Ron Paul's Sensible Thoughts On Wikileaks

from the good-for-him dept

A bunch of folks have been submitting Ron Paul’s recent speech to Congress in defense of Wikileaks, which is absolutely worth watching/reading (full text included after the jump). There’s not much new here, but it’s nice that at least some in the government are pointing these things out:

Comments from Rep. Ron Paul:
WikiLeaks release of classified information has generated a lot of attention in the past few weeks. The hysterical reaction makes one wonder if this is not an example of killing the messenger for the bad news. Despite what is claimed, the information that has been so far released, though classified, has caused no known harm to any individual, but it has caused plenty of embarrassment to our government. Losing our grip on our empire is not welcomed by the neoconservatives in charge.

There is now more information confirming that Saudi Arabia is a principal supporter and financier of al Qaeda, and that this should set off alarm bells since we guarantee its Sharia-run government. This emphasizes even more the fact that no al Qaeda existed in Iraq before 9/11, and yet we went to war against Iraq based on the lie that it did. It has been charged by experts that Julian Assange, the internet publisher of this information, has committed a heinous crime, deserving prosecution for treason and execution, or even assassination.

But should we not at least ask how the U.S. government should prosecute an Australian citizen for treason for publishing U.S. secret information that he did not steal? And if WikiLeaks is to be prosecuted for publishing classified documents, why shouldn't the Washington Post, the New York Times, and others also published these documents be prosecuted? Actually, some in Congress are threatening this as well.

The New York Times, as a results of a Supreme Court ruling, was not found guilty in 1971 for the publication of the Pentagon Papers. Daniel Ellsberg never served a day in prison for his role in obtaining these secret documents. The Pentagon Papers were also inserted into the Congressional record by Senator Mike Gravel, with no charges of any kind being made of breaking any national security laws. Yet the release of this classified information was considered illegal by many, and those who lied us into the Vietnam war, and argued for its prolongation were outraged. But the truth gained from the Pentagon Papers revealed that lies were told about the Gulf of Tonkin attack. which perpetuated a sad and tragic episode in our history.

Just as with the Vietnam War, the Iraq War was based on lies. We were never threatened by weapons of mass destruction or al Qaeda in Iraq, though the attack on Iraq was based on this false information. Any information which challenges the official propaganda for the war in the Middle East is unwelcome by the administration and the supporters of these unnecessary wars. Few are interested in understanding the relationship of our foreign policy and our presence in the Middle East to the threat of terrorism. Revealing the real nature and goal of our presence in so many Muslim countries is a threat to our empire, and any revelation of this truth is highly resented by those in charge.

Questions to consider:

Number 1: Do the America People deserve know the truth regarding the ongoing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen?

Number 2: Could a larger question be how can an army private access so much secret information?

Number 3: Why is the hostility mostly directed at Assange, the publisher, and not at our governments failure to protect classified information?

Number 4: Are we getting our moneys worth of the 80 Billion dollars per year spent on intelligence gathering?

Number 5: Which has resulted in the greatest number of deaths: lying us into war or Wikileaks revelations or the release of the Pentagon Papers?

Number 6: If Assange can be convicted of a crime for publishing information that he did not steal, what does this say about the future of the first amendment and the independence of the internet?

Number 7: Could it be that the real reason for the near universal attacks on Wikileaks is more about secretly maintaining a seriously flawed foreign policy of empire than it is about national security?

Number 8: Is there not a huge difference between releasing secret information to help the enemy in a time of declared war, which is treason, and the releasing of information to expose our government lies that promote secret wars, death and corruption?

Number 9: Was it not once considered patriotic to stand up to our government when it is wrong?

Thomas Jefferson had it right when he advised 'Let the eyes of vigilance never be closed.' I yield back the balance of my time.

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Comments on “Ron Paul's Sensible Thoughts On Wikileaks”

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crade (profile) says:

I’m not so surprised at the governments’ reactions to the leaks, but I am surprised at the publics’ reactions. Don’t people think they deserve to know this stuff? How can you be proud to live in a democracy if you think the government has the legal right to hide the information that is essential for the electorate to make decisions? It seems like a complete contradiction to me.

