Wiki-Leaks on the Banksters

The attention-catching part is where Forbes reporter Andy Greenberg proclaims that “WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Wants To Spill Your Corporate Secrets“:

Early next year, Julian Assange says, a major American bank will suddenly find itself turned inside out. Tens of thousands of its internal documents will be exposed on Wikileaks.org with no polite requests for executives’ response or other forewarnings. The data dump will lay bare the finance firm’s secrets on the Web for every customer, every competitor, every regulator to examine and pass judgment on.
__
When? Which bank? What documents? Cagey as always, Assange won’t say, so his claim is impossible to verify. But he has always followed through on his threats. Sitting for a rare interview in a London garden flat on a rainy November day, he compares what he is ready to unleash to the damning e-mails that poured out of the Enron trial: a comprehensive vivisection of corporate bad behavior. “You could call it the ecosystem of corruption,” he says, refusing to characterize the coming release in more detail. “But it’s also all the regular decision making that turns a blind eye to and supports unethical practices: the oversight that’s not done, the priorities of executives, how they think they’re fulfilling their own self-interest.”
[…]
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Already U.S. laws wrapped into financial reform this year expand whistleblower incentives to offer six- and seven-digit rewards to staffers in any industry who report malfeasance.(1) Wiki­Leaks adds another, new form of corporate data breach: It offers the conscience-stricken and vindictive alike a chance to publish documents largely unfiltered, without censors or personal repercussions, thanks to privacy and encryption technologies that make anonymity easier than ever before. Wiki­Leaks’ technical and ideological example has inspired copycats from Africa to China and rallied transparency advocates to push for a new, legal promised land in the unlikely haven of Iceland. It’s also fueling a race in the cyber­security industry and in Washington to find technology that can plug information leaks once for all…

But it’s Greenberg’s discussion of Assange’s, and/or WikiLeak’s, wider goals that make the whole article worth reading:

Over the last four years he has been so busy embarrassing various governments, from Washington to the corrupt Kenyan regime of Daniel arap Moi, that many forget the corporate scandals already on WikiLeaks’ trophy wall. In January 2008 the site posted documents alleging that the Swiss bank Julius Baer hid clients’ profits from even the Swiss government, concealing them in what seemed to be shell companies in the Cayman Islands. The bank filed a lawsuit against WikiLeaks for publishing data stolen from its clients. Baer later dropped the suit—but managed to stir up embarrassing publicity for itself. The next year WikiLeaks published documents from a pharma trade group implying that its lobbyists were receiving confidential documents from and exerting influence over a World Health Organization project to fund drug research in the developing world. The resulting attention helped crater the WHO project…
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How can an American corporation respond to a Wiki attack? Lawsuits won’t work: WikiLeaks is legally shielded in the U.S. by its role as a mere conduit for documents. Even if a company somehow won a judgment against WikiLeaks, that wouldn’t shut it down. Assange spreads the site’s assets over many countries. “There’s no single target to drop a bomb on,” says Eric Goldman, a law professor at Santa Clara University.
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The best protection? With a dash of irony Icelandic Wiki­Leaks staffer Kristinn Hrafnsson suggests that companies change their ways to avoid targeting. “They should resist the temptation to enter into corruption,” he says. Don Tapscott, coauthor of The Naked Corporation (Free Press, 2003), agrees. His simplistic conclusion: “Open your own kimono. You’re going to be naked. So you have to dig deep, look at your whole operation, make sure that integrity is part of your bones.”

There’s much, much more — all of it well worth reading — including a separate interview with Assange:

Would you call yourself a free market proponent?
__
Absolutely. I have mixed attitudes towards capitalism, but I love markets. Having lived and worked in many countries, I can see the tremendous vibrancy in, say, the Malaysian telecom sector compared to U.S. sector. In the U.S. everything is vertically integrated and sewn up, so you don’t have a free market. In Malaysia, you have a broad spectrum of players, and you can see the benefits for all as a result.
__
How do your leaks fit into that?
__
To put it simply, in order for there to be a market, there has to be information. A perfect market requires perfect information.
__
There’s the famous lemon example in the used car market. It’s hard for buyers to tell lemons from good cars, and sellers can’t get a good price, even when they have a good car. By making it easier to see where the problems are inside of companies, we identify the lemons. That means there’s a better market for good companies. For a market to be free, people have to know who they’re dealing with.
__
You’ve developed a reputation as anti-establishment and anti-institution.
__
Not at all. Creating a well-run establishment is a difficult thing to do, and I’ve been in countries where institutions are in a state of collapse, so I understand the difficulty of running a company. Institutions don’t come from nowhere.
__
It’s not correct to put me in any one philosophical or economic camp, because I’ve learned from many. But one is American libertarianism, market libertarianism. So as far as markets are concerned I’m a libertarian, but I have enough expertise in politics and history to understand that a free market ends up as monopoly unless you force them to be free.

