back to article Assange 'threatened to sue' Grauniad over leak of WikiLeak

Julian Assange threatened to sue The Guardian last year when he learned it planned to publish stories based on leaked US diplomatic cables without his permission, it's claimed today. The Wikileaks founder's gripe: That the paper had obtained the documents it intended to use not via him, but from a leaker within his …

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  1. Charles Calthrop
    Pint

    oh the ironing

    whether or not releasing the cables is a blow for against our freedom, the man himself seems an absolute gothical nutter.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      Extra Starch?

      Seems that the veneer of Assange is starting to crumble?

      1. thecakeis(not)alie

        @Ian Michael Gumby

        There was a veneer? I never liked the man; his approach to whistleblowing has always been (in my books) sensationalised and horribly, horribly wrong. You and I will disagree a great deal I think on the necessity of whistleblowing itself (I am a staunch supporter of /properly vetted/ document leaking; see Cryptome) but only the most simple individuals could ever have actually seen The Man Himself as some form of Hero.

        I can almost understand the people who support Wikileaks whilst being sceptical of Assange. Though I am honestly not sure how one disentangles the two, I do reserve the possibility that others are able to make the mental separation of “the organisation” and “the individual” where I am not. So for those people championing Wikileaks whilst wishing Assange would shut up and go away I have a grudging respect.

        For those who champion Assange himself, I have for them now the only thing I have ever had: a great big “WTF?!?”

        Whilstleblowing (so long as the documentation released does not cost lives or honestly and truly endanger a nation’s security) is in my mind a truly vital part of any functioning democracy. It is our only way of keeping politicians honest. That said, incidents /exactly like the one in this article/ demonstrate why an idea is not necessarily cognate with the media darling associated with said ideal.

        The individual is – in my opinion, and my opinion only – corrupt, narcissistic and a little too much of a control freak. It never made the goals he espoused wrong. Merely his approach to said goals, as well as his attempts to profit from them.

        That rant done: veneer? Honestly…how many people didn’t see this right from day one? Are you trying to imply here that the people on El Reg’s forums worshipping the man as a Hero were actually SCINCERE? I absolutely refuse to believe that. El Reg’s readership is smarter than that. We’re more cynical than that. Damn it, we’re more WORLDLY than that. Now…that a bunch of readers were /trolling the piss out of everyone/ by claiming Assange as a Hero (and madly downvoting anyone who ever spoke out against him)…this I can accept.

        It is the Internet, after all.

        1. david wilson

          @thecakeis(not)alie

          >>"Honestly…how many people didn’t see this right from day one? Are you trying to imply here that the people on El Reg’s forums worshipping the man as a Hero were actually SCINCERE? I absolutely refuse to believe that.

          El Reg’s readership is smarter than that. "

          But we're not necessarily talking about some representative cross-section of the readership, but about people who can be bothered to post, some of whom may be here not because they're a reader, but more because the Reg comes up fairly high on Google.

          Possibly the entire readership is grown-up and well-balanced, and any Assange/Anonymous/TPB worship, or paranoid rantings about Big Brother every time the slightest opportunity arises is all just part of a huge wind-up.

          Thing is, if it actually was just a wind up, I'd have thought the /true/ Reg readers, fine and brilliant folk that they are, could have done a far better job at making it amusing.

        2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Big Brother

          @thecakeis(not)alie

          I don't think we disagree on whistle blowing...

          But Wikileaks isn't about whistle blowing but Assange and his personality. He's a twisted bloke who has a stiffy for embarrassing the US.

          What I think we do disagree on is that I believe that there are some things we the public shouldn't know. The world isn't a clean and friendly place. Sometimes governments have to do bad things to protect us. Even vetted information that is released out of context can be misinterpreted and dangerous. Thats why certain information is classified (Top Secret) and not released. Other information is released well after the fact. (This has been a long standing practice since the dawn of civilization.)

          But with respect to Assange, yes there were a lot of El Reg's readers who didn't see through him.

          I and others were down voted because we saw him for what he was and thought his actions irresponsible and dangerous. In fact criminal.

          Many El Reg posters are in fact far left on the spectrum and makes a centralist like me look like a right wing nutter. So yeah. They were duped by a sociopath.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            >Ian Michael Gumby

            --"I and others were down voted because we saw him for what he was..."

            I think the downvoting was principally just for failing to agree with or daring to doubt the worshippers.

            Even people who were just not sure Assange was a saint seemed fair game to the black/white with-us-or-against-us hivetard.

            I'm sure I got downvoted on at least one occasion for the thoughtcrime of suggesting that there was sometimes such a thing as grey somewhere between black and white.

            --"Many El Reg posters are in fact far left on the spectrum..."

            Possibly, but I'm not sure this is really a left/right thing.

            There seems to be something more like teenage anarchism behind the more rabid posters and knee-jerk downvoters.

            More a case of Rebel Without a Clue than anything else.

          2. thecakeis(not)alie

            @Ian michael Gumby

            Define "centrist." The American definition of "center on the political spectrum" is still deep into the right wing byt he definition of a lot of the rest of the world. By your definition, I probably qualify as a total left-wing headcase.

            A quote from Bill Maher (not that I am exactly a fan) still sticks out as relevant:

            "The Democrats of today are essentially the Republicans you'd find in the '50s and '60s while the Republicans have moved into the nut house."

            Besides which, I don't think where you are on the political spectrum has /anything/ to do with your support (or lack thereof) for Assange. I think he's a putz, and yet I am likely far more "left" than 99%+ of USians. (Heck, I'm probably still more left than 60% of Canadians.) Doesn't change that the message is right while the man is wrong.

