Quantcast

Greg Mitchell | The Nation

  •  
Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

Blogging WikiLeaks News & Views For Monday, Day 30

As I've done for the previous nearly four weeks and more,  I will be updating news & views on all things WikiLeaks all day.   All times added at top are ET.  For more follow me at Twitter.  Read about my latest book here.

UPDATE: Here the Tuesday edition of this blog.

11:55  FDL with new compilation of key Bradley Manning case articles.

10:50  Does Ron Paul regret his strong (and rare) backing for WikiLeaks early on? New interview with National Revliew folks shows he is standing by it, maybe more so.  "This can’t be allowed to go without a full debate. If you don’t protect the rights that we have to broadcast and print—as well as for individuals who want to tell the truth about our government—we’re in big trouble" Not so keen on Manning, though.

8:50  Glenn Greenwald debating Fran Townsend (and host) on CNN tonite.

7:50  Good piece by noted author/columnist Richard Reeves (like me, he's written a book about Nixon) on Wikileaks as the #1 "game changer" of 2010.  Yeah, others will pick something else as "top story" but game-changing is what really counts.

5:55  Should be fun: Glenn Greenwald on CNN tonite at about 7 with former Bushie, Fran Townsend.

5:35  If you're wondering about the right's response to Bradley Manning treatment, Glenn Greenwald and more, here's Powerline. 

5:30  With little help now from NYT and Guardian, WikiLeaks has become WikiDrips, latest count still just short of 2000 published.

4:55  Capping day on Wired/Manning front (see below), a fun parody for "Hired" magazine cover.

3:55 Huff Post's Ryan Grim notes NYT publishing cable on Karzai releasing drug dealers.  "President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly released well-connected officials convicted of or charged with drug trafficking in Afghanistan, frustrating efforts to combat corruption and providing additional evidence that the United States' top ally in the country is himself corrupt."

2:45 Robert Mackey at NYT blog reports on Assange book deal, and as often true with Times coverage of WikiLeaks the past few weeks,  adds nothing to what's known.

2:30  Glenn Greenwald updates his blast at Wired from this morning: "Evan Hansen, the Editor-in-Chief of Wired.com, says on Twitter that Poulsen is 'on vacation'' but that Wired will post a response to this article tomorrow."

2:15  Still mixed reports on partial  BOA outage.  Meanwhile, Jeff Jarvis tweets: "The better retribution on BofA is a leak, not an attack."

2:10  Fox: US apologizes to Peru over leaked cables that report on leader's affairs, ego, manic-depression and ties to drug lords.

1:35  Report from my tweeps: BOA site not loading at all for some, loading all the time for many others, some (like me) in-between.  Jeff Jarvis, for one, tweets in response to my query at 1:35:  "Dead to me."  Then, two minutes later, says it's "resurrected." This seems to be common experience.

12:55  Fire Dog Lake's valuable "merged" version of Manning-Lamo Chat Logs 

12:40   BOA site usually loads for me this past hour but occasonally...not.

12:10  Bank of America cyber attack allegedly underway now since noon.  Here's their running timer on how long since began.  Twitter feed: @Anony.Ops.   Hashtags seem to be #operationBOA  and  #payback

11:20  Glenn Greenwald hits Wired again in new piece for "journalistic disgrace... For more than six months, Wired's Senior Editor Kevin Poulsen has possessed—but refuses to publish -- the key evidence in one of the year's most significant political stories:  the arrest of US Army PFC Bradley Manning for allegedly acting as WikiLeaks' source..... This has long ago left the realm of mere journalistic failure and stands as one of the most egregious examples of active truth-hiding by a 'journalist'  I've ever seen.".  

10:55 Provocative piece at The New Republic by Noam Scheiber.  He says, forget WikiLeaks' major  impact on secrecy, intel gathering, and journalism.   More than all that: "It’s about dismantling large organizations—from corporations to government bureaucracies. It may well lead to their extinction." And: "the organizations of the future will look a lot like …Wikileaks.  It’s your world, Julian Assange. Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of us are just living in it."

10:50  Al Jazeera picks WikiLeaks as newsmaker of the year, for "transforming journalism."

10:30  Much-rumored cyber attack on Bank of America probably set for today, but will it gain enough steam?  Latest such efforts have petered out.

10:00  More classified info on Afghanistan leaked!  Damn that WikiLeaks!  Oh, wait, it's yet another reporter from NYT.

9:40  Katha Politt's piece on the Left "not getting rape" that appeared here at The Nation now up at The Guardian.

9:30  Fromer GOP congressman Bob Barr, at his  Atlanta Journal Constitution blog, says WIkiLeaks may spawn a new "Sedition Act."  He opposes it.   "We can only hope Jefferson’s wisdom and understanding will speak from across the ages to shine the bright light of constitutional truth on such dark plans."

9:25  Julian Assange as president of the USA?  Take a look.

9:20  Ralph Nader on "Wikimania and the First Amendment." 

9:15  Someone is maintaining a site that lists and comments on people who want Assange killed.  You need to click on the bar to see the next name and quote.

9:10   David Greenberg's 'Hidden History of the 1917 Espionage Act" at Slate.

9:05  From Wired: "Hackers Watch a World in Chaos." 

9:00  Wash Post with big piece on story we covered yesterday: cables on Mexican drug lord and Panama's request to US for wiretaps, and much more.

8:55  El Pais :  "Assange is clearly the ultimate Mick Jagger of the digital age."

8:50  If you were for some reason busy the past three days, here's the holiday weekend version of this blog.  Believe it or not, quite a lot happened.

From late yesterday

Finally a new Guardian story on fresh cable:  "The trial of Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky shows the Kremlin preserves a "cynical system where political enemies are eliminated with impunity", US diplomats say in classified cables released by WikiLeaks today.  Attempts by the Russian government to demonstrate the rule of law is being respected during Khodorkovsky's prosecution are "lipstick on a political pig", says a communique to Washington from the US embassy in Moscow in December 2009."

We report, you decide:  Assange claims one of his accusers took "trophy photo" of him naked.

Speculation about if, and when, Bradley Manning will confess and maybe implicate Assange.  But Assange denies any contact at all.

 
Like this blog post? Read all Nation blogs on the Nation's free iPhone App, NationNow.
NationNow iPhone App
 

THE WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG, Special Holiday Weekend Edition!

As I've done for the previous nearly four weeks and more,  I will be updating news & views on all things WikiLeaks all weekend, if at a reduced clip (unless Assange escapes).   All times added at top are ET.  For more follow me at Twitter.  Read about my latest book here.

UPDATE:   Go here for Monday's edition.

***SUNDAY***

7:40  Wash Post with big piece on story we covered yesterday: cables on Mexican drug lord and Panama's request to US for wiretaps, and much more.

7:30  Finally a new Guardian story on fresh cable:  "The trial of Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky shows the Kremlin preserves a "cynical system where political enemies are eliminated with impunity", US diplomats say in classified cables released by WikiLeaks today.  Attempts by the Russian government to demonstrate the rule of law is being respected during Khodorkovsky's prosecution are "lipstick on a political pig", says a communique to Washington from the US embassy in Moscow in December 2009."

4:25  We report, you decide:  Assange claims one of his accusers took "trophy photo" of him naked.

4:15  Speculation about if, and when, Bradley Manning will confess and maybe implicate Assange.  But Assange denies any contact at all.

4:10  What a difference a week makes.  The Guardian no longer reporting on cables, and only story today is on Assange book deal.

2:10  I don't really know what this story means but it's yet another example of cables leaking out to smaller news outlets from the 250,000 cache, not sure how they are emerging....

11:40  Ironic (for me, given my current focus here) that one of the villains in my "The Campaign of the Century" book, set in 1934, is A.P. Giannini—founder of Bank of America.  He helped scuttle Upton Sinclair's epic race for governor that influenced politics ever since.

11:30  Alleged cyber attack on B of A may or may not happen soon.  Alexi Mostrous of Times of London tweets:  "Some details at @operazionboa but sketchy. Any attack may be disrupted by internal Anon powerstruggle I hear."

9:55 Interesting take from Australia news outlet on bickering among allies in Afghanistan.

9:15  Today's laff:  Rumor in Russia that upcoming WikiLeaks cable will reveal that US has been fighting UFOs near Antarctica since 2004!

8:55  Asher Wolf tweets:  "The Telegraph has listed Julian Assange as one of The Villains of 2010."

