United States

2012-01-01 #WikiLeaks News: A New Year’s Message; Updated Events & Support Campaigns; Other News



Manning is a political prisoner who worked for a better world. - Kristinn Hrafnsson



This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.

2011 ended with the alarming approval of the National Defense Authorization Act by the US Congress, which places ultimate authority on the President of the United States to decide on the indefinite military detention of terrorism suspects worldwide. The bill was signed on New Year’s Eve, its strategic timing reminiscent of the date set for Bradley Manning’s pre-trial hearing, which also took place during last year’s holiday season.

As of the 1st of 2012:

WikiLeaks: 394 days of banking blockade - no process
Assange: 391 days of detainment without charge
Manning: 588 days in military jail without trial trial

2011-12-28 Redefining Power; Revolution in the WikiLeaks Era

Image

Original Image - infobarrel.com
Modified by idlewild606

In mid-September, Occupy Wall Street began in downtown Manhattan. For over a century, Wall Street has represented wealth and political power. Now, the streets of the financial district that only months before gleamed with the facade of enduring capitalism were flooded by ‘occupiers’, revealing the truth behind the broken promises of equal opportunity and corrupt excess of corporate America.

Here were people from all walks of life, foreclosed and unemployed, students with debts and those who struggle with a pay-or-die medical system. As the people marched with a mixture of jubilation and outrage against the plutocratic takeover of power, the glorified spectacle of the American Dream crumbled in the background.

No one can deny that the Occupy Movement struck a chord with the rank and file of America as it quickly spread nationwide. A couple months in, students at UC Berkeley pitched tents on the Mario Savio steps in front of Sproul Hall. When UC police came to dismantle the tents, students linked arms, standing up for their right to freely express themselves. Facing them, armed police violently jabbed them with sticks. This contrast became obvious to the world immediately as the YouTube video of the police attack went viral.

2011-12-26 Oltman in secret highlevel Quantico meeting re #Manning's illegal pretrial confinement

ImageThis month new and incriminating details have come to light about a secret meeting of high-level Quantico officials that took place on January 13, 2011, resulting in Manning's illegal punitive pretrial confinement.

On March 2, 2011, PFC Bradley Manning, then confined under Maximum custody and Prevention of Injury Watch (POI) at Quantico, where he had been since July 29, 2010, was told that his Article 138 request to be placed under Medium custody and removed from harsh and punitive pretrial confinement was denied by Daniel J. Choike, Quantico base commander (pictured at the left).

The continued placement of Manning under such terms and conditions, indeed the exacerbation of his illegal pretrial confinement in March, when he was stripped every evening and forced to stand at attention naked every morning until his unexpected transfer to Fort Leavenworth on April 20, 2011, happened despite numerous cited evaluations by brig personnel, including brig psychiatrists, who recommended his removal from Maximum Custody and POI Status.

Defense had filed the original Article 138 request on January 19, 2011, one day after Manning was placed under "suicide risk", which resulted in his remaining in his cell for 24 hours a day and being stripped of all clothing with the exception of his underwear. His eyeglasses were also removed, which left him, as he describes in "total blindness". According to defense documents, the stripping and interrogation that Manning endured was videotaped by the Quantico facility.

2011-12-18 Handwritten transcript of Bradley #Manning Pretrial Day 3 #WikiLeaks

*Myself pictured with Daniel Choi on December 18, 2011. Choi was also in attendance at Fort Meade, MD. You can hear him describe the abuse he experienced at Fort Meade, MD on December 19, 2021 on democracynow.org. He was reportedly thrown to the ground, handcuffed, had his rank ripped off his unifom, and was forcibly ejected from the pretrial proceedings.

I sat next to or near Daniel Choi in the courtroom on both Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. I only saw Daniel Choi behaving in a respectful manner during the proceedings or while the court was at recess - both in the gallery or on the premises. The Federal Police Officers began watching the public in attendance more overtly - even hanging around to watch us outside the security perimeter of the courthouse - when Daniel Choi showed up on Saturday.

