Afghanistan

2014-04-19 Paris Match: Rendezvous with the whistleblower and Eva Joly

Friday 28 March. The Ecuadorean Embassy in London. Behind him: a green screen, in front of which he films for Skype and the social networks. Threatened by the United States, the founder of WikiLeaks has been confined for two years to a room at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. He was visited by Eva Joly who is working on breaking the deadlock.

2012-07-26 WikiLeaks News Update: Baltasar Garzón joins WikiLeaks legal team; Cables used in UK court case


WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 600 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 597 days.
- 37 days at the Ecuadorian Embassy.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 794 days.
A secret Grand Jury has been active in the U.S. without transparency for 680 days.

2012-07-18 WikiLeaks News Update: WikiLeaks opens credit card donations; Bradley Manning's pre-trial hearings resume




WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 592 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 589 days.
- 29 days at the Ecuadorian Embassy.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 786 days.
A secret Grand Jury has been active in the U.S. without transparency for 672 days.

2012-05-15 WikiLeaks News Update: "The World Tomorrow" Episode 5; Noam Chomsky on WikiLeaks; Other news




WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 528 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 525 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 722 days.
A secret Grand Jury has been active in the U.S. without transparency for 608 days.


2012-03-31 #WikiLeaks News Update & Upcoming Events




WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 483 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 480 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 677 days.


WikiLeaks News:

  • The Australian Government recently renewed its attacks against WikiLeaks by condemning the organization as "reckless, irresponsible and potentially dangerous" as well as delaying the release of Australian diplomatic cables on Julian Assange until his extradition case has been decided.


  • New laws have passed in Australia which make it difficult for organizations like WikiLeaks to operate, including an extradition law which makes it easier for foreign governments to request extradition of Australians and a new spying law which broadens ASIO's reach.


  • BBC aired the second episode of its documentary "WikiLeaks: The Secret Life of a Superpower."


2012-01-04 #WikiLeaks News, Press Coverage of WikiLeaks Releases and Updated Events






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.

News

The implications of SOPA, NDAA and mass telecommunication surveillance

  • In an article published in Digital Trends, Geoff Duncan analyses the National Defense Authorization Act, proposed copyright bill SOPA and mass telecommunication surveillance. He asks the question: Will 2012 end up resembling George Orwell’s novel 1984?
    The article also focuses on the link between NDAA and the possibility the work of WikiLeaks and Anonymous might, in the future, constitute terrorist activity:

    “This may not seem to have anything to do with the Internet”, he writes of the NDAA, “until you think about groups like Anonymous and Wikileaks. Could Anonymous (or groups within Anonymous) attacking credit card operators, the threatening the NYSE, law enforcement organizations, or other organizations constitute terrorist activity? Similarly, would Wikileaks’ publication of classified U.S. diplomatic cables constitute terrorist activity? Suddenly, everyday Internet users speaking up in support of groups like Anonymous and Wikileaks might find themselves accused of aiding and facilitating terrorists. Similarly, if U.S. authorities decide these or similar groups’ activities constitute terrorism, members or alleged members might find themselves shipped to Guantanamo. No trial, no process, no appeal.”



Day of Action Against Guantanamo

2011-08-24 #WikiLeaks releases 55 thousand cables and asks citizens to analyze them in #wlfind hashtag

Wikileaks releases 55 thousand cables from the U.S. embassies in Iran, Afghanistan, Israel, Russia, and Venezuela, among others. Through their official channels they asked for citizen participation in analyzing them. They also asked that they post their finds by sending them to @wikileaks on Twitter under the hashtag #wlfind. You can take a look at the cables yourself by visiting this link: http://wikileaks.org/tag/TU_0.html or http://www.cablegatesearch.net/search.php.

As a consequence of this release, Wikileak's Californian DNS hoster, Dynadot, "has received a PATRIOT act production order for information on Julian Assange", according to their website. It also mentioned that it had been complied and that "the production order seeks all available information on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, for the US grand jury in Alexandria, Washington."

