Wikileaks NDA threatens associates with $20 million fine for leaking Wikileaks info; US grand jury under way in Virginia

Discuss

63 Responses to “Wikileaks NDA threatens associates with $20 million fine for leaking Wikileaks info; US grand jury under way in Virginia”

  1. blkhawk says:

    After reading the Agreement I can’t see the “threat” part. I only see this in the relevant sections:

    * the parties to the contract agree that the estimated damage for a _significant_ breach of confidentiality is around 12 Million pounds.

    * Therefore it is agreed that the information is “valuable” commercial information and cannot disclosed by you.

    The 12 million are just the setup used to frame any disclosure by a wikileaks employee as a standard commercial breach of confidentiality. The only direct punitive measure I can find in the contract is that the employee agrees to be terminated for a breach of confidentiality.

    This agreement is rather readable. Maybe too readable. the New Statesman lawyers probably got confused by that.

  2. Brainspore says:

    It will be interesting to see how many Assange apologists try to find a rationale behind this one. Being someone who gleefully exposes the dirty laundry of dirty politicians does not preclude one from being an asshole, a sex criminal, or a big fat hypocrite.

    • brillow says:

      If you were going to risk your livelihood and possibly your life to leak information to wikileaks, wouldn’t you be comforted to know that all the people who work there are bound in law to keep your secret and to handle the information you give them in the way they agreed?

      Why would anyone leak to a site which doesn’t police its own staff? Why would any organization with secrets to keep NOT have an NDA?

      What’s wrong with an NDA?

      • Gulliver says:

        > What’s wrong with an NDA?

        If there’s nothing wrong with it, why make it part of the NDA to not disclose its own existence?

      • teapot says:

        What’s wrong with an NDA?

        It’s pretty clear that Brainspore just has a problem with Assange.

        The clue is the “Assange apologists” bit, immediately rendering his comment nonobjective.

        why make it part of the NDA to not disclose its own existence?

        Many NDAs include this clause, usually to avoid beat-ups in the press… just like this one.

        • Gulliver says:

          > They just completely disregard the rather ludicrous claims of the US government that “lives are at risk”. Wikileaks has always notified the US government well in advance, giving them plenty of time to warn/move/protect anybody who would actually be at risk (which is pretty rare) – there’s no problem here.

          If you say so…

          http://www.dailytech.com/Taliban+Murders+Afghan+Elder+Thanks+Wikileaks+for+Revealing+Spies/article19250.htm

          Like I said though, WL did nothing illegal under U.S. law. Whether I think their activities do more harm than good (and I do think much of the information they’ve released is stuff that should be publicly disclosed) is secondary. But I’m not getting on board with the “all transparency is good transparency” idea.

  3. YarbroughFair says:

    WikiLeaks’ STOLEN collection.

  4. Gulliver says:

    Wait, so if there’s such a steep penalty for disclosing the existence of the NDA, what brave whistle-blower leaked it? Where’s his/her Sydney Peace Prize?

    In my not-so-humble opinion, Assange and WL didn’t do anything actually illegal under U.S. law – though countries such as Russia may not be so accommodating – just massively disregarded the lives of the U.S.’s foreign intelligence sources and their families. Private Manning is a different matter. But as an American, I hope this BS doesn’t end up resulting in an Official State Secrets Act in the same vein as many other countries have. As it stands now you have to willingly agree to keep the U.S. government’s secrets before you can be prosecuted for disclosing them. If that changes, no good will come from it.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Wait, so if there’s such a steep penalty for disclosing the existence of the NDA, what brave whistle-blower leaked it? Where’s his/her Sydney Peace Prize?

      Maybe you could lobby the Nobel Foundation to endow a prize for Recursion.

      • Gulliver says:

        I can see it now, a golden medal in the shape of a lemniscate with the inscription, “Et prout vultis ut faciant vobis homines et vos facite illis similiter” around the curve and an Ouroboros for a neck ribbon.

  5. Suds says:

    Hmmm, Wikileaks as a business model… iLeak or Google/leaks. Why not? Facebook makes lots of money selling data on people who were spied on.