I wonder how — if — the most prominent American market libertarians are going to react to this argument? Doesn’t seem like it would be an easy path for those funded by people like the Koch brothers, whose empire is so largely based on secrecy and preventing transparency at all costs.

(1) Bolding mine. I consider myself moderately aware of American politics in general, and I’d never heard about this particular improvement. Perhaps I’m just the last to know?

(h/t commentor El Cid)

69 replies
  1. 1
    Chicago dyke says:

    and so the ultimate promise of the intertubes may yet be realized. good luck, wikileakers. hopefully, they won’t kill you. or shut down the relatively “free” net as a result. enjoy your ability to make people uncomfortable, while you can. and watch some “Yes, Minister.”

    “nobody watches bbc channel 3.”

  2. 2
    alwhite says:

    So you discredit him before he starts. You label him a terrorist. You accuse him of rape. You throw the kitchen sink at him knowing that for 30% of Americans that will automatically discount whatever he releases. After the leak you focus on those allegations and you get another 30% that assume there must be something to them or get disgusted with the sleaziness of it all & tune out. Toss in a little questioning of the motives of his defenders and Democratic fears of being labeled anti-business and, with a bit of rounding, you get somewhere near 75% that either don’t believe or don’t care.

    If worked most famously in the run up to Iraq but as been done a dozen times in the last 20 years.

  3. 3
    David Fud says:

    Bypassing the gatekeepers and putting the information out there is what the internet has been doing. This is the best use of that power I have seen in terms of politics, certainly more effective than blogs. No gatekeeper likes it, but their power is gone if a leaker has any savvy.

  4. 4
    henqiguai says:

    A quick, almost toss-away, comment on the whole wikileaks thing heard on public radio’s The Takeaway gave the bank as Bank America. Great; more pressure to move everything financial to the credit union.

  5. 5
    mistermix says:

    This is going to be the best leak ever and I can’t wait to see it.

  6. 6
    Calouste says:

    People have critized wikileaks for releasing the US embassy cables, arguing that they damage their reputation by releasing low-level, low-harm info. But it sure is generating a lot of publicity for them that will carry over to their next release.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    jimBOB says:

    I’m wondering if we’ve already passed beyond the point where transparency matters. We already know enough about bankster malfeasance that it should have sent the whole bunch to prison. Instead, they top off their bailouts with (probably) an extension of their unconscionable upper-income tax cuts.

  9. 9
    Wilson Heath says:

    More of this, please. Can they wikileak our political process, too?

  10. 10
    Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century) says:

    This will probably get him killed.

    Firms will take this guy out if he does that. Oh, they’ll make it look like a suicide, but who knows, maybe they’ll take him out publicly, just to set an example.

  11. 11
    WarMunchkin says:

    I still think the Zaphod Beeblebrox analogy is salient. This guy is going to draw everyone’s attention while the Wikileaks team hums along merrily, posts all the documents, and if anything really bad happens, they have that insurance torrent ready to blow. Ballsy.

  12. 12
    Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century) says:

    If someone was really serious about exposing corruption in the media and in politics and in wall street, then what they should do is infiltrate various organizations with moles.

    Have someone gain employment in WaPo, for example, and then secure and release documents exposing their corrupt reporting/opinion practices.

  13. 13
    Hawes says:

    Now if they can wikileak American Crossroads and the Chamber of Commerce fundraising lists…

    I’ll give Assange credit for consistency. My guess is that there will be less consistency in his critics.

  14. 14
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hawes:

    I’ll give Assange credit for consistency. My guess is that there will be less consistency in his critics.

    Warpimps gotta warpimp.

