Rex Murphy: Removing Julian Assange’s halo


View Poll Results: Assange is responsible for a number of Innocent Deaths
Yes 11 50.00%
No 5 22.73%
He was right to release the files 7 31.82%
He was wrong to release the files 6 27.27%
Do not give a hoot about repercussions. We had to know. 1 4.55%
The US Govt will eventually catch him 4 18.18%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

captain morgan
#31
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Assange is responsible for innocent deaths?

And what's up with conservatives being so obsessed with 'the left'? It doesn't even make sense within the context of his slander as freedom of speech is a virtue of the right.


How many of the rights of the others did Assange trample whilst exercising his right to free speech?
 
SLM
+4
#32  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

And what's up with conservatives being so obsessed with 'the left'? It doesn't even make sense within the context of his slander as freedom of speech is a virtue of the right.

Freedom of speech is a virtue of the right????? Really? Surprising to me, I'm not "of the right" and freedom of speech is a virtue that I hold quite dear.
 
Machjo
#33
I can't vote in the poll since I can't understand it. Polls should serve to gauge opinions, beliefs or feelings about facts, and not of the truth of the facts themselves. Whether Assange is responsible for deaths or not is a question of objective fact, not of opinion.

I don't know if he is responsible or not, but a poll will certainly not answer that question at all.

That said, though I agree Assange and Manning ought to have respected the law, I also believe the US government should not have had those secrets in the first place. But two wrongs don't make a right.
 
JLM
#34
Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

I can't vote in the poll since I can't understand it. Polls should serve to gauge opinions, beliefs or feelings about facts, and not of the truth of the facts themselves. Whether Assange is responsible for deaths or not is a question of objective fact, not of opinion.

I don't know if he is responsible or not, but a poll will certainly not answer that question at all.

That said, though I agree Assange and Manning ought to have respected the law, I also believe the US government should not have had those secrets in the first place. But two wrongs don't make a right.

Speaking in general terms I'd say there is a grey area there.
 
SLM
+4
#35
Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

I can't vote in the poll since I can't understand it. Polls should serve to gauge opinions, beliefs or feelings about facts, and not of the truth of the facts themselves. Whether Assange is responsible for deaths or not is a question of objective fact, not of opinion.

I don't know if he is responsible or not, but a poll will certainly not answer that question at all.

A poll is just a poll, it's not going to Stats Can for entry into the database or anything. It's just meant to get one thinking really.

Quote:

That said, though I agree Assange and Manning ought to have respected the law, I also believe the US government should not have had those secrets in the first place. But two wrongs don't make a right.

I agree. Which is why I take such umbrage with Assange stating that revealing the names of informants makes them 'casualties' or however he worded it. That speaks volumes to me that he did not do this out of any sort of real moral outrage, but simply because he could.

I can respect someone who takes a stand, whether I agree with their stand or not, if they are willing to take responsibility for their actions. Neither of these two are doing that.

Actions have consequences.
 
captain morgan
+4
#36
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post


I agree. Which is why I take such umbrage with Assange stating that revealing the names of informants makes them 'casualties' or however he worded it. That speaks volumes to me that he did not do this out of any sort of real moral outrage, but simply because he could.

I can respect someone who takes a stand, whether I agree with their stand or not, if they are willing to take responsibility for their actions. Neither of these two are doing that.

Actions have consequences.

The actions taken by Assange resulted in other people taking 'responsibility' for his actions... It is this special brand of cowardice that has caused such an outrage.
 
CDNBear
+3
#37
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Freedom of speech is a virtue of the right????? Really? Surprising to me, I'm not "of the right" and freedom of speech is a virtue that I hold quite dear.

I sit further left than mentalfloss, he confuses objectivity for placement on the political spectrum.

Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

I also believe the US government should not have had those secrets in the first place. But two wrongs don't make a right.

True for some of what Assange made public (Which I am completely ok with). Not true for not redacting (Or withholding said documents completely) names and locations of informants and human rights workers.

His agenda isn't free speech, it is the victory of the Taliban.
Last edited by CDNBear; Dec 27th, 2011 at 08:55 AM..
 
SLM
+3
#38
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

The actions taken by Assange resulted in other people taking 'responsibility' for his actions... It is this special brand of cowardice that has caused such an outrage.

