Monday, July 26, 2010

Julian Assange: My Nomination for Nobel Peace Prize in Journalism

The statement by National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones condemned Julian Assange's Wikileaks as endangering lives of our soldiers and their mission in Afghanistan:
The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security. Wikileaks made no effort to contact us about these documents - the United States government learned from news organizations that these documents would be posted. These irresponsible leaks will not impact our ongoing commitment to deepen our partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan; to defeat our common enemies; and to support the aspirations of the Afghan and Pakistani people.
What endangers lives is stupidity. What Jones is saying is that leaks endanger Obama's mission.

Personally, I believe military and intelligence services' secrecy should be maintained and guarded as a matter of national security. I am also not opposed to all wars in general. For example, the solutions to problems presented to the world by Iran and North Korea elude me. I am not a bully: I would not kick a good war in the teeth when it's already down on its knees. But I would take any and every opportunity to kick a bad war in its teeth.

Stupidity risks Lives. And it has been the height of stupidity, after all the experience of Vietnam and Iraq, to expect that a democratic and open society will indefinitely support and sustain a prolonged and costly war which does not address core national interests. The height of stupidity.

But on to support my nomination of Julian Assange who is behind Wikileaks' Afghanistan: The War Logs. (Good luck getting in!) This interview from TED will cost my readers some 19 minutes of their valuable time but it reveals Assange's contribution of document journalism is larger than Afghanistan-Nam. (I availed myself of the subtitles):

I rest my case. res ipsa loquitur.

33 comments:

  1. The Afghanistan War Logs will make the Nam Pentagon Papers look like Alice in Wonderland.
    There will be more to come. U.S./NATO can not slither out of this one.

    ReplyDelete
  2. In today's world, it us up to the reader to determine the veracity of news reports. Blogs like this are helpful. See
    http://www.deciminyan.org/2010/07/24.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yeah, I like this guy too. I think from his actions lives will be saved so in my book he's a hero.
    This is the same guy who last year reported on Collateral Damage, a short video obtained in secrecy. This video did a lot for changing many people's mind about the war. I'm sure you seen it.
    Innocent people being mowed down and laughing about it. Sad shit!

    ReplyDelete
  4. With friends like Pakistan at our back we are in a world of hurt. I wish I had made a record or bookmarked the sites but some have been screaming since we invaded Afghanistan that Pakistan's ISI was in bed with the Taliban while they ran that hellhole.

    I figure certain groups will either try to buy Julian Assange off or ruin him, such people are very inconvenient.

    ReplyDelete
  5. RE "inconvenient"
    The Mob used a different word.
    Hmmmmm.
    I doubt he will be walking the streets of the U.S.

    ReplyDelete
  6. SPIEGEL: During the Vietnam War, US President Richard Nixon once called Daniel Elsberg, the leaker of the Pentagon Papers, the most dangerous man in America. Are you today's most dangerous man or the most endangered?

    Assange: The most dangerous men are those who are in charge of war. And they need to be stopped. If that makes me dangerous in their eyes, so be it.

    SPIEGEL: You could have started a company in Silicon Valley and lived in a home in Palo Alto with a swimming pool. Why did you decide to do the WikiLeaks project instead?

    Assange: We all only live once. So we are obligated to make good use of the time that we have and to do something that is meaningful and satisfying. This is something that I find meaningful and satisfying. That is my temperament. I enjoy creating systems on a grand scale, and I enjoy helping people who are vulnerable. And I enjoy crushing bastards. So it is enjoyable work."
    Enough said. He is the man.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dios se bendiga el, y Dios te bendiga Vigil.

    Mr Assange should have gotten the Nobel Peace Prize, not a war supporter.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The sad fact is that NONE of this (Pakistan's back-stabbing, the loss of civilian life via the drone attacks, the administration's reaction to the leaking, etc.) is even remotely surprising. 9 frigging years and counting, folky-folks.

    ReplyDelete
  9. DOD has reported that the Fully Burdened Cost of Fuel (FBCF) — the average cost of importing fuel into Afghanistan — is about $400. This confirms the findings of the Defense Science Board in 2008, which estimated the FBCF as “several hundred dollars per gallon”.

