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The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS Blog for Wednesday, Day 67 | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS Blog for Wednesday, Day 67

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

UPDATE:  Here's Thursday's edition of this blog.

9:15  Lengthy report here from the Deadline: Hollywood folks on Bill Keller's NYT Magazine cover story just snapped up for possible movie by screenwriter of Hurt Locker and exec producer of True Grit.  (I can't remember, did Keller tweak Assange in that piece for making money off WikiLeaks?)  Story also has wrap up on other movies in the works on Assange (Paul Greengrass to direct?). Few of these projects ever get far, but who knows.

7:00 Business Insider on latest cables and what they reveal as U.S. top concern: CBW.

5:40  New cables from Aftenposten on Jordan, and we don't mean Michael.  Articles not translated but you can read cables.  A journalist there emails me:  "There’s a lot of good stuff in there, especially regarding King Abdullah. Apparently he’s not as reform-friendly as he likes to seem. The diplomats call him 'sphinx-like' and describe a Monarch at odds with the people he appoints to lead the country." 

5:15  Noam Chomsky finally weighs in on WikiLeaks (in discussing current Egypt crisis).  He agrees that cables at times testify to America's "nobility, " with diplomats not "asleep at the switch"  -- even "while Washington marches stalwartly toward disaster."

4:40  New from Dave Winer: Does Assange have an agenda? Should we care?   "Overall, it's an embarassment the way American journalists conduct themselves re:  Assange and WikiLeaks. We can easily see the contradictions and faked naivete in their questions. They must not care that we see it."

4:25  The Telegraph just launched (as it were) bunch of cables on U.S. - China "Star Wars" space race, including stuff on each shooting down their own satellites as tests, U.S. threatening action against China, and much more.  Up to one year ago.   "The warning continued: 'Any purposeful interference with US space systems will be interpreted by the United States as an infringement of its rights and considered an escalation in a crisis or conflict. 'The United States reserves the right, consistent with the UN Charter and international law, to defend and protect its space systems with a wide range of options, from diplomatic to military.'”  Useful timeline here. 

3:20  (AP) The lawyer for a U.S. Army private suspected of leaking classified material to WikiLeaks says his client does not hold dual U.S.-British citizenship. The statement Wednesday by attorney David Coombs deflates an effort by Amnesty International to get British authorities involved in a dispute over the conditions of Pfc. Bradley Manning's pretrial confnement.   Because Manning's mother is Welsh, some had speculated that the soldier had dual citizenship.  Amnesty had asked British authorities on Tuesday to get involved should it be established that Manning was British.

2:40  David Leigh of The Guardian responds to WikiLeaks threat (see below):  "Goodness! Malicious libels in the Guardian ? This will be the free speech case of the century. You're having a laugh, aren't you?"

2:05 Die Welt with cables on U.S. pulling soldiers out of Germany beyond what is commonly known.

2:00 We had this earlier but now an updated AP report on WikiLeaks nominated for Nobel Prize.

1:30  Raising the stakes, @WikiLeaks feed just now: "The Guardian book serialization contains malicious libels. We will be taking action."  Had previously denounced alleged "smears" but now this is legal language.  

12:30  Just scheduled, doing book salon "chat" at FireDogLake on Thursday re: new book, details here.

11:20  Here's direct link to the Egypt questionnaire below for our embassy there.  One sample: "...even though there is significant corruption within the police apparatus, this does not negatively affect their creditable support for American and other diplomatic missions. While not always the case, the most common corruption is met with some Egyptian cultural acceptance. Although it does affect the professional capabilities of the security services." 

11:15  Good tip from The Guardian blog: "In the first half of 2009, the US State Department sent what it called security environment profile questionnaires to various embassies. Aftenposten, the Norwegian newspaper, has published the completed questionnaires for Tunis, Cairo and Alexandra. "

11:10 Nice blog bit here at NYT on Assange using phrase to describe daily civilian casualties as "the car crashes of war" not covered by the media who only care about the big "bus crashes."

10:45  My new book: This is the only place it can be purchased now, with no Amazon or store sales.   It sells for $11.95, and can be shipped all over the world.  Hailed by Dan Ellsberg and Glenn Greenwald.   Covers events right through last  week.

10:35  NPR picks up excerpt from my book  on the NYT vs. Assange battle

10:20  I remember when this incident surfaced awhile back -- the Spanish politician whose picture was used to represent bin Laden (they did look alike).  Now there's a cable released about it.

9:15 Even though Assange spurned Guardian for The Telegraph, the Guardian WikiLeaks blog still with full coverage of the latest at rival paper.

9:10 Another excerpt from my book, this one on "Beyond WikiLeaks"--the new competitors for leaks.

7:35 You've never heard much about the hactivist attacks on WikiLeaks, but here's Guardian account of what happened the first day the cables were released last November.

7:30  Much more from the Telegraph with new cables on nuclear threats, al-Qaeda pursuit of "dirty bomb," and more.  Plus:  "Teddy Bear" bombs smuggled onboard flights.    "Security briefings suggest that jihadi groups are also close to producing 'workable and efficient' biological and chemical weapons that could kill thousands if unleashed in attacks on the West.  Thousands of classified American cables obtained by the WikiLeaks website and passed to The Daily Telegraph detail the international struggle to stop the spread of weapons-grade nuclear, chemical and biological material around the globe."

7:25  The Overnight Report (by Asher Wolf)  The Telegraph reports cables show ex-PM Gordon Brown ordered Pakistani president to kill Osama bin Laden...The FBI hunt for Anonymous members who engaged in DDoS action heads to San Diego and "zombies"... Romanian TV has a good new interview with Assange...Peter Kemp, an Australian lawyer (NSW Supreme Court) responds to PM Gillard's comments denying Assange help with an open letter at WLCentral. 

7:20  Freedom of Info panel in London includes Assange lawyer and debate on whistleblowing doing more harm than good.

12:20 Amazon not banishing WikiLeaks here.

12:00  Wash Post:  Anonymous official plays down Daily Telegraph report on cable (see below) about 9/11 plotters who got away, saying "no manhunt" and it "washed out."

From late Tuesday

Wash Post with big take on what was mainly first reported by McClatchy last week--on mental health specialist advising that Bradley Manning not be sent to Iraq.   Report attributes much of this to Manning's problems with a "personal relationship." Some have accused Army of "leaking" this infomation now.

NY Magazine covers the WikiLeaks 9/11 cables and the plotters who got away that we noted earlier below.

And the hits keep on coming: new cable with report on radioactive uranium from U.S. allegedly found in the Philippines in 2007, nine bricks, for sale.

I noted earlier this very angle, but here's Marcy Wheeler at FDL on NYT turning over cables to State Dept before publishing while Guardian refused.

Seemingly major news break via WikiLeaks' new partnership with The Telegraph -- the 9/11 plotters who got away.  From Qatar.  Not sure what to make of it -- perhaps old story, much ado about little  --  but in several parts, here's one.  And here's another, on how they fled to London.  And this on how our 9/11 Commission mentioned that such accomplices might have existed and fled.

 Lengthy MediaShift account of former TV newsman Marvin Kalb interviewing Bill Keller and Dean Baquet of NYT for his Kalb Report.  In section on WIkiLeaks, Kalb hits Times as an "enabler" of the group.  Keller admits they are a "vigilante" group.  Baquet defends more strongly, says thanks to them we learned a lot about current U.S. wars and more.   Keller kept hitting Assange. 

Amnesty International declares flatly that Bradley Manning is a UK citizen and UK gov't should intervene and protest his harsh and "punitive" confinement.  

From "Collater...
By GREG MITCHELL
 

 

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