WikiLeaks Week 3: Julian Assange Out on Bail

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor / Features Editor at HNN, and Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

IN FOCUS: WIKILEAKS SCANDAL

  • Bank of America Suspends Payments to WikiLeaks: In a sign of the increasing tensions between WikiLeaks and the corporate world, Bank of America has said it will no longer help process payments for the organization, which released a huge cache of secret State Department cables in late November and has threatened to “take down” a major United States bank with another data dump.
    “Bank of America joins in the actions previously announced by MasterCard, PayPal, Visa Europe and others and will not process transactions of any type that we have reason to believe are intended for WikiLeaks,” the bank said in a statement issued on Friday. “This decision is based upon our reasonable belief that WikiLeaks may be engaged in activities that are, among other things, inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments.” In a Twitter post put up soon after Bank of America’s announcement, WikiLeaks called on supporters to boycott the bank, urging that “all people who love freedom close out their accounts at Bank of America.”…. – NYT, 12-18-10
  • Pro-WikiLeaks hackers may be hard for U.S. to pursue: Legal hurdles could make it tough for U.S. prosecutors to go after pro-WikiLeaks hackers who waged cyber attacks last week on Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and other companies. Attorney General Eric Holder said last week he was “looking into” it but there are enormous challenges finding, moving, investigating and finally convicting those the United States might accuse. Typically the federal government prosecutes hacking under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which prohibits the “transmission of a program, information, code, or command” that “intentionally causes damage without authorization, to a protected computer.” It’s a broad, powerful statute that applies even to computer crime committed abroad, and can carry prison sentences and heavy fines. But to use it, authorities will first have to locate the elusive hackers and bring them to the United States…. – Reuters, 12-18-10
  • Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks’ Alleged Leaker, ‘Very Annoyed’ At Solitary Confinement: Detained U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning’s supporters went public with their concerns about the harsh conditions of his imprisonment — he has no access to exercise or even a pillow and bedsheets during his solitary confinement — only after their complaints to the military over several months went unheeded. As Salon’s Glenn Greenwald reported on Wednesday, Manning, who has been accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has never been convicted of any crime but has been detained at the U.S. Marine brig in Quantico “under conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture.”
    “We were aware of those situations and we were hoping that they would improve without applying public pressure through the media,” Jeff Paterson, who runs Manning’s legal defense fund, told The Huffington Post. “His attorney and supporters were hoping that this could be taken care of through the appropriate channels.”
    Paterson says that Manning is “very annoyed” at the conditions of his confinement, adding that he is primarily upset at his inability to exercise. “He sits in this small box, for the most part only to take a shower – he just sits and eats and four months have gone by.”… – Huff Post, 12-15-10
  • Julian Assange freed on bail: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange emerges from high court and is driven away to backer’s country estate. With a smile and a short statement of quiet defiance, Julian Assange tonight walked free from custody and into the kind of media scrum more commonly seen after a decades-long prison sentence, rather than nine days on remand. This was the third hearing in as many weeks relating to the WikiLeaks founder’s bail application over sex assault charges against two Swedish women, for which his extradition is being sought, and is unlikely to be the last before the allegations, which he denies, are resolved…. – Guardian UK, 12-16-10
  • Julian Assange bail decision made by UK authorities, not Sweden: Swedish prosecutor’s office says it has ‘not got a view at all on bail’ and that Britain made decision to oppose it
    The decision to have Julian Assange sent to a London jail and kept there was taken by the British authorities and not by prosecutors in Sweden, as previously thought, the Guardian has learned. The Crown Prosecution Service will go to the high court tomorrow to seek the reversal of a decision to free the WikiLeaks founder on bail, made yesterday by a judge at City of Westminster magistrates court.
    It had been widely thought Sweden had made the decision to oppose bail, with the CPS acting merely as its representative. But today the Swedish prosecutor’s office told the Guardian it had “not got a view at all on bail” and that Britain had made the decision to oppose bail…. – Guardian UK, 12-15-10
  • Court costs strain WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s finances: Julian Assange might be freed tomorrow but an extradition battle with Sweden looms and his legal bill is growing. If, as seems likely, Julian Assange walks free from the high court tomorrow, his triumph will be a brief one. As well as a looming extradition battle with Sweden, he faces a familiar headache known to defendants everywhere: how to pay his lawyers? Since his dramatic arrest last week, and incarceration in Wandsworth jail, Assange’s legal bill has been growing. In theory, the founder of WikiLeaks is sitting on a pile of cash. But currently all his bank accounts are frozen. And his legal costs are separate from donations to WikiLeaks, which since October 2009 have reached €900,000 (£770,000). Today Assange’s lawyers said they were trying to organise a legal defence fund to pay for his bills, including ones he is likely to incur in his extradition hearing in February…. — Guardian UK, 12-15-10
  • Release on Bail of WikiLeaks Founder Is Delayed by Appeal: Julian Assange, the jailed founder of the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, was ordered freed on $315,000 bail on Tuesday but remained at least temporarily in custody awaiting a final decision on whether he will be extradited to Sweden over allegations of sexual offenses against two women.
    Protesters demonstrated outside the City of Westminster Magistrates Court, where Julian Assange attended a bail hearing on Tuesday.
    Mr. Assange was driven back to Wandsworth Prison in London on Tuesday night, past cheering and whistling supporters and scores of flashbulbs, pending an appeal of the bail ruling by the Swedish authorities, which must be heard at Britain’s High Court within the next 48 hours.
    Judge Howard Riddle, presiding over a packed and rapt courtroom at Westminster Magistrate’s Court in Central London, said that his decision to jail Mr. Assange as a “serious flight risk” at an initial hearing on Dec. 7 was “marginal” and that, with conditions, Mr. Assange should now be freed until further proceedings on Jan. 11.
    Judge Riddle was swayed Tuesday, he told the court, when a friend of Mr. Assange offered to allow him to stay at a lavish country mansion in Sussex, an hour away from London. Mr. Assange, according to conditions the judge laid out, must spend every night at the mansion, Ellingham Hall, a 10-bedroom home on a 650-acre estate owned by Vaughan Smith, the wealthy founder of a journalists’ club in London…. – NYT, 12-15-10
  • Swedish Prosecutor Raises Possible Extradition of WikiLeaks Founder to U.S.: A Swedish prosecutor raised the possibility that Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, could eventually be extradited to the United States in a statement posted online on Tuesday. Marianne Ny, the Swedish prosecutor who asked British authorities to detain Mr. Assange and send him to Sweden for questioning about possible sex crimes, discussed the possibility of sending him to the United States in a statement posted on the Swedish Prosecution Authority’s Web site on Tuesday. Perhaps prompted by speculation that Mr. Assange might be indicted by a grand jury meeting in secret in the United States to consider charges against him related to the publication of leaked American military and diplomatic documents, one section of the Swedish prosecutor’s statement, under the heading, “Facts About Extradition of a Person Who Has Been Surrendered,” reads…. – NYT, 12-14-10
  • WikiLeaks Founder’s Statement From Prison: My convictions are unfaltering. I remain true to the ideals I have expressed. This circumstance shall not shake them. If anything this process has increased my determination that they are true and correct.
    We now know that Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and others are instruments of U.S. foreign policy. It’s not something we knew before. I am calling for the world to protect my work and my people from these illegal and immoral attacks. – NYT, 12-14-10
  • Poll: Almost half of Britons feel WikiLeaks sex charges are “excuse”: Almost half of Britons believe that the sex charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are “an excuse” to keep him in custody so that the US government can prosecute him for releasing secret diplomatic cables, … CNN, 12-13-10
  • US grand jury works on Assange charges: lawyer: Julian Assange’s British attorney, Mark Stephens, said Monday a secret US grand jury had been set up in Virginia to work on charges that could be filed against the WikiLeaks founder.
    Stephens said in an interview with Al Jazeera, citing unnamed Swedish authorities, that “there has been a secretly impaneled grand jury in Alexandria,” Virginia, just outside Washington.
    If the report proves true, it could mean an indictment of Assange is possible. The Australian Assange became the world’s most wanted man after he dumped to several media 250,000 US diplomatic cables in late November. So far, 1,300 have been published. He is currently being held in Britain on sex assault claims in Sweden which is seeking his extradition.
    But according to Stephens, “we understand that if it comes to Sweden they will defer their interest in him to the Americans. That shows some level of collusion and embarrassment,” he stressed.
    The 39-year-old Australian will appear in court in London for a second time Tuesday where his lawyers will make a second application for bail. He faces allegations of sexual assault and rape made against him in Sweden…. – AFP, 12-13-10