The Mighty Buzzard (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If you’d like to be even more confused, think on this. Who is to decide what information is essential for the electorate to make decisions and what is of no benefit to the electorate but harmful to the government and/or the nation? What of information that falls into both, how is the balance weighed and who does the weighing?

We really don’t have answers to these questions yet and I’m of the opinion that neither of the current approaches (tell the public nothing or celebrate every leak of classified information) are a wise way to go about things.

Frawg says:

Re: Re: Re:

I completely agree Buzzard. There has to be a balance. I agree that not everything needs to be leaked, but when it comes to corruption, hopefully this sort of thing will help the gov’t straighten out a tad. If nothing else, maybe they will be more careful about what they do with the classified stuff they don’t want anyone to know about.

As for who gets to determine it? Not sure if there is an answer to that one. That is a question I will likely ponder for awhile. Thank you for giving me something to think about ๐Ÿ™‚

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Basically, I would say anything being hidden for P.R. reasons would obviously influence people’s vote and therefore be essential for the electorate to make decisions.

For secrets for legitimate non P.R. reasons, like say an undercover police or CIA agent’s identity, you might be right. If it’s just because the government doesn’t want to be embarrassed, I don’t think so.

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Sure, but I wasn’t talking about laws, I’m just surprised to see the peoples’ reactions to the discovery of all these leaks of stuff that was obviously being hidden with the intention of swaying the vote rather than any legitimate reason. A lot of people’s reaction seems to be “the government deserves to hide this stuff from the electorate” which I really wouldn’t have expected considering the type of stuff that is being uncovered.

teka (profile) says:

Re: Re:

That’s right, anonymous coward.

Anyone who challenges hysterical reactions is a commie pinko radicalist socialist anarchist who hates America.

Every time someone asks “what ever happened to freedom of the press? or freedom of speech?” just shout them down for being a terrorist, maybe you can get them dragged off somewhere to be tortured.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Just look a the people who are pleased, and those who are not. When Russia suggested today that Assange should get the nobel peace prize next time, the anarchists cheered and everyone else pretty much threw up in their mouths a bit. If you aren’t tasting bile, we know where you stand. You know, right over there with the usual crowd of American Haters.

Yeah Right says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

As a European, I couldn’t be prouder of the values the American people stand for: democracy, freedom, etc.

After all, many of your forefathers thought those lacking in the Europe they left behind.

While your companies and your government today still profess those values, the reality paints a different picture.

Abuse, falsehood and deceit are the values they are spreading round the world. This must stop.

Please guys, get some integrity.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I’ll be honest and say that I am an America hater. The way they have behaved since 2001 is appalling. I am disgusted that the American voters don’t do anything about their government.

However, the above is not why I applaud these cable leaks. I doubt that this leak will effect the American voter’s view of their elected officials. This leak is more important to other countries and their politicians. These leaks show people around the world exactly how much their governments have been pandering to US interests and how much they have been lying to their electorate.

Governments will fall over this, but probably not the American government, because American voters just don’t give a shit.

The Mighty Buzzard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I would have said 1776. Every government is corrupt and nobody likes having their dirty laundry aired.

Oh and cheers to GP for not dressing up his dislike of the US in patriotism. I very much prefer someone who has an honest difference of opinion and will say so to someone who lies to my face and says their vitriol is for my own good.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Revolution or Propaganda

Well Mighty Blowhard I would have to agree with you here. The U.S. was formed through deceit, lies, and terrorism. From the point of the revolution and on the wealthy land owners got richer and the common man got poorer. To try and pretend the U.S. or any country for that matter is designed to help and nurture its citizens is to disregard the reality that governments are about control and have always served the wealthy and elite first and foremost.

The Mighty Buzzard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Revolution or Propaganda

Pretty much all nations were, we’re nothing particularly special there. I have to disagree about the poor getting poorer though. When was the last time you washed clothes on a washboard and dried them on a line. Are you enjoying that computer you just posted on?

