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The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Monday, Day 72 | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Monday, Day 72

As I’ve done for more than ten 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. 

11:25  Another shocking leak released!  Actually it's just a little antifreeze or engine oil on the New York City pavement, shot by yours truly.

Car engine leakage, NYC street

9:10 Fun piece by Rundle at Crikey about sneaking into Assange hearing today with "Wiki Kids" and Bianca Jagger.  Good joke about guards asking John Burns to check his "hatchet" at the door, and then in truth Assange and Burns studiously avoiding each other on a lunch break.

9:00 Guardian editorial on their man Luke Harding getting the boot out of Russia (we had much on this earlier), probably due to WikiLeaks reporting.

7:15  New cable on Egypt -- see #6c for great take on Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and the regime.

7:10  I've appreciated the dozens of letters and tweets I've gotten from people around the globe who say they want to order a copy of my new WikiLeaks book but find the shipping costs to some countries prohibitive (despite the low cover price of $11.95).  Soon, tomorrow or Wednesday, they'll be able to get it on Kindle or various Kindle apps for the web, iPad, Blackberry, Android and other places, for just $4.99.   Print page still here.   I'll let you know when e-book avaiilable.

5:55  I'm told much-touted BBC Panorama show on WikiLeaks postponed tonite for Egypt show --simply more timely or too close to Assange hearing?

5:50  Andy Greenberg at Forbes tells us he corrected earlier link (which we carried) to the online store now sellng WikiLeaks items as fundraising tool fo group.  Here, he says, is correct site.

5:15   Telegraph suggests new cables show Egypt's Suleiman as Israel's man in Cairo, with a "hot line" set up to chat with him, and Israelis viewing him as most likely to succeed Mubarak (as now seems possible).

4:20  Now NYT covers Guardian reporter who has covered WikiLeaks getting booted from Russia today (see much more below this afternoon)

2:50  Esther Addley of Guardian with full piece on Assange hearing today.  Much, much more below here on this blog.

2:40  We said from the beginning this was true, despite rumors that Assange had cables attesting to UFOs, but now Andy Greenberg of Forbes confirms:  "Assange says WikiLeaks' UFO-related cables are more about the Raelian cult than alien life http://bit.ly/gsJHod ."

2:25    I may have been first to link to the document in question here last week, but this is a good new analysis of Air Force claiming if employees--or their family members--even access WikiLeaks docs they could be in violation of the Espionage Act.   Spencer Ackerman at Wired also covers with a "Mamas Don't Let Your Kiddies Grow Up To Read WikiLeaks" feel.  UPDATE:  Air Force now has pulled the original directive, after much ridicule, and says it is re-thinking.

2:05 More on below:  Luke Harding tweets: "Russia has expelled me from Moscow. Stopped at pass control, put in a locked cell and deported. No explanation given." David Leigh of the Guardian gets in a dig at Assange: "Depressing:  #Assange allies #Wikileaks with Kremlin state media, while Guardian kicked out of Russia for free speech."

2:00 Luke Harding, Guardian correspondent, co-author of new book on WikiLeaks -- and who reported on cables that suggested Putin had "mafia" type control -- has just been booted from Russia, first journalist to meet this fate since end of Cold War.  Guardian article here.   Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian editor-in-chief, said: "This is clearly a very troubling development with serious implications for press freedom, and it is worrying that the Russian government should now kick out reporters of whom they disapprove. Russia's treatment of journalists – both domestic and foreign – is a cause of great concern. We are attempting to establish further details, and are in contact with the Foreign Office."

12:30 AP reviews the day in court today.   Full Guardian summary and blow-by-blow remains here.

12:20  BBC video of Assange outside court today.  Says a "black box" has been applied to his life for five months and it is labeled "rape." But he claims that soon will see box is "empty."  Says "process like this surely shows you who your friends are."  Sure enough, there seems to be someone heckling in background.

