2012-02-22 #WikiLeaks News Update: Insurance File, Expressen, Bill Keller, & more




WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 445 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 442 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 640 days.



News:

  • WikiLeaks has released a torrent for its insurance file, which is 64.3 GB.

    • Swedish tabloid Expressen published an article which said WikiLeaks is planning a "massive smear campaign" against Sweden and its Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. They say they received an "internal WikiLeaks memo" which discusses cables that reveal Bildt as a US informer. WikiLeaks tweeted multiple responses to the article including:

2012-02-21 A proposal for governance: Concentric User Groups and Epistemic Communities

This article is a continuation of the ideas begun in A proposal for governance in the post 2011 world

ImageWhile revolutions around the world are in the streets for democracy, we need to look at that very poorly defined and all encompassing word by specifics, to review what we are asking for and why. The above proposal already began to express the need for individual rights and sovereignty in any democratic rule and will explore that in greater detail later; this article will look at the decision making processes in a democracy. There are two options commonly held to be our democratic choices; direct or representative democracy.

Direct democracy

A pure direct democracy is a tyranny of the majority. As in all systems where groups hold the highest power, individual rights are always at risk. When a majority rules, there is no need for the majority to compromise and a minority will have their needs unrepresented, resulting in governance by the majority, not governance by the people.

A direct democracy is impossible in actuality as no one can have the time to participate in every decision concerning them, and certainly not to educate themselves to provide meaningful input in every decision. To make the best decisions, expertise is required on each topic. Direct democracy does not always provide the best solutions, it provides the most popular, the most expedient, or even the most advertised solutions, more frequently as the decision becomes more complex.

2012-02-18 #WikiLeaks News Update: #OccupyUNESCO, #WLAD, #Cablegate Coverage & More




WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 442 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 439 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 636 days.



News:

  • UNESCO held a 2-day conference entitled, “The Media World after WikiLeaks and News of the World.” It sparked controversy after WikiLeaks issued a press statement denouncing UNESCO for blocking all speakers from WikiLeaks. There is a live-blog and chirpstory of the first day, as well as a chirpstory covering the full conference and events leading up to it.


2012-02-19 Venezuela and Election 2012

By Nikolas Kozloff

As the presidential election nears, Republicans are relying on their usual fear-mongering tactics by playing on supposed external threats such as Iran. Already it seems such a strategy seems to have moved Obama to the right with the president going out of his way to issue stern warnings toward the Islamic Republic during his State of the Union address. What is more, in a worrying development the Republicans are doing their utmost to link Iran with the Latin American populist left and Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, which could have undesirable and unforeseen consequences on U.S. foreign policy.

According to secret U.S. State Department cables recently released by whistle-blowing outfit WikiLeaks, American diplomats from Hillary Clinton on down have little evidence of a significant military alliance between Iran and Venezuela, yet that didn't stop surging Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum from exaggerating the threat from this quarter in a recent debate. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee, has meanwhile been holding hearings on the supposed Iranian-Latin American threat to the U.S.

Hopefully the Democrats will not seek to echo the Chávez-Ahmadinejad military angle which will only serve to further inflame the tattered state of U.S.-Venezuelan relations, yet it's no secret that the Obama administration, like its predecessor, would like to rid itself of the populist left current in Latin America. Such combative posturing is not only regrettable but counter-productive. Indeed, further cables released by WikiLeaks suggest that, with a little bit of effort, Washington might be able to mend fences with Chávez. Whatever the Venezuelan leader may say in public about the U.S. and its wider objectives throughout the region, in private Chávez has been more than happy to search for common ground and extend an olive branch.

2012-02-19 Don't Shoot the Messenger: Wikileaks Assange & Democracy Feb 17, Sydney #wlad

The Wikileaks Assange and Democracy Public Forum held at the University of Technology, Sydney on Friday February 17 attracted over 400 people who packed the aisles and spilled out into the corridors.

Chaired by Australian journalist and broadcaster Mary Kostakidis, speakers at the forum included socialist historian Humphrey McQueen, Greens Senator Scott Ludlum, London-based human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson and Christine Assange, the mother of Julian Assange.

