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The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Monday, Day 163

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.

8:50  Kevin Drum at Mother Jones wonders about fellow MoJo scribe David Corn breaking story this morning (see below) on possible link of NYC pharmacist to al-Qaeda anthrax notions.

11:55 Dave Weigel in Slate:  Even Oath Keepers leader at recent Tea Party event hits treatment of Bradley Manning.

10:00 Bill Marimow, longtime top newspaper editor (I used to talk to him when I was at E&P) weighs in briefly on WikiLeaks providing public necessary into, and compares to Pentagon Papers.

9:40  Oh, great:  Cable shows head of Pakistan's army does not agree with president's view that country should have no-first-use of nuclear weapons policy.

9:25  Another absurd detail from WSJ "leak" site--uploaded must own copyright on docs???

7:50  David Corn in Mother Jones: A "chillng" section in one of the Gitmo files suggests that an "anthrax operative" owns four pharmacies in New York City.   "Either the information regarding this suspect is accurate or not. If it is, an Al Qaeda operative linked to biological and chemical weapons owns pharmacies in New York, giving him access to a variety of controlled substances that could be of use to terrorists."

7:40  The Norwegian paper Aftenposten has just published 38 new docs from WikiLeaks on the final phase of the war in Sri Lanka.  Translations here.  My source there describes one:  "US Ambassador Robert Blake warned Sri Lanka’s foreign minister in March 2009, two months before the war ended, that the actions of the SL army could lead to tens of thousands of deaths and that this would lead to international condemnation and war crimes charges. The foreign minister ignored him."

7:30  New interview with Daniel Domscheit -Berg.

12:00 Now NYT covers story we reported Sunday, new cables showing Japanese failures on nuclear plants and U.S. concern.

From late Sunday 

From London's The Independent:  Journo describes going for a job interview for minor WikiLeaks job -- and getting grilled by Assange himself.

More on big WikiLeaks release today on Japan shortcomings in nuclear plant safety, this time from WSJ.   "The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident exposed flaws in the Japanese government's measures to guard the country's reactors against earthquakes and tsunamis. U.S. officials have in recent years also worried that Japanese officials haven't taken enough precautions to protect the facilities from terrorist attacks, according to diplomatic documents released over the weekend on the Wikileaks website."

  WikiLeaks releases cables on Japan's history with nuclear power.  The dam has finally broken on the 7000 cables from Tokyo.

WikiLeaks cable : Pakistan ISI allowed terrorists to attack India, says Gitmo detainee.

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, both hailed by Glenn Greenwald, Dan Ellsberg,  Bill Moyers, Amy Goodman.

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog -- Special Weekend Edition!

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 Monday's edition, go here.

SUNDAY 

7:55  From London's The Independent:  Journo describes going for a job interview for minor WikiLeaks job -- and getting grilled by Assange himself.

1:20  More on big WikiLeaks release today on Japan shortcomings in nuclear plant safety, this time from WSJ.   "The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident exposed flaws in the Japanese government's measures to guard the country's reactors against earthquakes and tsunamis. U.S. officials have in recent years also worried that Japanese officials haven't taken enough precautions to protect the facilities from terrorist attacks, according to diplomatic documents released over the weekend on the Wikileaks website."

10:35  A two--part Assange interview on video.

10:30   WikiLeaks releases cables on Japan's history with nuclear power.  The dam has finally broken on the 7000 cables from Tokyo.

10:25 WikiLeaks cable : Pakistan ISI allowed terrorists to attack India, says Gitmo detainee 

* SATURDAY 

10:35  Der Spiegel on WikiLeaks on US-Pakistani Relations: A Forced Marriage Plagued by Ever-Deepening Distrust.

7:05 Assange's criticisms of Swedish legal system not wrong, say Swedish lawyers 

7:00  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, both hailed by Glenn Greenwald, Dan Ellsberg,  Bill Moyers, Amy Goodman.

Friday

5:00  A little incestous, maybe, but here's new video from when I was interviewed about WikiLeaks by my colleague Kevin Gosztola at the recent media conference in Boston.

1:20  WSJ responds to criticism of its leaky leak portal.

10:05  The Guardian with more on continuing backlash against Wall St Journal's leaky leak portal, with comment by Jacob Appelbaum, others.

9:40  Saul Landau on Manning and "Unmasking the Myth of National Security." 
8:00  Extremely detailed new interview with Assange, tracing his whole history and principles, the Cypherpunk movement, "the path," and much more.  And it's only Part I.

On HBO Tonight: Award-Winning Film on Israelis and Palestinians Joining Together to Save Baby's Life

Efforts to bridge the Israeli-Palestinian canyon in bold or creative ways are always noteworthy and heartening.  This morning's New York Times carries a lengthy story on pianist/conductor Daniel Barenboim's latest bold attempt, bringing a group of musicians from Europe to Gaza for a one-night Mozart concert that made attendees, and others observing the move, feel like full human beings for a change.  Barenboim, a Jew from Argentina who holds both Israeli and Palestinian citizenship, deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for his long-standing efforts (begun with Edward Said)  in this same sphere.

Now, on HBO tonight (and then several times more in days ahead), comes the documentary Precious Life, which profiles efforts by an Israeli journalist and doctors, along with a Palestinian doctor and helpers, to save the life of a baby born without an immune system.   It is directed by the TV journalist, Shlomi Eldar, and won the Israeli equivalent of an Oscar for best documentary.   The medical effort was made possible by a $50,000 donation from an anonymous Israeli (who had lost a son in the military conflict and now knew life was so precious).

It's a rewarding, if harrowing, film that does not focus on the political, although it can hardly avoid it, as the medical effort is hampered by the restrictions on movement between Gaza and Israel.  For example, finding a bone marrow transplant match among the baby's cousins takes some real derring-do in testing and transporting the blood samples.  Then, when a match is found, the girl, while en route to the hospital, nearly gets blown up when the main checkpoint suffers a car bomb explosion.  And so it goes.

Another heated moment:  The journalist/director nearly pulls out of the effort after a discussion, on camera, with the baby's mother, Raida, who says that she would not be very upset if the baby grew up to take vengeance on Israel for what it has done to her people.  He seems to misinterpret a bit,  as he  tells someone else that she would "raise" the child to do this, which was nonsense.  In any event, raw feelings remain for awhile until resolved.   And then there's suspense at the end as all await results of testing when the woman gets pregnant once again (two of her other children had died from the same deficiency).

I won't give away what happens to those children, but the film does end on an up note when the journalist fulfills one of her dreams -- taking her to Jerusalem.

 

 

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. 


As Debate Over Releasing Photo of Dead Osama Flares: Remember Zarqawi?

With debate now raging in Washington, and in the media, over the wisdom of releasing a "death photo" of Osama bin Laden, I can't help thinking back to what happened almost five years ago.  On  June 8, 2006, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq -- our Public Enemy #1 in that country -- was killed during a U.S. air raid and his bloody corpse displayed for photographers. TV newcasts and newspapers showed -- in the most prominent, even obsessive, fashion --  the close-up images, as some pundits and administration officials a proclaimed a possible “turning point” against insurgents in that country had arrived.  Of course, the war actually grew worse for awhile.

Here's a piece I wrote in the midst of that, on June 9, 2006,  for the magazine I then edited, Editor & Publisher.   It was titled, "Dead and Loving It."

_________

As shown on TV screens, Web sites and front pages, few editors are reticent to display graphic close-up images of the dead head of slain terrorist Musab Abu al-Zarqawi. The vast majority of papers, as they had done on the Web the day before, carried at the top of their front pages either a large image of the bloodied face of Zarqawi being held aloft at a Washington, D.C. briefing, or a tight close up of the same deathly visage from a video image. The Los Angeles Times, which did not use one of the images on the home page of its Web site on Thursday, threw it across the top of its front page Friday.

