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BLOGGING WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS for Thursday, Day 19 | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

BLOGGING WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS for Thursday, Day 19

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.

11:40   The Guardian with new piece on health of Bradley Manning "deteriorating" (as Assange arrives at posh manor). 

11:35  Assange should re-make the Stones' hit with Lady Gaga and call it "Under My Thumb Drive." 

11:25  Michael Moore with lengthy protest letter to Sweden -- also digs out from charges he doesn't take rape charges seriously. "Unless you have the evidence (and it seems if you did you would have issued an arrest warrant by now), drop the extradition attempt and get to work doing the job you've so far refused to do: Protecting the women of Sweden."

11:20  BBC interview with Assange nothing great but some new video of him.

4:05 Gone for the night.  Guardian promises new cables any minute.  See you tomorrow.

3:05  Guardian with photo of Assange on steps of court on way out.  And summary of the day.

2:15   Ha, friend notes that now Assange has to really mind his manors.

2:10  Clint Hendler (see below) with scoop from Keller talk: Times has "basically done the stories we have planned to do" from the cables, but says 3-4 more in the works.   Why? Guardian still running every day and quarter million more cables? Nothing good in them, or what?  

2:00 Huh? @ClintHendler of CJR just tweeted that in talk Bill Keller, exec ed of NYT, "clears something up: says the NYT got the Iraq and Afghanistan documents from WikiLeaks at the same time."  It's been lost said, without being challenged, that the TImes got them from The Guardian.    UPDATE NOTE:  I got this wrong, it turns out, as I confused with latest batch, not the earlier ones this year, sorry.

1:40  Keith OIbermann, like Michael Moore, a target on this issue, tweets:  "I've now discovered that I am accused of being a rape apologist in part because I didn't remove the quotes from the word rape in a retweet....I've now discovered that I am accused of being a rape apologist in part because I didn't remove the quotes from the word rape in a retweet."  Olbermann, hit for putting "rape" in quotes, had also just tweeted: "The quote marks were in Bianca Jagger's original tweet. I retweeted it as is, per Twitter etiquette." 

1:30   On the first day of Xmas....Julian Assange given an electronic tag.  "One electronic tag beeping..."

1:05  Assange ignored questions and now: To the manor borne? That's the manor at left.  AUDIO of remarks  here.  Assange says sitting in "Victorian prison" made him reflect on others in similar or worse conditions around the world.

1:00 Various reporters in media scrum ready to tweet  remarks.  Here we go:  "It's great to smell the fresh air of London again."  Thanks members of press "not all taken in...and look deeper."   "If justice is not always the outcome, at least it is not dead yet."  Paraphrase:  I hope to continue my work and reveal evidence.  And that's it.

12:55  Assange just released, coming out now, will make statement.

12:35  The Guardian reports that today's Twitter ban in Assanage courtroom has now prompted a review:  "The country's top judge will issue interim guidance on the use of micro-blogging site Twitter in courts after supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange were banned from posting updates today. Just hours after Mr Justice Ouseley ruled supporters and journalists should not send Tweets to give a blow-by-blow account of proceedings, the judicial communications office said the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge will issue new guidance for all courts on Monday...."

12:10  What a mess and sure to be fallout:  Swedes now saying they backed appeal of bail -- but don't say whether, as reported, it was the Brits who took the lead.  Meanwhile, Guardian promises more cables tonight, this time on India.  NYT has done nothing for days now.

11:50   Boston Phoenix editorial.  "Strong-Arming the First Amendment."  Dan Kennedy on the same.   BTW, haggling over bail continues, though court says may stay open late to allow Assange to get out tonight.  His mum awaits.

11:40  Apt that Assange gets out on birthday of that apostle of freedom, Beethoven?

11:20  My daughter, getting Ph.D. in London re: Tajikistan, notes new Wiki cable calls it "corrupt, alcohol-sodden fiefdom." She adds: "Good times!"

10:55 Watch via C-SPAN House Judiciary hearing on WIkiLeaks.  Bunch of legal experts and, for some reason, Ralph Nader.

