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Tuesday DAYBOOK: Obama OKs Tax Cut Deal, Assange Busted, Bill Maher vs. Palin, Much More

 WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses plus fun videos and (at the bottom) a music pick. Return for updates during the day. Keep up with fresh items via @gregmitch at Twitter. E-mail me at: epic1934@aol.com. Check out my new book on the wildest left-wing election campaign and the birth of "media politics" here.

BREAKFAST BLEND

Cave-in complete: Obama okays deal with GOP to prolong Bush tax cuts in exchange for jobless relief and cut in payroll tax.  NYT's Peter Baker: "Bridge to Republicans Alienates Liberal Base."..... Sen. Bernie Sanders threatens to filibuster tax deal.... JIm McDermott calls it  "President's Gettysburg."   Anthony Weiner: Punting on 3rd down.  Daily Beast here.   

Tim Egan at NYT says Obama needs a big change: "If he can’t change his personal nature, he can change the master narrative of his presidency. To do that, he needs a Big Idea. One of the mystifying paradoxes of Obama is how this gifted writer, this eloquent communicator, has not been able to come up with a simple, overarching governing frame. "

Bill Maher tweets:  "Seeing Palin kill that moose, a creature with a far higher IQ, inspired hate for her beyond what even I thought I was capable of."

Julian Assange arrested this morning in London on sex-related charges.  Release of cables will go on. Strong article by Assange in Australia newspaper—clearly calls WikiLeaks a "media" outfit—and he will release video later today. Follow my live blog all day.

Garry Trudeau on Colbert show.

"Bullying and Censorship" at the  Smithsonian.

Note: Once again, we're submitting a more abbreviated Daybook today due to continuing "Blogging the WikiLeaks." Here is yesterday's edition. Some of the late highlights from Monday: 

The Guardian:  Assange expected in court tomorrow—appeals to supporters to help make bond.... NYT updates legal moves against Assange and his threat to "automatically" release rest of cables and more if he is busted....  NYT blog wraps up threats to Assange's son, lawyer's response and the son's blogging.... NYT with its daily late-afternoon Wiki report, today going from the Baltic and Russia to difficulty in halting arms flow in Middle East....  Final paragraph here clearly lays out sex charges against Assange as involving  condom mis-use. The Guardian with more details. 

FORE AND AFTER  The MSM is finally taking foreclosure miscreants seriously, says econ blogger Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism.  And check out this Reuters story on the mounting legal woes of foreclosure kingpin Lender Processing Services, which handles more than half the nation's foreclosures.

DADT  NYT public editor says "no biggie" re: that false story about N. Korea shipping 19 missiles to Iran. 

NUTS TO YOU  A prairie Nutcracker: teaching dance in rural America. "Our goal is to help people live artfully." (h/t Barbara Bedway)

STARTING TOWARD NO NUKES   NYT op-ed calls for "Bombs Away" concluding:  "President Obama shares the vision of Ronald Reagan that, in the end, eliminating our arsenals is the only lasting, effective and realistic solution to the nuclear dangers confronting the world today. Ratifying the New Start treaty is the first step on the path to reaching that goal."

GONE OR JUST FORGOTTEN?   Note for media writers: has my old mag E&P died in print? No new issue for over 2 months, editors canned, site prints press releases.

TODAY's LAFF

It's beginning to look a LOL like Christmas.  

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Gretch Who Saved the War on Christmas
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor The Daily Show on Facebook

 

TODAY's MUSIC

 Tom Morello (co-sponsor of Nation Institute bash last night)   picks 15 best protest songsRolling Stone misspells "Woody."   Here's his #4 favorite:

 
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BLOGGING THE WIKILEAKS—Monday, Day 9, Return Here Often for Updates

Once again, we will be updating news and views on the latest WikiLeak release, as we've done for over week now  to much acclaim.  You can also follow me at Twitter for even quicker news breaks.  Items added at top with ET stamp.

11:40  NYT updates legal moves against Assange and his threat to "automatically" release rrest of cables and more if he is busted. 

11:30  NYT blog wraps up threats to Assange's son, lawyer's response and the son's blogging. 

5:00  Regrets, I am signing off for the night, heading for a Nation invent in NYC.  See you late tonight and tomorrow.

4:55 The Guardian:  Assange expected in court tomorrow -- appeals to supporters to help make bond.

4:50 NYT with its daily late-afternoon Wiki report, today going from the Baltic and Russia to difficulty in halting arms flow in Middle East.

4:00  NYT in final paragraph here clearly lays out sex charges against Assange as involving  condom mis-use. 

3:50  While some in media still wrongly accuse WikiLeaks of 1) released 250,000 docs and 2 ) not redacting them, here is site charging they are redacting too much.  

3:15  The Guardian just confirmed with Wiki lawyer that Assange will soon talk to police.  Although the lawyer is only quoted saying they are "negotiating," so wonder how firm that is....A different lawyer adds that they will, in any case, fight extradition to Sweden.

3:10  Bill McKibben (who is getting big Puffin Prize tonight at The Nation Institute bash) said on Democracy Now! that cables show that U.S. "bullying and buying" countries at the Copenhagen climate conference worse than understood.

2:55  Great story yet to be written (should be a book some day) on the NYT and Guardian working together with each other and with Assange.  Remember, he did NOT leak the cables to the Times -- the paper got them from The Guardian.  Or should we say, is getting them?  Is Guardian passing them along almost day by day?   The two papers, in any case cover almost the same general ground every day and at virtually the same time, though with far different tone and details.  Do they have a kind of embargo with WikiLeaks, or just  a deal between the two of them?  And so on.  The Guardian's blog has been much faster and more active, in any case.

Also:  the two papers are redacting the cables themselves and the WikiLeaks site is seemingly only posting the 1000 or less they have gone over so far.  The other quarter million have not surfaced online yet.

2:45  NBC's Peter Alexander just tweeted:  "Assange's lawyer tells NBC News time & place being negotiated for mtg w/ Assange. Unclear if he'll be arrested." 

2:35  Clay Shirky posts that he is deeply "conflicted" about WIkiLeaks.  But adds: When a government can’t get what it wants by working within the law, the right answer is not to work outside the law. The right answer is to accept that it can’t get what it wants. The United States is — or should be — subject to the rule of law, which makes the extra-judicial pursuit of Wikileaks especially nauseating."

2:10  Latest column from Glenn Greenwald brings together most of the hits: "The lawless Wild West attacks WikiLeaks."

1:50  Ace blogger Digby probes point I made today and earlier in "Getting The Story Straight On Wikileaks" -- that is, the amazing "collaboration" with news outlets.  Eric Umanksy of ProPublica tweets:  "I'm (honestly) confused: What has Wikileaks done that's any different than what the NYT has done?"

1:35  Mike Calderone:  top news orgs like AP and NBC say they will  no longer refer to WIkiLeaks as "whistleblower" group.

1:30  Former Bushite, Matthew Dowd, says he is overwhelmed by response to his column largely backing WikiLeaks -- hit by GOPers, linked by liberals. 

1:25  Evgeny Morozov tweets:  "May I suggest a headline for The Onion? 'Swiss banks to Assange: You are not Nazi enough.'"

1:10   Reuters: Eric Holder personally involved in hunt for new laws to go after WikiLeaks, as old ones may not work..

12:20  ABC:  U.S. sailor sold 51 docs on Afghan intelligence for $2000 -- to undercover FBI agent. 

12:10  As we  noted right from the start:  that first day NYT bombshell, based on one cable, claiming that N. Korea had shipped Iran 19 missiles, was deeply flawed, later questioned by Wash Post, and then the Times itself a couple of days ago.  Yet public editor Arthur Brisbane now says, no biggie, that first story was just a first step -- even though it drove media coverage and pundit talk for days.   FAIR's Peter Hart has been on it since the start, now with this.

