US Investigators Can't Find Any Direct Connection Between Manning And Assange

from the so-now-what-happens? dept

US officials have been trying everything they can think of to get Bradley Manning to claim that there was some sort of conspiracy between him and Julian Assange concerning the leaked State Department cables. The US needs that in order to bring any sort of credible case against Assange in the US. Unfortunately for those US officials, so far the investigation can find no actual link between the two men, meaning that any US legal case against Assange is a pretty difficult path. It will be interesting to see what comes next. Amusingly, in our past discussions on this, some of our commenters insisted that it was "obvious" that Assange and Manning had formed a conspiracy, so I'm curious to see how they react to this bit of news.


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    johnjac (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    obvious is shorthand

    Obvious is shorthand for I'm too lazy to make my case.

    Obviously this is correct.

     

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    Pickle Monger (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:08pm

    Where there's a will, there's a way

    Proving Iraq had WMDs was a slam dunk. I'm sure they could find something to put Assange in prison (at least for a while) too. As they say, it's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

     

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      DCX2, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 3:27pm

      Re: Where there's a will, there's a way

      Actually, the Bush administration "proved" Saddam had ties with al-Qaeda by rendering Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi to Egypt for torture. Of course al-Libi would say whatever his torturers wanted to hear in order to make the torture stop.

      Sometimes, I wonder if the Obama administration is trying to "prove" that Manning had ties to Assange by holding him in solitary confinement (sorry..."Prevention of Injury watch") until he tells his torturers what they want hear in order to make his torture stop.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:39pm

    Obviously the conspiracy is to hide all evidence of the conspiracy. It wouldn't be a good conspiracy if it was obvious. Duh.

    C'mon Mike, keep up!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:40pm

    "The officials say that while investigators have determined that Manning had allegedly unlawfully downloaded tens of thousands of documents onto his own computer and passed them to an unauthorized person, there is apparently no evidence he passed the files directly to Assange, or had any direct contact with the controversial WikiLeaks figure."

    Left hand and right hand do not have to have direct contact. Manning gave them to person X, with full intention of them being on Wikileaks. Perhaps the "american wikileaks" guy was involved. Who knows?

    It doesn't negate the issue that the documents are in Assange's control.

     

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      Eugene (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:46pm

      Re:

      What it negates is the ability for the prosecutors to say they have any hard evidence to that effect whatsoever. That's sort of the reason for this story's existence. The investigators wouldn't dare admit this unless they've given up on this tack altogether.

      Basically, this is just a preamble to them focusing entirely on Manning to the exclusion of Assange.

       

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:46pm

      Re:

      "It doesn't negate the issue that the documents are in Assange's control."

      Which does nothing for their attempted conspiracy charges. Try again....

       

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      The Infamous Joe (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:49pm

      Re:

      Holy crap! You should be an FBI agent! Even with all their resources they couldn't prove Manning's "full intentions" to hand it over to wikileaks. Case closed everyone, Green flower AC has this covered!

      It doesn't negate the issue that the documents are in Assange's control.

      More good work! Assange has the documents! You figured it out! Well played, sir. Well played.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:54pm

        Re: Re:

        Manning got the docuemnts, now Assange has the documents. How did they get from point A to point B? Didn't Assange already mention having the very discs that Manning used?

        Remember, Wikileaks isn't just Assange. They were unable to show that he had passed the files directly to Assange, but clearly they got there. The question remains "how?".

         

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          The eejit (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:58pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          FedEx, as always.

           

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          Eugene (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 3:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Um...he uploaded them to Wikileaks. The documents and video ended up in their database with no author attribution because that's how Wikileaks works. Then the people who run Wikileaks reviewed said information unaware of Manning's existence, and decided to upload it - a decision provably independent of Manning's intent.

          This is not a mystery, and it doesn't count as conspiracy, as it's defined by U.S. law. Hence why they're admitting, *themselves*, that there is no link between them.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 3:10pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Ellsberg got the documents, now NYTimes has the documents!

          OH NO!

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:50pm

      Re:

      Your continued desperation is so amusing, TAM. Keep it up!

