News Archive - 2012-04 (April 2012)

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.

Back in December 2010, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard condemned WikiLeaks' release of information, calling the action "irresponsible" and, the far more serious allegation, "illegal." A week later, and just days after Julian Assange's arrest, Attorney-General Robert McClelland further expanded on Gillard's comments saying that the information WikiLeaks released was "accessed in an unauthorized manner" and was therefore an offense under Australian law. But, after a 17-day investigation by the Australian Federal Police, it was established that none of WikiLeaks' actions were in fact illegal. In a quasi-apology Gillard was forced to announce the AFP's finding that WikiLeaks had not broken Australian law, but again denounced their actions as "grossly irresponsible" and declared, "It’s clear that the theft of those documents is an illegal act." Of course, these vilifying comments were being stacked on top of those by U.S. politicians, such as Vice President Joe Biden's labeling of Julian Assange as a "high-tech terrorist" and political candidate Sarah Palin's belief that he is an "anti-American operative with blood on his hands" who should be "pursued with the same urgency [the U.S. pursues] al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders." Senator Scott Ludlam has since asked if Gillard apologized to WikiLeaks or formally retracted her false claims, to which her representative replied she hadn't.

Recently, on the eve of Julian Assange's Supreme Court verdict being handed down, the attacks have resurfaced. In response to a citizen letter concerning Julian Assange's extradition, Australian official Anna Harmer wrote on behalf of Attorney-General Nicola Roxon that WikiLeaks' release of U.S. diplomatic cables was "reckless, irresponsible, and potentially dangerous." The U.S. Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich echoed the claims of irresponsibility and added that WikiLeaks had also acted "destructively" and "was not a force for good." In earlier statements, Bleich also called WikiLeaks "unhealthy [...] dangerous, and immature." To this day, there is still no evidence of physical harm coming to any persons based on WikiLeaks' releases.

The attacks go far beyond verbal and written statements. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has delayed the release of Australian diplomatic cables relating to Julian Assange requested under the Freedom of Information Act (at least six times, according to Senator Ludlam) until at least late May, after it is decided whether or not he'll be extradited to Sweden. When asked about the delays, Senator Chris Evans acting as representative for Prime Minister Gillard only stated that the FOI request had been received and "the response is being worked on by DFAT." The Australian Government also refuses to give straight answers regarding both the alleged sealed indictment the U.S. has against Julian Assange and the secret Grand Jury which has been in existence for over a year.

Beyond this, two new laws have emerged in Australia which make it more difficult for organizations such as WikiLeaks to operate within legal boundaries. The first is a bill, informally known as "the WikiLeaks amendment," which significantly expandes ASIO's (Australian Security Intelligence Organization) powers to spy on Australian citizens. Patrick Emerton, senior lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Monash University, commented that, while the bill couldn't be used to spy on Julian Assange in London, it could conceivably be used to spy on communications he had sent to Australia, e.g. a letter or e-mail. The second is an extradition law created to "streamlin[e] the extradition process and [cut] delays." It broadens the possibility of extradition on both minor and political offenses. It also allows nationals to be prosecuted on Australian soil if the government declines to have them extradited. A third law, the Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill, which would allow access to more information by Australian and overseas agencies, has passed through the Lower House but is yet to become full law.

With all this in mind, Australia's hostility towards WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange is evident. The majority of Australians support WikiLeaks and Assange, a statistic that has remained constant since 2010. Therefore it is only right for the Australian Government to stand up for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, not only because he is their citizen, but because it is in the interest of the public to do so.

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.

In October 2011, growing impatient with waiting for common sense to prevail, I decided to lodge complaints with my bank in Australia and with MasterCard.

I contacted MasterCard five times by email and telephone. I received absolutely no response. They didn't even acknowledge my complaint.

Three different staff members from my bank worked on my complaint - one from the complaints, cards, and merchant areas.

The first assured me no section of my credit card terms and conditions (T&Cs) covered this situation and they would ask for it to be added (an interesting admission as T&Cs are supposed to be legally binding).

The second was more aggressive, and clearly annoyed at my persistence and my refusal to accept their decision that there was nothing they could do about a MasterCard decision. I was particularly intrigued by his reaction following my request for the bank to provide feedback to MasterCard, where he stated: "[We] have not provided feedback to MasterCard and we do not intend to do so. They are the owners of the product and you need to clarify directly with them." When I advised that I had tried on multiple occasions to contact MasterCard, to no avail, he didn't bother to respond.

In a conversation with the third staff member, it became clear that the bank excuse de jour was that WikiLeaks did not having a merchant facility. So, the reasoning goes, neither the bank, nor MasterCard are at fault. But, I asked, how could WikiLeaks be expected to have a merchant facility when the transaction blockade renders one useless?

In the end the staff member notified MasterCard about my complaint and even advised them that "their brand was at stake."

I also contacted the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) who rejected my complaints; the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), who couldn't help as my complaint wasn't employment related; the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), who don't cover banking practices and referred me to my bank or APRA; the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), who don't regulate MasterCard and referred me to the RBA who regulate payment systems; the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), who don't look at individual disputes and referred me to the ACCC; and finally, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), who referred me back to my bank before rejecting my complaint twice.

Despite rejecting my own and other people's complaints, the ACCC had the audacity to advise Senator Scott Ludlam during Senate estimates in February 2012 that they hadn't received any complaints. They later corrected themselves, and admitted they had.

The ACCC then kindly referred me to my bank, saying my complaint related to my Terms and Conditions (T&Cs). They also referred me to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

When I emailed the ACCC a graph showing the 95 per cent drop in donations to WikiLeaks after the blockade, the ACCC advised, "It cannot be established that MasterCard and Visa have acted 'in concert'".

Which begs the question, whether the ACCC actually investigates any complaints, or if it demands Australian citizens to provide their own evidence of corporate deceit before launching an investigation.

The FOS eventually escalated my complaint to their legal counsel, who rejected it on three grounds:

  1. They are "unable to review actions of any third parties to the dispute or the actions of an organisation which is not a member of our service."
  2. My bank "is not obliged to know who will accept payments made through MasterCard or what decision MasterCard will make in the provision of its service."
  3. "That it appears I had not suffered any financial loss due to the issue". They also stated they were unable to compel my bank to amend the wording of their credit card T&Cs.

So, I decided to seek legal counsel, and was advised that a class action suit brought by cardholders against MasterCard and Visa would face several hurdles, including: Who has suffered the actual financial loss? If WikiLeaks has suffered the actual financial loss, who bears the adverse cost risk if the action failed? But, I asked, with the blockade in place how could WikiLeaks ever hope to pay legal costs for the banking giants MasterCard and Visa, where proceedings would likely last many years?

In an attempt to determine what was driving the inaction of the various regulatory bodies, I lodged Freedom of Information (FOI) requests with the ACCC, ASIC, APRA and the RBA.

My request was deliberately broad asking for documentation relating to the WikiLeaks financial blockade, and included any rules, guidelines, practices, and precedents relating to decisions regarding complaints, enquiries and recommendations regarding the decision by MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, Western Union and American Express to block donations to the organisation WikiLeaks.

I also requested general statistics about how many enquiries and complaints were received and their outcomes.

The ACCC, APRA and the RBA all responded advising that they refused my request "under section 24A(1) of the FOI Act on the basis that the document does not exist."

Interesting statement considering the length of my ACCC complaint process and that other complaints they themselves admitted they had received.

The lack of documentation from these bodies reflects appalling record keeping practices and accountability. The RBA did, however, confirm it had received one complaint regarding the blockade - which I am certain was my own.

So where does this leave us today?

My months of complaints and enquiries revealed that MasterCard and Visa are outside of any and all regulation and accountability in Australia.

They are empowered to arbitrarily and indiscriminately restrict the facilitation of funds to companies and organisations from individuals, like myself, and this appalling breach of consumer rights worldwide must end.

For more information on what you can do, visit

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.
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo envoy believes Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono profiteered from his actions at the height of Zimbabwe's economic crisis.
    • With the announcement of Omar Suleiman's run for Egyptian presidency, WikiLeaks Press sent out a series of tweets linking to related cables, including his involvement in torture. Al Jazeera also cited a related WikiLeaks cable in a recent article on Suleiman.
    • Cuban spies supportVenezuelan President Hugo Chávez' regime.
    • WikiLeaks cables confirm claims that the UK sold the Storm Shadow cruise missile to Saudi Arabia.
  • WikiLeaks supporters all over the world have been donating $5 or more today in an effort to "Beat the Blockade" that's been straining donations for nearly 500 days now.
  • GOP candidate Mitt Romney called on Obama to release notes and transcripts of his meetings with world leaders, but believes WikiLeaks' release of diplomatic cables was "treason."
  • Kristinn Hrafnsson spoke at a SKUP 2012 whistleblowing panel alongside Annie Machon and Smári McCarthy, giving a detailed presentation on WikiLeaks.
  • Salon's Glenn Greenwald authored an article on the excessive secrecy in the U.S. Government, commenting that this is why "WikiLeaks is such a vital and important movement."
  • A forum on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was held in Newcastle, Australia, with speakers Christine Assange, Andrew Fowler, Jim Jose, and Kellie Tranter. Video of the event is available.
  • You can now subscribe to WikiLeaks Press updates via Google Currents on your Android or Apple phone or tablet.

Julian Assange News:

  • Julian Assange challenged the UK's press coverage of his extradition struggle in a submission to the Leveson Inquiry. 75 complaints had been filed to the Press Complaints Commission, mostly relating to false statements that he has been charged. Assange says the libelous statements cause harm to WikiLeaks globally, including contributing to a hostile media climate. His submissions are available in PDF format at the Leveson Inquiry's website.
  • Julian Assange's talk show "The World Tomorrow" premieres next week. The first promo video has been released:
  • Julian Assange authored an editorial note on change:

    We live in the world that we perceive. Our limits are the limits of our perceptions. This generation knows more than any previous generation. Its actions will eclipse those of previous generations. We change the world by observing its behavior, thinking about our observations and acting on our thoughts. To observe we must open our eyes. To think we must open our minds. To act, we must open our hearts. Our eyes have never been so wide. Our minds never so trained. And the courage in our hearts spreads like a contagion.

  • Justice for Assange is looking for Swedish speakers to help with a project. See link for contact details.
  • An article at Rixstep reveals new information in the Assange case, including Claes Borgström's history of authoring 'screenplays' for plaintiffs and waiting until chief prosecutor Eva Finné was off the case before changing SW's testimony.
  • Geoffrey Robertson QC was on ABC RadioNational Law Report discussing Julian Assange's extradition case. He noted that the Supreme Court has just gone into recess, so the verdict is now expected in May. But WikiLeaks has since tweeted that the verdict is actually expected the week of April 16.
  • When asked about Julian Assange's run for senate, U.S. Ambassador to Australia Jeffrey Bleich commented, "Whoever Australia wants to elect to its legislative positions is up to Australians to decide," but followed by saying he believed WikiLeaks acted irresponsibly, dangerously, and "has not been a force for good."

Bradley Manning News:

  • Bradley Manning won People's Choice for Global Exhange's 10th Annual Human Rights Award.
  • A political cartoon by Malcolm Evans depicts the shift in treatment of whistleblowers from Daniel Ellsberg to Bradley Manning.
  • Bradley Manning's defense has filed four motions including the dismissal of the "aiding the enemy" charge and dismissal based on unreasonable multiplication of charges.
  • Truth-out has published an in-depth analysis of how the U.S. Government is railroading Bradley Manning, covering everything from his pre-trial confinement to the latest motion hearings.
  • WikiLeaks Press has created a fact sheet which covers all of Bradley Manning's legal proceedings to date.
  • reviewed the upcoming book, "The Passion of Bradley Manning" by Chase Madar.


Upcoming Dates & Events:

April 12-28: Performances of "The Radicalization of Bradley Manning" held between these dates in schools across Wales.

April 16: Julian Assange's Supreme Court verdict expected to be handed down this week.

April 17: WikiLeaks' 500th day of financial blockade without process.

April 19: "WikiLeaks, Assange, and Defending Democracy" panel at BMW Edge in Melbourne, 6:30PM, with Christine Assange, Scott Ludlam, Lizzie O'Shea, Bernard Keane, and Greg Barns.

April 20: Julian Assange's 500th day of detainment without charge.

April 23: Bradley Manning's 700th day of imprisonment without trial.

April 24-26: Bradley Manning's next set of pre-trial hearings.

April 24: Bradley Manning "Surprise Party" at City Hall in Portland, Oregon, 11AM.

