2013-07-07 Snowden's chances for asylum growing

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has now been offered asylum in three American countries: Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. He has applied for asylum in six additional countries, according to WikiLeaks. And his chances for reaching a safe haven are growing further because of US interference in the process, according to Michael Bochenek, director of law and policy at Amnesty International.

2012-12-10 President Correa of Ecuador says asylum possible for Syria's President Assad

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa stated in an interview this month that his government would consider granting political asylum to Syrian head-of-state Bashar al Assad. President Assad is reportedly mulling asylum for himself, his family members, and close associates, in the event that he is forced to flee Damascus as the bloody civil war in his country escalates.

Sources state that, in a bid to explore the possibility of asylum, Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister, Faisal al Miqdad, recently traveled to Ecuador, Venezuela, and Cuba, bearing letters from Assad to the President of each country.

Correa confirmed that Miqdad visited Quito in late November, but said that the purpose of the trip was to thank Correa's administration for its "objective stance" regarding the conflict in Syria. Both Ecuador's President and his Foreign Minister denied reports that Assad had requested political asylum. However, since then Correa has spoken out regarding the possibility of hosting Assad, saying:
"Any person that requests asylum in Ecuador, obviously we are going to consider as a human being whose basic rights we have to respect … Can we believe all those news stories on violence, the dictator? Let's remember what was said about Iraq."

2012-05-26 WikiLeaks News Update: Support events for Julian Assange; New motions in Manning hearing; Other news

WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 539 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 536 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 733 days.
A secret Grand Jury has been active in the U.S. without transparency for 619 days.

2011-09-04 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks


This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.

09:30 PM U.S. Embassy cables published by WikiLeaks regarding pharmaceutical drugs and the U.S. Government’s efforts to raise medicine prices in developing countries are the subject of a piece authored by James Love, where he also comments on media reaction to the publication of Cablegate2 by WikiLeaks:

While I join those who are greatly saddened by this lapse in security, and aware of the consequences, I am also shocked at the bitter attacks on WikiLeaks, which seem unbalanced, under the circumstances.

After reading these cables, it is difficult to stomach the defenses of US secrecy. Forcing developing countries to raise the price of drugs has predictable and well known consequences -- it kills people, and increases suffering. Many people could care less -- including reporters and editors of newspapers. How much of this ends up in the Washington Post, the New York Times or the Guardian these days? But others who do care now have more access to information, and more credibility in their criticisms of government policy, because of the disclosures of the cables.

09:00 PM Cables show that former Blackwater employees continued to work in Iraq after the firm was banned from the country following a shooting in 2007, during which guards hired by the company killed 17 Iraqi citizens.

2011-08-08 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks


This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.
- New Cable(s) were released today.

09:35 PM Bank of America ‘implodes’ after being sued by the American International Group (AIG) for $10 billion over an alleged "massive fraud" on mortgage debt.

WikiLeaks on the abrupt fall of BoA’s shares (via twitter):

"Did you know that VISA card used to be "Bank of AmeriCard"? That's the same Bank of America that looked at a $2M/month smear campaign

The same Bank of America, that admits to blocking, along with VISA any suspected donation to WikiLeaks from its customers and other banks.

The same Bank of America that formed an emergency team of people to clean up before a future WikiLeaks exposure of it.

The same Bank of America that has just now crashed 15%
Correction: Crashed 17.5%
Bank of America has now lost 50% of its value in the last year.
Bank of America trading closes -20.32%"

06:00 PM Alan Moore, author of V For Vendetta, releases statement in support of Bradley Manning:

2011-08-06 In Light of WikiLeaks Documents, U.S. Diplomats May See Opportunity in Chávez’s Illness

By Nikolas Kozloff

With a big question mark hanging over the health of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, many in Washington may see opportunity. Though Chávez initially claimed that he was merely suffering from a "pelvic abscess," the firebrand leader subsequently conceded that he had cancer. In a shock to the nation, Chávez announced that he had a tumor removed during a sojourn in Cuba, and that he would "continue battling."

