WikiLeaks, Information and systems:

The case Julian Assange

by prof. em. Kristo Ivanov, Umeå university, (June 2011 rev. 190527-1150)



What follows is an analysis of an article by Massimo Calabresi in TIME Magazine on "WikiLeak's War on Secrecy" (printed in vol. 176, No. 24, December 13, 2010, pp. 20-27) in terms of my doctoral dissertation Quality-control of Information (1972) and its summary with extensions in the book Systemutveckling och Rättssäkerhet (1986, in Swedish, title to be translated as "Systems Development and Rule of Law", in pdf-format 66MB). The purpose is to foster the application of a particular theoretical approach and conceptualization of information and systems to issues where such information displays its greatest complexity because of its technological, social, and political context. The analysis will proceed by interpolating my own text in italics within the text of the article, below, concluding with some "final notes", general systemic comments and detailed references to later developments of the case, included in revisions of this article.


WikiLeaks' War on Secrecy: Truth's Consequences

By MASSIMO CALABRESI Thursday, Dec. 02, 2010 (TIME, vol. 176, No. 24, December 13, 2010)




The Army says it was a crime. When Private First Class Bradley Manning downloaded tens of thousands of diplomatic cables to a CD-RW disc at an Army outpost in Iraq from November 2009 to April 2010, he broke 18 U.S. Code Section 1030(a)(1) — which criminalizes unauthorized computer downloads. But this was no ordinary crime. When


This analysis is not made within the ambit of jurisprudence but rather in terms of scientific rationality or philosophy of science. This actualizes the scientific meaning of "authorization" beyond its occasional, given, assumed formal legal meaning. From the point of view of information science, authorization implies the action of an authorizer, equivalent to an "expert" within the frame of a "Lockean inquiring systems" as conceived by e.g. West Churchman in "The design of inquiring systems" (1971, p. 99, please confer with my detailed index on this book for all future references below). Consequently this also problematizes any associate "criminalization" since the basic methodological issue is who and how should authorize and how the legal text should be edited. Criminalization by itself may lead to practical difficulties as it is shown further below in this article. A scientific treatment of this is presented in a Swedish doctoral dissertation by Claes Lernestedt "Kriminalisering: Problem och Principer" (2003, in Swedish).


Manning allegedly passed those electronic records on to self-described freedom-of-information activist Julian Assange and his revolutionary website, WikiLeaks, he did


As in several other parts of this text by the author Massimo Calabresi, as we will also see further on, there seems to be a tendency to denigrate the person of Julian Assange, by means of diminishing words like, in this case "self-described". It would not have been far-fetched to assume that there is indeed a quite wide consensus in mass media and society in describing Assange as being indeed a freedom-information activist without adding "self-described". For instance, Wikipedia had no difficulty to describe him at an early stage as both journalist and internet activist.


something much more far-reaching: he caused governments to ask what is really a secret and to assess how their behavior should change in an age when supposedly private communications can be whizzed around the world at the stroke of a key.

WikiLeaks' publication starting Nov. 28 of more than 250,000 diplomatic cables was the largest unauthorized release of contemporary classified information in history. It contained 11,000 documents marked secret; the release of any one of them, by the U.S. government's definition, would cause "serious damage to national security." In the U.S., the leak forced a clampdown on intelligence sharing between agencies and new measures to control electronically stored secrets. And diplomats from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the lowest political officers worked to diminish the disclosures' impact on foreign counterparts.


The repercussions of the WikiDump are only beginning to play out. In Korea, the nuclear-armed regime of Kim Jong Il learned that its longtime protector, China, may be turning on it and is willing to contemplate unification of the peninsula under the leadership of the South Korean government in Seoul. In Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad discovered through the leak that while his Arab neighbors were publicly making nice, privately they were pleading with the U.S. to launch an attack against Tehran's nuclear program. Whether that revelation weakens Iran's bargaining position or whether it will encourage Iran's leaders to hunker down and be even less cooperative in negotiations remains to be seen. What is plain is that in Iran and elsewhere, the WikiLeaks revelations could change history.

But not all the secrets now laid bare are as consequential. It is interesting — amusing, even — to know that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi keeps a cadre of four blond Ukrainian nurses, that a U.S. diplomat considers Kim Jong Il "flabby" and that junior members of the British royal family have maintained their unerring ability to stick a foot in their mouth. But none of this can seriously be considered a threat to national security. As it turns out, spuriously classified items like those are part of what has made WikiLeaks possible. Treat them the way they deserve to be treated, and it might be easier to keep the real stuff under wraps.


As the shades of leaders long dead would surely say. For governments have been trying to keep their intentions secret since the Greeks left a horse stuffed with soldiers outside the gates of Troy, and they have been plagued by leaks of information for about as long.


It is appropriate, at this stage, to question the use of sheer word "government", without qualifying it about whether it should be considered as "legitimate", often equated by us Westerners with "democratic". It is a matter with important consequences for the following discussions.


Some information really should be secret, and some leaks really do have consequences: the Civil War battle of Antietam might not have gone the way it did had Confederate General Robert E. Lee's orders not been found wrapped around cigars by Union troops a few days before. But in the past few years, governments have designated so much


And so what? See above. Probably the evaluation of this example would have been different according upon whether the evaluator had been a confederate or unionist. I understand that there was no obvious legitimate government, just as the case is today when comparing that time's USA-national scene with today's international scene where it is not obvious that Assange should only consider USA's national interests.


information secret that you wonder whether they intend the time of day to be classified. The number of new secrets designated as such by the U.S. government has risen 75%, from 105,163 in 1996 to 183,224 in 2009, according to the U.S. Information Security Oversight Office. At the same time, the number of documents and other communications created using those secrets has skyrocketed nearly 10 times, from 5,685,462 in 1996 to 54,651,765 in 2009. Not surprisingly, the number of people with access to that Everest of information has grown too. In 2008, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found, the Pentagon alone gave clearances to some 630,000 people.

As more individuals handle more secrets in more places around the world, it naturally becomes harder to keep track of them. But more than that, it diminishes the credibility of the government's judgment about what should be secret. "When everything is classified, then nothing is classified," said Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart in his judgment in the Pentagon papers case in 1971, when documents detailing the U.S.'s involvement in Vietnam were leaked to the Washington Post and New York Times. Then, said Potter, "the system becomes one to be disregarded by the cynical or the careless, and to be manipulated by those intent on self-protection or self-promotion."


At this point the reader should note the introduction of the new term "credibility". To begin with it should be referred back to the previously implied "legitimacy", or "degree of democracy" in the establishment of "government". That is, the greater is the (democratic) legitimacy of the government, the greater its credibility. In second place, in information science, credibility if not referred back to the questioned "authorization-authority" should be related mainly to the accuracy of information. In this respect credibility is just one among dozens of other ad-hoc attributes of information, akin to those that were listed in my doctoral dissertation cited above (p. 1.2 and appendix 1), and exemplified by terms such as dependability, controllability, reliability, acceptability, and such. The main message of the dissertation was that most if not all those poorly defined terms could be subsumed under the more general term of accuracy, meaning that the greater the accuracy, the greater is, in our present case, its credibility.


Nor is it just that governments are calling more things secret when they are really not.


Yes, indeed, but the main problem includes the scientific or rational determination of what is "real".


That development has happened at the same time as the information-technology revolution, which has made the dissemination of data, views, memos and gossip easier than it has ever been in human history. Put that together, and you have the potential for the sort of shattering event that has just happened — especially when a figure like Assange is around, determined to turn potential into reality.


Yes, but the potential of dissemination, paradoxically, has not only the potential for the sort of "shattering" event, but also the potential for a redeeming or rehabilitating event in the sense that it may pull together multi-perspective and multi-cultural minds that can cooperate in increasing the credibility of the information, or the credibility of its classification as secret. (Quality-control of information, chap. 4-5).




The Australian-born hacker turned fugitive political activist has launched a crusade predicated on the idea that nearly all information should be free and that confidentiality in government affairs is an affront to the governed. In the process, he has published

everything from a video of U.S. troops killing civilians in Iraq to the documents behind


Here the text displays again the refined and sophisticated slandering of the person Julian Assange in using the particular cluster of words "hacker turned fugitive political activist has launched a crusade", plus the tacit affirmation that he claims it is an affront to the governed. If we assume that the not yet convicted Assange is to be assumed innocent and in good will, and we imagine for a moment to look at things from his point of view, we may imagine the following: it is the USA government that has launched a "crusade" (president Bush initial expression that had to be precipitously revised) against an invisible Iraqi government while unavoidably targeting civilians. So, from this point of view it is the confidentiality in military affairs (rather than pure governmental affairs) that is an affront both to the unknowing American public and to the Iraqi population. And finally, it was not only a matter or "killing civilians" but, as the videos from the helicopter attack show, also a matter of killing rescuers of wounded and dying civilians who were trying to bear the bodies into a minivan where later were found two wounded children.


the so-called Climategate scandal to Wesley Snipes' tax returns. Assange is nothing if not an equal-opportunity sieve; the possibility that he might possess a 5-gigabyte hard drive belonging to a senior Bank of America official sent the bank's stock price down 3% on Nov. 30. "This organization practices civil obedience," Assange declared in an interview with TIME via Skype from an undisclosed location where he is hiding from authorities seeking to question him about rape allegations he denies. WikiLeaks "tries to make the world more civil and act against abusive organizations that are pushing it in the opposite direction," he said.


