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

  1. #101
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Right. Other western nations. Nothing on Russia. If it were not for those western nations intelligence agencies we would know nothing of Russia's nefarious activities. Assange concentrates on western nations with a particular concentration on the most powerful and able to counter Russia.

  2. #102
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Berghem Haven
    These "traditional values" are used to repress minorities and undermine democracy in the West

    It's true but "minorities rights" are the ammo of "progressive" (please, real human progress can't pass by a lobbyistic system such modern "democracy", in Exxon USA or in Gazprom Russia, really) think tanks as well.

    Can't we just reboot the mankind at large? It's obviously in a reset-needed pathetic state.

  3. #103
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Politics makes for strange bedfellows. I wouldn't go so far as to say Assange is a fan of Putin or supports Russian expansionism. They just share a common hatred for the Western liberal system and the spread of it after the Cold War. That much is OK, we can take it. We endure people like Noam Chomsky opposing and mischaracterizing everything we do meanwhile apologizing for genocide. But unlike Noam Chomsky, who chose to be a dissident, Assange chose to be an activist - the bad kind of activist, who isn't out to solve a problem but to fuck shit up.

    He and Wikileaks are a blunt instrument. For every government lie or cover up Wikileaks has exposed in the public interest, it has also needlessly harmed plenty of individuals and relationships and policies. The diplomatic cables are a good example of that imbalance. He plainly didn't care about causing collateral damage. If anything, he hoped for it.

    Although he was publicly conducting espionage, it was easy for people to support him in the beginning, because he was playing to a strong anti-Iraq war movement, and a strong anti-American sentiment in its aftermath. The governments of Obama, Brown, and Rudd were sort of sympathetic with Wikileaks in the early years. But his honeymoon with the left seemed to end with the Iraq war, when people realized that he wasn't just an anti-war guy, he was going to indiscriminately smear the whole of the West if he could. No matter who was in charge, if he could get some dirt on you, he wouldn't hesitate to put it out. And because he was really only going after one side, he began to look like a foreign agent.

    When the threat of indictments came down onto him, he fell into the hands of Rafael Correa, who had his own reason for hating the US and rest of the West: Ecuador's debt. That put him squarely in Russia's sphere of influence. I view Wikileaks role in the 2016 election as nothing more than a favor returned to the people who protected him from extradition. That doesn't mean he's allied with Putin on policy. He's just desperate to save himself. He's a lot like Trump, and he's driven more by selfishness and ego than principle.

  4. #104
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2010
    When the entirety of US and US aligned media along with their helpers in the Military Industrial complex
    are doing their best to report on "bad things that Russians do", WHY would we then also need Wikileaks
    to provide reporting?

    Wikileaks is to provide information that is SUPPRESSED by the ESTABLISHMENT.

    RUSSIA IS NOT THE ESTABLISHMENT.

    Want to know when Saddam Hussein has done something bad?

    Read every MSM newspaper.

    Wanna know when your own western government has done something bad?

    You're now "Shit out of Luck" because the ESTABLISHMENT has crushed Wikileaks.

    SEE THE DIFFERENCE????

  5. #105
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Calling Chomsky a genocide apologist is a pretty severe mischaracterization in and of itself. He opposed Pol Pot and certainly never tried to make the claim that the deaths Khmer Rouge caused were 'ok'. His argument was primarily that the US media ignored the western role in creating the situation and also ignored our high death toll in the region, which is true. His refutation of the Khmer death toll was a mistake, but someone who dabbles in that many fields is never going to have a 100% track record. On the whole, he's been far more on point politically than he has been in linguistics for quite a long time, as he failed to stay up to date in that field despite his early pivotal role in it. He rarely mischaracterizes the role of the US - his assessments on that front are generally spot on.

  6. #106
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Russia seems pretty "established" to me and getting more so. It's propaganda arm doesn't need any help from Assange. Without him they will still be able to infiltrate the internet and influence elections as well as pay various sources to work against the west. Don't worry that it can't find another stooge like him to do it's dirty work.

