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Sweden drops charges against WikiLeaks' founder, Julian Assange

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 19 May 2017 5:47 User comments (30)

Sweden drops charges against WikiLeaks' founder, Julian Assange Swedish prosecutors released a statement today saying that they will drop the preliminary investigation against WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange.
"Chief prosecutor Marianne Ny has today decided to discontinue the preliminary investigation regarding suspected rape concerning Julian Assange," the office said in its statement.

Julian Assange has lived in Ecuador's embassy in London, since 2013. The lawsuit accusing him of rape in Sweden, has been pending for almost 7 years. Assange has denied the claims and stated that it is a manhunt against him and WikiLeaks.

Shortly after the release of the statement, Assange posted a photo of him smiling, to his Twitter account:




While the European Arrest Warrant issued for Mr Assange has been withdrawn by the Swedish prosecutor, Assange will still be arrested when he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy by British police on a separate warrant for failing to appear in court years ago.

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30 user comments

119.5.2017 11:25

This is not a victory for free speech. There is no guarantee that the information this criminal releases is accurate or not politically motivated (or self-serving). His screwing with the U.S. elections was a major factor in Trump's victory and we all have seen what that has meant for the security and stability of Western governments. Assange released nothing of the enormous amounts of information which would have undone Trump because of his vendetta against the Obama administration. Do you really want a man of his petty motivations affecting YOUR elections? LOCK HIM UP.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 May 2017 @ 11:27

219.5.2017 11:48

Originally posted by rbi149:
This is not a victory for free speech. There is no guarantee that the information this criminal releases is accurate or not politically motivated (or self-serving). His screwing with the U.S. elections was a major factor in Trump's victory and we all have seen what that has meant for the security and stability of Western governments. Assange released nothing of the enormous amounts of information which would have undone Trump because of his vendetta against the Obama administration. Do you really want a man of his petty motivations affecting YOUR elections? LOCK HIM UP.
The leaks that put Wikileaks on the map had nothing to do with the Obama administration though. The so called "collateral murder" video and the Iraq war logs etc. were all Bush-era material.

Whether Assange has committed any crime against the U.S. is debatable. Wikileaks can only publish what it is given by leakers (or possibly hackers), there is no evidence Assange ever stole anything or that he was the source of any leak.

319.5.2017 12:46

It's nice to see that Sweden gives criminals a free ride. Refer to the fact that Wikileaks meddled in the 2016 American election with Russian help. Maybe when I decide to commit a crime, I can travel to Sweden and get my free ride. Who are the criminals now?

419.5.2017 16:24

Originally posted by Dela:
Originally posted by rbi149:
This is not a victory for free speech. There is no guarantee that the information this criminal releases is accurate or not politically motivated (or self-serving). His screwing with the U.S. elections was a major factor in Trump's victory and we all have seen what that has meant for the security and stability of Western governments. Assange released nothing of the enormous amounts of information which would have undone Trump because of his vendetta against the Obama administration. Do you really want a man of his petty motivations affecting YOUR elections? LOCK HIM UP.
The leaks that put Wikileaks on the map had nothing to do with the Obama administration though. The so called "collateral murder" video and the Iraq war logs etc. were all Bush-era material.

Whether Assange has committed any crime against the U.S. is debatable. Wikileaks can only publish what it is given by leakers (or possibly hackers), there is no evidence Assange ever stole anything or that he was the source of any leak.
I have to agree with rbi149! Wkikileaks is more show than substance, because Assange grabs onto any information provided to him without having a clue as to the veracity of its source. Anyone with modest PC skills could send him doctored or even fake information and get it posted. Hence his quick acceptance of the so-called leaks provided to him by Russian hackers. There's no doubt in my mind, and there shouldn't be in anyone's mind that Assange helped to elect Trump, the most unstable and dangerous human to hold office since the Cold War, and perhaps even WWII. Assange had a chance to make something great, but he squandered it to serve his ego.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 May 2017 @ 16:26

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519.5.2017 21:21

Looking at the comments,I can see missplaced anger at the one person who alerted the world about the criminal actions of governments of the west. Inspired others within the govt's to spring a leak. The USA making laws unknown to but a few. Well documented Rendition Torture prisons around the world.. All due to whistle blowers and you have the hide to make accusations out of rumours by those who would want Assange 'demonized' That man is your hero and mine. One can tell who are the 'GOOD' of the world. Just look on the hate list of western govt's Cheers and good luck.

