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* Posts by Graham Marsden

5077 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007

Google sacks Eric Schmidt memo leaker

Graham Marsden
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Grenade

"Within hours...

"... Google notified its staff that it had terminated the leaker, several sources told CNNMoney."

And then they terminated the "several sources" who had leaked that fact to CNN Money and then...

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Lincs authority lets schools decide on Pagan lessons

Graham Marsden
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From an old BBC radio series "Poems and Pints"...

The old druids who ruled over Anglesea

Did things that were dubious in taste.

They sacrificed virgins for breakfast.

Barbaric...

... and think of the waste!

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Steelie Neelie calls for 'every vehicle digital'

Graham Marsden
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Terminator

"Fleets of empty cars...

"... driving about awaiting a recall from their absent owners might become a serious irritation."

Besides, does anyone else remember Maximum Overdrive?

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Graham Marsden
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@AndrueC

"Brakes are for stopping and correcting mistakes. Not for adjusting your speed".

The advice these days is "Gears to go, brakes to slow".

Of course driving efficiently (hypermiling) will also help matters as you mention.

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Counter-terror review to consider net jihadis

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Was I the only one...

... who read this as "PREVERT"?

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Burglar cuffed after crime scene MySpace blunder

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Epic fail!

Title says it all!

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Small biz doubts red tape claims

Graham Marsden
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Unhappy

"A depressing 89 per cent said...

"... the reason for this likely failure was that politicians have no idea of the impact of their laws on the business community."

+1

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Caravan-swiping suspect spotted on Street View

Graham Marsden
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@oliver 8

Good work on protecting your bike, but, from one biker to another, I'd recommend adding DataTag or similar to it as well.

Practically every part (down to the mirrors!) can have a code unremovably acid etched on it meaning it's virtually not even viable to break it for parts, plus there's a couple of transponders which can be fixed such that if it's recovered the Police can determine the legal owner :-)

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Cameron promises a 'right to data'

Graham Marsden
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"Right to data"?

'The government, while ensuring national security, "information propriety" and "personal privacy" are protected'

In other words there will probably be a whole host of exceptions put in at the bidding of special interests especially rich businessmen who finance the Tories and every Police Force, Security Service and anyone else who doesn't want people to know that they're pi$$ing public money down the drain whilst doing nothing to justify it...

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Police get ready for body parts audit

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

"the original owner of a hand or leg...

"...may still be around to lay claim to the detached limb"

Why FFS? As a memento???

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Plastic plod used police database to find dates

Graham Marsden
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Stop

@Am I missing something?`

Yes, you're missing the fact that a Police Officers have powers that PCSOs do not.

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Disguised impostor clears international flight

Graham Marsden
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FAIL

Well...

... so much for Security Theatre!

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Google in shock 'we serve ads' claim

Graham Marsden
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In other news...

... oh I really can't be bothered...

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Shut up, Spock! – how Battlestar Galactica beat Trek babble

Graham Marsden
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ST was about...

... how wonderful Truth, Justice and the Starfleet way was, when stuck in Gene Roddenberry's "Wouldn't it be nice if everyone was nice" universe.

At least in BSG the characters developed and changed because of their experiences, rather than pretty much every episode in every version ending with a big "reset button" being pressed that restored the status quo ante.

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Graham Marsden
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BSG = "Hard SF"

For me the new version of BSG fits in the category of "Hard Sci-Fi" where the emphasis is (with a few "hand waving" exceptions eg FTL) on getting the science right which means that you can then concentrate on the story without having to worry about Treknobabble.

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DDoS attacks take out Asian nation

Graham Marsden
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Black Helicopters

Critics of the government say it launched the attacks...

... in an attempt to manipulate the outcome. Others have blamed external forces. The data flood began 10 days ago, according to The People's Daily in China, which borders Myanmar.

And the Chinese Government provides the Military Junta in Burma with military aid, as well as economic support.

So which nation do you think has the capacity to launch such sustained attacks without anything being done to shut them down...?

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DARPA, NASA team on '100-Year Starship' project

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Well...

... at least the second of the three Arks needs to be finished...

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ICO U-turns on Street View

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Oh ye gods...!

