connecting any set of dots that contain dots that they themselves have contributed. The relative proportions of willful stupidity, selective memory, arrogance, and narcissism are impossible to determine.
What the fuck is that supposed to mean in this context? Are you generally opposed to the idea that people who willfully violate criminal statutes should be punished? Or only when the accused is somehow “on our side?”
@Chad N Freude:
I don’t have a copy of Title 18 handy, but I don’t think your point 2 is an accurate statement of the applicable law.
I hate to point out that Wikileaks is not a United States based entity, and its founder is not a US citizen.
What laws do you propose that would give us jurisdiction over foreign citizens in foreign countries publishing things we don’t like??
As a matter of reciprocity, is it cool with you if China can come here and arrest US citizens for writing things that annoy the Chinese government?
I’d agree to the first point, provided that those who cause ‘collateral damage’ in the form of marriage parties, children, women, and clearly non-combatant males are held responsible in the same manner.
You’re second point is, sorry, BS.
Chad N Freude
@burnspbesq: You could be right about that, but I think there’s a requirement for more than just pipelining data. Could you look it up?
“Oh, you have a head start, just about 9 yrs later.”
I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that there is some rational thought lurking somewhere in that statement, but it requires elaboration.
Are you suggesting that Assange and his confederates should be permitted to put on a justification defense? Or are you suggesting that they should be given a ticker-tape parade through lower Manhattan? Or are you suggesting something else?
Chad N Freude
@burnspbesq: I should add that I always yield on points of law asserted by people who, unlike me, did not drop out of law school :-).
Hugin & Munin
Burnsbesq: Becuase if you were really concerned about the rule of law, you would be more uoset about the crimes of the state actor than a individual. Individuals may or may not be punished or held accountable for their transgressions, but when states normalize a disregard for the laws it undercuts the authority of those laws.
Now that’s a straw man, portraying folks who support Wikileaks decision to release the documents after the fact, as actively extending support towards violating laws governing such leaks.
Stop huffing glue in a paper bag and go take a remedial English course at your local junior college.
Exum was questioning the impartiality of the journalist in question. Let’s replay what he said, with one modification:
So we can scream about a Judith Miller cheerleading us into Iraq, but potential dishonest hackery in the other direction is real good stuff because, hey, the end justifies our means, right?
@Chad N Freude:
641 and 793(c) look good. Not so sure about 794 or 798.
If you want to browse Title 18 yourself, here’s a link.
Chad N Freude
@burnspbesq: I draw a distinction between causing the deaths of truly innocent civilians and causing the deaths of people who knowingly put themselves at risk. Both are reprehensible and unconscionable, but in my moral calculus the former outweighs the latter.
There were long threads on this topic last week where I got criticised because I made the point that, regardless of what one thinks of the war – or the classification of particular documents – what the leaker (allegedly Manning but that is not for sure) did was against the law and should face the legal consequences. To the extent that Assange also broke the law, he should face his consequences too. I have sympathy with those who say that what Assange does is not journalism – I don’t think he passes himself off as a journalist but really I couldn’t give a crap about what label we put on it. The fact is that an individual broke the law by taking it upon himself to determine whether documents had been wrongly classified and in the process certainly put at risk individuals mentioned in those documents, whether they are Afghans or Americans or part of the NATO force out there.
I also don’t buy arguments along the line of “well Bush/Cheney/NYT also has blood on their hands”. That may well be but that doesn’t excuse what the leaker did. I would imagine that some on this thread who think there should be no consequences for the leaker or Assange also think that Bush/Cheney should be prosecuted for their crimes. I happen to think both should be prosecuted to the proper extent of the law.
@Hugin & Munin:
“Burnsbesq: Becuase if you were really concerned about the rule of law, you would be more uoset about the crimes of the state actor than a individual. Individuals may or may not be punished or held accountable for their transgressions, but when states normalize a disregard for the laws it undercuts the authority of those laws.”
I’m genuinely confused. What have I written on this thread that suggests that I disagree with any of that?
@celticdragonchick: That isn’t a rewording of what he said. It’s a complete reconstruction.
He implied that how a journalist felt about a topic determined whether or not that journalist — presumably his or her work — was “objective”.
In that statement in and of itself, there was no qualification about the quality or accuracy of the journalistic work produced.
In this insane view, which is of course utterly typical of nationalist conceptions of journalism, the presence in the soul of a journalist of thoughts and feelings outside whatever establishmentarian view is prominent marks one’s work as non-objective.
