Most of the people (not here on slashdot, the rednecks I meet in my state of Texas) who think he should be strung up and hung have no idea what he actually released and assume from the news reports he is a rapist. So the 80% figure includes a ton of people who do actually know the facts
That's democracy for you. Aren't you glad we live in a republic that put limits on mob rule?
My only point was the people that make up the statistic being quoted do not generally do not even the facts of the subject the pollster questioned them about, particularly in this case in my area.
I do not necessarily think it was 'an attack' on the US, even if it was, the information he released was truth, nothing more. I do not believe they can stop the 'site' at this point, if somehow they did, there is several now to take their place. I think it is a good thing.
Whether it's the truth or not doesn't really matter. Most of what is being release was said or written in strict confidence between sets of people who understood only a limited amount of people would know about it. Think about it this way, suppose the cops wiretapped your phone suspecting you were dealing drugs with known terrorists. All they get is you talking about how your partner looked fat in the outfit they wore last night, and how you think one of your best friends have a drinking problem and he's becoming an ass. Nothing terribly bad, and all true from your perspective. Now lets say that a cop knew he was going to get fired for whatever outside reason and dumped all these tapes of you talking privately to certain people in confidence along side the road on his way to an interview for a new job. Now suppose I found them and posted them all on the interweb. Does the fact that they are all true make that right? Does it make it permissive? I mean ignore the fact that the cop acted illegally, I came buy them legally, and haven't broken a law (actually I have but pretend I haven't) and posted them for everyone, including your partner and friend with the drinking problem to hear and see. Are we good now? Well, what makes the difference if we are not? You might say "well, those were your communications, not the government", but it's the government who kept recorded them and kept them, shouldn't I be able to disseminate government information even when the communications help were regarded as confidential at the time?
We are not talking about private citizens, we talking Federal employees who are being paid and acting on our behalf, that directly effects every person in this country and many more around the world. The data here wasn't unknowingly tapped, they knew records were kept and many government officials (at least higher end ones) could read it.
The scenario you create here involves private citizens whos actions, have no effect on the rest of the world, nor are they paid or acting on the public's interest, who have an expatiation of privacy, etc. These are two total separate issues.
If this same cop in your scenario found out.. I was drinking on the job, in which peoples lives were actually in danger and he 'anonymously' reported it to my work, I think it would be the morally right thing to do. If I found out the cops did that, I hope I would have enough reason in myself to understand why he did it and accept it was the right thing to do.
Nationalism is not usually a good thing. Being mad that a group exposed all the secret evils of your government is not the right response, consider asking the government why they were doing these evils in the first place.
Would you be mad at me if I posted all your confidential communications on the interweb? Seriously, I mean if you knew all your conversations were being recorded and eventually made available to anyone- anywhere, would you phrase things differently, perhaps more tactfully then you have in the past? The problem here is that it went beyond exposing just the evils of the government. It went into the territory of anything to damage them. Completely benign yet untactful communications were made public with no other reason then to degrade relationship the US holds in some form. Almost everyone would consider that an attack and if it happened in your personal life, you would stop being around people who acted like that to you. Wouldn't you? Maybe it's not all nationalism but being able to relate to it personally. I don't like people like that, I don't like Assange, I knew who he was before this, I didn't really care before this.
My response to this is more or less the same as above. We are not talking celebrity gossip magazine type stuff here. We are talking countries bombing and killing other people on behalf, paid by us. Spying and and hurting our relationships with the world. I understand the need for real national security, I do. But when the government stamps every single document no matter how trivial secret going back 50+ years, with no transparency, uses the media as an attempt to keep support for a war or two or three, lying about facts, then you have Wikileaks post the Iraq & Afgan warlogs. I am all for wikileaks here man.
Is it not more moral to ask your government 'why you do these terrible things, classify them and cover them up'? Than it is to blame the person for exposing them?
Why can't it be both? I mean seriously, in all the arguments I see in support for wikileaks, they all act like it's a binary problem of either or but not both. There were perfectly legitimate ways of dealing with this that would have resulted in completely different outcomes. Manning had many viable resources to express what he thought was injustice without ever committing a crime including notifying members of congress. What makes people distinguish news sources from Wikileaks is that a legitimate news source doesn't do around reporting that your neighbor called you an arrogant ass, unless that act leads into something news worthy like you assaulting them or something. The bulk of the diplomat cables and battlefield reports amount to little more then that. They show little to now evil by the government and are more or less people expressing rude or off collar opinions about others in high places. The battle field reports are even worse because a patter of operational strategy can be derived from them which would clearly give an enemy a better understanding of our tactics and perspective.
And even if no one can show how anyone was directly or indirectly harmed but the releases, you can show how you wouldn't keep people like that in your circle of friends. In fact, almost every workplace environment I have been in had at least one person who couldn't keep their mouth shut about things and often their blabbering bites someone in the ass who did no direct harm to anyone or anything. In my experience, we simply don't deal with them outside of direct need of work. I'm betting a lot of people have seen this and don't like it either.
Assuming it was Manning, yes he broke several laws and oaths he gave. You keep equating little private citizen things with this and they are not nearly the same thing. He saw video footage of people in helicopters killing every day citizens illegally with no regard for human life. He already saw multiple cover ups and lies from the government fed to the media. What do you expect at a certain point? This guy lived in it, dealt with it every day and saw everything. I do not know his reasons, obviously I can only make educated guesses. Yes a large part of the cables are useless and really do not need to be published, period. There are chucks of them however that should be known.
I wouldn't put my faith in any friends to be covering up things of the caliber that Wikileaks has released, nor would I ever commit them in the first place. Actually you keep talking about workplace environments, we have entire laws to protect people who do come out against these companies "whistleblower protection act" for one. No this isn't going to protect you from spreading every gossip garbage, but if the company is clearly breaking many laws and going against their stock holders, it will protect them. I might not have the balls to do it, you might be the one blindly following the company, sticking with your friends breaking the laws. Someone will though.