Nutball Wikileaks founder tries to blackmail Amnesty International

Nutball Wikileaks founder tries to blackmail Amnesty International

Summary: It's starting to look like Assange has somehow lost his way, becoming more deranged opportunist than activist.

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When it comes to espionage suspects, I think I prefer sexy Russian spies over crazy Australian fugitives.

On the one hand, you've got Anna Chapman, who's only real crime (well, except for the spying) was that she wanted to start an Internet company in Manhattan.

On the other hand, you've got Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who's now blackmailing Amnesty International and other human rights groups for $700,000 to remove names of Afghan civilians who might get killed by the Taliban if their names get released on Wikileaks.

All Anna wanted was some good LinkedIn connections. Assange wants cash -- and if he doesn't get it, he'll publish documents containing the names of innocent civilians -- civilians who the Taliban won't hesitate to kill.

It's starting to look like Assange has somehow lost his way, becoming more deranged opportunist than activist. While Wikileaks could be a special resource in our fight for light in an ever-darkening world, it looks like the site may become a victim of its founder's inability to tame the geopolitical forces he's so happily setting free.

According to The Daily Beast, the United States Government is in discussions with Australia, Great Britain, Germany, and other nations, asking them to all bring charges against Assange.

Because the documents he's released may put troops for all these countries at risk, officials in the various NATO countries are seriously considering running Assange up the flagpole and hoisting him on his own petard.

Assange has developed an apparently unearned reputation among his misguided fans as a brave peace activist, standing up to the forces of government worldwide, on behalf of the downtrodden. But wait. If that is the case, why has Assange gone out of his way to blackmail the real organizations who have spent decades actually standing up to the forces of government worldwide on behalf of the downtrodden?

Earlier this week, Amnesty International and four other organizations emailed Wikileaks and Assange requesting exactly what I recommended last week, that the Web site take better care in choosing what to disclose.

When Amnesty International asked for better filtering so civilians aren't killed in the most gruesome of ways as a result of his actions, he demanded $700,000 for what he called a "harm minimization review". This is, again, why I think Assange is in it for the chaos, rather than for a better world.

So where does that leave Assange and Wikileaks? Interestingly, although the Wikileaks site claims it was created by activities and scientists, the only name we've been seeing is the name of our one nutball: Assange. Everyone else is distancing themselves from this can of worm feces.

Wikileaks may survive, but only if it gets governance, grows up, and works and plays well with others. Assange, on the other hand, should enjoy his notoriety while he can. Somewhere, in some NATO country, there's a padded cell being readied for his future occupancy.

Update: corrected Assange's country of origin.

Topics: Security, Browser, Government, Government US, Software Development

About

David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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  • RE: Nutball Wikileaks founder tries to blackmail Amnesty International

    I don't believe this..

    I trust Assange more than I trust anyone at Amnesty.. Assange is not mentally deranged to commit such political & PR suicide..

    This paragraph & the adjectives in the article makes me wary of this article enough

    ***When Amnesty International asked for better filtering so civilians aren?t killed in the most <I> gruesome </I> of ways as a result of his actions, he demanded $700,000 for what he called a ?harm minimization review?. This is, again, why I think Assange is in it for the chaos, rather than for a better world.***
    Rahul Mulchandani
    • RE: Nutball Wikileaks founder tries to blackmail Amnesty International

      @Rahul Mulchandani

      The whole point of the killing of civilians for the Taliban is to intimidate other civilians. The killings are [i]self-consciously[/i] gruesome. That's the point of them.
      bhartman36
      • RE: Nutball Wikileaks founder tries to blackmail Amnesty International

        @bhartman36 So too is the reason the US predators try to kill the entire families of their assassination targets.
        AustinHook
      • RE: Nutball Wikileaks founder tries to blackmail Amnesty International

        @AustinHook

        Predators are out there to kill the terrorists (the people trying to kill our forces and the Afghanis in the government). They're not being targeted at civilians. The Taliban go after innocent Afghanis that haven't done anything to anyone, for the sole purpose of intimidating the population. It's not even close to the same thing, unless you make no distinction between say, murderers and schoolchildren.
        bhartman36
      • RE: Nutball Wikileaks founder tries to blackmail Amnesty International

        @bhartman36
        "
        dbreuer
    • Me too...

      I do not believe gerwitz. There is something missing.
      wmlundine
      • I question whether any lives are in danger

        @wmlundine ... carefully reading the news below the fold on this story, Pentagon spokesmen have been asked and answered that they have no evidence of any person being killed as a result of the last round of document dumps.
        This is just the only argument they have against the idea of releasing them, dutifully picked up by their apologists and parrots in state-run media.
        Nixon and company argued exactly the same thing over the Pentagon Papers and Tricky Barry is taking a page from that playbook.
        I don't beat Gewirtz up too much; his notions of patriotism come from 80's movies and although misguided he believes he is serving a higher truth by retailing this stuff.
        Gewirtz is incapable of extrapolating a zero-eth law; that shortening the war is good for humanity. He is the unwitting pawn of those on the other end of all this defense spending.
        A fool on the throne isn't absolved of responsibility because he is a fool, but Gewirtz isn't on the throne.
        HollywoodDog
      • RE: Nutball Wikileaks founder tries to blackmail Amnesty International