       

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      Anonymous Howard, Cowering, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 3:02pm

      Re: AC#4

      Exactly! Which is why the rifle manufacturer was found guilty in the JFK assassination. "Left and right hand do not have to have direct contact" -- Brilliant! Reform the Warren Commission! Exhume the deceased members thereof!

      We'll get to the bottom of this, even if it takes all decade.

      Sir, I would applaud your insight; but apparently, left and right hand DO have to have contact for that...

       

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      Gabriel Tane (profile), Jan 26th, 2011 @ 5:33am

      Re:

      "It doesn't negate the issue that the documents are in Assange's control."
      Why do people keep trying to make Wikileaks and Assange synonymous? Wikileaks can and will continue to exist without Assange. So, if you want to say "they're in the hands of WL", fine. But stop trying to pursue Assange for it.

       

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      BearGriz72 (profile), Jan 27th, 2011 @ 7:49pm

      Re:

      "It doesn't negate the issue that the documents are in Assange's control."

      You seem to forget that Julian Assange ≠ WikiLeaks He is part of it but just because the files showed up on WikiLeaks does not prove he was involved.

       

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 2:44pm

    Easy peasy.

    It's obvious to them because they know it in their gut.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 3:06pm

    How often do hard drives fail?

    I know of situations where contents of hard drives, used in datacenters, were returned to manufacturers for repair. As part of the diagnostic process, data was in fact recovered and combed through by the manufacturer, then the contents was made available for public dissemination. It was a big problem.

    For all we know, these documents were acquired in a similar way.

     

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      Thanatos, Jan 26th, 2011 @ 2:23am

      Re: How often do hard drives fail?

      How many times over the last few years have we heard of federal (and corporate for that matter) employees losing or getting stolen laptops with a sorts of data on them?

      For that matter, perhaps he handed them off to me and I gave them to Julian.

      Any way it goes, they are treating Manning in a way that is so morally reprehensible that the who's did who banter is moot. Over a year in solitary confinement without being brought to trial because the government is too effin retarded to be able to make a case! Need to lock ever government official up in a VERY deep hole and fill it in with concrete.

       

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        Christopher (profile), Jan 26th, 2011 @ 8:29am

        Re: Re: How often do hard drives fail?

        Agreed, with everything but the 'lock government official' stuff. The fact is that Manning should have been brought to trial by now. If they have NOT brought him to trial (which the USMC has in it the same 'file charges after arrest' and try period as civilian law), then it's time to say that they are on a fishing expedition and to bring him to trial or release him.... one or the frigging other!

         

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    Mr. Smarta**, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 4:07pm

    Yeah, that's not true because both Manning and Assange live on the same planet. They're both human and have two arms and two legs. They both breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. They both surfed the internet and have names. At least two more bits of proof... they have a left nad and a right nad. That's your proof!! If you can't put those things together and come up with the fact that they conspired together, you're nuts! It's blatently obvious.

    If that's not enough, we'll lobby Congress to pass a law claiming it. We can start it off "Anyone with the last names 'Manning' and 'Assange' having anything to do with a website with letters and words and crap are automatically considered conspiring together to overthrow every government on the entire planet and must be sent to prison for no less than 1.5 million years." See? There. Done. No more worries.

     

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      Chris Rhodes (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 5:22pm

      Re:

      At least two more bits of proof... they have a left nad and a right nad.

      Only an enraged feminist in Sweden knows for sure . . .

       

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        ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 6:08pm

        Re: Re:

        Testicular Torsion is no laughing matter, mister.

         

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        Rose M. Welch (profile), Jan 26th, 2011 @ 12:04am

        Re: Re:

        Only an enraged feminist in Sweden knows for sure . . .

        Yes, because a woman who is either:

        a. a victim of sexual assault, or
        b. a spurned lover

        must be a feminist. I mean, of course, she is, because a non-feminist wouldn't refused a man, or claimed to ave refused a man. Only feminists can do that. Of course.

         

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          Chris Rhodes (profile), Jan 26th, 2011 @ 8:08am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Erm, I thought one of them was literally a feminist blogger in Sweden.

          Or does the fact that she is now an alleged victim mean that her previous activism is null and void and describing her as such is evidence of male chauvinism?