Reporting over the past several weeks suggests that Chávez might be in worse shape than has been commonly let on. Though he returned to Venezuela after his operation in Cuba, Chávez recently announced that he would pay yet another visit to Cuba in order to undergo chemotherapy. The firebrand leader, however, still refuses to reveal what kind of cancer he has or its severity. Ominously, one medical source reported to Reuters that Chávez's cancer had spread to the rest of his body and was in an advanced stage.

It's unclear how the president's shaky health might factor in the nation's upcoming 2012 election. The populist leader, who has closely identified himself with the so-called "Bolivarian Revolution," has never shown much interest in grooming a successor within his own United Socialist Party of Venezuela or PSUV, and so if Chávez should falter it is easy to imagine a scenario in which much of his political project could unravel or be derailed by the right.

The Caracas Cables

Judging from U.S. State Department cables recently declassified by whistle-blowing outfit WikiLeaks, many American diplomats, including former ambassador in Caracas Charles Shapiro, would view this outcome as highly desirable. In 2004, two years after the Bush administration aided the rightist opposition in its short-lived coup attempt against Chávez, Shapiro sat down with Alí Rodríguez, the head of Venezuela's state-run oil company

2011-07-10 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks


This is a "WikiLeaks News Update," constantly updated throughout each day. The blog tracks stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks but also follows stories related to freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.

07:50 PM Useful links to better understand the upcoming extradition hearing : (-Extradition to the United States)

Previous coverage of the Assange case (scroll down).

Wikileaks action page, with Wikileaks events calendar up to date.

05:45 PM Pastors for Peace serve American medical students threats for Thanksgiving dinner :

In a cable published yesterday, founder of Cuban regime supporters Pastors for Peace is said to have threatened to pull the scholarships of U.S. medical students in Havana if they contacted the U.S. diplomatic mission on the island.

The student said that he suspects that the change in tone is the result of a letter that he recently wrote to the five Cuban spies currently incarcerated in the United States. The student says that after being repeatedly asked to write an encouraging letter to the five he decided to write a letter in which he attacked the Cuban government for holding political prisoners and asked the five to join him in demanding not only their own freedom, but also the freedom of all political prisoners in Cuba.

2011-06-26 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks


This is a "WikiLeaks News Update," constantly updated throughout each day. The blog tracks stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks but also follows stories related to freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, freedom of expression, and sometimes the national security establishment of the United States because each issue/topic helps one further understand WikiLeaks and vice versa. All the times are GMT.

17:35 PM The Chinese government has refused to comment on a U.S. State Department cable that reveals China’s ex-Finance Minister Jin Renqing was victim of a honeytrap by a woman believed to be a Taiwan intelligence operative. This situation preceded his sudden resignation in 2007.

15:20 PM Wikileaks' supporters organize events in London advocating Julian Assange’s freedom : a Free Assange, End The Wars public meeting is scheduled for the 9th of July, at the Giuseppe Conlon House and a video of a previous manifestation of support entitled Julian Assange Subterranean Homesick Blues can be seen on youtube :

2011-06-07 Interview with Omar Deghayes #Guantanamo

ImageOmar Deghayes was born the son of a prominent Libyan lawyer, an "opponent of the increasingly totalitarian Gaddafi" later taken away by the Libyan authorities and killed. After his father's death, Omar Deghayes settled with his family in Saltdean, Great Britian. As a British resident and student of law, Deghayes was imprisoned in Guantanamo for six years after he was abducted from Pakistan and sold for bounty to the United States military. As many of his interviews rightly point out, Mr. Deghayes lost an eye after it was gouged by a Guantanamo guard.

You were captured and detained between May 2002 and Dec 2007?

2007 May...April? Yes. I think. Probably May or April…yes.

Do you recall where you were held? Were you going from one camp to another? Do you remember those dates...?

No. It's going to be very difficult because when we were in the prisons in Guantanamo, we had no idea of dates or time.