Unlike Friday all day, and Saturday morning, when Daniel Choi was not in the public gallery, Bradley Manning exited with armed soldiers through the public gallery when recesses were called or at the end of the day.

Starting Saturday afternoon - after Daniel Choi showed up - the public was told to leave the gallery before the guards would even move Bradley Manning, or Bradley Manning was exited through the back.

In fact, after the morning's proceedings on December 18, 2011, I moved to a back row on the defense side of the gallery, and away from Daniel and the others who were talking at a recess. I did this in order to collect myself for the task of transcription.

2011-12-22 Summary: PFC Bradley Manning Pre-Trial Hearing Day 6

Image (PFC Bradley Manning stepping out of a security vehicle outside a courthouse in Fort Meade, MD. Photo: AP/Patrick Semansky)

Bradley Manning’s pre-trial hearing began at 9:00 AM on Friday, December 16. It must be noted that this is not a trial but a hearing to decide whether or not there are reasonable grounds to charge PFC Manning and continue with a court-martial hearing. That being said, there will be no “guilty” or “not guilty” verdict at the end of these hearings. Journalists who were allowed to sit in on the hearings were warned of “regular blackouts” while the court went in to private session.

There are a total of 34 counts against PFC Manning, the most serious of which is UCMJ Article 104, “Aiding the Enemy.”

Defense: Mr David Coombs, Major Matthew Kemkes, Captain Paul Bouchard
Prosecution: Captain Ashden Fein, Captain Joe Morrow, Captain Angel Overgaard
Investigative Officer: Lieutenant Colonel Paul Almanza



Day 6:

Today was the first day the defense got to call witnesses. The first day was spent debating whether the IO was suited for the hearing, and the following four days consisted of the prosecution calling their witnesses.

Defense Witness Testimony: Sergeant Daniel Padgett

SGT Daniel Padgett worked in the SCIF with PFC Manning. He was tasked to be the Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCIOC), even though he had no formal training and was not an NCO at the time.

2011-12-17 Handwritten transcript of Bradley #Manning Pretrial Day 2 #WikiLeaks

Image*Image by Michael Barczynski, artist and occupy participant, who allowed me to publish his sketches of the court proceedings.

These 37 pages of typed transcription were taken by hand, and may contain errors, misspellings of names, and or may be incomplete.

  • The Investigation Officer is Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, an Army Reserve lieutenant colonel and Justice Department prosecutor.
  • Prosecution is Captain Ashden Fein, Captain Joe Morrow, and Captain Angel Overgaard,
  • Defense is Mr. David Coombs,, Major Matthew Kemkes, and Captain Paul Bouchard. ,

There were around 500 protesters outside the gates of Fort Meade on Saturday, Dec 17, 2011. #Occupy Wall Street had sent down a bus, and there were two bus loads from #Occupy in DC, both Freedom Plaza and McPherson. In addition Veterans for Peace were present at the rally and members of the Bradley Manning Support network. Individuals were represented from all over the country, and even the world.

I arrived at Fort Meade, Maryland at 1:20 p.m. and rushed into the theater just as defense was questioning the day's second witness, Special Agent Calder Robinson's testimony, via telephone from Germany.

After his testimony a recess was called and I conferred with four individuals about the morning's proceedings and the first witness that day, Special Agent Toni Graham.

2011-12-21 Summary: PFC Bradley Manning Pre-Trial Hearing Day 5

Bradley Manning's pre-trial hearing began at 9:00 AM Friday, December 16. It must be noted this is not a trial but a hearing to decide whether there are reasonable grounds to charge Manning and continue with a court-martial hearing. That being said, there will be no "guilty" or "not guilty" verdict at the end of these hearings. Journalists allowed to sit in on the hearings were warned of "regular blackouts" while the court went in to private session.

There are a total of 34 counts against PFC Manning, the most serious of which is UCMJ Article 104, "Aiding the Enemy."

Defense: Mr David Coombs, Major Matthew Kemkes, Captain Paul Bouchard
Prosecution: Captain Ashden Fein, Captain Joe Morrow, Captain Angel Overgaard
Investigative Officer: Lieutenant Colonel Paul Almanza

Day 5:

Today was the prosecution's final day to call witnesses.

