2012-01-08 #WikiLeaks News and Recent Press Coverage of WikiLeaks Releases

This is a "WikiLeaks News Update", a daily news update of stories relating directly to WikiLeaks and also freedom of information, transparency, cybersecurity, and freedom of expression.


  • In less than 20 hours, the auction for WikiLeaks Truck will close. Current bid is US $7.600.00.

  • L’Espresso journalist Stefania Maurizi describes, in a series of tweets her experience meeting Julian Assange to receive italian cables in January 2011 and, prior to that, the Afghan war Logs, right after Julian Assange left Sweden in 2010. Recommended reading, as the misconception Julian Assange fled Sweden to escape interrogation is dispelled. In fact, he remained in the country for over a month to answer allegations against him, yet he was not called to be interrogated. He was instead given permission to travel abroad: “Assange was NOT trying to avoid questioning in Sweden, we had an appointment in Berlin, where I was supposed to get the Afghan War Logs”, Stefania Maurizi writes.

  • Stainless Steel Rat, a controversial Australian play consisting of a fictional plot vaguely inspired by reports on Julian Assange’s life, was target of so much criticism its name and dialogue had to be modified. Since 14 December, the play now known as Man in the Middle has gone through 14 drafts.
    Christine Assange, Julian’s mother, calls for a boycott of the play, soon to be staged in London, to coincide with Julian’s Supreme Court appeal hearing in February.

  • In a piece recently published in Huffington Post titled The Truth Will Set You Free. Wait. No. It Will Get You Locked Up Indefinitely., Dylan Brody reflects on the impact of Bradley Manning’s alleged decision to reveal the truth about war crimes:

    “(…) what the documents really reveal runs far deeper and holds far more importance than the specifics of the released data. It reminds us that the very act of war is inherently criminal, that once killing is presented as a valid solution to human differences, the value of humanity itself becomes diminished. Bradley Manning's courageous action reminds us not that people do bad things to one another in war, but that we allow it to happen in our names as long as we let our leaders hide from us the atrocities committed on our behalf.


Recent Press Coverage of WikiLeaks Releases

  • A cable released by WikiLeaks documents the US Government's perspective on the hiring of an security Israeli firm (whose founder is the former head of the Operations Directorate of the Israeli Military) by former Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos, with the aim of fighting criminal organisations and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC):

    "Over a three year period, Ziv worked his way into the confidence of former [Colombian] Defense Minister [Juan Manuel] Santos by promising a cheaper version of USG [US government] assistance without our strings attached. We and the GOC [government of Colombia] learned that Global CST had no Latin American experience and that its proposals seem designed more to support Israeli equipment and services sales than to meet in-country needs", the cable reads. [via Al Jazeera]

  • The US threatened nations who oppose Monsanto’s genetically modified crops with military-style trade wars. [via Natural Society]

  • The United States proposed to help Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe secure a smooth exit from office, prior to the 2008 elections, and offered protection from possible prosecution, which would have been likely had he lost the election.The offer was declined. [via All Africa]

  • Palm Beach sugar barons Pepe and Alfy Fanjul were accused of trying to sabotage U.S. foreign policy and corrupting foreign politicians in diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks. [via Forbes]


Upcoming WikiLeaks Dates

January 11: Day of Action Against Guantanamo: A rally will take place in Washington DC, with the presence of Guantanamo historian and WikiLeaks media partner Andy Worthington who will also be attending other rallies across the country.
Similar protests are planned in Canada (Ottawa and Toronto).

January 11: Julian Assange will have been under house arrest without charge for 400 days. Please visit Justice4Assange.com for more information on the extradition case.

January 14: Bradley Manning will have been in prison for 600 days.

January 16: A recommendation on whether Bradley Manning faces court-martial is expected. Final decision has no date set.

January 21: “War on the Internet” panel in Melbourne with Jacob Appelbaum, Bernard Keane, Senator Scott Ludlam and Suelette Dreyfus. More information here.

February 2: Julian Assange’s extradition appeal will be heard by the Supreme Court. Hearing will likely last 2 days. A support demonstration is planned outside of the Supreme Court, starting at 9AM.

April 25-29: WikiLeaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson and L’Espresso journalist Stefania Maurizi, who has worked on several WikiLeaks releases, will speak at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia (Italy).

May 23: Julian Assange will speak at the Enterprise Information Management Congress 2012 (Netherlands).


Action Campaigns (updated)

401 days of unlawful financial blockade.

Julian Assange
398 days under house arrest without charge.

  • new Australia: Contact your Senator demanding Justice for Julian Assange! Threaten your vote if action to defend the rights of Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, is not taken.
  • Show your support for Julian Assange at the Supreme Court of London, February 1 and 2, at 9 AM. More information at Free Julian Assange Now campaign by Liberté Info.
  • Nominate Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for the Nobel Peace Prize 2012: campaign website.
  • Send at least one of the several call to action draft letters addressed to European organizations and Members of the European Parliament requesting action over the unjust treatment of Julian Assange.

Bradley Manning
595 days detained in military jail.

  • I am Bradley Manning campaign website with photos of supporters from around the world. Submit your own!
  • A challenge proposed by the Bradley Manning Support Network: Stand with Bradley until his trial is over - pledge a monthly donation for the length of the trial. For more details see bradleymanning.org

Rudolf Elmer

  • Liberté Info started a campaign to make whistleblower Rudolf Elmer’s trial an international issue. The campaign page is constantly updated with new developments on his case. Readers are encouraged to share.

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