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Old 12-02-2010, 12:06 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by beau99 View Post
Amazon should be praised for pulling the hosting of that damn site. Assange is a criminal and should be treated as such.
your opinion... you choose to praise, i choose to boycott

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Old 12-02-2010, 04:37 PM   #107
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i'm sure they will really feel the pinch..........

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Old 12-02-2010, 04:48 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Bad Ronald View Post
i'm sure they will really feel the pinch..........
every little helps! lol
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:23 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by AchtungBono View Post
As one of those arseholes....and damm proud of it.....could you please explain to me why you don't think what he did was wrong.
don't you think it's important that our governments are held to account, and that civil society is able to call them out on their arrogance and hypocrisy somehow?

it appears that democracy has a very thin veneer - it's quite telling and perhaps startling seeing what's happened here when we scratch the surface and touch a nerve

free speech and all that, apparently there is no such thing and we really are everywhere in chains, rousseau got that right i guess
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:33 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by mama cass View Post
don't you think it's important that our governments are held to account, and that civil society is able to call them out on their arrogance and hypocrisy somehow?
AchtungBono is an interesting mix of pro-military industrial complex ideas and Israeli "we'll roll over your fucking house with a tank care of Uncle Sam" super-bravado.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:01 PM   #111
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I would say I'm slightly pro-WikiLeaks.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:50 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by PhilsFan View Post
I would say I'm slightly pro-WikiLeaks.
Same here, and I think it comes more out of anger at the media not doing its job and creating the opening for Wikileaks.

It's weird times we live in where the mainstream media are the ones criticizing an organization like Wikileaks.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:06 PM   #113
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In what ways do you feel the media aren't doing their job? The single most common reaction I've heard to this latest WikiLeaks release, from neighbors to foreign policy wonks I know professionally, is that there's really very little in them which surprises, if you've been following the news about the country in question; that overwhelmingly, these cables reveal pretty much exactly the mix of competing priorities, personality clashes, mutual distrusts, petty corruptions etc. which countless analysts, guest columnists, "anonymous sources" et al. have been saying characterizes diplomacy in such-and-such country all along. Whistle-blowing? I can certainly see that case for a few of the resulting revelations--US arm-twisting of certain allies to take in non-repatriable ex-Guantanamo detainees while keeping mum that they were tortured, for instance--but I'm still not seeing the valid moral justification for releasing 95+% of this stuff. Particularly since there's an extensive body of international law, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, specifically devoted to protecting the confidentiality of diplomats' communications with their home countries. To me, the seeming indiscriminateness of this file dump, combined with the agenda suggested by Assange's own writings, indicates serious confusion on his part as to whether he wants to be Robin Hood or some amoral hacker-anarchist type. I'm a big fan of real whistle-blowing, the situation-specific (illegal) exposure of internationally reviled behavior, but that justification doesn't and shouldn't come cheap.
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:53 AM   #114
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Those people have a nice sense of humour:
<<69936>> 6/30/2006 13:30 06MUNICH397 Consulate Munich UNCLASSIFIED


Unclas section 01 of 02 munich 000397



E.o. 12958: n/a Tags: pgov, senv, gm Subject: bruno's last stand -- first wild bear in 170 years proves too wild for bavaria

------- summary -------

1. Despite all the attention surrounding the World Cup, EADS' woes and health care reform, Bavarians and many Germans have been transfixed by a two-year-old brown bear named "Bruno" that wandered across international borders into Bavaria, a government minister's agenda, a hunter's crosshairs, and the hearts of millions. Following Bruno's government-sanctioned shooting, questions remain over the political fallout and the future of wild bears in the German Alps. The incident also offers a snippet of insight into German attitudes toward the environment. End Summary.

----------------------- a visitor named "bruno" -----------------------

2. The bear, dubbed "Bruno" by the media, began his journey in Italy, where he was released as part of a program to reintroduce brown bears from Slovenia in the Alps. After wandering across the border from Austria, he was first sighted in Bavaria on May 20. As the first wild bear seen in Germany since 1835, Bruno was initially extended a warm public welcome by Bavarian Environment Minister Werner Schnappauf -- after all, Bruno could prove a boon for Bavaria's image just as visitors from around the world arrived for the World Cup.