  15. 15
    mclaren says:

    Capitalism is eating itself. Wikileaks is one of the symptoms. What we’re witnessing is the end of a lot of different systems that are coming apart at the seams: the floating exchange rate system that emerged at the end of WW II (capital controls will eventually have to be put in place to prevent the ever-larger convulsive global financial meltdowns due to instantaneous capital movements across borders), globalization (it will die off when oil prices rise sufficiently high), the happy-motoring culture of North America (doomed by Peak Oil and global warming), the offshoring of jobs (it will end when high-paid high-skill knowledge work jobs get massively offshored and the U.S. tax based gets hollowed out so much that the American tax base collapses), the American military empire (it will end when it goes broke, which it is close to doing now), the U.S. medical-industrial price spiral (it will end when the money runs out, which should happen within another ten to 15 years), the American university system (doomed by a tuition price spiral rising even faster than the fatal subprime housing bubble).

    Wikileaks will merely act as a catalyst to accelerate these already baked-in structural processes of collapse.

  16. 16
    srv says:

    If banks can’t have faith in screwing over their customers and getting away with it, then this will be bad for the customer.

    Is Geithner going to have to call all the bank heads and apologize for their fee-fees being hurt?

  17. 17
    Will says:

    jimBOB,

    In the short run, probably not. In the long run, all of this is undermining confidence in the system. That will have an effect.

  18. 18
    geg6 says:

    @mistermix:

    I’m with you. BoA and/or Goldman Sucks, I’m sure, are shitting in their boots. And not many things can make me happier today.

  19. 19
    debbie says:

    @mclaren:

    Wikileaks will merely act as a catalyst to accelerate these already baked-in structural processes of collapse.

    Agreed. And the real fuel in this fire is an overdeveloped sense of self-righteousness on all sides.

    I wonder how many defenders of Assange think it was okay when Scooter Libby orchestrated the outing of Valerie Plame. It’s really just the same thing, just on the other side of the fence. And not so different from Bush et al. thinking it was okay when their side behaved as reprehensibly as the “bad guys.”

  20. 20
    ornery curmudgeon says:

    Interesting when the truth is seen as an ‘attack’ to be responded to with ‘bombs.’

  21. 21
    geg6 says:

    @debbie:

    I wonder how many defenders of Assange think it was okay when Scooter Libby orchestrated the outing of Valerie Plame. It’s really just the same thing, just on the other side of the fence. And not so different from Bush et al. thinking it was okay when their side behaved as reprehensibly as the “bad guys.”

    Oh, please. I call bullshit on this. Revealing the undercover identity of a CIA agent = a dump of not-even-classified-secret documents that are available to over 3 million people? Really? Seriously? This is so ridiculous that I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it.

  22. 22
    rikyrah says:

    this guy is sooo going to wind up the victim of an ‘ unfortunate accident’.

  23. 23
    Jack Bauer says:

    @debbie:

    I wonder how many defenders of Assange think it was okay when Scooter Libby orchestrated the outing of Valerie Plame

    It’s not the same thing at all, not even close.

  24. 24
    Corner Stone says:

    It’s funny how quickly the Holder DoJ responds to things it doesn’t like. DADT? Immediately, before the ruling was in place by the CA court.
    WikiLeaks? A couple days after the diplomatic cables release.
    Other things? Well…not so fast.

    I wonder what happened to their “look forward, not backward” mentality?

  25. 25
    Jack Bauer says:

    @rikyrah:

    this guy is sooo going to wind up the victim of an ’ unfortunate accident’.

    He’s got to be clued up to this. After all, he’s lasted this long.

  26. 26
    timb says:

    @debbie: No, it’s not the same thing, but thanks for the false moral equivalency argument. Valerie Plame was outed by government offficials seeking to punish her husband for his op-ed piece.

    A private individual publishing a bunch of correspondence he receives with the stated goal of transparency is not the same as government officials vindictively outing a covert operative as revenge

  27. 27
    debbie says:

    Sorry, but the details aren’t what’s relevant here. It’s more about everyone being so fucking sure of their own specific cause that they’re willing to do anything to achieve their goal. It’s ends over means. It’s unethical, and no matter how you dress it up, it’s wrong.

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jack Bauer:

    He’s got to be clued up to this. After all, he’s lasted this long.