Leading the pack, not surprisingly, was the New York Post, which devoted its full front page to the dead head, with the headline "Gotcha!" and a quote bubble leading from Zarqawi's mouth with him saying, "Warm up the virgins."

As noted by some commentators, this was in stark contrast to newspapers' general ban on showing the full cost of the war, including pictures of dead U.S. soldiers or Iraqi civilians.

But several papers, with the same opportunity to display the deceased terrorist, chose for whatever reason to avoid that on their front pages (as shown at the Newseum's daily collection online). Neither the Detroit Free Press nor the Detroit News used a death shot on Page One. The Dallas Morning News and Ft. Worth Star-Telegram failed to run a death skull, but the San Antonio Express-News did. Both major dailies in Seattle carried the image but the Spokesman-Review in Spokane did not.

Among others that did not use a death photo on their front pages (again, very much in the minority), were the, San Francisco Chronicle, Des Moines Register, and Christian Science Monitor. Perhaps we will learn eventually if any of these papers felt showing the close-up of a dead man -- even if he was one of the world's most notorious killers -- violated their standards of decency, or if they broke from the pack for other reasons.

But in considering the wide showcasing of the death photo, Washington Post staff writer Philip Kennicott on Friday wondered if "as with so many images in this war, it is loaded with the potential to backfire." It might add to his martyr status -- "and it reminds others how much this war has been about cycles of killing, retribution, tribal and sectarian violence, and the most primitive destructive urges. ...

"And now we gaze on Zarqawi's face one last time, as he reminds us that the new product wasn't so new; the war turned out to have all too much of what wars have always had in them, death, destruction and chaos. Zarqawi's head forces us to confront once again the most primitive dynamic of war: It's an eye for an eye, or a head for a head. ...

"What began as a war of necessity, premised on the slam-dunk certainty that Saddam Hussein was staring us down with weapons of mass destruction, eventually became a war of ideas. If there were no weapons, then at least it was a war of liberation, bringing freedom and democracy to a land in desperate need of both. And when that war devolved into clouds of dust and pools of blood as the country broke into religious and ethnic factions, and the rule of law was extinguished by terrorists and militias, the war of ideas began to seem more like another thing -- a war of trophies.

"We may not have victory. Iraq may be a living hell both for those who are fighting to make it better and for those who live there. But we bring home the occasional politically expedient marker of 'progress.' Major combat operations are over. We got Saddam's sons. We got Saddam. Now we have Zarqawi. The trophy case fills: elections, a constitution, a new government -- everything but peace and stability for an exhausted nation of Iraqis who have died by the tens of thousands during the evolution of this war.

"Zarqawi is gone and good riddance. But there's nothing in the image of his face that deserves a frame."

The Sun in Baltimore interviewed Philip Seib, author of "Beyond the Front Lines: How the News Media Cover a World Shaped by War." He said, "I think it's important for the American media not to turn this into a Star Search kind of a thing where you have one super-celebrity in al-Zarqawi and you make a huge deal out it, when the fact is that the insurgency is so much more complicated. ...

"I'm not saying al-Zarqawi's death is trivial - it's an important development -- but parts of the media just get caught up in it and are falling all over themselves to show the dead body and the bombs and make it into much more than it is in terms of its importance to the overall insurgency and military effort."

This article also appears in Greg Mitchell's book, "So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits and the President Failed on Iraq."  His two current books and e-books are "Bradley Manning" and "The Age of WikiLeaks." 

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Wednesday, Day 158

As I’ve done for 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 Thursday edition of this blog.

5:40  Shep Smith on OBL killing, photos and the "post-WIkiLeaks world."  He has been one of more vocal mainstream WL backers, in the main.

5:30  Many, including my colleague @kgosztola will be tweeting big WikiLeaks panel in NY w/ PJ Crowley, Assange attorney,.others  @ 6:30

1:45   @nycsouthpaw:  tweets: "EXCLUSIVE: President Obama has decided that Julian Assange will release the Bin Laden photos."

1:25  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.

12:25  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."

10:25  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."

10:15  PJ Crowley has just joined big Index on Censorship panel tonight in NYC.

9:15  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. 

9:00  This came out yesterday but now Forbes writer joins in claims that cables show Pakistan knew where Osame was long ago.

8:00  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.

7:50   Not exactly true, probably,  but love the headline: "WikiLeaks Killed Bin Laden."   But this theory has gained a lot of worldwide discussion.  

7:45   The Telegraphcables show Brits sent 3 copters to area very near Osama compound in 2005, about the time he moved in, to help with relief effort after earthquake.

From late Tuesday

First firsthand account of Bradley Manning's living conditions -- via his attorney after visit to Leavenworth.  Almost a night and day change from Quantico, including two hours exercise outdoors every day, window and desk, videos on weekend, no clothes take from him at night, not on injury watch, and so on.  Showing how protesting can pay off.

 Finally! One of the few major countries with little out on WikiLeaks cables -- and no major media partner -- was Japan.  Now that has changed with today's breaks via Asahi.  The @WikiLeaks feed links to a bunch of things, for starters.    Here's Asahi opener.  A lot on red hot Okinawa issue.

 Good piece on Daniel Ellsberg chat on panel at Berkeley with Lowell Bergman, others.  Things I didn't know: There are rumors that Assange gave Ellsberg thumb drive with "insurance" files of classified material to release if Assange gets busted and, two, Robert Cole, also at panel, went to school with Dan.

  Good article by my friend  @kgosztola on US hosting world press freedom day  in the midst of prosecuting Wikileaks. 

  Shocker:  The Guardian-- Cables via WikiLeaks reveal U.S. forces were only hundreds of yards from bin Laden compound training Pakistani forces.  "US forces may have visited the town for a second time, months later, according to the cable."

 A lot of new reporting abroad on WikiLeaks cables on Pakistan. Here’s one report on how Pakistan allegedly wanted to catch Osama and kept asking about whereabouts but somehow didn’t know themselves. Then there’s this report, also based on cables, claiming that Pakistanis tipped off Osama whenever US seemed about to attack.

Not sure what to make of this, but here’s report that Israeli reporter for Haaretz may be facing prosecution for possession of classified IDF documents. Other journalists rallying in support.

Honduran journalist who reported on WikiLeaks embassy cables and the army narrowly escapes armed ambush.

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Tuesday, Day 157

As I’ve done for 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:  Wednesday's edition of this blog.

9:30  First firsthand account of Bradley Manning's living conditions -- via his attorney after visit to Leavenworth.  Almost a night and day change from Quantico, including two hours exercise outdoors every day, window and desk, videos on weekend, no clothes take from him at night, not on injury watch, and so on.  Showing how protesting can pay off.

7:50  Finally! One of the few major countries with little out on WikiLeaks cables -- and no major media partner -- was Japan.  Now that has changed with today's breaks via Asahi.  The @WikiLeaks feed links to a bunch of things, for starters.    Here's Asahi opener.  A lot on red hot Okinawa issue.

5:30  Good piece on Daniel Ellsberg chat on panel at Berkeley with Lowell Bergman, others.  Things I didn't know: There are rumors that Assange gave Ellsberg thumb drive with "insurance" files of classified material to release if Assange gets busted and, two, Robert Cole, also at panel, went to school with Dan.

5:13  Good article by my friend  @kgosztola on US hosting world press freedom day  in the midst of prosecuting Wikileaks. 

1:40  Shocker:  The Guardian-- Cables via WikiLeaks reveal U.S. forces were only hundreds of yards from bin Laden compound training Pakistani forces.  "US forces may have visited the town for a second time, months later, according to the cable."

11:50 A lot of new reporting abroad on WikiLeaks cables on Pakistan. Here’s one report on how Pakistan allegedly wanted to catch Osama and kept asking about whereabouts but somehow didn’t know themselves. Then there’s this report, also based on cables, claiming that Pakistanis tipped off Osama whenever US seemed about to attack.

11:15 Not sure what to make of this, but here’s report that Israeli reporter for Haaretz may be facing prosecution for possession of classified IDF documents. Other journalists rallying in support.