Judging the poor of the US relative to the rich is a bit of classist hatemongering. Let’s go apples to apples and compare the poor to the poor. The poor in the US have done amazingly well compared to the poor most of the rest of the world. There are poor people within rock-throwing distance of where I sit that have all the food they need, a roof over their head that includes a bedroom for every member of the family, and the standard set of utilities. They also have fairly new HDTVs and ~6mo old android phones. That, my friend, is a very strange definition of poverty considering the conditions many people around the world live in.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Revolution or Propaganda

The poor that you are referring to would have purchased all these items on credit that was not available 100 years ago. These poor people have just committed themselves to working like a slave for the rest of their lives.

More wealth and a better way of life are an illusion. The poor have a distraction and they don’t realise what they are giving up. You could say that it is their choice, but when “keeping up with the Jones'” is a way of life the choice is very easy to make.

The Mighty Buzzard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Revolution or Propaganda

Tax returns, if you really want to know. I’ve known the person in question for a couple decades now. Single mother, works two minimum wage jobs about 60h a week. Yeah, money’s tight and she has to put a lot of hours in to make ends meet. But she does and even manages a fairly comfortable, if somewhat spartan, standard of living for her two daughters.

Now, I lend her a hand on non-monetary things when she needs because I’m a somewhat nice guy and she’s good people. But I don’t pity her because almost all of her current situation is down to either bad luck or her own bad decisions. She has zero college, no marketable skills to speak of, and frankly is about as smart as a below-average brick. She contributes very little of value to society and receives the same in return. But in the US that is enough, if only barely.

Which was my point. Complaining about what we call poverty or being poor in the US is an insult to those who are actually poor around the world.

The Mighty Buzzard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I’m more of the completely indifferent to wikileaks camp. The guy who leaked the information did wrong and deserves whatever he gets but Julian owes no loyalty to the US. It’s not betrayal if he was never on our side to begin with.

OTOH, I don’t really care if US institutions choose to not do business with him anymore either. They’re perfectly within their rights to not have to deal with someone they dislike. That’s their freedom of association and speech being exercised.

As far as the government screwing with him directly or through allies, so long as no US laws are violated, I don’t care. You can hardly expect to be able to spit in someone’s eye and not have any consequences come about from it.

DCX2 says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I threw up in my mouth when I read about Maher Arar. When I read about Khalid el-Masri. Binyam Mohamed. Dilawar. DynCorp’s bacha bazi party.

You have it backwards, coward. When you love something, you hold it to a higher standard. The ones who really hate America are those who tolerate lower standards for our behavior, like kidnapping and torturing innocent civilians. Julian Assange has done more for the American way of life than any of those traitors in the government; perhaps now they think twice before doing something that they would be ashamed for the American public to hear about.

Alias (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: American haters

You sir, are moron. I AM tasting bile. The bile that rises due to the hypocrisy of our government and its attempts to stifle the release of information pointing to its own corruption or to punish others for its failure to protect sensitive information. I hate that our government is lying to us to perpetuate a war that we have no business waging.

You may be able to delude yourself and even use Bush’s non-choice of ‘you are either with us, or you are with the terrorists’ BS, but that kind of rhetoric doesn’t change the facts. You CAN be against the American government’s actions and still be a patriotic American.

I am an American, born and bred; but I am ashamed of our government’s actions. I should be proud to be an American like my grandparents were, yet I am ashamed due to the unneeded secrecy, lies, double-dealing, scapegoating, and greed.

I am not a democrat, and certainly not a republican. However, based upon Ron Paul’s clear, insightful view of this situation, I’d vote for him as president based upon his questioning of the government’s need to place blame on others for its own ineptitude and warmongering.

This tyranny needs to be stopped. To paraphrase the Joker from Batman: “This country needs an enema!”. Amen brother, amen.

harbingerofdoom (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

wow…. not even sure where to start on this one. so i guess ill just go in order of your points.

1. if assange’s actions cause reaction that reduces tensions between the US and foreign nations, then yes, he should at least be considered for it. but its a tad bit early for that right now isnt it?

