Q&A: Wikileaks and Freedom of Expression

The right to freedom of expression includes the right to receive and impart all kinds of information © Alex Milan Tracy/Demotix

International controversy over the Wikileaks release of US diplomatic cables continues to rage. In recent days, Paypal, Visa and Mastercard have barred their users from donating to Wikileaks, alleging that the site may be engaged in illegal conduct.  Amnesty International examines some of the human rights issues at stake.

Would prosecution of Julian Assange for releasing US government documents be a violation of the right to freedom of expression?

The US government has indicated since July 2010 that it is conducting a legal investigation into the actions of Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange for distributing secret documents.  A range of US political figures have called for a criminal prosecution of Assange.

According to Amnesty International, criminal proceedings aimed at punishing a private person for communicating evidence about human rights violations can never be justified. The same is true with respect to information on a wide range of other matters of public interest.

At the very least, a significant number of the documents released by Wikileaks appear to fall into these categories, so any prosecution based in whole or in part on those particular documents, would be incompatible with freedom of expression.

Freedom of expression is an internationally-recognized human right that limits the power of the state to prohibit the receipt and publication of information.  The burden is on the state to demonstrate that any restriction is both necessary and proportionate, and does not jeopardize the right to freedom of expression itself.

We are unaware of any legal action having yet been taken against Julian Assange for releasing the documents. As such, Amnesty International is not in a position to comment on any possible case against him specifically, as there are no charges to comment on.

Would interfering with payments to Wikileaks via online donation constitute an infringement on freedom of expression?

In the last few days, Paypal, Visa and Mastercard have removed their users’ ability to donate to Wikileaks online, asserting as grounds that Wikileaks engages or may engage in illegal activities.  There has been speculation that this restriction was due to US government pressure.

Amnesty International does not have information to confirm or refute that speculation, but emphasizes that governments cannot avoid their obligations to respect the right to freedom of expression by attempting to do indirectly what they would be forbidden from doing directly.  Businesses, too, should ensure that their own actions, at minimum, respect human rights.


Would prosecution of employees of the US government who may have provided documents to Wikileaks be a violation of freedom of expresson?

US soldier Private Bradley Manning is currently in detention facing charges that include the leaking of national defence information.

While employees of a government have the right to freedom of expression, they also have duties as an employee, so a government has more scope to impose restrictions on its employees than it would have for private individuals who receive or republish information.

However, Amnesty International would be concerned if a government were to seek to punish a person who, for reasons of conscience, released in a responsible manner information that they reasonably believed to be evidence of human rights violations that the government was attempting to keep secret in order to prevent the public learning the truth about the violations.

Is it legitimate for governments to seek to keep their diplomatic discussions and negotiations confidential when they perceive it to be in their national interest?

Governments can of course in general seek to keep their communications confidential by using technical means or by imposing duties on their employees; it is not, however, legitimate for governments to invoke broad concepts of national security or national interest in justification of concealing evidence of human rights abuses.

Also, once information comes into the hands of private individuals, states cannot rely on sweeping claims of national interest to justify coercive measures aimed at preventing further public disclosure or discussion of the information.

International human rights law allows states to restrict freedom of expression only on specific and narrowly-applied grounds: national security, public order, public health or morals, or protection of the rights and reputations of others. However, even where one of these grounds might apply, states do not have a blank cheque to keep information secret or to punish individuals for publishing it, simply by declaring the information to be “classified” or declaring it necessary to restrict it as a matter of “national security”: the state must show that the particular restrictions are necessary and proportionate to the specific threat they claim justifies the restriction.

Is Amnesty International concerned about the potential for harm to individuals as a result of the leaked information?

Amnesty International has consistently called on Wikileaks to make every possible effort to ensure that individuals are not put at increased risk of violence or other human rights abuses as a result of, for instance, being identifiable as sources in the documents.

However, risks of this kind are not the same as the risk of public embarrassment or calls for accountability that public officials could face if documents expose their involvement in human rights abuses or other forms of misconduct.

Do the diplomatic cables being leaked by Wikileaks contain information relevant to human rights?

Some of the Department of State documents released confirm or provide more detail about human rights violations that Amnesty International has publicly raised in the past. For example:

The February 2007 cable discussing US opposition to the possible issuance by German authorities of international arrest warrants for thirteen CIA agents allegedly involved in the Khaled el-Masri rendition and enforced disappearance relates to a number of Amnesty International reports, most recently Open Secret: Mounting Evidence of Europe’s Complicity in Rendition and Secret Detention (15 November 2010).

The January 2010 cable reporting on a meeting between the President of Yemen and US military corroborated Amnesty International’s earlier findings that a US cruise missile appeared to have been used in a 17 December 2009 attack on the community of al-Ma’jalah, in the Abyan area in the south of Yemen. Amnesty International had called on the US government to disclose its involvement in the incident – despite the fact that the Yemeni government claimed that it alone had carried it out.

Previous Wikileak releases on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars corroborated information that we received from other sources.  Amnesty International will continue to appraise and cite information from documents provided by Wikileaks that are relevant to human rights issues, alongside many other sources of information.

Are the attempts to extradite Julian Assange for sexual offences in Sweden, politically motivated?

It has been reported that the charges Julian Assange faces in Sweden are not related to the Wikileaks release.  There has been speculation that authorities in Sweden or elsewhere are not handling the case in an ordinary manner, and that the way in which it is being pursued is the result of a more general targeting of Julian Assange for the actions of Wikileaks.  As yet, Amnesty International does not haveinformation that would allow us either to confirm or to dispel such speculation.

As in any other criminal case, due process should be followed, and Amnesty International will be monitoring the progress of the case closely.

What is Amnesty International’s position on the most recent release of materials by Wikileaks?

Amnesty International welcomes efforts to put information about human rights abuses in the public domain. Wikileaks have publicly announced that they will release thousands of documents gradually over the coming weeks or months, and Amnesty International will carefully study any documents that appear to concern human rights abuses.

While not all of the documents being released by Wikileaks at the moment are relevant to human rights abuses, we would stress that the right to freedom of expression includes the right to receive and impart all kinds of information, subject only to narrowly-defined exceptions.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

96 thoughts on “Q&A: Wikileaks and Freedom of Expression

  1. Just one thing to say: All wikileaks says is true, but a inconvenient true for the US governement.

    Bye Freedom of expression.

  2. Wikileaks has the right to speak.. because the US government was unable to keep their secrets properly hidden..so they can't blame others how they could reach to their secrets…because US secret cables are disclosed they are now the ownership of the public

  3. Just one thing to say: All wikileaks says is true, but a inconvenient true for the US governement.

    Bye Freedom of expression.

  4. Wikileaks has the right to speak.. because the US government was unable to keep their secrets properly hidden..so they can’t blame others how they could reach to their secrets…because US secret cables are disclosed they are now the ownership of the public

  5. LOS 10 MADAMIENTOS DE SOBRE LIBERTAD DE INFORMACIÓN

    1. La consolidación y desarrollo de la democracia depende de la existencia de libertad de expresión;
    2. El derecho a la libertad de expresión es esencial para el desarrollo del conocimiento y del entendimiento entre los pueblos, ya que conduce a una verdadera comprensión y cooperación entre las naciones del hemisferio;
    3. Cuando se obstaculiza el libre debate de ideas y opiniones se limita la libertad de expresión y el efectivo desarrollo del proceso democrático;
    4. Garantizando el derecho de acceso a la información se consigue una mayor transparencia de los actos del gobierno afianzando las instituciones democráticas;
    5. el derecho a la libertad de expresión comprende la libertad de buscar, recibir y difundir informaciones e ideas sin consideración de fronteras y por cualquier medio de transmisión, mediante los cuales los ciudadanos ejercen su derecho a recibir, difundir y buscar información;
    6. La libertad de expresión no es una concesión de los Estados, sino un derecho fundamental;
    7. Toda persona tiene el derecho a buscar, recibir y difundir información y opiniones libremente.
    8. El acceso a la información en poder del Estado es un derecho fundamental de los individuos. Los Estados están obligados a garantizar el ejercicio de este derecho.
    9. La censura previa, interferencia o presión directa o indirecta sobre cualquier expresión, opinión o información difundida a través de cualquier medio de comunicación oral, escrito, artístico, visual o electrónico, debe estar prohibida por la ley.
    10. La actividad periodística debe regirse por conductas éticas, las cuales en ningún caso pueden ser impuestas por los Estados.
    Los gobiernos democráticos tienen la obligación legal de respetar Wikileaks, y la libertad de “Julian Assangne” de no ser así se convertirían en gobiernos dictatoriales y opresores. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7CBKT0PWFA&fe

  6. LOS 10 MADAMIENTOS DE SOBRE LIBERTAD DE INFORMACIÓN

    1. La consolidación y desarrollo de la democracia depende de la existencia de libertad de expresión;
    2. El derecho a la libertad de expresión es esencial para el desarrollo del conocimiento y del entendimiento entre los pueblos, ya que conduce a una verdadera comprensión y cooperación entre las naciones del hemisferio;
    3. Cuando se obstaculiza el libre debate de ideas y opiniones se limita la libertad de expresión y el efectivo desarrollo del proceso democrático;
    4. Garantizando el derecho de acceso a la información se consigue una mayor transparencia de los actos del gobierno afianzando las instituciones democráticas;
    5. el derecho a la libertad de expresión comprende la libertad de buscar, recibir y difundir informaciones e ideas sin consideración de fronteras y por cualquier medio de transmisión, mediante los cuales los ciudadanos ejercen su derecho a recibir, difundir y buscar información;
    6. La libertad de expresión no es una concesión de los Estados, sino un derecho fundamental;
    7. Toda persona tiene el derecho a buscar, recibir y difundir información y opiniones libremente.
    8. El acceso a la información en poder del Estado es un derecho fundamental de los individuos. Los Estados están obligados a garantizar el ejercicio de este derecho.
    9. La censura previa, interferencia o presión directa o indirecta sobre cualquier expresión, opinión o información difundida a través de cualquier medio de comunicación oral, escrito, artístico, visual o electrónico, debe estar prohibida por la ley.
    10. La actividad periodística debe regirse por conductas éticas, las cuales en ningún caso pueden ser impuestas por los Estados.
    Los gobiernos democráticos tienen la obligación legal de respetar Wikileaks, y la libertad de “Julian Assangne” de no ser así se convertirían en gobiernos dictatoriales y opresores. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7CBKT0PWFA&fe