        3. Scorchio!!

          Re: @Ian Michael Gumby

          "It is the Internet, after all."

          Indeed. I've been online for about 20 years and I've seen 'heroes' emerge in Usenet many times, and I've almost always watched them fall. It's very hard to stand up and maintain a credible, honest, clean front without a clean background, especially now that almost everyone who can afford computing facilities or has access to them can also go online.

          I'm still waiting for the mother of his son (who says she describes him as a 'monster, leading me to speculate if the son is like its father) to be outed. I'm also waiting for the first leaf of speculation that the leak of Wikileaks material was fostered/plotted by someone in an executive arm of some government, somewhere. For those who say this is unlikely there needs to be some remembrance, perhaps of what happened to Litvinenko and even Yushchenko. That was not self inflicted, nor was it wild speculation.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Seems an absolute gothical nutter"

      I would almost agree with you, apart from the use of the word "almost". If Wikileaks ever had an original cause, it has disappeared against the "support my ego" work of Assange, who seems to have a strange take on disclosure. If you disclose secrets that aren't yours to start with, you should expect your life to be opened as well, and the guy isn't exactly spotless - and an idiot to boot.

      He would not have to face Swedish rape charges if he had done the decent thing and had himself tested. All these women wanted was assurance that the unprotected sex had not harmed them, and it seems that his total lack of interest to do the decent allowed this quite legally to escalate into rape charges.

      As I said - an idiot..

  2. JohnG Silver badge

    Ownership?

    "...arguing that he owned the information and had a financial interest in how and when it was released"

    Surely, the point is that the documents being released belong to the US government - unless Assange is now claiming they are his creation and therefore, forgeries?

  3. MyHeadIsSpinning
    FAIL

    Losing his grip

    If Assange is blathering on about suing because he lost control of 'his' information and because he has a financial interest in it, then he should lose control over this information completely.

    He should never have had control over any of the leaked information in the first place, and as for having a financial interest in it...shouldn't Wikileaks be above that? Shouldn't Assange be as well?

    1. Bilgepipe

      Yep

      Just goes to show how WikiLeaks is simply a substitute for Assange's gob. It's all about him and his towering ego, and has been for some time.

  4. John King 1

    Hmm

    This is all 'According to Vanity Fair' so it's best not to get too judgmental about this.

  5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Troll

    Problem, WikiLeaks?

    But is the story True As Reported?

    Anyway, where's the Trollface icon? A troll shall do.

  6. ttuk
    Black Helicopters

    it appears

    that a sneaky consipracy spear campaign and trumped up rape charges, all orchestrated by a shadowy figure in the US administration was not required at all, assange has been given enough rope (publicity) and hung himself with it..

    either that or somehow the US really IS behind all of this . and somehow drugged assange to give him delusions of grandeur

    anon obviously.. with a tin hat on..

  7. Hooch181
    Happy

    Ironic Drama Llama...

    is Ironic!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      oops

      no so anon

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Say, what?

      You say the US must have drugged Assange to make him this egotistical.

      Perhaps he was this egotistical all along, but because of your blind hatred of the US, you couldn't see it.

      1. ttuk

        please..

        try not to take things so seriously.

        I know this is the internet but it still shouldn't be that hard to spot the sarcasm and tounge in cheek nature of my orignial post.

        To make it clear..

        I do NOT believe that the US somehow drugged assange to make him egotisctical. The suggestion is a sartirical comment on all the conspiracy theorists out there.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Black Helicopters

          @ttuk

          I don't know if English (Brit, Aussie, US, Canadian) is the first language for many of the readers so sarcasm may be lost.

          At the same time, there are also a lot of nutters so even when you are being sarcastic, it may be lost on those for whom your sarcastic opinion appears to be real.

          I personally think that such a plot that you suggested is beyond the capabilities of the US spy agencies. (Look at the botched rendition in Italy as an example...)

          Now if you had said the Mossad? Maybe.

          KGB? Naw, they'd have just killed him outright with some rare nuke pellet.

          1. david wilson

            @AC

            >>"At the same time, there are also a lot of nutters so even when you are being sarcastic, it may be lost on those for whom your sarcastic opinion appears to be real."

            Certainly, but surely the point of *some* humour is that not everyone *is* going to get the joke.

            >>"I personally think that such a plot that you suggested is beyond the capabilities of the US spy agencies. (Look at the botched rendition in Italy as an example...)"

            Though no doubt the conspiracy nuts would dismiss that as deliberate bungling, with the *real* work almost always done professionally, etc, and spin it into evidence *for* a massive Talented Conspiracy.

      2. charvolant

        It's a joke, Joyce

        @Anonymous Coward

        http://everything2.com/title/It%2527s+a+Joke%252C+Joyce

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Boffin

        Um....

        I don't think he was being serious when he suggested it. Your deep-seated need to see hatred everywhere irrespective of reality may be intefering with your sense of humour.

    3. Martin Huizing
      WTF?

      Wrong site...

      Back to 4chan with you! (waves his wand)

    4. Scorchio!!

      Re: it appears

      "trumped up rape charges" [...] "shadowy figure in the US administration"

      A mixture of techniques in argument here, not least of which is a form of cultural relativism, that is to say the truth of the matter is slanted by things on which you supposedly proceed to enlighten us, only you do no such thing.

      He only had to submit to a test for STDs. Scandinavian sexual health policy has a strong theme of safe, responsible sex. Scandinavian law dovetails neatly with this, inasmuch that as soon as a man has sex with no protection and consent does not extend to that form of sex, the matter changes to one of rape (I do not know if the corollary applies, but do note the case of Nadja Benaissa in Germany for having unprotected sex when infected by HIV).