    One area I would like exposed is how both Russia and US Republicans are working toward the same goal but from opposite ends. Russia is working toward making it's criminals into oligarchs and Republicans are working toward giving it's oligarchs the means to be criminal. It works out the same in the end and it's why Trump gets along with Putin so well. He openly admires his ability to suppress his press, which of course is done with poison and jail on trumped up charges. But you will never see Assange bite the hand that has been feeding him. Not even with being kicked out. He expects the Republicans to help him out as Russia does and for similar reasons.

  7. #107
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Quote Originally Posted by froghawk View Post
    Calling Chomsky a genocide apologist is a pretty severe mischaracterization in and of itself. He opposed Pol Pot and certainly never tried to make the claim that the deaths Khmer Rouge caused were 'ok'. His argument was primarily that the US media ignored the western role in creating the situation and also ignored our high death toll in the region, which is true. His refutation of the Khmer death toll was a mistake, but someone who dabbles in that many fields is never going to have a 100% track record. On the whole, he's been far more on point politically than he has been in linguistics for quite a long time, as he failed to stay up to date in that field despite his early pivotal role in it. He rarely mischaracterizes the role of the US - his assessments on that front are generally spot on.
    Your characterization of him is very charitable. Not only did he try to refute the death toll, he initially tried to blame it on bombings rather than the Khmer Rouge, and tried to discredit the first hand accounts from refugees by claiming they were being told what to say by American propagandists. He also promoted Gareth Porter's book Cambodia: Starvation and Revolution, which was a pro-Khmer Rouge propaganda piece. You can read one of Chomsky's mainstream writings on it here: https://chomsky.info/19770625/. You can find the book on Amazon, or Google for book reviews. And you can find a fairly objective analysis of the whole thing here: http://www.mekong.net/cambodia/chomsky.htm. Note this happened in the late 1970s in the aftermath of the Vietnam war. Chomsky has tried to walk it back since then. But rather than being intellectually honest and admitting he got it wrong, he's tried to spin his own words.

    Chomsky also got himself involved in defending Robert Faurisson, a literal Holocaust denier, who included one of Chomsky's essays in his book. I'm not saying that Chomsky is a Holocaust denier himself, he was just unusually vigorous in his defense of Faurisson.

    Chomsky was also involved in Bosnian genocide denial, contributing to Edward Herman and David Peterson's book The Politics of Genocide and supporting Diana Johnstone's book Fool's Crusade.

    More recently, he advocated for Ted Postol's conspiracy theories which try to argue that the Syrian government wasn't using chemical weapons.

    Chomsky is great at deconstructing Western propaganda and spot lighting what we do wrong, but he's a propagandist himself. His arguments always boil down to a simplistic indictment of the West and the US in particular, combined with rationalizing or playing down other bad actors (if not outright denial or apologism). Any positive things that happen under his favored regimes are talked up and attributed to the noble efforts of revolutionaries, and any bad things that happen under his favored regimes are invariably blamed one way or another on unjust Western powers. He's doing it now with Venezuela, praising Chavez policies for reducing poverty (ignoring that this was during an oil price boom and the government was draining the treasury) and now that things aren't going so well, he's saying it's because the US is in control. We get the same blame when we're not being imperialist. He blamed the US and Australia for East Timor because we didn't intervene. It's all black and white to him, good guys vs. bad guys, and we're always the bad guys.

  8. #108
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Thanks for the rundown. I wasn't familiar with his stance on all of those things, and while I'll need to do more research, several of them do seem initially quite troubling after a quick glance - particularly the Postol and Timor cases.

  9. #109
    There's one aspect of this entire discussion I find bizarre.

    Ever since Trump emerged as being more than a joke candidate, there has been intense rhetoric about the "fascism" of Trump and his supporters. Just this last week we had two major events that constitute, by far, the most "fascist" things that Trump has done: the arrest of Assange on politically motivated charges, and vetoing a resolution against participation in Yemen and continuing to execute a war without approval from Congress.

    What is the reaction from the institutions and commentators who have been warning us Trump is fascist? They freaking LOVE these news stories. The Assange arrest is being hailed as a wonderful moment and Yemen is being spun as being strong on terrorism.