619.5.2017 21:30

I believe that the greater part of the comments here are just stupid by people from the US that want to place the blame onto another person because Trump so called won the 2016 election.
If they had any guts they would have taken the time to vote instead of sitting on the side lines and hoping that the person they liked would have won.
At least here in Australia by our Constitution have to vote in every Federal and the State that you live in, this is the fairest way to get a better outcome from any election. But we might not like the outcome we do not try to place the blame on another person that is cooped up overseas.
So in ending all I can say is get a life then live with it.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 May 2017 @ 21:33

719.5.2017 21:52

Originally posted by Obi_:
Looking at the comments,I can see missplaced anger at the one person who alerted the world about the criminal actions of governments of the west. Inspired others within the govt's to spring a leak. The USA making laws unknown to but a few. Well documented Rendition Torture prisons around the world.. All due to whistle blowers and you have the hide to make accusations out of rumours by those who would want Assange 'demonized' That man is your hero and mine. One can tell who are the 'GOOD' of the world. Just look on the hate list of western govt's Cheers and good luck.
I have no idea why you think the above comments had anything to do with anger, misplaced or otherwise. You do know that it's possible to rationally view an event or set of events in the absence of anger right? Probably not! Here's the reality! Wikileaks at its inception by posting U.S Iraqi war atrocities was a service to any free thinking people. But when Wikileaks became an unwitting participant to Putin's efforts to destabilize western democracies, it became an untrustworthy and unwitting pawn to his hegemonic aspirations. So look for all the misplaced anger you want, but don't confuse what Wikileaks has become as free speech.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 19 May 2017 @ 21:54

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819.5.2017 22:07

"I believe that the greater part of the comments here are just stupid by people from the US"

The "greater part of which comments?" Until you came along there were only four comments, so how great did they get? I will be the first to agree that there are some stupid people in the U.S, but then that's also true of Australia. We have a population that's about 14 times that of Australia, so even if you extracted the "stupidest" people in the U.S, the intelligent ones left would still out populate your entire country, including your stupid. Now if you want to demonstrate that you're in fact among your more intelligent, then consider this. How does Assange vet his sources before posting? Or does he just take whatever comes to him over the internet as fact?



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920.5.2017 0:06

You DO realize that exactly zero of the emails Wikileaks exposed have been successfully shown to be incorrect/false, right?

Hmmm.. "Untrustworthy", eh? Not too familiar with our country's foreign (and internal) policy/actions, are you? Ask a Kurd how that is, we hose them regularly =p .

Assange is a monumental twit, yes. Criminal? Perhaps but charges were never filed in the "ironclad" case, I'll note. And none of that impugns the information he gathered at all.

Pull a convincing statistical sample of bogus documents out of Wikileaks (out of, say, 1000-10,000 randomly chosen docs) and then you'll have a point. Until then, nope! You simply don't have any to show, much less a convincing number/frequency of them.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 May 2017 @ 0:10

1020.5.2017 11:13

Governments don't even bother denying WikiLeaks stuff. For example, the US government still says marijuana has no medical use decades after saying that the chemicals in it do have a medical use. Official lies are the norm. Yet even the US government doesn't deny the validity of the leaks posted; they admit these things ARE TRUE.

The leaks probably did affect the election, but if someone had sent data about Trump that would have been posted too. There would probably already be a ton of stuff about trump if not for the fact that Trump himself tends to leak his own bad press in press conferences. If you want to blame someone for the democrats emailing each other about screwing Sanders, blame the democrats.

Remember that Wikileaks doesn't limit themselves to US politics either. For example, when a power company owned by the UK government was planning to bury atomic waste in Australia, it was WikiLeaks that broke the story. That has nothing to do with the US...and if anything, the Clintons would probably support such a leak and the effects of it.

As to the criminal charges, it is always a bit hard to believe charges that only appear right after a government gets mad at the person being charged. I fully realize the issues with women being reluctant to come forward and evidence disappearing with time...but if someone came forward blaming anyone else then no charges would have been considered simply because there would be no evidence. Even if such charges actually were true, it would be impossible to have a fair trial at that point; the very fact that charges were filed was proof that the government was biased. So yes, even if the charges were true, it would still be a witch hunt and it's nice that it is finally over.