10:40 Honduran journalist who reported on WikiLeaks embassy cables and the army narrowly escapes armed ambush.

9:25 My colleague Kevin Gosztola with update on yesterday’s news that key courier in tracking bin Laden was mentioned in one of the Gitmo files.

8:30 Assange calling Facebook “the most appalling spy machine” getting even wider coverage today.

8:25 Bob Woodward, master printer of leaks, who has been notably quiet about WikiLeaks, answered a question about First Amendment and WikiLeaks yesterday, or sort of ecs.pn/kQgpDK

12:05 @Wikileaks tweets: “Release Manning from jail & Assange from house arrest! Tomorrow is World Press Freedom Day.”

12:05 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.

12:00 WikiLeaks docs that suggest long history of Pakistan protecting bin Laden.

From late Monday

Next: US special ops “snatch” Assange from English manor?

Assange: Facebook is the most appalling spy machine that has ever been invented.

If you missed, I live-blogged media coveage of aftermath Osama slaying here.

@WikiLeaks tweets: “Information about courier and location appeared in Gitmo Files release http://is.gd/LtSvHC.”

A different kind of “leak”: How Pakistani locals covered raid on Osama compound—as it happened.

@WikiLeaks, echoing out or Katrina vandenHeuvel last night: “With the death of Osama it is time to bring the war in Afghanistan to a close.”

Blogging the Media Coverage of Death of bin Laden

After heavily tweeting the story since 10:30 last night, now I will put some thoughts and links about the saturation media coverage here (while continued the WikiLeaks blog).

9:35  The Guardian: Osama bin Laden: laying ghosts to rest | Editorial 

9:25 "Live" from Ground Zero: Couric, Sawyer, Williams, Cooper, Hemmer, Shep and Spitzer.  Somehow live sounds like wrong word.  As my wife said over dinner tonight, looking out at neighbors directly across the street: "I wonder what they are thinking tonight."  They lost daughter on 9/11.  

5:10  Nate Silver with a second take on how some analysts going "too far" in downplaying bounce Obama will get and keep from OBL shooting.  

4:35  Time Mag special issue cover coming on Thursday at left.  4th time it has has used  the big X (first was for Hitler).

4:15  Keith Olbermann returns tonight, posting online video at 8 pm (old time slot) with "special comment" on, he says, "what's next, for counter-terror, for the middle east, for the now debunked GOP."    Possibly look for, "You, sir, sleep with the fishes."  Worst (dead) person in the world? 

3:50  Oh, boy, here we go:  Nightly News Anchors Flock to Ground Zero.  My panoramic photo from 2002, and note: still no memorial there.  Will many note the disgrace?

3:20  Obama/Osama typos run rampant.

3:00 After watching Brennan (fast talker) press briefing, I am wonder if "burial at sea" means "dropped from copter."   He stressed need to do it within 24 hours and not being able to land in time frame.  

2:15  You may take issue with some of this, but here's Chris Hedges last night upon hearing early reports of kiling of OBL.

2:05 Old pal  @DavidCornDC tweeting WH press briefing right now.

1:50  Warning: Those questioning Osama's death not all foreign.   Someone at Breitbart site doing it and now Cindy Sheehan with this.   Deathers.

1:40  Nick Kristof tweets:  "President Zardari, how about a commission (w/ civilians) to investigate how Osama ended up in his compound & who rented it?"

1:30 Barney Frank: Bin Laden killing ‘strengthens the case’ for Afghanistan withdrawal 

1:25  Yes, those wacky Taiwanese animators already have vid up on Osama slaying.

1:00 Front page of NYT that was killed when Osama was ... killed.  Spiked.

12:05 CJR on how “International News Sites Cover bin Laden’s Death.”

11:40 Steve Coll of The New Yorker, longtime Afghan/Pak expert, says evidence suggests Pakistan was hiding bin Laden. “The initial circumstantial evidence suggests the opposite is more likely—that bin Laden was effectively being housed under Pakistani state control. Pakistan will deny this, it seems safe to predict, and perhaps no convincing evidence will ever surface to prove the case. If I were a prosecutor at the United States Department of Justice, however, I would be tempted to call a grand jury.”