    They could provide the service of disseminating what you want leaked and protecting you from being the news-outlets source, for free. They charge for first looks at the data they will eventually make available for free, a premium service for media outlets willing to pay.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What about the NDA issued by companies against their employees are they “draconian and extraordinary legal gag,” which is “ludicrous,” “astonishing,” and “undoubtedly unenforceable.”?

  7. OrcOnTheEndOfMyFork says:

    As a matter of protecting vulnerable sources leaking the secret information of powerful governments with a propensity to assassinate and torture, a strong NDA is certainly not ridiculous. It makes a lot of sense, actually.

  8. AirPillo says:

    I guess I can admire the audacity of trying to monetize wikileaks in some sort of audacious entrepreneurial spirit. I think it’s bats*** crazy, but I can admire it.

  9. rebdav says:

    I pretty much accept that what WL is and does is above board. Even so I am always careful to think who could gain power, money, and influence by controlling that leaked info.
    WikiLeaks and Bradly Manning in his US Army issue closet certainly did a good job giving ammo for finally killing off DADT though.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is a guy, and an organization, that has the most powerful government in the world actively attempting to do everything it can to render him/it harmless, legally or extralegally. If there’s anyone on this planet who deserves to be a bit paranoid…

  11. Anonymous says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but any information “leaked” from Wikileaks doesn’t belong to Wikileaks. So isn’t the NDA null-and-void to start with given that Wikileaks doesn’t actually own any of the documents its publishing?

  12. asuffield says:

    So Wikileaks has an NDA that’s pretty much the same as every other NDA in the world. There are also suspicions that they use pens and eat biscuits. Where’s the story here?

    just massively disregarded the lives of the U.S.’s foreign intelligence sources and their families

    They just completely disregard the rather ludicrous claims of the US government that “lives are at risk”. Wikileaks has always notified the US government well in advance, giving them plenty of time to warn/move/protect anybody who would actually be at risk (which is pretty rare) – there’s no problem here.

  13. Anonymous says:

    “Hello. In order to work for us and have access to our information, all of which was obtained through having people break NDAs (or functionally similar agreements), you have to sign this NDA.”

    Really?

    If you work for wikileaks and want to leak the leaks, there’s really no problem. Just do it, and when you’re found out and action is attempted against you, just advertise it on the Interwebs and hordes of mindless Free Information robots will come to your defense.

  14. PeaceLove says:

    Some on this thread seem to have trouble distinguishing between secrecy on the part of the powerful and secrecy on the part of the small and weak who challenge the powerful. NDAs intended to protect the secrets of the world’s most powerful governments or corporations are NOT the moral equivalent of an NDA used by Wikileaks to try to protect their highly sensitive (and often dangerous) information from random disclosure.

    My government has power over me, so I welcome any transparency brought (or forced) on them. Wikileaks has no power over me so their desire to remain secretive is far less worrisome. Plus, as near as I can tell, Wikileaks has never engaged in secret bombing campaigns in Yemen, never killed a dozen men including two Reuters journalists, never kept or tortured innocent men in secret prisons without judicial oversight, and never blocked criminal investigations in Spain and Germany into U.S. authorities’ role in torture and other war crimes.

    By most people’s definition, Assange is not even suspected of rape. He is suspected of having sex without a condom in the context of a consensual sexual relationship. The claims were investigated in Sweden then dismissed, after which Assange left the country. Only later did the investigation mysteriously resume…possibly after pressure from the U.S.

    At any rate, the Swedish court case stinks. Nearly 1/3 of Swedish lawyers agree with Assange that the court system in their country is deeply flawed. Assange, who has never been charged with any crime whatsoever, remains under house arrest with an ankle tracker — while a U.S. grand jury tries to rewrite our free speech and free press laws to somehow put him away for life for the crime of conducting investigative journalism.

    Perhaps Assange’s extreme caution with the NDA is just a little, teeny tiny bit understandable, if not justified?

    • Gulliver says:

      > while a U.S. grand jury tries to rewrite our free speech and free press laws to somehow put him away for life for the crime of conducting investigative journalism.

