Why do I think...
...that El Reg is really going to have fun with this TM thing!
Julian Assange™, globally famous Wikileaks supremo, has claimed that his organisation is "more accountable" than democratic governments and has also claimed credit for the rise of anti-corruption sentiment in India. He also suggested that the number of Google hits generated by typing an organisation's name followed by "blood on …
I imagine that Assange(tm) himself may have cause to doubt its credibility after: 1) umpty-something-thousand commentards on umpty-thousand sites all ask whether Googling "Wikileaks has blood on its hands" is an accurate measure of anything and 2) Google's webcrawler does its stuff.
Go on, mention that Wikileaks has blood on its hands in your post, you know you want to.....
"Third Reich" "blood on its hands": 8,510.
"Khmer Rouge" "blood on its hands": 10,800.
"Wikileaks" "blood on its hands": 30,300.
"Soviet Union" "blood on its hands": 41,300.
"Pentagon" "blood on its hands": 125,000.
So from this, we can see that Wikileaks is more than three times as dangerous as the Third Reich, but Stalin and the Pentagon are worse.
Give me a break.
"The Register" "blood on its hands": 4980
"El Reg" "blood on its hands": 20
"The Pope" "blood on its hands": 24800
"You" "blood on its hands": 523000
"Snooki" "blood on its hands": 3920
"andre the giant" "blood on its hands": 17
"the moderatrix" "blood on its hands": zero hits (so far!)
Yes, he is deluded, but also there are moments of insight:
"He said that some leaks risked harming innocent people—“collateral damage, if you will”—but that he could not weigh the importance of every detail in every document. [...] A year and a half ago, WikiLeaks published the results of an Army test, conducted in 2004, of electromagnetic devices designed to prevent IEDs from being triggered. The document revealed key aspects of how the devices functioned and also showed that they interfered with communication systems used by soldiers—information that an insurgent could exploit. By the time WikiLeaks published the study, the Army had begun to deploy newer technology, but some soldiers were still using the devices. I asked Assange if he would refrain from releasing information that he knew might get someone killed. He said that he had instituted a “harm-minimization policy,” whereby people named in certain documents were contacted before publication, to warn them, but that there were also instances where the members of WikiLeaks might get “blood on our hands."
And so it is that others have said....
"Now it is not just governments that denounce him: some of his own comrades are abandoning him for what they see as erratic and imperious behavior, and a nearly delusional grandeur unmatched by an awareness that the digital secrets he reveals can have a price in flesh and blood.
Several WikiLeaks colleagues say he alone decided to release the Afghan documents without removing the names of Afghan intelligence sources for NATO troops. “We were very, very upset with that, and with the way he spoke about it afterwards,” said Birgitta Jonsdottir, a core WikiLeaks volunteer and a member of Iceland’s Parliament. “If he could just focus on the important things he does, it would be better.” "
"After the NYT published articles based on classified documents WikiLeaks provided on the US-led war in Afghanistan, Assange was “angry that we declined to link our online coverage of the War Logs to the WikiLeaks Web site, a decision we made because we feared – rightly, as it turned out – that its trove would contain the names of low-level informants and make them Taliban targets,” Keller writes."
"Assange's apparent gung-ho attitude in an early meeting to naming U.S. informants stunned his media collaborators, the new book claimed.
The title said he told international reporters: 'Well, they're informants so, if they get killed, they've got it coming to them. They deserve it.' The book continues: 'There was, for a moment, silence around the table.'"
Please note that, for quoting facts, Julians little friends will rate this down. I can only smile because it demonstrates their difficulty with reality.
Being rated by dunces does not alter the truth one tiny bit.
"The title said he told international reporters: 'Well, they're informants so, if they get killed, they've got it coming to them. They deserve it.' The book continues: 'There was, for a moment, silence around the table.''"
Back in the Dark Ages when I was in Middle School, we had a short session on critical reading and word "slanting" ("I am big, you are heavy, he is fat," "I am a freedon-fighter, he is a terrorist." and so on.
Has Assange ever clarified the difference between "whistle-blowers" and "informants"?
Problem is these are for the most part a grouping of unsubstantiated claims by people with either an axe to grind or a vested interest in running Assange/Wikileaks down. They may or may not be true, but can't be labeled as facts. They are in dispute and unless you were there how can you know the truth?
