Wikileaks is not legal according to US law. But this is true, if and only if Wikileaks is a US citizen or US organization.
Further, they are not traitors because the USA is not their country. I mean could Putin be brought to trial for betraying the USA? What nonsense is being told about them by people who are in politics who should understand the law. As the United States slides into McCarthyism people need to clear up their fuzzy logic and read some John Locke to understand the law and the basis of it in the US legal theory. This post is only a political discourse, I strongly support the law and encourage others to respect the law.
- The US government is pursuing a criminal investigation against Wikileaks based on the 1917 espionage act. However, this will be hard to do as the US Supreme court upheld a number of cases where journalists who obtained information via illegal sources were protected under the first amendment. Further, we do not have an active act of war declared by congress, which is what this espionage act is about, that is an enemy in a legal declaration of war. The US has not a open declaration of war.
Also they were not the guys who took the files from the government, which was illegal. But Wikileaks, they are not illegal, they are foreign journalists, not US citizens. Wikileaks is much less illegal than the NY Time and the Pentagon Papers. Therefore, Wikileaks is legal. I live in a post communist country, it is horrible when the government starts hunting down journalists.
‘It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong’ – Voltaire
(Major disclaimer: I agree the law and do not encourage anyone to break it in any way. This is just a post in the abstract about the philosophy of law. I respect the law and support the US government.)
Government, at all levels, must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security. The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are, as a people, inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. – John F. Kennedy
Philosophically speaking, please consider this. According to the law of humanity, honesty, transparency, Wikileaks is legal, but that law has no meaning in courts, it is not enforceable and not what the USA thinks. I have had personal experiences with government officials lying. It is not fun.
The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.
Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived; but as long as the presses can be protected, we may trust to them for light.
I am… for freedom of the press, and against all violations of the Constitution to silence. – Thomas Jefferson
Even if Wikileaks operated outside the law (American), study history and understand what is legal is relative and not always right and just. What is unlawful is not always wrong. It is the spirit of the law not the letter of the law that counts. This is American case law. This is also the gospel. What would Jesus say? For example, if this information shows the Dyncorp employees in Afghanistan were having their way with child, is this wrong to expose it? Why does no one prosecute this company?
We have now in our four-year history, and over 100 legal attacks of various kinds, been victorious in all of those matters. It’s very important to remember the law is not what, not simply what, powerful people would want others to believe it is. The law is not what a general says it is. The law is not what Hillary Clinton says it is.
The US is the law
Is this fair to you? If you are a citizen of another country and live somewhere, somewhere:
- The USA promised to hunt down and prosecute any individual of any citizenship that breaks US law, even if they are not US citizens and reside outside the US (see Attorney General Eric Holder statement below.)
- If a US general / chief says something is law, it is the law in the whole world. And the USA will use its military and economic influence to make sure other individuals in other countries obey. – For example, Interpol has now put Assange on their most wanted list, even though for months before he freely was willing to talking to prosecutors. It is only when he released war crime reports or that high ranking Saudi Arabians are sending money for Al Qaeda for against our own US soldiers and heroes that they issues warrant. Or reports that Hilary Clinton wanted diplomats to collect DNA from the UN members was this Interpol report issued. Is this a coincidence? The US believes there is no higher law or intelligence than a US general or chief.
- Another example of might makes right, Assange, is a journalist that reported the truth about US soldiers killing innocent civilians. Now, senior US Republican Party member Mike Huckabee urged for the execution of Assange and others are calling for his assassination, like former Canadian prime minster. Is this OK for you? I believe in truth, because I live in the shadow of so many lies from WWII and communism, not intimidation and force. People that makes these statements should be charged with inciting murder. This is highly illegal.
- Let me explain, I live in a post communist country that was occupied in WWII, this is exactly what happened to people who reported the truth about civilian deaths. Party line leaders would call for execution and arrest of people who reported things like the Army killing civilians. I live a few hundred yards from where all this took place. It is rule by fear and intimidation.
- With the new Federal COICA act in the US, America can pull the plug on any website in the world. On writing this wikileaks.org was down.
- collateralmurder.com – is one example, but most stories go untold. Note the delight in the voices of the soldiers doing the killing. In the words of an Army Chaplin on the beaches of Normandy upon seeing German soldiers, he said ‘it is truly an evil force that influences people when men delight in killing’.
Attorney General Eric Holder said he wants to close the gap in the legal system so anyone in the world will be held accountable to US law, for example if it it puts US assets and interests at risk.
“To the extent that there are gaps in our laws, we will work to close those gaps. Which is not to say… that anybody at this point because of their citizenship or their residence is not a target for or subject of the investigation that’s ongoing.”
Therefore, the United States dictates what is legal to the whole world and every person on the planet must follow this or fear of being hunted down. The attorney general said further:
Let me be clear, this is not saber rattling.
Me, I personally follow US law and strongly recommend everyone else does, if for nothing else but out of fear. The USA in the last 50 years has always sent proverbial drones after people they do not like. So I recommend you obey US law even if you are not a US citizen. I would not ever betray my country or give secrets to any media, if I was so entrusted. It is not me. I am a patriot even if on a philosophical level I may disagree, I love the US and would defend and protect and keep secrets if this was my job.
Also let me be clear, although I like to poke fun at the ridiculous politicians from time to time, the USA I think is still a just and good country.
But I do not agree with the idea make ‘the whole world America’. This is how some people who are in power arrogantly think. Further, some people think America has the right to do anything they want because America has money and power and are not accountable even for killing civilians or selling weapons to unstable countries.
Why lawful is not always good
I live in a post communist country that was occupied by fascist in WWII. What was legal in one time were crimes against humanity. That is here at one time, the military killed civilians. If you exposed the military for that they did to civilians, they would hunt you down as a traitor. Yes, Germans, 3 minutes from my house were killing innocent civilians and it was legal under the law of the time because of military operations. The government said they ‘had to protect the citizens of their country’. They used fear to manipulate people. People tried to take pictures and information about these killing of civilians to the world, but most were stopped and brutally punished, as they were labeled as criminals or terrorist. Read up on history if you do not believe me. I live in this historic place. This was clearly wrong, but it was legal under the law of the time.
What is guiding you in your life? Politicians? Your sense of good or bad?
The USA is a great democracy but is Machiavelli diplomacy statutory, juridical or legitimate?
I love USA and respect the law. No, if ands or buts about it. I am a patriot. I do not recommend or support any illegal actions. The only thing I do is question whether the founding fathers who set up this great country would have supported Machiavelli diplomacy and entanglements in international politics like we have today. Did not George Washington warn against this in his farewell address, as we fought the revolution against Imperialism? However, today,we support Saudi Arabia for the oil, but know they finance Al Qaeda which puts our citizens at risk and soldiers at risk. What would George Washington say?
Is it lawful or illegal for Hilary Clinton, our secretary of State, to order our diplomats to spy on the UN? Is she hypocritical in relation to the whistle blowers? What does the world community think. Is Wikileaks reliable?
If I was President of the USA I would just be honest and say the US did wrong things and we are sorry. We did things to offend out allies and belittle world leaders. This would improve respect in the international community more than more cloak and dagger politics of fear.
Is Wikileaks legal – Assange
The USA and Australia wants to prosecute him if they can. He will try to get asylum Switzerland. He believes his actions are acceptable and just because the
lying, corrupt and murderous leadership from Bahrain to Brazil
commit dishonest acts. They try to be justified and legitimate under the constitution or law, but how can this be when innocent people die, they are not even granted the right of trial (for example military operations in Iraq)?
U.S. officials have for 50 years trotted out this line when they are afraid the public is going to see how they really behave,” Assange said in his email. “The facts are that we wrote to the State Department asking for a list of any specific concerns that might have. They refused to assist, and said they demanded everything, including those documents that revealed abuses, be destroyed.
US supreme court and constitutional view on leaks
- Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers and the US Supreme court ruled the constitution grants anonymity in the area of political discourse.
- In Sweden the constitution grants and protects news sources including online sources. Many of Wikileaks servers are located here and supported by the pirate party.
- Many people want to ignore the constitution to commit illegal acts and make a strong armed government.
The government will find someway to get around the First Amendment of the constitution, maybe under the espionage act. They will find some loophole or technicality and force foreign governments to purse him because the USA is the great superpower of the world.
Is Wikileaks lawful according to lawyer and career politician Hilary Clinton – no. But should governments be held accountable for their actions? What would George Washington say about all this? Are we acting like the Imperial British empire from the 18th century? I do not know, I guess I am just asking the question in relation to Wikileaks and the bureaucracy that occupies the city that bears his name.