11:45  Assange leads voting for TIME's person of the year, though Lady Gaga within striking distance. 

11:40  You remember that uproar last week over Columbia U advising its international policy students to refrain from visiting Wiki sites etc.  Now the dean has emailed a softening, here via The Guardian. 

11:15  Swiss apparently freeze Julian Assange Defense Fund funds, call him "high profile" individual (no kidding). 

11:00 We linked to this defense of WikiLeaks days ago but it is proving to be the most popular piece at The Atlantic, still, so here it is again.

10:45  Democracy Now! today interviewed Bolivia's ambassador to UN on those Wiki cables showing how the U.S. targeted countries last year — including Bolivia — as part of its effort to oppose meaningful climate change agreements during last year's Copenhagen climate change summit.

10:10  Interpol issues WANTED poster for Assange -- with outdated photo and hair color (and length), of course! 

10:00  The Guardian cites journo James Bell making point I've hammered at from beginning -- the news outlets have been posting the cables much more than WikiLeaks has, and fully collaborating, but governments and private companies NOT directing their censorship or legal actions at them.  I'm not pushing for that at all but it's surprising that no court actions,  a la versus Pentagon Papers, even hinted at. 

9:55 NYT blog  The Lede directs us to just-translated piece by author Umberto Eco saying that WikiLeaks evens the balance--citizens can now spy on governments which are spying on them. "One last observation: In days of yore, the press would try to figure out what was hatching sub rosa inside the embassies. Nowadays, it’s the embassies that are asking the press for the inside story."

9:35 The Guardian just posted video of Mike Huckabee speaking at dinner for Jewish group last night in which he repeated his call for Wikileaker to be prosecuted to "full extent of the law," which paper interprets as call for execution.

9:25  Interestingly, Guardian investigations chief David Leigh reveals in a tweet that his paper declined to publish the "terror list" below, while noting that the Murdoch-owned Times in London did. "Murdoch is helping terrorists?" he tweaked.

9:20  German mag Der Spiegel out with its 2nd issue on its access to cables.  A lot on Iraq.  One headline:  "US Diplomats Bewildered and Bamboozled in Baghdad."  Say its based on their reading of 5500 cables.  This raises key point: WikiLeaks itself has still posted less than 900 cables -- due to relying on heavy redacting by its news org partners.  But the same partners do have the complete 250,000 cables.  So they, not WikiLeaks,  are the ones breaking news and quoting from -- even if not posting -- all  the cables. 

8:50   WikiLeaks releases long list of potential U.S. targets around the world in "war on terrror," all the way to China.  Much controversy in UK as this broke, some claiming it was worst move yet by group.  

8:40  Complaint filed in Canada over that professor's call for assassination of Assange (he has since rescinded).   What about that Wash Times columnist with "Assassinate Assange" column? 

 

Latest from Sunday:

They are Spartacus:  The number of WikiLeaks mirror sites now up to 355....  WikiLeak tweets:  "Sarah Palin says Julian should be hunted down like Osama bin Laden--so he should be safe for at least a decade."  Still, surprised that Palin, on Sarah Palin's Alaska, did not shoot Assange from a helicopter last night..

Assange ups ante -- now says OBAMA  (as well as Hillary) must resign if ordered spying at UN. Julian, don't hold your breath in that bunker. ....  AP: Supporters claim Assange may seek asylum in Switzerland.....New John Bolton piece at The Guardian on WikiLeaks naturally attacks Obama above all. ....Alex Baldwin at Huff PostYeah, "throttle" Julian Assange -- but only if also put Cheney on trial for the Valerie Plame leaking.... More from Assange lawyers at BBC, on assassination and fighting Swedish charges.

 
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Monday DAYBOOK: Obama Caves on Tax Cut for Rich, Latest WikiLeaks, 'SNL' Assange Parody, a Steve Earle Xmas, More

 WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses plus fun videos and (at the bottom) a music pick. Return for updates during the day. Keep up with fresh items via @gregmitch at Twitter. E-mail me at: epic1934@aol.com. Check out my new book on the wildest left-wing election campaign and the birth of "media politics" here.

BREAKFAST BLEND 

NYT reports Obama deal with GOP near—they get Bush tax cuts for rich, he gets jobless help. Joe Scarborough tweets: "Politically, I am stunned the President is extending the tax cuts to millionaires." Paul Krugman column: Let's NOT Make a Deal. Let taxes rise for all, if necessary, rather than give in to "blackmail." Eric Boehlert tweets: "Extending tax cuts adds $500 billion to deficit. Tea Party remains utterly silent. Press pretends not to notice." 

A massive Peter Boyer profile of John Boehner for The New Yorker just went online.

Note: Once again, we're submitting a more abbreviated Daybook today due to continuing "Blogging the WikiLeaks." Here is today's version and  the weekend edition. Some of the latest highlights:

Assange ups ante—now says OBAMA  (as well as Hillary) must resign if ordered spying at UN. Julian, don't hold your breath in that bunker... Relieved that Palin, on Sarah Palin's Alaska, did not shoot Assange from a helicopter...  AP: Supporters claim Assange may seek asylum in Switzerland... New John Bolton piece at the Guardian on WikiLeaks naturally attacks Obama above all... Alex Baldwin at Huff Post: Yeah, "throttle" Julian Assange—but only if also put Cheney on trial for the Valerie Plame leaking... More from Assange lawyers at BBC, on assassination and fighting Swedish charges.

At Huff Post, close friend of Martin Luther King, Jr. calls for primary challenge to Obama in 2012. 

Karzai orders four officials on Afghan election panel arrested, as criticism of recent voting increases...  As US leaves, Iraqis who depended on us—a large number—are suffering economically.

SCARY STORY: THE SEQUEL  This weekend's scare story: state and local debt so huge it reminds some of prelude to subprime mortgage collapse. 

FIXING A WHOLE  Cool, historic picture: The Beatles just before that legendary walk across Abbey Road

OBAMA VISITS STOCKHOLM?  From Frank Rich—Is Obama a hostage to GOP and suffering from "Stockholm Syndrome"? 

ARKAVISTS  Noah's Ark, theme park division, in Kentucky—or "Ark Encounter." Just about jobs, not religion—they say.  Check out the drawing.

DIMON WRING  Huff Post: That Jamie Dimon profile on cover of NYT Magazine misses the point: Trusting bankers is too stupid to try again. 

SALON, IT'LL BE GOOD TO KNOW YA  I'm doing the FireDogLake book salon Q&A next Saturday for my "The Campaign of the Century"  book.

BITS & PIECES See the new Facebook profile redesign http://huff.to/fvczL3... Jeffrey Toobin takes stock of the Bush v. Gore SCOTUS decision ten years later... Military chaplains debate role without DADT.

TODAY's LAFF

If you missed SNL's WikiLeaks-as-TMZ skit:

 

TODAY's MUSIC

Surprise: a great Christmas song from a young Steve Earle (who lent his name to tonight's Nation Institute gala).

 

 
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Blogging the WikiLeaks—Weekend Edition!

After six solid days of live-blogging the latest WikiLeaks news and views we are taking a much-needed "rest" this weekend, or at least reducing the coverage somewhat. See items below and frequent tweets here.  UPDATE:  Here's Monday's edition.

SUNDAY

10:50  They are Spartacus: the number of WikiLeaks mirror sites now up to 355:

10:30   WikiLeak tweets: "Sarah Palin says Julian should be hunted down like Osama bin Laden—so he should be safe for at least a decade."

10:10  Jay Rosen post on WIkileaks, with good links, worth a read—from last July. And a new Jeff Jarvis post at Huff Post: "For today, in the internet age, power shifts from those who hold secrets to those who create openness. That is our emerging reality. Business, be warned: You are next."

7:50  WikiLeaks tweets URL for list of new servers for their material.

