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The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEW BLOG—Special Weekend Edition! | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEW BLOG—Special Weekend Edition!

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.com. Read about or order my new book, The Age of WikiLeaks: From Collateral Murder to Cablegate, here. 

UPDATE   Go here for Monday edition  of this blog.  Day 72.   Assange hearing etc.

*SUNDAY*

11:05 Man, I am a sucker for any Somali pirates cables, and here's a good one, via Foreign Policy.

10:10 See at 3:20 below, Assange leaking final score of game, 31-28 Packers.

10:05  New NYT piece on OpenLeaks takes more swipes at WikiLeaks--by guy who co-wrote with John Burns the famous anti-Assange profile last October.  "In private, Mr. Assange has told reporters that the spate of defections shut down the complex computer systems WikiLeaks uses to process new information and make it hard for governments and corporations to trace its source."

10:00  WikiLeaks releases, and writes, about cable with Yemeni leader hold prisoners on behalf of U.S. without evidence -- and begging for a visit with President Bush while demanding new military equipment.

8:55 WikiLeaks finally posts promised "Roundtable," sort of a sleepy Assange video press conference, below.  To get around the press who "suck up to power."  Mainly talks about press.  Hits NYT on several scores, sitting on stories, showing cables to State Dept., and so on.  Greatest touch: my hero Beethoven over his right shoulder.  "All Men Are Brothers," indeed.

7:15  The allegedly anti-Assange BBC "Panorama" special coming tomorrow night -- right in the middle of his extradition hearing.  Here's how The Guardian writes it up tonight:  "Who blows the whistle on the whistleblowers? In Panorama, John Sweeney investigates claims that the zeal of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for transparency in governmental affairs does not extend to its own organisation."

5:45  I'm told Assange hearing Monday starts at 10 am in London, meaning 5 in New York.  I am dedicated, but not THAT dedicated.

5:10  Just uploaded book for e-book, should be available in a day or two, will keep you updated, will only be $4.99.   Of course, the print book is only $11.99!

5:00  Former Ambassdaor @CarneRoss at twitter is highlighting latest cables releases, some good ones.

3:20  Assange just leaked final score of Super Bowl:  31-28.  (Oh, the winner: Packers.)

1:50  Financial Times with full take on cables showing U.S. has "faith" in Suleiman. "The dispatches also disclose that Mr Suleiman has authorised draconian steps to prevent African migrants from entering the Sinai Peninsula en route to Israel, a path trodden by many Sudanese refugees. A November 2007 cable quotes Mr Suleiman as saying that he is preventing 'all black people from accessing the Sinai, even as tourists'”.

12:15  AP with a new Q & A on Assange hearing tomorrow, British and Swedish law, possible jail penalty,  etc.

10:15  Good piece in Haaretz on what cables show about Egypt's Suleiman, including how he has demonized Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, raising questions about whether he can ever be seen as an "honest broker." And then there was the rendition and torture....

10:05  Great piece at Foreign Policy on new cables re: Afghanistan, and Karzai admitting that recent prez election there could hardly be fair, also defends kicking out contractors,  assesses Obama, and says "reconciliation" with Taliban inevitable and what people want.

9:45  Wash Post claims Assange's legal battle threatens to overwhelm WikiLeaks work. 

9:40  Assange extradition hearing starts tomorrow, to run two days, they say.  Will be many links for previews and opinions on this, from all views.   Here's one, and here's take on Assange lawyers' plans.

9:30    My book is already out in a second edition, with updates from the past week or so. Price remains ultra-low at $11.95. Contact me for special rates on bulk, copies for fundraising, etc. Six free excerpts here.

9:00  The Overnight Report (by Asher Wolf):   Brett Assange spoke at a Wikileaks rally in Sydney, urging support for his step-son Julian Assange http://bit.ly/hKgHFK (vid) / article: http://is.gd/77ali0 ... ABC Radio National (Australia) has just released an extensive Wikileaks radio documentary, including an interview with David House.  http://bit.ly/at6v1 ... U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice stated WikiLeaks' had little impact other than "a few days of awkwardness and a little bit of teasing." http://is.gd/6QLOfZ ... 

* SATURDAY *

11:40  The Guardian on the lighter side of the cables, written by bored diplomats in the backwaters.  Includes, a report on the Rolling Stones backing out of playing a gig to mark the 800th anniversary of .... Mongolia.  Who replaced them? The old German rockers The Scorpions. 

10:00 The Index on Censorship tried to get some answers from Wikileaks on the Israel Shamir / Belarus rumors and apparently made little headway.

9:20  Cables on Amr Moussa as possible successor to Mubarak.

