posted on Dec, 1 2010 @ 09:40 PM
Quite a number of people here seem to be confused about certain things:
1) What freedom of speech is...and what it is not.
2) In a free society, we have privacy rights too.
3) In the West, the USA included, we have a web of laws...meant to be in accordance with our respective overriding constitutions...which detail what
is - and is not - permissible at the detail level of human activity.
4) Governments have a fundamental responsibility to protect their own people, and to further the interests of the people they have been elected to
represent...or preside over.
5) People, Families, Social Groups, Companies and Governments have the right to intellectual property. They have a right to create ideas, document
those ideas, classify those ideas in terms of who within their organization can have access to those ideas, and to restrict or prohibit the
dissemination of those ideas outside of the organization.
Where to begin...
In the free societies of the world, and I know you can argue that our freedom is far from perfected, so lets say in the relatively free societies of
the world...one is allowed to say (or write, or broadcast) whatever one wishes, with certain limits like "hate speech", or libel/slander, etc.. We
can stand on top of a soap box and say that we think our President, or Prime Minister...or whomever...is wrong. We can protest against laws, or
policies we think are unjust or unfair...etc. We can lobby for change...we can lobby and work for an actual change in Government (the democratic
But, accepting stolen property, and then transmitting or transacting that stolen property in some fashion is not an expression of any constitutional
right - and it is certainly not an expression of free speech. In this case, we are dealing with Classified documents that dealt with relations
between the United States and multiple other nations. These were stolen...thereby Wikileaks was in possession of "hot" property. Morally and
legally, they should have returned this information to its rightful owner.
Of course, they would not do this because their fundamental reason for being is to receive and published stolen intellectual property. They are, in
real terms, a new form of organized crime (Please do not even try to suggest that Mr. Assange and his operatives are not profiting...earning their
livings...from this illegal activity).
Now, the line becomes a little grey, if they were to come into the possession of information that seems to indicate evidence of behaviour that is
itself criminal. They would then likely have an obligation to provide that information to law enforcement...so that an proper investigation could be
launched and charges laid if appropriate.
In extreme cases, where the legal breech is extreme...and extremely obvious (and after competent independent legal advise)...and where it might be
covered up rather than acted upon, a person might be motivated to release the information another way (say, as happened in Watergate).
This, of course, is not the case with this current dump of some 250,000 confidential/classified diplomatic documents. So far, I have seen no evidence
whatsoever of criminal behaviour, even misconduct, on the part of the U.S. Government, or any of the other Governments who have had their private
thoughts and counsel transmitted to the whole wide world.
The only criminal activity in evidence at this point, with regard to this leak, is the action of the treasonous individual(s) who provided these
stolen materials to Wikileaks...and Assange's criminal decision to hold, retransmit and profit from the use of this this stolen property.
Of course, in my original post I have commented on the difficult position that these leaks (which reveal nothing of an illegal nature) have put China
and the United States...and by extension (if Kim flips his wig) North Korea, South Korea, Japan and other neigbouring countries - and even more if any
conflict there became broader.
And now there are complications in relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Canada, Italy, France and Pakistan...among others. Irresponsible
I guess I have to ask the assembled Wiki-boosters here the following:
1) Should Governments be allowed to have a system of classification of documents...Confidential, Secret, Top Secret, etc. If so, how should we handle
people who break the laws associated with stealing and transmitting such protected information? If not, how should information off all sorts be
handled and made public?
2) Should Military Organizations be allowed to keep secrets of any kind?
3) Should Police Forces and Intelligence Organizations be allowed to keep secrets?
4) Should Corporations be allowed to classify documents and business activities?
5) Should people, families and other forms of organization be allowed to keep their activities as private as they choose (within the context of all
other laws of course)?
I am quite interested in learning about how the world would work under the New Wiki Order. Those who have been breathing fire on ATS about Assange's
(and their) right to all of the information all of the time should be able to provide some insight I think.
Would we have cameras installed inside the Oval office, with a live internet feed?
Would the details of all military contingency plans be posted online as developed?
Would we have a "live feed" of all on-going criminal investigations underway by local and state police?
A full accounting, in real time, of all that the FBI, CIA and NSA are working on...naming names of course?
Full and free access to all secret weapons programs, and facilities...with public tours every weekend?
Looking forward to learning more about this new world we are headed for, if Assange et al have their way...