11:30 Print lives? New York Times prints an additional 165,000 copies of today’s paper. Some people will want to collect front page. But does anyone really care about that anymore?

11:25 Nick Kristof’s column on post-OBL world, but he is also blogging.

11: 10 Crap o’ Joe: Joe Scarborough— Obama’s base didn’t want him to catch bin Laden

10:45 Glenn Greenwald weighs in on “consequences” of OBL death.

10:40 Miracle: Cheney on TV hails Obama and his team.

10:35 Roger Cohen column at NYT on post-OBL with some urgings you may agree, and disagree, with: oust Gaddafi “with ruthlessness,” get out of Afghanistan soon, pressure Israel to make concessions, back popula revolts in Middle East.

10:30 Check out @JeremyScahill tweets all day.

10:25 Did Peter Beinart really write: “The war on terror is over; al Qaeda lost”?

10:00 There’s a reasonably convincing—but very fake—version of Obama death photo out there.

9:55 Local Fox affiliate (naturally) anchor reports “President Obama Is Dead” (video)

9:50 Bloody Sunday: ABC gets first photos, video, inside the compound.

9:45 @WSJ: “The Saudis declined a U.S. offer to take Osama bin Laden’s body, we are told, so he was buried at sea http://on.wsj.com/jfF2UE .”

9:40: NYT drops honorific “Mr.” for bin Laden at request of editors Keller & Abramson, see memo. Meanwhile, Keller’s wife hailed his paper’s coverage this morning via Twitter. Hasn’t been this much focus on this since they called Meat Loaf “Mr. Loaf.”

9:35 Cartoonist gives Bush 95 percent of credit for getting OBL, Obama 5 percent.

9:30 How locals in Pakistan broke news of raid on Osama compound via Twitter as it happened.

9:25 TV pundits, most recently Roger Crssley on MSNBC, spinning reason to, if anything, step up war on terror—Al Qaeda may now plan “spectacular” attack. Neverending. Another spin: we got info on Osama from detainees at Gitmo, implying maybe prison was good idea, after all.

9:20 My photos of Ground Zero from 2002: http://bit.ly/l4Kn92 http://bit.ly/kS8udG http://bit.ly/kIAvk9

9:15 Wait, I thought we killed the guy who ordered 9/11 years ago—Saddam Hussein?

Greg Mitchell’s two current books are The Age of WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences.

 

 

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blow for Monday, Day 156

As I’ve done for 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  Go here for Tuesday edition of this blog.

5:30  Next: U.S. special ops "snatch" of Assange from English manor? 

2:00  Beyond item directly below, which is getting a lot of coverage now, not much new here today so I am live blogging media coveage of Osama slaying here.

11:15  @WikiLeaks tweets: " Information about courrier and location appeared in Gitmo Files release http://is.gd/LtSvHC ." 

8:55:  A different kind of "leak":  How Pakistani locals covered raid on Osama compound--as it happened.  

8:20  @WikiLeaks, echoing out or Katrina vandenHeuvel last night: "With the death of Osama it is time to bring the war in Afghanistan to a close."

8:15  The Guardian's ombud looks at ethical issues and criticism of its handling of Gitmo files.

8:00  @WikiLeaks tweets:  "WikiLeaks founder: Facebook is the most apalling spy machine ever invented http://is.gd/xJibcm ."

12:30  More controversy in Canada as more cables released today to country's papers, showing frank U.S. assessments of rival leaders.

12:15  Reminder there was relatively little on hunt for Osama in cables that have been released. 

From Late Sunday

8:50  Fascinating story from Romania, on one news outlet scooping another that was about to publish WikiLeaks cables.   As this site puts it:  "Romania’s publishing of its own Wikileaks revelations has descended into a bitter war between two media outlets, as opposed to a fight with authority on the principles of free access to information...Because the stories came out in a rush, they had no impact on the public consciousness. It was too much to read. Readers had to think about what it meant. The stories did not have any context.  It is masterpiece of journalistic incompetence on Romania’s part that the media managed to make Wikileaks boring." 

