back to article Wikileaks double dares Pentagon hawks

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said his whistle-blower site won't be silenced by the Pentagon or any other group seeking to prevent it from airing more than 15,000 secret documents relating to the war in Afghanistan. "This organization will not be threatened by the Pentagon or any other group," Assange told reporters this …


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  1. DavCrav Silver badge

    It started off being funny...

    But now Ass. is blackmailing the US military. Every time you think he can't raise the stakes more, he does. If I were a bookies, I'd put bets on the time before he gets taken out. Does Australia have an extradition treaty with the US?

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      OK, I don't care any more

      BBC News story says that a US senator has asked for people with knowledge to leak information abotu Megrahi, and assured confidentiality. The US government cannot have it both ways, so I say fuck em.

      1. Stratman


        Ah yes, good 'ole Uncle Sam 'ordering' the Scottish Government to attend its inquiry about the release of Megeahi.

        Shame the same Uncle Sam isn't quite so forthcoming about so-called 'Friendly Fire' inquests in Blighty.

        Goose, gander, sauce etc.

    3. DavCrav Silver badge

      To the people who continue to downvote my first post while upvoting my second one...

      I changed my mind! Do you have to continue the hating?! ;-)

    4. Burch

      Yuou do realise

      That the USA does not own the world don't you?

      I have to ask as so many seem to think so.

  2. b166er

    Checks and balances

    Democracy in action. It's good to see.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brave, or stupid?

    Wikipedia shows this guy as 38-39 years old. I wonder if he'll make it to 40.

    As Jim Croce used to sing, "You don't tug on Superman's cape..."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "You don't tug on Superman's cape..."

      or give him enough rope...?

    2. Sir Runcible Spoon


      Why's that then? I was under the impression that Superman was a nice guy, not a bully.

  4. JimC

    We're the internet: we're above the law...

    Seems like a strategy doomed to end very unhappily to me...

  5. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    I used to respect wikileaks

    There is a difference however between leaking evidence of illegal activity on behalf of a government and putting lives at risk. I have several good friends currently posted in Afghanistan, and I really hope that this arrogant **** doesn't get them dead. Something like half the people I knew growing up have served there in the past few years, not all of them came back. Several that did come back didn’t exactly come back whole.

    The thought that some douche might get people I care about dead just for his ego is almost too much to deal with. Very upset with this whole situation. What ever happened to wikileaks serving as a way to keep corporations and governments honest? The information in these leaks isn’t scandalous in the least; it isn’t evidence of anything untoward on behalf of the governments involved in this war. It’s a detailed list of who’s who and where; just the kind of information that the Taliban require to get our men and women dead.

    Regardless of the how or why the war started, it is a WAR. We kill them, they kill us. We spend resources on converting folks on their side so they will leak us information, they do the same. In this case though, Ass. has revealed huge numbers of informants and classified activities to the Taliban whilst we learn nothing new from them. It’s a huge boon for the Taliban in that they can now target turncoats on their side as well as analyse the documents to extract information about how our side plans and executes strategies.

    They may even be able to get a feel for which units serve which purposes, and lay traps to get rid of the particular thorns in their side. Understand me when I say I am no fan of the Americans, nor do I really think they should have gotten involved in the Middle East at all. I am however a proud supporter of Canada’s military, and I don’t want to see my friends get killed because of this Ass.hat.

    We are at war here. If we simply packed up and left right now that country would be worse off than if we saw this thing through. Regardless of the origins of this conflict, the politicians or the money-grubbing corrupt corporations that are involved, the men and women out there dying on our behalf do deserve our support. The best possible thing we can do is help them end this war quickly and decisively so that they can finally come home, whilst knowing they did the best they could to leave Afghanistan capable of taking care of itself when they are gone.

    The armchair critics of this war such as Ass. have absolutely no idea what is going on there. It’s easy to point fingers and publish documents, it’s another thing entirely to live in that country for months or years and be faced every day with exactly how different, hard and just overall BAD life in that country really is. I know some twat will come out of the woodwork and scream “if you want to support the soldiers, bring them all home tomorrow!” I promise you that would be one of the worst things you could do.

    These men and women have lived in this country and seen what goes on there; I promise you that the majority of them would rather lay down their lives than abandon the locals to the wolves. If doesn’t take long living in theatre before you realise that you are truly fighting /for/ something. That the people in these towns and villages are people just like you, and they deserve to live free from fear as much as the armchair critics back home do.

