Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

What do we think about Wikileaks?

Fri 17 December 2010, 7:08pm

I don’t know about you but I’ve been changing my mind about Wikileaks on an hourly basis. On the one hand, the team behind the whole thing have done us a huge service and deserve a medal. On the other, they’re a threat to civilisation as we know it and should be locked up.

Thankfully, Debategraph offers all sides to the story (and you can get in there add new strands or weight existing ones).

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Comments (78)

  1. joeCanuck (profile) says:

    I’m pleased that there is a way to expose wrongdoing and nefarious government actions (actions done, theoretically, in our name but too often actions to profit the Dick Cheneys of the world).
    But simply dumping hundreds of thousands of personal communications is not the way to do it.

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  2. anne warren (profile) says:

    A quick glance at the list of topics shows what an impact the Wikileaks’ revelations and modus operandi have had on diverse aspects of modern society and governance.

    They have opened up so much for question and debate – which has to be positive, however things finally settle into place.

    One point doesn’t seem to be included (though I am open to correction here as I have not perused the entire database).
    How will a style of diplomacy that appears to be anchored in the 18th/19th century, with its gossip, informants and two-faced attitudes to the locals, adjust to the 21st century with its instanteous communication worldwide?

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  3. Brian Walker (profile) says:

    To me the behaviour of both sides is questionable. The rape saga is dubious at every level but not impossible. There may be no dark US-Swedish conspiracy (Sweden is proud of its neutrality) and a Swedish prosecutor may be trying to hog the limelight.

    On the other hand I dislike Assange’s rock star treatment, even though he behaves like one – the arrogance, the public surliness and bristling at the slightest critical question, the reported groupie behaviour that got him into trouble trouble in the first place, even the vanity of the apparently frequent change of hair dye – is he pretending to disguise himself?

    Had the memory stick been passed direct the Guardian or NY Times wouldwe have had all this fuss? I defend the right of states to keep diplomatic material confidential but it really is up to them to protect it.

    This is hardly the cause celebre of the hacker into big secrets that publishes by drip.The US case against him is by no means clear.. I don’t see the result as a big test of civil liberties. There is the subjective part of it too – I just can’t warm to this guy.

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  4. pippakin (profile) says:

    Wikileaks has done the world a service. Everyone can see for themselves what has been going on. The list is enormous and growing!

    The other thing is how fifties gossipy it is. All that’s missing in some of them is the hairnet…

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  5. al (profile) says:

    “they’re a threat to civilisation” Really?

    WikiLeaks is brilliant for educating the uneducated but for those with a decent understanding of global current affairs it merely provides more evidence to back up what we already think we know.

    Of course misleading headlines about WikiLeaks cables don’t do anyone any good. I disagree with the manner the cables are being leaked and reported by newspapers such as the Guardian who are clearly using the cables to make profit with scant evidence being offered to create extravagent headlines.

    The whole lot should be released on the WikiLeaks site and people should be allowed to make their own mind up free of journalist spin and opinion. Afterall, WikiLeaks is advocating freedom but I don’t see journalists as free thinkers. They have an agenda, they all do.

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  6. Alias (profile) says:

    I love Wikileaks just for this alone. Mary Ellen Synon has this gem revealing the petty insecurities of the eurocreeps and their project:

    “Thanks to Eurointelligence for translating this from Der Spiegel: the Wikileaks documents show how the US has been playing one vain EU leader off another.

    Example: Sarkozy was allowed to address a joint meeting of the US Congress in October 2007, so then President Bush immediately invited Chancellor Merkel and her husband to the ‘Western White House’ at Crawford, Texas.

    The leaked cables ‘were particularly scathing about Sarkozy, who according to the American embassy, has to intimidate his own staff to such a degree that there is nobody to warn that the emperor has no clothes.’

    The cable went on to suggest ‘the US administration have lost all respect for European leaders for whom a joint meeting, or press conference with Obama, constituted a goal in itself.’”

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  7. andnowwhat (profile) black spot says:

    “They are a threat to civilisation”

    NO!!! They expose and challenge what we used to call “the man”.

    Lord above, they are merely continuing the likes of the anti Vietnam war movement.

    Is accepting compfotable lies better than acepting uncompfortable truths?

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  8. RepublicanStones (profile) says:

    But simply dumping hundreds of thousands of personal communications is not the way to do it.

    They haven’t done that Joe. Only approx 2000 cables released thus far. Its more of drip. Whistleblowers should always be welcome in any democracy. If the likes of Wikileaks had existed 10 years ago, the world might not be in the mess it is.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/exclusive-wikileaks-benefits-public-intelligence-officers/

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  9. andnowwhat (profile) black spot says:

    To someone who reads people like Noam Chomsky’s work the Wikileaks are nothing!!!!

    To anyone who avails of independant media,they mean nothing.

    Only to the blind consumer of cheap, and that includes the main media such as the BBC, media are the Wikileaks “revelations” news.

    Your goverment is evil, your goverment does notvare about YOU, your goverment will let you die for a drop of oil so long as you are stupid enough to fight for them!!!!

    That’s news? Seems it is to the masses.

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  10. joeCanuck (profile) says:

    RS,

    My misunderstanding. I haven’t visited the Wikileaks site. But I thought it was their intention to dump the lot.

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  11. pippakin (profile) says:

    andnowwhat

    No it is not news but for some of us its confirmation of what we always thought. Diplomats are a bunch of old women, years out of date with the real world and insufferably pompous about the importance of their own opinions. And there have been some revelations.

    Its embarrassing the right people and that’s worth a lot.

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  12. Nevin (profile) says:

    Bradley Manning held in solitary confinement.

    House said many people were reluctant to talk about Manning’s condition because of government harassment, including surveillance, warrantless computer seizures, and even bribes. “This has had such an intimidating effect that many are afraid to speak out on his behalf,” House said.

    Some friends report being followed extensively. Another computer expert said the army offered him cash to – in his words – “infiltrate” the WikiLeaks website. He said: “I turned them down. I don’t want anything to do with this cloak and dagger stuff.”

    When the Washington Post tried to investigate the claim, an army criminal investigation division spokesman refused to comment. “We’ve got an ongoing investigation,” he said. “We don’t discuss our techniques and tactics.”

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  13. Brian,

    This is a good post that looks at the whole rape question in some detail:
    http://kateharding.info/2010/12/16/some-shit-im-sick-of-hearing-regarding-rape-and-assange/

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  14. The obsession with wikileaks is itself confusing.

    The internet is somewhere between anarchy and libertarian heaven. Anything goes. Which is why the autocrats want to have controls.

    Meanwhile, if we want, it provides the peer-to-peer communication that got lost when the tribe became the “nation”.

    This is one genie that isn’t going to be bottled.

    As for all these great “disclosures”, I’ve yet to hit on a major one that wasn’t at least implied in the MSM. The only problem, internationally, is we’ve yet to get the filth on the other participants, so it’s the US solus in the dock. Other informants required, obviously.

    As a reader of history, I’d suggest that most “truths” (they’re all debatable because they’re value judgements) eventually rise to the surface. What is happening here and now is that the bureaucracies no longer have a quarter-, a-half century to expunge their dirty work.

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  15. fitzjameshorse1745 (profile) says:

    I am totally in favour of Wikileaks. But I am not a big fan of Assange who I think Mr Walker describes quite acurately as a “rock star”.
    Am also not a big fan of curfews in country manor houses and Ken Loach and John Pilger getting in on the act along with Geoffrey Robinson and Mark Stevens.
    I have no idea if Assange is guilty or innocent of the Swedish charges…..the defence that he is being framed certainly has credibility but the sheer clumsiness of a frame does not seem credible.

    If every American, Chinese, Sudanese, French, Russian, British etc secret is exposed, I find it amusing rather than disturbing. It does not affect me.
    To some extent Assange strikes me as a fantasist with the ability to make his fantasy of international man of mystery come to fruition. Perhaps more Austen Powers than Rock Star.
    To be frank I view the sex charges as much more serious and hope that he faces those charges or that they are resolved (I expect that they will)
    The problem with thinking the guy is being framed is that you can be left with a lot of egg on face if the allegations stand up. When I saw John Pilger on TV today, I could not help recall Paul Foots decades long fight for Justice for James Hanratty.
    To some extent Foots reputation alone had people believing in Hanrattys innocence. Shortly after (??) Foot died, DNA proved Hanratty guilty.

    The real problem is that every revolution…….Printing Press, French, etc tries eventually to put a brake on its “advances” demanding a kind of regulation…….tyrrany even…..which is more repressive than before.
    The Internet Revolution is at this stage.

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  16. Alias (profile) says:

    If you wanted to smear a person’s reputation then using Sweden’s bizarre rape laws to brand them as a rapist would the ideal way to do it, as Assange’s lawyer points out:

    “Apparently having consensual sex in Sweden without a condom is punishable by a term of imprisonment of a minimum of two years for rape. That is the basis for a reinstitution of rape charges against WikiLeaks figurehead Julian Assange that is destined to make Sweden and its justice system the laughing stock of the world and dramatically damage its reputation as a model of modernity.

    Sweden’s Public Prosecutor’s Office was embarrassed in August this year when it leaked to the media that it was seeking to arrest Assange for rape, then on the same day withdrew the arrest warrant because in its own words there was “no evidence”. The damage to Assange’s reputation is incalculable. More than three quarters of internet references to his name refer to rape. Now, three months on and three prosecutors later, the Swedes seem to be clear on their basis to proceed. Consensual sex that started out with a condom ended up without one, ergo, the sex was not consensual.”

    It seems there should an EU law against using the legal system of the state to defame a non-citizen, and the Swedish government should be arrested under it via EAW.

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  17. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Brian : “….To me the behavior of both sides is questionable. The rape saga is dubious at every level but not impossible. There may be no dark US-Swedish conspiracy (Sweden is proud of its neutrality) and a Swedish prosecutor may be trying to hog the limelight……”

    So ‘ Watergate’ never happened, the Rainbow Warrior is still sailing the Seven Seas and as I write Dr David Kelly is tucked up at home in the bosom of his loving family with a mug of coco watching a late night film about ‘Open Government’ !

    There is a War on, a war fought with boots on the ground and blood on the sands in Afghanistan and Iraq. That same war is being fought in dark cell tonight where people opposed to that are having their testicles sliced open with rusty razor blades having been ‘rendered’ from countries where some semblance of the ‘ Rule Of Law’ would not allow that practice.

    There are but two stances in this war, those who realize the reality of it and expose it and those who for whatever reason play footsie with the establishment and find a way to excuse their actions.

    This war extends to hard Journalism also, there are journalists like Bob Fisk who risk their lives on a regular and ongoing basis to expose what is happening and there are others who temporarise, excuse vacillate and refuse to investigate any evidence other than that allowed by their Masters Voice as to do so would take themselves outside the cozy consensus into the real world.

    I know if I were talking to Bob to-night it would not be about the ‘rape charges’ reality but as to who was at work at the labyrinth pulling the leavers of power in Europe and Internationally to make this happen.

    There are those who believe that if events like Watergate, The Rainbow Warrior, Dr David Kelly etc happened then anything can happen and it must be assumed are happening. Your colleagues in Dublin know that 100,000 marched in the last big co-ordinated protest in Dublin. The Garda Officer directly involved in overseeing the policing operation of the Protest March told the Trade Union leaders that 100,000 attended, several union officials confirmed that.

    Garda HQ in deference to their political masters gave the figure as 50,000 protesters. Who among your Dublin colleagues exposed this or sought to establish the truth or why Garda HQ lied ?

    Like Dr Kelly’s case and the Dublin march numbers we are constantly fed a stream of untruths in the mainstream media. Rape is one of the most unsavory allegations that can be made against someone like our Aussie friend, most women supporters quickly back off followed by most of the ‘politically correct’ male supporters. Other than a pedophile allegation it is the quickest thing to bring down a reputation and muddy the waters.