8:50  Important info from cables continues to emerge from far corners and under the radar in US.  Here's new piece at IPS re: Africa and uranium. "Wikileaks cables have revealed a disturbing development in the African uranium mining industry: abysmal safety and security standards in the mines, nuclear research centres, and border customs are enabling international companies to exploit the mines and smuggle dangerous radioactive material across continents. The Wikileaks cables reveal that US diplomats posted in a number of African countries—the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Tanzania, Niger, and Burundi, among others—have had direct knowledge of the poor safety and security standards in these countries' uranium and nuclear facilities."

8:00 Huff Post: Latest on Assange memoir deal, will get over $1.25 million from US and UK publishers.

***SATURDAY***

10:30 A new report on Thomas Friedman talk at Brandeis last Wednesday.  He expressed ambivalence about WikiLeaks, hailing whistleblowers but not idea of so many secrets being open to exposure.  Here's key graf:  "Yet Friedman also explained that while America 'on balance [is] a real force for good in the world,' Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, does not believe in or support American values."

10:25  AP: Panama leader denies asking US for phone taps on opponents  "but acknowledged a request for help against criminals and organized crime figures. A leaked US diplomatic cable from Aug. 22, 2009 quotes then-US ambassador Barbara Stephenson as saying the newly elected conservative president asked for help with wiretaps soon after he took office on July 1."

10:20  New Wiki cables relating to US, Mexico and the drug war.

10:05  The Guardian's sister paper The Observer  picks, or maybe makes up, "buzz words" of 2010, including "assange," defined as:  "The act of dressing self-indulgence up as piety, e.g.  don't tell me you only stayed in the pub to look after your mate. That's a load of assange and you know it!"

7:05  Wow, hard-hitting NYT editorial hitting crackdown on WikiLeaks by "financial industry," now especially Bank of America.  Adds, closer to home: "What would happen if a clutch of big banks decided that a particularly irksome blogger or other organization was 'too risky'”? What if they decided—one by one—to shut down financial access to a newspaper that was about to reveal irksome truths about their operations? This decision should not be left solely up to business-as-usual among the banks"

6:15 I noted below plans for cyber attack on B of A.  It may, or may not, be underway now, according to this thread.  My guess: limited so far.

6:05  NYT with story on Berkeley group backing Bradley Manning.  "The lack of clarity surrounding Private Manning’s involvement [with WikiLeaks] has made building public support a challenge, even in friendly forums like the Berkeley City Council, which last week declined to back a measure calling Private Manning a hero."

4:45  NYT finally returns to the WIki wars with new top piece on the DEA and its global reach.  "The Drug Enforcement Administration has been transformed into a global intelligence organization with a reach that extends far beyond narcotics, and an eavesdropping operation so expansive it has to fend off foreign politicians who want to use it against their political enemies, according to secret diplomatic cables."

4:30  Is El Pais the only one of the original news outlets still reporting on new cables? 

2:30  Reuters: Egypt denies any nuclear weapon ambitions.

1:30  Full report by the great Carol Rosenberg of McClatchy on how US tried to stop Spain's probe of torture of "war on terror" detainees. "The case is still open, on the desk of a Spanish magistrate, awaiting a reply from the Obama administration on whether it will pursue a probe of its own. But the episode, revealed in a raft of WikiLeaks cables, was part of a secret concerted US effort to stop a crusading Spanish judge from investigating a torture complaint against former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and five other senior Bush lawyers. 

12:25  Quip from Life of Brian may make some think of Assange.  Mother of Brian of Nazareth: "He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy!"

11:05  New Twitter feed announces alleged Bank of Amerca take down effort (when it reaches critical mass). 

10:50  Turkey with all the trimmings: Newly-relesed cable suggests US has, or had, 90 nuclear bombs in Turkey. 

10:40  How much interest in WikiLeaks on the left in the USA? This live-blog has been the most popular entry on The Nation's site nearly every day for the past four weeks.   Thanks for all your interest and support and tips.

10:30  Report from Google:  WikiLeaks tops gambling for web search hits, and Obama only beats out Assange, 70 million to 68 million.

10:00  Once again yesterday, for third day, not a single report on new cables at The Guardian, which had been feverish on the subject for so long.  One wonders.

9:00   And a Merry Christmas to you all.  Now the secret  is out.  Beethoven, perhaps the leading evidence for the existence of God, greets the day.  And a quite different anthem from Woody Guthrie on the birthday boy.

FRIDAY

11:00  Yes, I will be doing some blogging here on Christmas Day as events warrant, or don't.

9:35  Whoville elects Assange mayor after WIkiLeak doc leads to arrest of Grinch in Christmas stealing plot.

8:10  Steve Jobs kicks Julian Assange out of an Apple app store:

 6:20  Bianca Jagger at Huff Post hits "trial by newspaper," meaning The Guardian's decision to use leaked details on sex case against Assange.

3:50  Lawyer for woman accusing Assange speaks to AP, claims women didn't even know they could appeal until he informed them.  "He has said all men bear a collective responsibility for the fact that some men abuse women. In 2006, he even proposed that Sweden withdraw from soccer's World Cup because of an expected surge in the sex trade in host nation Germany, where prostitution is legal."

3:00 Glenn Greenwald tweets on the Manning case: "Wired Magazine (and the WashPost) possess key evidence on 1 of the year's most important news stories but have concealed it for months." That would be the original chat logs. 

2:50  Hot wiki on wiki action, as Evgeny Morozov tweets:  "Wikipedia's entry on Cablegate is so detail-oriented that it even unpacks the real meaning of WTF http://goo.gl/3CUnv." 

12:30  You're on your own with this one: El Pais guy claims Assange considering political asylum in...Brazil.  Paging Terry Gilliam!

  11:00 Major Wall Street Journal piece today on WikiLeaks financing and decision to spend more to "professionalize" itself, including after a long debate, pay staff salaries, modeling itself on Greenpeace.   "The Wau Holland Foundation provides key back-office services for WikiLeaks' operations by collecting donations and paying its bills."

10:25  AFP: Israeli daily publishes new cable with US reporting that Israel destroyed secret Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007 raid. Syria denies it was nuke facility and Bush in his memoirs said he resisted Israel's pressure to bomb it.

9:50  Big NYT story today on how Swiss now ready to prosecute three moles who helped CIA in tracking nuclear dealer A.Q.  Khan—maybe helped too much—and fears that key US secrets will emerge.  Not WikiLeaks-related on the surface, but the much-awaited Frantz and Collins book on the case is due to come out next month with reportedly many secrets of its own to tell.  So: Will they be halted or prosecuted in the new anti-secrets craze?  Don't bet on it.

9:15  Assange attorney Mark Stephens, revealing puckish side,  tweets @markslarks  "This just in... Dear Kids,  Santa is Mum & Dad.  Love, Wikileaks."

9:05  A couple days back we linked to a lengthy take by "cyberpunk" author Bruce Sterling, which has since gained wide play, and some criticism from both Wiki friend and Wiki foe..  Here's The Economist  weighing in.

8:40  New from Glenn Greenwald, as he reviews the year in WikiLeaks and what was revealed.  "It's unsurprising that political leaders would want to convince people that the true criminals are those who expose acts of high-level political corruption and criminality, rather than those who perpetrate them.  Every political leader would love for that self-serving piety to take hold.  But what's startling is how many citizens and, especially, 'journalists' now vehemently believe that as well."

8:35  Bradley Manning has sent out a brief holiday message: "I greatly appreciate everyone's support and well wishes during this time. I am also thankful for everything that has been done to aid in my defense. I ask that everyone takes the time to remember those who are separated from their loved ones at this time due to deployment and important missions. Specifically, I am thinking of those that I deployed with and have not seen for the last seven months, and of the staff here at the Quantico Confinement Facility who will be spending their Christmas without their family."

8:20  BBC:  Cuba to publish WikiLeak cables relating to Cuba, said to be over 2000, with only 62 appearing so far.  "It says the documents prove links between Cuba's "so-called internal dissidence" and the US government. They also reveal the continuing "terrorist actions" against Cuba from the US, as well as "complicity" between the CIA and Cuban exile groups, it says."

From late yesterday:

McClatchy: Military opens full probe into how Manning allegedly stole files—those this headline leaves out the "allegedly."  Going GaGa.....  MSNBC interview today with David House, the friend of Bradley Manning who has visited him several times and wrote him for FDL.  House calls him an "ethical giant" and says they have not talked at all about case or Assange. And now Glenn Greenwald tweets: "It still amazes me that both Wired and the Washington Post—'news outlets'—have the full Manning / Lamo chats but won't publish them.".....

