Moral Outrage
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Pentagon Manhunt for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Philip Shenon, a former investigative reporter at The New York Times, alleges that the Pentagon is “desperately” searching for the founder of the whistleblower website Wikileaks, out of concern he is about to publish classified US State Department cables.

Curiously, the piece cites an American diplomat as saying their chief concern is the leak of communications “prepared by diplomats and State Department officials throughout the Middle East, regarding the workings of Arab governments and their leaders.”

Authorities are said to be seeking Wikilieaks founder Julian Assange, who allegedly came into possession of secret US cables after they were leaked by a 22-year-old Army intelligence officer. The Army specialist, Bradley Manning, was recently arrested and is being held in Kuwait.

It’s unclear what US authorities could do to prevent the secretive Wikileaks founder from publishing classified US documents, since the website is based on servers in Sweden, a country that has traditionally looked favorably on whistleblower claims.

Assange, who first gained notoriety as a computer hacker, is as secretive as his website and has no permanent home. He was in the United States as recently as several weeks ago, when he gave press interviews to promote the website’s release of an explosive 2007 video of an American helicopter attack in Baghdad that left 12 people dead, including two employees of the news agency Reuters.

With its network of whistleblowers, Wikileaks has published documents and videos on its site that have outraged other foreign governments. To protect the site from attack by intelligence agencies, Assange has placed Wikileaks on several Internet servers, making it all but impossible for any government to shut down the site entirely.

American officials were unwilling to say what would happen if Assange is tracked down, although they suggested they would have many more legal options available to them if he is still somewhere in the United States.

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9 Responses to “Pentagon Manhunt for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange”

  1. Daniel Ellsberg, who gained fame when he leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971 in hopes of ending the Vietnam War, told MSNBC that he not only sees a parallel between himself and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who leaked a video of an assault by US forces on Iraqi civilians, but also fears for Assage’s safety.

    Ellsberg said in a recent interview, “There’s no doubt at all, that enormous amounts of energy that should be made public are being withheld. … I’m speaking now of the run-up to the Iraq war, which has a very great similarity to the lying and the secrecy that got us into Vietnam. I think if many people had recognized that their oath of office, which called them in to support the Constitution, really contradicted their promise to keep certain secrets, when those secrets concealed lies, concealed deception to the American public and getting us into a hopeless war, they should have given priority to the oath of office.

    “They should have done what I wish I had done much earlier than I did I had been in that position, too. I knew years before the Pentagon Papers came out that the Americans were being lied in to an essentially hopeless war. I’m not proud of the fact that it didn’t occur to me that my oath of office, which was to support the Constitution, called on me to put that information out in say, ‘64, when the war might have been avoided. But I certainly am glad that I finally came aware of what my real responsibilities were there. And I did put it out years later.

    “I’m very happy that he [Julian Assange] put it out and I congratulate him for it.”

    “[Also] I think it’s worth mentioning a very new and ominous development in our country. I think he [Julian Assange] would not be safe, even physically entirely, wherever he is. We have after all for the first time, that I ever perhaps in any Democratic country, we have a president who has announced that he feels he has the right to use special operations operatives against anyone abroad, that he thinks is associated with terrorism. That he suspects of it.

    “I was in fact the subject of a White House hit squad in November on May 3rd, 1972. A dozen Cuban assets were brought up from Miami with orders, quote, quoting the prosecutor, to incapacitate Daniel Ellsberg totally. … Now as I look at Assange’s case, they’re worried that he will reveal current threats. I would have to say puts his well-being, his physical life, in some danger now. … I think Assange would do well to keep his whereabouts unknown.”

  2. There is a Real Good Line between Honesty and Tolerance, if the Truth were known about everything we would be the Victims too. The Truth is that Tolerance, will Get Us Killed with a Lie the same as the Truth, but a Good Fishing Trip will always play a Good Hand at the Card Table, so I always tell everyone that I am Gambling with Information and wait for the Bite, that will get the Right piece of Information, that will Secure the Truth[And Our Nation] and Use the Lies of Our Enemies against Our Enemy. We are not the Only Liars that go Fishing or tell Fish Stories. But the truth, according to the Enemy isn’t the Truth either. We must not let the Left Hand know, what the Right Hand is doing, when it comes to Using the Enemies Intel, on Them. Just a view that has put me in a Good Place, that Helps Us with Our Intel Services.

  3. […] Specialist Bradley Manning The US Army is still holding Specialist Bradley Manning incommunicado in Kuwait, under charges of leaking to WikiLeaks a video of Apache helicopter pilots gunning down two Reuters […]

  4. […] and shared the information so the American public could know what the armed forces were doing. The most famous leak from Manning showed an Apache Helicopter attack by the U.S. military killing a dozen civilians and wounding two […]

  5. […] incidents and intelligence reports about the conflict obtained by the whistleblowers’ website Wikileaks in one of the biggest leaks in US military history. The files, which were made available to the […]

  6. Tom Engelhardt writing in the Huffington Post, points out:

    Consider the following statement offered by Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, discussing Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks: “Mr. Assange,” Mullen commented, “can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family.”

    One of the revelations in the trove of leaked documents Assange put online had to do with how much blood from innocent Afghan civilians was already on American hands.

    The British Guardian was one of three publications given early access to the leaked archive, and it began its main article this way: “A huge cache of secret U.S. military files today provides a devastating portrait of the failing war in Afghanistan, revealing how coalition forces have killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents. They range from the shootings of individual innocents to the often massive loss of life from air strikes…”

    Or as the paper added in a piece headlined “Secret CIA paramilitaries’ role in civilian deaths”: “Behind the military jargon, the war logs are littered with accounts of civilian tragedies.”

  7. […] Reports of these criminal accusations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had brought instant suspicion of a U.S. government-led smear campaign. […]

  8. Journalist JOHN PILGER on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks:
    “The WikiLeaks revelations shame the dominant section of journalism devoted merely to taking down what cynical and malign power tells it. This is state stenography, not journalism.

    “I like Julian Assange’s dust-dry wit. When I asked him if it was more difficult to publish secret information in Britain, he replied, ‘When we look at Official Secrets Act labeled documents we see that they state it is offence to retain the information and an offence to destroy the information. So the only possible outcome we have is to publish the information.’ ”

    And on the tightening grips that certain governments are attempting to apply to Julian Assange:
    “Last May, following the release of the Apache footage, Assange had his Australian passport temporarily confiscated when he returned home. The Labor government in Canberra denies it has received requests from Washington to detain him and spy on the WikiLeaks network. The Cameron government also denies this. They would, wouldn’t they?”

  9. […] WikiLeaks’ release of 250,000 United States embassy cables certainly reveals the US government’s view of the world. And it is clear that they are not taking it laying down: […]


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