December 31, 2010

Floyd Abrams: WikiLeaks Cables Are No Pentagon Papers, and Julian Assange Is No Daniel Ellsburg
— Ace

Floyd Abrams is on the left, so he holds Ellsburg in higher regard than most conservatives. But more importantly, he holds Julian Assange in low regard.

I didn't know the part about Ellsburg holding back volumes of the Pentagon Papers that referred to current events, current officials, and current diplomatic efforts in Vietnam. It's an interesting contrast, as Ellsburg was at least selective in his leaking, and did not leak purely out of a childish urge to burn the house down.

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg decided to make available to the New York Times (and then to other newspapers) 43 volumes of the Pentagon Papers, the top- secret study prepared for the Department of Defense examining how and why the United States had become embroiled in the Vietnam conflict. But he made another critical decision as well. That was to keep confidential the remaining four volumes of the study describing the diplomatic efforts of the United States to resolve the war.

Not at all coincidentally, those were the volumes that the government most feared would be disclosed. In a secret brief filed with the Supreme Court, the U.S. government described the diplomatic volumes as including information about negotiations secretly conducted on its behalf by foreign nations including Canada, Poland, Italy and Norway. Included as well, according to the government, were "derogatory comments about the perfidiousness of specific persons involved, and statements which might be offensive to nations or governments."

The diplomatic volumes were not published, even in part, for another dozen years. Mr. Ellsberg later explained his decision to keep them secret, according to Sanford Ungar's 1972 book "The Papers & The Papers," by saying, "I didn't want to get in the way of the diplomacy."

Julian Assange sure does. Can anyone doubt that he would have made those four volumes public on WikiLeaks regardless of their sensitivity? Or that he would have paid not even the slightest heed to the possibility that they might seriously compromise efforts to bring a speedier end to the war?

...

WikiLeaks offers no articles of its own, no context of any of the materials it discloses, and no analysis of them other than assertions in press releases or their equivalent. As Princeton historian Sean Wilentz told the Associated Press earlier this month, WikiLeaks seems rooted in a "simpleminded idea of secrecy and transparency," one that is "simply offended by any actions that are cloaked."

He then discusses whether Assange can be prosecuted under the notably-broad Espionage Act. He concludes he can be, if it can be established that Assange engaged in these actions with the intent to harm the national interests of the United States -- and given Assange's grandstanding, juvenile-nihilist public statements, that probably can be established.

Posted by: Ace at 08:32 AM | Comments (60)
Post contains 485 words, total size 3 kb.

1 Only because he's embarrassed Obama.

Posted by: Dang at December 31, 2010 08:34 AM (TXKVh)

2 Assrangler will live forever and never be tried in the US, because our president sucks.

Posted by: Sponge © at December 31, 2010 08:38 AM (UK9cE)

3 Julian Assange does not understand the word discretion.

Posted by: huerfano at December 31, 2010 08:39 AM (QgmBR)

4

out of a childish urge to burn the house down.

Nice take.

Posted by: rdbrewer at December 31, 2010 08:39 AM (ytoCE)

5 Assange should be hunted, not prosecuted.

Posted by: iknowtheleft at December 31, 2010 08:40 AM (G/MYk)

6 It truly saddens me that there is a section of our society that look up to and respect this assclown.

Posted by: Sponge © at December 31, 2010 08:41 AM (UK9cE)

7 Julian Assange does not understand the word discretion.


He did it all for the nookie......the nookie.....the nookie....and you can take this cookie.....and shove it up your ass.....

Posted by: Sponge © at December 31, 2010 08:43 AM (UK9cE)

8 Go over to Politico to give Obama his "F" grade.  They are running a poll to give him a grade for the year.

Posted by: timwi at December 31, 2010 08:43 AM (Sxt4Z)

9 Mr. Ellsberg later explained his decision to keep them secret, according to Sanford Ungar's 1972 book "The Papers & The Papers," by saying, "I didn't want to get in the way of the diplomacy."

Boy, the US was so lucky to have such a conscientious guy deciding what our national security needs were.  What he did was illegal and wrong and without any justification - save the "public interest" crap the left loves to fling around.

Letting Ellsberg go free made a mockery of our nation.  It was the sort of thing France would do.

Posted by: iknowtheleft at December 31, 2010 08:46 AM (G/MYk)

10 I'm on it.

Just as soon as I burn this witch!