    It is my greatest regret in life that I wasn’t able to join Canada’s military, and fight alongside the men and women I grew up with. This isn’t because I agree with the wars we’ve gotten in to, or because I think war is at all a good thing. It’s because I care about these people and wish I could be watching their backs in what is a terribly hostile environment. It is also because I have spent a lot of time talking with those who have returned from Afghanistan, and I have gotten a very vivid picture of just how good we have it here. The folks in Afghanistan don’t have the means to win their own freedom, but by $deity they are trying. With our help, they just might succeed.

    So long as egomaniacs like Ass. aren’t allowed to **** it up for everyone. Our soldiers, and the millions of people in that country are counting on it.

    1. Mark 65

      Maybe I'm missing something

      The likelihood of your friends being killed is purely down to the fact they are in the military and on active duty in a combat zone. Unless they are Taliban informants of course, in which case you might have a justifiable grievance against Wikileaks.

      Not quite sure how Wikileaks can be getting soldiers killed otherwise with their info. I mean, it's not like the Taliban don't know what the opposition looks like or what combat events they have been party to or even where they're based. The fact that they're probably being helped by factions of a foreign military power means they would likely have access to plenty of information anyhow.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        @Mark 65

        The way this has all been explained to me is as follows: the information coming from the local informants is unbelievable valuable for keeping our folks alive. One of the big things that comes from these informants supposedly is information such as “what roads IEDs have been placed on.” Alternately “the bad dudes are planning to be here at this time” which has helped the allies avoid ambushes and the like.

        If that information dries up then simply going out on patrol becomes far more risky. They do their best at all times to be on alert for IEDs, ambushes etc…but knowing beforehand where to look can ensure that they pack extra precautions. A UAV over flight, or taking an IED robot to sweep in front of the convoy.

        This isn’t true in all areas of Afghanistan, but in some areas, particularly where the Canadians currently are, they are apparently quite reliant on this information, as there simply aren’t enough resources available to send up a UAV for every patrol, or send a crawler in front of every convoy. If we stop receiving this information then we have to make far less educated guesses about when to deploy the appropriate resources. This in turn leads to more of our guys getting blown up.

        I am sorry if you don’t see the connection there, but that seems pretty cut and dried to me.

    2. Alfred

      Not one soldier has come back from Afghanistan yet. So true.

      "These men and women have lived in this country and seen what goes on there; I promise you that the majority of them would rather lay down their lives than abandon the locals to the wolves"

      That is so true. I see plane after plane come back empty because soldiers refuse to come home at the end of their duty cycle. They just go AWOL and remain in Afghanistan, preferring to die there than come home.

      On a more realistic note, do you even read the words you type or is it like a guessing game for you?

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


        Soldiers come back from their tours knowing that other soldiers will be shipped out in their place. Many of them sign up for more than one tour because of what they see there. I can't speak to the Americans, but i know several Canadians who, upon completion of their tour, volunteered to return with the next group because they felt the job wasn't done.

        1. Anonymous Coward


          Returning to theater as the job is not finished ?

          I have done a few tours and the last thing on my mind was going back or STAYING there when my tour was up. Believe it or not most soldiers have family and spending six months (minus a short berak in the middle) at a time away from them is not nice.

          Yeah i have volunteered to go on tour before now but if you think i really want to spend six months in a shithole of a country eating crap and getting shot at you must be fuc*ing nuts. I did it for the money, had a great time overall and made some mates for life, you take the rough with the smooth and going to war (or SFOR) aint nice.

        2. Semihere
          Big Brother

          Get the job done?

          "I can't speak to the Americans, but i know several Canadians who, upon completion of their tour, volunteered to return with the next group because they felt the job wasn't done."

          But can you quantify - in very precise terms - just what 'the job' actually is? I believe the original stated aim for the illegal invasion and ongoing occupation was to capture Osama Bin Laden. Or have you forgotten that part of the grand lie?

          So just what are they actually doing now to 'get the job done' considering that THAT is the true 'job'?

          (Big Brother for the obvious newspeak links of terms like 'get the job done')

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


            What is "the job?" According to all of my friends who have served, they want to see the Taliban beat back enough so as not to be a threat the local Afghanis can't deal with. Removal of the Taliban ability to make war on the locals, for all intents and purposes. They want to pull out of the country, but only once they are sure the locals can actually take care of themselves when they do.

            This is a recurring theme, as many of these folks have seen exactly what the Talbian do when they "reclaim" territory. Several of these guys will never be the same (mentally) because of seeing it. I know for a fact the soldiers in question would never sleep well again if we just packed up and left that entire country to that fate.

            We got into this war on false pretences. We fucked up big time. Now we’re stuck in a situation where if we just take our ball and go home then hundred of thousands if not millions of people are going to die some pretty goddamned awful deaths. I understand the moral outrage over our having to be there in the first place: hell, I share it! If we had left well enough alone these people wouldn’t be under this kind of threat. They wouldn’t be living the most open society, but they would be at risk of being slaughtered as collaborators.

            I honestly can’t believe the number of people in this thread who are either A) so naive that they believe if we just left the Taliban would peacefully take over the country without harm to the locals and everything will be flowers and rainbows or B) are so morally self-righteous about the fact that this was a botched war from the beginning that they simply don’t CARE about what happens to the Afghanis.

            It makes me sad to be of the same species as these people. I believe that human lives are worth more than the self-satisfaction of a few westerners.

        3. Rob Dobs

          Is this a good thing?

          I know that really some of these troops are upstanding and moral men, who go back because of a moral obligation to duty. They do exist and I have met a few guys like this.

          However I have also met some really racist, murderous fucks who love the chance to get to a foreign country and see how many "kills" they can chalk up.

          A Warrior who fights and kills for a living, who chooses to go back to the killing fields, as opposed to coming home when the GOVERNMENT says he has done his duty, is maybe not always to be by default a great thing to be admired.

          From the glint in the eyes and factual news reports coming out of the country, I am convinced that this is a common enough problem, and not just isolated instances.

          Barbers cut hair, soldiers fight, its their job. I don't think we should have a default reverence for someone who VOLUNTARILY chooses a job that puts them into situations where they have to shoot and kill people.

          This is not the poor saps drafted and FORCED to go fight in Vietnam, or the GREAT soldiers who rose up in WWII to fight a threat that would soon, if not already threaten their lives and way of living.

          These people choose to do this, and no one is making them. When they serve, I show respect, when they go back for more, I have to question which of the two above types they guy is.

          (hint most fall somewhere in the middle, with a sense of duty and a love for violence)

          Really the stink hiding under this is how many of these troops who do go back, only because their house is in foreclosure, and they can't pass up that active duty hazard pay.

          So let me be fair and add a third class of troops that go back (probably the biggest group in fairness). Those that don't want to go back, but are too poor to turn down the large sums the government is offering them to re-enlist. Combine that with poor job propects back home, and you get lots more.

    3. ajh-

      How Trevor_Pott used to support Wikileaks when it affected other people

      > The armchair critics of this war such as Ass. have absolutely no idea what is going on there.

      But due to the release of the some of the documents we are starting to get a better idea.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      On the other hand...

      "We are at war here. If we simply packed up and left right now that country would be worse off than if we saw this thing through."

      Perhaps if "we" hadn't been buggering about in Afghanistan since time began (and more ineptly than usual in the last decade) "our" troops, Afghan civilians and the informants you so worry about wouldn't be getting slaughtered at all. Its terribly convenient to do the old "Regardless of the origins of this conflict" number, but as with just about every other bloody time this weak crock of shit is trotted out, the origins tend to look an awful lot like the current situation, just with different square-headed swivel eyed types in charge, and a slightly different flavour of Demon to slay.

      "With our help, they just might succeed."

      Oh christ, I can hear the mournful twang of "star spangled banner", and it ain't the Jimi Hendrix version. Perhaps, just maybe, the Afghans really, really have had enough of the "help" - so frequently US funded - that has reduced their society and country to ruin. If "success" is a pliant, US-friendly and hyper corrupt regime run by a weapons grade sycophant, I'm not sure you'll get many takers.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        @AC Re: "star spangled banner"

        I think you are making some pretty big assumptions there buddy. I in absolutely /no way/ support, America or it's policy of capitalism colonialism. I do wholeheartedly support the right of the individuals who make up a country to be allowed to choose their own leaders and political system. If they choose capitalism, I will mourn. If they choose socialism, I will cheer. The choice should be theirs however.