7:40  For your amusement: an intern wrote about working secretly for WIkiLeaks in London, on the "ramshackle" office and "sexy" dude Julian Assange, who had a grey wig at the ready. Published in Oxford U magazine and the London Times.

7:00  Tonight on Sarah Palin's Alaska, Sarah shoots Julian Assange from a helicopter.

6:00  Assange ups ante—now says OBAMA (as well as Hillary) must resign if ordered spying at UN. Julian, don't hold your breath in that bunker.

4:30  AP: Supporters claim Assange may seek asylum in Switzerland.

3:40  New John Bolton piece at the Guardian on WikiLeaks naturally attacks Obama above all.

2:55  New from the Guardian: cables claim Al-Jazeera is not independent journo outlet, with more embarrassement for Qatar.

2:45  This probe of Assange's rape accusers getting a lot of traffic, I cannot comment beyond that.

2:30  On CNN's Reliable Sources, Jeff Jarvis defends Wikileaks, others not so much.

12:50  Saturday Night Live opened last night with a parody of Assange leading a TMZ-type show, with ambush interviews of Karzai and Hillary and so on.

12:25  More from Assange lawyers at BBC, on assassination and fighting Swedish charges. http://leaks.comxa.com/

12:20  ABC's Amanpour interviews: Wikileaks Fallout—Former Top Diplomat Says Eikenberry Must Go

11:50  WikiLeaks lawyers talk about being spied on and other grievances.

11:25  Mitch McConnell today calls Assange a "high-tech terrorist." Yeah, and we'll get him just like we got bin Laden. Glenn Greenwald tweets new definition of terrorist as "anyone defying or impeding the will of the US Government with any degree of efficacy."

11:15  AP: Now SwissPost, which Assange turned to after PayPal dropped him, is "reviewing" his account.

10:55  Alex Baldwin at Huff Post: Yeah, "throttle" Julian Assange—but only if also put Cheney on trial for the Valerie Plame leaking.

10:35  "Assange in new interview with El Pais: "We have hundreds of specific death threats from US military militants." Not that unusual for them, but what's new: some against lawyers and "my children." And: "I believe geopolitics will be separated into pre and post Cablegate phases."

10:00  Perhaps the biggest surprise in today's coverage, via the Guardian: "Iraqi government officials see Saudi Arabia, not Iran, as the biggest threat to the integrity and cohesion of their fledgling democratic state, leaked US state department cables reveal. The Iraqi concerns, analysed in a dispatch sent from the US embassy in Baghdad by then ambassador Christopher Hill in September 2009, represent a fundamental divergence from the American and British view of Iran as arch-predator in Iraq."

9:45  The NYT version of today's big scoop on our Arab allies funding terror groups that fight us beyond Saudi Arabia, with

grim views about the United Arab Emirates ("a strategic gap" that terrorists can exploit), Qatar ("the worst in the region" on counterterrorism) and Kuwait ("a key transit point"). The cable stressed the need to "generate the political will necessary" to block money to terrorist networks—groups that she said were "threatening stability in Pakistan and Afghanistan and targeting coalition soldiers."

9:30 Big Guardian piece on Saudi Arabia as "cash point" for terrorists. "Saudi Arabia is the world's largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba—but the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of money, according to Hillary Clinton.... 'Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide ' she said.... The cables highlight an often ignored factor in the Pakistani and Afghan conflicts: that the violence is partly bankrolled by rich, conservative donors across the Arabian Sea whose governments do little to stop them."

SATURDAY

11:00   London's Sunday TImes: Assange has circulated across the Internet an encrypted cache of uncensored documents suspected of including files on BP and Guantánamo Bay. An "insurance" file has been downloaded from the WikiLeaks site by tens of thousand of supporters, the newspaper reported, meant to trigger a deluge of national and commercial secrets if Assange's activites are curtailed.

Computer experts interviewed by the newspaper said it was unlikely that the US could defeat the encryption in the files. The Sunday Times reported that the US Defense Department said it was aware of the insurance file, which has been available for download since July.

9:30 Foreign Policy: More than 200 Twitter fans of Assange set up WikiLeaks "mirror" sites today.

9:00  NYT's public editor hits Assange but still, eventually, comes to back paper in publishing the leaks, to aid public's right to know.

6:25  Op-ed for Sunday NYT accuses Assange of, actually, helping Iran.

6:10  NYT finally posts story on White House ordering military and contractors to avoid WikiLeaks stuff—love the typo "icontractors." Note: "The effort, while understandable, seems entirely futile, said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington nonprofit group that has combated government efforts to keep certain government documents secret. 'It just may be a little too late for the government to push these documents down the memory hole,' Mr. Rotenberg said, adding that his center did not support the initial public release of the material. 'This is Orwell thought police in the age of the Internet, as these are already so widely accessible on servers around the world.'"

5:15  NYT's Tom Friedman's Sunday column opens: "O.K. I admit it. I enjoy reading other people's mail as much as the next guy, so going through the WikiLeaks cables has made for some fascinating reading. What's between the lines in those cables, though, is another matter. It is a rather sobering message. America is leaking power."

4:30  Reporters Without Borders hits the "hounding" of WikiLeaks in strong statement.

3:45  Big boost: Despite pressure from US and France, Swiss host for WikiLeaks refuses to take them offline. The Guardian reports: "The site's new Swiss host, Switch, today said there was "no reason" why it should be forced offline, despite demands from France and the US. Switch is a nonprofit registrar set up by the Swiss government for all 1.5 million Swiss .ch domain names."

3:35  NYT gets Columbia Univ to confirm it did send that e-mail to some students warning them not to go to Wiki sites or they will jeopardize their careers.

3:00  Ace blogger Digby defends her support for WIki releases.

2:00  Media collaboration w/ WikiLeaks amazing: NYT & Guardian publish their scoops at virtually same time every day--a daily embargo?

1:30  WikiLeaks continue on weekend: Here's Guardian on China vs. Google.

1:15  Editor of Guardian: Wash Times published column calling for Assange assassination yesterday (as I covered here)—after paper asked HIM for WIki files earlier in week.

1:10  Yes, now there is a Boycott Pay Pal For Dumping WIkiLeaks page at Facebook—and remember, Pay Pal owned by eBay.

1:00  Matthew Dowd, former Bushite, raps US media for blasting WIkiLeaks in column that is going viral. The Guardian's media critic Greenslade hits US media for ripping WikiLeaks.

12:35  Cover line for NYT "T" magazine: "Happy Holidays from Chloe Sevigny... Hilary Swank... Maggie Gyllenhaal... Julian Assange." Here's the snooze of a piece.

11:00   Pay Pal suspends WikiLeaks account "permanently."

10:50   For Sunday NYT: WIki cables show Obama's high level of "engagement."

 
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BLOGGING THE WIKILEAKS—Day 6

Back again for more, god help me, as the Wiki news and views keep coming.  As before, updating at the top with ET stamp. More @gregmitch at Twitter.

8:00 Strong Guardian editorial on weak reaction from many to Wiki revelations.

7:45  TPM leading the way on who is blocking anything WIki—latest is major defense contractor blocking anything with WikiLeaks in URL—such as this blog! Also see amazing screen shot of Daily Beast with references to WikiLeaks in headlines crossed out!

7:00 Lengthy NYT summary of pro and con views vs. Assange, including getting rid of him some way.

6:50  Yes, it's a Gawker report, but TPM backs it—further word on military blocking or warning soldiers on going to news sites covering WikiLeaks, and more.

6:40  Rep. Ron Paul upholds WikiLeaks, tweeting:  "Re: Wikileaks—In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble."

6:15  TPM gets memo of Office of Management and Budget ordering all federal agencies to bar employees from going to WikiLeaks sites. White House confirms. "An administration official confirms that the OMB sent the email, adding that it follows guidance the office made earlier this week telling agencies to review their information security procedures."