It seems Moe Tkacik wrote a story on the Assange sex case last night for the Washington City Paper without overseer editing, it named the two women in the case, was taken down and redacted, then put back up with an editor's note.  Now here's Fishbowl DC withanother note noting that the names are all over the web—and then a choice of reading the original story on the edited one!

 
Like this blog post? Read all Nation blogs on the Nation's free iPhone App, NationNow.
NationNow iPhone App
 

Blogging WikiLeaks News & Views, for Thursday, Day 26

As I've done for the previous three weeks and more , I will be updating news & views on all things WikiLeaks all day.  All times added at top are ET.  For more follow me at Twitter.  Read about my latest book here.

UPDATE   Here's the Friday edition of this blog.

10:50  BBC:  Cuba to publish WikiLeak cables relating to Cuba, said to be over 2000, with only 62 appearing so far.  "It says the documents prove links between Cuba's "so-called internal dissidence" and the US government. They also reveal the continuing "terrorist actions" against Cuba from the US, as well as "complicity" between the CIA and Cuban exile groups, it says"

8:50  Dramatic shift: Guardian has now gone two full days with no new Wiki cable stories. Odd that it would go from 6 to zero overnight.  Just Christmas slowdown, or another reason? And, of course, NYT has only covered new cables twice in past two weeks.

8:40  McClatchy: Military opens full probe into how Manning allegedly stole files -- those this headline leaves out the "allegedly."  Going GaGa.

6:40  MSNBC interview today with David House, the friend of Bradley Manning who has visited him several times and wrote him for FDL.  House calls him an "ethical giant" and says they have not talked at all about case or Assange. And now Glenn Greenwald tweets: "It still amazes me that both Wired and The Washington Post - 'news outlets' - have the full Manning / Lamo chats but won't publish them."

6:10   It seems Moe Tkacik wrote a story on the Assange sex case last night for the Washington City Paper without overseer editing, it named the two women in the case, was taken down and redacted, then put back up with an editor's note.  Now here's Fishbowl DC withanother note noting that the names are all over the web -- and then a choice of reading the original story on the edited one!

5:50:   Not based on a WikiLeak but check out giant story inspired by hard journalism pushing for (redacted) docs from NYT on U.S. okaying companies selling goods to countries that allegedly back terrorism.

5:15  AP picks its top 10 stories of the year.  WikiLeaks only  #9, below the Chilean Miners.  But look at what's #10:  Afghanistan.

5:05  If The Clash were still around would they do an album called "Assangelista!" ?

4:25 New report in the Sydney Morning-Herald on further "web of intrigue" in sex case against Assange, but it doesn't add or explain an awful lot.

4:10  National Journal with big piece on the case of David House, who is leading Bradley Manning support and has visited him in prison (see his FDL report down below), and the case of the seized laptop--his laptop, taken by Homeland Security at the airport and just this week returned.   Glenn Greenwald covered it this morning.

4:05 Jane Hamsher's piece today at FDL on Manning and Lamo, Wired and chat logs,  and a timeline that doesn't check out.

3:45  The Guardian gets its crack at an Assange interview, and I give them credit for not calling it "exclusive."  Among other things, Assange says it would be "politically impossible" for PM Cameron to agree to extradition to the U.S. if Brits continue to rally to his support.  Dig this:  "Solitary confinement is very difficult. But I know that provided there is some opportunity for correspondence I can withstand it. I'm mentally robust. Of course it would mean the end of my life in the conventional sense."   And:  there is a "high chance" of him being killed "Jack Ruby-style" in the U.S. prison system.

Odd detail:  Yes, he has to wear that electronic device "in the bath."  Also: his book deal may be "seven figures," much needed as his legal bills piling up and money blocked by MasterCard, etc.

The Guardian also gives him a chance to briefly respond to their publishing leak of details from police on his sex case.  He says, yes, they had that right but argued with details chosen and lack of context.

3:30  Interesting footnote by The Guardian at its big Assange interview just now, in full: 

Over the past month the Guardian has published over 200 articles based on the trove of US diplomatic dispatches obtained by WikiLeaks, and 739 of the cables themselves. All cables published by the Guardian and the four other international news organisations who had exclusive early access to the material have been carefully redacted to protect sources who could be placed in danger, and the redacted versions have been passed to WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks now plans to begin sharing the cables with a wider group of regional news organisations. Julian Assange says all future cables released by WikiLeaks will either be redacted by other partner news organisations, or by WikiLeaks itself. The Guardian and its partners in the project, the New York Times, Der Spiegel, El Pais and Le Monde, will continue to share redactions with WikiLeaks for any cables they publish in future.

2:50  Glenn Greenwald tweets:  "On BBC's Newshour with former Reagan Pentagon official Jed Babbin, re: conditions of Manning's detention (Babbin, of course, defends it)."  Note: I was asked to be on Dylan Ratigan's MSNBC show this afternoon but could not make it, sorry fans. 

12:10 New at Huff Post:  Daphne Eviatar of Human Rights First calls Manning's treatment "not customary." One point:  "No one has claimed that Bradley Manning has been anything less than completely cooperative with prison guards. And given that he's not accused of a violent crime, it's difficult to see why such extreme security measures are necessary."

11:50  Not too late for Christmas!  Surely you will want to purchase on eBay this amazing Frog "art" sculpture, paying tribute to WikiLeaks/Assange, for $450 or start bidding at only $250.   Includes two frogs and the WIkiLeaks hour glass!

11:40 Nothing has devalued use of "exclusive" by news outlets than the past week of Assange interviews.  Exclusive apparently now means he didn't talk to anyone else during that same ten-minute time frame.   Maybe they should call it instead "Snapshot in time." 

11:25 Note to possibly weary readers from your "Greg Mitchell Held Hostage: Day 26" editor:  Yes, I will be continuing this over the holiday weekend, starting tomorrow with one editiion for those three days, items added at top, though probably not too much new?  Or perhaps Santassange will bring more presents for both the naughty and nice.

10:35  Jeremy Scahill tweets:  "A year ago this week, the US bombed Yemen  twice and then conspired to cover fact it was US bombs."

10:10  Democracy Now! segment with Jeffrey Smtih on U.S. trying to retaliate against Europe for refusing to use Monsanto's genetically-modified seeds.

9:50  Great new piece by El Pais editor Javier Moreno on decision to publish WIkiLeaks docs, behind the scenes with Assange,  issues raised by U.S. and much more.  Hard-hitting defense. "Newspapers have many obligations in a democratic society: responsibility, truthfulness, balance and a commitment to citizens. Our obligations definitely do not, however, include protecting governments and the powerful in general from embarrassing revelations."

9:35  David House at FireDogLake with full report on recent visits with Bradley Manning and conditions for him there.  Manning contradicts many key claims about his treatment from the military authorities. 

House:   "Our conversations, which take place in the presence of marines and electronic monitoring equipment, typically revolve around topics in physics, computer science, and philosophy.... He rarely if ever talks about his conditions in the brig, and it is not unusual for him to shy away from questions about his well-being by changing the subject entirely. When I arrived at the brig on December 18th I found him to be much more open to lines of inquiry regarding his circumstances, and in a two and a half hour conversation I learned new details about his life in confinement."

9:30:  I covered this first (see below) but now here's MIke Calderone's report on Assange snubbing NYT's John Burns and friction with Guardian.

9:10 We reported yesterday on Assange claim of big cable dump coming up re: Israel.  Now here is the Haaretz take.

8:55  Jonathan Farley in The Guardian asks why State Dept. didn't send cables in code -- plus a cryptography history and lesson.

8:40 Le Monde has named Assange its Person of the Year-- apparently based on reader poll.

8:20   We noted the key cable a couple of days back, and now there's reaction:  UK and U.S. urged by Human Rights Watch  to stop assisting in any kind of training of a state-run Bangladeshi "death squad."

8:05  New from Glenn Greenwald: Updating the question of torture as applied to prison conditions for Bradley Manning, as UN says it will now probe (see below).  Greenwald was there first last week in an influential piece, and now he charts reaction of others who flatly charge the treatment does amount to torture.  It may or may not fall short of actual torture -- it's good that the U.N. will now formally investigate that question -- but either way, it's designed to degrade both Manning's psyche and resistance to incriminating WikiLeaks and is highly likely to achieve both."  Here is a timeline on the the Bradley Manning case from FireDogLake, as mentioned by Greenwald.