    No problem here Brian believing that there may be a problem with Sweden : thats how the real world works. In this internet age anyone can take a day out of their lifes, hole up with a computer internet and find out what is happening. Ignorance of these things is no longer inadvertent, it is a rationalized, exercised, optional choice!

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  18. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Some years back, cardiac recovery rest and early retirement gave me some unexpected free time. I thought that I knew the ‘Dark Side’ but Boy, had I a rude awakening, it was an instructive few weeks. However since it would appear that I now know where to find an alternative, authoritative view or two, I thought that I would share this with you all.

    http://www.countercurrents.org/rudling081210.htm

    There is a problem with some of these sites in that the addresses are often interfered with and do not post live. If this is a problem, please just copy into the yahoo, google or other search box and click!

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  19. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    This is a sex abuse case against a Down Syndrome Young Woman that is percolating away in our neighboring Island, ignored by all save for occasional individual mainstream media and a dedicated networks of international sites that keep the information current and the spotlight on the case.

    http://www.henrymakow.com/holly_greig_for_dummies.html

    One such person to the fore in this is…… HenryMakow.com ……. Henry is of European birth and lost several close relatives to the Nazi Extermination Camps. He now lives in Canada where his site operates from.

    Despite his families experience, Henry is also an implacable opponent of Zionism, believing that the War actions of the Israeli State are detrimental to the Jewish cause.
    and the possibility of forming normal relations among the International Community of Nations.

    Dr Makow’s latest book ‘Illuminati 2′…Deceit and Seduction, has over seventy articles and is available for $ 20.00. The cover carry a Denis Healy quote….. “…..World events are staged and managed by those who hold the purse strings….” Henry identifies just who these people are and subject their activities to close examination. It is a very worth while read.

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  20. Kaido (profile) says:

    We do need an organisation like Wikileaks affiliated to the like of the UN on a permanent basis so that we can eliminate the secrecy and opacity that has been built up around governments, militaries, banks, big busimess and politicians.
    They are the ones that are costing lives and ruining peoples health and wealth

    Whistle blowing should be recognised and encouraged as an duty.

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  21. slappymcgroundout (profile) black spot says:

    Wikileaks damages essential diplomacy. Take for example the latest on our man in Belarus. “Bizarre” and “disturbed” is how he is described in certain cables. Should be real fun trying to work with him now. Read up on what UN Sec. Gen. Ban-Ki Moon has to say. Kaido won’t like it. Wikileaks damages essential diplomacy. More or less what ole Ban-Ki said.

    Lastly:

    (1) MV, only Saudi, Pakistan and the UAE recognized the Taliban govt. ’nuff said.

    (2) Alias, get a grip. The allegations are plural. First, that he had penile penetration with a sleeping female. Hard to consent when she is sleeping. Two, he used his body to weigh down a human who was resisting and pinned her arms as well. Three, he continued to engage in sexual intercourse without a condom when he knew that condom protection was the condition precedent to her agreement to such intercourse and she had brought the same to his attention and told him to stop (that’s where the weighing her down with his body and pinning her arms down comes in, as that was his response, or so she claims). For cruel irony, given the thread here on Slugger re abortion, odd that you cannot see why we would consider the last of such conduct to be rape. Lastly, for how lame the claims of some, if this was the CIA, they wouldn’t bother with these allegations. A female agent would meet him at a bar or club. They’d leave and go back to her or his place. They’d have sex. Next morning she shows up at the main station crying and with bruises. As we lawyers say, he said, she said, and the bruises speak for themselves. Perhaps you should join MV in believing in that whole Illuminati crap. And you might want to read this as well:

    http://reason.com/archives/2010/12/07/olbermann-assange-and-the-holo

    (3) A comment from Jezebel.com:

    More and more it seems like Julian Assange and all his apologists are arguing that if a guy does enough good liberal stuff, then he’s entitled to a few rapes. And I’m not even sure that he’s anything but an anti-social poseur who wants to break into places with “No Tresspassing” signs posted.

    (4) if any of you have the singular misfortune of encountering America’s worst export aka Michael Moore, please remind him once again that they never went bowling at Columbine. Thank you.

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  22. Miserable day, so I’m looking for a cheap laugh. For starters, there’s slappymcgroundout @ 9:40 am:

    Wikileaks damages essential diplomacy.

    Phew! that really will keep me awake a-nights! Who’d have thought these “leaked” messages would be of such incredible intelligence? [Nobody of sense, actually.] Or journalists and commentators had previously bruited large quantities of said “intelligence” around? Dearie me, it might almost be that these diplomats were saying, off-the-record, to the reptiles of the Media precisely what they were saying to Washington.

    Beyond that, it’s smoke-and-mirrors. Assange may be the public face of wikileaks; but he isn’t the engine-room — any more than Nicole Kidman or Keira Knightly manufacture the perfume they advertise. It might be convenient for the State Department to have the focus on the man rather than its own embarrassment. Above all, as my old sparring-partner fitzjameshorse1745 @ 11:37 pm pertinently points out, if wikileaks didn’t exist, someone else would be inventing it. In point of fact, an infinite number of media monkeys out there are doing just that.

    Believe it or not, the world has not stopped spinning on its axis, nor the various interested parties, of all nations, on all continents, spinning (in the information sense) with it. For a moment or two of diversion, there’s most of “An Audience with Peter Ustinov” on YouTube (I particularly relish the answer to la Grande-Dame Anne Leslie): his views on diplomats are instructive, starting with:
    A diplomat these days in nothing, but a head waiter who is allowed to sit down occasionally.

    One of the joys of this season is the (very expensive) Economist double issue. This gets stuffed with goodies, invariably well-written, which are general essays rather than specific articles. The issue for 19 Dec 2002 had a piece about early diplomats, the personages like Elizabeth I’s ambassador to Russia, Sir Henry Wotton (An ambassador is a man of virtue sent to lie abroad for his country). This Economist writer concluded that then, as now, the diplomat’s field, strewn with facile chit-chat and ruthless lying, was not always one to write home about. [I located an open-access text of the piece at: http://j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/archives/001313.html. Worth the trip.]

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  23. Corrigenda to Malcolm Redfellow @ 12:23 pm

    1. any more than Nicole Kidman or Keira Knightly manufactures the perfume she advertises. [Singular subject so verbal agreement.]

    2. I believe it correctly to be “Ann Leslie”.

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  24. gréagóir o frainclín (profile) says:

    Great stuff Wikileaks!

    More pleeze!

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  25. “But simply dumping hundreds of thousands of personal communications is not the way to do it.”

    Those who take this view point are ether liars, crooks or have been blinded by the old worlds way of doing business.(Joe, on this issue I would put you in the latter group)

    The fact is allowing governments to drip feed us info which is to their advantage has proved disastrous, especially in the modern age. Need I go any further than mention the economic collapse, Iraq and Afghanistan. (and now Pakistan) the fact is the British and US governments have been murdering and imprisoning people at will behind the backs of their peoples.

    Lets look at the charge of dumping cables, for a start they were not personal cables, but US diplomatic cables written by people who are in the pay of the US government, these folk were at work when they wrote them. Christ, they are not writing to the Mrs telling her to get the tea on at 6pm, now are they, nor to their bit on the side asking if they would like a fuck that night.

    Besides, as republican stones has already said they were not dumped at all, but are being released in batches, hopefully this will continue until they are all out here.

    It is vital this occurs, for if wikileaks were to sensor what they publish, as some have suggested, it would make them no different from what governments do. In that they would also become an arbiter of what we see.

    The longer this goes on the more governments and their tame media hacks with their talk of national security and punishing Manning and Assange look like Colin Powell when he fabricated evidence to the UN about Iraq possessing WMDs.

    Finally I would ask this question, name me any examples where the publication of the cables has cost a human being their life?

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  26. andnowwhat (profile) black spot says:

    Funny how Manning will spend hard time in prison for decades for decades while blatant liers like Blair and Bush walk free.

    Balir’s assertion that he believed the threat to be true is simply blown out of the water by Robin Cook’s (who “fortunately died” shortly thereafter) actions.

    Thankfully, the rubbish that the leaks will cost lives is dead in the water. Oddly enough, the accusation came from people who were happy to take thousands of lives based on, what they knew to be, lies.

    Once again, the Wikileaks story beggs the question, what the hell have journalists been up to for this past to decades or more? Fuck all if you ask me.

    BTW, today’s commenary by Fisk

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/

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  27. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Slappy….”…… Perhaps you should join MV in believing in that whole Illuminati crap…….”

    Almost twenty years ago I was involves in assisting a mother whose son was involved in a paedophile ring. His father was a police informer in political circles and protected at the highest levels within the Southern Irish State where in some establishment circles, there is quite a support for that sort of deviant sexual activity.

    A High Court Judge of the Irish Superior courts took cesin of the case and had four years experience of it where the State, its agents and servants had their activities gradually exposed. Then came the crunch point : could the child give evidence without compounding the psychological damage already done.

    Child and Judge spend forty-five minutes alone in the Judges Chamber, Court resumed, the trial was on, the judge ruled that the State had a case to answer and allowed the mother to continue with her private prosecution against all parties. The father had by this stage fled to the UK to avoid prosecution, the child was kidnapped out to the UK and the whole sorry saga began through the UK courts again.

    The child at twelve got £500 spending money, a six week holiday in Spain, a new Mountain Bicycle….. and overnight a very poor memory! The case went no where in the English Courts, the fix was in from the very start. Between twelve and sixteen the child on aggregate got five months school attendance. Before sixteen he was on the street and shortly after his birthday he was forcefully committed to a mental hospital for his own safety. He has in the main gravitated between the street, mental instutions and jail since!

    The mother living in Ireland got English School Reports by court order every term, the reports disclosed only a few days school attendance, the case was re entered before the English courts, the latter called all parties in, promises were made until the next period when it all happened again.

    On one occasion I tided my self up, got an expensive overcoat and hat, visited the London Masonic Hall Museum and got an events insert for a pocket diary and visited a dozen high-class stationary shop until I got a pocket diary with a blue color to match the masonic colour and icons on the top of the leaflet.

    I stood in the back of the public public court office while the mother argued with the senior court official and she was subject to the usual run around and stonewalling. After ten minutes I intervened, came up took off my gloves, produced my diary with the insert card with the masonic logo sticking out the top and slammed it off the counter, looking only at the mother, I completely ignored the Court official.

    ” Madam” I said to the mother “I have seen quite enough, please take my word for it that this cretin will not even be allowed answer a telephone by this time to-morrow, much less direct an office such as this ”

    The official was shocked, he pleaded with the mother to accompany him to the court, the senior divisional judge was found, court was ex-partite and brisk, the mother got a whole raft of over a dozen orders requiring all State Officials to account for their negligence in the case and the Judge gave the mother an abject apology for the way she had been treated.

    Of course by the following week the ‘ hidden hands’ had interfered yet again, but it did show how the system really worked. It also began my own personal odessy of investigating Masonic Interference in judicial and other systems and that I turn brought me in into Illuminati areas.

    The evidence is there on the net of their corrupt and corrupting influence in all levels of society. However it was only after weeks of constant research following enforced free time from cardiac illness recovery some years back, that I became aware of the full extent of the control exercised by the hidden hands.

    As Denis Healy former UK Defense Minister said, ” Workd events are staged and managed by those who hold the purse strings ”

    That also applies to the National, regional and local scales, they leave little to chance, their influnce is everywhere and where their interests are at stake, be the chambers in a Bank or Court, their controol is almost absolute !

    We are back again in the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’ territory, for most of those that took part, there is no denial that there was a Low Intensity War / Conflict fought with all that entailed. For others it was a peacekeeping exercise where the army was used to back up police and civil powers.

    Guess it depends on what side of that line you stand to have a particular perspective.

    Slappy : you wouldn’t be in the funny handshake club yourself by any chance ?

