Vinegar Joe vs. the First Amendment

As Amazon.com stops hosting WikiLeaks -- a result, according to The Guardian, of "heavy political pressure" -- the ACLU offers an obvious but unfortunately necessary reminder of why the feds have no right to shutter the site:

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.

Someone should tell Sen. Joe Lieberman (CFL-Conn.), who today said "If we can't shut this guy down, shame on the civilized world."

Update: TPM has more on Amazon's expulsion of WikiLeaks -- and Lieberman's role in making it happen -- here. Amazon, meanwhile, is denying that Lieberman's intervention was the deciding factor.

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  • -||

    US ready to protect sources named in leaked cables

    By MATTHEW LEE
    The Associated Press
    Wednesday, December 1, 2010; 2:23 PM

    WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration says it is taking steps to protect or relocate dissidents and human rights activists whose lives may be placed at risk by their disclosure in leaked U.S. diplomatic documents.

    Screw 'em! This is all about "openness"!

  • ||

    Just like all those dissidents who were attacked by the Taliban because of the Iraq Logs leak, right? All 0 of them.

    You just swallow Obama's deuces like candy don't you?

  • -||

    All 0 of them

    How could you possibly know? I'd love to see your sources.

  • Irresponsible Hater||

    How many people does the US Government even claim have been killed or harmed due to any wikileaks docs?

  • "We"||

    Fuck you, and this AssHinge-sucking traitor Jesse Walker both. Anybody who'd cite the Toilet Paper Morons and the Assholey Criminal Leftard Unamericans as if they were credible sources deserves to hanged by his sperm-riddled entrails right next to AssHinge when we finally catch up with him.

    My AdBlock, SiteBlock, and JMaxxz word-changer script are really going into overtime with tReason Magazine this week...

  • ||

    OK, I'll bite, Jesse. What does "CFL" stand for?

    Congressional Felch Licker?

  • Jesse Walker||

    Canadian Football League. Er, I mean Connecticut For Lieberman.

  • ||

    Ah, thanks.

  • Almanian||

    I'm guessing Jesse is a Toronto (pronounced "taranah" in Meeshigan) Argonauts guy.

    Me, I'm more of a Calgary Roughriders sort...for her pleasure.

  • Almanian||

    Sorry - SASKATCHEWEN Roughriders, etc. etc.

    Fucking western provinces...they all look alike...

  • Johnnybegood||

    Too bad, I thought you meant CFR.

  • ||

    I thought it was Corrupt Fucking Liar.

  • ||

    If there is a bigger piece of shit on the hill than the Lieber Man, I don't know who it is. I absolutely guarantee you that he was one those scum sucking, ass kissing kids you couldn't stand in high school who was president of the student council and leader of the debate team.

  • Almanian||

    As long as the California Contingent of Feinstein and Boxer roams the earth, he's got competition.

    And my state's contribution (Levin/Stabenow) don't have a combined IQ as big as Nerderman's shoe size, while being every bit as snug and punchable, so, again with the competition....

  • Ska||

    Snug and punchable, like a moccasin with Krugnuts' face on it.

  • ||

    Joe Lieberman, the anti libertarian.

    All the tax and spend of the Dems, all the authoritarian war mongering bullshit of the GOP.

    What's not to despise?

  • ||

    Connecticut seems to like him. Blame them.

  • ||

    I do.

  • -||

    I wonder: would you support a WikiLeaks-type exposure of confidential American voter records?

  • -||

    Confidential emails? Text messages? Phone calls? Or is it only bad when the government does it?

  • sevo||

    -|12.1.10 @ 7:05PM|#
    "Confidential emails? Text messages? Phone calls? Or is it only bad when the government does it?"

    I wasn't elected or appointed by an elected official to do anything or uphold any law. I'm a private citizen and I prefer to remain private.
    Anyone who holds themselves to be a public servant thereby loses *any* claim to secrecy as regards his/her occupational efforts or records.

  • -||

    I'm pretty sure government employees don't surrender their privacy rights when they sign up.

  • ||

    On personal issues, that's true, but anything related to their job is fair game. We're their employer. If they don't like it, they can quit.

  • ||

    Hell no. The sancity of the voting booth should never be violated. I'd support repeated floggings in the public square for doing it.

    Not that my opinion matters in the case, I don't support the wikileaks exposure of diplomatic communications.

    I don't think it should be prosecuted (I don't even see any laws violated by Assunge and Co.) but I fail to see it doing as much good as it does harm.

    OTOH, that fuckhead Pfc Manning should spend decades in Kansas thinking about his actions.

  • johnl||

    Supposing the case against Manning is legit.

  • -||

    [sniff]

    Conspiracy?

  • Tman||

    The worst part of this whole wikileak mess is that the response from the government is bound to be heavy handed and ill-advised. In "exposing" our secrets Ass Angel will end up making speech more restricted, with the added benefit of pissing off just about every diplomat worldwide as well creating more unneeded instability within international relations.

    Ass angel is a punk and coward for chasing after US secrets and ignoring the Norks or Iranians dirty laundry.

  • ||

    Boohoo why is he picking on the US! So unfair! Doesn't he know that USA #1????

  • Tman||

    He's exposing secrets of the US because he knows he can get away with it. He wouldn't dream of pulling off the same stunt with China or Russia for instance because he knows he would be taken out in a heartbeat. That makes him a coward.

    I don't think the USA is innocent by any means, but this moral equivalency bullshit is disgusting.

  • ||

    If we lose more of our freedoms, it's not his fucking fault. It's our scumbag politicians' and our subservient electorate.

    So get your priorities straight. He may be a dick, but he has no power to abridge your freedoms.

  • Tman||

    If we lose more of our freedoms, it's not his fucking fault. It's our scumbag politicians' and our subservient electorate.

    Actually, both will be responsible. It will take our scumbag politicians' and our subservient electorate to legislate and then allow the inevitable knee-jerk legislation that will most certainly curtail free speech. But Assangel is the instigating factor, without him there would be no need for a knee-jerk reaction.

    So get your priorities straight.

    My priorities have and will remain straight.

    He may be a dick, but he has no power to abridge your freedoms.

    He's definitely a dick, and you're right that he won't be the one passing the knee-jerk legislation, but he clearly has the power to expose some serious secrets, and instead of using these powers to help shed light on some of the more repressive authoritarian dictatorships of the world, he cowardly goes after the US knowing full well we won't do anything to hurt him.

    He's a coward.

  • ||

    But Assangel is the instigating factor, without him there would be no need for a knee-jerk reaction

    If Assange didn't do it, someone else would. Blaming him is pointless and puerile. Nothing he did should be grounds for abridging freedom, so blame those who actually have the power to do so.

  • Tman||

    If Assange didn't do it, someone else would.

    How do you know that? I don't think this is a given.

    Blaming him is pointless and puerile.

    I'm not blaming him for the inevitable knee-jerk reactions, I'm calling him a coward for leaking secrets that serve his own stated goals of knocking down the US a few pegs.

    Nothing he did should be grounds for abridging freedom, so blame those who actually have the power to do so.

    When they do so, which I have little doubt they will, I will blame those in power.

  • ||

    How is putting himself in the cross-hairs of the most powerful country in the world being a coward?

    Your words make no sense. You just seem pissed off that he did this.

  • Tman||

    I'm pissed off because our dumbass politicians will do something really stupid because of this.

    He's hardly in the "crosshairs" of the US. We have global reach and if we were going to hurt him he'd be dead already. Spare me this heroic worship.

  • ||

    Interesting that you project the inversion of your hatred for him onto me as "heroic worship", when the only thing I have said during this entire conversation is that you should blame other people for loss of freedoms. He really got under your skin, didn't he?

  • Tman||

    Interesting that you project the inversion of your hatred for him onto me as "heroic worship",

    You're the one who just said he was "putting himself in the cross-hairs of the most powerful country in the world". You said he was a dick earlier which is why I was confused by that comment. For the record I don't think you worship him, and I take back that earlier comment with apologies given.

    He really got under your skin, didn't he?

    Hypocrticial toolish douchebags who believe that the US is the "Real" evil in the world do that to me, what can I say.

  • ||

    Who gives a shit who he thinks is evil? Our government does some shitty things, so what's wrong with him revealing them? I don't give a rat's ass about his biases, as long as he doesn't lie.

  • Tman||

    Who gives a shit who he thinks is evil?

    I do, because that's his stated motivation for exposing the documents.

    Our government does some shitty things, so what's wrong with him revealing them?

    If that's all he was revealing I would agree with that statement. But that's not all that he does. This is the same scumbag who tried to edit video of the Apache copter taking out some thugs in Iraq to make it seem as if our soldiers are bloodthirsty killers.
    FUCK that guy.

    I don't give a rat's ass about his biases, as long as he doesn't lie.

    Other people may end up dead because of his careless disregard for privacy and secrecy. This is hardly just about his biases.

  • cynical||

    "I'm pissed off because our dumbass politicians will do something really stupid because of this."

    No, they'll do something really stupid because they're dumbasses. They've been doing things that are stupid and authoritarian, and they will continue doing things that are stupid and authoritarian, and a lone hacker doesn't really affect that much one way or the other.

  • -||

    knowing full well we won't do anything to hurt him

    I wouldn't bet on that.

  • Les||

    The U.S. is looking for a way to hurt him. You should try to do something that puts you at risk while exposing the crimes of powerful governments before you call someone who does just that a coward. It makes you look stupid.

  • Tman||

    The U.S. is looking for a way to hurt him.

    Riggght, that's why the Pentagon said "We could have shut down Wikileaks but chose not to".

    You should try to do something that puts you at risk while exposing the crimes of powerful governments before you call someone who does just that a coward.

    You don't know what I do when it comes to exposing powerful interests, government or otherwise, so before YOU look stupid keep your judgements to yourself.

    If vaccine's post below is accurate, and assangel goes after someone who can really hurt him I will have a different opinion. Until then taking a bunch of diplomatic cables dumped in his lap by a 22 year old disaffected army grunt and publishing them online isn't exactly some heroic act.

  • ||

    ""You don't know what I do when it comes to exposing powerful interests, government or otherwise, ""

    You certianly have spent much effort to educate us on what your opinion is in the instance of exposing such.

    As far as what you do, I'll take the baseline as zero. Feel free to educate us in a way that moves that number up.

    The guy is not a hero, execpt maybe by some that like to see government exposed, and he is not evil, execpt maybe by some that like to keep government secret.

    I'm curious as to why you don't think the worlds most powerful country is less dangerous than China or Russia. Do you think we should be more like them?

  • ||

    ""but he clearly has the power to expose some serious secrets,""

    He only has to power to pass what was given to him.

  • Vaccine||

    Actually, WikiLeaks is planning on publishing Russian documents:

    "In an interview published on Tuesday, Oct. 26, in Russia's leading daily newspaper, Kommersant, WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said that "Russian readers will learn a lot about their country" after one of the site's upcoming document dumps. "We want to tell people the truth about the actions of their governments."

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world.....z16uMVnsg6

  • Tman||

    If this is true then my opinion will change, but until then he remains a coward who picks easy targets so he can act like the biggest baddest internet tough guy.

  • Jesse Walker||

    See this as well.

  • Tman||

    See what Jesse?

    That Wiki aggregated a bunch of AP pictures?

    I'm sure China was shaken to the core.

    You want a real brave journalist?

    VBS Founder Shane Smith. That dude is farking crazy.

    Getting into North Korea was one of the hardest and weirdest processes VBS has ever dealt with. After we went back and forth with their representatives for months, they finally said they were going to allow 16 journalists into the country to cover the Arirang Mass Games in Pyongyang. Then, ten days before we were supposed to go, they said, “No, nobody can come.” Then they said, “OK, OK, you can come. But only as tourists.” We had no idea what that was supposed to mean. They already knew we were journalists, and over there if you get caught being a journalist when you’re supposed to be a tourist you go to jail. We don’t like jail. And we’re willing to bet we’d hate jail in North Korea. But we went for it.

  • ||

    He's exposing secrets of only the US because he knows he can get away with it nobody with access to comparable Chinese or Russian materials has leaked them to him. He wouldn't dream of pulling off the same stunt with China or Russia for instance because he knows he would be taken out in a heartbeat. That makes him a coward.

    FTFY.

  • Tman||

    We'll see. I would prefer to be wrong about Assangel because exposing serious crimes like the prison death camps in North Korea or the rape rooms in Iran to their own people and the rest of the world would actually help people.

    Assangel at the moment appears to be more concerned with affecting US policy than anything, and I'm not sure who he actually helped at this point by exposing these cables. Most of the details appear to be stuff most people already suspected or knew anyways.

  • ||

    Most of us here want to affect US policy. Your beef seems to be that since he's not a US citizen he's picking on our family. I get that, we all do it at some point. But if good comes from what he did, and he's not a hypocrite (time will tell) let it go.

    Remember, our government stopped representing us a long time ago. It's good for them to be embarrassed. They have certainly earned it.

  • cynical||

    Alternatively, he's exposing our secrets because he erroneously believes that we have a free society capable of punishing malfeasance in government, and thus one that could be helped through whistleblowing.

    There's no point publishing North Korea's dirty secrets, because Kim Jong Un could murder a bus full of Korean schoolkids in broad daylight in front of a thousand witnesses and no one in NK could or would do shit.

  • ||

    He did reveal secrets of Russia and China (contained in US cables), which is why Wikileaks got DDos'd. Typical ChiCom response...

  • ||

    I do.

  • Almanian||

    I now pronounce you...WHOA, glad I saw your next comment before we went through with that, J sub! * Whew!*

  • ||

    Ignore the immediately above. Fuckin' threaded comments.

  • Congressional Page||

    Aw c'mon Joe, we know "it's all rigged" anyways..

  • Kolohe||

    And in other (not at all) news, the Guardian makes shit up yet again when it suits them.

  • Bingo||

    I am 100% in favor of anything that makes the ruling class look petty, stupid, or out of touch.

  • sevo||

    The more I see of the entire operation, the more I'm convinced that:
    1) Assange is a narcissistic, insufferable twit.
    2) He's pissing off a lot of people who deserve to be pissed off.
    Assange, Obama, Lieberman, Clinton, Putin, Berlusconi, Merkle; they all deserve each other.
    As always, there remains the difference. One of those mentioned doesn't have the guns; go, Assange!

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