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Old 12-04-2010, 06:19 PM   #61
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Same here, but other than the nasty little thrill of reading someone else's mail, the first batch wasn't very impressive on the scandalous scale.
Possibly. I was hoping for more congressional reaming and possibly law suits against the person.... Or maybe even prosecution!

One can always hope!
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:22 AM   #62
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Are any of the leaked documents offically marked as classified?
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:29 AM   #63
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Are any of the leaked documents offically marked as classified?
Most. That's a problem. Way too much stuff classified as secret when it is not. This leads to far too many people needing access to classified documents, which just makes protecting them all the more difficult. After the dust settles, there will surely be an effort to revisit the classification system.
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Old 12-05-2010, 02:47 PM   #64
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Scott Adams has an interesting take on all of this~

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Conspiracy two: The recent Wikileaks about the United States were intentionally leaked by our government. Have you noticed that nothing in the leaks is news? It's everything we already knew. Pakistan isn't a reliable ally in the war on terror? Shocking! Saudis hate Iranians? Shocking! Saudi Arabia funds Al Qaeda? Shocking!

Maybe it's the artist (sort of) in me, but I always think empty space in real life is just as intentional as it is in landscape compositions. The lack of bombshells in the Wikileak materials looks mighty suspicious to me. Some observers are going so far as to say that the report does little more than show that U.S. diplomats are doing a fine job. Compare these two theories and tell me which one sounds more likely:

1. U.S. Diplomats are the only group of people on Earth who are all doing a fine job. And they never write down anything that is worse than just baaarely embarrassing. And someone risked being executed as a traitor to release this non-news.

2. The U.S. government leaked the information itself, after taking out the good parts, because somewhere buried in the pile is an idea that they want "accidentally" released to the world.

I give this theory a 60% chance of being true because it would be easy for the government to pull it off, there's a good chance it would be useful, and it is well within the normal political bag of tricks. If you see a "leak" revelation in the next few days that seems to help the government's strategy more than it hurts, I might raise my estimate.
Scott Adams Blog: Two Conspiracy Theories 12/02/2010
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Old 12-05-2010, 06:35 PM   #65
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After the dust settles, there will surely be an effort to revisit the classification system.
For about the 300th time...
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Old 12-05-2010, 06:47 PM   #66
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Willie Nelson's tour bus was busted based on a tip from a Wikileaks leak.
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Old 12-05-2010, 06:53 PM   #67
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Nope, it's because he leaves the windows down all the time
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:15 PM   #68
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I'd agree with Scott Adam conspiracy theory for this leak. However, the Afghanistan files probably resulted in some former Afghan "allies" being killed or switching sides, I think that cross the lines from something that even a clandestine government operative would do.

The thing that is is both puzzling and disturbing is why the vaunted new CyberCommand has not taking out the website. I realize that Wikileaks was set up to make it hard to do so, but I would hope that Army of US hackers should be able to crash the damn site.
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:57 PM   #69
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The thing that is is both puzzling and disturbing is why the vaunted new CyberCommand has not taking out the website. I realize that Wikileaks was set up to make it hard to do so, but I would hope that Army of US hackers should be able to crash the damn site.
First, I hope that they haven't been trying... and failing.

Second, they probably don't have permission to do anything more than simulations & training. They've probably crashed his site dozens of times in the lab.

Third, I suspect there's an OPORDER tucked away somewhere that specifies what's considered hostile action and when they can respond. If they do anything now then they might give away methods and intelligence about what they'd do to China in a shootin' war.

Fourth, if they did anything that could be traced back to them then the media and public opinion would be against the big bad Army beating up on the little voice of freedom of information. No need to make him any more of a martyr than he's already volunteered for...

Of course if some eager-beaver colonel is drooling on his desk for a performance bullet and maybe even a medal, then all bets are off.
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:15 AM   #70
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I'd agree with Scott Adam conspiracy theory for this leak. However, the Afghanistan files probably resulted in some former Afghan "allies" being killed or switching sides, I think that cross the lines from something that even a clandestine government operative would do.

The thing that is is both puzzling and disturbing is why the vaunted new CyberCommand has not taking out the website. I realize that Wikileaks was set up to make it hard to do so, but I would hope that Army of US hackers should be able to crash the damn site.
Those guys are not really going to be interested in wikileaks. They are more interested in protecting DOD infrastructures than taking out civilian web sites with "bad" content.

If wikileaks was posting ways of taking down dod networks or other similar sensitive information that might be a different story. Even if that happened , I doubt they would do anything directly. Some non military organization would probably step in instead (publicly anyways).

The wikipedia has an entry on them that has some concise general information.

United States Cyber Command - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:40 AM   #71
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if they did anything that could be traced back to them then the media and public opinion would be against the big bad Army beating up on the little voice of freedom of information.
Indeed.