      Tying this in to a shadowy figure in the US administration - you'll pony up the proof in support of your allegations now, won't you? - is a technique designed to evoke needless paranoia, simply because you only need to chain back to one item of alleged evidence; the man did not submit to sexual health tests and this triggered the rape allegation, which allegation is founded on articles in Swedish law to the effect that unprotected sex without consent is rape.

      Now kindly do us the honour of producing evidence in support of your "shadowy figure".

  8. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Higher Ideals

    For all the talk of holding governments to account, and it being in the public interest, and doing this for the good of everyone else, not himself, Assange basically seems to be nothing but a money-grabbing attention whore, in it for himself and his own gain.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Nameyname
    WTF?

    What.

    What a load of sensationalist rubbish. Disagreement during a business transaction? Why, let's whack that on the front page. How unprecedented and newsworthy - surely this serves the public interest much more than continuting to report on mass government corruption.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Talking of serving the Public Interest

      Seeing as you mentioned it, lets take a quick look at the basics of whistleblowing;

      The release of confidential information in the public interest

      NOT

      The release of confidential information for financial gain.

      Now if what the article has said is true (note: it did come from Vanity fair so who knows!) Assange was angry because he had a financial interest in controlling the documents. That's not whistleblowing, frankly it's almost commercial espionage.

      1. Raumkraut
        FAIL

        Whistle launderers

        Wikileaks are not whistleblowers. The people who supply them with information are the whistleblowers. Wikileaks are merely a distribution channel for documents; just another step in the chain to publication, over the traditional straight-to-newspaper route.

        Newspapers are releasing this information for financial gain as well, so do you blithely rail against them as well?

        1. breakfast
          Stop

          Kind of

          I think technically in the case of The Guardian, the newspaper is releasing the information for financial loss.

          Newspapers don't make any money really, almost all of them - certainly all the serious ones - have to be subsidised by someone.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @RaumKraut

          Papers may be profiting from the release of these documents, but they aren't claiming to be doing it for some higher cause.

          They're also not the ones claiming the public have a right to see the information, but then trying to restrict the release for financial reasons.

          And FWIW if the leaks had gone direct to Newspaper A (i.e. cut Wikileaks out) and they behaved the way that Assange has, then yeah I would. In fact, I did when the big gobbed GCHQ girl decided she had the right to sell operational information to a paper.

          I've no problem with transparency, but become very suspicious of motives when large sums are involved. If it's that important the public knows, there should be no fee payable. Unless, of course, its not about the public interest and more about the bank manager

      2. MinionZero
        WTF?

        @AC

        "The release of confidential information in the public interest" ... "NOT" ... "The release of confidential information for financial gain."

        Do you think Wikileaks costs nothing to run? ... No? Well then, as its not free to run, its a fact of life Wikileaks needs to negotiate to raise money (and like it or not, legal threats are part of negotiating in business) and lets face it The Guardian and all news papers (including even The Reg) are profiting from publishing news about the leaks. That's simply a fact of life, news organisations need money and so money is also required to keep Wikileaks going so money games are going to be used to negotiate ways to release the leaked info. (Hence the US going after all sources of money which allows people to support Wikileaks). Money is needed.

        What gets me are the morons who are blinded and distracted by this.

        Frankly I don't care that the media are earning a living from these leaks. I don't even care how much they earn, (good luck to them earning a lot). What I do care about is what the leaks are showing us about how we are being lied to endlessly by our political leaders, the people who are suppose to represent us and it is this news which is getting distracted away from, with all this false money & attention controversy (which is basically a giant straw man argument used against Wikileaks).

        The big news for me is why the hell has all the leaks apparently gone quiet. Also why the hell haven't charges been brought left, right and centre against the people and organisations highlighted in the leaks so far. Plus is that all the leaks. Is that really it? ... is that all we will learn?. I want to hear more especially about WTF the banks have been up to. I want to hear about the money behind the political leaders. Now that would be news worthy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @MinionZero & Others

          Perhaps I wasn't entirely clear in what I meant. Yes, the papers are making money off the leaks, and yes Wikileaks costs money to run.

          BUT

          If you'll recall, John Young of Cryptome stated that Wikileaks had aimed to raise something like $50m in the first year. That's not funding your running costs, thats making a business out of publishing stolen documents.

          I'm not saying that those exposed in the leaks shouldn't be punished, I'm saying that Assange's Wikileaks doesn't seem to be what you guys think it is. Other sites manage to publish leaked documents without the need for dramatics that Assange seems to crave.

          I've still yet to see anything in the cables that constitutes whistleblowing. What in there is so serious that it's in the public interest to release? There may be some round the corner, but so far there's nothing that qualifies as true whistleblowing.

          Why not pull your heads away from Assange, use some logical thought and check out how other whistleblowing sites operate. Assange is not what he claims to be, and however well intentioned the Wikileaks staff may be, his ego will prevent them from doing the right thing.

          1. MinionZero
            WTF?

            @AC:

            @AC: "Other sites manage to publish leaked documents without the need for dramatics that Assange seems to crave."

            … “dramatics that Assange seems to crave”?! ... WTF ... Repeat after me, it was the US government who made Wikileaks high profile. It was the US government who made Wikileaks high profile due to them seeking to find out who was behind Wikileaks and then attacking them in the media. They seeked to find out who was behind Wikileaks to then bring them down.

