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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Wikileaks: Guantánamo files (Formerly Iraq War Logs) (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Wikileaks: Guantánamo files (Formerly Iraq War Logs)
SoaPiNuReYe
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I wonder how many Americans will just sheepishly roll over and tolerate government censorship of the Internet? All of them, or just most of them?

Well, what else can we do? I've had the feeling from the start of this whole WikiLeaks controversy that the American public is stuck on the sidelines watching the whole thing. Maybe if the anons over at 4chan stir something up people themselves could actually do something to fight this, but for right now the mainstream media is either blacking out the entire story or too busy railing on Assange to actually devote much coverage to the how active the government has become in censoring the website. People themselves have no real direct forum to really state their complaints against this type of behavior.
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Mucus
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Amusing at least
quote:
kaepora Nadim Kobeissi by evgenymorozov
Anonymous has mobilized in defense of WikiLeaks > http://uiu.me/4.png #anon #wikileaks #cablegate

...

evgenymorozov Evgeny Morozov
Gingrich: Assange is an ‘enemy combatant’ http://goo.gl/b2Yh5 (in that case, the country where he's hiding must be Yemen)


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SoaPiNuReYe
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Amusing at least
quote:
kaepora Nadim Kobeissi by evgenymorozov
Anonymous has mobilized in defense of WikiLeaks > http://uiu.me/4.png #anon #wikileaks #cablegate

...

evgenymorozov Evgeny Morozov
Gingrich: Assange is an ‘enemy combatant’ http://goo.gl/b2Yh5 (in that case, the country where he's hiding must be Yemen)


I think the funniest thing about that second link is how he blames Obama for everything.
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Rakeesh
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I'm not advocating Amazon be compelled to sponsor Wikileaks's speech, Dan. I was originally only taking issue with your first characterization,

"Likewise, didn't Amazon choose to drop wikileaks? So... is HRW really arguing that they should be made to not do that, for fear of censoring someone? Sorry, no. Freedom of speech doesn't extend into forcing other private entities to help you."

I don't think it's reasonable to argue Amazon's 'choice' was very pure as you seemed to suggest, certainly not in a strict 'marketplace of ideas' sense as the Founders would have originally intended. Do you still stand by that idea, or am I misunderstanding you?

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I'm not advocating Amazon be compelled to sponsor Wikileaks's speech, Dan. I was originally only taking issue with your first characterization,

"Likewise, didn't Amazon choose to drop wikileaks? So... is HRW really arguing that they should be made to not do that, for fear of censoring someone? Sorry, no. Freedom of speech doesn't extend into forcing other private entities to help you."

I don't think it's reasonable to argue Amazon's 'choice' was very pure as you seemed to suggest, certainly not in a strict 'marketplace of ideas' sense as the Founders would have originally intended. Do you still stand by that idea, or am I misunderstanding you?

Perhaps it's a misunderstanding. I wasn't really trying to comment on the purity of the choice. My only real point was that they did have a choice, and HRW's suggestion seems to run exactly counter to the whole "choice" concept. Certainly, Amazon felt it was to their benefit to drop Wikileaks, and one can make a reasonable argument that this decision was based largely on pleasing the government. And that's lame. I don't want to government to have that much power, by any means.

Again, my only real objection is that HRW's solution doesn't really involve limiting government power to prevent this from happening. It just involves putting different (government?) pressures on companies.

So, yeah. Recap: Wasn't trying to say Amazon's choice was pure, sorry if I came off that way. Was saying HRW's suggestion was vile and not a good solution in any way.

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aspectre
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http://www.gocomics.com/bloomcounty/2010/12/01/
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Mucus
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quote:
And censorship should not be in any way accepted by any company from anywhere. And in America, American companies need to make a principled stand. This needs to be part of our national brand. I’m confident that consumers worldwide will reward companies that follow those principles.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
  • Amazon
  • Tableau
  • EveryDNS
  • PayPal

Visa and Mastercard next?

Answer is Mastercard
quote:
"MasterCard is taking action to ensure that WikiLeaks can no longer accept MasterCard-branded products," a spokesman for MasterCard Worldwide said today.
http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20024776-281.html#ixzz17NLkyUcm

I'll replace Mastercard's spot with, say, Twitter.

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TomDavidson
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I'm actually intrigued by what illegal behavior both MasterCard and PayPal think WikiLeaks is engaged in.
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Rakeesh
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Something I'm interested in is who Mastercard thinks they're kidding. It isn't as though their service isn't used for all sorts of sleazy or even illegal activity already.

ETA: Which isn't exactly unnatural, I mean credit cards will be misused. But for them to get holier-than-though about Wikileaks says (to me) a lot more about who is upset about Wikileaks than their stance about their cards being used 'badly'.

