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The Paradox of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks 266

Posted by Soulskill
from the neither-animal,-vegetable,-or-mineral dept.
schnell writes "The New Statesman is publishing a new in-depth article that examines in detail the seemingly paradoxical nature of WikiLeaks' brave mission of public transparency with the private opaqueness of Julian Assange's leadership. On one hand, WikiLeaks created 'a transparency mechanism to hold governments and corporations to account' when nobody else could or would. On the other hand, WikiLeaks itself was 'guilty of the same obfuscation and misinformation as those it sought to expose, while its supporters are expected to follow, unquestioningly, in blinkered, cultish devotion.' If WikiLeaks performs a public service exposing the secrets of others but censors its own secrets, does it really matter? Or are the ethics of the organization and its leader inseparable?"
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The Paradox of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Friday February 08, 2013 @12:41PM (#42833499)

    Julian Assange may be a bit cocky, but keep in mind that a lot of this "Cult of Assange" shit and a lot of the infighting reports came from Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a person of VERY questionable motives and honesty--to say the least. His dubious book [amazon.com] is the source of many of these reports.

    Now personally, I've always strongly suspected that Domscheit-Berg was an intelligence plant at Wikileaks (working for the CIA, BND, or take your pick). He started to physically sabotage the organization pretty much from day one, acted a lot like an agent provocateur when he was there, destroyed some 3,500 unpublished whistleblower communications as he was leaving, immediately went on a campaign to discredit Wikileaks and Assange after he left, and then unsuccessfully tried [slashdot.org] to set up a leaks site himself that sounded suspiciously like a honeypot to me (send us your leaked documents and trust us to maybe release them to the press--or maybe just send some FBI agents to kick down your door). And apparently Assange suspected this too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RevDisk (740008)
      If he was a plant, he wouldn't have drawn attention to himself and would still quietly be working at Wikileaks, sabotaging whatever he could. Or giving at least a heads-up to his handlers. Don't get me wrong, informants can be problematic and handlers can be dumb. But all and all, if he was on the take, he'd be acting differently.

      Incompetence or ego is significantly more likely than malice.
    • by tinkerton (199273)

      Julian Assange may be a bit cocky, but keep in mind that a lot of this "Cult of Assange" shit and a lot of the infighting reports came from Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a person of VERY questionable motives and honesty--to say the least.

      I think this is the wrong focus. It's a diversion.
      Assange may be faulty and Domscheit-Berg may be faulty but why does all the attention keep going to their faults and the wikileaks flaws and so little to something that matters much more? To the need for wikileaks and to how it's b

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228)

        Look up who owns the NYT, hell look up who owns the majority of media outlets in the USA, you'll see the same half dozen names over and over and over. You got to give those in power credit, when they had the laws removed that kept them from owning more than a minority of a single market they gave themselves a blank check to own as many markets as they desired. And because they and the government are in bed together (look up what other companies these media cartels own, you'll find all kinds of government co

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by doom (14564)

      I like the Daniel Domscheit-Berg book myself, without being able to swear to it's veracity. It has the ring of truth about it, and while there are places where I disagree with the author I think the mistakes he makes are the ones that idealistic hackers are prone to -- e.g. he underrates the value of having a poster-boy like Assange (a position for which being egocentric is almost a job requirement), and D seemed to be groping for a purely technical solution to the wikileaks problem that would take all h

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      This sounds paranoid. Someone is opposed to your god-king and thus you must turn him into the devil.

  • by alphatel (1450715) * on Friday February 08, 2013 @12:41PM (#42833501)
    People are people, so why should it be, you and I should know everything about each other? Good fences make good neighbors?
    Corporations however, are either breaking your heart, or shaking your confidence daily, so you need to have loads of info on them.
    Or was that my pretend girlfriend Cecilia that I was stalking? Either way, you totally understand what I am saying.
    • by asylumx (881307)

      Or was that my pretend girlfriend Cecilia that I was stalking?

      Manti Te'o? Is that you?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 08, 2013 @12:44PM (#42833543)

    Wikileaks and all of the people working for it are OBVIOUSLY going to need to obfuscate details about themselves. Look at the absolutely living nightmare of a shitstorm that Assange has been dragged through. Look where he is now.

    But no, hey, let's be transparent. How about all of the contacts at Wikileaks post their full contact information. SURELY nobody on earth has any axe to grind against them, and they will remain in perfect harmony and safety.