10:35 This appears to answer question about Internet access when Assange is to the manor borne.  From Luke Harding:  WikiLeaks spokesman Hrafnsson "said it would be entirely possible for WikiLeaks to operate out of the remote manor house on the Norfolk-Suffolk borders to where Assange will be bailed. 'We have a fairly decent internet connection there. We will keep on operating as we have done before. WikiLeaks has many members and we have never all been in the same place.'  "

10:30  Latest from Glenn Greenwald on that Charlie Savage story on U.S. trying to bust Assange by linking him to Bradley Manning.  Also he has his appearance on Democracy Now! today.

10:20  Okay, I am back.  Not much happened at the court in my absence.  Bunch of wrangling over who will have to post the bail -- with one or more eing rejected by the judge (Michael Moore not on list now).  Here's the Guardian wrapup of past hour.

8:45 Vikram Dodd tweets:  "Assange lawyer says getting the people to sign sureties for bail may not be until tomorrow." 

8:40  From The Guardian at the court:  "The judge acknowledged that Assange has co-operated with the Swedish authorities over the allegations he faces, according to Sky News. Even if he was convicted Assange would only face a brief prison sentence, and possibly no prison sentence at all, the court heard, according to Sky."

8:35  And now we have inevitable "Downfall" parody -- this time with Hitler enraged that TIME named Zuckerberg, not Assange, Person of the Year.

 

8:30  Alexi Mostrous on the scene tweets:  "A few more sureties need to pledge money so #assange shld be released next few hours."  Then to a manor borne?

8:25  Full Democracy Now! interview with Dan Ellsberg re: Bradley Manning.

8:20  The Economist:  Sound, fury but few results so far as America tries to fight back against WikiLeaks 

8:13  Judge okaying bail confirmed.  Conditions still being discussed but dollar amount is still about $310,000 in U.S. dough.  Presumably still will be living at that manor with ankle bracelet, curfew, and so on.

8:10  Sky News reports judge has upheld bail for Assange.  Others note conditions still apply.  More to come.

8:00 Glenn Greenwald's on Democracy Now! in a few minutes talking about Manning incarceration and other issues.

7:55 Purported press release from alleged Anonymous.

7:50  Apparently there are protestors outside, but one is merely angry about ... a parking ticket.

7:35 Audio report from journo who pops out of court suggests things may be going well for Assange inside.

7:05  Jemima surrenders:  Socialite and Assange backer (even with bail)  Jemima Khan not at court today. 

7:00 Laff break:  Pakistani ad campaign for sanitary napkin -- see it here -- has tagline:  "WikiLeaks...Butterfly doesn't."   It's even featured on a couple of billboards.  Explains ad director:  “I could have also shown a girl like other ads have. But the idea was to make it very different and to use the word WikiLeaks — and that’s what this is.”

6:55 New post by Arianna Huffington on WikiLeaks: It's about broken trust, not broken condoms.

6:50  A Guardian report exits court to quote judge's ruling on no tweets:  "This is not something I normally deal with," he said....He said tweets from the court would represent a distraction.  "I recognise the calls for debate... The issue involving Twitter may involve the potential for disruption to the atmosphere of the court, which one might call it's dignity."

 6:40  Here's NYT take on the case and hearing today.

6:35  Disorder in the court!  Judge bans Twitter. The nerve.

6:30  Here's  my photo of the Royal Courts of Justice at left, not too shabby I'd say.

6:25  Elsewhere in the American League, Ann Coulter says Assange should be prosecuted even if he IS a journalist.  Screw the First Amendment.

6:20  More bits and pieces:  Assange giving peace sign in police van. Peter Alexander of NBC News tweets: "Assange's mom describes son's attitude toward legal battle: 'Quiet anger, was actually the term he used.'"  The Guardian's Vikram Dodd tweets that attorney " Mark stephens says if the high court uphold's the decision to bail assange he may walk free today." Others warn that they have to stop tweeting now until judge rules. 

6:15  More tidbits.  Journos lined up for hearing but unlike the other day most seem doubtful they will get to tweet it live.  The thing may last two hours, longer than the last one.  It's now been confirmed that it was the Brits, not the Swedes, who pushed the appeal, shocking most observers. 

6:10  Okay, I am awake and covering the Assange hearing, tho from afar.  So far:  Assange has arrived at court as the prosecutors push for judge to reverse decision on bail.  His mum is  back.   His attorneys say they now have the 200,000 pounds in cash to spring him, as the court does not take checks.  Interesting tidbit from The Guardian:  Assange's mum took notes while visiting him in prison -- on her arms.

6:00  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"

 
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