2012-04-14 Polish, and other complicity in the CIA rendition and torture program

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)

2012-04-14 #WikiLeaks News Update: Assange TV show premiere date; Other news




WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 497 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 494 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 691 days.
A secret Grand Jury has been active in the U.S. without transparency for 577 days.



Julian Assange News:

  • WikiLeaks announced that the first episode of Julian Assange's 12-part talk show, "The World Tomorrow," will premiere April 17 on RT, 11:30AM GMT (see below for times worldwide). Here are some highlights of the announcement:
    • Official website for "The World Tomorrow."
    • Official video page for "The World Tomorrow."
    • The official hashtag on Twitter is #ExpectAssange.
    • The opening and ending themes have been composed by award-winning British-Sri Lankan hip hop artist M.I.A.
    • RT interviewed Julian Assange about his decision to create the show and the philosophy behind it.

2012-04-11 #WikiLeaks News Update: Cablegate coverage; New Assange interviews; Other news




WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 494 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 491 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 688 days.


WikiLeaks News (Releases):

  • Cablegate coverage:
    • Invisible Children, the makers of the viral Kony2012 video, were informers for the Uganda People's Defense Force, leading to the arrest of multiple suspected opponents of the regime. While Invisible Children initially denied the claims, they have now confirmed their involvement.
    • Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is undergoing extensive treatment for an unnamed condition, though cables released by WikiLeaks suggest he is battling terminal prostate cancer.

2012-04-05 #WikiLeaks News Update: Collateral Murder anniversary; #Assange Leveson Inquiry submission; Other news




WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 489 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 486 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 683 days.


WikiLeaks News:

  • Today marks the two-year anniversary of WikiLeaks' release of "Collateral Murder."
  • Global Intelligence Files revelations:
    • Azerbaijan leadership is "terrified" by the prospect of an attack by Armenian military forces.
    • American private security firm SCG International has been helping the Syrian opposition in its efforts to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.
  • Cablegate revelations:
    • Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, banned in Australia late last year for national security reasons, was being examined as far back as 2008 by Australian intelligence agencies.

2012-04-03 #WikiLeaks financial blockade and protecting our right to spend

Authored by @Nicsha

ImageIf 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.

2012-04-02 Australian Government's escalating hostility toward WikiLeaks and Julian Assange

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.

2012-03-31 From Social Media to Moral Awakening; Bradley Manning and the Age of Conscience

Original picture by Nikhil Kirsh, Creative Rendering by idlewild606

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.

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."


2012-03-29 Polish CIA prison: political influence on the investigation

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.

2012-03-27 Polish CIA prison: Secret Service reveals files on collaboration with the CIA to prosecution [UPDATE 2]

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.

Australian Prime Minister Stares Into The Abyss

"Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." - Nietzsche.

A cautionary tale from Julian Assange's birthplace of Townsville, where Australian Labour Party (ALP) MP Mandy Johnstone just lost power in the recent Queensland state election.

Townsville was one of Queensland's most marginal seats, with Ms Johnstone clinging to a mere 4% lead. So with a crushing ALP defeat widely predicted in the media, and over 80% of Australians supporting her hometown hero, how did Mandy Johnstone respond to a polite Facebook request for support?

Occupy Townsville
Hi Mandy, I'll definitely vote for you on Saturday.. if you speak up for Julian Assange. A local man (he was born in Townsville hospital and his mother Christine went to school here) who has yet to be changed with any crime in any country. I know a LOT of people that would vote for you at the drop of a hat if I were able to tell them you spoke up for him. It would go a long way to helping his politically motivated extradition case, and would earn the respect of many of your constituents. If you would like more info feel free to inbox me or just reply here. Thank you for your time, all the best on Saturday!
Regards,
Occupy Townsville
Sunday at 22:18

