Wikileaks a real threat?

So I recently watched a documentary about Wikileaks and Assange the founder.
You know what I found interesting?
China and Iran banned it and the US is trying to suppress it.

US can’t ban it because of constitutional laws, but they seem to be trying to make sure the info don’t get out.

Yet Foxnews goes on about how traitorous it is, but how is that when we are talking freedom of speech? So has Foxnews become pro China? Pro Iran? Because China and Iran has the exact same opinion regarding wikileaks.

I guess what Fox hasn’t realized is that wikileaks has been embarrassing for a number of countries, not just the US.

We need Wikileaks. They do us a service. If the government is completely free from the people scrutiny it will act badly.

How can a non-American be a traitor to America?

The concept of free speech doesn’t require any government to stand idly by to watch military and foreign affairs secrets be recklessly disclosed.

Frankly, it is a pretty stupid argument to say that because some people don’t want to have US military secrets disclosed, that those people are “pro-Iran” or “pro-China.” Does this facile line of reasoning actually need to be debated?

By default. If he loved America he would have been born in it.

I guess in this case it’s about the spirit of free speech.

Perhaps you feel US investigations should not be questioned.
But is that a good idea?

Wikileasks have exposed some nasty stuff in Iran, China and a number of countries.
You have to ask, Why>

The freedom of Fox News to libel someone as a “traitor” when he is not one?

Where in the world did you get that from? Certainly not from anything typed in this thread.

I do not mean this to be a personal remark, but I am having a hard time understanding these comments, and I’m not sure if that is because they are poorly phrased or if English might be your second language. Maybe if you could clarify what you mean by “US investigations” and what you mean by “why”, I could respond. Why did wikileaks uncover secrets in China? Why did China have secrets? That question makes no sense.

I’m guessing they think the person who leaked the materials was the traitor.

Where did Wikileaks “recklessly” disclose anything?

Do you have any idea how Wikileaks works?

I’m not sure making fine distinctions is the forté of Fox News or its intended audience.

The views of the editors of the New York Times, the Guardian and (IIRC) Der Speigel were that Wikileaks was that Assange acted with incredible irresponsibility when it became clear that Assange did not particularly care very much about redacting the names of informants which appeared in the initial tranche of stolen documents.

The New York Times took care to redact names when it published its documents, and refused to link directly to Wikileaks because they refused to do the same.


I think it is, indeed, reckless to be more concerned about gaining the “respect” of a newspaper than worrying about the well-being of people who were trying to inform the authorities of where to find Taliban fighters. Furthermore, after this episode, Wikileaks apparently started putting some effort into redacting names in its subsequent releases.

If releasing the names of informants isn’t “reckless,” why do you suppose Wikileaks changed its editorial policies after it was embarrassed in the media the first time around?

I fail to see the point of your second question, other than to imply an ad hominem to the effect that I don’t know what I’m talking about.

You said “recklessly” which implies you don’t know how they work.

“Reckless” would be to take the information they get and dump it wholesale onto the the internet and let the chips fall where they may.

Instead the information is given to major media and those organizations do their due diligence. Indeed much of what they get is run by the State Department for comment and redaction before anything is published.

If Wikileaks amended its policy to better protect people then that is also not “reckless” but rather a conscientious action. As they operate they seek to improve the process.

As for outing Taliban informants can you cite one case of even one person being harmed because of Wikileaks actions (not counting embarrassment of public figures)? Someone who has lost their life or been captured and imprisoned?

Wikileaks provided a database of documents to several newspapers in order to generate publicity for the impending release of the Afghanistan documents. The newspapers had a come-to-Jesus meeting with Assange in which David Leigh, the Guardian editor, strongly urged Assange to redact the names of low-level Afghan informants. According to Leigh in the Frontline piece referenced by the OP, Assange’s response was “These people were collaborators, informants. They deserve to die.”

Read more:

Three days later, Assange went ahead and published 70,000 documents without redactions. He was unwilling to take any additional time to make an effort to review the stolen files.

Your reference to giving the State Department the documents for their comments and redaction is barely true. First of all, Assange first proffered the idea of having the government edit the documents by sending an email to an AP reporter for him to pass on to the White House. The reporter did so with the caveat that the reporter did not believe Assange’s offer to be in good faith.

The government then told Assange that they would not cooperate with his efforts to publish the stolen classified material. The General Counsel of the State Department made clear that they would not participate in the process: Link.

Assange’s efforts to have the State Department or the Pentagon do what he is unwilling to do, but reputable journalists are willing to do (edit the documents before release) does not mean he is acting responsibly. That’s just laughable. He’s trying to pawn off work on others, and then blaming them for not cooperating with him.

As far as your last question goes, I don’t know of anyone who has been killed because of Wikileaks. I’m not sure we would know if some low-level informant gets killed. But that doesn’t mean that the activity isn’t reckless, as the editors of several major newspapers warned Assange. To use another example, if I smoke crack, drive my car at 140 mph, and shoot an AK-47 out the window, are those actions responsible if nobody gets killed; but reckless if someone does indeed get hurt?

On a slightly different issue, how do you feel about Jonathan Pollard? He was the American who gave secrets to Israel, and is now serving a life sentence. Do you think he did anything wrong?

My point is. Wikileaks is not specifically anti-American.
It has exposed corruption in a number of countries.
China and Iran has taken the action of banning it in their country.
The US has not yet banned it, but they have prosecuted people involved in releasing “secret” information to wikileaks.
The US has also officially condemned wikileaks. Hilary Clinton did this.
My impression is the want to ban it if they could. Making them as bad as Iran and China. To be fair, they haven’t. Matter of time?

We used to have some respect for whistleblowers who revealed the seedy side of companies and the government. The last decade or so, we have come down very hard on them.
We should encourage people to tell about illegal and unethical deeds of the government and companies. many of them are heroes. I hope Assange and Wiki do more. There is supposed to be a lot of info about the misdeeeds of the bankers who brought the economy to its knees. I hope they come out.

Banning WikiLeaks would violate the First Amendment to the Constitution. It won’t happen. However, “prosecut[ing] people involved in releasing ‘secret’ information” (actually, one person, Bradley Manning) does not violate the first amendment, since the information leaked was classified. There are very clear rules governing classification.

In reality, people need to keep secrets for both good and bad reasons. For example, good reasons: to protect the identities of your agents, or to let your diplomats make honest assessments of foreign dignitaries. Bad reasons: to hide corruption, to mislead the public, or to cover up crimes. Assange (but not his staff) is all about not letting people keep secrets for any reason — except, of course, himself. WikiLeaks’ nondisclosure policy is extraordinarily draconian.

I watched this same documentary. Assange reminded me of a witch-hunting puritan.

My point is, it’s possible to be genuinely reform-minded about things that legitimately need reform, and still be an SOB. Frankly, the only people who came out looking good of the entire episode were the newspaper guys from the New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel.