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The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog—Special Weekend Edition! | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog—Special Weekend Edition!

As I've done for more than nine weeks now, 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.  You can contact me at epic1934@aol.comRead about or order my new book, "The Age of WikiLeaksFrom Collateral Murder to Cablegate,"   here.

UPDATE:  Go here for Monday's blog.

**SUNDAY**

9:40  Andy Greenberg of Forbes on that CBS poll we noted earlier with 42% saying they didn't really know what the hell WikiLeaks is.   Also notes the online  CBS poll finds  70%  approving of Wikileaks where only 9% felt that way in scientific poll.  He also reviews "60 Minutes" -- which likely boosted WikiLeaks approval ratings.

9:10  @WLLegal tweets: "Kroft's report 2 weeks ago http://bit.ly/fxM1BP He clearly cites the Yemen cables, though he (strangely) doesn't mention #Wikileaks by name."

8:10  In "overtime" segment, CBS posts video on interviewing Assange -- Kroft much more favorable than in interview and even says flatly that, yes, he does feel Assange IS a journalist and IS a publisher.  Says stereotypes about Assange mainly false.  Interviewed for six hours, disrupted by having to go to police station. Many more extras here. 

7:45  Plus: "60 Minutes"  needs to correct error-- Assange did NOT decide to share cables with NYT -- the Guardian did against his wishes.

7:40  Feeble "60 Minutes" effort by Steve Kroft--among other things, acted like the media also publishes classified info all the time.  Assange hit several questions out of the park, and likely encouraging more leaks and money to WikiLeaks.  This seems to be consensus on Twitter from people who have followed this issue closely. 

6:10   @WikiLeaks feed hits The Guardian for extract from book:  "Guardian names Manning as source.  Sarah Tisdall mark 2. The slimiest media organization in the UK....  It should be noted, that as far as we know, neither we, nor the Guardian have any inside knowledge as to who the sources are."  David Leigh of The Guardian fires right back:  "All the #guardian book says abt bradley manning is already in public domain. Of course we don't name a 'source'. Why Lie, Julian?"   And;"  You won't go to heaven if you lie about the #Guardian book.  You'll go somewhere else." 

5:05  Update on my item yesterday on Bradley Manning as UK citizen.  Full report from "UK Friends of Bradley Manning."

4:00 What, WikiLeaks has not leaked tape of tonight's "60 Minutes" yet???   @Calixte tweets:  "They're waiting for the most politically damaging moment to release the tape."

3:15  The Guardian starts to post stuff from its book to be published tomorrow.  Nothing here is new at all, even the Assange dressing up as woman, but we'll see what else is to come.  Here is Guardian profile of Assange as young hacker. Oh, BTW, my new book here.

2:30  New CBS poll:  Only 9% of American say WikiLeaks is a "good thing." On the other hand, over 40% still don't know the hell it is.   23% say "destructive but legal."   22% "treasonous."

11:05   My brand-new book: This is the only place it can be purchased now, with no Amazon or store sales.   It's a 156-page paperback, selling for $11.95, and can be shipped all over the world.  Hailed by Dan Ellsberg and Glenn Greenwald.  You can preview the first 15 pages. Covers events through this week.  First excerpt from book at Huff Post -- on Assange in the "bunker" in Iceland working on the Collateral Murder tape from Iraq.

7:55  Assange on "60 Minutes" tonite -- and only football competition is the useless Pro Bowl.

7:45 The Overnight Report (by Asher Wolf)  Wikileaks has been tweeting at a rapid pace in recent hours:  releasing cables; noting the upcoming talk at Columbia Journalism School featuring WikiLeaks "detractors" (NYT ed. Keller and Guardian ed. Rusbridger)  ; and criticizing Vodaphone for shutting off SMS within Egypt. ....Bernard Keane of Crikey.com has a new article out examining the arrests of a number of Anonymous members, their relationship to Wikileaks and the current uprising in Egypt. 

12:15  AFP:  Norwegian paper Aftenposten still won't say how it got the entire WikiLeaks cable dump.  Also, seems like a  dispute, where Assange says they are a "partner" while they claim they are freelance.

SATURDAY

11:10  Is Qaddafi the next to go in Libya?  Philip Shenon at Daily Beast looks at new cable release  -- featuring cameo by Beyonce and her $1 million payday (and yes, that's a photo of her at left at that very party-)  that could spell trouble, and more.