Wikileaks did in fact offer the US government the opportunity to have input into redacting documents (which is the normal practice)(the proof of this is on Wikileaks site and undisputed by the US government). They refused, so that a few early document releases were inadequately redacted is as much the fault of the US government as it is Wikileaks.
The CIA as far back as 2008 planned to destroy Wikileaks according to a leaked document. The document can be obtained at http://www.wikileaks.ch/wiki/U.S._Intelligence_planned_to_destroy_WikiLeaks,_18_Mar_2008
The summary of this document;
This document is a classified (SECRET/NOFORN) 32 page U.S. counterintelligence investigation into WikiLeaks. ``The possibility that current employees or moles within DoD or elsewhere in the U.S. government are providing sensitive or classified information to WikiLeaks.org cannot be ruled out. It concocts a plan to fatally marginalize the organization. Since WikiLeaks uses ``trust as a center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insiders, leakers or whistleblowers, the report recommends ``The identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions from using the WikiLeaks.org Web site. [As two years have passed since the date of the report, with no WikiLeaks' source exposed, it appears that this plan was ineffective]. As an odd justification for the plan, the report claims that ``Several foreign countries including China, Israel, North Korea, Russia, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe have denounced or blocked access to the WikiLeaks.org website. The report provides further justification by enumerating embarrassing stories broken by WikiLeaks---U.S. equipment expenditure in Iraq, probable U.S. violations of the Chemical Warfare Convention Treaty in Iraq, the battle over the Iraqi town of Fallujah and human rights violations at Guantanamo Bay.
Perhaps you were addressing me, I do not know. However, the material I cite includes the words of St Julian himself and his friend Birgitta Jonsdottir. There's no need for me to defend or to adumbrate. Assange clearly regards Afghan informants in a theocratic regime to 'have it coming'. Perhaps the same is true of Assange and his source[s]. What do you think?
Just in case a reminder is needed these theocratic creatures abuse (to put a gentle emphasis on the true horror of their deeds) people in their own country, and gave shelter to people who caused the deaths of some 3,000 in Manhattan, one day about 10 years ago. People unable to escape from the encroaching horror of death by burning avgas threw themselves out of the building, to a faster death.
Then there is this:
"It is not clear this is Assange's opinion, because as mentioned, most of these supposed facts are in dispute. To claim you have some sort of fly on the wall knowledge is a thinly veiled attempt at demonisation, as is your 9/11 reference."
Or perhaps you should choose your idols more carefully.
"Or perhaps you should choose your idols more carefully."
And whats your point?
Obviously the combined resources of the US intelligence services don't consider Assange as an idiot. Otherwise why would they be expending so much time and resources on discrediting him and Wikileaks?
Even his most ardent critics openly admit his intelligence, expert planning capabilities and technical expertise.
Many people blindly considered President Bush jnr an idiot. When you consider his aims, this perception gave him the room to achieve exactly what he wanted. So who were the idiots in that case?
It may have passed you by, but I thought everyone knew that even an idiot can be dangerous?
Doesn't matter how smart or otherwise you are, put the wrong information/weapon/whatever into your hand and you could be dangerous.
Would you consider all rogue gunmen to be smart? I'm sure you'd consider them dangerous though.
So whether energy is being expended by the Govt or not has pretty much zero bearing on whether or not the man is an idiot. Personally I think he's acting like an idiot, but is probably much smarter than this (much like the reference you made to Bush).
Problem is, he could have the highest IQ on the planet, but when his ego is doing the driving it just isn't going to show
>>"I'm rating it down because I'm sick of you ending your posts with pathetic attempts to intimidate people into not downvoting you."
I hardly think it counts as /intimidation/ - looks more getting retaliation in first after extensive experience of that particular subset of people who seriously do downvote posts even if the posts are entirely factual if the facts don't fit with what they want to believe, or who downvote simple questions if the honest answer to the question is something that they don't want to read.
>>>He invited people pondering the matter to Google "Wikileaks" and "blood on its hands" versus "Pentagon" and "blood on its hands" and compare the number of results*.
Clearly nobody told him that The Colbert Report is satire, so he actually believes that truth is determined by the market.
Any analysis of Assange's ridiculous assertion that the number of hits on google for "Pentagon"/"Wikileaks" and "Blood on their hands" is indicative of how relatively bad they are should take account of the amount of time each institution has been around for.