5:35  And, on another front, cables show how US used threats, spying etc. to try to get its way at last year's climate conference in Copenhagen. 

5:15  More from the Guardian:  "A potential 'environmental disaster' was kept secret by the US last year when a large consignment of highly enriched uranium in Libya came close to cracking open and leaking radioactive material into the atmosphere. The incident came after the mercurial Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, suddenly went back on a promise to dispose of the weapons-grade uranium, apparently out of pique at a diplomatic slight received in New York when he was barred from pitching a tent outside the UN."

5:00 In first of daily late-afternoon scoops at NYT and elsewhere: the Guardian finally with full story of Yemen letting US bomb at will—and lie about it. "The cables expose for the first time the true scale of America's covert military involvement in the Arab world's poorest nation amid deep concern in Washington that it has become the haven for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula." In other news: Yemeni leader is "bizarre" and "petulant."

4:45  "WikiLeaks, the Musical" from McSweeney's. Haven't gotten through it yet, will let you know later. 

4:10   Another good piece from Amy Davidson at The New Yorker, this time on how, or if, WikiLeaks embarrassments may shift Obama's moves on Afghan (or had anything to do with today's strange trip). I like this:  "Why, when our budget is supposedly so tight, are we sending billions of dollars to be stolen by dubious characters?" 

3:30  Good piece by Peter Hart of FAIR (he was early on the case) on that NYT walk back on its initial bombshell that Iran had gotten nineteen missiles from N. Korea (see below, also). As he notes, the Times had even failed to publish the one cable it was using as its "evidence." Much of the rest of the media followed Times's lead and reported the deal as fact. And yes, it requires public editor's probe.

3:25  That Glenn Greenwald-–Steve Aftergood debate on Democracy Now! here

2:10  New NYT piece by Alan Cowell on worldwide response to WikiLeaks finds mixed bag and far more "textured" than simplistic or doom-laden claims.

1:40  Chief of Bahnhof, the Swedish entity hosting Wiki there, tells Daily Beast it will not drop that, has not been asked by US to do, and would resist if asked.

1:35  Fluke or new policy? Mother Jones on scary report of military guy abroad getting message pop-up on computer screen when he tried to go to a legit site that was analyzing Wiki releases. 

1:25  Library of Congress in DC blocks access to WikiLeaks for staffers—and visitors. More and more gov't agencies doing same.

1:05  We hammered the NYT for  this at the time—when they embraced the scare story that N. Korea had shipped nineteen missiles to Iran based on one cable of a meeting—and now the paper is walking it back. Story by Mazzetti and Broad carries headline: "Wider Window Into Iran's Missile Capabilities Offers a Murkier View." No kdding. But it was journalistic malpractice when they first covered it. Now they tell us:  "The conflicting portraits illustrate how the batch of diplomatic documents made available by WikiLeaks can be glimpses of the American government’s views, sometimes reflecting only part of the story, rather than concrete assertions of fact."

12:50  The Forbes reporter, Andy Greenberg, who interviewed Julian Assange for their current cover story now writes about Dan Ellsberg's call for leaks from within Amazon on why it dropped its WikiLeaks hostings—Amazon, improbably, saying it wasn't due to Lieberman pressure. Greenberg even says: send leaks to me! PLUS: Strong take vs. Amazon, and larger issues raised, by Berkman Center's Hal Roberts. 

12:35  Thanks to the great Wiki-blog at the Guardian for pointing us to protest letter from Human Rights First chief to Amazon's Bezos, with holiday season boycott talk going on. 

11:50  Jeffrey T. Kuhner in Wash TImes op-ed (he's a regular columnist) under headline "Assassinate Assange" writes: "Julian Assange poses a clear and present danger to American national security. The WikiLeaks founder is more than a reckless provocateur. He is aiding and abetting terrorists in their war against America. The administration must take care of the problem—effectively and permanently.... we should treat Mr. Assange the same way as other high-value terrorist targets: Kill him."   Article comes with Assange WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE poster with blood and bullet holes.

Kuhner, a former editor with the Moonie Wash TImes, once hosted a radio talk show in DC. His motto is, "The Last Honest Man in Washington." He is president of the Edmund Burke Institute and considers himself liberalism's "worst nightmare."  See full bio here.

11:45  Strong defense of Assange, and hit on US journalists who have attacked him and slighted news value of these leaks, at The Atlantic by regular David Samuels. 

11:30  We mentioned this earlier, but now from Democracy Now! site: "The State Department’s WikiLeaks censorship has even been extended to university students. An email to students at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs says: 'The documents released during the past few months through Wikileaks are still considered classified documents. [The State Department] recommends that you DO NOT post links to these documents nor make comments on social media sites such as Facebook or through Twitter. Engaging in these activities would call into question your ability to deal with confidential information, which is part of most positions with the federal government.'"

11:25  Latest from BBC on legal moves against Assange, possible arrest coming.

11: 20   Also from the Q&A you'll find witty response to why no leaks on UFOs yet.  But a more serious answer to call by professor (and former Canadian government adviser) Tom Flanagan and others for his death: "It is correct that Mr. Flanagan and the others seriously making these statements should be charged with incitement to commit murder."

11:15 From Guardian Q&A,  Assange on whether he is a journalist: "I coauthored my first nonfiction book by the time I was 25. I have been involved in nonfiction documentaries, newspapers, TV and internet since that time. However, it is not necessary to debate whether I am a journalist, or how our people mysteriously are alleged to cease to be journalists when they start writing for our organisation. Although I still write, research and investigate my role is primarily that of a publisher and editor-in-chief who organises and directs other journalists."

11:10  NYT with latest on speculation over where Wiki site is now being hosted (France?) along with cool underground Swedish bunker shot.

11:05   While I was gone, The Guardian posted its Q&A with Assange, answering reader questions. Good to see him stress, as so few in media have, that only fully redacted (with help of media) cables have been posted.

8:55  Note: I have to exit for a couple of hours. Carry on!

8:50  The Guardian site now up again and says it will soon start posting answers from Assange to the questions in its Q&A with readers.  

8:40  Now WikiLeaks kicked offline by US-based domain hoster.  "Everydns.net says attack against leaks site endangered other customers' service—effectively pushing site off the web."

8:30  Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! reading e-mail to Columbia Univ students in International Affairs program from their administraton warning them not to link to, or comment on in social networks,  WikiLeaks releases.  

8:20  The Guardian's Q&A with Assange (starting 8 am) crashes the site, last I checked. So still listening to Glenn Greenwald taking on Steve Aftergood on Democracy Now!

8:15  Roger Cohen, a little surprisingly,  at NYT site,  joins the pundit brigade claiming not much really new in these WikiLeaks.

8:10  Dan Ellsberg joins call for boycotting Amazon.

8:00 AM  Op-ed writer for the Guardian helpfully puts two top issues together in one, under heading: "Bradley Manning is not an argument for DADT: "Repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell' must not be stalled because the alleged source of the WikiLeaks US embassy cables is gay."

7:55  The Independent in London now suggests Assange will be arrested in next few days, possibly with his lawyer agreeing. True? Also see family's concerns about assassination. His mom doesn't own a computer, by the way

7:50 The Guardian picks up on little-noted admission by State Dept. spokesman PJ Crowley yesterday in presser that Assange made contact with them last weekend: "Mr. Assange, in a letter to our Ambassador in the United Kingdom over the weekend, after documents had been released to news organizations, made what we thought was a halfhearted gesture to have some sort of conversation, but that was after he released the documents and after he knew that they were going to emerge publicly. So I think there's been a very different approach. And Mr. Assange obviously has a particular political objective behind his activities, and I think that, among other things, disqualifies him as being considered a journalist."

