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THE WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG for Wednesday, Day 60

As I've done for more than eight weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. Contact me at epic1934@aol.com. Information on some of my books here.

UPDATE:  Go to the Thursday blog here.

11:15  Assange to appear on "60 Minutes" this Sunday. "Steve Kroft spent two days with Assange on the grounds of the private residence in England where he is under house arrest as he fights attempts to extradite him to Sweden to answer allegations of sexual assault. In the interview, he discusses the United States' attempts to indict him on criminal charges and the torrent of criticism directed at him. He also talks about his itinerant childhood in Australia and his introduction to the world of computers at the age of 13."

11:10  Bradley Manning's attorney responds to Pentagon claims in their press conf today.

8:10  Glenn Greenwald tweets: "Bill Keller mocks Assange for being paranoid & conspiratorial, then strongly insinuates WL hacked into the NYT's emails." See my comments on article below.   And here's Wired's review.

7:00  Transcript of press briefing by Pentagon spokesman today, lot of questions on Manning conditions.  linking him to Assange, and more.

5:40  Honestly, I have to laugh over Bill Keller in his big NYT piece today (see below) repeatedly calling Assange "thin-skinned" and the like.  When I was editor of Editor & Publisher, he would not talk to us for years -- and we were the so-called "Bible of the Newspaper Industry" -- because of our strong criticism of Judy Miller, both for her Iraq reporting and her involvement in the Plame case.   Keller, of course, later cut ties with the disgraced Miller, but no matter.  He once bragged that he simply tossed our phone call-back notes in the waste basket.  (At the time, E&P  was receiving more awards than virtually any other trade magazine.)  Also possibly causing tension with Assange?  Keller back the invasion of Iraq, even in a widely-read piece called himself a "liberal hawk." 

5:25  I had my own critique of the massive NYT piece by exec ed Bill Keller today (see below), but now WikiLeaks via Twitter has added its own review:  "NYTimes does another self-serving smear. Facts wrong, top to bottom. Dark day for US journalism.” 

And Andy Greenberg at Forbes, who has interviewed Assange and stuck close to this subject for weeks, notes Keller in the piece is adding to recent claims of WikiLeakers as active  hackers -- which Greenberg pretty much discounts.  Indeed, Keller's own claim -- based on three people covering WikiLeaks whose email accounts suffer abnormal activity -- seem like a huge stretch.  By that logic, I guess they are hacking me too.  And millions of others every day. 

Plus, here's a very friendly new interview with Keller about all this by Howard Kurtz, including Assange doesn't "get" journalism at all.

4:30  Now NYT posts video to go with giant Bill Keller piece on WikiLeaks that we reviewed  below.    They've also sent me preview of their e-book coming next week, which I will look at -- when  my own damn book (for print) is published tomorrow or Friday.  

4:25  In what sounds like an amazing move, the City University of New York's (CUNY) Graduate School of Journalism   has unveiled a "drop box" for leaks, "an anonymous leak submission box that allows users to submit tips to over 1400 local and state news organizations, as a feature of its MediaLobby project.."

3:03 More on Keller piece:  He pays a lot of attention to Assange's rage about that John Burns hit-piece on him -- he demanded a front-page apology --  but then Keller himself compares Assange to a character from a novel that mixes "hacker counterculture, high-level  conspiracy and sex as both recreation and violation."  Keller does come out against government prosecution.

2:50  Just finished reading the Bill Keller piece at NYT  on his WikiLeaks dealings since last June (see below).  Too long to detail but provides a lot of behind the scenes stuff not previously known, including extent of showing stuff to State Dept or administration in advance, harsh attacks on Assange personally,  skepticism that this really changes journalism (oddly, on day after Keller himself said paper was considering opening its own leak platform), and more.  Keller at various points calls Assange "volatile," "eccentric," "arrogant," "conspiratoria," "oddly credulous," "manipulative."  When reporter Eric Schmitt meets Assange in London he compares him to a "bag lady."

2:10  NYT  posts massive piece by Executive Editor Bill Keller on his WIkiLeaks dealings since last June (will be in this Sunday's mag).   Is actually intro to a TImes e-book coming out next week, "Open Secrets," which collects much of its coverage. Their page for that books touts John Burns' controversial profile of Assange, among other features, including some cables never before published. 

2:05  CNN:  There's a new commander at Quantico, where Bradley Manning is being held, but they say the move had been planned since October and not related to current charges about how he is confined.  Manning's attorney, in any case, expresses hope this may be good sign for changes in his confinement.

1:05  We reported this heavily when cables first emerged and now there's a grim update via The Guardian: A Bangladeshi paramilitary unit that receives training from British police has resumed killing people in so-called 'crossfire'  incidents that human rights groups say are extrajudicial killings."  Had stopped after cables published last month.  U.S. prohibited from training due to human rights abuses. 

 

11:55:  First WikiLeaks game released as app, for 99 cents.  It's called "WIkiLeaks Defender" and here's description:  "The government has failed to stop Wikileaks from releasing hundreds of thousands of classified documents. As a measure of last resort, the government has called in the most thorough defenders our country has to offer... the TSA!  Play as the TSA agent whose job it is to prevent the leaked diplomatic cables from getting onto the internet, where they will cause unforeseeable damage to America's reputation!  Do you have what it takes to stop Wikileaks?"  Well,  no one else has.

11:35  From AP in London:  After probe is commissoned, VISA is told that WikiLeaks not breaking any laws.  VISA responds: Still going to block payments to them until we do another study.

11:05  Andy Greenberg at Forbes on GlobalLeaks: "Few of these copycats and spinoffs can claim quite as much wild, conceptual ambition as an early-stage project called GlobaLeaks, which bills itself as 'a worldwide distributed leak amplification network.'"  (h/t Kevin Gosztola)

10:55  The Guardian with no Wiki blog today but it does maintain its great blog on the Palestine Papers.

10:40  No comment yet from Will Smith on Assange picking him to play him in a movie.

10:10  Assange attorney, in New York to receive award, warns that U.S. " risked irrevocable damage to its reputation if it pursued Assange" by "aiming the blunderbuss of its 1917 Espionage Act, death penalty and all, at a publisher who is a citizen of a friendly nation."

9:00  Anonymous now asks for help in attacking Egyptian gov't sites.

8:35  In same interview where Assange picks Will Smith to play him in the movie (see below) he was asked if he was a "leftist."  His reply:  "While there is an imbalance of power between the rulers and people, we'll be on the side of people.  This is usually associated with the rhetoric of the left, which gives rise to the view that we are an exclusively leftist.  It is not correct.  We are an organization exclusively for truth and justice - and this is in many places and trends." 

8:10 New FeatureThe Overnight Report (by Asher Wolf)   Assange takes questions in Brazil via blog.  Among other things, jokes that he'd liked to be played by Will Smith in the movie and it should be titled,  WikiLeaks, Film Noir .... Professor Inderjeet Parmar, from The University of Manchester argues  "WikiLeaks has damaged American power." Apparently the damage will be "acutely felt" when US State Department hosts UNESCO’s world press freedom day May 2011....  Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch reports Tunisians didn't need American diplomats to tell them how bad their government was, but  "the cables did have an impact." ....Meanwhile, Klaus Schwab  of the World Economic Forum, says he would have liked to invite Assange to Davos--but he's not ;  permitted to leave Britain under conditions of his bail.

8:00  From Der SpiegelCables show U.S. fears nuclear material left at massive ex-Soviet nuclear bomb test site could be taken by terrorists.

12:10  The PBS NewsHour site offers its review and assessment of 10 cables that reveal why Tunisians revolted.

12:05   CNN:  Quantico military official defends putting Manning on suicide watch. 

12:00 Turns out, my WikiLeaks book will be available by Friday, a few days ahead of schedule.  Thanks again for critique of cover, it has been changed a bit.

From late Tuesday

In the Palestine Papers leaks today, U.S. general who helped train Palestinian security was aware that they tortured people.

Charlie Savage at NYT with new update on Manning case and comparisons to the Bush-era, scandalous Yee episode years ago. But as Glenn Greenwald tweets:  "difference: no Dems defended" the Yee "travesty."

Assange tells AP in London that WIkiLeaks now seeking SIXTY media partners to spread the release of the almost 99% of cable still not published.   Would be dramatic expansion of its collaborative efforts and in line with much else happening this week.  But outlets would have to agree to full redaction of names.  "Sometimes, that could mean doing what Assange called 'triangulating the politics of a country' — giving documents to a left-wing paper in a country with a right-wing government, or offering cables to conservative titles in countries with a left-leaning administration."

Dispatches from the Digital Frontier on the era of leaks brought in by WikiLeaks, the Al Jazeera impact, and more.

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The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Tuesday, Day 59!

As I've done for more than eight weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. Contact me at epic1934@aol.com. Information on some of my books here.

UPDATE:  Go here for the Wednesday blog.

10:20:  CNN:  Quantico military official defends putting Manning on suicide watch. 

10:10  In the Palestine Papers leaks today, U.S. general who helped train Palestinian security was aware that they tortured people.

10:00 Dispatches from the Digital Frontier on the era of leaks brought in by WikiLeaks, the Al Jazeera impact, and more.

6:00 Charlie Savage at NYT with new update on Manning case and comparisons to the Bush-era, scandalous Yee episode years ago. But as Glenn Greenwald tweets:  "difference: no Dems defended" the Yee "travesty."

4:50  Assange tells AP in London that WIkiLeaks now seeking SIXTY media partners to spread the release of the almost 99% of cable still not published.   Would be dramatic expansion of its collaborative efforts and in line with much else happening this week.  But outlets would have to agree to full redaction of names.  "Sometimes, that could mean doing what Assange called 'triangulating the politics of a country' — giving documents to a left-wing paper in a country with a right-wing government, or offering cables to conservative titles in countries with a left-leaning administration."

4:20  Paging Glenn Greenwald: Wired's Kim Zetter, involved in the magazine's scoops and coverage on Manning, just out with piece suggesting that the only reason the military has not been able to link Manning directly to Assange is because Manning probably erased the evidence.  This will cause must discussion, stay tuned.  Also see new CBS report claiming Assange not off the hook in this case either. 

Zetter: "If it’s true that investigators have found no evidence linking Manning and Assange, it may be because Manning allegedly erased it from his system. He discussed doing so in his chats with Lamo, wherein he noted that any incriminating evidence of his activities had been “zerofilled”, or erased, from his computers."

4:10  Holy cow, looks like my WIkiLeaks book  (even with title and cover not finalized) will be available as early as late Thursday, a few days ahead of schedule.  About 155 pages and about $12. 

3:50  Waiting for Assange to leak first draft, edits, final version of Obama SOTU speech.

3:30  The third, and I believe final, day of The Guardian's major take on the "Palesitne Papers," just posted. Also see report on three dead in Egypt protests today, and much more.

1:50  The Hole Truth: Courtney Love goes to Oxford (yes, you read that right) where she endorses WikiLeaks.

