November 29th, 2010

More Wikileaks

Another day, another Wikileaks dump. And it will go on until there are negative consequences with teeth in them for such acts.

At the moment, secret communications seem easy to obtain and to leak, and no one seems all that afraid of punishment. Julian Assange is sitting pretty and free as a bird. Newspapers run no risk. And, although Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence underling who seems to be the original Wikileaker, was arrested last spring and charged with “transferring classified data” and “delivering national defense information to an unauthorised source,” which could carry a maximum sentence of 52 years in jail, no one else seems especially perturbed by the idea of prosecution. His trial has not begun, and I, for one, doubt he will receive anywhere near that sentence.

Does anyone really think Rep. Peter King’s calls to prosecute Assange under the Espionage Act, or to designate Wikileaks a Foreign Terrorist Organization (the better to go after those who help and fund them), will be heeded? Not I. And it’s interesting that this is happening under Obama’s watch, perhaps because he is even less feared than his predecessor.

The US has become a paper tiger in this respect, even before Obama. There should be huge and negative consequences for those who do this sort of thing. But it’s been clear for quite some time (since, perhaps, Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers) that no significant punishment will be forthcoming for the self-proclaimed whistleblowers who just can’t stand the hypocrisy of a government that fails to live up to its highest principles.

That means the targets of groups such as Assange’s Wikileaks can only be Western nations that aspire to something close to morality, who seem to have principles, not the bad guys who are unapologetically bad. And of course, it’s the unelected, self-appointed heads of Wikileaks, the NY Times, and Spiegel who can best decide what’s in the public’s interest to know, what will be harmful and what helpful.

Somehow it will always be something they hope will embarrass the West and especially the US. Isn’t it odd how it works out that way?

[NOTE: I mention Daniel Ellsberg, and it's not a coincidence. This sort of thing started during the Vietnam era, and is being actively fostered today by people such as Ellsberg and what he calls his "Truth-Telling Project."]

53 Responses to “More Wikileaks”

  1. suek Says:

    My husband commented – and I think he’s correct – that Bradley Manning can’t be the sole source for all the info. I don’t know who else is involved, but whoever they are, they need to be found and equally prosecuted.

    I have seen it said, however, that some of the stuff coming out may actually be beneficial – even if for the simple reason that in this format, the MSM would never report it.

  2. Count to 10 Says:

    “The floggings will continue until morale improves”?

  3. Scottie Says:

    We can’t undo the current damage – that horse has bolted through the barn door and is off somewhere in the back 40 running wild and free.

    We can’t take out Assange, as he’s not going to physically go anywhere near a location where the US can get it’s hands on him.

    This leaves the source of such leaks – and that’s the US military and intelligence types.

    After all, without Manning, Wikileaks wouldn’t have had anything to dump into the public domain in the first place.

    Therefore the thing to address is the next person so inclined to engage in such activity who would assist creeps like Assange.

    Without those sources, Assange and his ilk are left with nothing.

    The solution seems to me to be to treat types like Manning as the traitors they are.

    Charge him with treason and espionage in a time of declared war – and execute him upon conviction.

    This may offend the more delicate sensibilities out there, but I can guarantee that the pool of individuals likely to engage in such activities would shrink dramatically over a very short span of time, making Assanges’ activities much more difficult to pursue.

    It would also give second thought to anyone else playing the espionage game (think Russians, Chinese, etc.). who may be helping foreign governments.

    Think of it as the modern equivalent of the old Roman practice of Decimation. It was brutal, but it was also effective.

    A less ancient approach was the hanging of pickpockets. They were not seeking to punish the pickpocket who had been caught – but rather they were seeking to diminish the number of people who would engage in the activity.

    Same thing with executing Manning. It’s brutal – and it would be effective.

    It would also mean that superiors of the offender would also have to be penalized.

    Certainly not execution (one can’t always know what a subordinate is doing, after all), but it could certainly include demotion or firing – or facing charges of criminal negligence.

  4. Mr. Frank Says:

    If this sort of thing happened to Russia, the perp would soon be dead. This is a job for the long gone CIA.