7:45  For a good laugh, check out  John Burns of NYT in article just posted trying to explain why he must be the first reporter in the world that Assange has refused to speak with at or from the manor this week -- well, you know, he has turned off or changed numbers on his cellphone, padlocked the gates,  and so forth.  This is the best part:  "Telephones there go unanswered, and the hall’s Web site for weddings and shooting parties, during which the public is charged $40 to shoot a pheasant, has been taken off-line."  Of course, it was a  Burns profile of  Assange a few months back, perceived by the subject as a hatchet job, that reportedly led WikiLeaks to not give NYT its latest batch of cables, causing the paper to have to get them via The Guardian.

7:40  Just coincidence that yesterday was the first day in over three weeks that The Guardian did not publish or report on any new WIkiLeaks cables -- in the wake of Assange attacking paper for leaking the details of sex case?  Has WikiLeaks cut back or cut off the cables to them?  Probably not, but we'll see what happens today.  Or maybe The Guardian is miffed at Assange for lashing out, and will reduce coverage.

7:30   Michael Moore finally writes up that cable revealing U.S. trying to kill "Fahrenheit 911" screening in.... New Zealand.

From late yesterday

Strong United Nations statement on Wikileaks.  Read whole thing but, for example,  it notes fundamental right to information held by public officials with only narrow exceptions, plus journalist and whistleblower protection. . 

 Fox News: U.S. military says it has nothing to fear from promised UN probe of its "professional" handling of Bradley Manning. 

Getting a lot of attention tonight:  Assange interview with Al Jazeera, focusing on why so few cables so far have related to Israel, the media handling (or non-handling) of them so far, and what can be expected in the Israel-related cables in coming months.

  Katha Pollitt in The Nation:  "The heroic Sady Doyle, a blogger at Tiger Beatdown, gets lots of credit for starting a Twitter campaign that forced Moore and Olbermann to—sort of—back off their sexist chortling. But it's too late: the 'revelations' that Sweden has laws against condomless sex and that Ardin is a CIA 'honeytrap' are all over the left blogosphere. And it isn't just men who are spreading it."

  AP: United Nations unit looking at Bradley Manning's prison conditions after receiving complaint that they amount to form of "torture."

 
Like this blog post? Read all Nation blogs on the Nation's free iPhone App, NationNow.
NationNow iPhone App
 

DAYBOOK for Thursday: Happy Holidays Edition!

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

 MORNING ROAST

Today Daybook goes on a holiday schedule!  I'll post a few things below as the day goes on but basically we are taking a much-needed daily break for a few days.  

Meanwhile, the daily WikeLeaks blogging continues for day 26!  It's all here, and we're grateful for your support, as it has become a kind of global phenomenon.  Here's yesterday's edition.  I will probably do a holiday weekend ediiton of that starting Friday.  But now, and over next few days, you can also keep up on all Daybooky and WikiLeaky (sounds like Russell Brand) items via my @GregMitch twitter feed.

For now, here's a surprise holiday trick or treat:  Bob Dylan doing "Little Drummer Boy."   And he's not referring to Levon Helm. Ba-rump-a-bump-bum.  Then there's Sarah Palin killing Rudolph the Red-Nosed you know what.

 

 
Like this blog post? Read all Nation blogs on the Nation's free iPhone App, NationNow.
NationNow iPhone App
 

Blogging WikiLeaks News & Views for Wednesday, Day 25

As I've done for the previous three weeks and more , I will be updating news & views on all things WikiLeaks all day.  All times added at top are ET.  For more follow me at Twitter.  Read about my latest book here.

UPDATE:  Here's Thursday's edition of this.

11:55 Michael Moore finally writes up that Wiki cable showing U.S. trying to kill screening of "Fahhrenheit 911" in New Zealand.  As if Bush admin had nothing better to do.

11:35  For a good laugh, check out  John Burns of NYT in article just posted trying to explain why he must be the first reporter in the world that Assange has refused to speak with at or from the manor this week -- well, you know, he has turned off or changed numbers on his cellphone, padlocked the gates,  and so forth.  This is the best part:  "Telephones there go unanswered, and the hall’s Web site for weddings and shooting parties, during which the public is charged $40 to shoot a pheasant, has been taken off-line."  Of course, it was a  Burns profile of  Assange a few months back, perceived by the subject as a hatchet job, that reportedly led WikiLeaks to not give NYT its latest batch of cables, causing the paper to have to get them via The Guardian.

10:40  Strong United Nations statement on Wikileaks.  Read whole thing but, for example,  it notes fundamental right to information held by public officials with only narrow exceptions, plus journalist and whistleblower protection. . 

10:35  Fox News: U.S. military says it has nothing to fear from promised UN probe of its "professional" handling of Bradley Manning. 

9:30  Getting a lot of attention tonight:  Assange interview with Al Jazeera, focusing on why so few cables so far have related to Israel, the media handling (or non-handling) of them so far, and what can be expected in the Israel-related cables in coming months.

7:35  Katha Pollitt in The Nation:  "The heroic Sady Doyle, a blogger at Tiger Beatdown, gets lots of credit for starting a Twitter campaign that forced Moore and Olbermann to—sort of—back off their sexist chortling. But it's too late: the 'revelations' that Sweden has laws against condomless sex and that Ardin is a CIA 'honeytrap' are all over the left blogosphere. And it isn't just men who are spreading it."

6:20  AP: United Nations unit looking at Bradley Manning's prison conditions after receiving complaint that they amount to form of "torture."

5:00  Assange interviewed (yet another "exclusive") on MSNBC calls Bradley Manning "political prisoner." Claims he's a journalist, as editor-in-chief.  Some journalists in U.S. knocking WikiLeaks and saying not protected by First Amendment  "but I have a message for them: you're next."   Says they have to all "stick together."  But "hopeful" as he also sees good statements on need for "line in sand" against "erosion" of journalist rights.  Hits "digital McCarthyism" in U.S. but says in past two weeks "the silent majority" (Nixon rolls over in grave) around world  rising up to support WikiLeaks.

Then he rejected Joe Biden claim of being "high tech terrorist."  No evidence of causing real harm.  Yet many people, like Palin and Fox people and "unfortunately some Democrats," calling for his "illegal" capture or "assassinating" him.  "The threat of violence...to remove a publisher is a definition of a terrorist.....You can't have senior people going on television and calling for murder....People around world wondering if America still believes in the rule of the law."  People "should be charged with incitement to commit murder." 

Assange claims "we don't know" if Manning is indeed their source.  But according to allegations he "acted for poiitical reasons and he is a political prisoner" so human rights groups should be investigating conditions.  Then calls "nonsense" claim that Manning could testify against Assange on collaboration, which did not happen. Claims conditions for Manning being deliberately worsened in hopes he will testify against Assange.

 4:50  U.S. ambassador to Australia, in op-ed for Sydney paper tomorrow, slams WikiLeaks." I will defend freedom of expression until my last day. This wholesale publication of purportedly classified material is a bad idea, and those who honour free expression have a duty to say so."

4:40  Ha:  New Zealand military also releases files... on UFOs, since 1954, 2000 pages.

4:10  While most of the #mooreandme folks seemed fairly satisfied with Michael Moore's statements on Assange sex case and rape victims on Maddow show last night, some were unhappy that he still did not acknowledge them or their work.  Now it turns out he has indeed sent a private message to them -- via a Twitter DM.

3:40  Writer/novelist Bruce Sterling was asked for a comment on WikiLeaks, and produced this lengthy and interesting take.  At the start he warns,  " it’s going to take me a while to explain why this highly newsworthy event fills me with such a chilly, deadening sense of Edgar Allen Poe melancholia.  But it sure does."  Compares Manning and Assange, though much more on the latter. 

3:15  Today's installment in The Guardian's you-ask-we-search the cables for specific issues or people, sometimes esoteric.

3:00 Hey, we don't need WikiLeaks to know already how bad Bank of America is, as proven by today's big NYT report.

1:45 Dave Winer ventures to discuss "grabbing the third rail," i.e. his take on the rape allegations against Assange.  Yes, he's alread closed the Comments section.  Sample:  "Rape is awful. But I think it's almost as awful to falsely accuse someone of rape, because that's going to radically change an innocent person's life, for the worse. And it's so easy to do, it's one person's word against another."

1:40  Now Michael Lind responds to fellow Salon writer Glenn Greenwald's critique of his previous by declaring, "Yes, Assange IS a criminal." 

12:55 Now Andy Borowitz adds to CIA's WTF and STFU panels (see below) with idea for a National Security Forces Workgroup (NSFW). 

12:30  That WikiLeaks cable on Palestinian-Israeli "cooperation" now causing big stir there.  New from Ethan Bronner at NYT:  "General Adnan Damiri, spokesman for the security services of the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority in the West Bank called a news conference and said that Hamas rockets, rocket launchers and automatic weapons had been found in Ramallah and Nablus. This was evidence, he said, of plans by Hamas to launch attacks against fellow Palestinians." 

