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Florida Man Sues WikiLeaks For Scaring Him 340

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-watch-the-news dept.
Stoobalou writes "WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been accused of 'treason' by a Florida man seeking damages for distress caused by the site's revelations about the US government. From the article: 'David Pitchford, a Florida trailer park resident, names Assange and WikiLeaks as defendants in a personal injury suit filed with the Florida Southern District Court in Miami. In the complaint filed on 6th January, Pitchford alleges that Assange's negligence has caused "hypertension," "depression" and "living in fear of being stricken by another heart attack and/or stroke" as a result of living "in fear of being on the brink of another nuclear [sic] WAR."' Just for good measure, it also alleges that Assange and WikiLeaks are guilty of 'terorism [sic], espionage and treason.'"

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Florida Man Sues WikiLeaks For Scaring Him

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  • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:05PM (#34862758) Journal
    It will be hard for anything else to beat this for the dumbest thing I've seen on the internet today.
    • by ehrichweiss (706417) * on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:09PM (#34862862)

      The kicker is when they describe the plaintiff: "a Florida trailer park resident"

      Who didn't see that one coming?

      • by I8TheWorm (645702) *

        Sadly, some trailer homes cost more than the average house (property value not included in either).

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          Those are called RV's not trailer homes.

          RV's are a whole different ball of wax.

          • by I8TheWorm (645702) *

            These [sandhhomes.com] are not RVs, they're mobile homes. Only they call them manufactured homes now as mobile homes have the negative stigma mentioned above.

      • by spamking (967666) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @01:11PM (#34863982)
        Are you telling me there's not one condo available in all of Del Boca Vista?
        • by daremonai (859175)
          Funny you should ask. I just happen to have one available. Excellent investment property. Short sale approved. No, those two statements don't contradict each other. Well, all right, they do.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by onkelonkel (560274)
      I suppose so, since it was yesterday that Sarah Palin claimed she was being accused of murdering Christian babies to use their blood in unholy rituals.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_libel [wikipedia.org]
      • by jimicus (737525)

        Wouldn't be the first time someone's used a phrase thinking it was appropriate without first making sure they knew what it meant. FWIW, I think it makes perfect sense to describe what people were saying about Palin, and if I hadn't seen all the furore about the proper meaning of the phrase, I would probably have thought it quite a good description.

        • by GooberToo (74388)

          According to several Jewish Rabis on TV last night, she not only used the phrase correctly, but its use was not offensive unless you're idiot. They said it more PC than I did but the point remains.

          I believe she has no place in politics. She doesn't seem to be well informed, just the same, far too many people seem to be on a irrational witch hunt which seems to highlight their own prejudices and ignorance more-so than hers.

        • Re:What's next? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by flaming error (1041742) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @01:40PM (#34864510) Journal

          "Blood libel" makes perfect sense? I never heard the phrase before yesterday, and I couldn't make any sense of what it could mean when I read it.

          I had to look it up, and the most generic definition I found was from http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Blood_libel [wordiq.com]

          Blood libel - Definition

          Blood libels are allegations that a particular group kills people as a form of human sacrifice, and uses their blood in various rituals. The alleged victims are often children.

          I really can't fathom how she came up with that phrase.

          It is a fact that Palin put out a map with crosshairs over Gifford's district. It is a fact that Giffords spoke publicly about where that could lead.

          Palin brought gunsights to the fight. Now she's facing criticism. If she can't take it, she shouldn't start it.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Dishevel (1105119)
            Target superimposed over congressional districts has been used by both parties for a long time now.

            You and everyone else already know this. Please quit.

    • by Suki I (1546431)

      It will be hard for anything else to beat this for the dumbest thing I've seen on the internet today.

      This one will be hard to beat. I am no Assange fan, but this is just stupid.

    • Re:What's next? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ByOhTek (1181381) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:15PM (#34862986) Journal

      yeah. but not surprising. Yey trailer parks, the bring out the best of this wonderful country...

      Seriously, how the hell can it be treason if he isn't a US citizen (or otherwise legal resident)?

    • I think the sad thing is that when you look at American polls this seems to be a pretty accurate description of a major percentage of public opinion regarding Wikileaks in the US.

    • by X3J11 (791922) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:54PM (#34863758) Journal

      It will be hard for anything else to beat this for the dumbest thing I've seen on the internet today.

      A CHALLENGER APPEARS!

      Canada bans Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing" [thespec.com]

      • by surfed (1973676)
        We need a National Dire Straits Money for Nothing Day where we play nothing else on our Stereos, best to coincide with Pride day?
      • Sorry, that's just "run-of-the-mill Canada" crazy. It's not even close to "over-the-top crazy old man Florida" crazy.

      • There are radio version that leaves out or change those lines.