        HollywoodDog --<br><br>Your statement that Gurwitz's "notions of patriotism come from 80's movies" is itself naive and specious. You <i>sound</i> all wise and patronizing when you say it, but it's really just pabulum you absorbed uncritically from your blame-America-first PoliSci 101 prof, right? It sounds like a typical college-freshman catchphrase spouted after (ahem) learning that "Everything I thought I knew about America is WRONG!!!"<br><br>Please.<br><br>Your own notion that "shortening the war is good for humanity" ignores the situation we would be leaving for inhabitants of Afghanistan if we left too early. I would suggest instead that "ending the TALIBAN is good for humanity." And guess what: their brand of zealous sadism is not eradicated with words.<br><br>Some questions for you: can you TRULY believe that Assange's intentions are noble when his disclosures could cost lives? Even if there's only a CHANCE of retribution/retaliation, is it worth the risk to do so? And how would disclosure help to end the war -- for better or worse -- anyway?<br><br>You speak of apologists, yet you yourself sound like an apologist for some of the worst perpetrators of barbarity in the modern world.
        Churlish
    • Of course you do not. Extortionist rarely believe what they do is wrong

      instead believing they are owed something by society. The pattern related to Assange is indicating that he is nothing more then a petty theif, who used his past thefts as an attempt to build a noble reputation among those he cares little for, beyond how much protection he can get from them.
      People like Assange can never be trusted.

      In return, he'll let others die, maybe even the son of a neighbor of someone defending Assange .

      I am sure the irony is not lost on him.

      Greed is one of the worst emotions that you humans have.
      :|
      Tim Cook
    • We would not know about civilian deaths if it wasn't for Wikileaks

      Why didn't the author of this article, David Gewirtz, mention the civilians who were killed by NATO forces, events which were covered up by the military, but made public by Julian Assange and Wikileaks?

      OK. Maybe you can criticize both sides, the military and Assange. However, this article, for unexplained reason, only criticizes Assange.

      To this day, we would not know about those civilian deaths in Afghanistan, if Wikileaks had not let the world know. The public has a right to know about the causalities of war. It should not be a military secret. We should know.
      Vbitrate
      • RE: Nutball Wikileaks founder tries to blackmail Amnesty International

        Market Analyst --<br><br>So we didn't know about civilian deaths without Wikileaks and Assange? Are you actually serious?<br><br>Every time a civilian is killed by western forces (often due to their use as human shields by the Taliban and other insurgents), left-leaning media outlets worldwide trumpet it from the rooftops.<br><br>For left-leaning, military-hating journalists, civilians killed by NATO forces are Christmas in July. You can sense their barely-restrained glee as they describe unfortunate but isolated tragedies, all the while ignoring the constant reconstruction, training, and relief efforts that our forces perform every day.<br><br>I wish someone would "leak" the scope of GOOD that military personnel do, unthanked, and at great personal risk. But, hey, we can't have that information getting out ... it would turn one of liberals' sacred cows ("the Evil Military War Machine") into hamburger.
        Churlish
      • RE: Nutball Wikileaks founder tries to blackmail Amnesty International

        @gyepera

        Why do you assume that you have a right to know? is it a form a voyeurism? War is dirty and people die! Before and during D-Day (June 6, 1944) between 15,000 and 30,000 French people die as collateral damage when allied forces bombed German positions on the Normandy coast line. Did the French cry foul play? Did they sue? did they complain? Of course not because they understood the "bigger pciture".
        bdecaudin
    • RE: Nutball Wikileaks founder tries to blackmail Amnesty International

      The other thing that is off in this article is the lack of understanding of a business transaction. Amnesty International wanted to have something done that would take time and people to achieve. Assange put a price tag on that service, essentially saying - if you want this service provided now, it will take this amount of money to provide it. I don't know anybody in the world that would consider a business transaction blackmail. Gerwitz needs to clarify his thinking even more.
      tsteele@...
      • RE: Nutball Wikileaks founder tries to blackmail Amnesty International

        @tsteele@... Absolutely. I guess what Gerwitz is saying is that Assange himself should read all of the 10's of 1000's of leaks and work out who's at fault before they get published.

        What Assange is doing is cunning strategy: He's drawing in a massive organisation with massive resources who's interests are not that far from his own organisations and compelling them to put their money where their mouth is. Bravo, and problem solved. 700k is nothing to Amnesty.
        jack@...
      • RE: Nutball Wikileaks founder tries to blackmail Amnesty International

        @tsteele@...
        There is no work to do. No posting the lists does not take any 'work', there is a lack of work. So where is the cost?
        mkemp@...
  • RE: Nutball Wikileaks founder tries to blackmail Amnesty International

    Good info, bad tone. Ya got rather hateful and opinionated there at the end.
    Wodenhelm
    • RE: Nutball Wikileaks founder tries to blackmail Amnesty International

      @Wodenhelm

      You afraid to hate? Do you have an opinion on women as property?
      dpkingbluesguitar
    • RE: Nutball Wikileaks founder tries to blackmail Amnesty International

      @Wodenhelm
      Right, the Taliban should be considered for all the good things they do as well.
      Why don't you list them for us?
      dpkingbluesguitar
      • RE: Nutball Wikileaks founder tries to blackmail Amnesty International

        @dpkingbluesguitar I think you need to consider that We (The US) were the ones who put the Taliban into power to help up fight off the then Communist Russians. We armed them, funded them and then left them hanging out to dry as soon as the Russians pulled out.

        We had a chance to prevent all this by sticking around and honoring our commitment to them to help build a better life for them but instead we simply walked away leaving them with all the guns and bombs we gave them and the training on how to use them and a sense that they had been used.

        It came back to bite us in the ass in a bad way
        Relorian@...
    • RE: Nutball Wikileaks founder tries to blackmail Amnesty International

      dpkingbluesguitar --

      Come on now, dpkingbluesguitar, we have to consider the Taliban's [i]feelings[/i] in all of this. We don't want to call them names and damage their fragile self-esteem.

      After all, according to Wodenhelm (I assume), if we just treat them nicely, they'll come to see the error of their ways.
      Churlish