    • So, due to the nature of their work, Wikileaks needs to keep some things secret. Governments can't follow the same rationale?
      • by fredprado (2569351) on Friday February 08, 2013 @01:33PM (#42834221)
        Nope, because governments and corporations are not people. They are virtual entities created and empowered by groups of people and have the responsibility to be transparent regarding what use they do of the power they receive from these people.
        • by Loughla (2531696)
          While governments and corporations are not people, I would argue that governments, at least, have some right to privacy in certain situations.

          Again, like with most things, it's not an all or nothing proposition. Should I know how my congressman voted on the last counter-espionage act? Absolutely. Should I know roughly what the spies that now receive funding are doing? Absolutely. Should I know where they're doing it or who they are? No. Maybe I should roughly know where they're operating - as in region of t

      • by aaaaaaargh! (1150173) on Friday February 08, 2013 @01:37PM (#42834311)

        Governments can't follow the same rationale?

        They're doing it and Wikileaks acts against it. What's your point? Surely governments and wikileaks are two completely different kinds of entities with completely different aims and purposes, just because Wikileaks advocates government transparency doesn't mean or imply in any way that they ought to advocate wikileaks transparency. There is no "paradox" to start with.

    • Indeed. It's a bit like accusing the police of having double standards. "What? You get to carry a gun wherever you go but when I do it I get arrested for bank robbery!?!?!"
  • My problem with wikileaks is its heavy anti-american bias. It seems like he wants to embarrass the U.S. just for the sake of embarrassment, and not to make the world "a more just society".
    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday February 08, 2013 @12:58PM (#42833779) Homepage Journal

      My problem with wikileaks is its heavy anti-american bias. It seems like he wants to embarrass the U.S. just for the sake of embarrassment, and not to make the world "a more just society".

      If you look at the great evils in the world today you can pretty much name them the USA, China, and Russia. They're the nations who are wandering around the planet dicking with other nations' governments the most, selling the most military hardware and/or engaging in the most metanational corporate activity. We could argue all day over whether these nations are truly in competition or are really engaged in dividing the globe up between themselves in a way they see as equitable and it wouldn't change a damn thing for the average man on the street anywhere in the world, including within these nations.

      The USA is projecting more power across the globe in the name of profit than any other nation, so naturally it should fall under the most scrutiny. And unfortunately, the more scrutiny you subject this government to, the more serious malfeasance you find. At some point you expect things to stop getting worse, but they don't; the system is rotten to the core. It might well look like the USA is being singled out, but perhaps the truth is that the USA is simply up to more misdeeds. The facts seem to support this hypothesis.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by dfenstrate (202098)

        If you look at the great evils in the world today you can pretty much name them the USA, China, and Russia.

        Yet Assange keeps his mouth shut about Russia- either because he doesn't care, or he knows the Russians won't hesitate to kill him if he tries this crap with them.
        Not so sure about the Chinese- but criticizing and screwing with America is pretty safe these days, which kind of makes the 'great evil' point of view rather silly.

        In other news, global power politics don't really mesh with some folks kum-by-

      • by tinkerton (199273)

        If you look at the great evils in the world today you can pretty much name them the USA, China, and Russia. That's really lumping everything together here. The three are very different. The us is militaristic and hegemonic but if you accept them as the boss things can work out reasonably well. China is not militaristic and expansionist (in relative terms) despite all the noise, but dealing them is one huge rip-off horror where you're getting screwed on all sides. And Russia, well, it's a small player.

        There

        • but if you accept them as the boss things can work out reasonably well

          You definitely live in fantasy land. I know it is hard for you to accept the truth, but in today's world, there is very little difference between dealing with US and dealing with China. And you often are better off dealing with the latter.

        • "China is not militaristic and expansionist (in relative terms) despite all the noise"

          Yeah, let's just ask India, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines. You should be ashamed of your self-inflicted cretinism.

      • Or maybe the fact Wikileaks doesn't want to deal with any other culture but the West. Perhaps it's a language barrier, lack of inside contacts, or the fact they don't give a damn. So they focus on the USA because it's such an easy target with low hanging fruit to exploit in the wild. Something like a never ending piñata that you can beat over and over to collect from a bottomless pit of goodies. Well guess what, such piñata's exist all over the world. Not that it matters. So yes, there is a bias.

