2011-06-01 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks

ImageMentor and friend Greg Mitchell at TheNation.com is going to be on vacation. I'm no Greg Mitchell so I cannot promise to bring the flourish to blogging WikiLeaks News & Views that he has brought for 185 days. However, I am Kevin Gosztola, someone who is very enthusiastic and passionate about staying up to date on the cable releases and all news and discussion surrounding the WikiLeaks organization and, while he is away, I will be blogging WikiLeaks updates here.

You can contact me at kgosztola@hotmail.com with any tips. Also, my Twitter username is @kgosztola.

8:50 PM In Canada, it's easy to get on the no-fly list but much harder to be taken off. The Globe and Mail covers the story of "Ali" who appeared in a Ottawa cable released last month. The cable notes that in January 2010 Canadian police spotted "Ali" on Highway 41 and beside him was a "gawky Iranian-Canadian in his 20s." His companion was under surveillance "as the No. 1 terrorism suspect in Canada."

The article notes that once intelligence is passed "south - and they insist they must do so - they have little influence on what follows." A shared security perimeter with the US has been setup so there will likely be more incidents like this in the future.

6:10 PM ForeignPolicy.com on the cyber arms race. Notes from Wall Street Journal, "military action against cyber attacks would come if the hackers disrupted industry or caused civilian casualties. 'If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,' a military official told the Journal."

5:55 PM The NATO report that threatens Anonymous:

Observers note that Anonymous is becoming more and more sophisticated and could potentially hack into sensitive government, military, and corporate files. According to reports in February 2011, Anonymous demonstrated its ability to do just that. After WikiLeaks announced its plan of releasing information about a major bank, the US Chamber of Commerce and Bank of America reportedly hired the data intelligence company HBGary Federal to protect their servers and attack any adversaries of these institutions. In response, Anonymous hacked servers of HBGary Federal’s sister company and hijacked the CEO’s Twitter account. Today, the ad hoc international group of hackers and activists is said to have thousands of operatives and has no set rules or membership.[36] It remains to be seen how much time Anonymous has for pursuing such paths. The longer these attacks persist the more likely countermeasures will be developed, implemented, the groups will be infiltrated and perpetrators persecuted.

Also, report includes section on "Cablegate" and WikiLeaks.

4:45 PM Round 2 of Egypt Cables being released: Al Masry Al Youm publishing stories. The first story is on the US using the presence of a nuclear power plant in Egypt to apply diplomatic pressure to Egypt. Why? It appears this was Egypt's first nuclear plant and a contract for ten years of development, valued at $188 million USD, was awarded by Egypt's Minister of Electricity, Hassan Younes, to Australia's Worley Parsons instead of US-based Bechtel Power Company.

3:15 PM And, now for a batch of Haiti Cables: The cables themselves are not posted yet (should be up on WikiLeaks soon).

Haïti Liberté and The Nation Magazine have partnered to cover the cables. For the next weeks, stories will be published.


The Nation explains:

"The cables from US Embassies around the world cover an almost seven-year period, from April 17, 2003—ten months before the February 29, 2004, coup d’état that ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide—to February 28, 2010, just after the January 12 earthquake that devastated the capital, Port-au-Prince, and surrounding cities. They range from “Secret” and “Confidential” classifications to “Unclassified.” Cables of the latter classification are not public, and many are marked “For Official Use Only” or “Sensitive.”

Stories this week: 1) The PetroCaribe Files: revealing how René Préval's inauguration day oil deal touched off a "multiyear geopolitical battle over how oil would be delivered to Haiti" between Venezuela, Havana and Washington and 2) "Let Them Live on $3/Day," which covers how contractors for Fruit of the Loom, Hanes and Levi's worked with the US Embassy to aggressively block minimum wage increases in Haiti for "assembly zone workers," which according to the cables are some of the lowest paid people in the hemisphere.

3:00 PMHaïti Liberté 's story on how Big Oil lost in Haiti.

2:00 PM From the Dawn Media Group, which has been publishing "Pakistan Papers"—A report on a January 2009 cable featuring then-US CENTCOM Commander Gen. David Petraeus and Pakistan Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. Gen. Kayani cautions Gen. Petraeus on the importance of making certain it does not seem Pakistan military is 'for hire.' Gen. Kayani didn't want it to seem like the Pakistani Army couldn't face down militant threat.

1:15 PM Might be a release of a batch of cables from a country soon...Stay tuned...

1:10 PM Federal judge will keep certain classified information on National Security Agency (NSA) secret from jurors, public during Thomas Drake trial (Drake is an NSA whistleblower).

12:10 PM Jillian C. York of the Electronic Frontier Foundation with article at Al Jazeera English on online free speech vs. private ownership.

12:05 PM Just wrapping is an Alliance of Liberals & Democrats in Europe event called "Diplomacy Post-WikiLeaks." You can check the #dpwl hashtag for remarks from the panel event. A view notable remarks:

*Former diplomat Ana Gomes (h/t @MarietjeD66) said plenty of evidence Wikileaks has played a role fostering Arab Spring

*US Ambassador to the European Union W.E. Kennard says diplomacy hasn't changed much after WikiLeaks. Many in the State Dept are proud of work that was being done.

*Christoph Schult of Der Spiegel says WikiLeaks has not changed fundamentally how journalists or media organizations get their information. Government officials or other individuals still come to journalists/media organizations with tips and want their identity to be protected.

The “No Fly Lists” are a foul invention.

They contravene the rules of every system of justice humans have ever enjoyed. The No Fly Lists carry the presumption of guilt rather than the presumption of innocence till proven guilty. In addition to that the secret nature of these lists brand every Canadian and every American guilty at the whim of the government or any malicious person.

In other words, they are one more repressive tool in the hands of a despotic government. As anyone can be denied freedom of movement without accusation or even probable cause and not be given notice of this restriction or of any accusation, then the governing structure is free to apply the restraint against any person who may by word or deed oppose the actions of said government.

The No Fly Lists are a symptom of the disease which has infected North American governments and people. We have become afflicted with a ‘cocoon mentality’. People demand to be protected from every possible risk or injury. Whether in an attempt to satisfy the voters’ demands, or by calculatedly grasping the opportunity to form a totalitarian system, our governments have tried to satisfy these demands.

Certainly, most of our leaders are smart enough to recognize the futility of attempting total security. Therefore, I must assume that this structure has been put in place for the purpose of total control over the people. This also entrenches the government, because without dissent they cannot be replaced. The sham elections we enjoy change only the faces, not the government. Even this may soon come to an end.

Now only the ultra rich pillars of the establishment, who own personal aircraft, are exempt from obscene invasions of privacy and dignity.

There is no; Law, Religion, or Moral Code, which suggests that a person should be judged guilty in absentia without notification, opportunity to defend himself, or opportunity to know his accusers. We are living in very arbitrary times.

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