    It’s the 5 Star Hotels he’s staying at, as people relentlessly keep propaganda-izing about. Obviously their upscale doormen keep out the murderous trash.

  29. 29

    @Jack Bauer:

    He’s got to be clued up to this. After all, he’s lasted this long.

    Better a living PITA than a martyr to the cause. Any “unfortunate accident” would likely rile up the Internet Hate Machine even more.

  30. 30
    pk says:

    I wonder how many defenders of Assange think it was okay when Scooter Libby orchestrated the outing of Valerie Plame. It’s really just the same thing, just on the other side of the fence. And not so different from Bush et al. thinking it was okay when their side behaved as reprehensibly as the “bad guys.”

    There is no relationship between the two. One was the govt outing its own agent for revenge. The other is exposing government officials to public scrutiny.
    Next you’ll be saying that banks should not be exposed, because they have the right to secretly collude with the govt to screw over their customers and bring down world economies.

  31. 31
    geg6 says:

    @debbie:

    the details aren’t what’s relevant here. It’s more about everyone being so fucking sure of their own specific cause that they’re willing to do anything to achieve their goal.

    You mean like saying things such as the Wikileaks cable dump of widely available documents is just like outing Valerie Plame? That kind of being so fucking sure that one is right that the details don’t matter?

  32. 32
    daveNYC says:

    I’m with you. BoA and/or Goldman Sucks, I’m sure, are shitting in their boots.

    I think BoA was already shitting in their boots. That Countrywide acquisition just keeps looking worse.

  33. 33
    Mark says:

    @debbie: Wrong with the false equivalence in your first comment, and you defend it by saying that it doesn’t matter if it was a false equivalence?

    What malfeasance was Scooter Libby blowing the whistle on?

  34. 34
    eemom says:

    Early next year, Julian Assange says, a major American bank will suddenly find itself turned inside out. Tens of thousands of its internal documents will be exposed on Wikileaks.org with no polite requests for executives’ response or other forewarnings. The data dump will lay bare the finance firm’s secrets on the Web for every customer, every competitor, every regulator to examine and pass judgment on.

    And this is going to “bring down” the banks how, exactly? These exact kind of “internal documents” were exposed big time during the Congressional hearings last year — by people who actually spent the time and did the actual tedious, you know, WORK of combing through gazillions of boring documents to find the inculpatory e-mails — and then read them out to the public in the clear light of day for anyone who was paying attention to “examine and pass judgment on” — and what impact did that have?

    I’m with Debbie. The attitude displayed here is one of self-righteous, knee jerk stupidity.

    And I don’t know if Valerie Plame is a good example or not, but I sure found it noteworthy at the time how a CIA spook, of all people, suddenly became the darling of the “progressive” idiotsphere.

  35. 35
    eemom says:

    @Corner Stone:

    oh, get off that tired shit. On this blog, at least, you’re pretty much the only one who keeps bringing it up.

  36. 36
    pk says:

    Sorry, but the details aren’t what’s relevant here.

    Actually I think the details are always relevant.

    It’s ends over means. It’s unethical, and no matter how you dress it up, it’s wrong.

    Why is it wrong? The person who leaked it maybe wrong. But why is the person who published it wrong? An Australian citizen is under no obligation to keep US govt secrets (apparently shared by thousands of people).
    Supposing you get hold of information about your local bank showing that it is colluding with authorities to swindle the local population, are you going keep it a secret or expose it?
    How is what wikileaks doing wrong?

  37. 37
    debbie says:

    And this is exactly what is wrong with this whole fucking world. Everyone thinks “intent” alone justifies whatever they do, but no one thinks about methods or consequences or perceptions being just as important.

    Of course I think outing Plame was horrible and wrong (and Libby should be in jail), but even though I may agree with Assange that Iraq and Afghanistan are abominations, that doesn’t make what he did okay.

    This is like saying that the buildings SDS blew up in the 1960s were worth he damage, for the fight against Nixon and Vietnam.

    If what I’m saying is so morally unequivalent, I wish someone would explain why, keeping politics out of it. Just explain on moral and ethical grounds. I honestly can’t see it.

