Wikileaks: If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say . . .

By: hawkgrrrl
December 14, 2010

I’m sure your mother probably told you, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  But does that counsel apply to governments having secret conversations about their national interests, including how to deal with terrorists and other nations that may be double-dealing?  Assange and Wikileaks would say yes.  So, seemingly would the Bible:

Mark 4: 22  For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.

Luke 8:17  For nothing is asecret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

Then again, maybe not:

Proverbs 11:13  A atalebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

So, which is it?  Is Wikileaks right to promote more openness or wrong to share secrets that potentially put lives at risk?  As the Wikileaks documents were published, I was reminded of the issues during the Iraq War with journalists being embedded with the troops.  Where is the line between journalism (unfettered free speech, the right of the American people to know everything all the time) and national security (the ability to protect ourselves from foreign threats)?  Likewise, I thought about the news articles that openly described increased TSA practices in the wake of 9/11.  At the time, I remember feeling concerned about the fact that terrorists also read whatever is published by our free press.

However, despite our openness about our security procedures, time has demonstrated our ability to prevent an additional terrorist attack in the subsequent near-decade.  Perhaps this openness has been one of the secrets to our success.

You can keep anything a secret if only 2 people know, and one of them is dead. How many people have to have access to something before it’s no longer secret?  Documents that were leaked, in some cases, were accessible to over 630,000 government employees.  That’s a lot of people to trust with a secret, and as I’ve often said, you can do anything you want on your last day of work.  (usually I say that to steer an employee clear of an inadvisable action).  ;)

Is it treason?  A recent Time article discussed some of the fallout.

Harvard professor of diplomacy R. Nicholas Burns (former ambassador to NATO and Greece):  “I think the leaking of these cables has been a travesty.  He has done great harm to our diplomacy, because it strikes at the heart of what diplomacy is: The building of trust between people and between governments. The leaks violate that trust and are going to make some people, not everyone or every government, but some people, much more reluctant to discuss their affairs with American diplomats.”

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee): “This is very sensitive stuff … I certainly believe that WikiLeaks has violated the Espionage Act. But then what about news organizations that accepted it and distributed it? I know they say they deleted some of it and I am not here to make a final judgment on that, but to me The New York Times has committed at least an act of bad citizenship.”

Of course, what is “treason” varies greatly from country to country.  From the Time article:  “In the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Ireland and many other nations, publication of classified information is a crime simply because the material was secret.”  This is not the case in the US, though.  The Espionage Act of 1917 is the government’s only legal recourse, and it requires that a jury agree that the defendant harmed America or aided a foreign power.  But such a broad statute would “make illegal many things that American newspapers publish every day.”

Journalism, in its insatiable quest for fresh content, doesn’t always act responsibly; journalism never met a secret it didn’t want to reveal before its competitors.  Of course, governments have a nasty habit of classifying not only what is truly secret, but also that which covers their own backside.  It’s a convoluted argument to say that something should be top secret because it would erode the public trust if people knew their leaders blundered (or worse).

What should be kept secret?  I’d keep this pretty narrow:  classified military tactics with current or future implications, and diplomatic communications of our allies (this just seems like good manners).  If you had asked me directly after 9/11, I would have included any information that reveals our weaknesses to our enemies, but my view on this has shifted in the ensuing years.  It seems to me that doing so has actually increased how secure we are by informing citizens who have been more vigilant as a result and helped to prevent additional attacks.  In revealing our weaknesses through the press, we are also forced to face those weaknesses and deal with them, becoming stronger in the process.

So, who is responsible?  As with most blunders, there’s plenty of blame to go around.  The thoughtless overclassification of state secrets is a culprit, as the main reason “secrets” are so widely known that they can be easily leaked.  Julian Assange, while obviously a jackass for personal reasons (the “two women, one night, zero condoms” scandal), is not beholden to keep secrets that are thrust into his lap by disgruntled ex-civil servants.  The disgruntled ex-civil servant, IMO, should be held accountable under applicable law.  There’s also some blame for individual leaders (e.g. the President or Hillary Clinton) whose secret actions are now open to scrutiny; the actions of those leaders simply have to stand or fall on their own merits.

The New York Times has been criticized for its unsavory slavering over the juicy details without regard to national interest, but it’s not like the information isn’t out there; it seems unrealistic to require the NYT to ignore the leaks or to leave this information all to the bloggers, at least not without claiming their piece of the pie.  And of course, we the American people need to own up to our share of the blame.  I admit to prurient interest in peeking at the secret communications as well as secret delight at reading that Kim Il Jong was considered “flabby” by one diplomat, and that many Middle Eastern regimes are aligned with us in thinking that Iran is one messed up government.  I expected things to be worse, honestly.  This revelation greatly deflated my wildest conspiracy theories (an unsung upside to openness).  For the most part, from my view anyway, we Americans are who we say we are.

What are the lessons learned from this?  They are largely the same as real life lessons we all have to learn in the process of growing up.  First of all, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.  Or at least, don’t put it in writing.  Be careful who you share your “hair-down” opinions with.  Know who the confidantes of your confidantes are.  Be willing to own up to whatever you have done because your secret deeds and words can be made public at any time.

One lesson I hope we haven’t taught the world:  “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t tell the U.S.”

The best possible outcome, IMO, is that with less secrecy, we become stronger by being more informed and aligned.  The worst possible outcome would be that our allies go underground and quit telling us what we need to know or that cooperation and information sharing is a casualty of this scrutiny.  I’m certain that if our intelligence suffers as a result of this leak, no one is going to blame the media because to do so, they have to get past, well, the media.

You’ll notice that I didn’t mention the Wikileaks that have been church-related in the past.  IMO, that’s one area where transparency only has an upside, but if and when leaks occur, the accountability falls as described above:  1) leaders whose private actions are laid bare are subject to scrutiny and stand or fall on their own merits, 2) individuals who leak “secrets” they have committed not to leak are subject to church discipline - a byproduct of how many know the secrets, the nature of the secrets, and the amount of loyalty the organization instills in those individuals, and 3) openness generally creates more trust and alignment, not less.  Do you feel there are some church-related secrets that have too much downside if leaked?

What do you think of the Wikileaks scandal?  Discuss.

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74 Responses to Wikileaks: If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say . . .

  1. Mike S on December 14, 2010 at 8:23 AM

    I have mixed feelings about this on both the religious as well as the governmental front. In both cases, the organizations try to control information and put their spin on it.