Prosecution Witness Testimony: Jirhleah Showman

Jirhleah Showman was a fellow intelligence analyst of PFC Manning's, but has been out of the Army since July 2011. She testified over the telephone.

Showman testified about FSE Milliman having to fix PFC Maning's computer at least twice a week. When asked about her and PFC Manning's training, she said they learned "how to be an all-source analyst, how to handle, disseminate, and destroy classified information and what impact improper dissemination of classified information would have on the country."

2011-12-20 Summary: PFC Bradley Manning Pre-Trial Hearing Day 4

Bradley Manning’s pre-trial hearing began at 9:00 AM on Friday, December 16 and it is expected to continue until December 23. It must be noted that this is not a trial but a hearing to decide whether or not there are reasonable grounds to charge PFC Manning and continue with a court-martial hearing. That being said, there will be no “guilty” or “not guilty” verdict at the end of these hearings. Journalists who were allowed to sit in on the hearings were warned of “regular blackouts” while the court went in to private session.

There are a total of 34 counts against PFC Manning, the most serious of which is UCMJ Article 104, “Aiding the Enemy.”

Defense: Mr David Coombs, Major Matthew Kemkes, Captain Paul Bouchard
Prosecution: Captain Ashden Fein, Captain Joe Morrow, Captain Angel Overgaard
Investigative Officer: Lieutenant Colonel Paul Almanza

Image (Bradley Manning being escorted from a military vehicle at Ft. Meade, MD. Photo: AP/Patrick Semansky)

Day 4:

At the end of yesterday’s hearing, LTC Almanza permitted the Government’s request to remove journalists and members of the public from viewing portions of today’s hearing. Coombs’ objected to this, but no further action was taken.

Today’s hearing did not resume at the scheduled 9AM, due to meetings with LTC Almanza and the prosecution and defense.

Prosecution Witness Testimony: Special Agent David Shaver

Shaver had testified yesterday about searching PFC Manning’s computers and was cross-examined by the defense today.

2011-12-20 Is #NDAA the Ultimate Power for the 1% and the Death Knell of the Bill of Rights?

Image

Image Credit-shass.mit.edu

(Updated on Jan 1, 2012)

The Occupy movement that spread around the US just marked its 3-month anniversary. The movement was first ignored by the mainstream media, then ridiculed. Over time, with the spreading police crackdowns, it is beginning to reveal the true state of America.

For those who identify themselves as the 99%, this movement has come to represent a reclaiming of the public space, a renewal of community and a resurgence of intrinsic citizen power. At the same time, government and police reactions reflect the very struggles that many working class Americans have been experiencing. For instance, the police eviction of camps is just what police have been doing for the banks, evicting millions of homeowners from their houses through legal fraud. From Liberty Square to Bradley Manning Plaza in San Francisco, brazen police attacks against people gathering peacefully have signaled the position of the current government on the direct democracy that has begun to emerge on the streets.

Peaceful protesters in Occupy camps and marches were met with extreme police crackdowns. From students in Denver, to an elderly woman in Seattle, from Oakland to Houston, people were pepper sprayed, physically assaulted and arrested without reason. These violent scenes can make one for a moment wonder if this can happen in the US.

2011-12-16 Handwritten Transcript of Bradley #Manning's Pretrial Hearing Day 1 #WikiLeaks

*The arrow indicates the Federal Officer who escorted me to the courthouse, and told me he was in charge of the event. The picture comes from cryptome.org

I arrived at Fort Meade, Maryland before the Visitor Control Center was open, around 6 am. I drove right up to the vehicle inspection center, and was granted entry after they had me open every door, trunk and hood, and show them my license and registration.

One of the soldiers inspecting my vehicle did not know what I was talking about when I asked him where Bradley Manning's pretrial was being held. Another stepped in and directed me.

Arriving near the courthouse, I saw an MP walking a bomb-sniffing dog through the wooded area behind the courthouse building. A bit later I approached him, and asked him where I needed to be as a member of the public to gain access to Bradley Manning's trial. He said he didn't know. He took my Passport and walked over to an SUV to make a phone call.

