Quantcast

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Friday, Day 48 | The Nation

  •  
Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Friday, Day 48

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 of my books here.

11:00  Amy Davidson of The New Yorker weighs in on WikiLeaks and Tunisia and raises this key point I've pushed myself for weeks: "Does any one person know enough about all of the countries mentioned in the cables to say for sure how significant they are? Unless someone does, it is rash to keep talking about how they add texture but 'no great revelations.'”    Th check a skeptic of the WikiLeaks role in Tunisia, follow @EvgenyMorozov at Twitter.

4:55  Fast Company piece on new problems / threats cause by sudden surge in new "unredacted" cables -- and Shamir.  " Unredacted versions of censored WikiLeaks cables appear to be quietly (and widely) disseminating through the torrentsphere, conventional websites, and the murky subculture of conspiracy- and cryptography-oriented websites. Meanwhile, a controversial Russian figure associated with WikiLeaks has announced his intent to release further unredacted cables to the web."

4:30  Evgeny Morozov's first thoughts on the Tunisia revolt and the Internet and Wikileaks at the Foreign Policy blog.   New from Wired on this, and how U.S. helicopter sales could not save Tunisia leaders.

3:00  Rop Gonggrijp,  one of those at the center of DOJ move against Twitter for info on WIkiLeaks backers, has interesting blog post.   "Being involved in a criminal investigation, and especially one which is likely to have huge political pressure behind it, is a very serious matter. So I am talking to lawyers, trying to better understand what is going on and I am weighing my options."  Also:  "The entire process of releasing this [Collateral Murder] video is ridiculously well-documented as Raffi Khatchadourian, a journalist for The New Yorker, was with us the whole time. I recommend his article for an in-depth look at what happened. For a broader look at my life over the past year or so, I recommend reading a keynote speech I delivered in Berlin a few weeks ago."

 2:55   One more time, allow me to direct your attention to my piece for The Nation's print issue next week, which was posted online Thursday afternoon, on   "Why WikiLeaks Matters."   I suggest that, in the end, what most people think of the leaks and the organization will be profoundly influenced by what value they believe rests in the content of the leaks.  And, too often, the media, and even U.S. officials, have charged, "nothing new, just move along."   There's been very little followup on most of the bombshell disclosures, at least in this country.  My long list of significant revelations in the past six months counters that view strongly.

2:50  Bank of America still experiencing outages for some but they claim not WikiLeaks related.

1:45 I still don't have BOA problem but their twitter feed still apologizes for "disruption" and says they are still working on it.

12:50  No Anonymous threats that we know of, but flurry of interest   on outage at Bank of America site.  I can reach the site but just five minutes the help desk at BOA tweeted:  "We are aware of the issue and are working to resolve it as fast as possible. Please accept our apologies."

12:45  Bart Gellman, the former Wash Post journo now at Time, with "Techland" post on "Twitter, WikiLeaks and the Broken Market for Consumer Privacy."  One thing:  "The Obama administration, like those before it, promotes a disturbingly narrow interpretation of the Fourth Amendment, misapplying the facts of old analog cases to a radially different digital world." 

11:45   Wow,  Dutch paper gets, reports on,  3,000 new cables from U.S. embassy in the Hague back to D.C.,  thanks to sharing by Norwegian paper Aftenposten.   "The cables cover Iran, the JSF fighter jet, queen Beatrix's possible abdication, Islam critics Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders, the general election, parliamentary debates and how the US can influence them, the NRC said. One cable, published by the Telegraaf on Friday afternoon, focuses on a meeting between queen Beatrix and the new US ambassador Fay Hartog Levin in August 2009. During their talks, the queen reportedly tells the ambassador 'it will be difficult' to extend the Dutch military mission in Afghanistan.

11:40 Maybe it's NOT good to be King.  Rep. Peter King earlier this week called on the Treasury Dept. to ban all U.S. companies from having any dealings with WIkiLeaks.  Now this, just up at Wall Street Journal:  "The Treasury Department said it doesn’t have enough evidence to place sanctions on Wikileaks or its leader Julian Assange, Dow Jones Newswires reported..... the Treasury said none of its current programs can reach either Wikileaks or Assange. The Treasury administers but doesn’t create the criteria for sanctions; that power comes either legislatively or by executive order.   'We do not have evidence at this time as to Julian Assange or Wikileaks meeting criteria under which [Treasury] may designate persons and place them on the' sanctions list, a Treasury representative said in a statement."

10:55  We reported it virtually first here last night but now AP and others covering Manning's lawyer demand that he be released due to harsh conditions.  But military in major NYT story today (see way down on page below) refutes charges.  

10:35  The Guardian says all of those new court documents out of Australia (see below) emerged because of  The Guardian's request (ironically, the other papers beat them to covering them).    But: "To this, the Guardian can add the poignant detail that Assange lists his absent father, named in the court documents as John Shipton, who he has never met, as the nominal owner of WikiLeaks."  