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Orincoro
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I doubt they think they're kidding anybody. Honestly, it's like you guys were suddenly born yesterday- you know better than to be so naive.
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TomDavidson
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It seems like they're asking to be sued, though, by citing illegal behavior in a situation in which, to the best of my knowledge, absolutely no charges of any kind have been filed. Then again, it's not like Assange can safely show up in a courtroom to have this conversation.
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Week-Dead Possum
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And they have about, oh, a million times his resources. And a lot more to lose.
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Mucus
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Huh, Visa too. That was fast.

I'm running out of companies here. What's left? Facebook? I'm marginally surprised that both of these actions were taken to affect not only American citizens, but everyone else as well.

The thing is, since they're cutting off not just Assange, but the whole of the WikiLeaks group, theoretically someone else could show up. Although the odds are obviously slim.

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Orincoro
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Just one good reason why the internet is in need of an internationally regulated currency system not dependent on private businesses. That is, internationally regulated. The US government should also not be able to shut down the movement of money across the net.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
In 2003, El-Masri was kidnapped from Macedonia and transported to a secret CIA-run prison in Afghanistan where he was held for several months and tortured before being dumped on a hillside in Albania. The American Civil Liberties Union brought a case in the U.S. on El-Masri's behalf in 2005, charging that former CIA director George Tenet violated U.S. and universal human rights laws when he authorized agents to abduct and abuse El-Masri. Lower courts dismissed the lawsuit on state secrecy grounds, and in 2007 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

http://www.aclu.org/national-security/us-pressured-germany-not-prosecute-cia-officers-torture-and-rendition

Philip J. Crowley
As U.S. Assistant Secretary of State ...
quote:
One year in prison and not charged with a crime. We remember Alan Gross today and call on #Cuba to release him. 'Tis the season.
http://twitter.com/#!/PJCrowley/status/10854929954504704
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
It seems like they're asking to be sued, though, by citing illegal behavior in a situation in which, to the best of my knowledge, absolutely no charges of any kind have been filed. Then again, it's not like Assange can safely show up in a courtroom to have this conversation.

quote:
"MasterCard rules prohibit customers from directly or indirectly engaging in or facilitating any action that is illegal,"

That's not such a stretch. The documents were leaked illegally, and wikileaks facilitated their distribution.
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Mucus
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Those are two different sets of people though. The rule would seem to block people from donating to Manning for the purposes of leaking, but not necessarily to WikiLeaks for distribution. It wouldn't be clear how that rule would distinguish between WikiLeaks distributing the cables to the Guardian versus the Guardian distributing the cables to the NYT for example.

Also, as PJCrowley helpfully suggests, there should at least be charges of some sort. Innocent before proven guilty after all.

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TomDavidson
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*nod* Not only is it unclear that WikiLeaks is doing anything illegal, WikiLeaks hasn't even been charged with a crime.
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Destineer
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Distributing classified information is only illegal if you're a govt employee.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
*nod* Not only is it unclear that WikiLeaks is doing anything illegal, WikiLeaks hasn't even been charged with a crime.

That is not in the letter of the statement. I don't think the fact that they haven't been charged is material to the matter at hand- they are involved in a clearly illegal leak of information from the US federal government.


quote:
Distributing classified information is only illegal if you're a govt employee.
Visa and Mastercard policy is not law, it's policy. And pay attention to the wording used to explain the decision- it relates to facilitation of a crime. In this case, the law was broken by a federal employee leaking the intelligence to wikileaks, so wikileaks is an ex post facto party to that crime, if not a defendant or conspirator.
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Rawrain
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It's only illegal if you want it to be :D
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Mucus
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Man.
So, this due process thing I've heard so much about. Did the US repeal that or something?

On a humorous note, from the Guardian live-blog:
quote:
5.30pm: With perfect timing an email arrives from Philip Crowley at the state department:

quote:
The United States is pleased to announce that it will host Unesco's World Press Freedom Day event in 2011, from 1-3 May in Washington, DC.
Ironic? Read the next paragraph from the press release:

quote:
The theme for next year's commemoration will be 21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers. The United States places technology and
innovation at the forefront of its diplomatic and development efforts. New media has empowered citizens around the world to report on their circumstances, express opinions on world events, and exchange information in environments sometimes hostile to such exercises of individuals' right to freedom of expression. At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information. We mark events such as World Press Freedom Day in the context of our enduring commitment to support and expand press freedom and the free flow of information in this digital age.

Shameless. You really could not make it up.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
In this case, the law was broken by a federal employee leaking the intelligence to wikileaks, so wikileaks is an ex post facto party to that crime, if not a defendant or conspirator.
By this logic, neither Visa, MasterCard, nor PayPal should have accepted eBay or Napster payments.
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Blayne Bradley
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Seems like if I'm haring correctly that WikiLeaks assets in Swiss and in Paypal have been seized.

What alternatives do they have to keep functioning?

