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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wikileaks Completes Obama's Transformation Into Jimmy Carter

The U.S. Embassy takeover in Tehran on November 4, 1979, was the start of 444 days which came to define Jimmy Carter.  The U.S. government was revealed to be powerless and the President weak.  Those among us who were alive and conscious during those days have embedded the feelings of helplessness.

There have been many comparisons of Barack Obama to Jimmy Carter, focused on the economy.  But the continuing leak of documents by Wikileaks has become for Obama what the Iranian hostage crisis was to Carter.

The Wikileaks folks trot the globe with impunity and funnel documents to the press at will, for the purpose of damaging U.S. relations with other countries, our war efforts, and our intelligence capability.  And we do almost nothing about it.

Whether or not someone gets killed as a direct result of a  Wikileaks disclosure, the damage to our country is deep, as allies and sources among enemies will stop cooperating with us for fear of exposure, our diplomats will be hesitant to speak frankly with headquarters, and our intelligence on al-Qaeda and others will be compromised.

We are the laughingstock of the world, an impotent superpower whose response to those who aid our enemies is to write a letter asking them not to do it.  Yes, Harold Koh the State Department's chief lawyer, sent a demand freakin' letter to Wikileaks.  It went something like this (my paraphrase):
Dear Wikileaks,

Please give us our stuff back because it was really mean of you to take it and give it to all your friends.


Harold Koh
Here is the letter which should have been delivered months ago:
Dear Wikileaks,

If you publish any more material we will hunt you down no matter the cost, and you either will be killed while resisting arrest or you will spend the rest of your lives in solitary confinement in a Supermax prison, where the highlight of your day will be 1 hour spent in a cage instead of your cell.  Don't look up, that sound of propellers in the air is not a Predator drone.


Harold Koh
Want to get a clue how clueless is the White House?  Get this paragraph from the White House statement on the leak (emphasis mine):
President Obama supports responsible, accountable, and open government at home and around the world, but this reckless and dangerous action runs counter to that goal. By releasing stolen and classified documents, Wikileaks has put at risk not only the cause of human rights but also the lives and work of these individuals. We condemn in the strongest terms the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents and sensitive national security information.
Oh yes, let's be sure to get in a pitch for "responsible, accountable, and open government." 

Have we lost our minds?  Wikileaks is about hurting us, bringing us down, damaging our relations with others, rendering us impotent.  This is not about open government policy, as if Wikileaks went a bit too far on its class project.

Julian Assange should have been indicted by now, and if the law did not allow more punitive measures in this circumstance, then the law should have been changed after the first document dump.  Assange is an enemy of our country and should be treated as such.

Instead, we're writing letters and lecturing on accountable and open government.

Stick a fork in Obama, he's Jimmy Carter.

Update:  Hmmm...

Update 11-29-2010:  Ben Smith gets it mostly right with this observation:

The first victims of the leaked cables released Sunday are anyone who shared secrets with American diplomats, especially Arab leaders who saw their private security deals - and their insistence that those deals be kept from their people - published online with undiplomatic bluntness.

But the main effect of the many details of American diplomacy revealed in the thousands of documents obtained and released by WikiLeaks was to deepen the damage to their intended targets: U.S. foreign policy, prestige, and power.

"The impression is of the world's superpower roaming helpless in a world in which nobody behaves as bidden," wrote Sir Simon Jenkins in the left-leaning Guardian, one of the publications that were given the documents.
Smith also invokes the hostage analogy, with the twist that these hostage takers have no interest in negotiation:

Still, the leaks catapulted the Obama administration into a new decade that resembles, in its outlines, the science fiction of the 1980s: Rogue hackers, led by a disembodied Australian with a vague resemblance to Max Headroom have - with the help of a single disgruntled soldier - daringly beaten the giant defense establishment.

