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THE WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG for Friday, Day 55 | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

THE WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG for Friday, Day 55

As I've done for more than seven 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.

UPDATE:  Follow the Saturday edition of this blog here.

10:30  Paging Julian Assange -- need you to leak real reasons for Keith Olbermann's exit at MSNBC.

8:00  For J. Assange, Beethoven's "The Ghost." 

5:45 Glenn Greenwald's "tribute" to Joe Lieberman does not, of course, miss Joe's attempts to shut down or shut off or shut up WikiLeaks and Assange.

4:35  Just out, Universal studio has just made deal with the great Alex Gibney to direct doc on Assange, for HBO.  I interviewed Alex recently for The Nation about his current Eliot Spitzer Client 9 film. Gibney, of course, did Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and so many others.  He also told me he is nearly finishing one on Ken Kesey.

4:30  Good legal analysis by Paul Ohm on big story yesterday about WikiLeaks maybe in trouble for allegedly "trolling" for "leaks" off computers.   Not looks doubtful.

3:49 Playing off news that film producers  have optioned the rights to Julian Assange’s forthcoming biography, The Most Dangerous Man in the World, Vanity Fair has a post on other websites that should be movies. One suggestion: eBay.  Wait a minute, didn't we already see that one -- when Meg Whitman ran for Senate?  They’re encouraging readers to suggest their own ideas in the comments section.

1:35  Cables confirm wide U.S. "meddling" in Haiti, from The Guardian.  Gwynne Dyer on same subject here.

1:30  Two leading writers on WikiLeaks team up, as Andy Greenberg of Forbes interviews Evgeny Morozov about his new book and Wiki stuff.

1:15  Yes, besides fully maintaining this blog, I have in the past seven days written 30,000 words for the book and it's almost done.  Should be ready to ship to you in two weeks.

11:55  Rudolf Elmer, bank and tax cheat leaker, to be kept in custody over the weekend.

11:50  Yemen jails journo who blew whistle on U.S. attacks there that killed civilians.  You'll remember that one of the first Cablegate scoops was Yemeni  lies to cover up U.S. air strikes.

11:40  Intrigue over WikiLeaks.com domain name expiring.

11:30  Network World covers FBI warnings on WikiLeaks "phishing" and more.

10:30  An upsurge in heroin from, not Afghanistan, but ... Iran.  New cables from Die Welt, via Aftenposten, via WikiLeaks.

9:15  More from the Wide, Wide World of WikiLeaks: cables on eviction of the Bushmen in Botswana.

9:10  Business Insider joins the fun on proposing celebs to play Assange in movie, also leads, as I did below, with Tilda Swinton.   Photos of candidates there.

9:00 Here's mp3 of me talking some WikiLeaks on radio yesterday.

8:30  TV in India claims it also has Rudolf Elmer bank files given to Assange this week.   Here is press coverage and  its entertaining TV account  (there are four parts in all) and claim that they've "outscooped WikiLeaks."  They've covered Elmer from the beginning. They show some on screen.  Finger "Annapurna" as Indian company as mentioned most, but wonder if political will there to move. 

8:05  More on Manning's defense demanding end to punitiive conditions, from the Wash Post.  Also, FireDogLake to deliver petition with 30,000 signatures this weekend.  :"he circumstances of Manning's confinement have drawn public attention. The United Nations special rapporteur on torture has said he submitted to the State Department a formal inquiry about Manning's treatment."

8:00  News that Bradley Manning's defense has filed an Article 138 complaint, direct from his attorney's blog.  Paul Coombs writes: "The defense asserts that the action of holding PFC Manning in Maximum (MAX) custody, under Prevention of Injury (POI) watch for over five months and recently placing him under suicide risk was an abuse of CWO4 James Averhart’s discretion, and a wrong within the meaning of Article 138, UCMJ."

12:10 Lotta support voiced for the following actors to play Assange, after I posted item down below about first bio-pic about him possibly on the way:  Paul Bettany, Tilda Swinton (she can do anything), Simon Baker, Cate Blanchett (played Dylan, another man of mystery), Matt Damon (Bourne to do it) , Guy Pearce, Julian Sands, Ralph Fiennes, and, yes, David Spade, among others.  Email me your picks (see address at top) or at Twitter @GregMitch.

12:05  Moscow Times with a new piece on Russia's own WikiLeaks up and running. "Most RuLeaks editors are activists of the group's local spinoff, the Pirate Party of Russia, party chairman Pavel Rassudov said Thursday.  The web site will help 'clean up the state,' Rassudov said." That may take a while.

12:00  David Brooks at the NYT with tribute to prime WIkiLeaks antagonist in the Senate, Joe Lieberman, who, thankfully, is not running for another term

From late Thursday: 

Another one of the endless number of fairly minor but fascinating tales that come out of the cables, usually abroad, this one featuring Norway severing ties with WalMart over "ethical" issues.

A lot of WikiLeaks cables this week have talked Turkey and now NYT with a major piece.

Just so you know, WSJ  wants Assange to send his book money to Zimbadwe to cover "collateral damage" he (allegedly) caused.   No word on where Bush should send his much higher checks.

6:30 First sighting of a bio-pic, for big or small screen, reported:  "An upcoming biography of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is set to be turned into a feature film, Variety is reporting.  The Most Dangerous Man in the World, an upcoming biography of Assange penned by Australian reporter Andrew Fowler, has been optioned by Josephson Entertainment, the production company behind TV series Bones, and Michelle Krumm Prods., a production company that appears to be behind absolutely nothing. Barry Josephson, of Josephson Entertainment, said the upcoming film, “is this generation’s suspenseful drama with global impact.”   Cate Blanchett, an Aussie who played Dylan, might be perfect for this role, too.


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