The Way Things Once Were.
The view that Assange is doing the world a favor is not, unsurprisingly, how others view him. While every President in the past 20 years has fought secrecy inflation — or said they have — all have seen the need for a degree of confidentiality and secrecy in government affairs. "In almost every profession," Hillary Clinton said on Nov. 29, "people rely on confidential communications to do their jobs." But as more things get called secret and more people have access to what is said to be secret and more of them know that WikiLeaks is standing there (well, somewhere) ready to receive those secrets like a slobbery Labrador catching any stick thrown its way, then the question becomes, Can the U.S. government — or any government — rely on confidential communications to do its business in the way that Clinton would like?


And what about "whistle blowing" and it legal safeguards? But, once again, there is a slandering language in describing WikiLeaks (Assange) as a "slobbery Labrador catching any stick thrown its way". To begin with it is not "any stick" since it must have some potential public interest. Furthermore, it is not a matter of whether any government can rely on confidential communication (where now confidential is equated with secret) but rather whether this confidentiality is justified and necessary. Harlan Cleveland, an American diplomat, educator, and author who wrote two timely and relevant books on "The future executive" (1972) and "The knowledge executive: Leadership in an information society" (1985) also wrote in the magazine Operation Research (September-October 1973) an article on "Systems, purposes and the Watergate" which for our purposes can be seen as a summary. He tersely suggests a key question when in lack of an affirmative code of ethics: "If this action is held up to public scrutiny, will I still feel that it is what I should have done, and how I should have done it?". He maintains that "if your action depends for its validity on its secrecy, watch out!" and "if your intended line of action cannot be persuasively explained to the uninvolved, you better look for a new line of action." In The Future Executive (pp. 115-120) Cleveland presents analyses related to the so called Pentagon Papers in 1971 and to the war in Vietnam, as to the earlier the Cuban crisis. He repeats the suggested question "How will I feel if this advice is later held up to public scrutiny?" and "Does this action of mine really have to be taken behind a curtain?", concluding that if its validity depends on its secrecy, there is at least a fifty-fifty chance that there is something wrong with the picture.


Not long ago, the answer to that question would have been easy: yes. WikiLeaks could not have existed during the Cold War. Back then, sensitive U.S. information was


This historical account appears to be defective, at least in the sense that it does not mentions the famous case (see above) of the Pentagon Papers, and all the diplomatic and organizational considerations presented by Harlan Cleveland in "The Future Executive" (see also above). A conspicuous example is Cleveland quotation "Eight and half years and 45.000 American deaths later [not to mention non-American deaths, my note] the New York Times had concluded that it was all right to publish Top Secret documents" (p. 116). The only difference in comparison with the WikiLeaks case was that its role at the time was performed by mass media, or its Public Executives who include, by definition, those self-appointed representatives of people-in-general and organizers of the independent ways of mobilizing public outrage (p. 120).


handled with a diligence born of persistent Soviet attempts at espionage, just as Soviet business was conducted with one eye open for those devious American snoops. In Washington, paper copies of secrets were numbered, accounted for at the end of the workday and stored in government-issue safes. Some documents were even watermarked to indicate their origin and author and prevent reproduction (and make their provenance easy to trace if someone was daft enough to try to copy them). Wire transmissions — quaint! — were limited and, in the case of very sensitive material, traveled only over proprietary networks using encryption technology provided by the mathematicians at the National Security Agency.

Then came the IT revolution. At first, the U.S. government resisted its charms. In the


This may be defective writing of history. The U.S. government did not resist its charms but, rather, misjudged the consequences of an IT revolution that it enhanced by means of heavy investments in research, including the establishment of the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, see below) that ultimately resulted in the Internet.


corporate world, the evolution of the Internet and rapid data storage and retrieval made it possible by the late 1980s to find and share information on an unimaginable scale. But in government, agencies distrusted one another and often refused to share. There was a long history of that: President Harry Truman and the CIA never knew, for example, that the FBI and the Army had cracked the Soviet codebooks after World War II. That interagency mutual suspicion continued until the Berlin Wall fell — and beyond.


It had real costs too. In 2005, the commission investigating the terrorist attacks of 9/11 found that "poor information sharing was the single greatest failure of our government in the lead-up to the 9/11 attacks," as commission co-chair Lee Hamilton put it in public testimony. The FBI, for example, had known that al-Qaeda supporter Zacarias Moussaoui was attempting to learn to fly commercial jets but failed to tell the CIA, even as the agency was desperately trying to figure out the details of an airline plot it knew was coming. In the aftermath of 9/11, intelligence sharing became an imperative.

In its response to the new environment, the State Department created something that went by the unlovely name of Net-Centric Diplomacy database, or NCD. The department stored classified information on the database right up to the top-secret level. Agencies across the government had access to State's information through their own secure networks. The Pentagon's network, created in 1995, was called the Secure Internet Protocol Router Network, or SIPRNet, and was available to everyone from top officers in the Pentagon to troops in the field helping to track intelligence for their units.


It was one thing — and a commendable one, within limits — to make it easier to share information. But that development coincided with another one: the generation of more secrets than ever. In 1995, Bill Clinton issued Executive Order 12958, which gave just


What is needed, at this point, is an analysis of WHY there was that generation of more secrets than ever. It would be significantly symptomatic if the reason for this were that lack of secrecy is that it would have required extensive discussion and negotiation with lots of people, even inside the government. But the lack of such discussion and negotiation by itself decreases the credibility or rather the accuracy itself of the information that is maintained in secret, all according to the earlier mentioned principles of "quality-control of information". Even within government itself there would be disagreement about the validity of the information, explaining the difficulties mentioned above of "sharing" information across agencies. And this would explain why at the same time as one increased the number of secret documents also succumbed to the structural need to obviate the above by making it available to a greater number of people, as described further below.


20 officials, including the President, the power to classify documents as top secret, meaning their disclosure would likely "cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security" of the U.S. But sneakily, the order also allowed those 20 selected officials to delegate their authority to 1,336 others. Nor was that all: according to a 1997 bipartisan congressional report of a committee chaired by the scourge of government secrecy, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, such "derivative" classification authority was eventually handed to some 2 million government officials and a million industry contractors.


Consequently there is indeed a paradox: if the secret information would have to be accepted as usable and therefore accurate (cf. "quality-control of information") then it is presupposed that it had been as widely discussed and negotiated before it was established and stored for retrieval as usable and true. But then it would have been no "secret" anymore. Secret then comes to mean the same as authorized, and truth, technical, scientific or military truth, comes to be equivalent to the politics which established authorizing administration according to the positivistic doctrine of separation between politics and administration. See below.


(3 of 4)

The more government officials are empowered to classify documents, of course, the more people doing government work need clearances to look at it. In its deep investigation of American secrecy earlier this year, the Washington Post found that some 854,000 people inside and out of government had top-secret clearance, the highest classification. Ensuring all those people can be trusted isn't easy, especially since the issuance of clearances has been flawed and lacked rigor. The GAO sampled 3,500 of the investigative reports that officials use to determine whether to give clearances for Pentagon personnel and found that 87% "were missing at least one type of documentation required by the federal investigative standards." The missing documents included information on previous employment and complete security forms. Some 12% of the reports didn't include a subject interview. Since 2005, the GAO has put the flawed clearance process on its list of the government problems that pose the highest risk to U.S. security — where it remains.

More damaging, perhaps, is that a fundamental mistrust of government is a natural outgrowth of secrecy inflation. As the number of secrets expanded in the 1990s, Moynihan observed in his 1997 report, the imperative to keep them secret diminished.


Do not forget, however, the possibility of the other way round: that the fundamental fondness for secrecy instead of open discussion and negotiation is a natural outgrowth of mistrust of democratic government. This is often expressed in terms that democracy "costs" too much, both in sheer economic terms and in terms or risks of allowing that influence be exerted by people and groups who are not qualified in terms of knowledge or honesty or strength of character.


Because "almost everything was declared secret, not everything remained secret and there were no sanctions for disclosure," Moynihan wrote. And the more secrets leak, the worse it is for government credibility: either they are important and the sanctions are too minimal, or they are unimportant and the public believes there's no point in keeping secrets at all. "When trusted insiders no longer have faith in the judgment of government regarding secrets, then they start to substitute their own judgment," says William J. Bosanko, head of the Information Security Oversight Office at the National Archives, which oversees what gets classified. "And that's a big problem."


And why should this, applicable to "trusted insiders", not be legitimately applied to the justification of WikiLeaks-Assange? Might he not represent those who no longer have faith in the judgment of government regarding secrets, and start to substitute their own judgment?


The Wizard from Oz. Not to Julian Assange it's not. Like him or not, the WikiLeaks founder has now become so well known that he has the power to impose his judgment of what should or shouldn't be secret.