            By the way, the only people who condemn others for seeking attention are other attention seekers, as attention seekers are motivated by their need for attention, so endlessly seek to remove attention from others, even if it has nothing directly to do with them, they still secretly despise other attention seekers. Assange is high profile thanks to the US government. He has a lot of attention. Wikileaks is high profile, get over it!

            "John Young of Cryptome stated that Wikileaks had aimed to raise something like $50m in the first year."

            Two points. Point 1, "John Young of Cryptome" is pissed at Wikileaks. Its stealing his thunder. His site could and should have been Wikileaks, but that’s the nature of the media, the one that gets into the news is the high profile one, as simple as that.

            As for point 2, say just 2000 people globally are working on and with Wikileaks, that’s $25000 each (That’s just £16192). Can you live on just £16192 a year. That’s low money. Now add in the costs of all the infrastructure of Wikileaks and then add on top all the many high paid lawyers and law firms and other advisor’s in dozens of countries, and you will find that money goes bloody quickly. Wikileaks needs money, get over it!

            @AC: I get that you are pissed at Assange's high profile attention. He has got a huge amount of attention and that clearly pisses you off no end. So you seek to put down Wikileaks and Assange and you want to incite others to put them down.

            As for "I've still yet to see anything in the cables that constitutes whistleblowing. What in there is so serious that it's in the public interest to release?" ... that just goes to prove how you seek to put down Wikileaks and Assange.

            1. david wilson

              @MinionZero

              >>"As for point 2, say just 2000 people globally are working on and with Wikileaks, that’s $25000 each (That’s just £16192). Can you live on just £16192 a year. That’s low money. Now add in the costs of all the infrastructure of Wikileaks and then add on top all the many high paid lawyers and law firms and other advisor’s in dozens of countries, and you will find that money goes bloody quickly. Wikileaks needs money, get over it!"

              So you know these numbers are accurate, or did you just make them up?

              2000 people working full time to do *what*?

              To filter and prioritise stories so we get to read a whole string of bears-shit-in-woods diplomatic cables when we've actually been promised Earth-shattering revelations?

              That's not worth 50 million Lira.

              And as for all the 'highly paid lawyers and law firms', if collectively they couldn't manage to either advise Wikileaks to get its Swedish accreditation sorted out, or advise Julian to keep his dick in his pants and not to conspire with someone in advance to acquire US documents, if they'd worked for free it'd seem like they were overpaid.

  10. Bilgepipe
    Thumb Down

    Dear Assange Supporters

    How many of you still take this guy seriously? I guess the downvote count will be a good indicator...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Troll

      Dear Bilgepipe

      After your recent posts, how many of us take your ludicrous bilge seriously? I guess the upvote count will be a good indicator...

      1. Bilgepipe
        FAIL

        The scores on the doors

        "After your recent posts, how many of us take your ludicrous bilge seriously? I guess the upvote count will be a good indicator..."

        Bilge? Where do you think I got the name from? Anyway, it looks like 28 versus 8, and I freely post with my handle rather than hiding behind A/C. Have a nice day.

        Now, how about on with the topic at hand rather than the personal attacks, whatwhatwhat?

    2. Graham Marsden
      Thumb Down

      Dear Bilgepipe

      The sound you hear is more high-fives being exchanged in the USA because the story is now about Assange instead of what the US Government has been up to behind people's backs...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Black Helicopters

        High Fives...

        "the story is now about Assange instead of what the US Government has been up to behind people's backs..."

        The story of what the USa has done behind people's back's has been done its old now.

        So after it all what has the USA been up to behind our backs? Not much judging by the leaks.

        I expected them to leak some data worth leaking not just the shock horror of people spying on each other in the UN (which was widely known anyway), and Gadaffi having a rather tasty Nurse...

        Oh well back to dodging black helicopters...

      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        RE: Dear Bilgepipe

        "The sound you hear...." The sound that preceded it was the yawning of the public at the complete non-news contained in the leaks. What, the Saudis alledgedly don't like Iran? The Kremlin is alledgedly full of dodgy types? Hardly news. Bradley Manning could get fifty years in return for what, a little primetime ego-fluffing for Assange?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Dear Marsden

        Another poster with a blind hatred of the United States. People rumbled Assange as a flake and egomaniac from the start. Are you saying you and your Guardian reading pals were the only people who couldn't see it?

        1. Graham Marsden
          FAIL

          @AC

          "Blind hatred of the United States"? Err, no. Just a dislike of policies promulgated by a country that calls itself "The Land of the Free" when that should really be "The Land of the Free to Say Stuff We Approve of".

          "Assange a flake and egomaniac"? Doesn't mean that the stuff Wikileaks was publishing is wrong or that people shouldn't have a right to know it.

          "Guardian reading"? Nope, don't read it any more than I watch Fox News. Do you?

          Epic Fail.

          1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
            Big Brother

            Graham, got a question for you.

            Suppose there exists a cable from some mid level government flunky in the foreign service saying that he was talking with his Brit counterpart.

            Your name Graham Marsden came up. The Brit flunky said to his counterpart "What a silly git he is."...

            Note: I don't know why your name came up and clearly you're not someone of national importance, right?

            Of course the US Government flunky does his due diligence and sends it off back to his superiors. After all they want to know everything he and his counterpart talk about. (Being paranoid, if they don't hear anything, they will get nervous and think state sekrets are being shared....)

            Now that comment which describes you is leaked via Wikileaks. They publish it.

            Clearly there is no need or care by anyone in the free world to know that some Brit government flunky thinks you're a silly git.

            So how do you feel about this leak?

            The only one making money from it is Wikileaks because the more docs they dump, the more people who spend time sifting through the leaks on their site, means more eyes on their site and more ad revenue generated.

            So only Assange makes money because someone reported someone else saying that they thought in their opinion you were a silly git.

            So I guess you feel that its justifiable and right that the rest of the free world should know that people think you're a silly git.

            Moi? Now while I do think you're a bit of a windmill charger, I believe that the free world doesn't need to know that some flunky thinks you're a silly git. I personally think that there are some things said and done by the government we don't need to know.

            So tell me how do you really feel?

            1. Graham Marsden
              Thumb Down

              @Ian Michael Gumby

              How do I really feel?

              Well I really feel that you've rather missed the point.

              Yes, there's a lot of chaff amongst the wheat here. Yes, there's trivial stuff there, but that doesn't mean that *all* the content is trivial and not worth releasing, nor does it mean that Wikileaks should decide *for themselves* what is or isn't worth releasing.

              I also feel that you should look up the term "Straw Man"...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            FAIL

            @Graham Marsden

            Like I said, a blind hatred of the US means you equally blindly stick up for Assange.

            1. Graham Marsden
              Boffin

              @AC

              "Just the place for a Snark!" the Bellman cried,

              As he landed his crew with care;

              Supporting each man on the top of the tide

              By a finger entwined in his hair.

              "Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:

              That alone should encourage the crew.

              Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:

              What i tell you three times is true."

              The Hunting of the Snark

              - Lewis Carroll

              Unfortunately, unlike the Bellman, your repeatedly claiming that I "blindly hate" the USA and following that false assumption up with the equally false conclusion that I therefore "blindly stick up for Assange" does not make it true.

              Try some facts some time.

        2. thecakeis(not)alie
          Thumb Down

          re: Dear Marsden

          I have a nuanced, informed and thoroughly well researched hatred of the United States government and of its terrifying Tea Party members. I also think Assange is an asshat.

          Very (very!) simply put: I am staunchly libertarian and am simultaneously a strong socialist. (Closer to a Social Democrat, if you are raised in the American tradition of political science, but political nomenclature is out of bounds for this discussion. My exact political stance does not currently have an accepted label.) I strongly support whistleblowing (especially Cryptome) and have donated to the Manning defence fund. I believe that the US.gov screws its own people as well as those around the world. The Tea Party want to sell everyone everywhere into corporate indentured servitude (if not actually sell certain segments of the population into outright slavery...). I believe that Assange caused diplomatic incidents (if not worse) largely in order to pump his ego.

          I would be okay is someone ended (kill -9) all those various processes (US.gov, Tea Party, Assange and similar personalities (selfish and self-serving) individuals and organisations the world over.) This would free the system resources for actually useful sentient and sapient organisms. So where does that put me on your black and white view of the world?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Grenade

            kill -9

            OMG somebody please gimme root access!

            Just one small issue; Heuristics for identifying the PIDs anyone?

    3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Happy

      RE: Dear Assange Supporters

      Hehehe! :D

      I suppose, as "wikisqueak" got such a rapturous reception, we need a new word to describe the sound a lawyered-up leaker makes when his leaks get leaked. How about "wikisqueal"? "Wikishriek"? I was going to suggest "Assrage" but thought some might take that in the wrong context.

    4. Scorchio!!
      Thumb Up

      Re: Dear Assange Supporters

      "How many of you still take this guy seriously? I guess the downvote count will be a good indicator..."

      Let's see now; 'memoirs', a couple of million; salary, about £80,000; pay wall, about £50 million? And for those special moments when making babies with 16 year old girls there's always Mastercard. ;-)

  11. Grease Monkey

    Money

    It's all about money. Wikileaks is really about making money for Assange, surely nobody has any doubts about that by now? He could have published the lot in one go, but there isn't as much cash or publicity in that as in trickling them out over a long period. If somebody beats him to it by leaking "his" leaks before he does then there's no money and precious little publicity in it for him.

    If the US government have any idea what documents Assange has then they could totally blow Assange out of the water by "leaking" them and pre-empting him. But then he'd probably try to sue them too.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Way to lose your credibility

    Juuuuulian.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    "...allow him to brief French and Spanish newpapers"

    who responded "c'est bien fait pour sa gueule!".

  14. Jeff 11
    Flame

    Assange at his best

    This proves exactly the point that Cryptome made in that Wikileaks has vested interests, it's not in any way a neutral whistleblower which leaks anything and everything regardless of its own value judgements; rather, it's a political tool which gains from selectively publishing information which *it* claims are in the public interest.

    I look forward to the day someone leaks Wikileaks' own financial accounts.

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Title 1

      Apparantly there were some financial irregularities, if you believe Daniel Schmidt

      http://cryptome.org/0003/wikileaks-streams.htm

      How true it is I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised!

  15. peyton?
    Unhappy

    One can only hope

    That Bradley Manning doesn't have a lot of access to the news*. Stuff like this would make an already bleak situation downright unbearable.

    *assuming that he is the initial leaker

  16. John Deeb
    Pirate

    unsourced

    "arguing that he [Assange] owned the information and had a financial interest in how and when it was released."

    Apart from the question what was said *exactly*, surely exclusivity deals were signed? The term "financial interest" could mean many things here, ranging from obvious legal concerns to downright profiteering.

    Unlike wikileaks, these types of leaks do not show ad verbatim source material and will cause any suspected irony to be utterly lost, for those possessing actual a sense for it.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      @Payton

      You can bet that Manning is the leak. Hint: He may have access to material, but being classified documents, access is also logged.

