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Thread: Is Wikileaks Dead?

  1. #31
    Kev Bar Guest

    Default Re: Is Wikileaks Dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    KB:

    Rephrased, I think the concern of transparency advocates is that while Wikileaks may have provided a short term victory, (a battle in a war), Governments will be with us in the future, and Wikileaks may not. Therefore, it is important for transparency advocates to have a long term strategy for dealing with Governments that permits building incremental gains. The concern is that if Governments feel they have been “raped” by Wikileaks they will react by introducing more restrictive legislation that would be counterproductive to the overall objective. Witness the calls here in the US for the assassination of Assange. If Assange were ever extradited to the US there is still a possibility, albeit remote, that he could face a capital charge
    Legislation like this

    But Count...that sounds like we better not question the big bad wolf or he'll huff puff and blow our house down.
    The fact that he is threatening to do that to us proves how much we need Wikileaks or LeaksRUS or McLeaks of whatever.
    If transparency is so scary that they will try and undermine consitutional freesoms, they should not be there.
    And they are up to no good.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: Is Wikileaks Dead?

    KB, your link at # 31 did not work.

    Rephrased again. I think the concern of transparency advocates is, that if Wikileaks is willing to indiscriminately violate Diplomatic Privilege via the cables then what guarantee does anyone have, that it will not indiscriminately violate other privileges that cut both ways, such as attorney/client, or doctor/patient, and if it were to do so, all guns would come to bear for a restriction of existing FOI laws, and new penalties, and that would be extremely counterproductive. It is well established that governments even at the lowest level, town/county council, are entitled to maintain attorney/client privilege.

    Example, if a town council that normally meets in public wants to solicit advice from attorneys about a negotiating strategy in dealing with a private property owner subject to a compulsory purchase order/eminent domain purchase, it is well recognized that the council can either clear the chamber of public and press, or depart the chamber to private rooms.

    Reason, the broader tax paying community has an interest in ensuring that those negotiating on their behalf, i.e. the council, are not negotiating with one hand tied behind their back. If the private property owner were able to claim attorney/client privilege for themselves, but deny the same right to the government, by listening in on the advice the Government was receiving from it’s attorneys, the system would be open to mass exploitation by your local friendly banker/developer. Governments at all levels, have to be allowed to keep some secrets. We can debate the limits.

    The problems arise, when politicians/bureaucrats attempt to assert unwarranted privileges, which they frequently do. Transparency advocates mostly believe, that in the long term it is better to “manage” the beast, than to “confront” the beast, because in the end, in a fight, the beast has the capacity to pee away virtually unlimited public tax funds defending it’s position, while opponents are limited in their funding. Bottom line, pick your fights carefully, and there appears to be an emerging journalistic consensus that Wikileaks did not do that, but that just also might just be journalistic hubris.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Is Wikileaks Dead?

    Breaking News from Salon. Looks like US is stepping up it’s response to Wikileaks

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/gl...aks/index.html

    A later more nuanced assessment from WaPo.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/nation...08E_story.html

    A related email in one of my inboxes, from a list I subscribe to, by FAS, the Federation of American Scientists. Details on subscribing are at bottom. Just to note, Glenn Greenwald of Salon, and Steven Aftergood of FAS have very different views on the merits prosecuting Wikileaks.

    Format Note: If you cannot easily read the formatted text below, or you prefer to receive Secrecy News in plain text, please reply to this email to let us know.

    SECRECY NEWS
    from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
    Volume 2011, Issue No. 39
    April 28, 2011

    Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/


    ** GRAND JURY MAY BE INVESTIGATING WIKILEAKS
    ** ATTORNEY CHALLENGES "GAG ORDER" ON WIKILEAKS DOCS
    ** RESTRICTIONS ON USE OF WIKILEAKS HAMPER CRS
    ** THE COSTS OF WAR, AND MORE FROM CRS


    GRAND JURY MAY BE INVESTIGATING WIKILEAKS

    A grand jury has been empaneled in the Eastern District of Virginia to investigate a possible violation of the Espionage Act involving the computer-based acquisition of protected government information concerning national defense or foreign relations. In other words, the Grand Jury seems to be investigating WikiLeaks.

    Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com reported that a summons to appear before the Grand Jury on May 11 was served on an unidentified recipient in Cambridge, MA. He also posted a copy of the document. See "FBI serves Grand Jury subpoena likely relating to WikiLeaks," April 27.

    The initial hurdle to any possible prosecution of WikiLeaks is to identify a specific crime that it may have committed.

    The subpoena suggests that the path chosen by prosecutors (as predicted) is to allege a conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act under 18 USC 793(g). But like much of the Espionage Act, the practical meaning of this statute is quite unclear. So is its application here, beyond the bare implication that WikiLeaks instigated the unlawful transfer of information in a manner that is not protected by freedom of the press.

    As things stand, everyone agrees that information gained by committing a crime is not protected by the First Amendment. One cannot expect to break into a building to steal documents and publish them, and then invoke freedom of the press.

    But what constitutes a crime? Is it asking a question about a topic that one knows to be classified? Buying someone lunch in the hope that he may divulge closely held information? Indicating a willingness and a capacity to receive unauthorized disclosures confidentially? These would hardly seem to qualify as criminal acts since they are ordinary conventions of national security reporting.

    What makes this case both important and dangerous is that by pursuing this line of attack, the reported Grand Jury investigation of WikiLeaks may "clarify" such speculative matters, thereby generating new limitations on freedom of the press.


    ATTORNEY CHALLENGES "GAG ORDER" ON WIKILEAKS DOCS

    The ongoing release of another large collection of classified documents by WikiLeaks concerning Guatanamo detainees creates a new set of challenges and opportunities for the detainees' attorneys. But the government says the attorneys cannot discuss those matters in the public domain, even though anyone else can.

    Attorney David Remes petitioned a court yesterday to release him from all such restrictions regarding publicly available WikiLeaks documents. His petition (pdf) was posted by Ben Wittes of Lawfare blog.

    It was also reported by Scott Shane in the New York Times today, and discussed by Marcy Wheeler at EmptyWheel.

    The petition argues that not only are continuing controls on publicly available information futile, they are unjust. That is, they inhibit the attorney's ability to act in the best interests of his clients by correcting errors or identifying exculpatory factors.

    A response by the government will follow.


    RESTRICTIONS ON USE OF WIKILEAKS HAMPER CRS

    Restrictions on the use of published WikiLeaks material remain in effect in much of the government, the New York Times reported yesterday, causing considerable confusion and frustration. See "Detainees' Lawyers Can't Click on Leaked Documents" by Scott Shane, April 27.

    "Add me to the list of grumblers," said a respected national security analyst at the Congressional Research Service, where employees have been prohibited from accessing WikiLeaks documents online.

    "This whole thing is so [expletive] stupid," he said yesterday. "Even staff with clearances can't read the cables, let alone quote them. One reason is that we can't read classified materials on unclassified computers and we have no classified computers."

    "We can now quote news stories which cite the cables, but we have no way of verifying whether the article correctly quotes the cables."

    "This is hampering CRS work and management knows it," the analyst said. "There's just no leadership on this issue."


    THE COSTS OF WAR, AND MORE FROM CRS

    As of March 2011, Congress had approved a total of more than $1.2 trillion dollars for costs associated with the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other post-9/11 "war on terror" operations, the Congressional Research Service said in its most recent update on the subject. See "The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11," March 29, 2011.

    Other new or newly updated CRS reports include the following (all pdf).

    "Afghanistan Casualties: Military Forces and Civilians," April 6, 2011.

    "The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigations," April 27, 2011.

    "U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF): Background and Issues for Congress," March 28, 2011.

    "Sensitive Covert Action Notifications: Oversight Options for Congress," April 6, 2011.

