2011-06-08 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks

ImageMentor and friend Greg Mitchell at TheNation.com will be back from vacation today. I've been pinch-hitting and blogging WikiLeaks updates here and will continue to do so until late tonight when he returns. All the times are EST. You can contact me at kgosztola@hotmail.com with any news tips. Twitter username is @kgosztola. Also, if you are looking for something to listen to, I encourage you to check out the catalog of podcasts posted here at WL Central from the "This Week in WikiLeaks" show I produce every week.

8:45 PM Council in Scotland mistakenly publishes personal data on 900 staff members in a response to a Freedom of Information request. For the record, WikiLeaks and open government advocates are for transparency but not typically this extreme level of transparency. There's one way you could not make a big mistake like this: look at the data you are posting before you make it public.

6:30 PM NPR puts the revelations on Haiti and the minimum wage struggle into perspective

4:30 PM While the Pentagon Papers are being declassified and released after forty years, that doesn't signal a shift in US government attitude toward whistleblowers. As this post by Dylan Blaylock at the Government Accountability Project (GAP) points out, NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake is being targeted by the government and is about to go to trial.

3:15 PM An investigation into comments made by University of Calgary professor Tom Flanagan, which called for thel assassination of Julian Assange concludes. There will be no charges against the former senior advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

3:10 PM Ministry of Defense in UK claims it now fights off 1000 cyber attacks each year

2:30 PM European Arrest Warrant (EAW) debate in European Parliament that on the use of the EAW to oppress political dissidents. Gerard Batten MEP finds this is what has been happening in the case of Julian Assange.

He says, "There are many irregularities in the case against him." Lists them out: failure of prosecutor to interview witnesses that could clear Assange, allegations against Assange would not constitute "rape" in England, complainants' lawyer has stated the ladies in question cannot tell if what happened constitutes "rape" because they are not lawyers, Assange was in Sweden for five weeks but was not questioned, etc. Batten goes on to provide context for an argument that the EAW is being used to suppress the efforts of Assange and WikiLeaks and is feeding into US efforts to investigate and go after Assange for espionage.

12:40 PM The Nation, which is publishing stories produced by WikiLeaks partner Haïti Liberté, has two new stories up on the Haiti cables. One may sound like an old scoop because organizations like CJR chose to cover the story after it was accidentally published before the agreed upon publishing debate. (There's always some drama with WikiLeaks releases.)

The story I am referring to is one that covers how Hanes, Fruit of the Loom & Levi's worked to keep the minimum wage from being raised for Haitian assembly zone workers, which are some of the lowest paid people in the hemisphere.


The second story deals with how the cables reveal "the United States, the European Union and the United Nations decided to support Haiti’s recent presidential and parliamentary elections despite believing that the country’s electoral body, 'almost certainly in conjunction with President Preval,' had 'emasculated the opposition' by unwisely and unjustly excluding the country’s largest party."

12:30 PM Egypt to have new Internet security law in 3 months

11:10 AM UK to consider a proposal for a "national blocking list of violent and unlawful websites." Supporters believe a list could curb "radicalization."

8:15 AM India, which went into political crisis when The Hindu partnered with WikiLeaks and began to release the cables, now supposedly going through "transparency revolution" that can't be stopped.

8:05 AM Head of Bahrain Freedom Movement Saeed al-Shahabi, a prominent human rights and political activist in Bahrain, claims released WikiLeaks cables and recent media reports prove Tel Aviv working to suppress the revolution in Bahrain. He also blasts the continued Saudi occupation of Bahrain.

7:45 AM Jesse Ventura on AM 640 in Toronto on the "John Oakley in the Morning" show. He's talking about his WikiLeaks-esque book "63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read." He celebrates US Representative Ron Paul for standing up for WikiLeaks. He talks about being gravely worried about Bradley Manning. He highlights the "Collateral Murder" video.

Oakley asks him though that if you have information that can save lives shouldn't you torture to get that information and save lives. Ventura calls Oakley out saying "never justifiable" and, "Why do you think police don't torture? Why do you think it is not allowed in a court of law?" A person being tortured will say anything to stop being tortured.

7:25 AM US was told by India to beware of Pakistan's "game" in Afghanistan, according to released cables

7:15 AM "5 WikiLeaks Hits of 2011 That Are Turning the World on Its Head -- And That the Media Are Ignoring" — Rania Khalek puts together a summary of some of the biggest revelations from WikiLeaks so far this year.