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THE WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG for Friday, Day 41 | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

THE WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG for Friday, Day 41

As I've done for more than 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: For Saturday's edition of this blog with full coverage of the DOJ / Twitter / WIkiLeaks action, go here.

11:45  Glenn Greenwald first with details of DOJ subpoena on the below -- and the subpoena served on Twitter  itself, along with some other names.  Key:  "The information demanded by the DOJ is sweeping in scope.  It includes all mailing addresses and billing information known for the user, all connection records and session times, all IP addresses used to access Twitter, all known email accounts, as well as the "means and source of payment," including banking records and credit cards."

11:35  WikiLeaks twitter feed boasts: "New official Julian Assange defense fund ; let us see Paypal try to close this one down too! http://www.fsilaw.com/."  A few minutes later -- it's down. 

11:30  Privacy Inc. reviews tonight's events in the DOJ / Twitter / WIkiLeaks arena.  Meanwhile, Twitter issues statement:  "It's our policy 2 notify users about law enforcement...requests for their information, unless...prevented by law." 

11:00 Marcy Wheeler:   "A note about the Wikileaks subpoena. They're investigating Assange as a Spy. Which means they could have--but didn't--use PATRIOT [Act] secrecy."

10:45 NYT just corrected its error in claiming WikiLeaks had published over 250,000 cables not once, not twice, for three times!  But who's counting? 

10:35  Official WikiLeaks twitter feed reveals:  "There are many WikiLeaks supporters listed in the US Twitter subpoena."

10:25  Of the U.S. DOJ going after Twitter info of Icelandic MP, Evgeny Morozov tweets:  "If the Iranian govt asked for DMs of Iranian activists, State Dept would be all over this violation of "Internet freedom."   Well, now we know that DM is really short for "dumb."

8:05 The Iceland MP talks to The Guardian:  "Jonsdottir told the Guardian she was demanding a meeting with the US ambassador to Iceland. 'The justice department has gone completely over the top,' she said."

And now Jacob Appelbaum, recent visitor to Iceland,  tweets:  "Do not send me Direct Messages - My twitter account contents have apparently been invited to the (presumably-Grand Jury) in Alexandria."  And:  "To be directly clear - I hear that my account information has been subpoenaed."

7:55 Updates on the case of Iceland MP drawing interest from DOJ for past WikiLeaks association (see bunch of items below):  Here are Birgitta Jonsdottir's latest tweets. "I have nothing to hide and have done nothing wrong - i have no intention to hand my information over willingly to DoJ."  "thank you ALL for your support, means a lot to me & the next steps in our fight for freedom of information, hoping to get legal advice soon."  "if twitter hands over my information - then no ones information is save with twitter."   Here's a new Wired story on this.

6:20 Former Ambassador Carne Ross with important piece on "Uncomfortable Lessons from Reaction to WikiLeaks."  His call:  "Amid the sound and fury of the reaction to WikiLeaks, something is missing. Whether hostile or supportive, politicians and commentators on all sides have managed to miss the real point. The contents of the leaked cables should demand a deep reflection on our foreign policy. That this has not happened tells a sorry story about our very democracy."

5:40  All sorts of key issues raised by the DOJ / Iceland MP / WikiLeaks case (see below), but one not to be overlook is: Will Twitter comply with DOJ probe?  Already many tweeters calling for resistance.  One Twitter wag @jm111t urges: "the Iceland justice department should demand all of Senator Joe Lieberman emails to retaliate!"

4:50 Note on the important DOJ vs. Iceland MP story below:  Birgitta Jonsdottir was one of those WikiLeaks backers who -- it's been widely reported -- allegedly had a falling out with Assange.  She was particularly active in the Collateral Murder video action. She even took him as her guest to a U.S. Embassy party in Iceland.  But she later was upset over Assange's handling of the Afghan war logs which emerged with some key names not redacted. She has since been interviewed by the BBC and U.S. news outlets as a WIkiLeaks dissident.  On ABC last month she said she had argued for Assange to step aside as WikiLeaks leader while the sex crime case was ongoing.

But last April here she is in video coverage of her talk at Berkeley with Assange also.   And from October, at PdF Europe.

4:35 Already an update on the below.  Now she tweets"The request for information from twitter is also for my personal information not just tweets. Calling the justice minister of Iceland now."  And:  "The request for my tweet information is from the US department of justice"   And now:  "department of justice are requesting twitter to provide the info - i got 10 days to stop it via legal process before twitter hands it over."

4:25 Not sure what to make of this but here goes: Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of the Icelandic  parliament (she represents citizens movements), tweeted one hour ago:  "just got this: Twitter has received legal process requesting information regarding your Twitter account in (relation to wikileaks)"   Then  "usa government wants to know about all my tweets and more since november 1st 2009. do they realize i am a member of parliament in iceland?"   Then:   "i think i am being given a message, almost like someone breathing in a phone..."  And:  "waiting for some legal advice before i will make this a foreign affairs issue."

3:05  It appears that the WikiLeaks book with the surprising subtitle (as I noted last night)  "The Rise and Fall of WikiLeaks" by the Guardian staff has suddenly disappeared from the Amazon UK site...

2:45  WL Central continues to carry listings of all WIkiLeaks-related protests around the world, including "flash mobs."  Big turnout expected at next Assange hearing at court in London next Tuesday,  

12:55 Craig Silverman, longtime ace at his Regret the Error site in spotting and posting media mistakes and corrections, arrives with first lengthy, complete piece at CJR on news outlets getting wrong the number of cables WikiLeaks has actually published.

