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WikiLeaks founder arrested in UK on Swedish rape charge

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Can't say I agree with his latest leaks, but it's sad to see our governments acting like the Chinese. Talk about giving Assange a soap-box to shriek from....

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Free Julian Assange...

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The judicial waltz is about to begin. At your violins!

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Julian Assange

Martyr of Freedom of Information! (NO, not really!)

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Why is Wikileaks being pursued by the Americans - is it illegal for non Americans who are not in America to pass information they have received to newspapers to publish?

As far as I am aware, much as they dislike the idea, freedom of speech means that occasionally people outside the US will publish information that the Americans would rather they didn't, they should either learn to live with it or shut up with their never-ending holier-than-thou attitude towards freedom of expression.

A story which should be taken up is how many organisations such as banks, ISP's and server farms bend over and bow to US pressure without a crime having been proven.

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Well Aunty I guess if the publisher publishes documents marked "classified" that were obtained in an illegal manner then yes I guess they are subjected to prosecution. It's like a criminal trial where evidence was obtained illegally. It's not allowed to be used. He knowingly published stolen "classified" documents. That's a crime. No matter how you look at it. Let's see how this plays out.

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This complete overreaction says more about the establishment than the leaks ever will.

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It's like a criminal trial where evidence was obtained illegally. It's not allowed to be used. He knowingly published stolen "classified" documents.

So.......if there was a crime that was uncovered by this "crime" then....it is better that we NOT know about it, right Mike? Like our "betters" really can not ever do anything wrong because they are our betters, right Mike? With logic like yours, Nixon would have gone out as some hero and Watergate never would have happened. Sometimes, the ends justify the means! Especially when the crimes are done on my dime!!

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Who could believe the British of all people to overreact like this just to please the Swedes!! I'll have to sit back with a pint to contemplate this.

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The Rat, Please explain which "crimes" you are talking about. The only crime I can see here is publishing of STOLEN classified material.

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What a disgrace. More egregious trumped-up charges are hard to imagine.

Free Mr. Assange!

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Ah, the 'democracies' of the world as corrupt and censoring as China! Funny to watch the hypocrisy, and hear the 'but but but...!' half-baked explanations as to how "it's different". The most interesting are the rape charges themselves: complete hearsay. If he did it, fine, bust him, but never has the world seen such a crackdown on a single 'rapist' EVER. The fact that Swedish prosecutor refuses to comment on the case is quite comical, given that she is the person pushing first and foremost for the rape charge but won't comment as to why.

Seriously, an actual rape case would never attract near as much attention... and they say it's not politics?

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"The only crime I can see here is publishing of STOLEN classified material."

Yeah, murder by gun-ship of innocents in Iraq including 2 Reuters reporters is just a grey area.

Mike, if you want to attack Assange, at least do it for the leaks that really are not in the public interest.

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this only proves that whatever wikileaks was publishing is true and right on the spot. and it doesn't reveal American diplomatic maneuvering to be no0thing but, diplomatic whore-mongering.

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Mike, yes, he is publishing some stuff which should definitely not be in the public domain. Maybe he didn't have time to sort through it responsibly...

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the rape charge is bogus, we all know that. But perhaps someone knows what's about to be released and its gotta be stopped and if this Ken doll look a like did rape someone, then its his fault and is not someone you should be supporting. The fact that Swedish prosecutor refuses to comment on the case is quite comical"

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"American diplomatic maneuvering to be no0thing but, diplomatic whore-mongering."

I don't think it's fair to subject America for the blame. Every country does it.

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We judge China or Northkorea by it's censorship. What is the WEST doing? Exactly the same. Assange started a thing, that can't or won't turned back... Go on!...

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"Assange started a thing, that can't or won't turned back... Go on!..."

That's fair enough for the intial leaks.

The latest are just attention grabbers, that are really counter-productive and have no truth value, other than they're are what is usually confidential material.

Othan than keeping his cause alive and fighting the possibley trumped up "rape" charges, there has been nothing leaked that the general public really was in desperation of illumination.

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skipthesong: "All Sweden ever had was good looking and tall white women as far as I am concerned."