Soon after another SUV with four soldiers pulled up and approached me. A female soldier directed me to a theater and told me it would open at 7am.

Metal barricades, like the kind the NYPD use for crowd control, lined the theater and the courthouse, two small one-story western style brick buildings that look like a grammar school and a small town church.

At the theater the barricades were arranged like a gerbil maze, and suggested they expected long lines. I asked a soldier if I could take in pen and paper, he had to check, "because they could be considered a 'recording device'", using his fingers to make air quotes.

2011-12-19 Summary of PFC Bradley Manning’s Pre-Trial Hearing, Dec 16-18

Bradley Manning's pre-trial hearing began at 9:00 AM on Friday, December 16 and it is expected to continue until December 23. It must be noted that this is not a trial but a hearing to decide whether or not there are reasonable grounds to charge PFC Manning and continue with a court-martial hearing. That being said, there will be no "guilty" or "not guilty" verdict at the end of these hearings. Journalists who were allowed to sit in on the hearings were warned of "regular blackouts" while the court went in to private session.

There are a total of 34 counts against PFC Manning, the most serious of which is UCMJ Article 104, "Aiding the Enemy."

Defense: Mr David Coombs, Major Matthew Kemkes, Captain Paul Bouchard
Prosecution: Captain Ashden Fein, Captain Joe Morrow, Captain Angel Overgaard
Investigative Officer: Lieutenant Colonel Paul Amanza

Day One:

Early into the first day of hearings, PFC Manning's defense lawyer David Coombs
filed a motion requesting that LTC Paul Almanza, the presiding investigative officer, recuse himself. Mr Coombs listed four reasons for this request:

  1. He has served as a prosecutor under the Department of Justice since 2002, which is currently involved in an ongoing investigation into WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.
  2. The government had all its 20 requested witnesses granted, while only 12 of the defense's 48 requested witnesses were granted, 10 of them also being on the government's list.

2011-12-11 Bradley Manning: Hearing the Word of the Prophets

Image

Image Credit - alliance.rationalreview.com

Prophets have existed since ancient times. Religions and cultural traditions from time immemorial have acknowledged their existence. Traditionally, prophets were seen as those who play a role of forecasting epochal change in society through their messages and insight.

In moments of crisis, people look for prophets. With expanding environmental degradation, political corruption and deepening economic turmoil, where can we find prophets in this modern age of crisis?

Many regard prophets as those who see the future and receive a vision. Yet, there is more to acting prophetically than this.

Prophets can be found in unexpected places. In a combat zone, where life and death converge, one can be closest to the threshold between past and future. The acts of war resisters, veterans and soldiers who from out of their moral convictions choose not to carry on killing or support war can be seen as prophetic.

There are soldiers who refused to be deployed as a result of a moral awakening. They stand at a threshold between a certain reality and the potential to transform it. It is like the voice of Dr. King was speaking to the core of their being when he said:

Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but because conscience tells one it is right.

2011-12-03 The CIA and Mossad: a murderous alliance

ImageLast week's arrests of a dozen alleged CIA agents in Iran threw a spotlight on long-standing, covert U.S.-Israeli actions in the Islamic republic -- including purported involvement by the CIA and Mossad in the recent killings of Iranian nuclear scientists. Though enduring, the collaboration between Western and Israeli intelligence agencies in intelligence and assassination operations reveals a relationship of cooperation and distrust.

The Mossad (Hebrew for "institution") is Israel's main intelligence agency. According to the Global Security site, Mossad also oversees "covert action and counterterrorism"; its operations are widely held to include targeted killings. At the time of its founding, the Mossad's motto was the biblical quote "By way of deception thou shalt make war." The motto was later changed to a different Proverbs passage: "Where no counsel is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety." Sources refer variously to the Mossad's international assassination unit as "Metsada," "Caesarea," or "Kidon" ("Kidon" is Hebrew for "bayonet"). Rafi Eitan, a former director of Mossad operations, compared its assassins to "the official hangman or the doctor on Death Row who administers the lethal injection. We are simply fulfilling a sentence sanctioned by the prime minister of the day."

