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The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Wednesday, Day 81 | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Wednesday, Day 81

As I’ve done for more than 11 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.

UPDATED:  For Thursday version of this blog, go here.

10:20 Cryptome proclaims the end of the WikILeaks "mini-era" and the arrival of the Age of Anonymous.  "The digitization of vast archives of government, commercial and non-governmental organizations to facilitate their hegemony provides a bounty to be hacked repeatedly despite attempts to prevent it by vainly inept cybersecurity agencies and firms.The cyber-racket cartel will yell, hit the Internet Switch. Too late, too late. Anonymous controls the switch." 

8:50  EFF reviews new range of WikiLeak-like operations and ponders if the rise of WikiLeaks inspirations will reduce chances of "whistleblower censorship."

5:45  My favorite hacked HBGary e-mail yet -- Blackwater's Prince a 'hero' yet commies at Politico nixed Greg H's web comment. 

5:35  Yes, there is a new movie deal for my The Age of WikiLeaks, with the usual longshot chances  (six of my other books have been optioned) but should be interesting, details to follow.  Of course, there are several others.

5:15  Prime Assange backer Jemima Goldsmith on why she does it -- mainly due to "lies" in Pakistan.

5:05  The infamous Yes Men in Huff Post piece tackle the leak that has got the U.S. Chamber of Commerce squirming. "Dirty tricks aren’t new, so why have they only now hit the corporate mainstream? And why might the most cashed-up big-business lobby in the world, with a daily budget nearing $400,000, be interested in these kinds of tactics, when they can just buy much of the media, not to mention a good chunk of Congress?"

4:55 Marcy Wheeler at FDL on interesting email that emerged in Anonymous hackery of HBGary -- related to players in the Manning - Lamo saga.

3:15  Okay, another paper now has the Stephen Breyer quote today on Assange (see below for backgdrop):  "Appearing at a joint gathering of the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches and the Palm Beach County Bar Association, Breyer took a question from a high school student who asked about the legality of whistleblowing as seen on WikiLeaks.   'Usually what's at stake is the First Amendment. The First Amendment protects expression, it doesn't protect all expression,' Breyer said. 'The cases are all over the place.'

"The justice said disclosing the specifics of a secret weapon would not be permissible, just as shouting 'Fire!' in a crowded theater isn't. But he gave no inkling to his stance on Assange's publishing of a massive cache of confidential U.S. military and diplomatic documents and whether that was legal.  'The best thing I can say is, It depends,' Breyer said. 'What a terrible answer.'"

2:50 Not sure what this means, but a Google News listing from about 2:00 labeled Associated Press and linking to TV station WEAR opens with:  "Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer tantalized a Florida audience with his comments about the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but gave away little about his legal stance. Taking a question from a high school student at a gathering in ..."    The link to WEAR, an ABC station in Pensacola, is dead, however. 

 1:40  WL Central picks up excerpt from my book on 32 Cablegate revelations so far-- and counting.

1:35 Great piece at Star and Stripes (which had to fight "Wikileaks censorship" earlier) on new threat to freedom and access in new government directive that could prevent looking even at the Pentagon Papers.

1:25  Interesting take on Hillary Clinton speech on Internet--what was good about it, and what was missing.  (h/t Kevin Gosztola)

11:55  Glenn Greenwald Discusses Wikileaks Smear Campaign with Matt Miller.   His colleague at Salon, Justin Elliot, with latest on HBGary link to the....Pentagon.

11:50  For those who can't get enough of the WikiLeaks - UFO  "link." 

11:45  Al Jazeera with good report on Egypt and torture as part of this segment.

11:10  Bruce Sterling at Wired comments on Anonymous "bragging" about its HBGary hacking and more.

9:55  New excerpt from my Wikileaks book re-visits last November 28 and "The Day Cablegate Opened."   Also: if you are a media person who might write about the book, contact me at email above and might gift you the e-book version of the book....

8:50  Latest from cables WikiLeaks gave to Finnish media, this time on gov't there swapping UN votes with Israel.     One of my correspondents there sends this via email on the 99.8% state-owned YLE:  "I've looked, but can't find any other country where a media partner is state owned!  With yesterday's Rep.Peter King bill introduction - there are elements here for new diplomatic tension."

 8:45  As current protests swell in Bahrain, cables show no apparent truth to past claims by gov't there re: Iran pushing unrest.

8:05 NewsMax, of all places, covers Dershowitz backing Assange, but the real highlight is the photo at top of Judy Miller with her latest article for the rightwing site.  It's not about yesterday "Curveball" revelations related to her murderous Iraq WMD reporting, however. And here's Judy's story there after Cablegate broke -- when, with her usual accuracy, she reported there was nothing in the cables beyond "the obvious."  

7:45  Telegraph published today dozens of new cables on Egypt, including on new strongman Tantawi who is normally no fan of "change."

12:05 Bradley Manning, "The Forgotten Man," video in three parts.

12:00 WL Central with wrap-ups on various protests in Arab world.

From late Tuesday

Alan Dershowitz, recently added to Assange defense team, on Parker Spitzer tonite.   He says Alexandria grand jury in "preliminary" stages.  So "we need to be proactive" and vigilant.  Calls himself "an adviser to the British legal team, working on American aspects of the law, particularly the First and Fourth amendments."  Spitzer asks: Assange no different from NYT?  Dershowitz:  "That's certainly the theory we are working under."  Points out U.S. encouraging new media abroad while "chilling" in this case, a "double standard" applied.  Fun:  Alan refers to people who "twit."

I don't know credibility of poll, but this is interesting: survey in 17 countries finds vast majority of Arabs hail WikiLeaks (in contrast to, say, views of most Americans)  and even more want them to release more info on Arab countries.  Six in 10 say WikiLeaks played role in Tunisia revolt, which sparked so much else, and other demos.  "More than 60 percent believe that Wikileaks will change the way governments behave.  55 percent of Arabs revealed in the poll that they believe little to nothing of what their governments tell them."

In answer to many requests, you can now order my new and updated The Age of WikiLeaks book as e-book (also for phones, web reading etc.) for only $4.99.  And print version at just $11.99 still here. Hailed by Dan Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald and others.

@ scottleadingham tweets: "Yes, Sue Sylvester just made a #Wikileaks joke on #Glee."  Of course, I need to ask, who is Sue Sylvester? Jane Lynch?  UPDATE: I'm now told it was, “Will – you have more grease in your hair than the guy behind WikiLeaks!”

Rep. Peter King with another attempt at making prosecution of Assange easier in U.S., introduces new bill today. The bill would clarify U.S. law by saying that it is an act of espionage to publish the protected names of American intelligence sources who collaborate with the U.S military or intelligence community.  "Julian Assange and his associates who have operated and supported WikiLeaks not only damaged U.S. national security with their releases of classified documents, but also placed at risk countless lives, including those of our nation’s intelligence sources around the world," King said in a statement.   And now OpenLeaks is "dedicated to the same dangerous conduct," King added. "These organizations are a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States. Julian Assange and his compatriots are enemies of the U.S and should be prosecuted ..."

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