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Tue Aug 28, 2012, 03:55 PM

The tragicomic descent of Julian Assange into international shame

Rex Murphy | Aug 25, 2012 12:01 AM ET | Last Updated: Aug 24, 2012 3:03 PM ET

... Assange didn’t concern himself too much then, or now for that matter, if some flesh-and-blood people would be hurt or even killed by his revelations (anti-Taliban informants in Afghanistan, for instance, whose unredacated names appeared in Wikileaks dispatches).

On this front, he was chillingly indifferent or outright dismissive. There’s a name for people with that sort of personality — though it is usually used in the context of mass murderers, not webmasters.

Then came those stories of his wayward and lordly way with the whole Wikileaks organization. Supporters found him arrogant and self-centered. There followed distressing allegations of sexual misconduct, charges filed in Sweden, and latterly his flight from British authority, and taking up some kind of weird sanctuary in – of all places – the Ecuadorian embassy in Britain.

He has proven to be untrustworthy. He has broken faith with the friends and supporters who gave him bail money. He slanders the legal system of Sweden every time he opens his mouth. He is ripe with conspiracy theory over how Sweden – which he once described as the “Saudi Arabia of feminism” – is a party to some “secret” deal to get him in U.S. hands ...

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/08/25/rex-murphy-the-tragicomic-descent-of-julian-assange-into-international-shame/

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply The tragicomic descent of Julian Assange into international shame (Original post)
struggle4progress Aug 2012 OP
AnotherMcIntosh Aug 2012 #1
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #3
AnotherMcIntosh Aug 2012 #5
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #6
marmar Aug 2012 #2
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #4
treestar Aug 2012 #7
xocet Aug 2012 #8
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #9
bemildred Aug 2012 #10
Bodhi BloodWave Aug 2012 #11
bemildred Aug 2012 #12
Bodhi BloodWave Aug 2012 #13
bemildred Aug 2012 #14
Bodhi BloodWave Aug 2012 #15
bemildred Aug 2012 #16
jdavid5495_il Aug 2012 #17
pscot Aug 2012 #18
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #19
Bodhi BloodWave Aug 2012 #20
pscot Aug 2012 #21
Bodhi BloodWave Aug 2012 #22

Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 04:40 PM

1. Your source is the rhetoric from the National Post? Is that a right-wing publication?

 

Here's a sample of additional rhetoric in the final paragraphs of a purported balanced article from that publisher:

What can be fairly argued is that Mr. Obama’s stimulus efforts have plunged the U.S. government much further into debt, to little noticeable benefit.

That is the case Mr. Romney needs to make: if not that he can restore the economy to full health, at least that he can stop the government from dragging it down. The convention is as good a place as any to start.
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/08/27/mitt-romney/


Can you find liberal or progressive publications with rhetoric to support your anti-Assange crusade? Can you only find right-wing or conservative publications?

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #1)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 06:19 PM

3. Well! Let's consider the points made in the excerpt one-by-one:

I. FROM EXCERPT IN OP:
... Assange didn’t concern himself too much then, or now for that matter, if some flesh-and-blood people would be hurt or even killed by his revelations (anti-Taliban informants in Afghanistan, for instance, whose unredacated names appeared in Wikileaks dispatches). On this front, he was chillingly indifferent or outright dismissive. There’s a name for people with that sort of personality — though it is usually used in the context of mass murderers, not webmasters ...


EXHIBIT A:
Exclusive: The Taliban has issued a chilling warning to Afghans, alleged in secret US military files leaked on the internet to have worked as informers for the Nato-led coalition, telling Channel 4 News "US spies" will be hunted down and punished ... Zabihullah Mujahid told Channel 4 News that the insurgent group will investigate the named individuals before deciding on their fate. "We are studying the report," he said, confirming that the insurgent group already has access to the 92,000 intelligence documents and field reports. "We knew about the spies and people who collaborate with US forces. We will investigate through our own secret service whether the people mentioned are really spies working for the US. If they are US spies, then we know how to punish them" ...

Taliban hunt Wikileaks outed Afghan informers
By Jonathan Miller
Updated on 30 July 2010
http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/uk/taliban+hunt+wikileaks+outed+afghan+informers/3727667.html

EXHIBIT B:
... David Leigh and Luke Harding's history of WikiLeaks describes how journalists took Assange to Moro's, a classy Spanish restaurant in central London. A reporter worried that Assange would risk killing Afghans who had co-operated with American forces if he put US secrets online without taking the basic precaution of removing their names. "Well, they're informants," Assange replied. "So, if they get killed, they've got it coming to them. They deserve it." A silence fell on the table as the reporters realised that the man the gullible hailed as the pioneer of a new age of transparency was willing to hand death lists to psychopaths ...

