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View Diary: Watch Julian Assange Vaporize TIME's Credibility in ABC - Stephanopoulos 'Grilling' - LOL! (199 comments)

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  •  Barton Gellman differs (11+ / 0-)

    The link leads to this: (behind the scenes, interview tape between Julian Assange & PBS Frontline’s Martin Smith which was recorded on 4/4/2011)

    Tell me whether this is true, that in an e-mail you said, "The total annihilation of the current U.S. regime or any other regime that holds its authority through mendacity alone could be accelerated or advanced by several years if WikiLeaks does its job right."

    I don't know if I wrote that e-mail, but I recall that it spawned [controversy]. That I've read. I don't think the word "regime" was used. I believe the word [was] "administration."

    He also references this excerpt from an email

    WL can advance the political/governance aspects of these developments  
    by several years which will have all sorts of positive cascades, not  
    the least of which is total annihilation of the current US regime and  
    any other regime that  holds its authority through mendacity alone.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 03:10:43 PM PDT

    •  I posted the link to that above, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heavy Mettle, shaharazade, Agathena

      and the text of the email.  My post here.

      If you read it, it's not sourced to Assange (or anybody), and it's primarily discussing the development of p2p technology and music/film copyrights.  Nothing like what it was characterized as.

    •  Actually it wouldn't be surprising at all (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      adrianrf, Catte Nappe, Heavy Mettle

      if Assange wrote something like this. If you go back and read his earlier writings (summed up in a long and fascinating article by Robert Manne), it's pretty clear that he has always been fairly radical in his views.

      A lot of the thinking can be traced back to the "crypto anarchist" Cypherpunks movement/mailing list (whose members went on to create everything from the Electronic Frontier Foundation to BitTorrent - it also provided the idea for Bitcoin).

      Manne describes Assange (based on stuff he wrote just 5 years ago) as a "left wing Anarchist" who "regards power in Western society as belonging to political and economic elites offering ordinary people nothing more nourishing than a counterfeit conception of democracy and a soul-destroying consumption culture."

      As a former cypherpunk crypto-anarchist the enemy for him is, unsurprisingly, that abstraction he calls the State. Yet, unlike most of his fellow cypherpunks, by now Assange unambiguously extends his idea of the state to big business...

      Assange was, then, an absolutist crypto-anarchist but one who leant decidedly to the Left. Mainstream cypherpunks did not defend trade unions or speak negatively of “rampant capitalists” and positively of “human rights activists”.

      There was also a PDF published in 2006, "State and Terrorist Conspiracies," which laid out the thinking behind Wikileaks:
      The world is at present dominated by the conspiratorial power of authoritarian governments and big business corporations...Authoritarian governments and corporations maintain and entrench their power through a conspiracy. For Assange the conspiracy involves the maintenance of a network of links between the conspirators, some vital, some less so.
      The larger motivation behind the publication of leaked documents (at least at that point) was to damage the "conspiracy" among the people in power and "replace them with more open forms of governance."

      So with that context, "total annihilation of the current US regime" doesn't really sound like much of a departure from the rest of what Assange thinks. Having said that, it's not really clear that he actually wrote the email in question, since there was no sender identified.

      Of course Stephanopoulos didn't even bother to go back and check to see where the quote came from (despite the fact that it's easily available online).

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