        Personally, I suspect that after decades of meddling in their affairs by foreign powers, the emerging regime will be FAR from compliant with the US, the EU, Russia or anyone else. Personally I have zero problem with that. I do have a huge problem with a forced theocracy just as I would a forced dictatorship of any kind.

        I support my CANADIAN troops in theatre. Just don’t get me confused with someone who supports US.Gov. My beef with wikileaks is NOT support for US.Gov.

        1. kissingthecarpet

          What if

          they choose a theocracy? I'll bet that most of the more westernised Afganis that used to live there in the 60's & 70's have left for other countries by now - I've met a few.

          The Russians got rid of anyone left-of-centre who wasn't a Soviet loyalist (e.g social democrats), which killed of any trend towards secularism. Then the CIA funded all the Islamists it could get its hands on, & taught them insurgency methods into the bargain.

          The shit world we now face is of the USA's & its allies making - if they hadn't brought down every self-determined left-wing government established in any 2nd/3rd world country since the war, perhaps we'd be living in a better world now.

    5. JaitcH

      Potts doesn't speak for all Canadians

      The majority of thinking Canadians wonder why we are there at all.

      The Canadian military doesn't have sufficient resources, equipment or even infrastructure to defend our country (we have three coasts to protect) and the last place we need to be is in Afghanistan, especially since the Americans are still killing their Allies, whilst denying it.

      It is another VietNam where America sticks it's nose in where it's not wanted. Just like Iraq.

      The US wants one thing only: O-I-L. Only trouble is they haven't figured out there is none in Afghanistan, so maybe they are fighting the drug business.

      Canada has plenty of oil, we have a totally different view of cannabis and we aren't bankrupt (unlike the USA).

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


        Count me among the Canadians confused about how in the fnord we ended up there in the first place. We've been there how many years and I still have absolutely no clue how the hell we ended up fighting over that particular stretch of land. That said, we're there now; let's get the thing done and bring our men and women home. Personally, I think this war would be better run WITHOUT the Americans. If I had my way, we’d kick the yanks out, gather some real international support and return to Afghanistan in blue berets.

      2. Rob Dobs

        Afganistan has land between oil and consumers

        Dont loose sight and forget the Truth.

        Afghanistan does not have Oil, they have the land that is between the oil and the european markets.

        Don't forget history. Halliburton was in talks with the Taliban to put a oil pipeline across their country. in Aug, before 9/11. (Remember VP Dickhead Cheney was the ex CEO of Halliburton before coming to office just recently before this).

        Then the oil pipepline talks breakdown, then 9/11 happens, then we are in control of Afghanistan for a decade.....

        (not saying Dickhead actually planned the 9/11 attack... but this whole situation has stuck to high heaven of dirty work from the beginning, there is certainly more toadism, backroom deals and other shit going on we are just not aware off.

    6. rwhite17

      65 years ago

      The judges at Nuremberg described wars of aggression as the ultimate crime. They precipitate all the subsequent crimes, none of which would have occurred had the invasion not happened.

      Hitler claimed he was liberating other countries at their request (and promptly set up puppet governments to confirm his claims). The Nuremberg judges saw through this, of course. Easy enough, given Germany was an official enemy.

      No matter what happens in Afghanistan or Iraq, the blame for every subsequent crime falls squarely on the shoulders of those who invaded the country with their troops. Dead civilians, dead "insurgents" (in France in the 40s they were called Freedom Fighters, but what do you expect from corporate media lap dogs?), or dead invading soldiers, the blame lies with those who started it all by invading another country.

      As for saving the Afghan people, I shudder to imagine anyone actually believes this, especially after the exposure of dozens of great lies since WWII -- Vietnam, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Greece, Haiti, Chile, and on and on.

      This is about force-projection and resource control so a tiny minority of the world's population can maintain and increase their hold on power. They couldn't care less who dies as a result, so long as they achieve their aims. It is a very, very old story: private profit, public cost.

      No matter what Assange does, there is only one group of people I will blame. After all, no invasion of Afghanistan (the ultimate crime), no secret documents to release.

    7. veti Silver badge

      You're bluffing

      "In this case though, Ass. has revealed huge numbers of informants and classified activities to the Taliban "

      Name three of these "informants".

      You're saying their names have already been released to the Taliban, so you couldn't possibly do any more harm by telling us here, could you?