Posted by: Eric Holder at December 31, 2010 08:46 AM (GwPRU)

11 It was the sort of thing France would do.

Posted by: iknowtheleft at December 31, 2010 01:46 PM (G/MYk)

That's gonna leave a mark.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo (NJConservative) at December 31, 2010 08:47 AM (LH6ir)

12 Letting Ellsberg go free made a mockery of our nation.  It was the sort of thing France Tonnces would do.

Posted by: iknowtheleft at December 31, 2010 01:46 PM (G/MYk)


FIFY

Posted by: Unclefacts, Confuse A Cat, Ltd. at December 31, 2010 08:48 AM (eCAn3)

13

It shocks me that ever single instance of ever humuliation Assange has suffered in life has not been discovered and leaked at this point.  Along with bank account numbers etc.

I am truely disappointed in the current crop of high school and college age hackers. 

Posted by: AndrewsDad at December 31, 2010 08:50 AM (QQztO)

14

I didn't know the part about Ellsburg holding back volumes of the Pentagon Papers that referred to current events

So Julian didn't pull out (some papers), huh?

I'm starting to see a pattern...

Posted by: Mama AJ at December 31, 2010 08:52 AM (XdlcF)

15 I think "juvenile" is the best word to describe Assange and his antics. There is no thought other than "gee, this will be fun and I'll be poking a stick in the principal's eye."

If there was some overarching purpose other than to cause trouble I might have some sympathy and understanding for him. Not enough to not cheer when a Marine sniper takes his head off at 900 meters with his new .334 Lapua Magnum, but at least there would have been some adult thought behind it.

Posted by: CharlieBrown'sDildo (NJConservative) at December 31, 2010 08:52 AM (LH6ir)

16 Posted by: timwi at December 31, 2010 01:43 PM

Even the lib crowd at Bullshitico has Osama Obama figured out. His "D" and "F" grades make up 51% of the vote total as of now.

Posted by: MrScribbler© at December 31, 2010 08:52 AM (Ulu3i)

17 Can Assange be prosecuted for being a dweeb?

Posted by: SlaveDog at December 31, 2010 08:55 AM (foEpt)

18

Hmm, maybe I should get on top of this situation.

...I wonder if Jeffrey Lurie has another job opening...

Posted by: Pres. B.O. at December 31, 2010 08:56 AM (XdlcF)

19 I still think imprisonment on the rape charges has an poetic value.

Posted by: toby928™ at December 31, 2010 08:57 AM (S5YRY)

20 Assange claims that he has documents that show that Muslim leaders have been secretly cooperating with the US and that if he is prosecuted by the US he will leak them. There is no doubt that if he does people will die and that it will become even more difficult to win against Islamic radicalism. There is a significant strain within the Islamist's camp that hates their own leadership more than they hate infidels and who have been very active in takfir, pronouncing that a self-proclaimed Muslim is not a true Muslim and therefore worse than an infidel. Zawahiri comes from this camp. Assange is treading on very dangerous ground. He may think the US is his biggest threat but if he goes down this road he's going to have significant new enemies that are a lot less reticent about using extreme methods to shut him up.

Posted by: JackStraw at December 31, 2010 08:58 AM (TMB3S)

21 Ellsburg made sure that hack diplomats asses were kept covered while he burned military asses.

Yeh, it's "different" because career leftist cookie pushers weren't burned by Ellsburg

Posted by: kbdabear at December 31, 2010 09:03 AM (vdfwz)

22

This is the same guy who didn't want the address where he was staying made public.

Sauce, goose, gander. Some assembly required.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy at December 31, 2010 09:10 AM (b6qrg)

23 Curse me for picking Clemson to win.

Posted by: toby928™ at December 31, 2010 09:13 AM (S5YRY)

24 I hope any legal strategy you may pursue isn't based on that old, complicated Constitution.

Posted by: Respectable Liberal Blogger Ezra Klein at December 31, 2010 09:13 AM (VoSja)

25 "I'm wearing you!" - Julian Assange

Posted by: CoolCzech at December 31, 2010 09:19 AM (tJjm/)

26

Ace - Ellsberg of course fully supports Asange and has publicly stated so.

Posted by: journolist at December 31, 2010 09:21 AM (LwLqV)

27 "I'm wearing you!"

- Julian Assange

Posted by: CoolCzech at December 31, 2010 02:19 PM (tJjm/)


Aaaahm wearin' ewwwwwwwwe!

Posted by: Congress Critter Bob Etheridge at December 31, 2010 09:23 AM (G/MYk)

28 Ace - Ellsberg of course fully supports Asange and has publicly stated so. Posted by: journolist at December 31, 2010 02:21 PM (LwLqV) Ya know if you line Ellsberg and Assanger up one after the other, one bullet should suffice. Just saying in these tough economic times.