  5. Kristina-in-Florida Says:

    The culprit in this is the security on the database for the Siprnet system. Access to the database was given to way too many individuals. This is unbelievable and careless.
    Here’s a link to some information regarding this:

  6. Scottie Says:


    I would disagree. If it were a case of a foreign national getting the info, I’d agree – but in this case it was a US citizen serving the US military who elected to pass the information on to individuals who seek to undermine our nation.

    Under those circumstances, the security – whether lax or stringent – would make no difference if the individual in the loop decides to pass on information.

    This strikes me as a human problem, not a technical problem.

  7. Brad Says:


    So at the airport the US Gov’t wants to see my junk.

    And it doesn’t want me to see its “junk”?

    Why should I care?

  8. gs Says:

    1. …the better to go after those who help and fund them…

    If the people who fund Wikileaks are also influential donors to US political causes, it will hit the fan. It bears watching who will call for investigation of Wikileaks funding, and who will studiously avoid the topic.

    (Having had second thoughts about making accusations, without evidence, for rhetorical effect, I have watered down the original version of this comment.)

    2. Although the buck stops at the CinC’s desk, Obama did not personally authorize a demoted soldier slated for discharge to have continued access to highly classified material. Was this access gross but straightforward bureaucratic incompetence, or was Bradley Manning given a PC pass for his sexual orientation like Nidal Malik Hussein received for being Muslim?

  9. Adrian Day Says:


    I don’t quite understand how Private First Class Bradley Manning can be the source of any of it. Since when does a Private First Class have access to this kind of information? Is there someone who can answer that question for me and why it is a question not already been raised by some hard-nosed reporter?

    No, I’m sorry but I don’t believe Manning is anything but a pathetic cover story.

  10. Papa Dan Says:

    “Nothing focuses the mind like a hanging.”

    Samuel Johnson

  11. Scottie Says:

    Regarding incredulity that lower level types within any organization would have access to sensitive data, keep in mind that if you really….and I mean really….want to know the inside scoop on any business – just have lunch with either the receptionist or one of the executive secretaries.

  12. Bill West Says:

    Ellsberg is like a One-Hit Wonder doing a reunion tour.

  13. Kristina-in-Florida Says:

    Scottie, I absolutely agree it is a human problem and an American one – the access to the database was given to many individuals, including Private Manning. Why was so much data in only one all inclusive source? Why were so many allowed access to such sensitive data?
    I have experience personally with Secret clearances – myself at a lower level than my two parents who had very high level clearances. From what I’m hearing the accessibility has to do with 9/11 and the attempt to have all agencies on the same page from there the responsibility starts to unravel.

  14. Occam's Beard Says:

    Please don’t mention Ellsberg and hanging in the same thread. It just gets my hopes up.


  15. Terrye Says:

    Well any American involved in this sort of thing should be punished…but we know the sanctimonious press will get away with murder, they always do.

    I wonder however, if there might be something going on behind the scenes to deal with Assange. This man never sleeps more than a couple of days in one place. He has no permanent address. He could disappear and no one would know the difference.

    Not that I think that should happen, but I am just saying that he is messing with some people here who do not like this sort of thing. For instance the Yemeni government is in hot water with its own people because of stuff in these cables.

  16. Adrian Day Says:

    Manning more than likely will receive no punishment but instead be presented witha Nobel Peace Prize and the lesser known Sandy Berger Award.

  17. Brad Says:

    I’d back assasinating Assange the day that our last 3 Presidents are brought up on treason charges.

  18. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    We can’t take out Assange, as he’s not going to physically go anywhere near a location where the US can get it’s hands on him.

    Sure we can. You just don’t want to know the details. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a foreign government take care of things after they’ve been exposed by the latest round of leaks.

  19. strcpy Says:

    One website I read – Slashdot – has always been a huge supporter of WikiLeaks (and is chock full of Bush Derangement Syndrome). It is ostensibly a tech focused site, but of course Bush is still so bad they have to take time out at least once a day to get a good bash going.

    Amusing enough this new release is being mostly hammered there too – there isn’t really any way you can hold the paper, no angle of the light, or really anyway at all to justify a great deal of this information released.