      • by cawpin (875453)
        From the comments on that link:
        "What some fail to understand is that the CBSC sets voluntary guidelines. They can ban the song if they want but radio stations are under no obligation to abide by the ruling. There are no penalties involved. The guidelines and organization have no powers other than those given to it by it's members the station owners."

        I don't know if that's actually true but it does make sense.
      • by Kozz (7764)

        It will be hard for anything else to beat this for the dumbest thing I've seen on the internet today.

        A CHALLENGER APPEARS!

        Canada bans Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing" [thespec.com]

        Your title suggesting "Canada bans..." is misleading. The first sentence says, "The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has ruled that Dire Straits’ 1980s [unedited] hit Money for Nothing is too offensive for Canadian radio." Now try and tell me that this is is very far from the kind of crap we get here in the US with the FCC.

        Which is just downright stupid, anyhow... radio stations I've listened to here in the US always play a radio-edit version which completely removes the "faggot"-lyric verse. I

    • by nospam007 (722110) *

      If he wins, I'll sue Stephen King's ass off.

    • Yes, today! And it speaks volume that you did not say this week or this month.
  • by gman003 (1693318) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:06PM (#34862770)
    Wouldn't it make more sense to sue the government for doing those things, instead of suing Wikileaks for talking about them?
  • Predictable (Score:5, Funny)

    by paiute (550198) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:06PM (#34862772)

    I knew this would happen when I heard that Walmart was putting in self-serve legal departments.

  • Nuclear war (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:07PM (#34862806) Journal

    Luckily, nuclear war is a cure for depression, hypertension, heart attack and stroke.

    • Re:Nuclear war (Score:4, Interesting)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:24PM (#34863160) Journal
      Probably not if you live in a Florida trailer park: Nuclear weapons and delivery systems are too pricey to waste on low value targets....

      It's one of the perks of living in a high-density area with a lot of strategic stuff nearby. Should the shit hit the fan, I'll go from "sipping a nice gin and tonic" to "gas and/or plasma phase" with such rapidity that my neural net will be destroyed faster than impulses can travel along the nerves. I will, quite literally, be dead before I know it.

      Out in the sticks, people will have to contend with violently expelling their gastrointestinal systems from both ends and fighting off the roving bands of supermutants.
    • by NetNed (955141)
      He is in a trailer park, so a tornado could accomplish that just as easily with out all the collateral damage.
  • Citizen (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkArctic (894260) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:07PM (#34862812)
    Don't you have to be a citizen in order to be charged with treason?
    • Re:Citizen (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SlippyToad (240532) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:29PM (#34863264)

      Well, living in a trailer park in bumfuck FL he probably doesn't realize who Assange actually is, or where he is, or what he actually does.

      It sounds to me like someone put Pitchford up to this. And has the court thrown this complaint out with gales of derisive laughter yet? If not, may I volunteer to provide the laughter?

      • by natehoy (1608657)

        It's a free country. You certainly may.

        In fact, I think a flash mob would be most appropriate in this situation. Have a bunch of people show up at the courthouse entrance. No anger, no signs, no threats, no speeches, no derision. At a pre-determined time, everyone simultaneously points at Pitchford, puts on a big red clown nose, and spends 20 seconds having a good belly laugh. At the end of 20 seconds, everyone walks off nonchalantly. Then go home and try desperately to forget that idiots like this ex

    • Don't you have to be a citizen in order to be charged with treason?

      No, not in a Florida trailer park.

  • Summary fail... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Westley (99238) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:07PM (#34862818) Homepage

    From the summary: "in fear of being on the brink of another nuclear [sic] WAR."'

    From the article: "in fear of being on the brink of another nucliar [sic] WAR".

    It would help if posters didn't correct spelling for words which are followed by [sic].

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Not to mention the title says he sues wikileaks, and the summary says he sues Assange. What a piece of shit.

    • by guruevi (827432)

      Everybody knows it's nucular, our last president said so. And he was white so he must have gone to school.

      (this is a joke, don't take offense)

    • by raddan (519638) *
      Oh, I just thought it was correcting for the inevitable mispronunciation that we're going to do in our heads.
  • About this stupid dumbass.
  • "David Pitchford, a Florida trailer park resident..."

    this really gets me mad. why does living in Florida matter? why does living in a trailer park matter? that's wrong with people, this sort of prejudice...

    come to think of it, yeah, carry on. this is a good prejudice

    • Because people that live in the Panhandle of Florida (which has some of the poorest areas) are notorious for insurance/government program fraud. I used to live there and can tell you all sorts of stories about how the locals have been trying to screw people over for money. There's a documentary of a town about a half hour away from where I used to live where people were maiming themselves (cutting off limbs and such) to collect insurance on such a wide scale that insurance investigations into fraud were con
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:25PM (#34863188) Journal
      Prejudice is just the drunk, mean, cousin of pattern recognition, which is just the folksy-handyman version of the scientific method....
      • by raddan (519638) *
        There are patterns within patterns, however, and one of those meta-patterns is the recognition that not all patterns are valid. That's why we have the scientific method in the first place.
    • I'm not in the least surprised that this fine example of human rational superiority lives in Florida. I read Fark, after all, and have seen no shortage of this kind of mind-boggling idiocy. More to the point, I think the this guy's anxiety is more likely caused by the fact that trailer parks attract tornadoes.