I don’t care whether a Judith Miller supported, opposed, or had come to no personal conclusion about the war; what I care about was the product produced.
I don’t give the slightest damn that someone believes that he or she has kept the soul pure of any non-objective sentiments, if the work produced is shitty.
Hackery on any side is nonsense, though, of course, I can’t really think of extremely prominent (i.e., the nation’s billion dollar print and broadcast sources) reporting from anti-war reporters which turned out to be horridly wrong. Maybe my non-objectivity filters have screened it out.
Let’s use that as a laugh line.
@homerhk: It is a pretty classical view of civil disobedience that one be willing to face the consequences of breaking a law, otherwise the law itself might not be put in challenge.
Chad N Freude
@burnspbesq: Thanks. I love plowing through text even denser and more complicated than the tech stuff I normally deal with (NOT). Just a quick observation about 793( c ): The question of “intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation” might be a defense. Or not. (E.g., if the information was otherwise known, would there be “reason to believe”? Good TV drama.)
“What laws do you propose that would give us jurisdiction over foreign citizens in foreign countries publishing things we don’t like??”
In Assange’s case, conspiracy looks like a pretty good bet.
Whether he violated US law and whether we can get our hands on him to try him are analytically separate questions.
Chad N Freude
@matoko_chan: See @burnspbesq.
18 USC Section 371, Conspiracy. There may be others, but that seems the obvious place to start.
@celticdragonchick: lawl, Exum is a war pimp that just wants to get back to his RL tabletop wargaming, and is worried that his white paper/symposium/dissertation COIN thinktank money is going to disappear like a mirage oasis in the sahra.
Don’t you have a Hirsi Ali fundraiser to go to or sumpin?
@Chad N Freude:
Are you talking about ‘collateral damage’ civilian casualties?
If so, there seems to be a strange disconnect in this blog thread where utterly unobtainable perfection is demanded of military personnel that would never be expected in any other human.
An F-15E pilot with a laser guided munition has to rely on the target info given to him by eyes on the ground or from a drone, generally. The info is usually correct, but it will never be perfect. People shooting Kalashnikov rifles in the air at a wedding are pretty fucking stupid IMO considering that they are in a war zone, but that is the local cultural more. Nobody was happy that the gunfire was mistaken for a hostile act of some sort and that an awful lot of innocent people were killed as a result.
That is the nature of war, in a way. It is always indiscriminate to some degree, and there will always be mistakes that get people killed who did not deserve it. Trying to tie some false equivalency between ‘fog of war’ genuine mistakes and actual deliberate malevolence is nonsense.
@Chad N Freude:
That may be right, but there is no such requirement in 641.
Brilliant in every way. Make shit up…ignore the rebuttal…and then make nonsensical non sequiter suggestions meant as an obscure insult.
Chad N Freude
@El Cid: I find it unlikely, to say the least, that a challenge to laws governing classified information is going to succeed.
There is a separate issue as to whether classification of information is valid under the definitions of the various levels of classification.
@matoko_chan – you quoted me right there when I said “to the extent that Assange broke the law”. I don’t know whether he did or what particular law, I just said that to the extent he did break the law, he should be pursued. As a lawyer I can imagine that IF Manning is indicted and/or convicted and IF it can be shown that what Assange did was to assist Manning to break the law, there may be some charge of aiding and abetting but I am an English lawyer so don’t know the precise nature of inchoate offenses under US law.
@el cid – that was the point I was trying to make in the earlier threads – I would have a lot more respect for the leaker/Manning if he had openly leaked this stuff and said something like “I feel very strongly that this information should not be classified and it is worth me breaking the law to make my point and I am happy to face the consequences”. Instead he was only caught after someone else (a hacker I think) turned him in. I would have more respect for Assange if he turned himself in to US authorities and said “I don’t think I’m guilty of any crime, I rely on freedom of speech and I think these issues deserve a full ventilation in a court of law” – but no, he’s hiding somewhere.
For all of you who are Americans (I am assuming that most of you are), America is a country that boasts of being based on the rule of law. If you feel that someone should escape the consequences of his/her actions just because you agree with them then that really is no better than saying that Bush shouldn’t be indicted for torture because you agree with torture. Laws are laws are laws.
“You’re second point is, sorry, BS.”
How so? Both are willing to slaughter innocent people in pursuit of a political agenda.
On a related note, why can’t Assange get a presidential medal of freedom? George Tenet got one and his evidence was “slam dunk”.
@burnspbesq: IANAL–how does that apply to Assange?
