Her body of work includes: "My Country, My Country", about the U.S. invasion of Iraq; "The Oath", about two Yemeni men caught up in America’s "War on Terror"; and her current work in progress detailing the U.S. surveillance state in post 9/11 America.
Woven through the museum were interactive installations by Stimulate, and two mysterious portraits of of Julian Assange, the editor of WikiLeaks, who has been under house-arrest in Great Britian for 501 days without charge.
In 2006, the Polish military Secret Service (WSI) was restructured. The negotiations leading up to this drastic move triggered a number of US diplomatic dispatches. Most of these summarize public speeches by leading Polish politicians. The selection of material included in these dispatches is in itself telling. Most remarkable, however, is a casual comment by embassy staff in an unclassified cable (06WARSAW1171, emphasis by editor):
"On June 9, President Lech Kaczynski signed into law three bills that will liquidate Poland's existing Military Information Services (WSI) on September 30, 2006 in order to create two new services on October 1, 2006, the Military Intelligence Service (SWW) and the Military Counterintelligence Service (SKW). The laws were a centerpiece of PiS's campaign promise to eliminate the vestiges of communism and corruption from Polish military intelligence. The laws do not appear to eliminate any existing military intelligence functions and so Post sees no reason to fear disruption of any ongoing cooperation with Polish military intelligence."
Polish daily Rzeczpospolita reported in 2009 that such a collaboration in fact existed - up to 2005. The article is based on numerous sources with inside knowledge.
This article contains a number of interesting claims:
- A number of the agents delegated to the CIA went through an old fashioned USSR training. Some did not even have good English language proficiency. They would not be associated with the US.
- These agents had an excellent expertize in the Near and Middle East. They were paid for their work.
"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" This familiar philosophical question came to my mind in response to a friend's challenge of my support for WikiLeaks and call for investigation into the recent shooting of a black teen in Florida. She said, "How do you know what the truth is? How do you know that George Zimmerman didn't act in self-defense? How do you know that Julian Assange didn't sexually assault women in Scandinavia? ... Unless you get on an airplane, go the scene of the action, and see for yourself, you can't be absolutely certain. You can check and crosscheck multiple different sources and you can draw reasonable inferences, but you still have to inject a certain amount of faith unless you conduct your own personal investigation".
It is true. We were not there at the moment of Trayvon Martin's death. Someone pulled the trigger and as a result the young man was dead. At the moment of his death, the neighbor's 911 call recorded someone crying for help. Someone was being threatened. Was it Zimmerman or Martin? We don't know if this was a murder or an act of self defense by Zimmerman. When the tree fell down, we were not in the woods to hear it.
Later I contemplated my friend's perspective and realized how it represents a psychological condition prevalent in American society. It is a kind of social disease, which perhaps explains the public silence around many problems in the world. This is a kind of belief system that says; I wasn't there. I don't know the truth, so I withhold judgment and remain aloof.
Julian Assange has now been detained for 500 days without charge. This includes the 10 days he spent in solitary confinement on top of the 490 days he's spent electronically tagged under house arrest. After all this time the media is still spreading the same falsities about his case and people continue to attack him with the same misconceptions as they were a year and a half ago.
In an emotional ABC radio interview today, Christine Assange, mother of WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange, has demanded the resignation of Australian Attorney General Nicola Roxon.
The demand came after Ms Roxon appeared with other panelists, including WikiLeaks lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC, on an Australian political TV show, "Q And A", on Monday 16th April 2012.
Christine Assange says Ms Roxon "has just point blank unblinkingly lied to the Australian people all the way through that Q And A session."
Ms Roxon's appearance on the show was eagerly awaited because since December 2010 there has been almost complete silence on Assange and WikiLeaks from both major Australian political parties. Radio presenter Phil Kafcaloudes replayed the following segment from the Q and A show:
Roxon: "There isn't something at the moment where we can intervene. We've made representations about proper processes, we've done all of the things that you should. He is not in a country that has doesn't have a legal system that operates properly. Ah, even I, as I said at the beginning, think it's an odd process, that you can keep someone detained for this period of time without there being a charge -"
Host: "Have you protested about that?"
