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THE WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG for Wednesday, Day 39 | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

THE WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG for Wednesday, Day 39

As I've done for the previous five weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET. For more follow me on Twitter. Read about my latest book on wild, immensely influential election campaign  here.

UPDATE:  Here's Thursday's blog. 

11:15  Andrew Sullivan's take on that new cable on Israel wanting to keep Gaza "on the brink."

7:25 Another victory in this fight: Guardian  tonight corrected its claim that WIkiLeaks itself had published 250,000 cables. Who's next? 

7:20 Fast Company asks key question:  In the new post-Cablegate  fed crackdown on  "suspicious" employees is it asking staffers "to be spies"?  And:  "....the sections on preventing unauthorized employee disclosures and personnel security seem designed more for the CIA and NSA than, perhaps, the Department of Housing and Urban Development or the Department of Education."

7:10  Irish Times:  new cable spotlights strange case of slain Irish mercenary in... Bolivia.

5:35  Boston Phoenix:  Beyond Espionage: 4 Ways U.S. can prosecute Assange.  

4:45  Boing Boing with fun takeoff  (see left) on Bieber beating out Assange for cover of Vanity Fair.

4:35 When U.S. military blocked access to WikiLeaks material in December, one aspect got too little attention: The newspaper Star & Stripes was covered by the ban.   It's ombudsman wrote a column about it, feeling that the paper had not been open enough with its readers about the restraints.  It got spiked and he feared that he'd lost the key ombud ability to freely critique the paper. Now, he  reviews the action and how he declared and apparently won his "independence."  

4:25  At Counterpunch,  Israel Shamir, who is connected to, or accredited by (or something), the folks at WikiLeaks, blasts Guardian, getting headstart on Vanity Fair piece coming at midnight tonite.

3:30  Motley Fool issues warnings on three stocks imperiled by WikiLeaks:  BOA, of course, and Boeing (have you been paying attention?) and Monsanto (the genetic engineering flap).

2:50  Another Naomi Wolf piece sure to provoke debate (we'll follow it here, of course, as always):  Assange's "sex crime accusers deserve to be named."   In short, keeping names private "is bad law and bad policy. Motivated by good intentions, the outcome harms women. The convention of shielding rape accusers is a relic of the Victorian era, when rape and other sex crimes were being codified in what descended to us as modern law.....Top-level political pressure and virulent public opprobrium – inflamed and enabled by anonymous accusations – can grossly distort legal process."   Already bunch of Comments below her piece at The Guardian.

1:50  "Pirates" have been involved for awhile, and now there's a treasure hunting angle:  "Sunken treasure-hunting company Odyssey Marine of Tampa on Wednesday formally asked a federal court to kick the United States out of a legal dispute Odyssey is having with Spain over a half billion dollars in silver and gold that Odyssey found on the ocean floor in 2007. The reason: Recent diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks that suggest that U.S. ambassadors offered special help – not to U.S.-based Odyssey – but to Spain in exchange for help returning to a U.S. citizen a French painting that Nazis had confiscated in World War II that now hangs in a museum in Madrid."

1:00 CNN confirms strong warning to Assange for being tardy at police check-in -- could be arrested if happens again.

12:10  Tech Crunch:  New service "Flattr" rolls out direct donations -- could be big help for WikiLeaks. "It also paves the way for Flattr to migrate further towards the holy grail of peer-to-peer payments (think: mobile phone as wallet) in which handing over cash digitally becomes as easy, if not easier than it is physically."

11:40  Now AP tackles cable revelation of Israel wanting to bring Gaza to "brink of collapse" -- with Israel refusing comment.  Not beyond wire service reports in Haaretz so far.

11:35  Interest in WkiLeaks and related issues obviously not abating --  my three blogs this week now occupy three of the top four "most popular" slots at the Nation site.  Thanks for your interest!

11:25  Mike Calderone of Yahoo! sent me this tweet re: the item below:  Vanity Fair's WikiLeaks piece goes online at midnight (like HuffPost one last night!)."

