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

SLM
#151
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

I'm sure it does taint it.

You don't express yourself as if you do get that.

Quote:

But none of what you have stated denies the fact that the extent of harm stemming from any release of information depends on the nature of that information and those affected by the release.

The methodology for the release, as you've outlined, does flavour the situation but it doesn't translate into a serious or legitimate threat.

Flavour? Hmm, ok. Well, put your money where your mouth is then. We have an open forum here, why don't you just post your full name, address, SIN, and for good measure toss in your credit card number as well.

Look bottom line here, it is not the end result that defines the ethical implication of the initial action. That's specious reasoning.
 
mentalfloss
#152
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

We have an open forum here, why don't you just post your full name, address, SIN, and for good measure toss in your credit card number as well.

This is the same argument the oil pundits push when they hear about global warming. It basically amounts to "plant a tree or give up believing in AGW."

It doesn't work.

Here's a "news" report from The Sun which also lends credibility to the idea that there was no real threat from the wikileaks releases. In fact, it does show the releases are now making the military more open and transparent.


Worthington: Wikileaks no threat

As 2011 draws to a close, the issue of WikiLeaks disclosures remains to be resolved — a breach of trust to some, the right to know to others.

However, if one examines the record, it’s pretty hard to see much of a threat to American (or intentional) security, in the disclosures by WikiLeaks that has embarrassed allied governments.

In some ways, WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, who is fighting extradition from Britain to Sweden on accusations of rape and sexual assault, has performed a considerable service by revealing “leaked” analyses of what’s going on in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The most graphic revelations seem to be that high command has covered up or sanitized certain unpleasant facts — more or less confirming what many journalists have suspected, speculated, and written about.

WikiLeaks has probed extrajudicial killings in Kenya, abuses at Guantanamo Bay, dumping of toxic waste off Africa, the release of diplomatic cables that embarass governments. And so on.

Newt Gingrich has called Assange “an information terrorist ... an enemy combatant.”

Amnesty International and others regard Assange admiringly.

Much of what WikiLeaks has “revealed” is in the public’s interest — a network that relies of whistleblowers. It is all mindful of Daniel Ellsburg, the U.S. defence department guy who released the Pentagon Papers in 1971 and was variously regarded as both a traitor and a folk-hero. So it is with Assange. Sort of.

There has been little (if anything) that reveals the identity of undercover agents or spies, or details that jeopardize lives. Most of what has been disclosed is information of which the enemy — i.e. the Taliban and al-Qaida — was quite aware.

Julian Assange does not seem very admirable, but nor he doesn’t seem much of a threat to security. One wonders if charges against him are real, or if they are manufactured to punish him for daring to use leaks?

Put bluntly, WikiLeaks seems to have contributed to the military’s oft-declared policy of openness and transparency, which is often more rhetorical than real.

The case of army intelligence analyst Pte. Bradley Manning is another matter.

Manning is facing court martial in the U.S. on charges of aiding the enemy and wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet by downloading thousands of classified military files and funneling the data to WikiLeaks.

If it’s hard to see the harm done by Assange and WikiLeaks, it’s also hard to see why the book should not be thrown at Manning. He’s the treacherous one — the one who betrayed his oath, and the army.

The army is justified in being upset that its e-mails and information it considers classified or secret are illicitly copied and funnelled to unauthorized people.

If found guilty, Manning could face life-imprisonment. If so, few tears will be shed. Meanwhile, Assange should escape charges that involve espionage.

Manning’s lawyers think their client was so obviously emotionally troubled with curious behaviour problems that his army superiors are at fault for not recognizing dysfunctional symptoms, and revoking or cancelling his security clearance.

As a defence strategy that seems hopeless — rather like the late Clifford Olson blaming the RCMP for his murder of several young people in B.C. because they didn’t arrest him sooner than they did.

Manning apparently tried to hide what he was doing by pretending online that he was a woman — Breanna Manning. To his apologists this indicates gender confusion, and a possible explanation for his treason. Rubbish.


Worthington: Wikileaks no threat | World | News | Toronto Sun
 
CDNBear
#153
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Here's a "news" report from The Sun which also lends credibility to the idea that there was no real threat from the wikileaks releases. In fact, there are a few tidbits which show the releases are now making the military more open and transparent.

