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Blogging the WikiLeaks, For Thursday, Day 12 | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

Blogging the WikiLeaks, For Thursday, Day 12

As I've done for the previous 12 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 is my live blog for Friday.

11:50  Dan Ellsberg debates Colbert on show, very truncated and Colbert closes with seemingly serious claim that US "won" war in iraq.

10:40  NYT confirms Reuters story from yesterday about rumored next big WikiLeaks release—on Guantanamo detainees, with Assange holding files on all 800 prisoners from awhile back.  "After a Reuters article reported that WikiLeaks has the files of every Guantánamo detainee, a government official told The Times that the government believed the claim was correct and that it referred to a set of nearly 800 detainee 'threat assessment' files compiled by the Pentagon during the Bush administration."

10:15  May be apt to (nearly) end the day with this Boing Boing wacky 3-minute video of every single Wiki revelation of the past 12 days.  Update:  Also appears in my live blog for Friday.

 

8:55 James Rainey of LA Times on why WikiLeakers are not quite Rosa Parks, plus this advice: "Leaker-people, make your business about the leaks, not your leader. Focus on holding the world’s governments accountable for their actions. Don’t waste your time correcting every slight and bludgeoning every foe."

8:40  We reported earlier mystery of that Wiki-related e-book suddenly disappearing from Amazon.  Turns out author himself pulled it, not Amazon.

8:30  Wired:  Military bans thumb drives, disks, threatens court martials, to stop leaks.

8:20  SarahPac.com STILL down... like a caribou gunned down, one might say...

5:40  Assange attorney, after meeting with him for one hour only, says Assange wishes to defend himself against charges he is directing or applauding hacking:  "It is absolutely false. He did not make any such instruction, and indeed he sees that as a deliberate attempt to conflate hacking organisations [with] WikiLeaks, which is not a hacking organisation. It is a news organisation and a publisher."

5:30  My old friend Dan Ellsberg tweets that he will be on Colbert show tonight defending Assange and Manning.

5:05  New report:  Assange to be transferred to new unit at prison and gain some internet access (the world quakes in fear) but not his own laptop.   Story includes my favorite line of the day:  "Assange complained about the daytime TV...."   Wonder if Assange already has a tattoo, is writing poetry and getting marriage proposals from new pen pals.

4:40  The Guardian's daily late-afternoon WIki cable report includes big piece on witnesses claiming North Koreans helping Burmese maybe get nuclear bomb and build missile sites.  Evidence seems to be thin—let's hope NYT doesn't put at top of front-page like previous debunked North Korea to Iran missile story. 

4:30  If you missed, lengthy Assange interview at Opera Mundi, conducted Monday as he was about to turn himself in.   Had not seen reference to losing 100,000 Euros in frozen funds before.

4:20  Things we thought we'd never see: Photo of pro-Assange rally in...Pakistan.  Even carrying his face on signs.  Need more current photos of him, though.  Of course,  they are also making up fake cables there.

4:00  Page is now offline for that book of WIki cables that Amazon UK had been selling  in its Kindle store -- it ranked #73 there last we checked.   Whether it got hacked or Amazon pulled the book we don't know.

3:30  Pac Payback hack? Palin's SarahPac.com offline, could be victim of Op Payback again.

2:25 New piece from Paris by NYT's Steve Erlanger opens: "The United States considers itself a shining beacon of democracy and openness, but for many Europeans,  Washington’s fierce reaction to the flood of secret diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks displays imperial arrogance and hypocrisy, indicating a post-9/11 obsession with secrecy that contradicts American principles."

2:15  First arrest in hack attack?  It's a 16-year-old Dutch boy said to be involved in MasterCard bring down.  But story notes:  1000 others involved.

1:45  That collection of Wiki cables peddled—ironically—at the Amazon UK site has now reached #73 in ranking at the KIndle store there.

1:35  Remember the fears that Assange would get targeted by inmates in jail? Now Murdoch's Sky News in UK reports many are actually pushing notes of support into his cell. "A source at the prison said, among several notes Mr Assange received, are ones saying: 'Hi Julian—good luck,' '"Sorry you're in here—it's wrong' and 'We are one within here—Merry Christmas'".

1:30  New from Dan Gillmor at Salon:   WIll WikiLeaks affair lead to licensing of journalists?"

1:20  Another good piece by Andy Greenberg for Forbes—remember, he interviewed Assange last week.  He calls the hack attacks a "sideshow."  He notes:  "WikiLeaks... is treating its hacker legion’s’ efforts as little more than a PR stunt. Whether that stunt will backfire isn’t clear—though the attacks have likely created sympathy for WikiLeaks’ enemies, they’ve also made sure that the public takes notice of every firm that’s attempted to cut ties with the whistleblower site and forced them to explain their actions. But most importantly, this ongoing cyber skirmish won’t have any real effect on the steady drip of scandalous information from WikiLeaks."

12:35  MediaIte has full statement by Anonymous and video.  Not sure about the Orwell-Mahatma Gandhi-Ben Franklin echoes.

12:30  Huf Post now has a separate mini-site devoted to WikiLeaks but not very up to date (ahem).

11:45 State Dept spokesman P.J. Crowley inspired to submit three tweets in short order:   "US looks forward to hosting World Press Freedom Day. We welcome the discussion about media in the 21st Century .....While Julian Assange places journalists in authoritarian societies at risk through the release of cables, we are protecting them....No country believes in press freedom more than the United States. We practice what we preach."

