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Thread: Wikileaks leaks and US government is embarassed

  1. #61
    supervillain gerbick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanratty21 View Post
    Whoever stole it should be punished.
    I agree with this sentiment. But it concerns me on a different level. What part of any system doesn't take notice of a half of a million of anything being accessed, downloaded and/or viewed in a closed government (*.gov or *.mil) environment. To me, there had to have been something that check that kind of use/abuse.

    But there wasn't... apparently. Sensitive data needs to be protected and it wasn't. Assange, et al... I love how people are looking at this as a transparency cause when at the root of it (the IT admin) sees a flawed system that allowed some person, or people, to pull down a ton of information and there's no way to account for it.

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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanratty21 View Post
    @DP - I'm very confused by your stance here. You keep referring back to the difference between the two. I agree with you -- there is a difference. One stole the stuff...the other one accepted stolen merchandise and used it in furtherance of his cause. My argument is not that Assange needs to be treated as if he committed a treasonous act...but that he committed acts completely independent of the original act. He accepted something which was stolen and used it to support his own agenda. He knew the documents and data were stolen and not acquired in a legal manner. He knew it and still chose to dump it all onto the internet. Therein is the harm and the foul. He's not a US citizen but accepting stolen property is a crime just about everywhere that I know of.
    It is not as simple. Then you need to punish the newspapers also, since they are also publishing the stuff. The only person who has committed a crime in the US is Bradley Manning who downloaded the documents and gave them WL. And what about watergate, was that a crime too?

    Apparently and that is always used as an argument by the WL supporters crimes have been made public by displaying the documents. One of those crimes was committed by H. Clinton to spy on the UN and even get DNA fingerprints.
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  3. #63
    pablo cruisin' hanratty21's Avatar
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    Gerbick - the data was protected (somewhat.) It was downloaded to a portable drive (thumb, whatever) by Bradley Manning through the military SIPRnet, which he then uploaded to the WikiLeaks servers. The failure was purely human...evidently, SIPRnet allows the military and certain law enforcement agencies to more easily share intel with each other. This sharing became the standard after 9/11.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_...ic_cables_leak
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  4. #64
    supervillain gerbick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanratty21 View Post
    Gerbick - the data was protected (somewhat.) It was downloaded to a portable drive (thumb, whatever) by Bradley Manning through the military SIPRnet, which he then uploaded to the WikiLeaks servers. The failure was purely human...evidently, SIPRnet allows the military and certain law enforcement agencies to more easily share intel with each other. This sharing became the standard after 9/11.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_...ic_cables_leak
    Thank you, this I was not aware of fully.

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  5. #65
    pablo cruisin' hanratty21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cancerinform View Post
    It is not as simple. Then you need to punish the newspapers also, since they are also publishing the stuff. The only person who has committed a crime in the US is Bradley Manning who downloaded the documents and gave them WL. And what about watergate, was that a crime too?

    Apparently and that is always used as an argument by the WL supporters crimes have been made public by displaying the documents. One of those crimes was committed by H. Clinton to spy on the UN and even get DNA fingerprints.
    It is simple. He knowingly accepted stolen material. The newspapers re-printing what is already readily available on the internet, thanks to Assange, is not the concern. If they are guilty of anything, it's being late to the party. Read the op-ed piece I posted. The journalistic community is not supporting Assange's tactics. Perhaps some bloggers and pseudo-journalists may see him as a champion, but this is not what the 1st Amendment's Freedom of the Press was designed for.

    Watergate involved breaking and entering. As far as I know, that is a crime.
    *back to the topic at hand*
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  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanratty21 View Post
    @DP - I'm very confused by your stance here. You keep referring back to the difference between the two. ...the other one accepted stolen merchandise and used it in furtherance of his cause.
    I guess my understanding of merchandise is very different to yours. I understand merchandise to be some 'thing' that is traded or has a monetary value and is exchanged for money or goods in kind.

