2011-09-19 Bodnar: Polish secrecy law might trigger mass protest and a coalition of NGOs

In an interview with press agency PAP, Adam Bodnar (Helsinki Foundation) called on Polish president Bronisław Komorowski to veto a proposed law that will prevent access to public records, if a release would have a negative impact on the economic interests of the government. Such a law would in effect prevent access to data on international negotiations.

He stated that NGOs might form a coalition to join forces in protesting against such a law. Based on discussion he read on the internet, he also predicts a mass protest, should this serious infringement of civil liberties be in fact be ratified.

As recent months have shown, this is not an unrealistic scenario; an online protest has recently led to increased press coverage of the investigation into a CIA prison in Masovia.

The Helsinki Foundation, which also runs the Observatory of the Dealings of the CIA on the Territory of the Republic of Poland, opposes the new legislation.

2011-03-01 "This Week in WikiLeaks" Podcast - The Corporate War on WikiLeaks Supporters

ImageUpdate: Edited podcast episode is now posted. The fourth episode of this weekly podcast, which looks at stories related to WikiLeaks from the past week, featured guest Kevin Zeese, who is with the Bradley Manning Support Network and, which is a project dedicated to preventing the prosecution and extradition of Assange to the United States. The podcast also welcomed CMN News correspondent Chris Novembrino, who provided commentary throughout the episode.

WikiLeaks Revelation: Prophetic Diplomacy for the Global Age

Last week, the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks began releasing secret diplomat cables sent by US embassies. It is too early to know the long-term impact of all the released material. Right after the leak, on November 29 US secretary of States Hilary Clinton gave a speech stating that the leaks are damaging to international security and undermining the diplomacy among nations that has been built over the years (New York Post, Dec 1, 2010).

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1. Everything is interconnected

Everything is interconnected. In some disciplines and particularly in hard sciences that is rather an obvious and therefore useless statement than a secret. But in the area I have been trained—literature, but I could use general terms like art or simply culture—the same obvious statement is often forgotten or decisively denied. The academic studies of culture and even sometimes the very products of high culture—poetry, philosophy, art—ignore, both purposely and accidentally, the connection between their abstractions and the riddle of power. Due to a good reason, though: the abstract thinking that rules high culture and the specificity of the academic studies of culture demand focusing. There is no room here for an extended explanation of this point, so I will be satisfied with the words copied from a letter of Maurice Blanchot, a radical writer of the kind that embraces its own isolation by creating a sort of exclusive language: “One [of the two impulses of a writer] is the passion, the realization, and the speech of the whole in dialectical accomplishment”, he says: the prosecution, the chase—that is what it is—of the whole.

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