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I'm not sure if anyone else sees it this way, but isn't it just a simple crime? Pfc. Bradley Manning stole a largenumber of diplomatic cables. It's a crime, and not many people seem to be arguing it. After all, this informationseems to have quite a bit of value (after reading some of the cables not sure why, but we'll get into that dirtlater). After all, this Assange guy is pretty pissed off his money sources have been cut off. Pretty sure he wascounting on some bank from this whole thing. If this was a bank robbery, and Manning left a bag of moneyinstead of a CD with diplomatic cables on it at the Wikileaks office, wouldn't they be part of the chain of theft,and therefore just as guilty as Manning? Maybe, maybe not. Let's look at some of the stolen items. Maybe wecan set a value to them. WARNING: The next paragraph may turn into somewhat of a VISA commercialparody.


I'm going to start close to home (South America). Some of these cables raise some serious issues. Forexample, Hugo Chavez handing over a suitcase full of drug profits to Daniel Ortega($609,000). If this isactually true (and could be proven somehow), it seems like it would be very damaging to both the aforementioned parties. This could therefore be very valuable information. But, let's try to put it into real dollars andcents:

1. 2 Samsonita suitcases: $12 (Samsonita is the Venezuelan knock off of Samsonite)

2. Private military jet from Venezuela to Nicaragua: $48,000

3. $609,000: $657,012

Let's move a little further south. Sounds like President Evo Morales had a nasal tumor removed by Cubandoctors. On the surface (no pun intended, ok, maybe pun intended), doesn't look so valuable. But much asthe Cuban doctors did, let's dig a little deeper. If this information got out to the Bolivian public, it could createsome concerns over the indigenous leaders health. This in turn may create widespread panic and couprumblings!!!! Or, it could just have been a benign basil cell carcinoma, or a giant bugger. Also, it's hard to puta value on having the US Foreign Service so far up into your business they can see inside your nose. It'snothing to sneeze at, so let's just brush against the values, shall we?

1. Picture of President Morales leaving the presidential palace with his nose: $1.53

2. Having Cuban doctors remove possible tumor from nose: 48 Bolivars (not sure of the equivalent dollarvalue, or if that's even the name of Bolivia's currency. I just made that up. Much as I've made up the rest ofthis).

3. Having to pay your army overtime with bags of coca leaves so they won't start a coup: Uno Sheeeetload.

Finally, there's Russia. I know tit's not South America, but it's just too good to pass up. Apparently. VladimirPutin is an ALPHA MALE, and still runs the show. WHO KNEW?? WHO KNEW??? I guess we all did. But,why don't we use this for our final value?

4. Image of Vladimir Putin dry humping Dimitry Medvedev's leg to show him who's alpha male up in this hizzie:PRICELESS!!


If all of this isn't strange enough, it pit's one ally against another. Australian Foreign Minister, The HonorableKevin Rudd (if there's anything honorable about any of this), is backing up Julian Assange. WHAT?? Could itbe that Julian Assange will be the end of a long lasting relationship of vegemite, foster's beer, and auzzieauzzie auzzie oy oy oy??? Probably not. This will just fade into obscurity like many other robberies involvingthe theft of a CD. But, it does make one wonder, what does Assange have on Rudd? Is it;

1. The Foreign Minister just doing what he would do for any other Australian citizen that's in trouble with thelaw overseas.

2. He really believes that this type of information should be shared and discussed in a reasonable globaldialogue.



I like C best. Sure, it may be the least likely scenario, but it's definitely the funnest. I guess it makes sense forRudd to back Assange. After all, America wants him charged with treason, and he's not even American!! Doyou think Australia would back off if we just charged him with simple theft? It's not as sexy as treason, but itmight be more appropriate.


I'm going to try and put this crime into perspective. Let's say the regular theft of a CD is like leaving yourhouse, getting into your car, and then realizing you left your wallet back inside in your upstairs bedroom. Now,Julian Assange's theft of a CD is like that same wallet, only your a sherpa, you just got all the way down fromMt. Everest's base camp, and realized you left your wallet in your yurt area. And, what took you a day and halfto descend, now takes you three days of hiking, bivouacking, and ice rappelling to get back to. Besides that,you can't ice rappel on your own. You need to talk someone into going back up with you.


I guess the moral to this story is; don't go ice rappelling with Julian Assange. You'll end up hacking all the ice,and when you get there that 100 euro note that he got from that French guy turns out to be a coupon for a freebag of fries at McDonald's.



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Comment by Ian on December 20, 2010 at 5:36pm

The agency prefers to know privately but can weather public discourse as long as the appropriate assets are compromised.

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