------------------ the "problem bear" ------------------

3. However, as Bavarian Interior Minister Beckstein has often emphasized, foreigners are only welcome in Bavaria provided they are willing to adapt to German culture and traditions. Bruno quickly wore out his welcome by raiding stables, killing sheep, chickens, and a child's pet rabbit. The Bavarian government declared Bruno "Ursus non Grata" and ordered that he be shot or captured. Vexed by Bruno's unchecked roaming across Bavaria -- he was even seen sitting on the steps of a police station eating a guinea pig -- Minister-President Edmund Stoiber took to referring to him as "the Problem Bear."

4. Nevertheless, Bruno appeared to win the battle for the hearts and minds of the public -- Schnappauf received some 1,300 letters and drawings from children all over Germany appealing for Bruno to be kept alive. Following criticism of the edict that Bruno be shot, Schnappauf gave the animal a stay of execution and, at a cost of over Euro 125,000, flew in a special trap from Colorado and a team of Finnish bear hunters with specially trained dogs. After the Finnish hunters failed at their task, Schnappauf reinstated the shoot-to-kill order effective June 26. Early in the morning of that same day, Bruno met his demise at the hands of an (as yet) unnamed hunter. Bruno, stuffed, is to be put on display at a natural history museum in Munich's Nymphenburg Palace.

----------------------------------- "may his ursine soul rest in peace" -----------------------------------

5. Almost immediately, criticism of the Bavarian government started pouring in from across Bavaria and the world. Minister Schnappauf has received multiple death threats and calls for his resignation. State prosecutors have received nine legal complaints, several against Schnappauf, for alleged breaches of hunting and animal protection laws. Death threats have also been made against the hunter. Schnappauf has defended himself by saying that had Bruno attacked a human, calls for his resignation would be better justified. Future bears, he said, would be welcome in Bavaria, provided they behaved appropriately.

6. The "Bruno" saga has received a disproportional share of press play, including in the international media. The Munich tabloid "TZ," which has devoted no less than eleven cover pages to Bruno since May 21, published an obituary threatening revenge at the voting booth for Bruno's death, and called on people to send protest letters and e-mails to Minister-President Stoiber and Minister Schnappauf. Germany's major tabloid "Bild" even suggested a state funeral for Bruno might be appropriate. "Spiegel Online's" daily updated "Bruno Watch" included an obituary entitled "A Problem Bear or Bavaria's Problem?" and compared Bruno's death with that of Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, and Princess Diana. Mirroring the sentiment of the general public, the piece concluded: "For indeed Bruno was murdered, shot down in the prime of his young life, executed

Munich 00000397 002 of 002

in cold blood. We should reflect now on whether we feel happy with what we have done. We share a collective guilt for Bruno's demise, our inability to co-exist with nature has yet again prompted us to reach for the trigger. Bruno is dead and we are all the poorer for it: May his ursine soul rest in peace."

------- comment -------

7. Bruno has been the media's June flavor of the month. While the attention lavished on Bruno has taken nearly everyone by surprise, we expect the criticism leveled at Schnappauf and Stoiber to be relatively fleeting -- radical animal rights advocates who make death threats aren't generally considered the CSU's base anyway. Perhaps the greatest insight from the whole Bruno affair might be that despite the veneer of "greenness" extolled by German society, modern Germany in fact coexists uneasily with untamed nature. The contrast between the massive hunt for the first wild bear seen in Bavaria in over 170 years and the recent story of a clawless housecat treeing a bear in New Jersey couldn't be much more stark. True wilderness, even in mountainous Bavaria, hasn't really existed in Germany for generations -- nature is good, as long as it is controlled, channeled, and subdued. If the saga of Bavaria's "Problem Bear" is any indicator, the strategy of reintroducing wild bears to the Alps, at least the German Alps, may be doomed to failure -- that is, unless the bears are willing to cooperate by not being too wild.