The treachery of Julian Assange
The WikiLeaks founder, far from being a champion of freedom, is an active danger to the real seekers of truth

Nick Cohen
The Observer, Saturday 17 September 2011
www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/sep/18/julian-assange-wikileaks-nick-cohen

EXHIBIT C:
... After the Afghan War Logs, Julian declared, chillingly, ‘I’m not scared to make mistakes or be blamed, or even accidentally cause harm in the cause of justice’ ...

The War On Secrets
December 6, 2010 by Isabelle Fraser
http://isismagazine.org.uk/2010/12/the-war-on-secrets/

II. FROM EXCERPT IN OP:
... Then came those stories of his wayward and lordly way with the whole Wikileaks organization. Supporters found him arrogant and self-centered ...

EXHIBIT D:
... Since August 20, 2010, when Swedish authorities issued an international warrant for Assange's arrest on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion (he has has denied the allegations), the transparency site has been in crisis. "We had ... conceived of ourselves as a neutral submission platform, pure technology, and not a political agitator with a Twitter account," writes Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Assange's one-time lieutenant, in his valuable book "Inside WikiLeaks:" "It was Julian who made the decisions. The rest of us were too indecisive and skittish or simply lacked the resolve to set any limits for him. Julian thus became the autocratic head of WL, accountable to no one and tolerating no challenges to his authority."

When the sex charges were made public, Domscheit-Berg and other key WikiLeaks volunteers -- including Birgitta Jonsdottir, the Icelandic MP who had helped publicize the famous "helicopter shooting video" that first signaled WikiLeaks turn from neutrality toward explicit political agitation -- tried to get Assange to step aside for the good of the organization. It should go without saying, but people who want to hold others to high ethical standards have to themselves be beyond reproach. Unfortunately, in the weeks after those charges arose, Assange kept a tight and unrelenting grip, a story that Domscheit-Berg details in his book.

During a climactic online meeting on September 14, 2010, WikiLeaks' inner circle, which also included a mysterious master coder referred to as "the architect," met for what would be their last group conversation. Assange was angry about comments Jonsdottir had made to the Daily Beast: "I am not angry with Julian, but this is a situation that has clearly gotten out of hand," she told reporter Philip Shenon. "These personal matters should have nothing to do with WikiLeaks. I have strongly urged him to focus on the legalities that he's dealing with and let some other people carry the torch."

But Assange refused to back down, saying, essentially, "WikiLeaks, c'est moi." According to Domscheit-Berg's account, Jonsdottir responded, "So what you are saying Julian is that you are wl and everyone else just your servants who you allocate trust to" ...

Assange's stubborn grip hurt WikiLeaks
By Micah Sifry, Special to CNN
updated 1:11 PM EDT, Fri August 17, 2012
http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/16/opinion/sifry-assange-ecuador/index.html

EXHIBIT E:
... My trips to WikiLeaks' HQ became far less frequent, and I attempted to leave the organisation early. This was refused. I was cornered for several days and asked to sign a gagging agreement.

Supporters were asked to "apply psychological pressure" to encourage me to sign, evidencing a growing cultlike ethos at the centre of the group.

I was disturbed and conflicted. I still found the organisation's aims were in many ways laudable, the financial and legal pressures unjust, and its publishing pattern far more responsible than it received credit for.

I couldn't support its internal culture, its lack of accountability, willingness to lie publicly, and crucially its failure to condemn Shamir. I supported the organisation's principles, but not its methods ...

Why I felt I had to turn my back on WikiLeaks
Former staffer tells how dismay mounted during his three months with the whistleblowing group

James Ball
guardian.co.uk, Friday 2 September 2011 16.25 EDT
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/sep/02/why-i-had-to-leave-wikileaks

EXHIBIT F:
... First impressions were not improved upon. After working with Assange to go through the initial material about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Times reporters came to believe he was smart and tech-savvy, but "arrogant, thin-skinned, conspiratorial and oddly credulous" ...
NYT: WikiLeaks' Julian Assange is "Arrogant, Thin-Skinned, Conspiratorial"
January 26, 2011 4:40 PM
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20029701-503543.html

III. FROM EXCERPT IN OP:
There followed ... allegations of sexual misconduct, charges filed in Sweden, ... his flight from British authority, and ... sanctuary in ... the Ecuadorian embassy ...