On February 18 Simon Butler of Green Left Weekly reported on the Forum:

"Veteran journalist and former SBS broadcaster Mary Kostakidis chaired the meeting. She told the audience WikiLeaks had won several prestigious awards for excellence in journalism. She said the US government is persecuting WikiLeaks for publishing material that other media outlets have also published. The difference was that WikiLeaks has done it better, she said.

McQueen gave historical examples of how ruling elites have always tried to restrict the public’s access to information, lest they learn enough to want to challenge the social order. He said WikiLeaks’ revelations are dangerous to elite interests because they help educate people about the real nature of society.

Photo: Peter Boyle

Photo: Peter Boyle

Ludlum said he was pleased with the big turnout and denounced the Labor government’s attacks on WikiLeaks and Assange. He urged WikiLeaks supporters to put the pressure on the government to choose democracy and freedom of speech over the US-Australia alliance.

2012-02-18 Revolutionary Journalism in a Time of Universal Deceit

Image

Image Credit: Original Image - Time Cover Image "Do You Want to Know a Secret?" Dec. 13, 2010 Modified by idlewild606

WikiLeak's rise to prominence as the world's first stateless media organization has carried it into the center of a massive storm of controversy. On one hand WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have widespread global support and have won numerous journalism awards. On the other hand, the US government portrayed them as a criminal entity, as a sort of spy organization and certainly not a member of the press protected by the First Amendment. Some top US officials called Assange a high-tech terrorist and should be prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917.

With inflamed rhetoric, many in the mainstream media have negatively framed the narrative of this new journalistic force and tried to distance themselves from it. By doing so, they attempted to deflect perception of WikiLeaks from the appearance of legitimacy associated with the word 'journalism'. One tactic was sensational personal attacks, with classic tabloid character assassination of Assange to distract the public from asking questions about the real actions of WikiLeaks. The other was sophisticated intellectual persuasion, where the corporate media criticized the organization, particularly questioning its journalistic status.

2012-02-18 Will the US and PH extend and expand military logistics agreement?

The RP-US Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA), a 10-year old military pact that requires the Philippines to service the logistics needs of the US military when they are in the country, is set to expire by November 2012. The MLSA, along with the VFA and MDT, is a vital cog in the permanent and continuing US military presence in the country. Its expiry this year occurs at a time when the US and Philippine governments are in negotiations for additional US troop presence in the country in line with the new US defense strategy of “re-balancing” towards Asia.

Not as well known as the Visiting Forces Agreement, the MLSA is an executive agreement entered into by the Arroyo regime in 2002 and was in effect for five years. It was renewed in November 21, 2007 after a review that was not disclosed to the public. It is set to expire on November 21, 2012.

The MLSA allows the US military to access Philippine facilities for a wide array of services such as refueling, re-supply, billeting of troops, transportation and so on. It practically allows the US to avail of the services that are typical of US bases, so long as these are during “approved activities”.

Under the MLSA, the Philippine government provides supplies such as food, water, petroleum, oils, lubricants, clothing, ammunition, spare parts and components.

Support and services include billeting, transportation (including airlift), communication services, medical services, operations support (and construction and use of temporary structures incident to operations support), training services, repair and maintenance services, calibration services, storage services, and port services. Storage units and ports shall at all times remain under the control and supervision of the host state

2012-02-17 Investigation into Polish CIA prison moved to different jurisdiction

The investigation, which had been active since 2008, has been moved from Warsaw to Krakow, several Polish news outlets report. According to Piotr Kosmaty, the spokesperson of the Prokuratura Apelacyjna Krakow, the case files have already arrived. He declined to comment on the reasons behind the transfer.

This is not the first unexpected development in this investigation. Earlier last year, Warsaw prosecutor Jerzy Mierzewski was removed from the case, after it emerged that he had planned to file charges. His case files were subsequently obtained by daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza. In turn, Gdansk prosecutors opened an investigation into this leak.

Gazeta Wyborcza state that Mierzewski had evidence proving the existence of an extraterritorial US area in breach of the Polish constitution and of international law; moreover it proved that those kept in this area qualified as victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

See this link for our previous coverage.