WikiLeaks: Week 2 Julian Assange is Arrested and Held without Bail, Hackers Avenge

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor / Features Editor at HNN. She has a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

WIKILEAKS SCANDAL:

IN FOCUS: WIKILEAKS

  • A Selection From the Cache of Diplomatic Dispatches: Below are a selection of the documents from a cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks intends to make public starting on Nov. 28. A small number of names and passages in some of the cables have been removed by The New York Times to protect diplomats’ confidential sources, to keep from compromising American intelligence efforts or to protect the privacy of ordinary citizens…. – NYT
  • A look at the 251,287 diplomatic cables, based on WikiLeaks’ analysisWaPo
  • What is Wiki Leaks? CNN
  • WikiLeaks embassy cables: the key points at a glance: There are no fewer than 251,287 cables from more than 250 US embassies around the world, obtained by WikiLeaks. We present a day-by-day guide to the revelations from the US embassy cables both from the Guardian and its international media partners in the story…. – Guardian UK
  • WikiLeaks, Guardian UK
  • Leaked Cables Uncloak U.S. Diplomacy: A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at backroom bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.
    Some of the cables, made available to The New York Times and several other news organizations, were written as recently as late February, revealing the Obama administration’s exchanges over crises and conflicts. The material was originally obtained by WikiLeaks, an organization devoted to revealing secret documents. WikiLeaks intends to make the archive public on its Web site in batches, beginning Sunday…. – NYT, 11-28-10
  • State Secrets: A cache of diplomatic cables provide a chronicle of the United States’ relations with the world: About the Documents A mammoth cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the last three years, provides an unprecedented look at bargaining by embassies, candid views of foreign leaders and assessments of threats. The material was obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to a number of news organizations in advance….. – NYT, 11-28-10

THE HEADLINES….

     

