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Thread: Julian Assange's Arrest and the Repurcusions for Whistle blowers

  1. #51
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Ah, see, now that's some important context I really could have used earlier on. That makes all the difference to me. You saying these things as part of your lived experience is totally different than people here becoming fixated on it despite it being miles away from their realm of experience. My apologies on many fronts.

  2. #52
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I say humanity needs to hurry up and start up a colony on Mars already. Then the obsession with everything Earth-based would end in time.

  3. #53

  4. #54
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    Starker. It seems you think froghawk and me, and others are defending Russia. That is not the case. I wouldn't want to live in Russia. I don't think Putin is a saint. I'm not saying the Russians are our friends (friends of the west).

    But they are not the enemies either.
    And regarding political interference in the US. I do think it's peanuts compared to other issues in the US. You say we do "whataboutism". But it's not. Whataboutism assumes both sides are equally wrong. In this case, where we talk about political interference, you think we think that the US and Russia are equally bad. I don't think that. I think what others do in the US is much worse than what Russia does in the US.

    E.g. people complain about Russia hacking DNC email, and releasing it before the 2016 elections. Sure. That was bad. But you know what was way worse ? An state official (Comey), working for the FBI, stating just days (Oct 28th) before the elections (Nov 8th) that they had found new incriminating emails from Hillary Clinton. And then 1-2 days before the election saying that they probably didn't. IMHO this was the big event that shifted the votes. IMHO this was pure treason by the FBI. The KGB would have been proud if they did what Comey did. I once read an interview with Hillary that she thought this was the big thing that pushed the balance and made her lose the elections. I agree. I can't understand why Comey hasn't been called before a judge and hanged. What Russia did (with respect to influencing the elections) was peanuts.

    If you are worried about influence on US elections, there are much bigger factors to worry about.

    1) Money buys elections. Thus money buys politicians.
    Obama needed 1 billion dollars to beat the Republicans. One billion. Of course rich people have more money to spend on politicians and elections. Does that mean rich people should always win the elections ? Because at the moment it seems it does mean that.

    2) The US is supposed to be a country with separation of state and church.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religi...tes#Statistics
    These numbers seem to indicate that 18-24% of US citizens does not believe in a god. (That number itself is staggering. And an indication on how easily Americans must be influenced. In 2019 it is rather clear there is no God, no heaven, no hell, no nothing. All religions are lies. And now I am expressing myself very politely). However, since forever, there are 0 atheists in the government, in the senate, in the house. Nor are there any atheist governors. This tells me that influence of religion in the US is much larger than it should be. (It should be zero, actually).

    3) Israel has a much larger impact on US politics than you might imagine.
    Years ago already I had read articles where it was shown that no politician in the US can win an election unless they support Israel. If a politician openly disagrees with Israel, or openly supports the Palestians, Israel-backed organizations, like AIPAC will actively start supporting that politicians opponents. Making it so that that politicians loses his election, regardless whether it is a Republican or Democrat. Now I'm not a fan of Palestinians. And I realize that they've acted as "assholes" over the last decennia. (Accusing someone of acting as "a terrorist" has lost all meaning, imho). But I think Israel has behaved a lot worse. If you can't say that, if you can't discuss that openly, if politicians avoid the subject, something is very wrong.

    4) Australians.
    Well, of course not Australia, or the Australian population. One Australian in particular. Rupert Murdoch. I don't know if you live in the US, or when you came to live in the US. Fox News exists since 1996. Maybe you don't know better. Maybe you think what they do is normal. Maybe you believe in 100% free speech (including yelling "fire" in a theatre). But what Fox News has been doing over the last 23 years is terrible. There are no words for it. Goebbels would have been in awe, if he had seen what Fox News does, and gets away with. I believe that Fox News is the single worst factor in US politics since WWII. The amount of damage they have done is staggering. The propaganda, the brainwashing, the blaiming, the agitation. And the US people act as if it's normal. It's not. It's rigging the game. It's working slowly to making fascism acceptable. In Russia certain topics can or will not be discussed in the media. But what Fox News is actively doing, is imho worse. E.g. the Comey thing just before the elections, that would not have been possible if Fox News hadn't been "whutaboutheremails" for 4 years daily. Daily.