They have generated the same kind of centripetal force as a hostage crisis, impossible to ignore, manage, or control. But this is a hostage crisis in reverse: The online anarchists who have possession of 251,287 American diplomatic cables have little interest in negotiations, and instead evidently plan to release the documents "in stages over the next few months."
It is interesting that some commenters, stoked perhaps by Dave Weigel, see this post as a call for "extra-judicial killing."  But that is not the case; I find it hard to believe that the resources of the U.S. government, from the NSA on down, could not have been used to locate the Wikileaks people for capture and prosecution, if the administration had the will to do so.  And if the laws were inadequate to prosecute these people, those laws could have and should have been changed long ago to cover this situation, as well as to provide a basis for the disruption of the networks handling and distributing the information.

Instead, we have an impotent government which writes demand letters, as if this were a civil litigation over a copyright infringement, and tempers its conduct with a politically correct homage to "responsible, accountable, and open government."

And, Powerline notes the hypocrisy at The New York Times, which refused to publish the climategate e-mails because they were stolen, but has no problem publishing stolen diplomatic cables.

And, The Hill reports that there is building Congressional pressure for the Justice Department to take legal action against Wikileaks, and also to have Hillary Clinton declare Wikileaks a terrorist organization, which would give the government sweeping power to shut it down:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should review whether WikiLeaks can be declared a terrorist organization, according to a senior Republican.
Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), the incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, called for U.S. officials to get aggressive against WikiLeaks after the website published highly sensitive, classified diplomatic cables that reveal frank assessments of foreign leaders and the war on terror.
"I am calling on the attorney general and supporting his efforts to fully prosecute WikiLeaks and its founder for violating the Espionage Act. And I'm also calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to declare WikiLeaks a foreign terrorist organization," King said on WNIS radio on Sunday evening.
"By doing that, we will be able to seize their funds and go after anyone who provides them help or contributions or assistance whatsoever," he said. "To me, they are a clear and present danger to America."
Instead, we are sending demand letters and waxing poetic about open government.

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  1. It is reprehensible (I am using that term a lot these days) that a sitting President of the United States of America would allow this breach of National Security to go unchallenged. In my mind this is grounds for impeachment.

  2. Well Obama is not quite Jimmy Carter yet.

    He has not has his 'attack rabbit' moment yet.

  3. Yeah. The best way to get people on side is to arrest and kill the people who revealed the truth about the iraq war. Obviously...

  4. Stick a fork in Obama, he's Jimmy Carter.

    Funniest line I've seen in a LOOOONG time! Too true. Too true. (BTW - I agree with Deekaman, above. This seems to be an impeachable offense.........)

  5. This is something I've been stewing about for a long while. Terrorism isn't simply killing people and blowing things up--it's also the undermining of the will and spirit of the target nation.

    I consider Wikileaks to be engaged in acts of war against the United States and our allies. Why doesn't our current administration feel the same?

  6. Just this week I saw Glenn Greenwald tweet " I'm really shocked that Jimmy Carter wasn't more politically successful given his reliance on the stunning brilliance of Pat Caddell" I tweeted back "It was all Pat Caddell - Blame him for gas lines and gov't cheese." I should have added blame must belong to Pat Caddell for US impotence in Iran. Why not lay the whole catastrophe that was the Carter administration at the feet of Pat Caddell.

    I was a freshman in college so I think I qualified as conscious (though that is debatable) during the Carter admin. Greenwald was probably in 6th or 7th grade, but being a liberal, I am sure he feels he has a better recollection of the time. It wasn't embedded helplessness it was embedded Pat Caddell evidently. No doubt Greenwald and his ilk will find a similar scapegoat for Obama's helplessness with Wikileaks.

  7. Professor, your letters are humorous to be sure but I have something to offer:

    Final thought of Julian Assange:

    "What is that fine. pink mist I see? Wow, all of a sudden I have a tremendous headache."

    As far as I am concerned, this is an act of war upon the United States. These leaks put our soldier's lives in danger. Grave danger (is there any other kind?).

    That agents of the United States government have not sought out and neutralized this menace is appalling.

