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BLOGGING THE WIKILEAKS for Wednesday, Day 11 | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

BLOGGING THE WIKILEAKS for Wednesday, Day 11

As I've done for the ten days, god help me, I will be updating news & views on all things WikiLeaks all day.  All times added at top are ET.  For more follow me at Twitter.  Read about my latest book here.

UPDATE  Here's my live blog for Thursday.

11:30   Through the looking glass:  A week after WikiLeaks confirms Karzai as one of most corrupt leaders, Robt Gates hails his "statesmanlike" response to those revelations, and for being a good "partner." 

10:40  To close the day and lull you to sleep, you may need the "WikiLeaks Samba," just up at YouTube, fun music with a point.

10:30  Glenn Greenwald updates an earlier post with audio of his radio debate with John Burns and James Rubin, and his commentary. Rubin had the nerve to actually hit WikiLeaks for releasing cable that NYT misrepresented on N. Korea sending missiles to Iran.  He also defended U.S. going along with Yemen's lies about it, not U.S., conducting bombing in that country.

8:55  Huge story: Reuters' Mark Hosenball reports just now:  "WikiLeaks' next assault on Washington may highlight U.S. government reports on suspected militants held at  Guantanamo Bay, which some U.S. officials worry could show certain detainees were freed despite intelligence assessments they were still dangerous." Assange has claimed to have files on every prisoner.  "The leaks could be an embarrassment to President Barack Obama's administration, already angered over WikiLeaks document dumps of U.S. State Department cables, as it seeks to fulfill a 2-year-old pledge to close the prison and either release the foreign terrorism suspects or move them elsewhere."

 8:40  Okay!  After too long an absence, the Somali Pirates re-appear in a big WIki cable story, from NYT.   It seems, as they write,  "Pirates’ Catch Exposed Route of Arms in Sudan Conflict."   And, naturally,  "Bush administration officials knew of the earlier weapons transactions and chose not to shut them down, an official from southern Sudan asserted in an interview..."

8:00 New NYT piece on Facebook and Twitter now embroiled in WikiLeaks war. 

7:45   The AP (via The Guardian) on how the hackers are doing it:  "The hacking group Anonymous, known for previous attacks on the Church of Scientology and Kiss bassist Gene Simmons, is distributing software tools to allow anyone with a computer and an internet connection to join in the attacks as part of 'Operation Payback.' Such tools are widely available on the internet and can easily launch a large number of attacks on targeted websites, said Dean Turner from the computer security firm Symantec."

7:40  Provocative take by Robert X. Cringely (real name) of Infoworld:   The Web will "eat itself"  over Wikileaks.  "It's the first all-out cyber war, not between nations but between factions: those who agree with what WikiLeaks is trying to do, and those who oppose them. Nearly everybody is picking sides.... this is the single most important story to hit the Internet ever....What will happen as a result of the WikiLeaks Cablegate? A tighter, more ruthless clampdown on information, with more serious consequences for the leakers."

6:55   Battle of the Bulge, NYT now reports:  "By Wednesday afternoon, a counterattack had begun with Netcraft, a British Internet monitoring firm, reporting that the Web site being used by the hackers to distribute denial-of-service software had been suspended by a Dutch hosting firm, Leaseweb."

6:50  The Guardian has updated statement by PayPal that does not clarify matters--still claims it moved against Wiki because they broke law -- but we still don't know what law that might have been.   Also: VISA claims transactions not stopped yet.

6:45 Whack-a-Mole time:  Operation Payback re-surfaces (briefly?) at Twitter with new feed: @Anon_Operationn

6:35  Twitter has suspended the Operation Payback related feed @anon_operation   And VISA site seems to be back, just now, anyway, for me.

6:00  ABC: Palin claims she, her sites and personal info  under cyber attack by WikiLeak hackers, says no one covering their "antics." Hardly.  See below, e.g.

5:50  From The Guardian just now:  "The vice president of Bolivia, Alvaro Garcia Linera, has posted
all the leaked US diplomatic cables about his country on his official website
.  Garcia says he wants Bolivians to know the 'barbarities and insults' of what he called Washington's 'interventionist infiltration'. Bolivia's leftwing leaders expelled the US ambassador in 2008, accusing him of conspiring against the country."

4:45  NYT, after pausing one day, out with new WIki cable revelations, mainly re: China and dissident,  and Germany and captive. The Guardian's lead just now  is Shell claiming to have "inserted staff" and fully infiltrated Nigeria's government.

4:35  Now Operation Payback says it has brought down Visa site -- and indeed CNN and others report evidence that it is offline.  "Keeping firing" they urge via Twitter.  Their @anon_operation Twitter feed also just reported: " FACEBOOK JUST BANNED OUR PAGE : http://image.bayimg.com/jabbmaade.jpg "

4:30  New Pew poll finds  the public evenly split on whether media reporting WikiLeaks cables is good or bad for -- the public.   And was more support for previous Afghan/Iraq releases.  But how many have really been paying attention is the question.

4:00 Glenn Greenwald on his various radio debates today, has audio for one, and reports on one including John Burns of NYT, still "seething" over Glenn's critique of his Assange profile a few weeks back, and James Rubin. Greenwald continues to claim most of the Wiki critics make demonstrably "false" statements in their arguments and promises to review latest from the Burns and Rubin debate.

3:10   New video: NYT media guys David Carr and Brian Stelter talk about how Assange bust may change coverage.