    Although he was publicly conducting espionage, it was easy for people to support him in the beginning, because he was playing to a strong anti-Iraq war movement, and a strong anti-American sentiment in its aftermath. The governments of Obama, Brown, and Rudd were sort of sympathetic with Wikileaks in the early years. But his honeymoon with the left seemed to end with the Iraq war, when people realized that he wasn't just an anti-war guy, he was going to indiscriminately smear the whole of the West if he could. No matter who was in charge, if he could get some dirt on you, he wouldn't hesitate to put it out. And because he was really only going after one side, he began to look like a foreign agent.
    Assange's stated goal was to make the American surveillance state less effective by making them paranoid.

    It also isn't true that he's "just helping one side". The actual list of disclosures shows information harmful to China, Scientology, Sarah Palin, far-right British groups, Barclays Bank, and others who aren't just Democrats. Republicans aren't going to help him out because Assange's releases were extremely harmful to the Neocon ideology.

    Besides which the Russians reportedly use typewriters for their sensitive records. Digital copies simply don't exist which makes US style "leaks" extremely difficult to pull off.


    Russia seems pretty "established" to me and getting more so. It's propaganda arm doesn't need any help from Assange. Without him they will still be able to infiltrate the internet and influence elections as well as pay various sources to work against the west. Don't worry that it can't find another stooge like him to do it's dirty work.

    One area I would like exposed is how both Russia and US Republicans are working toward the same goal but from opposite ends. Russia is working toward making it's criminals into oligarchs and Republicans are working toward giving it's oligarchs the means to be criminal. It works out the same in the end and it's why Trump gets along with Putin so well. He openly admires his ability to suppress his press, which of course is done with poison and jail on trumped up charges. But you will never see Assange bite the hand that has been feeding him. Not even with being kicked out. He expects the Republicans to help him out as Russia does and for similar reason
    Do you have any documentation for that or is everything said speculation?


    More recently, he advocated for Ted Postol's conspiracy theories which try to argue that the Syrian government wasn't using chemical weapons.
    Those "conspiracy theories" are factually aligned with what James Mattis said:


    US has no evidence of Syrian use of sarin gas, Mattis says
    By ROBERT BURNS
    February 2, 2018


    https://apnews.com/bd533182b7f244a4b771c73a0b601ec5
    Last edited by Tony_Tarantula; 24th Apr 2019 at 10:27.

  10. #110
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Berghem Haven
    Trump is not a fascist of course, like our right italian politicians he simply TEASES nostalgic "old but gold values" (God, Country, Family) people 'cause they are some kind of big non-voting reservoir due to *age* (here in Italy the last generations with a large number of "natives" are the ones of from the '40s and '50s so teasing them and push them to the vote is the real goal of the right politicians.....and it shows how the democracy can be easely perverted).

  11. #111
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony_Tarantula View Post
    They freaking LOVE these news stories. The Assange arrest is being hailed as a wonderful moment and Yemen is being spun as being strong on terrorism.
    But does the fantasy in your head line up with actual reality? Let's take a look.

    Here's the reaction of Ari Melber from MSNBC:

    https://twitter.com/AriMelber/status...80553178243072

    The U.S. government indictment of Julian Assange is an aggressive and potentially chilling legal document for journalists in the U.S. and abroad.

    That is a significant issue regardless of one's view of Assange as a person, or his work, or his politics.
    Here's an NYT opinon piece arguing that Assange's arrest sets a dangerous precedent:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/11/o...amendment.html

    Assange seems to have thought that, by helping elect Trump, he would improve his own situation. As Julia Ioffe reported in The Atlantic, in 2016 WikiLeaks suggested to Donald Trump Jr. that Trump should lean on Australia to have Assange, an Australian citizen, appointed ambassador to the United States. Roger Stone, a Trump adviser who was indicted in part for lying about his communications with WikiLeaks, reportedly told an associate that he was trying to get Assange a pre-emptive presidential pardon. Now Assange has discovered, as so many others have before him, that betting on Trump can ruin your life. There’s a certain dark satisfaction in that. But any legal theory that Trump’s Justice Department uses against Assange can also be used against the rest of us.
    Here's CNN reporting the reactions of several media organisations:

