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The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG for Thursday, Day 75 | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG for Thursday, Day 75

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, just updated, in print or as e-book.

UPDATE:   Go here for the Friday version of this blog already up.

10:40  CEO of one of three data intel firms exposed yesterday for planning to attack WikiLeaks on behalf of BOA has cut ties -- and, remarkably, apologized to a prime target, Glenn Greenwald.

9:40  WikiLeaks pushing sales in their new shop today.  Yes, beyond the expected mugs and t-shirts (many with Assange's face on them), they now have scarves, duffel bags, laptop sleeves, and umbrellas. 5% off today!

8:40  Jack Goldsmith, former asst atty general under Bush,  in Wash Post op-ed: Why U.S. should not go after Assange. "The government should fully investigate how this major breach of national security occurred. But prosecuting Assange would be a mistake. The first problem with going after Assange is that the effort is likely to fail....A failed attempt to prosecute Assange would be worse than not prosecuting him. It would make the United States look even more ineffectual than it does as a result of the leak."

8:25 As noted earlier, in answer to many requests, you can now order my new and updated The Age of WikiLeaks book for Kindle, iPad, Blackberry, Android, web viewing, for only $4.99. Print version still here.

5:15 Cables this week painted Argentina gov’t allowing much corruption to go on. Now a vtop official there denounces US diplomats who are a “lazy joke…. They gather cheap gossip from opposition websites in order to justify their paychecks.”

5:00 Think Progress with exclusive on data firms part of the planned attack on WikiLeaks (and supporters like Glenn Greenwald) also involved with U.S. Chamber of Commerce intrigue.

4:45 WikiLeaks satire site with its own “cables,” launched by Onion vets. SILVIO BERLUSCONI RECEIVES $300 (US) EVERY TIME A NEW OLIVE GARDEN OPENS And so on. SECURITY OFFICIALS: IRAQI DETAINEES ACCIDENTALLY WALKED INTO SEVERAL BLUNT OBJECTS, FELL ONTO LIVE ELECTRICAL WIRE, ETC.

2:55 As some may know, I have had some fun for the past couple months with UFO fans expecting big revelations in the cables, after they totally misread Assange comments. They’ve been disappointed so far, though I ran an item last week about expert who claimed that Assange himself is a space alien (as revealed by his 60 MInutes interview). Well, now there’s a new claim about UFOlogist who supposedly predicted that cable about Saudis (maybe) overstating their oil reserves. Just a matter of whether he got that scoop directly from aliens or not…

2:50 Wikileaks handed a file with 3,000 cables to the newspaper La Jornada this morning and publication has started. The cables are dated between 1989 and 2010.

1:25 Just got press release from ACLU: “The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will be in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia on Tuesday, February 15 at 10:30 a.m. EST for a hearing in a legal battle over the government’s demands for the records of several Twitter users in connection with an investigation related to WikiLeaks.

“The ACLU and EFF represent Birgitta Jonsdottir, an Icelandic parliamentarian and one of the Twitter users whose records were sought by the government. They have asked the court to unseal the still-secret court records of the government’s attempts to collect private records from Twitter, Inc., as well as other companies who may have received demands for information from the government. The groups have also asked the court to overturn the December 14 court order requiring Twitter to provide information about its users.”

12:30 WikiLeaks’s twitter feed only response so far today to Domscheit-Berg: “Assange abused my cat: WikiLeaks insider” http://is.gd/3fCdtH

12:10 At TomDispatch: An “opening statement” in defense of Bradley Manning—as patriot, not criminal.

11:25 Council for Foreign Relations blog reports on energy blogosphere in a “tizzy” over that cable about Saudi’s and peak oil but suggests everyone cool it because far from confirmed.

10:40 Good piece by Jeff Stein at Wash Post on those cables revealing FBI has trained Egyptian police. He says, yes, this has given the FBI a “black eye” but they are generally known for opposing torture and the training was probably to inject human rights concerns. Accuses Telegraph of throwing “mudball.”