12:45  Hold yoiur breath: CNBC suggests WikiLeaks on verge of releasing its big bank treasure trove.  The reason? As others have noted, they have not published a new cable since January 4, meaning they might be occupied with new matters.  Doesn't necessarily follow, but... "I do not think it's a stretch to expect something big to follow Wikileaks' silence. They published new documents when Assange was arrested. There was a release on Christmas eve and Christmas day. They didn't rest on New Year's eve or New Year's day.  And now we've had three days of silence. Something is coming."

12:40  Ha: friend answers my query below about guessing who might be hired as Assange's co-author. "That's easy.  It'll be Bob Woodward because he can fill in all the secrets Assange doesn't know. ".

12:30  Project on Government Oversight: "How a Red Herring About WikiLeaks Killed Whistleblower Protections."

11:45  The Guardian's revived WIki blog just noted that it is checking on who might be Assange's co-writer or ghostwriter or helped on his memoir, which needs to be finished soonest now that they've set April pub date.  Well, we can rule out: NIck Davies, John Burns, and Sarah Ellison.  Who else? 

11:20  Harry Shearer tweets: "NYT: 'The State Department said it had combed through a majority of the quarter-million cables.'  State knows all cables WL has?"

10:40  The Wrap on Assange memoir getting moved up (see below): Because he needs money earlier for legal fees?   Pub fears he will be in jail soon or flee? 

10:00  Now Alexi Mostrous, the fine Times of London reporter, tweets that thesubtitle of that Guardian book (as I noted last night) is  NOT  "The Rise and Fall"  -- and where it "came from remains mystery." 

9:50  Dan Ellsberg tweets:  "No US law could criminalize WikiLeaks / Assange that wouldn’t apply exactly to publisher of @nytimes or to Bob Woodward."  Also, he seems to deleted his recent tweet on Assange and sex charges. 

9:15  Salon:  Victim of IRA bombing slams Rep. Peter King, who had backed IRA -- after getting angry over King labeling Assange a terrorist.   And in Huff Post piece he says King "unfit" to chair Homeland Security committee.

8:50  The Guardian has details on that Assange book deal.  Publication moved up to April in UK.  Assange:  "I hope this book will become one of the unifying documents of our generation. In this highly personal work, I explain our global struggle to force a new relationship between the people and their governments."

8:45  NPR: U.S. ambassador to the Vatican says our relationship not undermined by WikiLeaks revelations on church abuse coverup and anti-Semitism.

8:35 What's with the Brits? First there was the (disputed, see below) subtitle of upcoming Guardian book, "The Rise and Fall of WikiLeaks."  Now a BBC report with same title.

8:05 Andy Worthington on Gitmo and prisoner files -- remember, Assange apparently has said he has them and may release.  (h/t @Asher_Wolf)

7:50  Ian Katz, deputy editor of The Guardian, tweets me re: upcoming WikiLeaks book (see below)  from the paper:  "Guardian book title listed by Amazon was wrong. Not sure where it came from."  But it also appears at another book site, possibly more. 

7:40  A Knight Fellow interviewed at Council on Foreign Relations site on WikiLeaks and future of journalism.

7:30  What WikiLeaks reveal about production of opium in today's Afghanistan--actually outstrips global demand for heroin.

12:15  Evgeny Morozov in New Republic promotes "WikiLeaks Rehab," or how to save "the movement" from Assange. "Indeed, it’s not in the realms of diplomacy or even government secrecy where Wikileaks could have its biggest impact. If the organization wants to leave a positive imprint on the world, it should turn to a different mission entirely: forcing the general public to re-examine some of the organizing assumptions behind today’s Internet."

12:05 a.m.    Big NYT story tonight:  U.S. warning, or even moving, a few hundred people, from officials to activists,  it claims may be in danger due to be named in cables.  But "Administration officials said they were not aware of anyone who has been attacked or imprisoned as a direct result of information in the 2,700 cables that have been made public to date." 

The State Department  "is mainly concerned about the cables that have yet to be published or posted on Web sites — nearly 99 percent of the archive of 251,287 cables obtained by WikiLeaks. With cables continuing to trickle out, they said, protecting those identified will be a complex, delicate and long-term undertaking. The State Department said it had combed through a majority of the quarter-million cables and distributed many to embassies for review by diplomats there."

From late Thursday

I noted yesterday upcoming book from The Guardian called "The End of Secrecy" with surprising subtitle, "The Rise and Fall of Wikileaks."  It's on sale for February at Amazon on both U.S. and U.K. sites and now I've found it at another but with more distant pub date.  Anyone have any idea why they would declare "fall"

 Michael Gerson of Wash Post with hysterical attack on Assange based on the Zimbadwe cables -- the results of which much in dispute by others.  Gerson writes:   "Assange has chosen the side of Mugabe, apparently without regret. He has provided ammunition to a tyrant as surely as if he were an arms dealer. And he calls America an enemy of democracy."

MSNBC.com: Protests Mount Over Treatment of Manning.

Is the latest WikiLeaks doc dump did nothing but bring full Ambassador April Glaspie 1990 memo out it would be valuable.  Foreign Policy explains why.  "... on the charge that she could have deterred Saddam from invading Kuwait by using sterner language during that much-debated meeting, she is certainly innocent."

Leaking, old school: Ex-CIA officer indicted today for leaking to reporter in 2002.  Reporter sounds like he is James Risen of NYT.  Good background by  Jack Shafer.

 
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