There is clear motive right now for undermining the CIA. This may not have been an act of altruism like Snowden. While shockingly damaging to the American arsenal, the CIA is by far the biggest loser.
This comment was immediately down voted on Reddit. Someone is seeking to control the narrative.
Beyond that, only speculation remains. So why even give a shit? As long as what they’re publishing is true, which it has always been so far. Let them fight each other with the truth and the people will be better off. Nothing you’ve said changes the validity of this article, in fact, it only distracts from it. So I’d say you’re doing us a disservice by distracting from the real story here.
One example how it could be relevant in particular to the general discussion is how the software and partially hardware has been kept by CIA to formally avoid reprecussions from good honest people.
I think the issue here is that many (most?) of us assume that all global powers have this capability, yet a Wikileaks is trying to paint the US as the scary one, and so people are questioning their motives. Is what the US is doing morally wrong on a few levels? Undoubtedly. Can the US afford to stop doing these things when some arguably less moral actors are going to continue regardless? That is up for debate.
Assange to me seems irrationally anti-America. Has the US done many reprehensible things now and in the past? Absolutely. But that is true for every powerful nation ever. And if you’re looking at America’s competition, you’d need to be blind to think that Russia is somehow more benevolent than the US.
1 ensures the leaker’s ability to leak, 2 ensures there is a leaker to leak, and 3 ensures there is something to be leaked.
Assange outlined his goals  a while ago in regards to exposing secrets, and I think Wikileaks is staying in line with those rather well. It essentially states that they’ll leak whatever they receive, and try to enforce a kind of ‘secrecy tax’ on governments/parties/organizations that refuse to be transparent via forcing them into less effective means of communication and overall less use of technology.
Wikileaks does not only publish “against” America. When it does, it’s closer to home for the Americans and we hear more news coverage about it. In any case, wouldn’t it okay that there are outlets that produce true news focused on negative aspects of the United States, keeping it accountable? That seems like a positive thing to me – though I don’t think Wikileaks is “it”.
I should also make the point that the DNC/Hillary stuff is not a foregone conclusion that it was Russian. These leaks cast new light on the DNI’s Grizzly Steppe paper where the NSA gave a 50/50 level of confidence that Russia was involved (but CIA and FBI said that it was greater than 50%). This leak includes information about a project called “UMBRAGE” which is a CIA project to catalog and strategically make use of hacking tools of other countries for certain projects in order to point the finger.
We do know that GCHQ has capabilities that are similar in some ways to CIA/NSA, but is it a foregone conclusion that all world powers have cyber programs this extensive? I don’t think that it is.
To give one example: In Sweden a vaccine for the pigflue caused narcolepsy in completely healthy young individuals. [End rant]
The problem here is not truth or how it’s used to effect but foremost the missinformation that is blocking out all traces of it.
Truth helps any discussion and creates trust – which the vast majority of societies are built on (or used to be).
Much of the war propaganda consumed by the US population is based on truth. The problem is that US citizens don’t have the appropriate context to understand that truth. The fallout is incredible damage to people and lives overseas caught up in great power struggle that could be a different way if there we a systemic commitment toward building a real basis toward international security (over, say, unipolar control).
It may have been a coincidence, but they couldn’t have been released at a politically more opportune time (for the R’s) than then. In fact, during that interview, I recall Assange saying he was waiting for the right moment to release it. They aren’t lying, and shinning light on wrong-doing is great, but the choice of when to do so and possibly sitting on information on the others who stand to benefit is suspicious.
The incentives, partnerships, timelines and ethics of major media outlets prevent them from speaking truth to power.
1) Wikileaks provides evidence of wrongdoing
2) You respond “Its possible evidence that proves this isnt wrongdoing exists”
Your position seems to be roughly meaningless and the only justification I see to take it on is ideological.
Yeah, Wikileaks has some biases.
I actually think they are incredibly important biases. Also, I don’t think they are nearly as “anti-American” as some panic about.
Propaganda is even more dangerous when it’s true, but only tell people half the story.
The arrest happened on a Friday night. The story? Page 4, section B on Monday.
In a story like this Wikileaks thing, the context is missing. How are these things used? To what end? Snowden tried to provide that context.
That said, your argument imo doesn’t hold much sway – not publishing something wrong, doesn’t at all imply that they’re not selectively publishing.
And while I agree that there’s some interest as describing them as partisan, I also think that some of Assanges public statements make that really really easy.