So the ICO thinks what Google did was ok (just a bit naughty) but then goes on to lecture photographers who are not breaking *any* laws on what the ICO thinks is "good practice"!

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Graham Marsden
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@Stealth Godwin!

I was going to make a very similar comment about the Chamberlain quote, however not to call anyone a "nazi", but simply to point out the ironic co-incidence.

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Sexy Hustler honeys unlikely to corrupt Croydon yoof

Graham Marsden
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@rules about using the US flag as a garment

Those "rules" are simply a set of statements made up by people who think that the US Flag should be venerated as some sort of sacred object.

They'd love to be able to introduce them into US law, but the Supreme Court has decided that Freedom of Expression trumps their wishes.

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London Stock Exchange investigates IT 'sabotage'

Graham Marsden
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See Hanlon's Razor for more details...

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

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Oz journo pokes PARIS

Graham Marsden
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Terminator

LOHAN

Look Out Humanity, AI Next...?

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eBay Meg bitchslapped by Governor Moonbeam

Graham Marsden
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@Wasting money...

Have a look at some of the election episodes of the West Wing and you'll find that, yes, it really *is* that expensive to run for office in the USA, you need to pay huge amounts for "media buys" (ie advertisements) pay lots of staff to phone (and irritate) lots of people to find which issues you need to campaign on, have lots of advisers, do lots of travelling and much more besides.

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Google defies Turkey, reinstates Atatürk insult videos

Graham Marsden
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Joke

A ban on YouTube...?

Exactly whom will that inconvenience?!

(PS Yes, I know all the arguments about censorship etc, it's a *joke* ok?)

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Commission to revise rules on rivals' agreements

Graham Marsden
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Don't forget...

... that it is perfectly legal to buy a video or DVD from a European supplier (and have them post it to you here) which would be illegal to buy in the UK if it wasn't for sale in a licenced sex shop.

Film "Classification" is, of course, as you say, merely a form of censorship, it seems that our "powers that be" simply don't trust us to look at adult content without turning into rapists or murderers etc, so anything that is "too nasty" for our delicate sensibilities should be restricted to sale in sex shops or cut entirely.

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Child porn victims seek multimillion-dollar payouts

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@neb

'an alcoholic can say"no more booze for me", a drug addict "no more cake", and i assume a paedophile can control their urges and say "i'll not rape a child today nor will i look at kiddy porn on the old pc"'

What a wonderfully simplistic world it is that you live in! With a wish or a wave of a magic wand, suddenly everything is put to rights and we all live happily ever after. Unfortunately if you'd actually bother to *think* about matters and do a bit of research, you might find that it's not that easy.

Sure, anyone can say "no more", but that doesn't make the desire go away. Saying that "it's wrong" as if that is a solution in-and-of itself just shows that you have little or no idea of what addiction (physical or mental) actually entails.

What is needed is proper counselling/. support/ rehabilitation structure in place to reinforce that "no more", but who wants eg a drug clinic (let alone a rehabilitation centre for paedophiles) in their "back yard", especially someone who thinks that some crimes "cannot be forgiven nor forgotten" and who thereby forever damns anyone who *wants* to try to do something about their addiction!

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Graham Marsden
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Well said!

I agree entirely with what you say, too much "law" in cases like this comes as the result of political grandstanding (especially in the USA where legal officials stand for election, so have to go for judgements which are media and public friendly) or greedy lawyers who have now gone from chasing ambulances to chasing the victims of abuse and exploiting them in another way.

The argument that looking at an image means "'the victim is abused again" and that, as such, the viewer is participating in the abuse makes as much sense as saying that watching video of the planes crash into the Twin Towers means you're guilty of participating in those attacks!

Also, as you say, in the USA, released offenders are effectively at the mercy of the mob because with their "Megan's Law" their names and addresses are published for all to find out to "protect" others. Unfortunately the upshot of this is that some estimates reckon that over a third of all released "sex offenders" in the USA have absconded, changed their names and moved without informing the authorities, whereas in the UK the Police know where over 97% of convicted offenders live.

It would be nice to have a sense of proportion brought into this debate, but whilst the Courts and the Media and the Politicians pander to the "evil paedos must be made to suffer and suffer again and again" no matter whether they actually abused a child or just looked at a (second hand/ third hand/ nth hand) image, that seems most unlikely.

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Graham Marsden
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@"Supply and Demand"

You claim that "the people who view them ARE the reason that they're distributed" but you miss the point that the original "demand" is from the person who *creates* the image, I think you'd find that most child pornographers don't do it for any financial gain, but to fulfill their own desires and they may then publish the images freely simply for kudos from other people with similar desires.

Of course, subsequently, others can collect those images and put them in paid websites, but that's separate from the original creation.

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Shuttle Discovery set for final liftoff tomorrow at 7:52pm

Graham Marsden
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Coat

podules...?

I sense an incoming lawsuit!

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Airport screeners go for the groin

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

You have a choice...

... let the perve at your kiddies with a scanner or let them be touched up by someone who could be a paedo...

Bet you feel safer travelling already!

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Strange, blobaceous 'alien pod' lifeform found in Virginian lake

Graham Marsden
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Don't forget...

... being just a few days away from retirement if you're a law enforcement official

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Gentlemen, start your engines – with your phone!

Graham Marsden
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@and also...

... It's not illegal to sound the horn in a stationary (or even parked) vehicle if a) it's on private land instead of the public highway or b) to alert another road user of a hazard (eg some idiot about to reverse into you)

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Alien Earthlike worlds 'like grains of sand', say 'wobble' boffins

Graham Marsden
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Alien

Ullaaa....

Uuuuullllaaaa......

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Frenchman cuffed for naughty lip-slip email to MEP

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Charges of "displaying contempt towards a public servant"???

If we had a law like that in the UK most of the population would be guilty!

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Daily Mail rails at Street View in women's refuge wrongness

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

This is the Daily Mail...

... since when did the facts have anything to do with one of our rants?

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EFF calls for repeal of Data Retention Directive

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Isn't it ironic...

... that the Yanks seem to be doing more to stop this than our government!

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DfT to install new motorway tech

Graham Marsden
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@I don't get it

Consider a situation where, for some reason, traffic bunches up causing cars to come to a halt.

Now imagine that that creates a "block" of stationary traffic 100 metres long.

If the cause of the original blockage then goes away, traffic can leave the "block", however if traffic is *arriving* at the block at the same rate as traffic leaves, the block will remain.

If, however, you slow down the traffic arriving at the block, it will dissipate.

Of course this relies on people believing and obeying the "slow down" signs, however *that* relies on the Highways Agency *switching off* the signs when they are no longer needed. (For example a few days ago I was on the A3 coming out of Portsmouth and there was a big warning sign saying "Queue Ahead 40mph", but there was no queue to be seen.

These "cry wolf" signs left running without purpose don't benefit anyone.

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Bond car bought at auction

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

Road Fund Licence...

.... was done away with before this car was even built!

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Online badness: The kids are not alright

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Key Findings...

Looking at Section 1.2 of the report it says:

"Most risks are encountered by less than a quarter of children"

"The most common risks reported by children online are communicating with new people not met face-to-face and seeing potentially harmful user-generated content. It is much rarer for children to meet a new online contact offline or be bullied online."

"Significantly, risk does not often result in harm, as reported by children. Being bullied online by receiving nasty or hurtful messages is the least common risk but is most likely to upset children."

"Sexual risks – seeing sexual images and receiving sexual messages online – are more encountered but they are experienced as harmful by few of the children who are exposed to them"

"1 in 12 children have met an online contact offline; this risk rarely has a harmful experience."

"Among those children who have experienced one of these risks, parents often don’t realise this [...] Although the incidence of these risks affects a minority of children in each case, the

level of parental underestimation is more substantial."

In other words, the kids *are* pretty much alright, but the parents are ignorant and need to take a bit more notice of what their kids are up to online.

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Prosecutors prep decision on BT-Phorm case

Graham Marsden
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Stop

"the CPS' decision whether to charge will be based on..."

... First, prosecutors judge whether the evidence against the defendant offers a realistic chance of conviction.

... Second, they decide if a prosecution would be in the public interest.

