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The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Thursday, Day 68 | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Thursday, Day 68

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: Go to Friday's blog here.

10:55 Wired on tonight's Columbia U event with NYT and Guardian eds and more (and see a few items below).

10:40  Four excerpts from my book now published, latest here on the 32 major revelations that have already come out of Cablegate (and that doesn't count latest on Egypt).  Thanks to The Nation's Kevin Gosztola for getting another excerpt, on the Collateral Murder video, up at WL Central.   In the wonders of modern publishing, book already updated with events of past week.

10:25  New cable reveals ransom paid -- to al-Qaeda -- two release two Canadian diplomats two years ago,  Toronto's Globe & Mail reports. Has always been mystery.  "The document does not divulge any ransom amount or which governments may have paid into it."

8:40  Bloomberg: Assange May Gain From Swedish `Haste' in Extradition.

8:20  Foreign Policy on 7 new cables released today on Egypt torture. "These particular cables no doubt were released when they were to drive home the hypocrisy of the U.S. government's dealings with the Mubarak, and they do that quite handily."

7:40  More from Columbia U forum (see below): Bart Gellman tweets, "Harvard's Jack Goldsmith: indicting Wikileaks, even if USG loses, has dangerous implications for 1st Amd and journalists."   Laura Flanders:  "Der Spiegel and Guardian both considering setting up their own #Wikileaks "drop boxes" but not so simple."   @GregMItch: "Hoping someone asks Keller why he didn't fire Judy Miller, in fact stood by her for two years."

7:35  A highlight from live steam of Keller-Rusbridger panel (see below), tweet from Carne Ross: "frmr US Assis Atty Gen suggests US charges agst  Assanage are likely thx 2 political pressure."  @WLLegal: 

 

"Keller's voice is dripping with condescension every time he talks about his relationship w/ Assange."

6:15  Good to see techies weighing in on yesterday's cables, via Telegraph, on China-U.S. space "battle" -- here's MIT's esteemed Technology Review.

5:55 Reminder, live stream tonite at 7 from Columbia U., NYT and Guardian eds on WikiLeaks.

5:00 Telegraph cables today focus on terrorist threat in UK (Mainly homegrown).

4:50  Japan has been pretty much left out of WL cables so far, but WSJ helps remedy that, covering Japan banks and Iran.  (h/t Kevin Gosztola)

3:25  Rep. Dennis Kucinich just released letter to Robert Gates asking him to end "extreme conditions" of confinement of Bradley Manning "and provide him with the mental health treatment that the Army recognized he needed even before his deployment to Iraq. At the very least, the Army must explain the justification for confining someone with mental health problems under conditions that are virtually certain to exacerbate those problems and explain the danger he now presents that only these extreme conditions of confinement can avoid."  Even cites Glenn Greenwald.

3:20   Reminder: I'll be doing live chat re: my book at FireDogLake's salon at 3:30 ET.

2:00 If you are curious on how the rightwing sees NYT defending ties to WikiLeaks.

1:15   My Nation colleague Kevin Gosztola on today as national "call-in day" re:  Bradley Manning.

1:10  Good rundown of key cables on Egypt and how we should-have-known from YaleGlobal.

12:35 Got to appreciate their transparency at least: Air Force posts release sent out forbidding checking out WikiLeaks docs.   "DO NOT access the WikiLeaks information on government or personal computers; DO treat the leaked material like any other content assumed to be classified. Classified information does not automatically become declassified as a result of unauthorized disclosure, and accessing the WikiLeaks site would introduce potentially classified information on unclassified networks."

11:50  Today's panel at Columbia U with Bill Keller and Guardian ed will be live-streamed here.

11:05 WikiLeaks' tweet yesterday threatening action against The Guardian for "malicious libel" gets a critical review here.

10:50 More from Micah Sifry's notes (see below):  Graham Allison: "What's the difference between WikiLeaks and WoodwardLeaks?" Great question. And from Joe Nye: Idea of prosecuting Assange is a terrible mistake. If he had never been born, something like this would have happened anyway.

10:40  My new piece on "Cablegate to Date" includes, maybe, first list of nearly all of the major cable revelations to date.

10:35: Reminder: I'll be doing live chat re: my book at FireDogLake's salon at 3:30 ET.  Reuters has just included book in its review of new books on subject.

10:00 Micah Sifry live-noting WikiLeaks forum at Shorenstein Center at Harvard right now, see list of names there. He paraphrases NYT's David Sanger on how they handled Cablegate:  "Focused on subjects that were most in the news. Clearly we didn't spend enough time on the material on Egypt, tho not clear that would have helped."  Also Sanger reveals (first time I've seen) the number of cables Times showed to State Dept first: 100 to 150, and it was every one they planned to cite.

9:50  We covered this yesterday but now here is AP on cable showing U.S. lacks faith in reforms in Jordan.

9:15 Bill Keller of NYT was on Charlie Rose last night pushing the book (and he just got movie deal, see below).  I didn't catch it but a faithful  reader "EM" tells me he again pushed Assange-not-a-journalist meme but at least said that he is a publisher.  These characterizations would all play a part in a DOJ case against Assange.  Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes ended up calling Assange both a journo and a publisher.

9:10  Not even an old Hummer?  Love this based on new cable:  "Iran's missile launchers towed by Peugeots. Family cars made by Fiat, Peugeot and Renault are being used as missile platforms by the Iranian armed forces because of their difficulty obtaining proper military vehicles, leaked cables show."

8:15  New at The Guardian: a full look at how much WikiLeaks cable played strong role in Tunisia revolts (and what has followed).

8:10  WikiLeaks cable:  Google and State Department talked to unblock Egyptian vids

8:00  Kaspersky: Spammers exploiting WikiLeaks name.

7:45 Now we know we should take this seriously: Perez Hilton weighs in on Assange's Nobel Peace Prize nomination : Winning the prize would  "be making one hell of a statement against censorship." 

7:40  The Overnight Report (by Asher Wolf):  As protests heat up Wikileaks releases cables on "rampant official corruption" in Yemen. "Salih's feet must be held to the fire." ...The Telegraph publishes a slew of Wikileaks cables, including cables claiming  Treasury 'slow to act in blocking terrorist finance' ...British firms made millions from trading with Iranians ....Chinese weapons have fallen into hands of Iraqi and Afghanistani insurgents....Vanished FBI officer Robert Levinson 'held by Iranian Revolutionary Guards'

12:20  WikiLeaks released many more cables re: Egypt tonight, here is one on torture / abuse.

12:05  WikiLeaks and/or Assange defense fund now seems to be able to get money via PayPal, if roundabout.

12:00 Interesting look ahead to Assange's extradition hearing next week, but beyond that to the U.S. case against him and his standing as a "journalist' as viewed by The Guardian and NYT, and more.

From late Wednesday

I'll be doing a book salon chat at Fire Dog Lake at 3:30 on Thursday afternoon. My new book now updated in a 2nd edition: This is the only place it can purchased now, with no Amazon or store sales.   It sells for $11.95, and can be shipped all over the world. 

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.

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

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."

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."

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. 

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.

 

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