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Assange and Wikileaks
death wish, double agent or hero?

 3:09 am on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Founder of Wikileaks Julian Assange has reportedly gravely insulted the governments of following spook service employing countries:

More to come ...

So, is this the most clandestine online suicide ever by Assange using Wikileaks, is there a smokescreen somewhere or something else?

Edit: Or Assange and Wikileaks : Death wish, Double agent or Douchebag?



 1:30 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

If Assange was Chinese...

I wonder what would be different if Assange lived in the middle-east somewhere...


 2:12 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think the only criminal acts in this whole wikileaks thingy are:
- putting CD burners into terminals from which confidential data can be accessed.
- allowing a user to download gigabytes of data without any security alerts going of.

Whoever is responsible for letting this happen should be slapped around the Pentagon with a wet towel.


 2:55 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

What astounds me is the level of naivette on this forum.

Even Zbig Brzezinski, the evil twin of a number of US presidents, already made a statement that Wikileaks is clearly an intelligence operation.

There is absolutely no way ASSANAGE (or whatever his name) could obtain all this information had it not been feed to him by intelligence angents. These are the only people who posess massive amounts of it.

Whatever he's "leaking" are not secrets, it is pseudo secrets designed to have an agenda. That, again, is another clear mark of intelligence operation.

MatthewHSE: Real-world people *will* die as a result of his site. Real-world wars may even be fought. And governments aren't going to change anything anyway, except perhaps try harder to keep leaks from happening. So everything Assange calls "collateral damage" is really just fodder for his ego trip.

See my paragraph above, an intelligence that runs Wikileaks has agenda, so yes, they plan for people to die. It is not his ego trip, he is but just a tool for his masters.

bhonda: I wonder what would be different if Assange lived in the middle-east somewhere...

he would be then working for mossad instead of MI6 or german DVD

...smilie faces here, so that it doesn't blow your TV-hardened brains out... :)


 3:20 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

There is absolutely no way ASSANAGE (or whatever his name) could obtain all this information had it not been feed to him by intelligence angents. These are the only people who posess massive amounts of it.

Actualy I think people who believe this underestimate the stupidity of bureaucracies in protecting data. Actually you can obtain data like this by buying used harddrives or used copiers. Our data is protected by people who think encryption is evil and believe passing a law that raises the jail time for data theft is an effective security measurement.


 3:41 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

jecasc, what you think is then that he runs an intelligence operation with agents running all over the world stealing hard drives, and doing it "for the sake of it". And they aren't interfered with by local intelligence agencies. Sounds like a case of "al-CIA-da did 9/11 out of afghan caves" syndrome. Yes, it is possible to steal hard drives. No, it is not possible to do it on a massive scale, unless you already work with/for intelligence.


 3:53 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

For your information: The charges Assange is facing in Sweden is having unprotected sex. It originated by a young woman turning up a police station inquiring if she could somehow force him to taka a STD test, it spiraled from there. The other woman in the case is older and incouraged the first one to come forward after they discovered Assange had been sleeping with both. This one claims that during sex the condom broke and she thinks it was on purpose.


 4:25 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Paypal have confirmed US Government's involvement in Wikileaks decision... [bbc.co.uk...]

A senior official at the online payments firm said the State Department had told it that the activities of the website were illegal in the US.

Of course the correct response from Paypal should have been "Thank you for your advice on this matter. Naturally we will comply when a court confirms your opinion."



 6:35 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Exactly Kaled.

In regards to the cyber attacks on wikileaks and mastercard. When Russia DDOS'ed Georgia as part of their brief conflict some years ago, russian websites posted instructions on how to be a cyber footsoldier without any hacking skills:

Set browser to open with multiple tags, each with target domain name, e.g. example.com. Open browser often.


 7:06 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Good grief.

This whole "they owe us transparency" attitude is, frankly, childish. The reason we elect officials to run our governments is because we trust them (or are supposed to trust them) to make decisions based on information that the rest of us either don't want to know, don't need to know, can't possibly absorb due to volume, or, plain and simple, shouldn't know in the first place.

There are certain politicians I trust to make good decisions and others I don't, but one thing I expect from all of them is that when they're given a certain degree of "sensitive" information that I neither want nor expect to be entrusted with, they'll at least handle the privilege of that information in a responsible manner (even if I disagree with the decisions they make based on it).

And, people in authority roles, whether parents, bosses, or politicians, sometimes have a responsibility to not explain their decisions. The world is a better place with some secrets.

And if I'd been in charge at Visa, MasterCard or PayPal, I'd have considered myself disgraced if the Wikileaks account hadn't been canceled before the government came asking about it.


 7:24 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Sure, "private" business make their own decisions after all. The problem is, they canceled the accounts without even having a backup plan.

Right now, MC looks no better than Joe Doe's shared free hosting account not having a webmaster capable of rectifying a server. And I don't know what's going on with attempted orders placed using MC. It doesn't help my business.

Given their resources they should do better.


 7:39 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

they'll at least handle the privilege of that information in a responsible manner

Handling priviliged information in a responsible manner begins by securing it. And that wasn't the case. Or how is it possible that US private Bradley Manning walked into an office with a pile of CD-RW in his pocket, downloaded several GB of classified data, burned it with the CD writer that was built in and walked out. How careless can you be providing access to classified data on terminals with built in copying devices? How careless can you be not to log who downloads data and when and why? And actually that is the real scandal in my opinion and not the diplomatic gossip that has been published.