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TomDavidson
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Not too many, unless its other officers are willing to risk their own personal finances.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
In this case, the law was broken by a federal employee leaking the intelligence to wikileaks, so wikileaks is an ex post facto party to that crime, if not a defendant or conspirator.
By this logic, neither Visa, MasterCard, nor PayPal should have accepted eBay or Napster payments.
Neither of those cases are parallel, but anyway, I am not making a logical argument, I am stating the what I see as the probable reasoning behind this particular decision, which reasoning I felt was being misinterpreted. Namely, people were claiming Mastercard and Visa were calling Assange's actions criminal, however their statement clearly noted that they were also concerned with parties facilitating criminal acts. Whether that reasoning is sound or whether it is self-consistent with the past actions of these companies is debatable.

If you want to talk about the consistency of that position, I can comment on my overall impression. In the case of Napster and Ebay, legitimate uses exist, and are the at least publicly stated purposes of the services (with varying degrees of truth value), whereas wikileaks could be characterized as an organization set up to facilitate theft of classified data. Note, not the facilitation of the actual theft, but rather facilitation of the act where the desired result is its dissemination on the internet. So, say, in the way that a chop shop does not steal cars, but rather is set up to receive stolen cars, which are stolen for that purpose (not a stellar analogy, but a rough and ready one nevertheless). The same logic *ought* to have applied to Napster, but we're also talking 10 years of the RIAA later, and the world of intellectual property is not what it used to be- claiming a legitimate use when the clear purpose is illegitimate was once a useful stalling tactic, and is now less so.

All of that's open to interpretation, but the exact same logic would not apply in all three cases. Particularly, due diligence for Mastercard and Visa would demand that they recognize that wikileaks' primary purpose may be facilitation of illegal leaks, especially considering Assange so obligingly states that as the group's position, to wit: "catching bastards."

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Mucus
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Once more unto the breach.

quote:
More than 700 leaked secret files on the Guantánamo detainees lay bare the inner workings of America's controversial prison camp in Cuba.

The US military dossiers, obtained by the New York Times and the Guardian, reveal how, alongside the so-called "worst of the worst", many prisoners were flown to the Guantánamo cages and held captive for years on the flimsiest grounds, or on the basis of lurid confessions extracted by maltreatment.

quote:
Among inmates who proved harmless were an 89-year-old Afghan villager, suffering from senile dementia, and a 14-year-old boy who had been an innocent kidnap victim.

The old man was transported to Cuba to interrogate him about "suspicious phone numbers" found in his compound. The 14-year-old was shipped out merely because of "his possible knowledge of Taliban...local leaders"

quote:
One Briton, Jamal al-Harith, was rendered to Guantánamo simply because he had been held in a Taliban prison and was thought to have knowledge of their interrogation techniques.
quote:
Another prisoner was shipped to the base "because of his general knowledge of activities in the areas of Khowst and Kabul based as a result of his frequent travels through the region as a taxi driver".
quote:
The files also reveal that an al-Jazeera journalist was held at Guantánamo for six years, partly in order to be interrogated about the Arabic news network.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/25/guantanamo-files-lift-lid-prison
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Samprimary
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I was all like 'hey guys take a look at this!' and the response could be universally distilled down to "sam, we reached our limit and capped out our loathing and moments of painful confrontation, and at this point whenever we're painfully reminded that we were run by evil clowns, we just shut down"
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Mucus
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Two amusing points then:

Al Jazeera cameraman being interviewed on Al Jazeera about his interrogation by the Americans about Al Jazeera
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8Q88e9BgK0

(Interesting because of their role on influencing the Arab revolutions and public opinion in the Middle East)

Also:
quote:
Detainees’ Lawyers Can’t Click on Leaked Documents

Anyone surfing the Internet this week is free to read leaked documents about the prisoners held by the American military at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to print them out or e-mail them to friends.

Except, that is, for the lawyers who represent the prisoners.

On Monday, hours after WikiLeaks, The New York Times and other news organizations began publishing the documents online, the Justice Department informed Guantánamo defense lawyers that the documents remained legally classified even after they were made public.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/world/guantanamo-files-detainees-lawyers-restricted-leaked-documents.html?_r=1
Makes sense in an absurd kinda way

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Mucus
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Hurray! Been hearing unconfirmed hints about a second leaker in the US leaking stuff on the NSA for a few weeks now, including the Glenn Greenwald tweets hinting at it, but it looks like there's confirmation now.

quote:
The federal government has concluded there's a new leaker exposing national security documents in the aftermath of surveillance disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, U.S. officials tell CNN.
Proof of the newest leak comes from national security documents that formed the basis of a news story published Tuesday by the Intercept, the news site launched by Glenn Greenwald, who also published Snowden's leaks.
...
In a February interview with CNN's Reliable Sources, Greenwald said: "I definitely think it's fair to say that there are people who have been inspired by Edward Snowden's courage and by the great good and virtue that it has achieved."
He added, "I have no doubt there will be other sources inside the government who see extreme wrongdoing who are inspired by Edward Snowden."

http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/05/politics/u-s-new-leaker/index.html
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BlackBlade
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Doesn't sound like the leaks are as high profile as Snowden's.
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