Roxon: "We have made our views very clearly known to the - "
Robertson: "Not to the Australian public you haven't."
Roxon: "- to the Americans. Well, I'm here doing an interview today. This is a very public thing to be doing."
Robertson: "Good. What have you said to the Americans?"
Roxon: "Well we've said lots of things to the Americans."
I am indebted to Glenn Greenwald who posted an article here on the Tarek Mehanna case.
Greenwald outlines the case:
Tarek Mehanna, an American Muslim, was convicted this week in a federal court in Boston and then sentenced yesterday to 17 years in prison. He was found guilty of supporting Al Qaeda (by virtue of translating Terrorists’ documents into English and expressing “sympathetic views” to the group) as well as conspiring to “murder” U.S. soldiers in Iraq (i.e., to wage war against an invading army perpetrating an aggressive attack on a Muslim nation)
In a link by Greenwald to Julia Spitz of MetroWest Daily News, further details emerge:
He was a 'serious young man' who wanted to 'exemplify Islam,' said the judge, but became consumed by a fervor that led him to support al Qaeda by translating materials from Arabic into English and 'proselytizing' to recruit others to embrace his views.
Embrace his views or incite others to violence? (one might ask). As I wrote here, about incitement on the subject of certain Americans inciting others to kill Julian Assange:
There is no automatic 1st Amendment protection per Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969):
Freedoms of speech and press do not permit a State to forbid advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action
The long awaited television series 'The World Tomorrow' hosted by Julian Assange will begin airing worldwide this coming Tuesday 17 April at 15:30 Moscow time on both cable TV and online. The news has been meet with considerable speculation as to who Assange's mystery guests will be and has also been met with the now familiar 'Kremlin mouthpiece' dismissal from the mainstream media.
From late 2002 on, the CIA showed a sudden interest in a remote part of the Masovian countryside. Apart from its beautiful lakes and low population density, this area is only known for hosting a large military installation, containing a training center of the Secret Service. It consists of a cluster of several buildings, and a stretch of woods, which is enclosed by high barbed wire fences. From a distance, antennas can be seen overtowering the trees. An aerial photograph shows several clearings forming symmetrical patterns.
Over the years, a number of news outlets and other organizations have published evidence and witness accounts shedding light on these activities. They present a disturbing narrative:
- The CIA operated a covert flight network on European soil. (Council of Europe report)
- These flights were operated by subcontractors. A recent legal dispute over expenses exposed a wealth of information to the public. (Washington Post)
- Szymany air traffic control logged the CIA flights, but added a remark that flight plans were issued for Warsaw airport. (Rzeczpospolita)
- High ranking Polish border patrol traveled from Warsaw to Szymany to process the CIA flights, even though Szymany airport had own staff. (Airport staff member Mariola Przewlocka interviewed by the Guardian)
WikiLeaks News (Releases):
Authored by @Nicsha
If you spend five minutes watching commercial television or flicking through a mainstream magazine, you would think spending money is not only our birthright, but a move that is encouraged and welcomed.
We can buy almost anything from anywhere. We have the freedom to invest, bank online, and support innumerable charities and organisations across the globe; whether it's helping to protect animals, join the fight against cancer, advocate human rights or even speaking out to save a lake.
Unless of course, you are WikiLeaks.
Most people probably know that from the 7th of December 2010 (just after WikiLeaks began publishing the US diplomatic cables), MasterCard, Visa, Bank of America, PayPal and Western Union decided to stop their customers from making donations to WikiLeaks.
No longer contented with their own business, the major banks have launched a covert mission to invade ours by means of a financial blockade that prevents us from using their products towards causes we support.
What right does a company or foreign Government have to tell me, an Australian citizen, about how to spend my money? And, on what criteria do the bank and credit card companies determine who will be blockaded?