What, exactly, have we learned here other than a spy agency knows interesting methods of spying? I mean, of course it’s interesting to see they use this or that vector, but that this technology exists isn’t surprising in itself.
I see two possibilities: either this has caught the CIA on the hop, in which case everyone else will harden their security and the CIA will be less effective at gathering intelligence for a while, or the CIA has already moved onto better tools and is dumping details of its older ones to see who reacts and raise the technological stakes. There’s no sure way for me to know if it’s compromised or not, and the only predictable outcome is another leap in the diversity and capability of malware and another round of the cybersecurity arms race.
I have to say that a lot of the response here seems very theatrical, albeit unwittingly so. Going back to the lock analogy, I’m sure the CIA has some of the world’s best lock pickers and burglars on their payroll, but doesn’t mean the CIA are trying to break into your house, does it? They could break into your house, if you embarked on an affair with a beautiful spy (or even a sort of frumpy one) they maybe would break into your house, but realistically they probably have zero incentive to do so right now.
It’s really hard for me to give a shit about the CIA possibly-in-theory-maybe spying on people when you have government organizations like ICE actually plucking ordinary people off the street and putting them in detention centers where the normal rules of arrest and imprisonment don’t apply.
The people ICE picks up actually committed a crime.
It is also possible to be used in this context; that’s where the phrase ‘useful idiot’ comes from. So Assange should be pure as the driven snow and be laundering manipulated documents, thereby giving them the imprimatur that you, among others, appear to grant great value. In fact, this is what I and others believe to at least occasionally happen with WL.
> which it has always been so far.
How do you know this? How do you know that ‘truth’ hasn’t been shaded by blending observable facts with unverifiable ones or by omitting documents, or parts of documents? How do you know that everyone outside of WL insiders (loosely defined) is granted access to documents at the same time? I think there are still questions about Stone’s access to the Clinton dumps.
> distracting from the real story here
Please. Everyone gets to pick “the real story” for themselves.
But, hey, we’re speculating here.
Anyways, having watched the output of this black box over many years, even if I believe that black box were built with the best of intentions, I can no longer trust that the machine is altogether acting in good faith.
The editorial discretion of a mere two billion dollars in Russia-Syrian transactions, for example, omitted completely by Assange as reported by The Daily Dot, make the man highly suspect as an objective purveyor of leaked materials received.
As the US intelligence community seeks to investigate Trump, the Trump-aligned WL begins dumping on the CIA. Trump will begin whining about the “Deep State” even more. Prepare for another week of whataboutism.
You’re playing into the idea that there are “false facts” or “alternative facts.” There aren’t. Those are lies or errors.
> Alternatively, fact may also indicate an allegation or stipulation of something that may or may not be a true fact, (e.g., “the author’s facts are not trustworthy”). This alternate usage, although contested by some, has a long history in standard English.
Come on now. We’re better than this.
> people with any level of sophistication in their thinking can understand that. I don’t even know how to respond to some folks here.
I wrote just two lines of text to express a simple thought using basic vocabulary. The fact that you misunderstood my comment so thoroughly, and yet with such extreme condescension, is simply spectacular.
Assange here is just saying: Podesta’s password is weak. It’s hard for him to qualify that it was spelled “p@ssw0rd” rather than “password” during an interview.
The fact that you think saying “password” rather than “p@ssw0rd” disqualifies Assange as a lier goes to the heart of the anti-body reaction that nationalists have about hearing news that doesn’t validate pre-existing opinions that they have about the nobility of their nation and its leadership.
The difference between “password” and “p@ssw0rd”, while technically true, it is so pedantic it does not apply to the spirit of the conversation.
Will be interesting to see if things escalate.
It’s easy to see why Assange didn’t oblige, compromised or not.
Minor note: the Reddit thread was from Jan 11th. This is relevant because Assange wasn’t only asked to verify control of the private key. Assange hadn’t appeared in public and skeptics wanted “proof of life.” The Reddit comment, currently at 15K upvotes, even includes Assange’s response with reasons that talk to the difficulty of maintaining private keys and avoiding taxing precedents like having to provide proof of life all the time. Again, compromised or not, I can understand why Assange wouldn’t want to become conditioned to respond to every request for proof of life or locking down private keys.
If this is true, this is incredibly bad, and the CIA should be discredited.
A vote don’t mean shit.
You could say the man’s gone insane, but the theory of these accounts and the WL org being subverted by a state power sounds more plausible at this point.
It’s to the point now that things like this improve Putin’s poll numbers, not hurt them.