    "Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions," April 6, 2011.


    _______________________________________________
    Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

    The Secrecy News Blog is at:
    http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

    To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, go to:
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    Support the FAS Project on Government Secrecy with a donation:
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    _______________________
    Steven Aftergood
    Project on Government Secrecy
    Federation of American Scientists
    web: www.fas.org/sgp/index.html
    email: [email protected]
    voice: (202)454-4691
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  4. #34
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    Default Re: Is Wikileaks Dead?

    It's a shame Wikileaks is associated with Assange - he's a weird narcissist and probable anti-Semite. His correspondence with Ian Hislop, published in Private Eye a few weeks ago, combined with the correspondence between Wikileaks personnel and the satirical magazine subsequent to that illustrate the deficiencies in his character. And that, unfortunately, gives plenty ammunition to the enemies of free speech and freedom of information...
    Boycott Chiquita

  5. #35
    Kev Bar Guest

    Default Re: Is Wikileaks Dead?

    @Count
    I think the journo hubris has a role.
    And then of course any human limitations and or problems will be sought out and exploited/highlighted.

    While I genuinely respect the argument you advance re the consequences to transparency laws, I think that if governments start wars based on lies - actions such as Assange's are necessary.

    I also do not believe that he is responsible for the reprehensible responses to his actions.
    You cannot criticise a man cos the state whose abuses he was highlighting decides to open a concentration camp.

    And to the accusation that I am being over excited with that example - I say "Bradley Manning".
    Last edited by Kev Bar; 30-04-2011 at 12:23 AM.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Is Wikileaks Dead?

    Kev Bar, re Gitmo, point taken.

    Many here in the US are embarrassed, and would like to see Gitmo closed. Obama campaigned on it. The public didn’t vote to open it. The much reviled Bush Justice Dept. gave it a blessing. Now, because they control the US House of Representatives, Republicans have managed to insert language in essential legislation that effectively prohibits closure of Gitmo, and the use of any federal funds to assist the transfer of detainees to the US, or any foreign country. Obama had to sign it reluctantly because Gitmo was just a small part of larger legislation. Don’t be angry/disappointed with the US. Be angry/disappointed with the Republicans.

    Long Wiki here.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guantan...detention_camp


    Two excerpts here.

    1: The New York Times and other newspapers are critical of the camp; columnist Thomas Friedman urged George W. Bush to "just shut it down", calling Camp Delta "... worse than an embarrassment."[166] Another New York Times editorial supported Friedman's proposal, arguing that Guantánamo is part of "... a chain of shadowy detention camps that includes Abu Ghraib in Iraq, the military prison at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and other secret locations run by the intelligence agencies" that are "part of a tightly linked global detention system with no accountability in law."[167]

    2: On January 22, 2009, President Obama stated that he ordered the government to suspend prosecutions of Guantánamo Bay detainees for 120 days to review all the detainees' cases to determine whether and how each detainee should be prosecuted. A day later, Obama signed an executive order stating that Guantánamo Detention Camp would be closed within the year.[212] His plan encountered a setback, however, when incoming officials of his administration discovered that there were no comprehensive files concerning many of the detainees, so that merely assembling the available evidence about them could take weeks or months.[213] In May, Obama announced that the prosecutions would be revived.[214] In November 2009, President Obama admitted that the "specific deadline" he had set for closure of the Guantánamo Bay camp would be "missed." He said the camp would probably be closed later in 2010, but did not set a specific deadline.[215][216]

    In 2009 the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Standish Maximum Correctional Facility in Standish, Michigan, were being considered as the United States site for more than 220 prisoners. Kansas public officials including both of its senators and governor have objected. [218] However many in Standish where the unemployment rate is 17% are reported to be welcoming the move.[219]

    However, President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum dated December 15, 2009, formally closing the detention center and ordering the transfer of prisoners to the Thomson Correctional Center, Thomson, Illinois.[13] Attorney Marc Falkoff, who represents some of the Yemeni detainees, said that his clients might prefer to remain in Guantánamo rather than move into the more stark conditions at Thomson.[220]