    5) Capitalism uber alles.
    Capitalism tells us: "if someone is making money off of it, it must be good". And "if nobody is getting rich off of it, it must be worthless". This is a terrible approach to society. And the worst thing is, the Republicans are acting full-force to this adagium. Trump is merely a distraction. In the mean time, the Republicans are working to attack the middle and lower classes, freezing or lowering their salaries, getting rid of unions. They slowly increase taxes on the middle class, slowly decrease taxes on the rich. They don't care about the environment. They try to destroy the US schools. They try to destroy proper health care for ordinary citizens. They ignore infrastructure. They slow down development of the Internet. Etc. Etc. And when you try to discuss this, the clueless yanks always reply: "capitalism is always better than socialism".

    Just a few examples what you should be worried about.
    The Russians are not our friends. And they are not our enemies. They are not worthy of putting a lot of energy in. But they are great as a distraction.

    [Fuck. It's amazing how much text I can type in just 30 minutes. It's also amazing how fast 30 minutes go by. My apologies to everybody who reads everything I wrote here.]
    Last edited by Gryzemuis; 15th Apr 2019 at 12:46.

  5. #55
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Saying that something else is a bigger deal may not be whataboutism, but it is a false dilemma though. There is always a bigger issue that you could be worrying about. Why worry about the state of education or income inequality when climate change is a much bigger issue, etc.

    I don't object to you guys thinking Russian interference in the US is less significant than some other issues. I'm objecting to you guys thinking Russian interference in the US (and other Western countries) is insignificant and nothing to worry about. By proxy, if what Russia does is normal and everyday stuff and not worth paying attention to, then same goes for what the US has been doing in Latin America. And I can't agree with that.

    As for the more specific points:

    1) That's the way US elections are structured, what with Citizens United and all. You can't get rid of the money issue exactly, but you can do a lot to try to make it less of a big deal. Maybe having a presidential election be one big popularity contest is a bad idea in the first place, but that's a topic for another day. Suffice it to say that not everyone does it the way it's done in the US.

    3) Israel absolutely has enormous influence in the US. Just look at all the anti-BDS legislation, etc. Though it has started to become somewhat less bipartisan lately (Ilhan Omar, etc). But Israel is currently an ally of the US and isn't trying to destabilise the US from within, Russia's goals are much more nefarious and damaging for the US (and Western democracy), I would argue.

    4) I can't come to the US. Contrary to the people who think the US has "open borders" and lets just anyone in, it's hardly the case in reality.

    I'm 100% for free speech, but I'm not 100% for consequence-free speech. If someone yells fire in a theatre to cause a panic, they should absolutely face some consequences for that. At least a warning or something.

    I'm aware of Fox News and Rupert Murdoch, but I don't think US TV is great exactly in that respect in general. The only shows I watch with any regularity are Rachel Maddow, John Oliver and sometimes Chris Wallace. I much prefer reading instead.

    5) The difference is much more fundamental than that. If you have the time, I suggest a video that goes into it in more depth and eloquence than I could muster:

    Last edited by Starker; 16th Apr 2019 at 06:15.

  6. #56
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by froghawk View Post
    You're right that Israel may not be aiming to destabilize the US, but that's because the US funds them and their extensive human rights abuses, which we should not be standing for. My general point here is that the US needs to fix their own egregious behavior before we start calling everyone else out or we have no ground to stand on whatsoever.
    I'm a US citizen. I oppose both AIPAC and American meddling in Latin America. What exactly needs to happen before I'm allowed to criticize Russian annexation of their neighbors or interference in foreign elections, or support presidential candidates who will hold Russia accountable?