April 27-28: Kristinn Hrafnsson to speak at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy at panels "Whistleblowers and anonymous leaks: can the media do without them?" (27/4) and "Dossier WikiLeaks. Segreti italiani" (28/4).

May 23: Julian Assange to speak at Enterprise Information Management Congress 2012 in The Netherlands.

May 27: "Incident in New Baghdad" to air on The Documentary Channel, 8PM.

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.
    • Journalist Seymour Hersh revealed that the Bush administration secretly trained Iranian opposition group Mujahideen-e-Khalq, or MEK, which has been listed as a foreign terrorist group since 1997. In an interview with Democracy Now!, Hersh mentioned WikiLeaks cables which show the U.S. helped Yukiya Amano get elected as Director General of the IAEA to ensure pressure on Iran.
    • A report released by the Environmental Investigation Agency shows that more than 20 American companies have played roles in the steady flow of illegal hardwoods from the Peruvian Amazon. The report is partially based on information from State Department cables released by WikiLeaks.
    • In February 2011, The Telegraph analysed WikiLeaks cables on Omar Suleiman, who has now formally entered the Egyptian presidential race.
    • The Chinese Government recently gifted a $35 million stadium to the Bahamas, which The New York Times related to WikiLeaks cables showing diplomats being increasingly worried about Chinese presence in the area.
  • The UK is exporting surveillance technology to repressive nations. Many brochures, presentations, and marketing videos detailing these technologies were released in WikiLeaks' Spy Files.
  • A blog covering the WikiLeaks Grand Jury has published a two-part series about revelations from Stratfor emails. WikiLeaks recently tweeted that the Grand Jury has been sitting for nearly 18 months and a verdict is expected.
  • WikiLeaks Press has released a news review for the week of March 8-14.

WikiLeaks News (Genereal):

  • Julian Assange's submissions to the Leveson Inquiry are now available at the WikiLeaks website.
  • WikiLeaks lawyer Geoffrey Robertson and Australian Attorney-General Nicola Roxon are among the guests for next week's Q&A. You can submit a question via the Q&A website.
  • Patricia Bellia, Law Professor at University of Notre Dame, has written an 80-page essay entitled "WikiLeaks and the Institutional Framework for National Security Disclosures," which details legalities and comparisons to the Pentagon Papers.
  • EFF writes that the proposed CISPA bill (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011) would be a "powerful weapon to use against whistleblower websites like WikiLeaks." You can take action against CISPA at the EFF's website.
  • An article in Global Research looks at how the Obama administration is using the guise of "cybersecurity" to open new backdoors for intrusive government surveillance and how this could be detrimental for WikiLeaks.
  • The U.S. State Department IT chief Susan Swart gave an interview about changes in cyber security after WikiLeaks release of diplomatic cables, nearly 18 months ago.
  • OFCOM is continuing its investigation into the documentary, "WikiLeaks: Secrets and Lies." Channel 4 has now admitted that The Guardian's David Leigh was a secret paid production member.
  • Professor Ferrada de Noli has updated his article detailing how WikiLeaks has buried the myth of Sweden's neutrality.
  • A Swedish blogger has been analyzing Expressen editor Thomas Mattsson's smears and mudslinging against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.
  • During a book reading in Portland, Oregon, political activist Ralph Nader responsed to a question on WikiLeaks by criticizing the Obama administration for going after whistleblowers and saying he agreed with Ron Paul: "We need more WikiLeaks."
  • George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin, has opened up a support fund which accepts donations from credit cards and Paypal. This has caused multiple Twitter users to ask why one is allowed to donate to Zimmerman but not WikiLeaks.
  • The list of Christine Assange's Talking Points has been updated and now contains 90 facts about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.
  • Twitter user @SomersetBean has created 80 posters addressing Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr with facts about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.

Julian Assange News:

  • New Internationalist has published an exclusive interview with Julian Assange, in which he discusses surveillance, communications, and how he had to become the 'fall guy' for WikiLeaks.
  • El Telégrafo also published an exclusive interview with Julian Assange, where he discussed such things as the Swedish extradition case, Australia's political situation, attacks against WikiLeaks, market regulation, and the expulsion of the U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador.
  • There is a new section at Justice for Assange which covers irregularities in the conduct of the Swedish prosecution in the investigation against Julian Assange.
  • An article in Business Insider gives an overview of the Assange case and notes that by looking at the "Agreed Statement of Facts and Issues," Marianne Ny does not seem to be an impartial judicial authority.
  • In the upcoming TEN TV movie, "Underground: The Julian Assange Story," Alex Williams is cast as Julian Assange, Rachel Griffiths as his mother, and Anthony LaPaglia as Detective Ken Roberts.

Bradley Manning News:

  • Support events for Bradley Manning are planned worldwide during the dates of his next hearings, April 24-26.
  • An article in Salon (authored by Charles Davis, filling in for Glenn Greenwald) looks at how most American liberals have betrayed Bradley Manning by attacking his character and failing to stand up for him.
  • The Bradley Manning Support Network published an article written for the two-year anniversary of "Collateral Murder," which calls on people to discuss the video and join in their campaigns to free Bradley Manning.
  • Chase Madar's book "The Passion of Bradley Manning" will be released tomorrow.


Upcoming Dates & Events:

April 12-28: Performances of "The Radicalization of Bradley Manning" held between these dates in schools across Wales.

April 16: Julian Assange's Supreme Court verdict expected to be handed down this week.

April 17: WikiLeaks' 500th day of financial blockade without process.

April 19: "WikiLeaks, Assange, and Defending Democracy" panel at BMW Edge in Melbourne, 6:30PM, with Christine Assange, Scott Ludlam, Lizzie O'Shea, Bernard Keane, and Greg Barns.

April 20: Julian Assange's 500th day of detainment without charge.

April 23: Bradley Manning's 700th day of imprisonment without trial.

April 24-26: Bradley Manning's next set of pre-trial hearings. Support events planned worldwide.

April 27-28: Kristinn Hrafnsson to speak at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy at panels "Whistleblowers and anonymous leaks: can the media do without them?" (27/4) and "Dossier WikiLeaks. Segreti italiani" (28/4).

May 23: Julian Assange to speak at Enterprise Information Management Congress 2012 in The Netherlands.

May 27: "Incident in New Baghdad" to air on The Documentary Channel, 8PM.

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.
    • WikiLeaks asked, "Any bets on who The World Tomorrow's first mystery guest(s) are?" From information collected via WikiLeaks, Twitter, and interviews, confirmed guests are believed to be: Tariq Ali, Moazzam Begg, Noam Chomsky, Alaa Abd El-Fattah, David Horowitz, Anwar Ibrahim, Moncef Marzouki, and Nabeel Rajab.
    • Premiere times for the show are as follows: 4:30AM in Los Angeles, 7:30AM in New York, 12:30PM in London, 1:30PM in Zurich, 3:30PM in Moscow, 5:00PM in New Delhi, 8:30PM in Tokyo, and 9:30PM in Sydney.
    • Due to mainstream media often misreporting this fact, it must be reiterated that RT is the broadcaster and is not involved in the production. "The World Tomorrow" is produced by Quick Roll Productions, a company owned by Julian Assange, in partnership with Dartmouth Films.
    • Watch the second trailer below:
  • An Op-Ed in Sydney Morning Herald discusses how Julian Assange is not guilty of sexual assault nor treason, yet he faces the threat of extradition to the U.S.; all for exposing crimes, not committing them.
  • WSWS has written an article detailing how the Australian Government has reinforced its conspiracy against Julian Assange in the days leading up to his Supreme Court verdict.
  • In a new interview, Christine Assange discussed how Julian's situation represents a larger issue of global exploitation and intimidation by the U.S. Government.
  • An article in WSWS covers the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights to allow the extradition of five men on terror-related charges to the U.S. and looks at the implications this carries for Julian Assange's case.

WikiLeaks News:

  • Cablegate Coverage:
    • An article in Al Jazeera analyses the failed war on drugs, citing multiple WikiLeaks cables which show how "complex, fraught and internationalised" the drug war has become.
    • An article in Wall Street Journal discusses the upcoming U.S.-Iran talks, referencing multiple ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) threat assessments released by WikiLeaks.
  • Harvard Law School professor Yochai Benkler has published a 69-page draft of his essay, "A Free Irresponsible Press: WikiLeaks and the Battle over the Soul of the Networked Fourth Estate," which covers why the battle over WikiLeaks is so vital.
  • A smear campaign against Atanas Chobanov of Balkan Leaks, WikiLeaks' Bulgarian media partner, has begun. Julian Assange commented, "I denounce the smears against Atanas Chobanov. Balkan Leaks is an official WikiLeaks partner, and Chobanov is an honorable man."
  • An article by Harry Blutstein details an event in 1772 where Benjamin Franklin anonymously received and circulated letters by Thomas Hutchinson about colonial rights, causing outrage in Boston and forcing Hutchinson to flee. Blutstein compares these events to modern times with WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and Bradley Manning.
  • A batch of letters from Australian MPs and Senators sent in response to questions regarding WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have been posted. See also how MPs and Senators rank in their support for WikiLeaks at OzWikiWatch.
  • In 2011, Anne Ramberg, the head of the Swedish Bar Association, issued a statement in which she discussed the importance of WikiLeaks and calls on Sweden to stand up for the organization and Julian Assange.
  • A WikiLeaks supporter described a conversation with a MasterCard executive who said they had blocked WikiLeaks donations on instructions from the Australian PM and Attorney General. After this began spreading via Twitter, MasterCard stated this information was false and the decision to block donations was theirs alone.
  • The WikiLeaks Forum is calling on people to help translate the Global Intelligence Files.
  • A new video in the ongoing WikiLeaks support series, "Did You Have Any Idea?," has been released, featuring peace activist Gail Malone.
  • Twitter user @SomersetBean has created posters for the upcoming 500th day of detainment without charge for Julian Assange (April 20), and the 700th day of imprisonment for Bradley Manning without trial (April 23).

Bradley Manning News:

  • A U.S. federal court has ruled that employees must actually be involved in hacking to be prosecuted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act anti-hacking statute. This is important for Bradley Manning's case as he is accused of breaching the CFAA, although the prosecution does not allege he broke into any computer systems.
  • During an April 12 fundraiser, GOP Candidate Ron Paul stated that he would have Bradley Manning protected under the Whistleblower Act.
  • "The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning," a play detailing the soldier's life, began touring Wales on April 12. You can still reserve a spot to watch a live-streamed version of the play. A video clip of the play is available at the BBC.
  • The Nobel Peace Prize, for which Bradley Manning is a nominee, will be announced on October 12.
  • April 20 is the deadline to raise funds for a campaign to put up 21 Bradley Manning support ads around the Washington DC Metro subway system.
  • The New Inquiry has published an excerpt of Chase Madar's new book, "The Passion of Bradley Manning,"
  • The Bradley Manning Support Network has posted an excerpt about Bradley's motion hearings from the new book by Greg Mitchell and Kevin Gosztola, "Truth and Consequences: The U.S. vs Bradley Manning."


Upcoming Dates & Events:

April 14-28: Performances of "The Radicalization of Bradley Manning" held between these dates in schools across Wales.

April 16: Julian Assange's Supreme Court verdict expected to be handed down this week.

April 17: Julian Assange's talk show, "The World Tomorrow," premieres on RT, 11:30AM GMT..

April 17: WikiLeaks' 500th day of financial blockade without process.

April 19: "WikiLeaks, Assange, and Defending Democracy" panel at BMW Edge in Melbourne, 6:30PM, with Christine Assange, Scott Ludlam, Lizzie O'Shea, Bernard Keane, and Greg Barns.

April 20: Julian Assange's 500th day of detainment without charge.

April 23: Bradley Manning's 700th day of imprisonment without trial.

April 24-26: Bradley Manning's next set of pre-trial hearings. Support events planned worldwide.

April 27-28: Kristinn Hrafnsson to speak at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy at panels "Whistleblowers and anonymous leaks: can the media do without them?" (27/4) and "Dossier WikiLeaks. Segreti italiani" (28/4).

May 23: Julian Assange to speak at Enterprise Information Management Congress 2012 in The Netherlands.

May 27: "Incident in New Baghdad" to air on The Documentary Channel, 8PM.

2012-04-14 Julian Assange's 'The World Tomorrow' 17 April

The long awaited television series 'The World Tomorrow' hosted by Julian Assange will begin airing worldwide this coming Tuesday 17 April at 15:30 Moscow time on both cable TV and online. The news has been meet with considerable speculation as to who Assange's mystery guests will be and has also been met with the now familiar 'Kremlin mouthpiece' dismissal from the mainstream media.

Transcripts of the interviews will also be made available online.