Yes, but from his legitimate point of view the problem is that a few influential people inside government have the power to impose their judgment on what should be secret without submitting such judgment while insulating themselves from democratic process or its correspondent in organizational theory, going under the label of "participation". but this is one important and unrecognized effect of "de-humanized" technology, in the sense that the elimination of multiple human links in the process of performing a task also implied less social cross-control. If it gets easier for a small number of military personnel to "impose their judgment" in deciding the killing a certain number of civilians without the interference of mediating judgments, governmental or not, then it is also easier for somebody like Assange to spread information without extensive social control.



Assange is a story in himself. He was born in Townsville, Queensland, in 1971 to parents who ran a theater company and moved more than 30 times before he turned 14. At one point, reportedly, he, his baby half brother and his divorced mother fled her boyfriend for years across Australia. In 1991, Assange was arrested with a few other Australian teenagers and charged with more than 30 counts of hacking and other related computer crimes. He studied mathematics at the University of Melbourne but never graduated and has said he dropped out because his fellow students were doing research for the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency [ARPANET], the group that is widely credited with having invented the Internet but that also helped produce advanced weaponry. Assange became a talented programmer, developing in 1997 what he has said was a cryptographic system for use by human-rights workers.


By early 2006, Assange realized what an opportunity had been created by the confluence of technology and expanded secrecy. Reportedly spurred by the leak of the Pentagon papers, Assange unveiled WikiLeaks in December 2006. The idea was to serve as a drop box for anyone, anywhere, who disagreed with any organization's activities or secrets, wherever they might be. Originally, a handful of activists recruited by Assange ran the website; it now has a full-time staff of five and about 40 volunteers, as well as 800 occasional helpers, Assange has said. Assange remains nomadic, moving from country to country and frequently asserting that he is being followed. An arrest warrant has been issued by Swedish authorities who want to question Assange about allegations stemming from claims reportedly made by two women regarding rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion. Assange denies the charges, but Interpol issued a "red notice" on him.


It should be qualified that the "allegations" were "interpreted" as accusations (but see original interviews with their lawyer especially the longest one) by the police and prosecutor (as declared in Assange's complex "Affidavit" at Ecuador's embassy in London, in September 2013). This interpretation, especially with regard to "rape" or "sexual molestation" can be seen (if not a a work commissioned by counter-espionage for final extradition from Sweden to the USA) as guided by, disregarding the radical feminism of the involved women, by the prevailing feministic orientation of the Swedish society or, rather, by the state apparatus and severe laws that corresponds to the denomination of "state feminism". It has received attention especially with regards to Sweden where the governmnet has officially qualified itself as a feminist government, particularly with a feminist foreign policy. At the municipal level there have been (4 October 2016) intentions expressed by the housing commissioner in Stockholm, to lauch even feminist city planning. For the rest, the complex issue regarding radical feminism, at least one of the involved women has been documented as displaying an aesthetics inviting to interpretations that in psychoanalysis would correspond to a sort of "phallic woman" with castrating behavior. The story was humoristically summarized later (15 April 2019 on a controversial Swedish site (another one here) with a complete disclosure of the identity of the involved women who seemed to have destroyed Assange's life: deaconess Anna Ardin (see also blog) and Sofia Wilén. A meaningful curious circumstance that illustrates the character of Anna Ardin is that she is the one who later co-authored a declaration (in Swedish, in Kyrkans Tidning [The Church's Journal], 30 April 2019] that the Swedish climate activist schoolgirl Greta Thunberg can be seen as God's prophet, an issue that I address in other contexts (in my blog and an essay).

In its first year, WikiLeaks' database grew to 1.2 million documents, and according to its website, it now receives 10,000 new ones every day. Among its list of millions of publications are some impressive scoops: documents alleging corruption by the family of Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi, secret Church of Scientology manuals and an operations manual from the U.S. detention center at Guantánamo Bay revealing a determination to hide prisoners from the International Committee for the Red Cross.


Initially, Assange was treated with benign neglect by the U.S. government, which seemed more amused than concerned about his activities. Then came Bradley Manning. A 22-year-old who had trained as an intelligence analyst with the U.S. Army in Arizona, Manning shipped out to Contingency Operating Station Hammer in Baghdad last year. In May, Manning told a hacker based in Carmichael, Calif., that he allegedly had access to both SIPRNet and the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System, JWICS, which is used by government officials and contractors for the transmission of top-secret information. Previously, SIPRNet users had been prevented from downloading data to removable media, as they are on JWICS, but at some point Central Command removed that restriction, Administration officials tell TIME.



In May, Manning told his hacker friend that he had downloaded data to a Lady Gaga–labeled CD and that he had given to WikiLeaks a video from Afghanistan, a classified Army document on the security threat of WikiLeaks and 260,000 U.S. diplomatic cables. The hacker turned him in, and Administration officials say Manning is the only suspect in the cables case. His lawyer did not return calls requesting comment. In late May, the U.S. military arrested Manning. But that was much too late. By then, WikiLeaks had the cables.

Assange can talk big — he gave TIME a lecture on the Founding Fathers — and may have something of a martyr complex. But he has shown himself an exceptionally talented showman. Frustrated that prior postings received little attention, he has


These ("Assange can talk big" and what follows above) are further examples of refined textual demeaning of the figure of Assange in an article that obviously claims to convey factual information. "Talk big", gave a "lecture", "martyr complex", and what comes to amount to a "talented showman". As a reader I must assume that TIME, in the best case with the purpose of capturing the sympathy of readers who are critical of Assange and WikiLeaks, capitalizes over the fact that Assange has neither academic qualifications nor political position in the USA-establishment. This is supplemented some few lines later (see below) by referring to his display of "autodidactic erudition", "launched into a discourse", etc. Such a demeaning and ridicularizing attitude would later be found in, for instance, The Economist's article of 23 June 2012, "Julian Assange: Leaker unplugged" as well in Swedish newspapers as exemplified under the section titled "A Final Note", below.


arranged embargoed access to his more spectacular recent releases for the New York Times, the Guardian in Britain, Der Spiegel in Germany, El País in Spain and Le Monde in France. His release in April of a 2007 video from Iraq shocked Americans. Of his latest effort, which he says is producing a new, original story every two minutes, he tells TIME: "The media scrutiny and the reaction from government are so tremendous that it actually eclipses our ability to understand it."


The WikiLeaks founder mixes radicalism with a heavy dose of autodidactic erudition. When asked about Britain's hard-line Official Secrets Act, which once punished the disclosure of virtually anything that one ever saw inside a British government office, including the state of the cheese sandwiches, Assange wrote, "The dead hand of feudalism still rests on every British shoulder; we plan to remove it." When asked by TIME how he justified his actions, he launched into a discourse on the "revolutionary movement" that produced the U.S. Constitution and opined that the "Espionage Act is widely viewed to be overbroad, and that is perhaps one of the reasons it has never been properly tested in the Supreme Court."

Some day he may test the assertion in person, as the U.S. government's benign neglect has given way to real hostility. Congressman Pete King has called for WikiLeaks' designation as a terrorist organization. On Nov. 29, Attorney General Eric Holder said Justice is investigating the matter. But even if he could be caught, prosecuting Assange would be hard, and Administration officials say that for now the probe is primarily focused on Manning. "There's not a lot of precedent there," says one. "And then there's the First Amendment question of whether [WikiLeaks] is a media outlet."


Fixing the System.
In one way, President Obama agrees with Assange: he too thinks there should be fewer secrets. On his first full day in office, Jan. 21, 2009, Obama issued a memo to agencies instructing them to embrace openness and transparency. He then launched an interagency review of classification that produced a Dec. 29, 2009, Executive Order requiring the millions of "derivative" classifiers to receive regular training in what actually needs classification or lose their clearance. The order also required agencies to bring in outside experts to review classification guidance. Perhaps most important, Obama's order forced those who classify information to identify themselves on the documents they create. The main obstacle to classification reform


In terms of theory of science and scientific methodology applied to information this is a beautiful example of the application of a (USA-) culturally conditioned "Lockean inquiring system" based on agreement of "expert judgments" (Churchman, 1971, pp. 99, 110, 118-9, 198-9). That is agreement among experts authorized by a "powerful authority" that in our culture is equated to an authorization or legitimation by a perfect Democracy, equivalent to earlier times' perfect God. What is most interesting is that this kind of rationality that might be understood in a purely military tactical context (where the democratic ideal is often hierarchical) and is applied at the level of strategy and at the political level of analysis where conflict calls for more advanced conceptions of rationality.


has been the Defense Department, which one senior Administration official describes as "hostile" to the effort, because of a reflexive belief that secrecy protects the troops. To push back, Obama in July ordered all agencies to issue regulations implementing his December 2009 order by the end of this year. The Pentagon has produced a draft.

None of that makes Obama and Assange allies. Quite the opposite. Obama is finding that rebuilding the credibility of government generally is difficult; shoring up the credibility behind government secrecy is even harder. Assange isn't making his job easier. The


Shoring up the credibility of government behind secrecy" is not only "harder" but outrightly, ultimately unjustified and dangerous unless one embarks on the kind of considerations mentioned earlier with reference to Harlan Cleveland, which, in turn, do not invalidate the ultimate legitimacy of "leaks".


massive cable leak, says Clinton, "puts people's lives in danger, threatens national security and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems." The leak has also led the U.S. to tighten, not loosen, its security protocols.