    Also, FWIW, nobody in DoS/DoD is treating Russian activity in the cyber or information environments as 'routine'. They're more aggressive in both cyberattack and info ops than even peers like China, with greater sophistication and obfuscation in their methods. Saying that the US's stance is hypocritical is one thing, but your friend's assertion that Russia's behavior is business as usual is absolutely dead wrong.
    Last edited by catbarf; 16th Apr 2019 at 09:10.

  7. #57
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Never, frankly. If you engage in imperialism, you reap what you sow. The correct response is to acknowledge that we created this situation and address the ways that we created it rather than trying to always blame it on someone else. Remember 9/11? We armed extremists, used them, then abandoned them, and then they retaliated. Our response to that wasn't to say 'hmm, maybe that was a bad idea and we should change our foreign policy', but instead we got involved in numerous pointless wars which got even more people mad at us and had a very high human cost. Given our history of intervention in Russian politics, I fail to see how this situation is different. Did Bin Laden do a good thing? No. Did Russia do a good thing? No. But unless we acknowledge and address our role in creating these situations, they will continue to happen forever, and the resulting human cost will be high. My point isn't so much that the attacks were 'routine' as that they were utterly mild compared to what we did to inspire them, and that's what we should be focusing on. We need politicians who hold US accountable instead of trying to play world police, because our response has historically pretty much always been to exclusively blame the other.

    And Starker, are you watching propaganda spewing talking heads like Wallace and Maddow just to see what people are being told?
    Last edited by froghawk; 16th Apr 2019 at 11:53.

  8. #58
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Completely agree with Frog on this one. Cyber attacks are just the new form of war, and countries need to put more resources into protecting themselves against it. China does QUITE a bit of cyber attacks against both government and corporations over here.

    The old cyberpunk books of the 80s - 90s got quite a bit right on how things would turn out by present day. Right on the money for much of it. Sure we're not running around with cybernetic hacking devices in our heads, but corporations (megacorps) are more powerful then they've ever been, and the internet (matrix) has turned into the place of modern warfare / espionage.
    Last edited by icemann; 16th Apr 2019 at 12:32.

  9. #59
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by froghawk View Post
    And Starker, are you watching propaganda spewing talking heads like Wallace and Maddow just to see what people are being told?
    No, that's what aggregators like The Drudge Report and Reddit are for. I watch them because I like them and because they have good presentation and interesting guests and topics. Oh, and sometimes I also watch Bill Maher too for much the same reasons. I find most of US TV too tiresome and obnoxious, but these are some of the few people I can stand. Too many other pundits have people like Jeffrey Lord on just to create controversy. Too often they hop from topic to topic and everything is BREAKING NEWS. In comparison, Rachel Maddow is personable, does in-depth segments, and presents the topics she comments on from interesting angles. And she isn't above criticising Democrats like Obama either, from what I've seen. Chris Wallace I've been watching for much longer than her and he's actually a pretty good journalist in addition to posing as the respectable face of Fox News and one of the few people there willing to take conservatives to task from time to time, even though he of course usually goes pretty easy on them. Shepard Smith is another one I might watch, but I don't like his presentation much.

    I'll throw the question back to you, though. What do you watch TV for if not for entertainment? Information?
    Last edited by Starker; 16th Apr 2019 at 12:47.

  10. #60
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I basically don't watch tv news at all (or even own a television for that matter), but in the rare event that I do it's usually for information and ends up being something like a local or state election debate. From what I have seen, I find everyone you listed there be rather polticially odious for various reasons.

  11. #61
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I don't have a TV set either. It probably helps that I don't live there. I've studied the speeches of Clinton and Reagan in school and it never bothered me that they are written from a certain angle. And having lived in Soviet times, things being presented from a conservative or liberal point of view feels much different than the brainwashing material I was fed growing up. In any case, I can read between the lines and I usually go check the sources anyway.

  12. #62

  13. #63
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    If there's one thing I don't like about Assange, it's not that he releases classified information, embarrassing whole governments for all the world to see, it's that I think he does what he does because he knows that, at some point, he'll get to play a martyr on live TV.