It was difficult to...we didn't have any watches. We weren’t allowed to know dates or things...I think until 2005, when the lawyers started to come in…we started to have some idea of the dates.

And then after that I think 2006 we were allowed to know what time...they had time...a big clock hanging in some of the...not the cells...but in the middle in between the cells. So, it would be difficult to say which dates I was in which prison and so on...

Do you have a recollection of the places that you were actually held?

Yes. Yes. I do. Yes. Even though we weren't allowed to even know that. But we eventually did know where we are.

Where were you first?

I was first in Lahore. I was kept in Lahore prison for two months. And I think it was a maximum security in Lahore. Kind of a fortress, which is made special for, I think, terrorism cases and things like that. There are some Pakistani people there. And some Arabs.

2011-04-28 'Abdul Khadr' and other errors in the Guanatanamo files

The first Canadian Guantanamo file released was Omar Khadr, a much anticipated and very thin file that discussed the captured child's intelligence value as a son of a suspected Al Qaeda member and contributed nothing else of value or accuracy. (Except in this file, the 'medic' he was accused of killing in his trial is accurately described as a Special Forces soldier.)

The second widely anticipated Canadian file is that of 'Abdul Khadr', assumed to refer to Abdurahman Khadr, Omar's brother who has claimed he was in Guantanamo as a CIA plant. He was one of the ten detainees whose information was not included in the 2007 files published by the US Department of Defense under the Freedom of Information Act. Unfortunately the file does not match biographical details of any of the Khadr family (there are brothers Abdulkareem and Abdullah as well, but neither was ever in Guantanamo).

Jason Leopold, deputy managing editor of, tweeted "ive discovered that at least 1 of the photos in #Guantanamo files is not the detainee identified by military/govt. No idea who the person is"

So not only is all of the information about the suspects highly suspect, obtained from unreliable and tortured testimony and mistaken identities, some of the files are not even who they are labeled as.

2011-04-17 50th Anniversary of the Bay of Pigs Invasion: CIA Continues to Maintain Embargo on the 'Official History'

ImageThe National Security Archive has, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion, filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to force the release of the CIA's "Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation." The lawsuit charges the CIA has "wrongfully withheld" a multi-volume study the Archive requested in 2005 that is "the most important and substantive CIA-produced study of this episode."

Director of the Archive's Cuba Documentation Project Peter Kornbluh has called on the CIA to release the report under President Barack Obama's Executive Order 13526 , which states that "no information may remain classified indefinitely." (Of course, denying FOIA requests doesn't mean documents will be classified indefinitely. It just means they aren't getting released now.)

One might wonder, how long does this have to go on before someone goes ahead and declassifies the material? What is the government hiding? Is there any chance someone will just leak the report to WikiLeaks and end this travesty?

The Bay of Pigs invasion is an episode in US foreign policy that is considered to be a sham. Beyond that, it's unclear what has been learned from the incident.

2011-01-31 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

The Guardian: UK firm's partner 'wanted Peru to curb priests in mine conflict areas'

"BHP Billiton associate urged removal of teachers and clergy, according to leaked US embassy cables.

A mining company in Peru part-owned by a British FTSE 100 company agitated for the removal of teachers and Catholic bishops to new posts away from "conflictive mining communities", according to a leaked US cable obtained via WikiLeaks."

Read more

El País: Estados Unidos dibuja un panorama desolador de la sanidad en Cuba (The United States presents a devastating landscape of the Cuban public health system)

"Los mejores hospitales solo están al alcance de los extranjeros y de la élite política, según los despachos desde La Habana. (The best hospitals can only be reached by foreigners and the political elite, according with the [American] offices in Havana.)"

Read more (Spanish)

El País: Mubarak agitaba ante EE UU el miedo al caos y al islamismo para negarse al cambio (Mubarak talked in front of the United States his fear to chaos and islamism as an excuse to refuse change)

"'Presión no, pero estamos dispuestos a ser persuadidos', le dijo a un senador. ('There's no presure, but we could be persuaded', he said to an [American] senator.)"