    The closes is that the US is so Evil(TM) that it is time to pile up everything they can to bring it down. Suddenly to those that were not really anti-American but were riding the BDS wave there is a great deal of “Wha? Wait? You said what?”.In the comments section the ones that admitted to donating money to him but are now “unsure as this leaves them feeling uncomfortable” is quite amusing.

    Not that for most it will make much of a difference in any other political ideas other than support for this individual. However it is quite amusing to watch them squirm and have to agree with all of us “crazies” that the guy a a great deal of his inner circle *are* anti-American, not just out on a Crusade Against Doing Wrong (and a modern day superman, robin hood, and batman all rolled into one).

    I’ll even predict that Assange is so far into his own self image and anti-Americanism that seeing some former supporters turn will make him go even further.

    Today has been an interesting day as the anticipation for his great releasing of documents has a good half not having anything better to explain the release other than “Anti-American” (and that half not really being that) whilst the other half gleefully spouts obviously anti-American slogans and some fractures open up. It’s got to be an ugly thing to see it, not sure how long it will last as the ability to rationalize is quite strong – I’m certain in a few days they will have figured out how this is good for the US.

  20. kaba Says:

    Please bring back the pre 1976 days of the Church Committee. At that time enemies of this country had a real chance of meeting a sudden and violent death.

  21. Scottie Says:

    I R A Darth Aggie,

    I agree it could be done – but I also feel it’s more likely to be an act carried out by a government other than the US.

    Not saying it would be at the behest of the US government, so much as I think you’re hitting the nail on the head regarding other governments getting into hot water themselves over this.

    They have a clear incentive to put an end to Assange’s mischief – and our hands are clean.

    Perhaps we should consider this yet another example of the left doing something without actually considering unintended consequences?

    That would be soooo rich!

  22. Mr. Frank Says:

    Part of this is a technology. Back in the Sixties classified material was on paper kept in locked, hardened file cabinets. The few people authorized to open it had to sign in and a red flag was hung over the drawer to indicate it was open. The massive amount of data stolen this time is only possible with computers. Access to those files was obviously not well controlled. How obvious is that?

  23. holmes Says:

    Well…I’m going to take the semi-contrarian view here. First, it’s kind of fortunate that no real damage was done here. Yes, trust, etc.- but when is it safer to buy a product? Before a huge flaw is discovered or after? The bureaucracy will respond by clamping down (and likely inefficiently) to ensure this kind of Type I error does not happen again. But the Type II error will be the inability to combine multiple sources of information.

    But, again…what was the actual harm here? Victor Davis Hanson wrote a little about this today on NRO. These agencies classify documents as a matter of course, it does not mean everything should actually be “classified.” Some of this material, yes, but it doesn’t appear to be anything more than a little dirty laundry, that was obvious to any other nation anyway.

    Some balance needs to be struck, of course, and the act itself is despicable despite the harm, but I think we dodged a bullet here and can begin looking for remedies.

  24. Occam's Beard Says:

    Note to Assange: do something productive for a chance, and get on Obama’s birth certificate, passport, and transcripts.

    You want to make a splash? I’m betting that there would be a major splash. And it would go some small way toward making amends.

  25. rickl Says:

    Well, this looks interesting. From the Market Ticker:

    Wikileaks: It Could Take Down a Bank Or Two

  26. Curtis Says:

    I hope the Wiki dump provides a viewpoint to examine the Johnathon Pollard affair. The secrets that Johnathon Pollard gave to the Israelis very well might have averted a world war. Pollard, for giving secrets to our ally, is still in prison 25 years later. His prison time has not been easy. The dis-information of what he did and how he did it and who he is has been a triumph for the left and the Arab world.

    On the other hand, those who provide our secrets to the enemy are treated by a large segment of our population as heroes.

  27. Matteo Says:

    Of course, it should go without saying that if the US were as evil as assorted leftist hysteric/traitors assert, Assange would have been conveniently dead long ago.

  28. Michael Says:

    If the US were as evil as assorted leftist hysteric/traitors assert said leftist hysteric/traitors would be hiding under the bed not creating web sites.

  29. ELC Says:

    I have mixed feelings about this. Why? It can be summed up like this: the confidence I have in the honesty and integrity of the powers that be to choose what ought to be “secret” is rapidly approaching nonexistence.

  30. rickl Says:

    I agree. And who are they keeping the secrets from, anyway?