7:40  We may have been first to highlight stodgy old Foreign Policy launching a very active WikiLeaked site. A lot to read for just the first couple days.

From last night

Another Wiki front opened—US has lost faith in Mexico's ability to contain drug trade and violence... Fun Mark FIore animation on  WikiLeaks based on "It's a Small World After All" but with "No Secrets After All"... The only thing unexpected about this Alan Dershowitz op-ed warning that WikiLeaks is increasing the chances for war is that it appers in the Guardian, not the Wash Post.

Glenn Greenwald with his second post today on the Lieberman crusade against Wiki-hosters. He'll be debating Steve Aftergood on Democracy Now! tomorrow at 8 am ET, should be fun... Dave Weigel at Slate takes a look at new Joe Lieberman' SHIELD Act, amending the Espionage Act to enable Wiki-whacking. Big problem: only small number of Wiki cables were "top secret"... Confirmed: Tableau took down its charts for WikiLeaks at Lieberman's request.

 
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DAYBOOK for Friday: Krugman Hits Obama on Cave-In, 'Daily Show' vs. McCain on DADT, Tom Morello, More

 WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses plus fun videos and (at the bottom) a music pick. Return for updates during the day. Keep up with fresh items via @gregmitch at Twitter. E-mail me at: epic1934@aol.com. Check out my new book on the wildest left-wing election campaign and the birth of "media politics" here.

EARLY EXIT FRIDAY 

Sorry, folks, I have to do a very limited edition of Daybook today, due to exiting early for annual physical. But besides a few items below, see today's Blogging the WikiLeaks feature, which I just launched (for a sixth day), and will update when I return.  Also, here is yesterday's lengthy installment. 

A sample from my Friday morning Wiki-blog: Jeffrey T. Kuhner in Wash TImes op-ed  (he's a regular columnist)  under headline "Assassinate Assange" writes: "Julian Assange poses a clear and present danger to American national security. The WikiLeaks founder is more than a reckless provocateur. He is aiding and abetting terrorists in their war against America. The administration must take care of the problem—effectively and permanently.... we should treat Mr. Assange the same way as other high-value terrorist targets: Kill him."   Article comes with Assange WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE poster with blood and bullet holes.  

Paul Krugman: White House displaying "moral collapse—a complete failure of purpose and loss of direction"... Ezra Klein:  It's hard to overstate how badly the Dems—particularly the White House—have blown the tax debate... Here is latest and how aid to jobless figures (or does not).  

Op-ed writer for the Guardian helpfully puts two top issues together in one, under heading: "Bradley Manning is not an argument for DADT: "Repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell' must not be stalled because the alleged source of the WikiLeaks US embassy cables is gay."  

CNN asks Palin a question at book-signing in Iowa, then is told to leave room. 

MoveOn.org video commercial begs Obama to stand strong vs. GOP on tax cuts.

Maybe America needs Julian Assange to leak details on backroom deals and corruption that might have killed our chances to host World Cup.

Last night I reached a milestone, and my 10,000th follower on Twitter turned out to be the @HookerNews.

TODAY's LAFF

The Daily Show nails John McCain again on DADT, amid "Gaypocalypse Now."

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Gaypocalypse Now
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor The Daily Show on Facebook

 

 

TODAY's MUSIC

Tom Morello is one of co-hosts of annual Nation Institute bash next Monday, and here he is with Billy Bragg doing "This Land Is Your Land."

 

 
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BLOGGING THE WIKILEAKS—Day 5

Yes, we're back for another day of frequently updating all of the news and views on the latest WikiLeaks.  As before, posting at the top with ET stamp.  For even more follow me on Twitter  @GregMitch.

9:55  The Independent in London now suggests Assange will be arrested in next few days, possibly with his lawyer agreeing.  True?  Also see family's concerns about assassination.  His mom doesn't own a computer, by the way.   In an interview with an Australian newspaper, Mr. Assange's mother defended her son and lambasted hawks in the US who have called for his death.  Ms.  Assange, who runs a puppet theatre in Noosa, a Queensland beach resort, defended her son's decision to publish thousands of classified US documents on the website. "He sees what he's doing as doing a good thing in the world – fighting baddies, if you like," she told Queensland's Courier-Mail.

9:40  Another front opened --  U.S. has lost faith in Mexico's ability to contain drug trade and violence.  Scathing cables.

9:00  Fun Mark FIore animation on  WikiLeaks based on "It's a Small World After All" but with "No Secrets After All."

8:50  The only thing unexpected about this Alan Dershowitz op-ed warning that WikiLeaks is increasing the chances for war is that it appers in The Guardian, not the Wash Post.

8:40  Glenn Greenwald with his second post today on the Lieberman crusade against Wiki-hosters.   He'll be debating Steve Aftergood on Democracy Now! tomorrow at 8 am ET, should be fun.

7:00   Dave Weigel at Slate takes a look at new Joe Lieberman' SHIELD Act, amending the Espionage Act to enable Wiki-whacking.  Big problem:  only small number of Wiki cables were "top secret." 

6:25  Helpful tip from NYT:  "Want to find a better way to work your way through the cables published by WikiLeaks? Try Cablesearch.org, a new search engine dedicated to helping readers explore the archive of leaked cables, launched on Thursday by Henk van Ess of the European Center of Computer Assisted Reporting."

5:50  Confirmed: Tableau took down its charts for WikiLeaks at Lieberman's request. 

5:15  NYT finally posts new  Assange (man of mystery) video that goes with upcoming spread.  Photog even asks taxi driver in Sweden, then on to Stockholm.  At last he is spotted -- at a press conference in London.   Kind of a waste, no?  Online intro says: "In this exclusive behind-the-scenes video, our features and entertainment director Jacob Brown and the photographer Max Vadukul track the elusive Assange across Europe to get the story."

5:05  If stories like the below help get U.S. out of Afghan earlier will today's critics say that actually WikiLeaks SAVED American lives? 

4:40  NYT headline on its new major Wiki story says it all: "An Afghan Quandary: Fighting Corruption With Corrupt Officials."   From hundreds of diplomatic cables, Afghanistan emerges as a looking-glass land where bribery, extortion and embezzlement are the norm and the honest man is a distinct outlier. Describing the likely lineup of Afghanistan’s new cabinet last January, the American Embassy noted that the agriculture minister, Asif Rahimi, “appears to be the only minister that was confirmed about whom no allegations of bribery exist.”

 4:35  The Guardian out with its Afghan stuff, some rather familiar "Karzai is corrupt and paranoid" but also finally full story on the country's Veep who left with $52 million "in cash." 

4:30  Check this out: NYT just posted an Assange video -- but calls it "protected" and requires password!  The irony!  Apparently for its stylish  "T" magazine.   UPDATE:  They've now removed it.  The intrigue builds!  Care to speculate on focus of piece on Assange -- fashion? travel? recipes for the bunker? Or are they trying to kill it?

4:15  Rasmussen, America's least accurate (but still beloved by the right) polling outfit, asks our citizens if Julian Assange is a traitor, and 51% say yes.  Apparently it didn't occur to them, or Rasmussen, that he is not U.S. citizen, so what country, exactly, is he betraying? 

4:10  Wash Post, long behind the curve on WikiLeaks -- beyond slamming its founder -- creates a Google Map for a "Where in the World is Julian Assange" blog post.    Others have harkened back to "Where's Waldo."  Come on guys, you can surely do better.

3:40  Big scoop via Guardian hits:  Turns out that wish list for spying by our diplomats at UN was drawn up not by State Department but...the CIA.

3:35  You might find it worth listening to lengthy Democracy Now! interview with Assange quite recently -- October 26 -- and it's  in two parts.

3:30  Kinda thrilled to see great Guardian blog hail my work here.  Especially since I am 2nd generation Brit and my daughter lives in Brixton. 