    • by 1u3hr (530656)
      The Syria files embarrassed the US?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syria_Files [wikipedia.org]

      The US is embarrassed by things it SHOULD be embarrassed by.

    • by Bob9113 (14996)

      My problem with wikileaks is its heavy anti-american bias. It seems like he wants to embarrass the U.S. just for the sake of embarrassment, and not to make the world "a more just society".

      How could we possibly be embarrassed by our actions? We are a just society, and so it cannot possibly embarrass us for our actions to be published. If we are not guilty, we have nothing to hide.

      On a more serious note, have you actually looked at, for example, the diplomatic cables? They mostly show the US attempting to pro

  • by Dancindan84 (1056246) on Friday February 08, 2013 @12:46PM (#42833581)

    Anywhere you get news is going to have an agenda or be hypocritical to some extent (some obviously more than others). It's human nature. Take that into account when evaluating the information they give and look at sources from other perspectives as well before making informed decisions. If you wanted to disregarded news because the source was jaded in some way, you'd have to cut yourself off from media altogether.

  • by coastwalker (307620) <acoastwalker@@@hotmail...com> on Friday February 08, 2013 @12:48PM (#42833627) Homepage

    We the people do seem to have spent a lot of time blindly supporting Wiki-leaks without much critical analysis going on of whether the function was being done right or even being done well.

    Its rather too easy to just say that we are glad that they are sticking it to the man when they release stuff that causes governments serious embarrassment. But I dont see much discussion of the consequences to the behavior of Government in future as a result of un-redacted mass publishing of private information.

    We wouldn't be too happy as individuals if the contents of our lives were copied and published online so why is Wikileaks so immune from criticism? Its high time there was more constructive criticism of Wiki-leaks and its role in the world.

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday February 08, 2013 @12:53PM (#42833705) Homepage Journal

      We the people do seem to have spent a lot of time blindly supporting Wiki-leaks without much critical analysis going on of whether the function was being done right or even being done well.

      I'll worry more about that when they have more competition. I want done what they are doing. If they're the only hope of transparency, then I'm going to back them. If another, more credible hope appears, I'll back them instead.

    • by Applekid (993327)

      We the people do seem to have spent a lot of time blindly supporting Wiki-leaks without much critical analysis going on of whether the function was being done right or even being done well.

      Its rather too easy to just say that we are glad that they are sticking it to the man when they release stuff that causes governments serious embarrassment. But I dont see much discussion of the consequences to the behavior of Government in future as a result of un-redacted mass publishing of private information.

      We wouldn't be too happy as individuals if the contents of our lives were copied and published online so why is Wikileaks so immune from criticism? Its high time there was more constructive criticism of Wiki-leaks and its role in the world.

      If I committed crimes and acted in bad faith while people died through my actions and inactions, my arrest records, mug shots, and all my secrets would be revealed in court. Rightly so, I would also argue.

      So the question is, has Wikileaks published the contents of people's lives who have not done any wrong? If they start doing that, then we can start the criticism.

      The lack of consequences to the behavior of governments is because the people don't demand them, because they have swallowed the pill that Wikile

    • We wouldn't be too happy as individuals if the contents of our lives were copied and published online so why is Wikileaks so immune from criticism? Its high time there was more constructive criticism of Wiki-leaks and its role in the world.

      Because governments are not people. They should not enjoy any rights of privacy at all. It is anathema to what they stand for,

    • by Bob9113 (14996)

      without much critical analysis going on

      What cave have you been living in? The organization, its process, and the guy have been investigated, probed, and pilloried by governments, media, freelance journalists, and J Random Blogger.

      I dont see much discussion of the consequences to the behavior of Government in future

      Have you not noticed the backlash against America's use of diplomatic pressure to strong-arm European governments on copyright policy? Did you sleep through the Arab Spring?

      We wouldn't be too happ

  • propaganda (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 08, 2013 @12:49PM (#42833647)

    It's incredible how anti-Assange the US media is. They even try to create this pseudo-opinion of "I am really progressive and don't like war and all that, but Assange is just not right not to come clean about this."

    This is nothing but an empire fighting using the media, and some "intellectuals" not quite realizing how serious the situation really is. Of course the US government wants him dead and we know the US government kills right and left with no considerations for anything.