    Fuel and water are currently transported on a dangerous route, requiring that US troops and local troops provide protection. A high number of US casualties in Afghanistan result from efforts to protect these convoys. The Army calculated in a 2009 study that 1 troop fatality occurs for every 24 fuel resupply convoys. In FY 2007, the military required 897 fuel convoys (with an average of 16 supply trucks) to deliver 2.1 million barrels of fuel. (In Iraq, during 2007, the US required 5133 fuel convoys to deliver about 12 million barrels). In the current year, the number and expense of convoys in Afghanistan has risen.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is what I left on The Swash Zone this morning.

    "Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) was just on The Today Show and said that we need to be in Af. "to protect the interests of our allies and to protect our own interests." Isn't this what was said to justify the carnage in Vietnam?"

    Deja effin vue. Thanks - I agree with you.

    ReplyDelete
  11. When can I begin working for these AWESOME guys. I never knew leaking documents could be so alluring.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey,

    It's lucky for us that Jack Ruby is dead.

    Although, there are many others who took up his "crusade."

    Ha!

    I made myself laugh.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Like Viet Nam, perhaps the worst and most fatal mistake any human being can make in a war involving the United States is to believe or trust or assist the Americans.

    We are not a people or a nation that can be trusted.

    CBS NEWS REPORTS TODAY: Hundreds of Afghan civilians who worked as informants for the U.S. military have been put at risk by WikiLeaks' publication of more than 90,000 classified intelligence reports which name and in many cases locate the individuals.

    One specific example cited by the paper is a report on an interview conducted by military officers of a potential Taliban defector. The militant is named, along with his father and the village in which they live.

    "The leaks certainly have put in real risk and danger the lives and integrity of many Afghans," a senior official at the Afghan foreign ministry told The Times on condition of anonymity. "The U.S. is both morally and legally responsible for any harm that the leaks might cause to the individuals, particularly those who have been named. It will further limit the U.S./international access to the uncensored views of Afghans."

    Here's the full story: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20011886-503543.html

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wizard,
    Your post infers the leaked docs are a negative, I would suggest the reasons you give are in fact positive.

    It's something which anyone who chooses to side with an enemy against their own people discover, eventually they may be found out. The French resistance punished collaborators,as did the Vietnamese, as will the Afghanis.

    The fatal mistake doesn't mean that something positive such as this documentation will bring their collaboration to light, the fatal mistake is collaboration itself.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oso, Some, in fact many, in Afghanistan welcomed the Americans. They did not like women being barred from any education, being barred from medical treatment, being traded like the slaves they were and being stoned to death when they violated religious rules they did not believe in themselves.

    These folks, some of whom I know personally, are not excited about the Americans turning the country back over to the Taliban. They cannot fight the Taliban themselves because the Taliban is backed by both the Pakistani's and the Iranians (as the Wikileak documents prove).

    When we leave (and we will leave) millions of women will be enslaved. Thousands will be murdered. And I'm net even saying we should stay.

    But we came as liars and we leave as cowards. No one on earth should ever trust Americans.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey vig he is pretty screwed up! He wasn't in prison for nothing. Julian Paul Assange (pronounced /əˈsɑːnʒ/; born 1971) is an Australian internet activist and journalist best known for his involvement with Wikileaks, a whistleblower website. Assange was a physics and mathematics student, a hacker and a computer programmer, before taking on his current role as spokesperson and editor in chief for Wikileaks. Assange has said that "you can’t publish a paper on physics without the full experimental data and results; that should be the standard in journalism".[1] Julian Assange wikepedia There is nothing valorous about what he does!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Picking up the slack from what masquerades as mainstream journalism and exposing the fact that Obama's inept mission to Afghanistan has no clothes is valorous reporting of the news, Patriot.

    I support your son and all of his comrades by urging that Obama send them all of the planes, trains, trucks, busses, and ships needed to bring them home. Let's start bringing them out today. Alive.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oso, your answer to Wizard was harsh. But true. We have no core national interests in Afghanistan that would merit further sacrificing or squandering. Open and democratic societies do not war for the purpose of pulling other peoples' chestnuts out of the fire. Not for long. Not for nine years! Our troops betrayed no one in Afghanistan. I do not blame the uniforms; I blame the suits and ties in the Pentagon and the White House: politicians who made promises they couldn't keep and wrote checks they couldn't cash. And, they should have known better. History 101.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Excuse the banality, thats Comic sands??