      So let's hear it - or at least, the document references where they're identified. Otherwise, I shall go on believing that, as far as I've seen, sensitive details have been thoroughly redacted in the documents that have been leaked - and all comments of this type are just systematic character assassination of an inconvenient/embarrassing figure.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


        I am not going to go dig up names of informants and post them on the internet when the thrust of my entire beef with Ass. is that he posted names of informants on the internet. Think about this carefully for a second.

        As for “character assassination of an inconvenient or embarrassing individual” you are completely and utterly wrong. I CACKLE WITH GLEE at the thought of the American government being embarrassed by the kinds of things that show up on Wikileaks. I don’t support, the American military, large corporations or any of that. The more embarrassing and politically inconvient someone is, the more I want to give my hard earned cash to their cause.

        Where I draw the line is the instant anyone is put at risk. This would be no different than publishing a list of known sex offenders. Sure, there is a side that legitimately can say “we deserve a right to know/think of the children!” On the other hand, there are places in this world (even/especially in the US) where having your name on that list will get you lynched. When you consider a country like the US where you can be put on a sex offender’s list for sexting your significant other, then I would have some /very/ serious reservations about the release of that information.

        Release a document however about how many sex offenders were living in a given area/the government lost track of/something else that doesn’t include personally identifiable information and I will be the first person to stand up for the right to do so.

        Do you understand the difference here? Release of information that is embarrassing is one thing. Release of information that can endanger the lives of others is a different kettle of fish entirely.

        At least it is to me: you are of course welcome to your own opinions on the matter.

        1. Rob Dobs

          At some point you have to answer to the truth of your actions.

          I agree you have a good general line.. but there is always a grey area.

          Is it worth it for the truth to come out and expose a brutal occupation, have a few US soldiers killed as a backlash, and THEN have the brutality to the Afgan people STOP? ( or let up a little anyways).

          US releases the sex offender list because our parents ability to keep our kids away from THOSE particular houses, outweighs their right to privacy. I will also say as much as I wish to, I have not yet heard of ONE lycning in the US of a person on the sexoffender list (maybe just missed it, but not aware of any).

          I can understand TACTFULLY handling releasing the truth to avoid it damaging people, but when you are talking about the real TRUTH, facts, then there is rare cases I could imagine this would be needed. People should be able to face the facts of what they have done and defend their actions openly in a public forum. Don't get me wrong we all have a right to general privacy, I don't think the German government should be recording who is Jewish for example - this is a fact, and they should be proud to be jewish, but for obvious reasons they should be able to keep their religious beliefs private. However when your religious beliefs involve activly killing people, you can't claim that no one should release your personal info, that truth deserves to be known.

        2. veti Silver badge


          Your entire rant is based on the claim that Assange has already made "countless informants" names available to the Taliban.

          Whereas I believe, from what I've seen, that the documents thus far released have *not* made this sort of information available to the Taliban.

          It's very hard for me to prove you wrong, because your position is hard to falsify. I can point to document references saying "There, here's an example of a document that doesn't reveal an informant's name". (Here's one: But of course that doesn't prove that other documents *don't* leak that information.

          But it should be easy for *you* to prove *me* wrong. All you have to do is point at three documents that *do* reveal informants' names. Can you do that?

    8. Matt Bradley
      Thumb Up

      Well said


      A well written and emotive response. Couldn't agree more.

      I'm sorry we got involved in these wars. It wasn't helped by the fact that the incumbent in the White House was a war-mongering shitbag who didn't care about the lives of his own people, or those in Afghanistan & Iraq.

      BUT. We're there now - and it is our DUTY to leave these countries in a stable condition. Abandoning them now makes us even worse. We've bombed them into the stone age, and now we're going to fuck off home? Sorry: that's just selfish, irresponsible and downright evil.

      Assange has demonstrated that he has no interest in anything other than his own self promotion: these documents put real human beings at risk. Some of them allied forces, some of them Afghan citizens. Responsible journalism isn't about killing people just to get yourself some more publicity.

    9. Rob Dobs

      Biased much?

      I can hear where you are coming from, and no one wants to see a turncoat or traitor risk the lives of our loved ones. However you seem very biased, and not open minded to this situation at all.

      Have you really read through the information available? From what I have seen, and what the mainstream press has reported on, there is not the kind of information that you describe released. As a matter of fact, that specific kind of information you address is what Wikileaks used the NY post, guardian etc to vet this information for, and remove such dangerous materials.

