Awaiting Answer from Obama – Capture Bin Laden or Detain Assange More Important?

30 07 2010

Did White House “decline” to Help WikiLeaks Media Partners

Harm Minimisation Process?

In the wake of conflicting messages coming out of the White House about the WikiLeaks War Diaries, as covered in The Guardian, Der Spiegel, and the New York Times, I thought I’d call the White House Press Office yesterday and ask a simple question:  Which is a higher priority for the Obama Administration; Capturing Osama Bin Laden or detaining and “questioning” Julian Assange?

The asked me where I’m from, politely, twice.  I said I had a blog called Scribal Thrum, gave them my name, and blog address, email, and phone number.  The nice young man said he would have to get back to me.

I had not heard anything by this morning.  But last night I caught Assange  interviewed by an Australian ABC News affiliate, and he said that the media partnership – WikiLeaks, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, and the New York Times had the New York Times representative approach the White House, well in advance of their publication date, and ask the White House for help in redacting any names of US human resources on the ground, to protect their lives.

And, Assange said, the White House declined.

So this morning I called back.  I spoke with a nice young man named Andrew.  He said he would do his best, but they did get a lot of questions.  He gave me an email address to send the questions.  Here is what I asked.  I have not as yet gotten a reply.

Andrew,

I just spoke with You on the phone, and called yesterday.  Thanks for the information.  As I mentioned,  I write a blog called “Scribal Thrum” and would like to ask 2 fairly straightforward questions for my blog post this afternoon / evening (my target deadline is 4pm EST but may extend it out to 8pm EST).

My questions:

1.  Various elements of the Executive Branch, most notably the Pentagon, have sought Mr. Assange, saying they wanted to “talk” with him.  He has received warnings from various quarters not to come to the US, and to watch his back.
Since the War Diaries were published, there has been a great hue and cry against WikiLeaks, Assange, and this leak.

My first question is:

Which is a greater priority for the White House and Pentagon – capturing Osama Bin Laden, or detaining and questioning Julian Assange?

2.  Is it true the White House declined to help the media partnership of NYT/Guardian/DerSpiegel/WikiLeaks to scrub the names of our Human Resources from the War Diaries as part of their Harm Minimisation? If so, Why did the WH decline?  If not, what was the WH contribution to harm minimisation?

Thanks for the Help!

Best Regards,

[bolding in original-dcm]

As I said, no reply has been forthcoming.  As yet.

Until the White House sees fit to respond, Please enjoy this fine video by ThePhaedrus83:

-dcm

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