As for comments that most US citizens are stupid...well, just consider that Trump and Clinton won the primaries. Sure, the democrats fixed their primary and Trump didn't get a majority but there are obviously a lot of very stupid people in the US...one of them is even president now!

1124.5.2017 12:59

The very fact that they can choose WHICH information to leak means they are a potential tool for states like Russia to interfere in the politics of other nations. You're telling me that Wikileaks had NO information on Trump that would have damaged his campaign? Right....

1224.5.2017 14:45

Originally posted by rbi149:
The very fact that they can choose WHICH information to leak means they are a potential tool for states like Russia to interfere in the politics of other nations. You're telling me that Wikileaks had NO information on Trump that would have damaged his campaign? Right....


Except that's true of EVERY source of information ever in the media, including all news sources, from Fox to MSNBC to NPR to the BBC to Al Jazeera. Quibble fail.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 May 2017 @ 15:04

1324.5.2017 22:07

Originally posted by Bozobub:
Originally posted by rbi149:
The very fact that they can choose WHICH information to leak means they are a potential tool for states like Russia to interfere in the politics of other nations. You're telling me that Wikileaks had NO information on Trump that would have damaged his campaign? Right....


Except that's true of EVERY source of information ever in the media, including all news sources, from Fox to MSNBC to NPR to the BBC to Al Jazeera. Quibble fail.
It's all but impossible to fact check or to verify anything posted on Wikileaks, because the content they post isn't publicly available and no one is admitting to it, or it's a work of fiction passed onto them to spread as disinformation. The people at Wikileaks have no means to verify the authenticity of information they've received, and neither does anyone else without a public admission.

If the CIA wanted to falsify information that might help them in a covert operation, wouldn't it be easy for them to have it passed off to Wikileaks as a hack of the CIA? All the CIA would have to do is smile while pretending to complain about a hack that never happened.
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1424.5.2017 22:39

Originally posted by Sophocles:
It's all but impossible to fact check or to verify anything posted on Wikileaks, because the content they post isn't publicly available and no one is admitting to it, or it's a work of fiction passed onto them to spread as disinformation. The people at Wikileaks have no means to verify the authenticity of information they've received, and neither does anyone else without a public admission.
Actually, people do tend to admit to WikiLeaks stuff; it happens all the time. For example, whenever there is a leak about the US government the government responds by saying that the information was leaked by a traitor...thereby confirming the authenticity. Even if this wasn't the case, others tend to come forward to confirm the leaks anyway. There is also the issue of the other side of communications. For example, if a bunch of emails are released there are thousands of people with the other sides of the email conversations. Sometimes it's pictures or videos...really hard to deny.

Could the CIA do a fake leak like you describe? Probably...but it would basically have to be something that was completely toxic to the CIA in order for people to actually pay attention in the first place; the blow-back wouldn't be worth the benefits.

1525.5.2017 0:36

Originally posted by Sophocles:
Originally posted by Bozobub:
Originally posted by rbi149:
The very fact that they can choose WHICH information to leak means they are a potential tool for states like Russia to interfere in the politics of other nations. You're telling me that Wikileaks had NO information on Trump that would have damaged his campaign? Right....


Except that's true of EVERY source of information ever in the media, including all news sources, from Fox to MSNBC to NPR to the BBC to Al Jazeera. Quibble fail.
It's all but impossible to fact check or to verify anything posted on Wikileaks, because the content they post isn't publicly available and no one is admitting to it, or it's a work of fiction passed onto them to spread as disinformation. The people at Wikileaks have no means to verify the authenticity of information they've received, and neither does anyone else without a public admission.

If the CIA wanted to falsify information that might help them in a covert operation, wouldn't it be easy for them to have it passed off to Wikileaks as a hack of the CIA? All the CIA would have to do is smile while pretending to complain about a hack that never happened.

Sorry, you won't be saving rbi149's failed argument, no matter how you try =) .

1625.5.2017 8:10

Sorry, you won't be saving rbi149's failed argument, no matter how you try =) .



I'm not trying to save rbi149's argument, because it's your arguments that are flawed.