  • Anonymous Wikileaks supporters explain web attacks: A group of pro-Wikileaks activists who coordinated a series of web attacks have explained their actions. The Anonymous group said they were not hackers but “average internet citizens” who felt motivated to act because of perceived injustices against Wikileaks. The group said it had no interest in stealing credit card details or attacking critical infrastructure. The details were posted online by one of the many factions claiming to carry out the attacks.
    “Anonymous is not a group, but rather an internet gathering,” it said in a statement published on 10 December. It said the ongoing attacks were a “symbolic action” targeted at corporate website that had withdrawn services from Wikileaks. “We do not want to steal your personal information or credit card numbers. We also do not seek to attack critical infrastructure of companies such as Mastercard, Visa, PayPal or Amazon,” it read.
    The statement comes as other documents have come to light suggesting the group may be changing its tactics…. – BBC, 12-10-10
  • Assange Lawyers Prepare for U.S. Spying Indictment Attorney Says American Indictment Related to Espionage Act In the Works for Wikileaks Founder: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, the man behind the publication of more than a 250,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables, could face spying charges in the U.S. related to the Espionage Act, Assange’s lawyer said today.
    “Our position of course is that we don’t believe it applies to Mr. Assange and that in any event he’s entitled to First Amendment protection as publisher of Wikileaks and any prosecution under the Espionage Act would in my view be unconstitutional and puts at risk all media organizations in the U.S.,” Assange’s attorney Jennifer Robinson told ABC News. Robinson said they’re hearing from lawyers in the U.S. that an indictment of Assange could be imminent…. – ABC News, 12-10-10
  • Hackers strike at MasterCard to support WikiLeaks: Hackers rushed to the defense of WikiLeaks on Wednesday, launching attacks on MasterCard, Visa, Swedish prosecutors, a Swiss bank, Sarah Palin and others who have acted against the site and its jailed founder Julian Assange. Internet “hacktivists” operating under the label “Operation Payback” claimed responsibility in a Twitter message for causing severe technological problems at the website for MasterCard, which pulled the plug on its relationship with WikiLeaks a day ago. MasterCard acknowledged “a service disruption” involving its Secure Code system for verifying online payments, but spokesman James Issokson said consumers could still use their credit cards for secure transactions. Later Wednesday, Visa’s website was inaccessible. The online attacks are part of a wave of support for WikiLeaks that is sweeping the Internet. Twitter was choked with messages of solidarity for the group, while the site’s Facebook page hit 1 million fans…. – WaPo, 12-8-10
  • Julian Assange denied bail over sexual assault allegations Judge fears WikiLeaks founder – who denies all charges – has ‘means and ability’ to abscond: The WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, who is wanted in Sweden over claims he sexually assaulted two women, was in Wandsworth prison tonight after a judge refused him bail at an extradition hearing in London. The 39-year-old Australian, who denies the allegations, was driven away in a white prison van after an extraordinary one-hour hearing at City of Westminster magistrates court. The district judge, Howard Riddle, ruled there was a risk Assange would fail to surrender if granted bail.
    Despite Jemima Khan, former wife of Pakistan cricketer Imran Khan, the campaigning journalist John Pilger, the British film director Ken Loach and others offering to stand surety totalling £180,000, the judge said Assange’s “weak community ties” in the UK, and his “means and ability” to abscond, were “substantial grounds” for refusing bail.
    He was remanded until 14 December, when the case can be reviewed at the same court. His legal team said he would again apply for bail at that hearing. The move against Assange came on a day when increasing pressure was brought to bear in the US on companies and organisations with ties to WikiLeaks.
    As Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate homeland security committee, urged businesses to sever their ties with the website, Visa suspended all donations through its credit card. Asked about the New York Times’s role in publishing the leaked cables, Lieberman told Fox news the newspaper “has committed at least an act of bad citizenship. Whether they have committed a crime I think bears very intensive inquiry”…. – Guardian UK, 12-7-10
  • WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Has Been Arrested on a Swedish Warrant: British police said on Tuesday they had arrested Julian Assange, the beleaguered founder of the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy group, on a warrant issued in Sweden in connection with alleged sex offenses.
    Mr. Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, was arrested by officers from Scotland Yard when he went to a central London police station by prior agreement with the authorities, the police said. A court hearing was expected later.
    The widely anticipated arrested came after Mr. Assange, who denies the charges of sexual misconduct said to have been committed while he was in Sweden in August, threatened to release many more diplomatic cables if legal action is taken against him or his organization…. – NYT, 12-7-10
  • WikiLeaks lists sites key to U.S. security: WikiLeaks has published a secret U.S. diplomatic cable listing places the United States considers vital to its national security, prompting criticism that the website is inviting terrorist attacks on American interests. A State Department spokesman said the disclosure “gives a group like al Qaeda a targeting list.”
    The list is part of a lengthy cable the State Department sent in February 2009 to its posts around the world. The cable asked American diplomats to identify key resources, facilities and installations outside the United States “whose loss could critically impact the public health, economic security, and/or national and homeland security of the United States.”
    The diplomats identified dozens of places on every continent, including mines, manufacturing complexes, ports and research establishments. CNN is not publishing specific details from the list, which refers to pipelines and undersea telecommunications cables as well as the location of minerals or chemicals critical to U.S. industry.
    The list also mentions dams close to the U.S. border and a telecommunications hub whose destruction might seriously disrupt global communications. Diplomats also identified sites of strategic importance for supplying U.S. forces and interests abroad, such as in the Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf and the Panama Canal. The cable is classified secret and not for review by non-U.S. personnel…. – CNN, 12-6-10
  • Assange making arrangements to meet police, lawyer says: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is “in the process of making arrangements” to meet with British police regarding a Swedish arrest warrant, his attorney said Monday. Assange is wanted for questioning by Swedish authorities over sex-crime allegations unrelated to WikiLeaks’ recent disclosure of secret U.S. documents. Mark Stephens, his British lawyer, told the BBC no time had been set for the meeting as of Monday evening, but one is likely “in the foreseeable future.” “We are in the process of making arrangements to meet with the police by consent in order to facilitate the taking of that question-and-answer as needed,” Stephens said…. – CNN, 12-6-10
  • Julian Assange to be questioned by British police: New extradition warrant issued over alleged sexual assaults — Assange appeals for supporters to put up surety and bail
    Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is expected to appear in a UK court tomorrow after his lawyers said he would meet police to discuss a European extradition warrant from Sweden relating to alleged sexual assaults.
    As the legal net continued to close around the whistleblowers’ website and US attorney general, Eric Holder, said he had authorised “a number of things to be done” to combat the group, Assange appeared to be reconciling himself to a lengthy personal court battle to avoid extradition.
    Jennifer Robinson, a solicitor with Finers Stephens Innocent which represents the Australian freedom of information campaigner, told the Guardian: “We have a received an arrest warrant [related to claims in Sweden]. We are negotiating a meeting with police.”
    Another lawyer representing Assange, Mark Stephens, added: “He has not been charged with anything. We are in the process of making arrangements to meet the police by consent in order to facilitate the taking of that question and answer that is needed.” Stephens explained that the interview would happen in the “foreseeable future” but he could not give a precise time. According to other sources, it is thought that Assange would appear before a court to negotiate bail…. – Guardian UK, 12-6-10
  • Australia: Assange allowed to return home: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would be allowed to return to his Australian homeland, and has the same protections any other Australian citizen would, the nation’s attorney general said Monday. Attorney General Robert McClelland’s comments came in response to Assange’s assertion last week that McClelland and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard “have made it clear that not only is my return impossible, but that they are actively working to assist the United States government in its attacks on myself and our people.
    “This brings into question what does it mean to be an Australian citizen — does that mean anything at all?” Assange said Friday in written answers to readers’ questions posted on the website of the British newspaper The Guardian. “Mr. Assange, like every Australian citizen, has rights, and nothing is stopping him from coming home to Australia,” McClelland said, according to his spokesman. Assange “is entitled to the same rights as any other Australian citizen. This includes the right to return to Australia and also to receive consular assistance while he is overseas if that is requested.”
    However, McClelland also said WikiLeaks’ publishing of leaked documents is “irresponsible,” according to the spokesman…. – CNN, 12-6-10

QUOTES

  • Ron Paul Defends WikiLeaks On House Floor: WikiLeaks release of classified information has generated a lot of attention in the past few weeks. The hysterical reaction makes one wonder if this is not an example of killing the messenger for the bad news. Despite what is claimed, the information that has been so far released, though classified, has caused no known harm to any individual, but it has caused plenty of embarrassment to our government. Losing our grip on our empire is not welcomed by the neoconservatives in charge.
    There is now more information confirming that Saudi Arabia is a principal supporter and financier of al Qaeda, and that this should set off alarm bells since we guarantee its Sharia-run government. This emphasizes even more the fact that no al Qaeda existed in Iraq before 9/11, and yet we went to war against Iraq based on the lie that it did. It has been charged by experts that Julian Assange, the internet publisher of this information, has committed a heinous crime, deserving prosecution for treason and execution, or even assassination. But should we not at least ask how the U.S. government should prosecute an Australian citizen for treason for publishing U.S. secret information that he did not steal? And if WikiLeaks is to be prosecuted for publishing classified documents, why shouldn’t the Washington Post, the New York Times, and others also published these documents be prosecuted? Actually, some in Congress are threatening this as well. Huff Post, 12-10-10

Political Highlights Special: Julian Assange & the WikiLeaks Scandal

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor / Features Editor at HNN. She has a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

WIKILEAKS SCANDAL:

https://i0.wp.com/i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/12/06/australia.wikileaks/t1larg.jpg