      This is far and away my greatest concern in this whole matter. I believe free speech and free association to be the cornerstones of all liberty and justice, so the U.S. Congress’s and Courts’ ever increasingly myopic adherence to the First Amendment is corrosive to every American’s freedoms, such as they exist. John Adams, though arguably more revered in his time than any modern POTUS, lost reelection to a second term largely because of the Alien and Sedition Acts over which he took no end of justified flak. If a 21st century POTUS proposed these, nearly half the electorate would praise it as bold policy initiative, and, thanks to the advent of identity politics, the supportive half would be whichever party to which the POTUS belonged.

      Does the U.S. bill of rights apply under U.S. law to a foreign citizen? Maybe, within the limits imposed by any of any treaties to which the U.S. is signatory. But whether Assange and WL are protected from U.S. prosecution by the First Amendment, the U.S. Justice Department has apparently decided this is a great opportunity to try and finish the First off.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Thus said Jeebus:
    As for the part in the rich soil, this is people with a noble and generous heart who have heard the word and take it to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance. ‘No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to put it under a bed. No, it is put on a lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in.

    For nothing is hidden but it will be made clear, nothing secret but it will be made known and brought to light.

    So take care how you listen; anyone who has, will be given more; anyone who has not, will be deprived even of what he thinks he has.’

  16. Brainspore says:

    If you were going to risk your livelihood and possibly your life to leak information to wikileaks, wouldn’t you be comforted to know that all the people who work there are bound in law to keep your secret and to handle the information you give them in the way they agreed?

    You can have transparency of an organization’s procedures and legal contracts while still protecting the privacy of its sources.

    @ Teapot:

    It’s pretty clear that Brainspore just has a problem with Assange.

    I mostly have a problem with all the people who assume he can do no wrong because he’s part of an organization that does good things. Supporting Wikileaks is not the same as supporting Assange, which is why this defense fund of his is misleading and sleazy. If the president of Amnesty International was charged with a crime I wouldn’t want my AI contributions going to his personal defense lawyer whether he turned out to be innocent or not.

  17. asuffield says:

    If you say so…

    http://www.dailytech.com/Taliban+Murders+Afghan+Elder+Thanks+Wikileaks+for+Revealing+Spies/article19250.htm

    That article was thoroughly debunked at the time. Anything you see from Jason Mick about Assange is a fabrication – Mick has a serious hard-on about the guy and has been running this nonsense for years.

    • Gulliver says:

      > That article was thoroughly debunked at the time.

      Even if it were accurate – and I haven’t read all the WL releases (and am not sure anyone actually has), so I can’t authoritatively say if it is (the Taliban have been known to lie, though I can’t think what their motive would be here) – I don’t believe WL or Assange is legally culpable. I think Manning is, and I think the U.S. State Department was negligent in failing to keep its classified data confidential. That a Private had access to so much sensitive intelligence reflects major security holes.

  18. Teller says:

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha cough cough.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Check out the streaming on-demand video series, WikiLeaks: Security Threat or Media Savior? at FORA.tv (http://f4a.tv/eFjoq1)

  20. pmhparis says:

    To those who claim that WL’s exposure of US US diplomatic secrets have been victimless: WL’s exposure of sources in Zimbabwe led to their getting dissapeared by Mugabe.

    Any crime is victimless when you care nothing about the victims.

    • wrybread says:

      “Any crime is victimless when you care nothing about the victims.”

      Nice try, but that doesn’t make sense. There’s obviously still victims.

      And you should consider taking these reports of people being “disappeared” with a grain of salt, since the people who want to silence WikiLeaks have been spreading lots of false rumors such as this one.

  21. shadowfirebird says:

    Whatever your opinion of Wikileaks, Assange etc.; there must surely be a certain amount of hypocrisy in a whistle blowers’ service demanding a NDA?

    It would be naive of me to jump to the conclusion that, rather than the liberal, humanitarian, philanthropic organisation that it appears to be, Wikileaks is in fact a money making enterprise.

    But the idea has this in its favour: it explains the NDA. And it closes the disconnect between Wikileaks’ existence and Assange’s apparent asshole-like nature.

    • humanresource says:

      As an additional safeguard for the secrecy of wikileaks operations, it makes sense. Extra safeguards are justifiable, since transparency in these matters is not warranted – that’s why witness protection programs exist, after all.
      And even if the motives for the NDA are monetary to some extent, it would not demonstrate that the whole enterprise is a money making one (as you acknowledge, a little half-heartedly I think). I don’t think a service like this should have to rely on donations, especially when it has helped generate vast sums for the media companies that have used wikileaks to fill their World News sections for the last year. The NDA helps ensure that this revenue stream can be tapped.

      • Gulliver says:

        > As an additional safeguard for the secrecy of wikileaks operations, it makes sense. Extra safeguards are justifiable, since transparency in these matters is not warranted – that’s why witness protection programs exist, after all.

        That presupposes that WL sources are witnesses of specific crimes. Keeping secrets is not a crime in most parts of the world. Revealing them may be, particularly when the source has promised in writing to keep those secrets confidential, for instance an agent for a witness protection agency.

        But IF anyone does die or has died because they are or were discovered via WL to be working with the U.S. against the sort of people who would kill someone for that, WL will be in the position of having been able to stop it by either not releasing the cables or redacting all the names they could not readily identify. Why they did not do the latter is beyond me.

        I personally doubt WL’s members are motivated by anything other than idealism and maybe ego – mostly because it would be a difficult business model at best. I doubt they intend to getting anyone killed or disappeared. Since WL apparently combed through everything they released before they handed it over to news outlets, it seems odd to me that they did not simply black out any names which they did not know to whom they belonged.

        • humanresource says:

          Some specific crimes have been leaked – US war crimes in Iraq, mercenaries peddling kids to Afghan militia leaders with the US State Dept letting it happen, and specific instances of fraud in Kenya, the middle east and Italy etc. But matters that aren’t as specific still merit whatever secrecy for whistleblowers is available (assuming you think citizens ought to know when their representatives are being lying, corrupt, conniving murderers).
          WL is learning how to do what it does as it goes. I haven’t heard any reputably sourced information that indicates it has gotten anyone killed (even the Pentagon admitted this much last year). But it is possible that some have been, as they were more careless about the redaction earlier on. That’s pretty fucking bad, although the exposure of so many killers and torturers for what they are is probably a large net benefit to human rights. This is the only substantive criticism of WL that I’ve heard, but its a big one. Thankfully they’ve addressed it – hence the slow release of subsequent material.

          • Gulliver says:

            > But matters that aren’t as specific still merit whatever secrecy for whistleblowers is available (assuming you think citizens ought to know when their representatives are being lying, corrupt, conniving murderers).

            They ought to, yes. But I also think citizens of a democratic republic that sign a contract with the government (and hence the governed) should be held to it unless in doing so they are knowingly concealing a crime. AFAIK Bradley Manning did not know the specifics of the cables he handed over to WL.

            That’s not to say I agree with the government’s “when in doubt, classify” attitude, but I support changing that policy through holding legislators’ and bureaucrats’ feet to the fire, not espionage which, whether you support his actions or not, is what Manning did.

          • humanresource says:

            “I support changing that policy through holding legislators’ and bureaucrats’ feet to the fire, not espionage which, whether you support his actions or not, is what Manning did.”
            How do you expect the public to hold their leader’s feet to the fire in regard to bastardry which remains concealed? The usual channels of political change are increasingly clogged – once upon a time, journalists did serious investigative work to get this kind of material out there; now, the main media players can’t even use the word ‘torture’ when they have conclusive proof that their government performs it.
            Face it, wikileaks exists because its needed. Governments will only behave in a halfway-decent fashion if they are paranoid about exposure.

          • Gulliver says:

            > How do you expect the public to hold their leader’s feet to the fire in regard to bastardry which remains concealed?

            When insiders know of a specific crime, they have a duty to report it. I even support prosecuting those that don’t as accessories to the crimes. And if that was what Manning had done, he would simply have been following his constitutional oath. But that’s not what he did. He released everything he could get off base without knowing the full contents. He had no way of knowing the fallout from that.

