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WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS for Tuesday, the Day 24 Blog | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS for Tuesday, the Day 24 Blog

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.

UPDATE:   See Wednesday live-blog here.

10:50  Wash Post reveals that the CIA has a new task force to study impact and damage from cables.  It's the WikiLeaks Task Force and, yes, the agency likes to refer to it as WTF.

10:20  Maddow posts video of interview with Moore.  He also discussed cables about "Sicko" and Cuba.

10:15 Check @sadydoyle at Twitter  (she helped lead the #MooreandMe hashtag) for response to Michael Moore's statements on rape.  She seems fairly satisfied, while noting, next time, start with strong statement.  Hails Maddow for hosting discussion.  Wishes Michael a Merry  Xmas.

10:10 Michael Moore on Maddow show points to new cable showing that US shut down screening of his film "Fahrenheit 911" in....New Zealand.   A cabinet minsiter had the nerve to want to host a screening.  Here's the cable. The author of cable concluded:  "There's a reason this particular Minister is nicknamed 'Boo Boo' Hobbs. That said, it is probable that this potential fiasco may only have been averted because of our phone calls - it is apparent to us that neither the Minister nor anyone else in the Labour government seems to have thought there was anything wrong with a senior Minister hosting such an event."

10:00 Michael Moore on Maddow, hit by the #MooreAndMe tweeters for past week, says every woman who charges rape should be listened to and adds that Assange should get the book thrown at him if convicted.  Still, he adds, he is more concerned with fate of WikiLeaks, which is "more than one man," and is doing vital work.  Moore also claims US is fighting "six wars right now, not two," and that Bradley Manning should be "rewarded, not punished."  Rachel pushes back a bit on the full-leaking notion, citing dangers in so many leaks that have huge impact and may not be true.  Moore says, yes, that's why need NYT and others to then follow up and do strong journalism.

5:35  Okay, gang, out for a few hours, you're on your own, then stay tuned for more of "Greg Mitchell Held Hostage—Day 24."  Isn't this how Ted Koppel got his start? 

5:15  Don't know what to make of this—the French may be claiming something that, in fact, was not true (the usual problem with these cables)—but Mondoweiss calls this a "smoking gun" showing US secretly backed Israeli settlement growth even as Obama denied that.

5:05 The Guardian in its usual late-afternoon move with half dozen stories on new cables with wild range: from UK training  death squads in Bangladesh and Halliburton involved with "mafia" in Iraq  to Anna Nicole Smith in the Bahamas,  a vetoed memorial to a Pope,  and "burger giant" McDonald's getting US aid in lawsuit.  The death squad story will be huge in UK—story notes that even the US would not help because of their "extra-judicial killings."  We did provide "human rights" advice....

4:55  Bradley Manning's attorney, on his blog, outlines his upcoming Article 13 move.  "If a military judge determines that a servicemember has been illegally punished prior to trial, she has substantial discretion to grant administrative credit, usually in the form of additional pretrial confinement credit, or even grant an outright dismissal of the charges"

4:50  Mashable:  WikiLeaks accepted as a word in English language, though as "wikileaks," by Global Language Monitor. 

4:45  Dylan Ratigan of MSNBC will interview Assange tomorrow, so they say.

4:30  Michael Moore just tweeted that he will be on Maddow show tonight—related to the #MooreandMe uproar? 

3:55 In an interview yesterday, Assange revealed that he'd lost a tooth in prison—something about breaking it on a piece on metal on his dinner plate—and joked that soon it would no doubt be up for sale on eBay.  No sign of that yet, but plenty of buttons, t-shirts, posters, necklaces, fridge magnets, even a wristwatch on sale there.

3:45  Keith Olbermann back on Twitter today and responding to continuing critique from #MooreandMe (also still very active) and others.

3:40 Just learned that the good folks at McClatchy have a dedicated WIkiLeaks page.

3:00 Jeff Stein's SpyTalk blog at Wash Post:: Top German security official keeps level head, says WikiLeaks "irritating" but not serious threat, says USA firms going too far in cracking down.

2:25  Hypocrisy Alert:  Sarah Palin in new op-ed for USA Today hits Iran by citing cables leaked by man she has attacked strongly—Julian Assange.   Goes on and on about it in key opening paragraph.  Two weeks ago she wrote on Facebook that he should be hunted down like Osame bin Laden, adding:  "He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands."  Today: Hey, Julian, baby, thanks for the cables on Iran!

2:05  Nieman reviews some lessons from its well-attended (via the Web) forum last week related to secrecy and WikiLeaks.  Among them: "Data needs context" and "Beware secrecy hardliner."

1:25  The Guardian with longer take on the Apple case (see just below), focusing on the "charity donations" angle.

1:00  Boing Boing with fun, if barbed, hit on Assange's ego, plus video tune. And Naomi Klein tweets:  "Keep supporting #wikileaks but time for an intl moratorium on feeding Assange's ego."

12:45  Apple explains WHY it removed that WikiLeaks app from its store.  Supposedly not political.

12:30  Robert Mackey at NYT's The Lede blog with good, but belated, summary of recent reports and claims about prison treatment of Bradley Manning.

11:55 In update to his column today (see below), Glenn Greenwald asks:  "Why aren't Visa, MasterCard, Paypal, their web hosting company and various banks terminating their relationships with The New York Times, the way they all did with WikiLeaks:  not only for the NYT's publication of many of the same diplomatic and war cables published by WikiLeaks, but also for this much more serious leak today in which WikiLeaks was completely uninvolved?"

11:20  I've just done a podcast with WikiLeaks Forum in Holland, here.

10:45 BBC posts Q & A of lengthy and amazing Assange interview that has been quoted in brief elsewhere.  A lot of deep probing and hostile questions, many on the sex case, also his views on being a "martyr" (might be helpful, if he doesn't die, he says), and much more.  Assange states, "People affiliated with our organisation have already been assassinated," but no follow-up.

10:35  Mike Calderone at Yahoo! with full report on Assange vs. Guardian after the latter published details from police report on sex case.  Of course, The Guardian has been most active anywhere in publishing the cables, and Nick Davies, who did the leaked police story, also helped broker the WikiLeaks cable dump at the paper, and was Assange friend.  Guardian editor Leigh says Assange under a lot of "strain" now....

9:40  The Guardian confirms sale of Assange memoirs, may come out in autumn.  I started an #AssangeBook hashtag at Twitter which has produced some amusing proposed titles. from "Leak House" to "East of Sweden." 

9:15  New from Glenn Greenwald:  NYT once again spills classified secrets that could cause danger right on its front page today, this time re: Pakistan and Afghan war efforts, but will they be prosecuted?   "After all, which WikiLeaks disclosure has ever helped the Taliban and Al Qaeda as much as announcing that the US intends escalated ground operations in Pakistan?" He also takes time to slam fellow Salonist Michael Lind for his article today (see below)

8:50  Vanity Fair profiles Assange's "all-star" legal team.

8:45  Documentary on Assange, "Wanted Man," now uploaded to YouTube, dates back to a few months ago.

8:15  Cheeky BBC interviewer asks Assange if he is sexual "predator," which he denies.  Then asks him how many women he has slept with.  Assange answers, "A gentleman doesn't count."   Once again, Assange hit the leak of detail of his case by Swedish prosecutors to The Guardian, as a way to "undermine" him.

8:10   Apple bounces WikiLeaks app from its store: TechCrunch.

8:00 MIchael Lind in Salon hits America's loss of respect for the rule of law, leading the left, among other things, to embrace WikiLeaks.  "For Assange's admirers, the embarrassment that his publication of stolen government and corporate documents produces for government policymakers, bankers or corporate executives whom they dislike more than compensates for the theft of classified or private information on a grand scale. The idea that the law in its majesty is supposed to protect the bad as well as the good apparently is rejected by those who celebrate information vandalism, as long as its victims are the State Department or big banks."

7:55  After revelations in cables : will the world now intervene over torture in Kashmir?

7:40   Another interesting Assange Q & A, this time with paper in India.  Among other things, he stresses that he is publisher and editor, not a crusader (so he gets those rights); he doesn't regret a single document release; and that there's plenty of bad stuff in the cables about Israel but you'd never know it from the NYT, which limits its criticism of Israel.  Closes with this: "Do you expect your life to return to normal anytime soon?  Oh, I do hope not. What do you mean? We only live once. So, it is good to do something that is important and productive"

 From late yesterday:

New from Sorkin in NYT:  Wikileaks' promised dump of docs on major bank has banks nervous—but also regulators. "Inside the Securities and Exchange Commission, the organization is bracing for a public outcry, according to people who have recently spoken with some high-ranking officials about the prospect of a WikiLeaks release of bank documents.....Indeed, legal experts say that if evidence emerged of shady dealings, the biggest problem regulators may face would be explaining to the public why they had not brought charges against a bank."  

In another interview, with El Pais, Assange reveals that he lost a tooth while in prison, when he bit into a piece of metal on his plate.  He claims that it was soon removed from the cell, probably to destroy evidence that such a thing happened, and jokes, "It will soon be for sale on eBay."

Assange gives big interview to Times of London—but it's behind paywall—he says he "turns on friends." Earlier, however, the interviewer (see below), leaked that Assange said he had enough docs to make bank bosses quit in USA, and denied being promiscuous but said "I really like women."

New entries at my #AssangeBook hashtag for titles for his memoir, reportedly sold today to Knopf:   "Leak House," "East of Sweden," "Gone With the Send,"  "As Y9u Leak It'  "Bradley and the Cable Factory,"  "The Spy who Came In From the Cloud," "The Leaks of Wrath," "A Manning for All Seasons."

Assange to write memoir for prestigious Alfred A. Knopf in US and Canongate in UK.   But will he get a TLC show? Will be fun if publishers tries to embargo the book.

 

 
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