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." 


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.

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