  14. #64
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: The Land of Make Believe
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony_Tarantula View Post
    That explains why he's being arrested on "espionage" charges and the investigation into the rape charges has been closed.
    Are you purposefully dense?

    Julian Assange has been arrested in Britain for breaching his bail conditions. This is what he has been found guilty of in a British court and that is why he is in custody, pending sentence.

    Once Ecuador withdrew his immunity, our police were obligated to act, just as they would with any bail jumper. Any extradition requests will subsequently be dealt with by our independent criminal justice system, not the government.

  15. #65
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Quote Originally Posted by froghawk View Post
    Never, frankly. If you engage in imperialism, you reap what you sow. The correct response is to acknowledge that we created this situation and address the ways that we created it rather than trying to always blame it on someone else. Remember 9/11? We armed extremists, used them, then abandoned them, and then they retaliated. Our response to that wasn't to say 'hmm, maybe that was a bad idea and we should change our foreign policy', but instead we got involved in numerous pointless wars which got even more people mad at us and had a very high human cost. Given our history of intervention in Russian politics, I fail to see how this situation is different. Did Bin Laden do a good thing? No. Did Russia do a good thing? No. But unless we acknowledge and address our role in creating these situations, they will continue to happen forever, and the resulting human cost will be high. My point isn't so much that the attacks were 'routine' as that they were utterly mild compared to what we did to inspire them, and that's what we should be focusing on. We need politicians who hold US accountable instead of trying to play world police, because our response has historically pretty much always been to exclusively blame the other.

    And Starker, are you watching propaganda spewing talking heads like Wallace and Maddow just to see what people are being told?
    You manage to be quite the propagandist yourself. You say we armed extremists. We armed the native inhabitants and those helping them against SOVIET imperialism. We did it for out own selfish reasons perhaps, like getting Russia back for Vietnam, but normally helping a people to remain free is a good thing. It was killing two birds and being able to feel good about it. What we did not fully understand was that the Mujahideen had no gratitude and was operating on the principle of anyone not of their religion being subhuman and worthy of none of the usual tit for tat acts of decency extended to those who were of their religion. We learned that the hard way. We learn everything the hard way. Whether in Afghanistan or Iraq we learned you can't just pick the good side and expect good results when even the good side hates you and there are always mullahs and factions ready to kill you for just being there (or not being there as with 911) even if you did things perfectly without mistake which we absolutely did not. LOT'S of mistakes like those gleefully exposed by an obviously biased Assange. He may not be a Russian agent but he is absolutely lenient when it comes to them. Not so the US. He is absolutely biased against the US.

    You say we used extremists and abandoned them. Were we supposed to nation build? Do you not recall the calls to leave Iraq soon after it's liberation? We were blamed for staying then. There is no good choice where the middle east is concerned. Hussein needed deposing and we were at fault in our support of him up to his gassing the Kurds. We owed the people of Iraq for our earlier support of him. There just are no good choices where that region is concerned. None. Support? WRONG. No support? WRONG. Perhaps you think we should just stay out and let the region devolve. Let the Taliban have it. Let the northern alliance of tribes be crushed by the repressive assholes. That's what we were doing before 911. Even THAT didn't work out did it? Damned if you do and damned if you don't. There is no right choice. I tend to think we should stay out too. MAYBE our staying out won't cause another 911 as before. BUT maybe it will. Just throw money at it you say? Yeah. Right.

    I don't know what the answer is. We've tried a bit of everything. You don't know either. Police and be called imperialists? Leave and be accused of abandonment? Pick one. Some are ready to blame either way. Not that it would matter if just SOME good would come out of SOMETHING we do or don't do. Maybe we should just piss on those who make mistakes trying to do something like Assange does. Lot's think he is a hero.

  16. #66
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by froghawk View Post
    The correct response is to acknowledge that we created this situation and address the ways that we created it rather than trying to always blame it on someone else.
    So what does that actually mean, in practical terms?