Quote:
Except that's true of EVERY source of information ever in the media, including all news sources, from Fox to MSNBC to NPR to the BBC to Al Jazeera. Quibble fail.
"Legitimate" news sources are expected to vet the information and then verify their source before publishing. Wikileaks receives their information from the internet and have absolutely no means to insure that what they're receiving is true. That means that they're posting their content solely on good-faith, because the information might actually be disinformation that's meant to mislead. The CIA, NSA, FBI, SVR RF, MI6, or any other intelligence source could present false information to Wikileaks that only they can verify, and if it's intentionally meant to mislead then they would want to verify it. The number of ways that Wikileaks can be easily misused are so numerous that it's limited only by the imagination.






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1725.5.2017 10:48

Nope. S/he made a flat claim that simply is unsupportable, no matter how you squirm. And I'll note that your "legitimate" news sources have a significantly *worse* record for accuracy, so far, than WikiLeaks. Wanna go down the Faux News "accuracy" rabbit hole? I promise you, it won't be pretty!

Once again, until you can present me with even ONE verifiably incorrect datum WikiLeaks possesses, much less a statistically significant sample, you have nothing at all but innuendo and insistence. In fact, WikiLeaks DOES vet their sources:
(From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WikiLeaks...of_submissions)
"WikiLeaks has contended that it has never released a misattributed document and that documents are assessed before release. In response to concerns about the possibility of misleading or fraudulent leaks, WikiLeaks has stated that misleading leaks 'are already well-placed in the mainstream media. WikiLeaks is of no additional assistance.' The FAQ states that: 'The simplest and most effective countermeasure is a worldwide community of informed users and editors who can scrutinise and discuss leaked documents.'

According to statements by Assange in 2010, submitted documents are vetted by a group of five reviewers, with expertise in different topics such as language or programming, who also investigate the background of the leaker if his or her identity is known. In that group, Assange has the final decision about the assessment of a document."

You may not like how they vet their sources but to pretend they don't vet them at all is simply mendacious BS. Nor is "it could be misused" a particularly cogent argument; ANYTHING can be misused. Once again, wanna discuss the misuse of Faux News? It won't be pretty.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 May 2017 @ 11:06

1825.5.2017 15:58

Quote:
Nope. S/he made a flat claim that simply is unsupportable, no matter how you squirm. And I'll note that your "legitimate" news sources have a significantly *worse* record for accuracy, so far, than WikiLeaks. Wanna go down the Faux News "accuracy" rabbit hole? I promise you, it won't be pretty!
I haven't a clue who "S/he" is and I don't really care. The fact is that your previous post is seriously flawed because it assumes that Wikileaks receives infallible information which isn't possible.

As for going down a rabbit hole and faux news, bring it on, but unless you're a fan of FOX NEWS and Brietbart, we'll probably find more to agree on than not.

Quote:
WikiLeaks has contended that it has never released a misattributed document and that documents are assessed before release.
So now your proof of Wikileaks veracity is Wikileaks itself! Isn't that a little like asking inmates in a prison to be their own judges?

The reality is that Wikileaks has absolutely no way of verifying the source of their information no matter what Assange or other members of Wikileaks say.

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of Wikileaks, but if I can see holes in it, then so can more capable individuals with little or no scruples. I believe that a lot of what Wikileaks has posted is, albeit generally useless information, is factual, but there's no way to verify which posts are true and which are plants. They just don't have the resources or access to effectively vet their information, and nothing that you can counter with will convince me otherwise.


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1925.5.2017 17:15

"S/he" is rbi149, the person who made the failed claim you are fervently defending. If you can't keep up, take notes.

Insist what you like, but you won't be able to get around the simple fact that Wikileaks currently has a far better record for accuracy than *any other* news/media source you care to name. Once again, until you can show even ONE contrary example, much less a statistically significant result out of a large, random sample, you quite literally have nothing but innuendo and implication. Further insistence otherwise is utterly useless until then.

Insistence does not generate existence, no matter how fervently or often you try. Your concerns are certainly are good to keep in mind but they are, in one way or another, true about every known media source.

2025.5.2017 18:34

Quote:
"S/he" is rbi149, the person who made the failed claim you are fervently defending. If you can't keep up, take notes.
Then you need to read back a few posts because I'm not defending anyone, and I haven't a clue as to why you think otherwise.