    I think that, overall, openness is better. While there may have been some initial fallout from the Wikileaks incident, I do agree that it makes you feel better that there’s not some grand conspiracy. It makes you think that the people in government are regular people like you and me, trying to do their best in an imperfect world.

    I think the same thing would hold true for the Church. For a time several decades ago, it appeared that things were going to be more open. The Church didn’t like it, however, and clamped back down.

    This can lead to very real issues. When a white-washed version of our history is presented and someone subsequently finds out “truth”, it can be very jarring. People would be better served by knowing everything. King David is still revered by Jews and Christians alike, even through he was an adulterer and a murderer. Moses had his weaknesses, yet is still revered. It is, in fact, a more powerful testimony if God can work his will through imperfect man.

    And people can handle it. For decades, the CHI was treated like “double-secret probation”. It led to theories and created classes of people – those with access and those without. Now that it’s online (including book 1 if you really care to read it), it’s a no-brainer. There was some initial flurry of interest, but it’s already dying down. And in the long run, it’s a good thing. It shows there’s not really anything to hide. The Church also has regular people like you and me, trying to do their best in an imperfect world.

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  2. Stephen M (Ethesis) on December 14, 2010 at 8:59 AM

    It is important that he is an intermediary, not a news organization and that his professed intent is to harm the United States. The Nazis attempted to use reporters to handle spying for them, those were shot as spies.

    On the other hand, there is an unhealthy amount of secrecy “just because.” I’m obviously conflicted.

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  3. diane on December 14, 2010 at 10:41 AM

    There is a saying that goes like this,” What goes on in the dark will come out in the light.”

    WE’ve seen evidence of this time and time again, specifically in the arena of national politics. We’ve had the tapes of the Nixon, we have the tapes released of President Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs incident. This is nothing new. I guess what bothers me is the fact that the government both ours and others want to release this kind of information on there time table, vrs that of internet junkie who received the information from a disgruntled soldier. So, in this case I believe it would be treason

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  4. jmb275 on December 14, 2010 at 10:42 AM

    Great post HG. I agree ;-) . Here are some thought I have:

    Is Wikileaks right to promote more openness or wrong to share secrets that potentially put lives at risk?

    I’m wondering what the secrets are that have or would potentially put lives at risk? This seems like something super easy for the Dick Cheney’s of the world to pronounce and strike fear into the hearts of millions. I suspect there really are some, but which ones, and how do we know?

    In general, I favor more information than less. I think secrets, generally, have far more downsides that upsides. For all the “trust” we build between nations when we keep confidences, we also destroy trust between our own citizens and gov’t when we have too many secrets. I think the latter is more important and hence I favor openness despite the potential negative consequences between allies. Besides, I would prefer that we were isolationists in any case (when it comes to war that is).

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  5. Dan on December 14, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    too many secrets.

    that’s all I have to say about that.

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  6. hawkgrrrl on December 14, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    Dan – an allusion to the movie Sneakers? I love that movie!

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  7. MH on December 14, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    Dan, is that a purposeful reference to Sneakers and Forrest Gump? Seetec astronomy.

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  8. Jeff Spector on December 14, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    I am also on the fence with this. My overt mistrust of the government informs me that I want to know more not less. And if the government thinks it needs to be secret, then I want to know it all the more. Otherwise, how do we keep control of the government?

    But, it also seems that some things are sensitive and do require a level of confidentiality while they are going on, but then we should know about the details.

    The other part that always gets me is that while we live in a free country, if you get the US government mad at you for some reason, they will get you back, one way of another.

    but I must say that Julian Assange and his cohorts have more motivation than just disclosing information to the American people and the world.

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  9. Thomas on December 14, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    “What are the lessons learned from this?”

    The government, like pretty much every other institution in the last twenty years, has gotten thumbsuckingly incompetent.

    Yes, the government (being run more or less by lawyers) tends to keep too many secrets. But it doesn’t therefore follow that some secrets shouldn’t be kept.

    If Assange were really the heroic truth-teller he wants to pose as, he’d try publishing Russian state secrets. But then he probably doesn’t like the taste of polonium-210 in his tea.

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  10. hawkgrrrl on December 14, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    “If Assange were really the heroic truth-teller he wants to pose as, he’d try publishing Russian state secrets. But then he probably doesn’t like the taste of polonium-210 in his tea.” QFT!

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  11. TH on December 14, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    Good point in your comment, HG. This is like people who are advocates for nonviolence only harping on one side in a violent conflict for using force.

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  12. Stephen M (Ethesis) on December 14, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    Well,the Afghan documents included things such as the names of informants,tribal leaders working with the U.S. and such — but those were screened out with the help of the N. Y. times. The issue was that the diplomatic missives were not screened as well.

    As for the Russian secrets, he isn’t hostile to the Russians, but instead, trying to help them, and any others interested in harming the United States and has said so.

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  13. hawkgrrrl on December 14, 2010 at 2:41 PM

    From Assange’s interview with Time: “organizations can either be efficient, open and honest, or they can be closed, conspiratorial and inefficient.” I think this is a too simplistic view for governments specifically, but I do think there is also a lot of truth to it, more as might relate to a church. I’m thinking specifically of the Catholic Church and the sex scandals as I reflect on the statement. But I think most churches have a tendency to be closed, conspiratorial and inefficient – giving power and knowledge to a select few rather than to the people. “Give them correct principles and let them govern themselves” is a great mantra because it’s so anathema to most churches.

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  14. Mark N. on December 14, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    Addendum to the Old Testament:

    Thou shalt not bear false witness, unless working for the US Federal Government.

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  15. Andrew S on December 14, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    Instead of contributing something really serious, I’d just like to comment on how great and applicable a game Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri continues to be. This video is slightly not safe for work, because of artistic female nudity at 0:22, but I think the gist of the video is solid.

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  16. hawkgrrrl on December 14, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    “I’m wondering what the secrets are that have or would potentially put lives at risk?” IMO, this would be things like identity of covert operatives, revealing secret military tactics or plans, etc. But it’s certainly arguable that revealing that Iran’s neighbors are hostile could cause Iran to be more isolationist and hostile toward those neighbors, possibly even more prone to launch an offensive strike (when those neighbors have secretly pled with the US to do the same). Likewise, those regimes are at risk from their own constituents, FWIW, many of whom would side with Iran over the US.

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  17. Geoff-A on December 14, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    In this part of the world there is no mention of Assange being anti
    American. What is the evidence for this?