12:45  Google chief Eric Schmidt reveals  Google had considered stopping indexing confidential cables released by WikiLeaks, but had decided to carry on. Some other U.S. organizations have bowed to government pressure to stop cooperating with the controversial site.  "Has Google looked at the appropriateness of indexing WikiLeaks? The answer is yes, and we decided to continue," he said. "Because it's legal."

12:40   Wash Post biz "leadership" writers look to WikiLeaks bank release and advise:  "Don't be distracted by the context-less revelations from WikiLeaks that will methodically dribble out across the year. Use the revelations to actually question habits, hierarchies and routines that are likely holding you back from hatching an idea or gaining insight. It will be a far more valuable exercise than blissfully marinating in information overload..." (h/t Kevin Gosztola) 

12:25  Good site reviewing cables re: South Africa and Zimbabwe.

12:10  Thanks to all for comments, critique, on my book cover and title -- making some changes, including photo.

11:35  "Unprecedented" revolts on the streets of Egypt, plus more in Lebanon and elsewhere.  Follow it all at The Guardian's live-blog.  But will some now claim that WikiLeaks helped spark that?   If cables played a role in Tunisia revolt,  as many assert, and Tunisia led to Egypt? 

11:10  Juan Cole piece at The Nation (via Tomdispatch) on U.S. "corruption" abroad -- beyond Tunisia --  as revealed by the cables.

10:20  This has oddly been overlooked so far, but Michael Busch at his blog is on it:  Norwegian paper Aftenposten out with U.S. cables mentioning Osama bin Laden, going back to 1993   "The final cable of the series--dating from spring of 2001--provocatively, if briefly, discusses the possibility that the Taliban might be willing to extradite bin Laden to Qatar to face charges in the Eaast African bombings." 

10:10  Full report on last night's PDF forum on WIkiLeaks in NYC.

9:30  The Guardian's excellent weekday Wiki blog continues today.  They've been at it as long as I have, but they did take a couple weeks off (and weekends)  when the hostage takers let them out for some fresh air.

8:50  Hot news: Last night we noted that Raffi Khatchadourian's excellent New Yorker piece suggests that papers like NYT could now form special leak platforms in wake of the giant Al Jazeera leak this week.  Presto.  Mike Calderone at  Yahoo just out with piece on NYT considering just that. The NYT  "is considering options to create an in-house submission system that could make it easier for would-be leakers to provide large files to the paper.  Executive editor Bill Keller told The Cutline that he couldn't go into details, "especially since nothing is nailed down." But when asked if he could envision a system like Al Jazeera's  Transparency Unit, Keller said the paper's been "looking at something along those lines."

8:45 New Glenn Greenwald post on latest developments re: Assange and Manning, problems for prosecution of WikiLeaks, Manning's detention, and hit on weak Guardian opinion piece. "What's being done to Manning is an absolute manifestation of the abuses of the National Security State, the Prison State and America's authoritarian culture that have been long protested by most of those now writing about Manning."

8:30  WikiLeaks helps frame new doc on NYT -- and future of print journalism -- which just debuted at Sundance fest.

8:25  Those WikiLeaks servers housed in bunker in Sweden are so hot they could warm a nearby Stockholm church.  Huh? Read all about it here.

8:00  We had this last night when it broke (see below), but now full Guardian report on military admitting it can't link Manning to Assange.

12:05 Confirmed:  Assange extradition hearing scheduled for Feb 7-8, Belmash Magistrates Court, London.

12:00 ROTC in U.S. hit by prof for directive to student soldiers banning their use of WikiLeaks material.  Against academic freedom, for one thing. (h/t @Asher_Wolf)

Late Monday

From Japan Times: Waiting for WikiLeaks dam to break in Japan.

From NYT:    Hillary Clinton goes to Mexico but refuses to discuss the embarrassing Wiki cables on drug war at press conference.

  Big news from NBC tonight: Military admits it can't link Bradley Manning to Assange.   Also:  "The officials told NBC News that a U.S. Marine commander did violate procedure when he placed Manning on 'suicide watch' last week." .

More attacks on Al Jazeera and the Palestine Paper leaks from Palestinian leaders today.  AP report:  "The Palestinians now have their own version of a WikiLeaks scandal.President Mahmoud Abbas and his aides went on the attack Monday, accusing Al-Jazeera television of lies and distortions in publishing the so-called Palestine Papers... Despite the angry denials, the hunt was on for the leaker.

"On Monday, an angry crowd of about 250 Palestinians gathered outside the West Bank's main Al-Jazeera office, with some smashing the station's logo and glass panels in the front door. In the search for the leak, suspicion fell on low-level employees from a support office for Palestinian negotiators. Palestinian intelligence searched computer files in the office Monday, but it was not clear if any arrests were made."

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THE WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG For Monday, Day 58

As I've done for more than seven weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. Contact me at epic1934@aol.com. Information on some of my books here.

UPDATE  Tuesday's blog now up here.

11:45  Foreign Policy post calls Palestine Papers not WikiLeaks but NastyLeaks -- passed along by "disgruntled" Palestinains eager to sabotage leadership in peace talks.

10:50  From Japan Times: Waiting for WikiLeaks dam to break in Japan.

10:45  From NYT:    Hillary Clinton goes to Mexico but refuses to discuss the embarrassing Wiki cables on drug war at press conference.

8:10  Big news from NBC tonight: Military admits it can't link Bradley Manning to Assange.   Also:  "The officials told NBC News that a U.S. Marine commander did violate procedure when he placed Manning on 'suicide watch' last week." .

6:50  More attacks on Al Jazeera and the Palestine Paper leaks from Palestinian leaders today.  AP report:  "The Palestinians now have their own version of a WikiLeaks scandal.President Mahmoud Abbas and his aides went on the attack Monday, accusing Al-Jazeera television of lies and distortions in publishing the so-called Palestine Papers... Despite the angry denials, the hunt was on for the leaker.

"On Monday, an angry crowd of about 250 Palestinians gathered outside the West Bank's main Al-Jazeera office, with some smashing the station's logo and glass panels in the front door. In the search for the leak, suspicion fell on low-level employees from a support office for Palestinian negotiators. Palestinian intelligence searched computer files in the office Monday, but it was not clear if any arrests were made."

6:45:   WikiLeaks reportedly gets full support from largely Arab audience at Doha.  Desbate descibed pro and con.

6:05  PDF forum (I hyped it below) just started live streaming here, with Birgitta Jonsdottir, Clay Shirky, Floyd Abrams, more. Birgitta beaming in via Skype and she explains that she'd like to be there but her attorneys advised she should not risk comig to USA due to the Twitter subpoenas.

6:00 Jane Hamsher on MSNBC:   Bradley Manning’s Abuse Will Only Stop When People Ask Questions 

4:15  Don't miss Raffi Khatchadourian piece at New Yorker just up  He's written some  key Wikileaks pieces -- going back to his on-the-scene article on final editing of Collateral Murder video now bought for possible movie.  New piece probes the Al Jazeera "Palestine Papers" leak as part of new leak arms race, beyond WIkiLeaks.  As he points out, Al Jazeera  had earlier formed a Transparency Unit to accept leaks and he speculates that other leading news outlets, including NYT, may soon do the same.  "N]o matter what the outcome, it is hard not to expect greater convergence between old and new media in a way that will strengthen the journalistic project overall."

3:15  More from today's Palestine Papers leak:  Condi Rice proposed giving Palestinian refugees land in South America, namely Argentina and Chile, as alternative to letting them return to homes in Israel or occupied territories.  She made the proposal in a June 2008 meeting "with US, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Berlin," according to minutes of the encounter seen by the Guardian.

 3:10 More shockers from Day 2 of the Palestine Papers just up at The Guardian.  Toppers:  Leaked papers reveal Palestinian leaders gave up fight fo refugees  • Negotiators agreed only 10,000 to return • PLO agreed Israel could be a 'Jewish state'  • US suggested refugees go to Latin America.

2:35  Foreign Policy: After Tunisia, is Algeria next?  "While the community of Middle East leak-watchers is focused on al-Jazeera's release of 1,600 documents from the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, WikiLeaks has released a number of U.S. diplomatic cables that call into question the long-term viability of Algerian strongman Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Particularly in the wake of Tunisia's revolt -- and the U.S. embassy's success at identifying the seeds of unrest there -- these cables deserve a close read"

2:30  Dave Winer at NiemanLab:  Educating "journo-programmers" in the Age of WikiLeaks. 

2:00 Preview of tonight's Personal Democracy Forum swell panel with Clay Shirky, Birgitta Jonsdottir, Floyd Abrams, more.  Watch it online.

12:50 Important piece in The New Yorker by the always-vital Steve Coll on WikiLeaks and Tunisia and more. "The Obama Administration’s policies are likely to have only indirect influence in Tunis. Nonetheless, the White House has a choice: to support Tunisia’s transition toward inclusive democracy or to keep a distance, so as to avoid alienating the Egyptian and Saudi regimes, and to thwart Islamists who might now seek to enter Tunisian politics." 

12:20  New cables:  El Pais on Mexico letting U.S. interview foreign nationals at illegal immigration centers...   Jordan offered U.S. more support in Afghanistan -- in exchange for econ aid, of course.   The coalition of the schilling?

11:56  Edward S. Herman and David Peterson compare the Assange and Posada cases.

11:30  Andy Greenberg, close follower of all things WikiLeaks at Forbes, with new blog post on WikiLeaks saying, no, we did not hack Iceland's Parliament!  And, indeed, evidence for that is very thin.   "The Althingi investigation may better reflect attempts by WikiLeaks’ legal enemies to tie the organization to direct data theft, rather than mere anonymous leaking."

10:50  The Guardian with "furious" reaction throughout Middle East to the "Palestine Papers" leak.

10:35  Good World Policy piece on cables re: Norway vs. WalMart.  We had something on this last week but good take here. 

10:10  Manning, the Barricades:  We had this a couple days ago, but getting more attention: Amnesty Int'l hits prison conditions for Bradley Manning.

9:50    Okay, folks, here is final chance for you to weigh in on  the cover, as of now, for my book (available in about one week).   Title, design, colors, photo, could still all be changed (by me) in next couple days.  Feedback appreciated @GregMitch or:  epic1934@aol.com.   Subhed, if you can't read it, is "From Collateral Murder to Cablegate."  I suppose I could add, "and Beyond."   The "age" of WikiLeaks is meant to be broad -- how WL has inspired "age of leaks,"  witness the Al Jazeera release yesterday, Rudolf Elmer, Open Leaks launch.   Yes, there is a Bradley Manning chapter.  (Note:  Various rights, including foreign, available for book, I can be contacted at email above.)  This is my 11th book, some of previous ones featured here.

9:45  On Democracy Now!  Rashid Khalidi: Leaked "Palestine Papers" underscore weakness of Palestinian Authority, rejectionism of Israel and U.S. 