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  28. Comrade Stalin (profile) says:

    Going after Wikileaks is shooting the messenger.

    This case for me has parallels with the computer hacking/sabotage accusations that have been used to justify the extradition of Gary McKinnon. In both cases, the US government had substandard security protocols in place which made the penetration of systems and access to confidential information, for those who had no business obtaining it, a trivial matter. In both cases, the US have responded somewhat like a bull in a china shop, deflecting attention away from their security failings by trying to smear those who arguably have done them a service in highlighting their poor security standards albeit in a rather embarrassing and public way.

    Wikileaks itself provides a convenient lightning rod especially as it makes it easy to allege that the leaks were released by shadowy, nerdy counter-culture types whereas attacking an established newspaper in this way is not so easy – free speech and all that.

    The leaks in themselves are far from surprising and I think people who think they will result in a sea-change in the way international relations are conducted are going to be rather disappointed. Ruffled feathers will be smoothed, apologies behind closed doors will be made, things will carry on. The US federal government will move to tighten up their IT security procedures quickly.

    With respect to the rape allegations, we have to assume there is a legal basis for a court case and the allegations will need to be heard. There are some questionable aspects to the thing – why would someone go out and buy breakfast the next morning after having endured a rape ? – but all of the facts need to be heard in full in a court of law, not in the court of easily-swayed public opinion.

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  29. joeCanuck (profile) says:

    Organized Rage (Mick? – I checked out your site), I am not one of those Chicken Littles running around saying that the sky is falling nor do I believe that anyone’s life has been put at risk, at least any more that their current situation.
    You may have misunderstood me; my point about the thousands of documents was that I didn’t think that a huge dump served any useful purpose. How long would it take one of us to read them all? But Republican Stones explained that for me.
    Finally, I take anything Governments tell me with a large pinch of salt. I’ve always been a sceptic (but not a cynic).

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  30. I saw this earlier – The Guardian seems to have got more detail on those Swedish rape allegations:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/17/julian-assange-sweden?intcmp=239

    On the question of the leaks compromising anyone’s personal security, I’m not convinced. The Wikileaks revelations appear to be primarily the result of large amounts of reasonably sensitive info being put somewhere that large numbers of people can see them. If the Wikileaks people can get this info, I’m fairly sure that the Russians, the Chinese an a range of other people with the capacity to cause mischief for the US could get them as well.

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  31. Joe,

    It was not my intention to offend you, thanks for clarifying things. What I find interesting about this, is there seems to be some people within the state apparatus, both here and in north America who welcome the wikileaks, true a noisy element does not, but I wonder if behind close doors they are having it all their own way. Hopefully we will not have to wait for a whistle blower to find out.

    Best regards

    A whole raft of government agencies use secrecy to justify
    their very existence and vast budgets. If you look at some of the cables they would not pay an average touts rent. Is it really a US state secret the Colonel Gaddafi has a Ukrainian medic and female body-guards. Knowing Muammar’s love of winding western media and politicians up, he probably set the whole thing up. In any case this story was in the papers a long time ago.

    I think we have all been conned to some degree into believing government cannot function openly. What is becoming increasingly clear due to these leaks, is that argument is built on sand. That is one of the reasons the intel community is encouraging their brought politicos and hacks to cry national security. As they wish to curve ball the debate.

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  32. Alias (profile) says:

    “Alias, get a grip.”

    What we have is a he/she said dispute. It looks like a vain young girl who was boasting on her Twitter site about how she was in the company of “the world’s coolest smartest people, it’s amazing!” the day after one of “the world’s coolest smartest people” had allegedly raped her. So what changed her mind? Well, one of vain young girls that one of “the world’s coolest smartest people” had used his charm to bed called looking for one of “the world’s coolest smartest people” and one of the world’s dumb young casual sex partners discovered that she wasn’t so special to one “the world’s coolest smartest people” after all. The two dumb young casual sex partners bonded in their furry at the cad at connected their squalid little pan for revenge. Anyway, a court will decide. The only reason this tosh got past a British court is because the UK surrendered its sovereignty over its extradition procedure to the EU and so it is required under the European Arrest Warrant procedure to assume that the Swedish prosecution service is acting in good faith and has good evidence. The UK courts are not permitted to laugh at how the Swedish state defines rape or to throw out the case however farcical it is…

    “Perhaps you should join MV in believing in that whole Illuminati.”

    It was the jooooos wot done it… ;)

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  33. joeCanuck (profile) says:

    There certainly seems to be an attempt to stitch the man up. Someone remarked, perhaps on a different thread, that the Swedish Government wouldn’t simply do America’s bidding. But you don’t need to get to the Government, just the complainants and perhaps the prosecutor.
    Still, a Britsih judge will have to decide that there are sufficient grounds to extradite him, then a swedish court will have to decide on his guilt. It’s a terrible thing to be put through if you are an innocent person. I don’t think he will be sent to jail.
    Alias, is extradition really just a formality inside the E.U.? Adams, Liam, still has not been returned to answer the accusations against him.

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  34. pippakin (profile) says:

    If julian Assange is afraid of being extradited to the US I’m not sure why he thinks he is safe in England. As far as I know Bliar fixed it so that all the Americans had to do was accuse someone. British courts have no ‘right’ to prevent extradition to America.

    If that is the case surely he would be better off somewhere like France which at least has a reputation for standing up to America.

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  35. anne warren (profile) says:

    I think we need to separate out several issues in the Wikileaks controversy.
    Not an easy thing to do as JA is Editor in Chief of Wikileaks

    One issue is the question of Julian Assange, the individual and the allegations he is faced with about his private life. This is the person the Swedish authorities want to question about sexual misconduct and his imprisonment, bail and forthcoming extradition hearing in London all constitute one issue

    Another different issue is the release the cables, their contents, impact on many political, ethical and economic areas worldwide and the ensuing debate and discussion on diverse problems including freedom of expression in Western liberal democracies.

    A third issue, which does seem to be kept reasonably separate is the fate of Manning, who has been accused of leaking the cables to Wikileaks.
    See the following article from
    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/98489
    “I had prioritised solidarity organising and activism for him and Bradley Manning
    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/…ning/
    now entering his 205th.day, of a relatively publicly unknown incarceration at Quantico U.S. Marine Base, Virginia USA (having been transfered in chains from Iraq-Kuwait-Virginia) accused of providing the initial leaks for WikiLeaks
    http://www.collateralmurder.com/
    - now featuring in John Pilger’s recently released documentary film “The War You Do Not See” http://www.johnpilger.com/

    In recent months, O’Reilly has been running a solo campaign
    in England and Ireland to generate support for Welsh/American Bradley
    Manning
    http://www.bradleymanning.org/
    http://www.indymedia.ie/article/98346?search_text=ciaro…75854
    http://london.indymedia.org/articles/6719

    Confusing these 3 separate strands in the controversy will mean none is assessed in a true impartial light.

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  36. Rory Carr (profile) says:

    “An ambassador is a man of virtue sent to lie abroad for his country”

    I think perhaps you mean, “…sent abroad to lie for his country.”, Malcolm, although your rendering suggests more interesting possibilities.

    I am intrigued by commenters who are at pains to point out their support for freedom of information but emphasise their distaste for Assange, whom they claim not to find personable and who might in any case possibly be guilty of criminal offences related to sexual encounters with seemingly otherwise consenting partners.

    Either Wikileaks is doing a valuable service or it is not. Assange’s perceived personality (have any of you met the guy in order to judge?) or even his guilt on the charges brought. should they be established, are of no account whatsoever and should not be brought into the equation. The very fact that they are and indeed brought to the fore in order to obscure what is really at issue here strikes me as telling. And telling in Assange’s favour.

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  37. Nunoftheabove (profile) says:

    I might be missing something here as I’m not fully au fait with this issue as yet but, simply put, I don’t see the position on Assange as terribly relevant – in what respect/s does his innocence or otherwise influence the integrity of the information being released and any consideration of its value ? Likewise, it’s of zero consequence to me what his motivation for providing a channel for its release might be – surely it’s the information itself which is or is not of any interest, no ?

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  38. joeCanuck (profile) says:

    Nunoftheabove,

    I think what you are missing is that there is a definite attempt at character asassination which some, foolishly, hope will cast doubt on the veracity of the information.

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  39. Nunoftheabove (profile) says:

    joecabuck

    Yes but that’s my point – just how foolish would one need to be, even if there is some conspiracy here against Assange (which there will no doubt be no end of fools ready to impose whether there is any substance to it or not…)?! Do ‘they’ really think that ‘we’ are that dumb ?!

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  40. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Slappy : “…. if any of you have the singular misfortune of encountering America’s worst export aka Michael Moore, please remind him once again that they never went bowling at Columbine. Thank you…….”

    Every one of his books in my Library Slappy !

    Michael may be a bit OTT in the presentation of his material, but even if 50% of his work is discarded, the remainder is still a damming inditement of the American Dream. At least weekly and sometimes more often I post to American Mid-West people who are family, Republicans and Tea Party people.

    The third generation are now also getting involved in politics. The surprising thing is when here visiting, which they do bi-annually, they also share many of Michael Moors concerns, they do not deny many of his issues and bug bears, it is just that they have a different take on how these things came about and what the possible solutions are.

    Michael is not as off the wall as some of his critics would imply, especially the fat cat legals who have a nice little earner from the problems without contributing too much to the solutions!

    Tony Blair & WMD, the Watergate Bulglers & Nixon, Lenihan the Irish Bank Robbers etc, the batting average of lawyers Internationally in contributing to world problems has been fairly consistent.

    Michael Moor would have a long way to go to equal that sad and sorry record of the legal profession !

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  41. Nunoftheabove (profile) says:

    Michael Moore ? Oh please let’s not lower the tone quite THAT much.

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  42. Rory Carr @ 9:30 pm:

    I was sure I had the Wotton quotation aright; but I checked and found I had the context wrong. Wotton had been sent by the Earl of Salisbury (better known as Elizabeth’s Secretary Cecil) to arrange a couple of royal marriages:

    After his return Wotton faced the wrath of King James, who was embarrassed by the published attack of Kaspar Schoppe, or Scioppius (d. 1649), on James’s new book, an apologia for his oath of allegiance. This Catholic polemicist revealed that in August 1604, during a visit to Augsburg, Wotton had written in a friend’s commonplace book in Latin: ‘H. W.: Legatus est vir bonus peregre missus ad mentiendum rei publicae causa’. If this had remained in the original English as: ‘An ambassador is an honest man sent to lie [reside] abroad for the good of his country’, the pun in the verb ‘to lie’ would have been amusing. In a Latin version this double entendre disappeared entirely, so that for many weeks Wotton faced the king’s anger, who had warned ‘yt was no jesting matter’ (Letters of John Chamberlain, 1.385).

    That from the DNB.

    That text also reminds me that Wotton was in Dublin with the Earl of Essex, and attempted to draw up a peace treaty with the Earl of Tyrone. At last: a local connection.

    Wotton’s final job was as provost of Eton College. His tomb there has the inscription he himself wanted: Here lies the first author of this sentence: “The Itch of Disputation will prove the Scab of the Church”. Inquire his name elsewhere.

    Curious how modern much of that remains; and how high-ranking Scotsmen remain short of a sense of humour.

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  43. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Contrary to whatever impression I may have given so far, I am not too worked up about the merits of Anna V Julian, other than a concern that the old maxim of ‘ presumed innocent until proven guilty’ is observed.

    Whenever something like this breaks I check out a few sites that in the past I have found to be reliable. In the same spirit I have shared this information. I do however completely support the release of the information, in as much that can and do colour my objectivity! One of these sites is………. http://www.countercurrents.org/rudling081210.htm

    This is one such response and it makes interesting reading as if true it seems that evidence that could be favorable to Julian is being deliberately removed from the public sphere.

    Article abstract…….