    That the President of the United States isn't yelling at the top of his lungs for the head of this man on a pike is embarrassing.

    To pick up on another topic here tonight, I am quite sure that a certain housewife from Wasilla, AK, should she have been president right now, would find this SOB herself if need be. She could hunt him down, dress him in the field, put his antlers on the wall of the Oval Office and we could all watch it on The Learning Channel, Sunday night at 9:00. No facebook post would have been necessary.

  8. Of course, there was something we could have done about this situation. This administration had plenty of advance notice, we were all told it was coming, and nothing much appears to have been done. I mean, we have ways to plug things and to hack at probs... Stuxnet obviously wasn't initiated under Obama.

    Holder was going to indict Assange, but he's only up to the Ar's, as in suing Arizona.

  9. Try and imagine a scenario in any previous American conflict where the Wikileaks people would not have been killed or disappeared at the very first threat that this (or previous) material would be leaked. Yeah, I can't imagine it either.

  10. Crash:

    Are you even reading what is going on? This latest leak has nothing to do with the Iraq War or War in Afghanistan. These documents are leaked confidential conversations from U.S. Embassies abroad. This has nothing do do with exposing 'war crimes' and everything to do with damaging U.S. Foreign relations. And it's not just damaging for us. Do you thing the King of Bahrain wanted Iran to know that he's pleading with us to stop Iran. That does great things for the stability of his country too.

    Fact: Wikileaks is irresponsible, and your blind support is not helping.

  11. He's not Jimmy Carter.
    He's far worse.
    He's Barack Obama.
    Why do you think he spent the weekend playing games and going out to see basketball tournaments? Because he hates America and thinks this is fantastic. The more America is damaged, the better job he and many on the Left feel he has done.
    When his presidency ends, probably in 2012, it's off to the UN for him where he can REALLY start screwing us.

  12. brer rabbit,

    The best part is that Liberals cheer this move by Wikileaks while decrying the TEA Party as 'dangerous'.
    There can be no unity with the Left ever again. They hate this country far too much to see the light.

  13. Our current president has traveled the world the past two years bowing to kings and apologizing to dictators for all of the misery the United States of America has caused for the past 200 years. And everyone is scratching their heads and wondering why President Obama has done little to take Julian Assange out. Mr. Assange is just providing the ammo needed to justify what this president has been apologizing for these past two years. Now Mr. Obama can make another worldwide tour and bow to everyone again and say, "See, I told you the United States of America is the big bad boogie man and I am here again to say 'I'm sorry'". Failure to stop Mr. Assange and Wikileaks long ago will be devastating to our foreign policy both in the near term and in the long term. In light of this disaster, Mr. Carter is a saint compared to Mr. Obama.

  14. Nice argument for cementing "stupid Obama" into the history books. But @Van Halen has a point - history may still etch "treasonous Obama" into stone. Exhbit A is the strange dichotomy of the domestic Agitator-In-Chief (tough guy) and the foreign relations Appeaser-In-Chief (weak guy). These separate personalities remain difficult, very difficult, to square.

    "Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive"

  15. Funny thing about this Post, not one mention of the traitor who provided wikilieaks the information in the first place. In today's world, it is obvious information is power, to be used for good and bad. Carter's problem wasn't one of stopping the flow of information, it was one of dealing with a rouge nation-state in a part of the world we were unprepared to deal with. While both events may show the limitations of power the President has, having spent the evening of April 25th watching an RH-53D collide with an EC-130E I can tell you they are not the same.

  16. The damning fact in all this is Obamas willingness to seize the domains of file sharing sites but not wikis'

  17. To the progressives, this is ALL about putting an "uppity" nation "in its place" ... by reducing us to the least-common-denominator of international influence.

    If we can't stop this now, let us at least remember who is involved ... so we can connect-the-dots when the next war is started by enemies emboldened by this foreign-policy equivalent to a TSA search.