2011-12-03 #WikiLeaks News: Urgent Action for Julian Assange; Updates on Bradley Manning case; December Events Calendar



[WikiLeaks] has shown a courageous and controversial commitment to the finest traditions of journalism: justice through transparency. - Walkley Foundation



This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.


It is urgent to take action to prevent Julian Assange’s extradition to Sweden, which would increase the possibility of an extradition to and indefinite detention in the United States.
Please contact your MP today.

Julian Assange’s next hearing will be on December 5 (Monday), as an historic debate on extradition reform in the UK takes place. This debate could affect the likelihood of a Supreme Court appeal against his extradition. In order for this to happen, the High Court of London must first consider his appeal to be of general public importance, as such, your support truly is crucial. Please take action today!

If you can be in London, be sure to also make it to the Demo planned outside the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday, starting at 8:30AM.



............................................

2011-11-30 #OccupyLA - Day 60: The Eviction

Occupy Los Angeles was raided last night by the LAPD. By the time of the General Assembly at 7:30pm everyone knew that the promised eviction of the encampment around Los Angeles City Hall was coming that night.. Even during the GA and after city cops circulated among the occupiers and their supporters, over a thousand people had responded to the call to come out and support the occupation. Many voiced their willingness to be arrested.

The protesters moved out into the streets around city hall, as they had done Sunday night, as the police blocked off the streets and formed a encirclement of city hall designed to keep move arriving protesters from joining those already there. Twitter and the [occupy la] listserv were alive with information about alternate routes still open to city hall, such as thorough little Tokyo, or an alley near Temple.

The encirclement of the protesters deepened as hundreds of cops in riot gear arrive on buses from their staging area at Dodger Stadium but the raid began in earnest in a move that surprised everyone. Hundred of cops in riot gear that must have been prepositioned , or moved in via the tunnels connecting city hall to neighboring buildings`, came storming out of city hall and down the steps.

2011-11-26 #WikiLeaks News: WikiLeaks to enter New Phase; New Upcoming WikiLeaks Events; Other Updates



I believe that there are extreme "public interest" grounds, given that the case is entirely political. (…) This is a very important issue, not just for me personally because Julian is my son, but for the future of democracy. - Christine Assange



This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.


WikiLeaks released a very important announcement today: a press conference will take place in central London, on the 1st December, where WikiLeaks will address the postponed launch of a new state-of-the-art secure submission system and expose serious threats to the Privacy of journalists, sources, human rights activists and others.


"On December 1st, WikiLeaks will host a press conference which will expose extraordinary privacy threats to journalists, sources and others as well as launch a new phase for WikiLeaks, just over a year after the Cablegate release.", the Statement reads.

"WikiLeaks is building a state-of-the-art secure submission system. Constructing the system is very complex. Due to the deteriorating state of internet security which directly impacts the ability of sources to communicate with journalists and human rights activists securely, WikiLeaks has decided to postpone the launch initially scheduled for Monday 28th 2011 in the interest of source protection. WikiLeaks' new public electronic drop box is substantially more advanced than its predecessor.

2011-11-26 Occupy Movement, Birth of the Ordinary Hero #OWS

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) began in September and quickly spread, becoming a unifying force worldwide. This movement was initially ignored and ridiculed by the US corporate media. Yet as it grew, it became harder to ignore. Repeated police brutality against peaceful protesters has pulled the Occupy Movement even more into the limelight and galvanized support for it.

