Media

10 Reasons We Need Julian Assange (or, More Important, Wikileaks-Type Outfits)

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From the indispensable Cock Rock comes a Top 10 list that, unlike all the others, mixes playful commentary with searing insights regarding the news of the day. Here's 10 reasons Julian Assange is all that:

3. The word "Wikileak" is a beacon of urination jokes.

4. If there's an outlet for guys who want to see girls felate a donkey, then there should be an outlet for government whistleblowers….

9. The first amendment is there to protect us from the government, not the government from us.

10. Aside from whistleblowing, the only other way to keep a government honest is to keep it small, which we're really bad at doing.

Whole list here.

Reason on Wikileaks.

Last week, I defended Wikileaks on Fox's Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld. Click here to go to the tape.

And look for a Reason.tv vid on Wikileaks to be released later today.

NEXT: Obama's Disappointing Record on Transparency

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  1. The whole freakin’ Constitution is there to protect us from the government. We should amend the Preamble to read–

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, keep the fucking government in fucking check–did we stutter?–IN CHECK!, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    1. Then the liberal/progressives would work to redefine “to keep in check” to mean “to give carte blanche”, just as they have redefined “Congress shall make no law” to mean “Congress can make any law” and “shall not be infringed” to mean “shall be severely infringed”.

      1. No doubt. Though everyone loves to expand government power, apparently.

  2. 4. If there’s an outlet for guys who want to see girls felate a donkey, then there should be an outlet for government whistleblowers…

    Obviously such outlets are tailored to men who know how to use the “Delete Browsing History” button…

    … doesn’t matter which one.

    1. I prefer Firefox’s ‘Private Browsing’ feature.

      1. Yes, “Porn Mode” is superior.

    2. I need such websites so that I can show crackwhores, er, I mean temporarly dates, that yes,yes you can get something that big into your mouth.

  3. The worst part about felating a donkey is getting the taste out of your mouth.

    1. Really? Because I would expect that to be the best part. Apparently, you like that taste and would like it to linger longer?

  4. Cock Rock is awesome. Have you heard the affiliated podcast: “The Brazen Heads”? Man those guys are handsome and insightful. I swear I’m not one of them…

    Seriously though, thanks so much Nick G. and Reason in general for being consistently awesome.

  5. Yes, government by leaking information is the best!

  6. It’s got two l’s, for God’s sake. It doesn’t rhyme with “chelate”.

    Although “felation therapy” sounds like it would be worthwhile.

    1. Of course! Sperms are meant to leave the ‘nest’ – there cums a time when you have to release them

  7. The people who used to run Wikileaks are opening a new site where they intend to be responsible with the information they reveal, as opposed to being a wreckless douchebag like Assange.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/….._opinion_0

    The people who know Mr. Assange best have abandoned WikiLeaks to set up a new service, scheduled to launch today, called OpenLeaks. They pledge that, unlike WikiLeaks, it will be politically neutral. Their goal is transparency, not Mr. Assange’s “regime” change in the U.S.

    “We want to be a neutral conduit,” OpenLeaks founder Daniel Domscheit-Berg tells Forbes. “That’s what’s most politically sustainable as well.” He left WikiLeaks when Mr. Assange insisted on releasing 400,000 classified documents about the war in Iraq without bothering to redact names of informants whose lives WikiLeaks put in danger. He also criticized Mr. Assange for focusing his attention on the U.S.

    In essays Mr. Assange wrote before launching WikiLeaks in 2007, he explicitly states that his goal is to restrict how information is shared among government officials, such as intelligence agencies and diplomats, in order to cripple America. As he put it, “An authoritarian conspiracy that cannot think efficiently cannot act to preserve itself.”

    Leaving documents unredacted that name informants who have helped US troops in the field is simply unacceptable.

    Gillespie is a fool for supporting this tool, and it belies how unserious he is about national security. I’m a big fan of Gillespie when it comes to domestic policy but his idea of foreign policy is a joke.

    1. What documents did Wikileaks publish that hadn’t already been vetted and redacted by editorial departments at major media outlets? My understanding is that of the 250,000 or so cables that Wikileaks provided to media organizations, they’ve only actually published the ones already made public by said organizations, including all redactions. Last I knew this clocked in at around 1% of all available information from this leak.

      Are you referring to an earlier leak? And is there any evidence that anyone has been harmed as a direct result of Wikileaks’ publishing?

      1. What documents did Wikileaks publish that hadn’t already been vetted and redacted by editorial departments at major media outlets?

        The Afghanistan documents from July that listed local informants to the US military were released unredacted, but some of the news outlets did redact them when they were published. But the documents themselves were available through Wikileaks with the names unredacted. Same with the release later of Iraq war documents. And these are the documents that the Taliban and Al-qaeda in Iraq are going through to find out who is doing what.

        http://www.channel4.com/news/a…..27667.html

        In one leaked intelligence report, a named villager reports the location of a forthcoming meeting where 300-400 Taliban are due to assemble. Details of his tribe and his village are provided as is his designation: “Informant”.

        In another example, a pro-government Mullah and his son ? who are named ? are reported to have disclosed the location of a roadside bomb, intended to target coalition forces. Now the Mullah and his son can themselves be targeted.

        I haven’t yet seen a direct assassination story that resulted from the leaks, but I’m sure it’s happened already and we simply don’t know about it. Either way, it decreases the cooperation between our military and locals in Afghanistan and Iraq which is EXTREMELY unhelpful at this time.

        1. Yeah, maybe — although neither Assange nor any other private individual or group is obligated to be “helpful”. And until there’s evidence that information published by Wikileaks has lead to the death or harm of an innocent person, I’m not going to consider them responsible for said death or harm.

          1. I’m not going to hold them “responsible” even if it does happen, but that’s not the point. The point is that Assange has an agenda to go after specific US foreign policy issues regardless of the consequences knowing full well that people may die because of his leaks. Someone else still has to pull the trigger so that’s who is ultimately “responsible” but Assange is doing this to reverse any positive gains that the US has made in Iraq and Afghanistan because he doesn’t think we should be there. He’s specifically trying to undermine US foreign policy.

            He is a gigantic leftist douchebag who goes after the easy targets because he knows the US won’t kill him over it. Had he released the names of the thousands of North Korean refugees that China arrested and then sent back to NK to be slaughtered by Kim Jong-Il he would be taking a risk.

            Instead, he’s a giant douchebag making it more dangerous for us to finish what we’re doing over there.

            1. I wasn’t aware this (the Chinese-NK prisoner release) had happened but if it did then you are absolutely correct about Assange. I think his role is necessary, but that’s not to say someone else can’t fill his perforated condom. It has become apparent that he has an anti-America agenda, but it could also be likely that mainly American government whistleblowers are using the site. There’s not really any way to know how many leaked documents Assange sat on because they didn’t have an American spin on them. (I wasn’t able to read the WSJ article that started this thread)

              1. There are tons of examples of China repatriating NK refugees knowing that the dictatorship will imprison them immediately if not execute them as well.

                http://www.defenseforum.org/pr…..ctors.html

                But things like this don’t harm American interests, therefore douchbags like Ass angel don’t care.

                1. I wonder if Ass angel is related to Criss Angel. The doucheyness makes me lean towards YES.

            2. If your point is that he’s a douchebag, I have no objection — that’s just a personal opinion. Hard to see though how that’s “unacceptable”, or why the offering of qualified support reveals one as “unserious” about national security, as is apparently the case with The Jacket.

              1. Hard to see though how that’s “unacceptable”,

                Releasing the names of informants who are trying to help US soldiers from getting killed by IED’s is unacceptable.

                or why the offering of qualified support reveals one as “unserious” about national security, as is apparently the case with The Jacket.

                Because the Jacket thinks this is defensible, that’s why.

                1. Releasing the names of informants who are trying to help US soldiers from getting killed by IED’s is unacceptable.

                  So how do you propose to collectively reject that behavior, as opposed to accepting it? I mean, if it’s truly unacceptable, the implication is that something should be done, no? Otherwise we would find it acceptable, even if we didn’t personally support the endeavor.

                  Because the Jacket thinks this is defensible, that’s why.

                  And again, how does that reveal him as being “unserious”? Is the only “serious” opinion the one you hold?

                  1. if it’s truly unacceptable, the implication is that something should be done, no?

                    Yes. The people responsible for leaking the information that compromises soldiers in the field should be prosecuted.

                    And again, how does that reveal him as being “unserious”?

                    Because he isn’t considering the real negative effects of these leaks. That tells me he is not serious about the issues at stake.

                    1. The people responsible for leaking the information that compromises soldiers in the field should be prosecuted.

                      To whom are you referring, and under what law would you like to see them prosecuted? If you’re talking about Bradley Manning, fine, that’s pretty open and shut. Assange/Wikileaks is a different matter entirely. Exactly what crime has Assange committed that warrants prosecution in the US?

                      Because he isn’t considering the real negative effects of these leaks.

                      Says you. Maybe he does consider them, and feels that increasing transparency and compromising government secrecy outweighs the negatives. The fact that he feels differently than you is not evidence that he’s failed to consider all of the relevant factors when forming his opinion.

                    2. If you’re talking about Bradley Manning

                      Yes.

                      Assange/Wikileaks is a different matter entirely. Exactly what crime has Assange committed that warrants prosecution in the US?

                      I don’t think he should be prosecuted, but he should be criticized for failing to take any precautions in his actions that may end up getting someone killed. And he sure as hell shouldn’t be defended.

                      Maybe he does consider them, and feels that increasing transparency and compromising government secrecy outweighs the negatives.

                      Whatever his excuse is for this is indefensible, in my opinion. His arguably defensible ideals of transparency does not excuse him from the consequences of his actions.

                      The fact that he feels differently than you is not evidence that he’s failed to consider all of the relevant factors when forming his opinion.

                      This is true, and you’re right, he probably did consider the consequences. But clearly he has the moral backbone of a garden slug if he’s cool with innocent people getting murdered for helping US soldiers because he wants to bring down the US.

                    3. And he sure as hell shouldn’t be defended.

                      Unless he’s, you know, arrested.

                      His arguably defensible ideals of transparency does not excuse him from the consequences of his actions.

                      So Gillespie’s brief notice about a tounge-in-cheek off-site top 10 list carries a moral responsibility? And even if that were the case, there’s still the pesky little matter of identifying any actual harm to come from any of this.

                      But clearly he has the moral backbone of a garden slug if he’s cool with innocent people getting murdered for helping US soldiers because he wants to bring down the US.

                      Heh, put down the meth pipe man, chill. I don’t think you honestly believe Gillespie is “cool with innocent people getting murdered”. Hell, maybe considering that sort of thing abhorrent would lead one to support efforts like the one Assange is undertaking.

                    4. Unless he’s, you know, arrested.

                      I meant arrested for the leaks, not his violation of an insanely bizarre sex law, he’s on his own with that. Chicks, man.

                      So Gillespie’s brief notice about a tounge-in-cheek off-site top 10 list carries a moral responsibility?

                      No, Gillespie’s constant defense of Ass angel every time he’s asked about it (see the Red Eye clip) annoys me. He refuses to examine the real immediate problems, instead -as many others do- he just dwells on the philosophical and political implications. I agree with most everything he says from a libertarian perspective until he gets to foreign policy, then I part ways. This is a recurring theme for me around here.

                      And even if that were the case, there’s still the pesky little matter of identifying any actual harm to come from any of this.

                      So the fact that this will make informants LESS likely to talk to Marines in Afghanistan about where IED’s are located before they get killed by them is somehow harmless? This is a real and problematic issue that gets ignored repeatedly throughout these debates.

                      I don’t think you honestly believe Gillespie is “cool with innocent people getting murdered”

                      I was referring to Ass angel, who indeed is “cool with innocent people getting murdered as long as it’s about the truth, man. I’m more disappointed with Gillespie, because again I agree with most everything he has to say.

                      But I doubt he gives a fuck what I think anyways, so whatever.

    2. “The people who used to run Wikileaks are opening a new site where they intend to be responsible with the information they reveal, as opposed to being a wreckless douchebag like Assange”

      Like selectively releasing a fraction of data to the public and distributing the full leak archive only to mainstream media outlets? Like exactly what wikileaks did? No, we need someone who doesn’t respect the NYT and Guardian as gatekeepers and sneaks data directly to the public, or at least to out-of-mainstream media outlets.

      1. Wikileaks made available the full files beyond just what they revealed to News Sources. That’s what’s so dangerous about them, and why the new group is attempting to be more responsible.

  8. How perfect that the armchair anarchists (on the right and the left) have finally decided it’s time to engage in civil disobedience–once they figured out how to do it anonymously from in front of a computer screen.

    1. -so says Tony, the anonymous lefty troll sitting in front of his computer screen.

    2. You promised to buy me dinner.

      1. He’s just not that into you.

        1. He did say last Friday that none of us are his type.

    3. Re: Tony,

      How perfect that the armchair anarchists (on the right and the left) have finally decided it’s time to engage in civil disobedience[…]

      Translation:
      “I love the State – please, don’t hurt it, you meanies!”

      1. I’m all for transparency, I just don’t want to cede my stake in national security policymaking to a foreigner who is on a mission to destroy my country.

        1. Translation:
          “I’m all for secrecy as long as it is done in the name of national security.”

          1. Hey I was initially a part of the massive collective orgasming for Wikileaks when it started. I think the thing that turned me against them was when Assange called for Secretary Clinton to resign. Is that the job of a “journalist”? I just don’t like it that this foreigner with an obvious bone to pick with my country thinks it’s his job to decide unilaterally what our secrecy policy should be. If anything, the content of the vast majority of cables that have been revealed so far are an argument for why our policies were more or less on target.

            Of course surely the most juicy stuff is in the top secret documents. Are those fair game as well? Because one guy says so?

            1. So I left my iphone at the local coffee shop before going to work today and now I agree with Tony about something on Reason.

              It is DEFINITELY monday.

            2. What Tony said.

            3. “I think the thing that turned me against them was when Assange called for Secretary Clinton to resign.”

              Why does that matter? (besides the obvious fact that she’s not a Republican)

              1. It made it clear to me that he had a political agenda rather than just a journalistic one. A bit presumptuous don’t you think?

                1. “It made it clear to me that he had a political agenda rather than just a journalistic one.”

                  And since his political agenda does not jive with your own, you suddenly have an attack of principles and discover you oppose what he is doing.
                  However if his political agenda had meshed with your own you would be defending him right now.

                  The only thing around here that is transparent is your liberal hypocrisy.

            4. So his personal political outlook is the important factor here? I mean, shit, plenty of us here have an “obvious bone to pick” with the US government to at least some extent.

              You obviously don’t have to like Assange more than you like any other journalist, but I just don’t see what’s particularly pernicious about what he’s doing.

              1. I’m definitely not in favor of Julian Assange or Wikileaks being charged with a crime. I usually prefer to err on the side of a free press. Bradley Manning is a different story. I don’t think he should be unilaterally determining US policy with regards to secrecy either.

                I do object to Wikileaks on pragmatic grounds. I don’t think they are going to accomplish much in the way of transparency, and their sort of indiscriminate approach to “whistleblowing” makes it a lot easier to make new laws that suppress the freedom of the press.

                1. OK, well I suppose that’s fair enough — although if the fallout here is unconstitutional restriction on free speech, I hardly think Assange is the guilty party in that scenario.

                  As far as Manning goes, that’s a completely different story. He broke a clear and pre-defined law — we can argue about the moral calculus that led him to do so, but even the most generous reading still holds Manning as a clear guilty practitioner of civil disobedience.

            5. Re: Tony,

              I just don’t like it that this foreigner with an obvious bone to pick with my country thinks it’s his job to decide unilaterally what our secrecy policy should be.

              He didn’t. The person or persons that copied the information were the ones that decided.

              If anything, the content of the vast majority of cables that have been revealed so far are an argument for why our policies were more or less on target.

              So, why aren’t you happy NOW? Or were you happier when you were NOT sure if the policies were on target or not?

              1. OM agreed that the guilty party is the leaker–while I disagree with Assange’s idea of how our society should be run, I don’t see anything in Wikileaks’ actions that I’d want to be considered a crime.

                I have as much of a voyeuristic interest in the content of the leaks as anyone, but I don’t think I’m made either safer or freer by having had access to them.

                1. Re: Tony,

                  OM agreed that the guilty party is the leaker–while I disagree with Assange’s idea of how our society should be run

                  It does not matter what he thinks.

                  […]I don’t think I’m made either safer or freer by having had access to them.

                  I would disagree with that assesment – the fact that YOU know of those files has given you an insight you did not have before; the fact that you JUDGE based on them is an indication of your FREEDOM. So, in fact, YOU ARE FREER now, even if that only meant you are free to judge Assange’s motives and agree with your government. Before, you were blind to your government’s activities and you could not really judge their perceived effectiveness; now, you are not blind to them and can finally judge. Are you thus not a freer person?

                  Whether that makes you safer or not, that depends on how much you accept your government’s assurances that their policies makes you safer – that takes a leap of faith, not better secrecy.