Quote:
Insist what you like, but you won't be able to get around the simple fact that Wikileaks currently has a far better record for accuracy than *any other* news/media source you care to name.
The above statement is in error because it makes the assumption that something is true without any evidence to support it. For instance you're assuming that Wikileaks as a "fact" has a "far better track record for accuracy than any other news media." First let's just clear a couple of points. The first is, that there is no way anything on Wikileaks can be accurately fact checked, because that would require for the fact checker to have access to the source. But mainstream news media can be fact checked because the source is accessible, and can be held accountable.

Quote:
Once again, until you can show even ONE contrary example, much less a statistically significant result out of a large, random sample, you quite literally have nothing but innuendo and implication.
The above statement is referred to as an informal fallacy, or an attempt to shift the burden of proof, because you no proof to support your claim. You're in essence asking me to prove or disprove a negative,which is akin to asking and atheist to prove or disprove the existence of God. So let me try and simply this! If you can't verify that a set of information is true, then you can't verify if it's not true either, and therein lies the flaw of Wikileaks. By the way "innuendo and implication" is redundant since innuendo is a form of malicious implication.

Quote:
Insistence does not generate existence, no matter how fervently or often you try. Your concerns are certainly are good to keep in mind but they are, in one way or another, true about every known media source.
And nonsense doesn't generate sense, or at least not to most people, but to some it apparently does. To sum! There is no way that anyone can verify the content on Wikileaks even through admission, without knowing the who, and the how, the information was gathered, and then comparing it to the original source.

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2125.5.2017 23:05

Nope. YOU are the one impugning a source of information that has been 100% correct 100% of the time, so far, even under pretty extreme test at times*. That's far better than any other source you will ever name. Go ahead, try to prove me wrong; even Al Jazeera, whom I respect a great deal, bones it every now and then.

The onus is on you. Every single piece of information anyone has put to the test from Wikileaks in the past, that I am aware of, has been either shown to be correctly attributed or impossible to determine; find me ONE that's simply incorrectly sourced. One. Then I'll gladly listen but until then, you still have nothing.

While you marinate on that, however, you need to remember a very large number of these documents have been *admitted* to be fully accurate. That puts a very, very large crimp in your argument.
________
*In attribution/authenticity, that is. I am saying nothing about the (in)correctness of the original writers of said document(s).

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 May 2017 @ 23:10

2226.5.2017 1:43

Originally posted by Sophocles:
And nonsense doesn't generate sense, or at least not to most people, but to some it apparently does. To sum! There is no way that anyone can verify the content on Wikileaks even through admission, without knowing the who, and the how, the information was gathered, and then comparing it to the original source.
By the standard you are setting, almost nothing can be verified, regardless of who published it, regardless of the sources. If several people see a murder, the murderer sends a bunch of emails talking about the murder, and then admits to the murder, you could still say it isn't 100% certain by the standard you are trying to impose on WikiLeaks, and ONLY on WikiLeaks. Even if there was a video you could say it was faked. There is a certain point where you have to let go of that last 0.000001% chance because otherwise you can't even believe the things you see with your own eyes.

2326.5.2017 8:22

Quote:
By the standard you are setting, almost nothing can be verified, regardless of who published it, regardless of the sources.
I don't see how you got that from this?

Quote:
To sum! There is no way that anyone can verify the content on Wikileaks even through admission, without knowing the who, and the how, the information was gathered, and then comparing it to the original source.
There are enormous differences between trying to verify content on Wikileaks, and solving and prosecuting a murder, although sometimes the wrong person is tried and convicted. In a murder case the defendant is assumed innocent until proven guilty. The prosecutor can convict only on the "Preponderance of the Evidence," and to do that they must establish "means,opportunity, and motive," as well as providing physical and verifiable evidence or a murder charge wouldn't even go to trial. And then to convict the prosecutor must prove his/her case "Beyond a Reasonable doubt."

Those are some pretty high standards that go far beyond what Wikileaks is able apply to their vetting or verification process. Now when Wikileaks get their hands on video, which isn't often, then it's possible to fact check it even if it's been altered. Documents however are different because they're easily created, undetectably alterable, and are more often than not anonymously transmitted to Wikileaks. Not every Wikileaks source is a Chelsea Manning!
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 May 2017 @ 23:23

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2428.5.2017 17:49

And?

You still have nothing to match the simple fact that Wikileaks has been shown to be *exactly correct 100% of the time* so far, for every single document that's been externally checked.