IN FOCUS: WIKILEAKS

  • A Selection From the Cache of Diplomatic Dispatches: Below are a selection of the documents from a cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks intends to make public starting on Nov. 28. A small number of names and passages in some of the cables have been removed by The New York Times to protect diplomats’ confidential sources, to keep from compromising American intelligence efforts or to protect the privacy of ordinary citizens…. – NYT
  • A look at the 251,287 diplomatic cables, based on WikiLeaks’ analysisWaPo
  • What is Wiki Leaks? CNN
  • WikiLeaks embassy cables: the key points at a glance: There are no fewer than 251,287 cables from more than 250 US embassies around the world, obtained by WikiLeaks. We present a day-by-day guide to the revelations from the US embassy cables both from the Guardian and its international media partners in the story…. – Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4Guardian UK
  • WikiLeaks, Guardian UK
  • Leaked Cables Uncloak U.S. Diplomacy: A cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the past three years, provides an unprecedented look at backroom bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.
    Some of the cables, made available to The New York Times and several other news organizations, were written as recently as late February, revealing the Obama administration’s exchanges over crises and conflicts. The material was originally obtained by WikiLeaks, an organization devoted to revealing secret documents. WikiLeaks intends to make the archive public on its Web site in batches, beginning Sunday…. – NYT, 11-28-10
  • State Secrets: A cache of diplomatic cables provide a chronicle of the United States’ relations with the world: About the Documents A mammoth cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables, most of them from the last three years, provides an unprecedented look at bargaining by embassies, candid views of foreign leaders and assessments of threats. The material was obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to a number of news organizations in advance….. – NYT, 11-28-10
  • Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, up for Time’s ‘Person of the Year,’ with Obama, Palin and more: Could the man on Interpol’s most wanted list also be Time’s Person of the Year? If it were up to the magazine’s readers, Julian Assange, founder of the controversial whistleblower website WikiLeaks, would certainly have a shot. More than 90,000 readers have voted for the 39-year-old Australian, placing him in third place, alongside comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Strangely, leading the pack is Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister of Turkey. And in second place is pop singer Lady Gaga.
    “For better or for worse, Julian Assange has changed the accessibility to knowledge of the two wars that involve the U.S., within a matter of months,” Lauren Zalaznick, president of NBC Universal Women and Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, told Time. “He has also put journalistic integrity on a knife-blade edge: What is the responsibility of the journalist to make public or keep private?”… – NY Daily News, 12-1-10

THE HEADLINES….