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  18. All_Black on December 15, 2010 at 3:04 AM

    “Is it treason?”

    Uhm, how can it be treason against the USA when Assange isn’t a US citizen? And the Australian government has already dismissed any chance of prosecution against federal secrecy, electronic interception or terrorism laws because the leaks originated in the US.

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  19. All_Black on December 15, 2010 at 3:10 AM

    “Julian Assange, while obviously a jackass for personal reasons (the “two women, one night, zero condoms” scandal)”

    I thought the guy got lucky…two women, one night? Lucky until his willing cohorts in sexual bliss changed their stories to “oh, you bastard, you didn’t ware a condom” rubbish.

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  20. allblack58 on December 15, 2010 at 3:27 AM

    “As for the Russian secrets, he isn’t hostile to the Russians, but instead, trying to help them, and any others interested in harming the United States and has said so.”

    What caca de toro!

    The Russians didn’t have and still don’t have any angry public servants who send material to a web site set up to publish leaks documents. If they did the documents would be up there too.

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  21. Stephen M (Ethesis) on December 15, 2010 at 5:47 AM

    “In this part of the world there is no mention of Assange being anti
    American. What is the evidence for this?”

    His public interview was where I got it, where he was explaining that the United States needed to be harmed and disabled and he was proud to be a part of that. I only have his interview to go from.

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  22. Stephen M (Ethesis) on December 15, 2010 at 5:50 AM

    Russians didn’t have and still don’t have any angry public servants … sure … sure … I keep forgetting what a place of bliss and light Russia is these days. ;)

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  23. hawkgrrrl on December 15, 2010 at 8:34 AM

    All_Black: The question of treason doesn’t apply to Assange, but the origin of the leaked documents is an American citizen, and even the NYT was questioned on that front by some experts.

    Secondly, Assange’s actions (the women state they did not agree to unprotected sex) are a crime in Sweden. While that’s not specifically cited as a crime in US law, it is in Sweden.

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  24. hawkgrrrl on December 15, 2010 at 8:38 AM

    Here’s the link to the Time article with the full interview with Assange: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2034040,00.html

    I say let every person judge for himself what Assange’s intentions are. To me it’s a mixed bag. I would call him idealistic and a bit misguided/simplistic, but he also scores some points.

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  25. diane on December 15, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    is it treason?

    Not on the part of Assange, but the fact is, he got the information from an disgruntled American soldier. So, yes, it is treason

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  26. Thomas on December 15, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    “The Russians didn’t have and still don’t have any angry public servants who send material to a web site set up to publish leaks documents.”

    Because those that do, die:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_journalists_killed_in_Russia

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  27. FireTag on December 15, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    “Openness” can also be lying by omission, i.e., by selective leaking. It is notable, for example, that the Guardian and the New York Times, which were prime publication points for Wikileaks previously refused to publish the Climategate e-mails “because they were stolen”.

    Similarly, the “jouralist” scandal of a few months back raised howls when leaks revealed that supposedly editorially straight mainstream reporters were e-mailing each other with story talking points on how to stop the rising tide of public opposition to Democratic legislative priorities.

    You can’t see this just on an openness-secrecy spectrum; you’ve got to “eat your vegetables” and look at the work of people on the other side of the issue, too.

    I think we are increasingly going to see political, and even military, combat fought in cyberspace. Wikileaks is important, but amateurish, low-tech cyberwar. Did anybody notice that the West (probably US, Israel, and/or German) has successfully used two “cyberwarheads” embedded in the Stuxnet worm to incrementally destroy Iranian nuclear weapons equipment, setting the program back as much as two years? German experts are calling it almost as effective as airstrikes.

    But, I digress.

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  28. All_Black on December 15, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    “Because those that do, die:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_journalists_killed_in_Russia

    The journalists caught talking bad of government and mafia. Still there isn’t a public servant willing to leak all those docs. But that article means that Assange would be assassinated? should he leak official Russian docs. But didn’t a few GOP politicians recently recommend Assange’s assassination? luckily most Americans aren’t as extreme as some on the US right. Or rather luckily for Assange :) However they probably will come up with some kangaroo court (ironic) to convict him of something and make him both A-more famous and B-a martyr for the extreme left movement.

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  29. Thomas on December 15, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    “But didn’t a few GOP politicians recently recommend Assange’s assassination?”

    Such as?

    Most of the commentary I saw discussing Assange getting popped, was in the form of “this just shows we can’t watch shows like The Bourne Identity with a straight face anymore, since if the left-wing trope of the eeeevil all-powerful CIA had the remotest crumb of truth to it, that smarmy tosser would have disappeared long ago.”

    “However they probably will come up with some kangaroo court (ironic) to convict him of something…”

    What’s wrong with a perfectly normal, non-marsupial court hearing a charge under the Espionage Act?

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  30. All_Black on December 15, 2010 at 2:36 PM

    “Secondly, Assange’s actions (the women state they did not agree to unprotected sex) are a crime in Sweden. While that’s not specifically cited as a crime in US law, it is in Sweden.”

    True. But it is both ironic and strange that they engaged in unprotected sex, then felt cheated because Assange was doing both *ladies* so they go to authorities who investigate and actually drop the case. But now that the US is all upset and hurt, a leftist DA (equivalent to) gets it running again and has him arrested.

    Again ironic that a lefty gets him arrested on a very PC crime, just when the US is trying to work out how they can throw Assange, a journalist, in prison.

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  31. All_Black on December 15, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    #29,

    Sarah Palin:

    “His..posting of classified documents revealed the identity of more than 100 Afghan sources to the Taliban. Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al-Qaida and Taliban leaders?” Palin said. [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40467957/ns/us_news-wikileaks_in_security/]

    You aren’t putting most Taliban leaders through a civilian court process but shooting them. If they would assassinate Taliban leaders, then it follows…..

    Right Wing News is nicer though:

    “Either way, Julian Assange deserves to die for what he’s done and he should be killed to send a message loud enough to convince other people not to publish documents like this in the future. “[http://rightwingnews.com/2010/07/the-cia-should-kill-julian-assange/]

    Nice way to do business!

    We could google on and on.

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  32. All_Black on December 15, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    #29 “What’s wrong with a perfectly normal, non-marsupial court hearing a charge under the Espionage Act?”

    Because he is a journalist publishing other peoples espionage not his.

    That trial would never be anything but a farce.