The series has been co-produced by Julian's own production company Quick Roll Productions together with Dartmouth Films, the company behind The War You Don't See.

Julian Assange The World Tomorrow 17 April 2012

15:30 MCK (Moscow time) equates to 4:30 in Los Angeles, 7:30 in New York, 12:30 in London, 13:30 in Zurich, 17:00 in New Delhi, 20:30 in Tokyo, and 21:30 in Sydney. For all other times see the following link.

After the initial broadcast, it will subsequently be broadcast every 2 hours for 24 hours.

For more information on how to access RT in North America with Time Warner, Comcast Cable, Cablevision, Verizon, Cox, RCN, Dish, and others, see the link below.

'Frank and irreverent'

Julian's promised the show will have a 'frank and irreverent' tone.

My conviction is that power can only be transformed if it is taken seriously - but ordinary people must resist the temptation to defer to the powerful.

The music for the series has been composed by British-Sri Lankan artist M.I.A. aka Maya Arulpragasam, ranked by both Esquire and Time as one of the world's most influential people. Arulpragasam has previously released the mixtape Vicki Leekx in support of WikiLeaks and is currently enjoying success with her hit single 'Bad Girls'.

Frequently asked questions

The WikiLeaks website hosts a series of 'frequently asked questions' about the coming show.

Who produced the show? How can one license it?
The show was being produced by Quick Roll Productions, a company established by Julian Assange. The main production partner is Dartmouth Films, a UK producer of independent films. Indispensable help and advice has been received from friends and supporters of WikiLeaks. Those interested in licensing the show can contact the distributor, Journeyman Pictures.

What is RT's relationship with the show?
RT became the first television corporation to licence broadcasting rights for the first release of 26-minute edits of each of the episodes in English, Spanish, and Arabic. No one from RT was involved in the production of the show, all editorial decisions being made by Julian Assange himself.

Will the full material recorded during the interviews be made available?
WikiLeaks will make available as much material as possible within the constraints of Julian's circumstances. Longer edits of the episodes will be released in due course, and transcripts of the interviews will be published on the show's independent website


The week including 17 April is also a week of several notable anniversaries and important dates for WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and others.

  • 17 April is also the 17 month anniversary of WL Central.
  • 18 April is the 17 month anniversary of Marianne Ny's second arrest warrant for Julian Assange.
  • It's likely Julian Assange's Supreme Court verdict will be handed down the same week.
  • 17 April is the 500th day of the financial blockade against WikiLeaks.
  • 20 April is Julian Assange's 500th day of detainment without charge.
  • 23 April is Bradley Manning's 700th day of imprisonment without trial.
  • 24-26 April: the next set of Bradley Manning pretrial hearings.
  • 27-28 April: Kristinn Hrafnsson will be speaking at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia Italy.

'Kremlin mouthpiece'

Dismissals of RT as 'Kremlin mouthpiece' have been heard once again. TVNZ wrote that RT 'is considered a key Kremlin exercise in image enhancement by critics' without stating who those critics are, something that wouldn't be allowed on sites like Wikipedia. Those who frequent RT and its many regular shows of course would beg to differ. And the Alyona Show dealt with this matter already in January when the Assange show was announced.

Mystery guests

Several news outlets have claimed the first guest will be none other than MIA, although this can very well be a mistake on the part of one outlet that got quickly copied to others, All Things Digital being an example of this proliferation.

Cablegate journalist Phillip Dorling wrote the following for the Sydney Morning Herald.

Other interviewees understood to be included in what Assange described as an 'eclectic array' include American conservative writer and policy advocate David Horowitz, a prominent exiled Iranian opposition leader, an Egyptian revolutionary also under house arrest, and, in what appears to be a journalistic coup, a prominent figure in a major political group listed as a terrorist organisation in the US, Britain and Australia. The identities of all participants are yet to be publicly disclosed.

The list of interviewees remains a closely guarded secret.

Promotional videos

Five promotional and related videos have been released so far.

RT would seem to have also set up a promotional account at Facebook.

Further links

Julian Assange's TV show The World Tomorrow gets launch date

Assange set to release TV talk show

RT: Where to watch

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)

- Military vans with tinted windows arrived when a 737 from Kabul en route to Guantanamo landed. The airport was not equipped to handle such large aircraft. It was ordered that as few staff as possible was present at this time. (Airport staff member Mariola Przewlocka interviewed by the Guardian and the BBC.)

- At one occasion, a US diplomat was present, and turned her back when Polish military vans arrived. (Airport staff member Mariola Przewlocka interviewed by the Guardian)

- Landing fees were paid by Polish individuals in plain clothes. In one instance, he paid for de-icing of the run way, which should have been covered by the airport. They always paid three or four times the usual price. (Airport staff member Mariola Przewlocka interviewed by the Guardian)

- High ranking airport staff was told that the 'international flights' would be met by officials from the 'unit'. (Airport director Jaroslaw Jurczenko interviewed by the Guardian)

- The military installation in Stare Kiejkuty consists of two areas, a large training center, and a stretch of woods with limited access. This second area has separate road access, leading to a villa in the middle of the woods, about 600m away from the training center. It was also used to host high profile guests such as former presidents Lech Wałęsa and Aleksander Kwaśniewski. (TVP)

- Polish Secret Service drove the prisoners from Szymany to Stare Kiejkuty, dropping them off at the villa. (Gazeta Wyborcza)

- A prisoner describes snow on the ground when he arrived at an unknown airport. He says he was later on offered a water bottle with a Polish address on it. (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in an interview with the Red Cross, as quoted by the BBC)

- The CIA operated a prison in an old riding school in Lithuania. (BBC)

- The CIA operated a prison in Bucharest. (AP and ARD)

- Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg stated that he has seen evidence on a CIA prison in Poland (TVP).

- US diplomatic staff liaised with Polish government officials regarding the press coverage of the CIA prison. (WLC according to Cablegate)

- The Polish Secret Service handed over files about collaboration with CIA to the prosecutor's office. (TVP and Gazeta Wyborcza)

Everything points to the fact that a CIA prison existed on Polish soil. This would have involved a complicity of the military branch of the Secret Service, who made one of their buildings available to the CIA. Moreover, higher ranks of border patrol services would have known about the incoming private flights with diplomatic status, and their rather unusual route. Equally, the US embassy would most likely have been informed about these flights, even if they were not provided with the full facts. Lastly, a larger number of European countries were complicit by allowing for CIA flights to operate discretely.

Some other aspects of the workings of the CIA prison remain obscure, and could potentially provide an avenue for investigation. For instance, deliveries of food supplies could have left an auditable money trail, if they were delegated to a subcontractor.

It also remains to be seen, which part of the Secret Service assisted the CIA with the transfer of prisoners to and from the airport, and with payment of the airport fees. Moreover, it is unclear how close the collaboration in fact was. This last issue is even more important as some evidence suggests that the role of the Polish agencies may not have been limited to practical tasks related to the prison itself:

A report in Rzeczpospolita claims that the Secret Service lent twenty analysts with a special expertize in the Near and Middle East to the CIA, based on Polish sources. A CIA source later confirmed this to Spiegel (however, the Spiegel article does only speak of "agents" without specifying their background). Rzeczpospolita says that they were given tasks by the US, and paid with credit cards without a limit. These tasks involved using their contacts and sources for American interests. Sources told Rzeczpospolita that the collaboration stemmed from the good impression Polish intelligence made when they provided the US with crucial evidence before and after the 9/11 attacks.

If such a collaboration indeed existed, the level of complicity between Poland and the US would be much higher than previously thought. This could in turn make Poland appear as an associate of the United States.

Over the past year, a number of high ranking officials commented on the case. Former PM Leszek Miller said that those investigating the CIA prison "invited al-Qa'ida into the country". It was also recently suggested by a parliamentary committee that Polish agencies should monitor the Arabic media for negative press coverage, to protect Polish citizens abroad from reprisals. According to Cablegate documents covered by WLC Iran had already threatened Poland with a dossier on the prison in 2006.

2012-04-15 How free speech becomes terrorism: The Tarek Mehanna case and the implications for WikiLeaks and Julian Assange

I am indebted to Glenn Greenwald who posted an article here on the Tarek Mehanna case.

Greenwald outlines the case:

Tarek Mehanna, an American Muslim, was convicted this week in a federal court in Boston and then sentenced yesterday to 17 years in prison. He was found guilty of supporting Al Qaeda (by virtue of translating Terrorists’ documents into English and expressing “sympathetic views” to the group) as well as conspiring to “murder” U.S. soldiers in Iraq (i.e., to wage war against an invading army perpetrating an aggressive attack on a Muslim nation)

In a link by Greenwald to Julia Spitz of MetroWest Daily News, further details emerge:

He was a 'serious young man' who wanted to 'exemplify Islam,' said the judge, but became consumed by a fervor that led him to support al Qaeda by translating materials from Arabic into English and 'proselytizing' to recruit others to embrace his views.

Embrace his views or incite others to violence? (one might ask). As I wrote here, about incitement on the subject of certain Americans inciting others to kill Julian Assange:

There is no automatic 1st Amendment protection per Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969):
Freedoms of speech and press do not permit a State to forbid advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action

The Brandenberg 'test' therefore appears no longer to be 'good' US law, unless the prosecutor at trial managed to adduce evidence that Mehanna was directed by Al Queda to do as he did, in which case the bare elements of a conspiracy are made out. There appears to be no evidence that Mehanna did conspire with Al Queda and the information at hand strongly suggests Mehanna engaged only in independent advocacy against the US's propensity to wage wars on Muslim nations and kill innocent civilians in large numbers, without the command structure in any way being held accountable, (excepting for example, as history has recorded, prosecutions of the lowest ranking soldiers for torture at Abu Ghraib in Iraq.)

I suspect that the jury may have been misdirected in the Mehanna case by the judge on points of law, but even if that is incorrect, it seems apparent that in terrorism cases around the world, juries can be so easily prejudiced against those who hold repugnant views such that it is becoming impossible to conduct fair trials in 'terrorism' cases. (The US is not alone in this respect and this writer and lawyer is an equal opportunity critic of an Australian case where certain things happened during the trial where the jury was/must_have_been influenced by certain events that should have seen the jury discharged and the trial aborted. That case, I believe is/should be wending its way to the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal.)

At sentence Mehanna, in part read this to sentencing Judge O'Toole:

All those videos and translations and childish bickering over ‘Oh, he translated this paragraph’ and ‘Oh, he edited that sentence,’ and all those exhibits revolved around a single issue: Muslims who were defending themselves against American soldiers doing to them exactly what the British did to America. It was made crystal clear at trial that I never, ever plotted to “kill Americans” at shopping malls or whatever the story was. The government’s own witnesses contradicted this claim, and we put expert after expert up on that stand, who spent hours dissecting my every written word, who explained my beliefs. Further, when I was free, the government sent an undercover agent to prod me into one of their little “terror plots,” but I refused to participate. Mysteriously, however, the jury never heard this.

So, this trial was not about my position on Muslims killing American civilians. It was about my position on Americans killing Muslim civilians, which is that Muslims should defend their lands from foreign invaders – Soviets, Americans, or Martians. This is what I believe. It’s what I’ve always believed, and what I will always believe. This is not terrorism, and it’s not extremism. It’s what the arrows on that seal above your head represent: defense of the homeland. So, I disagree with my lawyers when they say that you don’t have to agree with my beliefs – no. Anyone with commonsense and humanity has no choice but to agree with me. If someone breaks into your home to rob you and harm your family, logic dictates that you do whatever it takes to expel that invader from your home.

But when that home is a Muslim land, and that invader is the US military, for some reason the standards suddenly change. Common sense is renamed ”terrorism” and the people defending themselves against those who come to kill them from across the ocean become “the terrorists” who are ”killing Americans.”...

The right to self defence (or to argue for self defence?) is necessarily enshrined in domestic law. For an adversarial system example :

(1) A person is not criminally responsible for an offence if the person carries out the conduct constituting the offence in self-defence.
(2) A person carries out conduct in self-defence if and only if the person believes the conduct is necessary:
(a) to defend himself or herself or another person, or
(b) to prevent or terminate the unlawful deprivation of his or her liberty or the liberty of another person, or
(c) to protect property from unlawful taking, destruction, damage or interference, or
(d) to prevent criminal trespass to any land or premises or to remove a person committing any such criminal trespass,
and the conduct is a reasonable response in the circumstances as he or she perceives them.

While this is domestic law the principles are similar and apply to international armed conflicts. (The only complications that occur is when non state actors become involved, but that does not necessarily deny the right of self defence, however those exercising it are obliged to comply with the laws of armed conflict and safeguard civilian lives.)

