2011-06-03 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases and #WikiLeaks

ImageMentor and friend Greg Mitchell at TheNation.com is on vacation. While he is away, I will be pinch-hitting and blogging WikiLeaks updates here. All the times are EST. You can contact me at kgosztola@hotmail.com with any news tips. Twitter username is @kgosztola. Also, if you are looking for something good to listen to, I encourage you to check out the catalog of podcasts posted here at WL Central from the "This Week in WikiLeaks" show I produce every week.

11:40 PM Operation Recovery will be at Leavenworth tomorrow to support Bradley Manning

Republished in full, here's the statement from William Stewart-Starks, leader of the Kansas City chapter of IVAW, on why Iraq Veterans Against the War will be supporting Manning this weekend:

This Saturday many will gather in Leavenworth, Kansas to call for the release of PFC Bradley Manning. In the past few months a broad based coalition of peace and civil liberties activist have come together in cooperation to demand that his indefinite detention by the whim of the military will finally cease. It is important for IVAW and its members to understand the implications and precedent his case has had in regards to turning back further GI rights across the board.

I, as well as many who have served, did so under the assumption that our service members were responsible in defending the beliefs and sacred rights of free people. That it was our responsibility to ensure that this was afforded to all. We have failed in that mission in the unlawful detainment of one of our very own brothers, Bradley. He has been subjected to cruel and and unusual punishments and been prematurely sentenced on the record by members of the chain of command, that has lead all the way to the top with statements from President Obama.

The weight of these allegations is certainly too much for one, even as brave as Bradley, to bear alone. This is why we in the veteran community must stand up, shoulder to shoulder and demand his freedom, and in doing so call for our own. We must ensure that not another one of our brothers or sisters receives such retaliatory abuse and each and everyone of us is respected first, as equal under the law with the same inherent rights as any other person.

We must also stand up as a GI and veteran community opposed to the notion that we are nothing more than property of the military, but rather the embodiment of a principled system that preserves human dignity and justice. In fighting this battle we fight for ourselves and set the stage for our community to claim what was once expected to be stripped away by wearing the uniform. Instead we say that our heroes require these protections too. Heroes like PFC Bradley Manning and those who courageously do what is best in exposing those who undermine these beliefs that keep us free through their sacrifice and unwavering example.

11:34 PM Journalists covering Yemen continue to cite cables released by WikiLeaks to supplement their reporting. See this recently published report from Jeb Boone and Iona Craig, two superb journalists who have been covering Yemen for the past months.

10:11 PM The Nation's coverage of the Haiti cables released by WikiLeaks has become a journalism story in and of itself: The Columbia Journalism Review blogs about a "scoop" the magazine had but then took down off the Internet on the US ambassador pressuring Haiti's president to not raise the minimum wage. CJR justifies covering this scoop:

The magazine posted the story the other day and has now pulled it, saying it will repost it next Wednesday “To accord with the publishing schedule of Haiti Liberté,” its partner on the piece.

But you can’t stuff the news genie back in the bottle. They already put it in my browser and many others, so I’ll summarize what it said (and I’ll link to it once The Nation republishes it).

I was in the office when The Nation's editors realized they had made a story live that was not to be posted yet. There definitely was a dilemma. Haiti Liberte wanted to publish this next week. The magazine had violated that agreement. But, it had gone up for at least an hour. In that time, anybody could get to it and copy and paste sections of it or post a summary, as CJR did. The scoop was posted and shared.

One can make the case that it should have just stayed live. But, then we see that some media organizations have restraint like Democracy Now!, which interviewed the journalists at Haiti Liberte who wrote stories on the cables but did not discuss the revelations on minimum wage. On the other hand, CJR could not bring themselves to just keep quiet for a week. CJR chose to make a point.

9:50 PM After NATO singles Anonymous out in a report, Anonymous hits back with this video.

7:11 PM El Comercio publishes 10 new cables on Peru. One of them details the Peru Free Trade Agreement that was being pushed in the US Congress in January 2007.

6:30 PM Jeffrey Feltman, assistant secretary of state of Near Eastern Affairs, writes in an op-ed for POLITICO, "After Wikileaks revelations of alleged U.S. diplomatic cables outlining Qadhafi's paranoia and quirks, thugs were harassing our embassy. One official told me, ominously, 'People in this country get killed for saying what your ambassador wrote.' It was a sign of worse things to come - violence and vicious threats directed not at foreign officials, but at Libya's own citizens."

Sounds like he is almost insinuating WikiLeaks brought about the uptick in Gaddafi regime state-sponsored violence. In any case, Feltman also uses the op-ed to argue in favor of America's undeclared and still illegal role in the conflict (which, thanks to Rep. Dennis Kucinich, the US Congress almost faced down and corrected today).