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  33. hawkgrrrl on December 15, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    “But it is both ironic and strange that they . . . ” this starter just made me laugh because it sounds just like every defense attorney’s opener as they smear the victim in rape cases on Law & Order. But I have no real dog in the Sweden fight – that’s between Assange & Sweden. Overall, I think he comes off fairly well in the Time interview. But it’s kind of douchy to have unprotected sex with two women in one night unless you are a rock star and they are groupies. He’s no rock star, but he seems to have the ego of one.

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  34. Thomas on December 15, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    AB (is that a reference to NZ rugby, btw?)

    Anyway, you said “a few GOP politicians” called for Assange’s asssassination. You didn’t identify a single one. You have one rhetorical question (which you infer was rhetorically asking about assassination), by Sarah Palin, who is not a “GOP politician” at the moment.

    Scraping the bottom of the barrel, aren’t we?

    Re: the Espionage Act, it applies to:

    Whoever, with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation, communicates, delivers, or transmits, or attempts to communicate, deliver, or transmit, to any foreign government, or to any faction or party or military or naval force within a foreign country, whether recognized or unrecognized by the United States, or to any representative, officer, agent, employee, subject, or citizen thereof, either directly or indirectly, any document…relating to the national defense, shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for any term of years or for life

    (18 USC section 794(a).)

    There’s no “journalist” exception to the statute. Now, it would certainly be hard to prosecute a traditional journalist for releasing secret documents. The “intent” requirement would be a bear to prove. The journalist could simply say he was acting out of regard for the Public’s Right to Know, or something else not motivated by an intent to harm the United States.

    Unfortunately for Assange, he’s helpfully made what lawyers call “admissions against interest” that just happen to pretty much mirror the Espionage Act’s intent requirement. When you say “I am releasing defense secrets because I want to bring down the corrupt United States government, I don’t care who you are — your defense attorney is going to have a coronary.

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  35. Thomas on December 15, 2010 at 5:03 PM

    I’ll add that people who think that the Pentagon Papers case is precedent that the First Amendment would bar application of the Espionage Act in this circumstance, forget that that case was about prior restraint — the propriety of the government getting an injunction beforehand to prevent a newspaper from following through on a stated plan to release secret information.

    The case said nothing about criminal liability for the paper after it went ahead and did it. In that particular case, because of the political climate (and the fact that the New York Times was still inexplicably worshipped as An American Institution), there was no prosecution. The tosser Assange may not have quite so much clout in this radically different political environment. He ought to have the book thrown at him.

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  36. FireTag on December 15, 2010 at 5:22 PM

    Hawkgrrrl:

    It is even more “strange and ironic” that he met both women in association with far-left conferences and was called on it for embarrassing current policies of a left-of-center administration.

    Revolutionaries play rough; revolutions eat their young. True idealists ought to understand that.

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  37. Mark N. on December 15, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    Secondly, Assange’s actions (the women state they did not agree to unprotected sex) are a crime in Sweden. While that’s not specifically cited as a crime in US law, it is in Sweden.

    On this basis, I hope citizens of Arab countries properly feel shamed as a result of American anti-polygamy statutes.

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  38. Jon on December 15, 2010 at 10:44 PM

    A free nation/people wouldn’t need so many secrets.

    The principle. Free trade without the use of military might to make countries do your bidding doesn’t require a plethora of secrets and bureaucracy. Love thy neighbor and God will bless. Curse thy neighbor and God will curse you. That which you do to your neighbor you do to God.

    God would protect us if we were free and a relatively righteous people. I hope these secrets that are coming out will help us to become more free and help us to repent of our wickedness. I hope it gets people to see the evil which our nation does in the name of the people that live in this country. I hope we can all agree to renounce violence and proclaim peace, not in just word, but in action too.

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  39. Stephen M (Ethesis) on December 16, 2010 at 7:11 AM

    The last word, sort of ;)

    http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/wikileaks.png

    Because he is a journalist publishing other peoples espionage not his.

    Actually, no, he is a broker or a middle man between leakers and journalists in this case.

    That is what makes it interesting, not to mention that the same journalists refused to print the climategate e-mails.

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  40. Stephen M (Ethesis) on December 16, 2010 at 7:11 AM

    I hope we can all agree to renounce violence and proclaim peace, not in just word, but in action too.

    Amen. And on Earth, Peace, Goodwill towards man.

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  41. All_Black on December 16, 2010 at 2:53 PM

    34. “by Sarah Palin, who is not a “GOP politician” at the moment.”

    Really? not even the GOP wants here now? or is it because she’s not ‘american’ seeing she’s from Alaska! You can’t be going on about the technicality that because she isn’t in office she isn’t a politician surely?

    But look the publicity created here and what happened today in London when he was released, only contribute to grow his fame and his work. You are helping to create a martyr here , not fighting for justice.

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  42. All_Black on December 16, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    34. Re: the Espionage Act

    You’ll have to open up enough prisons to house all the people involved with wikileaks and now the new spin off sites. Remember that Assange started the site and today is a defacto CEO, but he isn’t the only person involved with these leaks.

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  43. All_Black on December 16, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    39. “Actually, no, he is a broker or a middle man between leakers and journalists in this case”

    I disagree with that. Assange can also be seen now as a 21st century new media journalists. Although he is still the CEO and started the website (using his own laptop by the way)

    Your definition there is better suited to the pre90s businesses like Reuters.

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  44. All_Black on December 16, 2010 at 3:09 PM

    33. “But it’s kind of douchy to have unprotected sex with two women in one night unless you are a rock star and they are groupies. He’s no rock star, but he seems to have the ego of one.”

    Well, actually, many women around the world do look at him as a quasi rock star. Many women go for fame over looks or substance and they throw themselves at him (according to online gossip :) ).

    As they say “talent attracts a lady of taste” as these two probably considered themselves women of taste, until they realized the truth of it all.

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  45. All_Blacks on December 16, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    34 “AB (is that a reference to NZ rugby, btw?)”

    Ah….not sure.

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  46. Thomas on December 16, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    “You are helping to create a martyr here, not fighting for justice.”

    If addle-headed simpletons want to make a hero out of a criminal, that’s their problem. The notion that you should avoid punishing bad guys, lest they become “martyrs,” is never something I’ve quite been able to understand. I mean, there were probably people who considered Timothy McVeigh a “martyr,” but that didn’t mean it was wrong or foolish to string him up.

    Anyway, who said anything about “justice”? Such an abstract, subjective principle, surely out of date in our modern relativistic world that smirks at such superstitions. This is a guy who wants to do harm to my country, and therefore, by extension, me. So I’m happy to see him stopped.