Every. Single. One.

And a good number of their released documents have, furthermore, been *directly admitted* to be valid, by at least one of the concerned parties. Just about all of Podesta's emails, for example, were admitted to be legit; oops!

Vague insinuation falls to empirical evidence, that simple. Yes, there certainly is a risk to accepting any Wikileaks document only at face value, just as for any source, but guess what? that's nhot what has happened, so far. MANY of these documents have been under the microscopes of MANY people and so far, every document has been shown to be either genuine or not verifiable at all; none have been successfully shown to be false. That's rather impressive, considering the sheer volume of information that's been processed, and much better than any other source you'll be able to name for the subject matters involved.

And even if you find a bad document which is a certainty, really, simply from human error, much less actual intent you're going to have to show both how THAT document affects anything at all (it must be important, in other words; most are simply bog-standard rote matters) and is part of a larger pattern. You have to show me statistical significance.

You're done here until you can provide that sample. You're the one impugning Assange's/Wikileaks' methods, so back up your BS with some real evidence.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 May 2017 @ 17:56

2529.5.2017 0:01

Quote:
You still have nothing to match the simple fact that Wikileaks has been shown to be *exactly correct 100% of the time* so far, for every single document that's been externally checked.
The problem with that statement is that it's not a "fact that Wikileaks has been shown to be *exactly correct 100% of the time," because it's impossible to verify everything they've posted.

"Vague insinuation falls to empirical evidence."

It doesn't get anymore vague than accepting and posting anonymously received and unprovable files as fact. That doesn't mean that a fair share of it isn't true, but with few exceptions, how do you know? The answer is you don't because it's not possible!

Quote:
Yes, there certainly is a risk to accepting any Wikileaks document only at face value, just as for any source,
That line is true, and the point I've been trying to make.

Quote:
so far. MANY of these documents have been under the microscopes of MANY people and so far, every document has been shown to be either genuine or not verifiable at all;
I disagree that the documents have been under the microscopes of many people, because they've been in the hands of only a few people with questionable credentials. But consider this! If the CIA or any other intelligence agency wanted to fudge documents to serve an end, then how would you or anyone know? When the only people who can verify a documents authenticity are the ones who're doing the fudging, then what motive do they have to come clean?

Quote:
that's nhot what has happened, so far.
But this line is an "informal fallacy" because it assumes your statement is true because your premise is true, but there's no way to support that because it can't be proven.

Quote:
And even if you find a bad document which is a certainty, really, simply from human error, much less actual intent
My point has never been about finding a "bad document" or human error. It's been about not having anyway of knowing what is or isn't true.

Quote:
You're done here until you can provide that sample. You're the one impugning Assange's/Wikileaks' methods, so back up your BS with some real evidence.
No actually I'm not done here, and once again you're falling back on an, albeit different informal fallacy, termed shifting the burden of proof when there is no logical means to support your reasoning. You're making the assumption that if I accept what you're saying is true, then what I'm saying is false, and it's up to me to prove it. But if what you're saying is true, then you would've proven your point and the debate would be closed.

Quote:
very document has been shown to be either genuine or not verifiable at all; none have been successfully shown to be false.


You do know that there is no way to to prove or disprove the veracity of documents received on Wikileaks unless the identify of the sender can be verified, because as I've previously stated "Not every Wikileaks source is a Chelsea Manning!"

So once again I will close with the simple fact, that anonymously sent documents are only as good as the motives of the sender,and without knowing that, every document should be viewed suspiciously.





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2629.5.2017 1:07

Originally posted by Sophocles:
That doesn't mean that a fair share of it isn't true, but with few exceptions, how do you know? The answer is you don't because it's not possible!

The same is true of any news media.

Originally posted by Sophocles:

I disagree that the documents have been under the microscopes of many people, because they've been in the hands of only a few people with questionable credentials.

Actually, you sort of have that flipped. With traditional news outlets a leaked document would be examined by only a handful of people who likely know little or nothing about the subject at hand. With WikiLeaks the documents are online, so anyone with an interest can look at them. This means that they are scrutinized more, and by more qualified people, than would ever be possible at an agency like CNN.

Originally posted by Sophocles:

But consider this! If the CIA or any other intelligence agency wanted to fudge documents to serve an end, then how would you or anyone know?