For ease, (and because it's as sensible as the assertion itself) I'm using the 'housing' for each institution rather than the institution itself (so the wikileaks website rather than whatever 'whistleblower' network they had set up, and The Pentagon, rather the the Department of Defense) we have:
Finished building in 1943.
125000 / (2011-1942) = 1 850 (roughly)
30000 / (2011-2006) = 6000
Previously I was on wikileaks' side, but having taken Assange's words as gospel I must conclude that he is more relatively evil and in need of stopping than The Pentagon.
Throwing up 15'000 previously unaccounted-for dead Afghans [Iraq war logs reveal 15,000 previously unlisted civilian deaths: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/22/true-civilian-body-count-iraq] _does_ count for something.
And all because a pipeline didn't get okayed and a frat boy and a poodle get instrumented in a jiffy. Nice.
"And all because a pipeline didn't get okayed and a frat boy and a poodle get instrumented in a jiffy. Nice."
I guess you're making your decisions based on inuendo and rumors and jokes.
The reality is that the Bush Administration actually believed that Saddam had WMDs.
After his capture, Saddam admitted to this charade but was surprised that the US fell for it. It was meant to keep Iran at bay.
It wasn't just Bush, but Congress voted to go to war too.
That was a UN peacekeeping mission NOT just the Pentagon or the US ... I don't think Hollywood has rewritten that piece of history yet has it?
Saying "the Pentagon has saved lives" might be true but by that yardstick it's also true that Hitler (I call Godwin's Law on myself) made peoples' lives better by pushing for "family cars" (Volkswagon) and heavily backing the construction of the autobahn.
It's kind of weighting your argument to highlight the good points and downplay the bad ... Julian Assange - founding Wikileaks good, being a monumental, egotistical twit ... not so much.
To be fair....Imma get into a bit of a tiff over what you just said since it is not based on irrefutable evidence.
You were going on what you hear in the Bible. I'm not saying it didn't happen either, but is there any physical proof that anything that was said to happen in The Bible, which was put together at The Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D., AFTER His supposed existence, actually took place?
Why were other gospels removed?
To put it another way: The individuals that put together this book were not even conceived when He was said to be here.
Distortion to serve one's purpose. People that say that they find the Bible to be a complete work and won't open themselves up to other gospels written by actual characters named in the Bible are simply ignorant and don't want to know that there may be another aspect to the story. I.E. the Gospels of Mary and Judas.
Without a complete set of information from said individuals, is it literally IMPOSSIBLE to know (as they call it) the Way, the TRUTH, and the Light.
IF there is a supreme being, I think he would want us to find out for ourselves. Not blindly listen to something someone behind an altar tells us.
I am merely opening myself up to all of the many possibilities.
You don't think it is irrefutable that Jesus is famous (at least in part) for having his hands pierced? Whether that is historically accurate or not is rather immaterial, is it not?
George Washington is famous (in part) for saying that he cannot tell a lie, even though that tale is not historically accurate. Thus, there are Google hits that roughly correlate with that.
Assange as traitor a vexed question? It's just a plain stupid question. He is not American so how can he be a traitor?
And if the article author and author's of comments here bothered to read the cables (and other releases), they would know there are many things revealed such as 10's of thousands previously unreported civilian deaths in the current "War On Terror". These facts alone (and there are many other important revelations by Wikileaks) make Wikileaks and Assange an important addition to the worlds media. A media that all too often acts like an extension of government press offices, with holding information simply to appease the government in power, win influence, be on the senator or president's speed dial. The New York Times, by its own admission helped cover up the Raymond Davis incident, a former Special Forces soldier (now working for CIA via company once named Blackwater) who shot and killed two Pakistanis on January 27. Why did they conceal this? Because the US government asked them to. No matters of national security, no reason given, one can only assume the US government wants to keep what's going on in Pakistan as quite as possible. When the mainstream press becomes so subservient that it keeps important news stories like this from the public, for no good reason, I say thank god we now have Wikileaks.
No one disputes that at times he gets a bit carried away, but can all of you honestly say you don't? At least he is out there trying to make a better world. What are all of you doing to make a better society?
None of the items you list have come exclusively from Wikileaks afaik which takes most of the wind out of your sails. Wikileaks is not the be all and end all of whistle blowing and investigative journalism thank god so to suggest it is is somewhat disengeuous. You can approve of the concept without either approving of Wikileaks or Asshats current actions.