9:40 If you've wondered how Perez Hilton would cover Assange films in the works.  He's breathless already!

8:55 More on talk by Open Leaks guy here. "The problem with WikiLeaks, Domscheit-Berg says, is that it is trying to do too many things and reinvent too many wheels.  Specifically, it is not only allowing companies and individuals to make public information that might not otherwise be made public--a noble and worthwhile goal, according to Domscheit-Berg--it is also pronouncing judgement on that information and choosing which information to release based on its own political goals." 

8:50  Update from Alan Fisher (see just below):  "The crowd has managed to get into the office in Ramaallah. #aljazeera's staff is ok. Some walls have graffiti." 

8:20  Alan Fisher, Al Jazeera English correspondent in London, just tweeted: "I'm told the Palestinian Security forces have entered #aljazeera's Ramallah office."  Remember, some Palestinian leaders have called documents in the big leak "fabricated."

8:15  The Guardian has added a "Palestine Papers" live blog while continuing its Wiki Blog.   The next big daily release will be mid-afternoon, like yesterday.

8:00  Open Leaks leader  (ex-WikiLeaks spokesman with book coming out vs. Assange) streaming talk today will be here, comments on the Al Jazeera leak should be interesting.

7:55  Guardian's latest coverage on the Palestine Papers all found here, though most posted yesterday afternoon with not much updating yet. The liberal Israeli daily paper Haaretz says this leak "trumps WikiLeaks," highlights Palestinians being willing to compromise.

12:40  Juan Cole with latest on Bradley Manning incarceration, the activists turned away on Sunday, and comparing him to Tunisian who set himself on fire.

LATE SUNDAY 

11:20 NYT with first story of its own on the Palestine Papers, after running only AP all day.   U.S. State Dept. saying it cannot vouch for authenticity of papers yet.

11:15  Al Jazeera describes its new "Transparency Unit" which (presumably) was responsible for today's big Palestine Papers release.

11:10   AOL "foreign policy correspondent" just reported falsely  that Palestine Papers came via WikiLeaks.   As I noted at 3 pm today, go to home page of The Guardian for a dozen stories, commentary, data, video, more.

11:05  El Pais first to publish cables on rampart corruption in Cuba, according to U.S. diplomat.

10:00  Here we go: Palestinian official calls parts of Palestine Paper leak "fabricated."  But then, he almost has to.  Time will tell.  The Guardian with other reactions.

6:30  NYT carries AP story on the big Al Jazeera / Guardian coverage of "The Palestine Papers."

5:50  Glenn Greenwald tweets re: the item just below:  "The point of the Quantico episode was to deny Manning his only real visitor: more likely solitary will crack him & induce anti-WL testimony."

4:30  FireDogLake now with full wrapup of today's events at Quantico, with Jane Hamsher and David House denied a visit with Bradley Manning, car searched and impounded, and so on.

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The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog, Special Weekend Edition!

As I've done for more than seven weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. Contact me at epic1934@aol.com. Information on some of my books here.

** SUNDAY **

UPDATE:  Go here for Monday edition of this blog, launched already.

10:00  Here we go: Palestinian official calls parts of Palestine Paper leak "fabricated."  But then, he almost has to.  Time will tell.  The Guardian with other reactions.

8:30  If anyone has seen anything on who leaked "The Palestine Papers" -- WikiLeaks inspired? Open Leaks involved?  Or just Guardian massive coverage similar?    Write  epic1934@aol.com, or twitter @GregMitch.

6:30  NYT carries AP story on the big Al Jazeera / Guardian coverage of "The Palestine Papers."

5:50  Glenn Greenwald tweets re: the item just below:  "The point of the Quantico episode was to deny Manning his only real visitor: more likely solitary will crack him & induce anti-WL testimony."

4:30  FireDogLake now with full wrapup of today's events at Quantico, with Jane Hamsher and David House denied a visit with Bradley Manning, car searched and impounded, and so on.

4:20  Here's how Al Jazeera (in English) is handling its massive leak on Israel-Palestine that it has shared with The Guardian (see below)

3:25  The Guardian on the leak but no clue at all on who was leaker.  "The 1,600 confidential records of hundreds of meetings between Palestinian, Israeli and US leaders, as well as emails and secret proposals, were leaked to the Qatar-based satellite TV channel al-Jazeera and shared exclusively with the Guardian. They cover the period from the runup to the ill-fated Camp David negotiations under US president Bill Clinton in 2000, to private discussions last year involving senior officials and politicians in the Obama administration."

3:15  Here's the Guardian's special page for what it is branding "The Palestine Papers."  Includes data base, video, a strong editorial, much more.  Agreement with Al Jazeera means they can publish up to eight docs a day, while Al Jazeera publishes all them.  Background on deal here.  Jonathan Freedland with commentary on Palestinians willing to go extra mile and Israeli's "intransigent" -- in private and public.

3:10  The Guardian's lede:  The biggest leak of confidential documents in the history of the Middle East conflict has revealed that Palestinian negotiators secretly agreed to accept Israel's annexation of all but one of the settlements built illegally in occupied East Jerusalem. This unprecedented proposal was one of a string of concessions that will cause shockwaves among Palestinians and in the wider Arab world." Also make use of WikiLeaks cables.

3:05  Massive Guardian coverage of Isarel-Palestine documents just breaks, as they promised.   Were leaked to them exclusively by Al Jazeeera. Go to home page for list of stories.   Top:  "Papers Reveal Slow Death of Middle East Peace Process."  More:  "Massive new leak lifts lid on negotiations  • PLO offered Israel key settlements  • Concessions on refugees and Holy sites."   NYT does NOT have so far. 

2:35  FDL's Jane Hamsher and Manning friend David House being hassled today at Quantico while trying to deliver petition with 42,000 names. Car searched, impounded, loaded on tow truck. Hamsher latest tweet:  "For whatever reason, Quantico Marine brass don't want Manning 2 have visitor now. Isolation & enforcement of solitary confinement complete." She's @JaneHamsher.   Earlier:  "Can't leave base, can't go 2 brig, can't get my driver's license, Gunt Foster threatening 2 arrest us. Haven't done a thing."

2:30  Aaron Sorkin in London talk says he's usually in favor of privacy but can "argue both sides" relating to WikiLeaks.  Naturally he also talks about his aversion to Facebook.

2:25   Okay, folks, here is the cover, as of now, for my book (available in a week to 10 days).  Title, design, colors, photo, could still all be changed (by me) in next few days.  Feedback appreciated @GregMitch or:  epic1934@aol.com.   Subhed, if you can't read it, is "From Collateral Murder to Cablegate."  I suppose I could add, "and Beyond."  Yes, there is a Bradley Manning chapter.  This is my 11th book, some of previous ones featured here.

2:20  Both The Guardian and Al Jazeera hyping release of cables on secret Israeli-Palestinian negotiations at 3 pm  ET time.

12:15  Ha, nice puff piece here on State Dept. spokesman Crowley, responding to WikiLeaks, and as alleged new Twitter master. 

10:25  Wild: Jerusalem Post says new cable shows Israel asked for half a billion from Germans as World War II "reparations," plus German subs!

10:10  From official WIkiLeaks twitter feed:   "The NYTimes has got to go. It can not be repaired. It is a hopeless government shill | FDL http://is.gd/9FyXEx  "  And:   "Shamans stomp on Assange face, while holding US flags high. All perfectly innocent of course... http://is.gd/ICMoG4  "  

9:20  Assange in new interview slams arrest of Rudolf Elmer.  Reuters: "The founder of whistleblower site WikiLeaks attacked Switzerland on Sunday for arresting a Swiss banker on suspicion of breaching banking secrecy instead of investigating the tax evasion he said he had uncovered.I  n an interview published in the Swiss weekly Der Sonntag, Julian Assange, whose website has angered Washington by releasing confidential U.S. diplomatic cables, said Switzerland's actions were drawing renewed international attention to its controversial banking practices." 

9:05  The Australian with big story on Afghanistan:  Karzai blaming Obama, U.S. asking Aussies to keep Dutch from pulling out, and more, from cables.

9:00 Story says first big debate on WikiLeaks set in an Arab city. "An Arab audience is preparing to have its first public debate about Wikileaks, after an avalanche of newly-released cables threw a harsh - and sometimes embarrassing - spotlight on Middle Eastern leaders and politicians.  The latest Doha Debate, which takes place tomorrow at Qatar Foundation Headquarters at 7.30pm, will address the motion that "This House believes the world is better off with Wikileaks".   Debates' Chairman Tim Sebastian said the revelations seemed to have excited huge interest in many Arab capitals, where information about the ruling elite remained tightly censored."

8:20  Major AP wrap-up on past two months of WikiLeaks.  Notes only 1% released so far by the organization, although actually number a bit higher when you count what news outlets have published totally on their own.  Looks at what's come out and impact -- in some cases understating that. 

8:15   Evgeny Morozov tweets:  "Just did a BBC radio show with US Ambassador to Tunisia. He refused to speak of 'purported cables.' Purported" .... The ambassador didn't explain why 2 weeks ago State Dept was still expressing concern with cyber-attacks on web-sites of Tunisian govt.....Lastly, he made a favorable reference to George Bush, saying that US record on democracy in Tunisia is "clear" & Tunisian people know it

SATURDAY

11:20  Michael Hastings, who blew whistle on Gen. McChrsytal for Rolling Stone,  on Bill Maher last night on Tunisian revolt and his support for WikiLeaks ("as a journalist it's like crack cocaine").   Short clip here.

10:00  Birgitta Jonsdottir, the Icelandic MP and ex_WikiLeaks helper, tweets:  "Spy computer in a room next to my office - could not be placed by WikiLeaks, no one from WL in Iceland at the time it logged into network."  Earlier tonight she noted:  "this computer was found in a vacant room belonging to both the movement and the independence party."

9:45  Guardian writer, frustrated by official UK Chilcot probe of how Iraq war started, and letting Tony Blair off the hooks, says, thank god for WikiLeaks.

6:50  Hu's not even on first?  New cables and the Chinese leader.

5:00 Just up, Carol Rosenberg of McClatchy on those new Cuba cables and what they show about Gitmo, most notably how Congress scuttled any chance Obama admin had for bringing some detainees to U.S. And:  "In cable after cable sent to the State Department in Washington, American diplomats make it clear that the unwillingness of the United States to resettle a single detainee in this country - even from among 17 ethnic Muslim Uighurs considered enemies of China's communist government - made other countries reluctant to take in detainees.

"Europe balked and said the United States should go first. Yemen at one point proposed the United States move the detainees from Cuba to America's SuperMax prison in the Colorado Rockies. Saudi Arabia's king suggested the military plant micro-chips in Guantanamo captives before setting them free."