    “You’ll have to open up enough prisons to house all the people involved with wikileaks and now the new spin off sites.”

    You don’t have to prosecute them all. Just throw the book at a few well-picked guys, pour encourager les autres.

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  47. Jon on December 16, 2010 at 3:41 PM

    The Ron Paul Files:

    “Lying Is Not Patriotic

    …Questions to consider:

    1. Do the American people deserve to know the truth regarding the ongoing war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen?

    2. Could a larger question be: how can an Army Private gain access to so much secret material?

    3. Why is the hostility mostly directed at Assange, the publisher, and not our government’s failure to protect classified information?

    4. Are we getting our money’s worth from the $80 billion per year we spend on our intelligence agencies?

    5. Which has resulted in the greatest number of deaths; lying us into war, or WikiLeaks’ revelations or the release of the Pentagon Papers?

    6. If Assange can be convicted of a crime for publishing information, that he did not steal, what does this say about the future of the First Amendment and the independence of the internet?

    7. Could it be that the real reason for the near universal attacks on WikiLeaks is more about secretly maintaining a seriously flawed foreign policy of empire than it is about national security?

    8. Is there not a huge difference between releasing secret information to help the enemy in the time of a declared war – which is treason – and the releasing of information to expose our government lies that promote secret wars, death, and corruption?

    9. Was it not once considered patriotic to stand up to our government when it’s wrong?

    Thomas Jefferson had it right when he advised: “Let the eyes of vigilance never be closed.””

    See: http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul710.html

    “Focus on the Policy, Not WikiLeaks

    No one questions the status quo or suggests a wholesale rethinking of our foreign policy. No one suggests that the White House or the State Department should be embarrassed that the U.S. engages in spying and meddling. The only embarrassment is that it was made public. This allows ordinary people to actually know and talk about what the government does. But state secrecy is anathema to a free society. Why exactly should Americans be prevented from knowing what their government is doing in their name?

    In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, however, we are in big trouble. The truth is that our foreign spying, meddling, and outright military intervention in the post–World War II era has made us less secure, not more. And we have lost countless lives and spent trillions of dollars for our trouble. Too often “official” government lies have provided justification for endless, illegal wars and hundreds of thousands of resulting deaths and casualties.”

    See http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul708.html

    “US Gov is More Dangerous than WikiLeaks”

    See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPsa0DFx1qk

    Thomas,

    You need not worry about Assange but the US government with its meddling is more likely to do us in than what Assange has done. Let us be a free and peaceful people.

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  48. FireTag on December 16, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    Jon:

    You have a comment in moderation because of too many links embedded. To avoid this in future, please try to limit yourself to one link per comment, though there is nothing wrong with using multiple comments if necessary.

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  49. All_Black on December 16, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    Thomas 46.

    “The notion that you should avoid punishing bad guys, lest they become “martyrs,” is never something I’ve quite been able to understand”

    You’ve misunderstood that part. I was referring to the US obsession with labeling the rest of the world as either bad guys or good guys to justify attacking the bad guys, ie Sadam, Noriega etc

    But in criticizing Assange and the publicity involved with all these news stories about him and a possible prosecution or even assassination, just helps to expand his hero status, his fame as an anti-government anti-corruption crusader, puts him up there with the MLKings of this world, even makes him look like a Galileo-type figure who,instead of suffering at the hands of the all powerful church is suffering at the hands of the all powerful USofA, and should you assassinate him, well then he will be a martyr for free speech for generations to come.

    Re “pour encourager les autres”, My French is crap, or is it German? But no, there are simply too many people involved with wikileaks, and they are all idealists not just money making capitalists, so I doubt putting one guy away will do much. He’ll just become a Nelson Mandela figure for free speech and anti-government corruption.

    But you can try to do it. Not saying it isn’t possible. Only that it will be a kangaroo court because any and every US jury will convict him no matter what the evidence is or lack of it is. Surely you don’t think all criminal trials in america exert justice?

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  50. All_Black on December 16, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    “3. Why is the hostility mostly directed at Assange, the publisher, and not our government’s failure to protect classified information?”

    Because the US general public seems to only understand ‘good guys-bad guys’; and that works well for a 5sec news clip during prime time maybe?

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  51. Thomas on December 16, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    “Why is the hostility mostly directed at Assange, the publisher, and not our government’s failure to protect classified information?””

    Because even when somebody (me) acts like a complete idiot and leaves his camera outside in the stroller, the guy who steals it still deserves more blame than I do.

    “Only that it will be a kangaroo court because any and every US jury will convict him no matter what the evidence is or lack of it is. Surely you don’t think all criminal trials in america exert justice?”

    Being the nephew of an incorruptibly honest Los Angeles deputy D.A. — yeah, pretty much. Far more guilty parties get off than innocent men are convicted. That’s probably the way it should be.

    With Assange, what we’ve got is (1) digital and documentary evidence, in the forms of the Wikileaks postings, of the criminal act (unauthorized disclosure of classified defense information); and (2) a party admission of the criminal intent. An acquittal would be a miscarriage of justice.

    “pour encourager les autres” — French, from Candide. “To encourage the others.” You overrate, I think, the dedication of your thumbsucking “idealists.” The typical radical, anymore, has nothing of the steel previous generations had. (Decades of protesting a nice, bemused democracy, who generally won’t do anything to you, tends to sap the “no pasaran” fire.) A twenty-year prison term would be like totally lame, dude.

    Nelson Mandela could handle decades on Robben Island. The typical modern trustafarian radical couldn’t stand losing his iPod privileges for a week.

    “US obsession with labeling the rest of the world as either bad guys or good guys to justify attacking the bad guys, ie Sadam”

    So was Saddam a bad guy, or not? What do you have to do to get into the bad-guy league?

    But in criticizing Assange and the publicity involved with all these news stories about him and a possible prosecution or even assassination, just helps to expand his hero status, his fame as an anti-government anti-corruption crusader, puts him up there with the MLKings of this world, even makes him look like a Galileo-type figure who,instead of suffering at the hands of the all powerful church is suffering at the hands of the all powerful USofA, and should you assassinate him, well then he will be a martyr for free speech for generations to come.

    “If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine,” eh?

    I understand the power of narrative and myth, especially in the soft minds of people who insist on buying into it, but I trust the power of reason more. Serious people do not compare Julian “Bareback” Assange to Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, or Galileo. Stoners with Walter Mitty fantasies about standing up to (conveniently tolerant) Evil Empires might, but — meh. What did they ever accomplish?

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  52. Thomas on December 16, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    “9. Was it not once considered patriotic to stand up to our government when it’s wrong?”

    No, silly. Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism only when a Republican is in the White House. When it’s t’other way ’round, dissent is Dangerous Extremism and Tinged with Racism.

    “The truth is that our foreign spying, meddling, and outright military intervention in the post–World War II era has made us less secure, not more.”

    On the other hand, the world has gone longer without a Great Power war than, I think, has ever happened in the history of the world. A unipolar world, under a Pax Romana or Britannia or Americana or whatever, tends to annoy the resentful, but it’s a hella lot more stable than a multipolar world. Great Power wars are indeed Bad Things. Somebody’s been doing something right.

    “4. Are we getting our money’s worth from the $80 billion per year we spend on our intelligence agencies?”

    Clearly, no. Competence is on a general downslope lately, pretty much across the board.

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  53. Jon on December 16, 2010 at 5:49 PM

    On the other hand, the world has gone longer without a Great Power war than

    But the big guy killing all the little guys doesn’t matter.

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  54. Thomas on December 16, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    “But the big guy killing all the little guys doesn’t matter.”

    If the little guys didn’t insist on killing the big guy’s little friends (Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War I, of which the 2003 Gulf War ought to be seen as a continuation, Yugoslavia), or skyscrapers full of the big guys’ citizens, maybe they wouldn’t get themselves killed.

    The truth is that the post-World War II international order, undergirded in majority part by American power — restrained as no comparably dominant civilization has never restrained itself before — has produced a time where deaths from warfare, in “big” and “small” countries alike, are at an all-time low.

    Yes, the deaths of 100,000 Iraqis (mostly done in, incidentally, by the bad guys) is horrible. Compare to 100,000 Germans incinerated in just a couple of cities, in a couple of Bomber Harris’ night raids. We have no idea how good we have it, and how far we are from a world our grandparents knew.

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  55. All_Black on December 16, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    Thomas “Serious people do not compare Julian “Bareback” Assange to Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, or Galileo”

    You’ve just lost me dude!

    But we’ll see what history ends up saying about Julian Assange and his website. The only thing Americans can’t spin is the truth in history. Eventually the truth comes out as it has with bay of ping, gulf of Tonkin, Kennedy’s womanizing, the lies over the Iraq invasion (thanks to Assange) etc etc. That’s what you should be patriotic about: fact that the truth does come to light eventually in the american system, something that doesn’t always happen in other nations!

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  56. All_Black on December 16, 2010 at 7:10 PM

    Thomas,

    ” or skyscrapers full of the big guys’ citizens,”

    You know they had nothing to do with Iraq….ah, never mind.

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  57. Jon on December 16, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    Thomas,

    I don’t know if the world is more dangerous or less today all I know is that more people are dying than needs be because of the United States Government. Might does not make right. We’ll see our empire go to the wayside just like all the rest of the empires before it. Empire building is not the way to keep a nation great neither is it possible, you can’t police the world indefinitely, neither is it the best way to “promote peace.”

    I know I can’t change your mind but if you want to continue killing innocent people don’t complain when the Lord does that which He always does to a people which lusts after blood. I don’t know if you’re religious but if you are I encourage you to read them from an antiwar perspective. I’ve just finished Genesis and it’s amazing all the antiwar references in it. It even mentions blow back, something neocons and liberals don’t seem to understand (assuming you call Obama liberal that is, I don’t know if they claim him or not).

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  58. SUNNofaB.C.Rich on December 16, 2010 at 10:24 PM

    If you just finished reading Genesis and you think the old testament is in any way shape or form “Anti-war” uhhhh…. keep on readin slugger.

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  59. Thomas on December 17, 2010 at 11:37 AM

    Jon, I don’t want to kill innocent people, nor lust for blood, and I think rather less of you for stooping to that pathetically insulting level. That’s generally the first sign a person has no real arguments to make.

    Might does not make right, but right often needs might. The scripture stories about “the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword, melting like snow in the glance of the Lord” are nice, but my experience is that God helps those who helps themselves, and maybe not even that, consistently.

    Call the postwar order, based on collective security, “empire building” if you want — but first, compare it to how real empires operate. Of course nothing lasts forever. The (relative) peace we enjoy now is something extraordinarily rare in history. Enjoy it while you can.

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  60. Thomas on December 17, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    All Black, I guarantee that what you think about the Gulf of Tonkin incident is at least 75% wrong. Don’t even try to match historical chops with me, sport.

    You operate from a perspective (frequently found on the political left, and even more in the grossly uninformed opinion of the global left) that the United States is not just flawed, but unusually wicked. I don’t see it. For all its warts, I see it exercising its power with more restraint than virtually any other comparably-situated civilization (enjoying such primacy) has ever done. When you have to go back to the frickin’ McKinley administration to find any genuine “empire building,” you are really reaching.

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  61. Jon on December 17, 2010 at 1:24 PM

    Thomas,

    If it’s not blood lust I don’t know what it is. When you consistently call for medley in others affairs, when you wish to resolve problems with violence, and see no war that wasn’t good I don’t know what to call other than blood lust. Mormon exited the military because of that. He said to let God have vengeance not your countrymen. If you don’t believe God that we can be safe without attacking every country in the world I don’t know what else to say. Any violent action or economic embargoes necessitate the death of innocent children and elderly.

    President Grant (of the church said) if we would but listen to the prophets there would be no reason for war.

    What is an empire? Is not an empire the exertion of force of other countries? This has been going on since at least WWI. Since the inception of the CIA we have been toppling over governments that we don’t agree with. Where do you think the Taliban, Hussein, the regime in Iran all came from? That’s right, the CIA. The US putting its nose where it doesn’t belong. Interventions just make things worse.

    Yes, when another country attacks ours then we have the right to defend ourselves but even then we should be attacked a couple of times before we proceed down the path of war. Imagine if we hadn’t gotten into WWI, there would have been no WWII since such harsh constraints wouldn’t have been possible on the German people. Neither would the cold war have happened. It’s all just a waste of life and possible prosperity.

    Yes, it is blood lust when you wish to kill innocent people. I urge you to read the scriptures and listen to the prophets on this matter and turn to Christ and believe his message of peace.

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  62. Thomas on December 17, 2010 at 2:36 PM

    “If you don’t believe God that we can be safe without attacking every country in the world I don’t know what else to say.”

    I’ll agree that you don’t know what to say. If you can’t argue without contorting into knots what I actually say and think, then you shouldn’t even bother coming onto the field.

    “Imagine if we hadn’t gotten into WWI, there would have been no WWII since such harsh constraints wouldn’t have been possible on the German people.”

    I love alternate history, but it’s highly speculative. I don’t think the German spring offensive of 1918 would have succeeded in gaining all that much more real estate than the (still relatively small) American contingent on the Western Front limited it to. The advantage of the defense, before the advent of advanced tanks and aircraft, was just too great. More likely, the parties would have settled into a stalemate, and probably at some point, a negotiated peace.

    Then what? Germany still would have been left frustrated. (That seems to have been their natural pre-World War II state.) The burden of the Versailles Treaty frankly wasn’t anywhere near as awful as the Nazis (not exactly great truth-tellers) made it out to be. So they lost some territory in Poland they shouldn’t have had in the first place. And they had to pay reparations, which didn’t come remotely close to paying for the damage they’d caused. Cry me a river.

    Given the cultural environment of the early 20th century — where everybody was out looking for secular religions to replace the real ones, God having been killed, Nietzsche-style — I’d put good money down that a Hitler would have emerged one way or the other. His anti-Semitism was a product of his pre-Great War environment, remember, and the ideas in Mein Kampf aren’t all that far from other intellectual threads of the time, including some “progressive” ones. So maybe the Allies not winning the First World War would have prevented the Second. Or, alternatively, it could have just let Germany start the Second from a stronger position.

    “Neither would the cold war have happened.”

    Because….? The Russian Revolution occurred before the United States made any significant contribution to World War I. The Soviets were going to be game on one way or the other.

    “Where do you think the Taliban, Hussein, the regime in Iran all came from? That’s right, the CIA.”

    A gross, Howard Zinn-style oversimplification of reality. The trope of the all-powerful CIA ought to have been put to bed long ago, in light of the fact that it can’t even keep some amateur Australian with bad hair from publishing the entire body of American state secrets to everybody in the universe with a modem.

    I admit to being skeptical of the particular kind of pacifism advocated by Mormon leaders in the 1930s and 1940s. It was more than a little tinged by Old Right-style isolationism (a good helping of which you’re getting at those lewrockwell.com sites you’re linking to), which in turn often gave the appearance of disliking the idea of war with the Nazis because it found aspects of their thinking admirable. J. Reuben Clark was a prime example of this. (This, in turn, may have been influenced by Mormon racialism.) The parallel is of left-wing “pacifists” sometimes being not so much anti-war, as for the other side.

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  63. Thomas on December 17, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    “Interventions just make things worse.”

    Except the evidence just doesn’t bear that out. If you plotted a graph of American overseas involvement (call it “meddling” if you like) versus the number of global deaths from warfare, you will see that as the former increased, the latter decreased.

    Now, you could argue that correlation isn’t always evidence of causation — that the global trend would have been away from war regardless of what America did — but you’d be guessing.

    It just bugs me that America gets accused of “meddling” and “empire building,” when its interventions almost invariably consist of trying to stop an actual empire builder from taking over a neighboring country. See, e.g., Korea, Vietnam, and Kuwait.

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  64. Thomas on December 17, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    “and see no war that wasn’t good”

    When did I say that?

    I’ll give you the Spanish-American War, the War of 1812, and some (not all) of the Indian Wars. And a “partial” on the Mexican-American War; even though the Mexicans were foolish enough to fire the first shots, President Polk pretty much counted on that and wanted them to.

    Virtually every other conflict was a clear-cut case of either self-defense or defense of others pursuant to the United Nations Charter’s principle of collective security — or, in the case of Iraq 2003, a continuation of the latter kind of conflict. Not every conflict, though, that is morally justified, is necessarily the wisest choice — but the morality of a choice is based on the information reasonably available at the time the choice is made.

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  65. Jon on December 17, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    I know (and am learning) the principles of freedom and peace and like them.

    Sure the CIA might not have been the soul player in much of what they did but they were still there. From my understanding the CIA is what has been operating in Yemen using drone planes.

    There’s a reason the planes came flying in on 9/11. It’s called blow back. It would have never have happened without that.

    What are some of the consequences of all this besides 10s of thousands of deaths around world (some put it in the millions) because of our meddling? We’re seeing the militarization our country. If terrorism were such a big deal why don’t we see malls being blown up? Our country is the first one that requires a strip search just to fly (sure not all the airports and terminals have the machines yet, but they’re coming). Fear where no fear is warranted. Fear during the cold war where no fear was warranty (and the fear probably made it even worse).

    I know LRC isn’t always accurate, I know they are biased but I find their information more credible than MSM. There’s no way I’m going back to it. The reason I stopped listening to them altogether was because neither reporting (of the two main parties) gave principled debates in the health care debates, Dems said, “We want government run health care.” (At least that was their ultimate goal). Repubs said, “We like government controlled health care (medicaid & medicare) and want more of it just not so quickly like the dems want.” Then I read mises.org and even Cato Institute and found logical principled based arguments. Repubs and Dems are severely lacking in academic thought, although both do put out some good work, but nothing like Mises institute and Cato.

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  66. Thomas on December 17, 2010 at 3:23 PM

    “There’s a reason the planes came flying in on 9/11. It’s called blow back. It would have never have happened without that.”

    And when the jihadists tried the first time to blow up the WTC in 1993, what was that “blowback” from?

    We are never going to be able to remove every conceivable grievance, from people marinated in a medieval honor culture who are determined to find grievances. Heck, Sweden just had a suicide bomber try to blow up some Christmas shoppers (pieces — of the feckless bomber — be upon them!), in part because Sweden didn’t condemn, loudly enough, the decision of a Danish cartoonist to draw a picture of the prophet Mohammed. You simply cannot bend over far enough, that those people won’t still try to blow you up. It’s what they do.

    “Our country is the first one that requires a strip search just to fly (sure not all the airports and terminals have the machines yet, but they’re coming). Fear where no fear is warranted”

    I’d say that the strip searches are less about fear, than (1) bureaucratic butt-coverage and the need to look like government is Doing Something, and (2) a dogged refusal to Do the one Something that actually would accomplish something useful — namely, look for the bomber, not the bomb, like the Israelis successfully do. But since we’ve never been able to process, in our race-obsessed country, the distinction between rational and invidious generalizations, we get the strip search charade instead.

    “Repubs and Dems are severely lacking in academic thought, although both do put out some good work, but nothing like Mises institute and Cato.”