    What was stolen was not merchandise, but information. Once disclosed (ie in the hands of someone not meant to see or have it in their possession), it is no longer even confidential information. It has been devalued by being disclosed to a third party - the thief.
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  7. #67
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    it is worth going back 40 years. Read about the Pentagon Papers - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentagon_Papers

    The administration argued Ellsberg and Russo were guilty of a felony under the Espionage Act of 1917, because they had no authority to publish classified documents.[13] After failing to persuade the Times to voluntarily cease publication on June 14,[3] Attorney General John N. Mitchell and Nixon obtained a federal court injunction forcing the Times to cease publication after three articles
    and from another article -
    A former State Department official, Daniel Ellsberg, leaked the documents to Neil Sheehan of the New York Times. The paper immediately began publishing excerpts from the Pentagon Papers, along with analytical articles. When President Nixon learned of the publication, he sought an injunction to stop the Times from printing the Pentagon Papers. A temporary injunction was awarded, but the Washington Post picked up the story as well, and it began publishing supplemental excerpts. Ultimately, the case ended up in the Supreme Court, and the injunction was struck down, confirming the free speech rights of the journalists and papers involved.
    A State department employee takes confidential information and passes it on to a publisher, who decides, against US gov't pressure, to publish. In the Pentagon Papers case, an injunction against further publication is sought and granted, but was ultimately overturned by the US Supreme Court so the NY TImes & the Washington Post continued to publish.

    In part of his published opinion, Justice Black said -
    Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell.
    ...now I am wondering how contributors here think this wikileaks case is different, and that Assange and WIKIleaks should get different treatment from what the editors of the NY Times and Washington Post received 40 years ago.

    david

    <addendum> Justice Black also said this about the case -
    I can imagine no greater perversion of history…. Both the history and language of the First Amendment support the view that the press must be left free to publish news, whatever the source, without censorship, injunctions or prior restraints
    Last edited by david petley; 12-12-2010 at 04:52 PM. Reason: addendum
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  8. #68
    pablo cruisin' hanratty21's Avatar
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    Nice job, DP. Way to present only one side of the story here by posting only the concurring opinions...
    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Justice Warren Berger's dissenting opinion
    Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, dissenting, argued that "the imperative of a free and unfettered press comes into collision with another imperative, the effective functioning of a complex modern government", that there should be a detailed study on the effects of these actions. He argued that in the haste of the proceedings, and given the size of the documents, the Court was unable to gather enough information to make a decision. He also argued that the Times should have discussed the possible societal repercussions with the Government prior to publication of the material. The Chief Justice did not argue that the Government had met the aforementioned standard, but rather that the decision should not have been made so hastily.
    Justice John M. Harlan and Justice Harry A. Blackmun joined the Chief Justice in arguing the faults in the proceedings, and the lack of attention towards national security and the rights of the Executive.

    Let's also not forget that this is the same Supreme Court that halted the recount in Florida in the 2000 Presidential Election, which recently retired Justice John Paul Stevens said was the biggest Supreme Court mistake during his tenure on a recent 60 Minutes interview. Yes...even the Supreme Court gets it wrong once in a while...
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/...n7082572.shtml
    Last edited by hanratty21; 12-12-2010 at 07:46 PM.
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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanratty21 View Post
    Nice job, DP. Way to present only one side of the story here by posting only the concurring opinions...
    I posted only one part of one opinion of six versus three. So 66% percent of the Supreme Court at the time could not decide to halt publication.

    I quoted parts of Justice Black's opinion becuase it is what I believe this current hoohah is all about
    Both the history and language of the First Amendment support the view that the press must be left free to publish news, whatever the source, without censorship, injunctions or prior restraints
    The First Amendment is one of the things that makes the US such a great nation. Start trying to slide around it and everybody is on a slippery slope into the future.
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  10. #70
    pablo cruisin' hanratty21's Avatar
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    I agree with you on the First Amendment. We also have the right to bear arms and freedom of speech, though none of them are unilaterally granted. These freedoms always come at a cost. There is journalistic integrity which must be respected. Assange and his crew have sh*t all over that integrity. As per Chief Justice Berger's opinion:
    He also argued that the Times should have discussed the possible societal repercussions with the Government prior to publication of the material.
    Would it have killed Assange to show some restraint by doing this? He could have still practiced his 'poison pill' routine, but at least been forthcoming with the Nation he was about to F* with.

    The defence of these rights is something that is granted to the Congress by their ability to legislate and the Supreme Court to interpret those legislations. Even with all of those checks and balances...we still get it wrong sometimes. Times change as do situations. While looking back 40 years is a good learning experience, it may not give glimpse into the outcome here. Remember, we had slaves, women who couldn't vote, alcohol that was legal -- then illegal -- then legal again, no abortions...the times, they are a-changin'.
    Last edited by hanratty21; 12-12-2010 at 08:54 PM.
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  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanratty21 View Post
    Would it have killed Assange to show some restraint by doing this? He could have still practiced his 'poison pill' routine, but at least been forthcoming with the Nation he was about to F* with.
    Even the NY Times did not show any restraint really, nor did they seek permission or discuss the societal impact with the government 40 years back.