Posted by: nevergiveup at December 31, 2010 09:24 AM (/Ibu8)

29

Ellsburg and Assange are the same.

In fact, if you believe releasing them was a crime, Ellsburg was more guilty (being the one who swore not to reveal, and actively stole them).

But that doesn't fit the need to rationalize the cognitive dissonance of celebrating the former (who embarrassed Nixon) but not the latter (who embarrassed Obama).

Posted by: MlR at December 31, 2010 09:24 AM (vuHIt)

30 But that doesn't fit the need to rationalize the cognitive dissonance of celebrating the former (who embarrassed Nixon) but not the latter (who embarrassed Obama).

Those guys don't know what true embarrassment is

Posted by: Rafael Escamilla at December 31, 2010 09:26 AM (vdfwz)

31 Neo-neo con has a good article on this very topic here. And she points out that the Pentagon Papers didn't actually say what the NYT claimed they said. Since almost no one has read the entire collection, no one can really argue with the Times.

Posted by: Mćtenloch at December 31, 2010 09:28 AM (WBBUv)

32 Michael Moore bailed him out. Nuff said.

Posted by: eman at December 31, 2010 09:30 AM (+iY8m)

33

The correct parallel, such that can be drawn, is Assange = NY Times.

Ellburg = Manning.

Posted by: MlR at December 31, 2010 09:34 AM (vuHIt)

34 Posted by: Mætenloch at December 31, 2010 02:28 PM (WBBUv)

Damn!  That was a long post.  What I don't get is why she claims that it would be so difficult to prove in court that Assache intended to harm America.  He's said so much.  And even aside from that, I doubt it would be that difficult to convince a jury of it.  Unless she is saying that it's close to impossible to seat 12 people who love America, which certainly might be a problem.

That said, I just don't get all these people talking about prosecution.  Assange is outside of the US and, therefore, outside of our jurisdiction.  That means that the US can just go after him and kill him, as happens with spies.  This growing idea that the US Constitution applies outside of our territory is something that I have never been able to understand.  When our interests are being harmed in some place outside of our sovereign territory, our government can do whatever it wants to put an end to the damage or threat. 

This is all part of the same problem people seem to have in that they believe that our government is Constitutionally charged with protecting the rights of everyone.  Our Founders knew that others have their own goverments to look after their rights.  Our government's only concern is to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.".  Everyone else has to look to their own governments for that service.

Posted by: iknowtheleft at December 31, 2010 09:40 AM (G/MYk)

35 Assange has held back quite a bit. Only about 2,000 of the 250,000 cables in his possession has been published, and when necessary he gives the gov't a heads up of what he is releasing right before he does so in case they need to protect assets. Also, none of what he has leaked been "Top Secret," only "Secret." You can hate what he has done, but do not misrepresent the truth to generate populist froth against someone who truly is against big government.

Posted by: LA_Liberty at December 31, 2010 09:42 AM (9r4t3)

36 BS, Floyd Abrams is a partisan hack.

You can dance the angels on the head of a pin all you want, here's the deal:
(1) Ellsburg damaged Nixon (R).
(2) Assange damaged Obama (D).

That's it. 

Look, the original Wikileaks project was a hit on Bush, it's just that when they finally got good information, Obama was in office.  By that time, they'd developed this ridiculous "all information should be free" philosophy in order to attempt to justify their attacks on nonpartisan grounds, but it was all about Bush and the military.

But when they finally got useful information, it ended up being on Hillary's incompetent State department.

Also, Abrams is an original Pentagon Papers guy.  He has a self-interest in making it the Biggest Thing Ever.  Like when Woodward downplays any mention that a scandal is as big as Watergate was.

Posted by: AmishDude at December 31, 2010 09:42 AM (BvBKY)

37 You can hate what he has done, but do not misrepresent the truth to generate populist froth against someone who truly is against big government.

Posted by: LA_Liberty at December 31, 2010 02:42 PM (9r4t3)

You forgot his "blackmail" file that he distributed to have full release in case anything happened that got his panties in a bunch.

Assange is not against big government.  He wants to be the big government, making decisions for everyone.  And he's not an American so he doesn't have jack shit to say about big government in America.  He's just a spy who hates America.

Get a brain.

Posted by: iknowtheleft at December 31, 2010 09:47 AM (G/MYk)

38 what shocks me is people that stand by a corrupted government that has no human morals just greed and personal gain in mind how can people justify blindly following and backing governments that are doing unspeakable acts of injustice. Quit being sheep and look past your government controlled media, I guess some people would rather listen to their government than have to think for themselves even if it means being as guilty as their government. Smart people would see they are being used and manipulated, that would explain why some governments don't care about properly educating it's people, because it makes them easier to lie to.