  38. 38
    chopper says:

    @Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century):

    yeah, i’d really start worrying if i were him at that point. however, all those people calling for his head have to realize, what wikileaks does doesn’t revolve around him. he’s basically the spokesman for the organization. put him in jail for rape or whatever and it may cause more people to ignore the document dumps in the future but they’ll keep coming. kill him and it won’t change at all.

  39. 39
    Judas Escargot says:

    @debbie:

    I wonder how many defenders of Assange think it was okay when Scooter Libby orchestrated the outing of Valerie Plame. It’s really just the same thing, just on the other side of the fence.

    I had the same thought myself (from the other side of it) while watching Victoria Toensing on the teevee talking about what laws Assange could be prosecuted under.

    I wish a right-winger could tell me: What laws did Assange break that Novak/Rove/Libby did not?

  40. 40
    RoyalEw says:

    Taking on the United States government is one thing, but causing trouble for a multi-national bank – – Mr. Assange had better be watching his back at all times. There is at least a smidgen of institutional morality left in the government (at least I hope so), but the big banks can’t even dredge up the memory of anything that doesn’t lead to the accretion of more wealth.

  41. 41
    Alwhite says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Yes, after look how much damage the Rove machine suffered after they had Paul Wellstone killed.

    Thats 78% a joke: if it looks like an accident the rage machine will not get cranked up.

  42. 42
    Pongo says:

    @jimBOB: I agree. If there is anyone (outside of the conservative media) who doesn’t already know the banks have been engaged in deceptive, amoral and criminal behavior these folks are so out of touch with modern America that a leak of this sort is unlikely to penetrate the fog of their underdeveloped intellect. ‘Knowing’ alone is useless unless it drives meaningful change.

  43. 43
    Shade Tail says:

    @debbie:

    And this is exactly what is wrong with this whole fucking world. Everyone thinks “intent” alone justifies whatever they do, but no one thinks about methods or consequences or perceptions being just as important.

    Perceptions are *not* important, because perceptions are so often wrong. Methods and consequences *are* important, because they are objective facts that can be measured, you’ve got that much correct.

    So how, precisely, is the outing of Valarie Plame equivalent to this WikiLinks business?

    The methods are completely different (‘deliberately outing a covert spy to a friendly right-wing media outlet’ vs. ‘dumping a huge load of documents where anyone can see them’).

    And you can’t claim the consequences are the same either (‘political revenge that messed up a huge counter-proliferation ring’ vs. …what, precisely? Embarrassment?).

    You’ve made a massive false-equivalence, and you’re just making a fool of yourself by clinging to it. Just own up to it and let it go.

  44. 44
    liberty60 says:

    @Mike Kay (Democrat of the Century):

    Have someone gain employment in WaPo, for example, and then secure and release documents exposing their corrupt reporting/opinion practices.

    Why bother? Their intellectual corruption is published on the Op-Ed pages every single day.

  45. 45
    Gus diZerega says:

    Debbie-
    The difference is deeper thanI think has been discussed so far. The outing of Plame was an illegal act by those in power to punish those who did not support their agenda. It was inherently destructive to democratic government. One can dislike the CIA, as I do, and still be appalled – and appalled at the weaklings and worse who once they entered office did nothing about it.

    Wilileaks by contrast embarrasses those in power who are making decisions that kill thousands and destroy the lives of many more, all the while being insulated from any public knowledge of what they do. That some Americans feel it is legitimate for their elected leaders to prevent them from having knowledge about their misdeeds is an appropriate attitude for a serf, maybe for a fervent supporter of a dictatorship, but a ghastly commentary on many who call themselves “patriots.”

    It really is apples and oranges. Or apples and leggos.

  46. 46
    WarMunchkin says:

    On the bright side, the leaks have resulted in Holder announcing that Bush and Cheney will be prosecuted:

    HOLDER: “To the extent that we can find anybody who was involved in the breaking of American law and who has put at risk the assets and the people that I have described, they will be held responsible”

    I kind of get the feeling I interpreted that wrong :)

  47. 47
    debbie says:

    @Shade Tail:

    You’re the one who’s wrong. Intent can be just as mistaken as anything else. I see no false equivalence in anything I’ve said.

    Both Libby and Assange released classified information; it can’t be wrong for one group and right for another when they’re doing the exact same thing. Your insisting that it’s not the same thing is where the real false equivalence lies. If applying the same standard to everyone is “making a fool of myself,” good for me for being the one who’s fair.