2. anarchists will cheer ANYTHING that brings down ANY government if they are true anarchists. otherwise they are only opportunists. a true anarchist would have denounced russia’s suggestion as a political ploy. (no, i am not an anarchist)

3. not “everyone else” is prompted to perform the technicolor yawn at the idea. stop tossing out absolutes… people like me just love to come along and poke holes in them.

4. any attempt to try and equate the concept that government should be accountable to its populace in all respects with being akin to traitors, anarchists and “america haters” is nothing more than self serving propaganda designed to take the focus off of what wrongs the government has committed in the name of its populace and direct that focus towards illegitimate methods of operation and maintenance of the status quo of the current power brokers within the government.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

1) It is likely it increases tensions. Maybe country A didn’t know the US was dealing directly with country B. Now they won’t deal with them at all, and instead line up with the radical muslims against the US. Tension indeed.

2) Anarchists are for the most part fairly ignorant, because they don’t understand that you need some form of representative government (or dictatorship, monarchy, whatever) to make work. Otherwise, every time you want to do something, you have to get everyone to agree. That never happens.

3) They don’t have to yawn. Just throw up in their mouth a little. ๐Ÿ™‚

4) Accountability is one thing, paralysis is another thing altogether. If every diplomatic meeting had to be held in the open, with microphones and cameras, there likely wouldn’t be many meetings. Instead, there would be just a standoff. Open government cannot mean always open, things just don’t get done. Anarchists don’t care if things get done. They want it to stop being done. This is pretty much what Assange seems to want.

Joe (profile) says:

Re: Anonymous... (and apparently ignorant)

It is apparent that you really know nothing of Ron Paul, because his ideas, and those of the liberty movement, directly contradict the tyranny and control exhibited by those you’ve listed. Those who you mentioned after him would have likely KILLED whoever procured, disseminated, and published classified government documents. Dr. Paul is defending them, and rightfully so! The American people should do the same!

Google Ron Paul, find out what he believes. Who knows, you may find that you agree.

Johnny says:

Re: Re:

I let you in on a secret AC, there’s a big difference:

Putin says: “Why criticize me, when you do the same thing?” Of course that’s a stretch, because Assange is only in prison, while critics of Mr.Putin generally find their way into a coffin. That’s not really the same thing in my book.

What the US is doing may be despicable, and I am totally siding with Wikileaks on this, but we don’t need the hypocritical support from human rights abusers like Putin, Chavez and Castro. Nor should we pretend they are on our side, they freeloading on the situation for their own political benefit, they don’t give a sh*t about freedom and transparency.

Phil says:

Re: Re:

You think Ron Paul is a communist ???
You sure don’t seem to know even the slightest thing about Libertarians in general, or Ron Paul in particular.
Ron Paul would be one of the members of Congress who would be farthest of all from being a communist.
Since you don’t appear to know, Libertarians often don’t even believe the public should join together to pay for things like public schools or highways.

Get a – – – -ing Clue, A.C.!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Just look a the people who are pleased, and those who are not. When Russia suggested today that Assange should get the nobel peace prize next time, the anarchists cheered and everyone else pretty much threw up in their mouths a bit. If you aren’t tasting bile, we know where you stand. You know, right over there with the usual crowd of American Haters.

Great trolling, a good effort, ill give you 5/10

Anonymous Coward says:


yet there is damning stuff about Prussia if you look thus your argument is flawed….
Putin sees an opportunity to appear more open and democratic at expense of a minor nose smack.

YEA and his reaction is also more mature and what obama should have done in first place and 99% of the goings on would not be happening…..BUT we have to let Lieberman and Palin speek
oh yes calling for more murder on this earth….
AND ya know a lot of this is PRE obama stuff….obama could have used it to his advantage about how nice bush era was.

CM says:

Has Techdirt become a political organization?

A lot of his questions are easy to answer. But the main thing is that Assange knowingly received and released intellectual property that did not belong to him. He was a co-conspirator with the one who stole it. Not a first amendment issue, period. Once its published, and the newspapers reprint it, that is totally different.

