Posts filed under ‘WikiLeaks’
Well, now we know. Time Magazine‘s person of the year poll is a total farce. Why? Julian Assange got the most votes at 382,026. The “winner,” Mark Zuckerberg, was tenth. He got 18,353 votes. What is that? Roughly 20 times less than Assange?
Not only is the poll a farce, Time has no guts. They were too scared and timid to officially pick Assange (or maybe the government told them not to and as fierce defenders of free speech and an independent media (not), they complied).
If you think there is freedom of speech in the United States, you’re crazy:
The U.S. Air Force is blocking its personnel from using work computers to view the websites of the New York Times and other major publications that have posted secret material obtained by Wikileaks, people familiar with the matter say.
Air Force users who try to view the websites of the New York Times, Britain’s Guardian, Spain’s El Pais, France’s Le Monde or German magazine Der Spiegel instead get a page that says, “ACCESS DENIED. Internet Usage is Logged & Monitored,” according to a screen shot reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The notice warns that anyone who accesses unauthorized sites from military computers could be punished.
The Air Force says it has blocked more than 25 websites that contain WikiLeaks documents, in order to keep classified material off unclassified computer systems.
So, you join the United States Air Force to defend the Constitution and our right to freedom of the press and of speech, among other things, but what you’re allowed to read while you’re under the Air Forces’ control is censored? And this is happening under a president who is a “Constitutional scholar?”
Something very big and very dangerous is happening here.
Oh, hey, Republicans think censoring what we can read is a great idea too.
Why does the United States government want us to hate WikiLeaks and Julian Assange? Why are they doing everything to convince us to do so? Because this is what they want us to know (or not) about what they’re up to:
Hey folks. The government belongs to us. They work for us. The government IS us. We have a right to know what they’re doing in our name.
It boggles my mind how some people rise through the ranks to become Very Important People:
It’s come to the attention of some observers that there isn’t much the US can charge Julian Assange with that it can’t charge the New York Times with as well.
After all, the founder of WikiLeaks and the US’s pre-eminent major daily both basically did the same thing: They published confidential State Department cables allegedly stolen by Pfc. Bradley Manning.
But for Michael Mukasey, President George W. Bush’s last attorney general, the matter is clear cut: The US should prosecute Assange because it’s “easier” than prosecuting a major news outlet.
Pressed by the Wall Street Journal‘s Paul Gigot to explain how the US could prosecute Assange and not the Times — the first US news source to publish the State Department cables — Mukasey said, “The distinction I’m drawing is that it is easier, from a policy standpoint, to prosecute Assange. There’s a clearer case with respect to Assange. With regard to the Times, I think, just as a matter of discretion, I would hold back.”
Wow. It’s easier. That’s deep.
Hell yeah, let’s throw the book at Julian Assange, or better yet, assassinate him (here and here) without the benefit of a trial. If we do, we won’t be bothered or upset by information like this, WikiLeaks: Pope Impeded Abuse Investigation, and we can go about our blissfully ignorant way.
Inmates at Wadsworth Prison are pushing notes of support under the cell door of WikiLeaks founder, according to Sky News sources.
Julian Assange, being held over alleged sex offences in Sweden, was refused bail at an extradition hearing earlier this week.
He could be in jail until at least his next appearance in court on Tuesday.
Assange was arrested as WikiLeaks continues to release secret cables from US embassies.
A source at the prison said, among several notes Assange received, are ones saying: “Hi Julian- good luck,” “Sorry you’re in here – it’s wrong” and “We are one within here – Merry Christmas.”
Here is Candice Miller (Dumbed Down Republican from Michigan) talking about WikiLINKS and Julian Asage.
Fact is, it’s WikiLEAKS and Julian Assange, but as usual, facts don’t matter to righties:
(Expect this video to go off-line any minute because Keith Olbermann shamed Miller two minutes ago on his show.)
Anyway, as I’ve said before, righties jump on progressives when they make the smallest mistake but when their side screws up, and we call them on it? We’re picking on them and they feel like poor widdle victims.
Pew Research Center: Public Sees WikiLeaks as Harmful:
Most Americans following news about the WikiLeaks website’s release of a huge trove of classified documents about U.S. diplomatic relations see the revelations — which have received extensive media coverage — doing more harm than good.
The people who claim harm has been done (though we haven’t seen any concrete proof of any) are the people who are the subject of the leaked cables. Not exactly trustworthy sources.
And it is a disgrace that Americans don’t think they have a right to know what their government is doing in their name.
One of the things I love about the internets is that it is so democratic:
The website of MasterCard has been hacked and partially paralysed in apparent revenge for the international credit card’s decision to cease taking donations to WikiLeaks.
A group of online activists calling themselves Anonymous appear to have orchestrated a DDOS (“distributed denial of service”) attack on the site, bringing its service at http://www.mastercard.com to a halt for many users.
“Operation: Payback” is the latest salvo in the increasingly febrile technological war over WikiLeaks. MasterCard announced on Monday that it would no longer process donations to the whistleblowing site, claiming it was engaged in illegal activity.
The group, which has been linked to the influential internet messageboard 4Chan, has been targeting commercial sites which have cut their ties with WikiLeaks. The Swiss bank PostFinance has already been targeted by Anonymous after it froze payments to WikiLeaks, and the group has vowed to target Paypal, which has also ceased processing payments to the site. Other possible targets are EveryDNS.net, which suspended dealings on 3 December, Amazon, which removed WikiLeaks content from its EC2 cloud on 1 December, and Visa, which suspended its own dealings yesterday.
Rah rah America! Is this the epitome of a democracy or what?