    Revealing military secrets is one thing, but this latest dump seems to embarrass the State Department more than anyone, and I’m not terribly upset by that. The State Department has long been a rat’s nest of Communist and Arab sympathizers, as well as cynical opportunists who seem to run their own foreign policy regardless of who’s in the White House.

    The revelations that the Saudis have been funding Al-Qaeda as well as urging attacks against Iran aren’t especially shocking to anyone who has been paying attention.

    Personally, I’d love to see some details about which U.S. political figures have been bought and paid for by the Saudis. That would be enlightening. I’ll bet there a lot of them, from both parties.

    I wonder who is really behind this. I think there’s more here than meets the eye. I doubt it’s just Manning and Assange. Could Hillary be trying to discredit Obama? (Remember those 900 stolen FBI files during the Clinton administration?) Or maybe the other way around? Is George Soros involved?

  31. Artfldgr Says:

    We have taken on a mentality that doesnt understand the new war, and is befuddled by stuff that in the past would never have so much happening at once…

    ever notice that leaks and things are always one way? that you never see huge dumps of soviet records, or communist Chinese records…

    WikiLeaked cable from Bob Gates:
    ‘Russian democracy has disappeared’

    “SecDef (Gates) observed that Russian democracy has disappeared and the government was an oligarchy run by the security services”

    no need to spell them out…

    Russia’s former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov:
    “We have no democracy at all. We don’t have any future of a democratic state. Everything has been lost, everything has been taken from the people by the authorities.”

    Think how their friends with the reset button are in power…

  32. MVH Says:

    One good thing about this round of “WikiLeaks” is the uncovering of the true priorities of Obama’s foreign policy…or lack thereof.

    So [d]Ear Leader is busy finding ways to “shellack” those wascallyJoooooooz Israel. All the while you got the Saudis being as subtle as a brick saying better do something about Iran or else we all will take a shellacking.

    G-d knows how it will all end.

  33. waltj Says:

    To answer the earlier question why this information is available at such an apparently low level, it’s that troops on the “pointy end of the spear” now need it. Knowing what the Embassy is doing can inform the troops’ discussions with local leaders–host government officials, tribal sheikhs, imams, NGO workers, and so on. It’s a different world out there, and the USMC’s “strategic corporal” is no joke. SIPRNET, where these leaked cables were apparently housed, is part of that effort to push information down to the user.

    As 9/11 helped to show, just having information is useless. It must be in the hands of those who can act on it, and that generally means people outside the Beltway. But that most assuredly does not mean putting it in the hands of Julian Ass-whatever and his Wikileaks crowd. Whoever gave him the documents should face the maximum penalty the law allows. But I doubt anyone will ever be brought to justice on this.

  34. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Has anyone else noted the hypocrisy of the New York Times? Though they have committed no illegal acts by publishing these leaks and the previous ones from Iraq and Afghanistan, they do sometimes use publisher’s “discretion” and not publish information that they believe might be damaging to some group or cause. I am referring, of course, to their decision to NOT publish the dump of e-mails from the CRU at East Anglia U. Sometimes referred to as the “Climategate Papers.” They claimed they decided not to publish them because……they had not been obtained legally. WTF!

    This establishes quite clearly that the New York Times is a propaganda machine, not a news organization. But we all knew that.

    As to the over-classification of documents. This has been a problem as long as I can remember. In the 60s when I was cleared for Top Secret documents, I had to read several TS messages and documents a week. Imagine my surprise when a few days later I would read some “Top Secret” information in the Stars and Stripes. I realized then that we routinely over-classified documents and the info was routinely leaked. Most of the leaks were inconsequential as was the so-called Top Secret classification of the information. This has been a problem for a long time.

    The other one that makes me laugh. Oh no, our diplomats are spying on our friends and enemies! Sheesh. This has been going on ever since countries established diplomatic relations. Some members of the embassy and consulate staffs are trained spooks who know how to do James Bond stuff. Others are real diplomats who are trained to see and remember details of……well, everything. All this stuff was happening on steroids during the Cold War. The Cold War has ended. Intelligence gathering and spying has not.

