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View Diary: Julian Assange, J'Accuse: Enabling Autocrats a Bridge Too Far (85 comments)

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  •  Interesting stuff (17+ / 0-)

    I never knew all this.  Assange has always given me the creeps, nd I think some of it has been fairly irresponsible That comment about informants having it coming though is beyond the pale.   Way, way, way beyond the pale.

    Still, there are valid questions about whether the wikileaks model of journalism is a reasonable one.  It could do with a little more professionalism, probably.

    •  Good points (17+ / 0-)

      I think the wikileaks form of whistleblowing is completely the way forward: but simultaneously it needs responsible journalists who understand the concepts of unintentional damage to innocents.

      Bad Press: Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis ready by June. Get your name in the book.

      by Brit on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 03:56:07 PM PST

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      •  exactly right. (8+ / 0-)

        Hats off to your friend Heather, for all she did, and hats off to you for the strength to take an unpopular but necessary stand.  

        One can do a "responsible wikileaks" type organization, that collects leaked information and then carefully and selectively publishes articles that include quotes and even entire documents.  

        To do that, you'd need to be meticulous about not exposing "source & methods" information, and about weighing the risks and benefits to various individuals and groups that would occur for any given release.  You publish in a manner that citizens in democratic societies can make use of it to effect changes in their governments and policies, and that citizens in despotic societies can use to overthrow their dictators.   But not in a manner that despots can use to oppress dissidents, and not in a manner that facilitates those who would do violence against innocent people.

        And another thing you necessarily do, is protect your sources, and don't let them blunder into traps that will result in their lives becoming forfeit.  

        And another thing you necessarily don't do is go on a fame & glory trip about the whole thing: you have to maintain an attitude of personal humility even as you're making lots of  noise about the articles & reports you've published.  The work has to stand on its own two feet.  In this regard Anonymous is on the right track, for not producing any "rock stars" who beat their own drums, but instead sticking with "the collective WE."  But Assange has been on a rockstar trip for years, and now we see where that gets him.

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 04:41:54 PM PST

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      •  Brit, you know the nature of geopolitics (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slothlax, mickT, FG, linkage, MKSinSA

        and the relationship between Belarus and Russia. And the gas line. And the mutual coordinations between "White Russia" and the motherland.

        Furthermore, there was very high probability of Western influence and money flowing into Belarus prior to the election. That's not a surprise disclosure.

        Now how Shamir handled the diplomatic cables is another thing. He's not trained nor does he have the depth of knowledge to ascertain the possible consequences of what and how he unleashes.

        Are you absolutely positive that Assange provided those cables to Shamir and provided them with the intent to "out" the Belarus dissidents? If so, there is a further back story here that is not being discussed.


        One may live without bread, but not without roses.
        ~Jean Richepin
        Bread & Roses

        by bronte17 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 05:41:42 PM PST

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        •  No, I'm not absolutely sure... (8+ / 0-)

          ...and if you can provide me evidence to the alternative I'll happily revise my diary.

          But this evidence has been around for a while now, and Assange has vigorously defended Shamir. And people I know and trust, who worked for months, directly with Assange, don't trust him...

          What more can I say? I wish he hadn't done this - for the sake of the best of the wikileaks movement, and for those who suffer beatings at the hands of the Belarus police.

          There was another scandal recently in Poland when information about dissidents was inadvertently handed to Lukashenko.

          Pipeline or not - he runs a vicious, repressive regime. Nobody should be dealing with him. And certainly not outing vulnerable citizens to his state police.

          Bad Press: Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis ready by June. Get your name in the book.

          by Brit on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 06:03:53 PM PST

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          •  It isn't the pipeline and he is a horrible person (6+ / 0-)

            I cannot call him a leader.

            But, you know the US corporate-state sends in the missionaries to undermine China while it sends in dissidents to Russia and the surrounds. The US State Dept has most certainly supplied funding and intelligence and manpower to the anti-Luk NGOs in Belarus. What do you expect of a sovereign in response to the threats?

            And the oil and the vast minerals in Siberia are worth flipping the power structure of the regimes for the corporate-state. So the strong guys are the gatekeepers. For now. And the people on both sides of the divide watch as the dance is played out. And suffer.

            I'm on no one's side in this. Just noting that one person's dissident and freedom fighter is another person's traitor and freedom-robber.

            When the CIS noted that the Belarus election was "the most open in the world" it is easily a tongue-in-cheek reference to the theft of the 2000-2004 sElections here in the US with the Bush cabal. What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive... it comes home ten-fold.

            And the citizens of the world march on toward freedom. As much as their consciousness can envision.

            I have no background nor storyline to explain why this happened or the reasoning behind Assange and the cables. Other than to say that it is not quite as straightforward and simple as "Assange is a narcissistic attention-seeker bad guy." As some have said in this diary.

            And thank you for presenting the information here and taking the time to delve into this and write it up. Even though I do not agree with the slant of the story, it is a very important topic of discussion.


            One may live without bread, but not without roses.
            ~Jean Richepin
            Bread & Roses

            by bronte17 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 06:48:22 PM PST

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            •  Thankyou (8+ / 0-)

              ...for the kind words.

              My only slant on this though, apart from the personal trust of people I know, is also connections, through my girlfriend, to people who are hounded in Belarus. Her family originally came from Grodno. I also work with the Borderland foundation which tries to promote ethnic tolerance in Poland's eastern borders. They have good connections with NGO's in Belarus, none of which are furthering US interests or pipelines. Many of these were shut down 10 years ago, their cultural centres closed and their leading figures arrested. Some were 'disappeared'.

              Whatever power political games the great nations may play, feeding information to tyrants is just wrong.

              Bad Press: Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis ready by June. Get your name in the book.

              by Brit on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 07:00:29 PM PST

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              •  and more (4+ / 0-)

                it occured to me that if I were to be facing a situation where you and Assange have different accounts, I'd trust you first.  Interesting realization!

              •  Indeed it is very wrong. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Brit, MKSinSA

                But, as history demonstrates, people are foolish and make grave errors.

                Even with the best of intentions.

                I just don't see Julian Assange as a supporter of tyrants nor as the source of documents that gives rise to the murder and slaughter of innocent people. It just isn't what I've seen from his demeanor.

                That is why I want to question the veracity of the background story in all this. I'm not questioning the facts as you have presented, but the broader context as these facts are laid down.


                One may live without bread, but not without roses.
                ~Jean Richepin
                Bread & Roses

                by bronte17 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 07:16:45 PM PST

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          •  Also, per the trust issue (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AaronInSanDiego, MKSinSA

            You realize that Assange very likely trusts no one?  And trust is a two-way street for cooperation to function.

            Furthermore, no one ever has the full story. Even with all the intelligence bureaus and networks across the world... no one ever has complete knowledge.

            Assange is not a journalist. Not in the standard nutcracker variety as we accept. He's of his own mold. And there is no easy fit anywhere for it.


            One may live without bread, but not without roses.
            ~Jean Richepin
            Bread & Roses

            by bronte17 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 06:55:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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