  18. DHS seized file-sharing websites last week. Why is wikileaks still online?

  19. My country right or wrong eh? Wikileaks has revealed over and over how the U.S. government (among other) has lied, killed, tortured, covered its track, and yet you side with the government and call for censorship through murder.

    Not only are you on the wrong side of justice, you are on the wrong side of history. You show your feathers not as a true conservative, but as chauvinistic partisan.

  20. Come on, guys, there's a fundamental principle here: WikiLeaks got the documents from someone who undeniably broke the law. But WikiLeaks didn't really break the law - the Pentagon Papers case shows that a free press entitles media groups to print classified information if it has been leaked. The basic premise of the 1st Amendment is that the government cannot control individual thought or dissemination of facts - there's no such thing as "forbidden information" in a real democracy.

    By all means, arrest Pfc. Manning, the alleged leaker. The need for confidentiality is certainly a justified one. But Assange doesn't seem to have broken any law, and the leak of confidential information is solely a fault of the executive branch, not the fault 0f an independent media who decides to share the information.

  21. "[Obama] is about hurting us, bringing us down, damaging our relations with others, rendering us impotent."

  22. Nicholas LeCompte: "there's no such thing as "forbidden information" in a real democracy."

    That's actually a really ignorant statement. Judges constantly issue orders protecting certain information, such as the names of victims in certain kinds of cases along with many details of some cases. There's all kinds of "forbidden information".

  23. Jacobson, your advocacy of extra-judicial murder is disappointing.

    BTW, The correct term is enemy of the state.

  24. Somebody needs to remind Mr Assange that the CIA is in the business of killing people

  25. I see most commentary above from people > 40 years of age. Couldn't have expected a more dumb and laced article from a Cornell professor with an agenda to "kill-them-all".

    Wikileaks is NOT the issue. It is actually the few corrupt and rogue govt. strictures that continued to kill innocent civilians far away from America just to satisfy the ego of the dumb old men and generation like yours.

    And to the last commentator Nicholas: Bradley Manning is more American considering your CYA pussy attitude trying to justify killings of over 61000 Iranians and protect a bureaucratic system which has only nurtured corruption and classified the dishonesty of a few good men.

    It's that simple. The concept applies similarly to all the Governments in the world today. Most of them are rife with corruption.

  26. Crash,

    The moment the first dispatches were released blowing up Asange at a stoplight "wherever" he might have been hiding and sending every other one of those mopes a picture of themselves, sitting in their euroclowncars, with the caption, "return to sender", is the best way to show that you want to be on our side...

  27. Casper the under 40 anarchist. Child, I hope you're under 25 because you should by age 26 have moved beyond the hate America nonsense you were taught by your liberal professors.

  28. Are you sure Obama didn't have a rabbit moment? He had an killer Elbow moment

  29. i am certainly "greater than 40" Casper the "i want everyone to know i am a techie 'cause i used the greater than sign" and i remember the Carter years well. I remember my parents struggling to make ends meet, having a sit down meeting with the three of us boys in 1979 saying "we are out of money". don't worry, son....you will get your 1979 moment shortly.

  30. If we were the people our Founders were, Pfc. Manning (who swore an oath at induction) wouldn't be cooling his heels in solitary. He'd have been hanging at the end of a rope for treason. But court martial will have to do, and then we'll have to endure him on "reality" TV, or some other inane route of celebrity.

    If I were in possession of stolen goods, the law would deal with me. How is Assange any different? Instead, our citizens are being harassed in airports, on the internet, and regulated in every aspect of our lives. To paraphrase Pogo, this administration have met the enemy and he is us.

  31. How did "Assange committed crimes" become "I want Assange murdered"? Did I miss a paragraph in this post? I don't remember reading a call for murder. I guess that part was edited and taken out.

