2011-02-19 "This Week in WikiLeaks Podcast" on MENA Protests & WikiLeaks


The third episode of this weekly podcast, which looks at stories related to WikiLeaks from the past week, featured guest Michael K. Busch, who teaches international relations at the City College of New York, where he is also program coordinator at the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies. He has posted on blogs on released cables on WikiBlogged, and he is listed as a resource in the back of Greg Mitchell's recently published book, "Age of WikiLeaks," which you can purchase in print on Blurb.com or in e-book form off of Amazon. [Follow him on Twitter @michaelkbusch]

The program for this week's show was dedicated to protests and violence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The show will provide updates on what is happening in the region and discuss some released WikiLeaks cables that provide context for what is happening.

To hear the show, click play on this embedded widget:

This was the show's agenda.

1) Lies on Bala Baluk massacre [Aftenposten]

Six-year-old Nazanin was lucky to survive. According to NATO, U.S. and Western media was the death of her girlfriends, family members and neighbors Taliban fighters. Secret U.S. documents reveal the game behind closed doors about the massacre in Bala Baluk. UN special envoy Kai Eide, was tricked by the Americans to retain highly critical statements about the massacre.

Here is WL Central's coverage of the released cable.

2) Libya

Terror is unfolding. Many Libyans, at least the ones calling into CNN and Al Jazeera sound utterly terrified. The show will look at the latest updates on Libya. We talk about the 1996 mass prison killings known as the Abu Salim Massacre and cables on the brutal incident. And, we will use some key cables to discuss how Libyans have viewed the notion of change or reform in Libya.

3) Bahrain

Pearl Roundabout is the center of conflict in Bahrain. When protesters claim that area, the situation becomes upbeat and much more calm. But, when the government decides it cannot allow that area to be occupied, like it did days ago, violence ensues with ambushes from security forces and the country plunges into chaos. We talk about what's going on in Bahrain right now. We discuss cables like this one. We'll look at the Bahrain opposition briefly and what this report on Bahrain opposition receiving training from Hezbollah might mean. And, we get into the power that human rights organizations have over the government, as evidenced by cables on Human Rights Watch and torture.

4) Yemen

The situation in Yemen is also very tense and very violent. President Saleh maintains people with foreign agendas are influencing the protests in Yemen. He doesn't seem to understand that line didn't work for the Mubarak regime all too well. We talk about what is happening. And get into some of the cables related to Yemen.

5) How are WikiLeaks cables influencing the unfolding uprisings or revolutions?

We talk about the role of cables during the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia and how they are impacting events now. What does it mean that WikiLeaks put out what they said were "hundred revelations on Bahrain" last night as protests and violence was flaring up. What effect does the release have especially since news media can now use the cables in news reports?

Again, here is the widget to hear this week's episode:

You can also go here and download the file [be sure to select the latest one or the one at the top of the list of episodes as there are two versions].

You can also download the episode off of iTunes by searching for CMN News. The WikiLeaks podcast will appear.