  • WikiLeaks Turns to Swiss Party for Help With Web Address: The battle lines between supporters of the whistle-blowing Web site WikiLeaks and its detractors began to form on Sunday, as supporters erected numerous copies of the site on the Internet and the United States put pressure on Switzerland not to offer a haven to the site’s founder, Julian Assange.
    Since several major Internet companies cut off services to WikiLeaks in recent days, activists have created hundreds of mirror sites, Web sites that host exact copies of another site’s content, making censorship difficult.
    The collective Anonymous, an informal but notorious group of hackers and activists, also declared war on Sunday against enemies of Mr. Assange, calling on supporters to attack sites companies that do not support WikiLeaks and to spread the leaked material online…. – NYT, 12-5-10
  • WikiLeaks uses Swiss Web address as options narrow: WikiLeaks’ elusive founder, his options dwindling, has turned to Switzerland’s credit, postal and Internet infrastructure to keep his online trove of U.S. State Department cables afloat. Supporters say Julian Assange is considering seeking asylum in Switzerland. He told a Spanish newspaper that he faced “hundreds of death threats,” including some targeting his lawyers and children, aside from the pressure he is getting from prosecutors in the U.S. and other countries. After a number of web companies dropped WikiLeaks, much of the site’s traffic was coming through the wikileaks.ch Web address Sunday. The address is controlled by the Swiss Pirate Party, a group that formed two years ago to campaign for freedom of information. The site’s main server in France went offline but it remained reachable through a Swedish server.
    The site showed Assange had begun seeking donations to an account under his name through the Swiss postal system in Bern, the Swiss capital, while also using a Swiss-Icelandic credit card processing center and other accounts in Iceland and Germany. He lost a major source of revenue when the online payment service provider PayPal cut off the WikiLeaks account over the weekend…. – AP, 12-5-10
  • Under pressure, WikiLeaks asks supporters for mirror sites: Under heavy pressure from the United States and allied governments, WikiLeaks appealed to supporters worldwide to mirror its website Sunday as it continued the process of releasing thousands of sensitive U.S. diplomatic cables.
    “Wikileaks is currently under heavy attack. In order to make it impossible to ever fully remove Wikileaks from the Internet, we need your help,” the site told followers Sunday. The message was followed by instructions on how website operators could set up mirror sites that would distribute the documents as WikiLeaks released them.
    On the microblogging site Twitter, supporters have rallied by offering their sites or by posting links to other mirrors…. “All the censoring of WikiLeaks is more alarming than the actual content of the leaks. It only further justifies WL’s actions,” read one widely distributed comment…. – CNN, 12-5-10
  • Julian Assange’s lawyers say they are being watched: WikiLeaks founder’s lawyers also accuse US state department of inappropriate behaviour in not respecting attorney-client protocol …Jennifer Robinson and Mark Stephens of the law firm Finers Stephens Innocent told the Guardian they had been watched by people parked outside their houses for the past week. “I’ve noticed people consistently sitting outside my house in the same cars with newspapers,” said Robinson. “I probably noticed certain things a week ago, but mostly it’s been the last three or four days.” Stephens said he, too, had had his home watched. Asked who he thought was monitoring him, he said: “The security services.” Robinson said the legal team was also experiencing “other forms of pressure” from Washington…. – Guardian UK, 12-5-10
  • From WikiLemons, Clinton Tries to Make Lemonade: When American diplomats get together these days, there is lots of dark talk about the fallout from the sensational disclosure of secret diplomatic cables. Will angry foreign governments kick out ambassadors? Will spooked locals stop talking to their embassy contacts? Behind all the public hand-wringing, however, there is another, more muted reaction: pride.
    The WikiLeaks affair has turned an unaccustomed spotlight on the diplomatic corps — pinstriped authors who pour their hearts and minds into cables, which are filed to the State Department and often barely read by desk officers, let alone senior diplomats or the secretary of state.
    Whatever damage the leaks may do, and nobody doubts it could be substantial, they have showcased the many roles of the Foreign Service officer in the field: part intelligence analyst, part schmoozer, part spy — and to judge by these often artful cables, part foreign correspondent.
    The pride of authorship is shared by their boss, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who found a silver lining in the disclosures, even after she spent last week trying to smooth the feathers of foreign leaders described in the cables as feckless, profligate, vain, corrupt, or worse.
    “What you see are diplomats doing the work of diplomacy: reporting and analyzing and providing information, solving problems, worrying about big complex challenges,” Mrs. Clinton said to reporters at the end of a four- country trip to Central Asia and the Persian Gulf that wound up being a contrition tour. “In a way,” she said, “it should be reassuring, despite the occasional tidbit that is pulled out and unfortunately blown up.”… – NYT, 12-4-10
  • WikiLeaks founder defends website in online session: WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange defended its posting of confidential documents Friday, saying that not a single person in the website’s four-year publishing history has ever been harmed as a result of material it put online.
    “During that time there has been no credible allegation, even by (organizations) like the Pentagon that even a single person has come to harm as a result of our activities,” Assange said in written answers to readers’ questions posted on the website of the British newspaper The Guardian.
    “This is despite much-attempted manipulation and spin trying to lead people to a counter-factual conclusion. We do not expect any change in this regard,” Assange said.
    He was supposed to have started an online chat at 1 p.m. Almost a thousand comments had been posted, many containing questions, when The Guardian announced it was experiencing technical difficulties. The newspaper, one of several with early access to the leaked diplomatic cables, had already warned readers that Assange’s ability to answer would depend on internet accessibility…. – CNN, 12-3-10
  • US blocks access to WikiLeaks for federal workers Employees unable to call up WikiLeaks on government computers as material is still formally classified, says US: WikiLeaks has been blocked from being accessed by federal employees of the US, because the files are still seen as classified.
    The Obama administration is banning hundreds of thousands of federal employees from calling up the WikiLeaks site on government computers because the leaked material is still formally regarded as classified. The Library of Congress tonight joined the education department, the commerce department and other government agencies in confirming that the ban is in place. Although thousands of leaked cables are freely available on the Guardian, New York Times and other newspaper websites, as well as the WikiLeaks site, the Obama administration insists they are still classified and, as such, have to be protected…. – Guardian UK, 12-3-10
  • Clinton begins effort to limit damage with apology to UK: US secretary of state tries to make amends for US scorn over Britain’s stewardship of Helmand province
    “I personally want to convey to the government and the people of the United Kingdom both my deep respect and admiration for the extraordinary efforts and our regret if anything that was said by anyone suggested the contrary,” the US secretary of state said. “I have found in my many conversations in the last week that there is certainly an understanding of what diplomacy means.” Turning to humour as a means of defusing embarrassment, she added: “As one of my counterparts jokingly said: ‘Don’t worry about it – you should see what we say about you!”‘… – Guardian UK, 12-3-10
  • WikiLeaks Rogue activist Julian Assange wants to curb government secrecy, but his massive leak of classified U.S. diplomatic cables is undermining the Obama Administration’s efforts to do just that: British politicians and military chiefs are already fighting an uphill battle in trying to persuade a skeptical public that the operation in Afghanistan is worth the continuing loss of life. The latest batch of WikiLeaks cables, showing U.S. and Afghan officials — including President Hamid Karzai — expressing severe doubts over the U.K.’s effectiveness in the country are unlikely to make that task any easier.
    The cables released on Friday highlight concerns from Karzai and U.S. officials over the U.K.’s effort, specifically in the Helmand province. According to one 2008 memo, the U.S. embassy in Kabul reported: “We and Karzai agree the British are not up to the task of securing Helmand.” A separate cable from the same period relays Karzai’s telling Senator John McCain that he was relieved U.S. marines were being sent to reinforce the British-led mission in Helmand. Meanwhile, then-Afghan foreign minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta is quoted as saying that U.K. troops “were not ready to fight as actively as American soldiers.”…. – Time, 12-3-10
  • British police know location of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange: report WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange is reportedly in England, but British police have not acted on a Swedish warrant for his arrest nor Interpol’s ‘red notice’ because they need more information…. – CS Monitor, 12-2-10
