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back to article Assange relishes US banks 'squirming' over 'megaleak'

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he enjoys watching US banks "squirm" as he threatens to expose them with a "megaleak" of confidential documents. "I think it's great," Assange told the venerable US television news magazine 60 Minutes on Sunday evening. "We have all these banks squirming, thinking maybe it's them." "You …

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Assange may be a bit of an arse

as well as a self-promoting egomaniac, but I still love what he is doing.

Go Julian go!

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Assange may be a bit of an arse

Except when he publishes documents that potentially put people such as our soilders, peace keepers and diplomats in danger that is, right?

Sometimes secret documents are secret for a very good reason - even if not immidiately apparent - and not just hiding a coverup or some other nasty they don't want us to know about.

I think Assange is on a bit of a power-trip from this, and that's not really a good thing.

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Also, this time nobody can argue it's a bad thing...

Because it's not endangering real people, only bankers.

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Pint

Fair play

Anyone who wants to get to the top of their chosen "field" has to have a certain arrogance, not so much "Can I succeed?", more "I have succeeded, you lot just haven't realised yet!".

I too think he's an obnoxious prat but seems to excel at what he has chosen to do, so fair play to him.

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Go

"a bit of an arse as well as a self-promoting egomaniac"

Not just Assange.

I think you've also described every politician on the planet.

And he's not the only one who is delighting in the banks squirming over this up coming leak.

I already have the beer and popcorn.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Assange may be a bit of an arse

Another user of the War On Terror Firefox plugin I see?

Download and install WoT Firefox plugin.

Receive alerts on 'critical' articles and surveys.

Click alerts to easily voice your deluded opinion!

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No longer about whistleblowing

This is now about Assange masturbating in the glare of the media. How many corrupt practises are still going on whilst this attention whore beats his meat?

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danger

"Except when he publishes documents that potentially put people such as our soilders, peace keepers and diplomats in danger that is, right?"

The ones putting soldiers in danger are the idiots at the top who send them into an illegal war just so they can keep control of the oil. If leaked documents forced the US / UK from shoving its nose where it doesn't belong that could only be a good thing.

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Anonymous Coward

@Fair play

Our lesson today, children, is that it's fine to be an obnoxious prat, as long as you're successful at it.

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FAIL

Epic Fail

"Another user of the War On Terror Firefox plugin I see?

Download and install WoT Firefox plugin.

Receive alerts on 'critical' articles and surveys.

Click alerts to easily voice your deluded opinion!"

Why is one persons opinion deluded whereas yours isn't? Oh yeah, because some you said so.

Opinions are like arseholes - the internet is full of them.

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Except

Except the US has even admitted that the leak hasn't done any real harm.

If Assange had information such as the existence of a "Secret War" being fought by my country in say... Yemen, then yeah, I think I have a right to know and think its right for it to be published.

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Examples

Please could you list the people who have actually been harmed/killed as a result of his leaks?

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Anonymous Coward

Seriously!

When 2.5million people had, potentially, access to the information before Assange and his crew got hold of it it is very hard to argue that He put armed forces at risk. I'd suggest that the real culprits for that offense live in capital cities at public expense. Or have retired to the lecture circuit and come back occasionally as sophists and book publicists

And sometime secret documents are secret because they show the government up for the bunch of criminally insane psychotics they and their officials sometimes are. I'm thinking here about mass experiments on soldiers and sailors when it was thought - We'll never get the public to buy this so we'll keep it secret and ignore the requests.

Assange is on a power trip - but so what?

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Grenade

Re Anonymous Coward 09:42 31/1/11

"Except when he publishes documents that potentially put people such as our soilders, peace keepers and diplomats in danger that is, right?"

I'm an ex-military officer, and as far as I can tell nothing that wikileaks has published has put people in danger. Holding politicians to account is one of the most important duties of the press. Doing this during a period of war is even more important. Especially when that war is as asymmetric as current ones.

Think about this. During a very symmetric war (one where each side is almost equally powerful) some of the extremes are avoided because of fear that the other side will reciprocate. It is largely believed that chemical and biological weapons were avoided in the second world war because of fear that the other side would reciprocate. Reciprocity kept the nuclear weapon genie in the bottle for the entire cold war. In an asymmetric war, there is very little to prevent excess. America has got away with illegal detention and torture largely because there is very little risk of that happening to their troops. The only way the illegal detention and torture got scaled back is because the press heard about it and published.

Wikileaks is a key part of that press function in the modern digital age.

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Happy

Agreed.

And, whoever down-voted your post must have worked with Bush and Cheney.

Must be the one that DIDN'T get shot in the face.

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The soldiers put themselves in danger

I could buy the "idiots at the top" argument except that:

1) There have always been idiots at the top. Never has there been a time when there have not been idiots at the top sending soldiers into unnecessary battles with deadly outcomes.

2) Signing up for HM Armed Forces is voluntary. The soldiers can read their history books and figure out that they will end up in conflicts, many of them planned by complete bozos who don't value them like mum does.

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Re: Re Anonymous Coward 09:42 31/1/11

"I'm an ex-military officer, and as far as I can tell nothing that wikileaks has published has put people in danger."

AFAICT being the operative phrase. Since, on the basis of need to know, you do not know what is currently taking place, you are not very well positioned to assess the matter.

Also, many ex military officers were commanders of OFPs, MTs and other support functions. Were you at the tip of the spear? Is your knowledge up to date?

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Really?

There was an expression used during the housing bubble burst... "Tell that to main street."

This was in reference that during the banking melt down, businesses had their lines of credit frozen.

No credit, no money to pay suppliers, employees, etc ...

No money, business goes belly up.

Grow up junior and start to think 2-3 steps down the food chain.

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Assange is an SOB

But he's our SOB!

Good on you mate!

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Black Helicopters

@Gordon 10

Wikileaks was never about whistle blowing.

Its all about Assange.

Why do you think the smarter chums left to do it right? (Openleaks)

Why 60 minutes put him on the air is beyond me. The NYT already exposed him for what he is.

(A media attention whore.)

I guess they had it in the bank before Egypt went under....

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WTF?

@AC Posted Monday 31st January 2011 11:03 GMT

Please get your facts straight.

The War in Iraq was in fact a legal war. Congress et al all voted on it. Was it a smart move? Maybe. Was it legal, yes.

I wonder how much money from Iran has been funneled to Wikileaks?

What would happen if someone leaked on wikileaks and exposed their sources for 'contributions'?

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WTF?

@AC Posted Monday 31st January 2011 15:49 GMT

'Ex-Military officer' ?

Yeah right. My spook friends and ex-military friends say otherwise.

After action reports can provide key details that can have impact on future operations.

Leaks that don't redact identities (which did happen) can cause harm to those who aided the US and their allies. Yet there is no way to verify this information.

So give me a break,

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So it's ok then...

when others capture, detain & torture? Really now... If you're going to go about making an absurd argument at least make sure you're balanced in it and not coming off as a putz. Raise hell about anything the US does but don't say a word about those who dismember innocent civilians and stone women for sport. GOOD CALL!

I really do wish there were a system of maintaining a minimum IQ & level of common sense on the internet. :(

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@Ysean

Didn't you know that all of the ills in the world today are because of the 'Merikins?

If the US didn't do anything like prop up the UN, supply relief aid and economic support to the rest of the world for the past 60+ years, none of the ills you mention would have happened.

I mean heck... those mass graves in Iraq? Blame America for Saddam's reign of terror.

The stories of Saddam's kids torturing their own people for sport? Blame America.

C'mon, facts? What are they! Its all lies that are all outed on the internet.

Just ask Iran about the Holocaust.

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Assange is just unreasonable

"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people." (G.B. Shaw, if one can trust *any* attribution to this man.)

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Anonymous Coward

What a dickhead

Assange has been promising this massive leak on the banks for about a month now and still he's released nothing. Why not ? What the hell is he waiting for ?

He's a prick. All the information should be released now.

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Happy

What the hell is he waiting for ?

Well, it is the BANKS ... so maybe he's waiting for a better offer?

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Well...

Considering the critism they got for not censoring the early cablegate leaks enough, my guess is they're going through these ones with a fine toothed comb to remove personal information and deciding which bits are in the public interest to leak, and which are just filler with no value.

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Stop

Assange ≠ Button Pusher

Assange is NOT the ultimate button pusher for WL, he is, as it has been stated COUNTLESS times, their public spokesperson.

Get your shit straight, please.

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Why do I think this...

"Well," Assange said, "when you see abusive organizations suffer their consequences as a result of their abuse and you see victims elevated, yes, that's a very pleasurable activity to be involved in."

...will come back to haunt him?

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Anonymous Coward

"still love what he is doing"

What's that? Not releasing the information he was given to the public, but keep it to blackmail people who can hurt him personally?

Yeah, that's great, I'm also considering losing my job and being sued by giving him information that he will hog for his own purpose. I'm sure he'd pay a "substantial" chunk of my legal fees... that is about 10% of what I need... and about half a year late.

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Anonymous Coward

Publish - bad. Not publish - bad. WTF?

When Wikileaks publishes docs people cry it's a disaster because it endangers innocent people. When he postpones or slows the tempo of publication people cry Wikileaks blackmails people.

As long as people let the media focus our attention on Assange and not the critical facts Wikileaks tries to expose, we're all lost.

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Banks squirming

Oooh, how delicious.

Gosh I hope they've got something good on Goldman Sachs

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WTF?

"deep disdain for authority"

So what?

Is there supposed to be something wrong with having a deep disdain for authority?

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Actually, yes.

You can have a deep disdain for a particular authority, sure (e.g., Egypt), but if people had a deep disdain for authority in general, this would result in anarchy, surely? And yay for anarchy and all, but I think I prefer the current authority in this country than anarchy.

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Headmaster

Anarchy?

I think that word does not mean what you think it means.