This train of arguments ignores that those supporting WikiLeaks have a different conception of "people", including for instance civilian casualties in invasion and bombing of other countries, beyond what they see as simplistic conceptions of "national security" and of with whom, what problems are "shared". This leads to the question of who and how will define what is "international" security, rather than national, to which neither Assange (Australian national) nor his associates in an international organization like WikiLeaks needs to subscribe to.


After consulting with the White House in the run-up to the WikiLeaks dump, State temporarily cut the link between its NCD database and SIPRNet. CentCom has reimposed its restrictions on using removable media, is newly requiring that a second person approve the download of classified information to an unsecure device and is installing software designed to detect suspicious handling of secrets.


The requirement that "a second person approve" is a significant hint at the need of cross-validation that ultimately introduces the political dimension in an improper simplistic technical-administrative (bureaucratic) conception of the whole problem, coloured as it is by the historically and culturally dominant (particularly in the USA) positivistic, Lockean, organization theory (e.g. Herbert Simon, "Administrative Behavior", 1947) .


Whether all that will work is an open question. "The world is moving irreversibly in the direction of openness, and those who learn to operate with fewer secrets will ultimately have the advantage over those who futilely cling to a past in which millions of secrets can be protected," says a former intelligence-community official. From the perspective of the U.S. government, which has just seen the unauthorized release of 11,000 secret documents, it may be hard to imagine what that world would look like. But at least one senior government official seems comfortable with where things are headed. Defense Secretary Robert Gates — no stranger to real secrets, since he served as CIA chief and Deputy National Security Adviser under President George H. W. Bush — shrugged off the seriousness of the cable dump Nov. 30. Said Gates: "Is this embarrassing? Yes. Is it awkward? Yes. Consequences for U.S. foreign policy? I think fairly modest."

Not everybody is that nonchalant, which is why the President's real goal is to find a balance between keeping secret what should be secret, making transparent what should be transparent and doing it all in such a way as to augment the effective conduct of government. Potter Stewart had a go at defining such a balance in his Pentagon papers opinion in 1971. "The hallmark of a truly effective internal security system," the Justice said, "would be the maximum possible disclosure, recognizing that secrecy can best be preserved only when credibility is truly maintained." Wise words, from the heart of the American establishment. Words that Assange admiringly cites on the WikiLeaks website.


This fits perfectly (again) the conclusions of my dissertation "Quality-control of information" where the quality or truthfulness of information is a function of its being submitted to the strongest possible disagreement. This is so because information does not come in "atoms" or "molecules" but it brings with itself hidden contextual, systemic presuppositions. When exposure to such disagreement it is not deemed possible because of potential "costs" or risks (military-diplomatic) it should still be assumed that (as in the case of WikiLeaks and according to Harlan Cleveland's conception) IF a "leak" should occur a disagreement should could be met with moral and public conviction, that is, with no shameful embarrassment, on the international arena of world media. This underscores the importance and stability of the fundamental theory of "information" face to recurrent and late events connected to information and knowledge. It has long been my conviction that the ultimate test of any theory in its usability in commenting and reaching conclusions in face of historical and late events.


Upon completing this review I wish to supplement it with a remark about the basis of the "Wikileaks problem" in political philosophy. I have come to the conviction that this background is the nature of democracy itself, and is related to its sources as summarized in the idea "liberty-equality-fraternity", especially equality. In my opinion this very same background, as masterly analyzed in Alexis de Tocqueville's book on Democracy in America, explains the apparent paradoxes of the conflict around openness, which is inherent to the concepts of democracy and equality. My remarks in the review, concerning bureaucracy and authorization recall the historical role of aristocracy, which is by definition obliterated by democracy. In other words, the enemies of Wikileaks will be seen by its supporters as reviving the idea of an aristocracy, that is, a paradoxical democratic aristocracy. If, for the purpose of simplicity, we ignore earlier problematizations of democracy such as in the works of Plato and Aristotle, I believe that the deepest understanding of the problem is offered by the mentioned work of Tocqueville, preferably in the exemplary latest translation by Gerald Bevan, an inexpensive and handy edition whose only serious shortcoming is the absence of a word-index. A popular version and application of some of Tocqueville's thoughts is found in Alain de Botton's pedagogical entertaining and intellectually challenging book on Status Anxiety (2004), in two chapters dealing with expectations (p.11ff.) and meritocracy (p.45ff.).

I am afraid that, disregarding political convictions, future researchers would better try to comment upon Tocqueville's "confessional" and simple summary of his analysis at the beginning of his chapter on What Sort of Despotism Democratic Nations Have to Fear (p. 803, net reference): "I had noted in my stay in the United States that a democratic state of society similar to the American model could lay itself open to the establishment of despotism with unusual ease..." 


Repeated attention has been paid to the non-democratic nature of the organization and activities of U.S. military Joint Special Operations Command - JSOC. As pointed out by the Swedish Radio in the weekly program "Konflikt" 3 December 2011 this kind of activity contains features of state terrorism with summary assassinations of foreign citizens in foreign territories who are supposed to be terrorists, having caused deaths of numerous innocent civilians. Accounts of these activities in English language have been published in the Washington Post, and New York Times, as well as in other links supplied by Radio Sweden on occasion of the broadcasting of the program. A summary is presented in Dana Priest's book (September 2011) Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State and in the documentary Top Secret America (transcript here) with its references (among others) to Barton Gellman, James Risen, Diane Roark, Eric Lichtblau, Thomas Drake, Mark Klein, Tim Wu, and James Bamford. Together with cases like the FBI's special agent Mark Felt's involvement in the Watergate affair and the notable prosecution and suicide of the software developer and Internet activist Aaron Swartz, they all illustrate the complexity of the issues considered above, a complexity that is not visible to the regular consumers of routine massmedia news and to many researchers in the field of information technology who focus on its profitable exploitation.

For the rest I find that the "complexity of the issue" has been most thoroughly analyzed and "solved" by the former diplomat Harlan Cleveland in his book The Future Executive (1972). While the journal The Economist writes in its issue of April 12th 2019 an article with the opportunely neutral title "Julian Assange: journalistic hero or enemy agent?" it treacherously completes it with the subheading Dumping unredacted information is the act of a useful idiot, not a journalist. In this way The Economist bypasses Cleveland's whole analysis referring to the Pentagon Papers in 1971 and the My Lai's killing of Vietnamese civilians, especially in the chapter "Executive Feet to the Fire" (pp. 104, 107, 116) where the question "Will I be criticized?" is shown to be properly answered by considering both who is guilty (in the case, of murders) and responsible.

"If this action is held up to public scrutiny, will I still feel that it is what I should have done, and how I should have done it?" and "How will I feel if this advice is later held up to public scrutiny?".

If we focus on the JSOC-activities: they are top secret and decisions have not even been shared by U.S. defense department with its State department there are reasons for opposing this evasion from democratic control, and for considering the breaches of  problematic "security" by WikiLeaks as being in the interest of ultimate truth, ethics, and international accountability. And there is more to this: in the context of the USA's military deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), John W. Whitehead at the Rutherford Institute wrote in February 2013 an article with the self-explanatory title Executioner in Chief: How a Nobel Peace Prize Winner Became the Head of a Worldwide Assassination Program. The unrecognized if not outright ignored broader question is the ethics of obedience to the authority of the democratic state and of democracy. The question arises in its ultimate
form in USA's drone war as portrayed in Chris Woods' Sudden Justice: America's Secret Drone Wars, in documentaries like Tonje Hessen Schei's documentary DRONE, and testimonies like the one by remote drone pilot-operator ("sensor operator for the U.S. Air Force Predator program") Brandon Bryant. A chapter by itself is the example of the government of the most powerful country of the world, the USA, shedding official derogatory words about, and condemning individuals prior to formal legal assessment while chasing all over the world another "whistle blower" in the same spirit of Assange's main source Bradley Manning: Edward Snowden in his complex cooperation with Glenn Greenwald (ref. article in the Swedish Svenska Dagbladet 22 January 2014.) They are whistle bllowers who, as Assange, are considered by millions of people in many parts of the world to have risked their careers and their lives for uncovering unlawful, immoral and undemocratic government practices, whatever formal democratic rules may have been respected amidst the confusion between democratically established laws, ethics and religion.

Whistleblowers as in the case of the Daniel Ellsberg (on the Pentagon Papers), Julian Assange or Edward Snowden are often challenged on the basis of risks for the (USA) national security and in particular for the security of military and civil personnel who happens to be periferally involved and identifiable in the criticized operations described in disclosed secret documents. What is not considered is the alternative risk för incresed hostility up to terrorism in other countries when the criticized operations can be perceived as immoral and evil. For instance, when a respectable American citizen as Paul Craig Roberts, echoing Harland Cleveland's arguments, reports and comments the events about Assange taking place in April 2019 - his arrest in the Ecuadorian embassy in London - this can have very serious consequences regarding worldwide hostility against the USA. Even moderate faithful Muslims can infer that the USA government in practice protects assassins and criminals, confirming suspicions of the Western world's increasing godlessness and contempt for basic Christian values, evidencing that Muhammad instead of Jesus Christ is God's effective prophet. Such considerations can contribute to an increased worldwide recruitment of potential terrorists.