    • Re:propaganda (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday February 08, 2013 @01:26PM (#42834153) Homepage

      It's incredible how anti-Assange the US media is. They even try to create this pseudo-opinion of "I am really progressive and don't like war and all that, but Assange is just not right not to come clean about this."

      The US media is anti-Assange because the US government is anti-Assange. US news organizations have basically declared themselves tools of the government. Some examples of this:
      - There was recently a dust-up over the New York Times revealing the existence of a drone base in Saudi Arabia, a drone base that several news organizations had known about for 2 years but never reported on, even though its existence had been covered in other media. In other words, there was no legitimate reason to keep its existence secret, because any bad guys would have been able to find out about it using a sophisticated tool known as "Google", but media organizations in the US didn't say a word about it because the government asked them to keep it a secret.

      - Cenk Uygur was hired at MSNBC because of his successful online news program. He does a few shows, but then one of the network execs pulls him aside and tells him that some politicians in Washington don't like his reporting, so he needs to change it. Cenk didn't change it, and was promptly fired.

      - Several news organizations sat on a story that provided significant evidence of a massive illegal domestic surveillance program run by the Bush administration. For a year and a half. For the sole reason that the Bush administration had asked them to. It just so happened that that year and a half gave Bush enough time to be re-elected in the interim.

      Also, there's no major news organization that doesn't like war. War is exciting and entertaining. War draws in viewers and readers. War sells ads for the armed forces and cool guns and fast cars and action-packed movie extravaganzas. Remember, if it's white and bleeds, it leads (not-white and bleeds may be acceptable if no white victims are available).

      • Cenk Uygur? You mean that guy that;s right up there with Holocaust deniers, in his denial of the Armenian Genocide? Yea real credible guy.
    • The media doesn't like competition. When Assange started dropping major headlines he 1.) took eyeballs away from the latest Kim Kardashian sightings headlining in the MSM thus costing them money and forcing them to do real work, 2.) Made the MSM look trivial and incompetent since they obviously hadn't been paying much attention or care, 3.) endangered the cozy relationship media has with government by dsrupting their monopoly relationship.

  • by Applekid (993327) on Friday February 08, 2013 @12:51PM (#42833683)

    Exposing secrets of powerful institutions that can manipulate the fate of humanity isn't in the same league as the secrets that organization may hold. Isn't even the same galaxy.

    You can't take revenge and prosecute the powers that be. If you could, they wouldn't be powers and they wouldn't require whistleblowing. Wikileaks, on the otherhand, is very destructible.

    • There's always a justification to hide something, and the organization doing the hiding always thinks they have the right...

  • He has an agenda. Which is fine. Except that he's not entirely open about it. It'd be more honest, but admittedly not as effective, if he just announced his intentions upfront and transparently. Are the folks he outs bad people? Probably. Doesn't mean he's a good guy. Half of the United States' foreign policy problems stem from a belief in "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". Not by a landslide.

    Everyone has an axe to grind. Figuring it out is sometimes easy, sometimes extremely convoluted. Assange has
  • diplomacy is strong arming other nations
    diplomats talk bad about other government officials in private because most top government officials are workaholics who don't mind pissing off others
    us is killing civilians in our wars
    bankers aren't these glorious people who give you a mortgage with a smile. i know, i ride the train with a lot of them to work.

    newsflash to nerds, real life is not star wars or star trek where everyone calls others by their official government/military title and says how awesome they ar

  • by yuje (1892616) on Friday February 08, 2013 @01:11PM (#42833921)

    is not incompatible with personal privacy.

  • I don't think transparency is their goal.

    Their goal is to push their political adgenda which is basically anti- anything big & powerful.
    Transparency is just a cover.

    The reality is we need transparency and accountability to control the big powers effectively.
    However, realistically they also need some secrets to function effectively.

    It isn't black and white like crypto, with a public algorithm and secret key where everyone (with a clue) is in agreement where the line is.

    In the real world the division of w

  • Secrecy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msheekhah (903443) on Friday February 08, 2013 @01:13PM (#42833945)
    The secrecy was designed to protect the volunteers that worked on his project. He was anonymous for a long time, before he was outed. He takes the safety of his volunteers seriously, even if he does work them pretty hard.
  • Livestrong (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kaze (55923) <<eschewed> <at> <steelrabbit.com>> on Friday February 08, 2013 @01:21PM (#42834085) Homepage

    Is Livestrong's anti-cancer mission any less worthy now that Lance Armstrong is de-famed?

  • There was a prominent article a few years back from an ex-intelligence guy warning Assange that he would be the victim of kompromat (most frequently a sexual honeypot). That subsequently Assange happened to be accused of rape by a woman who was thrown out of Cuba on charges of working with the CIA may be mere coincidence (a valid roll on a million-sided die) but regardless, Assange wasn't able to put his organization over his hormones, which calls into question the appropriateness of his leadership.

    Meanwhi

  • on as those it sought to expose, while its supporters are expected to follow, unquestioningly, in blinkered, cultish devotion.' If WikiLeaks performs a public service exposing the secrets of others but censors its own secrets, does it really matter?

    No, it doesn't matter. The situations are not parallel. Wikileaks isn't an elected government. They don't and can't "censor" information about themselves or anyone. They keep secrets, same as any reporter does, in particular to keep sources confidential to protect them. No matter how big a jerk Assange is, it's irrelevant to anyone except those who work with him. And clearly Assange could not "censor" stories about himself. "Cultish"? Bollocks. No one was setting themselves on fire on his command.

  • while its supporters are expected to follow, unquestioningly, in blinkered, cultish devotion.

    Expected by whom? Who cares what you claim someone expects? I support Wikileaks, and I think Assange is megalomaniacal, and I think they should be more forthcoming with their material and process. An unsubstantiated claim that someone expects something does not imply that supporters of Wikileaks are blinkered, cultish, devotees. This is a shallow and transparent attempt to manipulate people's perception and make the

  • by mpfife (655916) on Friday February 08, 2013 @01:48PM (#42834475)
    I'm glad someone wrote up an article about this. I'm actually for the kind of transparency he's promoting; and I think his work has shown that governments cannot and should not be allowed to hide from the truth. He's a brave new pioneer into the kind of work the 'free press' should be doing - but do not because of their limitations (should all reporters know basic hacking techniques in the future - question for another time). WRT the article, referring to his org as a cult is a bit much (but I'm sure there's elements in there as there always are), but here's the real problem with his organization:

    His organization has and gets very secret information. This information is often so powerful/secret/damning that could potentially bring down banks, companies, individuals, or maybe even countries or at least their regimes. There are a number of problems with a sole person with this much power.
    How do we know if he's not 'cherry-picking' information and just releasing what he wants to cause the reaction he wants? Does he fact-check anything he releases at all? We know news organizations Fox/NPR/et al can do exactly this to sway public opinion. Just because he's releasing information doesn't mean he's releasing ALL the information that would paint a full picture. It doesn't tell us if he's at all modified or tampered with that information. Unless the person who's accused comes out with counter-proof (if there is even a way if the leaked info was purely made up anyway), there is no way to know without a LOT of fact checking of likely terribly secret stuff. But the damage would be done by then. At best it turns into a credibility war; and with no transparency on either side - who are we to believe?
    With information so central and key to financial and government systems, what is to keep Assange and co from going rouge and extorting or holding companies, countries or people for blackmail? "Just leave me alone Obama or I'll dump all that stuff about those drone strike kills you ordered". "Ok Goldman, give me 5 million dollars/year and a Lear jet or I leak how you knew about the housing collapse and fed into it" He very well could have information right now that could upset major governments and/or financial institutions, bankrupt huge corporations, and plunge the world into chaos/worse recession. With as somewhat unstable as he seems at times - do you really trust one man bouncing from country to country - living in hotel rooms - to make decisions to 'do the right thing' at all times?
    These are all the exact same problems that news organizations have. They must fact check, and release information in a way that promotes truth in our organizations without destroying the very things we need to survive in a modern world. He has none of these burdens.
    • I'd agree with you, except Assange doesn't have some intrinsic power to information. His "power" is that he's trusted to release this information with the wides disbursal. The moment he develops the appearance if cherry picking, he loses that power and whistleblowers will use other outlets.

  • by jd659 (2730387) on Friday February 08, 2013 @02:01PM (#42834683)
    "WikiLeaks itself was 'guilty of the same obfuscation"

    The article misses the point of the premise for more government transparency. The main idea is that the more damage a particular entity can do, the more transparency there should be. If a government can decide whom to kill, there should be a full disclosure of the protocol and a way to correct any errors. If such entity is an organization (say that supplies drinking water), there should be an equal transparency for the same reason that any misstep can do a lot of harm.