3:05 Our man Jeremy Scahill on Democracy Now! today re: WikiLeaks docs proving U.S. troops in Pakistan at time he broke story on that--and Pentagon mocked him.

2:50  Make of it what you will, but Craig Ungar at Huff Post has found a bunch of pre-2008 archived writings of Mr. Julian Assange.

2:30  More here on Tableau, which like Amazon suddenly dropped helping WikiLeaks, in this case with charts and graphics.  Also latest on Lieberman and Amazon.

1:35  Ari Melber tweets:   "A rule for who is Not Credible: People who want to prosecute journalists for reporting torture, but not politicians for ordering torture." 

1:30  We haven't covered much from Spain, but it is a big deal in Madrid.  Here Scott Horton of Harper's looks at the three main threads, all involving alleged U.S. obstruction of criminal actions, including the one involving death of cameraman in Iraq.

1:25  Even Jeffrey Goldberg is smacking Joe Lieberman around. 

1:15  Furor in UK over that WikiLeaks cable exposing U.S. storing banned cluster bombs on UK territory.  Hillary Clinton had pushed it.

12:45  Good Guardian takedown of Ross Douthat's online piece claiming -- without any evidence -- that WikiLeaks will make secrecy worse.  Then there's this:  Douthat does say: "Assange is not a terrorist." The effect is spoiled slightly by his very next sentence: "But he has this much in common with al-Qaida...."

12:30  Glenn Beck still trying to connect George Soros to WikiLeaks.  Well, at least he longer confuses it with WIkiPedia.  Or WiccanPedia.

12:20   In case you've been wondering:   Good NYT roundup of how Pakistan media reacting to WIki bombshells.

11:55 Eric Alterman op-ed for IHT and NYT:   "The conservatives who criticize the publication of the WikiLeaks material were not heard complaining when President George W. Bush and his national security team provided Bob Woodward and his coauthor, Dan Balz, with notes and minutes of still-secret National Security Council proceedings regarding the most sensitive matters of U.S. war planning and intelligence collection."

11:40   From Fire Dog Lake:  "Wikileaks Documents Show US Derailed Major Spanish Torture Investigation." 

11:20  Normalcy returns to London!   UK losing World Cup bid knocks WikiLeaks off top of news sites.   Meanwhile, in Russia, Wikileaks never even made top of sites -- or any mention at all, re: Putin.

10:55   FIFA announces:  America will NOT get 2022 World Cup.  Wait until WikiLeaks shows us what really happened in that  vote. Then USA! USA! will all be on their side.

10:40   WikiLeaks calls for boycott of Amazon on its Facebook page (has 375,000 friends).  Also at left see fun Lieberman portrait they concocted.

10:25 Latest scoop"UK overruled on Lebanon spy flights from Cyprus.. Americans dismissed 'bureaucratic' Foreign Office concern that Lebanese Hezbollah suspects might be tortured."  

10:10 From The Guardian: "NPR examines the art of writing a diplomatic cable. Mark Lagon, a former US ambassador, enthuses about this wonderfully funny leaked cable by the then US ambassador in Moscow William Burns describing a drunken wedding party in Dagestan."   Yes, it's a blast.

9:50   NYT blog has wrap-up of fallout from Amazon dropping WikiLeaks hosting.  Note New Yorker piece and  Amazon ties to papers collaborating with Assange. 

9:40  The Guardian's main Wiki blog has posted video of far too long Bloggingheads with Mickey Kaus and Robert Wright. But it summarizes:  "The American writers Robert Wright and Mickey Kaus share distaste for the revelations that US diplomats were asked to spy on the UN. On this Bloggingheads exchange Hillary Clinton is accused of having a "Nixonian" interest in wiretapping."

9:30  This got little attention in October, but now? Two federal investigators wrote in op-ed for  L.A. Times that if WikiLeaks had been around 10 years ago, perhaps it would have prevented 9/11. " WikiLeaks might have provided a pressure valve for those agents who were terribly worried about what might happen and frustrated by their superiors' seeming indifference. They were indeed stuck in a perplexing, no-win ethical dilemma as time ticked away."

9:20  From The Guardian:  "The Atlanta-based talk radio station WSB is asking listeners to vote on whether Assange should be shot or put in jail. There is no third option.  So far most listeners favour shooting."  Must be on-air poll, I don't see it on their site.  Meawnhile, that former adviser to Canadian government, Tom Flanagan, now says he regrets his call for Assanage's "assassination." 

9:15   In interview in Australia, Assange's son, Daniel, age 20, says he's surprised his dad hasn't been killed so far.   Also, yes, father can be hard to work with if people can't work up to his level. 

8:55  My video picks today:  Me on Countdown last nite talking media attacks on Assange,  why "Wag the Dog" needed WikiLeaks, Assange as "Secret A-gent Man" (odds are he won't see tomorrow?)

8:45:   U.S. mad Afghanistan suddenly  signs cluster bomb ban--we still say WE can use them. And Assange is the evil one?

8:30   Julian Assange's lawyer on Democracy Now! hitting calls to prosecute or kill him--catch up with it  at their site now  if you want.

8:25  Yeah, as we saying:  Pentagon flack Geoff Morrell told Fox News that  U.S. has the power to shut down WikiLeaks and block the leaks, but chose not to:  "This is a capability reserved for threats of much higher consequence than this."

And from last night:

NYT looks at  possible legal moves against Assange--and tough road to make them stick.....Very significant embrace: venerable Foreign Policy launches new WikiLeaked site.... And even more for those who claim "nothing new" in the leaks: How the UK sidestepped ban on holding nasty cluster bombs.... 

Much debate in trying to figure why Amazon caved.  Check  this, with conclusion: "[T]he U.S. government considers it appropriate to make inquiry into where and how politically sensitive material is being handled by U.S. service providers. And we now know Amazon Web Services, apparently, will preemptively bow to that pressure and kick a paying customer off its wires without so much as a warrant or a court order." A must-read at  New Yorker on WikiLeaks evolving, in good ways,  by guy who interviewed  Assange earlier:... 

Jeremy Scahill tweets: "Shit. Amazon just canceled my order of 250,000 classified cables. Should have bought the Kindle version." ....  Plus this biggie: NYT says cables confirm what many of us charged at the time: Washington wasmisled  on conflict with Russia by our Georgian friends -- but quite willingly.  Remember, "We Are All Georgians?"  Perhaps could be changed to "Are We All Suckers?"...

Thursday DAYBOOK: GOP Halts Congress, Amazon Caves on WikiLeaks, Kristof on Haiti, 'Wag the Dog,' More

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses plus fun videos and (at the bottom) a music pick. Return for updates during the day. Keep up with fresh items via @gregmitch at Twitter. E-mail me at: epic1934@aol.com. Check out my new book on the wildest left-wing election campaign and the birth of "media politics" here.

BREAKFAST BLEND

What a shock: Twenty-four hours after meeting with Obama, GOP promises to block just about any Democratic move in the Congress... Slate piece hits cruel GOP for move against unemployment benefits—with 15 million out of work.

NIck Kristof: Haiti, nearly a year after the quake, plus video.

New at Vanity Fair : famed team of Bartlett and Steele with " Deadly Medicine" investigation of overseas prescription drug trials.

Once again, cutting into my Daybook time, I blogged the WikiLeaks all day yesterday (and doing so again today for a fifth day). Here are the dozens of items, plus a few of the latest below:

NYT looks at possible legal moves against Assange—and tough road to make them stick... Very significant embrace: venerable Foreign Policy launches new WikiLeaked site... US mad Afghanistan suddenly signs cluster bomb ban—we still say we can use them. And Assange is the evil one?... And even more for those who claim "nothing new" in the leaks: How the UK sidestepped ban on holding nasty cluster bombs...

