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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:16 pm 
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Has really got me wanting to vent. But rather than go on a tirade, I know there are plenty of politically minded people here, and wanted to get your take. Especially those who live abroad (I'm an American- would love to hear some world views). If Julian Assange was American, would it be right to call him a traitor or patriot?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:47 am 
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Look, I'm retired military, and having held several security clearances, and having worked in the intel field for awile, I will be the first to tell you that exposing classified documents is just plain wrong, and punishible, BUT that goes against the military guy that did it. As to the leaked documents, does it really come as a shock to you what the Saudi King and other Arab officials said about Iran? Or what China said about North Korea? How many times have have high Govt officials (in all administrations) leaked documents to the Washington Post or the NY Times? I've seen some uproar over them, but nothing like this Wiki leak thing. I kind of liken this to a busybody person in a neighborhood, going on a blog and making comments on their neighbor. Will probably lose some dinner invitations, but so what?
Tim


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:02 am 
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I have a similar view to Tim. I don't see most of the revelations as a big deal. There are certain things that should probably remain secret if it would be a safety issue for individuals. However I think the government needs to be exposed as much as possible. Especially in this post Bush era of escalating fascism. I'd like to see the same thing happen with corporations too. I don't want to see their trade secrets get out, but I want to see all their dirty laundry aired. The more information we have out there, the better our chances of doing something about this corporatist oligarchy we find ourselves in.

We have wiretaps without a warrant, people being held without charge, you get molested at the airport..... Every dirty embarrassing secret that gets out there is a well deserved kick to Uncle Sam's crotch.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:30 am 
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Ironman wrote:

We have wiretaps without a warrant, people being held without charge, you get molested at the airport..... Every dirty embarrassing secret that gets out there is a well deserved kick to Uncle Sam's crotch.


See, the left (IM) and the right (me) can agree. As to Wiki and the guy(s) that leaked it being traitors or patriots, I'm on the fence. The military leakers, I consider traitors. They swore oaths NOT to divulge any inormation they obtained while serving. I'm also pretty well convinced their motivation was monetary. Now, the exposers, wiki. IF they were doing it for the reasons IM suggesested, they are somewhat clear, but a bigger problem exists. That being, they aren't Americans. The State Dept and congress has suggestted branding them as terrorists in order to get them into our criminal system. I don't see how that could fly. They're no different than the Washington post after they leaked the Watergate info to them by Deep Throat, and look where that led.
Tim


Last edited by TimD on Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:49 am 
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I'm fully in agreement with Tim and IM about this but there is an unintentional benefit to having some of this out in the open. This came out today in Vangaurd, a military newsletter I suscribe to.

Quote:
Weekly Newsletter
November 30, 2010

Between The Lines
By Richard Bray, Editor

Richard Bray
Editor
Vanguard
editorvanguard@netgov.ca


Wikileaks and truth to power
In today's Afghanistan, many men formerly described as "warlords" have been transformed into "power-brokers." In Kandahar province, none are more powerful than Ahmed Wali Karzai, half-brother of Afghan president Hamid Karzai.

The power-broker, known by his initials AWK, does hold an official government position, but a U.S. diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks gives him another job description: "Note: While we must deal with AWK as the head of the Provincial Council, he is widely understood to be corrupt and a narcotics trafficker."

In meetings with western diplomats, one of which included then Representative of Canada in Kandahar (RoCK) Ben Rowswell, AWK points out that elections are a difficult concept for Afghans to understand. "They think: The president is alive and everything is fine. Why have an election?"

Not surprisingly, Ahmed Wali Karzai "has aggressively lobbied the Canadians to have his security services retained for the Dahla Dam refurbishment. Both he and the governor have tried to exert control over how contracts are awarded in the province."

Back in May, MGen Nick Carter, Commander of ISAF's Regional Command (South) told a news conference that he hoped AWK would play a less significant role and, "increasingly stand out of the way and allow the governor to do that governing."

The leaked diplomatic cables make it clear why that would be a good idea: "The meeting with AWK highlights one of our major challenges in Afghanistan: how to fight corruption and connect the people to their government, when the key government officials are themselves corrupt."


Governments can't release information like this but I think it's important for people to know what's going on. A lot of Canadians, Americans and others have died in Khandahar and this is one of the diplomatic hurdles we have to go through.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:56 pm 
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Stu, along the lines of the Afghan leak, it was also disclosed that the US is considering going after AlQueda only, and letting the Taliban take over. Basically, it would work like this; to heck with Karzid, let whoever takes over take over, and we stay in there regardless with counter terrorist operatives and take them out. If they say no, too bad. Same goes with Somalia and Yemen, and Pakistan was being talked about as well.
Tim


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:03 pm 
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It might make more sense. Al Quida doesn't know national borders and they are the real threat. Unfortunately we do have to recognize national boarders and chasing terrorists around the world uninvited is not good diplomacy. I'm not going to give my opinions on the subject as I'm currently serving and I may say something in conflict with policy. You retired guys can do that. Another 6 years to retirement.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:47 pm 
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Sounds like they need some Black Operatives.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:54 am 
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I'm glad that's what they are thinking about in Afghanistan. That has been my opinion for some time now. We only went after the Taliban because they were harboring Osama Bin Laden. We kicked their asses good enough at the beginning. There is no reason to keep fighting them just because of something they did 9 years ago, when the man hasn't even been there these 9 years.

Forget the Taliban, and Iraq for that matter. Just put some guys up in the mountains on the boarder of Afghanistan and Pakistan and go after Al Queda. Go after them in any other country they are in too, Especially somewhere like Yemen where they are letting us do it. Al Queda is who attacked us. That's who we should have been going after this whole time.

I just saw an article that there is going to be a big leak about a major bank. It is supposed to be equal to the Enron scandal. So it looks like he will be going after corporations.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 10:37 am 
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As with most political issues I find that people with strong opinions on the matter are simply lacking in humility - I have no idea where the median should lie in regards to "real" politics and public facing politics, this simply shifts the tug of war toward the "real" side - and wouldn't begin to assume I could make a judgement without thousands of factors being presented to me.

With that in mind, I think the opposing poles form a decent system, in one hand you have the humility to assume that those in power understand the cause and effect of policy more than you (and the general public) and therefore have every right to with hold and classify information - on the other hand I appreciate that educated/informed people are scrutinising policy and/or actions with a view to improve them as a whole. To loudly proclaim as 90%+ on either side, without striving to educate yourself/become "informed" comes across as self important and ignorant to me. Those that vote for the party out of power because less favorable things happened during the current government's regime may as well be voting on Pop Idol.

So throw me in with the sea of grey - I appreciate the balance and appreciate how fortunate I am to live in a wealthy country


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:01 pm 
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I hope you guys all know that you've disqualified yourselves from ever working at the State Department.

The best thing about issues like this is that it readily identifies illegitimate government officials and the citizens who support them.

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2 ... ainst.html


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:18 pm 
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Assange is an Aussie so there's some coverage here.

I find it curious that the majority of the mass media articles here changed from 'irresponsible and subject to accusations' to 'criminal and possibly subject to arrest warrants' after he announces he's about to "impose some transparency" on a financial institution.

My gosh, they didn't ask their DNS hosts to reject his business when they released the helicopter footage, or 250000 variously security rated operational communications, which wouldn't have been too hard. I understand there's now legislation being proposed in the US to turn the screws on any leakers, and it's been mentioned earlier in this thread, some leakers are whistleblowers. There's a grey line about a mile wide right there, which i'm not smart enough to sort out.

I think my point might be related to the value systems that allows leaks that are described as "have potential to endanger human lives" to elicit less of a response than "i'm going to show even more information about how the financial services industry operates".

Just my perspective... I currently, simplistically, think people are more important than dollars. But i don't have many of them. I read yesterday Rupert Murdoch was known as a Marxist in college...


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:27 pm 
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strathmeyer wrote:
I hope you guys all know that you've disqualified yourselves from ever working at the State Department...


That sure breaks my heart. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 4:40 pm 
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strathmeyer wrote:
I hope you guys all know that you've disqualified yourselves from ever working at the State Department.

The best thing about issues like this is that it readily identifies illegitimate government officials and the citizens who support them.

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2 ... ainst.html


I'm an admitted atheist. That pretty much disqualifies me from everything in this country.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:24 pm 
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Ironman wrote:
strathmeyer wrote:
I hope you guys all know that you've disqualified yourselves from ever working at the State Department.

The best thing about issues like this is that it readily identifies illegitimate government officials and the citizens who support them.

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2 ... ainst.html


I'm an admitted atheist. That pretty much disqualifies me from everything in this country.


:lol:


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