The GINORMOUS gorilla in the room, is that Manning was radicalized by the collateral murder video into violating his oath to protect classified.
This is a sea change….if the analysts that have purview into war have become True Believers…… that the war is unjust, unwinnable, and immoral to the point that they will sacrifice themselves to get the truth to the american people, then the war is going to be over.
Like Viet Nam.
Assange is misdirection…..Wikileaks could have been any publishing service.
If you lose the ideological allegiance of the analysts, you have already lost the war.
You can’t buy off or warn off True Believers.
Chad N Freude
@celticdragonchick: If what you block-quoted isn’t clear, try this: I don’t believe “fog of war” justifies killing innocent non-combatants. It’s always going to happen; that doesn’t make it moral.
A Cheney accusing somebody else of having blood on their hands. Now I’ve seen everything.
@celticdragonchick: you can admit that i am right about hirsi ali and you are wrong, and i won’t feel the need to bring to bring it. I gave you plenty of links.
matoko_chan – you seem to be under the impression (please correct me if I’ve misunderstood) that Assange can’t be charged with any US crime because he is not in the US nor is he a US citizen. Legally, that is not correct – if the crime is committed in the US (and publication of the leaked documents on wikileaks was certainly accessible in the US) the US has jurisdiction. Assange’s citizenship is neither here nor there – I don’t have to tell you that there are many non-US citizens in US prisons…
Chad N Freude
There is no sea change happening here. There is always someone in a position of trust, i.e., with authorized access to classified information, who decides that what he knows morally justifies breaking the trust, and there are always many others who don’t. That’s not going to change.
@roshan: Assange and Manning are on record that exposing the FACTS of the unjust, unwinnable and immoral war in Af-Pak is their goal.
How is that not good investigative journalism?
Chad N Freude
@matoko_chan: Well, to quote myself (which I love to do):
@Chad N Freude: i disagee.
do you honestly think Manning walked 92k SECRET docs, the SECRET collateral murder video and the SECRET garani massacre video(which Assange says he has), and 260000 CLASSIFIED diplomatic cables(which the US gov says Assange has) out of a secure SECRET facility on r/w media all by his bigself?
Both are willing to slaughter? Really? One guy goes out, loads a truck full of explosives and blows it up in a building with hundreds of people that have no connection to his grievances whatsoever with the intent of killing as many of these people as possible, and the other guy, with the intention of helping end a war, publicizes documents without making sure that all persons occurring in these documents are not identifiable. What basis do you have to claim that he did that deliberately?
And although that doesn’t in any way excuse WikiLeaks failure to mask the identity of any informant mentioned in the leaked documents, I have a bit of a problem with seeing them in the same category of innocent as the people who died in Oklahoma.
PS: Sorry for the typo in my previous comment.
I don’t really remember what particular bee in your bonnet you have concerning Ms Ali, and I do not care. I read part of one of her books while standing at a book store counter. I know she is considered apostate from Islam for declaring herself an atheist and she has numerous death threats for that and her association with the murdered film maker Van Gogh.
If you have a problem with her, go tell her yourself. I’m sure she will give you the due attention…or lack of it… that you deserve. I didn’t realize that you were the strange, obsessive, in-need-of medication kook who is very worried about Hirsi Ali until your reply, and I would not have engaged you in any way had I known who you are. I will not make that mistake again, hopefully, and I will not reply to any more comments by you here.
I don’t understand the point here…are you saying that Assange helped him? If so, I don’t understand why you think that Assange hasn’t broken any laws.
As for investigative journalism, neither Manning (or the real leaker if it wasn’t him) nor Assange did any investigation at all. Apparently Assange only read about 2000 of the documents before publishing them.
@Chad N Freude: I’m not suggesting such a challenge would be successful. Just that whatever it is one is doing, it has traditionally been called ‘civil disobedience’ if one is openly challenging a law one truly views as immoral and willing to be subject to the legal consequences of such. It may be defiance or refusal or undermining or resistance or whatever, just not ‘civil disobedience.’ And it’s not so much about the term as it is the concept behind the CD term.
Dude/Dudette, *.whispering.* I agree with you, peace out. Don’t tell the other justifiable do-gooders commenting here.
Chad N Freude
@matoko_chan: Yes. It can be done if the exit monitoring at the storage facility is insufficiently rigorous.
@Chad N Freude: yup, and he gave the same files to the three newspapers to analyze.
The war pimps’ narrative is hey, nothing to see here, lets keep on walking…..oh hey look what Assange did!
You cudlips are getting played again.