3:30  German newspaper Die Welt covers cables re: Cuba and U.S.  My associate Kevin Gosztola reports that the Google translaton:  "Cuba seeks 'normal relations' with U.S.   Raul Castro quoted saying, 'The snappy sarcastic language of the older Castro is really a personal rage and do not necessarily reflect the real state of US-Cuban relations.  The diplomats reported that critical bloggers are now considered to be the 'most serious challenge to the regime:''   The old dissident groups have been largely isolated from the rest of the island - they have no resonance in Cuba and only a limited international response."

2:00 It's taken awhile for the translation, but here's good summary of former Swedish judge weighing in on the Assange sex crime case.  "It does appear as if something is being hidden under the carpet.”

1:35  As I noted yesterday, my WikiLeaks book will be published in print and available in a week or so.  However, I do not have an e-book / Kindle publisher right now.  If you have a suggestion (or offer)  let me know at my email,  epic1934@aol.com  and thanks.

12:10  Amnesty International sends protest letter to Robert Gates, Pentagon chief, on Manning's confinement.   Call conditions "harsh" and "punitive" and presuming guilt, and Manning has not shown poor or dangerous behavior.  Says they appear to "breach" international standards.

11:10  Mark Stephens, Assange attorney, just tweeted @MarksLarks: Lawyer threatens to prosecute Palin for incitement to kill if she goes to Australia."   http://bit.ly/gnfDpD   Anyone who incites others to commit violence against his client, even outside Australia, Stary says, is violating Australian law and can be held accountable for it.  Certainly if Sarah Palin or any of those other politicians come to Australia, for whatever purpose, then we can initiate a private prosecution, and that's what we intend to do," Stary said.

 

10:40   WikiLeaks tweets at official feed: Authoritarian governments have immensely benefited from the web. We agree: http://is.gd/E2BTkQ ." 

10:35  Since it's  Saturday I can say I'm now in day 56 of  the WikiLeaks blog, which ties DiMaggio's streak.  No Marilyn Monroe or Mr. Coffee  for me.  Cal Ripken next!

10:20  New cables reveal secret spy operations by.... Australia., working with U.S. and Japan.

9:55 Digital Journal on Obama admin internal memo on Miranda warnings and terror subjects, wonders how might apply to their treatment of Assange and Manning.  (h/t Kevin Gosztola).

9:15  Still waiting for Assange to leak the real reasons for Olbermann's exit at MSNBC.  If it was at least partly mutual (he has not fought back so far, as in previous situations)  and partly due, as some claim, to his growing fatigue in fending off critics, one wonders if the recent attacks on him, via Twitter and blogoshere,  related to coverage of  the Assange sex crime case had anything at all to do with it.

9:10  Swell effort, partly from my old friends at the Government Accountability Project but asking for your help:  Which U.S. Senator put a secret hold on the Whistleblower Protection Act? 

9:00  Three well-known  journalists on panel abroad defend the mainstream, hit WikiLeaks'  lack of context, at Wall St. Journal today.

 

LATE FRIDAY

11:20  We've reported on the first Hollywood-type biopic on Assange (even promoting  a pick-the-star frenzy), and then Universal making a deal for a doc by Alex Gibney.  Now word that HBO interested in its own film based partly on Raffi Khatchadourian's great New Yorker piece from when he was in the "bunker" in Iceland with him as he worked on the Collateral Murder video.

11:15  Interesting  piece on Facebook "fighting U.S. pressure over WikiLeaks."   Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes told InfoWorld  " that the social network is 'required to regularly push back against over-broad requests for user records. … in most cases we are able to convince the party issuing legal process to withdraw the overbroad request, but if they do not we fight the matter in court' and have a history of success in those cases."

11:10 Tonight I uploaded 90% of my WIkiLeaks book to publisher, will have finished copies within 10 days you can order and get them right away then.  Patience. With a little luck, it will still be first out of the gate.

10:30  Paging Julian Assange -- need you to leak real reasons for Keith Olbermann's exit at MSNBC.

5:45 Glenn Greenwald's "tribute" to Joe Lieberman does not, of course, miss Joe's attempts to shut down or shut off or shut up WikiLeaks and Assange.

4:35  Just out, Universal studio has just made deal with the great Alex Gibney to direct doc on Assange.  I interviewed Alex recently for The Nation about his current Eliot Spitzer Client 9 film. Gibney, of course, did Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and so many others.  He also told me he is nearly finishing one on Ken Kesey.

THE WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG for Friday, Day 55

As I've done for more than seven weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. Contact me at epic1934@aol.com. Information on some of my books here.

UPDATE:  Follow the Saturday edition of this blog here.

10:30  Paging Julian Assange -- need you to leak real reasons for Keith Olbermann's exit at MSNBC.

8:00  For J. Assange, Beethoven's "The Ghost." 

5:45 Glenn Greenwald's "tribute" to Joe Lieberman does not, of course, miss Joe's attempts to shut down or shut off or shut up WikiLeaks and Assange.

4:35  Just out, Universal studio has just made deal with the great Alex Gibney to direct doc on Assange, for HBO.  I interviewed Alex recently for The Nation about his current Eliot Spitzer Client 9 film. Gibney, of course, did Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and so many others.  He also told me he is nearly finishing one on Ken Kesey.

4:30  Good legal analysis by Paul Ohm on big story yesterday about WikiLeaks maybe in trouble for allegedly "trolling" for "leaks" off computers.   Not looks doubtful.

3:49 Playing off news that film producers  have optioned the rights to Julian Assange’s forthcoming biography, The Most Dangerous Man in the World, Vanity Fair has a post on other websites that should be movies. One suggestion: eBay.  Wait a minute, didn't we already see that one -- when Meg Whitman ran for Senate?  They’re encouraging readers to suggest their own ideas in the comments section.

1:35  Cables confirm wide U.S. "meddling" in Haiti, from The Guardian.  Gwynne Dyer on same subject here.

1:30  Two leading writers on WikiLeaks team up, as Andy Greenberg of Forbes interviews Evgeny Morozov about his new book and Wiki stuff.

1:15  Yes, besides fully maintaining this blog, I have in the past seven days written 30,000 words for the book and it's almost done.  Should be ready to ship to you in two weeks.

11:55  Rudolf Elmer, bank and tax cheat leaker, to be kept in custody over the weekend.

11:50  Yemen jails journo who blew whistle on U.S. attacks there that killed civilians.  You'll remember that one of the first Cablegate scoops was Yemeni  lies to cover up U.S. air strikes.

11:40  Intrigue over WikiLeaks.com domain name expiring.

11:30  Network World covers FBI warnings on WikiLeaks "phishing" and more.

10:30  An upsurge in heroin from, not Afghanistan, but ... Iran.  New cables from Die Welt, via Aftenposten, via WikiLeaks.

9:15  More from the Wide, Wide World of WikiLeaks: cables on eviction of the Bushmen in Botswana.

9:10  Business Insider joins the fun on proposing celebs to play Assange in movie, also leads, as I did below, with Tilda Swinton.   Photos of candidates there.

9:00 Here's mp3 of me talking some WikiLeaks on radio yesterday.

8:30  TV in India claims it also has Rudolf Elmer bank files given to Assange this week.   Here is press coverage and  its entertaining TV account  (there are four parts in all) and claim that they've "outscooped WikiLeaks."  They've covered Elmer from the beginning. They show some on screen.  Finger "Annapurna" as Indian company as mentioned most, but wonder if political will there to move. 

8:05  More on Manning's defense demanding end to punitiive conditions, from the Wash Post.  Also, FireDogLake to deliver petition with 30,000 signatures this weekend.  :"he circumstances of Manning's confinement have drawn public attention. The United Nations special rapporteur on torture has said he submitted to the State Department a formal inquiry about Manning's treatment."

8:00  News that Bradley Manning's defense has filed an Article 138 complaint, direct from his attorney's blog.  Paul Coombs writes: "The defense asserts that the action of holding PFC Manning in Maximum (MAX) custody, under Prevention of Injury (POI) watch for over five months and recently placing him under suicide risk was an abuse of CWO4 James Averhart’s discretion, and a wrong within the meaning of Article 138, UCMJ."

12:10 Lotta support voiced for the following actors to play Assange, after I posted item down below about first bio-pic about him possibly on the way:  Paul Bettany, Tilda Swinton (she can do anything), Simon Baker, Cate Blanchett (played Dylan, another man of mystery), Matt Damon (Bourne to do it) , Guy Pearce, Julian Sands, Ralph Fiennes, and, yes, David Spade, among others.  Email me your picks (see address at top) or at Twitter @GregMitch.

12:05  Moscow Times with a new piece on Russia's own WikiLeaks up and running. "Most RuLeaks editors are activists of the group's local spinoff, the Pirate Party of Russia, party chairman Pavel Rassudov said Thursday.  The web site will help 'clean up the state,' Rassudov said." That may take a while.

12:00  David Brooks at the NYT with tribute to prime WIkiLeaks antagonist in the Senate, Joe Lieberman, who, thankfully, is not running for another term

From late Thursday: 

Another one of the endless number of fairly minor but fascinating tales that come out of the cables, usually abroad, this one featuring Norway severing ties with WalMart over "ethical" issues.

A lot of WikiLeaks cables this week have talked Turkey and now NYT with a major piece.

Just so you know, WSJ  wants Assange to send his book money to Zimbadwe to cover "collateral damage" he (allegedly) caused.   No word on where Bush should send his much higher checks.

6:30 First sighting of a bio-pic, for big or small screen, reported:  "An upcoming biography of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is set to be turned into a feature film, Variety is reporting.  The Most Dangerous Man in the World, an upcoming biography of Assange penned by Australian reporter Andrew Fowler, has been optioned by Josephson Entertainment, the production company behind TV series Bones, and Michelle Krumm Prods., a production company that appears to be behind absolutely nothing. Barry Josephson, of Josephson Entertainment, said the upcoming film, “is this generation’s suspenseful drama with global impact.”   Cate Blanchett, an Aussie who played Dylan, might be perfect for this role, too.


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The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Thursday, Day 54!

As I've done for more than seven weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. Contact me at epic1934@aol.com. Information on some of my books here.

UPDATE: Go here for the Friday edition of this blog.

11:05 Another one of the endless number of fairly minor but fascinating tales that come out of the cables, usually abroad, this one featuring Norway severing ties with WalMart over "ethical" issues.

10:45 A lot of WikiLeaks cables this week have talked Turkey and now NYT with a major piece.

7:50  Just so you know, WSJ  wants Assange to send his book money to Zimbadwe to cover "collateral damage" he (allegedly) caused.   No word on where Bush should send his much higher checks.

6:30 First sighting of a bio-pic, for big or small screen, reported:  "An upcoming biography of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is set to be turned into a feature film, Variety is reporting.  The Most Dangerous Man in the World, an upcoming biography of Assange penned by Australian reporter Andrew Fowler, has been optioned by Josephson Entertainment, the production company behind TV series Bones, and Michelle Krumm Prods., a production company that appears to be behind absolutely nothing. Barry Josephson, of Josephson Entertainment, said the upcoming film, “is this generation’s suspenseful drama with global impact.”   Cate Blanchett, an Aussie who played Dylan, might be perfect for this role, too.

