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Blogging the WikiLeaks—Weekend Edition! | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

Blogging the WikiLeaks—Weekend Edition!

After six solid days of live-blogging the latest WikiLeaks news and views we are taking a much-needed "rest" this weekend, or at least reducing the coverage somewhat. See items below and frequent tweets here.  UPDATE:  Here's Monday's edition.

SUNDAY

10:50  They are Spartacus: the number of WikiLeaks mirror sites now up to 355:

10:30   WikiLeak tweets: "Sarah Palin says Julian should be hunted down like Osama bin Laden—so he should be safe for at least a decade."

10:10  Jay Rosen post on WIkileaks, with good links, worth a read—from last July. And a new Jeff Jarvis post at Huff Post: "For today, in the internet age, power shifts from those who hold secrets to those who create openness. That is our emerging reality. Business, be warned: You are next."

7:50  WikiLeaks tweets URL for list of new servers for their material.

7:40  For your amusement: an intern wrote about working secretly for WIkiLeaks in London, on the "ramshackle" office and "sexy" dude Julian Assange, who had a grey wig at the ready. Published in Oxford U magazine and the London Times.

7:00  Tonight on Sarah Palin's Alaska, Sarah shoots Julian Assange from a helicopter.

6:00  Assange ups ante—now says OBAMA (as well as Hillary) must resign if ordered spying at UN. Julian, don't hold your breath in that bunker.

4:30  AP: Supporters claim Assange may seek asylum in Switzerland.

3:40  New John Bolton piece at the Guardian on WikiLeaks naturally attacks Obama above all.

2:55  New from the Guardian: cables claim Al-Jazeera is not independent journo outlet, with more embarrassement for Qatar.

2:45  This probe of Assange's rape accusers getting a lot of traffic, I cannot comment beyond that.

2:30  On CNN's Reliable Sources, Jeff Jarvis defends Wikileaks, others not so much.

12:50  Saturday Night Live opened last night with a parody of Assange leading a TMZ-type show, with ambush interviews of Karzai and Hillary and so on.

12:25  More from Assange lawyers at BBC, on assassination and fighting Swedish charges. http://leaks.comxa.com/

12:20  ABC's Amanpour interviews: Wikileaks Fallout—Former Top Diplomat Says Eikenberry Must Go

11:50  WikiLeaks lawyers talk about being spied on and other grievances.

11:25  Mitch McConnell today calls Assange a "high-tech terrorist." Yeah, and we'll get him just like we got bin Laden. Glenn Greenwald tweets new definition of terrorist as "anyone defying or impeding the will of the US Government with any degree of efficacy."

11:15  AP: Now SwissPost, which Assange turned to after PayPal dropped him, is "reviewing" his account.

10:55  Alex Baldwin at Huff Post: Yeah, "throttle" Julian Assange—but only if also put Cheney on trial for the Valerie Plame leaking.

10:35  "Assange in new interview with El Pais: "We have hundreds of specific death threats from US military militants." Not that unusual for them, but what's new: some against lawyers and "my children." And: "I believe geopolitics will be separated into pre and post Cablegate phases."

10:00  Perhaps the biggest surprise in today's coverage, via the Guardian: "Iraqi government officials see Saudi Arabia, not Iran, as the biggest threat to the integrity and cohesion of their fledgling democratic state, leaked US state department cables reveal. The Iraqi concerns, analysed in a dispatch sent from the US embassy in Baghdad by then ambassador Christopher Hill in September 2009, represent a fundamental divergence from the American and British view of Iran as arch-predator in Iraq."

9:45  The NYT version of today's big scoop on our Arab allies funding terror groups that fight us beyond Saudi Arabia, with

grim views about the United Arab Emirates ("a strategic gap" that terrorists can exploit), Qatar ("the worst in the region" on counterterrorism) and Kuwait ("a key transit point"). The cable stressed the need to "generate the political will necessary" to block money to terrorist networks—groups that she said were "threatening stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan and targeting coalition soldiers."

9:30 Big Guardian piece on Saudi Arabia as "cash point" for terrorists. "Saudi Arabia is the world's largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba—but the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of money, according to Hillary Clinton.... 'Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide ' she said.... The cables highlight an often ignored factor in the Pakistani and Afghan conflicts: that the violence is partly bankrolled by rich, conservative donors across the Arabian Sea whose governments do little to stop them."

SATURDAY

11:00   London's Sunday TImes: Assange has circulated across the Internet an encrypted cache of uncensored documents suspected of including files on BP and Guantánamo Bay. An "insurance" file has been downloaded from the WikiLeaks site by tens of thousand of supporters, the newspaper reported, meant to trigger a deluge of national and commercial secrets if Assange's activites are curtailed.

Computer experts interviewed by the newspaper said it was unlikely that the US could defeat the encryption in the files. The Sunday Times reported that the US Defense Department said it was aware of the insurance file, which has been available for download since July.

9:30 Foreign Policy: More than 200 Twitter fans of Assange set up WikiLeaks "mirror" sites today.

9:00  NYT's public editor hits Assange but still, eventually, comes to back paper in publishing the leaks, to aid public's right to know.

6:25  Op-ed for Sunday NYT accuses Assange of, actually, helping Iran.

6:10  NYT finally posts story on White House ordering military and contractors to avoid WikiLeaks stuff—love the typo "icontractors." Note: "The effort, while understandable, seems entirely futile, said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington nonprofit group that has combated government efforts to keep certain government documents secret. 'It just may be a little too late for the government to push these documents down the memory hole,' Mr. Rotenberg said, adding that his center did not support the initial public release of the material. 'This is Orwell thought police in the age of the Internet, as these are already so widely accessible on servers around the world.'"

5:15  NYT's Tom Friedman's Sunday column opens: "O.K. I admit it. I enjoy reading other people's mail as much as the next guy, so going through the WikiLeaks cables has made for some fascinating reading. What's between the lines in those cables, though, is another matter. It is a rather sobering message. America is leaking power."

4:30  Reporters Without Borders hits the "hounding" of WikiLeaks in strong statement.

3:45  Big boost: Despite pressure from US and France, Swiss host for WikiLeaks refuses to take them offline. The Guardian reports: "The site's new Swiss host, Switch, today said there was "no reason" why it should be forced offline, despite demands from France and the US. Switch is a nonprofit registrar set up by the Swiss government for all 1.5 million Swiss .ch domain names."

3:35  NYT gets Columbia Univ to confirm it did send that e-mail to some students warning them not to go to Wiki sites or they will jeopardize their careers.

3:00  Ace blogger Digby defends her support for WIki releases.

2:00  Media collaboration w/ WikiLeaks amazing: NYT & Guardian publish their scoops at virtually same time every day--a daily embargo?

1:30  WikiLeaks continue on weekend: Here's Guardian on China vs. Google.

1:15  Editor of Guardian: Wash Times published column calling for Assange assassination yesterday (as I covered here)—after paper asked HIM for WIki files earlier in week.

1:10  Yes, now there is a Boycott Pay Pal For Dumping WIkiLeaks page at Facebook—and remember, Pay Pal owned by eBay.

1:00  Matthew Dowd, former Bushite, raps US media for blasting WIkiLeaks in column that is going viral. The Guardian's media critic Greenslade hits US media for ripping WikiLeaks.

12:35  Cover line for NYT "T" magazine: "Happy Holidays from Chloe Sevigny... Hilary Swank... Maggie Gyllenhaal... Julian Assange." Here's the snooze of a piece.

11:00   Pay Pal suspends WikiLeaks account "permanently."

10:50   For Sunday NYT: WIki cables show Obama's high level of "engagement."

 
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