  7. LOS 10 MADAMIENTOS DE SOBRE LIBERTAD DE INFORMACIÓN

    1. La consolidación y desarrollo de la democracia depende de la existencia de libertad de expresión;
    2. El derecho a la libertad de expresión es esencial para el desarrollo del conocimiento y del entendimiento entre los pueblos, ya que conduce a una verdadera comprensión y cooperación entre las naciones del hemisferio;
    3. Cuando se obstaculiza el libre debate de ideas y opiniones se limita la libertad de expresión y el efectivo desarrollo del proceso democrático;
    4. Garantizando el derecho de acceso a la información se consigue una mayor transparencia de los actos del gobierno afianzando las instituciones democráticas;
    5. el derecho a la libertad de expresión comprende la libertad de buscar, recibir y difundir informaciones e ideas sin consideración de fronteras y por cualquier medio de transmisión, mediante los cuales los ciudadanos ejercen su derecho a recibir, difundir y buscar información;
    6. La libertad de expresión no es una concesión de los Estados, sino un derecho fundamental;
    7. Toda persona tiene el derecho a buscar, recibir y difundir información y opiniones libremente.
    8. El acceso a la información en poder del Estado es un derecho fundamental de los individuos. Los Estados están obligados a garantizar el ejercicio de este derecho.
    9. La censura previa, interferencia o presión directa o indirecta sobre cualquier expresión, opinión o información difundida a través de cualquier medio de comunicación oral, escrito, artístico, visual o electrónico, debe estar prohibida por la ley.
    10. La actividad periodística debe regirse por conductas éticas, las cuales en ningún caso pueden ser impuestas por los Estados.
    Los gobiernos democráticos tienen la obligación legal de respetar Wikileaks, y la libertad de “Julian Assangne” de no ser así se convertirían en gobiernos dictatoriales y opresores. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7CBKT0PWFA&fe

  8. Obama … who promised transparent government … his administration, as bad as Bush's at coverups… & Eric Holder, derelict in his duty by letting the real criminals go free ….ought to be in the dock, not Assange & Wikileaks.

    As for the media business houses who denounce Wikileaks' disclosures … people like that insufferable, spluttering Wolf Blitzer …… they've strangled & buried investigative journalism under the thin sheet ice of their own "news" coverage ….. & are now outraged that Assange & Wikileaks have disintered the corpse &, Frankensteinlike, restored it to life ….

    Let's not run screaming from this Lazarus, but hosanna Assange & his disciples for the miracle.

    For Wikileaks, be it remembered, IS a NEWS OUTLET , supposed to be digging up the truth…

    & it HAS done its duty …. at great individual & organizational peril from the clawing clutches of the howling Pharisees….

    Today all true journalists are in personal & professional peril …. Remember Helen Thomas, drummed out of her lifelong role at the White House amidst cries of condemnation from these same media businesses merely for speaking her mind & the truth in one single short sentence ?

    America today deserves ……. & needs ….. Wikileaks & Julian Assange.

    For she has become a far greater danger to journalism & the revelation of the truth than all the death squads that disappear reporters & investigators around the world.

  9. LOS 10 MADAMIENTOS DE SOBRE LIBERTAD DE INFORMACIÓN

    1. La consolidación y desarrollo de la democracia depende de la existencia de libertad de expresión;
    2. El derecho a la libertad de expresión es esencial para el desarrollo del conocimiento y del entendimiento entre los pueblos, ya que conduce a una verdadera comprensión y cooperación entre las naciones del hemisferio;
    3. Cuando se obstaculiza el libre debate de ideas y opiniones se limita la libertad de expresión y el efectivo desarrollo del proceso democrático;
    4. Garantizando el derecho de acceso a la información se consigue una mayor transparencia de los actos del gobierno afianzando las instituciones democráticas;
    5. el derecho a la libertad de expresión comprende la libertad de buscar, recibir y difundir informaciones e ideas sin consideración de fronteras y por cualquier medio de transmisión, mediante los cuales los ciudadanos ejercen su derecho a recibir, difundir y buscar información;
    6. La libertad de expresión no es una concesión de los Estados, sino un derecho fundamental;
    7. Toda persona tiene el derecho a buscar, recibir y difundir información y opiniones libremente.
    8. El acceso a la información en poder del Estado es un derecho fundamental de los individuos. Los Estados están obligados a garantizar el ejercicio de este derecho.
    9. La censura previa, interferencia o presión directa o indirecta sobre cualquier expresión, opinión o información difundida a través de cualquier medio de comunicación oral, escrito, artístico, visual o electrónico, debe estar prohibida por la ley.
    10. La actividad periodística debe regirse por conductas éticas, las cuales en ningún caso pueden ser impuestas por los Estados.
    Los gobiernos democráticos tienen la obligación legal de respetar Wikileaks, y la libertad de “Julian Assangne” de no ser así se convertirían en gobiernos dictatoriales y opresores. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7CBKT0PWFA&feature=related

  10. It is really entertaining to read these perspectives.

    1. Whether Assange ("the messenger/distributor/ JOURNALIST") is guilty of a crime as it relates to collecting and posting highly classified/sensitive in nature documents is debatable. HOWEVER, It is a certain FACT that the docs appearing in wikileaks proceeded a criminal theft and espionage. PFC Manning for example is Assange's "collateral damage". I doubt the founder of wikileaks gives a damn.

    2. Much of what is being released has little to do with "communicating evidence about human rights violations". Aimed only at weakening diplomatic ties and embarrasing all parties involved.

    3. Much of what is being released places members of the military and those cooperating with coalition forces in greater danger.

    4. Assange is sitting in jail cause of a totally unrelated charge. Had he not been a rapist and sexual molester authorities wouldn't have the "excuse" to arrest him.

    5. Whether free to distribute classified docs or not…. Assange is a dirtbag, I hope he rots from the rape charges.

    6. I tip my hat to Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and "Jester" and other "hacktivists".

    Wikileaks sux.

  11. Obama … who promised transparent government … his administration, as bad as Bush’s at coverups… & Eric Holder, derelict in his duty by letting the real criminals go free ….ought to be in the dock, not Assange & Wikileaks.

    As for the media business houses who denounce Wikileaks’ disclosures … people like that insufferable, spluttering Wolf Blitzer …… they’ve strangled & buried investigative journalism under the thin sheet ice of their own “news” coverage ….. & are now outraged that Assange & Wikileaks have disintered the corpse &, Frankensteinlike, restored it to life ….

    Let’s not run screaming from this Lazarus, but hosanna Assange & his disciples for the miracle.

    For Wikileaks, be it remembered, IS a NEWS OUTLET , supposed to be digging up the truth…

    & it HAS done its duty …. at great individual & organizational peril from the clawing clutches of the howling Pharisees….

    Today all true journalists are in personal & professional peril …. Remember Helen Thomas, drummed out of her lifelong role at the White House amidst cries of condemnation from these same media businesses merely for speaking her mind & the truth in one single short sentence ?

    America today deserves ……. & needs ….. Wikileaks & Julian Assange.

    For she has become a far greater danger to journalism & the revelation of the truth than all the death squads that disappear reporters & investigators around the world.

  12. @T. Martinez
    amazing how you (apparently judge and jury) have convicted Mr Assange even before he has been formally charged with anything.

    You are a the perfect example of why we need openness and a "free" exchange of information. The most recent reports have stated that the women had no intention of seeking charges against Mr Assange. Its curious how you are so sure that he is a "rapist and sexual molester" when no such allegations have been made.
    from all reports this incident is all about "he said he would call me" and he didn't.

    its astounding the ignorance of some people, and that is precisely what the governments rely on to operate in secrecy as they are well aware if the public knew what was going on they would most likely revolt.

  13. It is really entertaining to read these perspectives.

    1. Whether Assange (“the messenger/distributor/ JOURNALIST”) is guilty of a crime as it relates to collecting and posting highly classified/sensitive in nature documents is debatable. HOWEVER, It is a certain FACT that the docs appearing in wikileaks proceeded a criminal theft and espionage. PFC Manning for example is Assange’s “collateral damage”. I doubt the founder of wikileaks gives a damn.

    2. Much of what is being released has little to do with “communicating evidence about human rights violations”. Aimed only at weakening diplomatic ties and embarrasing all parties involved.

    3. Much of what is being released places members of the military and those cooperating with coalition forces in greater danger.

    4. Assange is sitting in jail cause of a totally unrelated charge. Had he not been a rapist and sexual molester authorities wouldn’t have the “excuse” to arrest him.

    5. Whether free to distribute classified docs or not…. Assange is a dirtbag, I hope he rots from the rape charges.

    6. I tip my hat to Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and “Jester” and other “hacktivists”.

    Wikileaks sux.

  14. @T. Martinez
    amazing how you (apparently judge and jury) have convicted Mr Assange even before he has been formally charged with anything.

    You are a the perfect example of why we need openness and a “free” exchange of information. The most recent reports have stated that the women had no intention of seeking charges against Mr Assange. Its curious how you are so sure that he is a “rapist and sexual molester” when no such allegations have been made.
    from all reports this incident is all about “he said he would call me” and he didn’t.

    its astounding the ignorance of some people, and that is precisely what the governments rely on to operate in secrecy as they are well aware if the public knew what was going on they would most likely revolt.

  15. Yes thank you Dave C. innocent until proven guilty. I do not (nor do I have or want the authority to) serve as Judge and Jury. He'll have his day in court.

    "From all reports"…"He said he would call me"… I beg to differ.

    We will see.

    But to suggest obtaining stolen classified documents and being free to simply post them on the web as a "freedom of expression" is silly. I'm hopeful those that disagree will one day see the light and understand the bigger picture and likely consequences.

    Besides, If I had an acquanintance that conspired to break into your home, your computer et.al (with no warrant or legal authority to do so)… he passes to me all that info he found and I inturn exercise my "freedom of expression" and share all the dirty secrets, bank accounts, family info… with the world —- I doubt you would be quick to come to my defense.

  16. I appreciate AI's measured response in this Q&A, particularly that they do not seem to be devoting resources to the defense of these highly questionable activities.

    The diplomatic cable "leaks" have no aspect of journalism nor of expression to them. More like some prankster who throws a bag of excrement into a fan, then claims merely to be farming because surely something will be fertilized somewhere.

    The origins and initial purpose of Wikileaks could even be considered noble but are far removed from the current crop of reckless self-promoting stunts.

  17. Yes thank you Dave C. innocent until proven guilty. I do not (nor do I have or want the authority to) serve as Judge and Jury. He’ll have his day in court.

    “From all reports”…”He said he would call me”… I beg to differ.

    We will see.

    But to suggest obtaining stolen classified documents and being free to simply post them on the web as a “freedom of expression” is silly. I’m hopeful those that disagree will one day see the light and understand the bigger picture and likely consequences.

    Besides, If I had an acquanintance that conspired to break into your home, your computer et.al (with no warrant or legal authority to do so)… he passes to me all that info he found and I inturn exercise my “freedom of expression” and share all the dirty secrets, bank accounts, family info… with the world —- I doubt you would be quick to come to my defense.

  18. I appreciate AI’s measured response in this Q&A, particularly that they do not seem to be devoting resources to the defense of these highly questionable activities.

    The diplomatic cable “leaks” have no aspect of journalism nor of expression to them. More like some prankster who throws a bag of excrement into a fan, then claims merely to be farming because surely something will be fertilized somewhere.

    The origins and initial purpose of Wikileaks could even be considered noble but are far removed from the current crop of reckless self-promoting stunts.

  19. Amnesty's equivocation in relation to, and lack of support for, the journalist, Julian Assange, and the media organization, WikiLeaks, is hypocritical and contemptible. I have been a supporter of AI for many years but on Monday I am canceling my monthly donations.

    AI's unwillingness to stand up for his rights, and our rights, against the hysterical threats to get Mr Assange, by 'black ops' or through a perversion of the US Justice system, and the threat to, if necessary, pass retrospective law to justify prosecuting him, show that Congress and the Current Administration have sunk to levels that were not even fathomed during the McCarthy era, back when a 'Red' was feared to be under every bed, and nuclear annihilation seemed imminent.

    What sort of Government and what sort of Congress has the USA now got?

    Since 9/11 the hysteria in the 'Land of the Free' has become more and more shrill, as more and more rights, and lives, have been taken and trampled to defend our "Freedom". Still all we do is largely ignore this increasing assault on Human Rights at home, while we continue to pontificate to the rest of the world about their many Human Rights failings.

    By doing this we just show ourselves as hypocrites; we neither defend their rights nor do we defend our own.

    Meanwhile Mr Assange and WikiLeaks have been considerably more effective than AI in furthering the cause of Human Rights by uncovering solid evidence of abuses.

    And what are we doing in support? Just waiting until we know what has finally happened to him. When something does, as it seems it inevitably will, maybe we can send flowers?

    That would be a very nice touch.

  20. Amnesty’s equivocation in relation to, and lack of support for, the journalist, Julian Assange, and the media organization, WikiLeaks, is hypocritical and contemptible. I have been a supporter of AI for many years but on Monday I am canceling my monthly donations.

    AI’s unwillingness to stand up for his rights, and our rights, against the hysterical threats to get Mr Assange, by ‘black ops’ or through a perversion of the US Justice system, and the threat to, if necessary, pass retrospective law to justify prosecuting him, show that Congress and the Current Administration have sunk to levels that were not even fathomed during the McCarthy era, back when a ‘Red’ was feared to be under every bed, and nuclear annihilation seemed imminent.

    What sort of Government and what sort of Congress has the USA now got?

    Since 9/11 the hysteria in the ‘Land of the Free’ has become more and more shrill, as more and more rights, and lives, have been taken and trampled to defend our “Freedom”. Still all we do is largely ignore this increasing assault on Human Rights at home, while we continue to pontificate to the rest of the world about their many Human Rights failings.

    By doing this we just show ourselves as hypocrites; we neither defend their rights nor do we defend our own.

    Meanwhile Mr Assange and WikiLeaks have been considerably more effective than AI in furthering the cause of Human Rights by uncovering solid evidence of abuses.

    And what are we doing in support? Just waiting until we know what has finally happened to him. When something does, as it seems it inevitably will, maybe we can send flowers?

    That would be a very nice touch.

  21. I used Google translate to read Elizabeth Simon's contribution which is:

    The 10 Commandments ON FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
    1. The consolidation and development of democracy depends on the existence of freedom of expression;
    2. The right to freedom of expression is essential for the development of knowledge and understanding among peoples, leading to a true understanding and cooperation among nations in the hemisphere;
    3. Any obstacle to the free debate of ideas and opinions limits freedom of expression and the effective development of the democratic process;
    4. Guaranteeing the right of access to information gives greater transparency of government actions strengthening of democratic institutions;
    5. the right to freedom of expression includes freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas regardless of frontiers and through any medium of transmission, by which citizens exercise their right to receive, impart and seek information;
    6. Freedom of expression is not a concession by the States, but a fundamental right;
    7. Everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information and opinions freely.
    8. Access to information held by the state is a fundamental right of individuals. States are obliged to guarantee the exercise of this right.
    9. Prior censorship, interference or direct or indirect pressure exerted upon any expression, opinion or information transmitted through any means of oral, written, artistic, visual or electronic communication must be prohibited by law.
    10. Journalistic activities must be guided by ethical conduct, which in no case be imposed by states.
    Democratic governments have a legal obligation to respect Wikileaks, and freedom of "Julian Assangne" otherwise they would become dictatorial and oppressive governments. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7CBKT0PWFA&fe

  22. Mr Martinez's "points"…

    1. The WikiLeaks leakings constitute "criminal theft" & "espionage" ?

    Why ??

    Because they actually reveal the real criminal connections between governments…… & the crimes & illegalities these governments are committing ?

    i think we should all know what's being done … in OUR name … by these governments who steal & trample upon the sovereignty of We the People.

    The leaks constitute "espionage", says Mr Martinez ? "Espionage" for whom ? For "We the People" ? Then it's not espionage, but the revelation of the truth ! For The People have the Right to Know !

    If the exposure of "classified" government documents ( "classified" because they incriminate the same government ) were "criminal theft & espionage", then the revelation of the Pentagon Papers would be …. what? … "grand theft & high treason" ?? !!

    Manning, the soldier, is imprisoned by the US Government ….. BECAUSE he exposed the crimes & murders committed BY the US Army .

    But Mr Martinez puts the blame for his imprisonment on Assange !! i call this "Forktongued duplicity" on Mr Martinez' part. What do you call it ?

    Mr Martinez says WikiLeaks' disclosures endanger the lives of US soldiers .

    Why don't you say openly why they endanger them, Mr Martinez ?

    Because they reveal their warcrimes against civilians, & they will now face the wrath of the Peoples whose lands they've invade ?

    Or should war crimes stay hidden, according to Martinez, so as not to arouse the People's wrath ?… & these criminal wars can then continue ? & that's supposed to be "safer" for the soldiers ?

    Mr Martinez says the cables exposed are not about revealing rights violations … but about "weakening diplomatic ties & embarrassing all parties involved."

    But why would these ties be "weakened" at all ?? …..unless the disclosures exposed the criminal nature of these ties ???

    …. & why would the "parties involved" be "embarrassed" at all … unless what is revealed about them is really & truly "embarrassing" to them ???

    For Assange has never shown any "embarrassment" about the spurious "rape" charges… precisely because he has nothing to be embarrassed about.

    It's Anna Ardin, his accuser, who's quiet about her links to the criminal antiCastro emigre underworld ….which is in cahoots with the CIA.

    Its these 2 women who ought to be "embarrassed" … for boasting about their "conquests" of the celebrity Assange … for throwing a party the day after they'd had sex with him … & now coming out to scream "Rape !" …. & why ?because he didn't stop just before he came ??? … because he didn't confide he'd had sex with someone else ??? … because he didn't call afterwards ???

    It's Sweden which should be embarrassed …. for she's lost all of her former "progressive" reputation…& now has a ludicrous law which makes sex without condoms legally "rape" !! How laughable can you get ?

    & what's the term for anyone who buys this definition & such allegations of "rape" seriously….. & then publicly pretend here to be sanctimonious about this whole "rape" matter ???

  23. I used Google translate to read Elizabeth Simon's contribution which is:

    The 10 Commandments ON FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
    1. The consolidation and development of democracy depends on the existence of freedom of expression;
    2. The right to freedom of expression is essential for the development of knowledge and understanding among peoples, leading to a true understanding and cooperation among nations in the hemisphere;
    3. Any obstacle to the free debate of ideas and opinions limits freedom of expression and the effective development of the democratic process;
    4. Guaranteeing the right of access to information gives greater transparency of government actions strengthening of democratic institutions;
    5. the right to freedom of expression includes freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas regardless of frontiers and through any medium of transmission, by which citizens exercise their right to receive, impart and seek information;
    6. Freedom of expression is not a concession by the States, but a fundamental right;
    7. Everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information and opinions freely.
    8. Access to information held by the state is a fundamental right of individuals. States are obliged to guarantee the exercise of this right.
    9. Prior censorship, interference or direct or indirect pressure exerted upon any expression, opinion or information transmitted through any means of oral, written, artistic, visual or electronic communication must be prohibited by law.
    10. Journalistic activities must be guided by ethical conduct, which in no case be imposed by states.
    Democratic governments have a legal obligation to respect Wikileaks, and freedom of "Julian Assangne" otherwise they would become dictatorial and oppressive governments. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7CBKT0PWFA&fe

  24. I used Google translate to read Elizabeth Simon's contribution which is:

    The 10 Commandments ON FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
    1. The consolidation and development of democracy depends on the existence of freedom of expression;
    2. The right to freedom of expression is essential for the development of knowledge and understanding among peoples, leading to a true understanding and cooperation among nations in the hemisphere;
    3. Any obstacle to the free debate of ideas and opinions limits freedom of expression and the effective development of the democratic process;
    4. Guaranteeing the right of access to information gives greater transparency of government actions strengthening of democratic institutions;
    5. the right to freedom of expression includes freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas regardless of frontiers and through any medium of transmission, by which citizens exercise their right to receive, impart and seek information;
    6. Freedom of expression is not a concession by the States, but a fundamental right;
    7. Everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information and opinions freely.
    8. Access to information held by the state is a fundamental right of individuals. States are obliged to guarantee the exercise of this right.
    9. Prior censorship, interference or direct or indirect pressure exerted upon any expression, opinion or information transmitted through any means of oral, written, artistic, visual or electronic communication must be prohibited by law.
    10. Journalistic activities must be guided by ethical conduct, which in no case be imposed by states.
    Democratic governments have a legal obligation to respect Wikileaks, and freedom of "Julian Assangne" otherwise they would become dictatorial and oppressive governments. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7CBKT0PWFA&fe

  25. Mr Martinez’s “points”…

    1. The WikiLeaks leakings constitute “criminal theft” & “espionage” ?

    Why ??

