Sunday, 05 December 2010 22:00

WikiLeaks: Whistleblowing or Treason?

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Julian AssangeThe Obama administration used bribes of up to $30 billion in foreign aid and spying by the CIA to force underdeveloped nations to agree to the Copenhagen summit documents, according to the WikiLeaks documents analyzed by the London Guardian. The documents, the Guardian summarized December 3, revealed that “money and threats buy political support; spying and cyberwarfare are used to seek out leverage.”

Specifically, the Guardian revealed that the Maldives ambassador asked for “tangible assistance” in exchange for supporting the Copenhagen climate change document. In addition, the Obama CIA directed diplomatic intelligence gathering over the conference.

If there was any doubt that WikiLeaks was a bad thing for those seeking less government, the Guardian's revelations have put that to rest.

But that hasn't stopped big government-loving “conservatives” from calling for the head of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. New York Republican Congressman Peter King called on Wikileaks to be designated a terrorist organization by the Obama administration.

Reputed WikiLeaks source, former U.S. intelligence agent Bradley Manning, has also fallen under attack from “conservatives” who love secretive government. "If they won't charge him with treason, they ought to charge him with murder," Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers told local radio station WHMI. The radio talk-show host asked Rogers if Manning should get the death penalty. "Yes," Rogers responded. "And I would support it 100 percent." Former Ambassador John Bolton told the neoconservative National Review that “I believe treason is still punishable by death and if he were found guilty, I would do it.”

Warmongering neo-con Charles Krauthammer claims in National Review that the WikiLeaks revelations have caused “quite specific damage to our war-fighting capacity.” Of course, what he means is not that the United States would be inhibited from defending itself. What Krauthammer means about “specific” damage to our war-fighting capacity is: “The Yemeni president and deputy prime minister are quoted as saying that they’re letting the U.S. bomb al-Qaeda in their country, while claiming that the bombing is their government’s doing.” In other words, Krauthammer thinks it's horrible that the Obama administration is unable to carry on a secret war in Yemen without the constitutionally required explicit approval of Congress. Krauthammer, like the other big-government “conservatives,” is crying for blood on WikiLeaks:

Throw the Espionage Act of 1917 at them. And if that is not adequate — if that law has been too constrained and watered down by subsequent Supreme Court rulings — then why hasn’t the administration prepared new legislation adapted to this kind of Internet-age violation of U.S. security? It’s not as if we didn’t know more leaks were coming. And that more leaks are coming still. Think creatively. The WikiLeaks document dump is sabotage, however quaint that term may seem.

The neoconservative Weekly Standard's William Kristol editorialized for Congress to “Whack WikiLeaks.” Kristol explained:

Why can't we act forcefully against WikiLeaks? Why can't we use our various assets to harass, snatch or neutralize Julian Assange and his collaborators, wherever they are? Why can't we disrupt and destroy WikiLeaks in both cyberspace and physical space, to the extent possible? Why can't we warn others of repercussions from assisting this criminal enterprise hostile to the United States?... Congress can act, in an expeditious and bipartisan manner, to encourage and authorize the use by the executive branch of all necessary means to respond to and defeat WikiLeaks.

By “any means necessary”? This is the same Bill Kristol who said just weeks earlier that he's “not really” offended by government patting down the intimate parts of airline passengers on a routine basis.

There's something fundamentally wrong with a neoconservative movement that insists its citizens' sexual organs are not private when they fly, but that secret extortion by that same government's officials is an official secret, the revelation of which is treason. But Kristol is at least consistent on one level. Yes, he says that average citizens are not entitled to any privacy, not even on their own sexual organs. And he says government officials are entitled to privacy when planning crimes or bribing foreign officials with taxpayer money for global climate agreements. His consistency is that he's for bigger government and more government power. That's what defines neoconservatism. But it's not exactly clear on how that differs from liberalism.

Neoconservative calls for attacks on Wikileaks may have already borne fruit by our government. WikiLeaks has reported persistent “denial of service” attacks from Internet hackers. Last week, Amazon.com buckled under to U.S. government pressure and no longer routed requests for WikiLeaks Web pages through its servers. And the U.S. government banned U.S. government employees from viewing what it still considers “secret” documents on WikiLeaks, even though the documents have already been viewed by the world.

Finally, WikiLeaks founder and spokesman Julian Assange has come under fire and an international arrest warrant on rape charges in Sweden. Sweden is claiming that the charges against Assange — an Australian national — are “not political.” But the website RawStory.com reported December 2 that the “rape” charge amounts to nothing more than the charge that Assange had engaged in consensual sex with two women without a condom and was subsequently unavailable for a required test for sexually transmitted diseases. Assange's former lawyer told Raw Story that “apparently having consensual sex in Sweden without a condom is punishable by a term of imprisonment of a minimum of two years for rape.”

Photo: Julian Assange

Related article:

WikiLeaks Reveals U.S. & EU Climate Bullying, Bribery, Espionage

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