6:07 PM Like PJ Crowley, will NYT executive editor Bill Keller, who announced he will be relinquishing his position, move on and become a full-time WikiLeaks critic who goes on speaking tours and participates in many panels and pens editorials calling attention to Assange? It's likely.

6:05 PM Prosecutors in Poland are investigating a newspaper that is believed to have leaked state secrets from a probe into an alleged CIA prison. AP News just posted a story on this. WL Central has already been covering this story.

Are they taking cues from the US government? This type of targeting of the press seems to have become SOP for the Obama Administration.

5:55 PM Benjamin H. Fredman and Christopher Preble on the preposterousness of a military response to cyber attacks.

5:30 PM A WL Central Round-up: 1) Macedonia ruling party claims WikiLeaks cables on government are falsified 2) the militarization of Canadian universities 3) interview with organizer Jeff Paterson, who has helped make possible a rally at Leavenworth in support of Bradley Manning this weekend.

12:10 PM Kim Ives and Dan Coughlin on Democracy Now! discuss the "Petrocaribe Files" exposing how the United States pressured by Exxon and Chevron attempted to interfere in an oil agreement between Haiti and Venezuela that was supposed to save Haiti $100 million per year.

11:50 PM Timothy Karr of Free Press writes on Anonymous taking on "the System" and highlights a YouTube manifesto posted that is "a call to everyone in the online world to get off the couch, pick up their cell phones and laptops and join a revolt against governments and corporations that are intent upon stifling free speech online."

11:30PM Pakistan intelligence officers, according to December 2009 cable, were at the time maintaining ties with terrorist organizations, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Taliban and other extremist groups.

Image10:05 PM UNESCO's Division of Freedom of Expression releases the following report, "Freedom of Connection, Freedom of Expression: The Changing Legal and Regulatory Ecology Shaping the Internet." WikiLeaks' release of the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs is highlighted in the report.

From the introduction, the report finds the Internet has become "increasingly pivotal to the communicative power of individuals, groups and institutions with access to networks and the skills to use them effectively." But, the "shift in communicative power has spawned greater efforts to restrict and control the use of the Internet for information and communication on political, moral, cultural, security and other grounds." For example, WikiLeaks.

The section on security suggests the fact that WikiLeaks brought embarassment to US diplomacy through its release of the US State Embassy cables might be why governments are seeking to gain "better control of the Internet."

8:00 Is this not the best title ever for an op-ed on WikiLeaks & Cablegate? Titled, "Wikibangarang Nightmare," Peter Espeut for The Gleaner, which has been covering the Jamaica cables release, writes, "Some political spinners dismiss the WikiLeaks cables as insignificant because, they say, the correspondence does not reflect the official policy of the US government, but just what certain US government staffers are thinking. But isn't it important to know what our allies think of us, whether they think we are being honest or corrupt?"

7:54 From @WikiLeaks Twitter feed: "Next US Twitter hearing in espionage investigation against WikiLeaks is tentatively set for June 24."

Image7:51 RTE News reports on cables which detail how Shannon Airport in Ireland was likely used for extraordinary rendition. The known stopover for US military apparently had the then-prime minister defending US assurances that enemy combatants were not being "transited at Shannon en route to Guantanamo" but this remark from US Sen. John McCain raises doubts. In a cable, he apparently said it was necessary "to underscore how very important it is that the US not ever be caught in a lie to a close friend and ally."

Go to the 14:50 mark of this video for the report. (h/t John O'Callaghan)

7:47 Tom Ford produces a short film declaring, "We are all Bradley Manning," urging support for the alleged whistleblower to WikiLeaks

7:36 Indian army involved in extra-judicial killings of Kashmiris the army tried to link with Pakistan in 2007, according to released cables

7:32 In Macedonia, according to cables, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski used state's judicial and "repressive apparatus to quell dissent" creating a "climate of fear." Article at Bivol.

7:25 Newspaper Association of America reports the newspaper sales crisis in America enters its sixth year. This crisis is one of the forces that exerts a pressure on journalists to be careful how they cooperate and cover WikiLeaks. It is part of what determines how they cover national security and information they receive from whistleblowers too because many papers or media organizations cannot afford lawsuits from the Justice Dept, etc.

7:10 Asian Human Rights Commission, on the criminalization of free speech ahead of Thailand's election, reports, "Aekkachai Hongkangwan, age 35, was indicted on 23 May 2011 at the Criminal Court in Bangkok for allegedly disseminating CDs containing a documentary by ABC television and WikiLeaks materials which are offensive to the King, the Queen and the Heir Apparent. He has also been accused of selling CDs without a license."

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