    Because they actually reveal the real criminal connections between governments…… & the crimes & illegalities these governments are committing ?

    i think we should all know what’s being done … in OUR name … by these governments who steal & trample upon the sovereignty of We the People.

    The leaks constitute “espionage”, says Mr Martinez ? “Espionage” for whom ? For “We the People” ? Then it’s not espionage, but the revelation of the truth ! For The People have the Right to Know !

    If the exposure of “classified” government documents ( “classified” because they incriminate the same government ) were “criminal theft & espionage”, then the revelation of the Pentagon Papers would be …. what? … “grand theft & high treason” ?? !!

    Manning, the soldier, is imprisoned by the US Government ….. BECAUSE he exposed the crimes & murders committed BY the US Army .

    But Mr Martinez puts the blame for his imprisonment on Assange !! i call this “Forktongued duplicity” on Mr Martinez’ part. What do you call it ?

    Mr Martinez says WikiLeaks’ disclosures endanger the lives of US soldiers .

    Why don’t you say openly why they endanger them, Mr Martinez ?

    Because they reveal their warcrimes against civilians, & they will now face the wrath of the Peoples whose lands they’ve invade ?

    Or should war crimes stay hidden, according to Martinez, so as not to arouse the People’s wrath ?… & these criminal wars can then continue ? & that’s supposed to be “safer” for the soldiers ?

    Mr Martinez says the cables exposed are not about revealing rights violations … but about “weakening diplomatic ties & embarrassing all parties involved.”

    But why would these ties be “weakened” at all ?? …..unless the disclosures exposed the criminal nature of these ties ???

    …. & why would the “parties involved” be “embarrassed” at all … unless what is revealed about them is really & truly “embarrassing” to them ???

    For Assange has never shown any “embarrassment” about the spurious “rape” charges… precisely because he has nothing to be embarrassed about.

    It’s Anna Ardin, his accuser, who’s quiet about her links to the criminal antiCastro emigre underworld ….which is in cahoots with the CIA.

    Its these 2 women who ought to be “embarrassed” … for boasting about their “conquests” of the celebrity Assange … for throwing a party the day after they’d had sex with him … & now coming out to scream “Rape !” …. & why ?because he didn’t stop just before he came ??? … because he didn’t confide he’d had sex with someone else ??? … because he didn’t call afterwards ???

    It’s Sweden which should be embarrassed …. for she’s lost all of her former “progressive” reputation…& now has a ludicrous law which makes sex without condoms legally “rape” !! How laughable can you get ?

    & what’s the term for anyone who buys this definition & such allegations of “rape” seriously….. & then publicly pretend here to be sanctimonious about this whole “rape” matter ???

  26. I used Google translate to read Elizabeth Simon’s contribution which is:

    The 10 Commandments ON FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
    1. The consolidation and development of democracy depends on the existence of freedom of expression;
    2. The right to freedom of expression is essential for the development of knowledge and understanding among peoples, leading to a true understanding and cooperation among nations in the hemisphere;
    3. Any obstacle to the free debate of ideas and opinions limits freedom of expression and the effective development of the democratic process;
    4. Guaranteeing the right of access to information gives greater transparency of government actions strengthening of democratic institutions;
    5. the right to freedom of expression includes freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas regardless of frontiers and through any medium of transmission, by which citizens exercise their right to receive, impart and seek information;
    6. Freedom of expression is not a concession by the States, but a fundamental right;
    7. Everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart information and opinions freely.
    8. Access to information held by the state is a fundamental right of individuals. States are obliged to guarantee the exercise of this right.
    9. Prior censorship, interference or direct or indirect pressure exerted upon any expression, opinion or information transmitted through any means of oral, written, artistic, visual or electronic communication must be prohibited by law.
    10. Journalistic activities must be guided by ethical conduct, which in no case be imposed by states.
    Democratic governments have a legal obligation to respect Wikileaks, and freedom of “Julian Assangne” otherwise they would become dictatorial and oppressive governments. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7CBKT0PWFA&feature=related

  27. Mr. A. Savage-

    You seem really good at putting words in other peoples mouth.

    Sir, for th4 record, I am not defending illegal actions taken by any member of/ or any Government. Nor am I suggesting it is OK to just throw a Top Secret classification on a document for the simple reason it would cause embarrassment or be uneasy for some to deal with. Similarly, I don't think throwing a name tag on your shirt that says "Journalist" is a worthy defense after you distributed classified documents that have been illegally obtained.

    Certainly not a crime to the level of rape, murder, genocide etc… But a crime none the less – and with deadly consequences. Assange at the top – and his PFC Bradley Manning's doing the work.

  28. Oh… and Manning sits in an Army Brig because he violated the UCMJ – and purposefully was derelict in duty by releasing those highly classified documents.

    Similarly, SGT Joe Darby committed no security violations or crimes in his role to blow the top of the Abu Ghraib scandal. He is a free man.

    Hmmmm… So the U.S. Government tosses one in jail in your words "BECAUSE he exposed the crimes & murders committed BY the US Army"…. The other walks a free man and is the recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile In Courage Award.

    You can be a whistleblower without breaking the law.

  29. Mr. A. Savage-

    You seem really good at putting words in other peoples mouth.

    Sir, for th4 record, I am not defending illegal actions taken by any member of/ or any Government. Nor am I suggesting it is OK to just throw a Top Secret classification on a document for the simple reason it would cause embarrassment or be uneasy for some to deal with. Similarly, I don’t think throwing a name tag on your shirt that says “Journalist” is a worthy defense after you distributed classified documents that have been illegally obtained.

    Certainly not a crime to the level of rape, murder, genocide etc… But a crime none the less – and with deadly consequences. Assange at the top – and his PFC Bradley Manning’s doing the work.

  30. Oh… and Manning sits in an Army Brig because he violated the UCMJ – and purposefully was derelict in duty by releasing those highly classified documents.

    Similarly, SGT Joe Darby committed no security violations or crimes in his role to blow the top of the Abu Ghraib scandal. He is a free man.

    Hmmmm… So the U.S. Government tosses one in jail in your words “BECAUSE he exposed the crimes & murders committed BY the US Army”…. The other walks a free man and is the recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile In Courage Award.

    You can be a whistleblower without breaking the law.

  31. Sanity, Amnesty! You and Daniel Ellsberg both — are sanity in the turbulant
    chest thumping bombastic turbulance.

    More!

    LarryE.

  32. Mr Martinez,

    You are a wonderful upholder of the "law"……

    Then you must be on the same side as WikiLeaks & Manning, fighting against an illegal war.

    For that's exactly what the Iraq war is ……. an ILLEGAL war.

    Ratified & approved by neither the UN Security Council …nor Congress.

    Did you protest this illegal war ?

    Or is your kind of "law" only for the prosecution of war …& for the prosecution of those who fight against war at the risk of their own freedom ?

    For the "law" can be used any way the ruling elite wants to.

    Daniel Ellsberg leaked th Pentagon Papers to stop the Vietnam War … expecting to be prosecuted by the law & go to prison for life.

    Manning leaked hundreds of thousands of cables, etc which he says show terrible "crimes".

    Like the "Collateral Murder" video which showed US soldiers in an Apache 'copter murdering a dozen civilians.

    The civilians were unarmed….

    They were in an area where there were no armed insurgents….

    The soldiers doing the killings were saying, "Oh yeah, look at all those dead bastards."

    They didn't let anyone help the wounded Iraqis.

    They killed all the wounded… & then drove a tank over their bodies.

    A journalist was among the wounded. The soldiers drove the tank over him, cutting him in two.

    The US commanders didn't let the two wounded children there be taken to a US field hospital.

    A soldier who tried to lift one of the children into a military jeep was reprimanded, & had to leave the child.

    Where's your "Law" for prosecuting these murderers??

    The US Central Command exonerated the soldiers …… & refused to reopen the investigation.

    Reporters Without Borders says, "If this young soldier had not leaked the video, we would have no evidence of what was clearly a serious abuse on th part of the US military."

    Manning says he did the leakings to "hopefully [ spark ] wordwide discussion, debates, and reforms, if not …. we are doomed as a species."

    His aim, he says, is for "people to see the truth … because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public."

    Or do you suggest he should have kept silent ???

    Then your position is the same as the Nazis' at Nuremberg, or Sargeant Calley's at My Lai.

    As for the US Central Command that exonerates & continues to protect these murderers in your uniforms….. & the US administrations that continue to do the same … what do you call their criminal illegalities, Mr T Martinez ?

    According to you yourself, murder is worse than leaking documents .

    What "law" do you suggest against such criminals & their enablers, their protectors ?

  33. Sanity, Amnesty! You and Daniel Ellsberg both — are sanity in the turbulant
    chest thumping bombastic turbulance.

    More!

    LarryE.

  34. Mr Martinez,

    You are a wonderful upholder of the “law”……

    Then you must be on the same side as WikiLeaks & Manning, fighting against an illegal war.

    For that’s exactly what the Iraq war is ……. an ILLEGAL war.

    Ratified & approved by neither the UN Security Council …nor Congress.

    Did you protest this illegal war ?

    Or is your kind of “law” only for the prosecution of war …& for the prosecution of those who fight against war at the risk of their own freedom ?

    For the “law” can be used any way the ruling elite wants to.

    Daniel Ellsberg leaked th Pentagon Papers to stop the Vietnam War … expecting to be prosecuted by the law & go to prison for life.

    Manning leaked hundreds of thousands of cables, etc which he says show terrible “crimes”.

    Like the “Collateral Murder” video which showed US soldiers in an Apache ‘copter murdering a dozen civilians.

    The civilians were unarmed….

    They were in an area where there were no armed insurgents….

    The soldiers doing the killings were saying, “Oh yeah, look at all those dead bastards.”