    This universal principle does not get limited to a case of government vs. citizens. For example, if we as people grant special powers to a policeman to detain anyone while on the job, there should be rigorous checks and disclosures in place at the time when that policeman has those special powers. On the other hand, when he goes home and has no such privileges, his privacy should be protected just as anyone’s else.

    Wikileaks is not about disclosing “everything about everyone,” but rather about preventing the abuse of power, which is very much a basic requirement for a healthy and just society.
  • by Vitriol+Angst (458300) on Friday February 08, 2013 @02:14PM (#42834859)

    On the other hand, WikiLeaks itself was 'guilty of the same obfuscation and misinformation as those it sought to expose, while its supporters are expected to follow, unquestioningly, in blinkered, cultish devotion.'

    Back in the day we used to have investigative journalists. We didn't get to know what color underwear Walter Cronkite war, or whether Dan Rather burped after a big meal -- somehow we trudged on.

    I did not realize that when I went to WikiLeaks to get some INFORMATION I should know as part of a transparent Democracy (because otherwise, how am I an informed citizen?) -- that I was being "slavish". I'm surprised I'm also not part of a cult and heralding Assange as the next Jesus -- isn't that how these straw man arguments go?

    I don't give a rats ass about Julian Assange -- he has no real power in this world to abuse. He is beside the point.

    Al Gore can make a speech about global warming -- and the environment will change based on science in action -- not whether Al Gore has integrity, or we should worship him. He could be a crook -- it doesn't matter. He's been telling the truth AFAIK, but we don't "sink or swim" on sea level rise based on the messenger.

    Screw everyone who thinks that we have to hold people accountable for bringing us information. Debate the damn information -- or shut the fuck up. Anyone who wants to conflate the purpose of WikiLeaks with some bedroom gazing of it's founder or maybe the Janitor can kiss my damn ass. That goes for any subject in the future; debate the science, debate the value, debate the information. You debate the "personality" and we know you are an a-hole.

    The "begging of the question" here truly pisses me off.

    • by elucido (870205)

      On the other hand, WikiLeaks itself was 'guilty of the same obfuscation and misinformation as those it sought to expose, while its supporters are expected to follow, unquestioningly, in blinkered, cultish devotion.'

      Back in the day we used to have investigative journalists. We didn't get to know what color underwear Walter Cronkite war, or whether Dan Rather burped after a big meal -- somehow we trudged on.

      I did not realize that when I went to WikiLeaks to get some INFORMATION I should know as part of a transparent Democracy (because otherwise, how am I an informed citizen?) -- that I was being "slavish". I'm surprised I'm also not part of a cult and heralding Assange as the next Jesus -- isn't that how these straw man arguments go?

      I don't give a rats ass about Julian Assange -- he has no real power in this world to abuse. He is beside the point.

      Al Gore can make a speech about global warming -- and the environment will change based on science in action -- not whether Al Gore has integrity, or we should worship him. He could be a crook -- it doesn't matter. He's been telling the truth AFAIK, but we don't "sink or swim" on sea level rise based on the messenger.

      Screw everyone who thinks that we have to hold people accountable for bringing us information. Debate the damn information -- or shut the fuck up. Anyone who wants to conflate the purpose of WikiLeaks with some bedroom gazing of it's founder or maybe the Janitor can kiss my damn ass. That goes for any subject in the future; debate the science, debate the value, debate the information. You debate the "personality" and we know you are an a-hole.

      The "begging of the question" here truly pisses me off.

      Julian Assange had/has plenty of power. He knows and has information. Information that he has is powerful if it's the kind which can put lives at risk.

      The point is that Julian Assange is ultimately just a man. All men get corrupted over time just like all men age over time.

  • sent by grocery clerks to collect a bill. Amazing what depths the halls of power will plumb when threatened with the exposure of their own corruption and stinking hipocracy.
  • However, mind that what you want to watch is the Wikileaks organization, not the Wikileaks leader, for openness.

    For instant Godwinization, if what you are worried about is the SS, why are you worried about whether Himmler wears boxers or briefs? (Or whether he beds his wife vs unmarried women of loose morals?)

The first version always gets thrown away.

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