10:30  Good summary (bringing together some stuff we've already linked and WikiLeaks cables) on Egypt's Suleiman and torture / rendition past. 

10:25  From @WikiLeaks  "Cable: "Presidential succession in Egypt" http://wikileaks.ch/cable/2007/05/07CAIRO1417.html "  Calls it "the elephant in the room." No kidding.  Rampaging elephant.  CNN video on that cable.

9:50  UK paper The Independent on upcoming books by  NYT and Guardian: "WikiLeaks Collaborators Get Their Knives Out."    And here Marcy Wheeler at FDL reviews the four versions now  (from NYT, Guardian, Der Spiegel, Vanity Fair) of what the "collaborators" allowed to be withheld from the cables after State Dept. voiced concerns.

8:45  Yet another raid in the FBI crackdown on "Anonymous." This one a student in Conn. who admits he is linked to hacktavist group.  (h/t Kevin Gosztola)

8:05  Don't miss new, fairly sympathetic  Guardian interview with Assange at the manor while he takes break for releasing Egypt cables.  "This should be one of the great days in the history of his organisation: Assange and a group of his colleagues huddled over a thicket of laptop computers, downloading, following events, sharing news and occasionally whooping at it. It is one hell of an hour in WikiLand, but a weird one, too, for other things are also on Assange's mind." For one thing, the upcoming Guardian and NYT's books that paint him in poor light at times.  Assange gets chance to answer critics.

7:50 For  a good laugh, check out this Doyle McManus column in L.A. Times.  He used to be a very good journalist but this is a howler.  Even as WikiLeaks gets wide praise for its Tunisia and Egypt cables, he says they are "over."  He takes at face valueassertion that leaks from past year could never happen again.  And this: " The question is, now that we've survived WikiLeaks, what have we learned? The WikiLeaks documents contained few blockbusters...."  

6:45  We linked to portion to Jane Mayer's book on Egypt's new #2 Suleiman -- now she's done short piece for The New Yorker.

5:55  Yes, Assange on "60 Minutes" is one thing, but @WikiLeaks feed reminds us:  "Assange full extradition case will start Tues Feb 7 Belmarsh Magistrates Court." 

4:50  Search tool for cables already published appears to be a good one, let me know if this is true.

4:05  It appears that, after some uncertainty, Assange himself has managed to secure the domain rights to WikiLeaks.com

3:25  From @WLLegal on Egyptian strong man:  "Omar Suleiman's role in the CIA's rendition/torture program from Stephen Grey's book Ghost Plan  http://bit.ly/hU3nZy ."  And:  "In The Dark Side, Jane Mayer wrote that Omar Suleiman, Egypt's  new VP, coordinated the CIA rendition/torture program.  http://bit.ly/hVZhST "

3:15  New link to the only site where you can order my brand new WikiLeaks book, The Age of WikiLeaks.  And thank you for two months of support for this blog!

1:30 Just got email from Chris McGreal,  Guardian correspondent in Washington, D.C., responding to my item earlier  today about Bradley Manning as (possible) British citizen.  Here, with his permission, from the email:  "I think you are almost certainly right about him being a British citizen at birth through his mother who still lives in Wales. It maybe that he even obtained a British passport because, as the Daily Mail reports today, he went to Tasker Milward secondary school in Haverfordwest for a number of years before returning to his father. Which means he either entered the UK with a British passport or would have had to have obtained some kind of visa in his US passport that recognised his right to be in the UK through citizenship. Either way, there must have been some form of official British recognition of his UK citizenship for him to have gone to school in Wales."   If he is a citizen,  British authorities  would normally take an interest in the case, visit him in prison, etc.

1:20  From ace Twitter feed of @WLLegal:  "cables on Omar Suleiman, the new Egyptian VP: http://bit.ly/gFOK78 http://bit.ly/eI3Z8o http://bit.ly/h4Mm8w "

11:55  Michael Moore backs new video project "in defense of WikiLeaks."