  48. 48
    Fordpowers says:

    Idk. There is definitely something intriguing about this guy. For what ever reasons, he is definitely one of the more authentic characters to come from this whole technology enabling transparency movement… Especially vs. Someone like mark zuckerburg who is busy crowing about the illusion of privacy while making big bucks selling that data..

    I read this last night and even though it’s pretty thick it definitely gave me a new perspective on this whole sitch. If you get a chance, it’s worth the read

  49. 49
    Hawes says:

    I propose a new term for the BJ lexicon:

    Anarcissist : Someone who wishes to show himself in a flattering, photogenic light by the burning fires of Western civilization (see Assange, Julian)

  50. 50
    luc says:

    Slightly OT, but you might like this idea promoted by former French soccer star Eric Cantona – a bankrun to shake up the banking industry.

    href=”http://www.bankrun2010.com/”>

  51. 51
    lol says:

    @timb:

    Bradley Manning leaked the diplomatic cables to Wikileaks with the intention of “making Hillary Clinton shit her pants”.

    There wasn’t some high-minded committment to transparency here – just the same “because I can” vindictiveness that that got Valerie Plame outed.

  52. 52
    Gus diZerega says:

    Powerful argument Hawes. Powerful. A good example of modern conservatism.

    I am more sympathetic to Ghandhi’s take on Western Civilization; “It would be a good idea.”

    I read the article Fordpowers at 48 suggested. It is really quite good for those of us who take the principles behind our constitution seriously.

  53. 53
    matoko_chan says:

    @lol: no that is a lie.
    Manning has not discussed his motivation at all.
    Assange’s “client” that fed him the collateral murder video asked one thing only.
    the client requested maximum exposure for the material.

    @eemom: you are the dumbest cudlip evah. you look at horrifyingly incriminating intel and yell about Assange being a corrupt narcisscist.
    you are like one of those dumbass pavlovian dogs in UP!
    someone yells Squirrel! Assange! and you lose your shit.
    get a clue retard.

  54. 54
    lol says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Manning got caught because he was bragging about the leaks on-line to his buddies and then his buddies talked.

    But certainly, inform us what the high-minded purpose behind the cable leaks was.

  55. 55
    Cliff says:

    I hope he releases it before dec opex =P

  56. 56
    matoko_chan says:

    @lol: adrian lamo was bought off as a government snitch because he was facing jailtime and a 60000 $ fine because he got CAUGHT.
    lamo sold manning to the feds.
    Manning was seeking a conduit for the material he took.
    I truly dont understand you assclowns like sooner and eemom.
    what would you do if you saw our government covering up massacres and torture?
    you have a freakout because you think Assange is an imperious elitist asshole?
    well he is.
    and you dumb cudlips are why the repubs got the House back.
    the oligarchs just hold up a shiny an yell squirrel! Assange! Free Market! Honor the Troops! American Exceptionalism! and you shit yourselves.

  57. 57
    matoko_chan says:

    @lol:

    inform us what the high-minded purpose behind the cable leaks was.

    Assange and his unnamed “client’s” stated purpose is to stop the wars.
    the cables contribute to the critical mass of info that is going to get us the fuck out of A-stan and Iraq.
    But even better, the cables mean the neocon warpimps dreams of an Iranian front are DOA. Amazingly, the electorate does realize that we are broke, that we are getting an epic asswhupping in A-stan and already got one in Iraq, and they are not going to support doing the other nations scut-work and attack Iran….precisely because other nations want us to.

  58. 58
    debbie says:

    @matoko_chan:

    Despite your fondness for name-calling, you do raise a valid point:

    what would you do if you saw our government covering up massacres and torture?

    You’re right. Mitigating reasons do exist. That’s why I didn’t have a problem with the Pentagon Papers because they exposed Nixon’s illegal recklessness and violation of the Constitution. If Assange had just released the info about North Korea secretly selling arms to Iran, then he’d have performed a valuable service.

    But what has he gained by showing Quadaffi likes his big-butted blonds? Has good been accomplished by his “outing” the Arab heads of state and exposing their non-support of Iran? If nothing else, Assange has hurt the cause of peace in the Middle East because now those leaders have no credibility with their countries.