    They didn’t let anyone help the wounded Iraqis.

    They killed all the wounded… & then drove a tank over their bodies.

    A journalist was among the wounded. The soldiers drove the tank over him, cutting him in two.

    The US commanders didn’t let the two wounded children there be taken to a US field hospital.

    A soldier who tried to lift one of the children into a military jeep was reprimanded, & had to leave the child.

    Where’s your “Law” for prosecuting these murderers??

    The US Central Command exonerated the soldiers …… & refused to reopen the investigation.

    Reporters Without Borders says, “If this young soldier had not leaked the video, we would have no evidence of what was clearly a serious abuse on th part of the US military.”

    Manning says he did the leakings to “hopefully [ spark ] wordwide discussion, debates, and reforms, if not …. we are doomed as a species.”

    His aim, he says, is for “people to see the truth … because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.”

    Or do you suggest he should have kept silent ???

    Then your position is the same as the Nazis’ at Nuremberg, or Sargeant Calley’s at My Lai.

    As for the US Central Command that exonerates & continues to protect these murderers in your uniforms….. & the US administrations that continue to do the same … what do you call their criminal illegalities, Mr T Martinez ?

    According to you yourself, murder is worse than leaking documents .

    What “law” do you suggest against such criminals & their enablers, their protectors ?

  35. Ive met many iraqis happy we were there. Not defending the actions of those responsible for the death of those civilians noted above. But to suggest the whole Iraq war is illegal? You should recall congress voting authorizing use of force and the UN violations leading up. I know personally iraqi civilians thrilled to be liberated, thrilled to VOTE, and thrilled Saddam and his sons are pushing up daisies.

  36. MSG

    I find your claims difficult to believe. There are now millions of Iraqi refugees in the surrounding countries because if you can get out of Iraq you get out of Iraq. The sectarian and al Qaeda violence continues. The numbers of dead are a minimum hundreds of thousands. There was no al Qadea in Iraq before the invasion. As a result of the war Iraq became one giant recruitment ground. We are much less safe now, in terms of terrorism, than we were then. People in Islamic countries hate us even more than the did before. The mess in Iraq is great recruitment material for those who wish to do us harm. A great monument they can point to to claim that we are morally depraved and deserving of their terrorist intents.

    The Iraq adventure wasted resources and took attention away from Afghanistan and the hunt for bin Laden. The whole thing has been a one complete bungled disaster after another.

    Some may get pleasure from the demise of Saddam and his sons, and many of them may be Iraqi, but the price, destruction of so many lives, the country of Iraq, and the increased threat of terrorism, worldwide, should mean that any sensible person would have to admit that the war was a mistake and has been a price far to large to pay.

    Saddly, the Iraqis were far better off under Saddam than they are now. Sure they get a vote, but their vote is as worthless as in Zimbabwe. They don't have democracy and they are less likely to evolve into a democracy than they were under Saddam.

    Also, the Congress did not vote on the war. The security council did not vote on or authorize the war. It is questionable, anyway, if either Congress or the security council have the authority under international law to authorize this type of pre-emptive war. The reasons for the war were nothing but obvious lies, proven lies now in hindsight, but obviously so before hand.

    Other than your errors of fact, and your analysis, you are entirely correct, of course.

  37. Ive met many iraqis happy we were there. Not defending the actions of those responsible for the death of those civilians noted above. But to suggest the whole Iraq war is illegal? You should recall congress voting authorizing use of force and the UN violations leading up. I know personally iraqi civilians thrilled to be liberated, thrilled to VOTE, and thrilled Saddam and his sons are pushing up daisies.

  38. MSG

    I find your claims difficult to believe. There are now millions of Iraqi refugees in the surrounding countries because if you can get out of Iraq you get out of Iraq. The sectarian and al Qaeda violence continues. The numbers of dead are a minimum hundreds of thousands. There was no al Qadea in Iraq before the invasion. As a result of the war Iraq became one giant recruitment ground. We are much less safe now, in terms of terrorism, than we were then. People in Islamic countries hate us even more than the did before. The mess in Iraq is great recruitment material for those who wish to do us harm. A great monument they can point to to claim that we are morally depraved and deserving of their terrorist intents.

    The Iraq adventure wasted resources and took attention away from Afghanistan and the hunt for bin Laden. The whole thing has been a one complete bungled disaster after another.

    Some may get pleasure from the demise of Saddam and his sons, and many of them may be Iraqi, but the price, destruction of so many lives, the country of Iraq, and the increased threat of terrorism, worldwide, should mean that any sensible person would have to admit that the war was a mistake and has been a price far to large to pay.

    Saddly, the Iraqis were far better off under Saddam than they are now. Sure they get a vote, but their vote is as worthless as in Zimbabwe. They don’t have democracy and they are less likely to evolve into a democracy than they were under Saddam.

    Also, the Congress did not vote on the war. The security council did not vote on or authorize the war. It is questionable, anyway, if either Congress or the security council have the authority under international law to authorize this type of pre-emptive war. The reasons for the war were nothing but obvious lies, proven lies now in hindsight, but obviously so before hand.

    Other than your errors of fact, and your analysis, you are entirely correct, of course.

  39. @ Rohan !!

    U R a Terrorist – U Have no right to talk or Post in this forum. Wiki Leaks basically have made you Terrorists Naked. Wikileaks spoke of how some in the west wanted to save your sorry rectums and how legal governments were let down.

  40. AI lawyers please note that if Assange is released on bail, the US politicians calling for his death may be silenced by injunction (for inciting violence) under the US case authority Brandenburg v Ohio (1969).
    The legal test is provoking 'imminent lawless action', which may well apply to an unprotected man under house arrest by electronic monitoring. It would be nice to show some of these powerful people they are not above the law.
    So how about some action?

  41. Peter C

    Well i got my "news" and perspective with my own two eyes and ears. Face to face with those i met. But stay tuned to msnbc so that you may chape your perspective and views.

    As far as alqaeda they are resp. for alqaeda. They brought the fight to iraq uninvited by the iraqis and only cause it got there boxers in a twist cause we dared bring democracy to Iraq.

  42. @ Rohan !!

    U R a Terrorist – U Have no right to talk or Post in this forum. Wiki Leaks basically have made you Terrorists Naked. Wikileaks spoke of how some in the west wanted to save your sorry rectums and how legal governments were let down.

  43. AI lawyers please note that if Assange is released on bail, the US politicians calling for his death may be silenced by injunction (for inciting violence) under the US case authority Brandenburg v Ohio (1969).
    The legal test is provoking ‘imminent lawless action’, which may well apply to an unprotected man under house arrest by electronic monitoring. It would be nice to show some of these powerful people they are not above the law.
    So how about some action?

  44. Peter C

    Well i got my “news” and perspective with my own two eyes and ears. Face to face with those i met. But stay tuned to msnbc so that you may chape your perspective and views.

    As far as alqaeda they are resp. for alqaeda. They brought the fight to iraq uninvited by the iraqis and only cause it got there boxers in a twist cause we dared bring democracy to Iraq.

  45. MSG

    Seems your "news" is 'fair and balanced' as in "Fox News".

    True, the Iraqis didn't invite al Qaeda to Iraq.

    We did.

    And they took that invitation with both hands.

    And as for:
    "…cause we dared bring democracy to Iraq."

    Well, it sure didn't last long. Although, putting out the Welcome Mat to al Qaeda has persisted.

    But, if indeed we had managed that 'bringing democracy' for even a second…

    How about you manage to bring some of that 'democracy' back home?

    And think about how we look overseas – a country with a lynch mob mentality, running to the highest office, a lynch mob mentality that threatens any individual with death who dares to exercise their freedom of speech to say something we disagree with.

    Shame on us.

  46. Time magazine can make Hitler "Person of the Year", in times gone past. Why? Because Time doesn't make moral judgements on the choice, so it says.

    However, Time is too timid to make Julian Assange "Person of the Year". Why?

    Well, the US government had not expressed displeasure in relation to Hitler at the time when he was made person of the year, and back then corporations did not take their orders from government, but, in a manner similar to any totalitarian and repressive reqime, the Obama government has directed PayPal, MasterCard and Visa not to handle donations to Wikileaks. Clearly, Time magazine as well simply operates as another extension of US government policy.

    When did our Freedoms go?

    Was it suddenly one night, or did they simply slip away one by one?

    Zuckerberg? Facebook? So yesterday.

    I hope sales of Time magazine evaporate as a result of their timidity.

  47. MSG

    Seems your “news” is ‘fair and balanced’ as in “Fox News”.

    True, the Iraqis didn’t invite al Qaeda to Iraq.

    We did.

    And they took that invitation with both hands.

    And as for:
    “…cause we dared bring democracy to Iraq.”

    Well, it sure didn’t last long. Although, putting out the Welcome Mat to al Qaeda has persisted.

    But, if indeed we had managed that ‘bringing democracy’ for even a second…

    How about you manage to bring some of that ‘democracy’ back home?

    And think about how we look overseas – a country with a lynch mob mentality, running to the highest office, a lynch mob mentality that threatens any individual with death who dares to exercise their freedom of speech to say something we disagree with.

    Shame on us.

  48. Time magazine can make Hitler “Person of the Year”, in times gone past. Why? Because Time doesn’t make moral judgements on the choice, so it says.

    However, Time is too timid to make Julian Assange “Person of the Year”. Why?

    Well, the US government had not expressed displeasure in relation to Hitler at the time when he was made person of the year, and back then corporations did not take their orders from government, but, in a manner similar to any totalitarian and repressive reqime, the Obama government has directed PayPal, MasterCard and Visa not to handle donations to Wikileaks. Clearly, Time magazine as well simply operates as another extension of US government policy.

    When did our Freedoms go?

    Was it suddenly one night, or did they simply slip away one by one?

    Zuckerberg? Facebook? So yesterday.

    I hope sales of Time magazine evaporate as a result of their timidity.

  49. Mr Allen says i "suggest" the whole Iraq war is "illegal".

    Oh no, i don't "suggest" … i assert.

    & Afganistan as well …. but here i'll stick to Iraq.

    1. Iraq is a SOVEREIGN STATE … or was, before the invasion & the Occupation by the US Army.

    A sovereign state can't just be invaded as you please without trashing international law.