2:45  Salon interviews The Guardian's legal editor, and gets word on conditions Assange faces (that's the prison at left): He gets phone calls and visitors, but no internet (but if anyone can leak something out, would be him).  Better living conditions than those already convicted.  Has to be out within 21 days for hearing but could be out within a week if new bail move works.  "As far as I know he's not being kept under particularly high security conditions, just usual prison conditions."  Also some good stuff on how Assange is viewed in UK, and chances for extradition.

2:40  Major new NYT piece on today's cyberattacks. 

2:30  If you've missed it, here's the entire Glenn Beck (or is that Jon Stewart?)  take on Assange, complete with chalkboard.   “I want you to know the government is lying to you,” Beck proclaims, “I have made a living over the last two years telling you the government is lying. Julian Assange isn’t saying anything new…He is a dangerous man… I want smaller government, he’s anti-goverment.”

2:20  Just a rumor that has come to me, but here it is:   Operation Payback's next target will  be Amazon and cloud comp servers, but they worry they don't have enough botnets to bring it down.

1:20  The Guardian with new profile of "Anonymous" and Operation Payback (I linked to their WIkipedia entry below)

1:15 Not sure how big an effort this is, but via Facebook a call has gone out for a protest outside NYT building in NYC against the "backlash" vs.  WikiLeaks.    More news on protests and a lot more at WL Central site.

12:55  Assange lawyer: We want extradition hearings in Britain because of it  its "strong tradition of liberty."   Meanwhile, anyone seen any reports on Assange's first day in the Dickensesque prison?

12:45  Sorry, just catching up to this Wiki cable revelation from late yesterday on Saudi royals turning blind eye to laws  to throw sex and drug parties!

12:30  The NYT's Lede blog keeps updating its story on MasterCard, PayPal etc. attacks.  

12:00  Update (via The Guardian)-- MasterCard admits severity of hack attack with statement:  "Please be advised that MasterCard SecureCode Support has detected a service disruption to the MasterCard Directory Server. The Directory Server service has been failed over to a secondary site however customers may still be experiencing intermittent connectivity issues. More information on the estimated time of recovery will be shared in due course."

11:40  Amanda Marcotte with another piece at Slate on why there's "no need to attack" women filing charges against Assange.

11:15  Tony Blair being called back to testify in Chilcot inquiry on Iraq not related to new Wiki docs, but papers declassified by his government back in June.

11:10  Oh really?  U.S. State Dept. spokesman P.J. Crowley just tweeted:  "The U.S. government did not write to PayPal requesting any action regarding #WikiLeaks. Not true."

11:00  CJR: What his homeland Aussie press is saying about Assange.   Well, at least they can forget Mel Gibson for awhile.

10:55  News break from London: Tony Blair being called back to again give evidence to Chilcot inquiry on Iraq. WikiLeaks related?

10:25  Politico running contest on who should play Assange in the movie.  Some weak candidates plus Ralph FIennes -- who is too old.

10:15  Background on Operation Payback at the other Wiki -- Wikipedia.

10:00 NYT "The Lede" blog, which has amped up coverage in the past day,  today notes the paper's "pause" in its Wiki cable scoops yesterday.  As we've posted, the paper had promised nine days of coverage and yesterday was day 10, and probably just coincidence it came on day of 1) Assange arrest  2) Lieberman threat against Times.  We'll see what comes out later today.

9:50  MasterCard remains tight-lipped on hack attack, admitting to AP it is suffering heavy traffic and that's about it.

9:30  Dan Ellsberg with a statement on his site backing WikiLeaks, saying all of current attacks were made against him re: Pentagon Papers.

8:50  From The Guardian:  Twitter claims it has NOT been blocking @wikileaks and #cablegate as trending topics, saying it's all automatic.  This in response to speculation that Operation Payback, after freezing MasterCard site, will now go after PayPal and Twitter.

8:40  Tech Crunch:  PayPal finally admits that it cut ties to WikiLeaks under pressure from U.S. government.

8:20 Assange lawyer We are afraid for him, both for his safety & that he won’t get due process.

8:15:   Amazing:   pro-WikiLeaks hackers freeze MasterCard site.  Company claims members can still use cards "securely."   

8:00  New column from Robert Wright in NYT:  " Assange has acctually helped neo-cons more so far--but if U.S.acts wisely he'll have more positive impact.   "This would mean killing fewer terrorists in the short run, but it would probably mean creating way fewer of them in the long run."

Latest from Tuesday night:

11:30  Big NYT piece on new ways Justice seeks to nail Assange.  Especially if he directed Manning.  Not much on Lieberman threat vs. Times, however. 

7:50   No NYT scoops today from WikiLeaks-- but they had promised nine-day run and today is day 10.    But as noted below, The Guardian did continue.

5:45 Now here's  the Wiki story of the week: Cables reveal beamed-in "Desperate Housewives" and David Letterman doing more to dissuade Saudi youth from radicalism than zillion dollar  U.S. efforts.  "[T]he shows are being allowed as part of the kingdom's "war of ideas" against extremist elements. According to a secret cable titled David Letterman: Agent of Influence,  they have been proving more effective than Washington's main propaganda tool, the US-funded al-Hurra TV news channel."   Letterman:  Top 10 Reasons Not to Jihad?

5:35 Another mind-boggler at The Guardian from today's doc dump: The Saudis proposed Arab/NATO/U.S./UN force to intervene in Lebanon two years ago to end Iranian-backed Hezbollah's siege of government.

 
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