8. This report has been coordinated with Embassy Berlin.

9. Previous reporting from Munich is available on our SIPRNET website at .

And I think they are speaking some truth to the way Germany has grown incapable of dealing with wild animals. Both wolfes and bears have been extinct for more than 150 years, and we have no other big predators. We have forgotten how to live side by side with potentially not-so-harmless animals.
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:32 AM   #115
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So that´s what German politicians do with taxpayers money:

¶2. (C) SUMMARY: On February 3, German PermRep Brandenburg demarched Ambassador Daalder regarding concerns Berlin has over the disbursement of 50 million Euros it donated in October 2009 to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund. He said that money for earmarked projects had not been disbursed, resulting in delayed projects. He also said that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was charging a 15 percent administrative fee. He said that German parliamentarians were beginning to ask questions about how this money has been handled, adding that this could make it difficult for Berlin to provide additional contributions in the future. Ambassador Daalder said that he believed there were some factual inaccuracies in the German demarche, but promised to forward it to Washington for a formal response. We request Washington guidance NLT Monday, February 8, on how to respond to Brandenburg. We ask that in drafting this guidance Washington take into consideration appropriate political factors, as well as technical budget and project management ones. END SUMMARY

Germany: Why Has Our Money Not Been Used on Our Projects?
--------------------------------------------- ------------

¶2. (C/REL GERMANY) On February 3, German PermRep Brandenburg demarched Ambassador Daalder regarding 50 million euros that Berlin had donated to the Afghan National Army (ANA) Trust Fund in October 2009, handing over a non-paper reported in para 10 below. According to Brandenburg, this money had been earmarked for use in several specific projects -- the ANS Logistics School in Kabul, an engineering school in Mazar-e-Sharif, and an ANA Barracks in Feyzabad -- but so far no money had been disbursed for these projects. He argued, for example that construction of the logistics school had come to a halt.

And Why Are You Charging Us an Administrative Fee?
--------------------------------------------- -----

¶3. (C/REL GERMANY) Brandenburg said that he had been instructed to raise this with us because of the unique role of the U.S., particularly the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in this process. He said that there was a particular concern in Berlin about a 15 percent administrative fee allegedly being charged by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. At the same time, he acknowledged that Berlin also had issues with how SHAPE and the NATO Office of Resources was handling the issue, adding that Germany would also be raising this issue with NATO officials.

Creates Problems for Future Donations to the ANA Trust Fund
--------------------------------------------- --------------

¶4. (C/REL GERMANY) Brandenburg said that this was more than a technical budget and project management issue He said that several German parliamentarians were asking questions about these funds. He said that the German Government was in the process of preparing its 2010 budget and would like to be able to make an additional contribution to the ANA Trust Fund, but that parliamentary questions and concerns about how the initial 50 million euro contribution was being handled could make this increasingly difficult. He added that -- since this was becoming “the talk of the town” in Kabul -- it might also create difficulties in our ability to get other countries to contribute to the ANA Trust Fund.

¶5. (C/REL Germany) Brandenburg said that this demarche would be delivered in Washington, as well as other places. (Note: We understand it was also delivered to the Embassy Berlin.)

German FM to Raise with SecGen

¶6. (C/REL GERMANY) Brandenburg said that since this money came from the MFA, German FM Westerwelle had taken an interest in the issue and would likely raise this with NATO
USNATO 00000052 002 OF 003
Secretary General Rasmussen when he sees him at the Munich Security Conference.

Daalder: Inaccuracies, but Will Seek Washington Guidance
--------------------------------------------- -----------

¶7. (C/REL GERMANY) The Ambassador said that there appeared to be some factual inaccuracies in the German demarche, but promised to forward it to Washington with a request for a formal response.


¶8. (C) RFG: We request Washington guidance NLT Monday, February 8, on how to respond to the German demarche.

