Julian Assange (Wikileaks) arrested

#1

I don’t know why, but I get a bad feeling about this guy. I didn’t really know anything about him until I saw this video interview:

ted.com/talks/lang/eng/julia … leaks.html

Without listening to what he says, just looking at his mannerisms, I have the feeling that he’s mentally unstable.

When he talks, yes, it makes a degree of sense. But he seems to be motivated by a desire to share his version of the truth rather than reaching a balanced informed opinion. After all, does anyone really believe that in a representative selection of political communication going back to 1986, there will be no instances of diplomats urging their masters to send humanitarian aid, to reward struggling democratic governments, to relax policies that are counter-productive.

These leaks seem to be selective, designed to embarass rather than to inform.

I’m not a big fan of the US government’s behaviour, but I think we owe it to ourselves to be objective rather than just focus on the facts that fit our political viewpoint.

Anyone else have an opinion about the messenger, not the message? I’d be grateful if we could avoid discussing the US’ actions, and keep this focused on the man and his mission.

Cheers

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#2

I read an interesting article (Malcolm Gladwell, What the Dog Saw) about Enron, in which he pointed out that the story broke when a reporter actually read the company’s SEC filings. He realised what was going on, contacted the company, and they sent a team of representatives to CONFIRM what he had deduced. He also looked at their tax filings, and noted that the IRS considered Enron to be not making a profit.

When it all came to trial, everyone agreed that the Enron executives had hidden the truth. Sure, they were arrogant, incompetent, seriously messed up in their judgement. But they didn’t hide the truth. It was there in plain sight all along. In fact, a bunch of students had analysed Enron as part of a project a few years earlier and also figured out what was going on.

My point is that people see what they want to see. And they go on witch-hunts based on what they choose to believe.

It’s easier to blame the Enron guys for hiding the truth than to admit that you didn’t read the reports. Or you can complain that the reporting required by law was too complex to understand, but what kind of excuse is that? “I’m sorry but I made a strategic decision without understanding the implications, because real life is more complex than I would like and I figured I could just cherry-pick the information that suited me.”

It’s also easy to leak selected documents which fit in with your beliefs. But it doesn’t mean you really understand what’s going on, or that you’re qualified to understand the implications of your actions.

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#3

Dude is a tool. Classic example of a tortured, weak-kneed misfit seeking revenge for what I’m guessing was a sexless adolescence. After watching The Daily Show segment last night, I dialed up some interviews with the guy. The most telling quote came when he was asked why he was doing this [Wiki-leaking] and he replied, “I like crushing bastards.” You never hear him say something like, “Well, gee, I’d like to think what I’m doing is making the world a better and safer place.” Why? That’s not on his agenda. And the ted.com interview is telling in many ways, but mainly that it’s all a bunch of misguided and bitter piss-taking. Meanwhile, the latest “dump” of diplomatic “secrets” is/are nothing special – but entertaining nonetheless. As Jon Stewart said, we already knew all this stuff.

IMHO, this Assange guy is just another self-important crusader for his definition of transparency, who has no clear objective. If “crushing bastards” is his desired result, well, he’s failing miserably. There’s clearly a need for organizations like Wikileaks, i.e. groups that keep evil-doers on their toes, but finding decent people to run them is another story altogether. This clown is super bu hao in my book. Nothing he’s done, doing, or will do is going to make a positive, beneficial difference in the world. So fuck him.

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#4

I can’t wait to see if the Taiwan documents get released. It was quite fitting that Sweden all of a sudden claims he is a rapist and Interpol gets involved shortly after Hillary gives her hypocritical news conference.

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#5

It really doesn’t matter if he is a nutter or not. Lots of politicians are nutters and get elected. His organisation is just fulfilling a role that counteracts overarching government secrecy. What’s classified as a secret? Why so much secrecy? Why does the government keep so many secrets from the citizens that elected it? US government secrecy especially has increased a huge amount since the 1950s ( I recently read a book written by a US air force official in the 1950s, one of the most astounding parts was how open he was with how the air force operated, naming active officials and their roles, and the air force (and army) that time had regular public conferences, threre wasn’t an overarching need to black everything out back then…when the cold war started in earnest they withdrew a lot of information from public view and now it is standard protocol and became the new normal).

Govts are just mighty pissed off that they can’t control everything…which is fine in my book.

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#6

Some Taiwan documents have been released. Those from the US have revealed nothing. The only interesting one was written about in the Taipei Times yesterday: Lee Kuan Yew explaining that China was using closer economic links to eventually strangle Taiwan so it would have no choice but to unify. Not exactly a revelation but a good confirmation of what most rational people already suspected.

Assange does seem a bit odd to me too, but I don’t care. Lots of people are odd and do lots of socially beneficial acts based on their own screwed up childhoods, sense of self-importance, etc. The only question is were the leaks useful. I’m not entirely convinced they were, but my judgment is not at all going to be affected by whether Assange has a strange name or is motivated by masturbation. :laughing:

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#7

A nutter? He strikes me as being quite confident, very driven and very focused. Egotistical? Sure, but he’s been working at this stuff for quite a few years now and his purpose seems obvious.

[quote=“The Independent”]Iceland rewrites law to create haven for investigative reporting
Iceland has passed a sweeping reform of its media laws that supporters say will make the country an international haven for investigative journalism. The new package of legislation was passed unanimously at 4am yesterday in one of the final sessions of the Icelandic parliament, the Althingi, before its summer break. Created with the involvement of the whistleblowing website Wikileaks, it increases protection for anonymous sources, creates new protections from so-called “libel tourism” and makes it much harder to censor stories before they are published. “It will be the strongest law of its kind anywhere,” said Birgitta Jonsdottir, MP for The Movement party and member of the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, which first made the proposals. "We’re taking the best laws from around the world and putting them into one comprehensive package that will deal with the fact that information doesn’t have borders any more.[/quote]

Good luck to him.

