I’m moving down to Southern California to pursue some non-academic goals. For the next several months, through at least the end of the year, I’ll be limited in my ability to update this blog.
The Taliban has announced that they will be scouring the documents released by wikileaks so that they can identify Afghans who have aided or provided information to the United States. Obviously, the ramifications for these brave individuals is quite severe.
Their plight has attracted the attention of Amnesty International:
A group of human-rights organizations is pressing WikiLeaks to do a better job of redacting names from thousands of war documents it is publishing, joining the list of critics that claim the Web site’s actions could jeopardize the safety of Afghans who aided the U.S. military.
“We have seen the negative, sometimes deadly ramifications for those Afghans identified as working for or sympathizing with international forces,” the human-rights groups wrote in their letter, according to a person familiar with it. “We strongly urge your volunteers and staff to analyze all documents to ensure that those containing identifying information are taken down or redacted.”
In his response to the letter signed by the human-rights organizations, Mr. Assange asked what the groups were doing to analyze the documents already published, and asked whether Amnesty in particular would provide staff to help redact the names of Afghan civilians, according to people familiar with the letter.
An Amnesty official replied to say that while the group has limited resources, it wouldn’t rule out the idea of helping, according to people familiar with the reply. The official suggested that Mr. Assange and the human-rights groups hold a conference call to discuss the matter.
Mr. Assange then replied: “I’m very busy and have no time to deal with people who prefer to do nothing but cover their asses. If Amnesty does nothing I shall issue a press release highlighting its refusal,” according to people familiar with the exchange.
The prospect that these people might be tortured or killed has apparently attracted little sympathy from the good Mr. Assange:
He expressed some ambivalence about the need to protect Afghans who have helped the U.S. military. “We are not obligated to protect other people’s sources,” including sources of “spy organizations or militaries,” unless it is from “unjust retribution,” he said, adding that the Afghan public “should know about” people who have engaged in “genuinely traitorous” acts.
Dear Unwashed Hippie Mob waiting for an unknown concert outside the Greek Amphitheater,
As you wander in your stupefied haze in search of tickets, please refrain from spilling into the street or I will run you over with my gas-guzzling V8 while sitting in my seats made from the skins of slaughtered cattle.
To UC Berkeley, purveyor of the EIGHTY FIVE DOLLAR parking ticket:
Save yourself the phone call — I just mailed my last and only alumni donation to your Parking and Transportation division’s citation payment office.
Dear people who refuse to use a turn signal:
Please — for the love of unwrecked cars and safe, sane streets — move your hand the two inches it take to use your blinker and let us know what you’re doing.
Yours in sanity,