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The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Wednesday, Day 46 | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Wednesday, Day 46

As I've done for more than six 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 in USA.   Contact me at   epic1934@aol.com.  Information on some my books here.

10:05  Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins w/ op-ed in WSJ tomorrow on how to prevent the next WikiLeaks dump.  "We all support transparency, but these criminal leaks were not about open government. WikiLeaks's recklessness compromised our national security and could put the lives of our citizens, soldiers and allies at risk."  

9:55 Rep. Peter King wants to ban companies dealling with WikiLeaks at all.   He "asked Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner Wednesday to prohibit people and companies within the U.S. from doing business with the Wikileaks website that has publicized hundreds of thousands of secret government documents.

"King said the prohibition should also extend to Wikileaks' founder, Julian Assange. Both ought to be placed on the Specially Designated National and Blocked Persons List, which the Treasury Department can use to bar companies and individuals subject to U.S. jurisdiction from conducting business with a given entity, King said."

6:30  Fresh video interview with Icelandic MP in DOJ / Twitter case (now in Canada).

5:50  Given current events, obviously a good time to re-visit the leaked cable on Tunisia.

5:30  The Atlantic and Boing Boing cover the hassling of Appelbaum (see just below).

4:35  Amazing but true:  Remember print? I will  actually have a piece on WikiLeaks in the next issue of The Nation.

4:10  Jeff Jarvis tweets re: the below:   "Note that @ioerror is not a security threat. He is an information threat."   My view:   Appelbaum you should have given them a thumb drive marked Lady Gaga, might have blown their minds. 

3:45  Jacob Appelbaum (left), connected to WIkiLeaks and involved in the DOJ vs. Twitter move, tweeting now on again being subjected to search and harassment at Seattle airport.   @ioerror

2:35  Despite correctons today from The Guardian and Politico, Chris Albon of The Atlantic more or less stands by his story blaming possible Zimbabwe setbacks mainly on WikiLeaks.

2:10  Forbes blogger with amusing (? ) take on Assange's offhand remark in New Statesmen interview that he has "insurance" files to be released in an emergency,  possibly relating to News Corp and Murdoch.  So the Forbes guy riffs on this -- hey, taking on Bank of America is one thing, but going after Rupe and Fox, well, watch out!

1:30  Now Politico has added its own correction on that WikiLeaks / Zimbabwe report.  It's at bottom and exceedingly brief and mild.   For background see below at  11:00 and 9:25. 

12:05  Deep thought: Assange needs to make video of him hunting or taking target practice on that estate, then he'd be much more popular in USA.

11:25  And now, for a change in pace:  Florida trailer park resident sues Assange for $1.5 for causing mental stress due to raising fears of nuclear war.   Guy still hasn't collected on his suit against bin Laden.

11:20 EFF looks at 5 major overlooked cable revelations.  Note: In next week's print edition of The Nation I list or discuss about 30 in all from 2010.  

11:00  Greenwald with update to below (see 9:25):  " Beyond the falsehood documented here, Aaron Bady of Berkeley's PhD program describes how Albon, Richardson and others are completely simplifying -- distorting -- the situation in Zimbabwe in order to demonize WikiLeaks over this cable.   And Politico's Keach Hagey -- who wrote one of the above-referenced pieces repeating this falsehood -- has emailed me to say that she's now working to directly address these matters.  So credit where it's due.  We'll see if The Atlantic's Albon and The Wall Street Journal are similarly willing to acknowledge their serious errors."

 10:25  Assange attorney Mark Stephens in interview with German paper charges Sweden in cahoots with USA, simply drawing out case and extradition to give America chance to build case against his client.

10:00 U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg quits after just a year, denies link to WikiLeaks but one cable re: Gitmo had caused concern.

9:25  We noted this last night (see way below on this page) and now Glenn Greenwald with lengthy take slamming The Guardian, The Atlantic and many others with carry false claim about WIkiLeaks responsible for possible "collateral murder" in Zimbadwe.  "At the very least, the outlets that published this serious -- and seriously false -- accusation owe their readers a prominent, clear retraction."  Second half of column gets at why this and other media behavior unacceptable.

9:10  New Statesman bills this new interview with Assange by his friend John Pilger as an exclusive.  Covers Manning, Murdock and China, more.  "We have never published as much as we are now. WikiLeaks is now mirrored on more than 2,000 websites. I can't keep track of the spin-off sites - those who are doing their own WikiLeaks... If something happens to me or to WikiLeaks, 'insurance' files will be released."

The contents of these files? According to Assange, "[t]hey speak more of the same truth to power....There are 504 US embassy cables on one broadcasting organisation and there are cables on Murdoch and News Corp." 

9:05  Conservative in Australia's  Sydney Morning Herald admits: "Can't Hide Love for WikiLeaks." 

8:50  Oxford student who interned with WIkiLeaks at key moment in October writes about it.   Denies having crush on Assange.  BBC has summary and link to the Isis magazine piece.

8:40  When news broke over the weekend that our DOJ was after Twitter re: WikiLeaks, several thousand people stopped following the main WikiLeaks feed there, which then had about 637,000 such fans. Some experts have since suggested that no one in that mass group had anything to fear, and The Guardian notes today that the total has actually now climbed to 647,000.  Maybe it's the I Am Spartacus principle at work.

8:15  Terrific summary and video from yesterday's big forum at London's Frontline (which we noted yesterday), with valuable discussion of WikiLeaks featuring journos,  Assange lawyer Mark Stephens and more.  (h/t @Asher_Wolf) 

8:05  And, finally, a Julian Assange Coloring Book.  Have fun with Thoughtful Julian, Gagged Julian, Julian at Christmas,  as "Che" and more!  Online now!

8:00 Founder of whistleblowing site in China  not only denies link to WikiLeaks--but claims he operates with local official approval!

12:05 a.m. Tuesday's coverage of the Assange hearing critiqued, found to focus too strongly on his fears about rough justice in U.S. as prime part of his argument against extradition, when it was, allegedly, a minor one.

From late Tuesday

  As we've noted, Birgitta Jonsdottir,  the Icelandic MP (left)  involved in the DOJ / Twitter case is speaking in Canada this week, and here she sits for a lengthy Q & A with Toronto's Globe & Mail.

Jason Ching analysis in The National Law Journal:  "Bradley Manning will likely be prosecuted and convicted under the Espionage Act, but not Julian Assange because he is joined at the hip with news organizations."

Several Twitter friends have pointed out re: the item below that the original subhed remains unchanged on The Guardian piece with WikiLeaks still the sole recipient of Mugabe's "gratitude," not mentioning The Guardian. Also, the piece appears at the Comment Is Free part of The Guardian site, Richardson is not a Guardian columnist or op-ed writer in normal sense.

Last week The Guardian published a piece by James Richardson that charged WL with "collateral murder"  in Zimbadwe and earning "the ignominy of Robert Mugabe's gratitude."   Even though many bloggers, including yours truly, quickly pointed out that, in fact, it was The Guardian itself that first published the fateful cable, the paper did nothing to revise or amend or correct the article -- for eight days.  Finally, today, it happened with a rewritten photo caption, a slight edit,  and this at the end of the piece: "This article was amended on 11 January 2011 to clarify the fact that the 2009 cable referred to in this article was placed in the public domain by the Guardian, and not as originally implied by WikiLeaks. The photo caption was also amended to reflect this fact."


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