A host of protection acts for whistle blowers have been passed in the US for decades, but as you might suspect they are so confusing, riddled with arcane loopholes and varying from state to state that the whistle blowers may have no protection at all. This confusion is deliberate in order to discourage them. When one exposes government crimes he or she will often face prision and/or loss of job--as in the case of Valerie Plame.

* * *
"A Stockholm prosecutor issued the arrest warrant on Friday, saying Assange was suspected
of rape and molestation in two separate cases. But chief prosecutor Eva Finne withdrew the
warrant within 24 hours.

"I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape," Finne said in a brief

In August 2010, Assange found himself the subject of two charges in Sweden - one of rape
and one of molestation - but the rape charges were dropped within hours with the Chief
Prosecutor stating she "has come to the decision that Julian Assange is not suspected of
rape". Assange has denied both accusations and referred to them as "dirty tricks" in response
to his recent activities on Wikileaks.

Assange was in Sweden last week seeking legal protection for the whistle-blower website,
which angered the Obama administration by publishing thousands of leaked documents
about U.S. military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“Last March it [Wikileaks] released a video shot from a U.S. military helicopter over
Baghdad, exposing the Army's indiscriminate killing of at least 12 people, two of whom
worked for the Reuters news agency. This week, WikiLeaks, along with three mainstream
media partners -- The New York Times, The Guardian of London and Der Spiegel in
Germany -- released 91,000 classified reports from the United States military in
Afghanistan. The reports, mostly written by soldiers on the ground immediately after
military actions, represent a true diary of the war from 2004 to 2009, detailing everything
from the killing of civilians, including children, to the growing strength of the Taliban
insurgency, to Pakistan's support for the Taliban.

The threat posed by this historic leak is not a threat to the lives of American soldiers at war,
but rather to a policy that puts those lives at risk. With public support already waning, this
leak can only strengthen the call for the war's end.” --Creative Loafing, News and Politics

“ . . . whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg stated in an interview that Assange "is serving our
(American) democracy and serving our rule of law precisely by challenging the secrecy
regulations, which are not laws in most cases, in this country." On the issue of national
security considerations for the U.S., Ellsberg added that:

..any serious risk to that national security is extremely low. There may be 260,000
diplomatic cables. It’s very hard to think of any of that which could be plausibly
described as a national security risk. Will it embarrass diplomatic relationships?
Sure, very likely—all to the good of our democratic functioning. [...] "[Assange is]
obviously a very competent guy in many ways. I think his instincts are that most of
this material deserves to be out. We are arguing over a very small fragment that
doesn’t. He has not yet put out anything that hurt anybody’s national security."

“Daniel Yates, a former British military intelligence officer, believes Julian Assange has
gravely jeopardized the lives of numerous Afghan civilians for his central role in publishing
the classified ".

"As more detail of the information contained in the ‘Afghan war logs’ emerges it
appears clear to me that, despite his protests otherwise, Julian Assange has seriously
endangered the lives of Afghan civilians. The logs contain detailed personal
information regarding Afghan civilians who have approached NATO soldiers with
information. It is inevitable that the Taliban will now seek violent retribution on
those who have co-operated with NATO. Their families and tribes will also be in
danger. That danger should not be underestimated."

"Voice of America reported in August 2010 that Assange, responding to such criticisms,
stated that the 15,000 still held documents are being reviewed "line by line," and that the
names of "innocent parties who are under reasonable threat" will be removed. Additionally,
prior to the release of the Afghan War Diaries in July, Wikileaks contacted the White House
in writing, asking that it identify names that might draw reprisals, but received no response.”-- Wikipedia

"Assange has no permanent address and travels frequently — jumping from one friend's place
to the next. He disappears from public view for months at a time, only to reappear in the full
glare of the cameras at packed news conferences to discuss his site's latest disclosure.

A WikiLeaks spokesman, who says he goes by the name Daniel Schmitt in order to protect
his identity, told AP in a telephone interview from Iceland that the "extremely serious
allegations" came as a complete surprise "We were warned to expect 'dirty tricks.' Now we
have the first one," it said.

A physics Ph.D, Assange hasn't shied from taking on both government officials and the
press. “I enjoy creating systems on a grand scale, and I enjoy helping people who are
vulnerable," he said. "And I enjoy crushing bastards. So it is enjoyable work." -- KARL
RITTER. From Associated Press

Views: 18

Comment by Bill on August 22, 2010 at 7:06pm
I've always wondered about the case of Scott Ritter. It's so easy to believe the allegations against him are true. But how easy would it be for a government to fabricate such charges in order to quiet an annoying critic.
Comment by willailla on August 23, 2010 at 3:27pm

The US government admits it ran a sting operation to get Ritter. One can only wonder why they wanted to entrap him. Even if he's guilty the motive of the government seems to have been to punish him as a warning to other whistle blowers. It's ironic but in all the cases against whistle blowers none were found guilty of lying--they told the truth, but were punished anyway. George Bush and Dick Cheney outed Valerie Plame, an undercover CIA operative, because her husband, Joe Wilson, revealed that the Bush administration was lying about Saddam getting 'yellow cake' uranium from Niger. Neither Bush or Cheney for this criminal act of treason.

". . . a new BBC article contains this quote from former UK intelligence analyst Crispin Black:
Diplomatic cables don't usually contain huge secrets but they do contain the unvarnished truth so in a sense they can be even more embarrassing than secrets.

Similarly, a new Washington Post article details the Obama DOJ's prosecution of NSA whistle blower Thomas Drake, whose disclosures resulted in no claimed national security harm, but rather, was evidence of "waste, mismanagement and a willingness to compromise Americans' privacy without enhancing security" (leaked only after his use of the official channels resulted in nothing, as usual). As is true for virtually every whistle blower prosecution or, threatened prosecution there is no actual national security harm identified from that leak. Other than when a identity is blown (as happened to Valerie Plame),

The Post today quotes Obama DOJ spokesman Matthew Miller's justification for the administration's escalated war on whistle blowers as follows: "We have consistently said that leaks and mishandling of classified information are matters that we take extremely seriously." There's no doubt that they take such acts "extremely seriously," but what's the reason for it? There's been no identified harm to national security from any of these leaks. What these leaks have actually accomplished is to "embarrass" the Government by revealing what the intelligence analyst quoted by the BBC calls "the unvarnished truth" about the illegal, corrupt, and embarrassing acts it undertakes. In all of these cases where the Obama DOJ is persecuting whistle blowers, they're punishing the greatest sin there is -- exposure of high-level government wrongdoing -- not harm to national security.
Secrecy is the religion of the political class, and the prime enabler of its corruption. That's
why whistle blowers are among the most hated heretics. They're one of the very few classes
of people able to shed a small amount of light on what actually takes place."

Read more http://search.salon.com/salonsearch.php?breadth=salon&search=wh...


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