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The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Thursday, Day 159 | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Thursday, Day 159

As I’ve done for more than five months, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times ET. Contact me at epic1934@aol.com. Read about or order my books The Age of WikiLeaks in print or as an e-book, and Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences as e-book here and print here.

UPDATE:  For Friday's edition, go here.

10:15 As we noted earlier this week, Asahi finally blew the lid off WikiLeaks cables in Japan, after getting 7000 of them (Japan among the last to get a media partner) and now they carry a hard-hitting editorial calling a key revelation about its leaders lies "a betrayal" of the people.

10:05  Audio of Dan Ellsberg speaking re: WikiLeaks and Manning this week at Berkeley, in 5 parts via YouTube.

7:35  More findings on WSJ's new "leak" operation being dangerously full of holes, via Andy Greenberg at Forbes.  

4:55  Fun from McClatchy:  "The embittering of relations between Venezuela and the U.S. sank so low in recent years that even a McDonald's combo meal and a two-for-one offer from Domino's Pizza were the subject of acrimony. The tale of the fast-food kerfuffle is one of a multitude of snapshots offered by U.S. diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks and released to McClatchy that shed light on steadily rising tensions between the U.S. and the government of fiery populist Hugo Chavez."

4:50  Mike Calderone at Huff Post with full report on WSJ's "leak" portal (see below), with updates and NYT slow to do same.

12:50  The Guardian  notes fatal flaw in WSJ's heralded new leaks portal:  "However, the site's terms and conditions – which users must agree to before uploading material – could prove controversial. They state that the Journal 'reserve[s] the right to disclose any information about you to law enforcement authorities or to a requesting third party, without notice, in order to comply with any applicable laws and/or requests under legal process [...]'

"By agreeing to the terms and conditions, whistleblowers agree 'not to use SafeHouse for any unlawful purpose'. The US has consistently argued that the release of a tranche of top secret diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks, and published by the Guardian and other newspapers, was illegal."

11:45  @WikiLeaks on Twitter responds to the below with this: "WSJ calls for indictment of Assange http://on.wsj.com/eTh7dT launches own leak site: https://www.wsjsafehouse.com/ ."

10:35  Wow, Murdoch and Wall Street Journal beat NYT and The Guardian in setting up what they call their own WIkiLeaking portal.  "Introducing WSJ SafeHouse, a secure way to share confidential documents with us."   

9:50  German CEO with unfortunate name Smutny sues Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten for publishing WikiLeaks docs that cost him his job 

9:20  Assange attorney Mark Stephens on whistleblowing and  the future of WikiLeaking and more.

8:50  Alan Dershowitz on the Piers Morgan CNN show last night, in discussion about Obama and OBL photos, joked that  he had a certain client in London who might get them, Mr. Julian Assange. 

8:40   Hunger strikes at Gitmo reveals in the new files.

12:00  Wash Post coming out with major Who IS Bradley Manning piece by Ellen Nakashima (who followed story at Quantico for some time)  this Sunday in its magazine, but it's now up online along with photo gallery.  It's mainly about his childhood, and we get new details on his early computer nerdiness, his abusive father and drunken mother.  But before joining Army he expressed concern about civilian casualties in Iraq early on--and the  lack of info on them. And before he went to Iraq he said if people knew what was really going on there they'd never support war.

From late Wednesday

For blow-by-blow of last night's big WikiLeaks panel in NY w/ PJ Crowley, Emily Bell, Assange attorney Mark Stephens, others, check twitter feed of my colleague @kgosztola.  Video will be on Index on Censorship site this week.

Shep Smith on OBL killing, photos and the "post-WIkiLeaks world."  He has been one of more vocal mainstream WL backers, in the main.

@nycsouthpaw:  tweets: "EXCLUSIVE: President Obama has decided that Julian Assange will release the Bin Laden photos."

Irish Leaks launches and one of the few such sites to actually launch with a leak!  Although they properly note that the recording is not quite confirmed.

New low prices for my book The Age of WikiLeaks in print or as an e-book, or brand-new Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences as e-book here and print here.

The Hindu newspaper in India, which has been publishing cables for weeks, now comes up with one suggesting that Pakistan pushed for release from Gitmo one of Osama's associates, a "businessman" with a particularly unsavory track record, including he allegedly :plotted to acquire chemical and other weapons for al-Qaeda."

Steve Aftergood, secrecy expert, says annual costs of keeping secrets in U.S. government hits record $10 billion this year. "The estimated costs of the national security classification system grew by 15% last year to reach $10.17 billion, according to the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO).  It was the first time that annual secrecy costs in government were reported to exceed $10 billion."

Manning's friend David House tweets:  "Appears like Bradley is finally being treated in a humane and dignified fashion. Thanks to everyone who made this possible."  See item below for lawyer's report last night. 


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