Do the people deserve to know the truth? As much as possible without compromising security, yes. But that does not get Assange off the hook and it does not mean the Govt can’t go after him.

Hopefully this whole thing will be a lesson to everyone involved.

And BTW, the Iraq war was not based on a lie, it was based on bad intelligence. Lies are willful. Ron Paul is starting to sound like the liberal talking points instead of a libertarian.

Ron Rezendes (profile) says:

Re: Has Techdirt become a political organization?

“And BTW, the Iraq war was not based on a lie, it was based on bad intelligence. Lies are willful.”

The only bad intelligence was the pinhead in charge at the time. It was a corporate (Halliburton, etc.) lie that came from the top of the mountain (White House).

The truth doesn’t always conform to one’s ideology.

The Invisible Hand (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Has Techdirt become a political organization?

Excuse me for interrupting this very “productive” “conversation”, but I disagree with your take on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is a relatively reliable source of scientific facts as many have already pointed out ([citation needed], I know. The only one I can remember right now is when the Nature journal. They compared the accuracy of Encyclop?dia Britannica vs Wikipedia and found that they were on par with each other).

The main problem is that you don’t have the guarantee that someone that is skilled in the subject will ever review the article for accuracy and Wikipedia itself does not guarantee accuracy.

However, if you read through most scientific articles (math, physics, computer science), you’ll find that they are accurate and that Wikipedia does a good job providing credible references.

So I would say that Wikipedia is “reliable enough” for us “laypeople”. Not so reliable in a scientific context though. It is, however, a good source of sources. In fact, if you did some digging, you would find this in the references:


Which validates Wikipedia’s statement (see the introduction).

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Re: Has Techdirt become a political organization?

But the main thing is that Assange knowingly received and released intellectual property that did not belong to him.

Knowingly received it? are you claiming that he knew the leak before it was leaked to him? Despite what you seem to believe, there is no current law against receiving classified documents.

Also, I trust you’re using “intellectual property” in the loosest form of the phrase, because all those documents are in the Public Domain, having been created by the US Government.

He was a co-conspirator with the one who stole it.

So, if I copy some classified documents and email them to you, you’re now my co-conspirator? Awesome. Good to know.

Once its published, and the newspapers reprint it, that is totally different.

So, it’s illegal to publish it until it’s published, and then it’s okay to publish it? Seems logical to me. Next you’ll tell me it’s illegal to speed unless your car is already going faster than the speed limit, then it’s okay to speed. Amirite?

As much as possible without compromising security, yes.

While I agree with you here, I think you should elaborate on “without compromising security” as, as far as I know, only one person compromised security, and it was someone in the military, not Assange.

And BTW, the Iraq war was not based on a lie, it was based on bad intelligence.

Says the people being accused of lying, right?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Has Techdirt become a political organization?

“A lot of his questions are easy to answer. But the main thing is that Assange knowingly received and released intellectual property that did not belong to him.”

Your ignorance is showing, government documents don’t have copyrights in America they are public domain.

Or they changed the law and failed to notify people?

The Invisible Hand (profile) says:

People are so quick to stomp on Wikileaks that they forget one small detail: the only reason these leaks ever become public and are such a big deal is because there is actually something leak-worthy, i.e., something your government wants to keep hidden. I mean, if the documents were all about how everything is great and nothing is wrong in the world, there wouldn’t be any leaks…ever.

Shouldn’t you (we?) be more concerned that there is such leak-worthy material in the first place? Putting it in a better way: shouldn’t we be more concerned that we are being lied to and manipulated by those people that were supposed to lead us and protect us? And then we should ask ourselves: why exactly are they lying and manipulating us? Is it for our own good, or do they have ulterior motives?

Think about it.

Todd Eastman (profile) says:

Question #2

Number 2: Could a larger question be how can an army private access so much secret information?

This one I can answer. Security clearances have nothing to do with rank. I was in the military and handling classified information at age 17 (over 30 years ago). I was a telecommunications specialist. We were the ones who had to keyboard the information so it could be transferred, and the ones who sent and received the information. Officers couldn’t type!

