2011-07-26 WikiLeaks Notes: Latest News on #Cablegate Releases & #WikiLeaks


This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories that are obviously related to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression. All the times are GMT.

10:45 PM WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning nominated for a Pwnie for Epic 0wnage.

12:15 PM Al Joumhouria published a report on a cable from 2004 containing comments from historians who believe documents on the Armenian Genocide are constantly being cleared from the archives.
At least two attempts to clear the archives of the documents on crimes against Armenians are mentioned in the cable by Prof Halil Berktay. The second, he believes, ‘planned by a group of retired diplomats and generals headed by the former Turkish ambassador to Iraq’.
Link to the original article.

03:35 AM Diplomatic cable analysis published by EFF with details on privacy violations and government surveillance in Latin America.

According to the cables mentioned, the governments of Paraguay and Panama pressured the U.S. into granting them access to Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) software in an attempt to spy on mobile communications for political gain.

02:05 AM Interviewed by Truthout, Col. Morris Davis, a former Guantanamo Chief Prosecutor, recalls being pressured into indicting David Hicks for war crimes. "How quickly can you charge David Hicks?" he was asked, by Pentagon General Counsel William "Jim" Haynes, in an urgent phone call in 2007, a day after U.S. officials met with with Ambassador to Australia to discuss the impact of David Hicks’ case on Australian Prime Minister John Howard's re-election campaign.
Davis states :

"We told the world these guys are the 'worst of the worst.' David Hicks was a knucklehead. He was just a foot solider, not a war criminal. But when Congress passed the Military Commissions Act they authorized prosecuting material support, which is what Hicks was charged with, as a war crime. You could prosecute everyone at Guantanamo under that theory."

According to Morris Davis, the war crimes charge was ‘a favor to an ally’, Australia.

Update: A peaceful gathering in support of David Hicks will take place in Australia, in front of the Supreme Court of New South Wales on the 3 August (Wednesday) at 9am.

01:40 AM The New York Times analyses the impact of the Aaron Swartz case in ‘free culture’ and, more specifically, how it relates to WikiLeaks and how it prompted Gregory Maxwell to share ‘thousands of digital copies of issues from the early years of The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society’, which were available at JSTOR, on the Pirate Bay this week under his real name.

“One reason I put my name on the release, I strongly believe that if any legal action is taken against me, it will be an unjust one, and I intend to fight it so that other people have less to be afraid of.”, he wrote in a Times statement accompanying the release.

00:40 AM Sibel D. Edmonds, founder of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition is suing the FBI as the publication of her book, which contains no classified information, has been refused.

Edmonds was hired by the FBI as a contract linguist shortly after the September 11 terror attacks and claims to have been ‘terminated’ in retaliation for reporting "a number of whistleblower allegations to FBI management officials".
These allegations, according to a 2005 OIG report, relate to the actions of a co-worker and ‘raised serious concerns that, if true, could potentially have extremely damaging consequences for the FBI’, in it the FBI is said not to have properly investigated the allegations, which are ‘supported by documentary evidence or other witnesses’.

Furthermore the report concludes ‘that Edmonds' allegations were at least a contributing factor in why the FBI terminated her services’, and adds : ‘the FBI should not discourage employees or contractors from raising good-faith allegations of misconduct or mismanagement and the FBI's termination of Edmonds' services may discourage others from raising such concerns.’

00:15 AM Mercedes Haefer, a journalism and media studies student arrested by the FBI on hacking charges after allegedly participating in DDoS attacks on PayPal’s website in support of WikiLeaks, can face 15 years in prison and $500,000 in fines if convicted.

00:00 AM The Times reported on two cables describing the cancellation of General Motors’ sale of its Opel and Vauxhall brands as a consequence of demands from the proposed buyers to sell the factories to a Russian state-owned car maker.
General Motors insiders were cited claiming there concerns at the time that Russian car makers would gain access to Opel's technology and patents. via Reuters

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