    Proof That Anna Ardin Is Hiding the Truth

    In the beginning of September, I note that Anna Ardin has two identical ‘miniblogs’ – one at Twitter and the other at Bloggy.se. It looks as if Anna Ardin’s tweets are posted to both blogs at the same time.

    The tweets that are deleted from Twitter are still visible at annaardin.bloggy.se.

    Anna missed the fact that she has to delete on each and every blog. Bad luck.

    To see if Anna Ardin is really trying to hide her Twitter tweets, I post a comment to Sara Gunnerud’s article WikiLeaks Heroes Can Also Do Stupid Things. The article is published at the Rebella blog, a social democratic feminist blog where Anna Ardin contributes and runs the website.

    In my comment I mention the deleted Twitter tweets. After five days, on 13 September, my comment is reviewed and removed directly. I then post a new comment where I mention that one can read the deleted Tweets at annaardin.bloggy.se. My comment is removed directly. A few hours later the entire Bloggy.se site is taken offline. When Bloggy.se reopens at 04:00 in the morning of 14 September, the tweets deleted from Twitter are also deleted from annaardin.bloggy.se.

    But it’s not as easy to remove things from the Internet as Anna Ardin thinks. Google takes snapshots of how web pages look – so called caches. If you search for the cached page for annaardin.bloggy.se you can see what it looked like on 19 August. (If the cache disappears, click here.)

    Then you can compare the page with how annaardin.bloggy.se and twitter.com/annaardin look.

    As we can see, Anna Ardin is doing all she can to hide her tweets. Tweets that indicate Julian Assange is actually innocent of at least the charge of ‘molestation’ that he’s been accused of. It looks like Anna Ardin is doing all she can to get Julian Assange convicted. By deleting and denying acquitting circumstances, she’s perhaps making herself guilty of false accusation.

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  44. RepublicanStones (profile) says:

    I simply cannot understand how anyone would take the govts line on this wikileaks issue. And by ignoring the content of the cables and attempting a character assassination (as one commenter in particular has done) of the messenger, it is simply an extension of toeing the establishments line. Such people would have been tucked up nicely in the officers mess on the USS Missouri, whilst those of us tired of the lies are tucked in behind Wilfred Burchett as he treks his way to Hiroshima. What further annoys me is not the bare faced duplicity of the US govt (because anyone who has studied US foreign policy is well used to it at this stage) but the fact that it is so out in the open now and yet we still have idiots trying to defend them. Secretary of State Lady Macbeth is particularly odious in this regards. She blithely strides from the likes of thiss…

    “Some of the countries engaging in these behaviors still claim to be democracies. Democracies don’t fear their own people.”

    and this..

    “Those who disrupt the free flow of information in our society or any other pose a threat to our economy, our government and our civil society.”

    and this…

    “Internet freedom is not just about freedom of expression, but about what kind of world we live in.”

    or this..

    “Information freedom supports the peace and security that provides a foundation for global progress. Historically, asymmetrical access to information is one of the leading causes of interstate conflict. When we face serious disputes or dangerous incidents, it’s critical that people on both sides of the problem have access to the same set of facts and opinions.

    “And censorship should not be in any way accepted by any company from anywhere. And in America, American companies need to make a principled stand. This needs to be part of our national brand. I’m confident that consumers worldwide will reward companies that follow those principles.

    “…we are urging U.S. media companies to take a proactive role in challenging foreign governments demands for censorship and surveillance. The private sector has a shared responsibility to help safeguard free expression. And when their business dealings threaten to undermine this freedom, they need to consider what’s right.”

    And this…

    “The United States is a strong supporter of civil society around the world. Civil society activists and organizations work to improve the quality of people’s lives and protect their rights, hold leaders accountable to their constituents, shine light on abuses in both the public and private sectors, and advance the rule of law and social justice. They are key partners for progress.”

    Now compare her attitude when its the US’ dirty laundry out in the open…

    http://www.youtube.com/user/statevideo#p/u/80/HmKxCe7m1Tw

    Senator Joe Liberman is another blatant hypocrite. One of the main architects of the recent Victims of Iranian Censorship (VOICE) Act, which among other things….

    respects the universal values of freedom of speech and freedom of the press in Iran and throughout the world;

    condemns acts of censorship, intimidation, and other restrictions on freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of expression in Iran and throughout the world

    condemns companies which have knowingly impeded the ability of the Iranian people to access and share information and exercise freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly through electronic media, including through the sale of technology that allows for deep packet inspection or provides the capability to monitor or block Internet access, and gather information about individuals.

    We don’t need to go into Liberman’s attitude and actions over Wikileaks….do we?

    The unadulterated ‘do as we say…not as we do’ mentality on display beggars belief. Yet still we have people lining up to shoot the messenger in order to protect the people and govts who have been lying to them, in order for them to continue being lied to. Its like Orwell in reverse.

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  45. joeCanuck (profile) says:

    ..Orwell in reverse..

    Great line.

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  46. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    I recently attended a very interesting seminar on Brendan Braken , Churchill’s Minister for information, or is more correct, ‘Minister for dis-information’. Brendan was 100% Irish and his childhood to late teens was one of parental and other rejections, all fairly horrendous stuff of family disfunctionality and psychological damage at an early age. He was taken to Australia by a relative in mid teens and returned in early 20 to UK.

    While the main trust of the seminar was on Braken’s early life and his formative processes in his childhood and teen years, the discussion did briefly deal with Big Brother as a side issue as there is a very good argument for the fact that George Orwell based his Big Brother concept on Braken and his Ministery Of Information activities.

    Given Brendans Irish background and his extradionary childhood and teen years, it is absolutely remarkable that he should have become the voice of the British Establishment during the War to the extent that did in molding its attidutes and articulated it’s ethos. As extradionary as fact that Joyce the self confessed Black & Tan informer, the anti-establishment voice or rather tormenter of the Brits for the Germans, should be Irish also.

    Seems like we were responsible for giving the world the Big Brother concept, that was a new one for me !

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  47. I continue to visit slugger despite all the chaff, as every now and again you get pure gold. The posts above from
    Munstersview 11:58 and Republican Stones 10:10 are just that.

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  48. Alias (profile) says:

    “Yet still we have people lining up to shoot the messenger in order to protect the people and govts who have been lying to them, in order for them to continue being lied to. Its like Orwell in reverse.” – RS

    They’re called statists… and, if course, europhiles. They’re people who fear their own freedoms, and duly become their own worst enemies.

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  49. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Organized : Thanks for the warm compliment on a cold day!

    In my Mid Munster rural area childhood, an Old Neighbor died and it took me two hours to inform all the townland. When in the Sinn Fein AC in the seventies, one had to research the research information needed, make phonecall and write letters to even get access to where the information should be archived, only to find that it was not there after all and a new search had to be undertaken in other libraries or whatever.

    I still cannot believe my luck to be able to sit down behind a keyboard and have the digitalised information available flow to screen in a few clicks of a mouse. What is more one builds up a series of International contacts who range from extreme left, through center to extreme right in political views, of different religious beliefs or none, who seek out information from an aware philosophical perspective or simply from an ‘anorak’ basis, as given the very fact that someone is trying to conceal something or dis-inform is enough to get the hackles up and ‘set the game afoot’

    http://www.countercurrents.org/rudling081210.htm ……. is one such site.

    I have recently on another thread drawn attention to Sonoma State University annual ‘Project Censored’ where thousands of news stories, both national and international are evaluated and the top twenty-five censored stories are then selected. No 10 on their current list investigates how the US actually funds and supports the very Taliban their soldiers on the ground are fighting and dying to overthrow.

    Project Censored site can be found at…… http://www.projectcensored.org/the-top-25-index/

    The index contains not only the current year but those of previous years also, to the best of my recall around two hundred and twenty five are listed from the suppressed stories while there are also other links to other interesting stories also.

    http://www.nexusmagazine.com is another site well worth a visit.

    It should be noted that every attempt to put such information out there is often immediately countered by those who have a vested interest in suppressing truth and fact for whatever reason. Recently slugger I suggested that researchers or seekers of information on what was really happening in the North should google and research for themselves….. Low Intensity War/Conflict Northern Ireland.

    I pointed out that there were close to two million results. Immediately some bright spark with possible securicat connections and an obvious vested interest in mis-directing and discrediting the sheer volume of these results, pointed out that if ‘flying saucers’ were googled it also brought a high volume of results! That in legal terms is what a presiding judge would refer to in a courtroom exchange as ‘ the argument of the school yard’ !

    The ‘ flying-saucer ‘ phenomena is indeed a good example to appreciate how such a process works, the USAF held regular press conferences on the topic, but when the questioning got serious there were always a few plants in the audience claiming they had been abducted and taken to the moon, venus or whatever . Conference over and as these were ‘entertaining’ these were the conference segments that made the late evening tv news.

    The net is an extradionary boon, it is up to each and everyone interested in or concerned about clandestine or covert government activity to pursue and seek out this information for themselves. Young Irelander Thomas Davis heart felt plea ” educate that you may be free ” or John Philpott Currans warning that ” Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty ” were never more necessary or appropiate.

    Finally everyone should where possible be alert…….. the country needs lerts!

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  50. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Alias : “…..They’re called statists… and, if course, europhiles. They’re people who fear their own freedoms, and duly become their own worst enemies…….”

    The concept of the world as global vilage is now a framework reality and is daily becoming more and more of a structured, functioning one. It is not possible to stop or turn back the clock on that one. The technical problems of my internet connection are handled in Bombay, and, may I add, in a very helpfully and technically accomplished way.

    Likewise with the EU project : last week I had to get sort codes etc for my bank card, I did not have my brief case with me and the matter was sorted out in Poland. My youngest son is currently building his own house, he has been working overtime all year, the US company based here that he works for has plans to continue a modest year on year expansion as they have done in past years.

    It is not all one way either : Twenty Six County Irish citizens have one hundred and eighty billion euros invested abroad, we recently see where it was in the UK’s own interest to prop up Ireland financially, in my childhood it was said that when England sneezed, Ireland got diorea !

    That relationship has balanced somewhat to the extent that if Ireland had an uncorrected financial meltdown, then England to would have experienced a knock on effect that would have seriously impacted in its economy.

    Large scale Capital, Industry and Financial Investments are now dealt with on a global basis. My nearest large supermarket is a Tesco store, I was speaking to a student who was in Tiland last year and I enquired as to prices out there…… he did not really know, he had lived out of Tescos out there just like home, as he put it ” some of the stuff was local but most was the same old…… as at home ”

    International Capital is Global, that market is to some extent still regionalised as in the North America, South America, Pacefic Ring, China, India, Russia and Europe. However much such markets are internalised, they are also Internationally dependant on export and capital.

    As for a small country on it’s own : the country that you hold a passport for Israel, is an advanced technical economy, it even has Nuclear Technology and a Millitary/Industrial sector that not alone is world class, it is a world leader in much of it.

    Just how much was Israels economy substatised by the American Taxpayers last year and indeed every other year since it’s foundation ?

    However back to the EU. We are still only a half century away from the last devestating conflict that started in Europe, tore most of it’s countries apart and destroyed most of the world as well. That war had it’s genisis in the settlement of the 1914/18 stupid, unnecessary carnage and that in turn etc until we are back past Napolanic wars, Spanish wars etc to the post Roman Empire emergence of Warlords and Nomad Nations !

    There had to be a better way.

    The EU has not lived up to the vision of it’s founders, it is bureaucaratic, pompus, and clumbsy with a democratic deficit at it’s centre. We are where we are, but it is also capable of evolution into a Peoples Union of proper representative democracy. Kosovo shows the alternative and how close to the past we still are.

    One night in the early eighties I stood on the Headlands over a moonlight bay and I could have tossed a stone on to the deck of the nearest Dutch trawler. Pair by pair I watched twenty come in in a grand arc and steam on out having swept the place clean. Repeat that a thousand times or bear in mind the Shell ficaso in the West where Shell are, all but paid to take our bloody Oil and Gas. Yes there are hundreds of examples where we have been robbed blind.