  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange: Has US already indicted him?: It is entirely possible that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is already under indictment in the US. Grand juries work in secret, and indictments can be sealed, but there have been hints….
    Sweden has issued an arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and according to one newspaper report, he is hiding out in Britain. But is he already under indictment in the United States on charges related to his online release of a vast trove of secret US documents? It’s certainly possible. US officials publicly will only say that they are investigating the matter and that no legal options have been ruled out. But an indictment in such an important federal matter would be handed down by a grand jury, and grand jury proceedings are secret, notes Stephen Vladeck, an expert in national security law at American University. There may be an empaneled grand jury considering the Assange case right now. “We wouldn’t know what they’re doing until the whole thing is concluded,” he says. – CS Monitor, 12-2-10
  • Cables released by WikiLeaks reveal U.S. concerns over South America: The State Department wanted to know whether Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was on medication. American diplomats in Brazil, meanwhile, heard that Bolivia’s indigenous president, Evo Morales, had a tumor. And farther north, U.S. officials outlined how Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was isolating his country by aligning his government with Iran’s. A slew of diplomatic messages from South America, where the United States has had testy relations with several leaders, reveal U.S. concerns over issues ranging from terrorism to a spat over oil between Argentina and Britain. But dozens of private messages released by WikiLeaks also highlight Washington’s focus on the personalities on a continent largely ruled by leftist presidents, some of them European-style technocrats and others virulently anti- American populists…. – WaPo, 12-2-10
  • The secret life of Julian Assange: Julian Assange can be charming yet cagey about his private life and is rarely shaken by discussions of even the most controversial revelations on WikiLeaks. He grew up constantly on the move, the son of parents who were in the theater business in Australia. Now, Julian Assange, 39, finds himself on the move again, wanted in Sweden for alleged sex crimes and wanted by officials around the world for his website WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of documents containing confidential information. If he has succeeded in creating a public firewall of sorts around himself, it is perhaps because he learned as a child to cope with solitude and exposed his mind to the machinery that would overtake his life. Assange has been described by his mother, Christine, as “highly intelligent.”… – CNN, 12-1-10
  • WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange: How much trouble is he in?: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange could be prosecuted under the Espionage Act, but the US has historically avoided pursuing leak recipients. His primary concern is a ‘red alert’ issued by Interpol for alleged sex crimes in Sweden…. – CS Monitor, 12-1-10
  • US embassy cables: US and Pakistan deny revelations of mutual mistrust: But security experts say leaks expose threat of terrorism that western governments have deliberately played down
    Pakistani and US officials presented a united front today against revelations in the WikiLeaks cables that portray a fragile relationship dogged by subterfuge, suspicion and worries over the safety of Pakistan’s expanding nuclear arsenal. The American ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, visited the prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, at his hilltop residence in Islamabad where the men played down the significance of the leaked dispatches. Gilani said Pakistan’s national interests “would not be compromised by such mischief in any manner”, while Munter said: “Working together, we will get past the WikiLeaks problems.” But outside Pakistan experts in nuclear counterproliferation said the leaked cables exposed a serious threat of nuclear terrorism that western governments have deliberately played down – until now…. – Guardian UK, 12-1-10
  • WikiLeaks disclosures highlight Russia as U.S. scrambles: The United States scrambled to contain the fallout from the slow-motion leak of cables from its embassies worldwide Wednesday as new documents showed American diplomats casting a jaundiced eye toward corruption’s grip on Russia. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally made “several dozen” calls to counterparts in other countries in an effort to mitigate the damage from WikiLeaks, a website that facilitates the anonymous leaking of secret information, a senior State Department official said. In a CNN interview Wednesday night, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley called WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange an “anarchist.” “He’s trying to undermine the collaboration, the cooperation, the system by which we engage with other governments, cooperate with other governments and solve regional challenges,” Crowley told CNN’s “John King USA.” But while Clinton is facing other world leaders, “trying to solve the world’s challenges,” Assange is in hiding, he said…. – m CNN, 12-1-10
  • Blunt and Blustery, Putin Responds to State Department Cables on Russia: Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin responded Wednesday to criticism of Russia revealed in United States diplomatic cables published by the Web site WikiLeaks, warning Washington not to interfere in Russian domestic affairs. His comments, made in an interview broadcast Wednesday night on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” referred to a cable that said “Russian democracy has disappeared” and that described the government as “an oligarchy run by the security services,” a statement attributed to the American defense secretary, Robert M. Gates. Mr. Putin said in the interview that Mr. Gates had been “deeply misled.” Asked about a cable that described President Dmitri A. Medvedev as “playing Robin to Putin’s Batman,” he said the author had “aimed to slander one of us.”… – NYT, 12-1-10
  • Wikileaks’ Assange in UK, police know where: report: Wikileaks website founder Julian Assange is in Britain and police know his whereabouts but have refrained so far from acting on an international warrant for his arrest, a British newspaper said on Thursday. The 39-year-old Australian, who founded the whistle-blowing website that has disclosed a trove of secret U.S. diplomatic cables, supplied British police with contact details upon his arrival in October, The Independent said. The newspaper cited police sources who said they knew where Assange was staying and had his telephone number. It added that it was believed he was in southeast England. The international police agency Interpol this week issued a “red notice” to assist in the arrest of Assange, who is wanted in Sweden on suspicion of sexual crimes, but Britain’s Serious Organized Crime Agency (Soca) so far has refused to authorize this, the paper said…. – Reuters, 12-1-10
  • WikiLeaks website kicked off Amazon’s servers: Amazon.com Inc. forced WikiLeaks to stop using the U.S. company’s computers to distribute embarrassing State Department communications and other documents, WikiLeaks said Wednesday. The ouster came after congressional staff questioned Amazon about its relationship with WikiLeaks, said Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut. WikiLeaks confirmed it hours after The Associated Press reported that Amazon’s servers had stopped hosting WikiLeaks’ site. The site was unavailable for several hours before it moved back to its previous Swedish host, Bahnhof AB. WikiLeaks released a trove of sensitive diplomatic documents on Sunday. Just before the release, its website came under an Internet-based attack that made it unavailable for hours at a time…. – AP, 12-1-10
  • U.S. diplomat: ‘Grueling’ effort to patch up international ties: A senior State Department official conceded Wednesday that, “This was a rough week for American diplomacy.” The official, speaking with reporters in a conference call, said the WikiLeaks disclosures of State Department diplomatic cables “have done substantial damage.” “We’ll probably never have a neat scorecard to show you with meetings not granted, confidences not shared, cooperation that’s hedged or denied,” he said, “and it is going to take time and hard work to rebuild trust…we’ve got a tough road ahead of us and a lot of rebuilding to do.”
    The official described what he called a “grueling” effort by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to contain damage from the leaks. Clinton, he said, has made several dozen calls to world leaders “to express our deep regret and underscore steps we’ve taken to ensure confidentiality and underscore important diplomatic work before us.” State Department officials in Washington and at embassies around the world, he said, have reached out to a total of 186 governments to reinforce Clinton’s message, adding “to virtually everyone who takes our calls.”… – CNN, 12-1-10
  • US embassy cables culprit should be executed, says Mike Huckabee: Republican presidential hopeful wants the person responsible for the WikiLeaks cables to face capital punishment for treason
    Huckabee said: “Whoever in our government leaked that information is guilty of treason, and I think anything less than execution is too kind a penalty.” He added, according to Politico: “They’ve put American lives at risk. They put relationships that will take decades to rebuild at risk. They knew full well that they were handling sensitive documents they were entrusted. “And anyone who had access to that level of information was not only a person who understood what their rules were, but they also signed, under oath, a commitment that they would not violate. They did … Any lives they endangered, they’re personally responsible for and the blood is on their hands.”… – Guardian UK, 12-1-10