5:40  How the U.S.  wooed or managed the New Zealand  Green Party w/  free junkets and lunches.

5:15 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.

4:00 Turns out some of the Gitmo files on prisoners are missing.  FireDogLake analysis suggests one is the brother of Omar Khadr & a known CIA informant.

On 8th Anniversary of 'Mission Accomplished': How Media Heavies Hailed 'Hero' Bush

May 1 marks the eighth anniversary of Mission Accomplished Day, or as it might better be known, Mission Accomplished (Not) Day. Coming on a weekend, there werre even fewer mentions of this in the national media than last year, and Keith Olbermann is not on the air to update the once-normal close to his telecast when he marked exactly how many days since Bush declared victory (you do the math).

In my favorite antiwar song of this war, “Shock and Awe,” Neil Young moaned: “Back in the days of Mission Accomplished/ our chief was landing on the deck/ The sun was setting/ behind a golden photo op.” But as Neil added elsewhere: “History is a cruel judge of overconfidence.”

Nowhere can we see this more clearly than in the media coverage of the event. Even today, eight years later, the often “overconfident” reporting from Baghdad and Kabul sometimes takes your breath away. At least two US soldiers have been killed in Iraq this week so far, and over 45,000 or our troops remain there today. (For a full accounting of costs of all sorts, go here.) So let’s return to the days of Mission Accomplished…

On May 1, 2003, Richard Perle advised, in a USA Today Op-Ed, “Relax, Celebrate Victory.” The same day, President Bush, dressed in a flight suit, landed on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and declared an end to major military operations in Iraq—with the now-infamous “Mission Accomplished” banner arrayed behind him.

Chris Matthews on MSNBC called Bush a “hero” and boomed, “He won the war. He was an effective commander. Everybody recognizes that, I believe, except a few critics.” He added: “Women like a guy who’s president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It’s simple.”

PBS’ Gwen Ifill said Bush was “part Tom Cruise, part Ronald Reagan.” On NBC, Brian Williams gushed, “The pictures were beautiful. It was quite something to see the first-ever American president on a—on a carrier landing.”

Bob Schieffer on CBS said: “As far as I’m concerned, that was one of the great pictures of all time.” His guest, Joe Klein, responded: “Well, that was probably the coolest presidential image since Bill Pullman played the jet fighter pilot in the movie Independence Day. That was the first thing that came to mind for me.”

Everyone agreed the Democrats and antiwar critics were now on the run. The New York Times observed, “The Bush administration is planning to withdraw most United States combat forces from Iraq over the next several months and wants to shrink the American military presence to less than two divisions by the fall, senior allied officials said today.”

Maureen Dowd in her column declared: “Out bounded the cocky, rule-breaking, daredevil flyboy, a man navigating the Highway to the Danger Zone, out along the edges where he was born to be, the further on the edge, the hotter the intensity.

“He flashed that famous all-American grin as he swaggered around the deck of the aircraft carrier in his olive flight suit, ejection harness between his legs, helmet tucked under his arm, awestruck crew crowding around. Maverick was back, cooler and hotter than ever, throttling to the max with joystick politics. Compared to Karl Rove’s ”revvin’ up your engine” myth-making cinematic style, Jerry Bruckheimer’s movies look like Lizzie McGuire.

“This time Maverick didn’t just nail a few bogeys and do a 4G inverted dive with a MiG-28 at a range of two meters. This time the Top Gun wasted a couple of nasty regimes, and promised this was just the beginning.”

When Bush’s jet landed on the aircraft carrier, American casualties stood at 139 killed and 542 wounded. That was over 4000 US fatalities ago, and hundreds of thousands Iraqis.

Greg Mitchell is the author of So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits and the President Failed on Iraq. His two current books are The Age of WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences.

 
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