    Agree 100%. If the whole world were committed to liberty and consensual government, wars would be vanishingly rare.

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  67. All_Blacks on December 17, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    “I guarantee that what you think about the Gulf of Tonkin incident is at least 75% wrong.”

    Sure! no you somehow magically know what’s in my head.

    “the United States is not just flawed, but unusually wicked.”

    Absolutely never said such a thing. Its your extreme bias against anything not Republican that brings you to those wild accusations. You have me so wrong dude. And you were responding to a comment where I *clearly* stated that you should be proud of the fact that secrets do come to light eventually in the USA. How you went from that to ‘extreme left’ and ‘unusually wicked’ is practically psychotic! Yeah, you need to see a shrink sometime soon dude!

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  68. Thomas on December 17, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    Well, AB, you included the Gulf of Tonkin in a list of other American government “lies,” so I wouldn’t expect you to know that yes, there clearly was a first attack on the Maddox and Turner Joy, (as acknowledged by the North Vietnamese themselves), whereas the second attack almost certainly didn’t happen, and was probably a matter of false radar signals.

    “Yeah, you need to see a shrink sometime soon dude!”

    And there’s the Soviet-vintage psychiatry, right on schedule: If you don’t buy into the Approved Conventional Wisdom, you’re cracked. Can’t you guys please get a new playbook?

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  69. SUNNofaB.C.Rich on December 18, 2010 at 12:19 AM

    blowback… Term used by sniveling cowards feebly attempting to justify their misdirected, selfish glee at the unjustifiable actions of people who have no good reason at all to commit such acts. Not one of these sniveling cowards believes in this concept of “blowback” enough to actually be part of it. Put your life on the line for it! Volunteer to be blown up by a terrorist in support of your belief in blowback! Make it happen, envision it. Blowback is the future! Sacrifice yourself on the altar of terrorism to ensure that blowback lives on! People like that don’t believe in anything enough to fight for it though. They snivel, whine and grovel for it. I’d uppercut their heads completely off their bodies, into outer space if I wasn’t such a reasonable person. Scum.

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  70. Jon on December 18, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    Blow back:

    Genesis 34:13-30

    13 And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister:
    14 And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us:
    15 But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we be, that every male of you be circumcised;
    22 Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised.
    24 And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.
    25¶And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.
    26 And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went out.
    30 And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.

    Genesis 49:5-7

    5 Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.
    6 O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their banger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.
    7 Cursed be their banger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

    Apparently I’m not the only one that believes in it.

    War:

    Mormon 2:14

    14 And they did not come unto Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spirits, but they did curse God, and wish to die. Nevertheless they would struggle with the sword for their lives.

    Mormon 3:9-11

    9 And now, because of this great thing which my people, the Nephites, had done, they began to boast in their own strength, and began to swear before the heavens that they would avenge themselves of the blood of their brethren who had been slain by their enemies.
    10 And they did swear by the heavens, and also by the throne of God, that they would go up to battle against their enemies, and would cut them off from the face of the land.
    11 And it came to pass that I, Mormon, did utterly refuse from this time forth to be a commander and a leader of this people, because of their wickedness and abomination.

    Mormon 3:13-16

    13 And thrice have I delivered them out of the hands of their enemies, and they have repented not of their sins.
    14 And when they had sworn by all that had been forbidden them by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that they would go up unto their enemies to battle, and avenge themselves of the blood of their brethren, behold the voice of the Lord came unto me, saying:
    15 Vengeance is mine, and I will repay; and because this people repented not after I had delivered them, behold, they shall be cut off from the face of the earth.
    16 And it came to pass that I utterly refused to go up against mine enemies; and I did even as the Lord had commanded me; and I did stand as an idle witness to manifest unto the world the things which I saw and heard, according to the manifestations of the Spirit which had testified of things to come.

    Mormon 4:5

    5 But, behold, the judgments of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed.

    Mormon 7:3-4

    3 Know ye that ye must come unto repentance, or ye cannot be saved.
    4 Know ye that ye must lay down your weapons of war, and delight no more in the shedding of blood, and take them not again, save it be that God shall command you.

    Romans 12: 17-21

    17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
    18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
    19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
    20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
    21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

    War is only good in self defense, and even then only marginally. Let us give free trade to the world and we will see a greater peace than we have even now. Let us love our brethren.

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  71. Douglas on December 18, 2010 at 10:44 PM

    There’s two sides to this argument that have validity:

    1) To the reasonable extent that National security is not compromised, the American public has a right to know what their government is up to. From Daniel Ellesburg and the Pentagon Papers to the early 21st century equivalent (e.g. Wikileaks), there’s been a need for whistleblowers.

    2) Members of the military and public servant (both appointed and Civil Service) have an obligation to serve the public interest. At times it means you keep your mouth shut regardless of how you feel about something. In other cases, you have to take the career risk to likewise whistleblow if it best serves the public interest.

    Can we have a decent set of heuristics that would help us decide what the “rules” should be? I wish that we could but that’s why the Good Lord gave us a brain and a heart. IMO, if often folks keep silent when they should not its because they are afraid. Or, in cases where they talk when they should remain silent, it’s because their motives are less than noble.
    At least we LDS should be able to count on the guidance of the Holy Ghost in order to discern should we be faced with such a dilemma.

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  72. SUNNofaB.C.Rich on December 19, 2010 at 8:51 PM

    in any case I guess Assange and wikileaks is just blowback from a mommy and daddy that didn’t love him enough and failed relationships with women. Maybe Oedipus complex in there somewhere too. That punk PFC? that’s blowback from a sexual identity crisis. Numerous visits to the restroom? That’s blowback from eating at the taco stand in front of the Ogden courthouse. Wow, I guess blowback explains everything!

    Nice old testament scripture, Jon. that’s from the time when people used to do even worse stuff than they do now, with Gods stamp of approval.

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  73. All_Black on December 19, 2010 at 10:58 PM

    Sunnofabitch,

    ” failed relationships with women. Maybe Oedipus complex in there somewhere too. That punk PFC? that’s blowback from a sexual identity crisis.”

    Yeah, it always has something to do with sex! Sex rules everything on this earth!

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  74. SUNNofaB.C.Rich on December 20, 2010 at 8:42 PM

    Tsk tsk. Let’s not resort to using foul language.. I’m glad youre learning though. Monkey see, monkey do before monkey learns how to do it on his own. Almost there, sport. Here’s your banana.

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