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Author Topic: Wikileaks = terrorist organization?  (Read 9655 times)
we vs us
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« on: November 29, 2010, 10:59:54 am »

I saw Rep King on Morning Joe this morning talking about the Wikileaks saga(s), and his position was that Wikileaks met the criteria for being a terrorist organization and should be treated like one.  Specifically by going after the groups funding, hunting down the principals extranationally, etc.  Essentially giving them the Al Qaeda treatment.  Link below goes to the him pushing the same idea on a radio show this morning:

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/peter-king-declare-wikileaks-a-terrorist-organization.php?ref=fpb 

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Conan71
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2010, 11:12:45 am »

It's not an angle I'd considered but I don't think he's terribly far off-base.  Wikileaks apparently is going to seriously compromise our national security.

I also think the little peckerneck who was the source of the leaks deserves the full treason treatment.
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2010, 01:42:37 pm »

Wikileaks is just flaunting controversial information for fun and profit. If the U.S. wasn't sending out memos like "If you want to talk to Obama, you have to take a gitmo prisoner off our hands" then we wouldn't have an issue. The second issue is letting someone access and copy hundreds of thousands of confidential files without being noticed.

Wikileaks.com is the least of our problems.
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nathanm
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2010, 02:04:15 pm »

I also think the little peckerneck who was the source of the leaks deserves the full treason treatment.
Assange is not American, so he hasn't committed treason.

As I posted elsewhere, I find myself in the odd position of not being against either side here. On the one hand, I can't be mad about the stuff I've seen so far being leaked, but neither can I be mad that my Government tries to keep this stuff secret.

Wikileaks' source(s) have exposed some pretty big lies in the past, like the one about our military not keeping count of civilian casualties in Iraq. Why do I think that's important? Because I think it's important for the public to know that our operations there have directly killed more people who weren't involved in hostilities than were. Maybe that's OK with everyone and maybe it's not. Either way, we have a right to know what's being done in our name.
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2010, 02:16:26 pm »

I saw Rep King on Morning Joe this morning talking about the Wikileaks saga(s), and his position was that Wikileaks met the criteria for being a terrorist organization and should be treated like one.

It's like being mad at the mirror on the wall because we dont like what's in it.

Those most threatened by this sort of whistle-blowing are those that would have likely faced charges.
Some of the "leaks":  http://www.tulsanow.org/forum/index.php?topic=15327.0
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Conan71
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2010, 02:53:14 pm »

Assange is not American, so he hasn't committed treason.


You are correct.

The peckerneck I was referring to was PFC Bradley Manning who horked the info and passed it on to WikiLeaks.  U.S. & British dual citzenship, born in Crescent, Ok.
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nathanm
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2010, 03:15:32 pm »

The peckerneck I was referring to was PFC Bradley Manning who horked the info and passed it on to WikiLeaks.  U.S. & British dual citzenship, born in Crescent, Ok.
Apparently, I somehow missed "source" in your post.  Tongue

Yeah, Manning should get the book thrown at him, although he did do us a great service in showing that the mandate of intelligence sharing was implemented in an incredibly insecure manner. Either the entire idea was stupid or we got ripped off by the contractor who supplied the software that was supposed to look for anomalous use of the systems. (Most likely the latter) If you want to keep something secret, sharing it with 3 million people probably isn't the best idea.

Also, why do SIPRnet-connected computers even have CD burners? Or even a CD drive of any sort. Or unprotected USB ports? And why is all the secret-level data accessible to all secret-cleared personnel without any access control?

Another thing that struck me when reading through the documents so far released is that there's a lot of stuff classified secret for no apparent reason. Sort of like there's a lot of unclassified "sensitive security information" that we don't get to see. Seems to me that if it's sensitive, it should be classified, and if not, it should be subject to FOIA.

So yeah, Manning both deserves everything he gets (as long as he's eventually tried) and deserves some recognition for bringing the security issues and the broken classification system under more scrutiny.

Also, as a result of the crappy security, it's unlikely any of this stuff was secret from most of the world's other governments, unless they have a terrible intelligence apparatus.
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2010, 03:19:41 pm »

It's like being mad at the mirror on the wall because we dont like what's in it.

Those most threatened by this sort of whistle-blowing are those that would have likely faced charges.
Some of the "leaks":  http://www.tulsanow.org/forum/index.php?topic=15327.0

Do you have trouble sleeping at night? I mean, it seems you really really have a distrust of government.
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2010, 04:12:00 pm »

I'm having trouble deciding on where I want to stand on this one.  I mean obviously they can't hold wikileaks any more responsible for posting this kind of information then they can an unfriendly government acting on info that it manages to get through whatever source.  If anything, at least Wikileaks let's it be known that there is a leak, and what is being leaked. After all, if they are getting this info, how can anyone believe that others are not?  But, on the flip side, if some info came out that could trully be damaging to the United States (I mean, come on, what has been seriously damaging about what they have leaked to the US itself?)like, say, a NARC list or something, then yeah, I could understand the outrage and the desire to do something about it.  Otherwise, use it to gauge the security of such things and act accordingly inhouse.
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Conan71
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2010, 04:20:06 pm »

Apparently, I somehow missed "source" in your post.  Tongue

Yeah, Manning should get the book thrown at him, although he did do us a great service in showing that the mandate of intelligence sharing was implemented in an incredibly insecure manner. Either the entire idea was stupid or we got ripped off by the contractor who supplied the software that was supposed to look for anomalous use of the systems. (Most likely the latter) If you want to keep something secret, sharing it with 3 million people probably isn't the best idea.

Also, why do SIPRnet-connected computers even have CD burners? Or even a CD drive of any sort. Or unprotected USB ports? And why is all the secret-level data accessible to all secret-cleared personnel without any access control?

Another thing that struck me when reading through the documents so far released is that there's a lot of stuff classified secret for no apparent reason. Sort of like there's a lot of unclassified "sensitive security information" that we don't get to see. Seems to me that if it's sensitive, it should be classified, and if not, it should be subject to FOIA.

So yeah, Manning both deserves everything he gets (as long as he's eventually tried) and deserves some recognition for bringing the security issues and the broken classification system under more scrutiny.

Also, as a result of the crappy security, it's unlikely any of this stuff was secret from most of the world's other governments, unless they have a terrible intelligence apparatus.

Has anyone heard if Manning was paid anything by WikiLeaks?  Seems like if he was trying to highlight an issue with a security system, he'd bring it to the attention of someone within his own government.  Or at least if he was truly disgusted and had already gone that route at least brought it to the media's attention without specifically turning over sensitive information.  I doubt that all of the 250,000 or so documents are "crucial".  It sounds more like the admin and State Dept. are afraid of having egg on their face.

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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2010, 06:24:04 pm »

I don't think his intent was to highlight the security problems, but it is nevertheless an important effect of what he did.
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2010, 08:26:51 pm »

So we really have no motive without knowing if he was paid.  If not, then he's simply an altruist willing to pay some severe penalties, I suppose.  Either that or a complete patsy.  If he's held and not charged for this leak much longer the tinfoil hat crowd will make him their new Messiah.
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2010, 08:36:11 pm »

So we really have no motive without knowing if he was paid.
There's no evidence thus far indicating he was paid. From what we know of his chats with Lamo, he did it because he was upset by the various lies promulgated by the military regarding Afghanistan and Iraq and wanted the public record set straight. Whether that's the complete truth or if there was indeed another motive remains to be seen.

This all presumes that Manning was behind both the war log leak and the state department cable leak, of course.
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Ed W
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« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2010, 08:39:11 pm »

I tried to find the criteria used to declare a terrorist organization, but was unable to find them.  Still, I'd assume that would include advocating or perpetrating acts of violence for a political end.  Further, I'd expect that disseminating information doesn't meet the standard.  Rep. King may be grandstanding, engaging in hyperbole, or utterly unconcerned with reality.  While the release of classified information is a criminal act, it doesn't rise to the level of terrorism.  If Rep. King is mistaken in how that should be applied, well, that can be forgiven.  But if he's advocating that they be branded as terrorists simply because he doesn't like what they've done, that's something that bears watching since his party now controls a majority in the House.

Think of it this way, when the Nixon administration tried to shut down the publication of the Pentagon papers, they could have made a similar argument - that the release of the information would provide valuable aid to our enemies - and they could have tried to brand the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other major newspapers as terrorist organizations.  Nixon successfully gagged the press for a time, but the eventual release of the information produced a wide-spread realization of the extent of our government's lies.  

Wikileaks is not the New York Times, of course, but the same principle stands.  We all have access to the raw, unfiltered information our government would rather keep secret.  While the release of that information is undeniably a crime, now that it's public knowledge it may have unforeseen consequences - good or bad.
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« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2010, 09:42:02 pm »


Rep. King may be grandstanding, engaging in hyperbole, or utterly unconcerned with reality.  While the release of classified information is a criminal act, it doesn't rise to the level of terrorism.  


I'd say you hit the Holy Trinity of the code of conduct for the U.S. Congress, Ed.

Terrorism would imply causing fear or terror.  Either the term has become considerably over-used or there are more terrorists now at work around the world.  I recall accounts of Palestinian terrorists carrying out kidnappings and car-bombings in Israel, as well as plane and cruise ship hi-jackings.  I also recall the IRA pulling off car bombs and kidnappings in Ireland and England.  That's what I always thought of when I thought of terrorists: They would plan random attacks to cause enough fear and uncertainty to get some prisoners released or get the government to the bargaining table.

Certainly the rebels (insurgents, guerillas) we are fighting in Afghanistan are not all terrorists by that measure, though they apparently share the same ideology as the car bombers and those plotting bombings and kidnappings around the world or may eventually graduate to individual acts of terror.  In a sense, the pirates of the Somali coast actually fit the definition of "terrorist" better than the combatants our military is facing.  We have to be careful to keep from labelling anyone who is against the United States and our policies a terrorist.

If WikiLeaks exists to help aid terrorists by disseminating sensitive information then you can make a logical argument that, by extension, they are terrorist as well.  Though I don't think anyone has come close to making such a claim yet, other than Rep. King. 

I'd like to know what the purpose of WikiLeaks is.  Is it purely profit-motivated, or does it exist soley as a source to try and compromise the government of the U.S. or to try and extort money from governments?  If the answer is the latter, then it starts to take on more of the look of a terrorist organization.

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