> Do you think governments should be allowed to keep some secrets?
> This is a question that is much more interesting than the answer. In some cases – tracking down organized crime, say – government officials have an obligation to keep their investigations secret at the moment that they are performing them. Similarly, a doctor has an obligation to keep information about your medical records secret under most circumstances. This is a question about obligations. It is absurd to suggest that simply because a police officer may have the obligation to keep secret certain information relating to an investigation, that the entire world also must be subject to a coercive force.
I don't think you can get much more specific than that. It's a fuzzy issue.
a) Should keep secret (troop movements, etc)
b) May keep secret (?)
c) May not keep secret (abuses, human rights violations, etc)
Furthermore, I would like to see similar answers in regards to international diplomacy. A "horse's mouth" statement on the matter would go a long way towards alleviating confusion.
I agree that having an explicit statement that there may exist military and diplomatic secrets that are legitimate would help convince the people (like myself) who think his positions are too extreme to be useful.
Seems like a straightforward statement that he believes there are legitimate secrets for a state to keep, at least temporarily.
There is a curious thing that happens with language and government. They make up new words or redefine current words to mean what ever their agenda is. For an unrelated example, WMD used to be nukes only, and austerity measures is the new word for cuts. Remember when things needed money? Its resources now.
Back when we last did a survey, in February, there were a total of 33 million
references on the Internet to the word "rape" in any context, from Helen of Troy
to the Congo. If you search for "rape" and my name, there were just over 20
million. In other words, perceptively, two-thirds of all rapes that have ever
happened anywhere in the world, ever, have something to do with me.
Also, Google's ranking is very complex and takes into account such things as the article's publishing date, if it can be inferred. I'm also sure they are also returning results based on recent trends. So it isn't unlikely that at some point Google returned 20 million results on him, given that he was in the center of world wide news after those leaks.
And while I think his statistic is flawed, 4.2 million pages is still a freakishly huge number. It's also obvious that authorities and the world don't give a crap about him allegedly raping somebody and the probability of him being framed is too high considering how he pissed so many governments and institutions that are above the law.
We live in a world where democracy and transparency are slowly becoming fairy-tales that we'll tell our children, just like parents at some point tell their kids that they won't die (after the child understands the concept and starts crying) ... pretty sad really.
These are insignificant points. But somehow I feel they reflect negatively on the credibility of Assange, Rolling Stone, and Michael Hastings. As they say in Latin, "falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus."
(Not that this reflects positively on the credibility of the State Department, the New York Times, or the Swedish sex police...)
I've read (in comments on blogs, so apply grain of salt) that the prosecutor in Sweden has requested that he be held in detention incommunicado, and that this is normal practice in Sweden for foreigners awaiting trial. And then the Swedes can slowly, slowly prepare for a trial and he can perhaps disappear for 1 year.
I'm probably not objective since I am from Sweden, but his description is very far from my perception of the Swedish judicial system. I don't agree with every verdict I read about, but I guess that would be the case in which ever country I lived in. In general it seems quite fair to me.
My guess is that Assange will be cleared of all charges or worst case senteced to a conditional sentence if he ever stands trial (which will not necessarily happen even). It seem to me that he is a man of dubious moral standards regarding women (trying to have sex with someone without a condom when they explicitly wanted to use a condom), but that will generally not make you go to prison (and probably rightfully so).
I'm a bit depressed that his behavior has damaged Wikileaks and their cause which is important.
edit: Would appreciate a comment from people down-voting me.
Are you not slightly more disturbed by the clear political machinations behind the case?
And no, I don't see any "clear political machinations" in this case, I see a horny dude who doesn't like to use a condom. I'm sorry if this is a too simple of an explanation for your taste. I could be wrong of course.
If there were any political reasons for this I'm quite sure that they could have framed him for something more grave and produced obvious evidence.
"The British Supreme Court will hear his extradition appeal on February 1st – but even if he wins, he will likely still remain a wanted man. Interpol has issued a so-called "red notice" for his arrest on behalf of Swedish authorities for questioning in "connection with a number of sexual offenses" – Qaddafi, accused of war crimes, earned only an "orange notice" – and the U.S. government has branded him a "high-tech terrorist," unleashing a massive and unprecedented investigation designed to depict Assange's journalism as a form of international espionage."
So he's more wanted than Qaddafi. If that doesn't make you think about the political motivations behind this a bit more, I'm not sure what could.
I don't know if he's a horny dude or not. Probably. But that doesn't mean his case isn't being blown far out of proportion for political cause. How many other Swedish strict-legal-definition-of-rape cases have Interpol flags out more severe than those of known repressive dictator madmen?
I bet not many.
Assange should have turned himself over to the police in the beginning instead of leaving Sweden with such haste and refusing to be heard by the swedish police. Instead he used the political climate surrounding wikileaks as an excuse to stay away and started to paint a picture of Sweden as a third world country regarding it's legal system. It's classic stalling technique, the longer he can stay away the less the other witnesses and himself remembers.
Post flagged for spreading misinformation.
Also, the police never said the case was going to be dropped, he was heard for sexual molestation after the rape charges had been dropped by the procecutor, the day after they were raised in the first place. That charged (sexual molestation) have never been dropped, instead new charges have been added. But that's ok, I wont flag your post.
He offered to talk to Swedish prosecutors in England, which they refused to do. I think the fear from his camp is that once in Sweden they can put him in solitary confinement and then start pulling out new charges on different issues, including extradition to the USA which is according to the article probably easier than from England.
> If Mr Assange is surrendered to Sweden and a request is made to Sweden for his extradition to the United States of America, then article 28 of the framework decision applies. In such an event the consent of the Secretary of State in this country will be required, in accordance with section 58 of the Extradition Act 2003, before Sweden can order Mr Assange’s extradition to a third State. The Secretary of State is required to give notice to Mr Assange unless it is impracticable to do so. Mr Assange would have the protection of the courts in Sweden and, as the Secretary of State’s decision can be reviewed, he would have the protection of the English courts also.
http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Judgment... , page 28
Don’t be ridiculous.