10:55  Vanity Fair still hasn't posted Assange article in new issue but added another teaser for story: "The Man Who Spilled the Secrets For his WikiLeaks bombshells to land with maximum force, Julian Assange needed the mainstream media. Sarah Ellison reports on the Faustian pact between Assange and Britain’s leading investigative paper."

10:45 With today's release of that cable on Israel wanting Gaza to exist at lowest level possible (see below),  I guess can put to rest theory that there is little embarrassing for Israel in the cables.  Though this one came out of Norway paper, not NYT.

10:25 Democracy Now! today:    Dr. Atul Gawande on Manning and solitary confinement as "torture."  He says, "People experience solitary confinement as even more damaging than physical torture." 

9:55 The Guardian updates what we reported earlier:  "Norway's Dagens Næringsliv is reporting that Assange arrived late for his daily police check-in yesterday evening and Beccles police station had to be kept open 25 minutes after its 5pm closing time. Anne-Marie Breach, a spokeswoman for Suffolk police, said Assange was told he must adhere to his bail conditions (which were to be at the station at any time between 2 and 5pm daily) and incident had been reported to Norfolk police. He was warned that further action may be taken, which could see him referred to court, if he was late again."

9:50  Security experts at McAfee predict: 2011 will be the Year of the Hacker.

9:05  New cable via Norway paper: Israel told U.S. in 1968 that it would keep Gaza "in a state of collapse." 

8:50  Hallelujah!  The Guardian returns to a daily blog on WIkiLeaks, or what it calls a "rolling update" of news -- and media coverage.

8:40  Unconfirmed reports that Assange was late for his daily police check-in and has received stern warning. 

8:20  Not WikiLeaks, but since I noted below new Vanity Fair with big Assange article also has a  probe of Huff Post's founding,  here is Huff Post response:  "It’s a great story -- if you read it backwards.  At the end of the article, the writer takes apart Boyce and Daou’s case piece by piece, leaving it in tatters -- and rendering everything that has come before it pointless.  The only question is, why, when the writer’s own reporting makes it clear that there is no there there, Vanity Fair not only went ahead and published this nonstory but decided to promote it on the cover?  The proper response would have been to kill it.  And, as we’ve said before, it defies reason and human nature, if they really believed they had created the Huffington Post, that they would wait six years before speaking up.  At some point over the last 72 months, they would have contacted us to complain or asked us to credit them somewhere on the site or insisted on getting stock.  Something.  Anything!  But they didn’t, because they know that they have absolutely no claim to ownership."

8:10   For ongoing coverage, in English,  of all of those cables being published by Norwegian paper go here.

8:05  Holiday email from White House was...a fake, "a ruse by cybercriminals to steal documents and other data from law enforcement, military and government workers — particularly those involved in computer crime investigations." 

8:00   In contrast to U.S.,  59% of Australians support WikiLeaks' release of diplomatic cables,  25% oppose. 

7:55  BBC:  "The White House is telling US agencies to create 'insider threat' programmes to ferret out disgruntled workers who may leak state secrets, reports say. The move follows the leaking of thousands of secret US cables to the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks. An 11-page memo by US intelligence officials detailing the advice has been published by US broadcaster NBC."

 7:35  Vanity Fair about to roll out their big piece on Assange promised on cover line of their still unseen Justin Bieber issue (along with probe of Huff Post).  Here's how The Atlantic online just put it:  "Sarah Ellison, a former Wall Street Journal reporter who penned the definitive book on Rupert Murdoch's takeover of the paper, is responsible for the story on WikiLeaks. It will be 'the twisted inside story of how Julian Assange spilled the government's biggest secrets,'  the cover promises."   But note:  VF did post, after midnight, major probe of charges by two that Arianna Huffington stole idea for her site from them, but no WikiLeaks story yet.

7:25  Sady Doyle on Bradley Manning: "Let’s start with the most important thing, something simple: Bradley Manning is accused of trying really, really hard to do the right thing."

From late yesterday

First U.S. diplomatic casualty of cablegate may be our ambassador to Libya -- recalled after that "voluptuous nurse" memo.

New interactive map at El Pais for their burgeoning number of published cables, now over 1000.

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