    I know all the limitations of the EU project : however neither France, Germany or Italy forced that economically challanged clown Lenihan and the bunch of incompetents around him that are collectivly termed a government, to bail out Anglo Irish and the others. It was the same crony capatalism that bailed out Allied Irish when they over extended in the States, that bailed out the PMPA, that screwed with Larry Goodman etc.

    Nothing new there, they did but what they did before and what the Premanent Government will advise them to do again!

    Yes 50% of fianna failing are gone to the cleaners : one hundred and fifty two candidates have been selected for FG and Labour; just……. two……. candidates…….are……..new….to ……politics. Some change there !

    When I stand in a great catredal in in Southern France as I did last year and I see French, Spanish, Portugese, Irish, Poles and Italians among others spontaniously gather round and join with a visiting Bavarian Choir in the Ave Maria and other hymns, and see the genuine shared feelings and eyes glistening,( including my own, I do not mind adding ), then I can also see what the future could be.

    We have spend spent almost one hundred and ninty five decades fighting with each other in this battled scarred Continent of Europe : we have just spend less than five trying to find a way not to do that!

    If it takes a few more decades to sort out the politics and format and we can sing together while we are doing it, then this is O’K with me, I can live with that.

    More important to me, so also can my sons both already older than their two young British Army Officer cousins were when they fell in battle and left their remains behind in the soil of France !

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  51. Alias (profile) says:

    Ah yes… without the EU, there would be no peace in Europe. Therefore, the alternative to the EU is war.

    Indeed, without the EU, Germans wouldn’t get to sing in a French choir and dear old MV’s eyes would be deprived of a tear or two becase, as we all know, people couldn’t travel before the EU…

    Ergo, Irish taxpayers must transfer several hundred bilion worth of their incomes to wealthy bondholders because if they don’t then war will break out and MV’s dear old eyes will dry up.

    Some folks can’t even smell the bullshit that is heaped upon them.

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  52. Alias (profile) says:

    “I know all the limitations of the EU project : however neither France, Germany or Italy forced that economically challanged clown Lenihan and the bunch of incompetents around him that are collectivly termed a government, to bail out Anglo Irish and the others.”- MV

    Incidentally, that takes the prize for the most misinformed nonsense posted on this thread. Well done. Next you’ll be telling us that the government begged for the IMF/EU bail-out against intense opposition from the EU.

    It’s called systemic risk or contagion, old boy, and the policy is to stop it spreading through the eurosystem by containing debts in the borrowing state rather than allowing them to default to the lending state.

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  53. RepublicanStones (profile) says:

    Like MV I welcome the compliment Organized (Mick). Tis even better when others enjoy something one has penned in not too subtle an anger.

    They’re called statists… and, if course, europhiles. They’re people who fear their own freedoms, and duly become their own worst enemies.

    You may be right there Alias. They also however remind of my old uncle. A man who met his match at the bottom of the bottle he never seemed to be able to finish. The scourge of our kind so they say. I can recall the mail piled high on his hall table every time I visited. He perished with not a penny to his name. Those letters and bills stacked like a pyramid of paper at the end. His ostrich routine had him warped into not believing he wasn’t in debt if he didn’t see a bill. So those envelopes remained unripped, there was no problem to fix so long as you couldn’t see one.
    I can at least understand the actions of those like Clinton and Liberman who have something to protect. Hell I can even stretch as far as seeing the rationale of those journalists who have prostituted themselves, who have decided to work at keeping the game going, instead of poaching the truth from under their noses. Many of them now lionizing the late Richard Holebrook. Those who not only embedded themselves in the back of a Humvee, but embedded themselves in the cocktail party scene, just to get close to the history makers. For me they are no better than those doctors flown into the black sites in places like Kazakhstan or Diego Garcia, whose job is to keep alive the human wretch before them for just a few more days of torture, thus perpetuating the fear and the hurt…and the anger. Like their brothers in print, long gone are the idealistic days of youth, they have become part of the machine, they have forgotten why they became what they did, all for some pieces of silver, or a chance to rub shoulders with the great and not so good. I can at least see some kind of rationalisation at work with those kind of people and the Faustian pacts they have made.

    But what one cannot fathom, is why an ordinary joe, the plumber, the policeman, the teacher…. a guy who has no vested interest to protect..why would he defend the indefensible. Would seek to protect that which treats him as a serf. Don’t fool yourself into thinking the idea of democracy you have is that which is shared with the people at the top. We may think they serve us. But for them, we ‘enjoy’ the freedoms they allow us to have, we drink the beer they have taxed, and pay further taxes in service and in thanks for the Hobbesian benevolence they shelter us under their wing with. The words of James Madison are worth noting….

    ‘The people can never err more than in supposing that by multiplying their representatives beyond a certain limit, they strengthen the barrier against the government of a few. Experience will forever admonish them that, on the contrary they will counteract their own views by every addition to their representatives. The countenance of the government may become more democratic, but the soul that animates it will be more oligarchic [because] the greater the number composing, the fewer will be the men who will in fact direct their proceedings.’
    (Federalist Paper 58)

    Perhaps it is fear, or the opium of ignorance which they desperately seek to shelter themselves in again, that motivates such people. Or an aversion to taking a position which would have them in agreement with those they dislike. If such people are not willing to trouble themselves to read those brave journalists who dare to peek behind the curtain, be it the likes of Pilger or Fisk, at least read some novels or watch some movies which demonstrate the dangers of such a laissez-faire among the populace, theres any number of them out there. But don’t, please don’t, try and keep in the dark that which needs brought to light.

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  54. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Alias : “….Incidentally, that takes the prize for the most misinformed nonsense posted on this thread. Well done. Next you’ll be telling us that the government begged for the IMF/EU bail-out against intense opposition from the EU…….”

    Do not get your knickers in a twist just yet Alias: sorry, my fault, I should have made it clear I was speaking of the first bail out when Lenihan did a solo run. It was his choice, he still had some leeway back then.

    We had a bank debt, it is still a bank debt, Fianna Failure turned it into a sovereign debt and straddled the country and future generations with a debt that they did not create or did not owe.

    “…….It’s called systemic risk or contagion, old boy, and the policy is to stop it spreading through the eurosystem by containing debts in the borrowing state rather than allowing them to default to the lending state…….”

    Full agreement in that. Back then when it was a bank problem, it could have been made a European Banking problem and if they did not sort it out in that context, then with the bondholders burned as they should have been, the Russians Government would have probably been good for 25 billion or so.

    The young Irish State bailed the Soviet Union out when they were financially cornered and Internationally blacklisted, there were a few other occasions where despite cultural and political differences, and relative sizes, both countries co-operated.

    Chinas Government are also very interested in this neck of the woods, if there was a prospect of the Chinese providing the twenty five billion and gaining a foothold in what the Yanks regard as their ‘sphere of influence’ then the Yanks would have found a way to sort out the problem in jig time.

    It was a National and International financial crisis and a political problem. Lenihan and Fianna Failed did what they do best, kicked the problem down the road, lied, kicked it some more, lied yet again and borrowed time. All this achieved is what started out a bank problem involving at most a few thousand investors ended up a National problem involving over four and a half million people, or possibly ten to twelve million if generations yet unborn are factored in.

    Whether from choice, incompetence or arrogance, Fianna Fail became, Fianna Faillean : The ‘Soldiers of Destiny’ ; turned into the ‘Soldiers of Destitution’

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  55. Alias (profile) says:

    RS, that post was good, thoughtful post. A large part of the “laissez-faire among the populace” comes from the complexity of the issues that they would be required to consider if they were to be otherwise and their own inability to process the information into any meaningful or consistent narrative, so they default to those who can offer that narrative in a simplified format, and that is what governments can do via official lines and claims of acting in the national interest. That would be a good solution if governments told the truth and did act in their national interest, and for the most part they do, but it leaves a blind spot for when they don’t and that’s where all the shit happens. There is nothing that you can do about that human failing since human beings are not designed to cope with this much information other than tell your own version of the truth as you see it and hope it helps a little even though you know that a little is not enough. Above all else, avoid ulcers. I like Bob Dylan’s line “I used to care but things have changed.” I think he still cares but he has learned how to avoid the ulcers. ;)

    MV, the policy of bailing-out the eurosystem via a blanket guarantee was directed from Frankfurt via a telephone conversation between Lenihan and Jean-Claude Trichet. A government minister, John Gormley, admitted this to Vincent Brown a few weeks ago – not that the world and its aunty didn’t already know. The ECB is the currency’s lender of last resort and it also has full executive control of the Irish Central Bank under the Maastricht Treaty so it wasn’t possible to decide how to deal with troubled banks without the agreement of the ECB. They call the shots, and Mr Lenihan has no sovereignty over the monetary system or the banking system. He has to do what the sovereign power tells him to do as he can do nothing by himself. To do otherwise would be to cripple the banking system, and to be out of the EuroZone the next day. That’s what he should have done but they’re all europhiles.

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  56. slappymcgroundout (profile) black spot says:

    So some get the point, this isn’t about serving the establishment or Orwell in reverse. Query: why do we have the attorney-client privilege, the doctor-patient privilege, and the spousal privilege? Because those relationships won’t work if the party needing to make disclosure has to fear that the substance of any such disclosure may be revealed to third persons?

    And you can filter out noise, but you can’t pull the truth out of thin air. Think of it this way, pain in the butt but you can remove the jigsaw pieces that don’t go with this particular puzzle. Try completing the puzzle, though, without a significant amount of the pieces for that puzzle.

    And that’s why some need to be able speak freely without any fear of their words being blabbed to the world at large.

    And the Orwell in reverse is nonsense, since Eric Blair himself would agree on the need for confidential communications between certain representatives within a govt and between certain representatives of two or more govts. For how absurd and preposterous is your position, I find this to be one of the rare occasions when I actually agree with Hillary Clinton:

    And so despite some of the rhetoric we’ve heard these past few days, confidential communications do not run counter to the public interest. They are fundamental to our ability to serve the public interest.

    Just as the attorney-client privilege, the doctor-patient privilege, and the spousal privilege are fundamental to our ability to serve the public interest.

    Lastly, it would otherwise help if some understood Orwell. Orwell wasn’t so much concerned with govt as Big Brother. Orwell was concerned with thought control, for the purpose of ending what he called, an intellectual life. There is nothing in any of the Wikileaks material that shows that Assange’s target, the US, has done any of that. And, Stones, what beggars belief is that you are apparently too dim to understand that the folks you quote were speaking to INFORMATION IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN. Like when Google ceded to China’s wishes and so if you were in China and you Googled, Tiananmen Square, you wouldn’t get any search result showing that anyone ever constructed a Goddess of Liberty there. The souls you quoted were NOT, repeat, NOT speaking to information that was and is intended to be confidential, was stolen, and then published. The other examples are, well, I’ll take just one, DPRK radio, with only the one channel on the fixed dial, so you can’t possibly get Radio Seoul as the radio dial can’t be turned but is forever set to Radio Pyongyang. That’s what they are talking about. And they spoke to corporations or business in general, who went along with the scheme, as Google did in China, because that’s where the money is. For irony, in doing so, the souls you quoted are in favor of Orwell and against the Party in ’84, since they advocate all of the public domain sources be made available so that some might engage in the intellectual life of discovering external reality and objective truth. What they don’t advocate is that you and I and Mr. Assange steal other people’s mail, read it, and then post it on the web.

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  57. Where, over the long cold weekend, did I read a piece making a link between wikileaks and past revelations (the ghost of Philip Agee and Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers were invoked)?

