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WikiLeaks: Espionage? Journalism? Something else?

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I think eventually the CIA will take this guy down for good... I have been around awhile... but I am quite sure this guy is a liability to safety. The hell with freedom of speech. Its like the right to bear arms in the US.-- a bit past its time.

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my2sense at 11:25 AM JST - 1st December The hell with freedom of speech. Its like the right to bear arms in the US.-- a bit past its time.

If freedom is speech is "past its time", then so is democracy. You can't have an informed public without the right to free speech, and without an informed public they don't know who to vote for. You might as well move to North Korea then, because that's exactly what the U.S. will look like... okay, fewer rice paddies, but pretty much the same.

I'd say that the ball is now in the U.S. Government's court now, and they need to PROVE that the information released willfully and knowingly endangered lives or current operations. And them arguing that it did so unintentionally or unknowingly wouldn't float with me because WikiLeaks did offer to cooperate in vetting the information and removing information that would endanger lives and the U.S. Govt response was to say that it was all classified and none of it could be released, which is complete b/s.

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thx for the lecture dude.

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Interpol has put WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on its most-wanted list, at the request of a Swedish court looking into alleged sex crimes from earlier this year.

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Is it journalism or espionage or something in between?

I would definitely say not espionage, but the people that stole it sure seem to be evil spies. Some information should just not be out there. for example, do you really think they should tell us if Roswell really happened? Do you know how the general public which in general is pretty stupid and the panic that would occur?

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Espionage.

And grounds for Obama's long-overdue impeachment.

Author and defense analyst Lt. Col. Ralph Peters:

"...people are stewing about this because President Obama has overseen the gravest compromise — the greatest willful compromise because he did nothing — of our national security of any president in my lifetime."

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If wikileaks can get a hold of these info, I'm sure it's not that hard for a terrorist organisation to access them either. If the states want to keep a hold of their secrets, put more emphasis on security. don't blame wikileaks for exposing what they have been able to access.

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The world has a right to know.

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what I am really looking forward to is the major US bank about to get its very, very, dirty, filthy, nasty, laundry aired in public next year.

Banks have a history of assassinations even against Presidents in their fight to keep money as debt over the years. I hope Assange can survive all of this and bring some dirty bankers to their knees.

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Where are the wikileaks for the Russian, Chinese and Iranian government-authored docs? Oh that's right, he wouldn't dare...

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This Wikileaks site is clearly interested in quantity over quality. This past release of 250,000 documents have served no other purpose than to humiliate several governments. It's not like there is a major revelation that the US deceived its people or anything. Nothing remotely tantamount to the Pentagon Papers. Hardly worth it. This stuff they are disclosing is probably of little value to the public compared with the interest a government has in keeping its assessments secret. Shame on Assange.

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I am waiting for the UN, Climate Scientists, Obama's transcripts, and secret documents from every government in the world to be exposed. Only then will the people have all the truth.

Let's see if the wikileaks supporters agree. Oh, they won't. They only hate America.

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Criminal Code Act 1995 (Aust')

A person commits an offence if:

(a) the person makes, obtains or copies a record (in any form) of:

(i) information concerning the Commonwealth's security or defence; or

(ii) information concerning the security or defence of another country, being information that the person acquired (whether directly or indirectly) from the Commonwealth; and

(b) the person does so:

(i) without lawful authority; and

(ii) intending that the record will, or may, be delivered to another country or a foreign organisation, or to a person acting on behalf of such a country or organisation; and

(iii) intending to give an advantage to another country's security or defence.

It is a defence to a prosecution of an offence against (Subsections re. espionage) that the information the person communicates or makes available is information that has already been communicated or made available to the public with the authority of the Commonwealth.

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Am I missing something here? I will admit that I am not well versed on the intricacies of espionage law but in order to "leak" something don't you first need to be in possession of it or have directly obtained it through illegal means?

As far as I am aware, it was a memeber of the army that originally leaked the information to wikileaks and not wikileaks itself. While I am happy that this information is out there, I would back any charges the government filed against this particular indivual. He was aware of law and he decided to disclose classified information.

He was, however, not employed by wikileaks either directly or indirectly. Therefore, wikileaks has not "leaked" anything. They are merely making it available on a scale not seen before due to the power of the internet. As for the charge of espionage, that is a bit of a strecth isn't it?

I guess it comes down to whether or not you believe that information/the truth is property. This in itself is going to be an interesting issue in the future. Forty or Fifty years ago it would be a moot point I imagine. The power and the scope of the internet has changed all that forever though. We have begun to perceive "information" differently than in the past and it is interesting as to where this will lead.

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Therefore, wikileaks has not "leaked" anything. They are merely making it available on a scale not seen before due to the power of the internet.

