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The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Thursday, Day 103 | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Thursday, Day 103

As I’ve done for more than fourteen 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, updated to early February, in print or an e-book.

UPDATE: The thank-god-it's-Friday edition of this blog.

10:05  It was inevitable, but someone is marketing (for real or as goof?) an Assange "action figure," for $99, although for that price they should at least throw in a lifelike keyboard or computer.   They claim part of proceeds go to WikiLeaks, but you're on your own with this one.   You can buy just the head of Julian for $60 and mount it on one of your many other action figures. 

9:55  The unbearable triteness of not being there:  Sadly, I had to cancel my trip to Prague this weekend for conference and WikiLeaks panel with Birgitta Jonsdottir and Vaughan Smith.  However, I will be doing it via Skype -- at 4 a.m. Saturday ET.  I'll let you know if you can watch live (?) or online later.

9:50   Yes, print edition of my new updated book The Age of WikiLeaks on sale today only for $11.95.  Also very much available in various electroic-editions.  Hailed by Dan Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, others...

8:35  We noted (below)  Bradley Manning dad in first TV interview.  So what did he say on PBS?   He said he believed his son was innocent --not capable of downloading all of those files.  And Brian Manning, who has visited Quantico brig "eight or nine"  times,   said he was shocked by  prison conditions for his son. “This is someone who has not gone to trial or been convicted of anything.  They worry about people down in a base in Cuba, but here they are, have someone on our own soil, under their own control, and they’re treating him this way…. It’s shocking enough that I would come out of our silence as a family and say … you’ve crossed a line. This is wrong.”  He also said it was wrong for  any service member to leak the files.

Full report and video from Wired here.

6:15  PBS has now posted preview of its first-ever TV interview with Bradley Manning's dad (coming up at 7 pm tonite), and more on the interview and subject.   Plus the usual military rebuttal on treatment.

5:30  Just got word from PBS producer:  "We hope you will tune in tonight and watch a preview of our exclusive interview with Private Bradley Manning's father who speaks publicly for the first time.  Excerpts of Brian Manning's interview with FRONTLINE Correspondent Martin Smith will appear first on PBS NewsHour at 7 p.m.  (check local listings).  If you miss this on air,  watch it online, at www.frontline.org.  

"Beyond tonight,  tune in on March 29th for an in-depth portrait of Bradley Manning's coming of age and years of Army service.  Then on May 24, 2011 an hour long report on Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and WikiLeaks." 

 5:25  We noted earlier Bradley Manning revealing that in response to protests about his forced nudity that he had been issued a "suicide-proof" smock -- which he finds scratchy and awful.  AP now covers.  And if you missed the remarkable 10-page first-person account by Manning of his many months in "punitive" confinement, it's right here.

4:15  @WikiLeaks takes this new tweet from State Dept flack PJ Crowley as "practically an endorsement" of their work:  "These are not #Twitter or #Wikileaks revolutions. They belong to the people, but technology can expand and accelerate the pace of change."

3:50  WikiLeaks panel April 9 at Media Reform conf in Boston: me, Glenn Greenwald, Amy Goodman, Micah Sifry, Emily Bell.  

3:15  Military denies Bradley Manning request to be shifted from maximum to medium security, taken off special injury watch, and not be stripped of clothes every night, and Manning attorney offers rebuttal, see it here at his blog now.   It includes 10 pages of first-person account by Manning himself of his months in custody, psychologist reports, harsh and punitive treatment, right down to forced stripping (and now offered a "smock").

3:10  New editorial in print edition of The Nation protesting Manning treatment.  It will be to Obama's " great disgrace if he continues down the dark path toward another Abu Ghraib."

2:25  A claim that the big "scoop" from Swedish paper today -- about interrogator in Assange case knowing one of the accusers beforehand -- has actually been known for months, begging the question, why "found" today and promoted so heavily?

2:15  Freebie: 7 excerpts from my WikiLeaks book all in one place. 

12:30  Manning Up: Amnesty Int'l asks Americans to protest treatment of Manning via their U.S. site, messages to be sent to Obama and Gates.

10:50  John Pilger, in new piece I've linked to below, hit David Leigh for getting a wad of dough from Spielberg for movie  based on his book (while claiming he didn't know how much) even though Guardian owed all of its scoops to WikiLeaks.  Now Leigh fires back in tweet:  "Pilger and Assange - always craving to be centre of attention. Less concern apparent for Bradley Manning, who has been sacrificed."

10:00   Politico with amazing piece on how DOJ ordering that secret "code" will be used in big leak trial (not Manning or Assange) to keep secrets.   Open courtroom, but only judge, jury, attorneys will be able to follow what's going on.

9:55 If you missed John Pilger's piece (I linked to it last night), it's now being picked up all over the place, in different forms,  on liberal press allegedly trying to "silence" the "messenger," Assange.

9:45  Reuters with yet another exclusive based on cables they've seen, this one on U.S. views of upcoming tricky succession in leading Saudi Arabia.

8:40  Guardian covers Swedish bombshell today (see below) on chief interrogator in Assange case being "friends" with one of accusers beforehand, and adds "political associate," which is how they became acquainted. Assange lawyer: "I'm delighted that the Swedes, who objected so strongly to our criticisms of the case, have started to acknowledge that there are systemic problems in their judicial process which allow this sort of thing to happen."

8:20  Not sure what to make of this, but newspaper Expressen with piece on police interrogator in Assange case being friendly with one of accusers well before she lodged complaint.  Getting a lot of coverage elsewhere now.  Not exactly "friends," commented and linked to each other on Web, so one wonders how much this will end up having an impact. 

8:00 Norwegian daily Aftenposten with yet another fresh cable, this one showing Gaddafi son siphoned off oil profits from French operation in LIbya.

7:55  French news site @MediaPart launches its own leaks site

From late Wednesday

Famed writer in London (and major Assange supporter) John Pilger slams treatment of Assange by The Guardian.  And why, he asks, is David Leigh getting money from Spielberg for WikiLeaks scoops. "The Guardian paid WikiLeaks nothing for its treasure trove of leaks."

Don't miss: Valuable and important complete summary by Foreign Policy of the best of WikiLeaks "ArabLeaks" -- the important cables and revelations that influenced events ever since the first ones on Tunisia way back in early December.   FP calls them "the cables with impact on today's revolutions, and tomorrow's."  

Dan Ellsberg speaks at Syracuse U, backs Assange and Manning. “And that’s not to say that everything Assange did is right or everything Manning did is right.  Or for that matter, that everything that I did was right.”

U.S.-Libya business relations guys talk about  "Surviving the WikiLeaks Controversy." Hooked yet?

Cables show U.S. identified 23 (including six women) in Australia, of all places, with alleged ties to militants in Yemen and in need of air transit checks.

Now CNN with its own story on pop stars taking money from Gaddafi kid and others, and why and how it happens (see below).... 

"Divas and Despots":  The stars who sing for dictators -- goes well beyond those cables on Mariah, Beyonce and Nelly.

 

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