Ahhh... good old racism. Next it'll be all Asians are just there to service you or something, eh?

Maybe the woman in this case is from a town called Norrkoping, which has one of the world's largest condom shops. Errrr.... condomeria -- fun house.

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Assange denies the allegations, which his British attorney Mark Stephens says stem from a “dispute over consensual but unprotected sex.”

He should have "protected" his information against leaks, I'd say.

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The US should be aware that it is judged internationally by its behaviour. The conclusion is that the US is no longer the 'good guy' - as if it ever was. America condemned the USSR for its gulags; now the US runs gulags. They condemned vicious dictatorships for torture and the killing of civilians; The US tortures and kills civilians. They condemned China for denying free internet access and free speech; now the US finds it convenient to behave like China, but with less tact and more hypocrisy.

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It's pretty hard to believe that he's being framed with the sex crimes. Why not just convince one woman to say "rape" and turn it into her word against his? Instead they choose this completely nebulous crime that most people have a hard time believing even exists? That was the plan? Really? I can only imagine the rehearsals...."Be sure to make it clear to the police that the sex was consensual. That will really screw him." heh

He stayed with and slept with one of the hosts of a conference he was attending. He also slept with someone else. In the end, like his lawyer said, it's probably a case of two really pissed off women being really vindictive and using the courts to get back at him. In the ultimate irony his great undoing might be due to his crotch crossing paths with two people who are just as vindictive as he is.

As for the information, there are laws in place to protect whistleblowers. There are times when you can hand over classified or confidential information and be protected. He's also based out of Sweden which has more liberal laws protecting journalists which is how he presents himself. But my guess is that he won't get protection if he ever gets into US custody. I can't say I'm an expert on whistleblowing but my guess is that you can hand over documents related to a crime. You probably aren't protected if you just collected as much random information as possible from hacking or leaking and made it public and said "there's probably a crime in there somewhere." I'm not sure what crime is being exposed by showing a diplomat's personal opinion that the leader of Italy is too close with the leader of Russia. That's where he starts crossing the line and changes from whistleblowing to vindictiveness. Maybe he thinks he's too famous or he's fooled enough people to get away with it but in the end he will probably have to answer to someone. If he had actually taken the time to only release information that only related to crimes then maybe he could get away with it. But he didn't. His choice.

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Superlib.

Assange is an out of state actor that has set himself above any rules that apply to regular citizens of nation states. He holds himself up to different standards than his country just the same as Osama bin laden had done when he care less about being a Saudi Arabian. The U.S had never been in a position to deal with this kind of quasi-state enemy before and gosh forbid, constructed a legal system that could deal with it that did could uphold our core values but at the same time realize the proper way to deal with this new enemy....It's called GITMO and that is where Assange should be right now. To bad Obama doesn't have that option now, due to his naive policies at the beginning of his administration on how to conduct the war on terror, policies now I'm sure now he regrets big time in hindsight.

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sailwind: "He holds himself up to different standards than his country just the same as Osama bin laden had done when he care less about being a Saudi Arabian."

That's all the proof we need that you have something else to say about this thread, and nothing to say on the actual thread at hand. In fact, most of your posts are that way -- nothing to do about what's going on -- just your hatred of Muslims. No? Ah, but you can now try to throw the letters OBAMA in there to back you up.

Anyway, sailwind, care to post on the thread at hand? How is Assange a rapist?

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Today we learnt that Iraqi intelligence officials apparently believe Saudi Arabia has been 'leading a Gulf effort to destabilize the Maliki government' and 'financing "the current al Qaida offensive in Iraq"'.

While 'Shia contacts' of the U.S. 'like PM advisor Rikabi and NSC advisor al-Sheikh' believe that there is 'Iranian influence in Iraq' but 'that it . . . is not aimed, unlike that of some Sunni Arab neighbours*, at fomenting terrorism that would destabilize the government'.

*e.g. Saudi Arabia.

That alone is enough to justify continuing to highlight and publish these cables.