It means "absence of government". If you mean "chaos", then bloody well say "chaos".

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disdain for current models of authority

It was also reasonable to disdain the absolute and unaccountable authority of monarchs once the printing press technology had made a more pluralistic model of authority (i.e. industrial democracy) feasible. A potential further shift in the same direction, towards a more decentralised model of authority is overdue, but the structure of money needs to be changed in order to break many current monopolies and other principalities.

Part of the process of creating space for new systems to fill the void has to involve holding current power mongers to account and exposing their leadership as lacking moral purpose. It's not most of the politicians of democratic parties I'm particularly concerned about here. Many must qualify, e.g. for expenses fraud and leading us into illegal wars. But high on the accountability needed list we have to include the crats, bankers and corpexecs who decide the political agenda for the most part.

I hope his threat to expose their practices and methods of manipulation has those who have done wrong quaking in their boots.

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Pint

re: "deep disdain for authority"

I've got one of those too!

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Yesbut

I'm in favour in general but I am not sure why there needs to be an identifiable, high-profile leader for wikileaks and I don't understand why they have information that they aren't publishing - if this bank leak is important then get it out.

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Let me explain

"I am not sure why there needs to be an identifiable, high-profile leader for wikileaks"

Because it makes the aforementioned leader much harder to kill.

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Grenade

@dogged

No its just as easy to kill Assange whether he is 'high profile' or not.

Face the facts that if someone with enough power wants you dead, you're dead.

Being an obnoxious prick just makes it easier.

Thank god for Assange is that we Americans have a very thick skin and it takes a lot to piss us off. Russians? Not so much. Islamic Extremists? Just make a joke with a cartoon and they go jihad on your ass.

China, now that's one I haven't figured out. Do they go Russian or just laugh you off as you keep buying products made in their country?

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Unhappy

What he is doing is true awesome.

But i am sure its not going to be long before he gets assassinated...

I mean how long does he think he's going to get away with publishing documents that are "potentially" going to get rich people in trouble?

eventually one of them will crack and pay a hefty amount to get him out of the picture... its a numbers game.

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Happy

Re: What he is doing is true awesome.

>>I mean how long does he think he's going to get away with publishing documents that are "potentially" going to get rich people in trouble?

Well, if he's killed the stuff gets automatically released, plus the key to the encrypted military files (including the unfiltered stuff), so while the stuff remainst unreleased he's safe, at least from Government and Banking, but not safe from those who would have the stuff released now, Al Qaeda for example would much prefer all the docs released now and unfiltered (the filtering process is slow but it ensures that individuals are not at risk), so if anyone is going to kill him it's the very opposite of those that are being targetted.

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Ah - and you think that's acceptable?

Let me get this right. Assange gets information that has been obtained illegally (let's not forget that trivial fact - you may get less in court because of whistleblowing but it IS a crime), and then uses it to protect himself? So he's quite willing to ignore any kind of damage he may cause if someone harms him.

Hang that man now, and switch to Openleaks. At least they don't (yet) have a megalomaniac to run the ship..

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Happy

You would think....

"Hang that man now, and switch to Openleaks. At least they don't (yet) have a megalomaniac to run the ship.."

as far as we know, right...?

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A bit of an arse?

"If you're a whistleblower and you have material that is important, we will accept it, we will defend you, and we will publish it."

And how much have they donated to Bradley Mannings defence?

$15,000. Not exactly helpful in defending him.

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Stop

Pointing the finger is all very well, Simon 11,

but how much have you - and others who complain about WikiLeaks - contributed to the Bradley Manning defence fund ? Have you signed the petition (http://action.firedoglake.com/page/s/bradleymanning) to stop the inhumane treatment to which Mr Manning is being subjected at the tender hands of those defenders of democracy, freedom of information, etc, etc, the US military ?...

Henri

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Last I checked

15k was about 10% of the fund.

It would be pretty hard to argue the defense that Jullian and Manning are arguing on conspiracy if Jullian's bankrolling Manning's defense.

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Anonymous Coward

@mhenriday

I don't see Simon 11 running WikiLeaks and publicly pledging his support. I do see him calling Assange on his lack of action.

Simon 11's (or anyone else's) support is not in question, only Assange/WikiLeak's.

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I beg to differ, «Anonymous Coward» ;

I read «Simon 11»'s posting as a criticism of WikiLeaks - and Julian Assange - for not contributing more (15000USD hardly constitutes «lack of action» in my book, but perhaps you have made better career choices than I) to the Bradley Manning defence fund. From this, I drew the conclusion that «Simon 11» - and other's posting similar criticisms - believe that generously contributing to the defence fund is a virtuous thing to do - a notion, by the way, that «Simon 11» could easily have dispelled by himself (?) posting a reply, instead of allowing a (still more) anonymous coward to do so - and therefore asked what his (?) own actions in that respect had been. Supporting - or not supporting, as the case may be - Bradley Manning in the situation in which he finds himself is one thing, and entirely up to the person concerned, but hypocrisy is quite another....

Henri

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