Frawg says:

The Infamous Joe

Joe, wrong. To start off with, you can’t just rip apart someone’s post line by line and expect to get the full meaning of it all. The media does it all the time and gets it horribly wrong most of the time.

Since we are doing that, here’s one for you;

Knowingly received it? are you claiming that he knew the leak before it was leaked to him? Despite what you seem to believe, there is no current law against receiving classified documents.

Actually, there is a law against it. Check the Espionage Act of 1917:

? 798. Disclosure of classified information

(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information?
(1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or

(2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or

(3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or
(4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes?
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

If you would like to read it yourself: Cornell – Espionage Act

Wikipedia: Wikipedia – Espionage Act

Now having posted that, there are problems with this. Yes, WL distributed it. However, if you read paragraph 3, (i haven’t read the documents myself) my understanding is that this does NOT apply since they are not about the communication intelligence itself, but more about communications between people. I see “communication intelligence” as either spies or simply covert agents or practices thereof. Since WL did not post something to the effect of “Bob is a spy”, and they did not get the information by doing the act of “spying”, this does not apply.

I can’t say I am happy they came out, but it does not surprise me in the least about them. We Americans have known for a long time our government is corrupt, when we vote, we are given a small choice of who the elected officials can be. Yes we can write-in who we want, but as a vast majority of voters will only vote for whoever is on the ticket already, it’s kind of a moot point to do so. I usually pick the lesser of the “two” evils, or three as the case may be.

Yes, I am American. I cannot say I am happy with our government on many topics. But that is what makes our country great..or at least it is supposed to when it works. We are supposed to be able to express our opinions freely.

Peronsally, I think WL should have given the classified docs to the government and published the non-classified ones, but that’s me.

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Re: The Infamous Joe

I have read the wording of the Espionage Act: Just today, in fact, when I heard that Assange will most likely be charged for violating it– but, looking at past examples of when it was invoked, I find a hard time understanding how it is *not* considered in violation of the First Amendment. I know that the Surpreme Court ruled that it was not, but still, in my own mind, I can’t believe that it doesn’t.

Ignoring that, I think our government needs to realize that there is a huge difference between embarrassing truth and national security.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The Infamous Joe

It isn’t a violation of the first amendment because the “speech” only comes after the violation. Quite simply, without obtaining and deciding to publish / distribute the confidential documents, there is no actual speech. Without the conspiracy to obtain and distribute these documents, there would be no speed to consider.

It’s very important too: Even if Assange did not personally direct anyone to obtain the documents, he fulfills the conspiracy requirements by not only being willing to accept the documents, but for being known to actually use them. Basic conspiracy does not require that the left hand know what the right hand is doing, only that they work in concert to complete illegal acts together.

My opinion is that Assange will likely not see the light of day again for a very, very long time, except perhaps in the transit position between the UK and America. I think the Swedish charges are as much about making sure they know where he is and cutting him off from appearing anywhere as much as anything else.

The Mighty Buzzard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: The Infamous Joe

Not really. He never set foot on US soil and is not a citizen. We just don’t have jurisdiction even if the secrets were ours. It’s pretty much exactly like us trying to charge Russian or Chinese intelligence analysts (analysts in Russia/China, not the ones who did the collecting) with espionage.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The Infamous Joe

A man stands on a boat, just off the US shore, and directs a bank robbery on his cellphone. Is he any more or any less guilty of the robbery that the people who committed it?

Mr Assange is part of a conspiracy to obtain, transport, and distribute classified documents. It doesn’t matter where he is standing when it happens, because the crime originated in the US, on US soil, or on a US military base (which is US territory for legal purposes).

You do not have to be present in the country to be part of a conspiracy to break the laws.

The Mighty Buzzard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 The Infamous Joe

Bad analogy for a very murky area of the law.

I don’t particularly care for Julian and I’d be happy to see the individual who leaked the documents tried for espionage at the least but you’ve got a seriously uphill battle to convict a member of the press (however questionable the publication) of a foreign nation of anything whatsoever. For starters, there’s jurisdiction, which I’m certain his lawyers will bring up if he’s ever charged here. There are also SCotUS precedents you’ll have to overcome, most notably the one regarding the Pentagon Papers.