    Libby’s an ass because he was vindictive and he did it because he could (as someone else here has said). I don’t see Assange as being anything very different.

  59. 59
    eemom says:

    @matoko_chan:

    child, I asked you nicely to refrain from nasty words like “retard” and “cudlip” when you are speaking with grownups. This is your last warning before I turn you into a piece of boysenberry pie.

  60. 60
    Three-nineteen says:

    @debbie: You are wrong. Assange’s equivalent is not Libby. It’s the Prince of Darkness himself, Robert Novak. Novak is the one who published the information in the paper. Libby’s equivalent is Bradley Manning, who leaked the cables to Assange. Manning will almost certainly go to prison.

    Throughout the entire Plame debacle, there was one person who was never in any danger of going to jail. Who was that? Robert Novak. So unless you felt at the time that Novak deserved to go to prison for outing Plame, you are completely in the wrong. If you did feel Novak should have gone to prison, you need to actually make that argument.

  61. 61
    eemom says:

    @debbie:

    That’s why I didn’t have a problem with the Pentagon Papers because they exposed Nixon’s illegal recklessness and violation of the Constitution.

    and that is why the comparison of all the various wikileaks dumps to the Pentagon Papers is and always has been ridiculous.

    That was a specific, targeted revelation for a specific, targeted — and essential — purpose.

    This is just a power-crazed asshole grabbing whatever random secret shit he can get his hands on and hurling it at the public.

  62. 62
    El Cid says:

    @Three-nineteen:

    Assange’s equivalent is not Libby. It’s the Prince of Darkness himself, Robert Novak. Novak is the one who published the information in the paper.

    Except the significant thing about the Plame leak was in fact the identity of the particular undercover agent and the operation she led.

    It wasn’t simply that Novak divulged some classified material.

    To leave that sort of thing out demonstrates a truly false comparison.

  63. 63
    lol says:

    @matoko_chan:

    adrian lamo was bought off as a government snitch because he was facing jailtime and a 60000 $ fine because he got CAUGHT.
    lamo sold manning to the feds.
    Manning was seeking a conduit for the material he took.

    Hahaha – and Novak & Libby were just exposing cronyism in the CIA, right?

    If Manning had only leaked the video, you might have a point but it’s clear he just grabbed whatever classified material he could get his hands on and leaked it because he could.

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    matoko_chan says:

    @eemom: Ellsworth himself said Assange and Manning are the 21st century equivalent of him and Adams.
    @lol: you have no clue what all Manning got out. if it WAS Manning. :)
    i can neither confirm or deny.

    for all the sanctimonious assclowns that are pursing their lips and condemning Manning and Assange, know you are totally supporting the slimy fucktards that spoofed us into Vietnam, Iraq, and A-stan.
    those are your homies.
    Cheney, that fucking WEC retard Bush, Rove and Rumsfeld.
    Adrian Lamo, the judas of the Hacker Nation.
    do you know the real reason conservatism is doomed?
    no hackers.
    no geeks.

    all the shit that is being exposed is conservative shit.
    big business, warpimpery, “american exceptionalism”.
    because they are not like us. they are either stupid (Bush and palinfans) or evil (Cheney and Rove).
    the evil manipulate the stupid.

  65. 65
    debbie says:

    @ three-nineteen:

    Has a reporter actually ever been jailed for reporting classified information given to him/her? I’m not talking about jail-time for refusing to reveal a source, obviously.

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  67. 67
    Judy says:

    Since when is exposing corruption considered corrupt?

  68. 68
    bill says:

    @Jack Bauer: I hope he has suplied another route for information to get to the public like this. exposing the thiefs and criminals in governments may get the world on a better track for prosperity for all the working class people.

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    rockireindeer says:

    The public needs some of this wikileaks information to protect itself. Current light has been shed on some of the relationships that people did not know existed, like the pharma companies being “vital” to the US feds. This relationship goes a long way to explain seemingly bizarre and dangerous decisions made by the FDA in regards to Avandia and psych meds and the explosion of the mental health industry and drugs. People need to know that the approval process for these drugs is heavily tainted by DOD & DOJ interests and the FDA is merely a puppet organization when deciding whether or not to take or give psych meds to their children.

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