The ACLU writes: "We’re deeply skeptical that prosecuting WikiLeaks would be constitutional, or a good idea. The courts have made clear that the First Amendment protects independent third parties who publish classified information. Prosecuting WikiLeaks would be no different from prosecuting the media outlets that also published classified documents. If newspapers could be held criminally liable for publishing leaked information about government practices, we might never have found out about the CIA’s secret prisons or the government spying on innocent Americans. Prosecuting publishers of classified information threatens investigative journalism that is necessary to an informed public debate about government conduct, and that is an unthinkable outcome."

and

"The broader lesson of the WikiLeaks phenomenon is that President Obama should recommit to the ideals of transparency he invoked at the beginning of his presidency. The American public should not have to depend on leaks to the news media and on whistleblowers to know what the government is up to."
(I can imagine that diplomats and the military don't exactly share the ACLU's position...)
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:15 AM   #72
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Indeed.

The ACLU writes: "We’re deeply skeptical that prosecuting WikiLeaks would be constitutional, or a good idea. The courts have made clear that the First Amendment protects independent third parties who publish classified information.
and

"The broader lesson of the WikiLeaks phenomenon is that President Obama should recommit to the ideals of transparency he invoked at the beginning of his presidency. The American public should not have to depend on leaks to the news media and on whistleblowers to know what the government is up to." (I can imagine that diplomats and the military probably don't exactly share the ACLU's position...)
There is a good article in the WSJ on Julian views.

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His central plan is that leaks will restrict the flow of information among officials—"conspirators" in his view—making government less effective. Or, as Mr. Assange puts it, "We can marginalize a conspiracy's ability to act by decreasing total conspiratorial power until it is no longer able to understand, and hence respond effectively to its environment. . . . An authoritarian conspiracy that cannot think efficiently cannot act to preserve itself."
Berkeley blogger Aaron Bady last week posted a useful translation of these essays. He explains Mr. Assange's view this way: "While an organization structured by direct and open lines of communication will be much more vulnerable to outside penetration, the more opaque it becomes to itself (as a defense against the outside gaze), the less able it will be to 'think' as a system, to communicate with itself." Mr. Assange's idea is that with enough leaks, "the security state will then try to shrink its computational network in response, thereby making itself dumber and slower and smaller."

Berkeley blogger Aaron Bady last week posted a useful translation of these essays. He explains Mr. Assange's view this way: "While an organization structured by direct and open lines of communication will be much more vulnerable to outside penetration, the more opaque it becomes to itself (as a defense against the outside gaze), the less able it will be to 'think' as a system, to communicate with itself." Mr. Assange's idea is that with enough leaks, "the security state will then try to shrink its computational network in response, thereby making itself dumber and slower and smaller."

Or as Mr. Assange told Time magazine last week, "It is not our goal to achieve a more transparent society; it's our goal to achieve a more just society." If leaks cause U.S. officials to "lock down internally and to balkanize," they will "cease to be as efficient as they were."
Now I realize that worrying about the US government being too efficient seems oxymoronic to most of its citizen but Assange is Australian, and may not be familiar with Katrina response, USPS, and the wonderfully regulators of Freddie and Fannie, or perhaps our vaunted intelligence about Iraq's WMDs.

But since he is basic goal is not transparency but rather is to hurt the US government, he pose a threat to the US and I would hope some cyber/security department within the US would try and defend us. I suppose it would make sense to do this clandestine fashion and I'm sure the President should authorize it. However, I really don't care if news of our cyberattack leaks. In fact, I think it is virtually impossible that news wouldn't leak.

As non-US citizen I am not sure that US has or should have legal recourse against Mr. Assange for crimes he committed not on US soil. On the other hand I think he is committing cyber terrorism and I don't think he deserves any special treatment but I'd stop well short of a predator drone strike against the guy.

A nice starting point in the name of transparency would be to publish a list of everyone who contribute information, and money to wikileaks. Followed by an announcement that Uncle Sam has logged the IP address of everybody who has access wikileaks to download a document.

Once the confidentially of wikileaks sources is compromised I think the site would cease to be a relevant.

My greatest fear is what Nords suggest that we have a tried a fail to shut down the site.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:37 AM   #73
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I don't think Assange's motives (make the US tighten up its communications thus stifling it's own effectiveness) would trump the 1st Amendment protections. There was a good artticle in the Washington Post yesterday noting that Assange may have violated no laws. Generally, only Government officials are subject to criminal sanctions for releasing classified info.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:38 AM   #74
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For about the 300th time...
And they'll keep on doing it 'til they get it right...
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:03 AM   #75
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If the conspiracy theorists are right and this is really a false flag operation (I don't really expect that), then it's a pretty effective one, with Americans clamoring for MORE Big Brother.
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:33 AM   #76
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Yes I think the people that are calling for actions against wikileaks should question their own motivations. It seems to be one big yawn to an outside observer.
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:03 AM   #77
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It does not surprise me that sitting in your chair in Canada or Mexico you can not see real harm in what has been done. However, if you were in Afghanistan, trying to negotiate with a local war lord, you might have a different view.
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:28 AM   #78
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Is it just me, or has wikileaks.org been down for 3-4 days?

It does seem a little big-brotherish if our government is behind it. Covertly or overtly. Of course we won't know if it is covert, unless a new wikileaks pops up to let us know.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:34 AM   #79
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However, if you were in Afghanistan, trying to negotiate with a local war lord, you might have a different view.
Do you mean the warlord who is sitting on his couch surfing wikileaks?
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:00 AM   #80
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Does that pass for humor in your neck of the woods?
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