2011-07-25 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks

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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 Cables were released today.

02:05 PM Murdoch Leaks is a new website that, as the name indicates, is accepting information on 'wrong doing relating to Rupert Murdoch's affiliated institutions'.

10:40 AM A diplomatic cable from 2009 offers insight into Canada’s approach to foreign policy in Latin America.
Former Australian prime minister John Howard's influence on Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s strategy is described in paragraph 2.
(Harper had caused controversy in 2008 when he copied parts of a Howard speech supporting U.S. led invasion of Iraq.)

…"Harper had long been favorably impressed by Australia's ability to exert outsized influence with the U.S. in particular -- and other powers as well -- by emphasizing its relations in its own neighborhood, observed Lambert, who added that PM Harper hoped to gain similar benefits for Canada by increased attention to Latin America and the Caribbean. When forming his second government after the October 2008 election, PM Harper also created the new position of Minister of State for the Americas, naming former journalist and new Conservative MP Peter Kent."

2011-07-03 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks

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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.

08:15 PM Also, back from London from an inspirational and very entertaining discussion between Julian Assange and Slavoj Zizek, moderated by Amy Goodman. Much has been written about it already, both on twitter and the special blog opened by the Frontline Club (1 , 2) for the occasion.

A video of the event is available here.

Julian Assange on the origin and impact of Wikileaks:

“We need a cablegate for the CIA, we need a cablegate for the SVR, when need a cablegate for The New York Times, actually, one of the stories that have been suppressed and how they’ve been managed. And once we start getting that sort of volume and concretize and protect the rights of everyone to communicate with one another, which to me is the basic ingredient of civilized life

It is not the right to speak. What does it mean to have the right to speak mean if you’re on the moon? There’s no one around. It doesn’t mean anything. Rather, the right to speak comes from our rights to know and the two of us together, someone’s right to speak and someone’s right to know produce a right to communicate and so that is the grounding structure for all that we treasure about civilized life.

2011-06-24 WikiLeaks Guardian Data Visualization Maps Death in Afghanistan

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As the Obama Administration announces a withdrawing of US troops in Afghanistan, Simon Rogers of the Guardian maps the human losses during the war. *Image at your left via the Guardian.

According to data released by WikiLeaks last year, between 2004 and 2009 24, 498 people died in Afghanistan- over 4,000 of them civilians caught up in the conflict.

The scenario emerging from the map of deaths is breathless. It shows a high rate of enemy and civilian victims followed by Afghan and coalition troops deaths. See the Guardian's Afghanistan war: every death mapped. Click on a dot or arrow at the bottom to zoom into areas of the map, or filter the data by type of casualty.

Map visualizations were also used to were used to visualize the numbers of US soldiers wounded or killed in action. See Afghanistan casualties and deaths by US state: mapped

2011-06-23 Obama's Latest Afghanistan Speech: Bridging the Say/Do Gap to End the War

Those who read President Barack Obama’s speech will likely be reading to find hints of when the conflict might finally come to an end. Support for a pullout from Afghanistan is at an all-time high, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll. But, there is little reason to put much stock in the fact that ten thousand troops will be leaving Afghanistan this summer. Withdrawing a number of troops around July of 2011 was always part of a plan, a way of deftly managing public opinion.

When Obama went ahead and added thirty thousand troops, he knew, as shown in Bob Woodward’s book Obama’s Wars he had two years with the public. He understood the perils of escalating a war, as retired Lt. Gen. Karl W. Eikenberry,  retired Gen. James L. Jones and Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute all offered a level of dissent against Admiral Mike Mullen, Gen. David Petraeus and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. And, Obama allegedly told Vice President Joe Biden in private to oppose a big troop buildup but could not stand up to military brass. In the end, though, he was able to set a withdrawal timetable of ending the war by 2014.

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.

2011-05-07 This Week in WikiLeaks - @MichaelKBusch on the Pakistan Cables, bin Laden & the Gitmo Files [Update:1]

ImageEdited podcast now posted.

This week's podcast features 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 been covering the Gitmo Files in detail. He has also covered released cables on his site WikiBlogged, and he is listed as a resource in the back of Greg Mitchell's 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]

On the program, we discuss the killing of Osama bin Laden in the context of the Pakistan Cables that one media organization, The Hindu (in India), covered extensively. We also talk about the files Busch has covered extensively and what his thoughts are on the release in general. And, the show discusses the Journal's newly launched SafeHouse, a WikiLeaks-imitation website it hopes "sources" will "leak" to like "sources" have leaked to WikiLeaks. [For more on this, WL Central coverage can be found here.]

2011-05-05 In defense of Canadian voters

ImageThe recent Canadian election has been the topic of much foreign news coverage, with pundits trying to explain why liberal-minded Canada has given a majority to the most right leaning party in its history, what exactly the New Democratic Party is, and why on earth Canada turned its back so firmly on its 'traditional ruling party', headed by a man described in the Guardian as "known to the British as a fine writer, historian and BBC talking head, who had returned to Canada to lead the Liberals". Embassy Magazine wrote an astoundingly condescending piece about Canada's lack of interest in foreign policy which contained the following:

Given Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff's background, many had expected him to campaign on foreign policy. And at the start of the campaign he did try to frame the election around the question of ethics, especially the tenor of Conservative foreign policy. ... But ... Mr. Ignatieff failed to inspire with this foreign policy-tinged message. In fact, the more he talked about it, the less traction he seemed to be getting with centrist or progressive voters. ... At one point, the Liberal leader's frustration became quite evident, with Mr. Ignatieff wondering why Canadians were not latching onto the many controversies that had dogged the Conservatives before the election. Mr. Ignatieff's plea that Canada should regain its international standing was a version of this idea that the country should be undergoing some soul-searching prior to voting. But with his historic low, it appears Canadians weren't up for that sort of deep think.

2011-05-02 More Questions on Killing of bin Laden as WikiLeaks Notes Gitmo File Contained Details on His Whereabouts

Hours ago, WikiLeaks sent out a tweet noting the US had suspected or known since 2008 that Osama bin Laden might have been living in Abottabad, Pakistan, where he was killed by a US black ops team, JSOC, in a pre-dawn raid on Sunday. The note begs a few questions.

Why was this detail missed when the New York Times, McClatchy Newspapers, Washington Post, and NPR put together coverage? How did this detail not become a headline on The Guardian’s or the Telegraph’s website?

Does it have anything to do with the way the media organizations searched the files? Or, was this small detail in one of the files not covered because of the fear that it might jeopardize efforts to track down bin Laden? Is it possible the New York Times met with the Pentagon and was urged to omit this detail?

The section that is getting attention comes from Abu al-Libi’s leaked detainee assessment report:

2011-04-26 The Guantanamo Children: These Aren't What You'd Call 'Little League' Terrorists

Image*With research assistance from Heather Marsh

Pakistani national Naqib Ullah (also Naqibullah) was 14 years old and out doing an errand for his father when he was kidnapped from his village in Khan, Afghanistan by 11 men that called themselves, “Samoud’s people.” The men, according to Ullah, “forcibly raped him at gunpoint”. He was taken back to the men’s village encampment and “forced to do manual work.”

Ullah was in the camp for three days when, in December 2002, US forces raided the camp. The group had been forewarned. They ordered Ullah and others to stay behind and fight US forces. He was captured and had a weapon but it had not been fired. He was transported to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in January 2003 because the military believed he might have knowledge of “Taliban resistance efforts and local leaders.”

This teenager is just one of twenty-two juveniles who wound up in Guantanamo. And, with the release of the Gitmo Files by WikiLeaks, more details on the capture, transfer, detention and release of juvenile detainees are becoming known.

Article 1 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child defines a child as “every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.”

2011-04-21 Interview with Terry Holdbrooks, former Guantanamo guard.

ImageThis is our second interview in a series of interviews with former Guantanamo Bay detention camp guards and detainees.

Several current and former U.S. soldiers have expressed interest in speaking publicly about their experience at Guantanamo: including a CIA psychologist, interrogators, guards, and medical personnel. They are disgusted with what they witnessed or took part in at Guantanamo, but declined my request for an interview, because they fear opening themselves up to prosecution by the US government, which required them to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement.

I was also told that many are afraid of being prosecuted for war crimes, since low level soldiers are often the ones who shoulder the brunt of punishment and backlash; whereas higher ranking officials seem to escape scrutiny completely.

Terry Holdbrooks is a former guard at the Guantanamo Bay detention camps. He was stationed at GTMO in 2003 and 2004. During his time there, he converted to Islam. He is now a vocal critic of the camp. You can find him on twitter @BrotherMustafa

War Leaks Resources

warleakshourglass1. Introduction
2. Resources for Collateral Murder
3. Resources for War Logs


2010 was, in many ways, the year of the WikiLeaks. Although the organization had been in operation for four years, and had published many high profile leaks, this was the year that WikiLeaks became a household name. Beginning April 2010, WikiLeaks released a succession of leaks apparently sourced from within the United States government, or military, and pertaining to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. WL Central's Kevin Gosztala investigated the War Leaks and produced this valuable summary and analysis of their extent and significance. This page is an overview and resource bank.


2011-04-02 Interview with Brandon Neely, former Guantanamo prison guard and Iraq veteran. "Well don't worry about the video tape. It's taken care of. It's been destroyed." (Part 1 of 8)

ImageThis is our first interview in a series of interviews with former Guantanamo Bay detention camp guards and detainees.

Several current and former U.S. soldiers have expressed interest in speaking publicly about their experience at Guantanamo: including a CIA psychologist, interrogators, guards, and medical personnel. They are disgusted with what they witnessed or took part in at Guantanamo, but declined my request for an interview, because they fear opening themselves up to prosecution by the US government, which required them to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement .

I was also told that many are afraid of being prosecuted for war crimes, since low level soldiers are often the ones who shoulder the brunt of punishment and backlash; whereas higher ranking officials seem to escape scrutiny completely.

Brandon Neely, has been a vocal critic of both Guantanamo Bay, and the war in Iraq. And he speaks from experience, since he was both a guard at Guantanamo during the the first six months the camp was open, and served in Iraq during the US invasion. In the course of his advocacy, he has offered testimony to the Center for Human Rights in the Americas, and appeared in numerous articles and on television programs, including a BBC program that recounts how he contacted two of his former prisoners on Facebook to express remorse for what he did. You can also find him, where I did, on twitter, @BrandonTXNeely.

*Apologies for the first seconds of poor audio quality.

Listen to Part 1 of 8 here

Transcript

2011-04-02 Interview with Brandon Neely, former Guantanamo prison guard. "It's not a right wing, left wing issue. It's a right or wrong issue."(Part 8 of 8)

ImageThis is our first interview in a series of interviews with former Guantanamo Bay detention camp guards and detainees.

Several current and former U.S. soldiers have expressed interest in speaking publicly about their experience at Guantanamo: including a CIA psychologist, interrogators, guards, and medical personnel. They are disgusted with what they witnessed or took part in at Guantanamo, but declined my request for an interview, because they fear opening themselves up to prosecution by the US government, which required them to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement .

I was also told that many are afraid of being prosecuted for war crimes, since low level soldiers are often the ones who shoulder the brunt of punishment and backlash; whereas higher ranking officials seem to escape scrutiny completely.

Brandon Neely, has been a vocal critic of both Guantanamo Bay, and the war in Iraq. And he speaks from experience, since he was both a guard at Guantanamo during the the first six months the camp was open, and served in Iraq during the US invasion. In the course of his advocacy, he has offered testimony to the Center for Human Rights in the Americas, and appeared in numerous articles and on television programs, including a BBC program that recounts how he contacted two of his former prisoners on Facebook to express remorse for what he did. You can also find him, where I did, on twitter, @BrandonTXNeely.

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