Exactly. From what I've seen and heard about him, he does all that he does just to serve his own ego. I remember seeing a couple of interviews where that was brought up, he didn't seem troubled in the least at the potential threat to those informants from releasing those names. He could have easily blacked out those names and still made his 'point' when he posted that information. He didn't. He simply didn't care. That makes him as bad as those he's obstensibly fighting against. And that is the reason all his backers have disappeared on him. He's not a hero.

And I'm not even saying that there aren't things that governments do or have done that are wrong. In some cases it can be the right thing to do, morally speaking, to expose fraud and corruption within a government or government agency, even by means which are not shall we say 'legal'. But you need that moral context. And in wilileaks there is no moral context.

Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

I sit further left that mentalfloss, he confuses objectivity for placement on the political spectrum.

The notion that there are only two points of view on the spectrum is what throws me the most. There's black and then there's white, but there are a million shades of grey.

Quote:

True for some of what Assange made public (Which I am completely ok with). Not true for not redacting (Or withholding said documents completely) names and locations of informants and human rights workers.

His agenda isn't free speech, it is the victory of the Taliban.

I see his agenda as his own ego, pure and simple. I'm not sure he has the moral rectitude to side with anyone, including the Taliban.
 
captain morgan
+4
#39
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

I see his agenda as his own ego, pure and simple. I'm not sure he has the moral rectitude to side with anyone, including the Taliban.


Assange has showcased his 'moral rectitude' in his refusal to stand and defend himself in Sweden against the sexual assault charges... Pretty ironic in my eyes, this creature that 'fights the good fight' (in his eyes) apparently doesn't include rape/sexual assault as part of his definition of morality.
 
CDNBear
+2
#40
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

He's not a hero.

He is to the morally bankrupt.

Quote:

I see his agenda as his own ego, pure and simple. I'm not sure he has the moral rectitude to side with anyone, including the Taliban.

I'll have to disagree, given his commentary when queried about the possible loss of life due to his publishing the documents. As well as his views of the Taliban as "rebels".
 
SLM
#41
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

Assange has showcased his 'moral rectitude' in his refusal to stand and defend himself in Sweden against the sexual assault charges... Pretty ironic in my eyes, this creature that 'fights the good fight' (in his eyes) apparently doesn't include rape/sexual assault as part of his definition of morality.

It makes him a hypocrite, plain and simple.

Sweden and it's laws were apparently great when it came to storing his servers as I understand it. To the best of my knowledge, they've not been touched. I may be wrong, they could have been moved (I've not followed this all that closely) but if not, it makes his fighting of the extradition to Sweden to face these charges and the people who state that it's only a ruse to punish him for the leaks, all the more ridiculous.
 
captain morgan
+2
#42
I have to agree with your observations on that front... In retrospect, I find it interesting that he would not want to have his trial in Sweden as their legal system is more 'moderate' (relative to the UK) and his ability to defend himself (successfully) would have a higher probability in Sweden.
 
Machjo
+1
#43
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

I sit further left than mentalfloss, he confuses objectivity for placement on the political spectrum.

True for some of what Assange made public (Which I am completely ok with). Not true for not redacting (Or withholding said documents completely) names and locations of informants and human rights workers.

His agenda isn't free speech, it is the victory of the Taliban.

Of course a clear distinction ought to be made between state secrets (which ought not to even exist in an open society), and personal information held by the government. Assange failed to make that distinction, and while neither he nor Manning ought to be punished for any state secrets they may have revealed, they ought certainly to be held accountable for any personal information they may have disclosed.

Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

Assange has showcased his 'moral rectitude' in his refusal to stand and defend himself in Sweden against the sexual assault charges... Pretty ironic in my eyes, this creature that 'fights the good fight' (in his eyes) apparently doesn't include rape/sexual assault as part of his definition of morality.

If Assange is innocent, one would think it would be more efficient and expedient and less time consuming for him, instead of fighting his extradition to Sweden, to head to Sweden right away to face his accusers. Besides, he'll have a hard time arguing that Sweden's justice system is corrupt. It is a well established and respected system unless there is something I don't know.

I'm not saying he is guilty, but merely that if he is innocent, he's showing poor judgement in fighting his extradition.
 
Machjo
+2
#44
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

It makes him a hypocrite, plain and simple.

Sweden and it's laws were apparently great when it came to storing his servers as I understand it. To the best of my knowledge, they've not been touched. I may be wrong, they could have been moved (I've not followed this all that closely) but if not, it makes his fighting of the extradition to Sweden to face these charges and the people who state that it's only a ruse to punish him for the leaks, all the more ridiculous.