What Mehanna did (apparently) was to support the principle of self defence as exercised by Al Queda against the US military, (what is commonly believed by jurists around the world to have been an illegal war). While Al Queda is clearly an odious and murderous group with much innocent blood on its hands, (among others) its killing of invaders from the USA in Iraq was not necessarily contrary to the laws of armed conflict. Mehannah's advocacy of the right to self defence however came against the US's quasi-legal view that anybody who opposes them militarily is a prima facie terrorist, or terrorist supporter.

The Wikileaks Dimension.

The concern I have is that the Mehannah case does not auger well for the future and the probability that Julian Assange will at some stage be extradited to the USA. Readers will recall VP Biden's statement that Assange is a "hi-tech terrorist" for example. The climate in the USA, given the level of the sycophantic media inspired near hysterical outrage against Wikileaks and Julian Assange in particular: is palpable.

Judges in my jurisdiction give great attention to instructing juries that they must only judge a case on the evidence before them, and that to seek outside information is not only highly improper but attracts sanctions; that as members of the jury panel and if prejudiced against the defendant they must declare that prejudice and be excused. In the US climate, given the depth of anti Wikileaks attacks; corporate withholding of financial services crippling Wikileaks to a highly significant degree; smears by former media partners including the New York Times; outright lies that Julian Assange has been charged with sex offences (when he has not): would all make problematic a fair trial of Julian Assange on whatever indictment was presented. To the adage that a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich, could be added that a US jury will convict a ham sandwich indicted for terrorism or terrorist related offences.

The common thread of such an indictment, (as it was for Mehanna) is of course about free speech or lack thereof. We can readily imagine, or predict what DOJ prosecutors will present in an opening address, "...aiding and abetting the enemies of the USA members of the jury..."..."material support for TERRORISTS TERRORISTS, members of the jury, don't forget that important part of the prosecutions case (subtext: convict this dude and rest easy in your beds)!!!").

Such aiding and abetting simply boiled down, being of course the release of damaging evidence that inadvertently (and irrelevantly) caused groups like Al Queda to either gloat or laugh at the US's expense. So much for the rights of the First Amendment.

Whatever part of the Espionage Act that a US indictment of Julian Assange contains, we can be sure of one thing, Julian Assange, like Bradley Manning, would be in custody for years before the case ever came to trial. And it's probably correct to say that that's the way the US government would want it to be.

A final thought on what people might say or believe were Julian Assange extradited and put on trial in the USA:

1) US domestic law trumps any or all international law.
2) The Australian government on current trends, washing their hands in true Pontius Pilate tradition would be found wanting.

2012-04-17 #WikiLeaks News Update: WikiLeaks on Q&A; The World Tomorrow; Other news

WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 500 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 497 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 694 days.
A secret Grand Jury has been active in the U.S. without transparency for 580 days.

WikiLeaks News:

  • Today marks the 500th day of the unlawful financial blockade against WikiLeaks by MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, Bank of America, and Western Union. WikiLeaks has lost 95% of their revenue because of this blockade. Find out how you can donate at the WikiLeaks website.
  • WikiLeaks lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC and Australian Attorney-General Nicola Roxon were among the panelists on Australian TV show "Q and A" last night, where WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was discussed. An audience poll showed 79% believe the Australian government is not doing enough to support Julian Assange. At one point, Roxon falsely stated that Julian Assange had fled from Sweden. Watch the full segment below.
  • Firedoglake's Kevin Gosztola has written an article about the Obama administration's indifference towards Pakistan's opposition of unmanned drones, referencing WikiLeaks cables containing comments by Pakistani officials on the subject.
  • A new poll shows that support for Australian PM Julia Gillard is waning. Only 44% of Australians find her trustworthy, down from 61% in 2010, and dissatisfaction with her rose to 62%. Gillard previously called WikiLeaks "illegal," a false statement she was later forced to redact.
  • Chase Madar, author of the new book "The Passion of Bradley Manning," wrote an article about WikiLeaks, war crimes, and the poverty of international law.

Julian Assange News:

World Tomorrow banner

  • Julian Assange's talk show, "The World Tomorrow," premieres today at 11:30AM GMT and will subsequently air every 2 hours for a 24-hour period. RT's editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan said she has "no doubt" that Assange's controversal first guest will "lead to calls to shut [RT] down." See our article for worldwide premiere times and how you can watch it.
  • RT has released their full 20-minute interview with Julian Assange about "The World Tomorrow." Watch the interview below or read the transcript from RT.
  • Episodes of "The World Tomorrow" will be available at the exclusive, authorized YouTube channel shortly after broadcast on RT.
  • WikiLeaks announced that "The World Tomorrow" has been licensed by a major group for Italian broadcast. This is on top of English, Spanish, and Arabic broadcasts via RT.
  • In an article at New Matilda, legal scholar Max Atkinson analysed the High Court's ruling in the Assange case that a Swedish Prosecution Authority is a judicial authority, the point which is currently being challenged at the Supreme Court.
  • An article in The New American discussed the lack of due process and fundamental civil liberties in Julian Assange's case. The article also contains quotes from an interview they conducted with Christine Assange.

Bradley Manning News:


  • Rick Falkvinge, founder of the Swedish and first Pirate Party, has joined the "I Am Bradley Manning" photo campaign.
  • An Op-Ed in The Guardian detailed the Obama administration's hostility towards whistleblowers, including Bradley Manning.
  • Craig Murray, former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, gave a lecture at Cardiff University in support of Bradley Manning. Beforehand, he was interviewed by BBC Radio about his support for whistleblowers.


Upcoming Dates & Events:

April 17-28: Performances of "The Radicalization of Bradley Manning" held between these dates in schools across Wales.

April 17: Julian Assange's Supreme Court verdict expected to be handed down this week.

April 17: Julian Assange's talk show, "The World Tomorrow," premieres on RT, 11:30AM GMT..

April 17: WikiLeaks' 500th day of financial blockade without process.

April 19: "WikiLeaks, Assange, and Defending Democracy" panel at BMW Edge in Melbourne, 6:30PM, with Christine Assange, Scott Ludlam, Lizzie O'Shea, Bernard Keane, and Greg Barns.

April 20: Julian Assange's 500th day of detainment without charge.

April 23: Bradley Manning's 700th day of imprisonment without trial.

April 24-26: Bradley Manning's next set of pre-trial hearings. Support events planned worldwide.

April 27-28: Kristinn Hrafnsson to speak at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy at panels "Whistleblowers and anonymous leaks: can the media do without them?" (27/4) and "Dossier WikiLeaks. Segreti italiani" (28/4).

May 23: Julian Assange to speak at Enterprise Information Management Congress 2012 in The Netherlands.

May 27: "Incident in New Baghdad" to air on The Documentary Channel, 8PM.

2012-04-18 Christine Assange Demands Attorney General's Resignation

In an emotional ABC radio interview today, Christine Assange, mother of WikiLeaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange, has demanded the resignation of Australian Attorney General Nicola Roxon.

The demand came after Ms Roxon appeared with other panelists, including WikiLeaks lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC, on an Australian political TV show, "Q And A", on Monday 16th April 2012.

Christine Assange says Ms Roxon "has just point blank unblinkingly lied to the Australian people all the way through that Q And A session."

Ms Roxon's appearance on the show was eagerly awaited because since December 2010 there has been almost complete silence on Assange and WikiLeaks from both major Australian political parties. Radio presenter Phil Kafcaloudes replayed the following segment from the Q and A show:

Roxon: "There isn't something at the moment where we can intervene. We've made representations about proper processes, we've done all of the things that you should. He is not in a country that has doesn't have a legal system that operates properly. Ah, even I, as I said at the beginning, think it's an odd process, that you can keep someone detained for this period of time without there being a charge -"

Host: "Have you protested about that?"

Roxon: "We have made our views very clearly known to the - "

Robertson: "Not to the Australian public you haven't."

Roxon: "- to the Americans. Well, I'm here doing an interview today. This is a very public thing to be doing."

Robertson: "Good. What have you said to the Americans?"

(clapping, laughter)

Roxon: "Well we've said lots of things to the Americans."

Robertson: "Have you said we want him to come home first before you try to extradite him for an offence that you claim he has committed outside America?"

Roxon: "As you know, I don't make - Firstly, I don't make a claim about whether he's committed an offence, but other countries are able to make those assertions. If you are in another country or breaking the laws of another country, we have made very clear that we want all of the proper processes to apply. We have made very clear that he's an Australian and he's welcome to come home to Australia..."

Christine Assange began by denying that the Australian government has provided proper representation for her son. She said they did nothing until she stood outside former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's office on a Tuesday, and then a letter was sent out on the Wednesday.

She also denied that Sweden has "a legal system that operates properly".

"Sweden has breached all its own laws on this case from Day One," she said. "And the Australian government has said nothing. Flagrant abuses, abuses of not only police and prosecutorial procedure but human rights as well."

Ms Assange has previously tweeted a lengthy list of over 90 talking points about her son's legal problems, including embarrassing details about the Swedish government's handling of the case.

"Now Nicola Roxon knows full well the list of all the breaches because there was a cross-bench meeting on 2nd March 2011 where all of those breaches were listed by [WikiLeaks lawyer] Jennifer Robinson, in her submission to parliament."

"And just to make sure that they got it, I then emailed it to Nicola Roxon. In fact I emailed all the submissions, the briefs about the illegal breaches, and the politicization of the case, to every MP and every Senator. And Nicola Roxon got it as well."

Ms Assange said that Ms Roxon "has lied, continually, about the breaches."

PK: "Did you get a reaction from Nicola Roxon?"
CA: "Nothing."
PK: "Have you ever had any contact with Nicola Roxon?"
CA: "No."
PK: "Has she ever contacted you?"
CA: "No. No.. In fact they refused to even answer Julian's lawyers' letter for about five weeks, until I started jumping up and down with the media over it."

Ms Assange claimed to have noted "about 18 different lies" from Ms Roxon and cited several of them before the interviewer cut her off:

1. Roxon claimed not to know that it is easier to extradite Julian from Sweden than from the UK. In fact the US-Swedish bilateral treaty includes a Temporary Surrender Regime, which makes extradition much easier, while UK courts and the media are currently in an uproar over several high profile US extradition cases. Greens Senator Scott Ludlum made this very clear to the Australian Senate, but both major parties blocked Ludlum's motion "to at least cut off that particular process".

2. Asked whether the so-called ASIO WikiLeaks amendment "lowers the bar" for Assange to be extradited to the USA, Roxon told the Q And A audience, "No I don't think it does." The amendment significantly expanded ASIO's powers to spy on WikiLeaks and other Australians engaged in activism overseas. Changes to the extradition act have also recently been made by Roxon's department.

Ms Assange noted that US Ambassador Bleich said a week before President Obama visited Australia (16th November 2011) that Australia's extradition obligations needed to be changed. Former Attorney General Robert McLellan was replaced by Ms Roxon less than a month later (14 December 2011).

"The extradition amendments DO impact on Julian," said Ms Assange. "She's lied there again."

3. At one stage (15:50+ mins into the Q and A show) Geoffrey Robertson was discussing the Swedish allegations against Assange when Ms Roxon interjected to state: "he fled from Sweden." Robertson angrily replied, "No he didn't!"

(This erroneous public statement from Roxon follows Prime Minister Julia Gillard's earlier assertion that WikiLeaks was "illegal". Both women are trained lawyers.)

"She said that Julian fled Sweden," said Christine Assange. "Now she well knows that that is a lie. And she also knows that that is what they are doing to smear him. Julian was given permission to leave Sweden by the Swedish prosecutor."

An audience poll during the Q And A show found that 78% of respondent believe the Australian government is not doing enough to support Julian Assange. Host Tony Jones asked Ms Roxon: "Do you want to comment?"

Roxon replied with a nervous laugh: "Not particularly."

2012-04-19 #WikiLeaks News Update: "The World Tomorrow" premiere; Other news

WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 502 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 499 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 696 days.
A secret Grand Jury has been active in the U.S. without transparency for 582 days.

WikiLeaks News:

  • WikiLeaks published a press release for the 500th day of the unlawful banking blockade against them. Many individuals and organizations support WikiLeaks and are fighting for their right to spend.
  • Cabledrum has released the GIFiles Top 20, a list of the Stratfor emails which have received the most media attention. The list includes backgrounds and summaries of the emails, as well as links to related articles.
  • WikiLeaks cables from the U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines show that Chinese investment scandals in the Arroyo administration affected the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal.