        2. Re: Tony,

          I’m all for transparency, I just don’t want to cede my stake in national security policymaking to a foreigner who is on a mission to destroy my country.

          Isn’t the lack of transparency the very reason a foreigner with a website can make such noise? Or are you defining “transparency” in some other way one cannot discern?

    4. It’s smart to be anonymous when the people you’re pissing off can kill you without consequence.

      1. Somebody needs to explain that to Radley…

      2. Bradley Manning and Julian Assange are still alive, so I presume either they can’t get at them or can’t do so without consequence.

        I just don’t want to hear anymore about how these guys are comparable to participants in sit-is and the like. People who really engage in civil disobedience should be prepared to be arrested at least. Right now these actions are less brave than someone attending a peaceful protest at the 2004 RNC convention.

        1. If these leaks were embarrassing to the Bush administration I suspect you’d be cheering them on.

          1. Maybe. As a member of the left I will note the left’s hypocrisy. They were awfully concerned with government secrets being kept when Valerie Wilson’s identity was the issue. Didn’t hear a peep about the virtuous civil disobedience of Scooter Libby.

            1. “Maybe.”

              Maybe?
              lmao!

              1. I’d like to think I would have the same opinion of what constitutes legitimate secrecy no matter what party was in charge, but I can’t be sure, so that’s the best you’re gonna get out of me.

                1. How dare you express doubt in your own ability to objectively perceive truth? You’re not being nearly egotistic enough.

                2. Wow, I’m going to have to re-evaluate my opinion of Tony.

                  Besides the fact that I agree with him on this thread, he’s admitting that he’s human and that his reactions/opinions can be slanted by his world view.

                  Wikileaks is creating a different divide in opinion than the standard left/right dichotomy. I don’t consider myself a leftist or statist, but I don’t like the idea of these kind of leaks unless the information leaked really implores it. The leaks so far are just propoganda.

  9. So, where is the website to see whores sucking off donkeys?
    thanks.

    1. Try:

      http://www.cnn.com
      http://www.msnbc.msn.com
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com

      There are others, but this should give you a good start. Enjoy!

  10. So, what have we earned from releasing the wikileaks so far? We have only gotten confirmation of shit everyone already knows.

    1. …..uhhh, ok.

      First of all, pragmatic utility is not a prerequisite for free speech. Also, this:

      http://www.salon.com/news/opin…../wikileaks

      1. Is Glenn hysterically labeling everyone who disagrees with him an authoritarian again?

        Surely the concept of free speech doesn’t mean government can’t have any secrets. I think we pay for a functioning diplomatic apparatus, not access to all information, which can serve to undermine the former.

        1. Surely the concept of free speech doesn’t mean government can’t have any secrets.

          No — but it does mean that people working to expose those secrets are protected by law. I know you haven’t been advocating charging Assange with a crime, so I don’t need to tell you this. Still though, plenty of people seem to miss the boat on that one.

          Is Glenn hysterically labeling everyone who disagrees with him an authoritarian again?

          He’s been pretty thorough and consistent on the Wikileaks stuff. Greenwald has his faults, but I think he’s been doing a good job with this.

        2. How do you determine which things are allowed to be government secrets and then how to verify that those are in fact the only things being kept secret?

          1. It’s not my job to determine that anymore than it’s my job to name another post office after Ronald Reagan. Congress, which we elect, presumably does these things.

            1. Ahh, ok, so Congress — that high-minded legislative body completely impervious to petty political slapfights and backroom favors — should be the complete and opaque arbiter of All That Shall Remain Secret.

              Yikes. No thanks. I’d like to get an adversarial press somewhere in that equation.

            2. Allow me to rephrase this.

              How does a citizenry as a whole agree to allow secrets to be kept by its government, and then ensure that those things are in fact the only things being kept secret?

              If your answer is that the secret-keepers are entrusted by the citizens that is strike one, try again. THe citizens still need to be able to verify that the secret-keepers are honoring the deal, just as the citizens need to verify that the govt isn’t corrupt, isn’t violating civil rights, etc. etc.

              “Trusting our enlightened masters” is not an answer.

            3. You think that Congress collectively reviews every classified document to ensure that it is not being kept secret in order to protect the ass of some dipshit in the massive federal bureaucracy? Really? They won’t even make the effort to read the bills they pass. Or write them. Or do anything that doesn’t involve posturing or campaigning.

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