2) how it was obtained
3) why it was released
We should condemn (2) and (3) even if we condemn (1). That is, a properly functioning society shouldn’t need to rely on leaks for corruption and abuse of power to be exposed.
At the same time, we should always respond to abuse of power and trust; to do so because we don’t want to help “the bad guys” simply creates an environment in which such abuses are tolerated.
Similarly, we should not assume that any comment that we disagree with is a conscious manipulation by malicious actors; otherwise, I could just as easily argue that you have some ulterior motive to post your comment.
Those in power have little incentive to restrict it. Leaks are very effective at letting people police their own government.
If the “narrative” is accurate, then that’s on the CIA.
There is, however, one person who thinks twelve moves ahead like a chess grandmaster. I wonder what, if any, Peter Thiel’s role is in all of this
forgive all typos as my fingers are experiencing the chilling effect ( my hands are cold… makes it hard to type)
Also, control of a private key only demonstrates control of the machine on which that key exists, so it is not definitive proof of anything. It is possible Assange’s machine was wiped or hacked, or that the person in control of that machine was killed or taken out of play. There have been multiple mysterious deaths associated with Wikileaks in the past couple years. It is conceivable that Assange never was in control of the private key and that one of those people was, in which case it makes perfect sense that he can make multiple convincing videos but not produce that specific key.
Finally, the question of whether Wikileaks is “neutral” (whatever that is supposed to mean) is not particularly relevant given their implacable record of truth in reporting. The leaks are most likely completely true, and as new information, should be evaluated independently/objectively.
As someone who has read a few histories of the CIA, I can say that anyone who is their enemy is my friend. Their worldview and approach to international action has caused mass human suffering on the world stage for decades, usually in the name of protecting things like unfair trade agreements, destroying unionization efforts & democracy, and eliminating political affiliations that are not in the perceived interests (in terms of world hegemony) of the US government. In popular media this is portrayed as a “necessary evil”, but in reality it is a sociopathic service to power that degrades the soul of all humanity.
Syria is probably the most recent example. The CIA was envisioning an eerily similar scenario to the one that is playing out right now…in 1986.  I encourage you to read up on their origins and history, it is a fascinating if extremely unsettling story.
 – https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP86T01017…
The problem with CIA or US Government in general has been they have long stopped using american ideas of freedom, transparency to their own advantage while being transparent and accountable to public. Constant lies, optimising for dubiously useful goals, financial mismanagement etc. has made them less credible and very correctly so.
I bet the next thing CIA would try to get Assange killed and facts suppressed only making themselves less and less credible and reducing freedom in the country.
When John Kennedy appeared on television during Cuba missile crisis the American public to a large extent believed their president. After what Bush did in Iraq I think American public will not trust another President like that even in the face of a real crisis.
I think that is how nations probably fail.
a third, and minor point- when assange was last interviewed on bill maher, he struck me as very careful with his words, and very talking point ish. sounded just like a politician. wouldn’t give any play to bill’s questions about putting thumb on the scale for trump. not much there, but weird for someone who purports to be even minded, rational, fair and pure to behave like that.
Unlike many other stories, there were no where near the level of government denial. Media outlets ate it up without looking into any of it.
I really feel like Snowden was an intentional leak, either to show the NSA could proclaim their spying abilities and no one would be able to stop them, or they wanted to profess they had capabilities they don’t actually have.
In either case, the US government is still spying relentlessly, creating war zones and expanding military powers. People say I’m a “tin foil hat conspiracy theorist” when I say that the CIA most likely created ISIS to destabilize Syria.
It’s not crazy, it’s what the CIA has been doing for decades. The 1973 Coupe in Chile, Bay of Pigs, School of the Americas, Iranian Contras .. the list is as long as you want to make it.
You should question each “leak.”
What benefit does it serve you to suddenly get all of your enemies and frenemies to suddenly change all of their communication methods to avoid the NSA? You’re spying on them without them knowing about it — that’s exactly what you want!
Why the CIA chose to make its cyberarsenal unclassified reveals how concepts developed for military use do not easily crossover to the ‘battlefield’ of cyber ‘war’.
To attack its targets, the CIA usually requires that its implants communicate with their control programs over the internet. If CIA implants, Command & Control and Listening Post software were classified, then CIA officers could be prosecuted or dismissed for violating rules that prohibit placing classified information onto the Internet. Consequently the CIA has secretly made most of its cyber spying/war code unclassified. The U.S. government is not able to assert copyright either, due to restrictions in the U.S. Constitution. This means that cyber ‘arms’ manufactures and computer hackers can freely “pirate” these ‘weapons’ if they are obtained. The CIA has primarily had to rely on obfuscation to protect its malware secrets.