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#8

MuCha Man: Can you please point me to the Taiwan Docs??? And yes, I agree with Antarcticbeech on who Assange is.

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#9

Someone else has posted a few on Fcom, and as I wrote the TT mentioned one yesterday.

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#10

He comes across as an awkward, not particularly polished interviewee. He’s not a super-smooth salesmen, but then it’s the super-smooth salesmen who often fuck people over (and certainly have done over the past few years).

He’s doing the right thing, regardless of the motivation behind it.

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#11

Only time will tell how many this salesman has fucked over.

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#12

He’s certainly a self-important bastard, apparently a criminal charge against him does not matter in his world.

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#13

Sarah Palin and Bill O’Reilly are seething about the leaks (oh, and trying to blame Obama for them :unamused: :laughing: ). This is more evidence that Assange is one of the good guys.

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#14

It doesn’t matter in my world either. I don’t believe in make-believe charges that are politically motivated. Not all charges or applications of the law are equal. Look to China for a perfect example. Do you really think any independence activist in Taiwan should care that under China’s anti-secession “law” he is a criminal?

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#15

I don’t understand that comment. I’m fairly certain he doesn’t WANT any criminal charges against him, either the seemingly trumped up Swedish rape charges or the seriously pissed-off but (according to news reports) apparently flimsy breach of security (or whatever) charges by the US and other embarassed nations. I don’t think he wants any of those charges, but they’re gunning for him, so what’s the guy to do. Personally, I respect the guy for doing what he believes in regardless of the threats and intimidation from The Man. That’s not self-importance. That’s self-confidence, courage and integrity. Crazy and self-destructive perhaps, but the man’s on a mission and he’s not backing down. Good for him. :bravo:

cue “Brownsville Girl” :thumbsup:

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#16

[quote=“Mucha Man”]
Someone else has posted a few on Fcom, and as I wrote the TT mentioned one yesterday.[/quote]

I think the ones relating to Taiwan were leaked from the Beijing embassy, as far as I am aware non of the American Institute in Taiwan cables have been released yet. cablegate.wikileaks.org/index.html But I look forward to reading the ones during the Chen years :slight_smile:

Im slowly warming to the guy, walked out of an interview on CNN recently, which was funny. Hes basically the fall guy, Bank leaks to come next, one day might get the energy companies leaked internal documents, that I would like to see.

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#17

If you are interested, there is an eleven page profile in The New Yorker titled: NO SECRETS - Julian Assange’s mission for total transparency

It starts here: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/06/07/100607fa_fact_khatchadourian?currentPage=1

[quote]When Assange turned sixteen, he got a modem, and his computer was transformed into a portal. Web sites did not exist yet—this was 1987—but computer networks and telecom systems were sufficiently linked to form a hidden electronic landscape that teen-agers with the requisite technical savvy could traverse. Assange called himself Mendax—from Horace’s splendide mendax, or “nobly untruthful”—and he established a reputation as a sophisticated programmer who could break into the most secure networks. He joined with two hackers to form a group that became known as the International Subversives, and they broke into computer systems in Europe and North America, including networks belonging to the U.S. Department of Defense and to the Los Alamos National Laboratory. In a book called “Underground,” which he collaborated on with a writer named Suelette Dreyfus, he outlined the hacker subculture’s early Golden Rules: “Don’t damage computer systems you break into (including crashing them); don’t change the information in those systems (except for altering logs to cover your tracks); and share information.

Around this time, Assange fell in love with a sixteen-year-old girl, and he briefly moved out of his mother’s home to stay with her. “A couple of days later, police turned up, and they carted off all my computer stuff,” he recalled. The raid, he said, was carried out by the state police, and “it involved some dodgy character who was alleging that we had stolen five hundred thousand dollars from Citibank.” Assange wasn’t charged, and his equipment was returned. “At that point, I decided that it might be wise to be a bit more discreet,” he said. Assange and the girl joined a squatters’ union in Melbourne, until they learned she was pregnant, and moved to be near Claire. When Assange was eighteen, the two got married in an unofficial ceremony, and soon afterward they had a son.[/quote]

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#18

Yea, I was thinking of that when someone commented that it seemed unusual for his hair to be turning white at age 39. First, there’s probably a bunch of forumosans who LOST their hair by the time they hit 39. Second, to be married and divorced and have a kid to raise on your own all by age 18 – surely that could give a guy a few white hairs.

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#19

[quote=“super_lucky”]IMHO, this Assange guy is just another self-important crusader for his definition of transparency, who has no clear objective.
[…]
There’s clearly a need for organizations like Wikileaks, i.e. groups that keep evil-doers on their toes, but finding decent people to run them is another story altogether.
[…]
Nothing he’s done, doing, or will do is going to make a positive, beneficial difference in the world.[/quote]
Let me get this straight:
A) He’s a [color=#0000FF]crusader for transparency[/color], but B) has [color=#BF0000]no clear objective[/color].
C) There’s clearly a [color=#0000FF]need for organizations like Wikileaks[/color], but D) [color=#BF0000]nothing he’s doing will make a positive difference[/color].
Those seem to be blatantly contradictory statements, interspersed with denunciations for his being “self-important” and indecent.

More directly to the OP’s question, I’m of the opinion that a significant percentage of extremely driven/dedicated characters are slightly off their rockers, with results that are mostly bad for their personal lives and occasionally good for society.

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#20

Why the assumption that it’s politically motivated or make-believe? It’s Sweden, not some US puppet.

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