Following the news that "Ecuador Grants Asylum to Assange, Defying Britain" (New York Times, 16 August 2012) a discussion ensued in the world press and mass media. Claes Borgström, Swedish lawyer, feminist front man and former chief Equality Ombudsman, an agency involved in feminist controversial legal practices , who represented the two women who are said to have accused Mr. Assange of sexual abuses, told the online newspaper that the women had expected the decision on extradition to Sweden but still thought it absurd and were disappointed. Assange, hung out to world's massmedia but who according to judicial praxis should be considered innocent until sentenced guilty, perceives two women whose allegations as interpreted by the police and prosecutor are destroying his whole life's achievements while the women themselves, protected by anonymity, are said to feel "disappointed". He tries to defend himself in face of dangers of later extradition to the USA where more or less official threats have included calls for his treatment as "enemy combatant" and sheer assassination that he perceives as state-sponsored murder supported by powerful national security agencies. Documented precedents are to be found in past relations between the USA and Cuba's Fidel Castro. Ecuador's foreign minister reported that his government had made its decision after the authorities in Britain, Sweden and the United States refused to give guarantees that if Mr. Assange were extradited to Sweden, he would not then be sent on to the United States to face other charges. Sweden’s foreign minister rejected the suggestion that Sweden would be involved in any kind of persecution. "Our firm legal and constitutional system guarantees the rights of each and everyone," he wrote on Twitter, and, in his usually self-assertive language, "we firmly reject any accusations to the contrary." I have elsewhere documented some of my seminars on privacy, integrity and freedom of expression that address several aspects of the problem raised by such quarrels. But the real issue is the obvious Swedish denial (represented by the foreign minister's "firm rejection" above) of the subtle corruption of Swedish law with regard to human rights that is richly illustrated in the historical, sociological, and political science research summarized in the book (in Swedish, esp. 216 ff.) Är Svensken Människa?  [Is the Swede a Human?]. Sweden's historical records about disregard of human rights are well summarized by the case of the repatriation of Ahmed Agiza and Muhammad al-Zery and by the historically most famous, basal, complex Case of Sporrong and Lönnroth vs Sweden lodged at the European Court of Human Rights (1982, 1984) under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. (Cf. analysis of the case, in Swedish). Compare with the likewise basal ideological stand that was mentioned above, of the Swedish governmnet having officially qualified itself as a feminist government, and its implications for semantic manipulations of e.g. the definition of rape and violence in legislation. It has come so far as to be the subject of an editorial in a main Swedish news paper (Hanne Kjöller in Dagens Nyheter 19 Oktober 2012) noting the "inversion of guilt vs innocence": in Sweden the rule of law is moving away from the idea of justice as that the citizen is innocent until the opposite is proved. Swedish readers will find at the homepage of the national Medborgarrättrörelse [Civil Rights Movement] a pedagogically written perspective of the problematic ideology of the case Sporrong & Lönnroth vs. Sweden, mirroring the ethically flawed LEGAL POSITIVISM at the origins of the modern Swedish judicial system. In this latter respect Swedish readers may also consult my own book (in Swedish) on systems development and rule of law, betitled Systemutveckling och Rättssäkerhet (1986, in pdf-format). In the year 2018 the case of the campaign of #MeToo about alleged sexual harassment illustrated the further debacle of the concept of justice in Sweden, as analyzed in my weblog with the same title (#MeToo) .

In the meantime, it is symptomatic that Swedish newspapers and mass media that programmatically support uncritical feminism cherish the two anonymous accusing women who simultaneously engaged themselves in the arranged sexual affair.
An average Swedish citizen could have to wait until 2 May 2016 in order to read in the foreign newspaper The Observer a homage to true freedom of the press hardly found in Sweden: under headlines referring to the United Nations report plus its urging on the case, and a subhead suggesting a "Nordic neurosis", is found an account of the names of the two involved Swedish women who are supposed to stay anonymous while destroying life and reputation of the accused. The newspaper article is completed with sensationally sordid details of the affair that ultimately required a special Wikipedia entry on "Assange versus Swedish Prosecution Authority".

This all not
to mention the ominous tendency that can be perceived of apparent smear campaigns defaming Assange as associated to "anti-semitism" by means of ad-hominem arguments and guilt by association that may be related to ominous precedents according ABC News in Australia on 20 August 2012. This was the case made by Hanne Kjöller's editorial in Dagens Nyheter 11 October 2012, and Karin Olsson in Expressen, mirroring insinuations as early as in The Telegraph 5 March 2011 that may have influenced attitudes to Assange because of of his having been supported by Noam Chomsky, as adduced by columnist Mårten Schultz in Dagens Nyheter 30 August 2012. Chomsky was namely since long been put on the SHIT-list (Self-Hating and/or Israel-Threatening on a link that seems to have been symptomatically discontinued on the Masada2000 homepage) as some others might have been put on an "anti-list" or "pro-list" by the USA Israel Lobby. That is, exactly the kind of list, such as "Anti-Assange" analog list "longtwitted" by Wikileaks' website, that Hanne Kjöller complains about (without identifying any URL-source) for having been put on because of the Wikileak-hostile articles she would have been writing in Dagens Nyheter. Finally, in the context of "anti-Semitism" this is also the place to mention the case that has been internationally considered by many as politically-morally scandalous, the more so against the background of the officially perceived dangers of uncontrolled development of weapons of mass-destruction in Iraq and North Korea : the in media relatively silenced case (described in Wikipedia) of Israel vs. Mordechai Vanunu. No comments are necessary for those who are enough interested for looking at this eloquent reference in Wikipedia.

One main newspaper prefers systematically to ignore all these relevant and substantial problems, as in its immediate comments to Ecuador's decision, both in the editorial and in the news reporting on 17 August 2012: "Lagen måste ha sin gång" [The law must run its course], "Högt spel om Julian Assanges nya framtid" [High game on Julian Assange's new future], and "Han ska behandlas som alla andra" [He must be treated like any other.]
The very same newspaper allowed later for an exception in permitting the publication of one deviant, critical view of legal treatment of Assange in Sweden. It took place on 19 August 2012 in the "debate section" with the title "Fallet Assange ett hot mot den svenska rättsstaten" [The Assange case is a threat to Sweden's rule of law], followed by a rejoinder by Claes Borgström. The text is also available in blog-format. The authors perceive that the procedures initiating and establishing the legal claims against Assange reveal the corruption of the Swedish legal system under the influence of what they call "state feminism", that is old free feminism that with the populist support of the press and media has been politically incorporated into governmental agencies, politics, administration, state universities, and judicial system. The same concerns on ongoing corruption of the Swedish legal system have been reported in an editorial (Dagens Nyheter 19 October 2012) denouncing an apparent increasing neglect of the legal principle of "Beyond reasonable doubt". Increasing suspicions of corruption of the Swedish legal system have been advanced also in the context of the Quick affair and its overview by the investigative journalist Maciej Zaremba in Dagens Nyheter 10 September 2012 (in Swedish: "The judges abdicated from their responsibility". See also the same day's editorial "Fatal malpractice" and the opinion piece on shipwreck of lawsuits published on 10 October 2012, by Claes Sandgren, Swedish commissioner to the International Commission of Jurists. The admonitory scandal of former police chief and front man of state feminism Göran Lindberg, former official "adviser on gender equality and sexual harassment", who turned out to be a serial rapist, is conveniently ignored. So, the authors perceive what I myself also have denounced in my blog entry on the SCUM-case (the theater staging of the SCUM manifesto) and in my research on the organizational psychology of  "political correctness". My research-grounded conviction, however, is that this misunderstanding of human rights (and obligations) is fundamentally the result of cultural decay and gradual loss of individual ethical orientation as illustrated in my papers on Ethics in Research, and Ethics in Technology.

The modern scientific framing of the problems related to the WikiLeaks case considered here is pursued beyond what adduced above also in the philosophy of political science as exemplified by Giorgio Agamben. Such philosophy includes many problems that were alive in the intellectual debate in the USA as represented by the epochal governmental report Records, Computers, and the Rights of Citizens (1973). In my view ultimately it boils down to the relation between theology, conscience, and law as implicit in Catholicism and in the concept of just war and as it is suggested by Wikipedias's comments on "political theology" in the work of the controversial and deep-going German philosopher, jurist, and political theorist Carl Schmitt: "Schmitt criticized the institutional practices of liberal politics, arguing that they are justified by a faith in rational discussion and openness that is at odds with actual parliamentary party politics, in which outcomes are hammered out in smoke-filled rooms by party leaders. Schmitt also posits an essential division between the liberal doctrine of separation of powers and what he holds to be the nature of democracy itself, the identity of the rulers and the ruled." This discussion would take us too far in the present context, and it leads to related questions that I consider in another article that deals with state-individualistic ethics.





FOR ILLUSTRATION AND COMPARISON: Registered "echo" comments for this article from Time's website (edited selection - no check of original spelling errors).



WikiLeaks cables available live in a nicely formatted table, see them at




Friday 10 dec 2010, 08.28.14 GMT+01:00



Oh my, my.  Maybe there should be censorship of Journalism of Hysteria.  How strange that Julian Assange can be assumed to be so dangerous while FOX News remains untouchable.  I guess Massimo Calabressi must really be afraid of the truth if he can tolerate FOX but freaks out over WikiLeaks.  And tell me, who gets to assign such terms as "rogue activist" - and "WikiDump" - verification please!!!  How many real journalists work for FOX?   

What's worse, Calabressi hasn't even done the most cursory research that shows that WikiLeaks' does not publish anything that is not verified by the New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, and El Pais - all very legitimate, mainstream media. Most real journalists have already acknowledged there is nothing that is really "news" about WikiLeaks' revelations - including the games China is playing with North Korea.   

Check your facts people, do your research - I have.  I do not just run screaming into the night, that the sky is falling.



Thursday 9 dec 2010, 23.01.18 GMT+01:00



I find this article a bit biased and busy trying to cover up the impact. Among other things, this article indicates that the leak is not so harmful to the US. If so, why the top US leaders including Hillary Clintom are worrying so much about this case? Why the US diplomats on almost all of the countries are holding press releases about these leaks trying to calm down the countries' governments. If the revealation of US spying on UN officials is not harmful, then US government is just shameless. Shame on US!



Thursday 9 dec 2010, 15.24.28 GMT+01:00

Magaly Briceno

In its landmark ruling in the Pentagon Papers case, the U.S. Supreme Cout said ''only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government''.   



Wednesday  8 dec 2010, 23.51.27 GMT+01:00

Vito Tums

So True. Yet we are further from this standard than ever.



Thursday 9 dec 2010, 00.29.51 GMT+01:00


What you say makes excelent sense. However, your writing sucks worse than Ronald Reagan's sense of honor.



Wednesday 8 dec 2010, 19.06.57 GMT+01:00

Lich King




Wednesday 8 dec 2010, 14.03.00 GMT+01:00

Vito Tums


"Assange can talk big — he gave TIME a lecture on the Founding Fathers"  

Perhaps TIME could use a lecture on the Founding Fathers. Along with a lecture on




"and may have something of a martyr complex. But he has shown himself an exceptionally talented showman"  


Using this back-handed form of character assassination is really what the problem is in the modern media. The man as a lot of poise under pressure but these remarks make it clear that you have lost whatever journalistic objectivity and integrity that you started with in the beginning of this story. I suggest that you stay to writing tabloid pieces if this is your standard. Brand status is not a substitute for good work. Maybe that's the problem. Journalists have lowered their standard to that of tabloid news. Give the readers what they want with the least amount of risk to the corporation.  


In the documentary film “the Most Dangerous Man in America. There is a scene in which Ellsberg’s attorney relates the input of  a psychologist concerning jury selection. The psychologist tells Ellsberg’s attorney not to have middle-aged men that have sacrificed principle for family or other reasons (i.e. corporate interest) because they would resent a man of integrity such as Ellsberg. Clearly, sir you fit this profile.



Wednesday 8 dec 2010, 07.57.59 GMT+01:00

Marcos Ribeiro

The big picture is clear: WikiLeaks promotes transparency, and this is a very beneficial trend. :)  


During the process, some local interests may be hindered, but this happens in every evolution process. (In this case, the most hindered will be the political agents.)  


These realities will also lead to a better and stricter definition of what public matters deserve to be kept secret.


Wednesday 8 dec 2010, 06.48.32 GMT+01:00

Iru Margarita Verchere Olavarrieta

The problem is that the employees of the goverment think that they are acting well, this situation only demonstrates all really different. The strategy diplomatic must be changed, when people doesnęt agree with them, they react in bad way, and it isnęt the behavior, this only shows that people are the reason. 


Wednesday 8 dec 2010, 03.47.10 GMT+01:00

Iru Margarita Verchere Olavarrieta

ņEn qué estás pensando...?



Wednesday 8 dec 2010, 03.42.50 GMT+01:00

Iru Margarita Verchere Olavarrieta

I think that the mundial situation was bad, Iran was going to atack USA, and North corea was enemy of south corea, now the enemy from Iran is not USA now the problem will be with the islamic people, and north corea will look for another direction. all what is saying the USA goverment is not the truth. The situation for USA will change will be better in some cases, and maybe the diplomatic strategic will have to change because the method was using was a desaster.



Wednesday 8 dec 2010, 03.42.07 GMT+01:00


it was too late to catch him, "Ideas are Bulletproof and people should not be scared of Governments, governments should be scared of people " I'd like to see Obama's answer next week.  


This gentleman definately is the man of the year!



Wednesday 8 dec 2010, 02.24.52 GMT+01:00

Dejan Dj

They are harmed. They are afraid. The truth horrifies them. They panic, and as everyone in this situation make mistakes. Like any regime caught in lies and manipulation, and without a vision and ideas, resorts to violence. Shameless as they are they think that by attacking "ad hominem" instead of answering questions, they can evade the inevitable: avalanche of truth which has been launched.



Wednesday 8 dec 2010, 02.19.46 GMT+01:00

Tony Magrathea

War on secrecy?  Being run by the politician that demanded Assange be taken from the person of the year list.  

Or the paypal, visa, mastercard fiasco - you can donate to white supremacists but not wikileaks.  

Wat on secrecy.  All praise and bow down to the first ammendment, except when a foreigner embarasses our beloved politcians.  


So will time be attending the freedom of speech in press conference next May?



Wednesday 8 dec 2010, 01.01.03 GMT+01:00

kent cooke

 also agree with htun lin in the comments below.  i'm wondering if the elite almost extinct free press will do more investigative journalism in the swedish fish affair?  i find it ironic how the lazy press and their cowardly treatment seems to be absent in sweden to question the authority or other citizens about the relationship of u.s.;sweden diplomocy.



Tuesday 7 dec 2010, 23.45.21 GMT+01:00

Magaly Briceno

The truths are 'The Cablegate'. Secrecy is the hidden contents from 'The Cablegate'. The freedom went release and knowledge by all for 'The Cablegate'. The consequence is the confinement behind bars of truth, secrecy and freedom.



Tuesday 7 dec 2010, 22.15.39 GMT+01:00

Carlos García Campillo

WikiLeaks' War on Secrecy: Truth's Consequences - TIME -



Tuesday 7 dec 2010, 20.50.17 GMT+01:00

Artur Barrera

Secrecy? Shut your mouth. Between two secrecy is peace of fears!



Tuesday 7 dec 2010, 18.41.44 GMT+01:00

Htun Lin

Excellently written article putting the whole "WikiLeaks" story in context.  

I had to chuckle at Congressman Ben King's assertion that "WikiLeaks should be classified as a terrorist organization".   Well, he IS *right* in a sense. Assange's organization has no doubt struck terror in the hearts of all those rightwingers who think their own terrorisms in the form of prisoner-tortures, unlawful detentions, "renditions", wanton strafing of civilians as "collateral damage"-- all these fascists who try to hide their own human-rights atrocities-- who are now DESERVEDLY EXPOSED.  (ps:  The 'Times' editors should be a bit more careful in their choice of words.  In another article the headline reads: "Assange:  China has potential for Reform".  What he REALLY said was "In a highly repressive closed society like China, something like Wikileaks can have the potential for reform in China" (Or something to that effect).  He also DID NOT say "Clinton should resign".  What he really said was something like:  "To the extent that the Secretary of State perhaps aided and abetted these foreign governments to commit these atrocities, it would call for resignation if US laws were broken."    



Finally, it has become obvious, the REAL question is "What is a genuine secret?"  Something the President promised to figure out and reform when he entered office.  Did Assange help or hinder that reform effort, is a valid question.  But, as we  now learn, if 1.2 million "analysts" with clearance are deeming 54 million pieces of information "secret", are they really "secrets", or are we simply living in a society that's virtually Francoist in mentality?



Tuesday 7 dec 2010, 17.24.02 GMT+01:00


So, Assange is exceptionally talented 'showman'. The commentary on Assange's character comes and goes. What about Pete King? No comments or characterizations on his remarks? Obama? No. Clinton? Of course not!  


Actually, I like the the way much of USA mainstream media deals with the thing: They all move the conversation to questions like: "How must USA government learn to encrypt it's secret better." than how about actually changing the way policy's are made? For everyones sake?  


But noooooo, don't bite the hand that feed us!  


After all Kennedy gave an excellent speech about free press. He ended up dead.



Tuesday 7 dec 2010, 15.10.26 GMT+01:00

Jym Allyn

US Military regulations state that it is illegal to obey an illegal order.  That concept makes the US military almost unique in human history.  


As an Army Reserve officer in 1974, my fear was that if Richard Nixon did not resign there would be rioting in the streets.  My biggest fear was   

that I did not know which side I would be on.  


As a former Republican, because of the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the Halliburton-Cheney "war of choice" in Iraq, I have come to the conclusion that the Republican party has done more harm to our country in the last 10 years than the Taliban ever did.  


Or as Pogo said, "we have met the enemy, and he is us."  



Tuesday 7 dec 2010, 14.54.39 GMT+01:00

Tom Binns

Hitler was Time man of the year in 1938 but Time appear to have remove Assange from their poll for 2010. He was No.1.



Tuesday 7 dec 2010, 14.35.18 GMT+01:00

Artur Barrera

They have not removed it, voting continues.



Tuesday 7 dec 2010, 17.46.56 GMT+01:00

A Winrar Is Me

If these nations are democratic (which the United States of America is, a democratic nation), then why is there secrecy? That defeats the purpose of being a democratic nation on ALL levels.  


*sigh* It's like the Americans are becoming a Republic. I'm not American, as I've lived in Canada my whole life, but I think that you guys need a government that isn't so goddamned secretive and censoring. The US requested google take off 30 000 web pages so far. Canada? We've requested 0.  


Anyhow, mirror wikileaks, release all information, because they can't do anything at this point. Arrest Julian Assange if it pleases you (sorry Julian!), but there's always going to be a backup. There's hundreds of mirrors of wikileaks already, people have downloaded wikileaks, people are hosting it. It will never go away, and the US government is pissed off.  


tl;dr: american government is butthurt because they cant stop wikileaks and they are becoming a republic.


Tuesday 7 dec 2010, 06.42.28 GMT+01:00




Tuesday 7 dec 2010, 00.29.53 GMT+01:00





Monday 6 dec 2010, 22.25.19 GMT+01:00

Dejan Dj


Wikileaks is, and must remain so, one needed, significant effort of the free world intelligence to fight against the beast (read as Republicans, right Democrats, and unfortunately Canadian Conservatives). This moment in history is so critical, although not yet recognized as such, that it deserves to be called UNPRECENDENTED. Wikileaks is UNPRECENDENTED case in the legal, judicial meaning, as well as moral, and should be viewed from this perspective.



Monday 6 dec 2010, 22.20.46 GMT+01:00

Bobby Little

why in the h--- the world leaders are not putting a red alert out for the finance terrorist that attacked the world governments? because they are the same group of terrorist.  now tha a so called outsider is exposeing all of them the( u s a) along with the rest of the terrorist want to make Julian Assange the villian.  look at wall street put the red alert tag on them da-- it and start arresting them.  they have hurt more people in the whole world and we the people are forced to reward them for what they have done to us all. wall street even placed a bet that they could bring down governments.


Monday 6 dec 2010, 19.03.11 GMT+01:00


In one of his photos on the article, shows a bit of crotch. :-[



Monday 6 dec 2010, 08.44.57 GMT+01:00

Fred Vidal

Assange, a fascinating Villain that inspired me for a new Mike Fuller Book about Reality: The Constitutional Name starring Don McKenzie, the hero of the Secret Name ( Bad and Good are brother and sister as Ying and Yang but not of the same family, one white, one black, how does it work make them understant that they are adopted by the USA! It worked for Ying, not for Yang!



Monday 6 dec 2010, 02.42.05 GMT+01:00

Antti Heiskala

Julian's Sweden Time  



Sunday 5 dec 2010, 20.37.11 GMT+01:00

Reza Taheri

Join the Wiki movement! Lets unify and stand up for our rights! Share this on your Facebook wall and lets be strong together.  


Support for Wikileaks and Julian Assange is support for Democracy, Freedom and Governmental and Corporate Accountability.!/pages/Wikimovement/145568648826670



Sunday 5 dec 2010, 12.57.10 GMT+01:00


can WIKILEAKS pls let us know who spread ISLAMIPHOBIA around the world???  

is it NEOCONs or AIPAC or EXREMIST CHRISTIANS of the bible belt or The MASONS or FOX NEWS???  

ALL the above, i guess.  

pls advise.



Sunday 5 dec 2010, 09.16.55 GMT+01:00

Alexander of Dublin

Wikileaks is indeed alive and well... there are too many mirrors to stop! List at



Sunday 5 dec 2010, 00.43.57 GMT+01:00


Wikileaks is alive and well.  Just cut and paste this number in your URL bar to go to Wikileaks:



Saturday 4 dec 2010, 22.05.20 GMT+01:00

Bennett Williams

The truth is that our government lies. Julian Assange brings this truth to light. He has shown the world just how horribly corrupt and determined the United States is to start and sustain endless war. Julian Assange deserves the Nobel Prize for Peace.



Saturday 4 dec 2010, 21.42.40 GMT+01:00

Silvia Giehle

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong. - Voltaire



Saturday 4 dec 2010, 14.58.09 GMT+01:00

Magaly Briceno

Do you want to know the truth? It's very simple, look at the media and see who is covering this Breaking news. Why has retired support to WikiLeads? So the system works. Only that the lie is slowly oxidized and appears its nucleus, which is the truth! Everyone is in against WikiLeaks. Abraham Lincoln could tell us: 'You have been invited by WikiLeaks to the party of the powerful, by the powerful, for the powerful'



Saturday 4 dec 2010, 14.14.10 GMT+01:00

Artur Landerzon Barrera Garcia

Assange has shaken our values and principles, has shown us that a lie leads to war. He shows us the dirty side of politics. He teaches us what we thought: the fondation of pure rock, are in truth secrets glued to each other with our human miseries. Now I understand because us are in financial crisis and in bankruptcy. By them and their lies.  

U.S. it isn't washing its hands like Pontius Pilate. U.S. is accusing. Definitely in the cradle of freedom, the truth won't set us free.


Saturday 4 dec 2010, 12.03.36 GMT+01:00

Addy Yeow

WikiLeaks cables available at mirror site in interactive table format



Saturday 4 dec 2010, 08.13.13 GMT+01:00

Anthony Perone

Assange has had the gonads to say out loud.."Hey! USGov. you're a bunch of lying..cheating...bullying..crooks looking only after your own jobs." (He can do this because we have a free press) By saying what we are all thinking, he has tweaked our conciences..and it hurts.  

If he's such a looney why are the Times..The Guardian...and Der Speigel giving him so much space. Maybe its because he is very far from looney and may be our last freedom fighter.



Saturday 4 dec 2010, 06.32.21 GMT+01:00

Sylvain Pimpare

Democracy can only exist if the individuals have as much privacy as possible and the Government as little.



Saturday 4 dec 2010, 05.39.05 GMT+01:00

Anthony Perone




Saturday 4 dec 2010, 06.35.20 GMT+01:00

Magaly Briceno

Which is worse for us, we're not talking about a democracy. U.S. is a Republic.



Saturday 4 dec 2010, 15.20.44 GMT+01:00

Isa Mukhtar



Friday 3 dec 2010, 17.06.12 GMT+01:00


Truth and consequences or lies and half-truth consequences? Fact or fiction? Choses secrets.



Friday 3 dec 2010, 17.05.38 GMT+01:00


Open our eyes, open our mind, what's next information about this case. Good information !



Friday 3 dec 2010, 16.49.42 GMT+01:00

Artur Barrera

Here again Assange



Friday3 dec 2010, 14.08.03 GMT+01:00

Magaly Briceno

@sunglasses  You know ''The Freedom of Information Act U.S.''   I haven't nothing to say because, I know everything. You didn't read the article, if you really read it, you not will understand it   What is your problem with Jews? You are a conceited that does not support an intelligent conversation of five minutes.



Friday 3 dec 2010, 13.51.26 GMT+01:00

Magaly Briceno

The most wanted man in the world: anarchy, atheism, eros, and himself.   

If is true, I take my leave of him, but not of his truth!  

Is this another attack?  



Friday 3 dec 2010, 11.26.03 GMT+01:00

Edmund Singleton

If WikiLeaks did not exist I would try to invent something like it or betteer...


Friday 3 dec 2010, 11.15.49 GMT+01:00

Robin Donald deVallon

The "bloody"point with Amis izzz that they can quote almost anyone and anything.. but nevertheless have a solid word to say....  

Again.. From the GripeVine & Donah..//  

Hey... donęt you know I am not Ami but Navajo ?? Gettisborough or none...



Friday 3 dec 2010, 10.34.29 GMT+01:00

Robin Donald deVallon

Thanhhientech.. who or whateffah you are-- or brabbel... You may be right..  

From the GripeVine & Donah..//



Friday 3 dec 2010, 10.28.54 GMT+01:00

Robin Donald deVallon

So, whatęs new amd by what standard ?? Is anyting I say or ever claimed new or "secret" when cyber machines that have recorded anything I sputtered along.. can be scrutinized by "experts" so my soul can be bared without me or God knowing anything and nothing about it ??? You donęt have to be reguarded "stupid" but you are... cyberlike.... like it or not.. From the GripeVine & Donah..//



Friday 3 dec 2010, 05.23.38 GMT+01:00

Yiannis Yiannopoulos

"It feels refreshing to see the strings every now and then..." said the puppet to the marionettes!



Friday 3 dec 2010, 04.35.12 GMT+01:00

Brian Templeton

Is there even an investigation going on into the leaks.  Or is this another Governement "Alone Leakman" Theory?



Friday 3 dec 2010, 02.02.13 GMT+01:00

Magaly Briceno

It is outrageous to us, but the cover of TIME Dec. 13, 2010 reflects the truth ...,16641,20101213,00.html...  

I shall to say like Abraham Lincoln  

''Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.''  

Gettysburg Address  

delivered 19 November 1863



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 23.42.41 GMT+01:00

Brian Templeton

DAY 4 of the Leak... and not one Journalist has asked which organization, department, or even Country in which the documents were allegedly leaked from, Who could have possibly leaked the documents, and if the documents are indeed authentic.  


Where do Journalists get their degrees from again?  Do they have degrees?



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 22.57.52 GMT+01:00


@Brian Templeton - While I agree with your opinion regarding the sorry state of journalism, in this case I think the reaction from various agencies and officials to Wikileaks regarding Cablegate fallout, particularly the notice issued to them that they are "in possession of classified materials and should immediately destroy them" should be clear enough indicator as to their authenticity even for the press.  


As for the source, if you actually RTFA it's been pretty well established at this point that Private Bradley Manning was the primary source of the documents but given how widespread the access was to SIPRNet (gotta love how even the contractors were given access and people are so astonished about the idea that something like this ends up happening :-D )  there really isn't any to establish if he acted alone in this matter so there isn't much point in making the inquiry about additional sources to the military.  


To be fair they did ask Assange in the interview about additional sources for the leak but he (unsurprisingly to everyone but the dolt asking the questions) told Time to go pound sound (and was much nicer about it than I would have been, certainly)...



Saturday 4 dec 2010, 08.51.27 GMT+01:00

Bob Bobson

Man of the Year 2010: Julian Assange



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 22.53.26 GMT+01:00

Arlyn Lichthardt

Best article from TIME I've seen to date on the subject -- nice reporting! Its only weakness is the occasional equivocating: mixing opinion about Assange's personality with the stated goal of Wikileaks: transparency, a target which it hits, unequivocally.



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 20.43.26 GMT+01:00


The Wikileaks story makes the government look silly, which isn't hard to do today. The TSA already does a handy job of it.  


It looks like much ado about nothing.



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 19.04.24 GMT+01:00


More info on the economy and the fraud committed daily:



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 19.03.56 GMT+01:00

Artur Landerzon Barrera Garcia

What happens when we confuse things?  


You can't handle the truth! Son.  

duty, honor, patriotism, justice and the rule of law  


Jessep: You want answers?:Kaffee: I think I'm entitled.:Jessep: You want answers?!:Kaffee: I want the truth!:Jessep: You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said, "Thank you," and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to!:Kaffee: Did you order the Code Red?:Jessep: (quietly) I did the job I was sent to do--:Kaffee: Did you order the Code Red?!:Jessep: (shouting) You're goddamn right I did  


of Movie A Few Good Men.  



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 18.48.49 GMT+01:00

sarah lafsar

see more news on time



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 18.35.25 GMT+01:00


Will the powers that be declassify information that has no cause to be classified or go to greater extremes to keep information under wraps whether it deserves to be or not?  Transparency or circling the wagons?  

Pressure Mounts on Wikileaks Founder  
Julian Assange, founder of the whistleblower website WikiLeaks, has come under fire for his role in leaking some 250,000 US State Department cables to the public. Some in the US have even made veiled comments calling for his assassination.



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 17.52.28 GMT+01:00

Artur Barrera

liberty, equality, freedom of speech, a free press, the justice and Human Rights: 6, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21, 28 and 29; that our Founding Fathers bequeathed to us thrown into the trash because, they get angry that someone finds our dirty laundry.



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 17.12.37 GMT+01:00

Jym Allyn

Did I hear someone say:  




Or is that too obvious.



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 16.42.05 GMT+01:00

April Jones

If the government hunts down Julian Assange, I will lose all hope in my country being The Land Of The Free. It will instead be The Land Of Big Government, throwing people in jail for the rest of their lives just for exposing injustice. How corrupt and truly tragic that would be. I've almost resolved to live abroad. I've already resolved to work in other countries fighting injustice and poverty. I wholeheartedly esteem people like Julian Assange very highly. He works to expose injustice in hopes of cutting down corruption and human rights violations such as war crimes/murders. That's not bad at all.... if I were injustly murdered or someone in my family were, I'd hope that somebody would expose the injustice whether it occurred from a single person or from a large entity such as the government. What's wrong with the minds of people to not understand the important of exposing crimes? How do the American people digest a speech from the Secretary of State (who is shown to have been involved in corruption and unethical diplomacy) who says that the man who exposed her terrible wrongs is a terrorist??? Gosh, if that's so, then I can go do something immoral and call whomever exposes my wrongs a terrorist! That's too easy. And Big Governments all over the world want to frame this man. It's obvious. The governments are combatting the exposure of injustice with more injustice and corruption. Who would have ever figured??? I guess once something is wrotten, it's always wrotten. So much for Land Of The Free. I never got to see a Land Of The Free, only Land Of Big Government. I'm 26. Land Of The Free ended before I got to see it.



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 16.19.43 GMT+01:00

Tung Teets

WikiLeaks is a HERO! Good for them for lettting the TRUTH be known!



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 15.31.40 GMT+01:00

Jack H Thomas

Man! this is the stuff of cinema! Lets all remember that nothing upright and just is meant to be hidden in the dark. The United States is supposed to be a beacon on a hill of openly free democracy where government is run for the people, by the people. A candle on a hill is not meant to be hid beneath a bushel. War plans is one thing, but the fact that a helicopter crew mistakenly opened fire on civilians surrounded by men with AK-47's in a war? Like Gates said, "Is this embarrassing? Yes. Is it awkward? Yes. Consequences for U.S. foreign policy? I think fairly modest." Some things like war (and a diplomat calling Kim Jung Il flabby) are hard for a lot of people to stomach, but i feel like i'm in the book 'the giver' and Julian is Jonas and is giving us the memories of old and it is painful, but its much better than the community deciding what we should or shouldn't know, or what we can or can't stomach.  



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 15.08.40 GMT+01:00

Seph Bay

Julian Assange is like Burger King bringing his stuff to McDonald's.  

The United States has the highest concentration of accumulated knowledge and the greatest repository of knowledge in human history with the Library of Congress. There are 60 million volumes in it, growing by 10,000 volumes a day.  

If you think that 250,000 "leaked" documents would be "serious damage to national security" of the USA, then you don't know anything about the genuine principles of the freedoms of information, press, speech.   


The USA has nothing like Coca-Cola's secret recipe or Google's algorithm. How can Julian Assange or Wikileaks "damage" America with the very thing that makes this nation great, i.e. free information and knowledge?



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 14.58.35 GMT+01:00

Magaly Briceno

Well, I'll tell you about this. The Cablegates are the tip of the iceberg of what we've been doing wrong. We have been watching democracy in other places. We have been demonized by it. We put one's slippers in our feet and others do the work. Our investments are in China, India and others, in creating jobs there. Our countrymen suffer calamities because of lack of investment in our country.   


We forgot the use of the fifth freedom, not adopted yet, that is  the quintessence of the American people. The freedom of failing by trial and error in the search for invention and innovation in science and technology.  

This matters more than a leaked memo, always some leakage is unavoidable. What we are missing is talent.   


and better not could finish this article, I quote:  


"The hallmark of a truly effective internal security system," the Justice said, "would be the maximum possible disclosure, recognizing that secrecy can best be preserved only when credibility is truly maintained."   


Wise words, from the heart of the American establishment. Words that Assange admiringly cites on the WikiLeaks website.  



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 14.28.31 GMT+01:00


Leaking information of this kind will be detrimental in building the trust among diplomats which is necessary platform for effective and productive diplomacy.  

Let us understand the underlying problem by a real life example. Do all of us live in a society where we need to exhibit split personality? Do we all have secrets which are unknown to our dear ones? But does that mean we are cheating them? So is this confidentiality necessary in smooth running of our personal life? I feel I will get a ‘yes’ in reply with a full article.....  



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 13.09.56 GMT+01:00


No, I am not smiling. And yes, you are an idiot. Such cloak and dagger tactics undermine your reliability and trustworthiness. Once one of your lies get leaked, you are screwed.   


Contrast this to an open and frank way of doing business. Everyone knows that you are what you say you are, and actually trusts you more, rather than suspecting that you may be scheming behind their backs.



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 13.43.27 GMT+01:00

Bob Bobson

diplomats don't trust each other anyway



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 22.57.47 GMT+01:00

Rhea Matudan

It might be good that these leaks are happening. I see it as a refreshing look on how the rest of the world actually operates and how false their public face is. I for one will be happy to leave these despots to their own hells and stop policing the world. It is time for the children to take care of themselves. It is time tohelp our own people first, then, if some remains (NFW) we can help others.   


We help Americans find jobs and prosperity in Asia. Visit for details.



Thursday 2 dec 2010, 13.02.00 GMT+01:00

Artur Barrera

cheese sandwiches matter what are the sandwiches, matter is that it no will be poison.If you play to the secret and conceal the truth, you not expect by transparency, the riddles will come soon. I always have felt that the security people exaggerates it to justify their salaries!. We hate to all the paraphernalia of security because its spending has been nakedness by a CD from Lady Gaga.