  32. Nothing brings out the progressive trolls like a little wikileaks hate. Good to see the "America got what it deserves crowd" coming out in full support of Assange. So if North Korea decides to freak out about a plot to destroy its government and launch a few more artillery shells at South Korea, or maybe a nuke, will it be the South Koreans getting what they deserve? If Iran decides to become a bit more "proactive" and roll into some of the countries begging for us to bomb their nuke program into the stone age, will the innocents killed be getting what they deserve? What about any confidential informants that are taken out as a result of this? Will they be getting what they deserve? Hell they were helpin out the US, so I suppose that might make their families fair game as well, right? Progressives choose not to see the larger picture here, all they see is "ZOMG AMERIKKKA'S BEEN HURT! YAY!!!" and cheer as loud as they can. Any innocents that die as a result of Assange's actions are just acceptable casualties.

    As to the comment that the US has killed 61,000 Iranians-erm...what? Did we invade Iran or something? Or is that a reference to us propping up the Ayatollahs or supporting Saddam in his war against Iran?

    As for the "truth" about the Iraq war...guess no one remembers this little gem, straight from every lefty's superduperhero, Julian Assange: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/10/wikileaks-show-wmd-hunt-continued-in-iraq-with-surprising-results/

    But whatevs, let's not let the truth get in the way of the "truth." I mean, Bush lied amirite?

  33. "Jacobson, your advocacy of extra-judicial murder is disappointing."

    The proper term is "war". The whole "extra-judicial murder" BS is from the idiots who think wars can be fought in court.

  34. "But the continuing leak of documents by Wikileaks has become for Obama what the Iranian hostage crisis was to Carter."

    Slow down. He's still got two years left. Don't jinx him.

  35. BTW, I think you neglect Jimmy Carter's worst crime: the premeditated replacement of the Shah with the Ayatollah Khomeini, giving Islamic fundamentalism its first clear victory. We are still paying for this treason.

  36. "Have we lost our minds? Wikileaks is about hurting us, bringing us down, damaging our relations with others, rendering us impotent."

    Well then. The current administration merely sees Assange as a kindred spirit. Why should their tone with him be especially severe?

  37. Tolerating (nay, encouraging via rhetoric) the leaks makes a lot more sense when viewed from the position of Øbama's regime's desire to destroy/discredit America. [Cloward - Piven]

    Remember Michelle thought this nation so corrupt, racist and evil right up to the milli-second Øbama was selected. How could Øbama marry such a person if he wasn't down with that kind of thinking?

    If Øbama didn't want this to happen, he had and has, the ability to have stopped it, or at least more forcefully condemn the leaks.

    By action and statement, Øbama is down with the leaks.

  38. Casper,

    I'm far from 40, I'm 26. And yes I'm an Ivy League Grad, Veteran, Father, and Husband. What have you done since you graduated from collge?

    Anyway, you aren't reading what is going on. These links aren't about war crimes. The point is the vast majority of this latest leak has nothing to do with preventing torture, protecting human rights, or exposing the corrpution of American leadership. This is leaked information from the State Department. Most of these 'secrets' were kept secret to protect our allies not to protect us. Think of it as witness protection. Does Iran really need to know what their neighbors have been leaking to the U.S. State department?

    Futher, PFC Manning is no hero. He was a Soldier that didn't like being deployed so he thought he could try to 'take his pound of flesh' back from the Military. In my opinion he was a coward. There were many other more appropriate ways he could have expressed his distaste for the military after he was released from duty.

  39. Anon4PUveJAt said...

    "My country right or wrong eh? Wikileaks has revealed over and over how the U.S. government (among other) has lied, killed, tortured, covered its track, and yet you side with the government and call for censorship through murder."

    More like censorship through intimation; I don't think any of us would actually want these people murdered.

    "Not only are you on the wrong side of justice, you are on the wrong side of history. You show your feathers not as a true conservative, but as chauvinistic partisan."

    Ah, see. You discredit your own argument. You are on 'the other side' and yet; when we counter and defend ourselves we are 'chauvinistic partisans'? These people are not 'all good'. The US is not 'all bad'. The influence of the US on the US on the world has had much more positive effect than negative. Leftists on the other hand.... what, a 100 million at least murdered?