11:50  The Street:  Despite fears of WikiLeaks release, Bank of America shares up.  However, new report of bank itself  "girding for trouble from Wikileaks, as the Charlotte Observer cites an anonymous bank employee who says he can't access g-mail on his company-issued laptop due to stepped up security measures."

11:45 Andy Borowitz riffs on report of real-life CIA panel, WikiLeaks Task Force, or WTF, by proposing another, "Stop Terrorists From Uniting" (STFU). 

11:30    @EvgenyMorosov tweets:   "Calm down, everyone: Skype is down because Julian needs to make a private phone call."  

10:40  Interesting moment in David Frost interview (see below): Assange denies paying for any information but adds that they are not against it, pointing to mainstream news orgs that pay.   Assange also denies being an "anarchist."   Discusses those leaks in sex case and hits that "particular journalist" at The Guardian who had track record against him and likely to accept leak.

10:25  Frost / Assange: New interview with Assange, at the manor, by Sir David Frost:  On secrecy rights, sex allegations, et al.   Assange says U.S. not most corrupt in the world but beause "dominant empire" it is connected to many corrupt countries, plus involved in two unpopular wars.  But  Assange on his sex case did NOT say, "I gave them a sword" or other Nixonisms.

10:20  New piece at New York Observer on what banks face, and options they have, when WikiLeaks goes after one or more of them.

10:25  Andy Greenberg (who interviewed Assange last month and has followed issue closely) at Forbes warns that contrary to headlines this week Assange has not "confirmed" that Bank of America is the bank target.  Indeed, he has also referred to several financial institutions.  But, yes, B of A "likely" target.

10:15  Bloomberg News: Details on that deal in Russia with WikiLeaks to expose corruption there.

10:10 Profile of Assange's newer lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson. 

9:50  A lengthy history of the #MooreandMe Twitter uproar and how it worked -- sort of a primer on new age of organized tweet protest..  See reports on Moore on Maddow last night at bottom this blog.  Jay Rosen, however, has just tweeted: "I wasn't impressed with Maddow or Michael Moore last night."

9:45 Assange to be  interviewed on Dylan Ratigan show this afternoon on MSNBC.

9:20  The Guardian's daily summary of latest cables.   It did halt its excellent daily blog last week.

9:15  Glenn Greenwald responds to criticism of Assange's alleged hypocrisy: "Simultaneously advocating government transparency and individual privacy isn't hypocritical or inconsistent; it's a key for basic liberty."

8:55 Jeff Jarvis tweets: "FoxNews decides Facebook is worse than Wikileaks and wants the latter to spy on the former. Oy."  

8:45  Global warning: New cable finds U.S. critiquing Vatican for not supporting population control methods.  The U.S. ambassador there lamanted "the Vatican will continue to oppose aggressive population control measures to fight hunger or global warming."

8:10 Love this: Bank of America allegedly buying up "abusive" internet domain names awaiting the next big WikiLeaks release.  "According to Domain Name Wire, the US bank has been aggressively registering domain names including its board of Directors' and senior executives' names followed by 'sucks' and 'blows'. For example, the company registered a number of domains for CEO Brian Moynihan: BrianMoynihanBlows.com, BrianMoynihanSucks.com, BrianTMoynihanBlows.com, and BrianTMoynihanSucks.com."

8:05 We brought you the cable last night (see below) about U.S. trying to force cancellation of New Zealand screening of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 911," now here's a full Guardian write-up.

7:50  Mother Jones with a witty Christmasy cartoon video on the "The 12 Days of WikiLeaks,"   from "12 treason charges" to "A (redcted) in a (redacted) tree." 

7:45  Max Hastings of the Daily Mail in UK  really goes after Assange, calling him, among other things, a "megalomaniac sleazeball." 

7:40  A leak from...WikiLeaks?  Norwegian paper claims it has received all 251,000 cables, and if true raising questions about WIki security.

7:35  Wide coverage continues of Assange cameo in rap video (filmed back in October).

7:30  Wash Post reveals that the CIA has a new task force to study impact and damage from cables.  It's the WikiLeaks Task Force and, yes, the agency likes to refer to it as WTF.

From late yesterday: 

Maddow posts video of interview with Moore.  He also discussed cables about "Sicko" and Cuba.

Check @sadydoyle at Twitter  (she helped lead the #MooreandMe hashtag) for response to Michael Moore's statements on rape.  She seems fairly satisfied, while noting, next time, start with strong statement.  Hails Maddow for hosting discussion.  Wishes Michael a Merry  Xmas.

Michael Moore on Maddow show points to new cable showing that U.S. shut down screening of his film "Fahrenheit 911" in....New Zealand.   A cabinet minister had the nerve to want to host a screening.  Here's the cable. The author of cable concluded:  "There's a reason this particular Minister is nicknamed 'Boo Boo' Hobbs. That said, it is probable that this potential fiasco may only have been averted because of our phone calls - it is apparent to us that neither the Minister nor anyone else in the Labour government seems to have thought there was anything wrong with a senior Minister hosting such an event."

10:00 Michael Moore on Maddow, hit by the #MooreAndMe tweeters for past week, says every woman who charges rape should be listened to and adds that Assange should get the book thrown at him if convicted.  Still, he adds, he is more concerned with fate of WikiLeaks, which is "more than one man," and is doing vital work.  Moore also claims U.S. is fighting "six wars right now, not two," and that Bradley Manning should be "rewarded, not punished."  Rachel pushes back a bit on the full-leaking notion, citing dangers in so many leaks that have huge impact and may not be true.  Moore says, yes, that's why need NYT and others to then follow up and do strong journalism.

Wednesday DAYBOOK: START Celebrating, GOP Still Hitting DADT Repeal, Dylan & Haley Barbour, Much More

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

 MORNING ROAST

Republicans trying one last-ditch move to block DADT repeal before signing this morning.   But signing happens anyway.   Hooray.

Meanwhile, passage of START treaty now looks certain, if narrow, but Obama's future nuclear moves now in doubt. 

Yes I am again live-blogging all WikiLeaks and Assange news & views here.    Couple highlights so far:   US tried to force cancellation of New Zealand screening of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 911,"  here's a full Guardian write-up.  Mother Jones with a witty Christmasy cartoon video on the "The 12 Days of WikiLeaks,"   from "12 treason charges" to "A (redcted) in a (redacted) tree."  Plus: Bank of America readies of next big WikiLeak, setting up war room and buying up "abusive" domain names.

Waiting for Haley Barbour to say he plans to stay in D.C. this week instead of heading south, hoping for white Christmas.   Meanwhile NYT editorial slams his future prospects and prez run.

Media Matters picks Palin as "Misinformer of the Year."   Landslide?

Overlooked in most of the census coverage? A Hispanic voter boom.

Haaretz editorial: Israeli leaders only have selves to blame for the deterioration in Israel's international standing. 

Dahlia Lithwick weighs in on the idea that encouraging healthy eating is "socialsm." 

OUR BELLE  TPM: Is Michele Bachmann gearing up for a Senate run? 

STREET CRIME  Marketwatch column on how Wall St. triumphed & left rest of American with devastating financial losses and high unemployment:  "If inner-city gangs had done this to America, we’d have martial law. If Arabs had done it, we’d have launched another war. Wall Street bankers? They’ve walked away scot free. And they’re actually being rewarded, helped by legal theft from the  middle class."   

A WILD WIKI TUESDAY  (AND  PALIN)   And here's the Tuesday edition of my liveblogging all things WIkiLeaks.    One of top stories was my focus on Sarah Palin, who called for Assange to be hunted down like Osama bin Laden, now citing WIkiLeaks cable to boost her blast against Iran in USA Today op-ed.

ROLL OVER, BEETHOVEN  Greatest concert ever took place on this date 202 years ago.  Here's my piece from two years back.

MO' SATCHMO  Great news: Home of Louis Armstrong, the most important musician of 20th century, in Queens gets new visitor center--and all museum materials now online. 

TODAY's MUSIC

For Haley Barbour, Dylan doing one of the great protest songs (and set in Mississippi), "Only a Pawn in Their Game."

 

TODAY's LAFF

For a holiday treat, here's the trailer for what is widely considered one of the worst movies ever made, Santa Conquers the Martians.   It will...sleigh you.