11:40  Adam Penenberg, the writer and NYU prof,  argues in Wash Post:  Yeah, Assange has his flaws, by he is indeed a journalist. "Times editor Keller, who worked closely with Assange, has said that if Assange is 'a journalist, he's not the kind of journalist that I am,'  nor is WikiLeaks 'my kind of news organization.'  It's not, however, Keller's or Schumer's definition of journalism that is relevant. It's the definition under the law."

10:30  Big claim by Michael Hirsh at the National Journal:  "The current popular unrest in the Arab world has a lot of lessons for Washington. Undoubtedly one of the most jarring is this: The leak of a simple series of cables from a U.S. ambassador in an obscure country — officially condemned by Washington — may have done more to inspire democracy in the Arab world than did a bloody, decadelong, trillion-dollar war effort orchestrated by the United States."

9:00 Had this yesterday but you may have missed, here's Der Spiegel's account of dealing with Assange.  Naturally, they are also doing a book.

7:55  The Guardian's live blog on Egypt events a must-read.  Notes China  has blocked the word "Egypt" from Twitter, fearing it could spread unrest.  Like, "We are all Egyptians" or "I am Egypt"?

7:50  Raffi Khatchadourian of the New Yorker (an featured in excerpt, below)  tweets:  "Buried in #WikiLeaks Egypt cables is an estimate that's stayed with me today: 1.4 million children working in 'forced labor'  in Yemen. True?"

7:35  The Overnight Report (by Asher Wolf):    Three Tamil plaintiffs whose family members died as a result of alleged war crimes will test the use of Wikileaks cables as admissible evidence in a U.S. Court.....Germany's Justice Minister has thanked WikiLeaks for raising U.S. public awareness and concern about privacy regulation .... Rep. Ron Paul revealed the April Glaspie Baghdad cable - released by Wikileaks - to Congress  (video)....Greg Mitchell's newly published book 'The Age of Wikileaks' has received a very important endorsement:  as @Wikileaks tweets,  "Order now!"

7:20  Another critical review of Bill Keller's NYT piece, at WL Central.  Alse see below for item on his PBS interview last night.

7:10  Yes, it would surprise most people to learn that Bradley Manning is also a British citizen.

FRIDAY NIGHT

11:05  Wash Post, which has blasted WikiLeaks and said over and over "nothing new" in the cables, now doing an interesting crowd-sourcing effort on the cables.  Even credits WikiLeaks with redacting.  Major push.  This all from a paper that has mocked WikiLeaks releases every time. 

9:30  Transcript of NYT editor Bill Keller on the Lehrer "NewsHour" tonight with more comments on Assange and WikiLeaks that may drive you up the wall.  Too many to count.  Things to remember about Keller: backed Iraq invasion, called himself "liberal hawk," backed Judy Miller to the hilt.   Marcy Wheeler adds:  "You forgot: Sat on illegal wiretap story for a year."   Which helped re-elect Bush.

9:20  CBS releases brief clip of Assange on '60 Minutes" on bank leak.   Reuters with more from Assange on 60 Minutes:  He is enjoying watching banks "squirm". Won't confirm target.   For more down below a bit.

6:40  First excerpts from Assange on "60 Minutes" this Sunday “The U.S. does not have the technology to take the site down,” Assange tells Steve Kroft. “Just the way our technology is constructed, the way the Internet is constructed, it’s quite hard to stop things reappearing. We’ve had attacks on particular domain names. Little pieces of infrastructure — knocked out. But we now have some 2,000 fully independent in every way websites, where we’re publishing around the world. …It’s not possible to do.”   Kroft asks: “You have made some of the most powerful people in the world your enemies. You had to expect that they might retaliate.”    Assange says: “I fully expected they’ll retaliate … Well, they see it as highly embarrassing. I think what it’s really about is keeping the illusion of control. I’m not surprised about that. I am surprised at … the sort of flagrant disregard for U.S. traditions.”

6:30  Interesting:  A claim that WikiLeaks cables on Egypt released not htis week but in early December, and published by indie paper there, had something to do with current revolt.

6:10  Amazing report on dorm room invasion at Georgia Tech tied to FBI search for Anonymous hackers tied to WikiLeaks protest.  From Atlanta TV.   Kid loses passports and much else, not charged, he claims just visited Anonymous chat room.

5:00 Mark Hosenball at Reuters just out with good piece on WikiLeaks type sites sprouting all over Europe, from Brussels to the Balkans -- Assange, The Next Generation.

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