Aha! You might as well mention the fact that it was done pro bono, and the Chinese, etc spying networks didn't paid ASSANGE to leak documents for the whole world to see.

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The idiot traitor who gave them the info deserves to be in jail as he has been for the last 6 months or so. I hope he gets the full sentance, 53 years isn't it?

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The hell with freedom of speech.

So, Soviet-style. I thought this kind of thinking was like so yesterday. I mean, where is the responsiblity of the US government to keep their crap secret! I mean, if they can not do this, then sure, this will happen. Any if there is DIRT, frankly, I want to know about it since I AM PAYING for it in the end with my taxes. The people in Wikileaks are heros. Exposing the wrong doings of nations. Kind of interesting to learn about Pakistan and how it was NOT cooperating with the US on nuclear fuel, wasn't it? At least we know have REAL news. Kind of interesting to learn about Prince Andrew mouthing off how we Americans can not play the game in Asia because our geography teachers are so bad. Wow! Better comedy than at Comedy Central I declare. Be grateful people! No one is dying from this. They are dying because this crap is going on!

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I am waiting for the UN, Climate Scientists, Obama's transcripts, and secret documents from every government in the world to be exposed. Only then will the people have all the truth. Let's see if the wikileaks supporters agree. Oh, they won't. They only hate America.

Yeh, bring it on! If he has pulled stuff, then down he goes. I like more stuff exposed on Bush though so that MORE arrest warrants will be placed on him, not just from Germany! But, really manfromAmerica, you really think I hate America because I want to know the UGLY UGLY Truth that it has done. All of the CIA crimes! All of the killings and coverups. That information, knowing about it, having the sunshine on it so we can repent and make some restitution, and FINALLY get some good government, THAT, makes me a bad bad bad American? REally? I dare say that you are as brain-washed, if you believe this, as a North Korean, who dare not speak badly of its government or wants to know the ugly truth of what they have done. NO difference at all. You right-wingers, Tim, etc, are all the same. You HATE America because you hate its very ideals. Freedom of speech, freedom of movement (walking without papers, for example, like in Arizona), everything about it.

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data dump /= journalism

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When the Gov joins the conspiracy theorists --> you know it is getting bad. The drama takes the heat off the financial situation though.

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maybe data dump does not equal journalism but consulting with the pentagon about what can and what cannot be published beforehand as "major responsible media" are doing is even less so, it's mere propaganda!

this exposes the interests for which the peoples of the world are made to fight and hate each other, and these are most certainly not the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population! this is the second time in history general public has been given the glimpse of the dirty dark side of spying game misnamed diplomacy; last time it was the workers of russia exposing the back-room dealings of the imperialist powers of the time: russia, germany, france etc. it's time for another revolution of information

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I don't care about naming it. The man is daring to do something no one else is and he's is 10X better for the American people than half the idiots in office. It ain't no secret that the USA deals dirty. If the gov't wasn't doing all this garbage in the first place there wouldn't be a need to hide it.

Now it seems very convenient that now he is wanted for sex crimes. Isn't that the way the gov't works? Discredit the enemy then down he goes. Tried and true formula.

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U.S. law now applies to everyone everywhere? How does this work, exactly?

Assange will either be convicted of rape, or die mysteriously, very soon.

The U.S.A. is angry with him, to say the least, but Russia and China take this stuff more seriously, and bullets are cheap.

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He is an Australian...amazing.

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By the Espionage Act we can also prosecute to all US diplomats. Right?

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data dump /= journalism

A have only one word for you... "WATERGATE"

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This is fantastic! Im so sick and tired of all the crap since 911, our civil liberties and even habeus corpus removed by the Govt...its totally unacceptable! so its great to see some kind of payback from the small guys to a govt! we need things like this to regain the balance lost.!

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A have only one word for you... "WATERGATE"

In that case Hillary is once again in a familiar territory LoL

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Let's see if the wikileaks supporters agree.

Oh, I totally agree.

Oh, they won't. They only hate America.

Not even close.

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I think eventually the CIA will take this guy down for good...

Sure, because it's what the old KGB would do.

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A have only one word for you... "WATERGATE"

Meaning what? Watergate was exposed by a ton of investigative journalism. Deep Throat didn't just dump a truckload of documents at the doorstep of the Washington Post.

I personally don't think Wikileaks is guilty of anything, but the people who gave them this information are guilty as hell. Nor do I think that Wikileaks has anything to do with journalism. They're just providing a billboard on which to paste up what is supposed to be classified information.

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John Stewart did a good job on this....check it out for a laugh.

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Rep Peter King of New York called for Assange to be charged under the Espionage Act and asked whether WikiLeaks can be designated a terrorist organization.