9:40 Now Der Spiegel (former WikiLeaks partner) out with full report on Domscheit-Berg book. Some praise, but also calls it “redundant,” too much “detail” at times, shaky writing and hackers will hate it. Plus: “The fact that Assange sometimes wears the same clothes for days on end is already common knowledge, for example. Domscheit-Berg’s book reveals the additional detail that Assange apparently likes to eat with his hands and then wipes them on his pants. But instead of such gossip, the book could have benefitted from greater analysis, for example on questions such as what political influence WikiLeaks has had and how the platform’s relationship to the media has developed.”

9:35 Yeah, Telegraph is running the Wiki cables, but still has space on its home page for stuff like this: “Teenage girl collapses and dies after her first kiss.”

9:10 CNN covers Domscheit-Berg and his press conference today. Mentions my book at the end, to boot!

8:45 And one more scoop via Wired on Domscheit-Berg book, this claim: “In June 2009 long before the New York Times became a WikiLeaks media partner, PayPal froze WikiLeaks’ account over questions about its nonprofit status. A female journalist from the New York Times intervened with PayPal and got the account unfrozen for WikiLeaks telling PayPal that WikiLeaks was ‘being supported by the New York Times.’”

8:35 More from D-B book as broken by Wired: How did freelance journo Heather Brooke get her copy of the 249,000 diplomatic cables, about which she then informed the Guardian, allowing them to pass their set on to the NYT? According to the book, as told by Wired: “Assange passed the U.S. diplomatic cables to an Icelandic volunteer to consider ways to present them graphically, but the volunteer passed them to freelance journalist Heather Brooke, breaking the security chain established for the documents. When WikiLeaks found out, Hrafnsson made the Icelander sign a declaration saying the documents had been taken from him illegally.”

8:30 Wired with more excerpts and claims from the Domscheit-Berg book (see more below). One: Assange has always claimed that he decided himself to withhold 14,000 docs from the Afghan war logs releases until names could be redacted, but D-B asserts that the media partners requested it.

8:20 Latest news flash from the Domscheit-Berg book (see below): Assange also allegedly abused his cat. But cat took revenge.

8:10 Deliberate, mistake, funny or what? In its Twitter feed, WikiLeaks consistently misspells Domscheit-Berg’s name, reversing the “ei.”

7:50 AP Leaks: Gets copy of Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s anti-Assange book and breaks embargo with this full report. “WikiLeaks’ original mission to ‘control the power executed behind closed doors and to create transparency, where it was being denied’ deteriorated into a situation in which the group was ‘gradually corrupted by power and secrecy itself,’ he writes.”

7:40 New cable suggests Cuba better able to deal with economic problems now than when under Soviet sway.

7:30 Moscow Times hits Russia booting out Luke Harding (who has written often on WikiLeaks) of the Guardian.

7:25 If you are curious (hello) how the English-language press in Sweden might be covering the Assange sex case.

12:00 Some questions raised about that cable suggesting Saudi oil reserves 40 percent lower than claimed… Egyptian ‘torturers’ trained by FBI?… Now go watch the Arcade Fire NYC concert back up at YouTube in entirety. Yeah, I can taste the fear.

From late Wednesday

Andy Greenberg’s blog at Forbes back up, see Andy there: for the day’s wild charges and counter-charges between Daniel Domscheidt-Berg (in book and interview) and WikiLeaks. And here is WikiLeaks’ latest statement on all that.

Full document and slides from firms that wanted to help BOA bring down WikiLeaks, not to mention supporters like Glenn Greenwald and Birgitta Jonsdottir.

We reported earlier Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s claims that WikiLeaks much-touted bank release (BOA?) was actually, from what he knew as a former insider, was actually quite “unspectacular.” Now Mark Hosenball at Reuters, who has followed WikiLeaks closely, reports that three people (presumably one of them Domscheit-Berg) has told him that the bank documents are, in fact, a “dud,” with the latest docs from 2006. Still awaiting Assange response to this and other new claims.

@WLLegal tweets about claims that the bank release is a “snore,” thusly: “I wonder what the 20 person BoA #Wikileaks War Room is for then.”

Telegraph with new cable: Mubarak urged Cheney “three or four times” not to invade Iraq. And more Suleiman and Israel stuff here.

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