4:35  Jennifer Lynch at EFF with a good study titled, Social Media and Law Enforcement, Who Gets What Data and When.  "We have been investigating how the government seeks information from social networking sites such as Twitter and how the sites respond to these requests in our ongoing social networking Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request."

3:30  Joshua Norman at CBS News posts full story about Open Leaks and a video.  "OpenLeaks co-founder Herbert Snorrason said OpenLeaks is much more than just a visible disagreement with Assange's way of doing things. They will not only provide a 'technical infrastructure'  for leaking materials anonymously that protects all parties involved, but the site will represent a growing online effort proclaiming to fight the corrupt, powerful entities of the world by spilling their secrets."

3:20  Ex-Gitmo inmates cite WikiLeaks cables in French trial.  Does not work.

2:45 Somehow I have been picked by Business Insider and its "The Wire"  (no, not run by David SImon) site as the 47th "most influential" media person this year.  Here's the cute write-up:  "Liveblogging went out of fashion a few year's back when Twitter arrived. However, when Greg Mitchell revived it over at his Nation media blog in order to cover the WikiLeaks debacle, he provided readers (and bloggers!) with an invaluable resource and as a result made himself the go-to resource for all things Assange." 

2:30  Andy Greenberg at Forbes.com with an important update on the alleged WikiLeaks-trolling-for-and-stealing files claims in last night's Bloomberg story (see 12:15 below and what I posted yesterday).  It seems that even the company making the charges might be backing off a bit.  The key aspect:  Yes, files were stolen, but hackers might have done it and then passed docs on to WIkiLeaks, in that case not done by WikiLeaks itself.

1:10  I mentioned this earlier today, now here's Andy Worthington with his take on letter from former Quantico commander, whistleblower and CIA operative protesting prison conditions for Bradley Manning.

12:15  We brought you the first news break on this last night, but Wired is now on the claim that WikiLeaks is trolling file-sharing networks for confidential material.  The company making the claim, Tiversa, has interesting background.  Charge denied by attorney for the group.

11:50  Much more (and see just below) on Iran, nuclear issues, and the cables, via The Guardian.  As always in these cases, you can take U.S. claims at face value, with a grain of salt, or whatever. 

11:45 Full video now here on last night's WikiLeaks panel in California (we wrote about it way down below) with Ellsberg, Shirky, others.  (h/t Kevin Gosztola)

11:15  Gary Sick at Foreign Policy on what's been largely overlooked in the cables about negotiating with Iran, past and present.   What the media missed while highlighting Qaddafi's buxom nurse.

10:45  Good update on the Rudolf Elmer re-arrest from Mark Hosenball from Reuters.

10:30  Steve Aftergood at Secrecy News with this update:  "Department of Defense employees who downloaded classified documents from Wikileaks onto unclassified government computer systems may delete them without further “sanitizing” their systems or taking any other remedial measures, the Pentagon said in a policy memo (pdf) last week."

9:10 Major revelations re:  the Swiss released by Aftenposten.  "A document revealed by whistleblowing internet site WikiLeaks appears to show that Switzerland struck a deal with the United States in 2009 to help embattled bank UBS. 

"A 'secret'  US dispatch published by Norway’s Aftenposten newspaper alleged that the Swiss government had said it would shut down the activities of the Swedish firm Colenco which was believed to be violating sanctions in Iran. Last year’s Swiss president, Doris Leuthard, had also reaffirmed to the US that Switzerland was prepared to accept 'several detainees' from the US prison at Guantanamo Bay.   Leuthard is said to have linked both to the achievement of a political settlement in the case of Swiss banking giant UBS. The minister denied the claims on Thursday."

 

8:50  David Swanson has posted what he says is a letter from a former commander at Quantico -- and former Iran-Contra "whsiteblower" -- protesting prison conditions for Bradley Manning .and why the Marine Corps is even involved in this Army case.   I haven't confirmed authenticity but here's what he's posted.

8:45 Lengthy post at WL Central probes what cables suggest about Ireland's role in "extraordinary rendition."  A senior member of the Irish Labour Party speaks out here.

7:50  Jacob Appelbaum, one of those in middle of DOJ legal move vs. Twitter for Wikileaks info, searched and detained yet again at airport, this time returning to the U.S. from Toronto.   Selections from his Twitter feed:  "They put me in an interrogation room with a large window. Ironically, it had a view of a computer screen with my file on it."  "CBP edits and reads your file while simultaneously using Internet Explorer to search the web while you're detained. That seems cybersecure!"  "I'm looking forward to a time when I'm not on a secret watch, search, harass, detain, interrogate, delay, annoy and stress list."

7:20  Financial Times with somewhat lighthearted look at "Fear and Apprehension" surrounding Swiss banker Rudolf Elmer's tax cheat leak, including betting odds on who might get exposed from leading sports bookmaker.

1:00  Ha, fun little Icelandic TV comedy show trailer for "Birgitta Impossible," and this could only be WikiLeaks-linked MP Birgitta Jonsdottir.

12:50  Wild new piece at Bloomberg on the company Tiversa trying to trace WikiLeaks computers grabbing "leaks" off file-sharing programs on people's computers -- and turning info over to the government.   "Tiversa declined to say who its client was when it noticed the Swedish downloads. Howard Schmidt, a former Tiversa adviser, is cybersecurity coordinator and special assistant to President Barack Obama."  WikiLeaks lawyer Mark Stephens denies any such trolling for material. 

12:05  Forbes Tech blogger Eric Savitz with detailed blow-by-blow of WikiLeaks panel in Santa Clara, Ca., which included Clay Shirky, Dan Ellsberg, Jonathan Zittrain, Paul Jay and Peter Thiell.   Wide-ranging talk.

From late Wednesday

Hot new scam, according to Forbes blogger: Calling people and telling them they are in big trouble for visiting a WikiLeaks-related -- unless they pay up.  Better Business Bureau on it, including in Seattle:  "A caller reported she received an automated phone call telling her that her computer and IP address had been noted as having visited the Wikileaks site, and that there were grave consequences for this, including a $250,000 or $25,000 fine, perhaps imprisonment. It left an option for leaving a message as to how she was going to handle this and the fine payment." 

  Major new piece in The Australian on the rather strained relationship -- "locked in a war of words," so thy say -- between Assange and The Guardian, charges of betrayal, the falling out with Nick Davies, and so on.  Not exactly new but a lot of fresh quotes from close observers.  .  "I think Julian is an extremely colourful character, he is very aware of that, he uses that very smartly, he is very aware that a picture of him will play well in a newspaper," Ian Katz said.

Political scientist Michael Busch has been blogging abo,ut some of the interesting but less-publicized cables at two sites.  His own WikiBlogged includes regular updates often darkly humorous,  such as one from yesterday on monitoring driving and cell phone distraction in...Armenia.    He blogs less often at IPS's Foreign Policy in Focus.

 Reuters with details on the Elmer arrest: : "Swiss police on Wednesday arrested former banker Rudolf Elmer on fresh charges of breaching Swiss bank secrecy law for giving data to WikiLeaks, hours after he was found guilty of another secrecy offense.  'The state prosecutor's office is checking to see whether Rudolf Elmer has violated Swiss banking law by handing the CD over to WikiLeaks,' the Zurich cantonal (state) police and state prosecutor said in a joint statement."

 
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The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG FOR WEDNESDAY, Day 53

As I've done for more than seven weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. Contact me at epic1934@aol.com. Information on some of my books here.

UPDATE: Go to the Thursday version of this blog here.

10:15  Hot new scam, according to Forbes blogger: Calling people and telling them they are in big trouble for visiting a WikiLeaks-related -- unless they pay up.  Better Business Bureau on it, including in Seattle:  "A caller reported she received an automated phone call telling her that her computer and IP address had been noted as having visited the Wikileaks site, and that there were grave consequences for this, including a $250,000 or $25,000 fine, perhaps imprisonment. It left an option for leaving a message as to how she was going to handle this and the fine payment." 

8:30  Major new piece in The Australian on the rather strained relationship -- "locked in a war of words," so thy say -- between Assange and The Guardian, charges of betrayal, the falling out with Nick Davies, and so on.  Not exactly new but a lot of fresh quotes from close observers.  .  "I think Julian is an extremely colourful character, he is very aware of that, he uses that very smartly, he is very aware that a picture of him will play well in a newspaper," Ian Katz said.

8:20  Political scientist Michael Busch has been blogging abo,ut some of the interesting but less-publicized cables at two sites.  His own WikiBlogged includes regular updates often darkly humorous,  such as one from yesterday on monitoring driving and cell phone distraction in...Armenia.    He blogs less often at IPS's Foreign Policy in Focus.

4:30  Reuters with details on the Elmer arrest (see below): "Swiss police on Wednesday arrested former banker Rudolf Elmer on fresh charges of breaching Swiss bank secrecy law for giving data to WikiLeaks, hours after he was found guilty of another secrecy offense.  'The state prosecutor's office is checking to see whether Rudolf Elmer has violated Swiss banking law by handing the CD over to WikiLeaks,' the Zurich cantonal (state) police and state prosecutor said in a joint statement."

3:45  The Guardian with news break at top of page just now with no details:  The Swiss apparently have arrested the ex-banker who handed over CDs with "tax cheat" records to Assange this week on charges related to that.  Earlier today (see below) he had been convicted and fined for other charges.

2:35  Unusual expert piece inspired by that flap awhile back over WikiLeaks releasing info on U.S.  "key metals" supply and facilties, alleged threat to our national security or invitation to terrorists, Assange should be arrest and/or shot over this, and so.    

2:00   JIm Ridgeway and Jean Casella at The Guardian with a piece that opens by hitting cruel prison conditions for Bradley Manning, then goes further:  "Bradley Manning's treatment undeniably deserves this attention. But while Manning's punishment is cruel, it is far from unusual. According to available data, there are some 25,000 inmates in long-term isolation in America's supermax prisons, and as many as 80,000 more in solitary confinement in other facilities. Where is the outrage – even among progressives – for these forgotten souls."

12:45  Andrew Sullivan notes yesterday's news on administration officials admitting, privately, that cables have done little damage to US, while painting different picture in public, and links it to Sarah Palin's attacks on Assange—and her recent use of "blood libel" term.

12:25  Great panel coming up next Monday in NYC from Personal Democracy Forum, in partnership with New York University's Interactive Technology Program, with speakers Clay Shirky, Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir, Floyd Abrams (who wrote that WSJ op-ed critical of WikiLeaks), Gabriella Coleman, John Hockenberry.

12:00  New piece by Kathleen Christison:  "CounterPunch has accessed Wikileaks' file of cables on Israel’s Gaza assault two years ago (Operation Cast Lead, December 27, 2008 through January 18, 2009). Though the cables often  simply rehash Israeli press reporting, providing  little new insight into Israel’s attack or the planning behind it, they show with pitiless clarity  the U.S. government to be little more than a handmaiden and amanuensis of the Israeli military machine. The cables make clear, were any further disclosure needed, exactly where the United States stands with respect to Israel’s unprovoked attacks on Palestinians and its other Arab neighbors."

