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BLOGGING WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS: Special Weekend Edition!

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.

** SUNDAY ** 

10:45  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.

8:15  Great Guardian piece on cables depicting global effort to keep nuclear genie in the bottle and combat smugglers etc.  "The leaked US cables reveal the constant, largely unseen, work by American diplomatic missions around the world to try to keep the atomic genie in its bottle and forestall the nightmare of a terrorist nuclear attack.  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."

7:25  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.

7:15  Claim by attorney at Huff Post that the man behind Sweden going after Assange is ....Karl Rove.

5:35  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."

5:15  Cables show US pressured Australia to take admit one of Saddam's biological weapons scientists—Aussies refused.

3:10  NYT tech column warning about US going after WikiLeaks—there would be "collateral damage," and on US side.

2:15  More details on the Biden interview on "Meet the Press" that I noted below, and calling Assange "high tech terrorist."  Note the photo also.

12:50  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?" 

12:40  David Gregory at this page on Meet the Press today writes:  "Though the repeal of DADT may put us in line with our allies, according to VP Biden, WikiLeaks has done the opposite. He told me that the release of classified documents has made it more difficult for the US to conduct business around the world and that some leaders are now requesting to meet with him alone without staff in the room."

12:30  WikiLeaks leaks Santa's naughty, not nice, list, kids freak.

 

12:05 Eyes Wide Shut:  I wasn't aware until now of cables relating to Tom Cruise and Scientology, though thin. 

11:50  My prediction: Turning point for WikiLeaks will be release of bank docs next month—if explosive it will undercut charges (right or wrong)  of "anti-American" and make them real players in financial / business world.

11:20   I don't pretend to fully understand this, but it's an online attempt to help WikiLeaks by proposing "WikiTerms" of service that places like Amazon and PayPal and others would sign.

10:20  Waiting for YouTube re-make of "Give Peace a Chance" as "Give Leaks a Chance."  You know, "Everybody's talking 'bout Julian, Lieberman, revolution, evolution, MasterCard, tarred and barred...All we are saying is, Give Leaks a Chance." 

9:40  Interesting take at Pulse on "Wikileaks and 21st Centruy Statecraft." 

9:35  Acording to daily count, still only about 1800 cables released, with The Guardian publishing more than a third of them so far.

9:15  Assange stamps from Australia: "Don't Shoot the Messnger."   But one also recalls the Bob Dylan song from late-1960s,  "The Wicked Messenger." 

SATURDAY

11:55  SNL with yet another Assange take-off.  Though makes a good point about WikiLeaks invading official privacy—compared with Facebook invading YOUR privacy.

11:20  Pot calling kettle black, or not really comparable?  Assange supporters and lawyers angry about police leak that led to the scoop in The Guardian last night on evidence on sex charges against him.  They feel it could lead to trial by media, an unfair trial, and mad that allegedly it was first they saw some of these details. But: "Some commentators point to the apparent hypocrisy of some of Assange's supporters, like the journalist John Pilger, bemoaning the Swedish police leaks, given their campaign for a man whose life is devoted to publishing confidential material. "Hoist by his own petard,' said one observer."

8:45 NYT continues weak WIki performance compared to The Guardian.  Tonight it posts a lengthy take on Assange sex case by John Burns, who wrote a critical profile of Assange this year  that probably led to WikiLeaks cutting the Times out of its latest document dump (the paper had to get docs from... The Guardian). But Burns' story tonight adds nothing to The Guardian's scoop last night on the first details from a full police report on the rape case against Assange. 

8:35  Ace blogger Digby points out that the flap over Michael Moore's film that was banned—or really, not—in Cuba (see below) reveals that the cables should be taken with a grain of salt.  Sometimes just diplomats "sucking up" to their bosses?

8:10  The Guardian is so fanatical, it has even asked washed-up director David Lynch for his opinion of WikiLeaks.  His reply : "Ultimately it's a good thing. It keeps people honest and reveals who the crooks are. I think it's a force for good." And the pie and coffee is still good. (P.S. You can also watch a video and find out why he likes making music, and loves "Mad Men.") 

7:55 The Guardian revisits its story from yesterday on cable claiming that Cuba banned Michael Moore's "Sicko." As we noted this morning (below), Mike wrote a lengthy piece refuting it.  Now the Guardian gives that full play, but repeats some of original charge, and does not, in its own voice, walk back the story but leaves it to Moore to make his claims.  Surely, the facts could be checked.

7:40  Will Assange regret his whistleblowing some day?  No, claim famous predecessors Dan Ellsberg, Philip Agee.

6:35  WikiLeaks itself links to what it calls "hilarious" new rap video on Cablegate.

 

 

5:35  Tonight's top Guardian story on cables: "extraordinary" UN offer (by Kofi Annan, no less) to get Robert Mugabe out of country and set up elsewhere.

4:45 Lengthy new report in The Guardian on new "furor" over fresh allegations by "Swedish women" against Assange.  But by fresh they mean the details the paper reported yesterday from the police report, not others stepping forward.  But article has full back and forth between those who defend the accusers and those who seriously doubt the charges, in light of some new info.

3:20  Bradley Manning's lawyer with new details and commentary here.   "PFC Manning is held in his cell for approximately 23 hours a day. The guards are required to check on PFC Manning every five minutes by asking him if he is okay. PFC Manning is required to respond in some affirmative manner. At night, if the guards cannot see PFC Manning clearly, because he has a blanket over his head or is curled up towards the wall, they will wake him in order to ensure he is okay. He receives each of his meals in his cell.

"He is not allowed to have a pillow or sheets."

12:45 After historic DADT vote, occurs to me that Assange philosophy might be: "Tell.  Don't Ask."

12:15  MInd over Manor: Assange tells reporters today, "There is a threat to my life. There is a threat to my staff. There are significant risks facing us."

11:55  Assange today, via AFP, on Bank of America cutting off transactions for his group: "Bank of America put out a statement...that it is not willing to transport any transactions by any of its clients to any organisations collecting money on our behalf.  It's a new type of business McCarthyism in the US to deprive this organisation the funds that is needs to survive, to deprive me personally of the funds that my lawyers need to protect me against extradition to the US or to Sweden."

11:50  Rasmussen in phone survey just now wanted to know if I am going Christmas caroling this year. Yes, 'Hark! The Herald Assange Sings!"” (from the #AssangeJukebox)

11:30  Columnist for The Guardian agrees with Dalai Lama in cables—climate change dangers are more serious than gaining independence from China.

9:50  Exiting for a bit , see you in a couple of hours.

9:30  Peter Singer column expresses hope WikiLeaks leads to more "open diplomacy" with fewer secrets.

9:00 New from Glenn Greenwald: "Joe Biden vs. Joe Biden."  Glenn opens: "It's really not an overstatement to say that WikiLeaks and Julian Assange are the new Iraqi WMDs because the government and establishment media are jointly manufacturing and disseminating an endless stream of fear-mongering falsehoods designed to depict them as scary villains threatening the security of The American People and who must therefore be stopped at any cost."  Greenwald also defends his article about grave prison conditions for Bradley Manning as press carries attacks on that, too.

8:20  We reported last night on The Guardian covering release of cable suggesting that Cuba banned Michael Moore's "SIcko" because it made the country's health system look a little TOO good (its people might laugh or be angry if they weren't getting top care).  Now Moore (a major Assange backer) has issued a lengthy rebuttal, declaring that this view was false.  He points out that "the entire nation of Cuba was shown the film on national television on April 25, 2008! The Cubans embraced the film so much so it became one of those rare American movies that received a theatrical distribution in Cuba."   He concludes that since: "the facts show that the movie played on state TV and in theaters, I think you're better off attacking me for having my films played in Cuba."  Then he adds:  "¡Viva WikiLeaks."

8:10  In a bit of bad timing, given WikiLeaks' call for a boycott of Bank of America last night (see below), the NYT is playing big the states of Arizona and Nevada suing B of A over widespread mortgage "fraud."   Assange seemed to suggest yesterday that its promised release of documents on a major bank (rumored to be B of A) will come next month.  The boycott call, however, came after B of A said it would not process any funds for WikiLeaks.

8:05  Interesting—in wake of WikiLeaks—that The Guardian, which continues to report on the cables aggressively, last night named the top CIA chief who had to flee Pakistan after he was IDed there (not via Assange but likely by Pak officials).  The NYT, now backing away from coverage of cables, did not name him—and also fails to do so in followup today.

8:00  New Guardian editorial defends their decision to print today details of sex charges against him—but also defends his right to not be prosecuted by leaks.  "He is clearly in some senses a publisher and journalist as well as a source. In that respect he deserves protection, not criminal indictment."

From late yesterday:

This seemed to confirm rumors of WikiLeaks' next target, as their Twitter feed warned tonight  "Does your business do business with Bank of America? Our advise is to place your funds somewhere safer."  But it probably was inspired by  B of A announcing tonight that it would not process any funds heading for WikiLeaks..  The WikiLeaks Twitter feed also declared:  "We ask that all people who love freedom close out their accounts at Bank of America."   B of A had explained its move, sort of, this way:  "This decision is based upon our reasonable belief that WikiLeaks may be engaged in activities that are, among other things, inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments."

Assange rounded out a full day of interviews on TV in USA by spending a couple minutes with Katie Couric.  Nothing much developed.   He did say, "We are an organization that attempts to promote human rights by revealing abuses that are concealed. So, of course we never want to be in a position where through our releases we are actually causing harm to individuals, or at least more harm than the good we are causing"

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), now headed by ProPublica's Paul Steiger, is latest to write Obama and Holder urging no prosecution of Assange.  "CPJ urges the Justice Department to protect freedom of speech and the press, along with the country's global reputation as a beacon of those values, by standing back from any prosecution of WikiLeaks or Assange for publishing classified documents."

ABC News interview w/ Assange just now ends when he walks out on Jim Sciutto question about "forcibly spreading legs" of woman.  Rest of interview nothing new at all.

Big news, if true, from The Independent in London: Key US strategy is to offer plea deal to Bradley Manning to get him to rat out Assange.   "To facilitate that, Pte Manning may be moved from military to civilian custody." To date, no evidence has cooperated at all.

 
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DAYBOOK for Friday: T.G.I.F. for Sure

 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

Folks, I am taking a mental health day, or at least  morning, here.  Due to holiday party (you know how it goes) and exhaustion from continuing WikiLeaks blogging.

Follow that blogging here, with full reports on Assange making the rounds of US morning shows on TV.  Here are a few items below.  And I will be back later, no doubt, so return for a look.

Social scientists' study finds (what a shocker) Fox viewers most ill-informed, but revealing details, and sad.

Politifact names "Govt Run Healthcare" lie of the year.

My memory of Larry King on his farewell:  As a guest on his latenight radio show before he went to TV  -- and then on CNN show sitting next to the pilot who bombed Nagasaki.  

CIA spy chief for Pakistan has to flee country after name revealed in....lawsuit over drone attacks.   NYT:   "The CIA station chief in Islamabad is perhaps the agency’s most important undercover assignment overseas because that person oversees its secret war in Pakistan using armed drones that target Al Qaeda and the Taliban."

Rachel Maddow vs. US Senate—and "the base" vs. Obama.

NYT on the big tax cut bill vote in the House.

Matt Taibbi in Rolling StoneBernie Sanders put Obama to shame.

Mixed report to Obama on Afghan war reveals split on pullout.  NYT editorial not impressed.

In NYT on Sunday, online now: Garrison Keillor on "The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1"  

 Econ blogger Barry Ritholtz's 10 Reality-based Questions for GOP members of Financial Crisis Commission.  (h/t Barbara Bedway).

 

 
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Blogging WikiLeaks News & Views for Friday, Day 20

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:   It's now Saturday, and still live-blogging here.

11:15  It seemed to confirm rumors of WikiLeaks next target, as their Twitter feed warned late tonight:  "Does your business do business with Bank of America? Our advise is to place your funds somewhere safer."  But it was probably about B of A announcing tonight that it would not process any funds heading for WikiLeaks..  The WikiLeaks Twitter feed also declared:  "We ask that all people who love freedom close out their accounts at Bank of America."   B of A had explained its move, sort of, this way:  "This decision is based upon our reasonable belief that WikiLeaks may be engaged in activities that are, among other things, inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments."

11:10  New Guardian editorial defends their decision to print today details of sex charges against him--but also defends his right to not be prosecuted by leaks.  "He is clearly in some senses a publisher and journalist as well as a source. In that respect he deserves protection, not criminal indictment."

10:15  Assange rounded out a full day of interviews on TV in USA by spending a couple minutes with Katie Couric.  Nothing much developed.   He did say, "We are an organization that attempts to promote human rights by revealing abuses that are concealed. So, of course we never want to be in a position where through our releases we are actually causing harm to individuals, or at least more harm than the good we are causing"

7:20  Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), now headed by ProPublica's Paul Steiger, is latest to write Obama and Holder urging no prosecution of Assange.  "CPJ urges the Justice Department to protect freedom of speech and the press, along with the country's global reputation as a beacon of those values, by standing back from any prosecution of WikiLeaks or Assange for publishing classified documents."

7:10  WikiLeaks documentary we've mentioned gets a distributor, Zodiak.

6:40  ABC News interview w/ Assange just now ends when he walks out on Jim Sciutto question about "forcibly spreading legs" of woman.  Rest of interview nothing new at all.

6:30  Big news, if true, from The Independent in London: Key U.S. strategy is to offer plea deal to Bradley Manning to get him to rat out Assange.   "To facilitate that, Pte Manning may be moved from military to civilian custody." To date, no evidence has cooperated at all.

6:20  Huff Post with update on Air Force blocking news sites, plus a screen grab.

6:15  And the hits just keep coming from The Guardian:  "Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, has siphoned as much as $9bn out of his impoverished country, and much of it may be stashed in London banks, according to secret US diplomatic cables that recount conversations with the chief prosecutor of the international criminal court." 

6:10  New donations to the #AssangeJukebox (also see list at 11:30 below):   "I Fought the Law (and the Law Was Changed So I Could Be Prosecuted)",  "All You Need Is Leaks,"  "Stand By Your Manning,"  "It Wasn"t God Who Made Diplomatic Cables,"  and for Xmas, "Hark the Herald Assange Sing."

5:05  Guardian gets first look at much of evidence against Assange from Sweden.  Many explicit details on the outline that has been reported in past couple of weeks.  Guardian says it has asked Assange for response and has not yet gotten one.  The texts exchanged by the two women, and key Twitter messages, still not seen.  Mark Stephen, Assange attorney is quoted: "The allegations of the complainants are not credible and were dismissed by the senior Stockholm prosecutor as not worthy of further investigation."

4:55  "WikiLeaks cables detail Fidel Castro's doomed love for Obama" -- from hope to "betrayal."   All kinds of great stuff in The Guardian today and this week while NYT had nothing -- until just now when it has virtually same story as The Guardian on another Cuba issue.

4:50  And now we have Wikileaks: the t-shirt, with image at left.

4:40  Whoa:  New cables, according to Guardian, claim Cuba was upset with very favorable depiction of its health system in Michael Moore's "Sicko."  Doctors allegedly felt it was too kind and gov't officials feared its view of a gleaming hospital used by some would spark rebellion by those who don't get that kind of treatment.  "Castro's government apparently went on to ban the film because, the leaked cable claims, it 'knows the film is a myth.'"  All of this not confirmed, of course.

4:35 More from The Guardian:  14 Arab countries voted to ban Stephen Spielberg films after he made $1 million donation to Israel during Lebanon war. Hard to say if enforced.

4:30  Ha: New cables show U.S. critical of very court that may decide Assange extradition.  Called its 'human rights' standards unfortunate.

3:20  Oh, the irony, and much more: We reported below on top CIA guy exiting Pakistan after his cover was blown--NOT by WIkiLeaks.   Now U.S. may be blaming our friends and allies in Pakistan for the deliberate leak, which could end up more damaging, or at least spectacular, than anything re: Pakistan from Assange.   A tangled tale involvign drone attacks, lawsuits and more.

2:50  New Fox News poll finds 66% want Assange arrested and put on trial -- but "only" (?) 38% want news outlets that run WikiLeaks busted.  Vast majority say the leaks represent "treason" to U.S.  This despite the fact that only 1 in 3 think the leaks did any serious damage.   Note dicey wording of some of the questions.

1:50  New cables reveal U.S. fears of lax security in India raising threat of bio-terrorism.  The Guardian posted last night and this is AP's take.

1:45  Great new addition to the #AssangeJukebox "Stand by Your Manning" by Tammy Wynette @WideAsleepNima

1:40  Alexi Mostrous of the Times of London with  intriguing tweet:  "Travelling back from #assange bail mansion. Fascinatingly, he says #wikileaks being attacked by banks in US, UK, Switzerland, Dubai."   He promises to follow up.

1:25  The Guardian probes "Anonymous"  group of hackers, some surprises.  Love the photo of people wearing Assange, and guy from "V for Vendetta" flick (which had, shall we say, explosive ending).

12:30  Lock the leaker up!  CIA spy chief for Pakistan has to flee country after name revealed in....lawsuit over drone attacks.   NYT:   "The CIA station chief in Islamabad is perhaps the agency’s most important undercover assignment overseas because that person oversees its secret war in Pakistan using armed drones that target Al Qaeda and the Taliban."

12:25  WikiLeaks goes on "Tor," from NYT Mag this Sunday, online now.

11:55 A UK Navy medic who says a WIkileaks release inspired him to try to fight deployment to Afghanistan has lost his appeal.

11:30   A few updates to my #AssangeJukebox twitter feed:  "Borne on the USB,"  "Jumpin' Jack Flashdrive,"   "Paint It Black Ops,"  "57 Diplomatic Cables (And Nothin' On)," "Do You Want to Know a Secret?",  "Leak It!" (Michael Jackson),  "I'm Not Afraid of Americans" (Bowie), "Tell All the People" (The Doors),  "Assange le Strange" (Heart), "Six Months in a WikiLeaky Boat,"  "Subterranean Homesick Blew,"  "Assange Brew" (Cream), the Willie Nelson refrain,  "On the leaks again, just can't wait to get on the leaks again, the life I love is making wiki with my friends,"  or The Beatles, "We all live in a yellow leak machine."  Add yours at Twitter or in Comments below.

11:20  Dan Gillmor tweets the question I've been raising for past week: "The Guardian continues to post startling Wikileaks stories, but NY Times has gone mostly quiet. Wondering why..."

11: 00  Still hustling:  Larry Flynt in Huff Post piece says he is donating $50,000 to Assange defense fund, calls him a "journalist" for sure, plus a "hero" and on top of that, we should throw him a "ticker tape parade."  Well, Larry does know a thing or two about censorship trials.

10:55  Friday fun: propose songs for the #AssangeJukebox   We've got "Under My Thumb Drive" and "Back in the USSB" so far.

10:50  The after-party: A tweet from ABC's Jim Sciutto-- "Just interviewed Assange, said big party last night now already back to work releasing cables."  BTW, published cables as of now still only 1600 or so.  

10:10  And a word from our sponsor:  Not too late to order for Christmas gift the new edition of my award-winning book on wild, influential political campaign that gave birth to "media politics" as we know it today.   Read about it, watch videos, and see some of my other books here.   Now, back to our regular programming.

10:05  Andy Borowitz:  "Julian Assange to Launch Social Network for Diplomats - TwoFacebook."

10:00 Fun piece: cables show U.S. wanted to import Bollywood stars to Afghanistan to help our effort there.

9:55 Mark Weisbrot on what the cables reveal about U.S.-led "occupation" of Haiti and why other countries should quit.

9:45  Glenn Greenwald coming up on MSNBC at 10:10, he says.

9:00 Speaking to SKy News in UK, Assange says legal experts have told him "80%" chance of U.S. indictment.

8:45  Assange continued round of morning shows.  On ABC's Good Morning America,  their write-up summarizes:  "Assange said this morning that WikiLeaks by its very nature does not know the identities of its sources, and that he never conspired with the U.S. Army private who is the alleged source of classified U.S. Embassy cables, which WikiLeaks then passed on to other media organizations..... 'I had never heard of the name Bradley Manning before it was published in the press. Wikileaks' technology [was] designed from the very beginning to make sure that we never know the identities or names of people submitting us material. That is, in the end, the only way the sources can be guaranteed that they remain anonymous, as far as we are concerned.'

"To that end, Assange also denied that he had solicited any material from Manning or others, or had helped in the taking of material classified secret by the U.S. government."

Plus:  He flalty denied being an "anarchrist" and claimed Swedish officials are withholding evidence that could clear his name in  the rape case. "There are intercepted SMS messages between the women and each other and their friends. Those SMS messages, the Swedish prosecutor has refused to release. In fact, stated that my lawyer, who was shown the messages by the police, is gagged from speaking about them"

 8:25  Clip of Assange on Today show today,  from outside his new manor home.  Asssange says, "Merry Christmas," then hails "courageous friends," and:  "It's not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning." He says he's heard again "credible reports" that indictment coming under Espionage Act.  Matt Lauer asks him point blank if latest claim is true that he supplied Manning with software  to load documents and Assange says he knows nothing about that report (without flatly denying charge).  "The whole damn thing is kept secret," like the Swedish case.    "Something wrong" about U.S. investigation, hurts his organization.

Lauer moves quickly to rape case.  Assange calls it "incredible" charge and "double rape" as it is reported around the world, a "successful smear campaign so far" but its "days numbered."   Why no evidence provided:  Lauer:  if you're innocent why fight extradition?  Assange: I was in Sweden for nearly 40 days,  charges were dropped, "received permission to leave the country," registered name in UK and came in for questioning.

Lauer: Now that you are free and have access to Internet, will you accelerate cable releases?  "WiiLeaks is a robot organizaation."  Assange cites new ones in "British media partner"  The Guardian on India and torture, and points out 250,000 yet to be published.   Lauer at end:  He remains "defiant."   Hero or villain? Depends where you stand. 

8:10  The Guardian's top story on the cables today remains India's "systematic" use of torture in Kashmir.  The NYT once again has nothing and Exec Editor Bill Keller yesterday revealed the paper somehow planned only about four more stories on the cables.

8:05    Assange should re-make the Stones' hit with Lady Gaga and call it "Under My Thumb Drive."   Another war suggests, "Wag in the USSB." 

8:00  Headline on  NYT main story (from AP) on Assange this morning.  "WikiLeaks Chief Plots Next Move from Mural Retreat."   Excerpt:   Julian Assange told reporters Friday outside a supporter's country mansion where he is confined that his organization was resilient and designed to withstand 'decapitation attacks.'  He says the allegations against him of sex crimes are part of a smear campaign, but Sweden says they stem from serious allegations made by two women."

8:00  Michael Moore with lengthy protest letter to Sweden -- also digs out from charges he doesn't take rape charges seriously. "Unless you have the evidence (and it seems if you did you would have issued an arrest warrant by now), drop the extradition attempt and get to work doing the job you've so far refused to do: Protecting the women of Sweden."

7:50   The Guardian with new piece on health of Bradley Manning "deteriorating" (as Assange arrives at posh manor). 

 


 


 
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BLOGGING WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS for Thursday, Day 19

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.

11:40   The Guardian with new piece on health of Bradley Manning "deteriorating" (as Assange arrives at posh manor). 

11:35  Assange should re-make the Stones' hit with Lady Gaga and call it "Under My Thumb Drive." 

11:25  Michael Moore with lengthy protest letter to Sweden -- also digs out from charges he doesn't take rape charges seriously. "Unless you have the evidence (and it seems if you did you would have issued an arrest warrant by now), drop the extradition attempt and get to work doing the job you've so far refused to do: Protecting the women of Sweden."

11:20  BBC interview with Assange nothing great but some new video of him.

4:05 Gone for the night.  Guardian promises new cables any minute.  See you tomorrow.

3:05  Guardian with photo of Assange on steps of court on way out.  And summary of the day.

2:15   Ha, friend notes that now Assange has to really mind his manors.

2:10  Clint Hendler (see below) with scoop from Keller talk: Times has "basically done the stories we have planned to do" from the cables, but says 3-4 more in the works.   Why? Guardian still running every day and quarter million more cables? Nothing good in them, or what?  

2:00 Huh? @ClintHendler of CJR just tweeted that in talk Bill Keller, exec ed of NYT, "clears something up: says the NYT got the Iraq and Afghanistan documents from WikiLeaks at the same time."  It's been lost said, without being challenged, that the TImes got them from The Guardian.    UPDATE NOTE:  I got this wrong, it turns out, as I confused with latest batch, not the earlier ones this year, sorry.

1:40  Keith OIbermann, like Michael Moore, a target on this issue, tweets:  "I've now discovered that I am accused of being a rape apologist in part because I didn't remove the quotes from the word rape in a retweet....I've now discovered that I am accused of being a rape apologist in part because I didn't remove the quotes from the word rape in a retweet."  Olbermann, hit for putting "rape" in quotes, had also just tweeted: "The quote marks were in Bianca Jagger's original tweet. I retweeted it as is, per Twitter etiquette." 

1:30   On the first day of Xmas....Julian Assange given an electronic tag.  "One electronic tag beeping..."

1:05  Assange ignored questions and now: To the manor borne? That's the manor at left.  AUDIO of remarks  here.  Assange says sitting in "Victorian prison" made him reflect on others in similar or worse conditions around the world.

1:00 Various reporters in media scrum ready to tweet  remarks.  Here we go:  "It's great to smell the fresh air of London again."  Thanks members of press "not all taken in...and look deeper."   "If justice is not always the outcome, at least it is not dead yet."  Paraphrase:  I hope to continue my work and reveal evidence.  And that's it.

12:55  Assange just released, coming out now, will make statement.

12:35  The Guardian reports that today's Twitter ban in Assanage courtroom has now prompted a review:  "The country's top judge will issue interim guidance on the use of micro-blogging site Twitter in courts after supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange were banned from posting updates today. Just hours after Mr Justice Ouseley ruled supporters and journalists should not send Tweets to give a blow-by-blow account of proceedings, the judicial communications office said the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge will issue new guidance for all courts on Monday...."

12:10  What a mess and sure to be fallout:  Swedes now saying they backed appeal of bail -- but don't say whether, as reported, it was the Brits who took the lead.  Meanwhile, Guardian promises more cables tonight, this time on India.  NYT has done nothing for days now.

11:50   Boston Phoenix editorial.  "Strong-Arming the First Amendment."  Dan Kennedy on the same.   BTW, haggling over bail continues, though court says may stay open late to allow Assange to get out tonight.  His mum awaits.

11:40  Apt that Assange gets out on birthday of that apostle of freedom, Beethoven?

11:20  My daughter, getting Ph.D. in London re: Tajikistan, notes new Wiki cable calls it "corrupt, alcohol-sodden fiefdom." She adds: "Good times!"

10:55 Watch via C-SPAN House Judiciary hearing on WIkiLeaks.  Bunch of legal experts and, for some reason, Ralph Nader.

10:35 This appears to answer question about Internet access when Assange is to the manor borne.  From Luke Harding:  WikiLeaks spokesman Hrafnsson "said it would be entirely possible for WikiLeaks to operate out of the remote manor house on the Norfolk-Suffolk borders to where Assange will be bailed. 'We have a fairly decent internet connection there. We will keep on operating as we have done before. WikiLeaks has many members and we have never all been in the same place.'  "

10:30  Latest from Glenn Greenwald on that Charlie Savage story on U.S. trying to bust Assange by linking him to Bradley Manning.  Also he has his appearance on Democracy Now! today.

10:20  Okay, I am back.  Not much happened at the court in my absence.  Bunch of wrangling over who will have to post the bail -- with one or more eing rejected by the judge (Michael Moore not on list now).  Here's the Guardian wrapup of past hour.

8:45 Vikram Dodd tweets:  "Assange lawyer says getting the people to sign sureties for bail may not be until tomorrow." 

8:40  From The Guardian at the court:  "The judge acknowledged that Assange has co-operated with the Swedish authorities over the allegations he faces, according to Sky News. Even if he was convicted Assange would only face a brief prison sentence, and possibly no prison sentence at all, the court heard, according to Sky."

8:35  And now we have inevitable "Downfall" parody -- this time with Hitler enraged that TIME named Zuckerberg, not Assange, Person of the Year.

 

8:30  Alexi Mostrous on the scene tweets:  "A few more sureties need to pledge money so #assange shld be released next few hours."  Then to a manor borne?

8:25  Full Democracy Now! interview with Dan Ellsberg re: Bradley Manning.

8:20  The Economist:  Sound, fury but few results so far as America tries to fight back against WikiLeaks 

8:13  Judge okaying bail confirmed.  Conditions still being discussed but dollar amount is still about $310,000 in U.S. dough.  Presumably still will be living at that manor with ankle bracelet, curfew, and so on.

8:10  Sky News reports judge has upheld bail for Assange.  Others note conditions still apply.  More to come.

8:00 Glenn Greenwald's on Democracy Now! in a few minutes talking about Manning incarceration and other issues.

7:55 Purported press release from alleged Anonymous.

7:50  Apparently there are protestors outside, but one is merely angry about ... a parking ticket.

7:35 Audio report from journo who pops out of court suggests things may be going well for Assange inside.

7:05  Jemima surrenders:  Socialite and Assange backer (even with bail)  Jemima Khan not at court today. 

7:00 Laff break:  Pakistani ad campaign for sanitary napkin -- see it here -- has tagline:  "WikiLeaks...Butterfly doesn't."   It's even featured on a couple of billboards.  Explains ad director:  “I could have also shown a girl like other ads have. But the idea was to make it very different and to use the word WikiLeaks — and that’s what this is.”

6:55 New post by Arianna Huffington on WikiLeaks: It's about broken trust, not broken condoms.

6:50  A Guardian report exits court to quote judge's ruling on no tweets:  "This is not something I normally deal with," he said....He said tweets from the court would represent a distraction.  "I recognise the calls for debate... The issue involving Twitter may involve the potential for disruption to the atmosphere of the court, which one might call it's dignity."

 6:40  Here's NYT take on the case and hearing today.

6:35  Disorder in the court!  Judge bans Twitter. The nerve.

6:30  Here's  my photo of the Royal Courts of Justice at left, not too shabby I'd say.

6:25  Elsewhere in the American League, Ann Coulter says Assange should be prosecuted even if he IS a journalist.  Screw the First Amendment.

6:20  More bits and pieces:  Assange giving peace sign in police van. Peter Alexander of NBC News tweets: "Assange's mom describes son's attitude toward legal battle: 'Quiet anger, was actually the term he used.'"  The Guardian's Vikram Dodd tweets that attorney " Mark stephens says if the high court uphold's the decision to bail assange he may walk free today." Others warn that they have to stop tweeting now until judge rules. 

6:15  More tidbits.  Journos lined up for hearing but unlike the other day most seem doubtful they will get to tweet it live.  The thing may last two hours, longer than the last one.  It's now been confirmed that it was the Brits, not the Swedes, who pushed the appeal, shocking most observers. 

6:10  Okay, I am awake and covering the Assange hearing, tho from afar.  So far:  Assange has arrived at court as the prosecutors push for judge to reverse decision on bail.  His mum is  back.   His attorneys say they now have the 200,000 pounds in cash to spring him, as the court does not take checks.  Interesting tidbit from The Guardian:  Assange's mum took notes while visiting him in prison -- on her arms.

6:00  New from Charlie Savage at NYT:   Not a shock, but full report on how DOJ hopes to build case against Assange by trying to find links between him and Bradley Manning in helping to get the material for leakage." If he did so, they believe they could charge him as a conspirator in the leak, not just as a passive recipient of the documents who then published them.

"Among materials prosecutors are studying is an online chat log in which Private Manning is said to claim that he had been directly communicating with Mr. Assange using an encrypted Internet conferencing service as the soldier was downloading government files. Private Manning is also said to have claimed that Mr. Assange gave him access to a dedicated server for uploading some of them to WikiLeaks"

 
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Thursday DAYBOOK: Afghan Pullout Okayed, Assange in Court, DADT Hit, Ricky Gervais Sings for Christmas, 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 

Matt Taibbi in Rolling StoneBernie Sanders put Obama to shame.

House votes for DADT repeal, putting ball in court of GOPers in Senate, who are delaying—poll shows public support for repeal so Repubs don't want to vote.

Official review of situation in Afghan for Obama concludes that withdrawals can indeed start next July, despite very uneven progress since his "surge."  Here's the 5-page executive summary... Red Cross:  No matter what they say, worst conditions in Afghanistan in 9 years....   Andy Borowitz tweets:  "Defense Dept. Upgrades Afghanistan from Quagmire to Morass"

NYT: Thinking the Unthinkable—Obama administration grapples with idea of surviving nuclear attack.  "Mineshaft gap" 2010?

Yes, I am blogging WIkiLeaks news and views again all day, kicking off with reports on the key Assange bail hearing today as prosecutors appeal—judge rules out live-tweeting this time.  UPDATE:  Judge throws out appeal, Assange to be freed.   My  live-blogging all things WikiLeaks yesterday.  A few late highlights:  New from NYT: US trying to build case vs. Assange by linking him to Bradley Manning, pre-leak....Human Rights Watch sends letter to Obama and Holder: Don't prosecute Assange!....New twist in Assange case: WikiLeaks cables show Swedes in secrecy pact w/USA. WikiLeaks call it "backroom deal."

 Econ blogger Barry Ritholtz's 10 Reality-based Questions for GOP members of Financial Crisis Commission.  (h/t Barbara Bedway) : 

Hard to believe Daily Show segment on new Barbie doll with video camera embedded—sparking fears of pedophile use.  (BTW, Mike Huckabee visits Jon tonight.) 

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Nick Kristof on Islam's Mother Theresa.

ELLSBERG LEAKS ARREST  Dan Ellsberg planning his 80th arrest today in civil disobedience over war.  Chaining himself to White House fence. 

LEAVING MARK  The Nation is making its own Person of the Year selection, vote here.

CRY CRY CRY  Gail Collins: The Crying (Shame) Game.   Imagine if Pelosi wept like Boehner. 

GIFT IDEA  Dare I suggest that any progressive, or media or politics maven, would enjoy receiving for the holidays my book.  

TODAY's LAFF

Funnyman Ricky Gervais—a former 1980s Bowie-like rock singer (you can find some great clips at YouTube)—with "Don't Cry, It's Christmas."

 

 

TODAY's MUSIC

My man Beethoven rolled over and was born 240 years ago today.   A few decades he wrote a little tune that now provides the background to the climax of the fine new film The King's Speech. Here's part of it, the second movement for the Symphony No. 7 put to use for another movie.

 
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Blogging WikiLeaks News & Views for Wednesday, Day 18

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.

10:00  New from Charlie Savage at NYT:   Not a shock, but full report on how DOJ hopes to build case against Assange by trying to find links between him and Bradley Manning in helping to get the material for leakage." If he did so, they believe they could charge him as a conspirator in the leak, not just as a passive recipient of the documents who then published them.

"Among materials prosecutors are studying is an online chat log in which Private Manning is said to claim that he had been directly communicating with Mr. Assange using an encrypted Internet conferencing service as the soldier was downloading government files. Private Manning is also said to have claimed that Mr. Assange gave him access to a dedicated server for uploading some of them to WikiLeaks"

8:40  Finally, WikiLeaks cables get to ... a BP oil accident.  New from The Guardian tonight.

6:45 Shocker from The Guardian:  It was UK prosecutors, not Swedish who wanted to appeal bail for Assange. "It had been widely thought Sweden had made the decision to oppose bail, with the CPS acting merely as its representative. But today the Swedish prosecutor's office told the Guardian it had "not got a view at all on bail" and that Britain had made the decision to oppose bail. Lawyers for Assange reacted to the news with shock."   Hearing tomorrow. 

4:20  Huff Post with a little bit of a followup on Greenwald's probe of Braldey Manning's incarceration. 

4:10  And now, an attack on Michael Moore for providing bail to Assange and thereby not taking rape charges seriously.

4:05  Still wondering about NYT rarely covering the cables now:  retreating under pressure? all the really good stuff already published?  working on big scoops right now?  not enough staffing to dive into the quarter million cables left?  Your guess? 

3:55  New from top org Human Rights Watch: Don't prosecute Assange.    Letter from them to Obama and Holder.  Reason: "as this would imperil media freedom everywhere... Human Rights Watch urged the US government to reject overbroad interpretations of national security that clash with the freedom of expression guarantees of the US Constitution and international law."   HRW also hits companies that cut off service for WIkiLeaks and gov't agencies blocking employees from access to sites.

3:30 Mark Zuckerberg on WikiLeaks: Huh? Or, Duh?

2:20  Naomi Wolf, who has already had a couple of controversial posts on this subject, returns to Huff Post with another on Sweden, rape cases, and Assange.

2:05 The Guardian reports Scotland Yard looking at Anonymous attacks on MasterCard, PayPal and other sites, but has been go after them for months..

12:40 Earlier today --  see 9:15 time stamp below -- I reported that I had received an email from someone purporting to be a staffer at a Verizon Wireless  "headquarters."  He said that starting last week, when he tried to access WikiLeaks write-ups on the Web at work, Verizon blocked the access.  This was not just at WikiLeak's own sites but at, say, The Guardian for any stories related to WikiLeaks (but not other stories there).   In a second email he now says that it is still going on and he sent along three screen shots, including the one at left when he was turned away from The Guardian.  One of the other screen shots shows the same blockage when, as a test, he entered a fake url with the name WikiLeaks in it.  I have the guy's name, and his Twitter feed does suggest employment at Verizon, but beyond that -- no proof. 

12:20  Moe Tkacik at Washington City Paper with interesting interview with Wash Post  "Spy Talk" blogger Jeff Stein. "These cables are going to be in the headlines for months. It's like a lifetime employment contract for national security reporters.....I hope this spawns more Wikileaks — starting in Moscow and Beijing. Julian Assange is kind of a left-winger but he's also just sort of an anarchist. I think he would take stuff from the Kremlin in a heartbeat, from China in a heartbeat..."

11:50   Laff of the Day:  Rep. Allen West, who called for "censoring" news outlets carrying WikiLeaks stuff, now claims he merely meant "censure." 

11:45  If you know me, you know why I am linking to piece on Assange as this century's Upton Sinclair.

11:40  Brussels sprouts: Another front opened -- Brussels site for leaking European Union docs.

11:35  I linked to Glenn Greenwald's take on harsh conditions for Bradley Manning below, but his post also worth reading for its second half on background on case, which most have forgotten by now.

10:55  New WikiLeak from The Telegraph:  "The secret cables, seen by The Daily Telegraph, disclose how Swedish officials wanted discussions about anti-terrorism operations kept from public scrutiny. They describe how officials from the Swedish Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs had a “strong degree of satisfaction with current informal information sharing arrangements” with the American government. Making the arrangement formal would result in the need for it to be disclosed to Parliament, they said.... Wikileaks claimed the new cables, which discuss terrorist screening programs, added weight to suggestions that Sweden and America were engaged in 'back room deals'”.

 

10:25  Michael Moore on Countdown last night defending his bail offer for Assange and more.

9:50  FLASH: Assange appeal hearing (Swedes contesting judge's bail ruling) will be tomorrow at 11:30 London time.

9:45  Air Force confirms it is blocking sites with WikiLeaks stuff but says NYT only one in USA.

9:15  Just received email tip from man purporting to be Verizon employee at a headquarters and offering to send screen shots.  Here's an excerpt:  "Last week, I was browsing several news sites at work when I noticed something strange: any time I tried to read a story about Wikileaks, the site was blocked. Typically, our intranet blocks the usual 'time-waster'  sites.... In these cases, the entire domain is blocked and any content offered up by that domain on a separate site (such as videos embedded from YouTube) would be blocked on the other site as well.

"In this case, though, only specific URLs were being blocked, while the rest of the site was fine. In the screenshots, you can see I can access, for example, the Guardian front page, as well as another, non-Wikileaks related article. But if I tried to go to any of the cable articles, I received the block message.... It appears there's a blanket URL block for any URL containing the word "wikileaks" no matter what the context. Also, I've confirmed with a friend of mine who works for AT&T that they're doing similar blocking.   I have screen shots available."  He also claims that a friend at AT & T says same thing going on there.

9:05  MSNBC.com  "legal panel" with lengthy discussion of Assange and espionage issues, predicts he WILL be indicted here, and raises issues about the press.   They say his indictment will "survive a legal challenge" and the biggest handicap for the defense is Assange's "personality."

8:50  As he promised, Glenn Greenwald has delivered on a strong piece on the "inhumane detention" of Bradley Manning, with "conditions that constitute cruel and inhumane treatment and, by the standards of many nations, even torture.  Interviews with several people directly familiar with the conditions of Manning's detention, ultimately including a Quantico brig official (Lt. Brian Villiard) who confirmed much of what they conveyed, establishes that the accused leaker is subjected to detention conditions likely to create long-term psychological injuries." 

8:45  Assange won the readers poll, but Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg (or, a boy named "sue," as I call him) named Person of the Year.  Assange finished third, they say, with Tea Partiers in the #2 slot. 

8:40  The Swedish prosecutors' site in the Assange case was brought down by Anonymous and allies yesterday for 11 hours, the Guardian reports. 

8:30  Report on Rush Limbaugh going after Michael Moore for ofering part of Assange's bail.    Of course, he refers to Moore and others on left as "fans of serial rapists." 

8:10  While WikiLeaks. org has reappeared, the internet security firm Spamhaus warns that it could be riddled with malware run by "Russian cybercriminals".

8:00  NYT rarely running cables or stories about them now.  Theories, anyone?   The Guardian still publishing cables but its great  daily blog not happening today.

7:50    How the Grinchy WikiLeaks Stole Christmas.  And some cool animation from Wash Post editorial cartoonist Ann Telnaes.

 
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Wednesday DAYBOOK: Zuckerberg is TIME's Person of Year, Another Leaked FOX E-mail, Jon Stewart, More

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

MORNING ROAST

Tops at NYT: 2 new classified reports paint grim picture of war in Afghanistan. Blame Assange!

Media Matters releases another internal email from Fox managing editor  Bill Sammon, this time "questioning the 'veracity of climate change data and ordering the network's journalists to 'refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question.'"

Good Daily Show segment on GOPers hitting "Big Brother" aspects of Obama policy, when it's really, "Big Brother, Where Art Thou?"  Meawnhile, Stephen Colbert hosted Stephen Sondheim.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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Maureen Dowd covers the "Birther court-martial," with cameo by Orly Taitz. 

TIME names Mark Zuckerberg "Person of the Year," topping poll winner Julian Assange. "For connecting more than half-a-billion people and mapping the social relations among them (something that has never been done before); for creating a new system of exchanging information that has become both indispensable and sometimes a little scary; and finally, for changing how we all live our lives in ways that are innovative and even optimistic..."  Here's cover shot.

Yes, I am live-blogging all things WikiLeaks again today.

HITCH VS. HENRY  HItchens destroys his old punching bag, Henry Kissinger, over latest on those Nixon tapes.

THE HOLBROOKE TRUTH  Classic: Taliban claim Holbrooke's death due to stress of war.... Holbrooke aide: He was making a joke when he asked doctor to "stop this war." ' Unfortunately, he wasn't joking when he more or less told President Bush on Iraq, "start this war." 

THE WAR AT HOME  "This is just as scary as mortars over yr head at 2 AM." Vietnam vet on end of unemployment benefits

WIKILEAKS TUESDAY  If you need to catch up on all things Assange and WikiLeaks from today, here's your place.  A few highlights:   Wash Post poll: 59 percent of Americans want US to arrest Assange—but not asked about crackdown on media. .... Assange judge grants bail, then Swedes appeal, so he remains jailed. Good to see Assange doesn't look 50 years older since last week, since he's staying in Oscar Wilde's old cell....Newly-elected US congressman calls for "censoring" US media publishing WikiLeaks. ....US Air Force blocking access to NYT and other news outlets carry WikiLeaks cables. 

KIDS TODAY  So you want to be a journalist?  A dark vision:

 

MILLER TIME AGAIN  Last week, on Fox, Judy Miller—of all people!—criticized the facts in the current Doug Liman film on the Plame case, Fair Game. Now Liman has responded at CJR with a strong rebuke. 

BITS & PIECES  Hopeful commentary by singer/organizer Billy Bragg on the student protests in the UK.... Now Juan Williams gets 2-book deal with Crown, first one on free speech could be called  "How I Got Silenced and Made Millions").

TODAY's LAFF

To mark yesterday's Golden Globe announcements ("The Tourist" a comedy? intentionally?), here is mashup of allegedly every major movie released this year.

 

 
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Blogging the WikiLeaks for Tuesday, Day 17

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.

11:30  How the Grinchy WikiLeaks Stole Christmas.

10:05  Air Force blocking access to news outlets, such as NYT and The Guardian, carrying WikiLeaks cables.  The Guardian:  "At least 25 sites that have posted WikiLeaks files had been barred, said Major Toni Tones of the US air force's space command in Colorado. Tones said the action was taken in accordance with a policy that "routinely blocks air force network access to websites hosting inappropriate materials".  According to the Wall Street Journal, staff who attempt to access the blocked sites instead see an on-screen message saying: "Access denied. Internet usage is logged and monitored."

5:55  As we suspected, evidence thin on those claims that grand jury in Assange case is already meeting in Virginia.  Salon with good probe here.

5:50  To the manor borne: Photo of Assange's hoped-for new home when out on bail.  Caption: "Pheasant dinners, port and brisk walks may be just days away for Julian Assange, whose bail address is to be Ellingham Hall." 

4:40  Get Up, Stand Up:  Assange attorney Mark Stephens tweets:  "Bob Marley - redemption song acoustic http://t.co/AemwjJL  "

4:30  The Guardian posts its daily stories on cables, today three separate stories on drug hot spots: Jamaica, Ghana, West Africa.  NYT again quiet, so far.

3:15  New David Rieff essay:  WikiLeaks and the Cyberwars to Come. "The policy establishment is absolutely correct in worrying about Wikileaks—just not for the reasons that have usually been stated. For where Wikileaks poses a serious challenge is in its application of a technological mindset that up to now had seemed both the product of and inextricably linked to the clean, enlightened liberal capitalism of the Microsofts, Googles, Apples, and Intels of this world."

3:10  NYT: Swedish prosecutor today hints that it might send Assange to US via extradition. 

2:40  New Guardian profile of Assange and his "evolving" philosophy, they talk to friends/associates.

2:20  Wash Post poll finds two in three Americans feel WikiLeaks have harmed US and 58 percent want US to arrest Assange.  A bit of a generation gap, as younger folks a bit more sympathetic.  Can't see that they asked key question: Do people want US to stop press from publishing cables? Was newspaper afraid to do that?

2:15  Columbia J-School faculty send letter to Atty Gen Holder urging no prosecution of WikiLeaks—would set "dangerous precedent." 

12:50  Yes, The Guardian confirms, the Swedes ARE appealing to high court.  "Speaking again outside the court, Stephens says the Swedes will not abide by the umpire's decision. 'They [the Swedish authorities] clearly will not spare any expense to keep Mr. Assange in jail,'  he added.  "This is really turning in to a show trial. We will be in court in the next 48 hours, they haven't given us the courtesy to say when. It is an unfortunate state of affairs ... but given their history of persecuting of Mr Assange, it is perhaps not surprising."

 12:45  Huh?  Now Alex Mostrous tweets: "contrary to earlier reports, now we're hearing that Sweden WILL appeal. Will post as soon as confirmed."

12:30  Michael Moore to appear with Keith Olbermann tonight to talk about why he offered bail for Assange—and other offerings.