Much debate in trying to figure why Amazon caved. Check this, concluding that "the US government considers it appropriate to make inquiry into where and how politically sensitive material is being handled by US service providers. And we now know Amazon Web Services, apparently, will preemptively bow to that pressure and kick a paying customer off its wires without so much as a warrant or a court order."

A must-read at The New Yorker on WikiLeaks evolving, in good ways, by guy who interviewed Assange earlier:...
Jeremy Scahill tweets: " Shit. Amazon just canceled my order of 250,000 classified cables. Should have bought the Kindle version"... Plus this biggie: NYT says cables confirm what many of us charged at the time: Washington was misled on conflict with Russia by our Georgian friends—but quite willingly. Remember, "We Are All Georgians?" Perhaps could be changed to "Are We All Suckers?"

An historic day of DADT hearings today on Capitol Hill. Watch them live here.

NOT ENOUGH BANJO? Amazing: 92nd Y in New York offers refunds to audience bored by Steve Martin, interviewed by Deborah Solomon mainly about art. Steve not happy.

THE OLD NETWORK Preview of Mark Zuckerberg on 60 Minutes this weekend.

ME TALK PRETTY MUCH WIKILEAKS ON COUNTDOWN  Video below of my MSNBC appearance last night, with Chris Hayes.

 

HAWK FLIES AND FILES New right-wing WaPo blogger Jennifer Rubin launches: she's for "American exceptionalsim," against Middle East peace process, loves John Bolton. And so on.

WILL FULL LIE? In April 2008, writer Will Bunch had a chance to ask Obama what he would do about torture and other crimes committed by the Bush administration. What he told Will proved to be a lie...

BITS & PIECES FTC would give you the right to reject being followed on the Internet, possibly big move... Ed Rollins to Sarah Palin: "I knew Ronald Reagan, and you're no Ronald Reagan"... WikiLeaks supporter promotes very active press roundup page, "WL Central"... Julian Assange on cover of Time this week—and his lawyer on Democracy Now! today.

 

TODAY's LAFF

If Wikileaks had been around, we never would have gone to war (or pageant) against Albania—in Wag the Dog.

TODAY's MUSIC

Is Julian Assange the new "Secret Agent Man"? Johnny Rivers' 1966 original. "Every move he makes/ Another chance he takes/ Odds are he won't live to see tomorrow."

 
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Blogging the WikiLeaks—Day 4

Once again, we're here with regular updates on the latest news and views on the latest WikiLeaks release as the slow rollout  continues, and even stronger revelations yet to come, many claim. Updated from the top, with ET stamp.

12:05:   New cable: U.S. mad Afghanistan suddenly  signs cluster bomb ban--we still say WE can use them. And Assange is the evil one? 

11:55   WikiLeaks supporter promotes very active press roundup page, "WL Central." 

11:50 NYT looks at  possible legal moves against Assange--and tough road to make them stick.  "Legal scholars say the legal landscape for the protection of government information has been exposed as unprepared for the mass dissemination of leaked electronic documents on the Internet... .Prosecuting Mr. Assange could also open the door to prosecuting traditional media organizations, including The New York Times, which was provided advance access to the materials."

10:40  Very significant embrace: venerable Foreign Policy launches new WikiLeaked site. 

10:15  And even more for those who claim "nothing new" in the leaks: How the UK sidestepped ban on holding nasty cluster bombs. "Officials concealed from parliament how US is allowed to bring weapons on to British soil in defiance of treaty."

10:10   A lot going on in trying to figure why Amazon caved.  See Micah Sifry here.   And even more so, this, with conclusion: "[T]he U.S. government considers it appropriate to make inquiry into where and how politically sensitive material is being handled by U.S. service providers. And we now know Amazon Web Services, apparently, will preemptively bow to that pressure and kick a paying customer off its wires without so much as a warrant or a court order."

10:00  Back from NYC and Countdown.   To find must-read at  New Yorker on WikiLeaks evolving, in good ways,  by guy who interviewed  Assange earlier:  

6:00  Jeremy Scahill tweets: "Shit. Amazon just canceled my order of 250,000 classified cables. Should have bought the Kindle version."    As for me, I am off to NYC  to do Countdown tonight with Chris Hayes.  See you there, and see you here tomorrow. 

5:05  The Guardian on new cables:  Murder of former KGB agent Alexander Litvenenko probably had Putin's okay.

5:00 The daily, late-afternoon WikeDump is upon us.  From The Guardian, for startersWikiLeaks cables condemn Russia as 'mafia state.' 

Plus this biggie: NYT says cables confirm what many of us charged at the time: Washington wasmisled  on conflict with Russia by our Georgian friends -- but quite willingly.  Remember, "We Are All Georgians?"  Perhaps could be changed to "Are We All Suckers?"

4:50  Musical break: Is Julian Assange the new "Secret Agent Man"?   Here's Johnny Rivers' 1966 classic:  "Every more he makes / another chance he takes."  And, ulp, "odds are he won't live to see tomorrow"?  

4:00  Most agree it would be difficult to successfully prosecute Assange, but doesn't mean there won't be mammoth effort to try.

3:40  The Guardian with full story on Amazon bouncing WikiLeaks, claims "under pressure," but no evidence cited -- beyond Lieberman's call.  So as of now "likely" pressured.

3:10:  WikiLeaks tweets response to Amazon dropping hosting (they then moved back to Sweden home):  " WikiLeaks servers at Amazon ousted. Free speech, the land of the free--fine, our $ now spent to employ people in Europe."

2:55  Lede buried: NYT's  top blog The Lede beaten all week by The Guardian's blog, now even quotes Guardian blog in 2 of top 3 items.

2:40  Update on previous: The Guardian reports it appears WikiLeaks has returned to previous host, Sweden's Bahnhof. And no idea why Amazon bounced, if pressure bought, or anything.

2:30  TPM: Amazon.com responsible for taking WikiLeaks off the Internet, according to Sen. Lieberman. He calls for other companies to follow lead and stop hosting WikiLeaks in any way. It should be noted that WikiLeaks has only been released a few dozen or hundreds of cables a day, also posted at various news sites after vetting.

2:15 Time mag finally posts full transcript and audio of its interview with Assange, via Skype at "undisclosed location," yesterday. New: "It's one thing to talk about the need to protect this image of the innocent young soldier, its another thing to talk about how diplomats are hard done by when they find their very privileged position in life undermined by having their lies revealed.... This organization in its four years of publishing history...has never caused an individual, as far as we can determine or as far anyone else can determine, to come to any sort of physical harm or to be wrongly imprisoned and so on. That is a record compared to the organizations that we are trying to expose who have literally been involved in the deaths of hundreds or thousands or, potentially over the course of many years, millions."

2:00  The Guardian: "China continues to block internet access to WikiLeaks's website. Guardian readers are reporting that any attempt to access the websites wikileaks.org and cablegate.wikileaks.org from within China or China-based IP addresses results in default pages being served, saying the connection had been reset, or redirection to the local search engine Baidu."

1:45  Disappointing that in new NYT online chat, Gail Collins more or less agrees with David Brooks that "no news" in WikiLeaks releases and that journalism should be able to handle the world without help from leaks like this, a "depressing" thought for Assange, Collins somehow argues. Jon Stewart last night also pooh-poohed the revelations.

1:30  Brits now searching for Assange after Interpol notice.  Let's hope he's not in Brixton, where my daughter lives, in case of drone attack.

1:15  Andy Borowitz tweets: "If Interpol ever finds Julian Assange, they should probably hire him."

12:30  Lengthy post at Red State concludes with this on Assange:  "Under the traditional rules of engagement he is thus subject to summary execution and my preferred course of action would for Assange to find a small caliber round in the back of his head."

11:10  Very interesting take from Foreign Policy about "panic mode" at all embassies, but especially this: Who is pre-leaking the leaks?  "One Washington lobbyist who represents countries in the Middle East said that local press in several countries he works on is reporting on cables that haven't yet been reported on by the media outlets who had advance access to the documents. 