  40. "Extra-judicial killing" sounds fine to me. If it's good enough for Al-Qaeda, it's good enough for Al-Assange.

  41. Please contact members of the Senate Homeland Security Oversight Committee and ask for an investigation of why HS and DOJ spent last weekend shutting down websites for copyright infringement instead of trying to shut down Wikileaks.Here's a link to committee menters


  42. I believe it will come out that the CIA tried a harebrained plan to get Assange by having a woman in Sweden have sex with him and charge him with sexual assault. Sort like the time they tried to get Castro with an exploding cigar. It didn't work then either.

  43. "Those among us who were alive and conscious during those days have embedded the feelings of helplessness."

    I was alive then (born 1960). Any "feelings of helplessness" I have over that fiasco comes mostly from the fact that, in this country, we don't hang our failed leaders by their neck. We must wait for an election--or a stray assassin's bullet--to make a "regime change" for us.

  44. I think it is also worth noting that we didn't raise the same objections to previous leaks about actual US misconduct in Iraq (someone somewhere I'm sure did, but not me).

    Now that these people are leaking private diplomatic information that will hurt our ablity to negotiate... now we are objecting.
    Iran with the bomb might be one practicle outcome. Way to go, at least they made the mean old US look bad in return....

  45. I love the part leaked about Obama having no affinity for Europe, only "the East." Hmmm.

    Certainly, these leaks happened because they serve Obama's purposes in puncturing "inflated" US prestige and reputation for hyper vigilence and behind-the-scenes competence.

    Bonus for Barack: Hillary has just been castrated at the UN and in other sensitive negotiations, looking like a security sneak and prog hypocrite, after all. But some of us knew she was, ever since her Arkansas days of serendipity profits, Whitewater, lost papers, FBI files on Clinton opponents, and bimbo damage control.

    Don't get me wrong, our intel community should have all the info they can get on UN participants, imo, but why would this be a vertical directive from her and not sideways from other agencies working with specific State employees and diplomats? Also, who can imagine Hill not condemning Condi to international law hell had it been revealed she did same?

  46. Well, as Blogfather says: "At this point, I have to say, Jimmy Carter looks like a best-case outcome, slowly fading from possibility."

    I see no problem with killing Assange as part of the GWoT. There is a war on, he is working for the enemy, he is a legitimate target.

    I also fail to understand why the US does not knock the Wikileaks servers off the internet. It can't be that hard to do.

  47. Wait a minute, you're not calling for Assange to be killed? Why the hell not? Could someone please explain when exactly it became wrong for USA to kill to defend its national interest? What's the CIA for, if not to kill those who damage the national interest?

    And for those who do oppose it, is it OK if I question your patriotism now? If not, what symptom of treason should I be waiting for before I can do so?

  48. Anon4PUveJAt and casper, it's called patriotism. If your parents didn't inculcate that virtue in you, then they're unfit parents.

  49. Nicholas Lecompte, you have mischaracterised the result of the Pentagon Papers case. All it stands for is that the government can't restrain publication in advance; it can certainly arrest and try those who publish such things after the fact, and Nixon should have done so to the NY Times. What's more, if there really are national secrets in there, anything that can damage the national security by being published (the example the Supreme Court gave was troop movements) then prior restraint is allowed.

  50. Why don't we just copyright all diplomatic musings, and let Homeland Security close Wikileak on their infringing our copyrights?


    "The investigative arm of the Homeland Security Department appears to be shutting down websites that facilitate copyright infringement."

    In other words, do not fear Big Sis is here.

  51. Someone check and see if Assange played in the infamous "bloody lip" hoops game.

  52. Are we killing the messenger? Do you think the Chinese, the Russians, and other intelligence services need Wikileaks to read our diplomats' mails? Is it about time for us to really protect our "secrets"? Are there too many "secrets" to be protected? Is it too easy for bureaucrats to classify their documents to avoid scrutinies and embarrassments?

    We should thank Julian A. for forcing us to plug the damned security hole before real damages could be done. Btw, any cyber geek can tell you that you can make a document undownloadable.

  53. The leaks of this magnitude couldn't be happening unless it was with the concurrence of the Obama administration. This is just more of what he's been doing; the destruction of the United States from with-in. Everything that Obama has done is for our ruination, everything make sense if you look at what he's done while president.

  54. "But WikiLeaks didn't really break the law - the Pentagon Papers case shows that a free press entitles media groups to print classified information if it has been leaked."

    Read US Code, Title 18, Chapter 37, sections 793 and 798. The Government declined to try and prosecute in the case of the Pentagon Papers. That doesn't repeal the law.

  55. Put that Wikileaks cross-dresser into an airport scanner and set it to stun!


  56. @Scooter: I already had the 1979 moment. I'm a 4th year college student who is looking at 10+ years of repaying loans so I can achieve my dream of bringing a lil bit more of a small-c conservative into the Government. My family are now struggling to make ends meet. I'm relying on the generosity of my friends to live near school since we moved farther away and don't want to get penalized with having too many people than the rent called for.

    In a sense, Carter was okay. He was certainly not the best president, but he had more spine than the one now. At least Carter tried a very risky (and failed) attempt to rescue Americans in danger. Then it all fell apart from there, can't defend the man anymore.

    I can only hope the America I dreamed of when I was younger, one I gave up my original citizenship for, is still alive when I graduate next year. Who knows, I might help in rebuilding it, or I can watch it burn due to it's people's ineptness.

  57. Maybe, just maybe, you should ponder that thought. The fault isn't with Wikileaks, anymore than the NY Times or WaPo were behind the Pentagon Papers - and as I recall, the Supreme Court upheld their right to publish. Which means that for all the ranting, I really doubt that WikiLeaks has done anything illegal - especially since Assange isn't an American citizen. = Here's the better question, which everyone is ignoring (much to the State Department's relief, I'm sure):

    Just how shoddy is our security, anyway? How did this huge cache of docs walk out of the government in the first place? If a set of amateurs at Wikileaks was able to acquire this stuff, just how secret do you think it has been from professional spooks?

    Stop focusing on Wikileaks; that not where the problem is. The problem is their source(s).

  58. I find it fascinating that a law professor is recommending prosecution of Julian Assange without knowing whether Assange has broken any laws:

    "And if the laws were inadequate to prosecute these people, those laws could have and should have been changed long ago to cover this situation, as well as to provide a basis for the disruption of the networks handling and distributing the information."

    Mr. Jacobson, suppose Assange has not broken any U.S. laws. Would you recommend changing laws retroactively so that we can prosecute him then?

    But why even bother with prosecution? "Sentence first - verdict afterwards!"

  59. Well well, it didn't take long for the hate-America crowd do make it's presence here.

    All those sanctimoniously saying we can't do anything because (according to them) Wikileaks didn't break any laws are the same moral idiots who would have defended Alger Hiss or Julius Rosenberg. Or Morton Sobol or Judith Coplon, for that matter.

    The Constitution is not a suicide pact, as many have famously observed. Likewise, spin your wheels debating whether Assange and co can be prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage and Sedition Acts or not; I say we go and do what we have to do.

    Lets understand, kiddos, that there are consequences to inaction. What is happening now is like those situations on the playground when one kid starts to pick on another. The bullies watch to see how the one kid reacts; will he or won't he punch his aggressor? If so, then the bullies will leave him alone. If not, they, too, soon join in the "fun."

    This is what is happening around the world. The bullies are watching how Obama is responding to things like the North Korean artillery attack and the constant releasing of our secrets by Wikileaks. If we respond weekly, the bullies will see it as a green light for them to move ahead with their nefarious agendas.

    Given that the first Wikileaks release was over four months ago, they're starting to draw the conclusion that Barack Obama is another Jimmy Carter.