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Blogging WikiLeaks News & Views for Wednesday, Day 18 | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

Blogging WikiLeaks News & Views for Wednesday, Day 18

As I've done for the previous  weeks, 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.

10:00  New from Charlie Savage at NYT:   Not a shock, but full report on how DOJ hopes to build case against Assange by trying to find links between him and Bradley Manning in helping to get the material for leakage." If he did so, they believe they could charge him as a conspirator in the leak, not just as a passive recipient of the documents who then published them.

"Among materials prosecutors are studying is an online chat log in which Private Manning is said to claim that he had been directly communicating with Mr. Assange using an encrypted Internet conferencing service as the soldier was downloading government files. Private Manning is also said to have claimed that Mr. Assange gave him access to a dedicated server for uploading some of them to WikiLeaks"

8:40  Finally, WikiLeaks cables get to ... a BP oil accident.  New from The Guardian tonight.

6:45 Shocker from The Guardian:  It was UK prosecutors, not Swedish who wanted to appeal bail for Assange. "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. Lawyers for Assange reacted to the news with shock."   Hearing tomorrow. 

4:20  Huff Post with a little bit of a followup on Greenwald's probe of Braldey Manning's incarceration. 

4:10  And now, an attack on Michael Moore for providing bail to Assange and thereby not taking rape charges seriously.

4:05  Still wondering about NYT rarely covering the cables now:  retreating under pressure? all the really good stuff already published?  working on big scoops right now?  not enough staffing to dive into the quarter million cables left?  Your guess? 

3:55  New from top org Human Rights Watch: Don't prosecute Assange.    Letter from them to Obama and Holder.  Reason: "as this would imperil media freedom everywhere... Human Rights Watch urged the US government to reject overbroad interpretations of national security that clash with the freedom of expression guarantees of the US Constitution and international law."   HRW also hits companies that cut off service for WIkiLeaks and gov't agencies blocking employees from access to sites.

3:30 Mark Zuckerberg on WikiLeaks: Huh? Or, Duh?

2:20  Naomi Wolf, who has already had a couple of controversial posts on this subject, returns to Huff Post with another on Sweden, rape cases, and Assange.

2:05 The Guardian reports Scotland Yard looking at Anonymous attacks on MasterCard, PayPal and other sites, but has been go after them for months..

12:40 Earlier today --  see 9:15 time stamp below -- I reported that I had received an email from someone purporting to be a staffer at a Verizon Wireless  "headquarters."  He said that starting last week, when he tried to access WikiLeaks write-ups on the Web at work, Verizon blocked the access.  This was not just at WikiLeak's own sites but at, say, The Guardian for any stories related to WikiLeaks (but not other stories there).   In a second email he now says that it is still going on and he sent along three screen shots, including the one at left when he was turned away from The Guardian.  One of the other screen shots shows the same blockage when, as a test, he entered a fake url with the name WikiLeaks in it.  I have the guy's name, and his Twitter feed does suggest employment at Verizon, but beyond that -- no proof. 

12:20  Moe Tkacik at Washington City Paper with interesting interview with Wash Post  "Spy Talk" blogger Jeff Stein. "These cables are going to be in the headlines for months. It's like a lifetime employment contract for national security reporters.....I hope this spawns more Wikileaks — starting in Moscow and Beijing. Julian Assange is kind of a left-winger but he's also just sort of an anarchist. I think he would take stuff from the Kremlin in a heartbeat, from China in a heartbeat..."

11:50   Laff of the Day:  Rep. Allen West, who called for "censoring" news outlets carrying WikiLeaks stuff, now claims he merely meant "censure." 

11:45  If you know me, you know why I am linking to piece on Assange as this century's Upton Sinclair.

11:40  Brussels sprouts: Another front opened -- Brussels site for leaking European Union docs.

11:35  I linked to Glenn Greenwald's take on harsh conditions for Bradley Manning below, but his post also worth reading for its second half on background on case, which most have forgotten by now.

10:55  New WikiLeak from The Telegraph:  "The secret cables, seen by The Daily Telegraph, disclose how Swedish officials wanted discussions about anti-terrorism operations kept from public scrutiny. They describe how officials from the Swedish Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs had a “strong degree of satisfaction with current informal information sharing arrangements” with the American government. Making the arrangement formal would result in the need for it to be disclosed to Parliament, they said.... Wikileaks claimed the new cables, which discuss terrorist screening programs, added weight to suggestions that Sweden and America were engaged in 'back room deals'”.

 

10:25  Michael Moore on Countdown last night defending his bail offer for Assange and more.

9:50  FLASH: Assange appeal hearing (Swedes contesting judge's bail ruling) will be tomorrow at 11:30 London time.

9:45  Air Force confirms it is blocking sites with WikiLeaks stuff but says NYT only one in USA.

9:15  Just received email tip from man purporting to be Verizon employee at a headquarters and offering to send screen shots.  Here's an excerpt:  "Last week, I was browsing several news sites at work when I noticed something strange: any time I tried to read a story about Wikileaks, the site was blocked. Typically, our intranet blocks the usual 'time-waster'  sites.... In these cases, the entire domain is blocked and any content offered up by that domain on a separate site (such as videos embedded from YouTube) would be blocked on the other site as well.

"In this case, though, only specific URLs were being blocked, while the rest of the site was fine. In the screenshots, you can see I can access, for example, the Guardian front page, as well as another, non-Wikileaks related article. But if I tried to go to any of the cable articles, I received the block message.... It appears there's a blanket URL block for any URL containing the word "wikileaks" no matter what the context. Also, I've confirmed with a friend of mine who works for AT&T that they're doing similar blocking.   I have screen shots available."  He also claims that a friend at AT & T says same thing going on there.

9:05  MSNBC.com  "legal panel" with lengthy discussion of Assange and espionage issues, predicts he WILL be indicted here, and raises issues about the press.   They say his indictment will "survive a legal challenge" and the biggest handicap for the defense is Assange's "personality."

8:50  As he promised, Glenn Greenwald has delivered on a strong piece on the "inhumane detention" of Bradley Manning, with "conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture.  Interviews with several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning's detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt. Brian Villiard) who confirmed much of what they conveyed, establishes that the accused leaker is subjected to detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries." 

8:45  Assange won the readers poll, but Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg (or, a boy named "sue," as I call him) named Person of the Year.  Assange finished third, they say, with Tea Partiers in the #2 slot. 

8:40  The Swedish prosecutors' site in the Assange case was brought down by Anonymous and allies yesterday for 11 hours, the Guardian reports. 

8:30  Report on Rush Limbaugh going after Michael Moore for ofering part of Assange's bail.    Of course, he refers to Moore and others on left as "fans of serial rapists." 

8:10  While WikiLeaks. org has reappeared, the internet security firm Spamhaus warns that it could be riddled with malware run by "Russian cybercriminals".

8:00  NYT rarely running cables or stories about them now.  Theories, anyone?   The Guardian still publishing cables but its great  daily blog not happening today.

7:50    How the Grinchy WikiLeaks Stole Christmas.  And some cool animation from Wash Post editorial cartoonist Ann Telnaes.

 
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