    2. In the prelude to invasion, Bush called "911" an "act of war".

    But 911 was NOT what is traditionally defined as an act of war, which definition is the following … one STATE militarily attacking ANOTHER.

    3. But Bush couldn't use the War Powers Resolution to justify the invasion of Iraq. No proof linked Iraq to 911.

    4. So he & his people searched for a justification to invade … & finally came up with the DOCTRINE OF PREEMPTIVE STRIKE.

    Did this doctrine have a precedent ?

    Oh yes, it did !!

    At the Nuremberg trials for tbe Nazis, the lawyers for the Nazi war criminals used this docrine in their clients' defense !!

    They said that the Nazi government had the right to go to war in self defense if they saw the need to defend their country, & no one could tell them differently.

    Just like Bush … the same thinking !!

    & that argument, that "defense", was totally rejected by the Nuremberg Tribunal.

    5. Benjamin Ferencz was a chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials.

    After Iraq was invaded by Bush in 2003, Ferencz, then 87 years old, said,
    "Nuremberg declared that aggressive war is the supreme international crime."

    He then compared Bush to Saddam ……… & said both of them should be tried for their war crimes…..

    Saddam for invading Kuwait ……… & Bush for invading Iraq !!

    6. Mr Allen speaks of "congress voting authorizing use of force & the UN violations leading up"… trying to make it look like the UN was involved in this process.

    Actually the question of the UN's role came up in Britain ( for one ) when, just before the invasion, in 2003, Tony Blair asked his people for input about the legality of such an invasion.

    Britain's Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, replied on the issue of the legality in March 2003.

    He said the US held Iraq to be in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 687.

    But, said Goldsmith, only the UN Security Council ITSELF could decide if this was the case…. that Iraq had violated the Resolution.

    Then he commented drily :

    "The US have a rather different view : they maintain that the fact of whether Iraq is in breach is a matter of objective fact which may …. be assessed by individual Member States. I am not aware of any other state which supports this view."

    ***********

    Mr Allen knows "many" happy Iraqis.

    None of them are among the 1.5 million Iraqis dead from the invasion & the violent US Occupation.

    Or the 4 million refugees from the same.

    Or the Shia, Sunni, & Kurd peoples so alienated from each other today that Iraq is no longer an unified state or a single nation anymore !!

    Mr Allen still calls this Iraq's "liberation" ….

    He still believes in Bush's Operation Iraqi Liberation …. OIL !!!!!!!

    Oh yes … "OIL" !!!

    He's even so clumsy in his rhetoric as to brag, " we dared bring democracy to Iraq" !

    He doesn't even know such language died with Kipling & the "white man's burden" ……… when the white race supposedly brought "civilization" to the natives it invaded.

    Iraq today has such a "democracy" that , all these months after being elected, Allawi's coalition can't even take power !!

    It's such a "democracy" that, whenever there's a real internal crisis, Iraq asks for … oh, yes !! … Iranian intervention to come & save her & enable the government's smooth functioning !!!

    You fools … you enable your worst enemies … you even ensure generations of such enemies for your children's children …. & brag about THAT as a "Victory" !

  50. Mr Allen says i “suggest” the whole Iraq war is “illegal”.

    Oh no, i don’t “suggest” … i assert.

    & Afganistan as well …. but here i’ll stick to Iraq.

    1. Iraq is a SOVEREIGN STATE … or was, before the invasion & the Occupation by the US Army.

    A sovereign state can’t just be invaded as you please without trashing international law.

    2. In the prelude to invasion, Bush called “911″ an “act of war”.

    But 911 was NOT what is traditionally defined as an act of war, which definition is the following … one STATE militarily attacking ANOTHER.

    3. But Bush couldn’t use the War Powers Resolution to justify the invasion of Iraq. No proof linked Iraq to 911.

    4. So he & his people searched for a justification to invade … & finally came up with the DOCTRINE OF PREEMPTIVE STRIKE.

    Did this doctrine have a precedent ?

    Oh yes, it did !!

    At the Nuremberg trials for tbe Nazis, the lawyers for the Nazi war criminals used this docrine in their clients’ defense !!

    They said that the Nazi government had the right to go to war in self defense if they saw the need to defend their country, & no one could tell them differently.

    Just like Bush … the same thinking !!

    & that argument, that “defense”, was totally rejected by the Nuremberg Tribunal.

    5. Benjamin Ferencz was a chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials.

    After Iraq was invaded by Bush in 2003, Ferencz, then 87 years old, said,
    “Nuremberg declared that aggressive war is the supreme international crime.”

    He then compared Bush to Saddam ……… & said both of them should be tried for their war crimes…..

    Saddam for invading Kuwait ……… & Bush for invading Iraq !!

    6. Mr Allen speaks of “congress voting authorizing use of force & the UN violations leading up”… trying to make it look like the UN was involved in this process.

    Actually the question of the UN’s role came up in Britain ( for one ) when, just before the invasion, in 2003, Tony Blair asked his people for input about the legality of such an invasion.

    Britain’s Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, replied on the issue of the legality in March 2003.

    He said the US held Iraq to be in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 687.

    But, said Goldsmith, only the UN Security Council ITSELF could decide if this was the case…. that Iraq had violated the Resolution.

    Then he commented drily :

    “The US have a rather different view : they maintain that the fact of whether Iraq is in breach is a matter of objective fact which may …. be assessed by individual Member States. I am not aware of any other state which supports this view.”

    ***********

    Mr Allen knows “many” happy Iraqis.

    None of them are among the 1.5 million Iraqis dead from the invasion & the violent US Occupation.

    Or the 4 million refugees from the same.

    Or the Shia, Sunni, & Kurd peoples so alienated from each other today that Iraq is no longer an unified state or a single nation anymore !!

    Mr Allen still calls this Iraq’s “liberation” ….

    He still believes in Bush’s Operation Iraqi Liberation …. OIL !!!!!!!

    Oh yes … “OIL” !!!

    He’s even so clumsy in his rhetoric as to brag, ” we dared bring democracy to Iraq” !

    He doesn’t even know such language died with Kipling & the “white man’s burden” ……… when the white race supposedly brought “civilization” to the natives it invaded.

    Iraq today has such a “democracy” that , all these months after being elected, Allawi’s coalition can’t even take power !!

    It’s such a “democracy” that, whenever there’s a real internal crisis, Iraq asks for … oh, yes !! … Iranian intervention to come & save her & enable the government’s smooth functioning !!!

    You fools … you enable your worst enemies … you even ensure generations of such enemies for your children’s children …. & brag about THAT as a “Victory” !

  51. Mr. A. Savage-

    Big on rhetoric – short on facts.

    As tragic as every death is – your "assertion" of 1.5 million Iraqi deaths are off by about 1.4 million. It would also be important to break it down further – ie… how many were innocent civilians in the wrong-place wrong-time civilians killed (neglicently or otherwise) by U.S. and how many killed by insurgents/terrorists. But – it is much more dramatic to multiply the number by 15 and blame the U.S. Army.

    Prior to our "illegal" invasion and "occupation" it is CONSERVATIVELY estimated 250,000 Kurds and Shi'ite were killed at the hands of Saddaam – some human rights groups actually estimated the number to be 800,000. Not to mention the enslaved, the lack of HUMAN RIGHTS and freedom, and that he was a brutal dictator and Amnesty International themselves should be celebrating he and his Sons are no longer in power. Of course, he did receive literally "100%" of the democratic vote of the people for President prior to our invasion. If you didn't believe it, all you had to do was ask him.

    So – even with all the screwups, the faulty info – the loss of some of the greatest young men and women in uniform (3 I have known PERSONALLY), the extra-ordinary cost, the innocent civilians killed – THE WORLD, IRAQ, THE REGION, SECURITY, THE U.S. will all be better off for it.

    People have been freed and lives SAVED cause Sadaam is gone.

    You and Assange can go smoke a pipe, sip lattes and bitch all you want about it.

    All I can say is your welcome.

  52. Mr. A. Savage-

    Big on rhetoric – short on facts.

    As tragic as every death is – your “assertion” of 1.5 million Iraqi deaths are off by about 1.4 million. It would also be important to break it down further – ie… how many were innocent civilians in the wrong-place wrong-time civilians killed (neglicently or otherwise) by U.S. and how many killed by insurgents/terrorists. But – it is much more dramatic to multiply the number by 15 and blame the U.S. Army.

    Prior to our “illegal” invasion and “occupation” it is CONSERVATIVELY estimated 250,000 Kurds and Shi’ite were killed at the hands of Saddaam – some human rights groups actually estimated the number to be 800,000. Not to mention the enslaved, the lack of HUMAN RIGHTS and freedom, and that he was a brutal dictator and Amnesty International themselves should be celebrating he and his Sons are no longer in power. Of course, he did receive literally “100%” of the democratic vote of the people for President prior to our invasion. If you didn’t believe it, all you had to do was ask him.

    So – even with all the screwups, the faulty info – the loss of some of the greatest young men and women in uniform (3 I have known PERSONALLY), the extra-ordinary cost, the innocent civilians killed – THE WORLD, IRAQ, THE REGION, SECURITY, THE U.S. will all be better off for it.

    People have been freed and lives SAVED cause Sadaam is gone.

    You and Assange can go smoke a pipe, sip lattes and bitch all you want about it.

    All I can say is your welcome.

  53. The best estimate of the number of dead that have resulted from the illegal invasion of Iraq is the British study which has been published by the prestigious medical journal Lancet. That careful and conservative study puts the figure at 600,000 dead above the number of deaths that would have occurred in the absence of invasion. Indeed, some estimates have been up to 1.5 million and you are correct that even the most ultra-conservative study, which has serious flaws of omission, does admit the number as at least 100,000 deaths above the number of deaths that would have occurred in the absence of invasion.

    Sure if Saddam had remained in power he would have killed a few more, no doubt about that, but the above figures are net. They indicate the additional burden of Iraqi dead above 'business as usual' that have resulted from the illegal invasion.

    Sadly the Iraqis would have been considerably better off if Saddam had remained in power. They would also have had as much democracy as they have now. Under Saddam they regularly got to vote. Just as now the results and consequences of their vote really didn't matter.

    And what has the cost been to America? Diminished international standing and diminished reputation internationally. Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize Winning economist estimates the cost to the tax payer at Three Trillion dollars. The toll in terms of US lives continues to increase. Young lives, once again wasted by lying and uncaring American politicians in a worse than pointless exercise. Lives and treasure they have spent for their own personal aggrandizement and nefarious ends. Haliburton has done well and surely that is all that matters.