    • by pla (258480)
      this really gets me mad. why does living in Florida matter? why does living in a trailer park matter? that's wrong with people, this sort of prejudice...

      You might want to avoid Fark for the foreseeable future...
  • ...because we all know that trailer parks are liable to cause depression, anxiety, and feelings of desperate isolation.
  • Just in case he reads slashdot:


    **** BOOH ****


    There's another court case for you.
  • And while he's at the courthouse, David can change his name to David Pitchfork and complete the trailer-trash facade.
  • An obvious kook... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:16PM (#34863004) Journal
    But this guy is merely a risibly hyperbolic instance of a much broader, more common, and (in alarmingly many circles) respected position: Namely, that the person who reveals wrongdoing is somehow guiltier of that wrongdoing than the person who commits it.

    I can't figure out if this view is a cancerous outgrowth of the morally monstrous "My country right or wrong" brigade(who are certainly louder and more numerous than there more honorable "May my country always be right and, when wrong, be set right" counterparts) or if it is a symptom of an even deeper flavor of cognitive limitation and/or ethical infantalism.

    Below a certain age, and in some lower animals, "object permanence" is not well established. If they see an object enter a bag, they still lose track of it once it leaves their vision, and do not conclude that it must be residing in the bag, and can be found there. Above a certain age, and in smarter animals, this conclusion sticks. One is inclined to wonder if there is some moral variant of this, where some people, for who knows what reason, cannot apply "ethical action permanence" and conclude that, if Wikileaks took it out of the bag, and the government is the one who puts stuff in the bag, even though Wikileaks is holding the unethical object, it is merely the entity that took the object out of the bag where it had earlier been placed, not the entity that created the object.

    In a way, I actually find the straight-up belligerent "USA! USA! Nuke ALL RAGHEADS!!!!" crowd to be more respectable. They are atavistic, barbarous scum, but they are refreshingly honest and straightforward about their bloodlust. The mealy-mouthed "respectable" apologists, on the other hand, are ethically no better; but spend their time dripping honeyed words and "nuance" to cover for the policies that they don't have the guts to endorse public-ally. It's like Fred Phelps: He is an awful human being, and merely by existing makes one wish there were a hell for him to inhabit; but he is all honesty. No equivocation, no focusing only on soft targets(anybody can picket an abortion clinic without much in the way of controversy, hitting military funerals takes serious guts...), no "Oh, we just stand for commonsense family values" circumlocution.
    • But this guy is merely a risibly hyperbolic instance of a much broader, more common, and (in alarmingly many circles) respected position: Namely, that the person who reveals wrongdoing is somehow guiltier of that wrongdoing than the person who commits it.

      Yup. This is the bit that confuses me...

      Granted, some of that stuff probably shouldn't have been leaked. And I'm sure various people broke various laws by leaking it. And there may very well be court cases and punishments and whatever else...

      But the scary stuff that this guy is stressing about? Wikileaks didn't do that stuff. The US Government did that stuff. Wikileaks just let you know about the scary stuff.

    • by multiplexo (27356)
      That's a really brilliant idea, ethical actional permanence. I'm going to pimp that all over the web because it's a perfect explanation for the behavior of many of the commentators on this case and for a lot of conservatives.
    • I think it's extreme tribalism. Some folks need to ascribe a purity to the tribe they identify with. It keeps their world stable and helps them sleep at night to know that their country stands for Truth and Justice. It's something good they can be sure of.

      So when someone comes along and disrupts that feeling of security, the disruptor is blamed. People aren't so much pissed off that their country does questionable things (to put it lightly), as they are angry at being forced to confront and acknowledge

  • ...I'm suing Fox, NY Times, Washington Post, etc. They've got REAL money.
    • by socz (1057222)
      count me in! Can we say class action? Oh yeah!
      • by Sulphur (1548251)

        count me in! Can we say class action? Oh yeah!

        The centers of Class Action suits are: Cleveland, OH, Beaumont,TX, and Orlando, FL.

        When he gets there he should look for the law firm of Uriah Ketchum and Isaac Cheatham, who have been defending gatored communities for years.