Julian Assange News:

World Tomorrow banner

  • The first episode of "The World Tomorrow" premiered on RT, in which Julian Assange interviewed Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Some of the major topics they discussed were the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and the Syrian uprising. Read RT's summary of the episode, or watch the full episode below. Full transcript is also available.
  • As Julian Assange predicted, "The World Tomorrow" premiere was followed by tons of media coverage, including many attacks. Salon's Glenn Greenwald wrote an article covering the media storm, and RT reported on it as well. Some examples of blatant attacks are The Guardian ("Julian Assange proves a useful idiot"), New York Times ("practically speaking, Mr. Assange is in bed with the Kremlin"), and SvD, where the reviewer admits he didn't even listen to the show, as he forgot his headphones. If you're looking for a good, in-depth review, check out Kevin Gosztola's write-up over at Firedoglake.
  • In response to the predictable attacks after "The World Tomorrow" premiered, WikiLeaks released a humorous list of pre-written smears for journalists to use. Some examples are:

    Assange blinks too much – this shows that he is not only nervous and weird, but also lying!
    Assange is a criminal, not a professional. He is trying to distract attention away from his court case by embarking on elaborate television misadventures!
    Assange asks softball questions. He should give those bad people a harder time!

  • An article by Bernard Keane at Crikey looks at how the Australian government dodged and delayed FOI requests about Julian Assange, before completely blocking the release of related material.
  • Christine Assange was on ABC Radio Australia to discuss Attorney-Genereal Nicola Roxon's recent comments about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. Full audio of the interview is available as well as transcript. Also see our write-up of the interview.

Bradley Manning News:

  • The US Air Force is recruiting high school students for cyber security jobs, which involves a "Bradley Manning simulation" where "students were expected to search a mannequin for small hidden storage devices that might contain classified data."
  • The Bradley Manning Support Network is asking people to call Attorney General Eric Holder to protest solitary confinement, which Bradley faced eleven months
  • A supporter has created a video which asks, if you saw evidence of murder, torture, and lies, what would you do?


Upcoming Dates & Events:

April 19-28: Performances of "The Radicalization of Bradley Manning" held between these dates in schools across Wales.

April 19: "WikiLeaks, Assange, and Defending Democracy" panel at BMW Edge in Melbourne, 6:30PM, with Christine Assange, Scott Ludlam, Lizzie O'Shea, Bernard Keane, and Greg Barns.

April 20: Julian Assange's 500th day of detainment without charge.

April 23: Bradley Manning's 700th day of imprisonment without trial.

April 24-26: Bradley Manning's next set of pre-trial hearings. Support events planned worldwide.

April 27-28: Kristinn Hrafnsson to speak at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy at panels "Whistleblowers and anonymous leaks: can the media do without them?" (27/4) and "Dossier WikiLeaks. Segreti italiani" (28/4).

May 23: Julian Assange to speak at Enterprise Information Management Congress 2012 in The Netherlands.

May 27: "Incident in New Baghdad" to air on The Documentary Channel, 8PM.

2012-04-19 Breaking the Silence: Beyond the Doctrine of Nihilism

Image Credit - idlewild606

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" This familiar philosophical question came to my mind in response to a friend's challenge of my support for WikiLeaks and call for investigation into the recent shooting of a black teen in Florida. She said, "How do you know what the truth is? How do you know that George Zimmerman didn't act in self-defense? How do you know that Julian Assange didn't sexually assault women in Scandinavia? ... Unless you get on an airplane, go the scene of the action, and see for yourself, you can't be absolutely certain. You can check and crosscheck multiple different sources and you can draw reasonable inferences, but you still have to inject a certain amount of faith unless you conduct your own personal investigation".

It is true. We were not there at the moment of Trayvon Martin's death. Someone pulled the trigger and as a result the young man was dead. At the moment of his death, the neighbor's 911 call recorded someone crying for help. Someone was being threatened. Was it Zimmerman or Martin? We don't know if this was a murder or an act of self defense by Zimmerman. When the tree fell down, we were not in the woods to hear it.

Later I contemplated my friend's perspective and realized how it represents a psychological condition prevalent in American society. It is a kind of social disease, which perhaps explains the public silence around many problems in the world. This is a kind of belief system that says; I wasn't there. I don't know the truth, so I withhold judgment and remain aloof.

But this is why there is investigative journalism. The journalist's role is to get as close as possible to an incident and report the story on behalf of those who were not there. For instance, the Bahrain revolution was totally blacked out from the international media. While many reporters left the country, a brave filmmaker, May Ying Welsh, the only Western television journalist to stay, went undercover and documented it from beginning to end. She put forward her footage "Shouting in the Dark" for the whole world to see. Another example is Jeremy Scahill who investigated the violent impunity of the private mercenary army BlackWater, now named Academi. His reporting showed the American people how their tax money is used to support hired assassins in the Middle East.

Through these brave journalists, our senses are extended. We hear with their ears and see through their eyes events that we ourselves cannot witness. Though I alone cannot hear the sound of the tree falling, I can vicariously experience it by entering the space and time in which the incident occurred and relive it as if it is happening in the present moment.

Yet, how much real investigative reporting is happening?

The corporate consolidation of the mainstream media has led the Press to lose much of its commitment to these ideals. Documentary filmmaker and journalist John Pilger addressed the decline of the Fourth Estate in 2007 at the forum, Socialism for 21st Century in Chicago. He said, "One of the oldest cliches of war is that truth is the first casualty. No it's not, Journalism is the first casualty".

Ethan McCord, the soldier in the WikiLeaks's Collateral Murder video recounted the experience of awakening within his conscience through his experience that day. After he rescued the children from the van amid the senseless slaughter, he started to question the whole operation that he was a part of. He then went to the staff sergeant who was next in the chain of command to tell him that he needed psychological help to deal with what he was going through. He received the command, "Suck it up and be a soldier." The chain of command in the armed forces depends on those at the bottom subjugating their will for a single purpose: to sustain the structure of power, even if it means giving up ones humanity. What many people don't realize is that this chain of command does not apply only to soldiers. Journalists and even the public have become a part of this top down order.

John Pilger was right. Journalists are drafted into war. The maddening war machine sucks the conscience from the populace. Most people unquestioningly obey the restraining orders that keep them from getting closer to the Truth. True investigative journalists challenge the chain of command of entrenched power. But these reporters are rare or prevented from getting closer to the front lines of war. The practice of embedding journalists with the military and the police repression of the Press and citizen journalists covering Occupy Movement are just a few examples of this.

Mainstream journalists generally don't go into the woods anymore. They cannot easily get to the tree and so don't investigate whether it indeed fell or not, yet their stories are presented as if they were right there in the forest hearing the sounds on the front line. Even if raw footage was captured on the ground, their reports are blocked or spun in the mainstream media. It was not always this way. For instance during the Vietnam war, pictures of wounded soldiers and the dead flooded through the television into American homes. The cruel scenery of an illegal war could not be completely kept secret from the public in the early days of television. Indeed a sensational AP photograph of a Vietnamese girl naked from napalm outraged the American people and helped drive them to end the war. The military-industrial complex learned a lesson from this experience. Now the gate into the war forest is carefully guarded and images in mainstream media are tightly controlled. The false perception of legitimacy is accepted by the public as if the Press is performing the duty under the First Amendment. The media controls by selecting what stories and images are shared, how they will be filtered and what is concealed. Public faith in the appearance of authority brought the media to unquestioned cult status. This was especially true in the run up to the Iraq war. The mainstream media drumbeat helped Congress and the American people believe false claims of weapons of mass destruction and moved the country into a chain of disastrous and illegal wars. The media has become an arm of power that keeps the public in the dark about what is happening in the forest, silencing cries against injustice.

Let's look at Assange's case with this analogy of the tree falling. We were not there to fully understand how the alleged sexual misconduct case emerged, to know whether the tree actually fell or not. Assange has not been charged by any court. He is wanted for questioning, yet the media repeatedly reinforce misconceptions about his case, thus manufacturing reality with standard echo chamber assassination. The voice in the forest was long ago silenced, yet many people don't even know it and only listen to official lines telling people what they want them to believe. Evidence is suppressed and the Press's violation of ethics in misrepresenting the case is not challenged.

In responding to the debut of Assange's new show The World Tomorrow, both the New York Times and the Guardian engaged once again in juvenile smear pieces. The Times repeated the lie that Assange was charged in Sweden and insinuated that he was "a nut job", while the Guardian's article concluded that Assange was "a useful idiot".

Such uninvestigated hearsay and characterizations make headlines and shape perceptions. Words act as a virus, spreading like a contagion.

Till now, established media headlines have been perceived by most people as credible sources of news. Even total inaccuracy or lies are received with little critical examination. Yet the public faith in institutionalized communication is being shaken. The centralized control of information is breaking down at a rapid rate. Leaps in technology, Internet and Social Media have shrunk the world. People around the globe can instantly share information with one another about crucial events without centralized filtering. Peer-to-peer authentic communication circumvents the corporate media control. Live-stream broadcasts show the tree falling live. The world is now next door. People in distant places can participate and place themselves into immediate experience of unfolding events. There are now comment sections in most online articles, which readers use to call out the journalists when a story is misrepresented. People now have the last word.

We are not in the forest, yet we can hear the sound. We can see what is happening on distant shores and connect with people and their first hand experience.

With the whistleblower site WikiLeaks, we have seen the arrival of a new data driven journalism. Backed up by authentic material, this small organization made it possible to convey silenced stories from witnesses who were present when the incident or the coverup occurred.

Collateral Murder brought out what really moves behind political language and how this language makes lies sound truthful and murder respectable. People can hear the trees falling. They hear the sounds of machine guns and helicopters in what had been portrayed as a silent distant forest. Recent US diplomatic cable releases showed diplomats and politicians worldwide trying to abstract justice by bending the laws and advocating for war and corporate greed. There are now thousands of examples like journalist Seymour Hersh who recently credited WikiLeaks cables for showing how the US helped get the current IAEA head elected to pressure Iran as pretext for yet another illegal war.

With all the vital information now available, apathy and indifference still exist and most people don't want to stand up. When there is a call for justice, a symptomatic response arises: How do I know what is true? I don't so I will not stand up for anything. When the media abandons its crucial role, namely to be in the forest and bear witness to vital events, people become skeptical and accept a doctrine of nihilism -I wasn't there, therefore I cannot know and shouldn't question or demand change. Many try to cling to a comfortable yet outdated philosophical mindset.

I have come to realize that it is not that people cannot know the truth. It is the belief that they don't have the power to know that prevents them from hearing the sound of the tree falling. Most people are programed from an early age not to seek the truth but to accept predigested answers to their questions. Whenever a possibility for an alternative view opens, misdirected obeisance and nihilism grab them. Many never learned to think for themselves and rather engage in intellectual posturing to defend an unwillingness to know the truth. Once this becomes habit, it governs how we think, feel and ultimately act. By shutting down our natural curiosity, it is easy to fall back to the default position of accepting the spin and misinformation. Despite all the claims of neutrality, perception is still being molded by the dominant discourse. Unconscious and distorted images shape and influence public opinion.

My friend concluded: "In my view, [they should] put both Zimmerman and Assange on trial and let them have their day in court. Force the government to prove their case and let the jury decide. Use the system to decide guilt or innocence, otherwise all you have is mob rule".

When truth is squashed in the first place, what happens to a system that is supposed to bring justice? Application of law is often simply a reflection of prejudice that has twisted the truth in the first place. In this unjust environment, the law cannot be applied properly. It becomes a tool to further promote oppression. No one is allowed to investigate whether the tree actually fell or not. Actual witnesses in the forest are often kept out of the court. Assange is already judged before even being charged.

In Assange's case, the prejudice is based on WikiLeaks challenging US power. With Trayvon Martin, the issue is a white person killing a black kid with apparent impunity. Police at first released Zimmerman without charges. The Stand Your Ground law allows one to use deadly force when they are threatened and this was applied to justify Zimmerman's act. The law is often used to favor individuals of a certain race and class over others. Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton responded to the arrest of Zimmerman, "a heart has no color. Its not black or white. It's red..", justice should be color blind, treating everyone equally under the law, yet reality shows the opposite.

Trayvon's case is just the tip of the iceberg revealing the myth of equal protection under the law. Corporate executives act as if they are above the law and are given favorable treatment all the time. Bush's authorization of NSA's wiretapping was apparently illegal according to the FISA Act, yet telephone companies got immunity retroactively from Congress. Wall Street executives are engaging in massive fraud, causing the biggest transfer of wealth in history and are never charged or prosecuted.