By the way, I was once in the military briefly, and I could have walked out of certain office with a lot of classified info, including info which would put serious operations or even lives at risk, but that was in the days where they physical nature of the records meant you couldn’t just walk out with copies, so the likelihood of me being caught before leaving the base would be much higher.
I could have, though, memorized whatever information I wanted, but again traceability would be quick.
Point being that most classified info isn’t treated that carefully. Higher levels of secret et al, I dunno. I assumed so.
Chad N Freude
@El Cid: I see your point, but I believe there’s a real distinction between civil disobedience as the term is generally understood and violation of national security laws. I don’t believe John Walker and Jonathan Pollard were thinking about civil disobedience.
Chad N Freude
@matoko_chan: I think you’re missing my point: There is a distinction between journalism and data dumping. Maybe you disagree with that, but I think journalism requires more than publishing raw data.
are you thick or what?
I think OTHER CLEARED ANALYSTS helped Manning.
He got outed by a hacker that he asked for advice on how to publish his data harvest.
@Chad N Freude:
then you have never worked in a secure facility. this took at least a year……for the stuff they have admitted having. who knows what else Wikileaks has?
Chad N Freude
@El Cid: There are rules and procedures for monitoring physical media, but they are not always rigorously observed.
Chad N Freude
Umm . . . I have. Have you?
If Afghanis are in danger because their names were leaked I’d like to see an example. The Times always follows the name of an Afghani with “Like most Afghanis Abdul has only one name”. Naming someone in that manner hardly seems so precise an identifier.
If it’s true, than why isn’t the Times calling on the Administration to give asylum to these poor people who helped us – wouldn’t that be more pro-active than criticizing Assange? Critical thinking, please.
Assange has done what most of us have dreamed about for years – he gave a direct line to mass dissemination. How many whistleblowers turned over materials to the MSM and had the same turned right back to the government? Not anymore.
The cat is out of the bag, the watched have watchers. I call that a damned good thing.
Chad N Freude
This may be true, but what do you base it on? I don’t know of any indications that he had help from any other cleared individuals.
Enjoy this Glennzilla post on a related matter.
@El Cid: exactly, you can’t carry the garani massacre encrypted video in your head, or 92k SECRET files, or the collateral murder video or 260000 classified diplomatic cables…..and allah knows what else.
Chad you know this is true if you have worked classified.
Manning had help, at least in gathering the intel, even if he wrote it all on r/w media himself…..you people have no idea how much data storage analyst labs have……the analogy is always that there is a firehose of data coming in and you have a teaspoon to look at it.
seems obvious Manning had some sort of help.
@Chad N Freude: Again, I’m not saying that CD is what characterizes these actions. The point was that in part this depends on what the leaker(s) and/or Assange say about their actions themselves. Since Assange appears to be avoiding capture and prosecution, a claim of CD seems unsupportable.
I supported the release of classified info on covert campaigns to slaughter Central American and Southern African civilians, even if it risked the lives of American operatives, by ex-covert CIA agents, as it was the right thing to do. (Sorry, an American life is no more important than a Guatemalan or Angolan one.)
But as far as I can recall none claimed an actual CD philosophy. Maybe in part because they knew there was zero chance of any legal challenge coming out of such a crusade. I saw that John Stockwell was sued, and I just can’t remember the ex-agent who fled to Cuba and whom Bush Sr. banned or something from returning to the US. And the guy whose book exposing the CIA, I think one of the first major ones, was heavily censored before release. Memory fails.
@Chad N Freude: Oh, I know that now and knew that then. I was just pointing out that for a tremendous amount of that information, access to it wasn’t difficult without my having any clearance. Yeah, there were all sorts of rules and guidelines, but these being real world people and offices, no one is ever hyper-vigilant.
Maybe these days with rapid electronic storage (i.e., storage on HDD & discs before transfer to magnetic tape or whatever final format) it would have been possible to get a bunch out before being discovered. On the other hand, I would assume that it would be pretty easy to track down who accessed the info.
I make no claims to familiarity with all the ins and outs of the case law, but the essence of conspiracy is the agreement to do something illegal. If it could be proven that there were conversations in advance of the theft of the classified information in which Assange encouraged the act, or committed to publish the stuff that would be stolen, or anything like that, I think you’ve got your prima facie case. All of the parties to the agreement are guilty of conspiracy, even if only one of them actually commits the “underlying offense,” which in this case would be the theft of government property, punishable under 18 USC 641.