2012-02-14 TheGlobalSquare: Call for coders

Submitted by The Global Square

TheGlobalSquare aims to be the first massive decentralized social network in the history of the Internet. We are aware of the difficulties we must overcome, but we believe the Internet Community has reached a point where such an initiative is possible. It is possible because we are more united; censorship and repression have created stronger bonds between those who care about freedom and the free flow of information. How can we achieve this goal?



Structure: Organizing humanity in a single collective

The Global Square is to be an easy to use social and work platform for individuals and groups. One of the main goals is that it should have very low barriers of entry for inexperienced users, making it as easy as possible for them to contribute work, interact and use the various tools at their disposal. Another goal is that the Global Square be expandable to allow global coordinated and efficient work in every system. TheGlobalSquare recognizes the principles of personal privacy as a basic right of individuals and transparency to all users as an obligation for public systems.

2012-02-13 Athens burns: has #Greece entered its Argentina moment?

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(Photo by Real Democracy GR – MultiMedia Team )

Greece’s political establishment trembles as banks and government offices burn amid violent anti-austerity riots. Has the country finally reached a tipping point?

Exactly ten years ago, the crisis-ridden country of Argentina spiraled into a bout of social unrest that would eventually lead to the largest sovereign default in history. After three years of being forced to swallow the bitter pill of IMF-imposed austerity, a tipping point was finally reached: foreign creditors and neoliberal governments had pushed the people too far. They rose up in defiance and ousted five successive Presidents in the space of just three weeks.

With the incredible images of flame-engulfed buildings and policemen emerging out of Athens, it now looks like Greece may be headed down the same path. The country has become ungovernable. Even though a majority of traitors was found to pass yet another deeply unpopular austerity package through Parliament, this weekend’s violent protests indicate that the ‘Argentina moment’ may have arrived. The Greek people simply can’t take any more austerity.

2012-02-11 Food vs. Fertility, Part I: Bisphenol A (BPA)

Chemical structure of BPA

Chemical structure of BPA

A host of manufactured chemicals in the food and water supply is wreaking havoc on our health. One common characteristic among the effects of many of these substances is a decrease in fertility, accompanied by a rise in afflictions affecting the reproductive system. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is one such hormone-disrupting chemical that has been identified as a cause of a global decline in fertility that some scientists currently refer to as a "fertility crisis." Meanwhile, most national governments have failed to adequately curtail the use of BPA and other toxins. Some believe that this neglect is the deliberate continuation of a century-old eugenics program that has now extended to what are perhaps the greatest sources of human vulnerability: the food and water we consume and the air we breathe.

2012-02-03 Election Year Venezuela: It’s Washington vs. the Chávez-Ortega Alliance

Authored by Nikolas Kozloff

As the Venezuelan presidential election approaches in October, Washington is undoubtedly hoping that Hugo Chávez will go down to stinging electoral defeat and that the populist leader's geopolitical alliance will crumble and come to an ignominious end. Of particular concern to both the Bush and Obama administrations has been Nicaragua, a country which moved into Chávez's orbit when Daniel Ortega, a leader of the Sandinista Revolution, captured the presidency in 2006. According to secret cables recently released by whistle-blowing outfit WikiLeaks, the State Department has been furious with Ortega for conducting an independent foreign policy, and U.S. diplomats have resorted to threats and intimidation in order to head off the Venezuelan-Nicaraguan alliance.

American diplomats in Managua would have surely preferred to see a continuation of the Enrique Bolaños administration, which predated the Ortega regime and proved much more amenable to Washington's conservative agenda. In early 2006, prior to Ortega's election, the Nicaraguans told the U.S. ambassador that they would not back Venezuela for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and would support Guatemala for the spot instead. In fact, Nicaragua went so far as to act as a kind of ringleader against Venezuela, rounding up Central American support for Guatemala in an effort to "forestall" Chávez's rising influence.