Posted by: ThankGodforAssange at December 31, 2010 09:49 AM (Gety1)

39 what shocks me is people that stand by a corrupted government that has no human morals just greed and personal gain in mind how can people justify blindly following and backing governments that are doing unspeakable acts of injustice

Hey, we voted the Democrats out of the House.  Give us credit for a good start.

Posted by: toby928™ at December 31, 2010 09:51 AM (S5YRY)

40 Posted by: ThankGodforAssache at December 31, 2010 02:49 PM (Gety1)

Heh.  It sounds like some Euro-trash low-life is shooting for a little "sex by surprise" with his idol.

Posted by: iknowtheleft at December 31, 2010 09:55 AM (G/MYk)

41 I'll be impressed with the Wikileaks crowd if they can get their hands on Obama's birth certificate.  Otherwise, meh.

Posted by: AmishDude at December 31, 2010 09:57 AM (BvBKY)

42 The dark night of fascism is always descending on America, yet landing only in Europe.

Posted by: Jean-François Revel at December 31, 2010 09:59 AM (S5YRY)

43 44 The dark night of fascism is always descending on America, yet landing only in Europe.

Come on, sun, go down!

Posted by: Barack Il Douche Obama at December 31, 2010 10:02 AM (BvBKY)

44 Of course he has a "Blackmail List"as some would call it, I call it a list to keep the U.S. from imposing their corrupt will against others, and you would do the same if faced with a government coming after you for exposing it's immoral activities

Posted by: ThankGodforAssange at December 31, 2010 10:14 AM (Gety1)

45 I call it a list to keep the U.S. from imposing their corrupt will against others

I laughed out loud.  Get off your ass and become a great power, weiner.

Posted by: toby928™ at December 31, 2010 10:18 AM (S5YRY)

46 Posted by: iknowtheleft at December 31, 2010 02:55 PM (G/MYk)

So that would make you Obama's what gay lover Sorry for offending your boyfriend and his followers

Posted by: ThankGodforAssange at December 31, 2010 10:18 AM (Gety1)

47 Sorry for offending your boyfriend and his followers

Don't come here much, huh?

Posted by: toby928™ at December 31, 2010 10:20 AM (S5YRY)

48 >>Of course he has a "Blackmail List"as some would call it, I call it a list to keep the U.S. from imposing their corrupt will against others, and you would do the same if faced with a government coming after you for exposing it's immoral activities Hey numbnuts- Why don't you list the number of countries that perform all of their diplomacy in the open. Not a damn thing Assange has released has displayed any moral failings by the US save for the Obama administration's blatant lies about what was going on in Honduras and anyone with a scintilla of commonsense already knew what was going on. Assange, like most lefty's, has a hardon for the US and in their tiny brains believes every thing the US does is evil. Yet they can't spend a second trying to uncover any state secrets from places like Venezuela, North Korea, Iran or any other rogue state the US, as the sole super power left on the planet, has to deal with. I hope Assange is prosecuted to the full extent of the law and Manning is tried for treason. If that makes you said, go eat a bag of shit, cupcake.

Posted by: JackStraw at December 31, 2010 10:22 AM (TMB3S)

49 Not a damn thing Assange has released has displayed any moral failings by the US save for the Obama administration's blatant lies about what was going on in Honduras

Good point.  Now, admittedly, I have only been reading the MFM on this issue but, Assange seems to have just been revealing the stupidity of our State Department.

Posted by: toby928™ at December 31, 2010 10:32 AM (S5YRY)

50 --Of course he has a "Blackmail List"as some would call it,

Actually, your idol, Sex By Surprise (I love 'em sleepin!) Assache called it the "Doomsday File".  I was being nice calling it a "blackmail file".  He was more expressive in how harmful he thinks it is (whihc is laughable, anyway).

--I call it a list to keep the U.S. from imposing their corrupt will against others,

Posted by: ThankGodforAssache at December 31, 2010 03:14 PM (Gety1)

Yes ... a Doomsday File to scorch all the earth if poor widdle Julie gets scared.

Don't you have some cars to go burn, or something, or have you already finished your New Year's celebrations? 

Fucking Eurotrash imbeciles.  You people are never satisfied just destroying yourselves.  You have to prove that you can destroy everyone else, too.  I've got news for you, there won't be any Marshall Plan after this war's over.  All you'll get from us is a used Indonesian.  You all deserve the retard.