            I don’t think that WikiLeaks engaged in espionage, only that they relayed information given to them by someone who had. Since they did not themselves agree to keep U.S. secrets, they did not break any U.S. laws. The same would be true of traditional journalists if they still made a habit of investigative reporting.

            You can’t have it both ways. Either governments are forbidden from keeping any secrets at all, or they are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Otherwise anyone would be insane to take any job in government.

          • humanresource says:

            “He released everything he could get off base without knowing the full contents. He had no way of knowing the fallout from that.”
            Prejudging the case, don’t you think? Assuming its true, which I will for now, well, yeah, he signed up to a pretty harsh system, and perhaps its arguable that he earned the punishment mandated by the law (which is something pretty different to what he is copping, but I digress).
            But the law doesn’t get applied to the perpetrators of the major corruption and atrocities of our age, only the occasional figure who falls out of the elite networks one way or another. Do I have to recount every crime that Bush and Co got away with, that Obama pardoned (making Obama an accessory, by your logic, assuming he knows details about these things that he has suppressed)?
            The ordinary channels for exposing and rectifying injustice are blocked. It takes some serious rule-breaking to even begin to restore the balance between the government and its citizens. The inconvenience for officials is worth it, I think. And if the Pentagon hadn’t employed Bradley Manning to frame Iraqis for speaking out against corruption among US puppet-politicians, they might not have provoked his behaviour.

          • Gulliver says:

            > Prejudging the case, don’t you think? Assuming its true, which I will for now, well, yeah, he signed up to a pretty harsh system, and perhaps its arguable that he earned the punishment mandated by the law (which is something pretty different to what he is copping,

            I would wonder why he didn’t only disclose the cables relevant to whatever crime(s) of which he was aware. But if I am wrong then I look forward to that coming out.

            > The ordinary channels for exposing and rectifying injustice are blocked. It takes some serious rule-breaking to even begin to restore the balance between the government and its citizens.

            And therein lies the crux of the whole problem. Of the minority of the eligible electorate that bother showing up to vote, the overwhelming majority vote either on a single issue or because the snake…I mean politician (don’t want to insult a useful species) who sustains the biggest media campaign gets name recognition among fools that believe political advertising. Otherwise campaign contributions would not be tantamount to buying elections. Apathy, stupidity and superficiality is the root of corruption. You can break rules all you want, but in a society where people have the legal power in their hands to choke the corruption and they fail to exercise it, all else is symptomatic of that disease.

          • Gulliver says:

            By the way, thank you for a level-headed and rational debate on an issue that interlocutors often, and quite understandably, get very emotional about. This is what I love about BoingBoing – smart people with a diversity of viewpoints – that in my experience is so different from most other major blog sites.

            I must head to work, but I will check back when I get home tonight.

          • humanresource says:

            “You can break rules all you want, but in a society where people have the legal power in their hands to choke the corruption and they fail to exercise it, all else is symptomatic of that disease.”
            I agree that an engaged public would be better and more legitimate, as a check on governmental abuses, than activists and whstleblowers making up their own rules as they go. There are democratic deficits on both sides of the issue, ultimately. I think the public switches off in large part because 1) they are denied input – special interests have already tied up most issues efore the public is consulted, if it ever is, 2) they’re increasingly distracted (politics was once considered a source of entertainment, but not so much now!), and 3) important, timely information and configurations of information are kept out of sight. WL, thankfullly, addresses the 3rd issue there.

            And likewise to you, its been good to discuss these things in a civilized way – outside BB that’s never easy.

      • shadowfirebird says:

        Well, I’m not saying that and NDA wouldn’t have positive security ramifications for Wikileaks; just that it’s hypocritical. They provide a service to those who blow the whistle on corporate/government mispractice but make employees sign a document that says they won’t do the same to them? How can that *not* be hypocritical?

        And I’m not saying that Wikileaks as a money-making venture isn’t without value; it’s just that that is not how most people think of it.

        I agree that we can’t draw that conclusion, anyway; but it *is* an interesting idea, and we can’t rule it out, either.

        • humanresource says:

          Whistleblowers have to be concealed from the bastards they’re exposing; to the extent that the NDA helps that, it is not hypocritical at all. And ensuring a good revenue stream to maintain the service isn’t really hypocritical either. Its one thing to demand transparency on the part of bodies that represent us and use our money, but transparency isn’t necessarily fitting for courageous private individuals and the groups that seek to protect those individuals and share their information.