10:30  To show how far this WikiLeaks-as-spark notion, true or not,  has penetrated into mainstream, note new tweet from the National Journal: "1st WikiLeaks revolution? RT @cnnbrk: President of #Tunisia dissolves government. http://on.cnn.com/dRGcXP  "

10:05  Ian Black of The Guardian in radio interview on WikiLeaks link to the Tunisia revolt.  I had noted provocative Foreign Policy posting on this last night.

10:00 I just tweeted this question, but again:  "Folks, key question for today: If I wrote an "instant book" reviewing past year in WikiLeaks, avail next week, price $12, would anyone buy?"   If you'd be so kind, please reply via email (see above), down below here in Comment, or at Twitter  @GregMitch    Thanks.

9:30  Marcy Wheeler at FDL  probes point made by Alexi Mostrous yesterday:  those widely report "insurance files" that Assange claims do not necessarily pertain to Murdoch or News Corp. (as also widely reported). 

9:00  BBC on Anonymous call for global protest on January 15, video, more.

8:50  I've never seen a shrink but, yes, some people called it Freudian when I tweeted a moment ago that I was once again "love-blogging WIkiLeaks."    My response:  Now, for sure, the DOJ will be after me.

8:20  Australia's The Age gets copies of  papers from 1996 court hearing for young Assange, releases some bio details today.   His computer his only friend, etc.   Love this:  ''He is clearly a person who wants the internet to be able to provide material to people that isn't paid for and he freely gives his services to that,'' Mr Galbally said.  Other news outlets there also got the documents, such as here.

8:15  Latest you-ask-we-search result at The Guardian from the cables:  The U.S. and the civil war in Nepal.

7:45:   Major new probe by Fred Branfman at Truthdig on what WikiLeaks has shown us about the nuke danger in Pakistan.  "The single most significant revelation of the State Department cables released by WikiLeaks is that U.S. policy is actually increasing the danger of a nuclear incident....These newly disclosed official U.S. cables, which strongly point to the growing threat to Americans from mismanaged U.S. policy, require urgent congressional hearings, greater media investigation and public protest."

7:40  The main WikiLeaks twitter feed today linked to this song for Bradley Manning.   Also this:  "US Congressman Mack (R) & FOX defend WikiLeaks http://youtube.com/watch?v=Uu6XAbnVqks ." 

 Late Thursday

Scott Shane of NYT with major new piece on Bradley Manning case (contrasted with Assange on 600 acre estate and with book deal).  Military again refutes all charges of ill treatment, claims he is not in solitary, and treated like other high-security risks there.  "He is the only person charged in the WikiLeaks case so far. And despite his supporters’ suspicions that he will be pressured to testify against Mr. Assange, the Army spokeswoman, Ms. Kelly, said that to date, Private Manning had not spoken with civilian investigators or prosecutors."

 Foreign Policy seriously  asks re: Tunisia: "The First WikiLeaks Revolution?"  Opens" "Tunisians didn't need any more reasons to protest when they took to the streets these past weeks -- food prices were rising, corruption was rampant, and unemployment was staggering. But we might also count Tunisia as the first time that WikiLeaks pushed people over the brink. These protests are also about the country's utter lack of freedom of expression -- including when it comes to WikiLeaks."

  Big news from the blog kept by Bradley Manning's attorney David Coombs related to lack of speedy trial and the conditions of his confinement.  First:  "On 9 January 2011, the defense filed a demand for speedy trial with the Government.  PFC Manning has been in pretrial confinement since 29 May 2010.  Since 12 July 2010, the case has been on Government requested excludable delay under R.C.M. 707(c).   This delay request by the Government was approved by the court-martial convening authority. The case is currently awaiting the start of a Rule for Courts-Martial (R.C.M.) 706 Board.   This board will likely begin its work in February."

And secondly:  "The defense has raised its objection to the documented confinement conditions of PFC Bradley Manning on multiple occasions with the Quantico confinement facility and the Staff Judge Advocate’s (SJA) Office.  On 5 January 2011, the defense filed a formal complaint with the commander of the Quantico Brig.  On the same day, PFC Manning also filed a formal complaint through the confinement grievance process.  Both complaints requested that the confinement facility remove PFC Manning from Prevention of Injury (POI) watch and that his classification level be reduced from 'Maximum'  to 'Medium Detention In.'  The confinement facility did not respond to either complaint.     

"Due to the lack of response from the confinement facility, the defense, pursuant to the provisions of Rule for Courts-Martial (R.C.M.) 305(g), filed a request earlier today with the Garrison Commander to direct the release of PFC Bradley Manning from pretrial confinement.  This request is based upon the fact that the confinement conditions currently being endured by PFC Manning are more rigorous than necessary to guarantee his presence at trial, and that the concerns raised by the government at the time of pretrial confinement are no longer applicable.  Further steps to address PFC Manning's confinement conditions will be taken, if necessary."

 
Like this Blog Post? Read it on the Nation's free iPhone App, NationNow.
NationNow iPhone App
 

 

Before commenting, please read our Community Guidelines.