The US governments demands all kind of data from European countries, like Swift banking transactions, flight data and so on. If the US government handles its own classified data in this disgraceful manner, how are they storing the data that is not their own and they receive from their allies? I would not be surprised if US government officials would be running around with six month of Swift data or several gigabyte of Passenger Name Records on their unencrypted laptops.


 7:46 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

The reason we elect officials...
Completely wrong. The reason we elect officials to take decisions is because interminable referenda would simply be impractical, a) for logistical reasons and b) because most people are incapable of absorbing and processing the information (even if it could be disseminated).

Unfortunately, most politicians are equally incapable of understanding the issues and technicalities - that's why bad legislation and/or loopholes come into being.

So far as I am aware, the US Government has not attempted to use the courts to silence the flow of leaks (but maybe I missed that) it is merely strong-arming companies with the sort of methods that democratic countries are supposed to abhor.

Personally, I'm rather hoping that US opinions on the Dr David Kelly affair appear at some point. I remember the look on Tony Blair's face at the time - my thoughts then and now run along the lines of Thomas ŕ Becket.



 8:08 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)


"information that the rest of us ... don't need to know ... shouldn't know in the first place."

This is the crux. You as earth citizen of USA feel rest of world don't need to know how US foreign office does business. I as earth citizen of a different nation, yet allied with USA, thinks differently. So do many US tax payers.


 8:15 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)


Yes there is no question that Wikileaks is an intelligence operation. But that does not mean a nefarious state agenda is behind it (or corporation). Earth wide critical mass of computer users unified in nothing but will to expose secrets of the rulers.

Chaos, anarchy, whatever, I for one am enjoying the show.


 8:21 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

I want to see some of the "thermonuclear" stuff that WL said they're holding back "in case something happens". Perhaps that will be stuff on the level of what kaled mentioned.

that type of secret will result in nobody dying but excruciating embarrassment for the US/UK govts.

If something of that type is released, every freedom loving citizen should give a cheer, not protest about governments "needing secrecy to operate" because too often in that context, what it really means is "governments need to do dirty, illegal stuff to operate".


 9:13 pm on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)


I agree that we all need to grow up and face what real politics are all about. However, is it right for WL to attempt control of "topic du jour" by measuring it's leaks? Maybe it's the only way to avoid being wagged like a dog but still it seems like it would be more clean cut to dump all quarter million leaks at once and then sit back, enjoy the fallout and collect next dose of leaks.


 3:30 am on Dec 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

Assange stated (some time back) that his Wikileaks was intended to disrupt information sharing between governments, ie., force governments to ratchet up their secrecy which would hamper and impede their effectiveness. Seems to be working.


 4:41 am on Dec 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

my thoughts then and now run along the lines of Thomas ŕ Becket

and the list goes on, east and west.


Political risk in making a martyr of Assange

Further, there was material that revealed acts of criminality on the part of British intelligence officers.

The British government made a martyr of Wright by fighting a furious legal battle not just in Australia (where Wright lived) but around the world, making itself look foolish and Wright rich.

There are a few lessons from this regarding WikiLeaks.

- written today by Malcolm Turnbull ,the person who brought a successful case against Britain's intelligence services MI5


 2:40 pm on Dec 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm sick of diversionary coverage about Assange.

It's a great tactic, get everyone talking about him, his arrest, his ethics, the rape allegation.

He didn't upload the cables, he didn't personally insult any leaders, it's guff and the only reason is to keep analysis of the actual material leaked out of the headline news, front pages and tabloids.

TBH, while I consider Assange to be a political prisoner, I couldn't care less about him being arrested compared to the leaked material, that's what's important here.

Thanks for sharing that article Whitey!

On a similar line, I highly recommend reading this article quoting the guy who leaked the Pentagon Papers in '71


...pundit commentary over the weekend has tried to portray Assange’s exposure of classified materials as very different from — and far less laudable than — what Daniel Ellsberg did in releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971. Ellsberg strongly rejects the mantra “Pentagon Papers good; WikiLeaks material bad.” He continues: “That’s just a cover for people who don’t want to admit that they oppose any and all exposure of even the most misguided, secretive foreign policy. The truth is that EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.”


 6:18 pm on Dec 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Know what I think? We have millions (if not billions) of smart phones around the world. We have supercomputers that can beat us at our own games. We have networks and systems that can repair themselves if damaged or compromised.

The computers have orchestrated the entire affair and have set up Assange as the fall guy. We're all doomed!


 9:53 pm on Dec 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think USA's political powers can choose to either view Assange as their Liu Xiaobo or as their court jester. Teller of uncomfortable truths.


 11:15 pm on Dec 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

If politicians want to strengthen their re election potential they should take heed of a poll in Australia which predicts the Government would loose office today if an election were held. The main reason was due to the Prime Minister maintaining the view that Assange was guilty of a crime in Australia. Popular consensus and the Australian Federal Police believe otherwise :

Labor suffers in WikiLeaks backlash


AFP fails to find WikiLeaks charges

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