  22. Anonymous says:

    ITs not really Wikileaks information. Its someone elses. How can they say “hey that stolen leaky stuff i was mine to leak, for my profit” ??!!

    Theres no honor expected among thieves.

  23. Jesse in Japan says:

    Anon,

    “Correct me if I’m wrong, but any information “leaked” from Wikileaks doesn’t belong to Wikileaks. So isn’t the NDA null-and-void to start with given that Wikileaks doesn’t actually own any of the documents its publishing?”

    That isn’t how it works. The contract can say, “By signing this contract, you agree not to leak this information. If you leak this information, you agree to pay 20 million dollars.” It doesn’t matter who “owns” the information as long as the wording of the contract simply specifies what the information in question is and that the leaking of said information is forbidden under the terms of the agreement.

    The question is whether such a contract (i.e. automatic payment/fine for breach of the contract) is enforceable and the answer is usually “no.”

  24. Csteph says:

    Oh, oh, the irony, it burns!

  25. the r kelly says:

    If I’m running WikiLeaks, the fucking first thing I do is get a lawyer to draft something that does exactly this.

    The reason WL works at all is because it controls, and thus leverages, its valuable (monetarily or otherwise) information.

    Sticking a dollar value on it in an NDA does not mean that they’re primarily a commercial enterprise; it means that they want to have as valid (and scary) a legal threat as possible.

    Damages=Dollars, even if the actual damage is that they lose power because they can’t control and leverage their leaks. Just like Damages=Dollars when Big Pharma poisons me to death and my estate sues them. There’s no specific performance for one’s life, and there’s no specific performance for unleaking information.

    And you don’t allow discussion of the NDA so that no one offers you $15 million to economically breach the NDA.

  26. Toxa says:

    Hypocrite accused rapist is hypocrite.

  27. semiotix says:

    Wikileaks knows better than you or anyone else what secrets are proper secrets, what secrets can be publicly announced, and what secrets can be auctioned off as exclusives.

    The NDA is simply one of the tools that helps Wikileaks continue to offer its mandatory assistance to the people of nations whose governments are under the sway of an international oligarchical conspiracy.

    I’d encourage anyone with concerns to bring them directly to one of the estimated 800 or so anonymous volunteers, which may or may not include personnel who were selected (or possibly volunteered separately) to assign the proper degree of secrecy and redaction to the Manning trove. These people, who may possibly be very nice and/or charming, and who for all we know are fully competent to the intelligence-analysis tasks they’ve been assigned (and/or simply decided to do), will be very glad to assuage your fears. One imagines. If their identities were known, which they’re not.

    By the way, as a historian, I should point out that there is a long history of IQGNGOs (Involuntary Quasi-Governmental Non-Governmental Organizations) “assisting” governments by usurping or canceling specific governmental functions. There are many examples, but I’ll name just a few. E.L.F. and A.L.F. have served as appeals courts regarding the placement and zoning of dams and medical research facilities. The I.R.A. helped the Republic of Ireland with its overflow diplomacy and munitions-making caseload. Operation Rescue, in the United States, has done occasional service as an omnibus legislature/law enforcement/justice system in its particular area of expertise, reproductive health. And where would the glorious history of electoral jurisprudence in the United States be without the countless organizations whose constitutional expertise and mandatory perspective local and state officials (and indeed citizens themselves) were not under any circumstances permitted to do without?

  28. Anonymous says:

    What I think is driving some people crazy is the idea that people might both flaunt and ignore the ‘system’ and be using the ‘system’ at the same time. I think its post-modern brilliance. Kill the system using the system. If you read any of Assanges stuff on cyptome, you’ll see that he is quite open about all of these kinds of strategies.

  29. Deidzoeb says:

    Do as we say, not as we do.

  30. SteveKiwi says:

    Why does the medal say Judas Assange?