¶9. (C/NF) COMMENT: As the Ambassador said to Brandenburg, there do seem to be some inaccuracies in the German demarche. At the same time, it is important we also recognize the serious political concerns the demarche raises. For example, while there may be good reasons for the 15 percent fee -- we understand it is a contingency fee not an administrative one -- the appearance that the U.S. is charging Allies an excessive fee for the use of monies they have donated to the ANA Trust Fund may be difficult to explain away during a parliamentary debate. Brandenburg is probably correct in arguing that issues such as this could make it more difficult to encourage nations to donate to the Trust Fund. Indeed, it took us months to even work out the agreements we needed to get the original German donation to the Trust Fund. We therefore urge Washington to look into this issue from a political, as well as technical/financial, dimension and with as much transparency as possible. END COMMENT

The Demarche Text

¶10. (C/REL Germany) The text of the German non-paper is reproduced in full below:
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:34 AM   #116
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¶1. (C) SUMMARY. Chancellor Merkel set the German agenda on
Iran with her early November statement before the U.S.
Congress on “zero tolerance” for a nuclear armed Iran and the
need for tougher sanctions should engagement not work.
During a private roundtable hosted by Ambassador Murphy,
however, members of Germany’s Iran “brain-trust” from the
German Parliament, MFA, Ministry of Economics and top
government funded think tank welcomed the President’s
engagement policy, recommended broadening the dialogue to
areas of cooperation (drugs, Afghanistan, diplomatic
relations), betrayed little beyond a superficial knowledge of
the nuclear program, argued that Germany took the largest
economic hit from recent sanctions, and expressed doubts as
to the efficacy of sanctions, giving us a window into the
difficult task Chancellor Merkel will have in keeping her
government on her page. In the end, we assess that Merkel
will have her way. END SUMMARY.

¶2. (C) The November 24 event at the Embassy included members
of Parliament from the four main German political parties:
FDP Elke Hoff, CDU Andreas Schockenhoff, Greens Kerstin
Mueller, and SPD Rolf Muetzenich. From the MFA, Policy
Planner Markus Ederer, DG for Economics Ruediger von Fritsch,
DG for Disarmament and Nonproliferation Amb. Peter Gottwald,
and Iran Task Force Director Andreas Krueger attended.
Ministry of Economics DG for External Economic Policy
Karl-Ernst Brauner and the Director of the German government
funded research institute Stiftung fuer Wissenschaft und
Politik (SWP, or Institute for Science and Politics) Volker
Perthes also attended.

MFA: TRR Not Dead Yet; But Not Well Either

¶3. (C) The Ambassador opened the discussion by thanking the
German government for its excellent cooperation on Iran and
asked his guests to share their thoughts on the Iranian
internal situation, especially given recent reports of the
expanded role of the IRGC in the cultural/educational spheres
of life, and how that might affect Iran’s external policy.
MFA DG for Disarmament Gottwald stated that if we were
correct in assessing the Iranian regime’s primary goal to be
survival, then we still had a chance with a negotiated
solution. He said that while the Tehran Research Reactor
(TRR) deal was not “well,” Germany wasn’t ready to pronounce
it “dead” quite yet. He concluded with a strong statement
saying that a nuclear armed Iran would be a nightmare in and
of itself and a disastrous blow to the NPT regime which was
why Germany would be a strong partner in support of further

¶4. (C) MFA Policy Planer Ederer said he thought Iran was
confused about what it wants and that the West might be even
more confused about how to get what we want. He said we want
Iranian behavior change, but we don’t agree yet what will get
us there. He said UN sponsored sanctions would isolate Iran
and limit its capacity, but questioned whether they would
change Tehran’s behavior. He said he realized sanctions
remained a good alternative to military action, but
questioned whether they were really capable of anything other
than just buying time.

More Carrots before we Reach for the Sticks

¶5. (C) SWP’s Perthes argued Iranian Supreme Leader
Khamenei’s primary interest was to maintain the security of
the system and prevent regime change. Perthes said Khamenei
feared a velvet revolution over all else, though regional
instability was a close second. He noted Iran remained
besieged by problems of drug smuggling, piracy, and
instability in Pakistan. He recommended more emphasis be
placed on trying to find an incentive for the regime to
cooperate on the regional track, which had already shown some
progress. He said the April 2009, 300 million dollar Iranian
pledge at the Pakistan donor’s conference was an important
symbol of the value the regime placed on regional security.
He suggested the West “broaden” relations with Iran to areas
where cooperation could be had: drugs, Afghanistan, and
diplomatic (especially Consular) ties. POL M/C noted this
was fine, but ignored the fact that time was not on our side.
Rather, Iran was installing new centrifuges each week. If
Iran wanted to build confidence or “broaden” relations, it
could modulate that pace, but time was not a luxury we had.
Gottwald agreed emphatically.