Someone forgot to mention Third: Whether the Old Boy Back-Scratching Network has been at work and with a nudge and a wink and a funny handshake and the offer of a few Directorships here and there and some lucrative contracts and "consultancy fees" tossed in as well sufficient pressure will be applied such that the decision will come back "Sorry, we haven't got enough evidence to convict anyone..."

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North Lincs pilots victimisation index

Graham Marsden
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@The Fuzzy Wotnot

Whilst I agree with your point about it being another excuse for more databases, I had to down-vote you because of your subsequent comments.

Many (if not most) Social Services Departments are overworked, underpaid and demoralised because of comments like yours and criticisms in the media. They are staggering under a ridiculous caseload with insufficient staff numbers and get hammered every time something goes wrong when they have to make a decision between keeping families together ("Social Services Rip Child from Parent's Arms") and protecting a child ("Why Was This Innocent Child Left With These Terrible People?")

I think the money that will end up being spent on another database would be better used to support the Social Workers who are trying to do a thankless job for people who don't understand.

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BA slams stupid security checks

Graham Marsden
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At last...

... a statement from the Department of Realising the Bloody Obvious!

As Lewis Page wrote in El Reg a year or so ago, there are numerous ways that terrorists *could* launch attacks on Aircraft, Airports and many other such things, yet, somehow, those attacks haven't happened.

This is just another demonstration that the "Security Threat" we are being peddled by fear-mongers who see it as a way to increase their little empires is grossly over-exaggerated and it's about time we took a big step back and looked *sensibly* at the situation.

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Google illegally divulges user searches, suit claims

Graham Marsden
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Stop

So...

... block Google Analytics and DoubleClick using NoScript and AdBlock Plus, then use RefControl to ensure *you* determine what information gets passed on.

Sorted.

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ICO concerned over interception modernisation programme

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

"Concerned"...?

Well that's a ringing condemnation from a Watchdog who hasn't the teeth to actually *bite* anyone...

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Vulture 1 rolls out of fab bunker

Graham Marsden
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Coat

Surely...

... it's Regonaut!

(Unless you want "Astrotard"...?)

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Google: Street View cars grabbed emails, urls, passwords

Graham Marsden
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Boffin

@You work for google right?

Are you addressing me? It's really not clear.

But if you are, no, I don't work for Google, however I do live in the UK where you have the right to take photographs of virtually anything you like if you can see it from a public place (exceptions being eg Ministry of Defence property), you don't need someone's permission to take photographs of them, you don't need anyone's permission to photograph a building and the idea that somehow you can demand royalties is ridiculous even if it is an "original creative work".

It doesn't matter whether you're the Media, Google or Joe Bloggs, (let alone the Metropolitan Police) *NOBODY* has the right to stop you taking pictures.

And as for your irrelevant Straw Man argument of "your defending a multi-national corporation dodging taxes", I'll treat that with the contempt it deserves.

PS In the UK we *do* have the right to a) see our credit records (for a nominal charge) and b) *demand* that any errors be fixed on them. Perhaps you need to get your elected representatives to start *representing* you, instead of the people who paid for their campaigns...

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Graham Marsden
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FAIL

No other 'private' company...

... would be able to roam the streets and take pictures of everyone.

Erm, have you never watched TV news reports or anything else showing street scenes?

Despite what the UK Plod want you to believe there is *NO LAW* preventing you or anyone else (even a 'private' company) from taking pictures of anything you like.

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Sony hits stop on Walkman tape players

Graham Marsden
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Wired for Sound video...

... ah yes, with the 80's girls in the unitards and leg-warmers...

Fond memories... ;-)

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Wikileaks outs 400,000 classified Iraq War docs

Graham Marsden
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WTF?

Oh well that's ok then...

... don't worry about the ones who *were* tortured, after all we didn't turn a blind eye *EVERY* time, so that makes it better...

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Graham Marsden
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FAIL

the government...

"should condemn in the most clear terms the disclosure of any information by individuals and or organizations which puts the lives of United States and its partners' service members and civilians at risk."

Not to mention the careers of US politicians and high ranking officers?

And what when it's the US putting the lives of its partners or innocent civilians at risk...?

(PS The Pentagon has admitted in an internal letter that *NOBODY* has been harmed as a result of the previous set of documents published on Wikileaks)

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