    The Guantanamo Review Task Force issued a Final Report January 22, 2010,[146] but did not publicly release it until May 28, 2010.[147] The report recommended releasing 126 current detainees to their homes or to a third country, 36 be prosecuted in either federal court or a military commission, and 48 be held indefinitely under the laws of war.[148] In addition, 30 Yemenis were approved for release if security conditions in their home country improve.[147]

    On Jan 7, 2011, President Obama signed the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill which contains provisions preventing the transfer of Guantánamo prisoners to the mainland or to other foreign countries, and thus effectively stops the closure of the detention facility.

    However he strongly objected to the clauses and stated that he would work with Congress to oppose the measures.[16] Regarding the provisions preventing the transfer of Guantánamo prisoners to the mainland Obama wrote in a statement that the “prosecution of terrorists in Federal court is a powerful tool in our efforts to protect the Nation and must be among the options available to us. Any attempt to deprive the executive branch of that tool undermines our Nation's counterterrorism efforts and has the potential to harm our national security.”[221]

    Furthermore he wrote regarding the provisions preventing the transfer of Guantánamo prisoners to other foreign countries that requiring “the executive branch to certify to additional conditions would hinder the conduct of delicate negotiations with foreign countries and therefore the effort to conclude detainee transfers in accord with our national security.”[221] The 2011 Defense Authorization Bill additionally prohibits “the use of funds to modify or construct facilities in the United States to house detainees transferred from United States Naval Station, Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.”[222][223] Obama signed the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill, but nevertheless the Obama administration "will work with the Congress to seek repeal of these restrictions, will seek to mitigate their effects, and will oppose any attempt to extend or expand them in the future," the president's statement said.[224]

    On March 7, 2011 President Obama has given the green light to resume military trials, conducted by military officers, with a military judge presiding, of terror suspects detained at Guantánamo Bay.[225] He also signed an executive order that moved to set into law the already existing practice on Guantánamo of holding detainees indefinitely without charge.[226][227]

    Comments regarding this executive says it’s a progress regarding detainee’s rights but the problem with the order is the president’s decision to formalize the system of indefinite detention.[228][229][230][231]Regarding the law H.R. 1473, the "Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011” which “bars the use of funds for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 to transfer Guantanamo detainees into the United States” and which “bars the use of funds for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 to transfer detainees to the custody or effective control of foreign countries unless specified conditions are met.” the Obama Adminstration stated on April 15, 2011, that it “will work with the Congress to seek repeal of these restrictions, will seek to mitigate their effects, and will oppose any attempt to extend or expand them in the future.”[232]

  7. #37
    Kev Bar Guest

    Default Re: Is Wikileaks Dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Bobulescu View Post
    Kev Bar, re Gitmo, point taken.

    Many here in the US are embarrassed, and would like to see Gitmo closed. Obama campaigned on it. The public didn’t vote to open it. The much reviled Bush Justice Dept. gave it a blessing. Now, because they control the US House of Representatives, Republicans have managed to insert language in essential legislation that effectively prohibits closure of Gitmo, and the use of any federal funds to assist the transfer of detainees to the US, or any foreign country. Obama had to sign it reluctantly because Gitmo was just a small part of larger legislation. Don’t be angry/disappointed with the US. Be angry/disappointed with the Republicans.

    Long Wiki here.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guantan...detention_camp


    Two excerpts here.