You just don't get it do you?

That's now, hindsight is always 20/20.

When Assange revealed that data, he understood that it could place them in harms way, his reply when asked, "they deserve it".

Intent applied.

As SLM exampled previous, just because you make it home with a BAC well over the legal limit, doesn't mean you haven't committed a crime.

Only the morally bankrupt, hypocrite, ideologues seem to have a problem understanding that.
 
SLM
+1
#154
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

True, but I was referring to my personal opinion of the man.

If he stuck to just revealing documents that exposed wrong doing, whether I liked it or not, I would have defended him, and respected him.

Yes, I would have defended him and his actions as well. I do respect someone who puts their neck on the line to further a cause that they believe in. Where it crosses the line for me is when it endangers others, even if only potentially.
 
CDNBear
+1
#155
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Yes, I would have defended him and his actions as well. I do respect someone who puts their neck on the line to further a cause that they believe in. Where it crosses the line for me is when it endangers others, even if only potentially.

That's why we have laws protecting the identities of CI's.

The threat is real. Whether it materializes, is irrelevant.
 
mentalfloss
#156
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

You just don't get it do you?

That's now, hindsight is always 20/20.

When Assange revealed that data, he understood that it could place them in harms way, his reply when asked, "they deserve it".

Intent applied.

I'm sure Assange has said a lot of things, but I'm more concerned with the real effect of the release than what he said.

If I had my finger on the doomsday button and hit it but the machine failed, it wouldn't make much difference even if I wanted to blow up the whole world.

They would confine me access from a doomsday machine and we would call it a day.
 
CDNBear
+3
#157
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

I'm sure Assange has said a lot of things, but I'm more concerned with the real effect of the release than what he said.

No you aren't. You're more concerned with ignoring law, principle and morals, to further support your biases.

As I already pointed out, your condemnation of the Sun over publishing something that to many, is well within the public interest. Stands in stark contrast to your defense of Assange, who knowingly put people in harms way, whether it materialized or not.

You should pick a principle and stick to it.
 
mentalfloss
#158
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

That's why we have laws protecting the identities of CI's.

The threat is real. Whether it materializes, is irrelevant.

I agree that there are laws and they could be enforced after a release occurs, but they would have to prove a legitimate threat in order to have the appropriate punishment enacted.
 
SLM
+2
#159
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

This is the same argument the oil pundits push when they hear about global warming. It basically amounts to "plant a tree or give up believing in AGW."

It doesn't work.

And here we are right back to only two spots on the spectrum again. Square peg will not fit into a round hole no matter how hard you try.

What you are saying, what I am hearing from you, is that the only deciding factor in why an action would be considered wrong is whether or not it causes damage. What I am saying, what I think you are refusing to hear, is that it is the action itself that carries the moral implication.
 
mentalfloss
#160
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

What you are saying, what I am hearing from you, is that the only deciding factor in why an action would be considered wrong is whether or not it causes damage. What I am saying, what I think you are refusing to hear, is that it is the action itself that carries the moral implication.

Well it is true that the degree of harm plays a big role. It's basically what the courts would have to go on in order to actually assess damages. The judge can't just swing the mallet and put Assange in jail for "moral failure".
 
Machjo
#161
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

I agree that there are laws and they could be enforced after a release occurs, but they would have to prove a legitimate threat in order to have the appropriate punishment enacted.

Let's say Assange was in the UK when he had released these documents (though I honestly don't know in what jurisdiction he was, but for the sake of argument, let's say the UK). Now, if he'd revealed any information of a personal nature, at the very least the persons affected could sue him. I'm sure the US government would be more than happy to pay those Afghans' flights to the UK, hire them a lawyer, and sue his ass on their behalf for invasion of privacy.

No, it might not mean prison time, but it will still bankrupt him.
 
petros
+1
#162
What is the hypothetical death toll?
 
mentalfloss
+1
#163
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

What is the hypothetical death toll?

It's been a few pages since I asked that question and so far, nothing.
 
DaSleeper
+3
#164
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

And here we are right back to only two spots on the spectrum again. Square peg will not fit into a round hole no matter how hard you try.

What you are saying, what I am hearing from you, is that the only deciding factor in why an action would be considered wrong is whether or not it causes damage. What I am saying, what I think you are refusing to hear, is that it is the action itself that carries the moral implication.

You are trying to convince an........

.............


forget it
 
CDNBear
#165
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

I agree that there are laws and they could be enforced after a release occurs, but they would have to prove a legitimate threat in order to have the appropriate punishment enacted.

So openly revealing a CI's identity to those he's informing on doesn't present a threat of reprisal? Assange doesn't agree with you.

Maybe you should stop focusing on Op/Ed damage control pieces. Case law is clear.
 
mentalfloss
#166
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

So openly revealing a CI's identity to those he's informing on doesn't present a threat of reprisal? Assange doesn't agree with you.

I don't know what a CI is.

The Sun article states that no undercover agents info. were revealed and those agents are the only ones that could really show a legitimate threat.
 
petros
#167
You really believe the Taliban and Paki ISI have no idea who are rats and who aren't?

Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

I don't know what a CI is.

It's what we call a "rat" in Canada.
 
CDNBear
#168
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Well it is true that the degree of harm plays a big role.

No it doesn't.

Quote:

The judge can't just swing the mallet and put Assange in jail for "moral failure".

In Canada, the US and a the bulk of the EU, a Judge could find Assange guilty just for revealing a CI's name, where the threat ought to have been apparent.

Again, case law is clear.

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

What is the hypothetical death toll?

...
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

It's been a few pages since I asked that question and so far, nothing.

Who knows, the act is illegal.

Only the morally bankrupt hypocrites and ideologues hinge their erroneous opinions on it.
 
SLM
#169
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Well it is true that the degree of harm plays a big role. It's basically what the courts would have to go on in order to actually assess damages. The judge can't just swing the mallet and put Assange in jail for "moral failure".

I'm not talking about a judge in a courtroom. I'm talking about myself and my own assessment on the actions undertaken. It's about the principal of the action itself.

Degree of harm may play some role in the punishment one receives but it does not completely render the intial action as either moral or immoral.

That line of reasoning would suggest that attempted murder is no big deal at all because no actual death occured. The fact that no one died may mean a slightly lighter sentence but it does not render the intial action benign from a moral and ethical standpoint.
 
petros
#170
If it's illegal where are the charges?
 
Machjo
#171
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

If it's illegal where are the charges?

If there are no charges then what's the issue?
 
CDNBear
#172
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

The Sun article states that no undercover agents info. were revealed and those agents are the only ones that could really show a legitimate threat.

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

You really believe the Taliban and Paki ISI have no idea who are rats and who aren't?

After the fact, Assange would not have been privy to that information. Especially since an assumption.

His intent was made perfectly. If anyone objective enough, were obliged to ignore it on the grounds that it makes their argument worthless.
 
SLM
#173
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeperView Post

You are trying to convince an........

.............


forget it

Hey, I don't really care what he thinks. But telling me what I think and why I think that way, yeah I'm not going to shut up about it.

But I'm heading out for breakfast now, I'll check back in later.
 
CDNBear
#174
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

If it's illegal where are the charges?

In the works. Or even already written, and sealed.

I can see the reasoning to keep them quiet, until they can get a hold of him. No need to give him a heads up or anything.
 
mentalfloss
#175
Looks like Assange might be facing espionage (external - login to view)charges.
 
petros
#176
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

In the works. Or even already written, and sealed.

I can see the reasoning to keep them quiet, until they can get a hold of him. No need to give him a heads up or anything.

Link
 
Machjo
#177
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Looks like Assange might be facing espionage (external - login to view)charges.

I don't know how well it will hold though, at least in other countries, seeing that he wasn't even in the US when this happened. I guess he'll just avoid US soil from here on in and the US will be satisfied by the inconvenience this will cause him. Or alternatively, try to get him tried by the country in which he was when he'd committed these acts based on whatever domestic laws of that country which may apply.
 
CDNBear
#178
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Looks like Assange might be facing espionage (external - login to view)charges.

Interesting...

Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

But there seems to be some question as to whether Assange was a third party, or if he acted in concert.

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Link

To what? Your claim that the ISI and Taliban already know who all the CI's are? I'll wait here for that.
 
petros
#179
Exactly...a link to WHAT? Nothing?
 
Machjo
#180
Of course he he ends up in a Swedish prison for rape, then the US won't have to worry about him anymore for awhile.
 

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