      What I have gathered from what I have read and seen covered in the press as well, is a picture of a war run amok, with violence and vengeance being doled out by both sides. I also see a much more bleak picture of a war that is not going well, and that we are loosing the war in the minds of the local people.

      War sucks!

      You mention yourself that many of your loved ones did not come back whole. I am sure that applies both physically and spiritually/mentally as well. Yet you attack wikileaks, and seem to come off defending your right to do as you will there, without review. It is not as if they are creating false stories or propaganda, or even releasing detailed troop locations, informant names etc. My understanding is that almost all of this has been edited out. What is left are the factual critiques of the war from the US army itself. and in many cases what they are saying publicly isn't washing with the what is reality. The infamous helicopter video is a great example. Even if it costs a few lives, I think the truth is more powerful, and worth it to be out there for people to make their own informed decisions.

      You come off as defending US military actions, regardless of how they are carried out. A US solider thought that this war stank so bad, he has risked his life in Jail, abuse and even torture, to let the world know what is really going on. Is he a hero? and opportunist? a traitor? only time will tell as the REAL facts come out.

      I think Wikileaks, and this US soldier who leaked the docs, both feel that this information will allow people to be more informed about the TRUTH, and hopefully avoid more or unnecessary bloodshed and violence .

      If we don't like it and it puts our troops at risk, maybe we shouldn't be doing the things we are doing there huh?

      If all my soldiers followed orders, and were really working their asses off to protect and re-build this country, the locals would not be able to deny their own eyes, and the "leaked" truth would match that reality.

      If on the other hand your troops are out of control, killing and raping civilians, and generally not seen to be making progress or helping the locals, well then your behavior is finally going to come calling for you to pay the piper.

      For me I am glad to know that when our troops violently MURDER a family in the name of an armed conflict, and then LIE and cover up the story, they should get caught , and the truth can get out. Even it takes on of our own damaging their own lives greatly to bring it to us.

      Oh or remember the US football star killed by friendly fire? They lied about that one too, covered it up and LIED their asses off to the public.

      How can a democratic country wage a war, and vote intelligently for leaders to lead us, when we are being lied to and misinformed about the very nature and facts of the war itself.

      Also what right does the Pentagon have to claim any authority over other sovereign countries.

      It's not like Assange took these documents, they were given to him and intelligence, by an informant, we do this all the time, and can't (with any credibility anyways) ask people to do as we say and not as we do.

    10. Terry Barnes
      Thumb Down


      History has shown that change in a country can only come from the inhabitants of that country driving it. We can't enforce a new way of living in Afghanistan through war or any other means. What can we achieve that the Russians couldn't over a very long period with far more resources deployed?

      Bring them home now. People will die - but they'll die too if we stay. If Afghanistan wants to emerge into the 21st century it will only happen when the Afghans make it happen.

    11. Anonymous Coward

      they've got guns, don't they?

      Let them F***ing use them, hell, that's what my taxes are paying for. Tell them not to bring any ammunition home. In addition, they're all volunteers, so they volunteered for a job which is defined as making onesself a target of rocks, pistols, rifles, RPGs, and the odd HE roadside bombs. Don't feel sorry for them, but feel free to tell the higher-ups in their chain of command to go to and look up 'war.' War's are meant to be won. The best case is the enemy surrenders....the worst case is the enemy is eradicated.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    re Trevor_Pott

    from the article - "...are about halfway through a “line-by-line” review of the 15,000 documents not yet released .... help in purging the documents of sensitive information that might threaten the lives of Afghan citizens cooperating with US forces."

    Did you miss that bit, or choose to ignore it?

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge


      These documents were CLASSIFIED. They are supposed not for public consumption because, at time of classification, they contained information that could compromise ongoing military activities. I am not saying that US.Gov doesn’t classify WAY too much material, but we aren’t talking about classifying where the money for the $40,000 hammer and the $10,000 toilet seat went. We’re talking about classifying information about ONGOING ACTIVITIES in an ACTIVE THEATER OF OPERATIONS. You don’t just release this information for your ego, and you sure as hell can’t expect the US military to help you break the law. (Release classified materials is a federal offence.)