11:20   The Assange hearing has adjourned for the day after focus on those deleted tweets. Final notes from The Guardian blog: "Before Rudling moves on to being cross-examined by Montgomery, he tells the court Swedish cannot distinguish between 'want' and 'consent.'....Rudung is taking questions on woman A's tweets. He says he contacted police after she deleted tweets from 14 and 15 August showing she had been happy with Assange

 10:45  From @fieldproducer:  "Assange complains he can't hear from the back of the room. Press can barely hear in annex either much confusion as to who is on the stand."

10:35  Assange hearing back from lunch.  Cross-examination of witness.  A hint that there will be no ruling tomorrow.

10:20  One of my reporter pals at Aftenposten, the Norwegian paper, tells me they've just put up new batch of cables "on Egypt and Israel: . Suleiman promised to halt Gaza elections."

10:15  Interesting piece at NPR on professors differing on use of WikiLeaks cables in the classroom. (h/t Michael Busch)

9:15  Summary of first witness for defense, audio from Guardian reporter, at lunch.

8:10  Raffi Khatchadourian, the fine New Yorker writer who figures prominently in my book, just tweeted this note to  "#Wikileaks community:  New Yorker  publishes many secrets in Larry Wright's epic investigation of #scientology.  Must read http://nyr.kr/hlezx5 ."

7:50  What, lunch break delayed?  @AlexiMostrous  "We're back! First witness for #Assange is Britta Sundberg-Weitman, retired Swedish appeal judge." 

7:40  Guardian summarizes the morning in court (does this mean we're on lunch break?).

7:35  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!

7:30  The Overnight Report (by Asher Wolf):  Assange's mum has returned to Australia from London--amazingly, two months ago she didn't know how to use a computer....In a Guardian article, Evgeny Morozov, author of "The Net Delusion," claims "the age of th WikiLeaks-style vigilante geek is over."  

7:15  Courtroom break:  Now there's an AP story on Domscheit-Brg and his book.

7:05 At the courthouse:  @fieldproducer  "Wondering what media annex is like? Imagine a portacabin classroom like at school but just full of older people with worse attention span."

7:00  From The Guardian's blog:  "Robertson is now onto the conduct of the Swedish prosecutor. He says Assange was willing to be interviewed on Skype at either the Swedish embassy in London or Scotland Yard but his offer was not accepted, so the European arrest warrant lacks proportionality. He says that Assange also offered himself for interview when he was in Sweden.  He concludes his opening (before moving on to 'more technical matters') by outling the four key points of his argument – unfair trial, double criminality, minor rape and proportionality."

 6:30 I'll post something once in awhile from trial, e.g. from Robertson just now, Assange attorney:  "The prosecutor describes this charge as 'minor rape' - that's a contradiction in terms."

6:15  Simply too much to "cover" court hearing as it happens so will provide some summary or snark here, I guess, and other WL.  There are at leat 18 journos tweeting it in court, list right here.   Also see Guardian live-blog below.

6:05  Defense claims "real risk" Swedes would  "bow to US pressure" & extradite Assange  to US to face death penalty.@AlexiMostrous "Full defence case: 'The extradition of #Assange wld involve a real risk of denial of his human rights, cos the trial wld be held in secret.'"

6:00 I'd said I wouldn't get up this early to "cover" the Assange hearing but I was dreaming about it anyway so here I am sick.  Except it was taking place in the Hague.  Here's Guardian's live-blog for starters.  Tweeting @GregMitch.   Others in court also tweeting.  Will list them. 

12:15  If you missed the Dinner With Julian fundraiser invite for Feb. 9 -- wine, women, no song but maybe some toast, or a toast.

12:10 Big media news of the night is AOL buying Huff Post and going into partnership.  Does that mean that six excerpts from my book published there last week gain wider audience now?  "You've got....leaks."

12:05 Guardian responds to WikiLeaks lawsuit threat.

12:00  Assange hearing starts in just five hours.  Afraid that's a little early for me but will catch up quickly and follow throughout....  here is the BBC preview.

From late Sunday

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

This afternoon, at 3:20, I posted here, and tweeted, "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." 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.

WikiLeaks finally posts promised "Roundtable," sort of a sleepy Assange video press conference.  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.

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."

 

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