11:35  Guardian says split among "Anonymous" attackers has cooled anti-Amazon effort, as many wanted to stick with sticking it to PayPal.

11:10  The Guardian's blog on visit to Assange in prison: "His solicitor, Mark Stephens, said he was "quite chipper, he seemed to be bearing up". Assange was wearing a grey prison tracksuit because he did not have three of his own outfits, a requirement for prisoners to wear their own clothes.  Assange, who is being held in a single cell in the prison's segregation unit, complained about the daytime television, Stephens said: "he doesn't have access to a computer, even without an internet connection, or to writing material. He's got some files but doesn't have any paper to write on and put in them."

"Stephens said Assange was concerned that 'people have unjustly accused WikiLeaks of inspiring cyber attacks and they have in no way inspired cyberattacks'."

10:55  Latest at the WIki site: Running count shows they have still only released 1203 cables, redacted and in conjunction with news outlets, even as media claims of "indiscriminate" release of "thousands" of documents continues.

10:50  Somehow combining the John Lennon memorial with Julian Assange, I cannot resist posting link to the Beatles' doing "Do You Want to Know a Secret?"   Closer, let me whisper in your ear.

10:40  Nieman Lab with a lengthy take on Wiki, a decade of hacking, and its main theme, "the future of news."

10:30  Full list of global pro-Wiki street protests here, including a few in NYC. 

10:20  Jack Hunter makes "the conservative case" for WIkiLeaks at The American Conservative.  Assange purportedly sort of like Jefferson.

10:00  WIkiLeaks, urged by some to distance itself from Anonymous and Operation Payback, has just released key statement that concludes:  "These denial of service attacks are believed to have originated from an internet gathering known as Anonymous. This group is not affiliated with Wikileaks. There has been no contact between any Wikileaks staffer and anyone at Anonymous. Wikileaks has not received any prior notice of any of Anonymous’ actions.  Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said: 'We neither condemn nor applaud these attacks. We believe they are a reflection of public opinion on the actions of the targets.'”

9:55 More on Russia maybe backing Assange for Nobel Peace Prize.

9:50  I reported the tip yesterday afternoon and now it's happening: The Operation Payback attack on Amazon.  They have tweeted they are now "locked on."  However, my source yesterday said they were not super confident they had enough firepower for it .  So we'll see.  I can still get to my latest book at Amazon here.

9:35  Here's 4-minute clip from last night's Daily Show that we mentioned below, three fun views of Assange, ranging from super hero to super villain.   Closes with view that the only person who might leak the full info on the tangled  rape charges...is now in jail.

9:30   DataCell in Iceland says it is handling donations to WIkiLeaks and things going well despite cutoffs by other services.

9:25 Glenn Greenwald tweets "Hilarious: Joe Lieberman is in Global Internet Freedom Caucus & sponsored bill condemning Iran's Internet censorship." 

9:10  One of Assange's accusers in forced sex case may cease cooperating as attacks on case grow.

9:00   Wiki War & Peace, from the Guardian's blog:   "In what appears to be a calculated dig at the US, the Kremlin today urged non-governmental organisations to think seriously about 'nominating Assange as a Nobel Prize laureate'.... Public and non-governmental organizations should think of how to help him,'  the source from inside president Dmitry Medvedev's office told Russian news agencies. Speaking in Brussels, where Medvedev was attending a Russia-EU summit yesterday, the source went on: "Maybe, nominate him as a Nobel Prize laureate.'  Russia's reflexively suspicious leadership appears to have come round to WikiLeaks, having decided that the ongoing torrent of disclosures are ultimately far more damaging and disastrous to America's long-term geo-political interests than they are to Russia's."

8:40  CBS with new interview with Assange attorney Mark Stephens—last night Jon Stewart claimed he looks like Susan Boyle, by the way.  Stephens believes US in talks with Sweden to turn Assange over to US   Also:  Rape charges "a stitch."

8:25  Latest Guardian story on cables features Hugo Chavez under attack and allegedly making deals with foreign countries to keep afloat.

8:20  Why hasn't Facebook taken down the WikiLeaks page after deleting Operation Payback?  Their statement today:  "We haven't received any official requests to disable the Wikileaks page, or any notification that the articles posted on the page contain unlawful content. If we did, of course, we would review the material according to our rules and standards, and take it down if appropriate. But the mere existence of a Wikileaks page doesn't violate any law just like we don't take down other pages about controversial topics like Raoul Moat and Holocaust denial."

 8:10  In interview with a Guardian staffer, an Operation Payback guy seems to rule out attack on Twitter, saying it's too good a communication tool for them and others.

8:00   Let's open the day with gift from those wacky Taiwan animation folks, on Assange's arrest and cyberwar.

Here's the latest from late yesterday:

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."  ...  To close the day and lull you to sleep, you may need the "WikiLeaks Samba," just up at YouTube, fun music with a point..... New NYT piece on Facebook and Twitter now embroiled in WikiLeaks war.

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 US going along with Yemen's lies about it, not US, conducting bombing in that country.

Huge story: Reuters' Mark Hosenball reports just now:  "WikiLeaks' next assault on Washington may highlight USgovernment reports on suspected militants held at  Guantanamo Bay, which some US officials worry could show certain detainees were freed despite intelligence assessments they were still dangerous." Assange has claimed to have files on every prisoner. 

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."  


 
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