      On the flip side: there are processes in most civilised countries, (I am unsure if this is true of the US,) whereby a review of classified documents can be called for. It is usually an extension of what in Canada we would call the Freedom of Information and Privacy act. FOIP requests can be made to have documents (or at least redacted documents) declassified unless there is a currently valid Damn Good Reason for them to remain classified. This is the proper way to go about obtaining information about ongoing operations where the documents in question would put people’s lives at risk.

      Releasing classified materiel whole hog and then after the fact saying “well, if you don’t like it, help us redact them” is bull****. If the US doesn’t have proper FOIP legislation, then THAT is the battle that Ass. should be fighting. If he cares at all about “the cause” and isn’t in it just for his ego then he should be fighting for expanded declassification and freedom of information rules. He should be declassifying information in a one-sided fashion.

      Understand that I say this as someone who respects and reveres the right of the public to know what governments and corporations are up to. I believe in nothing so much as the rights of freedom of the press, and I revere no one so much as proper investigative journalists. You can read my past comments here on this site if you have doubts. What Ass. did was wrong. There simply are far better ways to go about this that don’t put my friends at risk.

      1. Ole Juul

        Get with the times

        "These documents were CLASSIFIED."

        And they've just been re-classified.

      2. ajh-

        You presume too much

        You presume all these documents where classified because they contained information sensitive for operational reasons as opposed to being sensitive for domestic political reasons.

      3. smudge

        You show me yours but I won't show you mine

        "You don’t just release this information for your ego, and you sure as hell can’t expect the US military to help you break the law. "

        Don't need the military to do that. The US Patriot Act can compel employees of US companies (including non-US citizens) to disclose any information that they have that could be deemed useful to the US in the "war against terrorism". Private information such as medical records or financial records - corporate information such as business plans or details of new products.

        Even if such disclosure is illegal in the country where the information was legally obtained - eg if it violates data privacy legislation.

        In short, US legislation can compel people to break the law in other countries. But it's not US law they're breaking, so that's all right and it doesn't count.

      4. John G Imrie

        Re: CLASSIFIED

        Classified isn't a level of secrecy. According to wikipidia there are 5 levels of classification.

        Top Secret (TS)

        The highest level of classification of material on a national level. Such material would cause "exceptionally grave damage" to national security if made publicly available.


        Such material would cause "grave damage" to national security if it were publicly available.


        Such material would cause "damage" or be "prejudicial" to national security if publicly available.


        Such material would cause "undesirable effects" if publicly available. Some countries do not have such a classification.


        So which of these, or which combination of these is it?

      5. Highlander

        You're referring to the freedom of information act.

        Please I believe you can request a review in court - assuming you have standing to do so.

  7. The Doctor
    Thumb Down


    What an obnoxious little bubble of spittle Assange is. After all the high-minded waffle about how leaking confidential information serves a purpose he decides that he's not going to follow his own arguments and instead of making a huge chunk of information public he decides he's going to try and blackmail the US government with its release. If he wins, it stays secret and WikiLeaks is rendered pointless and if he releases it, all the claims about "careful filtering" of the data they release is proven to be nonsense.

    To play fast and loose with this sort of information in order to massage your own ego is quite frankly revolting. I hope he ends up in a prison somewhere if only because he'd never be able to cope with the utter powerlessness he'd experience there.

    1. 42


      Government do you work for I wonder Mr troll? As an aussie Assange has my full support, shining a light in the dark palce that is govenment controlled spin otherwise.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby


        Funny. Aussies support the US.

        How may Aussies died in Bali?

        Aussie, Canadian, Brit, American. (You can insert your other favorite Western country here)

        To the terrorist, they all look alike. And if you happen to be Islamic and caught in the crossfire? You've just become a martyr like it or not.

        With respect to Assman... He's playing with fire. Perhaps you've never heard the expression "Reach out and touch someone..." ?

        The flame is because the Aussie twit only cares about himself.

      2. The Doctor
        Thumb Down

        The Doctor

        I'm glad to see that your support for Assange is based on the fact that he happened to be born in the same country as you. As for spin, if WikiLeaks has a purpose it's to expose hypocricy, not to release information simply because it's secret.

    2. ajh-

      It is called insurance for a reason

      Given the US governments propensity for extra judicial killings this isn't blackmail, it is leverage. I just wouldn't get on a plane with Assange.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Learn. To. Read.


      That is all.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Hello there Doctor Sockpuppet!

      Come to lend some support to your "friend" Trevor_Pott?


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