    He (Assange) obviously did not have the interests of the US Government or military in mind when the website was created and leaks started happening and being published. Why would he decide to consult??

    But to try and make him (personally) a treasonous criminal because wikileaks did publish is a little beyond the pale.

    I think if it were to be decided by a court now that the information should not be public in the US, then they have to figure out a way to stop it being accessed. It is all they can do.

    ...and make their information more secure in the first place.

    What they have been doing with pressure on hosts and service providers would be essentially the equivalent of using inappropriate methods to shut down the NY Times because they made the publish decision.

    No one should be deciding legality or illegality of content until it has been proven in a court. Not because someone working for the government says so, or because it is a pro-active business decision.

    david
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  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by random25 View Post
    "In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble." ~ Ron Paul
    agreed

    but sometimes the government keeps secrets in order to protect people

  13. #73
    pablo cruisin' hanratty21's Avatar
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    You're right. The Times didn't. As per CJ Berger, he felt they should have. In Assange's case, he absolutely should have. A little prudent behavior on his part would've gone a long way in defending his tactics and motive.

    A side note: I am going to continue to take offense to you comparing Wikileaks' and Assange's dumpster-diving-like tabloid tactics to those of the New York Times. I already showed you that the WSJ (*for one*) is not happy with Assange being afforded the same journalistic freedoms as they employ as they do not consider themselves similar as journalists. They seem to not even consider himself much of a journalist at all. That being said, continuing to lump him in with these esteemed, respectable establishments will continue to devalue your opinion.
    Last edited by hanratty21; 12-12-2010 at 11:06 PM.
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  14. #74
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    ah well, I guess we just have to accept that neither of us will change their opinion too much.

    I think there is no case for Assange to be brought in front of any court for disclosing those leaked documents, no matter how put out the US (or indeed any government embarrassed by some of the disclosures) is.

    I think it was really too bad they were stolen and then passed on to someone who would publish them, but the cat is out of the bag, the horse bolted ...and other relevant cliches one could try and come up with that all basically say ...it's too late now.

    ...now for the new drama of the new Nixon tapes.

    david
    Last edited by david petley; 12-13-2010 at 12:33 AM. Reason: speeling
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  15. #75
    pablo cruisin' hanratty21's Avatar
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    Incidentally, Assange evidently offered advance copies of all of the docs to CNN and the Wall Street Journal. Both declined.
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  16. #76
    Senior Member Flashock's Avatar
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    where did wiki get all these leaks in the first place?
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  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flashock View Post
    where did wiki get all these leaks in the first place?
    Read the thread. Disgruntled private who is apparently gay and good with computers was given clearance to a poorly secured terminal.

  18. #78
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    All news organizations or individuals are allowed the same freedom of the press that all publications are. That's why it's called freedom of the press. The Continental Congress, The Continental Army and General George Washington all took heavy doses of flack and negative reporting by publications. No one came along strong arming the newspapers to stop the negative reporting of the war. There were no exceptions in the first amendment regarding freedom of the press.

    If the U.S Government feels that the information presented is incorrect or misleading they can sue publications for libel, and ask the judge for a gag/restraining order untill the case is settled. The New York Times is not the only publication that is vetting documents before they are released.

  19. #79
    pablo cruisin' hanratty21's Avatar
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    No freedom is absolute. In our government, checks and balances limit 'loose' interpretation of these freedoms in the form of the courts. For the 1st Amendment, the Supreme Court is the arbiter of that process.

    For example, the Court has decided that the First Amendment provides no protection to obscenity, child pornography, or speech that constitutes “advocacy of the use of force or of law violation ... where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”
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  20. #80
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    No freedom is absolute. In our government, checks and balances limit 'loose' interpretation of these freedoms in the form of the courts. For the 1st Amendment, the Supreme Court is the arbiter of that process.

    For example, the Court has decided that the First Amendment provides no protection to obscenity, child pornography, or speech that constitutes “advocacy of the use of force or of law violation ... where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”
    The big problem here is that the person and organisation under discussion are not subject to US law.

    Assange is not a US citizen, and WIKIleaks is not a US company. US rights, or lack of them, do not apply to other countries or citizens of other countries, no matter how much anyone wishes they were.
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