A powerful contrast emerged between the militarized police violence and the occupiers’ courage and commitment to peaceful action. As the excessive force on peaceful citizens increased, instant YouTube videos capturing blatant abuses of power with chemical agents and truncheons went viral. The scenes displayed the violence, yet at the same time revealed the strength of ordinary people. Is the Occupy Movement creating a new kind of leader? Perhaps what we are seeing is a birth of the ordinary hero. They are everyday people, young, old, foreclosed, students and unemployed, showing how each of us can become our own leaders. Here are some of the faces and stories of these ordinary heroes:

Kettled and Sprayed

Occupy Wall Street was in its second week when a group started to march from Zuccotti park to Union Square. Two women were kettled in an orange net and maced by NYPD. This disturbing scene was caught on tape, uploaded onto YouTube and widely circulated. Just as the iconic photo of a little girl running from the napalm was a catharsis moment for the Vietnam anti-war movement during the 60’s, similarly this video of two women kept in a cage became symbolic, showing the police working for the 1% and brought public attention to the abuse of power and strengthened the movement.

We Are All Scott Olsen

2011-11-25 Help Stop the Eviction of Occupy Los Angeles on Monday!

Mayor Villaraigosa & Police Chief Charlie Beck announced today at a afternoon press conference that the LAPD would forcefully throw Occupy Los Angeles off of the park areas surrounding Los Angeles City Hall Monday, November 28th at 12:01am. This move is being made although there have been no major incidents to marred the record of 56 consecutive days of peaceful protests at City Hall since the encampment first started on October 1st.

It is being done in spite of the vote by City Council in October to:

ADOPT the accompanying RESOLUTION to SUPPORT the continuation of the peaceful and vibrant exercise in First Amendment Rights carried out by "Occupy Los Angeles"

At the time City Council President Eric Garcetti told the campers on the city hall front lawn "Stay as long as you need, we're here to support you," Now it would seem that the city's tune has changed.

To it's credit both the City of LA and the LAPD have taken a decidedly different approach to the occupy movement compared with other major cities, including New York, Chicago, Oakland and Portland where the movement was faced with eviction and police violence almost from the beginning of those encampments. Until now, the City of Los Angeles has allowed the encampment at city hall to establish itself and to grow with a minimum of police and city interference.

2011-11-25 #WikiLeaks News: Cardin bill would endanger Whistleblowers; UK Parliament Debate on Extradition (summary)



At the heart of the problem with the European arrest warrant is the inability or unwillingness of Europe's judges to prevent injustice. - Fair Trials International



This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.


Summary of UK Parliament debate on abuses of EAW


Various cases where extradition procedures resulted in abuse of Human Rights were debated yesterday, November 24, at Westminster Hall.
Observations were made throughout the debate relating to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, although his extradition was not one of the central topics. The cases of Gary McKinnon, Babar Ahmad, Deborah Dark and Michael Turner were brought up frequently and the ordeals suffered by these UK citizens exposed in depth. For more information on these cases and other misuses of the European Arrest Warrant please visit Fair Trials International.

Specifically regarding the extradition of Julian Assange, two primary issues were raised:


1) despite facing extradition, Julian Assange has not been charged with a crime (the EAW was therefore incorrectly applied as it was not issued for the purpose of prosecution, but investigation)

2) the European Arrest Warrant for Julian was requested by a private prosecutor who is not an official representative.

2011-11-23 Omar Khadr Part 4 of 4: “Punitive post-conviction confinement”

ImageThis article is in lieu of the long delayed fourth part of the Omar Khadr series written on WL Central last May. The original fourth part consisted of hours of interviews regarding the astoundingly corrupt and illegal military process which culminated in a verdict which allows the Canadian press to refer to Omar Khadr as a 'convicted terrorist'. One day the information in those interviews will be widely known, but today we are still prevented from publishing any of it for fear of retribution to those we do not wish to harm.

Today, Omar should be at home in Canada, as promised by the Canadian government as a term of his acceptance of a plea deal. Today, he is still in Guantanamo Bay serving what the US military terms “punitive post-conviction confinement.”. A little known fact regarding the Guantanamo sentences is that time served before sentencing is not considered 'punitive' and therefore does not count as time served towards his sentence. Omar's sentence is to be carried out in a solitary confinement 'enhanced interrogation' environment, and at the end of his sentence he can be placed back in 'Prisoner Of War' status in the Guantanamo cells he has spent his life in since he was 15 years old. Without repatriation to Canada, his eight year plea deal is just an eight year sentence to solitary confinement in the middle of a lifetime sentence in Guantanamo.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer