Monday, December 27, 2010

WikiLeaks News 3

Banks Against WikiLeaks
CIA vs. WikiLeaks
Karl Rove?
Assange in Danger?
Ray McGovern Defends Assange and WikiLeaks and Criticizes Mainstream Media
Daniel Ellsberg Defends Telling the Truth, Assange, and Manning
Ralph Nader for Free Flow of Information and Against Secrecy
WikiLeaks Reveals British Deceit with Mauritius
One Magazine’s Reporting: Z Magazine, ZNet

Banks and WikiLeaks
The New York Times, Editorial
"The whistle-blowing Web site WikiLeaks has not been convicted of a crime. The Justice Department has not even pressed charges over its disclosure of confidential State Department communications. Nonetheless, the financial industry is trying to shut it down."

Adam Gabbatt, Guardian UK
Excerpt: "Officially, the panel is called the WikiLeaks Task Force. But at CIA headquarters, it's mainly known by its all-too-apt acronym: WTF ..."

Is Karl Rove Driving the Effort to Prosecute Julian Assange?
Legal Schnauzer Blog
The Legal Schnauzer begins, "Former Bush White House strategist Karl Rove likely is playing a leading role in the effort to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a source with ties to the justice community tells Legal Schnauzer."

Julian Assange Says His Life Is 'Under Threat'
David Batty, Guardian UK
The report begins: "Julian Assange said today his life and the lives of his colleagues at the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks are under threat."

What's Behind the War on WikiLeaks by Ray McGovern
December 13, 2010

From Consortium News
WikiLeaks has teased the genie of transparency out of a very opaque bottle, and powerful forces in America, who thrive on secrecy, are trying desperately to stuff the genie back in.
How far down the U.S. has slid can be seen, ironically enough, in a recent commentary in Pravda (that's right, Russia's Pravda):
"What WikiLeaks has done is make people understand why so many Americans are politically apathetic. After all, the evils committed by those in power can be suffocating, and the sense of powerlessness that erupts can be paralyzing, especially when government evildoers almost always get away with their crimes."
"So shame on Barack Obama, Eric Holder and all those who spew platitudes about integrity, justice and accountability while allowing war criminals and torturers to walk freely upon the earth. The American people should be outraged that [their] government has transformed a nation with a reputation for freedom, justice, tolerance and respect for human rights into a backwater that revels in its criminality, cover-ups, injustices and hypocrisies."
Odd, isn't it, that it takes a Pravda commentator to drive home the point that the Obama administration is on the wrong side of history.
Some bloodthirsty U.S. politicians even are calling for the murder of WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange, while some in the U.S. news media favor only prosecuting him and his leakers, while insisting that "responsible" journalists should be protected.

In this view, severe punishment should be reserved for people with access to the government's dark secrets who out of conscience decide to share that information with the people, a prospect that some pundits find objectionable.

"The government has to get better at keeping secrets," wrote the Washington Post's Richard Cohen. "Muzzle the leakers - but not the press."

The corporate-and-government-dominated media appears apprehensive over the challenge that WikiLeaks presents. Perhaps deep down they know, as Dickens put it, "There is nothing so strong as the simple truth."

As part of the attempt to discredit WikiLeaks and Assange, much of the media commentary over the weekend portrayed Assange's exposure of classified materials as very different from and far less laudable than what Daniel Ellsberg did in releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971.

As a chapter of distant history and a point of some First Amendment pride for U.S. journalists the Pentagon Papers case and Ellsberg can now be safely defended. Not the same for WikiLeaks and Assange who today are facing a relentless assault, organized by the U.S. government and its many powerful allies.

But Ellsberg for one strongly rejects the mantra "Pentagon Papers good; WikiLeaks material bad." He continues:

"That's just a cover for people who don't want to admit that they oppose any and all exposure of even the most misguided, secretive foreign policy. The truth is that EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time."
As often is the case amid the pressures of the moment, it is easier for pundits and politicians to go with the flow rather than swim against the current. So they find it convenient to treat the motivations behind the WikiLeaks disclosures as reckless or self-interested. But that's not what the evidence shows.

WikiLeaks's reported source, Army Pvt. Bradley Manning, having watched Iraqi police abuses and having read of similar and worse incidents in official messages, reportedly concluded, "I was actively involved in something that I was completely against."

Rather than simply look the other way, Manning wrote: "I want people to see the truth " because without information you cannot make informed decisions as a public," adding that he hoped to provoke worldwide discussion, debates and reform.

There is nothing to suggest that WikiLeaks/Assange's motives were any different.

Though mothers are not the most impartial observers, what Assange's mother told an Australian newspaper had the ring of truth. "Living by what you believe in and standing up for something is a good thing," she said. "He sees what he is doing as a good thing in the world, fighting baddies, if you like."

That may sound a bit quixotic, but Assange and his associates appear the opposite of benighted. Still, with the Pentagon PR man Geoff Morrell and even Attorney General Eric Holder making thinly disguised threats of extrajudicial steps, it is not totally farfetched to worry about Assange's personal safely.

Again, the media is the key. No one said it better than MonseƱor Oscar Romero of El Salvador, who just before he was assassinated 25 years ago, warned, "The corruption of the press is part of our sad reality, and it reveals the complicity of the oligarchy."
Sadly, that is also true of the media situation in America today.

The big question is not whether Americans can "handle the truth." We believe they can. The challenge is to make the truth available to them in a straightforward way so they can draw their own conclusions -- an uphill battle given the dominance of the mainstream media, much of which has joined in the hateful campaign to discredit Assange and WikiLeaks.

So far, the question of whether an informed American public could put the country back on an honorable course has been an academic one rather than experience-based, because Americans have had very little access to the truth.

Now, however, with the WikiLeaks disclosures, they do. Indeed, the classified messages from the Army and the State Department released by WikiLeaks are, quite literally, "ground truth."

How to inform American citizens? As a step in that direction, on Oct. 23, "Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence" (see below) presented our annual award for integrity to Julian Assange.

In contrast to Richard Cohen's disdain for people inside government who are driven by conscience to reveal crucial information to the public, Assange accepted the honor "on behalf of our sources, without which WikiLeaks' contributions are of no significance."

In presenting the award, we noted that many around the world are deeply indebted to truth-tellers like WikiLeaks and its sources.

A footnote: Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) is a group of former CIA colleagues and other admirers of former intelligence analyst Sam Adams. We try to hold up his example as a model for those who aspire to the courage to speak truth to power. (For more details, click here.)

Sam did speak truth to power on Vietnam, and in honoring his memory, SAAII confers an award each year to a truth-teller exemplifying Sam Adam's courage, persistence, and devotion to truth -- no matter the consequences. Previous recipients include:

-Coleen Rowley of the FBI
-Katharine Gun of British Intelligence
-Sibel Edmonds of the FBI
-Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan
-Sam Provance, former Sgt., US Army
-Frank Grevil, Maj., Danish Army Intelligence
-Larry Wilkerson, Col., US Army (ret.)
-Julian Assange, WikiLeaks

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for 27 years, and is now on the Steering Group of (more...)
usgp-media mailing list

“Telling the Truth about the True Costs of Wars” by Daniel Ellsberg
December 23, 2010
Most people became aware of me because of the Pentagon Papers. Since then, I have become known as “The Most Dangerous Man In America”. And why? Because I spoke the truth. I was convinced that the American public should know the truth about the Vietnam War.
I continue to work to bring the truth to light. On December 16th, in a Veterans For Peace sponsored action, along 131 other people, I was arrested for attempting to chain myself to the White House gate. This was done in protest of American involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I am a proud member of Veterans For Peace. I challenge you to join me and VFP and speak the truth to your family, friends, neighbors, and anyone that will listen. They need to know the truth about how our military is devastating the very countries that we have self-righteously proclaimed to save.
We are destroying Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan in the same way that we devastated Vietnam. Agent Orange dispersed in Vietnam still lingers in the ground contaminating soil and food. Live bombs and mines continue to harm innocent men, women and children. Today we are leaving depleted uranium weapons scattered throughout Iraq and Afghanistan that will have devastating ecological consequences for both people and ecosystems for years to come.
The True Cost of War is not measured in dollars spent on guns, nor on enemy combatants killed. The True Cost of War is visible in the catatonic face of a PTSD sufferer, in the lifeless body of a veteran who has committed suicide. The cost can be heard in the cries for help of the tortured, the stomach growls of hungry abandoned children on the streets of Iraq and Afghan villages. It can be felt at home in smaller budgets for schools and in homes that seem emptier because a father or mother has been deployed and is away from home during the holidays. The True Cost of War is that it strips us of our humanity, spoils nature’s splendor, and ruins people’s lives.
I challenge you to join the local VFP Chapters across the country. Become informed and participate in their projects. It is important that we support Bradley Manning and Julian Assange who are being persecuted for telling the truth about the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. When we work together we can make a difference.
I believe that VFP is one of the most credible organizations you can support. We have no alternative but to work for peace.
Daniel Ellsberg

Ralph Nader, “Wikimania and the First Amendment”
Common Dreams
Ralph Nader writes: "Wasn't it Jefferson who said that 'information is the currency of democracy' and that, given a choice between government and a free press, he'll take the latter? Secrecy - keeping the people and Congress in the dark - is the cancer eating at the vitals of democracy."

Brad Manning Has Rights! By Karen Kwiatkowski
The state believes that Brad Manning's death, though tragic, will save lives of those the state deems valuable. Washington believes that Julian Assange's death, while unfortunate, is necessary to maintain good order and discipline among the ruled. MORE

“Citing WikiLeaks, Mauritius denounces "deceit" on US military base” Just Foreign Policy News on the Web:
[To receive just the Summary and a link to the web version, you can use this webform:]
1) The prime minister of Mauritius has accused Britain of pursuing a "policy of deceit" over the Chagos islands, its Indian Ocean colony from where islanders were evicted to make way for a US military base, the Guardian reports. The British government's decision to establish a marine reserve around Diego Garcia and surrounding islands was exposed this month by WikiLeaks as the latest ruse to prevent the islanders from ever returning to their homeland. A US diplomatic cable dated May 2009 revealed that a Foreign Office official had told the US a decision to set up a "marine protected area" would "effectively end the islanders' resettlement claims." A US state department official commented: "Establishing a marine reserve might, indeed, as the FCO's Roberts stated, be the most effective long-term way to prevent any of the Chagos Islands' former inhabitants or their descendants from resettling in the BIOT."

Nearly a year after the cable, the UK foreign secretary described the marine reserve as a "major step forward for protecting the oceans". He added that the reserve "will not change the UK's commitment to cede the territory to Mauritius when it is no longer needed for defense purposes".

Dear Dick Bennett,
On Friday October 22nd, 2010, WikiLeaks released the "Iraq War Logs," in what they are calling “the largest classified military leak in history” with 391,832 reports. The logs document the war and occupation in Iraq between 2004-2009 “as told by soldiers in the United States Army.” ZNet is featuring our coverage of this event and so far we have a number of items on the site. These include articles and video by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Josh Stieber who was deployed in Iraq, and whose Infantry Company was shown in the Wikileaks’ “Collateral Murder” video released April this year, and finally, by legendary whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the secret history of the Vietnam War in 1971.
Here are a few items that we have published so far:
Julian Assange: Explaining the Logs (Video)
Assange: Defending the Logs (Video)
Josh Stieber: Responding to the Leak (Article)
Daniel Ellsberg: Logs Released (Video and Article)
Please check the site for more news and analysis over the coming days.

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