12:05  Newly-elected US Rep. Allen West comes out clearly for "censoring" US media publishing or otherwise aiding WikiLeaks. He calls it "kind of aiding and abetting of a serious crime."  

11:50  Big news: Swedish prosecutors will not appeal today's ruling, according to ABC's Jim Sciutto on the scene.   Now Assange just needs to make the vast bail donations turn to cash so he can get out.  Meanwhile, Assange lawyers uses these words to describe conditions in prison for him: "Dickensian," "Orwellian" and merely "Victorian."    Or did he say "Wicktorian"? 

11:25 Update from The Guardian blog:   "Mark Stephens, Assange's lawyer, said Assange could be in custody for several days until the £200,000 is security is raised. Stephens added that a total of £1m in sureties had been pledged to support Assange's bail application. Vaughn Smith, one of the people offering security, is the founder of the FrontLine club in west London. Once he is released, Assange will stay at Smith's estate, Ellingham Hall, in Suffolk, and report to a nearby police station at Bungay every evening." 

11:05  Glenn Greenwald's  latest on how attempts to prosecute WikiLeaks endanger press freedoms.  He is still promising breaking story on Bradley Manning being held in horrible conditons, possibly tortured.

11:02  Jim Sciutto of ABC News tweets from court:  "In the end, judge swayed Assange now has confirmed address in UK and didn't enter UK illegally."

10:58  The Guardian now has full report on the bail hearing plus video or modest protests.

10:55 Evgeny Morozov tweets cute:   "Dear Anonymous: Don't DDoS Assange's ankle bracelet. It won't help."

10:50  Small detail: Assange must report to police every day at 6 pm.   He will be staying out in Suffolk at a manor house.   Does it have broadband or only dial up?

10:40  Mostrous tweets this key detail:  "prosecutors have 2 hrs to appeal."  Also:  "Assange lawyer told me he probably won't be released tonight."   The prosecutors are the Swedish ones.

10:30  Bail set at hefty 200,000 pounds but plenty of takers on that (other reports have it at 240,000).   Assange must wear tag, meet curfew, surrender passport.

10:25  FLASH  Bail granted to Assange, with conditions, next hearing January 11.   The Guardian notes "cheers inside and outside the courtroom." Details to come.

10:20  Jim Sciutto of ABC News:  "Assange's mother trying to get his attention from public gallery, failing."

10:15  Real reason Assange needs to get out: Only newspaper he is allowed in prison is Daily Express, court told.

10:00  More from The Guardian:  "Sarah Saunders, a restaurant designer and friend of Assange, signs document offering £150,000 as surety, writes Vikram Dodd from the court. She says it is almost all the money she has."

9:58  Jumping the gun?  The Guardian reports: " It looks likely that Assange will be granted bail, Vikram Dodd predicts from the court.  He adds: 'Over £200,000 offered in surety for bail. Court told ten international public figures also offering surety. Court asks one of them to sign [bail] document'."

9:50  We interrrupt this program to bring you The Guardian's useful summary of key points in Wiki cables released so far.

9:45  Mostrous:  Assange's new attorney Robertson "calls Captain Vaughan Smith to offer surety. Also offers tag, curfew, restricted travel and other conditions."   No mention of staying off the Web. 

9:40  Mostrous: Prosecutor claims "The court has already found that mr Assange is a flight risk and its submitted that nothing has changed."  

9:35 Good to see Assange has not aged 40 years since last week, since staying in Oscar Wilde's old cell.

9:30  From Heather Brooke:  Prosecutor is laying out reasons why #assange shouldn't be granted bail and why the full evidence of allegations should be left for sweden."

9:25  More from Mostrous:  "Focus of #assange argument appears to be bail rather than substantive extradition issue. Prosecuting counsel outlining arguments against." And:  "Judge says: 'the stronger the case, the more likely the defendant is to abscond, the weaker the case, the less likely.'"  Duh. 

9:20  Assange just arrived, reportedly in same suit as last time.  @AlexiMostrous tweeting it all.

9:15  No, you haven't missed anything at hearing,  Assange hasn't yet been brought in.  Apparently Bianca Jagger is joining other celebs who have offered part of bail.  Also possible Assange will have to wear electronic tag.

9:10  Eugene Robinson, a rarity at  Wash Post,  defends WikiLeaks: " I don't particularly enjoy defending Assange, WikiLeaks or a bunch of irresponsible hackers. But I don't want the companies that regulate interaction and commerce on the Internet deciding whose views are acceptable and whose are not. The "terms of service" agreement that should take precedence is the First Amendment."

9:05  Deep thought:  Unlike in USA, the judge at Assange hearing probably not allowed to also receive funds from anti-Assange efforts.

9:00 This should be fun.  Judge at hearing gives journos okay to tweet it—if they are quiet!

8:45 More from Michael Moore's Daily Kos post (see below): " I am publicly offering the assistance of my website, my servers, my domain names and anything else I can do to keep WikiLeaks alive and thriving as it continues its work to expose the crimes that were concocted in secret and carried out in our name and with our tax dollars."

8:35  Others spotted at court:  director Ken Loach (again putting up bail), Bianca Jagger, Tariq Ali.  Here's NYT report on Assange's "jailhouse statement."   Recall that he recently tried to distance himself from the hacking of MasterCard etc.   And here's NYT main story for today on the hearing and related updates.

8:25  Glenn Greenwald tweets:  "A major story brewing is the cruel, inhumane treatment—torture—to which Bradley Manning is being subjected: more to come shortly."

8:15  Assange's mum, from Australia,  is arriving at the court, plus there's a new video of her appealing for him.   I noted another interview with her last night in which she passed along a statement by him from prison in which he called MasterCard, PayPal and Amazon enemies and tools of the U.S, which some speculate may increase attacks on them.

8:00  The swell Guardian WikiLeaks blog has photo of Assange in police van this morning on way to court, plus report on an arrest in demo outside.

7:55  MIchael Moore now joining those offering to put up $20,000 in bail for Assange, due in court about now.   He explains in a Daily Kos posting.

7:50   Izzy for it? Our own Don Guttenplan on what  I.F. Stone might have thought of WikiLeaks.   You can probably guess.

From late yesterday: '

Assange's mum in Australia passes along fresh quotes from prison on Monday, keep fighting he says, hits PayPal, Amazon, MasterCard...... Assange may win bail ruling tomorrow—but could remain held on appeal or via move by Swedes.   But a baroness has come to his side....Mike Calderone at Yahoo! with typically valuable and well-reported piece on new orgs and the Espionage Act—are they in danger and if not, why not?  With latest developments and commenary... Assange easily wins TIME's reader poll for person of the year.  Lady Gaga third, then Stewart and Colbert and Beck and so on.  The mag's actual pick coming Wednesday early.

 
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Tuesday DAYBOOK: Holbrooke Dies, Karzai Picks Taliban, Will Farrell Meets David Bowie, Much More

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

MORNING ROAST

Over 100 aid workers slain this year in Afghanistan, far more than other years, prompting humanitarian groups to wonder if new US strategy is the cause... Wash Post:  "If I had to choose sides, I'd choose the Taliban," Karzai fumed.

Great Daily Show segment hitting GOPers for refusing to aid 9/11 first responders—and showing clips from them hailing same folks in the past.

Richard Holbrooke dies at 69, with Wash Post revealing: "As he was sedated for surgery, his final words were to his Pakistani surgeon, according to family members: 'You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan.' A range of viewpoints in aftermath. Nick Kristof tweets: "Richard Holbrooke, diplomat extraordinaire and long-time friend, RIP. I learned so much from you." Here is Nick's tribute. Bill Clinton: "Our nation is safer, and our world stronger, because of the work he did. I will miss my friend very much." 

Then there's our own Jeremy Scahill: "Holbrooke backed Indonesian genocide in East Timor, killing of journos in Serbia and supported 2003 Iraq invasion.... Holbrooke was extremely close to journalist elites/cocktail crowd. They'll lionize him non-stop w/o any critical analysis." Former UK ambassdor Carne Ross tweets: "Charmer and bully by turn, consummate diplomat, 'To End a War' one of best books on real live diplomacy." Tim Shorrock writes of his role re the South Korea uprising in 1979-1980. 

The Bush-appointed Virginia judge who ruled part of healthcare law unconstitutional is part-owner of GOP consulting firm—arguing case against healthcare law.

Once again, I am live-blogging WikiLeaks news and views all day, including Assange bail hearing.

MILLER TIME AGAIN  Last week, on Fox, Judy Miller—of all people!—criticized the facts in the current Doug Liman film on the Plame case, Fair Game. Now Liman has responded at CJR with a strong rebuke.  

FALLING OUT Fallout continues vs. Columbia dean/writer Nick Lemann's claim in NYT that all you digital folks don't believe we need journos... 

NO FRACKING WAY  Governor finally on board, NY State bans natural gas "fracking" for seven months.

DON'T CRY FOR  ME,  JOHNNY BOEHNER  A video history of new Weeper of the House John Boehner hammily crying.

READERS IN COURT Justice Scalia reads Supreme Court briefs on his iPad; Justice Kagan reads them on her Kindle.  We imagine Justice Clarence takes his with Tea.

IZZY FOR IT?  Our own Don Guttenplan on what  I.F. Stone might have thought of WikiLeaks.  You can probably guess.

WIKILEAKS  MONDAY   You can catch up on all of Monday's WikiLeaks news & views here.  Some late highlights:  Assange's mum in Australia passes along fresh quotes from prison on Monday, keep fighting he says, hits PayPal, Amazon, MasterCard.... Assange may win bail ruling tomorrow—but could remain held on appeal or via move by Swedes.  But a baroness has come to his side....Mike Calderone at Yahoo! with typically valuable and well-reported piece on new orgs and the Espionage Act—are they in danger and if not, why not?  With latest developments and commenary... Assange easily wins Time's reader poll for person of the year. Lady Gaga third, then Stewart and Colbert and Beck and so on. The mag's actual pick coming Wednesday early.

TODAY's LAFF

Warners Brothers has decided not to fight to stop this viral video, released Monday, that parodies their upcoming Yogi Bear film. Note disclaimer at start of this.

 

 TODAY's MUSIC

To welcome in the holidays, John C. Reilly and WIll Farrell offer their version of the classic TV moment when David Bowie joined Bing Crosby for a duet on "Little Drummer Boy."   

 

 
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BLOGGING THE WIKILEAKS for Monday, Day 16

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

10:15  Assange's mum in Australia passes along fresh quotes from prison on Monday, keep fighting he says, hits PayPal, Amazon, MasterCard.

7:30  Don Guttenplan at The Nation, who wrote a recent biography of the man, now weighs in with : What would I.F. Stone has thought of WikiLeaks? "I.F. Stone would have loved WikiLeaks. This is, after all, the man who wrote: 'Nothing makes life more interesting than outwitting censorship.'"

6:00 New from The Guardian:  Assange may win bail ruling tomorrow--but could remain held on appeal or via move by Swedes.   But a baroness has come to his side.

5:55 Mike Calderone at Yahoo! with typically valuable and well-reported piece on new orgs and the Espionage Act -- are they in danger and if not, why not?  With latest developments and commenary.

4:10  Assange easily wins TIME's reader poll for person of the year.  Lady Gaga third, then Stewart and Colbert and Beck and so on.  The mag's actual pick coming Wednesday early.

3:40  Jeff Stein at Wash Post notes Assange picking up "influential" legal backers in Jack Goldsmith and Stephen Walt.

3:30  Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic:  The Unknown Blogger Who Changed WikiLeaks Coverage.  Hint: He focused on Assange's past.

2:05 Lot of online backlash to Columbia J-School dean (and noted New Yorker, and elsewhere, writer) Nicholas Lemann comments in David Carr's NYT piece today.   Jay Rosen, Jeff Jarvis and others have slammed him.   Lemann said:  "People from the digital world are always saying we don't need journalists at all....." 

2:00  Glenn Greenwald of Salon quits board of civil liberties group CREW over its chief counsel hitting WikiLeaks in a Huff Post posting.

1:00 American University in D.C. with a forum on Jan. 11  on Wikileaks & the Espionage Act 

12:50  Dan Gillmor at Salon:  Journalists stand up for WikiLeaks!  But they're in Australia, not USA.

11:35  Interview with NYT's Scott Shane on his role in covering, and sort of working with, WikiLeaks.

11:30  PEN International's statement on WikiLeaks, includes one error on "editing." 

11:25  Bad news for the WikiLeaks-obsessed (You talkin' to me? You talkin' to ME?):  The Guardian's great blog devoted to this apparently cut back to one shift from two a day.   NYT's "The Lede" blog now doing nothing.  

11:10  Current tally:  1344 cables out of  251,287 released.    Still gold in them thar hills, or only fool's gold?

11:05  Just a conspiracy theory?  Here's detailed claim that Assange cut deal with Israel to cut its losses in cables in exchange for donations etc.   Yes, fully "circumstantial."

10:45  AP reports today UK government warned that pro-Wikileaks hacktavists may target them next.    Tied to his extradition hearing tomorrow.

10:15  John Vinocur with NYT piece from Paris on how the cables actually help view from abroad of USA.   Meanwhile, the Times' publishing few cables in past days. 

10:00  Cover of The Spectator as published in Assange homeland of Australia seems to show some national pride.  (h/t The Guardian's excellent Wiki blog)

9:45   Lengthy post at FireDogLake: U.S. Determination to Indict Assange Meant to Scare Press away from Future Leaks.   Plus "12 Theses on WikiLeaks" -- from Le Monde, of course.

9:40   If you missed yesterday, and now: WikiLeaks--The Game. Here's two you can play online.

9:35  From Mother Jones "Wikileaks, Rendition, and the CIA's Italian Job"  

9:30  Next Assange apperance in court: tomorrow.   The Independent profiles his new attorney in extradition fight.

9:20  CNN catches up to story I had yesterday, though still unconfirmed, re: Assange lawyer claiming grand jury meeting in Alexandria VA in attempt to haul in his client (his current home, left).

8:50  Good Guardian probe of Anonymous and wider group of hacktivists.  Meanwhile, Amazon denies its outages in Europe yesterday were caused by hackers, just a technical glitch, they say.

8:30  Well, it sounded plausible (which is scary enough): An MP back in Assange's Australia tweets about torturing him:  "Mr Assange should be aggressively interrogated until he reveals the location of the stolen cables, so they can be retrieved."  Later admits: "I accept that the stolen cables may be in "electronic" form and therefore not physical, retrievable objects. However, it's the principle."  But turns out it is a fake account.  

8:10    New at NYT:  How a Canadian company got targeted by WikiLeaks fans -- by accident.  Ouch.

8:00  WSJ:  Still confusion over the origin of those fake WikiLeaks covered by media in Pakistan.

7:50  David Carr's NYT column Has WikiLeaks changed journalism? Or more like journalism changing WikiLeaks? 

7:40  Some of Australia's top media figures, including owners, now throw support behind homeland lad's WikiLeaks.

7:35  The Guardian WikiLeaks blog notes: "Greg Mitchell for the Nation has spent the last 14 days live blogging WikiLeaks. He's taking a well-earned nap now but his weekend edition is the place to go to catch up on events in the last 48 hours.  Hats off to Greg for picking out these various weekend highlights."

7:30  Bloomberg report: Amazon denies Hack Attack caused brief shutdown of European sites. 

From last night:

Vatican responds to damaging cables carried by The Guardian. Calls them "unreliable" of course.....Words I thought I'd never write: CNN covers Donald Rumsfeld hitting WikiLeaks--on Facebook.  Well, he does have a book coming out.   ....  We earlier mentioned the Sir David Frost TV segment on WikiLeaks,  now here's the full 13-minute video....

CNN:  Rival OpenLeaks still set to launch tomorrow.....Australia's foreign minister promises to intervene to help Assange -- get laptop in prison... Assange attorney Mark Stephens says U.S. itchy to get hands on Assange and claims a grand jury has been secretly empaneled in Alexandria, VA for just that purpose.

 

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