    In the 1980s when Saddam gassed the Kurds the international media attributed the gassing to Iraq. Why? Because those were that stories that the CIA was busy planting in newspapers. Why, the untruth? Because Saddam was Ronald Reagan's ally in the Middle East and the Reagan administration was busy supply his regime with all kinds of weapons including weapons grade Anthrax.

    Of course, it would be too embarrassing to blame Saddam for the release of weapons grade Anthrax through the US postal system a few years back. No. If the government had done that people might have asked why the US government had given it to him. Better instead to do what our intelligence community did. Frame a couple of our scientists and claim that they were the source even though those frames are not in the least credible.

    Given the unbridled willingness and ease with which our intelligence community happily frames innocents when and where needed, who can not be a little suspicious about the bizarre (and, of course, totally unrelated) claims of wrongdoing that have conveniently popped up against Julian Assange just when they needed them to?

    The most casual examination of those allegations against him only makes one more suspicious.

    This type of thing still happens in Russia and in any number of repressive regimes. Why do we stand silent while our government does the same? What is the difference between those foreign government we, quite rightly, criticize for these types of activities, and our government when it does the same?

    Time to speak up for Freedom and Democracy at home!

    And Time to speak up for Julian Assange!

    Julian Assange, the prisoner that Amnesty forgot!

    HUMAN RIGHTS, not just worth working for, for those outside the West.

    HUMAN RIGHTS, still worth fighting for IN the West!

  54. The best estimate of the number of dead that have resulted from the illegal invasion of Iraq is the British study which has been published by the prestigious medical journal Lancet. That careful and conservative study puts the figure at 600,000 dead above the number of deaths that would have occurred in the absence of invasion. Indeed, some estimates have been up to 1.5 million and you are correct that even the most ultra-conservative study, which has serious flaws of omission, does admit the number as at least 100,000 deaths above the number of deaths that would have occurred in the absence of invasion.

    Sure if Saddam had remained in power he would have killed a few more, no doubt about that, but the above figures are net. They indicate the additional burden of Iraqi dead above ‘business as usual’ that have resulted from the illegal invasion.

    Sadly the Iraqis would have been considerably better off if Saddam had remained in power. They would also have had as much democracy as they have now. Under Saddam they regularly got to vote. Just as now the results and consequences of their vote really didn’t matter.

    And what has the cost been to America? Diminished international standing and diminished reputation internationally. Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize Winning economist estimates the cost to the tax payer at Three Trillion dollars. The toll in terms of US lives continues to increase. Young lives, once again wasted by lying and uncaring American politicians in a worse than pointless exercise. Lives and treasure they have spent for their own personal aggrandizement and nefarious ends. Haliburton has done well and surely that is all that matters.

    In the 1980s when Saddam gassed the Kurds the international media attributed the gassing to Iraq. Why? Because those were that stories that the CIA was busy planting in newspapers. Why, the untruth? Because Saddam was Ronald Reagan’s ally in the Middle East and the Reagan administration was busy supply his regime with all kinds of weapons including weapons grade Anthrax.

    Of course, it would be too embarrassing to blame Saddam for the release of weapons grade Anthrax through the US postal system a few years back. No. If the government had done that people might have asked why the US government had given it to him. Better instead to do what our intelligence community did. Frame a couple of our scientists and claim that they were the source even though those frames are not in the least credible.

    Given the unbridled willingness and ease with which our intelligence community happily frames innocents when and where needed, who can not be a little suspicious about the bizarre (and, of course, totally unrelated) claims of wrongdoing that have conveniently popped up against Julian Assange just when they needed them to?

    The most casual examination of those allegations against him only makes one more suspicious.

    This type of thing still happens in Russia and in any number of repressive regimes. Why do we stand silent while our government does the same? What is the difference between those foreign government we, quite rightly, criticize for these types of activities, and our government when it does the same?

    Time to speak up for Freedom and Democracy at home!

    And Time to speak up for Julian Assange!

    Julian Assange, the prisoner that Amnesty forgot!

    HUMAN RIGHTS, not just worth working for, for those outside the West.

    HUMAN RIGHTS, still worth fighting for IN the West!

  55. Have you stopped and considered THE FUTURE… when you say Iraqis are better off if brutal dictator Sadaam were still in power?

    Can we atleast agree that once the dust settles (as it has been and will continue to do) the Nation and it's people will be better off? Or are you stuck in 2004 from this point forward?

    The transition has sucked – as in any war. France for example was destroyed in WWII, civilian causulties, deplorable living conditions and life pretty miserable, but I think the Nation, it's people and the world are better off because the Nation was liberated – and Hitler destroyed.

    Human Rights – even in a Nation under the rule of a dictator.

  56. MSG

    I have stopped and considered the future. Have you?

    You mention Germany at the end of World War II. The chaos in Iraq is better compared with the chaos in Germany after World War I. Or Russia at the end of World War I. Indeed, the chaos is far far worse. And we know where that chaos led. Not to an enviable functioning liberal democracy. Twenty years ago the Soviet block collapsed. After the chaos that engulfed many of these former communist countries, many have collapsed quickly into repressive totalitarian dictatorships. Russia itself is well on that path. China which did not collapse in 1989 seems on a more hopeful path. The same can be said of Vietnam. Rather than attempt to impose an outcome from the outside, often it is better to let countries choose there own path.

    Saddam would not have lasted forever. Just as mindless communism has not lasted forever in China and Vietnam. The future from the current chaos that has engulfed Iraq due to our ‘liberation’ is not nearly so hopeful. We simply do not have the magical power to step into another country and magically turn that country into a functioning liberal democracy. Even if we were willing to pay the price and make the incredible effort a serious attempt would take. Not only is Iraq at a worse starting point than it was before our meddling. The same may be said about Afghanistan. It is conceit and hubris and folly to think we can achieve these desired outcomes through the extreme violence we have unleashed on these countries.

  57. I have stopped and considered the future. Have you?

    You mention Germany at the end of World War II. The chaos in Iraq is better compared with the chaos in Germany after World War I. Or in Russia at the end of World War I. Indeed, the chaos is far far worse. And we know where that chaos led. Not to an enviable functioning liberal democracy. Twenty years ago the Soviet block collapsed. After the chaos that engulfed many of these former communist countries, many have collapsed quickly into repressive totalitarian dictatorships. Into ganster republics. Russia itself is well on that path. China which did not collapse in 1989 seems on a more hopeful path. The same can be said of Vietnam. Rather than attempt to impose an outcome from the outside, often it is better to let countries choose their own path.

    Saddam would not have lasted forever. Just as mindless communism has not lasted forever in China and Vietnam. The future from the current chaos that has engulfed Iraq due to our ‘liberation’ is not nearly so hopeful. We simply do not have the magical power to step into another country and magically turn that country into a functioning liberal democracy. Even if we were willing to pay the price and make the incredible effort a serious attempt would take. Not only is Iraq at a worse starting point than it was before our meddling. The same may be said about Afghanistan. It is conceit and hubris and folly to think we can achieve these desired outcomes through the extreme violence we have unleashed on these countries.

  58. MSG
    I have stopped and considered the future.
    Have you?

    You mention Germany at the end of World War II. The chaos in Iraq is better compared with the chaos in Germany after World War I. Or in Russia at the end of World War I. Indeed, the chaos is far far worse. And we know where that chaos led. Not to an enviable functioning liberal democracy. Twenty years ago the Soviet block collapsed. After the chaos that engulfed many of these former communist countries, many have collapsed quickly into repressive totalitarian dictatorships. Into ganster republics. Russia itself is well on that path. China which did not collapse in 1989 seems on a more hopeful path. The same can be said of Vietnam. Rather than attempt to impose an outcome from the outside, often it is better to let countries choose their own path.

    Saddam would not have lasted forever. Just as mindless communism has not lasted forever in China and Vietnam. The future from the current chaos that has engulfed Iraq due to our ‘liberation’ is not nearly so hopeful. We simply do not have the magical power to step into another country and magically turn that country into a functioning liberal democracy. Even if we were willing to pay the price and make the incredible effort a serious attempt would take. Not only is Iraq at a worse starting point than it was before our meddling. The same may be said about Afghanistan. It is conceit and hubris and folly to think we can achieve these desired outcomes through the extreme violence we have unleashed on these countries.

    Thankfully, the mess we have made in these countries will not last forever. However, that mess is likely to inflict more suffering on these long sufferring people for a long long time.

  59. No we can't agree that when the dust settles they will be better off. And no I am not 'stuck' in 2004.

    I have stopped and considered the future.
    Have you?

    You mention Germany at the end of World War II. The chaos in Iraq is better compared with the chaos in Germany after World War I. Or in Russia at the end of World War I. Indeed, the chaos is far far worse. And we know where that chaos led. Not to an enviable functioning liberal democracy. Twenty years ago the Soviet block collapsed. After the chaos that engulfed many of these former communist countries, many have collapsed quickly into repressive totalitarian dictatorships. Into ganster republics. Russia itself is well on that path. China which did not collapse in 1989 seems on a more hopeful path. The same can be said of Vietnam. Rather than attempt to impose an outcome from the outside, often it is better to let countries choose their own path.

    Saddam would not have lasted forever. Just as mindless communism has not lasted forever in China and Vietnam. The future from the current chaos that has engulfed Iraq due to our ‘liberation’ is not nearly so hopeful. We simply do not have the magical power to step into another country and magically turn that country into a functioning liberal democracy. Even if we were willing to pay the price and make the incredible effort a serious attempt would take. Not only is Iraq at a worse starting point than it was before our meddling. The same may be said about Afghanistan. It is conceit and hubris and folly to think we can achieve these desired outcomes through the extreme violence we have unleashed on these countries.

    Thankfully, the mess we have made in these countries will not last forever. However, that mess is likely to inflict more suffering on these long sufferring people for a long long time.

  60. Have you stopped and considered THE FUTURE… when you say Iraqis are better off if brutal dictator Sadaam were still in power?

    Can we atleast agree that once the dust settles (as it has been and will continue to do) the Nation and it’s people will be better off? Or are you stuck in 2004 from this point forward?

