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The WikiLeaks News and Views Blog for Thursday, Day 166 | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The WikiLeaks News and Views Blog for Thursday, Day 166

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:  Here's the Friday edition of this blog.

10:55 Amnesty Int'l in annual report cites WikiLeaks, and newspapers that carried early reports on cables, as "catalysts" for Arab "spring." Also: "The year 2010 may well be remembered as a watershed year when activists and journalists used new technology to speak truth to power and, in so doing, pushed for greater respect for human rights," Amnesty's secretary general, Salil Shetty, said in an introduction to the document. "It is also the year when repressive governments faced the real possibility that their days were numbered."

9:00 All you have to see is the title here in new Donald Rumsfeld op-ed at Wash Post and you know what's coming: "How WikiLeaks Vindicated Bush's Anti-Terrorism Policy."   And note again: Those who denounced WikiLeaks most strongly then use their work politically or in punditry.

8:55  CNN covers Gitmo files revelations on "he said, she said" element of prisoners' talks about alleged terror plots.

7:10  Amid barrage of criticism on confidentiality controversy, WikiLeaks issues press statement, via Twitter, again hitting "hostile actors" and alleged distortions.  And now ex-WikiLeaker, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, weighs in, via Reuters, smashing Assange's "repressive" tone and organization.

5:15  Tweets from Bradley Manning friend David House who is closely monitoring the WikiLeaks grand jury actions: "The Espionage Grand Jury has begun. The Anti-Assange crowd should swallow their pride and notice the bigger picture unfolding before us...."  One thing he's probably referring to:  "WikiLeaks, get out of the gagging game" by ex-WikiLeaker James Ball who leaked his confidentiality agreement (that he did not sign). 

4:50  ProPublica: Congress and Courts Move to Curtail Leaks.

4:40  This job description notice for hiring a half-time media person for rest of the year is supposedly  in support of Bradley Manning.   And  here's a "comedy night" in support of the prisoner.

2:00 I noted below WikiLeaks releasing docs on "carving up the Arctic" but focus on Greenland getting special attention now.   Financial Times has noted usual good timing by WL in releasing select, topical material.

1:00 WikiLeaks Movie site -- no, it has nothing to do with Spielberg or other film projects -- launches massive archive of videos (they claim over 1000) related to WikiLeaks in any way, with various viewpoints, some comedy, etc.

12:30   Today only:  final one-day sale of each of my two current e-books for $1.99, on WikiLeaks and on Manning  

12:00  From The Hindu: Amnesty International official  slams grand jury move and prosecution of Assange an WikiLeaks

11:40  Still relatively little mainstream media coverage of the WikiLeaks grand jury hearing testimony yesterday in Virginia and going forward, no doubt.  Bradley Manning friend David House respond with tweets:  "With the Grand Jury underway, media outlets are now forced to decide their stance on #WikiLeaks and how closely their fates are intertwined... Bias detection set to max for the media war emerging around #WikiLeaks today.".

11:30  Wikileaks  inspired musical artist Nivehive & "Collateral Sounds

11:00 NYT catches up to yesterday's new on leak of WikiLeaks "confidentiality" agreement.  See one response to this below.

10:10  Pentagon papers to be officially released in June, for anniversary.

9:25 From WL Central: Leaked WikiLeaks Confidentiality Agreement: Neither 'Draconian' Nor 'Extraordinary' 

9:20  The great Rafi Khatchadourian of The New Yorker asks in tweet:  "Theoretically, a redacted copy of bin Laden's diary, revealing only personal observations, should be releasable via FOIA, no?"

8:40  Another region heard from in Cablegate!  New cables show race by major countries in north to "carve up" the Arctic, the BBC reports. "They suggest that Arctic states, including the US and Russia, are all pushing to stake a claim. The opportunity to exploit resources has come because of a dramatic fall in the amount of ice in the Arctic. The US Geological Survey estimates oil reserves off Greenland are as big as those in the North Sea.

"The cables were released by the Wikileaks whistleblower website as foreign ministers from the eight Arctic Council member states - Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland - met in Nuuk, Greenland on Thursday to sign a treaty on international search-and-rescue in the Arctic and discuss the region's future challenges."

12:30  NYT / IHT op-ed today cites, and revises title, of Hiroshima book that I wrote w/ Robert Jay Lifton. 

.12:00  @wikileaks: "Bush speech writer continues to campaign for the indictment of Assange."   Could only be Marc "Of Death" Thiessen.     He writes for Wash Post which, by the way, is now a media partner with WikiLeaks.

From late Wednesday

Steve Aftergood:   Pentagon Papers will  be officially declassified -- for the 40th anniversary next month.  

Just now: final one-day sale of each of my two current e-books for $1.99, on WikiLeaks and on Manning  

The Guardian covers grand jury convening on WikiLeaks today in Alexandria (see items below), with word on "forced" testimony of "the man from Boston," still unidentified.  "The Espionage Act has never been applied successfully against a non-government party, and to have a reasonable chance of prosecuting Assange or WikiLeaks as an organisation, the authorities would need to be able to prove to the satisfaction of a jury that they had actively encouraged or assisted the source of the leaks to transmit unauthorised material."

 House panel demands  WikiLeak-proof Pentagon 

  WLLegal tweets:  "New Statesman's @davidallengreen looks at #WikiLeaks' own confidentiality agreement & the high price for breaching it http://bit.ly/jxPAP4 ."    The harsh commentary is by their legal expert David Allen Green.  Concludes:  "As the legal gag shows, Wikileaks sought to use the full force of the law to deter or punish anyone who leaks again

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