Chad N Freude
Apparently, you think that the leaker did not do an indiscriminate vacuuming up of whatever he had access to but that somebody identified the information for him before he recorded it. What makes you think that?
@Chad N Freude:
Agreed. It’s amazing how much shit fits on a 64 gig SD card that you can easily hide in your shoe. If you have a mobileme account or similar cloud-storage arrangement, and access isn’t controlled, and your activity isn’t monitored, you can move an infinite amount of stuff outside the firewall.
@roshan: very nice link.
Lamo was a paid informant, even tho he styled himself a “volunteer” and a “hacker”–he got paid for policing the internet in social capital at least.
But Manning and whoever helped him are True Believers.
They are people with access to the raw first cut cream of the data flow, the stuff the public doesn’t see…..the truth.
the war is immoral, unwinnable, and unjust.
and the american people deserve to know that.
its their blood and treasure after all.
@burnspbesq: I think there’s probably an operative assumption — I mean, before the whole recent leaks thing — that secret data only needed to be protected from access by outside enemies in particular and maybe non-permitted personnel in general. And I’d also assume all sorts of policies and devotions of energies have been updated now. Or soon, at least.
Chad N Freude
Wow! (A totally inadequate exclamation.) I have to go find my “Orwell was an optimist” T-shirt.
*Offer not valid on neocon propaganda to promote invasion of Iraq. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.
@Chad N Freude: volume.
and Manning said he took r/w media into the lab in the form of cd’s that he overwrote Lady Gaga on.
Like i said, you guys are being played.
Assange is just the vector for data dissemination.
The intent is Mannings, and the responsiblity is OURS.
we FAILED to protect our sources, and now we are disgracefully and opportunistically trying to shift blame onto Assange.
tell me why should any afghan ever trust the americans again?
Chad N Freude
@El Cid: Not quite accurate. There are fine-grained access controls, e.g., comparmentalization, where even if one has clearance one must also have a “need to know” before one can get at the information. Apparently that wasn’t done with this stuff (probably because it was deemed not sufficiently sensitive to warrant the extra protection).
Chad N Freude
@matoko_chan: I draw the opposite conclusion: The sheer volume suggests an indiscriminate collection of everything he could access.
ETA: What you said about intent, responsibility, and failure to protect sources appears to be the case.
@Chad N Freude: I don’t think that’s very different in principle than what I was saying. The same was true in terms of the military operation classified information I could access, even though by policy I wasn’t supposed to have access to the open boxes they lay in as I was passing through or waiting in office unguarded. I’m assuming they just didn’t think any of us would either care or violate policy or at most would just look at something for a moment. Some of that info was stuff I could have sold for profit. There were certainly servicemembers on the base who carried out criminal operations far more quickly obvious and they were almost instantly caught & prosecuted; like in any bureaucracy, there’s no shortage of dumb potential criminals who insanely think they’re going to get away with things that are utterly obvious.
@Chad N Freude: my hypoth is that someone showed him the collateral murder video which was made in 2007. and that radicalized Manning.
he would have been unlikely to come across that video fragment in the context of his job.
Let me repeat, no one but Manning and Assange actually know what all Wikileaks got from Manning.
Assange says he has the encrypted Garani massacre video.
The feds say Assange has up to 260000 classified diplomatic cables.
The rest is unknown.
It is much more difficult to acquire TS codeword material. Two man rule, no writable media allowed, line of custody, signing protocol….Manning had access, but like El Cid said he could only carry out in his head.
just ax Sandy Bergers sox.
* puts on a monocle *
On a side note, can you quit writing like a fourth grader? Not the substance but I mean the sentence structure, the word shortening, disregard of capitalization of initial letter of a sentence, abruptly ending a sentence etc. etc. etc. It’s just atrocious. It brings out my liberal sneering and elitism. I don’t claim infallibility but please do write in a bit well formed manner. You don’t need a huge improvement, just a little bit. It helps with the ease of reading and comprehension of the written word.
Disclaimer: No offense intended.
* removes monocle *
Chad N Freude
@El Cid: What you describe is a security breach. Sensitive stuff should not be left in open, unguarded boxes. Whoever was responsible was some combination of stupid and careless.
@Chad N Freude: ok..
like i said, you can’t read up, i can’t write down.
Liz Cheney and Marc Thiessen think he’s a bad, bad man, too, and they’d be happy for the FBI to snap him up and throw him in jail for publishing something that might possibly harm
the USBig Time, the pulseless.
Fixed sentence… it’s much more likely that Liz & Marc are looking out for the Cheney “legacy” than they are anything else.