    https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/11/m...dia/index.html

    Several prominent groups that advocate for the press say they are very concerned about the implications of Thursday's charges, even though, as the Committee to Protect Journalists noted, "the indictment does not explicitly charge Assange for publication."
    What it does do, CPJ said, is construe Assange's interactions with Manning "as part of a criminal conspiracy."
    Robert Mahoney, CPJ's deputy director, said "the potential implications for press freedom of this allegation of conspiracy between publisher and source are deeply troubling. With this prosecution of Julian Assange, the U.S. government could set out broad legal arguments about journalists soliciting information or interacting with sources that could have chilling consequences for investigative reporting and the publication of information of public interest."
    Reporters Without Borders expressed a similar set of concerns. "The persecution of those who provide or publish information of public interest comes at the expense of the investigative journalism that allows a democracy to thrive," the group said.
    The UK's National Union of Journalists said it is "shocked and concerned by the actions of the authorities today... The NUJ recognises the inherent link between and importance of leaked confidential documents and journalism reporting in the public interest. It should be remembered that in April 2010 WikiLeaks released Collateral Murder, a video showing a 2007 US Apache helicopter attack upon individuals in Baghdad, more than 23 people were killed including two Reuters journalists. The manner in which Assange is treated will be of great significance to the practice of journalism."
    Plus many more outlets have published statements of people who support Assange in this, such as Rafael Correa, Edward Snowden, Noam Chomsky, Assange's attorneys, etc.

  12. #112
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony_Tarantula View Post
    Do you have any documentation for that or is everything said speculation?
    Are you serious about wanting me to provide evidence of the Internet Research Agency which Russia runs? I can link articles but surely you already know right?

    As for the second paragraph, that was more of a personal observation. I can link the part where Trump states he wishes he could have the power over his own press that Putin has. Do you want that? Starker already linked the NYT article about Assange expecting Republicans to help him and showed where Roger Stone was attempting to. What exactly do you want? You will have to be specific because I said many things. Some I assume you know, such as Russia poisoning journalists, rock bands, and ex agents. I can post some links about that if you want but surely that is something you know.

  13. #113
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I'd say the likelihood of anyone on the Russian end revealing anything against their government would be very unlikely. That person's family would disappear never to be seen again. I'd call that a fairly effective deterrent. Even those that left first, then switched sides later, going by history have often been assassinated in those countries by secret agents. Repercussions by world wide governments be damned. Denial, denial, denial.

    Contrast that to things elsewhere and it's VERY different in democratic countries. Possibility of life in prison for that whistle blower only, would for many be a price worthy of paying in-order to reveal things they became aware of that went against their moral code.

    I'm just looking at it from a logical perspective. I have a major dislike of Russia and how it does things. ESPECIALLY toward former members under the Soviet Union (eg Ukraine). Their "election process" as well as treatment of gays and lesbians is horrible.

  14. #114
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Berghem Haven
    The only good Russia is Lenin/cosmist Russia :O (and russians know it as well, now Russia is simply "Gazprom country")

  15. #115
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Quote Originally Posted by froghawk View Post
    Thanks for the rundown. I wasn't familiar with his stance on all of those things, and while I'll need to do more research, several of them do seem initially quite troubling after a quick glance - particularly the Postol and Timor cases.
    I still check out what Chomsky has to say from time to time, because he'll often have some nugget of insight that I wouldn't hear elsewhere. But I've attended a couple of his lectures (albeit a long time ago) and heard him make some surprising claims, without attribution, and then say something like "don't take it from me, look it up for yourselves, it's all out there". And then after much digging, I couldn't corroborate it using any reputable source. That put me off a bit, so I don't take what he says at face value. If he makes an interesting claim or argument, I'll just use it as a springboard and go off on my own.

    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    I'd say the likelihood of anyone on the Russian end revealing anything against their government would be very unlikely. That person's family would disappear never to be seen again. I'd call that a fairly effective deterrent. Even those that left first, then switched sides later, going by history have often been assassinated in those countries by secret agents. Repercussions by world wide governments be damned. Denial, denial, denial.

    Contrast that to things elsewhere and it's VERY different in democratic countries. Possibility of life in prison for that whistle blower only, would for many be a price worthy of paying in-order to reveal things they became aware of that went against their moral code.
    Exactly. Look at Manning: he releases half a million classified documents including wartime intelligence during the war, spends just 7 years in jail, and now she's treated like a minor celeb, making good money on the speaking circuit and running for Senate. If a Russian intelligence officer did the same thing, they would be dead quick and Julian Assange would be eating polonium.

  16. #116
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Exactly. Which is what my point was. You didn't hear anything about Russia from Wikileaks because there was no'one willing to send anything to them. That's not a secret alliance between Wikileaks and Russia, or an agenda by Wikileaks against the U.S or Western / democratic countries. It's purely down to the fact that no'one was willing to take that risk. Compare that on the opposite side of the coin, where people were very willing to take that risk as the worst case scenario was FAR LESS severe.

  17. #117
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Well, there's that, but I think there's more to it. A person like Assange should be motivated to keep a powerful friend somewhere. He can't afford to piss off all the major countries. And who's going to host Wikileaks if the US, Russia, and Europe are all trying to take it down or attack it? Not China, they're not exactly into rouge sites and internet freedom.

  18. #118
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Except, Assange did claim that he had dirt on Russia, once:

    https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Euro...-read-about-it

    "We have [compromising materials] about Russia, about your government and businessmen," Mr. Assange told the pro-government daily Izvestia. "But not as much as we'd like... We will publish these materials soon."

    Assange and another WikiLeaks spokesperson, Kristinn Hrafnsson, who talked to the daily Kommersant Tuesday, refused to provide details. "Russians are going to find out a lot of interesting facts about their country," Ms. Hrafnsson told Kommersant, adding that WikiLeaks would soon be targeting "despotic regimes in China, Russia, and Central Asia" in a series of fresh document dumps.
    These compromising materials never... er... materialised. He appeared to back down when a Russian official suggested about Wikileaks that:

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2010/11/01...d-destroy-you/

    You have to understand that if there is the desire and the right team, it’s possible to shut it down forever.
    But fine, never mind that Assange has never published anything sensitive on Russia, never mind that he has taken pro-Russian stances on issues, never mind that he had a show on Russia Today, and never mind what happened in the US 2016 elections, just answer me this one question: why did Assange request Russians to be his bodyguards in the embassy?

    https://www.vox.com/world/2017/1/6/1...ks-russia-ties

    In order to avoid extradition to Sweden, Assange holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. According to the Ecuadorian publication Focus Ecuador, Assange asked for control over the selection of his bodyguards, and insisted that they be Russian.

  19. #119
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Hmm. Well I dunno on that one.

    [Edit]
    I'd say thats due to being paranoid about America coming after him.

    He has no reason to be worried about Russia since he hasnt released anything about them (yet).
    Last edited by icemann; 26th Apr 2019 at 02:58.

  20. #120
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Well, even if he's refusing to publish materials on Russia simply because he's afraid, the fact remains that he has disproportionately targeted the US and the West and ignored Russia and China.
    .

  21. #121
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    If anything being a puss and picking on those nations you think least likely to hurt you speaks of how much better those nations are as opposed to the one you won't pick on. I suspect more nefarious motives because when you are dealing with Russia there are ALWAYS more nefarious motives.

  22. #122
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Whilst I completely agree there, the Tetris stuff wasn't so much. Though it was of taking ownership of something an individual did. That said he did develop it, on government time in a government run place and he was a government employee. So I can see the Russian government side on that one, even if I don't agree with it. Mentioning this one, purely down to it being the only one I know of, of a Russia invented thing, marketed worldwide to great success.
    Last edited by icemann; 26th Apr 2019 at 14:02.

  23. #123
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by heywood View Post
    Not China, they're not exactly into rouge sites and internet freedom.
    To be fair, it is a terrible colour for web design.

  24. #124
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    Whilst I completely agree there, the Tetris stuff wasn't so much. Though it was of taking ownership of something an individual did. That said he did develop it, on government time in a government run place and he was a government employee. So I can see the Russian government side on that one, even if I don't agree with it. Mentioning this one, purely down to it being the only one I know of, of a Russia invented thing, marketed worldwide to great success.
    Back in Soviet Russia, everyone was a government employee, doing everything on government time.

  25. #125
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: uk
    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    So Julian Assange has been arrested, and very likely to be shipped off to America shortly, regardless of what the police say.
    He's just been sentenced. 50 weeks so he'll not be going anywhere for 6 months or so at least.

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