11:30  That ex-banker who handed over CD on "tax cheating" to Assange this week found guilty today. "A judge at Zurich's Regional Court has sentenced Rudolf Elmer to a fine of over 6,000 Swiss francs ($6,000). Elmer claimed at the one-day trial in Zurich's banking capital Wednesday that he acted after being persecuted by his former employer Julius Baer." 

10:40  We've mentioned this in a preview, but now here's full piece on WikiLeaks browser, via Dazzlepod, coming to... Facebook.

10:00  Switzerland probing US spying there, after cables released.

9:05  Former Swiss banker Rudolf Elmer, who just handed over "tax cheat" CDS to Assange in London, appeared in court today to answer breach of secrecy charges.

8:45  TV drama NCIS: Los Angeles with WikiLeaks-inspired show last night! Excerpt from  full rundown: "Driscoll somehow got his hands on highly classified documents and was going to post them online. The problem is that no one knows the decryption key to actually open the files yanked from the Pentagon, and that a couple of mercenaries are willing to kill for it. As NCIS: LA battles the hired guns looking to snag the code and files for themselves, they also battle the FBI for jurisdiction over the case, and the clues within it."

8:35  Russia blocks Wikileaks site after it publishes photo of Putin's $1 billion palace. But maybe that is past tense, as I got to the site easily, with palace down the page a big (I think).

8:00  Mother Jones re-visits Rep. Peter King's "terrorism problem"—threatens Assange and WikiLeaks but aided IRA.

7:55: And we're back. Glenn Greenwald just out with new post on story we pushed very early on, following yesterday's late-afternoon Reuters report: "To say that the Obama administration's campaign against WikiLeaks has been based on wildly exaggerated and even false claims is to understate the case. But now, there is evidence that Obama officials have been knowingly lying in public about these matters.... One might express bewilderment that most American journalists never learn their lesson about placing their blind faith in government claims."

7:50  Reuters: New cables find US ordering "its Middle East diplomats in 2008 to gather data on encrypted Israeli communications and build financial and 'biometric' profiles of Palestinian leaders." Secret memo from Condi Rice. 

12:05  NYT reports on the new Rudolf Elmer / WikiLeaks  tax cheat bank leak: "The individuals and companies whose offshore account information may be detailed in Swiss banking documents disclosed to WikiLeaks could face American prosecutors—or go untouched, senior tax lawyers said on Tuesday.  

"Whether the more than 2,000 wealthy investors and companies from the United States, Europe, Asia and elsewhere get a knock on the door from the Internal Revenue Service or other American agencies will depend in large part on if the documents contain detailed records showing criminal tax evasion. 'It’s obviously tremendously worrisome for these people, because every time a whistle-blower has said he has the goods, he’s had the goods,' said Peter R. Zeidenberg, a white-collar criminal defense lawyer at DLA Piper."

From late Tuesday

The Center for Investigative Reporting looks at Bank of America secretly buying up domain names to counter WIkiLeaks criticism. This goes beyond the first words about this last month... Well, Bank of America was a little too slow getting to one domain name (see item below):  BankofAmericaSuck is up and running with pro-WikiLeaks articles, links and video. (h/t @emirjame at Twitter). 

Marcy Wheeler on the Reuters scoop below. When the truth "lies."

Reuters's Mark Hosenball with quite a revelation: "Internal U.S. government reviews have determined that a mass leak of diplomatic cables caused only limited damage to U.S. interests abroad, despite the Obama administration's public statements to the contrary.  A congressional official briefed on the reviews said the administration felt compelled to say publicly that the revelations had seriously damaged American interests in order to bolster legal efforts to shut down the WikiLeaks website and bring charges against the leakers. 'I think they just want to present the toughest front they can muster,' the official said.

"But State Department officials have privately told Congress they expect overall damage to U.S. foreign policy to be containable, said the official, one of two congressional aides familiar with the briefings who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. 'We were told (the impact of WikiLeaks revelations) was embarrassing but not damaging,' said the official, who attended a briefing given in late 2010 by State Department officials."

 
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Blogging WikiLeaks News & Views for Tuesday, Day 52

As I've done for more than seven weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. Contact me at epic1934@aol.com. Information on some of my books here.

UPDATE:  Go to Wednesday's live-blog here.

10:55   Ha, just got email from a gentleman inspired by the 9:39  post just below: "I am new to your site and love the important coverage of wikileaks especially the links, want to help any way i can and i was hoping you might know someone that can put this domain to good use.  i have it for sale at sedo.com but would transfer it to any independent knowlegeable journalists/bloggers that want to cover this story and could use a good domain to get the word out."  The domain, he says,  is: YouSuckBoa.

9:39  Well, Bank of America was a little too slow getting to one domain name (see item below):  BankofAmericaSuck is up and running with pro-WikiLeaks articles, links and video. (h/t @emirjame at Twitter). 

7:50  The Center for Investigative Reporting looks at Bank of America secretly buying up domain names to counter WIkiLeaks criticism.  This goes beyond the first words about this last month.

7:48  Marcy Wheeler on the Reuters scoop below.  When the truth "lies."

4:20  Reuters' Mark Hosenball with quite a revelation:  "Internal U.S. government reviews have determined that a mass leak of diplomatic cables caused only limited damage to U.S. interests abroad, despite the Obama administration's public statements to the contrary.  A congressional official briefed on the reviews said the administration felt compelled to say publicly that the revelations had seriously damaged American interests in order to bolster legal efforts to shut down the WikiLeaks website and bring charges against the leakers. 'I think they just want to present the toughest front they can muster,' the official said.

"But State Department officials have privately told Congress they expect overall damage to U.S. foreign policy to be containable, said the official, one of two congressional aides familiar with the briefings who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. 'We were told (the impact of WikiLeaks revelations) was embarrassing but not damaging,' said the official, who attended a briefing given in late 2010 by State Department officials."

3:15  Charlie Gasparino at Fox Business reports on SEC keeping close tabs on WikiLeaks vs. Bank of America, wondering what BOA hid from them over the years. "If and when the document dump occurs, senior SEC officials will be examining the material to determine if BofA failed to include the emails and other documents in demands for information the commission has made as part of its many investigations into BofA activities."

2:30 More good stuff from the Guardian:  "The United States was advised to adopt a policy of  'covert sabotage'  of Iran's clandestine nuclear facilities, including computer hacking and "unexplained explosions", by an influential German thinktank, a leaked US embassy cable reveals.  Volker Perthes, director of Germany's government-funded Institute for Security and International Affairs, told US officials in Berlin that undercover operations would be 'more effective than a military strike' in curtailing Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"A sophisticated computer worm, Stuxnet, infiltrated the Natanz nuclear facility last year, delaying Iran's programme by some months. The New York Times said this week that Stuxnet was a joint US-Israeli operation. On Monday, Iran's top nuclear negotiator blamed the US for the cyber-attack."

2:20  New cables via The Guardian: "US diplomats in Turkey feared that a wave of arrests of senior military officers last year over an alleged plot to topple the country's Islamist-rooted government could trigger an'"unpredictable military reaction', according to a leaked diplomatic cable.  About 200 active and retired Turkish military officers, including former chiefs of the air force and dozens of generals and admirals, went on trial in December on charges of  'attempting to topple the government by force' as part of a plot dubbed Sledgehammer."

2:10  Support Julian Assange has launched a project to “interrupt the US government’s attempts to villainize and prosecute Julian Assange and bring down WikiLeaks." The site will produce a video that will feature 35 to 50  people from 12  countries reading an open letter to the U.S. government about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. It  will be released days before Assange’s extradition hearing next month. (Kevin Gosztola)

12:55  Thanks to the Guardian for pointing us to WikiLeaks style even coming to the Canary Islands.  It's called KanariLeaks and it's worth visiting site just for the art work.

12:15  From Tech Dirt:  "Indoctrinating Children To Hate Freedom Of The Press?"

10:35  Okay, keep your excitement in check.  We warned yesterday not to expect the new tax cheat bank leak any time soon, based on Assange's comment that his org had a lot of other work to do.  Reuters confirms that now.

9:55  Friends, thanks to your interest, I am now crashing on an "instant" WIkiLeaks book, now over 26,000 words in and counting, and hope to have it available for you in  two weeks, selling for about 12 U.S. dollars.  It will closely track (nearly) everything important that's happened since the "Collateral Murder" video last April....

9:45  Good updates on Tunisia at Guardian blog.  And new from Juan Cole: : "New Tunisian Government Declares Total Liberty of Information, as the Opposition Demands more Change."

9:30  Slide show on my current Nation article on "Why WIkiLeaks Matters" (the article has even more revelations than the 18 in the slide show); somehow remains "most read" at the site for a third day.

8:25 Tunisian activist on Democracy Now! right now says Facebook and Twitter did have big effect there.

8:05  More evidence of  "panic" in some quarters over the tax cheat leak (see 7:35 below) comes from The Times of India:  "24 hours after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange held up two CDs that contains 2000 prominent names of tax evaders, speculation is rife on the number of Indians to have been featured on the list. The fact that whistleblower Assange will very shortly reveal all the names on his list of 2000, is creating quite a stir in our political realm. Sources have told TIMES NOW that informal attempts are being made by the government to contact WikiLeaks, ahead of his explosive disclosure."

7:55 Latest from The Guardian's you-ask-we-search the cables:  U.S. embassy in Jakarta asked for $100,000 -- to boost its Facebook fans to one million before an Obama visit.

7:35  WikiLeaks as "The 21st Century Washington Post," at the popular 24/7 Wall St site.  Douglas A. McIntyre: "There is another round of outrage among businesses and banks because WikiLeaks has gotten hold of private documents from bank Julius Baer from one of its former executives....There is panic among some of these clients and the bank itself. The concern certainly spreads to other Swiss banks and perhaps their counterparts in other countries. Julius Baer accounts may have been used to cheat on taxes. Many wealthy people could face penalties or prosecution if that is so."

7:30  Roy Greenslade at The Guardian looks at mounting criticism from some journo members directed at the head of London's  Frontline Club showing  support for Assange.

7:20  Video of Assange at press conf yesterday re: the Tax Cheats of the Rich and Famous Leak.

7:15   The Guardian's blog has a report on a new cable, via Aftenposten on China, export controls, and illicit nuclear materials.  Also some reports from yesterday.

From late Monday

 Wonder how Fox News would cover State Dept ripping Assange but now promoting that film about Daniel Ellsberg.  Here's your answer.  Fox host and guest agree they nearly fell out of their chairs when they heard that.  They also compare Ellsberg to Manning, call him a "traitor" and introduce several factual error. 

A new, "comprehensive," Cablegate browser here.