Chad N Freude
@matoko_chan: It’s obvious from this comment that you do know something about access control. It’s possible, even reasonable, that someone showed him the video, but we have nothing but supposition about what his/her motive was. And IIRC, it was Berger’s pants, not his sox.
@roshan: in a word, no.
im a gamer and a txter and a mathematician.
if i could write in algebraic formulae or lambda calculus i probably would.
Chad N Freude
@matoko_chan: You’re ringing my Bell-La Padula.
Carry on, I tried though.
@Chad N Freude: lawl, ok pants.
n/e ways, the discussion the media, the warpimps, the teatards, and even my beloved Magical Unity Pony’s administration and mil-advisors seem to want us to have is Assange the leftie snob that killed Our Noble Afghan Allies with his ego-sword.
I don’t want to have that discussion.
The discussion we SHOULD BE HAVING is the longest shooting war in american history is apparently unjust, immoral, and unwinnable, and WE ARE LOSING.
Can we have that discussion NAOW please?
Assange is a sideshow. Forget the fact they are trying to discredit him by removing the journalist shield (which absolutely applies), or how he’s a kook or whatever thing they are throwing against the wall.
And I am unsure why people keep referring to civil disobedience, or how they’d “respect” Manning and Assange more if they took center stage with their wrists out front.
This isn’t civil disobedience but more closely related to an uprising in the ranks. The attempt to look down your nose because it doesn’t fit your definition of historic civil disobedience is also a way of sidestepping the actual issue.
Has nothing to do with the desire to force a court case.
@Chad N Freude: Yeah. I got that. I really don’t understand why you think you need to point that out.
You don’t seem to grasp the fact that I am suggesting that such breaches in proper policies happen.
Please stop missing the point. The fact that policies exist don’t mean that policies are universally followed.
@Corner Stone: Note that I didn’t suggest that civil disobedience was the only proper way for such things to be followed. I simply pointed out that this was different than the concept of CD. Stop assuming points not made.
@El Cid: The reason I didn’t point my comment at any specific person is because I didn’t have any reason to. I feel the issue is a further distraction, not how it is or isn’t defined as a proper venue.
So stop assuming I’m making assumptions for you, which I wouldn’t do.
Chad N Freude
@El Cid: Sorry. It wasn’t clear to me that you were making that particular point. Clearly, we are in violent agreement.
@celticdragonchick: i’ll refresh your memory…..you called me a buncha names and said Hirsi Ali was a noble person.
then i gave a LOT of linkage that showed Ali is a JAFI, a liar, and a paid AEI stooge on the wingnut welfare lecture circuit that is detested by muslims….and that makes her six figure salary bashing Islam so she can sell crappy books to middle-aged white guys.
Admit I am correct and i will magnimanously forgive your pathetic namecalling.
You were spoofed.
Chad N Freude
I have to leave. Please don’t mistake the subsequent silence for capitulation :-).
@Chad N Freude:
CAPITULATION! Game, Set, Match.
Nothing you say after this will matter.
@Chad N Freude: then i will also quit the plain of jizzya combat for now.
a tout a l’heure
Bruce (formerly Steve S.)
Like all that propaganda leading up to the Iraq war? That was only, what, a few hundred thousand lives put at risk, so maybe we give them a pass on that one.
“What basis do you have to claim that he did that deliberately?”
If US law applies, it doesn’t have to be deliberate. In most jurisdictions, the mental state for involuntary manslaughter is reckless indifference. I think that can be proven, based on what is publicly known about the redaction “process.”
Not sure what Afghan law is. Also not sure how choice-of-law rules would play out in this context.
“@burnspbesq: And I’d also assume all sorts of policies and devotions of energies have been updated now. Or soon, at least.”
One would hope so.
Would it have been too much to ask for Assange and his staff to go though the doc they released to make sure that they had made sure one could not read the names and address of folks in Afghanistan?
@Jules: reportedly Assange offered to let the feds redact the afghan names, and the feds refused.
why would they do that, you might ax?
because otherwise we might be talking about how to GTFO afghanistan instead of whining about Assange.
@Chad N Freude: obviously someone showed him the BAGHDAD video……his charter was Afghan theater. if you think that the 92k docs was all Manning had access to, then you haven’t worked behind the doors in a loooooooooong time.
Cornerstone is right…..theres definitely resistance to the official narrative in the ranks…..True Believers is my guess.
Assange is officially asking the Pentagon to help redact the 15k docs he kept back.