  • WikiLeaks opens the floodgates for critics of the Obama administration: The WikiLeaks uproar has folks jumping all over President Obama’s administration for a variety of alleged sins of omission and commission. Sarah Palin weighed in big time on Facebook, blasting the administration for “incompetently handling the whole fiasco,” and for not going after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with greater urgency.
    She tweeted that the administration might have gone to court to stop the disclosures. “Inexplicable: I recently won in court to stop my book ‘America by Heart’ from being leaked,” she wrote, “but US Govt can’t stop Wikileaks’ treasonous act?” Probably not. We’re told there’s a big legal difference between copyright law and First Amendment law. Also, while Assange might be charged, there was this Supreme Court case a long time ago, something about publishing the Pentagon Papers…. – WaPo, 11-30-10
  • Interpol puts Assange on most-wanted list: Interpol, at the request of a Swedish court looking into alleged sex crimes from earlier this year, has put WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on its most-wanted listed. The Stockholm Criminal Court two weeks ago issued an international arrest warrant for Assange on probable cause, saying he is suspected of rape, sexual molestation and illegal use of force in August incidents.
    Sweden asked Interpol, the international police organization, to post a “Red Notice” after a judge approved a motion to bring him into custody. The “Red Notice” is not an international arrest warrant. It is an advisory and request, issued to 188 member countries “to assist the national police forces in identifying or locating those persons with a view to their arrest and extradition,” according to Interpol…. – CNN, 11-30-10
  • WikiLeaks ‘attack’: How damaging to US foreign relations?: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemns the WikiLeaks ‘attack on the international community’ as harmful to US policy goals. But major geopolitical shifts are unlikely, analysts say. The US intensified its efforts at damage control on Monday following the publication by WikiLeaks of more than a quarter-million diplomatic cables, with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton calling the massive release not just a problem for American foreign policy but “an attack on the international community.” In a statement to journalists in the State Department’s Treaty Room before she was to leave on a four-country trip through Central Asia and the Persian Gulf, Secretary Clinton said that both the furthering of US national interests and the operation of the world’s international political system depend on thousands of confidential exchanges, assessments, and conversations every day…. – CS Monitor, 11-29-10
  • WikiLeaks plans to release a U.S. bank’s documents: The founder of whistle-blower website WikiLeaks plans to release tens of thousands of internal documents from a major U.S. bank early next year, Forbes Magazine reported on Monday. Julian Assange declined in an interview with Forbes to identify the bank, but he said that he expected that the disclosures, which follow his group’s release of U.S. military and diplomatic documents, would lead to investigations. “We have one related to a bank coming up, that’s a megaleak. It’s not as big a scale as the Iraq material, but it’s either tens or hundreds of thousands of documents depending on how you define it,” Assange said in the interview posted on the Forbes website. He declined to identify the bank, describing it only as a major U.S. bank that is still in existence…. – Reuters, 11-29-10
  • Israel greets WikiLeaks cables as vindication of its Iran policy: The latest WikiLeaks release of documents gives Israel proof that its Arab neighbors, even those that are sworn enemies of the Jewish state, share its concerns about Iran. Wikileaks’ publication of US diplomatic cables could have sparked a fresh controversy between Israel and its most important ally after a year of strained relations. But instead, Wikileaks’ release of the documents on Sunday has proved to be something of a public relations coup for Israel: on-the-record confirmation that its Arab neighbors are just as frightened as the Jewish state by a nuclear Iran. The cables confirmed previous anonymous reports that Israel has quiet partners in the region pushing the US to take bolder steps to stop what they consider an existential threat.
    “I don’t see any damage. Quite the opposite,” said Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, in an interview with Israel Radio. “Maybe there’s an indirect benefit that the truth is coming out, that the entire Middle East, including Arab states, are very fearful from the Iranian nuclear threat, and are calling on the West to be much more aggressive toward Iran.”… – CS Monitor, 11-29-10
  • WikiLeaks: The five strangest stories…so far: The release of US diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks contains some serious stuff: US diplomats have been trying to steal the credit card numbers of top UN officials, Saudi Arabia is putting pressure on the US to attack Iran, Iran has obtained advanced long-range missiles from North Korea. Other cables are not so earth-shaking, but they nonetheless reveal personalities and events that are comical, surprising, or just plain weird. Here’s our top five… – CS Monitor, 11-29-10
  • WikiLeaks spurned New York Times, but Guardian leaked State Department cables: This time, the New York Times didn’t get the goods from WikiLeaks. Instead, on Sunday, the newspaper began reporting a bombshell – the contents of thousands of private State Department cables – as a result of a leak of a leak. The Times was the only American news organization to receive a massive cache of government documents that were released by WikiLeaks, the “stateless” Internet organization that specializes in exposing government secrets through leaked information. But the Times wasn’t on WikiLeaks’ list of original recipients. The newspaper got its hands on the trove of about 250,000 cables thanks to the Guardian newspaper of Great Britain, which quietly passed the Times the raw material that it had received as one of five news organizations favored by WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks had worked with the Times this summer in releasing about 90,000 documents prepared by U.S. military sources about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan…. – WaPo, 11-29-10
  • Cables Shine Light Into Secret Diplomatic Channels: A huge trove of State Department communiqués offer an extraordinary look at the inner workings, and sharp elbows, of diplomacy…. – NYT, 11-28-10
  • Around the World, Distress Over Iran: Diplomatic cables show how two presidents have dealt with Iran and how President Obama built support for a harsher package of sanctions…. – NYT, 11-28-10
  • Iran Is Fortified With North Korean Aid: American intelligence assessments say that Iran has obtained Russian-designed missiles that are much more powerful than other weapons in its arsenal…. – NYT, 11-28-10
  • Mixing Diplomacy With Spying: State Department personnel were told to gather the credit card and frequent-flier numbers, schedules and other personal data of foreign officials…. – NYT, 11-28-10
  • Documents: Selected Dispatches: Cables obtained by WikiLeaks offer a huge sampling of the daily traffic between the State Department and 270 embassies and consulates worldwide…. – NYT, 11-28-10
  • U.S. Expands Role of Diplomats in Spying: The United States has expanded the role of American diplomats in collecting intelligence overseas and at the United Nations, ordering State Department personnel to gather the credit card and frequent-flier numbers, work schedules and other personal information of foreign dignitaries. Revealed in classified State Department cables, the directives, going back to 2008, appear to blur the traditional boundaries between statesmen and spies…. – NYT, 11-28-10
  • WikiLeaks: Clinton ordered probe on UN chief Secret files show Washington wanted to find links between UN members, terror groups: WikiLeaks revealed Sunday that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered a probe on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as well as an investigation on possible ties between UN members and terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
    “Washington wanted intelligence on the contentious issue of the ‘relationship or funding between UN personnel and/or missions and terrorist organizations’ and links between the UN Relief and Works Agency in the Middle East, and Hamas and Hezbollah,” the British Guardian reported, citing the documents leaked by the controversial Web entity.
    Washington also sent out orders signed by Clinton or Rice (aka Condoleezza Rice, Clinton’s predecessor) ordering diplomats to gather “biographic and biometric” on various UN officials, including Ban, the report says.
    It adds that the US may have “blurred the line between diplomacy and spying”, and that the country’s relations with the UN may now suffer due to the publication of the secret orders…. – YNet News, 11-28-10
  • WikiLeaks: Leaked cables reveal the rough workings of diplomacy: WikiLeaks gave some 250,000 confidential and secret diplomatic cables to several news outlets, which published them Sunday. The leaks could prove embarrassing and potentially dangerous. After days of anticipation and unheeded warnings from the Obama administration, the huge and controversial data dump from whistle-blower website WikiLeaks is being published and broadcast. As reported by the New York Times (which, along with the British newspaper the Guardian and the German news magazine Der Spiegel, began revealing the data Sunday afternoon), the cache of a quarter-million confidential American diplomatic cables “provides an unprecedented look at backroom bargaining by embassies around the world, brutally candid views of foreign leaders and frank assessments of nuclear and terrorist threats.”… – CS Monitor, 11-28-10