2012-02-03 The Assange Extradition Hearing: Day 2

ImageDuring the second and final day of the U.K. Supreme Court's hearings on Julian Assange's extradition, Matrix Chambers attorney Clare Montgomery offered her rebuttal to arguments made yesterday by Assange's counsel. (Dinah Rose is representing Assange in his fight against extradition to Sweden for questioning on sex crime allegations.)

The week's proceedings have highlighted disparities of law among EU countries and the legal challenges involved in reconciling these conflicts. Assange's case may test the extent to which EU nations can maintain their legal autonomy under the rubric of a unified European system. It may also raise the question: to what degree will EU states have to harmonize their conflicting legal regimes in order to avoid this sort of continued legal wrangling in the future?

Montgomery presented Sweden's case against Assange for about four hours, during which time she appeared to reject EU-wide legal standardization -- essentially arguing that respecting state sovereignty requires preserving the status quo. If it agreed with Montgomery's position, the Court would have to accept significant differences among EU nations in implementing EU-wide legal standards. By contrast, Assange's legal team largely took the position that, while allowing for some variation and inconsistency, the Court should mandate certain universal principles in the extradition process, because of the seriousness of the potential risk that extradition may pose to individual rights.

2012-02-02 PCO WTF – Inside Canada's WikiLeaks Task Force

Authored by Joe B.

Today I received another large stack of LEGAL from the Privy Council Office regarding WikiLeaks. Back in July of 2011, I wrote about the DFAIT WTF, where I got the e-mails from the various diplomats who headed the WikiLeaks Task Force in Canada. Unlike the PCO, DFAIT gave me a CD, and sent me back my cheque because I hopped on someone else’s ATIP. However, this was probably the worst ATIP I have received from the PCO, most likely in revenge for the PROFUNC ATIP that I requested earlier.

I’ve lost about 10% of the documents to the scanner as I scanned this thing in. However, there’s still a lot of information remaining regarding the impact Cablegate had on Canada, and this includes the redactions. At first, it seems that the WTF was scouring the web for news articles, and they even visited wlcentral.org for information on the cables. The first PDF is old news, and contains the same e-mails that we already had from DFAIT. However, as we progress we get into relatively newer material.

There’s an e-mail about the CSIS/Judd cable which had the infamous quote about Omar Khadr (which was the basis for the name of paroxysms.ca). They then produced the transcript of CBC-NN which talked about the cable. Following that, they report on the other Canadian leaks of notice. However, the main issue of concern by DFAIT is Omar Khadr. However, one the cables relevant to Canada truly start appearing, so does the redaction square.

2012-02-01 The Assange Extradition Hearing: Day 1

ImageAt Day 1 of the Julian Assange extradition hearing

On the night before the hearing began, one dedicated Assange supporter in London told me that she planned to arrive at Court by 6 a.m., ahead of the throngs that she expected based on the turnout at Assange's hearing last November. No doubt the freezing February temperatures kept large crowds at home this morning; instead of the masses anticipated, there were only a few orderly lines segregated into cameramen, sign-wielding protesters, and the courtroom audience -- a mix of media representatives, Assange faithfuls, and the curious. I was in the latter line, which was also peppered with a few Occupy London luminaries. During the next hour of collective shivering, I met journalists from all over Europe and the U.S., who now braved frigid weather to witness this historic proceeding. Arriving at around 8:30, one hour before the Court opened to the public, I witnessed the expectant crowd devolve into a chorus of complaints as the early-morning, late-winter wind chill robbed our fingers of almost all feeling.

But, mercifully, 9:30 at last arrived -- as did Assange, soon after. The white-haired WikiLeaks founder offered a spirited hello to the crowd and preceded us into the Court.

At the entry, Court staff had handed out a media briefing, which included the following details:
"Issue: Whether a European Arrest Warrant ('EAW') issued by a public prosecutor is a valid Part I EAW issued by a 'judicial authority' for the purpose and within the meaning of sections 2 and 66 of the Extradition Act 2003.

2012-01-25 #WikiLeaks News: New details about Julian #Assange’s upcoming TV series; Updated Events; Other News






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

News


  • A US Embassy cable published by WikiLeaks shows Sri Lankan politician Basil Rajapkasa acknowledged the military shelling of a safe zone during meetings with a Norwegian Ambassador.