  • by tinkerghost (944862) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:21PM (#34863098) Homepage

    how exactly does one commit treason against a country you have no affiliation with? Given that Assange is Australian, it'd be a pretty bizarre contortion of the law to conclude that he's committed treason against the US government. Espionage perhaps, but by definition: only Australia can charge him with treason.

    • by ShooterNeo (555040) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @01:15PM (#34864074)

      Apparently they can. How else would they extradite him? If Federal prosecutors can convince a grand jury to indict Assange (not hard to do...the grand jury system is rigged heavily in favor of prosecutors) they can ask whichever country he is in to arrest and extradite him. Even if Assange has never stepped foot on U.S. soil.

      They just have to show he committed a crime against the U.S. over the internet...such as 'conspiracy to commit espionage'. After giving Manning 'protective solitary confinment' (aka coercive torture) for enough time, they'll get Manning to claim that Assange and him worked together to get those government documents. Manning will be offered a deal for a limited amount of prison time if he serves as a 'government witness' against Assange. Given the last 7 months have been hell on earth for Manning, turning such an offer down would be incredibly difficult. Even if there is no actual communication logs showing this, the mere testimony of Manning (under duress) is a "witness statement" that a grand jury can use.

      Once they get Assange dragged into U.S. custody, they can lock him up in jail for years while federal prosecutors file motions for extensions and things. Then, finally, they can give him a show trial where the jury is stacked with people who hate sex criminals. (even though Assange would not be accused of such crime, the jurors would think of him as a rapist).

      Even if he were acquitted (the case as I outlined it is very weak) he would be out hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal defense fees and years off his natural lifespan. The Federal government cannot be sued to reclaim either of these things unless Assange were able to show that the government KNEW he was innocent. (which if they have a coerced statement from Manning, above, the government doesn't have to pay)

      So in a nutshell : they can punish Assange severely for his actions even if they are never able to convict him of a crime. And imagine the mental anguish : Assange won't know for months or years during this process if he is going to be convicted and made to rot in prison for decades.

      This kind of thing happens day in and day out in the U.S. We make more people rot in confinement than the worst despotic regimes in history. And there are many effective ways to get around the protections offered by your 'rights', making them nearly meaningless in practice.

  • Well I think he should start a Class Action lawsuit against his government because Assange only posted facts. It was his government that scared him.

  • by karlandtanya (601084) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:29PM (#34863270)

    As opposed to what? The correct spelling, which is nukular?

    • Re:Nuclear [sic] ? (Score:4, Informative)

      by flimflammer (956759) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @12:53PM (#34863746)

      The submitter doesn't know how to properly use [sic]. The article spells it "nucliar". Submitter corrected it for some reason and added [sic] anyway.

    • I think the "sic" referred to the phrase "another nuclear" war, as no first nuclear war has ever occurred. (Unless you want to count World War II, but I generally understand the phrase as referring to a war in which both sides use nukes, and as the main means of combat.)
  • After all, Pitchford's negligence has caused me "hypertension," "depression" and "living in fear of being stricken by another heart attack and/or stroke" as a result of living "in fear of being exposed to extreme stupidity."
  • What is even more scary was some dipsheit professional lawyer actually took the case on for this moron. Talk about who's the biggest idiot - the lawyer or the trailer park resident?
    • What is even more scary was some dipsheit professional lawyer actually took the case on for this moron. Talk about who's the biggest idiot - the lawyer or the trailer park resident?

      Not necessarily - he could have filed the papers all by himself. It makes for a funny headline on a slow news day, but won't see the light of day in court.

  • then he would be perfectly safe and would not even have to think for himself, they would tell him when and what he could do.
  • Nuts with lawyers are better. At least he's only hurting his own financial future and wasting the court's time.

  • This idiot's frivolous lawsuit has brought me to the realization that there are just too many stupid people in the world with access to both lawyers and the internet.

    This new information scares me.

    Can I sue this guy for scaring me with his suing over being scared?
  • An U B scarin me, I wont muny fer mah hort utacks!

  • Conservatives, scientifically, are more scared of loud noises and scary pictures [dailymail.co.uk], were described as being frightened and easily offended as three year olds [psychologytoday.com], and have a larger 'fear' center and smaller 'anticipation and decision-making' center [independent.co.uk]

    This isn't spin, it's established science. So seeing fear, anti-government sentiment, and a parroting of the Glenn Beckesque rhetoric that's unfortunately a large part of the news here in the US right now doesn't surprise me one bit.

  • So let me get this straight.
    The problem is not that bad shit is happening,
    but that we now know it's happening.

    May I suggest a set of horse's blinkers and noise-cancelling headphones,
    to ensure blissful living.

    Of course, then, you'd have to sue your own imagination.

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?

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