One of the more interesting passages. The arsenal must not be classified to protect those who deploy it from legal action. This cyberwarfare kit, which can just as easily be used to destroy the US as one of its enemies, is public domain software created and released at US taxpayer expense.
Not that being classified would make any difference: cyber-“weapons” have something in common with biological weapons in that they’re prone to leaking and blowing upwind, but also once used it’s possible for the enemy to vaccinate against them.
Using a modern missile against WWII Germany would likely quickly result in refinements to their V2 Rocket program, given enough remains to study.
Using a modern missile against Vietnam era USA would likely result in advancements in miniaturization and computation, given enough remains (even if they did not have the resources/facilities to capitalize on some aspects of those for years, I think it’s likely it would advance the fields by a least a few years).
One of the biggest advantages the Allies had in WWII was that they had cracked the “uncrackable” Axis encryption. Even though they were able to decipher enemy messages, they often didn’t act on that information because that would tip their hand. The strategic value of reading the enemies messages is enormous when the enemy doesn’t know you can do it, and much less so, and possibly even negative when they do know.
I suppose the modern example are the constant probing of air defenses by the attacker (i.e. the US and its array of electronic warfare suites), and the game theoretic calculation by the defender on whether to turn on their radars or not…
IIRC, the shells were also especially effective as anti-aircraft artillery.
Fun fact: “daisy cutter” bombs work the same way. Up until Vietnam at least, their proximity fuse was on the end of a rod protruding a few feet from the nose of the bomb. Low-tech compared to a radar proximity fuse, but fearsomely effective; probably the only reason you wouldn’t find it on a shell is that, unlike an air-dropped bomb, a shell has to withstand the force of being fired from a gun, and I doubt any such expedient could. (That’s also why bombs tend to be so much more effective than shells, even when no more accurate. When the strongest force involved is 1g, you can spend a lot less mass on structure, and a lot more on explosive.)
sink (one’s own ship) deliberately by holing it or opening its seacocks to let water in
This is also more toward what is meant by Naval captains “going down with the ship” during battle: they stick around to act as a guard (and proximity fuse) for the scuttling charges, so that whoever just disabled the vessel can’t just hop on-board and drive her home. (And, just maybe, catch a large enemy marine contingent in a grand old explosion if they try.)
Also of note – in WWI ships had been deliberately scuttled (‘the Blockships’) to secure the smaller entry ways into Scapa Flow, by WWII these (and the anti-submarine netting in the larger channels) were shown to be inadequate when U-47 sunk the HMS Royal Oak. This attack led to the building of the Churchill Barriers without which I doubt we would have anywhere near as strong a community as we currently have in the Orkney Isles.
Today the wrecks of both the German Fleet and the Blockships are excellent shallow dive sites in slightly chilly water. If you dive I strongly recommend going to Orkney.
The US has signed and ratified a treaty committing to destroy all chemical weapons and never produce them again , and it has built the infrastructure to do so  .
It’s conspiracy-nut territory to think the US is simultaneously stockpiling chemical weapons in some super-secret program without good evidence for it.
The US engaging in blscksites and systematic torture was conspiracy nut territory.
But criticizing your pro Government apologia only results in comments being banned and removed — perhaps just more conspiracy nut territory?
here is even a hertiage foundation report talking about sharing privacy keeping technologies with the government in the name of ‘fighting terrorism’
and here is the ACLU sounding the alarm in August of 2004:
Ironically, its around the same time the NSA purported to have their own ‘rules’ in how they gather, which were obtained here:
and of course, not more than a few years later we have these reports:
It was never a wing nut conspiracy theory. Its just nobody was looking close enough to care.
Is this an innoculation game >10 years out????
Once its out, the only penalty can fall on the person who let it out into the wild.
I also love how under the Paperwork Reduction Act they have had to estimate the burden of filling it out, but seemingly not consider whether or not is serves any actual purpose to ask those questions in the first place.
> “(…) between 1933 and 1945 were involved, in any way, in persecutions associated with Nazi Germany or its allies?”
I guess Wernher von Braun, like most of the people included in the “Operation Paperclip” would have fallen in that category in some way.
My grandfather, who lost his German citizenship in the 30s and had to leave Germany for England due to the persecutions associated with Nazi Germany would technically have to answer that he was involved (as a victim).