    The transition has sucked – as in any war. France for example was destroyed in WWII, civilian causulties, deplorable living conditions and life pretty miserable, but I think the Nation, it’s people and the world are better off because the Nation was liberated – and Hitler destroyed.

    Human Rights – even in a Nation under the rule of a dictator.

  61. MSG

    I have stopped and considered the future. Have you?

    You mention Germany at the end of World War II. The chaos in Iraq is better compared with the chaos in Germany after World War I. Or Russia at the end of World War I. Indeed, the chaos is far far worse. And we know where that chaos led. Not to an enviable functioning liberal democracy. Twenty years ago the Soviet block collapsed. After the chaos that engulfed many of these former communist countries, many have collapsed quickly into repressive totalitarian dictatorships. Russia itself is well on that path. China which did not collapse in 1989 seems on a more hopeful path. The same can be said of Vietnam. Rather than attempt to impose an outcome from the outside, often it is better to let countries choose there own path.

    Saddam would not have lasted forever. Just as mindless communism has not lasted forever in China and Vietnam. The future from the current chaos that has engulfed Iraq due to our ‘liberation’ is not nearly so hopeful. We simply do not have the magical power to step into another country and magically turn that country into a functioning liberal democracy. Even if we were willing to pay the price and make the incredible effort a serious attempt would take. Not only is Iraq at a worse starting point than it was before our meddling. The same may be said about Afghanistan. It is conceit and hubris and folly to think we can achieve these desired outcomes through the extreme violence we have unleashed on these countries.

  62. I have stopped and considered the future. Have you?

    You mention Germany at the end of World War II. The chaos in Iraq is better compared with the chaos in Germany after World War I. Or in Russia at the end of World War I. Indeed, the chaos is far far worse. And we know where that chaos led. Not to an enviable functioning liberal democracy. Twenty years ago the Soviet block collapsed. After the chaos that engulfed many of these former communist countries, many have collapsed quickly into repressive totalitarian dictatorships. Into ganster republics. Russia itself is well on that path. China which did not collapse in 1989 seems on a more hopeful path. The same can be said of Vietnam. Rather than attempt to impose an outcome from the outside, often it is better to let countries choose their own path.

    Saddam would not have lasted forever. Just as mindless communism has not lasted forever in China and Vietnam. The future from the current chaos that has engulfed Iraq due to our ‘liberation’ is not nearly so hopeful. We simply do not have the magical power to step into another country and magically turn that country into a functioning liberal democracy. Even if we were willing to pay the price and make the incredible effort a serious attempt would take. Not only is Iraq at a worse starting point than it was before our meddling. The same may be said about Afghanistan. It is conceit and hubris and folly to think we can achieve these desired outcomes through the extreme violence we have unleashed on these countries.

  63. MSG
    I have stopped and considered the future.
    Have you?

    You mention Germany at the end of World War II. The chaos in Iraq is better compared with the chaos in Germany after World War I. Or in Russia at the end of World War I. Indeed, the chaos is far far worse. And we know where that chaos led. Not to an enviable functioning liberal democracy. Twenty years ago the Soviet block collapsed. After the chaos that engulfed many of these former communist countries, many have collapsed quickly into repressive totalitarian dictatorships. Into ganster republics. Russia itself is well on that path. China which did not collapse in 1989 seems on a more hopeful path. The same can be said of Vietnam. Rather than attempt to impose an outcome from the outside, often it is better to let countries choose their own path.

    Saddam would not have lasted forever. Just as mindless communism has not lasted forever in China and Vietnam. The future from the current chaos that has engulfed Iraq due to our ‘liberation’ is not nearly so hopeful. We simply do not have the magical power to step into another country and magically turn that country into a functioning liberal democracy. Even if we were willing to pay the price and make the incredible effort a serious attempt would take. Not only is Iraq at a worse starting point than it was before our meddling. The same may be said about Afghanistan. It is conceit and hubris and folly to think we can achieve these desired outcomes through the extreme violence we have unleashed on these countries.

    Thankfully, the mess we have made in these countries will not last forever. However, that mess is likely to inflict more suffering on these long sufferring people for a long long time.

  64. No we can’t agree that when the dust settles they will be better off. And no I am not ‘stuck’ in 2004.

    I have stopped and considered the future.
    Have you?

    You mention Germany at the end of World War II. The chaos in Iraq is better compared with the chaos in Germany after World War I. Or in Russia at the end of World War I. Indeed, the chaos is far far worse. And we know where that chaos led. Not to an enviable functioning liberal democracy. Twenty years ago the Soviet block collapsed. After the chaos that engulfed many of these former communist countries, many have collapsed quickly into repressive totalitarian dictatorships. Into ganster republics. Russia itself is well on that path. China which did not collapse in 1989 seems on a more hopeful path. The same can be said of Vietnam. Rather than attempt to impose an outcome from the outside, often it is better to let countries choose their own path.

    Saddam would not have lasted forever. Just as mindless communism has not lasted forever in China and Vietnam. The future from the current chaos that has engulfed Iraq due to our ‘liberation’ is not nearly so hopeful. We simply do not have the magical power to step into another country and magically turn that country into a functioning liberal democracy. Even if we were willing to pay the price and make the incredible effort a serious attempt would take. Not only is Iraq at a worse starting point than it was before our meddling. The same may be said about Afghanistan. It is conceit and hubris and folly to think we can achieve these desired outcomes through the extreme violence we have unleashed on these countries.

    Thankfully, the mess we have made in these countries will not last forever. However, that mess is likely to inflict more suffering on these long sufferring people for a long long time.

  65. President Obama endorses the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples!

    Meanwhile he trashes Julian Assange's Human Rights! What a hero! What a champion for the Human Rights cause! Time to give him another Nobel Peace Prize!

    Meantime, AI ignores comments on "Q&A: Wikileaks and Freedom of Expression". Freedom of Expression, the topic Amnesty forgot. And the topic simply disappears from the top of "Most Comments" to where?

    Amazon-PayPal-MasterCard-Visa and now Amnesty! Obama decrees we say "Yes we can!"

    Julian Assange the prisoner Amnesty forgot!

  66. President Obama endorses the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples!

    Meanwhile he trashes Julian Assange’s Human Rights! What a hero! What a champion for the Human Rights cause! Time to give him another Nobel Peace Prize!

    Meantime, AI ignores comments on “Q&A: Wikileaks and Freedom of Expression”. Freedom of Expression, the topic Amnesty forgot. And the topic simply disappears from the top of “Most Comments” to where?

    Amazon-PayPal-MasterCard-Visa and now Amnesty! Obama decrees we say “Yes we can!”

    Julian Assange the prisoner Amnesty forgot!

  67. Peter C

    The results will speak for themselves. History will be kinder than the criticism today.

    Goodluck selling "illegal" invasion to anyone that matters.

  68. MSG

    Seems you believe that Power is all that matters.

    If Power is all that matters then history will not treat us kindly.

    Every year US Power dimishes that moral Power has been dimishing rapidly, economic Power not quite as fast. Even US military Power is past its zenith.

    Lets hope the new Powers treat us more kindly.

  69. MSG

    Seems you believe that Power is all that matters.

    If Power is all that matters then history will treat us kindly.

    Every year US Power dimishes that moral Power has been dimishing rapidly, economic Power not quite as fast. Even US military Power is past its zenith.

    Lets hope the new Powers treat us more kindly.

  70. Peter C

    The results will speak for themselves. History will be kinder than the criticism today.

    Goodluck selling “illegal” invasion to anyone that matters.

  71. MSG

    Seems you believe that Power is all that matters.

    If Power is all that matters then history will not treat us kindly.

    Every year US Power dimishes that moral Power has been dimishing rapidly, economic Power not quite as fast. Even US military Power is past its zenith.

    Lets hope the new Powers treat us more kindly.

  72. MSG

    Seems you believe that Power is all that matters.

    If Power is all that matters then history will treat us kindly.

    Every year US Power dimishes that moral Power has been dimishing rapidly, economic Power not quite as fast. Even US military Power is past its zenith.

    Lets hope the new Powers treat us more kindly.

  73. Given the inaction, and absence of interest displayed in protecting and campaigning on behalf of Mr Assange’s Human Rights, is there any truth to the currently circulating rumour that Amnesty International is a wholly subsidiary of the CIA? Or is that simply mischievous misinformation because in truth ownership now resides in totality in the US State department?

    Julian Assange the prisoner Amnesty International forgot.

  74. Given the inaction, and absence of interest displayed in protecting and campaigning on behalf of Mr Assange’s Human Rights, is there any truth to the currently circulating rumour that Amnesty International is a wholly subsidiary of the CIA? Or is that simply mischievous misinformation because in truth ownership now resides in totality in the US State department?

    Julian Assange the prisoner Amnesty International forgot.

  75. http://blog.amnestyusa.org/justice/brazil-hides-i

    Let us criticize other countries with criticisms we could just as easily direct at ourselves but for some reason, never do. No one will call us hypocrites. Let's elect politicians who constantly lie to us and let us down. At least we can not claim to be surprised at what they do, and fail to do.

    Anyone you steps out of line in our democracy is "Fair Game". More so if they're not even American.

  76. http://blog.amnestyusa.org/justice/brazil-hides-i

    Let us criticize other countries with criticisms we could just as easily direct at ourselves but for some reason, never do. No one will call us hypocrites. Let's elect politicians who constantly lie to us and let us down. At least we can not claim to be surprised at what they do, and fail to do.

    Anyone you steps out of line in our democracy is "Fair Game". More so if they're not even American.

  77. http://blog.amnestyusa.org/justice/brazil-hides-i

    Let us criticize other countries with criticisms we could just as easily direct at ourselves but for some reason, never do. No one will call us hypocrites. Let's elect politicians who constantly lie to us and let us down. At least we can not claim to be surprised at what they do, and fail to do.

    Anyone you steps out of line in our democracy is "Fair Game". More so if they're not even American.

  78. http://blog.amnestyusa.org/justice/brazil-hides-its-crimes-through-inhumane-legislation/#comment-62482

    Let us criticize other countries with criticisms we could just as easily direct at ourselves but for some reason, never do. No one will call us hypocrites. Let’s elect politicians who constantly lie to us and let us down. At least we can not claim to be surprised at what they do, and fail to do.

    Anyone you steps out of line in our democracy is “Fair Game”. More so if they’re not even American.