    ReplyDelete
  20. I can only assume that both Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen read my comments, since they both came out with guns blazing today, virtually echoing my posts from yesterday.

    What is upsetting to me, however, is the statement issued by The Taliban.

    "The Taliban has issued a warning to Afghans whose names might appear on the leaked Afghanistan war logs as informers for the Nato-led coalition."

    "Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said they were studying and investigating the report, adding “If they are US spies, then we know how to punish them.” "

    From the London Telegraph

    ReplyDelete
  21. So, is it Wizard's implication that in order to stay in Afghanistan, we have to give up on a free press? Yet another hidden cost of this war?

    ReplyDelete
  22. I've said this many times before-if the US cared the slightest about women's rights in Afghanistan, we'd have backed rather than opposed the Taraki regime. For the first time in their history women were encouraged to pursue higher education and enter the workforce, the US chose to support the Mullahs who wanted to overthrow Taraki and push Afghan women back into the Stone Age.

    So the reason women were barred from education and the workplace was ultimately the US, we chose to use that as a wedge for our own geopolitical reasons. To claim the US cares about womens rights is nonsense.

    ReplyDelete
  23. What is happening in Afghanistan is little more than a politician having backed himself in a corner. Mr. Obama, in some idiotic attempt to differentiate himself from Bush (that, and, yes, to show that he wasn't weak on foreign policy), came up with this preposterous good war/bad war hypothesis/campaign strategy. The chickens, folks, are coming home to roost, pure and simple.

    ReplyDelete
  24. As for this Assange fellow - hero or villain? Somewhere in the middle, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Mr. Hart, the two of us have been through many discussions. On this point we are together.

    Messrs Obama and Assange are both professionals. As a journalist, Assange is doing his job (Did you watch the full audio above? I don't think Wizard has.) Mr. Obama? As putative statesman I thought I was voting for, he has not measured up. He did not fully vet the expeditionary war he chose to champion both before and after his election. Maybe it was the people he gathered around him. I cannot say. But he has failed us.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Vigilante, Of course I've watched the video and watched and read several others from Assange. Please notice that I did not (in any of my comments) criticize Assange OR citicize the press.

    And, believe me, I've never thought for one minute that the United States (as an entity) gives a rat's ass about women or human rights. Our long history of supporting dictators (including Saddam Hussien at one time) speaks for itself.

    That is EXACTLY my issue. We entered Afghanistan as LIARS and now will leave as cowards. Woe be to anyone who put their faith, hope and trust into this country.

    The real question we should be discussing is "Is this the way the United States SHOULD act/"

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks for the link, Vigilante. It's obvious that the leaks might endanger stuff in the Afghanistan mission etc., but please remember that Wikileaks is much more than what the US and its allies are doing there.

    ReplyDelete
  28. AAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNGGGGGGEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

    ReplyDelete
  29. Totally agre and see facebook to join the cause for it: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nobel-Peace-Prize-for-Julian-Assange/178855292141033

    ReplyDelete
  30. Julian Assange’s Wikileaks contributes a lot to the mental welfare of the world revealing lies and unfairness. Interpol should pay Assange a salary because he actually helps Interpol to catch rogues all over the world. He has appealed directly to our inborn morality which is human and not national. Human longing for certain moral things such as fairness and truth are inborn and many neuroscience experiments confirm it. Look through the recent neuroscience literature on morality since 2000 and you will see it. Assange’s Wikileaks embodies universal human inherent morality. National interest and the interest of a particular government is not the same thing. It is in the interests of the nation to know the truth about people’s servants, i.e. governmental or military higher officials. Perhaps it is time to send some of them to prison. The attempt to close Wikileaks is an anti-national act. The attempt to shut Assange up will be felt as the violence against personal inborn morality, i.e. the longing for truth and fairness, and will bring about moral anger. And moral anger is the most powerful aspect of human psychology. Our task is to study Assange’s information and try to improve our world. If a national government cares, indeed, for people it will say: “Thank you, Julian Assange!” Nina Slanevskaya, Director of St.Petersburg Centre for Interdisciplinary Neuroscience

    ReplyDelete