Mandy Johnstone Mp
Thank you for the support people. To Occupy Townsville - right now I am focussed on the people of Townsville; it may disappoint you that I did not provide an instant response to your posts however in the last few days of the campaign I make no apologies for being out in the electorate meeting with as many people as I can.
Monday at 21:27

2012-03-24 On financial blockades as a political tool for censorship

In an interview published this week in Law.Com, general counsel for the Washington DC based nonprofit Center for Democracy & Technology, David Sohn, discusses the protests against SOPA and PIPA, including the January 18 internet blackout action. In general, he disparages the methods proposed in the bills for shutting down sites that are alleged to be copyright infringers, claiming concern over the likelihood that ISPs put into policing roles will take a more risk averse approach in shutting down sites, resulting in a curtailment of freedom of expression. However when he is asked how he would balance the right to free speech on the Internet with the need to curtail online IP theft, his response is:

The portions of the bills that worked were those that took a follow-the-money approach by cutting off the funding support for rogue websites. WikiLeaks provides an instructive example. All of the efforts to make it disappear didn't work, but what did work was the financial blockade that made it impossible for WikiLeaks to fund the bandwidth it needed to run.

Putting aside his misguided claim that WikiLeaks actually ceased operating after the financial blockade was imposed on them in December 2010, his comments do in other ways properly reflect the grim reality. What Sohn is referring to here are the provisions in SOPA / PIPA that prohibit any site accused of piracy from doing business with other services, such as PayPal or any advertising platform. Almost precisely what was done to WikiLeaks having their relationships cut off not only with PayPal, but also with Visa, MasterCard, Bank of America and Western Union - resulting in the loss of 95% of their income from donations - their only income - for the last 15 months.

2012-03-22 #WikiLeaks News Update




WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 474 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 471 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 669 days.


WikiLeaks News:

  • WikiLeaks issued a press release offering to host a discussion on the future of Malaysia between Prime Minister Najib Razak, Anwar Ibrahim, and Raja Petra. Shortly after, Anwar Ibrahim accepted the invitation.


  • BBC Two aired the first part of a new special, "WikiLeaks: The Secret Life of a Superpower." The documentary focuses on Cablegate revelations and the effects it had around the world. Part two will air March 28 at 9:00PM GMT.


  • According to emails from Stratfor, a U.S. mercenary "took part" in the killing of Muammar Gaddafi, after which he was sent to assist the Syrian opposition.


2012-03-22 WikiLeaks Truck artist Clark Stoeckley sketches #Manning Motion Hearing #FreeBrad

Below is a series of drawings sketched by artist, Clark Stoeckley, at the Motion Hearing for U.S. v. PFC Bradley Manning on March 15 and 16, 2012 at Fort Meade, MD.

Stoeckley was situated either in the courtroom gallery or in the media operations center, where a live video feed of the proceedings was broadcast.

Bradley Manning has been held without trial since May 29, 2010. Former State Department spokesperson, P.J. Crowley, described Manning's treatment by the U.S. as "ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid." Crowley also said, the "exercise of power in today's challenging times and relentless media environment must be prudent and consistent with our laws and values."

The same week that Crowley was forced to resign for his remarks, Stoeckley adorned a former U-Haul box-truck with the WikiLeaks hourglass logo and signage reading: "Release Bradley Manning" and "WikiLeaks Top Secret Mobile Information Collection Unit".

Stoeckley drove the now world famous WikiLeaks Truck around the White House, and was subsequently arrested and interrogated by Secret Service, despite his never having been charged with a crime.

Stoeckley WikiLeaks Truck has been a staple of Occupy Wall Street since September 17, delivering food and supplies to the revolution in New York, D.C., Boston, Philadelphia, and Newark.

2012-03-16 Full Transcript #Manning Motion Hearing Fort Meade, MD March 16, 2012 Day Two

Full Transcript March 16, 2012

This transcript was typed from the press pool at Bradley Manning's motion hearing on March 16, 2012 at Fort Meade, MD.

This transcript may have errors and is incomplete in that there was no way for me to capture every word, or every sentence.

Please send corrections to carwinb@hushmail.com.

Bradley Manning's motion hearing is held in same court room as his Article 32 Pretrial Hearing.

You can also read:

Names:

  • General Court Martial Convening Authority: Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington
  • Commander of the U.S. Army Garrison, joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall: Col. Carl R. Coffman
  • Commander of U.S. Army Headquarters Command Battalion: Lt. Col. Eric Fleming
  • Military Judge: Col. Denise R. Lind
  • Prosecution: Captain Ashden Fein, Captain Joe Morrow, Captain Angel Overgaard, Capt. Hunter Whyte
  • Defense: Mr. David Coombs, Major Matthew Kemkes and Captain Paul Bouchard

Proceedings were delayed until 13:00 because Defense and Prosecution were in Chambers with Judge Denise Lind hashing out a Court Protective Order.

All Rise.

Court is called to order.

Judge Lind We are starting late today, because the parties and Court were going over a Protective Order regarding the handling of classified information. Both parties had filed orders marked as Appellate Exhibits...

...

2012-03-18 Worldwide Rallies after Assange UKSC verdict

This is a list of all rallies scheduled after Julian Assange receives the verdict on his Supreme Court appeal against extradition to Sweden. These rallies are taking place regardless of the outcome.

2012-03-18 The word as virus: Myth-making in the syndication age

My general theory since 1971 has been that the Word is literally a virus, and that it has not been recognized as such because it has achieved a state of relatively stable symbiosis with its human host ... the Word clearly bears the single identifying feature of virus: it is an organism with no internal function other than to replicate itself.
- William Seward Burroughs, The Adding Machine

Anyone who has ever played the child's game of "Telephone" -- also called "Chinese Whispers" -- knows how readily the "grapevine" breeds distortion, as mistakes and deliberate misstatements can take on lives of their own. Often the mainstream news media acts as an adult version of this exercise in group error. In the system of mass news dissemination via major syndication agencies like Reuters and the Associated Press (AP), inaccuracies eventually become accepted "fact," and mistake morphs into meme and myth. A sole news service like AP is like "Telephone" on steroids, as it can easily distribute a single falsehood to more than 15,000 subscribers who then accept it as fact. Herein danger lies; for, in these days of trial by media, one person's fate and freedom may depend on a question as to which myth has more traction.

2012-03-18 Interview with Kevin Gozstola, Is media coverage of #Manning timid & recent demands for access?

I recently spoke with Kevin Gosztola, journalist and blogger at The Dissenter at FDL. We spoke about media coverage of Bradley Manning's legal proceedings, as well as the recent demand by a coalition of 46 media organizations for access to Court records. You can find Kevin on twitter @kgosztola.

2012-03-18 Interview w Naomi Colvin on UN Rpt on Torture & Euro advocacy for US political prisoner #Manning

I recently spoke with Naomi Colvin of the UK Friends of Bradley Manning and Occupy London about the UN Special Rapporteur Report on Torture as it concerns Bradley Manning, as well as European sentiment and advocacy for the U.S. political prisoner and alleged whistleblower. You can find Naomi on twitter at @auerfeld

2012-03-17 #WikiLeaks News Update: #Assange4Senate; #Manning's motion hearing; Other news




WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 470 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 467 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 665 days.


WikiLeaks News:

  • Mainstream Media organizations have been misquoting and misinterpreting our purpose and work here at WL Central. Please note that we are an organization wholly independent of WikiLeaks.


  • Stratfor hired Robert D. Kaplan, longtime national correspondent with The Atlantic, as their chief geopolitical strategist to help them bounce back after WikiLeaks began releasing their emails.


  • Andy Worthington released Part 33 of his 70-part in-depth series covering the WikiLeaks Guantanamo Files.


  • World Socialist Web Site published a new interview with Julian Assange in which he discusses the attacks on WikiLeaks and his upcoming Supreme Court verdict.


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