 
Like this blog post? Read all Nation blogs on the Nation's free iPhone App, NationNow.
NationNow iPhone App
 

WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS for Tuesday, the Day 24 Blog

As I've done for the previous  weeks, I will be updating news & views on all things WikiLeaks all day.  All times added at top are ET.  For more follow me at Twitter.  Read about my latest book here.

UPDATE:   See Wednesday live-blog here.

10:50  Wash Post reveals that the CIA has a new task force to study impact and damage from cables.  It's the WikiLeaks Task Force and, yes, the agency likes to refer to it as WTF.

10:20  Maddow posts video of interview with Moore.  He also discussed cables about "Sicko" and Cuba.

10:15 Check @sadydoyle at Twitter  (she helped lead the #MooreandMe hashtag) for response to Michael Moore's statements on rape.  She seems fairly satisfied, while noting, next time, start with strong statement.  Hails Maddow for hosting discussion.  Wishes Michael a Merry  Xmas.

10:10 Michael Moore on Maddow show points to new cable showing that US shut down screening of his film "Fahrenheit 911" in....New Zealand.   A cabinet minsiter had the nerve to want to host a screening.  Here's the cable. The author of cable concluded:  "There's a reason this particular Minister is nicknamed 'Boo Boo' Hobbs. That said, it is probable that this potential fiasco may only have been averted because of our phone calls - it is apparent to us that neither the Minister nor anyone else in the Labour government seems to have thought there was anything wrong with a senior Minister hosting such an event."

10:00 Michael Moore on Maddow, hit by the #MooreAndMe tweeters for past week, says every woman who charges rape should be listened to and adds that Assange should get the book thrown at him if convicted.  Still, he adds, he is more concerned with fate of WikiLeaks, which is "more than one man," and is doing vital work.  Moore also claims US is fighting "six wars right now, not two," and that Bradley Manning should be "rewarded, not punished."  Rachel pushes back a bit on the full-leaking notion, citing dangers in so many leaks that have huge impact and may not be true.  Moore says, yes, that's why need NYT and others to then follow up and do strong journalism.

5:35  Okay, gang, out for a few hours, you're on your own, then stay tuned for more of "Greg Mitchell Held Hostage—Day 24."  Isn't this how Ted Koppel got his start? 

5:15  Don't know what to make of this—the French may be claiming something that, in fact, was not true (the usual problem with these cables)—but Mondoweiss calls this a "smoking gun" showing US secretly backed Israeli settlement growth even as Obama denied that.

5:05 The Guardian in its usual late-afternoon move with half dozen stories on new cables with wild range: from UK training  death squads in Bangladesh and Halliburton involved with "mafia" in Iraq  to Anna Nicole Smith in the Bahamas,  a vetoed memorial to a Pope,  and "burger giant" McDonald's getting US aid in lawsuit.  The death squad story will be huge in UK—story notes that even the US would not help because of their "extra-judicial killings."  We did provide "human rights" advice....

4:55  Bradley Manning's attorney, on his blog, outlines his upcoming Article 13 move.  "If a military judge determines that a servicemember has been illegally punished prior to trial, she has substantial discretion to grant administrative credit, usually in the form of additional pretrial confinement credit, or even grant an outright dismissal of the charges"

4:50  Mashable:  WikiLeaks accepted as a word in English language, though as "wikileaks," by Global Language Monitor. 

4:45  Dylan Ratigan of MSNBC will interview Assange tomorrow, so they say.

4:30  Michael Moore just tweeted that he will be on Maddow show tonight—related to the #MooreandMe uproar? 

3:55 In an interview yesterday, Assange revealed that he'd lost a tooth in prison—something about breaking it on a piece on metal on his dinner plate—and joked that soon it would no doubt be up for sale on eBay.  No sign of that yet, but plenty of buttons, t-shirts, posters, necklaces, fridge magnets, even a wristwatch on sale there.

3:45  Keith Olbermann back on Twitter today and responding to continuing critique from #MooreandMe (also still very active) and others.

3:40 Just learned that the good folks at McClatchy have a dedicated WIkiLeaks page.

3:00 Jeff Stein's SpyTalk blog at Wash Post:: Top German security official keeps level head, says WikiLeaks "irritating" but not serious threat, says USA firms going too far in cracking down.

2:25  Hypocrisy Alert:  Sarah Palin in new op-ed for USA Today hits Iran by citing cables leaked by man she has attacked strongly—Julian Assange.   Goes on and on about it in key opening paragraph.  Two weeks ago she wrote on Facebook that he should be hunted down like Osame bin Laden, adding:  "He is an anti-American operative with blood on his hands."  Today: Hey, Julian, baby, thanks for the cables on Iran!

2:05  Nieman reviews some lessons from its well-attended (via the Web) forum last week related to secrecy and WikiLeaks.  Among them: "Data needs context" and "Beware secrecy hardliner."

1:25  The Guardian with longer take on the Apple case (see just below), focusing on the "charity donations" angle.

1:00  Boing Boing with fun, if barbed, hit on Assange's ego, plus video tune. And Naomi Klein tweets:  "Keep supporting #wikileaks but time for an intl moratorium on feeding Assange's ego."

12:45  Apple explains WHY it removed that WikiLeaks app from its store.  Supposedly not political.

12:30  Robert Mackey at NYT's The Lede blog with good, but belated, summary of recent reports and claims about prison treatment of Bradley Manning.

11:55 In update to his column today (see below), Glenn Greenwald asks:  "Why aren't Visa, MasterCard, Paypal, their web hosting company and various banks terminating their relationships with The New York Times, the way they all did with WikiLeaks:  not only for the NYT's publication of many of the same diplomatic and war cables published by WikiLeaks, but also for this much more serious leak today in which WikiLeaks was completely uninvolved?"

11:20  I've just done a podcast with WikiLeaks Forum in Holland, here.

10:45 BBC posts Q & A of lengthy and amazing Assange interview that has been quoted in brief elsewhere.  A lot of deep probing and hostile questions, many on the sex case, also his views on being a "martyr" (might be helpful, if he doesn't die, he says), and much more.  Assange states, "People affiliated with our organisation have already been assassinated," but no follow-up.

10:35  Mike Calderone at Yahoo! with full report on Assange vs. Guardian after the latter published details from police report on sex case.  Of course, The Guardian has been most active anywhere in publishing the cables, and Nick Davies, who did the leaked police story, also helped broker the WikiLeaks cable dump at the paper, and was Assange friend.  Guardian editor Leigh says Assange under a lot of "strain" now....

9:40  The Guardian confirms sale of Assange memoirs, may come out in autumn.  I started an #AssangeBook hashtag at Twitter which has produced some amusing proposed titles. from "Leak House" to "East of Sweden." 

9:15  New from Glenn Greenwald:  NYT once again spills classified secrets that could cause danger right on its front page today, this time re: Pakistan and Afghan war efforts, but will they be prosecuted?   "After all, which WikiLeaks disclosure has ever helped the Taliban and Al Qaeda as much as announcing that the US intends escalated ground operations in Pakistan?" He also takes time to slam fellow Salonist Michael Lind for his article today (see below)

8:50  Vanity Fair profiles Assange's "all-star" legal team.

8:45  Documentary on Assange, "Wanted Man," now uploaded to YouTube, dates back to a few months ago.

8:15  Cheeky BBC interviewer asks Assange if he is sexual "predator," which he denies.  Then asks him how many women he has slept with.  Assange answers, "A gentleman doesn't count."   Once again, Assange hit the leak of detail of his case by Swedish prosecutors to The Guardian, as a way to "undermine" him.

8:10   Apple bounces WikiLeaks app from its store: TechCrunch.

8:00 MIchael Lind in Salon hits America's loss of respect for the rule of law, leading the left, among other things, to embrace WikiLeaks.  "For Assange's admirers, the embarrassment that his publication of stolen government and corporate documents produces for government policymakers, bankers or corporate executives whom they dislike more than compensates for the theft of classified or private information on a grand scale. The idea that the law in its majesty is supposed to protect the bad as well as the good apparently is rejected by those who celebrate information vandalism, as long as its victims are the State Department or big banks."

7:55  After revelations in cables : will the world now intervene over torture in Kashmir?

7:40   Another interesting Assange Q & A, this time with paper in India.  Among other things, he stresses that he is publisher and editor, not a crusader (so he gets those rights); he doesn't regret a single document release; and that there's plenty of bad stuff in the cables about Israel but you'd never know it from the NYT, which limits its criticism of Israel.  Closes with this: "Do you expect your life to return to normal anytime soon?  Oh, I do hope not. What do you mean? We only live once. So, it is good to do something that is important and productive"

 From late yesterday:

New from Sorkin in NYT:  Wikileaks' promised dump of docs on major bank has banks nervous—but also regulators. "Inside the Securities and Exchange Commission, the organization is bracing for a public outcry, according to people who have recently spoken with some high-ranking officials about the prospect of a WikiLeaks release of bank documents.....Indeed, legal experts say that if evidence emerged of shady dealings, the biggest problem regulators may face would be explaining to the public why they had not brought charges against a bank."  

