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Desc:2017 may be the first truly cyberpunk year.
Category:News & Politics
Tags:CIA, The Decline of Western Civilization, wikileaks, surveillance
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Comment count is 39
What with 8 people with direct Trump/Russia connections now mysterious dead and Christopher Steele putting his face out there , looks like Julian wants to make sure his handlers still know his leash is firmly tied!
Good boy!
Meanwhile, Roger Stone, tattooed Nixon associate and swinger, close advisor/confidant of the new President, regularly consulted with Guccifer 2.0, Russian hacker responsible for DNC hacks.


Anybody who still thinks Assange has any sort of objectivity is at this point just toeing the party line. He's a compromised resource that knows his Pret a Manger sandwich can be dosed with polonium whenever they want.

They're definitely releasing stuff selectively but if it's accurate is it not important regardless of the agenda?

Also his pumping up the importance of the private tech sector is no good, either.

"They're definitely releasing stuff selectively but if it's accurate is it not important regardless of the agenda?"

Selective is pretty far from objective and can be used to mislead; Assange has a story he wants to tell and will release only those bits that support his story and withhold anything that contradicts it.

One evening when Obama was out for a walk, he saw a house on fire; he busted open a window, beat back the flames with his shirt, and carried three children to safety. Fox News reported the story as: "half-naked Obama breaks into house, abducts three frightened children". Accurate and selective.

Yes, and your point?

My point is, "accurate" is not the same as "complete", and a half-truth is a whole lie.

"a half-truth is a whole lie."


What can I say? You're the one wondering whether cherry-picked information should be met with skepticism.

A) no I'm not

B) you are arguing that the messenger's agenda nullifies the content of the message, with a healthy dose of "I am the only one who is able to think critically, here I am rolling up my sleeves and educating the plebes" so I guess it's back to only responding with emoticons for me.

Oscar Wildcat
One thing is becoming clear. #TheRealDonaldTrump prolly thought he was pretty smart, letting Vlad help him win the election. However, his silent partner does not wish to stop helping him. He will be helped right out of the Whitehouse at this rate. Clever, no? Don is a checkers player trying to work a grandmaster chess table, and he's getting quite a walloping.

The message is absolutely suspect, timed to coincide with Trump's need for a distraction from his apparent state of treason.

In this thread Bort is right and OZ is embarrassingly wrong.

OZ - the most you can use Assange for is, if he says he has information that proves (for example) that Obama is going to start a war with Iran any day now, start looking for reliable sources in a position to back up or disprove Assange.

Did you know that carbon dating doesn't work? Creationists can legitimately point you to instances of carbon dating failing. But then you look into it further and discover that scientists are on top of this already, and for example know that it doesn't work reliably on aquatic creatures (because carbon dating is all about carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, so at the very least you need air-breathing animals). Now, you can keep checking out each thing Creationists come up with, and they'll be proven liars in some cases, and at best half-right in other cases. Pretty soon you realize it's futile to follow their lead.

I've come to respect Assange and Snowden as devices for exploring and exposing important topics but never for a moment have I trusted or admired either of them.

Well yeah, you would have to be stupid to trust Assange or take him at face value.

Which does not change the content of what Wikileaks chooses to publish a bit.

Context is important.

Content is important.

They are two different things.

It is possible to look critically at the context without dismissing the content wholesale.

This isn't hard.

I guess we still have to hate Wikileaks now because they revealed some shitty things the Blue team did; even though we loved them when they were revealing the shit the Red team did.
WikiLeaks has ALWAYS been releasing info on the Democrats; the difference now is, people realize Assange isn't trying to expose abuses of power, but to run interference for Putin.

William Burns
Are you kidding Bort

You idiots decided the TPP was Obama trying to enslave us all because Wikileaks said so. Except it turns out that, now that the TPP won't give the US increased economic presence in the Pacific, there is a vacuum for other nations to exploit. Imagine that.

We never should have liked wikileaks in first place. Assange doesn't care about context, and doesn't care about protecting his sources, and certainly doesn't care about protecting the contacts and employees of the intelligence community. Now he's releasing dirt on the community just in time for Trump to score points on it.

There is a reason why Snowden didn't go through this guy.

https://www.quora.com/Why-didnt-Edward-Snowden-leak-through-Wi kiLeaks

Oscar Wildcat
Goodness gracious Bort! Sticking our dicks into other countries affairs is exactly what works best for the world and us! But yeah, that was the whole reason for this idiotic trade agreement, as a bulwark against expanding communism. Sounds like the domino theory to me.