QUOTES

  • Julian Assange answers your questions: The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, answers readers’ questions about the release of more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables…
    For the past four years one of our goals has been to lionise the source who take the real risks in nearly every journalistic disclosure and without whose efforts, journalists would be nothing. If indeed it is the case, as alleged by the Pentagon, that the young soldier – Bradley Manning – is behind some of our recent disclosures, then he is without doubt an unparalleled hero.
    WikiLeaks has a four-year publishing history. During that time there has been no credible allegation, even by organisations like the Pentagon that even a single person has come to harm as a result of our activities. This is despite much-attempted manipulation and spin trying to lead people to a counter-factual conclusion. We do not expect any change in this regard.
    I coauthored my first nonfiction book by the time I was 25. I have been involved in nonfiction documentaries, newspapers, TV and internet since that time. However, it is not necessary to debate whether I am a journalist, or how our people mysteriously are alleged to cease to be journalists when they start writing for our organisaiton. Although I still write, research and investigate my role is primarily that of a publisher and editor-in-chief who organises and directs other journalists.
    Many of these are still available at mirror.wikileaks.info and the rest will be returning as soon as we can find a moment to do address the engineering complexities. Since April of this year our timetable has not been our own, rather it has been one that has centred on the moves of abusive elements of the United States government against us. But rest assured I am deeply unhappy that the three-and-a-half years of my work and others is not easily available or searchable by the general public.
    I always believed that WikiLeaks as a concept would perform a global role and to some degree it was clear that is was doing that as far back as 2007 when it changed the result of the Kenyan general election. I thought it would take two years instead of four to be recognised by others as having this important role, so we are still a little behind schedule and have much more work to do. The threats against our lives are a matter of public record, however, we are taking the appropriate precautions to the degree that we are able when dealing with a super power.
    The cables we have release correspond to stories released by our main stream media partners and ourselves. They have been redacted by the journalists working on the stories, as these people must know the material well in order to write about it. The redactions are then reviewed by at least one other journalist or editor, and we review samples supplied by the other organisations to make sure the process is working….
    The Cable Gate archive has been spread, along with significant material from the US and other countries to over 100,000 people in encrypted form. If something happens to us, the key parts will be released automatically. Further, the Cable Gate archives is in the hands of multiple news organisations. History will win. The world will be elevated to a better place. Will we survive? That depends on you.
    Guardian UK, 12-3-10
  • Text of State Department letter to Wikileaks: Text of a letter from the State Department to Julian Assange, the founder of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, and his lawyer Jennifer Robinson concerning its intended publication of classified State Department documents. The letter, dated November 27, was released by the department…. – Reuters, 11-28-10
  • Mike Huckabee: Execute WikiLeaks Cable Source: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said in an interview while on his book tour in California that the person responsible for the leaked diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks should be executed.
    “Whoever in our government leaked that information is guilty of treason, and I think anything less than execution is too kind a penalty,” he told reporters while signing books at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, Calif. He went on:
    “They’ve put American lives at risks. They have put relationships that will take decades to rebuild at risk, and they knew full well that they were handling sensitive documents. They were entrusted and anyone who had access to that level of information was not only a person who understood what their rules were, but they also signed under oath a commitment that they would not violate it. They did. And I believe they have committed treason against this country, and any lives they endanger, they’re personally responsible for and the blood is on their hands.”… – Politics Daily, 11-30-10

HISTORIANS & ANALYSTS’ COMMENTS

  • Historian Relishes WikiLeaks Cable Dump: Author and historian Timothy Garton Ash says WikiLeaks’ release of 250,000 U.S. cables is a diplomats’ nightmare and a historians’ dream. The cables reveal the inner workings of the State Department. Garton Ash tells Renee Montagne that the mass of diplomatic cables is like a multi-course banquet.
    Professor TIMOTHY GARTON ASH (Oxford University): It’s very, very rich material. The only other time you have that opportunity is when a state collapses, like communist East Germany or Nazi Germany. Then historians get to see all this stuff. But it’s incredibly unusual and strange for it to happen with a functioning superpower…. – NPR, 12-1-10
  • WikiLeaks vs. U.S. Diplomacy: Geoffrey Berridge, an emeritus professor of diplomatic history at Britain’s Leicester University, says that the aftereffects of the WikiLeaks revelations are likely to be short-term — “as long as the experience is not repeated.” “What will inflict temporary damage on U.S. prestige is the fact it was stupid enough to allow such wide circulation of such material in the electronic age,” he says…. – Radio Free Europe, 12-3-10
  • Toobin: First Amendment may not protect WikiLeaks: Since this summer, WikiLeaks has published huge tranches of classified U.S. intelligence. The online organization’s actions have ignited fierce debate over whether the First Amendment’s free speech rights will keep its members and its founder, Julian Assange, safe from prosecution. Jeffrey Toobin , CNN’s senior legal analyst, says federal prosecutors could pursue criminal charges against Assange, an Australian citizen. Lawyers for the U.S. government could argue WikiLeaks and Assange have jeopardized national security and make their case. Further, Interpol has recently named the 39-year-old Assange in a most-wanted persons alert. That alert is related to a sex crimes investigation of Assange in Sweden, not to the WikiLeaks affair. Assange’s whereabouts, at the time this story was published, is unknown…. – CNN, 12-1-10
  • Missing the point of WikiLeaks: DAVID BROOK’s recent column and Ross Douthat’s reply to my defence of WikiLeaks have helped me to pin down and articulate the source of a nagging but previously inchoate sense that somehow we’re all missing the bigger picture. Let me start by suggesting that the politicians and pundits calling for Julian Assange’s head are playing into his hands. As all eyes track the international albino of mystery, the human and physical infrastructure of a much larger, more distributed movement continues to expand and consolidate far beyond the spotlight. If Mr Assange is murdered tomorrow, if WikiLeaks’ servers are cut off for a few hours, or a few days, or forever, nothing fundamental is really changed. With or without WikiLeaks, the technology exists to allow whistleblowers to leak data and documents while maintaining anonymity. With or without WikiLeaks, the personel, technical know-how, and ideological will exists to enable anonymous leaking and to make this information available to the public. Jailing Thomas Edison in 1890 would not have darkened the night.
    Yet the debate over WikiLeaks has proceeded as if the matter might conclude with the eradication of these kinds of data dumps—as if this is a temporary glitch in the system that can be fixed; as if this is a nuisance that can be made to go away with the application of sufficient government gusto. But I don’t think the matter can end this way. Just as technology has made it easier for governments and corporations to snoop ever more invasively into the private lives of individuals, it has also made it easier for individuals, working alone or together, to root through and make off with the secret files of governments and corporations. WikiLeaks is simply an early manifestation of what I predict will be a more-or-less permanent feature of contemporary life, and a more-or-less permanent constraint on strategies of secret-keeping…. – Economist, 12-1-10
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