  • RT will be one of the broadcasters of Julian Assange’s upcoming television show, it was announced today. It is important to note, however, that the series is independently produced under Julian Assange’s supervision.
    According to RT, Julian Assange will film the first episode this week, just a few days before his Supreme Court extradition hearing, and the series will be called ‘The World Tomorrow’. It is expected to premiere in March.
    To enquire about licensing the show for a large audience please email: contact@quickrollproductions.com


  • In a segment of the The Alyona Show, Alyona Minkovsi responds to mainstream media criticism of Julian Assange and of the licensing of his series by RT.

2012-01-26 A proposal for governance: Groups and individuals

This article is a continuation of the ideas begun in A proposal for governance in the post 2011 world

ImageThere are two underlying concepts which must be universally accepted for the current system to function. These two concepts are that groups may act as individuals and individuals may act as groups; two ideas which are fundamentally unsound. While these contradictions were required in earlier attempts at representative governance, the idea was always flawed in a democratic system and recognized as being flawed. As we have progressed to the point where we can eliminate these weaknesses, we have instead greatly increased their use and stopped questioning their appropriateness. Presently these two concepts contribute to fundamental paradoxes throughout the current system which can only be remedied by rejection of the concepts.

Groups acting as individuals

A group is a collection of individuals united for a certain time and space by a specific idea, experience or other common bond. Individuals have the ability to associate, to exchange ideas, to agree, to cooperate, cohabit and in any other way to collaborate, but the group they form does not become an individual. It cannot logically be granted a voice, a vote, or political or legal power. It is only in a system governed by groups and one which does not respect individual rights that such power seems essential.

2012-01-23 #WikiLeaks News: Julian #Assange to Host Upcoming Series; Other Updates






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

News

  • WikiLeaks issued a Press Release announcing the launch of a global television series in mid-March, hosted by Julian Assange, who will hold “in-depth conversations with key political players, thinkers and revolutionaries from around the world”, under the theme ‘The World Tomorrow’.
    The series will be aired in 10 weekly half-hour episodes and its projected viewership is 600 million viewers. It will be available online as well. To enquire about licensing the series: contact@quickrollproductions.com


  • The UK Supreme Court released the following details regarding public attendance of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing (February 1 and 2):

    - Predicting a large number of visitors, the Supreme Court has arranged for an extra courtroom, where a feed of the proceedings will be shown;
    - The hearing will live streamed online as well, by Sky News;
    - Seats will be distributed according to arrival order.


  • Christine Assange, Julian Assange’s mother, has created a blog to inform the public of the true facts surrounding Julian's extradition case, due to lack of accurate media coverage.


2012-01-24 A proposal for governance: Privacy and Transparency

This article is a continuation of the ideas begun in A proposal for governance in the post 2011 world

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It was agreed by most of the world in the past that privacy was a basic individual right. All individuals are private individuals, only their actions which affect public life are of public interest. It is essential to democratic government, that organizations which affect the public must be transparent to the public; without full information, the public is incapable of making the decisions required to participate in their own governance. In the past, any secrets by public organizations, short of war secrets, were grounds for a scandal. A free media and freedom of speech were essential in a democracy so that transparency of public matters could be ensured.

Our world has now changed so far that the public has to prove why it needs to know any information about its government and go through an expensive and labour intensive process to acquire information that will arrive, if it arrives at all, after great delay and in a very censored form. Information on corporations is simply unattainable except by illegal methods as corporations, which include prison, intelligence, military, pharmaceutical, agricultural, and even police agencies, are considered private. These private corporations now own rights to global commons such as our oceans, space and electromagnetic field, as well as the individual environments of each of us.

2012-01-22 Chronology of charges the US government alleges against #Manning

This is a chronological list of charges against Bradley Manning alleged by the US government. They are derived from the July 5, 2010 original charge sheet and the March 1, 2011 charge sheet.

The charges from the original charge sheet are below in italics, and grouped beneath corresponding charges from the latest March 1, 2010 charge sheet.

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