Y'know, Al Qaeda in Iraq, bogeyman no.1, an organisation that lets off car bombs in market places in Shia areas, and that sends suicide bombers into cafes in Shia areas? Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, major regional allies of both the U.S. and U.K. governments, are under heavy suspicion of financing them in a bid to destabilize Iraq because they don't like its current government.

Even allowing for the fact that these allegations could be self-serving, politicised, or borne of ulterior motives, it's a big, big story. The possibility of Iraq being deliberately destabilised by state sponsors of terror who we literally roll out of the red carpet for.

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Execute the treasonous bastard.

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I suppose you will be leading the charge to hold Saudi Arabia responsible for their actions? hhehehehehehehehehehe

Here's what you don't get.... People actually support releasing information that shows that a crime has been committed. What they don't support is a blanket release of all documents that people can sift through to see if there is a crime or not. You could steal every email from IBM and somewhere in there I'm betting you'll find something wrong that they did. But that doesn't give you the right to hack into their account and release all of their information to the public, most of which has nothing at all to do with a crime.

Showing the location of important sites around the world has absolutely nothing to do with committing a crime. It has absolutely nothing to do with a transparent government. It has absolutely nothing to do with anything Assange has said or anything his group has done. Nothing. Zip. Zero. He's doing to leaks what Michael Moore did to the documentary. He's taking a medium that people trusted and perverting it to serve his own agenda.

And do you honestly think we're getting a fair presentation of the cables? Have you seen any headlines reading, "Cable confirms US public stance on Country X is the same as it's private stance on Country X." Of course not. Not interesting. You're taking only specific parts of the evidence and throwing away everything else. In the end there's no perspective, nothing to create any kind of balance from which you can make an informed decision. You aren't going to see cables that say someone had dinner with the leader of Country X and he's a good guy, you're going to throw those letters away and focus on the one insult because it grabs headlines. That's whistleblowing?

Don't worry, I'm not trying to change your mind. I know who you are and what you are. You have an handle that reads "Anti-American" and your posts are 100% anti-American. That actually helps because moderates won't want to stand next to you to support Assange. But others might read your posts and get the wrong impression and in the end it's good to counter racism that other people might otherwise buy into.

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Molenir -- KingSaint

Suggesting that he be shot or executed for telling the truth, a truth that might have appeared in any newspaper but is suddenly a truth that the American government can't accept is the epitome of how un-American even Americans have become.

Freedom of the press is dead. America is dead.

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"Execute the treasonous bastard."

Assange didn't commit treason. He commited a possible act of espionage. The two aren't the same thing. Treason is a crime commited against one's own country. Espionage is the crime of spying against your own or any other country.

Assange is an Australian, not an American, and took it upon himself to take classified, sensitive diplomatic cables he acquired somehow, and release them to the world via the Internet in a manner and style that comes far closer to tabloid journalism than any of the far nobler forms of investigative journalism that a concept like freedom of the press was supposed to encourage and foster.

The Time Magazine quote found at the top of the Wikileaks homepage speaks volumes about how far Wikileaks still has to go to become a trustworthy and respected source of news:

"Could become as important a journalistic tool as the Freedom of Information Act."

"Could become . . . "

That "could" just sticks out like a sore thumb, and that Wikileaks continues to let that quote be the first thing anyone sees when visiting their page seems like a subconcious admission from Wikileaks that they still haven't and might never reach that stage where the site can be considered trustworthy or responsible. Which in a world full of countless "could haves," "would haves," and "should haves," makes Wikileaks little more that just another generic conspiracy theory site peddling gossip and rumors to bolster web traffic, and thus income.

As it stands now though, we'll likely never see the full potential of a squandered news source like Wikileaks fullfilled because of Assange's immaturity and cavelier attitude towards the resposibilities inherent in taking on the mantle of purveyor of truth.

Assange screwed up here. Not the Americans. Not the Swiss. Not the British. And most certainly not the Swedes. This is a poop-sandwich almost exclusively of Assange's own creation that he'll have to swallow on his own. Best of luck to him in his future endeavors.