    If it were just a case of Russia retaliating against the US for prior meddling, then I could understand a policy of acknowledging the election interference (without this 'everyone does it' or 'it wasn't that bad' or 'well we do it too' deflection), taking steps to prevent it from happening again, and doing nothing further. But it's not just us. Russia is involved in annexing their neighbors, seizing international waters, and undermining the democracies of all nations in their sphere of influence. They're not uniquely our enemy, they're the enemy of any nation opposed to their national interests.

    If we consider everything Russia does now to be our fault, then that means the annexation of Crimea, invasion of Georgia, destabilization of Ukraine, and seizure of the Azov Sea are all our fault and consequently our responsibility to deal with. Not because we're playing world police, but because according to this apologism every act of aggression they carry out is our fault, making it our moral obligation to address.

    Either they're a sovereign nation committing acts of aggression and we ought to respond, or they're a direct product of our actions and we have a responsibility to respond. Simply washing our hands of the consequences of our international meddling hasn't worked out great in the past.

  17. #67
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Whoa, whoa, whoa. It's a VERY major leap to go from 'this particular action by this country was a direct result of our involvement' to 'all actions by this country are a result of our involvement', and I NEVER implied the latter. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

    And Tocky, are you kidding me? The west has been heavily involved in the middle east since at least the treaty of Versailles, when the region was arbitrarily divided into countries without any regard for cultural boundaries and plunged into chaos. There hasn't really been a time since when the west hasn't been involved in the region, and you're entirely ignoring that history by claiming that 'we tried not being involved' and saying that we weren't involved prior to Hussein, which is ridiculous. You call me a propagandist then claim the Taliban's motivation was purely religious. It wasn't. It was a response to decades of western imperialist action.

    The answer is pretty simple in both of these cases, guys. Imperialism caused literally all of these problems, from our own imperialism to Europe's to Russia's. So we either keep doing the thing that created the problems in the first place (sometimes under the guise of 'fixing' the problems we started, but that's never really the reason and it literally never works), or we stop trying to control the world for our own benefit.

  18. #68
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    And don't forget the crusades of the middle ages. The first big one.

  19. #69
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: The Spiraling Sea
    Last edited by Vae; 17th Apr 2019 at 15:17.

  20. #70
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Is there a reason you're posting a video from a blatant white supremacist youtube channel which also features videos and playlists like 'most serial killers are black men', 'africans aren't pure homo sapiens', 'inventiveness and creativity of white people/europeans', 'africans started slavery', and 'muslim gang rapes across europe'? Do you honestly consider that a reliable source, or are you trying to make a weird joke?

  21. #71
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: The Spiraling Sea
    The political disposition of the channel is irrelevant to the basic factual information provided in the video...and the purpose of posting this particular video was that it provided the relevant information in a concise format, in order to rebuke the fallacy of icemann's statement, "And don't forget the crusades of the middle ages. The first big one"...which is factually incorrect.

  22. #72
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Ok, well maybe next time you do that, don't give more views to a white supremacist with frothing followers, ok? And try posting an actual reputable source when you want to prove a point?

  23. #73
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: The Spiraling Sea
    I took the liberty of updating the video with the same one on the original author's channel "Dr. Bill Warner PhD (Political Islam)".

    Also, here are the references for the Islamic Battles...http://cspipublishing.com/statistica...attlesDate.pdf

  24. #74
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I appreciate the effort, but an ex-physics professor who is using his physics degree to make himself look like a reliable source on history then entirely fails to recognize the distinction between salafism/wahhabism and Islam as a whole isn't really much better. https://www.quora.com/How-accurate-i...sent-day-Spain
    Last edited by froghawk; 17th Apr 2019 at 15:38.

  25. #75
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: The Spiraling Sea
    Your misguided attempt to disqualify the professor does not impact the fact that these Islamic battles occurred. Nor does it successfully refute the initiation of force via Jihadism, before and after the Christian Crusades occurred.

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