    In my view, because those previous “outings” revealed the rotten heart of US policy-making and named names, such a comparison torpedoes the essence of slappymcgroundout @ 9:22 am‘s argument. For wikileaks merely exposes the trivia, the banality of “diplomatic” chatter. Nothing much has changed since Kennedy sent the Great Economist (and so self-important) JK Galbraith as ambassador to India, only to find the verbosity of his “reports” taxed everyone’s patience, without greatly adding to the sum of knowledge.

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  58. slappymcgroundout (profile) black spot says:

    Banality?

    You haven’t been paying attention. For instance, Wikileaks demonstrates that Israel is aligned with all of the Sunni Arab world against Iran and that Egypt is cooperating with Israel in isolating and destroying Hamas. That isn’t banal. It explains why Netanyahu is in our American face with no sign of backing down. He’s been empowered. The leaks however put our Sunni Arab friends in a bind, since maybe like the homosexual, they didn’t want to be outed quite yet. Iran now knows that it wasn’t imagining things, since apart from the clueless Western left, everyone else in the region and the West wants to see that regime either gone or disarmed. Perhaps you might want to invest in a travel agency, booking flights out of Iran, since with this revelation, some will surely want to get the f out of Dodge before the feces hits the fan in Iran.

    Lastly, there an rather more diplomats than Galbraith. When you have JFK saying that about some more appreciable number of souls you might have a point. I could easily argue that the soul who shouted Fire in a crowded theater means we can’t have free spech.

    Almost forgot, but rotten is in the eye of the beholder. Sorry, but I’m not Michael Vickery, so I don’t serve as apologist for the Khmer Rouge. I’m also not John Pilger, so I don’t blame everyone but the Vietnamese Communists for the Vietnamese Boat People. And I’m not that fellow at the NY Times who back in the day suppressed the info on the Great Russian and Ukraine famine that killed tens of millions.

    I do, however, to borrow from Willie Frazer, have a lot of time for Uwe Siemon-Netto, who wrote back in ’79:

    Having covered the Viet Nam war over a period of five years for West German publications, I am now haunted by the role we journalists have played over there. Those of us who had wanted to find out knew of the evil nature of the Hanoi regime. We knew that, in 1956, close to 50,000 peasants were executed in North Vietnam. We knew that after the division of the country nearly 1 million North Vietnamese had fled to the South.

    Many of us have seen the tortured and carved-up bodies of men, women and children executed by the Viet Cong in the early phases of the war. And many of us saw, in 1968, the mass graves of Hue, saw the corpses of thousands of civilians still festively dressed for Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. Why, for Heavens sake, did we not report these expressions of deliberate North Vietnamese strategy at least as extensively as of the Mai Lai massacre and other such isolated incidents that were definitely not part of the U.S. policy in Viet Nam?

    What prompted us to make our readers believe that the Communists, once in power in all of Viet Nam, would behave benignly? What made us, first and foremost Anthony Lewis, belittle warnings by U.S. officials that a Communist victory would result in a massacre? Why did we ignore the fact that the man responsible for the executions of 50,000 peasants, Truong Chinh, was — and still is — one of the most powerful figures in Hanoi?

    What made us think that he and his comrades would have mercy for the vanquished South Vietnamese? What compelled, for example, Anthony Lewis shortly after the fall of Saigon to pat himself on the shoulder and write, ‘so much for the talk of a massacre?’ True, no Cambodian-style massacre took place in Vietnam. It’s just that Hanoi coolly drives its ethnic Chinese opponents into the sea. That’s what Nasser threatened to do to the Israelis, no massacre intended, of course.

    Are we journalists not in part responsible for the death of the tens of thousands who drowned? And are we not in part responsible for the hostile reception accorded to those who survive? Did we not turn public opinion against them, portraying them, as one singularly ignoble cartoon did in the United States, as a bunch of pimps, whores, war profiteers, corrupt generals or, at best, outright reactionaries?

    Considering that today’s Vietnam tragedy may have a lot to do with the way we reported yesterday’s Vietnam tragedy; considering that we journalists might have our fair share of guilt for the inhuman way the world treats those who are being expelled by an inhuman regime which some of us had pictured as heroic, I think at least a little humility would be in order for us old Viet Nam hands, Mr Lewis included. And if I did not strongly believe in everybody’s right of free expression at any time, I would even admonish him to keep quiet about Indo-China, at least for a while.

    And if Uwe’s mea culpa isn’t enough, how about Robert Elegant’s:

    Nowadays, Jean Lacouture, Anthony Lewis, and William Shawcross (among some other “Viet Nam veterans”) clearly feel deceived or even betrayed by the Communists of Indochina; yet surely, they voluntarily adopted the ideological bias that allowed Hanoi to deceive them. The Vietnamese Communists—unlike their Cambodian confreres—had, after all, openly declared their intention of imposing totalitarian rule upon the South. Why, then, were the “critics of the American war” so genuinely surprised by the consequences? More crucially, why did a virtual generation of Western journalists deceive itself so consistently as to the nature of the “liberation” in Indochina? Why did the correspondents want to believe in the good faith of the Communists? Why did they so want to disbelieve the avowed motives of the United States? Why did so much of their presumably factual reporting regularly reflect their ideological bias?

    Equally lamentable was the failure of the Western press to cover with any thoroughness the Army of the Republic of South Viet Nam, which over the long run was doing most of the fighting. Correspondents were reluctant to commit their safety to units whose resolution they distrusted—sometimes for good reason, more often because of a kind of racist contempt—in order to get stories that interested their editors so little. Coverage of Vietnamese politics, as well as social and economic developments, was sporadic—except for military coups and political crises, and those were often misreported.

    Examples of misdirected or distorted reporting could be amassed almost indefinitely. The war, after all, lasted some twenty years. A former Washington Post and New York Times correspondent, Peter Braestrup, has published a two-volume study of the coverage of the Tet Offensive of 1968. Quite significantly, it attracted little interest compared to, say, William Shawcross’s Sideshow or Michael Herr’s Dispatches.

    The obvious explanation is not as ingenuous as it may appear: the majority of Western correspondents and commentators adopted their idiosyncratic approach to the Indochina War precisely because other journalists had already adopted that approach. To put it more directly, it was fashionable (this was, after all, the age of Radical Chic) to be “a critic of the American war.”

    Decisive in the case of the Americans, who set the tone, was the normally healthy adversary relationship between the U.S. press and the U.S. government. American newspapermen have often felt, with some justification, that if an administration affirmed a controversial fact, that fact—if not prima facie false—was at the least suspect. As the lies of successive administrations regarding Indochina escalated, that conviction became the credo of the press. The psychological process that began with the unfounded optimism of President John F. Kennedy’s ebullient “New Frontiersmen,” who were by and large believed, ended with the disastrous last stand of Richard Nixon’s dour palace guard, who were believed by no one.

    The reaction against official mendacity was initially healthy but later became distorted, self-serving, and self-perpetuating. A faulty syllogism was unconsciously accepted: Washington was lying consistently; Hanoi contradicted Washington; therefore Hanoi was telling the truth.

    You can read the rest here:

    http://www.wellesley.edu/Polisci/wj/Vietnam/Readings/elegant.htm

    And you can explain why you view the imposition of a totalitarian communist regime on the millions of South Vietnamese as good policy, whereas US opposition to that totalitarian regime is viewed as “rotten heart” policy. If there’s any justice, the Buddhists will be right, and you’ll have to come back as one born and living in the totalitarian paradise that surely must be south Viet Nam.

    You might also read this:

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/news/vietnamese-dissidents-trial-mockery-justice-20100120

    Wonderful folks, your Red Viet friends. Pity that they don’t have our “rotten policy” of free speech, free press, and this thing called democracy. But, never mind, right, as they were “liberating” heroes. I’ve no time for such “heroes”.

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  59. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Slappy : 20 December 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Good to see your detailed response and your contribution to this debate. As somebody who was a Paralegal for more than a few years, I note and appreciate your points on privilege. Undoubtedly there is a dichotomy there.

    If this guy Bradley is the document source, then unfortunately yes, there appears to be a psychologically flawed and troubled young man involved. However I stress the word ‘appears’ as I have no doubt that State officialdom is already at work in the mis- information and dis information game regarding this individual. There is also a question over the hacker that turned him in, was this a one off or is he a paid FBI informant ?

    Let us localized these privacy and privilege issues to Southern Ireland for the moment !

    We have as you know come through the most horrendous child sex abuse revelations here and they are still ongoing, in fact the latest revelations indicates for the first time that there was a paedophile clerical sex ring involved. The country and public was kept in ignorance on this as all these cases, such as were prosecuted, were ‘In Camera’ and the details never made it into the public arena.

    While supposedly this was done to protect the child, de facto it allowed the various vested interests establishments to carry on behind closed doors and it is only following intensive judicial enquiries that some of this horror got out into the public domain.

    Michael McDowell was one of the mast forceful and combative personalities ever to occupy the Minister For Justice office, he was a well experienced debater from student days, larger than life public personalities, a barrister of long experience and a senior council. A private detective the late Billy Flynn send in hundreds of letters to the Dep of Justice and the Garda Hq regarding the activities of a corrupt division over a four to five year period detailing complaint after complaint.

    Mike as Minister For Justice could not get access to all these letters, the Department Of Justice simply refused and Michale McDowell as Minister for Justice had to come like a thief in the night to Billy Flynn private house under the cover of darkness to read copies of letters send to to the former Minister Of Justice.

    ( Works the same way accross the pond : when Michael Foot got into government he was denied access to the file that the Security Services held on him ! )

    I as a paralegal but the small team together that had so called Free Legal Aid as doled out at the discretion of the Department Of Justice declared unconstitutional. Prior to this a Legal Aid Panel when ‘assessing’ the suitability of the applicants for free legal aid, de facto tried the case and imposed a settlement. If the the parties did not agree they backed the most compliant one, gave them legal aid which left the weaker party and victim without legal representation or the means to aquire it.

    The judicial system went along with that and back to their well tended suburban rose gardens while leaving what in most cases were victim women further victimized. Any attempt to publicize this was met by the ‘in camera’ rule and the journalist or press concerned were hauled before the court. The issues of privacy and privilege were used to deny a public right to know and injustice was knowing perpetrated.

    How many lawyers refused to operate the old system ? Not one bloody one ! Now it is fathers and mens rights that are trampled on by the courts on a systematic and ongoing basis and again the ‘in camera’ rule is uses to prevent a full and free publicly informed discussion.

    Our first major scandal enquiry of modern vintage concerned the Beef Tribunal, I was approached by a US East Coast Network TV to help with the research on that one, and shadowed at every meeting and indeed for six weeks round the clock during that period, by Special Branch. Millions of public money ‘went west’ and was wasted.

    The enquiry brought no results either only another fudge. The only conviction and jail time was that of Susan O’Keeffe the journalist who broke the story as she refused to reveal her sources that led to the enquiry.

    It now transpires that the Minister Of Finance in the current banking crisis is the village idiot of European Finance Ministers. not one figure he has given for anything has been accurate or even in the ballpark. He has also lied and fudged his way through to date. The night of the crash he visited a financial journalist at his home to ask for advice and it appears that at that stage the saying ‘headless chicken’ is apt.

    David Mc Williams disclosed the contents of that meeting disclosed the Brian Lenihan mood and views at that privileged meeting. It was the first and to date one of the few real insights we got into the behind close doors thinking and based on that it is hardly surprising that the establishment want to keep the lid on that particular pot.

    There will always be a dichotomy between a public right to know and an individual or institutions’ right to privacy. Both parties can make absolute arguments for their stance and the only certainty is that there can be no absolutes, or at least very, very few such as Attorney/Client privilege. However one has only to look at the Watergate issue to see how that was abused right, left and centre…….. by parties who perpetrated and covered up and who were in the main lawyers.

    It can and must come down to a case by case basis. If Blair and Bush mislead the public and broke the law to foist this war for manufactured and bogus reasons on the public, then the public has a right to know how and why. This is about as close as we are likely to get in finding out as to what really was and is going on.