News from BBC:  "The chief executive of one of Germany's leading space companies has lost his job because of the Wikileaks saga.  OHB Systems' Berry Smutny was reported in a cable to have told US diplomats that Europe's Galileo satellite-navigation project was a 'stupid idea.'  OHB, based in Bremen, is part of the consortium that will build Galileo's first 14 operational spacecraft. Although Mr Smutny has denied the cable's contents, OHB's board has decided to remove him from his post."

Late last night I linked to fun web contest to design, then select, Assange's next hair style.  You can now see the winner at upper left on that page.  A reader has emailed this comment to me:  "I guess it's no big deal, but I noticed with Google image search that the original image is shown to be a painting of Louis XVI of France, who got beheaded in 1793."  That's Louis the King at left here.

Provincial U.S. reporters and editors who have charged, from the beginning, that the cables have little true news, let alone historic,  value have been embarrassed time and time again, even as outlets, like The New York Times, quickly move away from publishing or even reporting on the cables.  Here, as just one of 100 examples from past couple weeks, is something just now from Korea:   "A US diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks over the weekend says North Korea has likely received 2-and-a-half million US dollars for weapons sold to Iran through the Seoul branch of Iran's Bank Mellat. According to the cable, Iran's Hong Kong Electronics transferred the money to the bank in November 2007."

 
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The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Monday, Day 51

As I've done for more than seven weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. Contact me at epic1934@aol.com. Information on some of my books here.

UPDATE   Go to Tuesday's edition of this blogging here.

11:30  Wonder how Fox News would cover State Dept ripping Assange but now promoting that film about Daniel Ellsberg.  Here's your answer.  Fox host and guest agree they nearly fell out of their chairs when they heard that.  They also compare Ellsberg to Manning, call him a "traitor" and introduce several factual error. 

8:45  About 150 protested prison conditions for Bradley Manning today right at Quanitco.

8:40  A new, "comprehensive," Cablegate browser here.

7:10  Provincial U.S. reporters and editors who have charged, from the beginning, that the cables have little true news, let alone historic,  value have been embarrassed time and time again, even as outlets, like The New York Times, quickly move away from publishing or even reporting on the cables.  Here, as just one of 100 examples from past couple weeks, is something just now from Korea:   "A US diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks over the weekend says North Korea has likely received 2-and-a-half million US dollars for weapons sold to Iran through the Seoul branch of Iran's Bank Mellat. According to the cable, Iran's Hong Kong Electronics transferred the money to the bank in November 2007."

5:50  News from BBC:  "The chief executive of one of Germany's leading space companies has lost his job because of the Wikileaks saga.  OHB Systems' Berry Smutny was reported in a cable to have told US diplomats that Europe's Galileo satellite-navigation project was a 'stupid idea.'  OHB, based in Bremen, is part of the consortium that will build Galileo's first 14 operational spacecraft. Although Mr Smutny has denied the cable's contents, OHB's board has decided to remove him from his post."

5:25 Late last night I linked to fun web contest to design, then select, Assange's next hair style.  You can now see the winner at upper left on that page.  A reader has emailed this comment to me:  "I guess it's no big deal, but I noticed with Google image search that the original image is shown to be a painting of Louis XVI of France, who got beheaded in 1793."  That's Louis the King at left here.

5:15 John Kamfner piece at the Guardian: "WikiLeaks turned the tables on governments, but the power relationship has not changed."

4:10  Great one from Aftenposten, sent my way by a second reporter there who is now tipping me to things.  He sums it up this way:  "Afghan foreign secretary received $45 million bribe from Chinese, acc. to Afgh diplomat. 14 docs published by Aft."   The article is still in Norwegian.  But the Google translation goes something like this:   "Afghanistan's former foreign minister Rangeen DADF Spanta received 45 million U.S. dollars for a Chinese mining company would be entitled to recover the country's giant copper deposits, according to an Afghan diplomat.

"Nine international companies bidding then Afghan government in 2007 would open copper mines in Aynak in Logar province just south of the capital Kabul. The mine is considered one of the world's largest, and would give Afghanistan an annual dividend of several billionThe Chinese state-owned industrial giant China Metallurgical Group (MCC) won the contract."

3:55 The Guardian now on the revelation early today via German paper (see below at 1:00) about Turkey and U.S. rendition. "Turkey  allowed the US to use its airbase at Incirlik in southern Turkey as part of the "extraordinary rendition" programme to take suspected terrorists to Guantánamo Bay, according to a US diplomatic cable.Turkey's involvement in the controversial programme was revealed in a cable dated 8 June 2006, written by the then US ambassador to Turkey, Ross Wilson. The cable described Turkey as a crucial ally in the "global war on terror" and an important logistical base for the US-led war in Iraq."

3:10  Kevin Zeese, very active with Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks support groups, with a lengthy take at Huff Post on Manning's defense "and the rule of law."

2:10  Interesting piece by Josh Gerstein at Politico.  "Leaking classified information to the media is a more serious offense than spying, the Justice Department argued in a court filing last week.  The argument came in a motion supporting the detention of Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer indicted for allegedly giving a reporter classified details about a CIA program aimed at interfering with Iran’s nuclear efforts.  'The defendant’s unauthorized disclosures…may be viewed as more pernicious than the typical espionage case where a spy sells classified information for money,'  the prosecution team wrote in a brief submitted by attorneys at Justice Department headquarters and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Alexandria, Va."

1:00 Early today we noted (before virtually anyone else) that Germany's daily paper Die Welt had gotten access to cables via Norway's Afternposten.  Then we reported on Die Welt  publishing revelations on Turkey's involvement with U.S. "rendition." Now here is the paper's editorializing on why it got engaged, though a bit too breast-thumping about breaking the newspaper "cartel"-- several others have long been publishing cables beyond the original core group.

11:45  Don't have translation on all this yet but apparently this Aftenposten piece today reveals that the U.S. tried to prevent "Baby Doc" Duvalier from returning to Haiti in 2006, according to cables. 

11:20  NYT now out with its piece on the Swiss banker "tax cheating of the rich and famous" leak to WIkiLeaks today.

10:50  I noted below  at 9:00 a tip from my friend at Aftenposten that his paper had shared its cache of cable with Germany's Die Welt.  And now we see that the German paper is publishing a bombshell:  "The US secret services used Turkey as a base to transport terrorism  suspects as part of its extraordinary rendition programme, German daily Die Welt reported today citing a WikiLeaks cable.

 "Some 24 CIA flights landed at Incirlik airport in southern Turkey between 2002 and 2006 with the knowledge of the Turkish military, according to a cable from the US embassy in Ankara dated June 8, 2006, the paper said.  'The Turkish military has since 2002 allowed us to use Incirlik as a refuelling stop for prisoner transport flights from 'Operation Fundamental Justice', but revoked permission in February this year,' said the cable, referring to the rendition programme.

"On June 14, 2006, a spokesman for Turkey's foreign ministry, Namik Tan, told reporters: 'The Turkish government and state never played a part (in the secret transfers) ... and never will.'"

9:55 Oh, jesus, the new Miss America, who had slammed (with facts wrong) Wikileaks during the contest, visited (naturally) Fox & Friends  today.    They reveal that she is a "home schooled conservative Christian."   She said the beauty contest provided a dose of "idealism" for Americans.

9:50   Valauble WL Central list of cablegate "advanced resource" sites.  Here's WL Central's report on this morning tax cheat leak / Assange press conf.

9:10  Fascinating piece at a WSJ site on article in Chinese current affair magazine: "We can predict: perhaps in the not-so-distant future, you, me, him, everybody could be Assange....  In recent weeks, leaks of information embarrassing to a number of government agencies and officials in various parts of the country suggest that plenty of Chinese Assanges have already emerged." Offers examples. 

9:00  My reporter friend at the Norwegian paper Aftenposten emails me this morning:  "More international cooperation between Aftenposten and international media partners. We are now also sharing our Cablegate dump with Germany's  Die Welt:. ... We are at this moment cooperating with four regional newspapers here,  in Norway, Danish Politiken, Swedish Svenska Dagbladet, Dutch NRC Handelsblad and TV station RTL + other partners in three more countries that will be presented later."

8:55 New piece from Glenn Greenwald on Applying U.S. Principles Internet Freedom." Declares, "the real agents of harnessing Interent and media technologies to promote freedom and human rights in Tunisia (and elsewhere) are either currently imprisoned by the U.S. (Manning), being harassed and on the verge of being prosecuted (WikiLeaks), or constantly demonized in the American media (Al Jazeera)."

8:45  Full story here on the "tax cheat leak" story and Elmer / Assange presser today (see more below).   AP's full take here.   "For its part, Julius Baer Bank has denied any wrongdoing and any allegations that it may have aided clients who wanted to avoid taxes by using offshore accounts. The bank has also accused Mr. Elmer of trying to discredit the bank because he was fired."

8:40   Pentagon adviser, a retired colonel, charges that Bradley Manning's homesexuality was factor in alleged leak.  "The reason he downloaded and gave away these files allegedly had something to do with a fractured relationship that he had had with a fellow soldier."

8:35  Brigitta Jonsdottir tweets on Twitter case :  "My lawyers at EFF have until the 26th to find ways to quash the DoJ subpoena. The IPU will be discussing my case this week."

8:30  Check out this live blog of this morning's wild "tax cheat leak" press conference (see more below), which includes photo of surprise speaker  Assange holding up disc.   (h/t @Asher_Wolf)   A critique there:  "What seems abundantly clear is that this is pure showmanship. The handover of CDs is a nominal event, it is unfathomable that the data has not been transferred to Wikileaks by another means, or that there are not several backups of the data made. Were this the sole transfer, it’s not unreasonable to assume that an arrest would be made today, with such a breach of data privacy being made in public."

8:20  Yes, we do sleep here, after a late night of Wiki blogging (as you will see below).  So, like you most likely, I am still catching up to the surprise press conference today in London tied to the "tax cheat" leak--on the "rich and famous" and the Caymans-- from the Swiss banking whistleblower Rudolf Elmer (left) that we wrote about over the weekend.   The Guardian's blog  (lucky guys, five hours ahead and working while I'm sleeping) covered it well.  Assange appeared after press was told only that an unnamed WIkiLeaks reps was coming but stuck in traffic!

Assange at press conf refused to talk about his own case, saying this was called to just announce the "tax cheat" leak.  Elmer had handed over two CDs (hopefully, not Lady Gaga related) but Assange said he didn't know who the original leaker was for sure.  Elmer had stressed that he was giving the CDs to WikiLeaks, not Assange.   The latter did not promise when anything would come out, noting that his organization was involved in other things right now and pointed out that only 2.3% of the State Dept. cables had come out so far.  He also said that WIkiLeaks had faced more legal thrats from banks than any other entity.   Elmer said,  I’m thankful to WikiLeaks for helping me get message out. I was close to becoming mentally sick, paranoid.

1:20  Guardian editorial on Tunisia revolt mentions, does not credit, WikiLeaks, as debate over its role continues.