      But that aside, you can bet your bottom dollar that the prosecution is going to make sure Manning knows what is happening and trying to convince him that he was duped and should out his fellow conspirators like Assange. That is, have Manning take a plea deal and to roll on Assange and talk about how much involvement Assange played....

      1. david wilson

        @Ian Michael Gumby

        >>"That is, have Manning take a plea deal and to roll on Assange and talk about how much involvement Assange played...."

        Well, if Assange *is* actually into openness, surely he wouldn't object to Manning being entirely frank about their dealings?

    2. aelfheld

      One can only hope that

      the little weasel does hear about it & realises he just p***ed his life away to make Assange rich and famous.

  17. No, I will not fix your computer
    Megaphone

    Thank God for Vanity Fair

    It great to see a cutting-edge hard hitting, unbiased news organisation blowing the cover of this sordid affair, hopefully they won't end up having to apologise or losing another libel case.

    Of course the fact that Vanity Fair is own by the same people that own The Republican may lead one to wonder if there's any kind of political motive behind it, nahhh.... I'm sure that the US press isn't biased at all (what was I thinking).

    If there is any truth in the report and assuming that it happened exactly as reported I suspect that (regardles of motive), if Assange had an agreement with a newspaper which they broke (or appeared to break) then it does more damage to the trustworthness of the newpaper (yes, ironic and funny but like being burgled by a policeman it does damage the industry).

  18. Peter Kay

    Not surprised, but don't miss the point

    The whole point of Wikileaks is not the information released, or what Assange may or may not have done, but that it has mobilised slightly more of the general populace than usual to question authority. None of the information revealed so far has been even mildly surprising, or interesting, but it should drive people to check out both Wikileaks and other sites such as Cryptome.

    If this is true I rather hope the rest of wikileaks sidelines Assange as soon as possible. This is not about one man.

    1. aelfheld

      You might want

      to talk to Julian about that. He's made it pretty d----d clear that it is about him.

  19. Luther Blissett

    Not really ironic - only hyperreally

    Assange is an excellent Weapon of Mass Distraction from the work Brooke has done. But of course you know what Brooke has done, don't you?

  20. oldredlion
    FAIL

    Deary me

    The rubbish that's being spouted! Chris Williams, do you work for Wired?

    According to the Graun they agreed not to release until Assange was ready (I assume his website) and the Graun got upset because Assange gave the info to additional news sources (the German Der Spiegel).

    When another source of the same material appeared (via Brooke) the Graun thought they could publish before Assange. Why would they do this? What reason, apart from commercial, can be found? They didn't "like" Assange any more? Really?

    All the rest, from Vanity Fair and others, is hearsay and gossip and possibly made up nonsense. Why report it as fact? The whole point of the WikiLeaks stuff is that journos are not telling us the whole story (and often, just making stuff up).

    1. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Deary me

      >Chris Williams, do you work for Wired?

      No, I have enough on my plate with shifts at The Reg and the CIA.

      I think there's a reasonable chance part of the Guardian's motivation for wanting to publish without Assange's say-so was commercial. So what? It's a business, of sorts. The line about Assange's commercial interest is in my story because it's necessary to explain why he was angry.

      Beyond that you don't offer any facts contradictory to the Vanity Fair piece (which by the way is by a very good reporter, Google her), you just say you don't believe the facts it presents.

      That's fine. I'd just point out that Rusbridger and Brooke both linked to it uncritically today on Twitter (excepting Brooke's apparently minor gripe, referenced in my article, which she didn't elaborate on), and the Guardian ran its own rundown of the VF piece, repeating the facts.

      1. Scorchio!!
        Thumb Up

        Re: Re: Deary me

        There are still many twists and turns in the trail ahead. I see others are echoing my interest in Assange's accounts. Charity? Where domiciled? Registered Charity? In what country? ISTR that one of the countries he claimed to be his home promptly denied this.

        Remember the US government went for the money in Capone's case, using the revenue. I think that Julian will need to pay some taxes on his rather large salary too. Then there is the question of his 'memoirs' (giggle).

        I don't think Julian Assange is going to have the luxury of being condemned to live in airport lounges. He'll be snatched, by someone. Or infected with a nasty disease.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          "He'll be snatched, by someone. Or infected with a nasty disease."

          And nobody will notice... because the CIA has contaminated the water supply to make us go dizzy when the word "Assange" appears.

          Uh, huh.

          You were doing really well until the third paragraph.

          1. Scorchio!!

            Re: "He'll be snatched, by someone. Or infected with a nasty disease."

            "And nobody will notice... because the CIA has contaminated the water supply to make us go dizzy when the word "Assange" appears.

            Uh, huh.

            You were doing really well until the third paragraph."

            ITYMTS "I don't like what you said". People voted me down when I enumerated his conviction details, but I couldn't GAD simply because the truth is not a commodity about which feelings matter or count. It is hard, kickable and there, irrespective of how you feel about it; it is not a feelings based commodity, in a 'how does it feel' counselling world. I am fairly certain that Assange will, ultimately, meet a very unpleasant end. I see no realistic attempts on his part to protect himself but, there again, there's probably nowhere to hide anymore, except deep in a jungle, exercising the sorts of survival skills that twerps like him lack.

            So, as far as your negative and positive criticisms are concerned, take them and shove them into the fundament that ejects all of the bad stuff that you emit when you encounter something that you do not like. Assange, a convicted criminal who got off unrealistically lightly on account of his 'childhood' woes, has made of himself a very large target; you do not piss off the big, bad nasties of this world and get away without some sort of a puncture mark. Realistically he will suffer a great deal. Wait and see, and do buy in a *lot* of popcorn.