In another interview, with El Pais, Assange reveals that he lost a tooth while in prison, when he bit into a piece of metal on his plate.  He claims that it was soon removed from the cell, probably to destroy evidence that such a thing happened, and jokes, "It will soon be for sale on eBay."

Assange gives big interview to Times of London—but it's behind paywall—he says he "turns on friends." Earlier, however, the interviewer (see below), leaked that Assange said he had enough docs to make bank bosses quit in USA, and denied being promiscuous but said "I really like women."

New entries at my #AssangeBook hashtag for titles for his memoir, reportedly sold today to Knopf:   "Leak House," "East of Sweden," "Gone With the Send,"  "As Y9u Leak It'  "Bradley and the Cable Factory,"  "The Spy who Came In From the Cloud," "The Leaks of Wrath," "A Manning for All Seasons."

Assange to write memoir for prestigious Alfred A. Knopf in US and Canongate in UK.   But will he get a TLC show? Will be fun if publishers tries to embargo the book.

 

 
Like this blog post? Read all Nation blogs on the Nation's free iPhone App, NationNow.
NationNow iPhone App
 

 

Tuesday DAYBOOK: A Fresh START, Jon Stewart Saves the Day, Haley Barbour Gets Shaved, More

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

 MORNING ROAST

Support apparently builiding for START as Dems reject GOP amendments (caused by snit over DADT passing--go figure).  Greg Sargent with more.

As that bill to aid 9/11 responders is revived, NY Daily News editorial credits...Jon Stewart.  And, actually warranted.

Eric Holder this morning warns of the "threat within"-- fairly large number of American willing to attack us here.  Not referring to Fox News.

Wash Post on public employees getting blamed for budget woes from coast to coast. ....AFSCME : One-sided "60 Minutes" state budget story falsely blamed public employees for the crisis caused by Wall St.

Yes, I was live-blogging all things WikiLeaks once again on Monday —for the 23rd day.   And now here's the Tuesday edition.   One highlight or lowlight so far:    Cheeky BBC interviewer asks Assange if he is sexual "predator," which he denies.  Then asks him how many women he has slept with.  Assange answers, "A gentleman doesn't count."   Once again, Assange hit the leak of detail of his case by Swedish prosecutors to The Guardian, as a way to "undermine" him.

DAVID & GOLIATH  Larry David in NYT op-ed thanks both Repubs and Dems for his generous tax-cut.  Can finally get rid of the rabbit ears and subscribe to cable and get flat-screen TV.

ALL-WHITE BARBOUR TPM: Haley Barbour spokesman denies charges of racism against him despite his statements backing the good old days of Citizen Council and segregation.

POOR EXECUTION   Death Penalty Information Center: 12% decrease in executions in 2010 compared to 2009 and a more than 50 percent drop compared to 1999.

WHAT's LEFT FOR OBAMA?  Eugene Robinson on how the DADT repeal victory was the only way to halt criticism of Obama and Dems from the left--for awhile. ....  But some say stance on Net Neutrality will again anger the left.

BITS & PIECES   CNN partnering with Tea Party for presidential debate draws more criticism..... ProPublica:  Pentagon Health Plan Won’t Cover Brain-Damage Therapy For Troops....

TODAY's LAFF

Lot of sites naming this as one of the top political comedy videos of the year, from Funny or Die : A re-union of all the SNL presidential impersonators (plus Jim Carrey).

 

Blogging WikiLeaks News & Views for Monday, Day 23

As I've done for the previous  weeks, I will be updating news & views on all things WikiLeaks all day.  All times added at top are ET.  For more follow me at Twitter.  Read about my latest book here.

UPDATE   Go to the Tuesday edition of this here.

11:10  Another interesting Assange Q & A, this time with paper in India.  Among other things, he stresses that he is publisher and editor, not a crusader (so he gets those rights); he doesn't regret a single document release; and that there's plenty of bad stuff in the cables about Israel but you'd never know it from the NYT, which limits its criticism of Israel.  Closes with this: "Do you expect your life to return to normal anytime soon?  Oh, I do hope not. What do you mean? We only live once. So, it is good to do something that is important and productive"

10:20  New from Sorkin in NYT:  Wikileaks' promised dump of docs on major bank has banks nervous --but also regulators. "Inside the Securities and Exchange Commission, the organization is bracing for a public outcry, according to people who have recently spoken with some high-ranking officials about the prospect of a WikiLeaks release of bank documents.....Indeed, legal experts say that if evidence emerged of shady dealings, the biggest problem regulators may face would be explaining to the public why they had not brought charges against a bank."  

9:30  In another interview, with El Pais, Assange reveals that he lost a tooth while in prison, when he bit into a piece of metal on his plate.  He claims that it was soon removed from the cell, probably to destroy evidence that such a thing happened, and jokes, "It will soon be for sale on eBay."

9:25  More the TImes of London interview with Assange, behind pay wall but quoted from here.    With some irony, he hits the leak of details form his sex case to The Guardian, saying that the paper selectively picked some parts and ignored others.   And as for U.S. prosecution:  "Mr.  Assange said that he believed that the US situation would 'turn around absolutely' as a groundswell of favourable opinion grew in America. 'The people in power are organised and were able to respond quickly,' he said. 'But numerically they are not that strong and our support in the general population is tremendous.'"

9:20  Assange gives big interview to Times of London--but it's behind paywall--hed says he "turns on friends." Earlier, however, the interviewer (see below), leaked that Assange said he had enough docs to make bank bosses quit in USA, and denied being promiscuous but "I really like women."

9:00  New entries at my #AssangeBook for titles for his memoir, reportedly sold today to Knopf:   "Leak House," "East of Sweden," "Gone With the Send,"  "As Y9u Leak It'  "Bradley and the Cable Factory,"  "The Spy who Came In From the Cloud," "The Leaks of Wrath," "A Manning for All Seasons." 

6:06 At  #AssangeBook on Twitter, I suggested as title for Assange memoir (see below) "The Secrets Sharer." Now someone proposed "The Hoarse Whisperer."  I see you that, and raise you a "The Manning Without a Country."

5:40 News leaks:  Assange to write memoir for prestigious Alfred A. Knopf in U.S. and Canongate in UK.   But will he get a TLC show? Will be fun if publishers tries to embargo the book.

4:30  Alexi Mostrous of the Times of London tweets: "had long face-to-face interview with #assange today...says he has enough material to make bosses of a major US bank resign." Also: "Asked if he is promiscuous he replies: 'No, I just really like women.'"  Interview appears tomorrow. 

4:10  SantaLeaks.  But a Palin alert when flying over Alaska?

3:50 A Holiday Sampler of WikiLeaks, the gift that keeps on giving, from TruthOut.

2:55  David E. Coombs, attorney for Bradley Manning, got a lot of attentiion this past weekend (including here) with his first full account of his client's grim day-to-day conditions.  It was posted at his blog, but now he is also on Twitter, here.   Latest tweet: "The first book sent by Brad's family was rejected by the Quantico confinement facility due to not being previously approved."

2:50 We linked to this article when it was at the Geman magazine Focus but now it is at The Atlantic: Jaron Lanier's take on "The Hazards of Nerd Supremacy" and WikiLeaks. "The degree of sympathy in tech circles for both Wikileaks and Anonymous has surprised me. The most common take seems to be that the world needs cyber-pranksters to keep old-school centers of power, like governments and big companies, in check. Cyber-activists are perceived to be the underdogs, flawed and annoying, perhaps, but standing up to overbearing power.  It doesn't seem so to me."

2:05  Check the #mooreandme hashtag at Twitter for response to Olbermann comments below.

1:15  Keith Olbermann with lengthy tweet today:  "I endorse, sympathize with, and empathize with, the rape consciousness goals of #mooreandme, and have already apologized accordingly. But I cannot defend and will not accept their tactics which mirror so many of the attitudes and threats they fight. I do not know of what Julian Assange is guilty, if anything, and neither does anybody else. But given the extraordinary efforts by Sweden to extradite him, to say he is benefiting from some form of rape apologism is not fact-based. It is also unfair to condemn as anti-feminist those who merely address the juxtaposition of this prosecution to the fact that Assange threatens the secret and nefarious activities of dozens of governments. And I will not engage those who suggest that those who do not prioritize one issue to the exclusion of all others should succumb to forced financial contributions, or should ‘kill themselves’ (examples of each will be retweeted shortly, along with my previous apology). The #mooreandme attacks do not help those who fight against rape, they hurt them. And indeed they feature something larger than anti-feminist. This is, to use a clunky phrase, anti-personism."