Most likely, we would know because they screwed it up...faking 10,000 emails for a fake leak in a way that 10,000 people wouldn't be able to find any mistakes in the fake would be very difficult. Also, it would require a lot of people to do it...and one of them would probably leak something about the operation to WikiLeaks.

Originally posted by Sophocles:

When the only people who can verify a documents authenticity are the ones who're doing the fudging, then what motive do they have to come clean?

Government agencies are not monolithic entities. They are made up of people, lots of individual people. In many cases these people spent their whole lives working to get where they are with the goal of making things better. That's why leaks happen in the first place.

Originally posted by Sophocles:

But this line is an "informal fallacy" because it assumes your statement is true because your premise is true, but there's no way to support that because it can't be proven.

You almost have the opposite end of that fallacy...you assume things to be incorrect because you cannot prove that they are correct...except that many of these items are well demonstrated to be correct. I know you keep coming back to that "CIA makes a fake leak for whatever reason" argument...but look at the leaks they have confirmed...why would they make that stuff up?

Originally posted by Sophocles:

My point has never been about finding a "bad document" or human error. It's been about not having anyway of knowing what is or isn't true.

Here's a hint...if a leak is worse than anything people would have imagined, and it is confirmed by the people that it gives a black eye to, then you know it is true...or at the very least you know that the people taking credit for doing something horrible are doing horrible things.

Originally posted by Sophocles:

No actually I'm not done here, and once again you're falling back on an, albeit different informal fallacy, termed shifting the burden of proof when there is no logical means to support your reasoning. You're making the assumption that if I accept what you're saying is true, then what I'm saying is false, and it's up to me to prove it. But if what you're saying is true, then you would've proven your point and the debate would be closed.

Ignoring that the point was not 100% accuracy, but rather better accuracy than any major news outlet, the burden of proof actually is on your side of this argument. This is because he can come up with 10,000 documents that are confirmed real without proving his case, while you would only need to come up with one half-important document that was incorrect to prove your case.

Originally posted by Sophocles:

You do know that there is no way to to prove or disprove the veracity of documents received on Wikileaks unless the identify of the sender can be verified, because as I've previously stated "Not every Wikileaks source is a Chelsea Manning!"

The person who leaked the document actually doesn't matter at all; it is about the content and scope of the documents. I realize that major news outlets like to show 2-3 lines of text from a leak and this makes them look like any jerk on Twitter could be the source...but the actual documents are huge. Sometimes they include video, sometimes computer code, sometimes tens of thousands of emails that match the other sides of emails in private hands. The amount of work required to create something like that would be staggering. The idea that someone would do it just to make themselves look bad, while preventing everyone involved from talking about it, and avoiding the inconsistencies that would be inevitable with the number of people required just goes beyond reasonable doubt. Not to mention, it would take a lot of time...by the time that such a project was done, checked, and rechecked, whatever operation it was intended to cover would either be over or already leaked.

Originally posted by Sophocles:

every document should be viewed suspiciously.

This is of course true. But let's imagine CNN or FOX or the like got a leak of something really hot; maybe that big hacking tools leak. They CAN'T publish that. There simply isn't enough freedom of the press to do it, and even if there was there would still be concerns about advertisers...and even if that wasn't an issue either, they don't have the staff to go through everything. Plus, their format doesn't fit with giant leaks...the media likes sound-bites; not 10,000 page documents that are as dry as sand. If not for WikiLeaks (or a site like WikiLeaks), this information would not come to light at all.

2729.5.2017 10:18

Quote:
The same is true of any news media.
Wikileaks isn't a news media and its members aren't journalists. While it's possible for mainstream news media to make an error, when they do it's almost always discovered and a retraction follows. Professional journalists have a set a of standards that they're expected to follow such as "truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability." Wikileaks has no standards. They receive anonymous information they're told is a leak of sorts, and they post it.

Quote:
Actually, you sort of have that flipped. With traditional news outlets a leaked document would be examined by only a handful of people who likely know little or nothing about the subject at hand. With WikiLeaks the documents are online, so anyone with an interest can look at them. This means that they are scrutinized more, and by more qualified people, than would ever be possible at an agency like CNN.
I see a number of errors in your thinking that need to be cleared up. Traditional news outlets will not only examine a document, but with few exceptions they have to verify the credibility of the source. Most of the time it's doubtful that Wikileaks know who their sources are, because it's an anonymous submission site. Members of the public scrutinizing a document hardly counts as a journalistic standard.