12:50  Fun piece on Magnetic Island, where Assange spent some time as a baby and kid.  And what about that drive to build a statue in tribute to the hometown (island)  hero?  Maggie may.

12:15  Fun site gives you a chance to pick next Assange hairstyle. -- no, better than that, you can design nd submit your own. Some beauties. (h/t  @Asher_Wolf) 

12:10  Good wrapup here of protests in Libya, Algeria, Egypt,  elsewhere, sparked by Tunisia revolt which had been sparked -- or not -- by WikiLeaks release.

12: 05  The Nation has put together a slide show tied to my current article on "Why WikiLeaks Matters," which lists a few dozen revelations from the past few months that many have already forgotten.  The slide show sticks to 18.

From Late Sunday

More details on Assange's early hacking days and exploits from new documents, as reported by several papers in Australia, including here.

Okay, look for Assange to leak the Steelers' offensive game plan before next weekend.

Thanks to all who have started sending links and tips and more: Two people even offered to translate from Dutch to English.  Until this week, I did not include my email at the head of this blog (above), but once I did, the advice and suggestons started flowing.   Thanks again.

 

THE WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG: Special Weekend Edition!

As I've done for more than six weeks, I will be updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks all day, with new items added at the top. All times are ET in USA. Contact me at epic1934@aol.com. Information on some of my books here.

** SUNDAY ** 

11:00 If you haven't caught up to this yet:  The Nation has put together a slide show tied to my current article on "Why WikiLeaks Matters," which lists a few dozen revelations from the past few months that many have already forgotten.  The slide show sticks to 18.

9:35  More details on Assange's early hacking days and exploits from new documents, as reported by several papers in Australia, including here.

9:15  Okay, look for Assange to leak the Steelers' offensive game plan before next weekend.

1:45  Okay,  let's put the Obama White House in the camp of those rejecting the idea that WIkiLeak sparked the Tunisia revolt. Wash Post reports:  "The Obama administration is rejecting claims that revelations of rampant corruption in Tunisia in secret U.S. diplomatic documents sparked the popular revolt that overthrew the authoritarian leadership of the North African nation.  State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Sunday that Tunisians were well aware of the graft, nepotism and lavish lifestyles led by ex-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family long before the WikiLeaks website published the diplomatic cables.

"Crowley said in a Tweet that the Tunisian people alone are the catalysts for the uprising that saw the autocratic Ben Ali flee the country on Friday."

12:15  This won't likely make the front-page of the NYT tomorrow but it's a good example of how WikiLeaks revelations often produce outsized, startling effects in small countries.  "Panama’s main opposition party has called for the removal from office of the head of the country’s tourism authority following Wikileaks revelations that the former U.S. Ambassador suspected links to drug traffickers."

11:30 Updating the story at 11:20 below: Aftenposten now has lengthy account of the Iran / nuclear cables in English.

11:25  Glenn Greenwald tweets on Miss America (see below):  "The new Miss America's winning anti-WikiLeaks answer would fit perfectly in any CNN or network news show:"  I should reveal here that back in 1974, I wrote a cover story for the legendary Crawdaddy (where I was an editor) on covering a Miss USA pageant, with title "Selling Boobs to the Rubes." 

11:20  My friend at Aftenposten send me this news earlier today but the article was in Norwegian.  Now Haaretz is out with a piece on new cables, published by Aftenposten, on Iran, according to the cables, racing to get nuclear material before sanctions make it impossible.

10:15  I covered this last night, but here's Business Insider take with groovy headline: "Tomorrow, Wikileaks Will Gets Tons Of Data On Millionaires Who Evade Taxes Using Offshore Accounts."

9:50  Thanks to all who have started sending links and tips and more: Two people even offered to translate from Dutch to English.  Until this week, I did not include my email at the head of this blog (above), but once I did, the advice and suggestons started flowing.   Thanks again.

8:20:   That Norwegian paper Afternposten just launched new cables that show U.S. knew all about massive corruption in Tunisia back in 2006 but went on supporting gov't anyway, making it "the pillar of its North Africa policy."    Juan Cole cover here.  Meanwhile,   Libya's Gaddafi (left), "saddened" by events in Tunisia, warns Tunisians against being tricked by "WikiLeaks which publishes information written by lying ambassadors in order to create chaos."

7:55  Last night I posted a tweet from a reader announcing that, lo and behold, a Miss America contestant had been asked about WIkiLeaks in the TV broadcast last night.  Now here's video  and transcript (h/t Vanessa Banti).   Oh, by the way, the young lady, Miss Nebraska, critical of WikiLeaks, won the contest.  Take that, Julian Assange!

Everybody's talking about the Wikileaks, how do we balance people's right to know with the need for government security?

"You know when it came to that situation it was actually based on espionage, and when it comes to the security of our nation we have to focus on security first, and then people's right to know. Because it's so important that everyone in our borders is safe, and so we can't let things like that happen and they must be handled properly... and I think that was the case."

** SATURDAY **

11:50  I've posted the sometimes combative Stephen Colbert interview with Assange from back in April before, but this version purports to be the "unedited" version.

11:40  Love this tweet from @HeyRatty, but no idea if true, anyone else see this?  "They just asked a Wikileaks question to one of the Miss America contestants. Her answer wasn't totally awful."   The way some in media have acted, I wouldn't be surprised to now see Assange asked about Miss America. 

8:30  Love this headline and story from The Guardian:   "Swiss whistleblower Rudolf Elmer plans to hand over offshore banking secrets of the rich and famous to WikiLeaks:  He will disclose the details of 'massive potential tax evasion' before he flies home to stand trial over his actions."

7:15  Juan Cole on Tunisia.

6:20  Full video of Assange interview now released (see below at 12:30).

4:20  Scott Shane's new piece at NYT puts him in the camp of those giving a good deal of credit to WIkiLeaks for Tunisia revolt.  Read whole thing, but he says the cables "helped fuel the anger on the streets that culminated Friday with Mr. Ben Ali’s flight after 23 years in power," adding, "the diplomats’ disgusted and lurid accounts of the kleptocratic ways of the president’s extended family helped tip the scales, according to many Tunisian commentators."

And it closes with these two key grafs:  

"[T]he cables’ role in whatPresident Obama lauded Friday as 'this brave and determined struggle for the universal rights' underscores the awkward dilemma the WikiLeaks cables have posed for the administration.

"Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been pressing an '“Internet Freedom' initiative, emphasizing the power of the Web to expose injustice and promote democracy. But at the same time, the Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation of WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, including using subpoenas to try to obtain the private Internet activity, credit card numbers and bank account details of Mr. Assange and his associates." 

3:25  The Nation has put together a slide show tied to my current article on "Why WikiLeaks Matters," which lists a few dozen revelations from the past few months that many have already forgotten.  The slide show sticks to 18.

2:05  Dahr Jamail at Truthout on "Bradley Manning and GI Resistance to U.S. War. Crimes."  Declres: "What Manning did by leaking this critical information has been to uphold his oath as a soldier in the most patriotic way. Now, compare that with how he has been raked over the coals by most of the so-called mainstream media."  (h/t Kevin Gosztola)

1:25  Amazing from AP: The State Dept., while ripping WikiLeaks, is promoting the recent acclaimed film about my old friend Dan Ellsberg, The Most Dangerous Man in America.  The State Department announced today that the film "has been selected as one of 18 films that will tour the world this year as part of its American Documentary Showcase program"

12:30 Still trying to keep up with, translate, and understand the massive leak of cables to the Dutch news outlets by Aftenposten, but there's a new Assange interview there (see video), and background on Dutch planning to stay in Afghanistan awhile may be key.  The headline on the Assange interview, I'm told, translates as: "Netherlands should know everything now" followed by text:  "The parliament of the Netherlands should know the cable information to make a fully informed decision to vote to send a 'police mission' to Afghanistan."  The video:  

 

12:05  ABC in U.S. catches up on the Jacob Appelbaum airport hassling (and see Glenn Greenwald below).

10:55   Young kids cartoons on WikiLeaks, some pretty funny.

10:25  New post by Evgeny Morozov at Foreign Policy on WikiLeaks and Tunisia, Clay Shirky, and "social media."

10:05  Just gimme some truth, he might have said?   Or just gimme a break? Well,  he did name his kid Julian.   John Lennon would have been an Assange fan, according to this.   "I think the internet has always been potentially a force for freedom of speech and it's proving itself right now. And Lennon would have been just loving that."

9:25  A Guardian blog re-creates the Tunisia revolt and crisis as it happened.  Still much debate over how much or how little it was sparked by WikiLeaks disclosures.

9:15   Glenn Greenwald interviews Rep. Loretta Sanchez about Homeland Security's seizure of citizens' laptops at airports, tied to recent cases involving WikiLeaks people.  He says, "When you really think about it, it's simply inconceivable that the U.S. Government gets away with doing this.  Seizing someone's laptop, digging through it, recording it all, storing the data somewhere, and then distributing it to various agencies is about the most invasive, privacy-destroying measure imaginable."

8:55  National Post Q & A  w/ Iceland MP Birgitta Jonsdottir.

8:00  Bank of America holding to explanation that yesterday's site outages for many not tied at all to hacking or other Anonymous type attacks.

12:25 a.m. Article in this week's New Statesman by Assange ally John Pilger re-fashioned here and given title "The War on WikiLeaks,"  including defense of Assange in the sex crime case.

LATE FRIDAY

11:20 p.m.  Hooray: The Wall Street Journal joins the now long list of top publications which, after the passing of many days, finally corrected earlier articles that alleged WikiLeaks had released many thousands of cables or even 250,000 of them. 

And The New York Times corrects a whopper of its own, pointed out by many of us today:  "An article on Friday about Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of providing classified material to WikiLeaks, misstated the amount of money donated by WikiLeaks to Private Manning’s legal defense fund. It has donated $15,100, not more than $100,000."  Plus: "The article also misstated the association that David M. House, a friend who has visited Private Manning, has with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a researcher there, not a graduate student." 

11:00  Amy Davidson of The New Yorker weighs in on WikiLeaks and Tunisia and raises this key point I've pushed myself for weeks: "Does any one person know enough about all of the countries mentioned in the cables to say for sure how significant they are? Unless someone does, it is rash to keep talking about how they add texture but 'no great revelations.'”    Th check a skeptic of the WikiLeaks role in Tunisia, follow @EvgenyMorozov at Twitter.

 10:55   One more time, allow me to direct your attention to my piece for The Nation's print issue next week, which was posted online Thursday afternoon, on   "Why WikiLeaks Matters."   I suggest that, in the end, what most people think of the leaks and the organization will be profoundly influenced by what value they believe rests in the content of the leaks.  And, too often, the media, and even U.S. officials, have charged, "nothing new, just move along."   There's been very little followup on most of the bombshell disclosures, at least in this country.  My long list of significant revelations in the past six months counters that view strongly.

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