• Debate: Wikileaks and Assange: Journalist or Threat to National Security?

    August 27, 2012

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State

    From CCTV, a “heated” discussion between Justin Danhof, General Council of the NCPPR, and Peter Van Buren, a former U.S. Foreign Service Officer, on the impact Julian Assange and Wikileaks will have in the world of international relations and national security.

    (If the video is not embedded above, follow this link)

    P.S. I think I won the debate.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...



      It wasn’t a fair fight.


      08/27/12 12:30 PM | Comment Link

    • Meloveconsullongtime said...


      Lucy gets payback for continually refusing Charlie Brown’s FOIA request:


      08/27/12 3:49 PM | Comment Link

    • Eric Hodgdon said...


      Assange is a Journalist.

      The National Security Threat is our National Government. If We were the Republic We are required, by law, to be, we would not be having this discussion – they would not be debating the issue.

      If people don’t force this National Usurpation of our Republic out of existence, it will continue degrading all in its way and most likely the world. The National Government is not all powerful, but instead is very weak. If all National employees stayed home, the National Government would cease. Instead, these fellow citizens of ours continue supporting an inherently illegal government.

      08/28/12 6:50 AM | Comment Link

    • Expat said...



      You won hands-down because you’re articulate, knowledgeable, a cool customer and you speak the truth.

      I had to laugh when JD said that the US has “some of the freest press, if not the freest press in the world.” Yeah, right. He obviously hasn’t been out of the country much. The US media is a joke – such a narrow band of opinions and perspectives, and lines that one cannot cross. (The exception to the MSM rule is the alternative media, which very few US Americans tune into.)

      By the way, it might interest Justin to know that in the 2011/12 Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index the US ranked 47th out of 179 countries. (http://en.rsf.org/press-freedom-index-2011-2012,1043.html) “We’re number one!” (Not.) Even the Freedom House, not exactly a bastion of liberal or progressive thought, ranked the Homeland 22nd last year, along with Estonia and Jamaica.

      Score – PVB: 1; JD: 0 😉

      08/28/12 9:31 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      Mr. Van Buren,

      How can the Espionage Act be applied to foreigners such as Assange? Even Eric Holder admitted in 2010 that we would have to “close some loopholes in the Act” in order to invoke it against a foreigner. Which would entail an attempt to make US laws binding on foreign countries or persons. Clearly, such a maneuver would be bullshit (at that point, we would be claiming that US law is universal) and a retroactive rewriting of the law in an attempt to shoehorn one particular person (Assange) in as a “violator of the law”.

      Also, the guy you were talking to in the video averred that the State Dept emails and cables were classified info – my understanding is that none of the State Dept leaks were classified as “top secret” at all. Or even as “secret”. I also thought that Bradley Manning had nothing to do with the State Dept leaks – his alleged leaks came from Army documents.

      I loved your turn of phrase there – that we have “the right to hear”. Good job.


      08/28/12 10:48 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      “State Dept emails and cables were classified info – my understanding is that none of the State Dept leaks were classified as “top secret” at all. Or even as “secret”. I also thought that Bradley Manning had nothing to do with the State Dept leaks – his alleged leaks came from Army documents.”

      Wikileaks published two large tranches of documents.

      The first were thousands of individual military SIGACTS, spot reports on SIGnificant ACTions like shootings and bombings that took place in Iraq and Afghanistan. All were automatically classified as they were created without too much regard for the actual content.

      The second was over 250,000 (alleged) State Department cables. These came from a computer system that held documents labeled from Confidential to Secret. Nothing in that system was Top Secret. Officially, the State Department has acknowledged the classification and authenticity of only a handful of Wikileaked documents.

      The US Government maintains that both sets of documents were passed to Wikileaks by Manning.

      08/28/12 2:09 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      Mr. Van Buren,
      Thank you for taking the time to clear up the incorrect information I had read elsewhere! You are aces.

      08/28/12 7:56 PM | Comment Link

    • Debat over Assange tekent Amerikaans nationalisme « George Knight said...


      […] Policy Research. De meer liberale Peter van Buren ontzenuwt de halve waarheden van Danhof en claimt als een echte sporter de winst in het debat. Van Buren gaat uit van de feiten en niet van het geloof in de Amerikaanse […]

      08/29/12 8:57 AM | Comment Link

    • Eric Hodgdon said...


      I’ve read what happened to you, and I’ve studied founding era documents too, 1787 – 1836. They too meant well despite our current critics of the founding gentlemen. Fault can be found in most people, and the creators of the Constitution were no exception. While I seem to be off topic, the larger picture is what I see. And, a shortage of this larger picture view keeps concerned people largely inert, I think.

      Returning to the past is not for me, however, what we now call the Federal government is not found in the Constitution. We call ourselves a Nation, when, by law, we are a Republic. Some say we are an Empire, and I see it as so, day by day.

      Not being from the Eastern US, creates my disconnect from what I see as the necessity in requiring corruption and abhorrent behavior in Washington DC. I have seen these types of behavior in those who do come from the Eastern US, but rarely is it found in native Westerners. The ways of running this country today is using up what’s left of what we had created over these centuries. This is my perspective – centuries. And to see those people doing things which are quite unnecessary, childish, and self-defeating.

      08/29/12 9:24 AM | Comment Link

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