Quote:
The person who leaked the document actually doesn't matter at all; it is about the content and scope of the documents.
A leaked document is only as good as its source, and it does matter, because Wikileaks could be receiving documents from an agenda driven entity such as MI6, CIA, NSA,Massad,or any number of intelligence agencies.

Quote:
But this line is an "informal fallacy" because it assumes your statement is true because your premise is true, but there's no way to support that because it can't be proven.


What the above line means that because you assume your statement is true then your premise must also be true, and that's a fallacy.


Quote:
You almost have the opposite end of that fallacy...you assume things to be incorrect because you cannot prove that they are correct..

No I have it correct! Shifting the burden of proof occurs "when the person making an assumption that something is true, and what the opposition is alleging is false. The problem is that you're making an assumption that what you're saying is true even though you can't prove it, so you shift the burden of proof over to the opposition.

Quote:
Here's a hint...if a leak is worse than anything people would have imagined, and it is confirmed by the people that it gives a black eye to, then you know it is true.
Here's the problem with your thinking! There is no motive for a person involved in a leak to either confirm or deny a leak, because ambiguity is often a good defense.

Quote:
This is of course true. But let's imagine CNN or FOX or the like got a leak of something really hot; maybe that big hacking tools leak. They CAN'T publish that.
The news media can publish leaked classified documents, because their right to do is protected by the 1st Amendment. But just because they can publish something doesn't mean that they should. What if the information revealed stands to out an undercover agent working inside ISIS?

"There simply isn't enough freedom of the press to do it"

There is in the United States because it's protected by the Constitution, and unless the Constitution. Even the Supreme Court can't override the Constitution. To change the Constitution would exclude the president, and require a supermajority of 67% in both the House and the Senate. Then the proposed amendment must be sent to and approved by the Congresses in all 50 states, and then 75% of the states must agree for an Amendment to be approved. So until the 1st Amendment is amended, the U.S press is free to publish pretty much anything they want to as long as it isn't the form of a personal (libel) attack.





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2829.5.2017 12:40

Originally posted by Sophocles:

"There simply isn't enough freedom of the press to do it"

There is in the United States because it's protected by the Constitution, and unless the Constitution. Even the Supreme Court can't override the Constitution. To change the Constitution would exclude the president, and require a supermajority of 67% in both the House and the Senate. Then the proposed amendment must be sent to and approved by the Congresses in all 50 states, and then 75% of the states must agree for an Amendment to be approved. So until the 1st Amendment is amended, the U.S press is free to publish pretty much anything they want to as long as it isn't the form of a personal (libel) attack.

It's adorable that you believe this. The last administration charged 6 leakers under the espionage act and the current administration has publicly said that reporters who publish leaked information should be tried the same.

2929.5.2017 13:48

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Originally posted by Sophocles:

"There simply isn't enough freedom of the press to do it"

There is in the United States because it's protected by the Constitution, and unless the Constitution. Even the Supreme Court can't override the Constitution. To change the Constitution would exclude the president, and require a supermajority of 67% in both the House and the Senate. Then the proposed amendment must be sent to and approved by the Congresses in all 50 states, and then 75% of the states must agree for an Amendment to be approved. So until the 1st Amendment is amended, the U.S press is free to publish pretty much anything they want to as long as it isn't the form of a personal (libel) attack.

It's adorable that you believe this. The last administration charged 6 leakers under the espionage act and the current administration has publicly said that reporters who publish leaked information should be tried the same.
"It's adorable" how "you believe" that a news service such as the Washington Post, and a leaker such as Chelsea Manning are the same thing. A news service can if they choose print a leak, but that doesn't absolve a leaker from prosecution for passing on classified information. This is why most leaks in government occur covertly. The 1st Amendment doesn't protect a leaker against the release of classified information, but it does protect a news agency for printing it.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 29 May 2017 @ 18:19

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305.6.2017 11:50

For the actual news I have to say good on him and finally they give up on these false accusations. Then there's lots of comments about US politics which I'd agree to some and disagree to others but to summarize my thoughts on current US president: he'll be out the picture by the end of the year.

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