The more the Wikileaks story unfolds, the more sickened I become.
It appears that the United States government is involved in extralegal attempts to both attack Wikileaks and Assange personally. If America believes in the values they preach, why are they not using legal channels instead? Why is Bradley Manning (the suspected leaker) still yet to be tried after seven months in solitary confinement?
America’s actions completely contradict it’s stated support for a free press and an open internet, statements that are intended to target repressive regimes that America is now aping.
Despite the dire pronouncements that these leaks would lead to deaths, not a single one has yet been reported. In contrast the Iraq war alone has caused at least 109,000 deaths, with at least 60% of this civilian, according to leaked documents.
Finally the calls for Assange’s assassination by some commentators and politicians are despicable, and make me sick to my stomach. For shame.
A member of parliament in Iceland who is also a former WikiLeaks volunteer says the US Justice Department has ordered Twitter to hand over her private messages.
Our phrase was “Courage is contagious” …
We … [have] a long record … of exposing abuses, by exposing concrete documentation — proof — of bad behaviour. That’s not anarchy, that’s what people do when they’re civil. They engage in organised activity that promotes justice …
We have seen MasterCard, Europe Visa, Amazon, PayPal, a Swiss bank all financially censor us after pressure from the U.S. government. Not legal pressure, all done under the table.
Amazon.com removed WikiLeaks from its servers on 1 December 2010 at 19:30 GMT … On 4 December, Paypal cut off the account used by WikiLeaks to collect donations. On 6 December, the Swiss bank PostFinance announced that it had frozen the assets of Assange; on the same day, MasterCard stopped payments to WikiLeaks, with Visa following them on 7 December …
Official efforts by the U.S. government to limit access to, conversation about, and general spread of the cables leaked by WikiLeaks were revealed by leading media organizations. A 4 December 2010 article by MSNBC, reported that the Obama administration has warned federal government employees and students … studying towards careers in public service that they must refrain from downloading or linking to any WikiLeaks documents. However, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley denied ordering students, … [saying] the warning was from an “overzealous employee.” According to a 3 December 2010 article in The Guardian, access to WikiLeaks has been blocked for federal workers.
The handling of the charges suggests that the motivation for bringing them against Mr. Assange is political. If the motivation is political, then the merits of the charges might matter less. Even if they fail to result in a conviction, the authorities might nevertheless succeed in, in essence, incapacitating Mr. Assange for several months, and preventing him from releasing further documents through WikiLeaks. They might also injure Mr. Assange’s reputation among the public …
I suspect this point will seem obvious to many of you: the fact that the charges are (apparently) politically motivated is indeed a reason to regard them skeptically, and they make it less likely — perhaps much less likely — that Mr. Assange is guilty of them.
If you became aware of secret information revealing serious wrongdoing, deceit and/or criminality on the part of the U.S. Government, would you — knowing that you could and likely would be imprisoned under these kinds of repressive, torturous conditions for months on end without so much as a trial: just locked away by yourself 23 hours a day without recourse — be willing to expose it?
Anyone who works in supporting women who have been raped knows from this grossly disproportionate response that Britain and Sweden, surely under pressure from the US, are cynically using the serious issue of rape as a fig leaf to cover the shameful issue of mafioso-like global collusion in silencing dissent.
With all due respect, I think you should be following [Assange’s] example
I have been accused of treason, even though I am an Australian, not a US, citizen. There have been dozens of serious calls in the US for me to be “taken out” by US special forces. Sarah Palin says I should be “hunted down like Osama bin Laden”, a Republican bill sits before the US Senate seeking to have me declared a “transnational threat” and disposed of accordingly. An adviser to the Canadian Prime Minister’s office has called on national television for me to be assassinated. An American blogger has called for my 20-year-old son, here in Australia, to be kidnapped and harmed for no other reason than to get at me.
In 4 years how many has #Wikileaks killed? In 4 years how many has the US and its allies killed? #foodforthought
This is the first time we have seen an attempt at the international community level to censor a website dedicated to the principle of transparency. We are shocked to find countries such as France and the United States suddenly bringing their policies on freedom of expression into line with those of China. We point out that in France and the United States, it is up to the courts, not politicians, to decide whether or not a website should be closed …
Reporters Without Borders can only condemn this determination to hound Assange and reiterates its conviction that WikiLeaks has a right under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment to publish these documents and is even playing a useful role by making them available to journalists and the greater public.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the leak as an attack not just on the U.S. but on all governments:
I’m aware that some may mistakenly applaud those responsible, so I want to set the record straight. There is nothing laudable about endangering innocent people, and there is nothing brave about sabotaging the peaceful relations between nations.
The credibility of Hillary Clinton was questioned … amid allegations that Clinton has broken international law or other laws by allegedly trying to steal credit card numbers, passwords, and biometric data from the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon and other leaders.
The theme for next year’s commemoration will be 21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers. The United States places technology and innovation at the forefront of its diplomatic and development efforts … At the same time, we are concerned about the determination of some governments to censor and silence individuals, and to restrict the free flow of information. We mark events such as World Press Freedom Day in the context of our enduring commitment to support and expand press freedom and the free flow of information in this digital age.
The legislation, called the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, requires the State Department to expand its scrutiny of news media restrictions and intimidation as part of its annual review of human rights in each country. Among other considerations, the department will be required to determine whether foreign governments participate in or condone violations of press freedom.
During his visit to China in November, President Obama … defended the right of people to freely access information, and said that the more freely information flows, the stronger societies become. He spoke about how access to information helps citizens to hold their governments accountable, generates new ideas, and encourages creativity …
Some countries have erected electronic barriers that prevent their people from accessing portions of the world’s networks. They have expunged words, names and phrases from search engine results. They have violated the privacy of citizens who engage in non-violent political speech. These actions contravene the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which tells us that all people have the right “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell.
Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people.
From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare, they have become the tools of corrupt interests which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.
To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
[Assange] begins by describing a state like the US as essentially an authoritarian conspiracy, and then reasons that the practical strategy for combating that conspiracy is to degrade its ability to conspire … The metaphor of a computing network is mostly implicit, but utterly crucial: he seeks to oppose the power of the state by treating it like a computer and tossing sand in its diodes …
Because we all basically know that the US state — like all states — is basically doing a lot of basically shady things basically all the time, simply revealing the specific ways they are doing these shady things will not be, in and of itself, a necessarily good thing … The question for an ethical human being — and Assange always emphasizes his ethics — has to be the question of what exposing secrets will actually accomplish … [W]hether you buy his argument or not, Assange has a clearly articulated vision for how Wikileaks’ activities will “carry us through the mire of politically distorted language, and into a position of clarity,” a strategy for how exposing secrets will ultimately impede the production of future secrets. The point of Wikileaks — as Assange argues — is simply to make Wikileaks unnecessary.
Robert Foster gives an overview of the current situation, interviews Hillary Clinton, then gets comments from Alex Jones, Colonel Gaddafi and Silvio Berlusconi. “Investigative rap journalism” from ReverbNation out of Melbourne, Australia.
→ Rap News 6 - Wikileaks' Cablegate on YouTube
A one hour look at Wikileaks’ and Assange’s history, and the current controversy.
EST WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff.
Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-sight, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.