BERLIN 00001577 002 OF 003

¶6. (C) Changing course, Perthes said that if “sticks” had to
be used, he suggested more focus on “export-control” and less
on sanctions. He noted evidence suggested export control
regimes had already worked in slowing down centrifuge
He concluded by saying that if sanctions must be
used, we should avoid all use of the word “crippling” and
instead focus on “targeted” sanctions in order not to turn
the Iranian masses against us and right back into
Ahmadinejad’s hands. He also suggested that “unofficial”
sanctions such as Russia’s decision not to sell the S300s
were more effective than most formal sanctions. If formal
sanctions had to be pursued he said only global sanctions
would be effective, and therefore advocated UNSC action.
Perthes said he saw readiness in the German business
community to accept financial loss if sanctions were truly
global, but they don’t want to see business opportunities
being lost to China or India.

——————————————— —-
Green Party : Too Late to Prevent, Need To Contain
——————————————— —-

¶7. (C) From the opposition, Green Party Foreign Policy
Spokesperson Kerstin Mueller said she was glad that the new
U.S. administration no longer talked about a threat of a
military option. But she also said she was skeptical that
Iran can be prevented from obtaining a nuclear capability
without a military option, and that it might even be too late
for a military option to be effective. She said she didn’t
see compromise within the interests of the regime and thought
the West should focus more attention on how to “control” a
nuclear-armed Iran.

FDP: Rank and File Grudging Partner on Iran?

¶8. (C) FDP Spokeswoman on Defense Policy, Elke Hoff opened
her remarks with a grudging acknowledgment of the coalition
agreement in which her party agreed that if engagement with
Iran on the nuclear dossier failed, sanctions would be
implemented. She added that she remained personally
skeptical as to their efficacy. She said additional
sanctions would serve the unintended consequence of rallying
the masses around Ahmadinejad.

¶9. (C) Hoff said she often hears from constituents in the
business community that German companies are getting
pressured from their American counterparts not to do business
in Iran, and yet they see plenty of U.S. products for sale in
Iran. Econ M/C intervened and stressed that the U.S. was
ready to prosecute any U.S. businesses in violation of U.S.
sanctions and had already done so. Hoff also suggested
offering German businesses financial compensation should new
sanctions come into play.
In response to a criticism from
Hoff on whether the U.S. deadline created for engagement on
Iran reflected Obama’s domestic political agenda, the
Ambassador emphasized the deep commitment of the
administration to engagement.

Germany is the Largest Loser

¶10. (C) MFA DG for Economics Von Fritsch agreed with
Perthes’ suggestion to focus more on the carrots and not the
sticks. He noted that no single country has (recently)
sacrificed as much financially as Germany has, not just in
existing trade, but also in long term future contracts. Econ
M/C noted that U.S. business had also suffered enormous trade
and investment losses after 1979.
Von Fritsch said if
sanctions were inevitable, German business preferred global
and clear sanctions as opposed to vague wording that can be
left open to differing interpretations. On correspondent
banking relations, Von Fritsch said the German government was
still examining the issue but that a complete severance of
correspondent banking relations including with Iran’s central
bank would not be possible
since it would amount to a total
trade embargo.

¶11. (C) Ministry of Economics DG for External Policy Brauner
referenced the inclusion in German law of the presumptive
right to trade, and said that he was concerned that what the
German Customs and BAFA (export control agency under the
Ministry of Economics) were doing to encourage “Nullbescheid”
(pre-certification that specific trade with Iran is not
illicit) might actually be illegal, as German business had
complained. He said one important consideration for Germany
was that a further crackdown on trade with Iran could
endanger repayment of the 4.5 billion Euros in outstanding
credits that Iran owed Germany. Germany had agreed not to
issue any new credit under its Hermes (OPIC-like) program,
but expected to be able to collect on outstanding credits.