While many may have thought the financial blockade would only last a few weeks,almost eighteen months have passed and donations to WikiLeaks have dropped by 95 per cent, according to their estimates. In July 2011, WikiLeaks lodged a complaint with the European Commission for infringement of the EU Anti Trust Laws. We are still waiting for their decision.
After a public forum on WikiLeaks, Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam made the following comment:
The Australian Government has done the absolute bare minimum above stuff-all to help this Australian citizen in trouble. […] They've attempted to block and delay Freedom of Information requests, they haven't answered straight questions, they've voted against motions, and to me it's starting to look not like indifference but like hostility.
This hostility from the Australian Government is becoming more and more apparent, especially as Julian Assange awaits the UK Supreme Court's decision on whether he'll be extradited to Sweden. Not only is the Government offering little support to its citizen, but it is making derogatory and false remarks against the WikiLeaks organization, refusing to offer timely release of relevant information, and passing new laws which make it difficult for WikiLeaks to continue operating legally and raise safety concerns for its founder.
James Madison once said, "Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives". Madison recognized that accurate knowledge is essential for each person to take charge of their own lives. With the explosive growth of social media like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, we now have access to more information than any other time in the history of this planet. Through the Internet, pictures, news and ideas travel around the globe like the speed of light. Social networks are creating avenues of free communication that move beyond centralized systems of information distribution.
WikiLeaks's chief editor, Julian Assange pointed to Madison's idea that pertinent information is critical for the public to perform as a check and balance to those in power. Elsewhere he spoke of how concealed information has the greatest potential for just reform because those who hide it spend a lot of energy and resources in that concealment for a reason. He pointed out that this signal of suppression is a sign of opportunity and that exposing this information could lead to reform. The online collective Anonymous is also standing up for freedom of speech and assembly and for the conviction that public control of the flow of information is essential for any society to guard against the inevitability of corruption.
PM Donald Tusk has now commented on the investigation into the CIA black site in Stare Kiejkuty. According to news agency PAP, he is constantly in touch with President Bronisław Komorowski and General Prosecutor Andrzej Seremet regarding the matter.
He added that the prosecutors investigating the case were "not released from their obvious duty of care for the interests of the country."
He also said: "As far as it is possible for the government, we will be trying to prevent any negative consequences of the investigation and the elucidation of the case, but it will come to light. Nobody can prevent this, neither in Poland nor on the other side of the ocean."
In further remarks, he warned all those working on the case not to leak, to be imprecise or overzealous.
The case was moved to a different jurisdiction, after the former head of the Secret Service, Zbigniew Siemiątkowski, had been interrogated under caution, and accused of crimes against humanity.
Siemiątkowski is currently serving a three year suspended sentence for an unrelated case. He has another previous conviction, and currently works a lecturer at Warsaw University.
Previous coverage of the case.
Council of Europe report on the complicity of European countries in CIA rendition.
Photos of Stare Kiejkuty, including the secluded building in the woods.
This article is solely based on publicly available information. The author of this article is not and never has been affiliated with WikiLeaks, and does not have, and never had inside information on their operations. The article reflects the views of the author only.
The former head of the Polish Secret Service, Zbigniew Siemiątkowski, is accused of false imprisonment and corporeal punishment of prisoners of war in breech of international law, Gazeta Wyborcza and Polish state broadcaster TVP report. These accusations were made by Warsaw prosecutors on the 10th of January 2012. For unknown reasons, the case was moved from Warsaw to Krakow a few days later.
Siemiątkowski remains silent, and indicated that he would do so in the future, to protect the safety of the country.
Based on three sources within the prosecution and the Secret Service, the news outlets report that these accusations were made after the Secret Service revealed their files regarding their collaboration with the CIA during the first years of the war on terror to the prosecutors at the end of 2011.
It has been alleged that the Polish Secret Service made a building on the grounds of their training camp in a remote part of Masovia available to the CIA. The existence of such a camp is supported by flight logs of a nearby airport, which are publicly available, listing CIA flights.
Siemiątkowski now is a lecturer at the institute of Political Studies and Journalism of prestigious Warsaw University. He teaches history of political thought.
For our previous extensive coverage of the case, please see this link.