In the meantime, the sexual misconduct charges he has to face in Sweden certainly won't help matters. Are the charges a contrived attempt to smear the man's reputation? I doubt that sincerely, judging by the way the blogosphere talks about the the man. He's done plenty on his own to ensure his name is reviled in certain circles, without help from others. We'll just have to wait and see what unfolds in the investigation.

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Anyone feel like having a laugh? Try this: The USA is to host World Press Freedom Day in 2011.

Superlib exclaimed:

Here's what you don't get.... People actually support releasing information that shows that a crime has been committed. What they don't support is a blanket release of all documents that people can sift through to see if there is a crime or not.

This is for your information, SL. Please do a little background reading before lecturing others. I'm quoting J. Assagne.

The cables we have release correspond to stories released by our main stream media partners and ourselves. They have been redacted by the journalists working on the stories, as these people must know the material well in order to write about it. The redactions are then reviewed by at least one other journalist or editor, and we review samples supplied by the other organisations to make sure the process is working.

There has never been a 'blanket release' of any document.

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Spider

that's true. But the complaints come from those who

1) can't bother to read what Mr Assangne has actually said 2) rely on others to tell them what to say

no wonder the truth died long ago. Now, here is a chance to reclaim information as a public right, and they throw it away! it is awesome the inspired ignorance of a controlled public no? Can't even work in their own interest anymore.

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Sorry Aunty, you are way off the mark, good try, but, it is not only the USA that is angry at this idiot Assange, many countries are not happy with what is being put up on Wikileaks. The big difference is, the USA is fighting a war against TERRORISTS, you know, like the one that you must not believe brought down the World Trade Center towers in NYC. China controls it's internet for it's own security, the USA must also control the internet at some point. Do we really want AlQaeda to know many secret plans, positions etc..of our US Army? Only an idiot would say something like, oh, but is is my god given right to freedom of speech and all that other BS, we are in a war, AQ needs fools to cry about freedom of speech etc..to then come back a blow up our planes, trains, homes etc...This Assange guy is one twisted bastard, needs to be locked up or put to death ASAP.

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we are in a war, AQ needs fools to cry about freedom of speech etc..to then come back a blow up our planes, trains, homes etc...

They hijacked planes and crashed them into the WTC before wikileaks released the information, train schedule are posted at train stations and homes well you don't need wikileaks to find a home to blow up.

the USA must also control the internet at some point.

Assange didn't hack the U.S. database, a disgruntled soldier released information he apparently had access to. The internet doesn't need to be controlled, who they allow to access sensitive information does.

Assange is not American either and his website is not hosted in America, America can censor internet companies in it's own country all it wants, if that is what the majority of Americans want. I would however take issue any country that started to tell other countries what to do with their own internet regulations.

Amazing the amount liberty some are willing to give away in them security.

By-the-by China refers to Tibetans and Uyghur Muslim as terrorists and uses it as part of their excuse for controlling information.

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Wikileaks "leaked" the video of the incident in 2007 when the Reuters journalists were killed. CNN story reports as follows:

The Army's 2007 report on the incident found the crew had "neither reason nor probability to assume that neutral media personnel were embedded with enemy forces," according to a copy of the document released to CNN.

"We regret the loss of innocent life, but this incident was promptly investigated, and there was never any attempt to cover up any aspects of this engagement," Turner added.

So wikileaks only leaked the video, not the story. I guess they were quite upset that they didn't get the exclusive scoop on the story so an opportunity to publish stolen government documents they thought would be their way to fame. Well seems they got more than they bargained for. If you uncover a cover up by your own investigative journalism then you should get an award. But if someone comes to you with stolen goods you should be very careful of what you make public. Or you may find yourself up on Espionage charges. A false hero only to the Liberals I'd say. Most normal people can recognize that this guy hoped that by publishing all this material that somehow some dirty laundry of the USA would be found out trumping his crime of publishing it. Too bad the US government doesn't see it that way. So no real "crime" of the US government has been uncovered. Only some secrets they'd rather not let everybody and their dog know. I guess you could say that only their Honne has been found out. So where are the US government's crimes that have been made public? This childish attempt by America haters to say that the US is more guilty of some crime than this KNOWN crime is just fuel for the AntiAmerican crowd to spout their own egos.