While I don’t precisely agree with the press being able to print anything they can get their hands on without repercussion, the law is the law.

Jane says:

In Australia there was an Open letter to Julia (Australian PM) which requested the government treat Mr Assange within the rule and scope of the law following death threats and lynch mob rhetoric from US officials.. It was not a letter requesting he be deemed innocent, but fairly. So many people clamoured to add their signature the website crashed. A summary from the letter..

” We urge you to confirm publicly Australia?s commitment to freedom of political communication; to refrain from cancelling Mr Assange’s passport, in the absence of clear proof that such a step is warranted; to provide assistance and advocacy to Mr Assange; and do everything in your power to ensure that any legal proceedings taken against him comply fully with the principles of law and procedural fairness.

A statement by you to this effect should not be controversial ? it is a simple commitment to democratic principles and the rule of law.”

Why is this so hard for both the Australian and US governments to articulate? Why? If he has broken a law then the courts and due process will sort it out. If epole think the system is fair they will nto fear his exposure to it.Instead the hysteria almost paints these government in guilty hues. Well does!

Thank heavens for Ron Paul though seems nobody is listening.

Anonymous Coward says:

Sadly, Ron Paul makes a very simple error in his approach.

While Assange did not steal the documents, he was part of a conspiracy to steal and publish them. Conspiracy doesn’t require that everyone knows what everyone else is doing, only that they are working to a common goal. The person who actually copied / downloaded the documents would not have done so without an outlet for them. Mr Assange assured him of an outlet, and agreed to certain restrictions on their use. So his point #6 goes up in flames.

His other points are also very political, in the “have you stopped beating your wife yet?” vein. Example is #1. Yes, the American people deserve to know the truth. However, there is a fair balance between total disclosure and safety in the field. The government has to err on the side of caution, to avoid risking the people in the field. It would also be important to note that much of what has been released has come from the Bush Era, when Mr Paul’s party was ruling the roost. That is something else the self-righteous types tend to ignore.

His questions 5 and 8 are also loaded. There is no way to know the direct effects of Wikileaks actions, as people die in the field and it is hard to know who to attribute those deaths. Those deaths may not conveniently all come on the same day either, making it hard to figure out. If the US has troops in the field, in foreign countries, in combat action, then #8 is moot. It may not be “war” as in “world war”, but the troops are in action.

Mr Paul is a grandstander, a windbag. He only ever shows up where there is a chance to make some glory points, and not because he is going to change anything. Another useless politician worried more about his public posturing than his actual actions.

I wonder what it would look like if all of the text of all of his meetings, all of his phone call, and all of those of his staff came out? I am pretty sure he wouldn’t enjoy that at all.

weneedhelp (profile) says:

Re: Mr Paul is a grandstander

Ron Paul exposes United Nations plan to destroy US (1990’s)

Why Bill Kristol HATES Ron Paul

Punk tries to smear Ron Paul with what he thinks is a loaded

Punk tries to smear Ron Paul with what he thinks is a pt2

Ron Paul Warns Of Worldwide Economic Crisis

Ron Paul – Philadelphia

Ron Paul on PBS PT1

Ron Paul on PBS PT2

Well he has been grandstanding about the same issues for a long time. Long before the Tea Party.

Don says:

What gets me is news papers write in all the time

What gets me is news papers write in all the time, ?the source was not authorized to give out this information? but here it is any ways.

What is the difference between the NYT and Assange and how do you define a ?reporter?? He did not steel the information it was handed to him, and he reported it, and as to USA law he does not have to give out his source, nor more than the NYT or ABC has to.

What do have are his leaks that show how utterly incompetent Obama and Hillary are along with other members of congress, now they want to crucify him because he is a small guy.

Had that same information been given to the NYT first, there would be million dollar attorneys fighting for the Time?s freedom of speech and they would win. But the NYT?s is smart, they would sell the information back to the government for a few million bucks and the public be damned.