Nonetheless, both Brauner and Von Fritsch emphasized that in
the event of no progress in negotiations with Iran, Germany
was ready to enter a new round of stronger sanctions, and
that we should look to Chancellor Merkel’s statements in the
U.S. Congress and FM Westerwelle’s reiterations of her strong
policy as the final say on which direction Germany would go
on Iran.

¶12. (C) CONCLUSION. The majority of the guests at the table
distinctly deferred to Perthes for guidance on where the Iran
issue might be headed or should be headed. This was striking
amongst such a high ranking group of people operationally
involved with the Iran issue. Also illuminating was the
variety of talking points employed by the participants to
define hurdles for sanction until debunked one at a time by
Embassy officers. The candor with which even some MFA and
Ministry of Economics officials expressed their skepticism on
the efficacy of pursuing tougher sanctions on Iran may mean
that Merkel will have to press hard within her own government
to deliver on her promise of implementing tougher sanctions
should engagement with Iran fail. None of our interlocutors,
however, questioned whether Merkel would, at the end of the
day, be able to “deliver” on her promises. If and when we
decide to go forward on the pressure track on Iran, the USG
may wish to reinforce Merkel’s position by showing
appreciation for Germany’s strong continuing support.

StateLogs | Wikileaks diplomatic cables, by OWNI

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Old 12-03-2010, 11:49 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by mobvok View Post
Julian Assange, you will hang for your limp handshakes and uncomfortable eye contact. No one makes the US government feel awkward!
Tom Flanagan, a [former] senior adviser to Canadian Prime Minister recently stated "I think Assange should be assassinated ... I think Obama should put out a contract ... I wouldn't feel unhappy if Assange does disappear."
How do you feel about this?

Julian Assange:
It is correct that Mr. Flanagan and the others seriously making these statements should be charged with incitement to commit murder.

full chat on:
Julian Assange answers your questions | World news |
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:59 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by AchtungBono View Post
As one of those arseholes....and damm proud of it.....could you please explain to me why you don't think what he did was wrong.
Because one of the greatest American values is called freedom of speech.

Why did Assange do anything wrong btw? First, he´s just the spokesman for wikileaks, there are many people working for wikileaks, it´s not just one man. Second, he´s basically just sharing the news he gets from other sources.

My question to you would be: why do you think the citizens of a country don´t have any right to know what their leaders are doing in reality?

We all know we´re being fed by mainstream media with little tidbits of information. Why doesn´t civil society have the right to know what´s going on behind those curtains? Are you on the side of democracy and free press or you want to run with the "kill the publisher"-dictatorship?
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:25 PM   #119
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Originally Posted by hiphop View Post
yep, i've been following the live Q&A today - got a little concerned at 1.10 GMT as the Guardian went down and was unaccessible for a good 45 minutes or so, and was a bit worried the site had been under attack, especially after the earlier internet attacks on wikileaks... riveting stuff...

i support Julian Assange's response re. these death threats - they should be taken very seriously indeed - it is incredibly irresponsible, not to mention worrying, that people, especially prominent figures in power, are going around making open threats like that - so shocking!

i mean, for fuckssakes, if Paul Chambers can be taken to court and successfully prosecuted (totally outrageous and uncalled for in my opinion) for his joke tweet (saying he would blow up Robin Hood airport in the UK if they didn't clear the snow last year as he was going to visit his girlfriend), then it will reveal completely double standards if these people are not held accountable for their more sinister and very real threats against Assange
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:38 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by mama cass View Post
then it will reveal completely double standards if these people are not held accountable for their more sinister and very real threats against Assange
well, don´t forget "these people" are sending young men to war each and every day. "these people" are taking their cut from billions of arms sales every year. someone else does the killing for them.

will reveal double standards? that´s what i call positive thinking. what world is it you think we live in.. of course there are double standards. "these people" will get away with everything, they can command to murder anyone they fucking want as long as they don´t have dirt on their hands personally. and in the very unlikely case no one else (read: intelligence agency or mafia or hitman) does the killing for them, they bribe their way out of trouble.

here´s another interesting one on Russia´s arms sales as seen by U.S. diplomacy, a bit dated (end of 07) but worthwhile read:

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