    1: The New York Times and other newspapers are critical of the camp; columnist Thomas Friedman urged George W. Bush to "just shut it down", calling Camp Delta "... worse than an embarrassment."[166] Another New York Times editorial supported Friedman's proposal, arguing that Guantánamo is part of "... a chain of shadowy detention camps that includes Abu Ghraib in Iraq, the military prison at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and other secret locations run by the intelligence agencies" that are "part of a tightly linked global detention system with no accountability in law."[167]

    2: On January 22, 2009, President Obama stated that he ordered the government to suspend prosecutions of Guantánamo Bay detainees for 120 days to review all the detainees' cases to determine whether and how each detainee should be prosecuted. A day later, Obama signed an executive order stating that Guantánamo Detention Camp would be closed within the year.[212] His plan encountered a setback, however, when incoming officials of his administration discovered that there were no comprehensive files concerning many of the detainees, so that merely assembling the available evidence about them could take weeks or months.[213] In May, Obama announced that the prosecutions would be revived.[214] In November 2009, President Obama admitted that the "specific deadline" he had set for closure of the Guantánamo Bay camp would be "missed." He said the camp would probably be closed later in 2010, but did not set a specific deadline.[215][216]

    In 2009 the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Standish Maximum Correctional Facility in Standish, Michigan, were being considered as the United States site for more than 220 prisoners. Kansas public officials including both of its senators and governor have objected. [218] However many in Standish where the unemployment rate is 17% are reported to be welcoming the move.[219]

    However, President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum dated December 15, 2009, formally closing the detention center and ordering the transfer of prisoners to the Thomson Correctional Center, Thomson, Illinois.[13] Attorney Marc Falkoff, who represents some of the Yemeni detainees, said that his clients might prefer to remain in Guantánamo rather than move into the more stark conditions at Thomson.[220]

    The Guantanamo Review Task Force issued a Final Report January 22, 2010,[146] but did not publicly release it until May 28, 2010.[147] The report recommended releasing 126 current detainees to their homes or to a third country, 36 be prosecuted in either federal court or a military commission, and 48 be held indefinitely under the laws of war.[148] In addition, 30 Yemenis were approved for release if security conditions in their home country improve.[147]

    On Jan 7, 2011, President Obama signed the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill which contains provisions preventing the transfer of Guantánamo prisoners to the mainland or to other foreign countries, and thus effectively stops the closure of the detention facility.

    However he strongly objected to the clauses and stated that he would work with Congress to oppose the measures.[16] Regarding the provisions preventing the transfer of Guantánamo prisoners to the mainland Obama wrote in a statement that the “prosecution of terrorists in Federal court is a powerful tool in our efforts to protect the Nation and must be among the options available to us. Any attempt to deprive the executive branch of that tool undermines our Nation's counterterrorism efforts and has the potential to harm our national security.”[221]

    Furthermore he wrote regarding the provisions preventing the transfer of Guantánamo prisoners to other foreign countries that requiring “the executive branch to certify to additional conditions would hinder the conduct of delicate negotiations with foreign countries and therefore the effort to conclude detainee transfers in accord with our national security.”[221] The 2011 Defense Authorization Bill additionally prohibits “the use of funds to modify or construct facilities in the United States to house detainees transferred from United States Naval Station, Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.”[222][223] Obama signed the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill, but nevertheless the Obama administration "will work with the Congress to seek repeal of these restrictions, will seek to mitigate their effects, and will oppose any attempt to extend or expand them in the future," the president's statement said.[224]

    On March 7, 2011 President Obama has given the green light to resume military trials, conducted by military officers, with a military judge presiding, of terror suspects detained at Guantánamo Bay.[225] He also signed an executive order that moved to set into law the already existing practice on Guantánamo of holding detainees indefinitely without charge.[226][227]

    Comments regarding this executive says it’s a progress regarding detainee’s rights but the problem with the order is the president’s decision to formalize the system of indefinite detention.[228][229][230][231]Regarding the law H.R. 1473, the "Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011” which “bars the use of funds for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 to transfer Guantanamo detainees into the United States” and which “bars the use of funds for the remainder of fiscal year 2011 to transfer detainees to the custody or effective control of foreign countries unless specified conditions are met.” the Obama Adminstration stated on April 15, 2011, that it “will work with the Congress to seek repeal of these restrictions, will seek to mitigate their effects, and will oppose any attempt to extend or expand them in the future.”[232]
    Cheers for that Count.
    Wasn't cognisant of the degree of Hill chicanery.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: Is Wikileaks Dead?