The previously undisclosed civilian deaths in the "War on Terror" did come from Wikileaks.
I did not claim the New York Times cover up source was Wikileak's. This was used as an example of a press too compliant to government deceit.
There's a great article on Salon.com about the cause of US media's compliance to government doctrine, makes interesting reading. http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/04/10/journalism/index.html
There is actually a difference between criticising you and demeaning you. And that is why we have libel laws and judges to apply them.
And if you don't like your own countries libel laws: go ahead & change them. It's a democracy, is it not?
Talking about libel tourism to the UK when the alleged victim, the alleged wrongdoer, and the alleged deed all are located in the UK seems a bit uncalled for.
"thus far, where the documents have been of any interest, really just the US government."
Personally I found the details of Barclays's tax avoidance plans, Trafigura's illegal dumping, etc to be very interesting. Mind you, I'm not a journalist so I can understand things without them being slathered in web 2.0 gubbins and served up in some Google maps mashup.
It only started going downhill when Assange decided he wanted to be famous.
I'm not so sure Assange wanted to be famous. Nothing in his past prior to Wikileaks suggests this. The fact that we're all here talking about Assange rather than the many serious revelations is one of the tactics the CIA planned for and included in the leaked secret document at; http://www.wikileaks.ch/wiki/U.S._Intelligence_planned_to_destroy_WikiLeaks,_18_Mar_2008
It's not in Wikileak's interest nor especially Assange's interest that we're constantly discussing him rather than revelations contained in leaked documents.
Wikileaks is good and necessary. Julian Assange is not.
Unfortunately, it seems to me that the way most people in the Western World (tm) world is that they need a figurehead to guide an organization, lest no one will follow or understand it. I don't agree with it, that just seems to be the way it is.
At any rate, no matter how much of a jerk-ass Assange may be, it's worth noting that he (1) is better than the idiots the general populace have consistently elected (insert conspiracy theories about the political systems in America and England here) and (2) he's far more of a real journalist than anyone around today (insert conspiracy theories about the Grauniad/NYT taking him down to please their masters or because he made them look bad, etc). That doesn't not make him a twat and that doesn't make him Ed Murrow, but it does make people like him important and necessary (for now), whether we like it or not.
The way out of this future, or one worse than it, is to hold our governments accountable (through violence if necessary) and to expect the best out of the fourth estate (and not just petty and jealous tabloid reporting). We do both and then suddenly prima donna's like Assange won't have anything to grasp onto for fame and fortune and we'll all live in a much better world than we do now.
I love the Register, especially when it is at its most controversial and muckrakey. Hell, I even love reading Orlowski's columns these days - it took me a couple of years, but I finally came around. That said, I enjoyed the crusade against Wikipedia far more than I enjoy this one. The Register does more than its fair share of investigative journalism and for that I am infinitely grateful, but until you guys start pointing out the failures and corruptions of our respective governments in a way that is equally as successful and consistent as Wikileaks - and it doesn't fucking matter if they're the "sky is blue" sort of reports that everyone all ready knows, as it needs to be pointed out constantly, forcefully and expertly that our governments are either/both incompetent and/or evil - then it comes off just a bit petty to constantly attack this asshat *as if* his actions completely nullify those of Wikileaks.
Yes, again, Wikileaks would be better off without him, just in the same way that the Register would be better off if it had more Lewis Page/Andrew Orlowski articles and less Lucy Orr/Andrew Bailey/Mike Plant videogame reviews.
A Spy would report to a limited number of people. A very select group, or even a single contact, all of his information.
A Whistleblower, on the other hand, tries to get that information spread out as fast as possible to as many people as possible.
There's a bit of an anomaly here with Wikileaks- they kept hold of some of the data and looked over other bits before releasing it, etc- but the basic intent for the information wasn't to sell it to shady contacts in foreign governments, but was to get it out to everyone.
A Traitor, on the other hand, is a lot harder to define. It's someone who does something that harms the team he's supposed to be a part of. It also implies that they were trusted by the group and that their actions were for personal gain AND would be detrimental to the group.
So Manning may be a traitor, but he's not a spy unless specifically contracted to get information from the military (rather than just getting it to upload to Wikileaks).
Major General Carl Schurz, an officer who fought for the Union side in the American Civil War, uttered the definitive remark about this vexed subject:
"Our country, right or wrong. When right, to be kept right, when wrong to be put right".
A traitor deliberately does something that harms his country. A whistleblower, in the spirit of Schurz (and Bradley Manning), seeks to put his country right when it is doing wrong.
Only an idiot believes that his nation's leaders must be followed blindly, regardless of where they lead and what they do.
A common approach to preventing the general acceptance of truth that would be an impediment to an entity's objectives is to marginalize that truth. The easiest way to do that is to persuade everyone that the truth-speaker is insane. If that statement is accepted then most people will not invest any time considering the merit of what the truth-speaker is saying. The easiest way of doing that is to simply render the truth-speaker insane (if you have the means). This also pays a dividend by demotivating other potential truth-speakers. I am not saying this is what has happened in this case, only that it cannot be ruled out to the best of my understanding to date. IMHO, of course--YMMV.
Assange you blithering tit!
Up to now, despite your increasingly bizaare proclaimations and declaimations, I've largely sought to defend you because, fundamentally, I believe that the leaking of these documents is a good thing for the world.
But you, old chap, are just going from strength to strength in demonstrating what an ego-centric nutjob you actually are and I can no longer countenance supporting you. I shall watch with interest as you do a first rate impression of the Oozle-Oozle bird* and pray that you don't do Wikileaks any further damage with your constant series of own-goals and blue-on-blue schoolboy errors.
Please, go away quietly and cease damaging the real causes involved here.
For the record, I continue to support the cause of Wikileaks, governmental openess at all levels, opposition to illegal war, american/western imperialism and the calls for proper & humane treatment of Bradley Manning.
Assange, however - well, you're off my list. Bye!
(* the Oozle-Oozle bird is well known for his strange behaviour of flying round in ever decreasing circles uttering nonsensical cries until it finally vanishes up it's own ass.....ange).
On the other hand I think the diplomatic cable leaks have been a bad thing. I can't see any benefit to the common good.
However I agree that the treatment of Manning is stupid and injust and that Assange can safely truncated at 3 characters. I wish he would go away, but could accept a return as the next Bond villan.
That said I checked his logic:
"Apple" "blood on its hands" 75,600
"Microsoft" "blood on its hands" 39,100
which seems fair to me.
As democratic governments AREN'T accountable, Assange's statement is trivially true.
Think it through. When was the last time that
1. A democratic government was voted out because of the attacks it had conducted on foreigners?
2. An individual member of a democratic government was tried by a court of law for war crimes?
Why was New Labour voted out? Not because of Iraq or Afghanistan...
Why was Dubya voted out? Oh wait a minute, he wasn't - a US president only gets two terms of office anyway.
Why was Tony Blair arrested and tried? Oh wait a minute he wasn't...
You get my drift.
I don't know of any instance in history where the "victors" have been tried for war crimes no matter weather they've committed them or not. It's not as if the US has never started war's against foreign powers for little reason.
Spanish American War - journalists decided a ship was blown up rather then a boiler accident.
Mexican American War - US wanted more land.
Maybe not really a war but still a crime
Trail of tears - didn't like the natives so we kicked them out even though the supreme court granted their right to stay.
I'm sure British history has plenty of examples of questionable behavior, but in the US we don't believe in learning other countries' history.
Originally, as I understood it, the point of Wikileaks was to provide a channel for people to expose corruption and wrongdoing in their company or organisation, and it stands to reason that this could and should include governments.
The problem is that Wikileaks recently seems less about exposing such wrongdoing as it is about causing maximum embarrassment and inconvenience to the governments that JulAss* openly despises - particularly that of the USA. For example, while we may question the foreign policies of the United States, there seems little purpose in publishing a list of their strategic assets beyond an attempt to harm their interests. That's not what I understood Wikileaks to be about.
While Wikileaks was a channel and clearing house for anonymous information from true whistleblowers it served a valuable purpose, but I think its credibility can only be damaged while it's serving as a vehicle for JulAss' political grandstanding.
(* He could trademark that.)
I get 11 results. Including this page...
"the pope is a wanker" - 29
"obama..." - 29
"steve jobs..." - 30
"gordon brown..." - 31
"tony blair..." - 41
"bill gates..." - 43
"god..." - 48
"bush..." - the outright democratically elected winner with 2,020 results!