2011-06-05 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks (Sunday Edition)

ImageMentor and friend Greg Mitchell at TheNation.com is on vacation. While he is away, I am 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.

10:10 PM "This Week in WikiLeaks" podcast just up here at WL Central. Marcy Wheeler who blogs as Emptywheel at Firedoglake is the guest. I interview her on cyber security, whether the SIPR classified information database compromised supposedly by Bradley Manning has been secured by the Department of Defense or not, and national security journalism and the war on whistleblowing,

Image8:00 PM The second round of cables coverage from one of the latest WikiLeaks partners, The Scotsman, is up. They cover Megrahi's release, the Lockerbie Bomber. The revelation is Gaddafi wanted the release of the Lockerbie Bomber because he was upset about "the case of six Bulgarian nurses freed from a Libyan jail in 2007." Because he was upset, he wanted to give Megrahi a "hero's welcome," something Sen. John McCain didn't think would be good for relations.

The story of the Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian intern being tortured and forced into confessing they had been infecting patients in a children's hospital deliberately with HIV is not a new revelation. But, connecting the story to Megrahi's release, is a new piece of the story.

7:05 PM So, Ruth Dudley Edwards for the Irish Independent published an editorial on the cables. Basically, Edwards became uncomfortable about speaking truth to power, looked up some of Bill Keller's and David Leigh's talking points on WikiLeaks and then threw them on a page. Once they hit the page, the talking points were artfully rearranged to form an op-ed. And today you can read all about why the published Ireland cables in the Irish Independent wasn't any big thing at all.

6:50 PM Been brought to my attention that I should not have made it seem like Wales Online was trying to do a hit job on Assange by publishing this story about Assange being heckled by audience members at the Hay Festival who didn't think he was willing to answer their questions on Manning. The heckler allegedly came from Channel 4 News. Daily Mail covered the heckling. And Wales Online parroted the story.

So, Wales Online didn't do this awkward, hard to confirm story. Daily Mail did.

6:30 PM After much criticism, ANC in South Africa backs off timeline for passing Protection of Information bill to make changes. The bill has been seen by some in South Africa as a threat to citizens' right to know information.

It appears one particular concession has been made: a provision for a classification review panel that would make reports of "10-year reviews on the status of classified information" is now up for consideration.

6:20 PM UN agency says commodity markets need more transparency to deflate speculative bubbles.

4:30 PM Remember Hunton & Williams? Remember the law firm that recruited three data intelligence firms to develop ways to subvert or sabotage WikiLeaks? Remember HBGary? Okay -- Wim Nauwelaerts, an attorney with Hunton & Williams appears in a short article in New Europe, a weekly from Brussels, Belgium. He says that against "a backdrop of Wikileaks, Twitter privacy violations and an ongoing EU revision of the Data Protection Act" there are "current difficulties in transposing data protection law across borders." Creating such streamlined rules or laws are possible. One wonders if those rules or laws would prevent law firms from conspiring with data intelligence firms to take down media organizations that governments consider to be "enemies" or "targets."

2:05 PM Yemenis are celebrating as President Ali Abdullah Saleh has fled Yemen for Saudi Arabia to get medical attention after being attacked. Jeb Boone and Iona Craig, two journalists who have been covering Yemen tremendously well for the past months, have filed this report for the Los Angeles Times on the latest developments in Yemen. Makes use of some revelations from the cables released by WikiLeaks on Yemen.

12:20 PM El Pais reports on cables showing CNI and the US Secret Service two years tracking and ultimately controlling two businessmen involved in selling helicopters to Iran. The business of selling the helicopters was prohibited by the UN. More details.

8:20 AM Editorial in the Jamaica Gleaner puts into perspective what the diplomatic cables say about Jamaica and what Jamaicans should consider when reading through the cables for revelations.

8:15 AM A spokesperson for the Ireland government asserts, despite the revelations that Shannon airport was likely used for US renditions of terror suspects, "No changes are envisaged in relation to inspection of US military flights going through Shannon Airport." It appears that following the publishing the Ireland government contacted someone in the US to check on the revelation and was "assured" the stopover would not be used for rendition.


10:30 PM In Case You Missed It: D.D. Guttenplan at New Statesman published this piece on Assange's respect and admiration for the great American investigative journalist I.F. Stone.

10:10 PM Video of Debra Sweet of World Can't Wait, a lead organizer of the Bradley Manning Support Rally in NYC, which took place this afternoon. She is in Times Square talking about the plans for the rally.

8:38 PM Naija Cyber Hactivists, a group of Nigerian hackers, who appear to be inspired by WikiLeaks, profiled by NEXT, a Nigerian media organization that partnered with WikiLEaks to cvoer the Nigeria cables.

The group sees their actions as something that might help get a Freedom of Information bill passed in Nigeria.

8:00 PM Margaret Thatcher considered reintroducing internment, detaining terror suspects indefinitely without trial, in Northern Ireland in the late 1980s, cables covered by the Belfast Telegraph reveal. This was likely not employed because of the "propaganda victory" it would have handed the IRA. (On the contrary, the US uses internment on terror suspects detained at Guantanamo and doesn't care that it hands al Qaeda a "propaganda victory.")

Also, six years before the first cease-fire, the UK and the US didn't think there would be any near-term solution to the problem.

7:20 PM Another partnership, more scoops: WikiLeaks and The Scotsman partner up on the cables. Most of the scoops are on the British withdrawal from the Iraq war led by Gordon Brown. Here are some of the main revelations thus far:

Image • The British government effectively gave up on its mission in Iraq, with defence secretary Des Browne admitting privately to a US general that chaos in Basra was "depressing and incomprehensible", and "could not be resolved… by the UK's forces".

• US diplomats believed Gordon Brown's motive for pulling out was a desire to show the British public he was "the leader who undid (Tony] Blair's mistake" in taking the country to war.

• Britain's withdrawal from Basra was opposed by the United States, the United Nations and the Iraqi government, who all feared it could destabilise Iraq, give a boost to insurgents and lead to a deepening conflict.

• US senator John McCain sounded out David Cameron, then leader of the opposition, on opposing British withdrawal. But the Tory leader declined to get involved in criticising Brown's military strategy.

6:00 PM Report from the Bradley Manning Support Network on the rally.

3:50 PM Valuable analysis from Nikolas Kozloff of the Quito Cables from Ecuador

3:25 PM The list of Twitter users tweeting from Leavenworth.

3:15 PM Great photo from the entrance of Ft. Leavenworth. Posted by _truthsetfree.


3:00 PM March for Bradley Manning in Leavenworth now probably as close to Manning as they are going to get. Photos from the entrance appearing on Twitter.

2:55 PM At the Hay Festival, Julian Assange suggests the FBI tried to bribe WikiLeaks staff. Also, along the same lines as the WikiLeaks confidentiality agreement that stirred up much debate, he addressed superinjunctions. WikiLeaks has published on five or six super injunctions in the past. He says now he might be interested in getting a superinjunction to protect WikiLeaks' sources. Not sure how that works but I am sure The New Statesmen's David Allen Green will be dissecting this one soon enough, if he isn't preoccupied by his book writing.

2:45 PM Julian Assange appears at the Hay Festival. Gets there by helicopter and has to leave early enough to make curfew.

Is this Wales Online's attempt at a hit piece on Assange's appearance at the Hay Festival?

2:30 PM Another user to follow is @nancymancias with the CODE PINK women's brigade. Many good photos up here on this page.

And, here they come. Free Bradley Manning!


2:25 PM Bradley Manning's father is at the rally in Leavenworth

2:20 PM For the past hours, photos of the Bradley Manning support rally in Leavenworth, Kansas, where Manning is being held, have been showing up on twitter. @OpManning has been posting these photos:





The speaker in the above photos is Andy Thayer of the Gay Liberation Network who recently was arrested and detained with Lt. Dan Choi while standing up for Russian LGBT rights in the Moscow Pride Parade.


Image11:30 AM William Blum writes about how the US has targeted Cuba's healthcare system for half-century and notes that in recently released cables a US diplomat was looking for "human interest stories and other news that shatters the myth of Cuban medical prowess" in the run-up to the Non-Aligned Movement conference. Also mentioned is the cable, which features a story a diplomat made up on how Michael Moore's "Sicko" documentary had been banned in Havana.

9:20 AM In-depth feature on Al Jazeera English story from Asad Hashim on the "dysfunctional relationship" between the US and Pakistan that can be seen in cables from Pakistan. Hashim writes, "While Pakistan has publically spoken of the presence of US trainers for its paramilitary forces, it has never admitted to their presence on combat missions." And in the cables there are multiple references to the "presence of US Special Forces troops on the ground in Pakistan, who act in "concert with Pakistani forces in an intelligence-support capacity" and as trainers.

8:55 AM In Utica, New York, colleges meet for a cyber security conference to organize a state of the art cyber security center that could be known as "Cyber Valley," a district that would feature entities dedicated to the fight against cybercrime.

Also, New York Senator Chuck Schumer contacted FBI director Robert Mueller urging him to train FBI agents on how to fight cybercrime after seeing a report that a third of FBI agents are unprepared to investigate cybercrime.

8:43 AM US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, on policy towards China, using words like "transparency" and "secrecy" to describe the development of operations toward countries:

...It all comes down to one word: transparency,” the secretary said. “The more transparent nations are in regards to what they are doing, what their intentions are, what their programs are, the less need there is for us unilaterally to figure that out on our own...

One of my colleagues long ago in the intelligence business said there are two types on information we seek – secrets and mysteries...Mostly what we are trying to break are the mysteries. Greater transparency of intent, and greater transparency of capabilities – which we are fully prepared to reciprocate – will help us in this arena...

In empirespeak, that means if you don't tell us what you are up to, we will assume you are planning to attack us and may unleash the might of American superpower on you. Of course, presumably, no respect here for countries who keep these details secret when conducting diplomacy in foreign lands. You know, the secrecy the US State Dept thinks WikiLeaks violated.

8:10 AM A letter to the editor published by The Gleaner, which has been covering the Jamaica cables. The author writes describes how the US influence over appointments of officials in Jamaica as a violation of sovereignty, something that should be one of Jamaicans' biggest concerns as it potentially violates national security.

Image8:00 AM To coincide with the anniversary of the atrocity known as Tiananmen Square, cables on this event have been published by Daily Telegraph. A key revelation that vindicates China is the fact cables show pro-democracy students were not fired upon near the monument. Rather, "Chinese soldiers opened fire on protesters outside the centre of Beijing, as they fought their way towards the square from the west of the city."

The cables also provide details on how the pro-democracy students set up blockades to control central Beijing.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer