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The Wiki Wheel That Needs To Be Greased

I haven't said much about the Wikileaks case. That's because there really isn't much to be said. It's a remarkably simple situation.

A US Army soldier who had access to a considerable amount of classified information allegedly turned it over to Wikileaks. That group (which has a history of committing fraud to express its opposition to the war) released a large portion of those documents, including the names of many Afghan civilians who have assisted or cooperated with the United States and the Afghan government. The Taliban has already announced that it intends to find and kill those people.

The US government denounced the move, and demanded that Wikileaks turn over all the remaining documents they possessed.

In response, Wikileaks posted an encrypted file they called "insurance file." They offer no explanation for this 1.4GB file, but it's a fair assumption that it's the remainder of the documents and others that they think will embarrass and harm the US government. They have also asked the government to assist them in properly vetting and redacting the remaining files before they release them.

Complicated, right?

Not really.

There's already some great words of wisdom to cover this whole thing, enshrined in United States law.

The United States Constitution, Article III, Section 3:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

United States Espionage Act:

Whoever, with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury or the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation, communicates... to any foreign government, or to any faction or party or military or naval force within a foreign country, whether recognized or unrecognized by the United States, or to any representative, officer, agent, employee, subject, or citizen thereof, either directly or indirectly any document... relating to the national defence, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than twenty years: Provided, That whoever shall violate the provisions of subsection:

(a) of this section in time of war shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for not more than thirty years; and

(b) whoever, in time of war, with intent that the same shall be communicated to the enemy, shall collect... any information with respect to the movement, numbers, description, condition, or disposition of any of the armed forces, ships, aircraft, or war materials of the United States, or with respect to the plans or conduct, or supposed plans or conduct of any naval of military operations, or with respect to any works or measures undertaken for or connected with, or intended for the fortification of any place, or any other information relating to the public defence, which might be useful to the enemy, shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for not more than thirty years.

(Some excess legalese trimmed for clarity -- see link for original)

Tree. Rope. Some assembly required.

What Wikileaks is doing is essentially playing chicken with the United States government. They are trying to, to coin a phrase, show that they've got bigger balls.

The problem is, they're playing a far, far more serious game than they realize. They are playing at the game of thrones, the game of nations -- and they're looking to get crushed.

What Wikileaks is doing, by their actions, is declaring their own war against the United States. And they're simply not equipped to wage that kind of war.

They don't realize it, of course. They're blinded by their misplaced sense of moral superiority and the imagined, intoxicating distance and anonymity they think they have over the internet.

They're wrong. And the Obama administration needs to assert just how wrong they are. Because we, as a nation, simply cannot afford to let this kind of challenge, this kind of attack, to go unanswered.

The soldier in question and the leaders of Wikileaks have already made their open admissions that confirm their guilt of the above-mentioned laws. All that is left is the technicalities -- arrest, trial, and sentencing.

And in this case, where they have willfully put the lives of countless innocents at risk (risk, hell -- they've given them a death sentence), I don't think the ultimate penalty is too extreme.


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Comments (24)

Jay, I have no argument wit... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Jay, I have no argument with your analysis or the course of action required. I totally agree.

But somebody currently in the White House has yet to impress me with their resolve/commitment to the protection and defense of our country. And I think you'd have a hard time finding a bookie anywhere willing to offer even money on the course of action you outline. That's tragic.

To borrow (with some modification) the words of another - I think it's fair to say, number one, any of us (sh)ould be pretty angry; number two, that the (voters) acted stupidly (in November 2007).

Wikileaks figures since the... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Wikileaks figures since the NY Times wasnt prosecuted then they wont be.

I would not... totally disa... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

I would not... totally disagree with you, Jay.

I think what they've done IS treasonous - especially what the soldier did. (Hell, I don't give a damn about his motives - all I know is if I put the classified documents I was entrusted with on the intertubes, I'd have been looking at a long, long time at Leavenworth. (Probably minimum security - but still... hmmm. Do they even HAVE a minimum security wing at Leavenworth?) Not to mention how it would impact the people who's names were on the documents. And this wasn't even mission critical stuff!)

He can't even argue ignorance of the law. He KNEW he was breaking the regs by doing so, but did it anyway. That's pretty damn stupid. But death penalty stupid? Not quite. 500 years without parole stupid, certainly. Solitary for the rest of his life stupid, in an 8x10 cell. 3 hots and a cot, a blanket, some clothes - and nothing, NOTHING else.

Now Wikileaks is another matter. Track them down, prosecute, and obliterate. What they did was stupid, and wrong, and done with malice aforethought. They can claim no ignorance of the contents or their status under US code. They have shown they're not 'reasoned dissent', they're actively on the other side. And so - deal with them like any enemy combatant according to the UCMJ. If they surrender voluntariy - then debrief them of any useful info, and incarcerate them for the rest of the war. If they don't - well, sucks to be them.

Dissent is one thing - but Wikileaks didn't just cross the line between dissent and treason, they overshot it by miles.

What Manning did was espion... (Below threshold)
Jeff Medcalf:

What Manning did was espionage and possibly treason. What WikiLeaks did was not treason because Assange is not American. You have to be a subject or citizen of a country to commit treason against it.

Okay, Jeff - so he's on the... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Okay, Jeff - so he's on the other side. That makes him a legitimate enemy per the Geneva Convention. (Shrug.)

He's engaged in espionage, by his own admission. Therefore he's a spy. Therefore, death penalty.

I have no problem with that.

On another note - anyone else having problems today with WizBang loading slowly? Seems there's something that's taking the better part of a minute to load, and running up a CPU share of about 45% during that time...

Lawson - site is loading no... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Lawson - site is loading normally here, but I may be on a different platform (Mac).

the best we could do was as... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

the best we could do was ask for them to please not release them ?

no secret government hackers to bring down their servers and fry their hard disks ?

No Delta team to just steal the damn disks and the backups ?

No Delta team could make a visit to the guy and "suggest" he not publish ?

Please don't publish ...

Based on current administra... (Below threshold)
epador:

Based on current administration actions:
Manning = Treason = no trial, pardoned, free pass to cheat on his taxes
Assange = enemy combatant = one Hellfire Missile with Wikileaks name on it.

Could the military perhap's... (Below threshold)
914:

Could the military perhap's bring those identified Afghan's over here and keep them under protection? Either that or use them if they agree as bait to kill Taliban scum.

If the leaker's career's go south ( if they have any left ) the NY Slime's is always interested in talented leaker's who specialize in espionage and outright treason.

"Based on current administr... (Below threshold)
Stormin:

"Based on current administration actions:
Manning = Treason = no trial, pardoned, free pass to cheat on his taxes
Assange = enemy combatant = one Hellfire Missile with Wikileaks name on it."

That was the Bill Clinton school. With this bunch it is a stern talking to.

What they are more likely t... (Below threshold)
mpw280:

What they are more likely to find is that someone will personally take offense and remedy the situation from 500 yards or more with a 308 cure to the problem of leaking classified and potentially harmful documents during a time of war. If the CIA had balls the guy would be in a suitcase at the bottom of the ocean by now and the case closed. mpw

Of course the skeletal Wiki... (Below threshold)
oldpuppymax:

Of course the skeletal Wikileaks prop and aggressively homosexual Army object who did the damage know quite well that Hussein and his America hating minions are in full support of this treasonous betrayal of the US. Will the Whitey House be sufficiently politically concerned to actually DO anything about it?? Not if they can help it!

Enemy combatant Assange nee... (Below threshold)
John S:

Enemy combatant Assange needs to just disappear in the middle of the night. Then the encrypted "insurance" file will remain permanently encrypted.

The sad fact is that Assang... (Below threshold)
Roy:

The sad fact is that Assange does have bigger balls than anyone in the White House today. Which, if you've seen/heard the guy, is a pretty bad indictment.

I wouldn't hold my breath w... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for AG Holder to do anything.

Give Holder a break! He's b... (Below threshold)
914:

Give Holder a break! He's been too busy ignoring election fraud to be on top of this.

Jeff M., that's why I liste... (Below threshold)

Jeff M., that's why I listed both treason and espionage. Manning, treason; Wikileaks, espionage.

Treat 'em just like we did the Nazi infiltrators we caught in and around NYC in World War II. Fair trial, then execution.

J.

The NY Times already did a ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

The NY Times already did a sympathy piece on the soldier in question. Shows where the lefts head is. Obama will address this when they are finished vacationing. Probably in October. Obama doesn't have the balls to go against his leftist breathren. ww

And when Julian Assmunch en... (Below threshold)
mojo:

And when Julian Assmunch ends up lying in some Singapore alley with his throat cut, you can bet it will be the US that gets blamed.

Barry will not address this... (Below threshold)
914:

Barry will not address this before November Willie. He may release Porkulis funds in October but he will try not to make waves before his fellow leftists leave office.

Its really to bad Congressi... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Its really to bad Congressional oversight of the CIA and NSA would never support the formation of a covert group like the Mossad and simply give them free reign to eliminate 'problems' like that.

Ever since that darling Frank Church, our intelligence operations have been crippled outings to Central Park in the springtime lest we 'offend' some foreign power.

"Then the encrypted "in... (Below threshold)
Marc:

"Then the encrypted "insurance" file will remain permanently encrypted."

So, someone tell me the CIA or another U.S. agency can't go unto that server and tag it with a U.S. Military type encryption.

No one?

So they could do that? Is that what this silence means?

Yeah I thought so. It can't be too hard and then that asshole's so called trump card can never be played.

Yes, Wikileak, Manning, and... (Below threshold)
olsoljer:

Yes, Wikileak, Manning, and Asshanger need to be greased.

"No Person shall be convict... (Below threshold)
Amc:

"No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act"

Sorry to tell you this, but no witnesses for Manning, hence to treason.

"Whoever, with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury or the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation, communicates"

Again, it is not Wikileaks "intent" to harm the United States and they redacted the material so no "reason to believe" the harm. Hence, no espionage.

P.S. The lack of morality on this board is astonishing and Wikileaks rocks.




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