            HTH. HAVND.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who?

    Oh, Assange... wasn't he in the news about something a few weeks ago?

  22. Alan Firminger

    Money

    The massive web sites like Google and Facebook started on faith and learned how to make millions later. I cannot see how Wikileaks can charge the world anything. If it charged to view, then its contents would be pirated, they are not the site's property, and posted with less to view. So a race to the bottom.

    Housebound of Norfolk is an ego. Odd because greed is successful.

    So he is not a money grubbing little shit. He is not even a little shit. He is just an unstable genius.

  23. oldredlion
    WTF?

    from the VF article

    It may have a good author, but it's a smear piece

    "One of the oldest newspapers in the world, with strict and established journalistic standards, joined up with one of the newest in a breed of online muckrakers, with no standards at all except fealty to an ideal of “transparency”—that is, dumping raw material into the public square for people to pick over as they will."

    shows just a hint of bias, wouldn't you say? I'm surprised that

    "Assange was pallid and sweaty, his thin frame racked by a cough that had been plaguing him for weeks."

    wasn't proof that Assange started the current flu epidemic.

    There is a line “We were starting from: ‘Here’s a document. How much of it shall we print?’ Whereas Julian’s ideology was: ‘I shall dump everything out and then you have to try and persuade me to cross a few things out.’ We were coming at it from opposite poles.”

    but I have read that WikiLeaks DID approach the US state department with a request for guidance on what should be redacted. Was this true? If so, this line isn't true and points to smear. There is also a bit about criticism from aid agencies which points out why JA was more careful with regard names of people on the ground.

    Why are we seeing all this smear about JA from Nick Davies? See the line "On Saturday, July 24, the day before release, Davies received a call from someone he knew at the television network Channel 4. “You’ll never guess who I’m with,” said the voice on the other end of the phone. “I’m with Julian Assange. He’s just given me the entire Afghan database.” Davies was livid. Assange got on the phone and explained, falsely, according to Davies, that “it was always part of the agreement that I would introduce television at this stage.” Davies and Assange have not spoken since that afternoon."

    Davies lost control of his story and his informant and so is apparently changing the story from the leaked information to JA himself out of anger and annoyance.

    I could carry on with this but frankly there is far too much one sided disinformation being published as fact. I have no idea what is true and what isn't but the fact remains that WL are putting information out that BIG vested interests do not like and do not want to be seen. They can't deny the information so they attack the "publisher" (for want of a better word).

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Boffin

      RE: from the VF article

      So, all I can gather from that rant is that you have some naive preconception that professional journalists that work for a rather left-of-centre paper cannot be vindictive or at least less than holy. Did you seriously expect them to put "the revolution" or whatever you aspire to before their own self-interests? That sound you hear is me laughing at you.

      And for all you lot saying papers work to a loss, that's because their market is currently drying up due to the 24x7 availability of free news on the TV and the Web. Traditionally, newspapers made their income from selling advertising space, which allowed them to pay some reporters quite handsomely. Nowadays, with less people buying newspapers, the marketting revenue stream is under pressure and papers are a lot more careful with their money. They will seek any competitive advantage - such as exclusives - to survive, which is probably why Davies got so upset by the loss of exclusivity.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Disinformation. Yeah, sure...

      Oldredlion, you reject ALL the facts you don't like?

      Now you really are beginning to sound like a Creationist or 9/11 conspiracy theorist. And in any case, what information is there to "deny"? That diplomats think Berlusconi is lecherous? Or the President of Iran makes neighbouring countries nervous? Gosh, I never would have guessed any of this.

      The fluff that Assange is peddling hasn't been worth denying.

      1. oldredlion

        in reply to

        Matt Bryant: "So, all I can gather from that rant"

        Did you read it? Do you need some help?

        AC: "Oldredlion, you reject ALL the facts you don't like?"

        No, I'm questioning whether the facts are actually facts or made up hogwash.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          RE: in reply to

          ".....Did you read it?...." Yes, all the way through, and several times just to make sure I hadn't missed anything of import whilst laughing. But it did was make me laugh - "smear piece" indeed! It obviously hurts you to see your heroic Assange portrayed in anything other than glowing terms. Nobody accused Assange of starting a flu epidemic, the reporter simply reported his appearance, I presume you are whining because he somehow missed the halo and surrounding glow you manage to see?

          "....Do you need some help?...." Actually I do, thanks for asking, I'm looking for someone to invest in some waterfront property in the Everglades. Don't tell anyone, but Julian Assange is probably going to endorse it! Can I sell you three plots or four?

  24. Shaun Roe
    FAIL

    It has to happen

    please. If only for the pomposity of the organization.

    http://xkcd.com/834/

  25. Tree & Tree = Dirty Tree

    If Wikilewaks is to survive

    ... they first have to get get rid of their biggest liability: Assange himself.

    The guy is he best thing that could happen to Wikileaks enemies. He has all of the telltale signs of a psychopath, and his narcissism and greed have the potential to destroy Wikileaks.

    The ignorance and arrogance of his "I am Wikileaks" attitude! Wikileaks is an idea, born from some of the most democratic ideas there are:

    that a government has no right to have secrets from its people

    has no right to act against its peoples will,

    and can only survive if the leading parties are in constructive competition with a healthy and respected opposition.

    Wikileaks is a safeguard of democracy, not it's enemy. That is why it is so important and has to survive.

    Assange, on the other hand, would have left Wikileaks in reaction to the scandals around his person long ago if he really would believe in the ideals of Wikileaks and not only his own benefit. Even most politicians show more decency and guts than this guy...

