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Free Press: Does Wikileaks Belong?

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The Ecuadorian Embassy removed Julian Assange and handed him to British police. Assange faces a charge in the U.S. and will possibly be extradited.

Is Julian Assange and WikiLeaks part of the Free Press or just an activist group that might be held accountable for actions that ran counter to laws?

The Washington Post seems to think that Julian Assange needs to be held accountable for his actions. Read an opinion by the WP Editorial Board: Julian Assange is not a free-press hero. And he is long overdue for personal accountability.

I agree with this opinion and would like to further discuss.

If you think otherwise, please state and defend your opinion.

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I don't think he's part of the free press in any traditional sense. But, that doesn't mean that I think what he did was wrong or should be punishable criminally necessarily. If any person or group has access to any information that would be of benefit or service to the general public or greater good then it is a no brainer that the info be made available, and such persons be encouraged to come forward.

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21 minutes ago, Tzatziki said:

 it is a no brainer that the info be made available, and such persons be encouraged to come forward. 

U.S. prosecutors unsealed an indictment accusing him of conspiring with Chelsea Manning to hack a Defense Department computer network in 2010 to obtain secret documents that WikiLeaks hoped to publish. That attempt was unsuccessful. The US Justice Department is playing it smart and is going after him for theft of secrets (more charges might follow). Press advocates are not stepping behind Assange.

What makes you believe that Assange was doing stuff for the 'greater good'? After all, Assange appeared to be a tool of Russian meddling to support Donald Trump, or was that part of the 'greater good' also?

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I don't necessarily believe that he did what he did for the right reasons, nor the opposite. I have not looked into him and wikileaks enough to be able to provide an opinion I could defend. In my above post I am speaking hypothetically.

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Like this is the type of scenario that comes to my mind, and something I know a bit more about, this group and their actions I support fully. If Assange turns out to be from their cloth then I would back him too.

The Burglars Who Revealed COINTELPRO Have Come Forward


"The burglars who broke into an FBI office in 1971 and made off with tons of documents have come forward nearly forty years after their score helped expose J. Edgar Hoover and the Bureau's widespread effort of political repression."


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What is the problem? Let us assume that

  1. Tomorrow I step into a bank (armed and penniless) and exit with 200K.
  2. Knowing that our benefactor is running out of funds and Phantis may close, I give 100K to our benefactor.
  3. He takes the moolah, and as a result the Phantis is revived

In this case,

  1. If caught, I will be accused of a crime and I will end in jail.
  2. Lazarus will also go to jail if he knew that the 100K was the outcome of a crime.
  3. Crime or not, Lazarus may have problems with the IRS.

Clearly 1) and 2) are crimes.

Therefore, the question is not if Assange committed a crime, see 1) above; moreover it is criminal to knowingly accept and use the outcome of the crimes of Assange.

I fear that the DNC will climb to new Himalaya-like levels of ineptitude and the bozo will not be ousted from his current domicile

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Well, there are some state shield laws but no federal law that protects journalists other than the First Amendment that's about freedom of the press. Journalists cannot use illegal means (like hacking or breaking into people's and the gov's domains) to obtain information. I think the courts examine it case by case. The Pentagon papers were leaked to the press (NYT) by someone who had legal access to them and saw the lies and other violations by the gov. The NYT published the papers and the courts decided in the press' favor and in the public's interest to know about about the Vietnam War.

Assange is no journalist; he's rather an extortionist, who used illegal means to obtain information.

Imagine if in the name of freedom of the press any journalist could break any law and into people's & gov secrets....

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It all depends on what Assange released to the public.  I don’t know specifically what he released.  But if it was say information about the Russians developing a new type of weapon, or of genocide, then he would be a hero.  But because a lot of the information seems to be about governments universally, well it’s hard enough to pick a fight with the government as it is, but to pick a fight will all governments, man that is ballsy, or stupid, depends on your point of view.

He seems intelligent, but also unstable and delusional.  Did he really think he could get away with this ?

The most disappointing part about this is the actions (or lack thereof) of the Australian government.  I am not surprised.  In fact I’d be surprised if they stood up to the U.S. and said he’d be prosecuted in Australia.  As for the Ecaudorian government, what can you say.  Shameful behaviour all for some pieces of silver.  Always the silver, always.

I’m not saying he’s a good guy or didn’t break the law.  I’m simply saying neither is the government, so I’m not exactly on their side either.  I “get” what’s going on.  The government has to go for Assange, otherwise, others will follow.  Nothing new under the sun here.

Edited by Bananas
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