           

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            Christopher (profile), Jan 26th, 2011 @ 8:33am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            One of them is literally a feminist blogger in Sweden, you are correct on that, and the OTHER or the same one has ties to the CIA.... which makes me even more skeptical of these charges.

            Not to mention that they were dismissed, resumed, dismissed again, and resumed again... this is the FRIGGING FOURTH TIME they have reignited this investigation.

            I am sorry, but when that happens (unless it is YEARS after the fact and in something like a murder investigation where someone could have vacated their home and more evidence was found).... there is no real case.

            These women have also changed their stories SO GODDAMNED MUCH that they have no credibility left! I'm lumping them in the same category as the Duke accuser... LIAR CENTRAL!

             

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              Rose M. Welch (profile), Jan 26th, 2011 @ 10:22am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              How do you know what their stories were? Have you spoken with them or seen any police reports? I've only seen badly-sourced news articles, so there's no real way for me to even guess if these women (or their statements) are being portrayed accurately.

               

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            Rose M. Welch (profile), Jan 26th, 2011 @ 10:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Apparently, one of them is, in fact, a feminist, but your comment is still chauvinist.

            Unless you regularly mention describe people with adjectives that have nothing to do with the topic, such as 'a gay Congressional official', 'pizza-loving Pat Robertson', or 'Jesus Martinez, detective novel connoisseur'?

             

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              Chris Rhodes (profile), Jan 27th, 2011 @ 9:24pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Apparently, one of them is, in fact, a feminist

              Given your newfound knowledge, unless you didn't actually mean to imply with your post that I think that every woman that comes forward with rape allegations is an automatic example of feminism-run-amok, I would appreciate an apology.

              Unless you regularly mention describe people with adjectives that have nothing to do with the topic

              You can't imagine how an ultra-feminist viewpoint might possibly play into an alleged case of rape-by-being-condom-less?

              Really? Completely unrelated? Not even remotely in the realm of possibility?

               

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                Rose M. Welch (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 6:32am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Given your newfound knowledge...

                Not newfound knowledge. I've been following this fairly closely.

                ...unless you didn't actually mean to imply with your post that I think that every woman that comes forward with rape allegations is an automatic example of feminism-run-amok...

                That's not what I implied. I implied that her feminist views didn't matter, by repeatedly highlighting their mention to show how silly it seems.

                I would appreciate an apology.

                So would I, but I'm reasonably sure that you're not going to apologize to myself or any other feminist for acting as though our views had something to do with a false rape allegation. I think your privilege is blocking your view of how incredibly offensive that is.

                You can't imagine how an ultra-feminist viewpoint might possibly play into an alleged case of rape-by-being-condom-less?

                No, I can't. I can imagine someone who calls them self a feminist seeking legal revenge, but it's like Glenn Beck calling himself a doctor, with a self-granted doctorate from his unaccredited university. He can say it all he wants, but no one should take it seriously.

                Really? Completely unrelated? Not even remotely in the realm of possibility?

                Again, really unrelated, unless you can tell me what a belief in equal rights has to do with rape?

                 

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                  The Infamous Joe (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 7:18am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I dunno, she doesn't seem like your average feminist, from what I've read from various sources. There are extremists for every idea.

                  http://www.operationprotest.com/julian-assange-rape-allegations-story-behind-the-girls

                   

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                    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 4:47pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I dunno, she doesn't seem like your average feminist, from what I've read from various sources. There are extremists for every idea.

                    Exactly my point. Mentioning her self-proclaimed feminism in regards to her actions is like mentioning McVeigh's citizenship in regards to his actions. While initially surprising, it's clear that they have nothing to do with their actions, making it as irrelevant to the issue as gender, race, or ice cream flavor preference would be.

                     

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                  Gabriel Tane (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:02am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Sorry, I gotta toss my $0.02 on this one...

                  Rose, I get what you're saying and I agree. But I think you're misinterpreting Chris' statement as an attack on feminism in general. I think he was talking about the fact that the accuser has a known viewpoint which should be taken into account.

                  It's an ugly fact, but I have known a few militant-feminists who would have like to see parts of my anatomy in a vice because I opened a door for them. They take an extremist viewpoint against men, not just for women. So if this woman is of the type who would pursue extreme measures in seeking 'justice' against an offending man, that has to be looked at. I'm sorry, but it just does. Now, if she has a legitimate case, the feminist viewpoint would be dismissed as irrelevant. But to ignore that possibility because it's offensive to feminists or chauvinistic is not equality, it's pandering that borders on misandry.

                   

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                    Rose M. Welch (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 4:42pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    But I think you're misinterpreting Chris' statement as an attack on feminism in general.

                    That's certainly what it seemed like. Are you interpreting it differently? I mean, if he was aiming it at one person, specifically, why would he use a term that encompasses an entire group of people? Instead of, you know, her name.

                    I think he was talking about the fact that the accuser has a known viewpoint which should be taken into account.

                    I'd certainly say that publishing instructions on how to get legal revenge on men should be taken into account, but feminism... is really the opposite of that.

                    It's an ugly fact, but I have known a few militant-feminists who would have like to see parts of my anatomy in a vice because I opened a door for them.

                    It's an ugly fact, but the FBI has an entire list of Americans that would love to blow up other Americans. When it happens, like with McVeigh and Nichols, we don't blame it on all Americans, do we? Nope.

                    So if this woman is of the type who would pursue extreme measures in seeking 'justice' against an offending man, that has to be looked at.

                    Absolutely it does, but you've failed to link extreme revenge measures to feminism.

                    But to ignore that possibility because it's offensive to feminists or chauvinistic is not equality, it's pandering that borders on misandry.

                    How so? Feminism doesn't advocate false testimony. Feminists everywhere are angry about this woman's actions. Actual feminists understand the huge harm that false accusations do to the victims of their false accusations and victims of actual assault. I mean, it's one of the biggest problems in getting the idea of a rape culture over to the general populace, and she engaged in it. To blame her actions on her self-appointed feminism is offense and chauvinistic.

                    And misandry has nothing to do with this. I didn't challenge his statement because he's got a penis. (If he does. Chris is a fairly ambiguous name, and this is the Internet. :P) I challenged it because it was wrong, just as I would have if it had come from 'Christine'.

                     

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                      Chris Rhodes (profile), Jan 29th, 2011 @ 9:24am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I'd certainly say that publishing instructions on how to get legal revenge on men should be taken into account, but feminism... is really the opposite of that.

                      You and I would agree, but not every self-identifying feminist would, I think (luckily, they would be a minority view). It's easy to say "Well then, they aren't really feminists", but that seems to run into No True Scotsman territory.

                       

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                        Rose M. Welch (profile), Jan 29th, 2011 @ 12:35pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Okay, first, I didn't say that she wasn't a feminist. She may be a feminist. I don't know and am not qualified to judge her in that capacity. What I said was that her feminist views (if she has any) have nothing to do with her actions, just as her ice cream flavor preferences have nothing to do with it.

                        Next, I understand the No True Scotsman fallacy, but I don't believe that it applies here. For instance, this woman is calling herself a rape victim. Pointing out that she's not a rape victim, and that calling her one is offensive to actual rape victims is not fallacious.

                        So, to conclude, this woman's actions were not feminist in nature. Pointing out that this was not a feminist action and that calling her a feminist in regards to this action is offensive is not fallacious (or misandrist, for that matter).

                         

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                      Gabriel Tane (profile), Jan 31st, 2011 @ 7:55am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "That's certainly what it seemed like. Are you interpreting it differently? I mean, if he was aiming it at one person, specifically, why would he use a term that encompasses an entire group of people? Instead of, you know, her name."
                      Because the fact that she appears to have a 'radical feminist' viewpoint should be taken into it. To me, he was aiming his statement at a person and bringing back into light a, in my opinion, relevant fact.


                      "I'd certainly say that publishing instructions on how to get legal revenge on men should be taken into account, but feminism... is really the opposite of that."
                      Yes, proper feminism, not it's militant extreme, is the opposite of what this lady seems to be representing. Would it have been better if Chris had said "only a militant-not-really-representative-of-actual-feminism-feminist in Sweden would know..."?



                      "It's an ugly fact, but the FBI has an entire list of Americans that would love to blow up other Americans. When it happens, like with McVeigh and Nichols, we don't blame it on all Americans, do we? Nope."
                      I'm not really sure that this is relevant to the argument. Does seem a bit straw-man-ish. Did Chris reference all Swedes? No, he referenced a smaller group that this lady claimed to be a part of (if by action, if not by actual statement). A closer analogy would be blaming all members of whatever group(s) these bombers were members.

                      I mean, if we want to keep going, we can just blame all humans for all actions, good or ill. While this is true, it loses the point.


                      "Absolutely it does, but you've failed to link extreme revenge measures to feminism."
                      As I stated in the paragraph above the one you quoted, I was linking this action to 'extreme' or 'militant' feminism. I think I've already made the point that I agree there is a difference. Why would I want to link the extreme back to 'real' feminism? The only linking I was making was this person’s actions back to her social views, which do seem damned relevant to the case.



                      On the last part of it (too much to try & quote here), I do think that overlooking a feminist (extreme or otherwise) viewpoint... or any view point given by a particular group... for fear of angering that group is pandering. If that viewpoint has been seen in the past as very relevant to accusations of rape, then it needs to be looked at.

                      This lady seems to be of a militant feminist view to the point of being ‘against men’. Yes, I understand that this is not really feminism… I get that. As I said… it’s ugly, it’s wrong, but it’s true that there are women out there who would cry rape to get a man in trouble who has offended them. And if this lady seems to fall into that group, that view needs to be examined. If it turns out to be irrelevant and she has a legitimate case, fine… full speed ahead to justice. But you don’t overlook a possible connection because it’s a controversial one or it may offend someone.

                      I will quote this one though:
                      "To blame her actions on her self-appointed feminism is offense and chauvinistic."
                      No it's not. From the stories I read, she engaged in consensual sex. He is being charged through a loophole that sex without a condom, consensual or not, is rape. It appears that, based on her own actions and blogging, she is of an extreme-feminist view. So how is examining a link between her action of accusing him of loop-hole rape and that anti-man view offensive or chauvinistic? If you have a problem of her taking on a self-appointed affiliation with feminism, fine... take that up with her. But when it seems she takes action based on that view-point, don't go after the people who bring that possibility to light.

                      If I say “oh look, she’s crying rape because she’s a militant-feminist” and I dismiss the investigation, that’s wrong and offensive. If I say “hold on a second… is she maybe exaggerating or lying because she hates men and he’s a man?”, and then continue investigating, how is that wrong?

                      Maybe you got the idea that I hate feminists… I don’t. Any person who believes in the empowerment of their own group is alright in my book. I do have problems with the extreme examples of most groups I’ve seen… including feminism.

                      So, should Chris have stated "only a militant-not-really-representative-of-actual-feminism-feminist in Sweden would know..."? Maybe. Was he attacking feminists all over? Well, that’s for him to answer, but I don’t think he was. Is pointing out that her gender-political view may have some weight in this case wrong? No.

                      Finally, for my statement of misandry… I was saying that if Chris and I (or men in general) are not allowed to look into a feminist causality to this lady’s actions because it would be offensive and that we men are disparaging a (possible and probably self-proclaimed) feminist, that’s misandry. Or, simply put, if we look for a logical connection and are called chauvinistic just because the connection is gender-based, how is that us playing a gender card?

                       

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                  Chris Rhodes (profile), Jan 29th, 2011 @ 9:21am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  So would I, but I'm reasonably sure that you're not going to apologize to myself or any other feminist for acting as though our views had something to do with a false rape allegation.

                  Feminism encompasses a wide range of beliefs (like any belief system does). I wasn't intending to lump any and every feminist in with the woman in this case, least of all you. If you took it that way, I apologize. I was only intending to discuss her particular "brand" of feminism.

                   

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      Rose M. Welch (profile), Jan 26th, 2011 @ 12:05am

      Re:

      You missed the smoking gun! Assange and Manning's surnames both have seven letters!!!11!!!

       

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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Jan 26th, 2011 @ 12:06am

    You Know What Would Be Funny ...

    Assange is almost certainly on the TSA no-fly list. Imagine if he were ever extradited to the US under whatever excuse, wouldn’t it be funny if the flight he was being brought in on did a Cat Stevens and was forced to turn back?

     

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