  26. flibbertigibbet
    Pint

    Journalism at its best

    It obviously galling for John Young of Cryptome to watch that upstart Assange do essentially the same thing as he made a speciality of, and then get more recognition in one year than Young has got in decades. But it should not be surprising. Assange is a journalist. He has for years been in the profession of turning information into plaudits and money. Looks like his plan is to turn himself into the Reuters of leaks.

    Good for him. I hope he makes a financial success of it. For all John Young's efforts, Cryptome looks like the hobby of a idealist which will disappear when he does. If Assange can prove it is possible to make money out of this we will be watching leaks flow for decades to come, and our democracies will be better off because of it.

    The flip side is spats among journalists such as this one aren't uncommon. I recall James Murdock stormed into Guardian's offices not to long ago too. A lot more vitriol flew and he wasn't soothed by coffee and wine. There are livelihoods at stake here, and so of course a few feathers are going to fly occasionally.

    So, this story is only more confirmation that Assange thinks like a journalist, behaves like a journalist, and engages in the usual journalistic infighting.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Stop

      RE: Journalism at its best

      Results of a reality check on your post says "space cadet"!

      "...It obviously galling for John Young...." Ah, so I'm sure up until he "turned" on Assange you assumed Mr Young only though pure sweetness and light, but now he is "the enemy", right, so only capable of self-interest and jealousy?

      "....Assange is a journalist...." Actually, Assange is not. He didn't graduate from his degree course, which was in physics and maths anyway, not journalism, and seems to be little more than a particularly obsessive hacker that got dipped in a heavy dose of anti-Man hysteria by his hippy mother. Assange himself seems to hold no journalism accreditations or to have done any journalistic training. Wikileaks thought it was protected by Swedish journalism laws until someone pointed out they weren't even listed as a journalistic entity in Sweden, which is why Wikileaks had to make a last minute panic application for a journalism license last November. Assange tried to cover himself by writing a column for Aftonbladet, but that post-dates much of his Wikileaking, which means the US can push an extradition without having to worry that Assange will hide behind the Swedish law protecting journos. So, Assange is definately not a journalist, legally or professionally, and obviously not a lawyer either.

      "....and our democracies will be better off because of it...." Patently silly! Please point to a single document so far released that has done anything groundbreaking? The chopper attack vid? Already forgotten. The inconsequential diplomatic notes? A mild embarassment to the US at most. All this affair has accomplished is that the US will tighten up controls on their diplomatic notes and systems and more rigorous screening will be applied to those accessing the systems, all with a view to making the leaks you deem essential to democracy LESS likely to happen. A probable downside is it will give more ammunition to bigots that claim homosexuals like Manning cannot be trusted in security work. Manning himself will probably get hammered in court and for little real benefit to democracy, "the oppressed", or anything other than Assange's ego and bank balance.

      "....this story is only more confirmation that Assange thinks like a journalist...." Really? I think not. You see, a real journo would realise he needs two things - a source and distribution method. A lot of journalism is based on trust - if your source doesn't trust you, they won't supply info, and if your distribution network doesn't trust you then it will be harder for you to sell your story. By not honouring his agreement with Davies, Assange has p*ssed off a distribution channel, which is now co-operating in releasing less than flattering stories which do not help Assange present his image of the Holy Saviour of Democracy. By not seeming to do anything to help Manning, but plenty to protect his income, Assange is seen as a poor choice for leakers too. In short, Assange seems to not be a very good amateur journo and definately no match for the professional ones.

  27. Scorchio!!

    Ownership

    "According to Vanity Fair he was "enraged that he had lost control... arguing that he owned the information and had a financial interest in how and when it was released"."

    Nay Julian, the information is owned by the governments/people from whom they were originally stolen.

    Off to the drama queen enclosure with you, wimp.

  28. Philip Hands
    FAIL

    @Ian Michael Gumby - "Ad Revenue"

    You state: "The only one making money from it is Wikileaks because ... more eyes on their site and more ad revenue generated."

    I'm stunned that, despite the fact that you've been spouting bile about wikileaks with such volume that one might be forgiven for assuming that you're being paid to do so, you seem not to have bothered visiting the site about which you are so exercised.

    There are no adverts on the wikileaks site

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Drip drip

    I wonder if he was so enraged his wiki leaked a bit.

    1. Scorchio!!
      Thumb Up

      Re: Drip drip

      "I wonder if he was so enraged his wiki leaked a bit."

      If the allegations from Sweden are correct this will be the Wikileaker's second big leak. Perhaps he needs a plumber, or a proctologist for his recto-cranial inversion problems.

  30. Josh Fisher

    Really?

    What an ego buster! My father used to tell me as a young man, "If she'll jump in bed with you, then she'll jump in bed with another. Superman is dead.", refering to the character of the young ladies I dated. Leading an organization consisting solely of people who steal information for a living, how can he possibly be surprised to find that one of his own has stolen from him? I'm quite sure the US intelligence agencies are glad such an egotistical fool is working against them, rather than for them.

  31. Rexx

    Fair is Fair, Julian

    Stealing stolen property just proves there is still no honour among thieves

  32. Hawknic
    Thumb Up

    Love this story

    Maybe it's all double-irony from the Assange boy, an oh-so-subtle way of reminding us that everyone is a bit of a hypocrite when it comes to freedom of speech or privacy. But somehow I doubt it, he's probably just a saddo.

  33. aelfheld

    Excuse me?

    "[...] arguing that he owned the information [...]"

    Sorry Julian, you're in possession of stolen information - you can't own it.

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