Posted by: iknowtheleft at December 31, 2010 10:36 AM (G/MYk)

51 Fucking Eurotrash imbeciles.

Don't jump to conclusions.  He might be from America's Hat.

Posted by: toby928™ at December 31, 2010 10:38 AM (S5YRY)

52 Assange is a perv euro-trash computer geek. If you tried to build the perfect libtard, he's real close. The problem is not him but the DADT poster punk that stole this info. He should be executed. Let this get old then in a couple of years let an old CIA war dog skin him. Until then, secure the info.

Posted by: Oldsailor at December 31, 2010 10:40 AM (AovJ3)

53 Don't jump to conclusions.  He might be from America's Hat.

Posted by: toby928™ at December 31, 2010 03:38 PM (S5YRY)

That's a possibility.  But the left in Canada are Euro-trash, too, slightly displaced.

Posted by: iknowtheleft at December 31, 2010 10:47 AM (G/MYk)

54 Can I volunteer to be on his firing squad? I'll bring my own weapon and ammo. (*smile*)

Posted by: chuck in st paul at December 31, 2010 10:52 AM (EhYdw)

55 No firing squad, DEATH BY BUNGOWEE!!!

Posted by: Oldsailor at December 31, 2010 10:56 AM (AovJ3)

56

Does the idiot for Assange up above realize that dear Julie has files on multiple countries and only decided to target America after that heavily edited piece of tripe that was supposed to show us "gunning down poor, innocent Iraqi"? (Assange realized at that point that he had himself a real key to the groupie treasure chest by ignoring everything and focusing on the "I hate Amerikkka" crowd)

Does idiot for Assange realize that some of the Top Secret stuff won't be about the U.S.?  And will likely result in the deaths of people who are not Americans?

Sorry to burst your bubble there Tricksie, but Assange's little Scarlet Pimpernel act is just as much a danger to the rest of the world as it is to us (now granted, I'm a bit perturbed with this administration's lack of initiative in taking the little crapweasel out -- primarily because of the harmful he poses to America and Americans, but don't for one second think that if he could get anywhere by posting say, anti-French stuff or anti-German stuff...or if he could get the skippycanoe without risking painful termination for posting anti-Chinese or anti-Russian stuff either).

Assange is a little turd who likes to pretend he's some sort of international man of mystery...anybody who posts on their OKCupid site "Danger, achtung" is quite simply a pathetic loser who probably cried a lot while jacking off as a young lad over the unfairness of it all.  Unfortunately, stupid dingbats like you have now given the little shit a raison d' etre...and access to the skippycanoe...and thanks to stupid fraks like you, this sad, crying clown is getting and going to get people killed.

Go back to weeping softly while y'all masturbate -- you're less dangerous that way.

Posted by: unknown jane at December 31, 2010 11:26 AM (5/yRG)

57

...and as for Manning?  Manning is wasted (rest assured of that -- he can't be let loose no matter how much Mikey Moore and Friends wants it, and if by some awful fate this spineless administration does let him go?  he won't last long), and hopefully we're getting something of value out of the treasonous little dickbag.  As said to you up above: "if that makes you sad" well, if it makes you sad it makes me happy -- because my patience with little drips like you and your flailing attempts at hip self-importance and relevancy is gone; I have more sympathy for freaking rodents at this point.  If it makes you cry, it makes me smile and laugh like a mofo.

 

Posted by: unknown jane at December 31, 2010 11:42 AM (5/yRG)

58

He shouldn't have to be tried here, he's a citizen of Australia, a country that has troops fighting in Afghanistan who Assange endangered along with weakening Australia's national security and interests. Australia should be hunting him down and bringing him to justice. You don't here one word about that from this administration or from the people of Australia for that matter.   

You can kiss that one goodbye since our government at the moment is as socialist if not more so than yours.  On the other hand, we are not constrained by term limits or locked into specific election dates so as soon as our Julia (prime minister) loses the vote of confidence everything may change.  

Posted by: Decaf at January 01, 2011 05:59 AM (C119q)

59 Assange is treading on very dangerous ground. He may think the US is his biggest consumer electronics threat but if he goes down this road he's going to have significant new enemies that are a lot less reticent about using wholesale dress extreme methods to shut him up.

Posted by: wholesale at January 02, 2011 04:12 PM (9xr58)

60 Boy, the US was so lucky to have wholesale such a conscientious guy deciding what our national security needs were.  What he did was illegal and wrong and without any justification - save the electrical supplies "public interest" crap the left loves to fling around.

Posted by: wholesale at January 02, 2011 04:13 PM (9xr58)

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