  35. Bob From Virginia Says:

    What are we trying to keep secret, that our leaders don’t know squat about squat? All this leak stuff is proof of G-d’s love of the US, can anyone believe such a moronic state as the US could survive without divine intervention? Bismarck was right, G-d does take care of fools, beggars and the United States (although I’m afraid that eventually G-d may consider saving us beyond his powers).

  36. br549 Says:

    Interesting about Saudi Arabia. But, Iranians are Persians, not Arabs. Shiite, not Sunni.

    What I find ironic about it all is Assange having the freedom to expose these things will enhance the destruction of freedom for everyone. All I can assume is, that must be the point. Surely, that and other possible consequences, are not unintended.

  37. sergey Says:

    I wonder why Assange is still alive. Usually those who play loose with government secrets encounter lots of unfortunate accidents: car crushes, falls from open windows, lethal food poisoning, etc. Their boats suddenly explode, heaters leak carbon monoxide, they fall from staircases and break their necks. Who protects Assange from such fate?

  38. sergey Says:

    Art, Russian democracy disappeared not because somebody took it away from Russian people, but because it became a dirty word in Russia long before this happened. Democracy was rejected by Russian people in proportion of 80 to 20, as many quite liberal Russian pundits have desperately observed 15 years ago.

  39. expat Says:

    I just saw on German Yahoo that Ecuador has offered Assange assylum. I have no idea why.

  40. br549 Says:

    Perhaps ecuador is tired of being invisible on the world stage.

  41. tehag Says:

    In another time, another place, punishing the Wikileakers would be worthwhile. But the leaks reveal (yet again) a State Department that lies to the American people and works against American interests. Exposing these anti-American monsters is the first step in expelling every State Department employee and appointee and replacing them with people who can work for America.

  42. waltj Says:

    But the leaks reveal (yet again) a State Department that lies to the American people and works against American interests.

    As they say in Australia, please explain. I haven’t read all the documents, and certainly don’t plan to, since I have a day job that already keeps me fully occupied, but I haven’t yet seen any where the State Dept appears to be lying to us or working against our interests. If you have, please point them out to the rest of us. From what I’ve seen so far, what the State Dept. has previously said publicly about the major issues of the day–Iranian nukes, Chinese relations with the Koreas, North Korean weapons proliferation, Russian authoritarianism–closely tracks with what has been posted on Wikileaks. You might disagree with the policy that’s being advocated, fair enough, but how does that equate to lies and anti-American activity?

  43. Scottie Says:

    So, between the banks, the governments, and businesses – anyone want to hazard a guess as to who ultimately whacks him and how long it will take?

    There are so many governments involved in this exposure that it would be difficult to figure out exactly who did it as there would be just too many suspects!

  44. Brad Says:

    Yes, you may well wonder why he is still alive:

    And yet people still want this guy dead because he’s embarrassing us. What should embarrass us is what we put up with at all levels of our government and financial sectors.

  45. Timothy Says:

    Julian Assange is not a creep, read this very long detailed interview with him.

    He’s a very modern person, read read read. He has a new release planned that will expose a bank for wrong-doing. Problem?

  46. Bob from Virginia Says:

    something no one, or at least few have mentioned, how many surprises are NOT coming out of all this. The only thing I have learned new is that the Chinese are almost ready to dump North Korea (which means we can all sleep a bit better at night). Beyond that the knowledge that the Arabs fear Iran and only pay lip service to condemning Israel is not news, nor is the opinions of foreign leaders exceptional. Sure our leaders will not be trusted, but we all know Obama is held in contempt by adults everywhere so that is not news.

    The only real shock is that one person was able to pull this off, and that millions of others could have done the same.

    As for someone knocking off Assange as a warning; we have a President who for all practical purposes is a traitor backed up by a party of Quislings, Assange does not rate an honorable mention in comparison. It is far more lightly Obama will give him a Medal of Freedom, just like the one he gave Mary Robinson.

  47. NeoConScum Says:

    I’m just fine with discipling this sewage dweller the old fashioned way: Baa-Daa-Bing. Like dat.

    But, like Bibi’s Boom-Boom gifts to Iranian Nuke scientists, it isn’t gonna come from The Bamma.