Where are citizens in all of this? The doctrine of nihilism keeps them silent. We cannot know the truth, so we become spectators of a theater of a kind of secret Grand Jury persecuting the truth-tellers. People have become passive audience in the seats of a gladiator arena, where the mob rules with ignorance and prejudice, all the while manipulated by the prevailing Caesar. All they can do is to repeat the mantra: "We cannot know the truth, so why should we care?" With the doctrine of nihilism, we justify our silence.

The death of Trayvon Martin took place in February and it took nearly two months for Zimmerman to be charged and go to court. Prosecutor Angela Corey spoke of how the charges against Zimmerman were made after examining the facts and were not spurred by the massive social media outcry. Yet one might wonder why this process took so long. When justice is not served by the system that is said to guarantee it, what is left for ordinary people? My friend might call it mob rule, but I see emerging a form of direct democracy. No matter how messy it might look, it is our best hope.

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" The question echoes in the silence, urging us to confront the assumptions that go with it. In seeing the injustice during the civil right movement, Martin Luther King said; "History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people".

Our society still trains us judge each other based on the color of our skin. Illegal wars in the Middle East still continue. How long do we keep this silence, denying our own power to know the truth? It is only unwarranted obedience that allows injustice to continue in the world. Dr. King urged people to break the silence and many responded to that call back then. Now the same urgency to break the silence is called for in our time.

The fact is, we can know and must strive for the truth. For this we have to be willing. We need to begin asking questions, gain accurate information and engage in rigorous, independent analysis. When the tree falls in the woods, the crying voices of those who are crushed will be heard. More than ever, now is the time to break the silence.

2012-04-19 Cablegate: Polish Secret Service cooperated with US in 2006 #wlfind

In 2006, the Polish military Secret Service (WSI) was restructured. The negotiations leading up to this drastic move triggered a number of US diplomatic dispatches. Most of these summarize public speeches by leading Polish politicians. The selection of material included in these dispatches is in itself telling. Most remarkable, however, is a casual comment by embassy staff in an unclassified cable (06WARSAW1171, emphasis by editor):

"On June 9, President Lech Kaczynski signed into law three bills that will liquidate Poland's existing Military Information Services (WSI) on September 30, 2006 in order to create two new services on October 1, 2006, the Military Intelligence Service (SWW) and the Military Counterintelligence Service (SKW). The laws were a centerpiece of PiS's campaign promise to eliminate the vestiges of communism and corruption from Polish military intelligence. The laws do not appear to eliminate any existing military intelligence functions and so Post sees no reason to fear disruption of any ongoing cooperation with Polish military intelligence."

Polish daily Rzeczpospolita reported in 2009 that such a collaboration in fact existed - up to 2005. The article is based on numerous sources with inside knowledge.

This article contains a number of interesting claims:

- A number of the agents delegated to the CIA went through an old fashioned USSR training. Some did not even have good English language proficiency. They would not be associated with the US.

- These agents had an excellent expertize in the Near and Middle East. They were paid for their work.

- The military and the civilian branch of the Secret Service collaborated with the US. The former all but wrote dispatches for the US, but they were not working directly for the US; their top level staff decided which piece of information should be passed on. The latter reported directly to the US.

The collaboration between the US and an unspecified part of the Polish Secret Service was confirmed to Spiegel by a CIA source.

These are the data selected by US diplomats to be included in cables (emphasis by editor):

- "The PM ... pointed to the imminent liquidation of the military intelligence service (WSI) and its replacement with new, separate military intelligence and military counter-intelligence services, as a crucial reform that would finally accomplish the complete removal from the military intelligence function of all "pre-1989" (i.e. Communist-era) personnel. In the same vein, he said, the Internal Security Agency (ABW) was undergoing reform, including a somewhat enigmatic reference to a "change in the relationship between the security services and those supervising them."" (06WARSAW1646)

- "Asked by reporters about the future of the Military Information Services (WSI), Kaczynski and Sikorski revealed details of legislation to be submitted later on March 13 on WSI reform. As reported reftel, this legislation would abolish WSI June 30, and create two new military structures - one external for intelligence and one for counterintelligence - as of July 1. According to Kaczynski, Sikorski as DefMin would exercise day-to-day supervision of the new services but the Minister-Coordinator for Special Services, Zbigniew Wassermann, would have full access to information gathered by the services (similar to the U.S. DNI relationship with DIA)." (06WARSAW504)

- "Wassermann advocates creating two leaner, more disciplined intelligence services to replace one unified military organization. In an effort allegedly aimed at purging "Soviet and East German trained officers," Wassermann proposed aggressive vetting and manpower reductions that would leave a newly created military intelligence agency with half the staff of WSI,s current foreign intelligence branch. Although much of the political rhetoric against WSI has targeted its alleged Communist-era legacies, the GOP,s main focus is on reigning in WSI,s alleged lack of accountability and corruption, from leaks of confidential information to the media to involvement in "inappropriate commercial activity." Sikorski has agreed on the need to remove the pathological connections between WSI and the civil economy or media."" (06WARSAW497)

There are also numerous mentions of alleged corruption for financial gain within the agency.

Even though the exact dynamics behind the restructuring efforts remain unclear, a number of themes come to light. First, for some reason there appears to have been a propensity to talk to the media amongst Secret Service staff. Second, the Polish government was not satisfied with the information flow within the agencies. Moreover, there were problems with who these agencies reported to.

The WSI operated a large military facility in Stare Kiejkuty, near Szymany airport. The former head of the agency is currently being investigated in connection with a CIA prison on the grounds of the agency.

2012-04-20 Common Misconceptions of the Assange Case

Julian Assange has now been detained for 500 days without charge. This includes the 10 days he spent in solitary confinement on top of the 490 days he's spent electronically tagged under house arrest. After all this time the media is still spreading the same falsities about his case and people continue to attack him with the same misconceptions as they were a year and a half ago.

The facts of the Assange case must be made clear. These false claims have irrevocably damaged Mr. Assange's reputation and have led to a hostile media climate which harms WikiLeaks as an organization. These smears must continue to be challenged until accurate reporting is widespread.

Misconception #1: Julian Assange has been charged with a crime.

Since the allegations arose, press organizations around the world have been claiming Julian Assange has been charged with a crime. In fact, it is so widespread that Mr. Assange submitted a report to the Leveson Inquiry detailing his challenges with the Press Complaints Commission on trying to remedy this common falsity. But even after the submission, many media organizations still cannot seem to grasp this simple fact.

Julian Assange has not been charged with any crime in any country. Sweden is attempting to extradite him for the purpose of questioning related to sexual misconduct allegations. There are no charges and there have never been charges.

Misconception #2: Julian Assange is accused of rape.

On 20 August 2010, the initial prosecutor on the case unlawfully told Swedish tabloid Expressen that Julian Assange was wanted for rape, before even he was aware of the allegations. Within hours, a Google search for "Assange+rape" returned millions of results.

There are four allegations against Mr. Assange, the fourth which carries the Swedish title "mindre grov våldtäkt," translated to "minor rape." This is a concept which is not present in most legal systems. Originally the allegation was "ordinary rape," which carries a higher jail sentence, but this was downgraded to "minor rape" in November 2010.

The allegation is that, after complainant SW and Mr. Assange had consensual sexual intercourse several times through the night and early morning, Mr. Assange again initiated intercourse with SW while she was either "drowsy" or "asleep" ("drowsy" ("halvsov") according to text messages from SW, "asleep" according to the police report). SW expressed concern about continuing without a condom, but agreed to continue without one.

It should also be noted that SW's interview is not even approved by her, as she was upset after hearing Mr. Assange was being sought by the police and would not sign off on the document.

Misconception #3: Julian Assange fled Sweden to escape questioning.

A widely believed misconception is that Julian Assange left Sweden to escape questioning about the allegations of sexual misconduct. Even Australian Attorney-General Nicola Roxon believed this claim, recently reiterating it on national television, before being corrected by human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC.

Julian Assange stayed in Sweden for about 5 weeks to answer the allegations. Attempts to arrange interview were made through his lawyer Björn Hurtig, but all proposed dates were refused. When Mr. Assange left Sweden, he did so only after receiving approval from the Swedish prosecutor on the case, Marianne Ny.

Mr. Assange has offered himself to be questioned via telephone or video link from London, which are perfectly legal methods under Swedish law, despite Prosecutor Ny falsely stating otherwise. All offers by Mr. Assange have been rejected.

Misconception #4: If Julian Assange is innocent, why doesn't he go to Sweden?

This is the most common question used to attack Julian Assange, yet it fails on so many levels.

If Julian Assange is extradited to Sweden he will be immediately placed in prison, in solitary confinement, and incommunicado. There is no bail system in Sweden, nor is there a time limit to detention, so Mr. Assange would likely spend up to a year in prison . And again, this is without having being charged of any crime.

If he is eventually charged, the trial will be held in secret. Sweden's legal system also features a panel of lay judges who hold no formal legal training and are appointed because of their political affiliation.

Mr. Assange then faces further extradition to the United States, where politicians have openly called for his assassination. Sweden holds a "temporary surrender" agreement with the U.S. which allows extradition without the usual lengthy procedure.

Furthermore, there is a basic human rights element to this issue. If the UK allows the extradition of Julian Assange to Sweden it means that anyone can be extradited between EU countries without charge and without evidence. By challenging his extradition to Sweden, he is challenging the EAW system as a whole, something which has faced criticism since it came into force in 2004.

Justice for Assange -
Jennifer Robinson's brief to Canberra MPs -

2012-04-21 #WikiLeaks news update: WikiLeaks lawyer on "inhibited" list; Bradley Manning support events; Other news

WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 504 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 501 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 698 days.
A secret Grand Jury has been active in the U.S. without transparency for 584 days.

WikiLeaks News:

  • WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson was delayed at Heathrow Airport, being told she had been put on an "inhibited" list for apparently doing "something controversial." Australian Attorney-Genreal Nicola Roxon denied involvement with her placement on the list and said she is investigating the matter. Meanwhile, Australian citizens protested outside a law conference which both Roxon and Robinson were attending. Crikey has also put out a rather amusing comic about the incident. Watch an interview with Robinson on the matter below:
  • WikiLeaks supporters in the U.S., including Daniel Ellsberg and John Parry Barlow, have announced plans to start a foundation aimed at funding organizations, such as WikiLeaks, who have been cut off by major banks and credit card companies.
  • Nearly 5 months after WikiLeaks released the Spy Files, the European Parliament approved a resolution which says there much be rules for firms exporting internet censorship tools.
  • Jacob Appelbaum was on Democracy Now! to discuss his difficulties in traveling after speaking about WikiLeaks at the HOPE conference, as well as maintaining anonymity by using such things as Tor.
  • A panel entitled, "WikiLeaks, Assange, and Defending Democracy" was held in Melbourne with speakers Lizzie O'Shea, Scott Ludlam, Bernard Keane, Greg Barns, and Suelette Dreyfus. Full video is available via the WikiLeaks Australian Citizen's Alliance. See also summaries of the event by Green Left Weekly and WSWS.

Julian Assange News:

  • Julian Assange has now been detained for 500 days without charge.

World Tomorrow banner

  • The official website of "The World Tomorrow" has been updated with a brand new layout.
  • Salon's Glenn Greenwald was on RT discussing the American media reaction to the premiere of "The World Tomorrow."
  • Two photos of Julian Assange have been installed at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. It is expected to have been done by pranksters or museum insiders.
  • Newcastle Trades Hall Secretary Gary Kennedy gave an interview where he expressed his opinion that the Australian government needs to do everything it can to protect Julian Assange.

Bradley Manning News:

  • Bradley Manning's next set of motion hearings begins Tuesday, April 24th. Support events are planned for him worldwide all throughout the week.
  • Bradley Manning's defense team has publically released its motions after receiving authorization to do so.
  • Crosby, Stills, & Nash is touring again, partly to perform their new song about Bradley Manning, "Almost Gone." Watch the music video for the song below.
  • Seven were arrested outside of Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, while protesting against the treatment of Bradley Manning.
  • After raising enough funds from supporters, 21 posters for a Bradley Manning campaign will be put up around the Washington D.C. metro subway system.
  • The Guardian reviewed "The Radicalization of Bradley Manning," a play about the soldier's life currently be performed around Wales, giving it 3 stars out of 5.


Upcoming Dates & Events:

April 20-28: Performances of "The Radicalization of Bradley Manning" held between these dates in schools across Wales.

April 23: Bradley Manning's 700th day of imprisonment without trial.

April 24-26: Bradley Manning's next set of pre-trial hearings. Support events planned worldwide.

April 27-28: Kristinn Hrafnsson to speak at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy at panels "Whistleblowers and anonymous leaks: can the media do without them?" (27/4) and "Dossier WikiLeaks. Segreti italiani" (28/4).

May 23: Julian Assange to speak at Enterprise Information Management Congress 2012 in The Netherlands.

May 27: "Incident in New Baghdad" to air on The Documentary Channel, 8PM.

2012-04-21 List of possible NSA interception point locations and VIDEO of Whitney Surveillance teach-in

Below is a list of addresses that were handed out on a sheet of paper at the Whitney Biennial 2012's Surveillance Teach-In, and described as "possible domestic NSA interception points".

  • 2651 Olive Street, Saint Louis, MO 63103 United States
  • 420 South Grand, Los Angeles, CA 90071 United States
  • 611 Folsom Street, San Francsco, CA, 94107 United States
  • 51 Peachtree Ctr NE, Atlanta, GA 30303 United States
  • 10 S. Canal, Chicago, IL, 60606, United States
  • 30 E STR SW, Washington, DC 20024, United States
  • 811 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10019, United States
  • 12976 Hollenberg Dr., Bridgeton, MO, 63044, United States

Friday night was standing room only at the Whitney Biennial 2012's Surveillance Teach-In of Academy Award nominated filmmaker, Laura Poitras.

Her body of work includes: "My Country, My Country", about the U.S. invasion of Iraq; "The Oath", about two Yemeni men caught up in America’s "War on Terror"; and her current work in progress detailing the U.S. surveillance state in post 9/11 America.

Woven through the museum were interactive installations by Stimulate, and two mysterious portraits of of Julian Assange, the editor of WikiLeaks, who has been under house-arrest in Great Britian for 501 days without charge.

The teach-in at the Whitney was lead by computer security researcher and privacy advocate Jacob Appelbaum, and featured NSA Whistleblower, William Binney.

Binney spent near four decades at the NSA and was technical director of the World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group. He resigned in 2001 over domestic surveillance orchestrated by the US Government through commercial providers, including AT&T and others, and created by a conspiracy of officials in the White House, the NSA and the CIA (cue to Part 1, 12:40).

Binney had designed capacities at the NSA to collect and filter information on all potential world-wide foreign threats prior to 9/11. As Binney said on Monday night, "After 9/11 they took my solutions and directed that at this country."

Earlier Monday, Binney was reported as saying:

"At that point, I knew I could not stay, because it was a direct violation of the constitutional rights of everybody in the country. Plus it violated the pen register law and Stored Communications Act, the Electronic Privacy Act, the intelligence acts of 1947 and 1978. I mean, it was just this whole series of—plus all the laws covering federal communications governing telecoms. I mean, all those laws were being violated, including the Constitution."

Binney was a key source for James Bamford’s exposé on the NSA's top secret "total information awareness" data center currently being built in Bluffdale, Utah:

Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.”

At Monday's presentation, Binney described the collection mechanisms and meta-data modeling used by the US Government to surveille every American citizen and person across the globe, and to target individual who speak about the abuses of US Government power or the corrupting influence of the self preserving bureaucracies of the military industrial sector and its private partners.

On July 26, 2007, Binney himself became a target when his home was raided by the FBI, two days after Attorney General Gonzalez testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP), what Binney describes as a "fabricated plan" used to "cover a number of plans, one of which was Stellar Wind".

Stellar Wind describes information collection activities performed by the NSA and that were revealed by Thomas M. Tamm to New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau.

Appelbaum, like Poitras, has been the target of detentions, interrogations, searches, and seizures by the US Government.

On July 29, 2010 - the same day that Manning was moved from Camp Arifjan, Kuwait to a brig at Quantico, Applebaum was detained at Newark Liberty International Airport, and interrogated about Julian Assange by agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, part of the Department of Homeland Security, as well as Army CID. Appelbaum's laptop and three cell phones were seized.

Then on August 1, 2010 two FBI agents question Applebaum at Defcon in the presence of Marcia Hoffman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Then, on December 14, 2010 US Magistrate Judge, Theresa Buchanan, of the Eastern District of Virginia, approved the Department of Justice application under Title 18 U.S.C. 2703(d) for Twitter, Inc. to hand over records of Jacob Appelbaum, along with Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, Birgitta Jónsdóttir, and Rop Gonggrijp for the time period November 1, 2009 to the present.

That order was the faxed to Twitter, Inc. by US Assistant Attorney, Tracy McCormick, said to be leading the WikiLeaks Grand Jury.

On January 4, 2011, the same day that US magistrate Judge Ivan Davis signed a Secret Order ruling that Dynadot, domain registrars for, provide all information they held on WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and between November 1, 2009 and January 4, 2011; another Secret Order directed Google to hand over Jacob Appelbaum's IP address from which Mr. Appelbaum logged into his account, as well as the email and IP addresses of users with whom Appelbaum communicated.

2012-04-22 'Terrorist' by Association, Assange's Lawyer on the Watch List?

Last Thursday, human rights and Julian Assange lawyer Jennifer Robinson was held up on her flight from London to Sydney for security reasons. Over the years, journalists have been interrogated and detained at borders, often for purely political reasons. This incident was unprecedented with a lawyer now facing similar treatment.

Robinson was told that she is on an "inhibited" list of mysterious origin and that the Australian High Commission in London needed to be contacted before her departure. At some point, she was given the green light to board without that call being made and was able to get to her destination. When pressed, Australian Attorney General Roxon showed concern about the incident. She said that "this is not the result of any action taken by the Australian Government. We believe [Robinson], as an Australian who is not subject to any criminal charges or allegations, should be free to travel in and out of Australia."

The Guardian reported that "The Australian high commission in London has no record of a call being received from UK authorities concerning her travel". Virgin Atlantic, the airline that stopped Robinson, deferred responsibility to security services, while the UK Border Agency and DFAT each deny involvement.

Bernard Keane at Crikey found that the term 'inhibited', used to describe Robinson's flight status, was not used by Australian or British agencies, but that it was listed in the US Department of Homeland Security's operating manuals for airlines.

Robinson has represented Julian Assange in his legal battle against extradition to Sweden. Was she on some kind of US watch list because of her association with Assange? There is clear precedent with other people associated with WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning who have been stopped and interrogated when entering the US. She is not the only WikiLeaks associate or supporter to be detained at an airport.

David House, founder of the Bradley Manning Support Network, is currently pursuing a court case against the US government regarding similar border harassment for his political affiliations. He has been repeatedly interrogated and his computer confiscated while entering the US.

Computer researcher and journalist Jacob Appelbaum described several accounts of interrogations and surveillance since he volunteered for the whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks. He has been a target of government surveillance and hassled at the US border. He is also under a controversial court order from the US to obtain his email communication. He spoke in an interview on DemocracyNow! about his experience:

...they wanted to know about my political views. They wanted to know about my work in any capacity as a journalist, actually, the notion that I could be in some way associated with Julian .... They didn't ask me anything about terrorism. They didn't ask me anything about smuggling or drugs or any of the customs things that you would expect customs to be doing. They didn't ask me if I had anything to declare about taxes, for example, or about importing things. They did it purely for political reasons and to intimidate me...denied me a lawyer. They gave me water, but refused me a bathroom, to give you an idea about what they were doing.

Are these people being intimidated by the US government in a kind of insinuation of guilt by association? What is really troubling is the lack of factual reasoning for this seeming guilt. Contrary to misconceptions delivered by the corporate media, Assange and WikiLeaks have not been charged with anything. Yet they have generally been treated as criminals, with prominent US politicians and pundits even calling for Assange's assassination. It is a classic Gandhian formula - first they ignore you, then laugh at you and then try to destroy you. WikiLeaks and Assange have certainly experienced these three phases. From establishment media smears and ridicule to high US officials calling him a high tech terrorist, Assange has gone through character assassination and been terrorized in the public mind.

In a way, it seems those who are associated with Assange or WikiLeaks are also being treated as potential 'terrorist associates'. The pattern of intimidation and demonization of people who have never been violent or even charged with breaking a law is similar to the treatment of Assange himself. In the eyes of the US government, perhaps they all appear as dangerous individuals who need to be intimidated, controlled and tracked. On the face of it this is patently absurd. None of these people have ever been violent or advocated violence.

Yet now with this Robinson case, a very dangerous line has been crossed - the 'inhibiting' of a lawyer from re-entering her home country from England, far from the shores of the US. What is unique and disconcerting about this situation is that she is a lawyer and this will likely have a chilling effect on all lawyers, as one of their own has been apparently harassed simply for associating with her clients. This is ominous in its implications for justice systems worldwide. The international organization Commonwealth Lawyers' Association (CLA) issued a statement concerning Robinson's interception and called for an explanation. They addressed deep concern regarding their profession's independence by citing Article 13 of the UN Principles on the Role of Lawyers that "lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients' causes as a result of discharging their functions". In addition, Robinson was not entering or leaving the US. This incident revealed that the US may be intervening in foreign border controls to apply their own political blacklists in other countries, which raises the real specter of loss of sovereignty to a lawless hegemony.

What we may have here is the political crime of intimidation. The Department of Homeland Security is apparently treating journalists and now maybe even lawyers as 'associative terrorists'.

Oscar-and Emmy-nominated filmmaker and journalist Laura Poitras spoke about her own experience of repeated intimidation at the US border. In an interview with DemocracyNow! she described how she was detained, interrogated and searched by federal agents. She recounted a recent incident where while she was taking notes during the interrogation with a pen and she was ordered to put it away:

They said that my pen was a dangerous weapon... that my pen was a threat to them... I mean, in terms of the context, you have to understand that I'm surrounded by border agents who are all carrying guns, and I'm taking out... a pen that they find threatening. And so, this was profoundly upsetting.

This inane picture of government agents viewing a pen as a weapon is very telling. Imagine the picture of a pen in the hand of nonviolent woman who is surrounded by armed agents. There is something quite compelling in this image. The pen can be seen as representing the ideals of the Press, the Fourth Estate and those who advocate for free speech and laws that protect human rights and equal justice. To those authorities who stop journalists and human right lawyers at the border, this symbol of the pen clearly appears to be a threat. It is similar to the blatantly unconstitutional laws passed in some states in the US against the videotaping of police officers in public.

In the name of security and stopping 'terrorism' a question arises. Who are actually the ones creating an atmosphere of terror? Isn't it those who are attempting to make lawyers, journalists and the public more fearful? The word terrorist itself has become a catch-all term defined by empirical power to label and control anyone who legitimately questions their authority.

Those clinging to power act as if they actually know that the pen is mightier than the sword and any physical weapon. Could what is revealed in this abuse of border control be a desperate attempt by a failing power to intimidate people globally who expose abuse by the US government? By singling out those who are associated with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, the US government is violating the very ideals enshrined by the First Amendment; those of free assembly (association), speech and press.

This kind of political persecution must be borne witness to by the international community and not tolerated, because any one of us could be next and treated as a 'terrorist by association'. History has shown that this is one step down the dangerous road toward tyranny.

2012-04-23 #WikiLeaks News Update: "World Tomorrow" news; Swedish hypocrisy; Manning's next hearings

WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 506 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 503 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 700 days.
A secret Grand Jury has been active in the U.S. without transparency for 586 days.

WikiLeaks News:

  • WikiLeaks cables show that U.S. officials see Manitoba Hydro, which plans to spend $18B on export-dependent projects, as a struggling utility whose enthusiasm about proposed dams is not shared.
  • Virgin Airlines stated that WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson was stopped at Heathrow Airport due to "security issues." Virgin continued by saying it was not an airline issue, but something to be brought up with security services or the Home Office. Robinson also gave an interview with WSWS discussing the incident, as well as government and media attacks on WikiLeaks. See our in-depth coverage of the incident here.
  • A panel was held about surveillance at the Whitney Museum in New York. One of the panelists was Jacob Appelbaum, who talked about his experiences being detained and interrogated at airports after speaking on WikiLeaks at the HOPE conference.
  • WikiLeaks Press has released a news summary for the week of March 15.