"The lobbyist speculated that foreign governments may also be selectively leaking cables they've come across in order to spin them in their own favor before WikiLeaks or local media has a chance to weigh in.  'New leaked cables are coming from weird sources, think tanks, the countries involved. There's a lot of stuff being quoted in local press from cables that haven't been released yet and I have no idea where they are coming from,' this lobbyist said."

11:00  Newt Gingrich: Assange is "enemy combatant," committing "act of war," should be jailed rest of his life.

10:55  I warned Sunday about NYT & other US media overhyping N. Korea-Iran missile deal—Walter Pincus and Wash Post exposed last night, now new claims that Times failed to publish full cable, for good (bad) reason. :

10:35  Glenn Greenwald with another lengthy posting, this time starting with a hit against Joe Klein for claiming that WikiLeakers need to be jailed if a single person is harmed because of release. Goes on to look at broader issues, and hypocrisy, as others who have caused much bigger harm have not been punished, have even thrived.

10:20  Putin's interview with Larry King will be aired in full tonight. CNN leaking, as it were, comments now.  For one thing, he thinks there may be something to those who feel WikiLeaks is being used by some other force: "Some experts believe that someone is deceiving WikiLeaks—their reputation is being undermined, to use them for their political purposes.... If it is not so, then it tells us that it is necessary for the diplomatic services to be more attentive to their cables. Such leaks occurred before, in previous times, so this is no catastrophe, I don't see this as being a catastrophe."

9:50   From the Guardian:  "The Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to sue the Americans after some of the cables accused him of corruption. 'This is the United States' problem, not ours.... Those who have slandered us will be crushed under these claims, will be finished and will disappear,' he said according Hürriyet Daily News."

 9:20  John McCain tells Howie Kurtz he really, really, wishes the NYT had not published the WIkiLeaks, saying only the TImes can make them "respectable." The usual, America-centric view.

9:15  Juan Cole's valuable list of top 10 things we've learned so far re the Middle East.  #1: "The British government’s official inquiry into how it got involved in the Iraq War was deeply compromised by the government’s pledge to protect the Bush administration in the course of it."

8:55  Mike Huckabee latest to call for "execution" of WikiLeakers. "They've put American lives at risk. They put relationships that will take decades to rebuild at risk. They knew full well that they were handling sensitive documents they were entrusted." Sarah Palin, meanwhile, has called for Assange to be "hunted" like Osama bin Laden—and we know what that is code for.

The Guardian adds: "It is not just the Americans who are demanding blood. Tom Flanagan, a former senior adviser to the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, issued what has been described as a fatwa against Assange, on the Canadian TV station CBC. 'I think Assange should be assassinated, actually," he said. "I think Obama should put out a contract and maybe use a drone or something.' Flanagan chuckled as he made the comment but did not retract it when questioned, adding: 'I wouldn't feel unhappy if Assange does disappear.' "

8:45   Some WikiLeakers who have had a falling out with Julian Assange plan to start their own group with more of a focus on Europe, Der Spiegel reports. 

8:40  From Madrid: Cables show US tried to get Spain to curb probes of Gitmo torture and rendition or turn over info.

From last night and earlier today:

Reuters reports that Bank of America shares declined by 3 percent on Tuesday, after investors heard reports that BOA may be the unnamed bank  that is the focus of the next trove of documents to be released by WikiLeaks next year.

As I warned: Experts now question N. Korea-Iran missile deal in Wikileaks that NYT and others in US media went nuts over, Wash Post reports.   

Pentagon chief Robt Gates off the reservation: fallout from WikiLeaks will be "fairly modest" for foreign policy... Interpol issues warrant on "fugitive" Julian Assange... Classic, from NYTHow Blackwater turned to pirate-hunting as a way to drum up new business... Bombshell from the Guardian? UK promised in 2009  to protect US interests in official Chilcot inquiry on Iraq war—now a "coverup" charged. 

Time magazine with "exclusive" Assange interview—love this, via Skype from an "undisclosed location." (A deep bunker I hope, to avoid drones.)  He says Hillary Clinton should resign over UN and embassy spying, which NYT and others here don't seem to really care about.  He reminds media (which usually gets this wrong) that these  cables are being redacted "carefully"—hence the slow rollout—and confirms a bank is next big Wikileaks target.

 
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DAYBOOK for Wednesday: Latest WikiLeaks, DADT Hit, Assange on Colbert, Stones Give 'Shelter,' More

WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses  plus fun videos and (at the bottom) a music pick. Return for updates during the day. Keep up with fresh items via @gregmitch at Twitter. E-mail me at: epic1934@aol.com. Check out my new book on the wildest left-wing election campaign and the birth of "media politics" here.

MORNING COFFEE TO GO

Simpson and Bowles release their final report on deficit reduction, including sharp defense cuts, raising retirement age and so on.  Chance of others agreeing: possibly zero.

NYT editorial backs quick action on abandoning DADT.   Here's the news rundown and Pentagon chief Gates' reaction.

Senate finally passes food safety bill with, at last, some bipartisan support. 

Reuters reports that Bank of America shares declined by 3 percent on Tuesday, after investors heard reports that BOA may be the unnamed  bank  that is the focus of the next trove of documents to be released by WikiLeaks next year.

As I warned: Experts now question N. Korea-Iran missile deal in Wikileaks that NYT and others in US media went nuts over,  Wash Post reports.   

One again, I blogged the latest news and views on WikiLeaks yesterday.  And I'm doing it again today--go here for the latest on Day 4.   Here are some of latest from last night and early today:  Pentagon chief Robt Gates off the reservation: fallout from WikiLeaks will be "fairly modest" for foreign policy....Interpol issues warrant on "fugitive" Julian Assange.....Classic, from NYTHow Blackwater turned to pirate-hunting as a way to drum up new business.....Bombshell from The Guardian? UK promised in 2009  to protect U.S. interests in official Chilcot inquiry on Iraq war--now a "coverup" charged. 

Time magazine with "exclusive" Assange interview -- love this, via Skype from an "undisclosed location." (A deep bunker I hope, to avoid drones.)   He says Hillary Clinton should resign over UN and embassy spying, which NYT and others here don't seem to really care about.   He reminds media (which usually gets this wrong) that these  cables are being redacted "carefully"—hence the slow rollout—and confirms a bank is next big Wikileaks target.

HOMER WINS GAME   A fun Fox family feud between Bill O'Reilly and..."The Simpsons."  D'oh!

THE DRILL THING  Big fracking deal:  NY state legislature  backs hydro-fracking moratorium.  Gov. Patterson undecided on signing.

WHEN JULIAN MET STEPHEN   When he could still show his face in public, here's Julian Assange on the Colbert show last April.  Now it's Skype or nothing.

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Julian Assange
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election March to Keep Fear Alive

 

 

WHATTA DEAL  Okay, true fans, you can bid on signed copies of 5 books I've written, at The Nation auction.

BITS & PIECES   Drew Brees on cover of Sports Illustrated as Sportsmen of the Year .... Glenn Beck today on the radio confuses WikiPedia and WikiLeaks—seems to really not know difference.  In any case, finds nefarious link to George Soros.  Maybe he is Assange's real Dad? ....Still waiting for reaction to WikiLeaks from Judy Miller's "baseball cap guy.

TODAY's MUSIC  "Gimme Shelter" must be one of the 10 greatest songs in rock 'n roll history and now you can listen to some of the separate tracks—vocals, rhythm and lead guitar, drums, bass.   Incredible stuff, especially the legendary Merry Clayton vocal backing, with Mick below....a cappella, haunting.  

TODAY's LAFF

100 crazy holiday-decorated house displays in just two minutes, and cue the music.   Santa Laffs Is Coming to Town.

 

 
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