    Wikileaks may not be dead, but soon will become more irrelevant. WSJ just rolled out an alternative. NYT and Guardian will do so also.

    http://wikileaks.foreignpolicy.com/p...for_prime_time

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  10. #40
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    Default Re: Is Wikileaks Dead?

    For those so inclined (include me out), Julian Assange now has a daily (I think) show on RT called The World Tomorrow. Airs 10 am EST. Check your local listings. His first guest was the boss of Hezbollah, Sayyid Nasrallah.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Is Wikileaks Dead?

    Oops! Wikileaks has erected a paywall and urinated-off Anonymous.

    As WikiLeaks ramps up for its first document dump in months, there's a very noticeable difference in the workflow of the champions of free information. It's not exactly free any more.

    Early Wednesday evening, WikiLeaks teased their "GI Files Presidential Campaign Release" with characteristic urgency. The whistleblower organization claims to have "over 200,000 Global Intelligence Files (GI Files) relating to the U.S. presidential elections" and says it "will release thousands of emails referring to Obama, Biden, Romney and the Republican and Democratic parties." Some of the documents are already up on the site.

    The only problem is when you go to actually view the leaked information, you're met with a cartoonish pop-up with parody video of Barack Obama's stump speech in the middle and colorful graphics of credit cards surrounding it. "In this election, vote with your wallet," reads the message at the top. "Vote WikiLeaks." On the bottom is a row of radio buttons that invite your to make $15, $25, $50 and $100 donations as well as a share button and link to their gift shop. There's no way to get past the pop-up and access the documents without disabling JavaScript in your browser. We tried to access several documents, however, and after a number of tries, the pop-up no longer appeared.

    Anonymous did not react positively to this new so-called "paywall." In a flurry of angry tweets, the hacktivist collective scolded WikiLeaks for their "moneywhoring" and called the fundraising effort "fishy, wrong, outrageous and WTF." WikiLeaks responded on Twitter, saying that a "tweet, share, wait or donate campaign is not a 'paywall'." They call it a "blockade" and directed people to their donations page.

    On one hand, you can't be too mad at WikiLeaks. They really need the money. The organization says it's been cash strapped for quite a while now, and with their fearless leader Julian Assange holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, they're somewhat adrift. On the other hand, restricting access to the information the organization has worked so hard to make free just doesn't make sense. It's like going to a free movie screening in the park only to be asked to buy tickets after the previews finish.

    It's unclear how long this paywall project is going to last, but one thing is for sure: They should probably make nice with Anonymous. Anonymous is a lot of things. A friendly enemy they are not.
    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2...n-for-paywall/
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Is Wikileaks Dead?

    JULIAN ASSANGE IS NOT READY FOR HIS CLOSE UP: Laura Poitras turns her camera on the WikiLeaks founder for an unsparing portrait that exposes his retrograde views on women. From FP's Elias Groll (@EliasGroll) http://atfp.co/2prhNll

    (i suppose that could be the reason he is so well liked on those islands... the same crowd likes him in the US too)

    ..fun to read upthread now

  13. #43
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    Default Re: Is Wikileaks Dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by random new yorker View Post
    (i suppose that could be the reason he is so well liked on those islands... the same crowd likes him in the US too)
    And here we go with the ignorant racism again!

    Regards...jmcc

  14. #44
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    Default Re: Is Wikileaks Dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcc View Post
    And here we go with the ignorant racism again!

    Regards...jmcc
    Nothing racist about it at all, just a comment on neanderthalism.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.a557bd17a564
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  15. #45
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    Default Re: Is Wikileaks Dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcc View Post
    And here we go with the ignorant racism again!

    Regards...jmcc
    oh yea .. and i find it adorable that every time i feel like kicking a Trumpie in the [email protected] you show up for the party

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