Julian Assange News:

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  • A new episode of "The World Tomorrow" will air Tuesday, April 24, 12:30PM London time. Featured guests will be conservative activist David Horowitz and philosopher Slavoj Žižek. WikiLeaks issued a press release with information about the upcoming episode.
  • Professor Richard Keeble of the Lincoln School of Journalism gave an interview about the debut episode of "The World Tomorrow." He commented that Julian Assange has bravely challenged the mainstream media and that his television show is something that journalism needs.
  • During an appearance on the TV show "City Link," Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa announced he had been interviewed by Julian Assange. Correa highlighted Assange's work and commented how he been "persecuted, slandered, and lynched by the media" because of WikiLeaks' revelations.
  • Julian Assange was included in The Guardian's Open 20 list of fighters for internet freedom.
  • Sweden recommended that Syria make incommunicado detention illegal. Yet if Julian Assange is extradited to Sweden, the prosecutor on the case, Marianne Ny, is insisting that he be held incommunicado during the investigation process, before any charges are brought.
  • Guy Rundle has written a new article at Crikey which looks at how one allegation against Julian Assange by complainant AA is worded very similarly to a Amnesty International report on sex crimes from 2009. Justice for Assange also reported on the similarities.
  • Greg Barns, who recently spoke at a Melbourne panel on WikiLeaks, has written an OpEd about the Australian government's failure to protect Julian Assange.

Bradley Manning News:

  • Today marks Bradley Manning's 700th day of imprisonment without trial.
  • Bradley Manning's defense has filed two new motions with the court to be argued during the April 24-26 hearings. The first is a move to dismiss all charges against Manning that hold prejudice and the other is a request for materials from the secret WikiLeaks grand jury.
  • Firedoglake's Kevin Gosztola hosted a live chat with Chase Madar to discuss his new book, "The Passion of Bradley Manning."


Upcoming Dates & Events:

April 23-28: Performances of "The Radicalization of Bradley Manning" held between these dates in schools across Wales.

April 23: Bradley Manning's 700th day of imprisonment without trial.

April 24-26: Bradley Manning's next set of pre-trial hearings. Support events planned worldwide.

April 24: New episode of "The World Tomorrow" airs on RT, 12:30PM London time.

April 27-28: Kristinn Hrafnsson to speak at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy at panels "Whistleblowers and anonymous leaks: can the media do without them?" (27/4) and "Dossier WikiLeaks. Segreti italiani" (28/4).

May 23: Julian Assange to speak at Enterprise Information Management Congress 2012 in the Netherlands.

May 27: "Incident in New Baghdad" to air on The Documentary Channel, 8PM.

2012-04-25 #WikiLeaks News Update: Manning's motion hearings; "World Tomorrow" Episode 2; Other news

WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 508 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 505 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 702 days.
A secret Grand Jury has been active in the U.S. without transparency for 588 days.

WikiLeaks News:

  • One year ago today, WikiLeaks released The Gitmo Files, thousands of documents detailing 765 of the 779 prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay.
  • Stratfor emails released by WikiLeaks reveal an anti-Obama prejudice within the company, with Vice President Fred Burton often referring to him as "Barry Hussein."
  • Blogger Peter Knight has written seven articles correcting recent smears against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange from various media outlets.

Julian Assange News:

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  • The second episode of "The World Tomorrow" premiered, featuring guests David Horowitz and Slavoj Žižek. Watch the full episode below or at RT's website. Transcript is also available.
  • RT analysed how some media organizations which previously praised Julian Assange are now vehemently attacking him after the premiere of his television show.
  • An article in Nyheter24 looks at how, after three months, the Supreme Court has yet to give a verdict in the Assange case. Swedish Law Professor Joakim Nergelius commented that the Swedish prosecution has made a mistake by refusing to question Assange in London.
  • Jacob Appelbaum tweeted that he took the two photos of Julian Assange which mysteriously went up on display a few days ago at the Whitney Museum in New York.

Bradley Manning News:

  • Bradley Manning's next set of motion hearings began today. The proceedings are expected to last three days. Here are the major developments:


    • The U.S. Government must release its assessments on how much damage WikiLeaks' publications have caused. These will be viewed in secret by the judge.
    • The defense presented two new motions. One was to dismiss all charges against Manning with prejudice. The second was requesting materials from the secret WikiLeaks grand jury.
    • Bradley Manning requested the two military lawyers assigned to him be removed and replaced with Capt. Joshua Tooman. No reason for this change was given.
    • The judge denied the press and public any additional access to court filings. This comes after the Center for Constitutional Rights renewed its request for further access to documents from the hearings.
    • The proceedings will continue tomorrow at 10AM.
    • For in-depth coverage of today's hearing, see Kevin Gosztola's live-blog at Firedoglake.
  • Michael Ratner, attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights and legal adviser to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, has written an article detailing the immense secrecy surrounding Bradley Manning's trial.
  • Graham Hnatiuk is auctioning off a mixed-media painting he created. All proceeds will go to Bradley Manning's defense fund. The auction runs until May 11, 2012.


Upcoming Dates & Events:

April 25-28: Performances of "The Radicalization of Bradley Manning" held between these dates in schools across Wales.

April 25-26: Bradley Manning's next set of pre-trial hearings. Support events planned worldwide.

April 27-28: Kristinn Hrafnsson to speak at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy at panels "Whistleblowers and anonymous leaks: can the media do without them?" (27/4) and "Dossier WikiLeaks. Segreti italiani" (28/4).

May 23: Julian Assange to speak at Enterprise Information Management Congress 2012 in The Netherlands.

May 27: "Incident in New Baghdad" to air on The Documentary Channel, 8PM.

2012-04-26 #WikiLeaks News Update: Major developments from Manning's motion hearing; Other news

WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 509 days.
Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 506 days.
Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 703 days.
A secret Grand Jury has been active in the U.S. without transparency for 589 days.

WikiLeaks News:

  • Jacob Appelbaum was on Democracy Now! discussing CISPA, surveillance, WikiLeaks' Spy Files, Tor, and the "Militarization of Cyberspace." Watch the video below.
  • John Pilger has written a new article about surveillance, war, and how we are all suspects now, and asks the question, "What are you going to do about it?" He also mentions Julian Assange's upcoming verdict and possible extradition to the U.S., commenting on the Australian government's failure to help him.

Bradley Manning News:

  • Bradley Manning's thee-day motion hearing concluded today. Here are the major developments in the case:


    • The judge ruled that the U.S. Government must release its assessments on how much damage WikiLeaks' publications have caused. The judge will view these assessments in secret, but they could potentially become evidence in Manning's trial.
    • Motion 1: The defense moved to dismiss all charges against Manning, saying the prosecution failed to share important information with the defense. The judge denied this motion.
    • Motion 2: The defense requested transcripts from the secret WikiLeaks grand jury that has been active in Virginia for 18 months. The judge denied this motion.
    • Motion 3: The defense moved to dismiss certain charges due to "unreasonable manipulation of charges," saying Manning was charged multiple times for the same act. The judge denied this motion, but said the defense may raise it again if Manning is convicted.
    • Motion 4: The defense moved to dismiss the change that Manning "aided the enemy." The judge denied this motion, but said the government will have to prove that Manning knew he was indirectly giving intelligence to the enemy.
    • The judge denied the press and public any additional access to court filings. This comes after the Center for Constitutional Rights renewed its request for further access to documents from the hearings.
    • Bradley Manning requested the two military lawyers assigned to him be removed and replaced with Capt. Joshua Tooman. No reason for this change was given.
    • Bradley Manning's trial has been scheduled for September 21-October 12. There will be three more sets of motion hearings beforehand: June 6-8, July 16-20 and August 27-31.
    • For in-depth coverage of this week's motion hearings, see Kevin Gosztola's live-blog (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3) and the Bradley Manning Support Network's articles
      (Day 1, Day 2).
  • Kevin Gosztola wrote two articles covering key points in Bradley Manning's motion hearings: one on the alleged harm done by the leaks, the second detailing the "aiding the enemy" charge. ACLU's Ben Wizner also wrote in-depth on the government's overreach by charging Manning with "aiding the enemy."
    • Bradley Manning's legal proceedings have come under heavy criticism for the amount of secrecy that surrounds them. Both Firedoglake journalist Kevin Gosztola and Center for Constitutional Rights lawyer Michael Ratner have written articles about the lack of transparency.
    • The Alyona Show has covered the first two days of Bradley Manning's motion hearings. Watch coverage of Day 2 below.
    • Retired U.S. Army Colonel Ann Wright wrote an article about how Bradley Manning is being used as an example for future would-be whistleblowers; "don’t tell on us, or we will put you behind bars for the rest of your life."
    • Dr. Jill Stein, who is running with the Green Party for the 2012 U.S. presidential election, announced she would immediately pardon Bradley Manning if elected.


    Upcoming Dates & Events:

    April 26-28: Performances of "The Radicalization of Bradley Manning" held between these dates in schools across Wales.

    April 27-28: Kristinn Hrafnsson to speak at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy at panels "Whistleblowers and anonymous leaks: can the media do without them?" (27/4) and "Dossier WikiLeaks. Segreti italiani" (28/4).

    May 23: Julian Assange to speak at Enterprise Information Management Congress 2012 in The Netherlands.

    May 27: "Incident in New Baghdad" to air on The Documentary Channel, 8PM.

    June 6-8: Bradley Manning motion hearings.

    July 16-20: Bradley Manning motion hearings.

    August 27-31: Bradley Manning motion hearings.

    September 21-October 12 Bradley Manning's court martial.

  • 2012-04-29 #WikiLeaks News Update: #IJF12, "World Tomorrow" guest announced; Other news

    WikiLeaks has been financially blockaded without process for 512 days.
    Julian Assange has been detained without charge for 509 days.
    Bradley Manning has been imprisoned without trial for 705 days.
    A secret Grand Jury has been active in the U.S. without transparency for 591 days.

    WikiLeaks News:

    • A WikiLeaks cable shows that private media journalists in Ecuador served as informants for the U.S. Embassy in Quito.
    • WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson spoke on two panels at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy: "Dossier Wikileaks: Italian secrets. By those on the inside" with Stefania Maurizi and Gavin MacFadyen (see below), and "Whistleblowers and anonymous leaks: can the media do without them?" Both panels contain English and Italian speakers.
    • Political commentator Laurie Oakes wrote an article detailing Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's hypocrisy when it comes to the presumption of innocence. While she has offered this presumption to multiple politicians, she immediately declared WikiLeaks illegal after the release of Cablegate, despite there being no evidence of illegality to date.
    • Clark Stoeckley, the driver of the WikiLeaks truck, was arrested and held in jail for an hour after photographing police officers. The police deleted the photo from his phone before releasing him.
    • Gavin MacFadyen, director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism, will lecture at a City University London event entitled "The Real WikiLeaks: Beyond Julian Assange," May 2 at 6:30PM.
    • A new video in the "Did You Have Any Idea?" series has been released, featuring Andrew Partos, who recently addressed Attorney General Nicola Roxon with questions about Julian Assange on Q&A.
    • The WikiLeaks Australian Citizens Alliance has released interviews with Greg Barns and Bernard Keane discussing WikiLeaks, taken on the eve of Julian Assange's 500th day of detainment without charge.

    Julian Assange News:

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    • WikiLeaks announced that next week's episode of "The World Tomorrow" will feature the President of Tunisia, Moncef Marzouki. The tagline for the premiere is "Moncef on May Day." Watch a preview of the episode below.
    • A new promo video has been released for "The World Tomorrow."
    • You can help out WikiLeaks by calling your local TV or online network and telling them to license "The World Tomorrow."
    • Professor Ferrada de Noli has written the third part in his series about media campaigns against WikiLeaks. This part analyses at the attacks on Julian Assange after the premiere of "The World Tomorrow."
    • Julian Assange will speak on the impact of increasing transparency at EIM2012 in The Netherlands, May 23, 4:35PM.

    Bradley Manning News:

    • David House was on MSNBC's The Dylan Ratigan Show to discuss Bradley Manning's motion hearings and the implications of the "aiding the enemy" charge.

    • The Bradley Manning Support Network has published its notes from all three days of Manning's motion hearings. See: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3.
    • David Coombs has released the most recent Department of Army photo of Bradley Manning. This image is considered public domain may be used in print and publication.
    • CCR attorney Michael Ratner hosted a live-chat with Firedoglake's Kevin Gosztola to discuss his and Greg Mitchell's new book, "Truth and Consequences: The U.S. vs Bradley Manning."
    • UK Friends of Bradley Manning's Naomi Colvin reviewed the play "The Radicalization of Bradley Manning," commenting on the presentation of significant documents from Manning's case and how the play can bring people closer to Manning on a personal level.


    Upcoming Dates & Events:

    May 2: Gavin MacFadyen to speak on WikiLeaks at City University London, 6:30PM.

    May 23: Julian Assange to speak on the impact of increasing transparency at EIM 2012 in The Netherlands, 4:35PM.

    May 27: "Incident in New Baghdad" to air on The Documentary Channel, 8PM.

    June 6-8: Bradley Manning motion hearings.

    July 16-20: Bradley Manning motion hearings.

    August 27-31: Bradley Manning motion hearings.

    September 21-October 12 Bradley Manning's court martial.