Fact is the leaks proved Obama to be a clown and a stupid political virgin. And politicians love back room deals and then lie to the USA public. Who died and made Obama or Hillary a God?

So you get this disk in the mail, or and attachment to an e-mail— and you post it and you do prison time? This is a free county of free speech— I think NOT. OH I get it, only the big 3 news medias can do that because they are powerful to fight back.

OK then, let us get Assange here to the USA and put him on public trial. GO for it! We want all the down and dirty stuff repeated so we know what he is being punished for. By the way he will have a public defender and charge the USA government millions for his defense. You had better believe he saved out all the good stuff to bring up in his trial.

It takes balls to spill the beans on a stupid and corrupted government, I say give the man a badge of honor. If Obama does not like it, he can do the right thing and resign, as the entire world is laughing at him.


Don says:

What BS, here is conspiracy:

While Assange did not steal the documents, he was part of a conspiracy to steal and publish them. Conspiracy doesn’t require that everyone knows what everyone else is doing, only that they are working to a common goal. The person who actually copied / downloaded the documents would not have done so without an outlet for them. Mr Assange assured him of an outlet, and agreed to certain restrictions on their use. So his point #6 goes up in flames.

What BS, here is conspiracy: (Blacks law dictionary)

An agreement between two or more persons to engage jointly in an unlawful or criminal act, or an act that is innocent in itself but becomes unlawful when done by the combination of actors.

You will have to show a direct agreement between Assange and the military private that ripped off the information, with the intent to do the crime before the theft of information took place. Also Assange is not on USA territory nor a citizen of the USA, and having a web site is not illegal.

People emailed or send Assange information that he willing reposted—that is not a conspiracy but rather Assange is acting as a reporter.

Government has to realize that with the net ?every one? becomes a reporter. Just as I am reporting to you the definition of conspiracy.

Do you think ABC would be hauled into court for reporting and reprinting information of Obama?s actions from an inside source? Hell no. Major New outlets are open to the public and advertise— ?send us your news stories? just as Assange did. That is not even close to being a conspiracy.

Obama and Hilary utterly failed to run a tight ship, now they are caught with their pants down and trying to do damage control. These political sluts love back room deals, then lie to the public how great they are doing as they fall on their face.

They have the person that ripped off the information in the first place, that did the actual crime, he is more than likely dead by now, he tripped and fell in his jail cell and died of a heart attack or chocked to death eating a French fry.

Thomas Paine said, all governments are evil, and when they go bad they are an abomination. You bet, shine a little light in the room and see what kind of roaches scamper for the shadows. But of course we knew that, Assange just proved it—AGAIN!

If Hilary really loved the USA, she would do the right thing and resign.

You want to know who the bad people are—-look for those that want to shut up Assange, as he did nothing wrong but report the facts and that is a hell-of-a lot better than the NYTs.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: What BS, here is conspiracy:

Don, the beauty of conspiracy to commit type offences is that not all parties have to be aware of the illegal action, nor do they themselves have to perform an illegal act (as your quote above mentions).

Wikileaks exists because of illegal acts. They are part of a conspiracy to illegally obtain and then distribute government classified / secret documents.

Further in this case, apparently Assange negotiated with the guy who took the documents and agreed to redact certain information (probably stuff negative to the guy’s immediate friends).

Without the existance of Wikileaks, it is unlikely that this guy would have risked his career to obtain documents that would have no outlet.

“They have the person that ripped off the information in the first place, that did the actual crime, he is more than likely dead by now”

It’s that sort of comment that makes the rest of your stuff hard to swallow. He isn’t dead, far from it. This isn’t a communist dictatorship or a military junta, people don’t just disappear off the face of the earth. Well, maybe Jimmy Hoffa, but everyone else no.

One of the problems of having someone like Assange shine the light in the room is that he shined enough on himself, such that he too is scampering. See, he is as much of a roach as anyone else in this case, a man living in the cracks between countries, lying on his bank documents, avoiding taxation, and so on. You don’t happen to see any of his legal documents online do you? I guess he traded his glass house for the big house.

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