  48. NeoConScum Says:

    Woops…Meant “disciplining”.. But, hey, if a disciple wants to do it..just saying..

  49. F Says:

    Ohhhh. Asylum in Ecuador! The only place more perfect would be Paraguay or Bolivia!

    As for the general question of classification, I can say that Manning would likely have been disqualified when I got my first Top Secret clearance in 1967 (homosexuality would have been certain disqualification, and his foreign-born mother and having lived a long time outside the US would have raised flags at the very least). I noticed, though, that in subsequent interviews to update my clearance questions about homosexuality and drug use disappeared from the process.

    The whole classification process was re-examined a quarter century ago, though, the number of people with TS clearance was reduced, and an effort was made to decrease the amount of material that was classified. I wasn’t convinced that this effort met with much success: I still saw intelligence reporting of open-source information that carried the TS/NOFORN heading. What, I wondered, could be top secret about a story that was lifted from a newspaper? I think often the fact that it was of interest to intelligence services was more important than the information itself.

    This information dump does not trouble me as much the cynicism of the NYTimes in justifying this publication while NOT publishing the Climategate cables. Such transparent anti-Americanism! How does the editor stand his own image in the mirror when he shaves in the morning?

  50. gs Says:

    Kristina-in-Florida Says: The culprit in this is the security on the database for the Siprnet system. Access to the database was given to way too many individuals. This is unbelievable and careless.

    I gather that Bradley Manning had been demoted for striking a fellow soldier and was due to be discharged. How the bleep did an individual like that keep a high-level security clearance and the corresponding access it provides?

    But since the ruling class has no intention of getting its act together, its response will be more government attacks on inalienable civil liberties. The Internet will become even more of a target. (1. The powers that be will not phrase the matter that way, of course. 2. Of course I acknowledge the existence of national security threats and other online malefaction.) Never let a crisis go to waste.

  51. Richard Saunders Says:

    Since the NY Times, Washington Post, et al clearly broke a number of laws dealing with electronic intelligence and nothing happened, I doubt very much that anything will happen to Assunge. On the other hand, if there is a US Attorney somewhere with a pair of huevos, maybe he (or she) could indict him. Since the Supreme Court says there’s nothing wrong with bounty hunters going to another country and capturing somebody . . .

  52. Artfldgr Says:

    It disappeared because the collapse was a fake and the state organs who took control wanted it that way, and like in the US, did everything to insure that the people who would have worked hard and succeeded still had no chance to. (Russians who do leave, become one of the most financial successful nationalities according to the millionaire next door).

    when they are not under the thumb of
    the Cheka – 1917
    NKVD (as GPU) – 1922
    OGPU – 1923
    NKVD (as GUGB) – 1934
    NKGB – 1941
    NKVD (as GUGB) – 1941
    NKGB -1943
    MGB 1946
    merged with the MVD 1953
    KGB 1954
    FSB after 1991

    so… which year did they EVER live without the thumb?

    And, the new organs are not balanced as the old system was into a trinary, like a stool with three legs.

    The US was the only country without such until hoover… and we HAD to create such, just to meet the BS from that organization.

    Asange is not getting his information from a kid in iowa, or even some single soldier… his dumps are from a state agency, and there are only TWO who would do such and do do such, and have a near 100 year history of doing such, with many branches… and i havent even listed the military organs like the GRU and its lineage.

    it took a defector to show us a sleeper here… a very young beautiful sleeper, with others. and yet it doesn’t register that there are many others as well? that the fall facilitated flooding the west with emigre who served, and allowed easy access to enclaves where real immigrants would be tapped as a resource.

    now the KGB, as the FSB controls the country and you claim that the people can make their own, and have freely decided the point?

    i guess like progressives and liberalism here in the US it all was open, honest, debated, and agreed upon, without council (soviet) tricks… right?

    EVERY group that is on that side of the spectrum cheats and has no morals as a defining point of action, reason, and acceptability.

    and i am NOT the one that defined them, they defined themselves over 100 years with consistent behavior that we looked upon inconsistently

    given a REAL chance the Russian people could do very well, they are talented, resourceful, smart, and no matter how much of that they have, slaves of the state do not produce… but they do have lots of sex, abortions, and drink themselves to death killing time till time kills them…

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