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As a parent I will always remember that WikiLeaks (Assange) helped to stop the torture of children in Iraq. The war cables revealed that the US government knew about the routine torture of prisoners and opponents including women and children by the Iraqi authorities, a de facto puppet regime of the US. The US government knew about this from the alarmed reports of its own personnel and decided to turn a blind eye because... I have no idea why.

If not for Assange and Manning, more parent's would have to watch while their child is brutally tortured and mutilated by the psychopathic enforcers of the US puppet regime.

This is where every rational discussion about WikiLeaks and Assange should always start. Now we can talk about Assange's abrasive personality and dumb political views.

> "The US government knew about this from the alarmed reports of its own personnel and decided to turn a blind eye because... I don't know why."

During the Iran-Iraq War the CIA knowingly and deliberately helped Iraq launch poison gas attacks against the Iranians, resulting in more than 100,000 casualties, most of them civilian. So, par for the course isn't it?



I think Obama and Bush really badly mishandled both Snowden and Assange. Heavy handed responses to both of them drove them into the arms of Russia. I don’t think either of them were Russian assets when they started.

How should it have been "handled" in your opinion? 'Protect the whistleblower' or take out the 'threat to national interests'?

> How should it have been "handled" in your opinion? 'Protect the whistleblower' or take out the 'threat to national interests'?

Congratulating them for their great work towards human rights and publicly expelling and denouncing the perpetrators of atrocities. You know, leading by example.

In both cases, it would be in US' national interests to put the long term consequences before the short term gains.

Long term consequences as 'preventing other secrets from being leaked' or 'maintaining an image as a trustworthy and ethical actor' on the world stage?

Will not 'maintaining an image as a trustworthy and ethical actor' be the most efficient way of 'preventing other secrets from being leaked'?

Leakers are insiders, they know what's happening regardless of the image perceived by the public. I am skeptical of this consequentiality, but I recognize that it's an argument someone in the government could believe in.

I mean, if you don't let your government gas civilians, it's not like there's anything there worth leaking.

> or take out the 'threat to national interests'?

Isn't that what we did in Iraq, blindly listen to the IC? Ha, that was an A++ operation. All those lives lost - for absolutely nothing. I mean sure there was "Iraqi democracy" but where did the WMD's go? The solution being proposed is to literally kill the messenger. It's a two-party induced cognitive dissonance where you would rather be lied to than have your political affiliation be embarrassed.

And also Julia Gillard, she was very unsympathetic, even hostile to him.

Julia Gillard [then PM of Australia, 0]. The Australian governments mild condemnation of Assange as the situation unfolded was as disappointing as it was predictable. US lap-dogs and all that.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Gillard

There is a lot of appeal to emotion in your post.

Can we both agree that war is bad and things are always more complex than they seem? In the grand scheme of things these events rank pretty low on the list of priorities when you are fighting a war.

Not only does my post appeal to emotion, it openly appeals to emotion. On the other hand, your post uses the appeal to middle ground fallacy. If your list of priorities starts with anything other than stopping the routine torture of children, then your grand scheme of things is probably evil.

This is hardly the rational discussion you claimed to be starting.

Why? What the parent post is saying makes sense to me, personally. Sometimes important and relevant factors in topic discussion are intrinsically emotional. That's not automatically a fallacy.

Any "speaking as a parent" argument is hardly likely to be rational.

What if a child torturer is helping you save other lives and end the war sooner thus saving innumerable lives? Do you see how torture is bad but there are other variables?

You sound like those US TV dramas where the main character is a kind cop put before a dilemma to either pouch an ugly terrorist once or twice on the nose or a school bus full of cute little children will be blown up by a bomb.

Yeah, in theory, there are other variables. In practice, the chances are that if you turn a blind eye to the routine torture children you are simply an evil person.

Fighting evil with evil simply makes two monsters instead of one.

Read up on the Geneva Conventions. War is brutal, yes, but at the end it's a conflict between state powers & while violence is necessary to force the issue, a line must be drawn. See the use of economic sanctions as a method to compel without direct violence. There's enough power between parties which agree to the Geneva Conventions so that if one party is not agreeing to those terms, additional resources can be tapped from allies

Unfortunately it feels the US is powerful enough that the international community isn't stepping in with sanctions against the US

I never claimed that I agreed with the Iraq war and I never claimed that I think that it was justified.

The US is simply out of control.

Look into our history of military and economic 'interventions' post WW2.

This is not a new development. We have been the least bad of the bad actors for years, or at least had the least bad intentions for our allies.

Yes, at war there are always these ideological explanations that try to justify atrocities, and people tend to accept them when they are from their side of the war (but not when they are from the other side).

Torture is and stays torture. What is there to agreed upon?

The fact that some regime decided to invade a foreign country out of self-interested changes nothing at all.

That statement is true. Torture is and stays torture but would you agree that there is more than one variable in war?

Your second point is a red herring.

Torture is and stays torture but

No. You can stop there. Stop trying to defend the undefensible.

Where do I defend torture?

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