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  60. joeCanuck (profile) says:

    I may be living under a misapprehension. Maybe a lawyer or a paralegal can help out. As an officer of the Court, I thought a lawyer is obliged to turn over any direct evidence he uncovers that would prove his client’s guilt. which is why a lawyer would never ask his client ” Did you do it?”

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  61. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    A solicitor has absolute client / Lawyer privilege where there can be free and total communication in confidence, save of course as in Northern Ireland where many such communications were bugged ! There have also been Southern allegations of the same thing happening.

    As with a priest in confession, where there is a mass murderer involved, to give an extreme example, and there is a very real possibility and probability that such people will again kill, then there is a grey area there where the obligation to the individual must be balanced against the obligations to society. This is ‘Slappy’ country and I will hand over to him!

    A barrister is in another area, they are briefed by a solicitor knowing the facts on the best possible defense and there is supposed to be a forensic legal condom there in that a barrister believe their clients innocence and their guilt if any is never discussed. If they learn of a clients guilt they can only advise and plead on mitigation.

    Explains a lot about our Barrister Minister Of Finance and his ever changing perceptions of reality !

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  62. When joeCanuck @ 3:44 pm and others start implying “guilt”, I get puzzled.

    Guilt of what? And where?

    The sexual assaults involve Swedish jurisdiction; but it wasn’t the Swedes who appealed against giving Assange bail — it was the London government. Mmm, odd that. Even if Assange is returned to Sweden (which might, indeed, be his least-worst option), it’s going to take the US authorities some effort to overcome the 1961 extradition treaty which excludes political crimes. Surely, if there is a “crime” in US terms, it is a political one.

    Then we’d need to consider the state of play in the US. At the very worst, Assange would need to be arraigned as a “co-conspirator”. It would probably be impossible to charge him with leaking secret material: that was what the newspapers did in publishing the wikileaks stuff. Then there’s the Supreme Court decison of 1971 over the Pentagon Papers [http://openjurist.org/403/us/713/new-york-times-company-v-united-states]. That one went 6-3 against the government, with Justice Hugo Black writing the First Amendment exculpation:

    Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell.

    At some stage, then, the Supreme Court might need to review the federal court decision on US v Morison, a disturbing case which President Clinton managed to hoof into the long grass with his final-day list of pardons. There’s a legal opinion on the whole can-of-worms, prepared by the Congressional Research Service, accessible at http://www.scribd.com/doc/45111105/WIKILEAKS-LEAKS-TO-THE-PRESS-OF-CLASSIFIED-INFORMATION-RARELY-PROSECUTED. That title in itself speaks volumes.

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  63. joeCanuck (profile) says:

    Malcolm,

    I wasn’t in the least referring to any implied guilt in the Assange case. I was querying the absoluteness of the client/lawyer priviledge. Just seeking information.

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  64. joeCanuck @ 5:51 pm:,/b>

    Noted. I’m sorry if I suggested anything else.

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  65. wee buns (profile) says:

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/12/20/rundle-police-procedures-ignored-in-assange-interviews/

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  66. RepublicanStones (profile) says:

    So some get the point, this isn’t about serving the establishment or Orwell in reverse. Query: why do we have the attorney-client privilege, the doctor-patient privilege, and the spousal privilege? Because those relationships won’t work if the party needing to make disclosure has to fear that the substance of any such disclosure may be revealed to third persons?

    What an utterly ridiculous and asinine comparison. To begin with, what is said between one man and his doctor does not have an impact on the lives of others, does not have the potential to lead to the deaths of millions. Nor is the doctor elected to represent. And in any event, for it to even be analogous to governments keeping secrets, it would require the doctor/solicitor to be keeping secrets from his client.

    And, Stones, what beggars belief is that you are apparently too dim to understand that the folks you quote were speaking to INFORMATION IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN.

    More nonsense. For another example of the hypocrisy of the US govt, you probably missed it, but one of the stated aims of current govt was to ‘Protect Whistleblowers’…specifically….

    Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.

    http://change.gov/agenda/ethics_agenda

    And Liberman’s VOICE act seeks to do amongst other things…

    supports journalists who take great risk to report on political events in Iran, including those surrounding the presidential election;

    So if Iran has secrets it wants kept, you’d be happy to see those brave journalists ‘dealt with’? You think Liberman would hand back iranian state secrets? Catch a grip.

    Lets not kid ourselves here folks, Slapp would not be crying foul if it was Iranian or Chinese secrets being laid out in the open, the problem is its his own govts (or one he likes) whose skidmarks are now on show.

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  67. Alias (profile) says:

    “Alias, is extradition really just a formality inside the E.U.?” – Joe

    Yes, and thousands of EAWs are now issued by foreign states for British citizens every year on the most frivolous of charges, who have no idea that they have been duly stripped by EU law of their former rights as British citizens under British law to be protected from unjust arrest and imprisonment or unfair trials in foreign states.

    Under the EAW procedure, the British courts have no right to consider if there is prima facie evidence against an accused person. Instead they are required to have confidence that the requesting state has good evidence and is acting in good faith irrespective of whether or not there is any foundation for that confidence. Ergo, Mr Assange must simply be arrested in the UK and handed over to a foreign state with no consideration possible by a UK court of the merits of his arrest, detention or extradition or whether it is simply a bad faith attempt to detain him while the US decides how it can deprive him of his freedom by malicious prosecution in its territory.

    The UK has surrendered its sovereignty over its extradition procedure, removing this fundamental protection from its citizens, in order to assist a regime that has devised the EAW as an Orwellian tool to supress liberty and free speech in the EU by making all people within its member states fear the possibility of arrest and extradition for flimsiest of transgressions that now looms over them.

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  68. slappymcgroundout (profile) black spot says:

    “I may be living under a misapprehension. Maybe a lawyer or a paralegal can help out. As an officer of the Court, I thought a lawyer is obliged to turn over any direct evidence he uncovers that would prove his client’s guilt. which is why a lawyer would never ask his client ” Did you do it?””

    Here in the US, well, at the federal level there is no rule of evidence, but a common law body of caselaw establishing and defining the contours of the privilege. At the state level, here in Hawaii, the privilege is defined by Rule 503 of the Hawaii Rules of Evidence:

    (b) General rule of privilege. A client has a privilege to refuse to disclose and to prevent any other person from disclosing confidential communications made for the purpose of facilitating the rendition of professional legal services to the client (1) between the client or the client’s representative and the lawyer or the lawyer’s representative, or (2) between the lawyer and the lawyer’s representative, or (3) by the client or the client’s representative or the lawyer or a representative of the lawyer to a lawyer or a representative of a lawyer representing another party in a pending action and concerning a matter of common interest, or (4) between representatives of the client or between the client and a representative of the client, or (5) among lawyers and their representatives representing the same client.

    (c) Who may claim the privilege. The privilege may be claimed by the client, the client’s guardian or conservator, the personal representative of a deceased client, or the successor, trustee, or similar representative of a corporation, association, or other organization, whether or not in existence. The person who was the lawyer or the lawyer’s representative at the time of the communication shall claim the privilege on behalf of the client unless expressly released by the client.

    (d) Exceptions. There is no privilege under this rule:

    (1) Furtherance of crime or fraud. If the services of the lawyer were sought, obtained, or used to enable or aid anyone to commit or plan to commit what the client knew or reasonably should have known to be a crime or fraud;

    (2) Prevention of crime or fraud. As to a communication reflecting the client’s intent to commit a criminal or fraudulent act that the lawyer reasonably believes is likely to result in death or substantial bodily harm, or in substantial injury to the financial interests or property of another;

    (3) Claimants through same deceased client. As to a communication relevant to an issue between parties who claim through the same deceased client, regardless of whether the claims are by testate or intestate succession or by inter vivos transaction;

    (4) Breach of duty by lawyer or client. As to a communication relevant to an issue of breach of duty by the lawyer to the client or by the client to the lawyer;

    (5) Document attested by lawyer. As to a communication relevant to an issue concerning an attested document to which the lawyer is an attesting witness;

    (6) Joint clients. As to a communication relevant to a matter of common interest between two or more clients if the communication was made by any of them to a lawyer retained or consulted in common, when offered in an action between any of the clients; or

    (7) Lawyer’s professional responsibility. As to a communication the disclosure of which is required or authorized by the Hawaii rules of professional conduct for attorneys.

    And the add-on in the criminal context, from case law here in Hawaii:

    When a prosecutor seeks arguably privileged testimony, the prosecutor must either (1) give notice to the person who might claim the privilege and the person’s counsel, so that the person or the person’s attorney can seek judicial review of any claim of privilege or waive the privilege, or (2) give notice to the person’s counsel and, if the person’s counsel does not raise the privilege and seek judicial review, the prosecutor must seek the court’s ruling on the privilege issue. 97 H. 512, 40 P.3d 914.

    And, Joe, remember, my first duty is simply to advise my client on what I condider to be the best course of action given the circumstance. I simply cannot do that without knowing what, exactly, the circumstance is. And my client won’t be forthcoming with the circumstance unless the disclosure is protected. The same concern applies here.

    Lastly, to more fully state my position, as the one soul so aptly wrote:

    What Orwell calls the “liberal habit of mind” is the habit of mind that seeks to make one’s beliefs beholden to something outside one’s ideological preferences…For Orwell, a liberal is someone who is free to arrive at his own verdict concerning the facts, someone who possesses a “free intelligence”–a “type hated with equal hatred by all the smelly orthodoxies which are now contending for our souls”.

    So Stones knows, that’s why I called him “anti-American”. Not in the sense of bearing an animus against every man, woman and child in America, but in the precise sense of letting external reality and objective fact be damned in favor of the ideologically pure “history” of Fisk, Pilger, etc. All that 1984 is, is a depiction of our humanity discarding the search for external reality and objective fact in favor of a party-personal orthodoxy-ideology.

    Here, that phenomenon has rather manifest itself by some throwing the two women of relevance under the bus in favor of their ideology that says that America simply can’t be trusted and is all that is evil in the world. In other instances, they’ll blather on about compassion, etc., for the alleged victims of rape, but in their ideological heirarchy, their usual ideology respecting alleged victims of rape pales in comparison to their ideology that America can’t be trusted and is all that is evil in the world. And for an example in classic Orwellian doublethink, they’ll forgot that they even believe in the former orthodoxy at all, at least for now, but when next time it becomes necessary, then suddenly they will recall their orthodoxy respecting the appropriate treatment of alleged victims of rape.

    In the meantime, like Alias, and some others here and elsewhere, they won’t even bother to establish the law of Sweden as regards rape (who needs external reality and objective fact), as instead they’ll simply parrot the rather erroneous notion that having sex w/o a condom in Sweden is, ipso facto, rape. And that because such supports their ideology that America can’t be trusted and is all that is evil in the world.

    The even more pathetic aspect to the whole sordid and sorry affair is that even when corrected, they’ll swat the correction aside as if it were as irrevelant to the analysis as is a gnat. That’s how much concern they have for external reality and objective fact, none. America simply can’t be trusted and is all that is evil in the world. Nothing whatsoever can stand in the way of that “truth”, not even external reality and objective fact. And pity anyone, including the two women, the Swedish prosecutor, and whoever else is perceived to oppose that “truth”.

    Almost forgot, but for Stones, can you read the English language? There is no “whistleblowing” in revealing stolen confidential govt communciations that describe the man in charge in Belarus as “disturbed” and “bizarre”. Nor is there any “whistleblowing” in telling us that the Saudis fund terror. We’ve known that for years and it’s the single reason why some of us have been objecting to Saudi funding of Wahhabi nutcases here in the US for at least a decade now (ie., years before 9/11).