Raggamuffin, I agree that Assange and to some degree Wikileaks in general (they are not one and the same despite how Assange likes to frame it) are not without problems, and taking them at face value is no better than taking CNN or The Washington Post or any other news source at face value.

But on the specific substance of this press conference, what are your criticisms? Not Assange's character, not how they are handling it, but the substance of the actual information we have right now.

Leaving aside the possibility that it is outright fabrication (which seems extremely unlikely, it's not like this stuff was a huge secret before, there have been whistleblowers leaking more general information about things like this since the early days of the Bush era when the NSA's tap on AT&T's San Francisco fiber optic hub came out for example), would it have been more responsible to keep its existence and the fact that it was already leaked to unknown non-agency parties - ignoring the ramifications of the ageny's own use of it, authorized and otherwise - a secret? Regardless of what you think of Assange personally and Wikileaks in general, what would the more responsible action have been once you were given this information?

"You idiots decided the TPP was Obama trying to enslave us all..."

By "you idiots" you mean "the Democrats in Congress who said just exactly that to us." Of course, Bort knew that already.

"One thing is becoming clear. #TheRealDonaldTrump prolly thought he was pretty smart, letting Vlad help him win the election." Hillary colluded with the media to promote Trump, not Vlad, but Oscar knew that already.

Every time you reg-left assholes smugly lie about this shit, you're making a Trump 2020 ad for the Internet and insuring the Democrats are done in politics this coming midterm. I say with the same predictive forces that told you that Trump would be president a year ago that Democrats are going to lose ALL or close to all of their seats in Congress this midterm if they do not overhaul their party and remove all corporate interests, which I guarantee they will cease to exist before doing.

I look forward to you all failing to figure out why.

Reg-left? Jesus are we going to come up with a hyphenated label for everyone who doesn't agree with you?

By democrats in congress you mean Bernie and others who didnt even read the thing first?

Democrats to lose all their seats this midterm? Do you even know how many seats are up?

I'll tell you the leftist forces that let Trump win: hysterical Bernie fanatics who think it's a better idea to let the world burn under Trump than to vote for an imperfect "tainted" candidate "because corporations".

And you idiots will do it again in 2020.

Oscar Wildcat
Point of nomenclature. Reg-left? We should stick with the naming scheme already in use, I suggest Ctrl-left. My own political persuasion these days tends toward the Esc party. Who else can get us out of the mess we're in now?

OZ: My criticisms of this release is that it's not at all revelatory. The substance of "vault 7" is that the CIA has been developing techniques to hack into specific computer systems if they choose to. Yes, your computer isn't secure. That's exactly what security experts have been telling people for years, and yes of course the CIA has tools to hack into people's computers. It would be incredibly stupid of them if they didn't. But this isn't anything like the NSA mass surveillance program. These are tools for single case targeted surveillance. The kind that the CIA is supposed to do.

I can only guess at what Assange's motivations, but he's making something out of very little.

at the risk of looking like a dingus for putting more links in my posts:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/08/wikileaks-v ault-7-cia-documents-hacked-what-you-need-to-know

Oscar Wildcat
That's true, Rags. The only relevant thing was what Julian himself pointed out, that this big stash of shit was just sitting around and someone swiped it. If they were atomic bombs, heads would be rolling right now. But you don't see that.

You have to look at the broader context to understand the point of the leak.

Two giant forces are wrestling in Washington. The CIA, and most of the rest of the intelligence agencies, seem pretty squarely on the anti-Trump side. They've been making life difficult for Dear Maximum Leader, and their credibility sways moderate and even some conservative republicans. This leak embarrasses the agency at a time when it's integrity is of most importance. Yet, at the same time, it greatly fuels the speculation that Don and Vlad are BFF and America is being sold down the river. It hurts the agency, whilst at the same time providing political cover due to the Russian connection to get serious about their investigation into Trump. Clever, no?

The point of all this leaking isn't to help anyone, Trump or his enemies. The point is to sow dissension and distrust and degrade the ability of America as a country to function.

Oscar Wildcat
That said, shooting the messenger is stupid for any number of reasons. Jullian Assange is not the problem. We've been pulling this same horseshit in former SU states for years now so it's not like there isn't ample precedent for the fire being directed our way.