Sweden is officially a neutral country, so it would be hard to believe it would suddenly start taking sides between Assange and the US government.
 
SLM
#45
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

He is to the morally bankrupt.

Manson had followers too and they considered him a hero as well.

Context can be everything.

Quote:

I'll have to disagree, given his commentary when queried about the possible loss of life due to his publishing the documents. As well as his views of the Taliban as "rebels".

Maybe you're right. I just see a coldness within him, have from day one although I couldn't put my finger on it right away, and it makes me think he doesn't care too much about anyones cause.
 
captain morgan
+2
#46
Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

Of course a clear distinction ought to be made between state secrets (which ought not to even exist in an open society), and personal information held by the government. Assange failed to make that distinction, and while neither he nor Manning ought to be punished for any state secrets they may have revealed, they ought certainly to be held accountable for any personal information they may have disclosed.


State secrets often overlap with some form of personal information, the 2 are inextricably linked (directly or indirectly).

There is a very strong reason why every nation has severe punishments attached to the charge of treason, and by in large, it has to do with the safety and well being of the citizenry.

Assange has violated this principle on literally hundreds of thousands of occasions and in almost every nation on Earth.
 
Machjo
#47
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Maybe you're right. I just see a coldness within him, have from day one although I couldn't put my finger on it right away, and it makes me think he doesn't care too much about anyones cause.

I'd be cautious about judging anyone's coldness though. Some people show emotion differently, especially on television (from nervousness or whatever other reason).

Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

State secrets often overlap with some form of personal information, the 2 are inextricably linked (directly or indirectly).

The two are quite distinct from one another. Either information is of a public or a personal nature. Anything that falls in a grey area ought to then be considered public since clearly then it becomes suspicous. The two ought never to mix.

[/quote]There is a very strong reason why every nation has severe punishments attached to the charge of treason, and by in large, it has to do with the safety and well being of the citizenry. [quote]

Let's not confuse theft with treason. Treason does have a very technical definition. Assange was not working for any foreign government, and seeing he's not even a US citizen, he can't be considered a traitor to the US. By definition you can commit treason only against your own.

As for Manning, the charge of treason is more debatable since he was a US citizen, but again was not working for any foreign government or "enemy" as such.
 
SLM
#48
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

I have to agree with your observations on that front... In retrospect, I find it interesting that he would not want to have his trial in Sweden as their legal system is more 'moderate' (relative to the UK) and his ability to defend himself (successfully) would have a higher probability in Sweden.

It probably makes sense legally speaking to draw everything out. Plus the lawyers get paid more that way,lol. Also it plays out the drama. I think it was all a P.R. game.

Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

Sweden is officially a neutral country, so it would be hard to believe it would suddenly start taking sides between Assange and the US government.

It is hard to believe, and I do not believe that. However, I've seen/heard that specific opinion voiced by many, many people.

Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

I'd be cautious about judging anyone's coldness though. Some people show emotion differently, especially on television (from nervousness or whatever other reason).

I am cautious. I don't toss these things out lightly. From the day he first came on the scene there was something about him, I just couldn't put my finger on it. I'm not basing that assertion on just one interview or how he comes across on camera. It's based on actions, writings, what others have said (not just his detractors but those who once supported him). You take all these things and put them together, it paints a picture. Do I know it for a fact? No, I don't know him personally. Is it something I've come to believe and see within him based on all these things? Yes it is.
 
CDNBear
+3
#49
Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

Of course a clear distinction ought to be made between state secrets (which ought not to even exist in an open society), and personal information held by the government.

We've been over this before. Your belief would cripple national security and would have lost WWII.
Last edited by CDNBear; Dec 27th, 2011 at 09:45 AM..
 
captain morgan
+2
#50
Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post


The two are quite distinct from one another. Either information is of a public or a personal nature. Anything that falls in a grey area ought to then be considered public since clearly then it becomes suspicous. The two ought never to mix.

In a perfect world, there would be a clear division between public and personal info, however, we do not live in a perfect world... The Minister of Foreign Affairs for the UK is a matter of public record, but because we know his name is Joe Smith and we can source info on Joe, we have also ventured into the realm of private info.

Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

Let's not confuse theft with treason. Treason does have a very technical definition. Assange was not working for any foreign government, and seeing he's not even a US citizen, he can't be considered a traitor to the US. By definition you can commit treason only against your own.

Assange and Manning have done both. One need not be in the direct employ of gvt in order to pass along sensitive info that will have an impact on a nation.

Further, the USA is not the only nation with 'treason' as a charge. Assange is (presumably) a UK citizen and if he released any cables from the UK diplomatic corps, he would be charged under UK law... On that note, the outside nations of which Assange is not a citizen, also have serious charges against spying.

I'm guessing that Assange would be extremely careful in terms of which nations that he is prepared to enter.

Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

As for Manning, the charge of treason is more debatable since he was a US citizen, but again was not working for any foreign government or "enemy" as such.

There is no debate on this. Manning will be convicted of some degree of treason
 
petros
#51
There was nothing wrong with releasing piles of information the public should know but the mistake he made was releasing it raw.
 
CDNBear
+3
#52
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

There was nothing wrong with releasing piles of information the public should know but the mistake he made was releasing it raw.

A mistake is something you do unintentionally. When Assange was confronted about disclosing intel on human rights workers and Afghans aiding the Coalition. His reply was, 'Well, they're informants so, if they get killed, they've got it coming to them. They deserve it.'.

That pretty much removes any notion of it being an error.
 
Machjo
#53
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

A mistake is something you do unintentionally. When Assange was confronted about disclosing intel on human rights workers and Afghans aiding the Coalition. His reply was, 'Well, they're informants so, if they get killed, they've got it coming to them. They deserve it.'.

That pretty much removes any notion of it being an error.

Did he really say that? I'd like to know the source. If true, that's digusting.
 
CDNBear
#54
Quote: Originally Posted by MachjoView Post

Did he really say that? I'd like to know the source. If true, that's digusting.

Well, they're informants so, if they get killed, they've got it coming to them. They deserve it. - Google Search (external - login to view)
 
petros
+1
#55
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

A mistake is something you do unintentionally. When Assange was confronted about disclosing intel on human rights workers and Afghans aiding the Coalition. His reply was, 'Well, they're informants so, if they get killed, they've got it coming to them. They deserve it.'.

That pretty much removes any notion of it being an error.

That's what free speech is all about. They couldn't bust him because we have free speech so out come the hookers and charges for whatever else they toss at him.

If you were pushing the boundaries of the game of legality would this be your fate?


 
Machjo
#56
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

Well, they're informants so, if they get killed, they've got it coming to them. They deserve it. - Google Search (external - login to view)

Hardly an objective reporter, eh.

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

That's what free speech is all about. They couldn't bust him because we have free speech so out come the hookers and charges for whatever else they toss at him.

If you were pushing the boundaries of the game of legality would this be your fate?


I'd be very surprised to find the Swedish government being in on such a conspiracy. Now, could the US government through its Swedish embassy have paid off some "hookers"? Maybe, but then again, that's why Assange would be granted a fair trial, so as to try to suss out such a possibility. No system is perfect, but he certainly would get a fair trial.
 
CDNBear
+1
#57
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

That's what free speech is all about.

No it isn't. What Assange did in endangering individual people is tantamount to yelling fir in a crowded theater. His act, doesn't pass the test. Check out the case law that makes the revealing of CI's illegal in Canada, the US, as well as throughout most of Europe.

Quote:

If you were pushing the boundaries of the game of legality would this be your fate?

I'm not sure what you're asking me here.
 
petros
#58
Hookers and coke has been one of handiest tools used to get people they can't bust otherwise behind bars. I guarantee it's in a spook textbook somewhere.
 
Goober
#59
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

I've been to McLean a couple of times. It's even better to see him tell his stories live because of his mannerisms.

If you listen close you can hear me clapping.


http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/v...1224_77395.mp3

Saw him again in Dec - 4 years in a row now. A great storyteller. Dave cooks the Christmas Turkey and Dave rides the bike.

Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

I just thought that being an ardent supporter of freedom of information pundits like Ezra.. means that you are an ardent supporter of information, but apparently that only counts in a religious context and not in political one?

I'm not sure, I'm just trying to see where the logic is here.

Ezra cares about freedom of information but he condemns Assange (who also cares about freedom of information).

This is logically inconsistent.

So are you saying that all information should be available to anyone?
 
petros
#60
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

No it isn't. What Assange did in endangering individual people is tantamount to yelling fir in a crowded theater. His act, doesn't pass the test. Check out the case law that makes the revealing of CI's illegal in Canada, the US, as well as throughout most of Europe.

I'm not sure what you're asking me here.

Whose theater was it?
 

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