I'm willing to bet Assange will suffer more that the US will. And good luck with that rape charge Julian.

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trumping his crime of publishing it.

Should be: Assange thought that somehow this would trump his crime of publishing it.

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Assange thought that somehow this would trump his crime of publishing it.

Really, perhaps an understanding of your own laws, might be helpful;

New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971) - The leaked "Pentagon Papers"

Justice Potter Stewart and Justice Byron R. White agreed that it is the responsibility of the Executive to ensure national security through the protection of its information. However, in areas of national defense and international affairs, the President of United States possesses great constitutional independence that is virtually unchecked by the Legislative and Judicial branch. "In absence of governmental checks and balances", per Justice Stewart, "the only effective restraint upon executive policy and power in [these two areas] may lie in an enlightened citizenry - in an informed and critical public opinion which alone can here protect the values of democratic government."

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Really, perhaps an understanding of your own laws, might be helpful.

I'm not an American. And I don't see a "law" quoted. I see 2 Justices quoted on their interpretation of the constitution. And it has nothing to do with Assange committing his crime of Publishing Stolen Material and Rape.

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Well the women involved in the case is obviously lyinging or at best exaggerating. Shouldnt she be arrested for perverting the course of justice. Anyway the leaks dont tell us anything every person with an IQ over 100 already knows.So who cares. It wont change a thing. I want to know who killed JFK, Marilyn Munroe,Robert Kennedy or was really behind it as with John Lennon, did they really land on the moon???, why did the US really get war in Vietnam. These are the interesting things we want answers to. Even if now its just for fun.

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Suggesting that he be shot or executed for telling the truth, a truth that might have appeared in any newspaper but is suddenly a truth that the American government can't accept is the epitome of how un-American even Americans have become.

He isn't telling the truth, he isn't a whistleblower, he is a man who stole a huge amount of government secrets, and is publishing them, despite the harm it has, and will cause. I'm surprised a paper hasn't had the courage to come out and talk about the real lives impacted by this in places life Afghanistan. Some of these documents named names, and you know that the Taliban is certainly happy about getting to read them. In point of fact, you may as well come out and admit it. The ones happiest about this, are those who are at war with the US. So, with that direct correlation, if you support Assange, you are essentially saying, you agree with the Taliban, if only in this instance.

Assange has done nothing to help the US, only to harm it. He has done nothing to promote openess, the opposite in fact, as laws are now being promulgated that will increase penalties, and close loopholes. The threat is, that real whistleblowers may end up being hurt by this as well. I don't honestly believe that Assange should be executed, but ya know, I wouldn't shed a tear if the man wound up with a bullet in his brain.

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.It's called GITMO and that is where Assange should be right now. To bad Obama doesn't have that option now, due to his naive policies at the beginning of his administration on how to conduct the war on terror, policies now I'm sure now he regrets big time in hindsight.

I thought you people disappeared with the Soviet Union. You know--the kind that LOVE kangeroo trials, jail without trial, and government that steps down on the people so that, in the end, they have NO rights. Yeh, sailwind, you and Tim and Mike all belong to that country. Too bad it is gone and it didn't work but I am sure North Korea is taking applicants. My God! The crime of showing off the dirty, dirty, dirty laundry. Why the slaves should not know this! Kill the man! An enlightened slave is a dangerous, dangerous thing.

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Publishing Stolen Material

The Pentagon Papers, were classified top secret government documents that were leaked/stolen by Daniel Ellsberg and which he then gave to the New York Times to publish. If you can't see the similarities here, then what can I say.

The judges were talking about their findings of the constitutionality Section 793 of the Espionage Act.

Under common law, the legal system the United States uses, supreme court rulings on the constitutionality of a matter, become legal precedent and all of the other court rulings have to follow the Justices outlined findings. In New York Times Co. v. United States, the judges voted in favor of New York Times.

Given that the Judges stated classified documents relating to "national defense and international affairs" are ok to be published, I fail to see which law Assange broke, given the supreme courts interpretation of the constitutionality of Section 793 of the Espionage Act?