"By "you idiots" you mean "the Democrats in Congress who said just exactly that to us." Of course, Bort knew that already."

I know Liz Warren started talking smack about the TPP well after the Left had come to its conclusions based on Wikileaks, and that the people she was pandering to would accept no other opinion. I knew that already, watched it happen.

"Goodness gracious Bort! Sticking our dicks into other countries affairs is exactly what works best for the world and us!"

As it works out, globalization has been one of the forces most successful at combating poverty. They don't do it out of the goodness of their hearts of course, and there are countless places where multinationals have exploited the locals mercilessly. But even the hated globalization can make some claims to doing good, in ways that bitching doesn't.

And as for the TPP, I guess I don't see why you object to nations refusing to import goods produced in part or in whole via slave labor and child labor, or why you object to minimum wages and private labor unions. I will never be hip.

Oscar Wildcat
Because we can't even ensure the integrity of those institutions and practices at home? And we're going to enforce them in authoritarian and sometimes dictatorial countries through a trade agreement? Damn bro, you need to share some of that incredible strain with us. Chem dog/gorilla glue/supersilver haze? If we're going olde skool with the domino theory, let's hit this landrace sativa "dalat", then frag the lieutenant.

Wikileaks wasn't always a vanity project for Julian Assange. He took the whole thing over a few years ago. He's been shit for forever (see also, his comments about Jews because of course), but up until this election, most people were still convincing themselves he was a "good guy" because he seemed cool on the internet. There's a first hand account of his taking over Wikileaks, getting weird with Russia, and badgering employees into signing NDAs out there that I'm too lazy to google.

"And we're going to enforce them in authoritarian and sometimes dictatorial countries through a trade agreement?"

No, THOSE OTHER COUNTRIES are going to enforce those things if they want the benefits of the TPP. Which would be a much more powerful inducement if the US were one of the nations they would get trade perks with.

Oh well, the Left got what they wanted, and the world is a crappier place for their efforts. Thanks Left! You were too busy hating capitalism to actually help people. Maybe you protest the Clinton Foundation's anti-AIDS initiatives just to stick it to $hillary.

The revelation here, behind Assange's bloviating, is that these tools have been compromised and most likely in some civilian circulation, and the larger conversation about the practicality and morality of their use by the government. Obviously Assange's focus is selective and biased, that does not change the content.

More broadly there are a lot of pretty bold statements about what intelligence agencies "are supposed to do" flying around in here without any real critical thinking about whether they should be "supposed to do" those things. Democrats sure love and trust the intelligence industry lately.

Oscar Wildcat
No Bort, that is factually incorrect. The mechanism for enforcement of the provisions we've been discussing is the Investor-state dispute settlement. This construction occurs in many trade agreements, and there is a long history of who uses it and how ( see NAFTA's ISDS for example ). You should look at that history. It's not remotely what you believe it to be. FYI.

Wrong OW. The ISDS is there so that investors have recourse if they feel they've been wronged by other governments. The ISDS might apply if, say, a TPP nation is penalizing a foreign investor for allegedly (falsely) engaging in slave labor. It would NOT apply if that investor is being fairly and correctly penalized.

"I know Liz Warren started talking smack about the TPP well after the Left had come to its conclusions based on Wikileaks, and that the people she was pandering to would accept no other opinion. I knew that already, watched it happen."

Translation: Elizabeth Warren was also against TPP.

Remember that example of Obama saving kids from a burning building Bort gave as an example of twisted language on this very page?
She was against it before she even read it, idiot. You know how we can prove that? Because she announced her opposition in early 2015, and the TPP was not even completed until October 2015, much less released to the public a few weeks later. There was no way to read the TPP before October 2015.

Prior to that point, if you wanted to view the TPP in progress, you needed to go to the trade bureau office and look at a hard copy that was kept there. You couldn't leave with it, you couldn't photograph pages, you had to rely only on what you could learn from it while in the room. Or maybe you could look at what had been Wikileak'd and trust that it was complete and current, neither of which were guaranteed.

Either way, the Left had decided well before 2015 that the TPP was an abomination and anyone who disagreed was a traitor. If you'd actually talked to the Left you'd know this.

So now we're left with Liz Warren coming out against the TPP months before it was completed, much less before it could be properly reviewed. There are two possibilities here. One is that she was pandering to her base who had already made up their minds. The other is that she'd been hit on the head "Flintstones" style and genuinely believed she'd read the TPP.

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