Olbermann later noted what he calls a "previous apology" from Dec. 16:  "Rape has touched my family, directly and savagely, and if anybody thinks I have addressed it without full sensitivity, then that assessment is the one that counts, and I apologize. But these accusations that I 'revealed'" an accuser's identity by retweeting Bianca Jagger’s link, or that I 'shamed' an accuser by asking a question about the prosecution of a man governments are trying to bury, or that I do not 'understand' charges that have yet to be presented in their final form, reflect exactly the kind of rushing to judgment of which I'm accused, and merit the same kind of apology I have just given."

12:20  Federal Times:  Pentagon installed alarm software in 2008  that might have tipped them to invasion that led to WikiLeaks but failed to activate.

12:10 Democracy Now! posts part II of its Naomi Wolf-Jacklyn Friedman debate on Assange sex case.

11:50  Scott Gant at Salon on why Assange IS a journalist and deserves First Amendment protections.

11:35  Olbermann not backing off, as he tweets:  :FYI there will be a tweet (and some retweets) later today about the #mooreandme spectacle."  Plus:  An open letter in reply to Michael Moore from Sweden. 

10:55  Assange hits back at Joe Biden comparing him to "high-tech terrorist."   And says he is victim of "high-tech arrest."  

10:45 Vanity Fair take on Daily Mail's gossipy account of Assange sex life promises in headline to show picture of US journalist in question—and instead simply carries another old shot of Assange.

10:40  The Guardian is continuing its special feature, whereby readers request info on specific people or events from the still-unpublished 250,000 cables. 

10:20  Democracy Now! hosts debate between Naomi Wolf and  Jaclyn Friedman on the sexual allegations against Julian Assange.   Wolf claims the state is "pimping feminism."  Here is a critique of Wolf's comments on the show.

10:15  Newly-released, but previously hinted at, cable shows Israel cooperating with Abbas vs. Hamas during Gaza attacks.  Getting lot of attention. "The disclosure could embarrass Abbas and his Fatah movement, which Hamas has always accused of working with the Israelis."

9:30 Re-posting from yesterday: Some people are fantasizing about a Julian Assange sit-down with Jon Stewart (via satellite).  Have they forgotten his meeting with Stephen Colbert earlier this year after the "Collateral Murder" video?  Stephen takes unusually serious approach, and with usual pro-military stance. Even challenges Assange: Have you ever served in the military? But later jokes: "Haven't you heard,  ignorance is bliss?" 

8:55 New from Glenn Greenwald:  He hails latest installment of the Dana Priest-Bill Arkin "Top Secret America" series at Wash Post, notes improper surveillance and adds,  "what makes all of this particularly ominous is that—as the WikiLeaks conflict demonstrates—this all takes place next to an always-expanding wall of secrecy behind which the Government's own conduct is hidden from public view."  Later he takes shot at Biden yesterday likening Assange to a "high-tech terrorist," observing that Biden backed our Iraq invasion while Assange has never ordered deaths of anyone.

8:50  Keith Olbermann, who bailed out of Twitter last week under attack by those who felt he was not taking rape charges against Assange seriously (he disputes this) tweets "I'm back." 

8:15  Evgeny Morozov tweets:  "Good to know that the New York Post can still produce catchy headlines! Life's a breach, Julian'"

8:00  Well, there's already been one surprising positive coming out of the Assange court case in theUK — a chief justice has now approved last week's experiment for wide use in the future—that is, okaying reporters tweeting, texting and emailing in covering trials.

7:55 Just catching up to this: Foreign Policy reviews all of the new "whistleblowing" sites spawned by WikiLeaks.

From late yesterday: 

NBC Nightly News tonight visits Bradley Manning's hometown.  A former Marine says he should be executed.  Others are not much more sympathetic.  Lester Holt suggests some feel that DADT might have contributed to the gay Manning decision to leak.  Here's the transcript at rightwing site Newsbusters.

Great Guardian piece on cables depicting global effort to keep nuclear genie in the bottle and combat smugglers etc.  "The leaked cables tell hair-raising tales of casks of uranium found in wicker baskets in Burundi, a retired Russian general offering to sell "uranium plates" in Portugal, and a radioactive Armenian car on the Georgian border."

Useful Foreign Policy summary of what cables have shown beyond big name countries and allies—the various "failed states" and those off the radar.  And how the cables may change things.

Claim by attorney at Huff Post that the man behind Sweden going after Assange is ....Karl Rove.

Shocking cables from this past January on Yemeni security of nuclear stockpile—guard missing, security camera broken.  "A senior government official in Yemen warned US diplomats that poor security at the country's main store of radioactive products could allow dangerous material to fall into the hands of terrorists, according to a leaked US embassy cable."

Cables show US pressured Australia to take admit one of Saddam's biological weapons scientists —  Aussies refused.

 

 
Like this blog post? Read all Nation blogs on the Nation's free iPhone App, NationNow.
NationNow iPhone App
 

Monday DAYBOOK: War Lightly Covered, David Carr Hails Ben Affleck, Ricky Gervais Disses God, Steve Earle, More

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

 MORNING ROAST

Major media outlets devoted just 4 percent of coverage this year to Afghanistan.... ProPublica:  Pentagon Health Plan Won’t Cover Brain-Damage Therapy For Troops.... John Fugelsang tweets: "135 arrested at White House this week 4 protesting war. As they were not wearing Teabags, there was no media coverage." 

North Korea says it will not retaliate after South Korea sages drills.

David Carr: Big business types hail "Waiting for Superman" but what he'd really like to force them to see is not that doc, nor "Inside Job," but the new Ben Affleck flick, "The Company Men."   He notes: "The film manages to use the tableau of a bunch of rich guys losing their jobs to reach a fundamental question of this economic age. How can it be that both corporate profits and unemployment are simultaneously high?"

AFSCME : One-sided "60 Minutes" state budget story falsely blamed public employees for the crisis caused by Wall St. 

Yes, I am live-blogging all things WikiLeaks once again—for the 23rd day.

DO YOU WANNA KNOW A SECRET?  Glenn Greenwald on the latest installment in the Dana Priest-Bill Arkin "Top Secret America" series at Wash Post.

RICKY DON'T LOSE THAT NUMBER Never thought I'd see this: Ricky Gervais column, at Christmas, on why he's an atheist—in the Wall Street Journal. Even better, see his current routine (most recently on HBO on Saturday) on Noah and the flood.... Poll: 40 percent of Americans,  and majority of Republicans, reject evolution 

KNIGHTS AND THE LIVING DEAD   Paul Krugman on how the zombies—the economic fundamentalists—are always wrong but still hold sway.

STEPHEN GETS EVEN?  Some people are fantasizing about a Julian Assange sit-down with Jon Stewart (via satellite).  Have they forgotten his meeting with Stephen Colbert earlier this year after the "Collateral Murdre" video?  Stephen takes unusually serious approach, and with usual pro-military stance. Even challenges Assange: Have you ever served in the military? But later jokes: "Haven't you heard,  ignorance is bliss?"

POLITICAL FUN  Top 5 funniest political comedy videos of 2010, as chosen by Gotcha Media.   

WATER DOWN  Wash Post: New study of drinking water in 35 US cities finds that most contain hexavalent chromium,

SOCK IT TO THEM PUPPETS   It's the annual Jib Jab puppety review of the year.

WILD WIKI WEEKEND  Yes, I live-blogged WikiLeaks and Assange stuff all weekend. 

If you missed latest SNL Assange takeoff:

 

BITS & PIECES  Frank Rich hits bi-partisanship stunts and  the new group "No Labels" loved by Morning Joe and Mike Bloomberg.... And now a word from our sponsor: Still time to order my book on wildly influential political campaign and the birth of media politics as Xmas gift for any progressive/ media/ politics maven. 

TODAY's LAFF 

WikiLeaks leaks Santa's naughty, not nice, list, kids freak.

 

 

 TODAY's MUSIC

Steve Earle imagine "Christmas Time in Washington," with Fox in the henhouse, and wishes we could "bring back Woody Guthrie."

 
Like this blog post? Read all Nation blogs on the Nation's free iPhone App, NationNow.
NationNow iPhone App
 
Syndicate content