Read more (Spanish)

2011-01-30 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

El País: Zelaya logró que Chávez y Castro firmaran una propuesta sin saber que era de EE UU (Zelaya influenced Chávez and Castro into signing a proposal without letting them know it was an American one)

"Según los cables del Departamento de Estado, Chávez reclamó a Honduras que dejara de considerar a las FARC como un grupo terrorista. (According with the cables of the American State Department, Chávez demanded to Honduras to stop calling FARC a terrorist group.)"

Read more (Spanish)

El País: EE UU retrata al presidente yemení totalmente alejado de la realidad (The United States says the Yemeni president is completely out of reality)

""Si le digo que el país tiene problemas, se enfada", confesó un parlamentario. ("If I tell him the country has problems, he gets upset", confessed a diplomat.)"

Read more (Spanish)

2011-01-25 Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani is sentenced to life in prison

The New York Times reported today on former Guantánamo Bay detainee Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani. On Tuesday, Ghailani was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for his role in the 1998 bombings of two US embassies in East Africa. Ghailani is the first former Guantánamo detainee to be tried in the civilian court system.

Lewis A. Kaplan of the US District Court wrote of the evidence that Ghailani had been acquitted of more than 280 charges of murder and conspiracy:

Mr. Ghailani knew and intended that people would be killed as a result of his own actions and the conspiracy he joined.

Mr. Ghailani, 36, was convicted on November 17 of a single count of conspiracy to destroy government buildings and property. After over two months of deliberation, judge Kaplan handed down the sentencing earlier today.

2011-01-22 WikiLeaks in today's media: Cablegate coverage

El País: EE UU retrata la corrupción en Cuba (The United States portraits corruption un Cuba)

"Sobornos, mordidas, comisiones ilegales, tráfico de influencias... Los informes detallan la generalización de prácticas corruptas en un sistema asediado por la penuria. (Bribes, illegal committees, trafic of influences... The informs detail the generalized corruption in a system chased by poverty.)"

Read more (Spanish)

El País: [Cables:] "La Iglesia ha capitulado" ([Cables:] "The church has capitulated")

"EE UU dibuja una jerarquía resignada a las concesiones del régimen castrista. La Iglesia católica ha renunciado al activismo político en Cuba, e incluso optó por distanciarse de los disidentes católicos, a cambio de que el régimen le permita mantener un espacio para el culto y pueda reconstruir su infraestructura en templos y seminarios. (The United States portraits a hierarchy surrendered to the Castro regime conditions. The Catholic Church has quit the political activism in Cuba and even has chosen to take distance from the catholic dissidents, in exchange for a free spot to worship and infrastructure for temples and seminaries allowed by the Castro regime.)"

Read more (Spanish)

2011-01-03 US Dep't of State Internet Freedom Programs

The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) and the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA) are looking for organizations interested in submitting proposals for projects that support what the document terms 'internet freedom'. Specifically, they have US$30 million for

projects that will foster freedom of expression and the free flow of information on the Internet and other connection technologies in East Asia, including China and Burma; the Near East, including Iran; Southeast Asia; the South Caucasus; Eurasia, including Russia; Central Asia; Latin America, including Cuba and Venezuela; and Africa. Programming may support activities in Farsi, Chinese, Russian, Burmese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic, French, and other languages spoken in acutely hostile Internet environments.

The State Department's previous attempts at promoting 'internet freedom' met with a lack of success, according to Foreign Policy because "By aligning themselves with Internet companies and organizations, Clinton's digital diplomats have convinced their enemies abroad that Internet freedom is another Trojan horse for American imperialism." The statement from the link above: "DRL and NEA support programs ... in countries and regions of the world that are geo-strategically important to the United States." may have helped convince their enemies. They will have the opportunity to disprove that idea when all of the following technology is turned in all other directions, as history shows it will be. Always assuming any of the new projects work better than, for instance, Haystack.

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