If they pull this off no media form will be safe. Next would be all the bloggers (and JT posters) who express contrary opinions, pundits on the opposite side of the political spectrum from those in power, even the New York Times, et al. Also, what would be gained by designating WikiLeaks as a terrorist organisation? Revenge? Vindication [fallacy]?

Personally, I'm all for government secrets being made public. Governments need to be held accountable, but that can't happen when they wield the "Secret" stamp as a means of covering up their misleading and [often] illegal activities. However, I'm also of the opinion that, in cases where classified information was leaked by someone who had agreed to protect such information, the "leaker" should also be held accountable. Not because the information shouldn't have been made public, but because those persons broke their oath/contract (and, in so doing, the law).

To all of the right-wingers out there who are constantly spouting hyper-patriotic drivel, you would do well to review your American history. If it weren't for civil disobedience, there would be no America. If we do away with, or passively allow the erosion of, the freedoms (especially freedom of speech) "guaranteed" by the constitution, you might as well start shopping for a new home in China, North Korea, or Iran.

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@farstrider

In your comments reacting to this:"Rep Peter King of New York called for Assange to be charged under the Espionage Act and asked whether WikiLeaks can be designated a terrorist organization."

you wrote:"If they pull this off no media form will be safe. Next would be all the bloggers (and JT posters) who express contrary opinions, pundits on the opposite side of the political spectrum from those in power, even the New York Times,"

and

"Personally, I'm all for government secrets being made public."

This might come as a shock to you and others but in most countries there are laws and those laws also protect you!

You may look at this as the right of the public to know but just stop and think a minute.

First the laws on journalist are clear their rights end when they knowingly possess and obtain illegal information or illegally obtained information, this is pretty much universal in all countries.

Second if the first point did not exist then think about your own personal information which the government has.

Without laws stopping people from obtaining and using illegally obtained classified and or personal information, then entities and so-called reporters such as Wiki-leaks could just post and print any and all governmental, personal or corporate information.

Imagine now that part of all the "documents" wiki leaks has in its procession now also contains your private info that your government had on file, things like you social security number your education, birth records, tax fillings, bank info, military record (if applicable), etc... and they put that up on their site, now how messed up could your life get once some crook gets a look at it.

Their are reasons for certain laws and sometimes all the hyperbolae gets in the way of commonsense thinking and though I could never be considered anywhere near a right winger I consider it logical that certain information needs to be kept out of the public eye, otherwise diplomatic, business and personal relationships and negotiations would completely collapse or worse.

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@limboinjapan -

You see this is why we can't have nice things. You are trying to say that gov't secrets (for example illegals acts that they are committing in our name and with our dollars) are the same as my personal information? The gov't is (supposed) to be working for us not "WORKING US."

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aizoyurei:"You are trying to say that gov't secrets (for example illegals acts that they are committing in our name and with our dollars) are the same as my personal information?"

And this is where you and other don't seem to get it.

One does not go without the other if you can get away with stealing and posting government information for whatever reason then that will be the defense when other government information it also stolen.

Also if during back room diplomacy where two countries or parties tell each other things in confidence that may not be the official public view being promoted by one side or the other ( and this is done all the time to make for smother and less acrimonious negotiations) can no longer be trusted then we are in for a much harder time in the future with each party not willing to let the other know where they truly stand and or what they are willing to actually give in on.

A prime example of this is North Korea, the Chinese, USA, Japan and South Korea as we have learned from these leaks have all "unofficially" made their positions known and each side knew what and where the other is willing to give on but NK does not play ball like the others leaving a great big hole as to what they really want and what they are willing to give on and this has made everything more difficult.

Now with so many parties worried about more leaks like this get ready for all countries and parties to do the same and for international negotiations, treaties, etc.. to grind to a snails pace.

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I personally don't think Wikileaks is guilty of anything, but the people who gave them this information are guilty as hell.

ASSANGE is guilty as hell under Aust'l laws. He copied and disseminated information concerning the Commonwealth's security or defence; does so without lawful authority and intending that the record will, or may, be delivered to another country or a foreign organisation-- particularly if one can prove he has undermined "the very safety of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan" that includes Aust'l soldiers.

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they're gon'blackbag that dude. waterboard'im, jus'for tha fun of it. bring in those dudes from "Deliverance" to get medievel on'im. it's not gon'be purty. unlike al-kayda, he uses technology, so the minute he gets online/makes a phone call, they's gon'descend on him like kentucky colonels on possum pie!

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particularly if one can prove he has undermined "the very safety of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan" that includes Aust'l soldiers.

This statement seems to linger in a state of total ignorance that soldiers in Afghanistan are not safe at all. I would rather go after the people who lied and handed them 99 percent of their insecurity than hound the one who contributed 1 percent by exposing the lies that help keep them there.

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