  31. Laroquod says:

    If the Wikileaks submission system results in Wikileaks staff not knowing who its sources are (as Assange has repeatedly claimed) then why do they need an NDA to protect their sources? Presumably no one can leak identifying information that the organisation itself claims is not in their possession.

    So the idea (oft-repeated, above) that the NDA is meant to protect sources is extremely problematic. Because if that is the case, then the Wikileaks submission system must not be nearly as reliable as the organisation claims.

  32. Lobster says:

    Wow. WikiLeaks better hope they don’t have anyone who would leak documents on their payroll!

  33. Giuseppe says:

    Nothing other than a BUSINESS! [gasp!]

  34. Antinous / Moderator says:

    I’m certain that every penny of that money is earmarked for Bradley Manning’s defense.

    • teapot says:

      Anti: do you know something we don’t know? I like to hope so but I have not seen any hard evidence of this, though Assange has been quite firm on the matter.

      In regard to the post, it should be mentioned that while the word “sell” usually refers to a transaction involving money for goods, it can also be used to describe the way in which a story is told. I am not sure a person can infer that use of the word “sell” is strictly related to money.

      http://www.thefreedictionary.com/sell
      5b. To cause to be accepted; advocate successfully: We sold the proposal to the school committee.
      6. To persuade (another) to recognize the worth or desirability of something: They sold me on the idea.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        No, just bitter and jaded sarcasm. If all this Wikileakage is so gosh-darned important, where’s Bradley’s prize?

        • teapot says:

          If all this Wikileakage is so gosh-darned important, where’s Bradley’s prize?

          I agree that if* Manning leaked that data to WL he does deserve many prizes, yet I cannot agree that dishing out prizes to Manning at the present moment would in any way help his case. While there are still some who hate Ellsberg for his actions, history has mostly painted him in a positive light and I believe eventually the same will happen for Manning. It’s just a shame he signed up to the bad haircut killers’ club, because that is going to affect his treatment more than any other factor.

          *This if is for the benefit of not presuming Manning’s guilt.

          • Gulliver says:

            > I agree that if* Manning leaked that data to WL he does deserve many prizes,

            You’re not bothered with the fact that he didn’t keep secrets which he promised in writing to? If not, then do you have any problem with WL staff breaking the NDA they signed and causing “beat-ups in the press”?

            > yet I cannot agree that dishing out prizes to Manning at the present moment would in any way help his case.

            Understatements-R-Us.

          • teapot says:

            You’re not bothered with the fact that he didn’t keep secrets which he promised in writing to? If not, then do you have any problem with WL staff breaking the NDA they signed and causing “beat-ups in the press”?

            No and No. I just explained why NDAs have that clause, I did not weigh in one way or another on the issue of whether the leak was justified. This Wikileaks NDA is a non-story, so it really doesn’t matter. What Manning allegedly leaked was not a non-story.

            You know what would help Manning? If people held a non-stop vigil/blockade outside the military base where he is imprisoned.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Years ago, my roommate worked for about a year as a temp for some bigwig executive in downtown San Francisco. The bigwig received a humanitarian award for something or other, and my roommate pointed out that he, not the exec, had done every single iota of work that earned that award.

          • rebdav says:

            Awards and charity events are a auspicious way for those with money, power, and notoriety pleasure each other publicly and remind the proles who their gods are that move the world. Do something big and newsworthy enough like Asange boldly flagging from the helm of the good ship HMAS Wikileaks and you can possibly be invited to join the beautiful people, the unreleased leaks are still billions or more worth of power. Manning is probably too normal and pedestrian for their tastes.

          • teapot says:

            It is worth mentioning the comments made in regard to this award by
            Director of the Sydney Peace Foundation and founding Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney, Professor Stuart Rees:

            “By challenging centuries old practices of government secrecy and by championing people’s right to know, WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have created the potential for a new order in journalism and in the free flow of information. Instead of demonizing an Australian citizen who has broken no law, the Australian Government must stop shoring up Washington’s efforts to behave like a totalitarian state. The treatment of alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning confirms a US administration at odds with their commitment to universal human rights and intent on militaristic bullying.”

            The award is a fuck you to the Australian govt. for their comments on Assange and a chance to comment on the ongoing barbaric treatment of Manning.

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