EXHIBIT G:
Timeline: sexual allegations against Assange in Sweden
16 August 2012 Last updated at 10:31 ET
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11949341

EXHIBIT H:
Timeline: Julian Assange's extradition battle
By Alexis Lai, CNN
updated 10:07 AM EDT, Thu August 16, 2012
http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/16/world/europe/assange-extradition-timeline/index.html

IV. FROM EXCERPT IN OP:
He has proven to be untrustworthy. He has broken faith with the friends and supporters who gave him bail money.

EXHIBIT I:
The Metropolitan Police in London, United Kingdom, say that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is in breach of his bail conditions by staying overnight at the Ecuadorian embassy, where he sought political asylum on Tuesday. If Assange leaves the premises, he can be arrested, the police added ...

Assange Breached Bail in Seeking Asylum, British Police Say
By Juha Saarinen
06.20.12 12:17 PM
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/06/assange-breached-bail/

EXHIBIT J:
Julian Assange's leading supporters face losing £240,000 in bail money
Sureties posted at Westminster magistrates court by group of celebrities and activists now in jeopardy after WikiLeaks founder seeks asylum in Ecuadorean embassy

Robert Booth
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 20 June 2012 13.43 EDT
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/jun/20/julian-assange-supporters-240000-bail

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #3)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 06:22 PM

5. So the answer is "No" to the question "Can you find liberal or progressive publications with

 

rhetoric to support your anti-Assange crusade?"

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #5)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 06:26 PM

6. Nope. Answer is: comments in OP are all supported by evidence, and I gave you 10 links to show it

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 05:05 PM

2. The tragicomic barrage of anti-Assange posts continues.

nt

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Response to marmar (Reply #2)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 06:20 PM

4. The barrage, however, comes with links and not merely snide remarks

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 07:51 PM

7. This I ask too:

Few, then, seemed concerned to ask some basic questions. For example: Who in hell was Julian Assange to be made the “determiner” of which American secrets, emailed to him illegally, the world’s powers could hold or could not? What were this strange man’s powers of judgment and ethics that gave him the right or privilege of deciding what was safe to release and what was not? What did we know about this buccaneer of routers and passwords, other than his own slobbery claims of “freeing information” and promising a new dawn of openness in the age of the internet?

Nothing really. But it was enough – in the early stages – that he was solidly anti-American, and that the U.S. diplomatic service was more likely than any other to have its integrity and reputation demolished by his disclosures

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Tue Aug 28, 2012, 10:57 PM

8. FoxNews, The Wall Street Journal or National Review would be good source material for your crusade:

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Wed Aug 29, 2012, 07:55 AM

10. It is not Assange that has beshit himself if public here.

It is the governments of Britian, Sweden, and the good old USA.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #10)

Wed Aug 29, 2012, 08:26 AM

11. what exactly have Sweden done to 'beshit' themselves?

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Response to Bodhi BloodWave (Reply #11)

Wed Aug 29, 2012, 10:38 AM

12. If you don't see it, I can't help you. nt

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Response to bemildred (Reply #12)

Wed Aug 29, 2012, 11:49 AM

13. i see a country who when a suspect fled the country the day before he was to be questioned

and have a dna sample taken decided to put a warrant on him

and i see a country that when the suspect went to court to try and stop the extradition request they defended their decision and have continued to do so each time the suspect appealed and lost.

I see nothing 'beshitting' about that

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Response to Bodhi BloodWave (Reply #13)

Wed Aug 29, 2012, 06:31 PM

14. And I see I can't help you. nt

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Response to bemildred (Reply #14)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 12:22 PM

15. what was wrong/inaccurate in what i wrote? nt

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Response to Bodhi BloodWave (Reply #15)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 12:33 PM

16. See, no communication is occurring here. nt

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Response to bemildred (Reply #10)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 12:43 PM

17. Well said friend

 

Couldn't have said it better myself.

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Response to struggle4progress (Original post)

Thu Aug 30, 2012, 01:30 PM

18. You really have a hard-on for Assange, don't you

If Assange is untrustworthy, so is our government. Assange is a necessary corrective, whatever you may imagine.

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Response to pscot (Reply #18)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 10:13 AM

20. if i may, a slight disagreement with your statement

Assange himself is not a necessary corrective, Wikileaks however is and thank the gods the two are not one and the same

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Response to Bodhi BloodWave (Reply #20)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 04:44 PM

21. Agreed. But the actions of the Government

have raised Assange's symbolic value. A bloody shirt may be worth fighting for,even though it has no intrinsic value.

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Response to pscot (Reply #21)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 08:33 PM

22. i'll decide on his value once we have the swedish trial over and done with

I will admit that in the meantime his value in my eyes is diminishing the more he resists and tries to avoid the charges against him.

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