    The problem you have is that you simply refuse to see that your hero isn’t limiting himself to disclosure of what he perceives as crime. Instead, he releases whatever he thinks will damage America in practice and in the image of the world. And that’s why we can read that our man in Minsk thinks that their man in Belarus is “disturbed” and “bizarre”. That isn’t whistleblowing, but an attack on America, and by extension, every American as well. And your failure to appreciate that reality is precisely why I wrote prior that you are anti-American. You haven’t even bothered to ask yourself why the scores of other regimes with far worse records than the US have not been the subject of Assange’s effort. Why not? America simply cannot be trusted and is all that is evil in the world. That’s why not.

    Truly lastly, your last bit there is laughable. If my government stole secrets, I wouldn’t know about them. Why on earth would you tell the one penetrated that you have them penetrated? All that such a revelation would do is serve to have them eliminate the penetration and if this is human asset penetration and not computer hacking, such a revelation would only serve to get someone killed. Here, read up on US Senator Pat Leahy:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/01/pat_leahy_a_canary_in_a_data_m.html

    I remember him going on the tv following that one operation, the one where his loose lips got our man killed. As another source puts that matter:

    “Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, inadvertantly disclosed a top secret communications intercept during a [1985] television interview,” reported the San Diego Union-Tribune in a 1987 editorial criticizing Congress’ penchant for partisan leaks.

    “The intercept, apparently of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s telephone conversations, made possible the capture of the Arab terrorists who had hijacked the cruise ship Achille Lauro and murdered American citizens,” the paper said, adding, “The reports cost the life of at least one Egyptian operative involved in the operation.”

    So as I said, if some don’t play the role of Leaky Leahy, I won’t even know that we’ve stolen the info. Protects our means of penetration, human lives included. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Unlike some, I don’t wish to throw humans under the bus, to include the two women at issue here and our man in Egypt who Leahy got killed via his loose lips that sink ships. By the way, I remember the incident on tv, because I saw it myself on original broadcast. I remember telling myself, out loud, and not so much to my mom, who was watching the show with me…what did he just say…oh Lord…

    For one more, Pat is why I doubt Julian’s motives. Pat wasn’t trying to strike a blow for democracy, freedom and/or transparency. He simply had an ego to stoke, and what better way than to go on tv and divulge that we’re so smart that we had the inside goods on this one and that’s how we managed to pull it off. Wasn’t conscious on his part, I agree, as his ego simply took control and he didn’t consciously ponder the consequence of what he was saying, I mean, what fun would that be for the ego.

    To relate this to Julian, you wonder why Sweden is where it is now? Because Julian is the enemy of every govt in the world. Might be the US getting assanged now, but could be Sweden next. Julian is apparently so damn narcissistic that he fails to realize that reality. An opposing govt might be gleeful at the outing of the US, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t recognize the potential danger to them that Julian poses. And so rather than posit any US conspiracy with Sweden here, simply posit Sweden thinking that maybe Julian outs them next. Harder to do that from a prison cell. And so we are clear, I am not saying that anyone is fabricating anything, simply that some are availing themselves of a legal means to make the Julian mission that much more difficult. And given that their Swedish job is to protect Swedish govt secrets, who can blame them. Might be them next. Who can say. I can’t.

    Perhaps one day your man Julian will remember the good ole Appalachian saying, to wit, don’t step in nothin’ you can’t wipe off.

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  69. RepublicanStones (profile) says:

    Slapp, you rather irrelevant cut and paste regarding attorney/client analogy has been dealt with already. But your contention that

    There is no “whistleblowing” in revealing stolen confidential govt communciations that describe the man in charge in Belarus as “disturbed” and “bizarre”. Nor is there any “whistleblowing” in telling us that the Saudis fund terror.

    Is rather a childish attempt to cherry pick from the stuff Wikileaks has released thus far. Not only do we have the hidden civilian death tolls from Iraq and Afghanistan, the obscene video of the slaughter of civilians by an attack helicopter, the orders from Lady Macbeth herself to illegally spy on and gather personal information, DNA etc from other diplomats, Netanyahu’s behind the scenes demand for lots of preconditions, whilst publicly denying the need for them, and most recently the revelation of Britain training a Bangladeshi ‘death squad’ (who the US even refused to train in certain areas) and many others. Im sure I left out some other juicy ones. There’s been plenty of whistleblowing, not just the type of diplomatic tittle tattle you rather cynically tried to paint Wikileaks as merely exposing. But Im sure you knew that already…right?

    Your continued attempt to infer me as anti-american is not only childish but quite ignorant from the fact you also have to ask…

    You haven’t even bothered to ask yourself why the scores of other regimes with far worse records than the US have not been the subject of Assange’s effort. Why not?

    Could it be that a certain Private Manning was in the employ of the US defense establishment, and not the Russian or Chinese DoD’s. You must be under the illusion that Assange broke into the Pentagon or some such. If you are in receipt of classified information from somebody working inside Shell, you seriously expect them to provide classified information from Texaco as well? Catch a grip. And just to finish Slapp, but you may not be aware of it. But with all your continued attempts to infer guilt upon Assange, and I think we both agree, rape is a horrible crime, but its commonly accepted, as MV highlighted above, theres a little concept we have of ‘innocent until PROVEN guilty’. In your haste to shoot the messenger for mail being delivered that you would rather return to sender, you seem to have forgotten that.

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  70. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Here is an interesting insight on Julians background that surfaced in the last couple of days. At very least it shows that there are quite complex and hidden forces at work here. It was blogger on Henrymarko.com site.

    I post the reference here for your information and without comment !

    Julian Assange’s Ties to Nazi Cult (December 27, 2010)

    ( If the link is not live google henrymarkow.com and scroll down to the article concerned.)

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  71. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    I can see that the link did not come up active !

    Google…… henrymakow.com……. as suggested…… (site name spelled wrong above)….. and scroll down to the Julian article !

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  72. Musterview @ 12:37 & 12:43 pm:

    That could be the same Henry Makow, PH.D., who maintains that:

    humanity has been colonized by a satanic cult called the Illuminati. This cult represents Masonic and Jewish bankers who finagled a monopoly over government credit which allows them to charge interest on funds they create out of nothing.

    Naturally they want to protect this prize by translating it into a political and cultural monopoly. This takes the form of a totalitarian world government dedicated to Lucifer, who represents their defiance of God.

    and also identified the generic link between feminism, communism and 9/11:

    Feminism is elite social engineering designed to destroy gender identity by making women masculine and men feminine. Increasingly heterosexuals are conditioned to behave like homosexuals who generally don’t marry and have children. Courtship and monogamy are being replaced by sexual promiscuity, prophesied in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

    The Rockefellers and Rothschilds created feminism to poison male-female relations (divide and conquer.) Their twin objectives are depopulation and totalitarian world government. Why? These bankers create money out of nothing and think they are God.

    Sorry, Munsterview, I prefer my paranoia in smaller doses.

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  73. joeCanuck (profile) says:

    MV,

    For some reason those writings remind me of the old saw:
    To every complicated problem, there is a simple solution, which is wrong.

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  74. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Yes, that could be fact and indeed is!

    To deal with the Julian article first, this will take the reader directly to the article concerned. As far as I am concerned it gives some very interesting background detail on Julian himself as a child and youth and on some of the other unseen forces influncing his case.

    savethemales.ca – Julian Assange’s Ties to Nazi Cult

    I must say however I am somewhat surprised that you cannot separate message from messenger here. I have been an avid reader from childhood and one of the first things my National School teacher encouraged me in when directing my reading was to always seek out a contrary viewpoint and keep an open mind.

    I read everything I could lay hands on regarding the Fenians and 1916, He brought me in a hefty volume on the ‘Life and Times Of Queen Victoria’ from his own library and some of Churchills writings as he did some pro Unionist books. Long before it was even considered in Irish historical sources he got me to see Cromwell apart from the Irish Massacre, to pull back and look at the big picture and see him as a progressive force in England.

    In reviewing my reading with me he would switch sides in the argument and I had to give the opposite viewpoint and make the case as coherently pro as I had previously done contra. One of the reasons I contribute to slugger rather than mainstream Republican sites sites is for the wide diversity of political views here ranging from Turgon and David Vance to people like John O’Neill and my self.

    Wearing my cultural hat, after a talk on aspects of W B Yeats, when asked for references
    on the poet, one of these I give is……. http://www.oswaldmosley.com/william-butler-yeats.htm simply because WB also had a political outlook that for a period was sympathetic to Facism . A significant corpus of his poetry was written during this period and while his flirting with fascism is now the elephant in the academic room that is not discussed, in is never the less central to a significant body of his work.

    Should I not refer people to this site because the site per se promotes fascism or should I thrust on those concerned to excercise their own judgement ?

    Like Mick, Henry Makow too has a selection of bloggers with a wide diversity of views : my own bloggs on the G20 for example were reposed dozens of times and translated even into Russian. The sites that re-posted range from extreme left through centre to extreme right. and are still showing something thing like 70,000 results when googled


    G20 Arrests: “Sue the Bastards!” — Sinn Fein Veteran. – henryMakow

    savethemales.ca – G20 Arrests: “Sue the Bastards!” — Sinn Fein

    What matters to me is the message got out there Internationally, not what sites it was carried on.

    While I could not care less if Henry was a card carrying member of The Millitant Leauge Of Atheists, like Mick he operates a site where left wing anti- establishment views like mine get the same hearing as those of rightwing bloggers. It is the message that counts and the message stands or falls on it’s response.

    Henry’s site also fulfills a very important function, as somebody of Jewish descent and a believing Jew, who had immediate relatives murdered in Hitlers Death Camps, both he and other dissenting Jews can be critical of International Zionism and openly say things about the Isralie State that if said by somebody in my situation, would have posters like ‘Alias’ waving the ‘anti-semitic’ card around and crying foul.

    I do not agree with all Henry’s views no more than he would with mine or we both collectivly would with many other bloggers, yet it is a site that is seldom without a weekly article or two of interest or significance among those posted. This Julian background article is one such interesting piece of background material that raise quite a few questions.

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  75. Munsterview @ 2010 at 4:54 pm:

    First, here is the hot-link:
    http://www.henrymakow.com/stranger_than_fiction_life_of.html

    What you will find there is one, Richard Evans, who has come up with a weird thesis.

    It goes like this:

    ¶ Julian Assange’s mother had a second marriage to a musician. This step-father had some unspecified involvement with a deeply-unpleasant New Age group, which he promptly left soon afterwards. When this marriage went sour, Christine Assange/whatever had some difficulty escaping from the relationship, which involved heavy-duty legal actions over another child.

    ¶ Evans embroiders this as becoming a member of “The White Brotherhood” – aka “The Family” or Santiniketan Park Association, a private psychiatric hospital on the outskirts of Melbourne Australia. The “private psychiatric hospital” was, in fact, Newhaven Hospital run by Marion Villimek, a Santiniketan member. The hospital’s dubious practices (many of which were used by NHS psychiatrists) led to its closure in 1992.

    ¶ That further enables Evans to spin a further fantasy involving LSD, child-abduction, group-marriage, Josef Mengele, the CIA, Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

    ¶ Evans has to admit that Assange himself offers no detailed recollection of this business: to Evans (naturally) that is ground for further suspicion.

    Quite what all that has to do with the cables released by wikileaks, or manufactured accusations of Jewish involvement and/or anti-semitism, or indeed the price of fish, needs explanation.

    To this rational sole/soul it is too baroque, too over-sauced/sourced for credence. Clear-water Revival or not.

    If you really want a conspiracy theory, I gather Assange has also pissed off the Scientologists.

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  76. Brian (profile) says:

    Slappy, RS thinks the US is somewhere between Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany.

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  77. joeCanuck (profile) says:

    There will be no end to the attempts to discredit the message by trying to character assassinate the messenger.

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  78. RepublicanStones (profile) says:

    Slappy, RS thinks the US is somewhere between Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany.

    Not at all. I am merely aware of the fact that there is a vast, vast difference between the publically professed foreign policy aims of the US government and the policies and actions it actually undertakes. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that much Brian.

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