6:00  @WLLegal tweets:  "NYT Public Editor lauds new journalism partners like @ProPublica, but makes sure to repeat #Wikileaks just "a source." http://nyti.ms/erdMFF "

4:20  State Dept. denies any news in the hotly-reported cable on U.S. divulging UK nuke sub secrets to Russia.  Our old friend PJ Crowley calls it  "bunk," via Time magazine.

3:10  A sense of hummus: Andy Borowitz jokes that WikiLeaks has leaked details of Mubarak’s severance package—he gets a ton of money but can’t be dictator of another country for six months.

2:10  Bush banned: Did WikiLeaks revelations of past year contribute to this? (AP) A visit by former President George W. Bush to Switzerland this week has been canceled because of security concerns, as the threat of mass protests loomed and the possibility emerged of a legal case against him for ordering torture. Mr. Bush was informed Friday by the charity he planned to address in Geneva, the United Israel Appeal, that his Feb. 12 dinner speech had been called off, said his spokesman, David Sherzer.

“The Swiss daily newspaper Tribune de Genève reported Saturday that the charity feared that protests against Mr. Bush planned by left-wing groups could result in violence.… Protest organizers had called for participants to each bring a shoe to the rally outside the lakeside Hotel Wilson where the dinner was to be held. The shoe was meant to recall the one an Iraqi journalist threw at Mr. Bush during a news conference in 2008.”

12:40  From WSJ: Hackers have repeatedly penetrated NASDAQ Stock Market computers, “and federal investigators are trying to identify the perpetrators and their purpose, according to people familiar with the matter…. Investigators are considering a range of possible motives, including unlawful financial gain, theft of trade secrets and a national-security threat designed to damage the exchange.… The Nasdaq situation has set off alarms within the government because of the exchange’s critical role, which officials put right up with power companies and air-traffic-control operations, all part of the nation’s basic infrastructure.” (h/t Maegan Carberry)

12:35  More on Milosevic in prison: Listening to Sinatra, reading trashy thriller, but “I Did It, My Way.”

11:00  Guardian video, “WikiLeaks and the Month that Shook Diplomacy.”

10:15  @WikiLeaks tweets: WikiLeaks releases over 800 secret cables today http://wikileaks.ch/reldate/2011-02-04_0.html

10:00  From AP: “Leaked U.S. diplomatic cables reveal that British officials initially considered Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari a ‘numbskull’ who would not last long in office. In cables released Saturday by the WikiLeaks website, British officials offer a pessimistic assessment of Pakistan’s prospects faced with financial turmoil and Taliban violence.”

9:55  My piece at The Nation: “Bradley Manning and the Tomb of the Well-Known Soldier.”

9:15  The Guardian reviews mixed signals on what US really intends to do to go after Assange.

9:05  Arianna Huffington op-ed: Yes, media published WikiLeaks cables but didn’t know quite what to do with them.

8:25  The Guardian’s view of how collaboration with Assange fell apart by Ian Katz, who also points out what they accomplished and “disappointing” end. He cites as one reason for Assange anger something I wrote about first (I think): the original listing of the Guardian book at Amazon with “the rise and fall of WikiLeaks” as its subtitle. The Guardian called this a “production error” but Assange was alarmed.

8:15  The Overnight Report (by Asher Wolf): David Miliband (former UK foreign secretary) writes in Guardian that Cablegate is NOT the “end of secrecy” or diplomacy. The Index on Censorship renews concerns at use of cables in Belarus against opposition actvists… The Telegraph continues to release WikiLeaks cables, including articles on Thailand’s royal pet and how millions in overseas aid to Africa was embezzled… Donald Bostrom, a Swedish journalist who knows both Assange and the two Swedish accusers, has raised questions about the veracity of the allegations

12:05 To mark the WikiLeaks phenomenon, the Egypt protests and the hideous Reagan tributes to come this weekend for his 100th birthday—one of the greatest rock ‘n roll songs ever, Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” (written just after Reagan left office).

12:00  Assange speech screened at rally in Australia on Thursday. For one thing, makes distinction between private and public privacy. Also, “I am a publisher…I am a journalist.”

LATE FRIDAY

9:40  Latest big news cable from the Telegraph: US supposedly shared British nuclear secrets with… the Russians.

8:35  My HuffPost piece on Bradley Manning case and conditions has now drawn over 125 comments, see why.

7:40  Tim Wu at Foreign Policy says US should drop pursuing case against Assange.

7:30  We noted yesterday that Rep. Kucinich had sent letter to Pentagon chief Gates protesting conditions of Manning’s confinement. Now he says he wants to visit the prisoner.

3:40  Today’s laff: This might be the greatest WikiLeaks article yet. UFOlogist claims Assange in 60 Minutes interview was telling people in code that he is an alient from space and the coming “battle will be bloody.”

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