Perhaps you would be kind enough, to state which exact law, Assange broke when publishing classified top secret government documents relating to national defense and international affairs.

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And good luck with that rape charge Julian.

He probably will have good luck. LOVE to hear how the women "explain" this. It is doubtful that it is a clear cut case of him holding a gun to these women's heads. A case of a woman who has consensual sex and then goes back and calls it rape, is a case that will end badly for the woman, as it should! Otherwise all men are screwed! Pun intended!

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Assange would have been safer in America. LOL.

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Spider: This is for your information, SL. Please do a little background reading before lecturing others. I'm quoting J. Assagne.

The cables we have release correspond to stories released by our main stream media partners and ourselves. They have been redacted by the journalists working on the stories, as these people must know the material well in order to write about it. The redactions are then reviewed by at least one other journalist or editor, and we review samples supplied by the other organisations to make sure the process is working.

There has never been a 'blanket release' of any document.

Well it's nice to know that at least 2 journalists reviewed the list of vital security sites before releasing it. I was worried they were releasing everything even if it didn't relate to a crime or have anything to do with whistleblowing. Seemed irresponsible. But, your quote from Assagne cleared things up.

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TheRat: He probably will have good luck. LOVE to hear how the women "explain" this. It is doubtful that it is a clear cut case of him holding a gun to these women's heads. A case of a woman who has consensual sex and then goes back and calls it rape, is a case that will end badly for the woman, as it should! Otherwise all men are screwed! Pun intended!

Would you agree that if you wanted to frame someone, this is probably the weakest way to do it? If you found someone willing to frame Assange, you actually believe that this is the story they would use to do it??

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The Pentagon Papers, were classified top secret government documents that were leaked/stolen by Daniel Ellsberg and which he then gave to the New York Times to publish. If you can't see the similarities here, then what can I say.

There is a significant difference in the release of a targeted selection of files, designed to show evidence of corruption and malfeasance, and the wholesale release of hundreds of thousands of documents designed to harm the US.

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There is a significant difference in the release of a targeted selection of files, designed to show evidence of corruption and malfeasance, and the wholesale release of hundreds of thousands of documents designed to harm the US.

The pentagon papers weren't a targeted selection of files, it's was a collection of almost all the files (7,000 pages) including diplomatic cables related to the Vietnam War. Part of the papers, showed that U.S. government lied about it's intentions in Vietnam, lied about the diplomatic relationships it had with the countries surrounding Vietnam, it lied about not attacking those said countries and etc. (assumably the pentagon papers should have damaged the credibility of the US government and by default America). Again, clearly the documents released by Assange related to "national defense and international affairs". So I ask again which law did Assange break when releasing documents related national defense and international affairs. It's easy enough to say someone is guilty of a crime, when you don't say which law he broke.

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WikiLeaks founder arrested in UK on rape Swedish charge

In order to prove his innocence, Assange fled the country. When it became apparent that Sweden, INTERPOL and the British were serious about arresting the "alledged" rapeist and sending him back to Sweden, Assange threatened the British government. He threatened to release government and private business documents which is "extortion" and illegal. Shouldn't Britian file charges against Assange also?

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The pentagon papers weren't a targeted selection of files, it's was a collection of almost all the files (7,000 pages) including diplomatic cables related to the Vietnam War.

You stated it wasn't a targeted selection of files, then admit it was. Like I said, there is a huge difference here to anyone with the brains to see it.

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You stated it wasn't a targeted selection of files, then admit it was.

A targeted selection of files would have only been selecting the papers showing what you wanted it show. The Pentagon papers where released in their entirety, I.E. nothing was targeted but instead the whole file was released to the public.

Like I said, there is a huge difference here to anyone with the brains to see it.

More to the point, what matter in legal terms is whether those items released relate to "national defense and international affairs", as per the supreme justices findings, which clearly the Wikileaks leaks are. I've asked twice and you have yet to state which law he broke and you can imply I have no brains all you want but at least I can answer a simple question, whether or not you agree with answer is your choice.

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