More from The Guardian: “Charles Arthur, the Guardian’s technology editor, points out that while MasterCard and Visa have cut WikiLeaks off you can still use those cards to donate to overtly racist organisations such as the Knights Party, which is supported by the Ku Klux Klan. The Ku Klux Klan website directs users to a site called Christian Concepts. It takes Visa and MasterCard donations for users willing to state that they are ‘white and not of racially mixed descent. I am not married to a non-white. I do not date non-whites nor do I have non-white dependents.'”
Interpol has issued a “wanted” poster for Julian Assange:
The world’s governments are sending everyone on the planet a message: Don’t you dare do what Julian Assange did.
It is truly amazing how far to the right the United States has moved. These days it’s okay to publicly call for the assassination of someone like Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, ignoring the once-revered belief in the principle of innocent until proven guilty and a trial by a jury of one’s peers. Journalists and politicians might as well throw the flag itself on the ground and grind it into shreds.
This is how people who respect the Constitution and the rule of law react to what’s happening to Julian Assange:
Reporters Without Borders condemns the blocking, cyber-attacks and political pressure being directed at cablegate.wikileaks.org, the website dedicated to the US diplomatic cables. The organization is also concerned by some of the extreme comments made by American authorities concerning WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.
After being ousted from Amazon, WikiLeaks found a refuge for part of its content with the French Internet company OVH. But French digital economy minister Eric Besson today said the French government was looking at ways to ban hosting of the site. WikiLeaks was also recently dropped by its domain name provider EveryDNS. Meanwhile, several countries well known for their disregard of freedom of expression and information, including Thailand and China, have blocked access to cablegate.wikileaks.org.
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.
After working at the food bank today while Obama simultaneously negotiated with Republicans to extend tax cuts for the rich, I am at a loss as to what to say about this: White House Tells All Federal Agencies to Prohibit Unauthorized Employees from WikiLeaks Site.
Obama is a “liberal?” What a fucking joke. He isn’t even a Democrat. The Democratic party I grew up with would be OUTRAGED at this.
He’s a Constitutional lawyer/scholar but he wants to control what American citizens read and know?
My jaw can’t drop any farther.
WikiLeaks is endangering lives. WikiLeaks is endangering lives. WikiLeaks is endangering lives…
WikiLeaks didn’t kill these people:
Today, in cites and states across the United States, 123 people died because they lacked enough money to buy healthcare services. That brings the annual death toll for 2010 to 41,082.
WikiLeaks had nothing to do with the deaths of the 123 people who died today or any of the 41,082 who died so far this year.
The 123 who died today did so with the full knowledge of all who allowed their deaths. The 123 who died today might have lived if they had access to appropriate healthcare. The 123 who died got no mention on any news program or website – liberal, conservative or otherwise. So much for the value of 123 human lives.
So, American politicians and American media, where’s the urgency about this?
Apropos of Joe Lieberman strong-arming Amazon into shutting down the WikiLeaks website, Glenn Greenwald tweets this sarcastic gem:
Rasmussen poll: “51% Say Leaking of U.S. Secrets is Treason.“
Hello, anybody home? Julian Assange is Australian. Despite what Glenn Beck or Mike Huckabee or Sarah Palin say, he can’t be charged with treason because he isn’t an American. Treason is the act of betraying one’s own country. Look it up if you have to.
Did you hear that Joe Lieberman used his iron fist to cause Amazon to drop service to WikiLeaks earlier this week? Yep. One very powerful guy, who apparently doesn’t believe in free speech (kind of alarming coming from a Senator who’s charged with upholding our Constitution), decided that the American people shouldn’t know what was coming out of WikiLeaks so he intimidated Amazon (guess they don’t believe in free speech either) into shutting the site down.
More on what that means to our freedom here, from Glenn Greenwald:
Note that Lieberman here is desperate to prevent American citizens — not The Terrorists — from reading the WikiLeaks documents which shed light on what the U.S. Government is doing. His concern is domestic consumption. By his own account, he did this to “send a message to other companies that might host WikiLeaks” not to do so. No matter what you think of WikiLeaks, they have never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime; Lieberman literally wants to dictate — unilaterally — what you can and cannot read on the Internet, to prevent Americans from accessing documents that much of the rest of the world is freely reading.
The Internet, of course, is rendering decrepit would-be petty tyrants like Lieberman impotent and obsolete: WikiLeaks moved its website to a Swedish server and was accessible again within hours. But any attempt by political officials to start blocking Americans’ access to political content on the Internet ought to provoke serious uproar and unrest. If the Tea Party movement and the Right generally were even minimally genuine in their ostensible beliefs, few things would trigger more intense objections than a political official trying to dictate to private actors which political content they should allow on the Internet…
Just a reminder that Greg Mitchell over at the Nation is live blogging the release of the WikiLeaks cables. His is a good place to go for a synopsis of what’s going on (it’s all so overwhelming otherwise).
Bravo to WikiLeaks for restoring distrust in the U.S.government:
International scandals—such as the one precipitated by this week’s WikiLeaks cable dump—serve us by illustrating how our governments work. Better than any civics textbook, revisionist history, political speech, bumper sticker, or five-part investigative series, an international scandal unmasks presidents and kings, military commanders and buck privates, cabinet secretaries and diplomats, corporate leaders and bankers, and arms-makers and arms-merchants as the bunglers, liars, and double-dealers they are.
As the Economist put it yesterday, “secrecy is necessary for national security and effective diplomacy.” But it “is also inevitable that the prerogative of secrecy will be used to hide the misdeeds of the permanent state and its privileged agents.”
Assange and WikiLeaks, while not perfect, have punctured the prerogative of secrecy with their recent revelations. The untold story is that while doing the United States’ allies, adversaries, and enemies a favor with his leaks, he’s doing the United States the biggest favor by holding it accountable.
Moral of the story? Never, ever, trust what the government tells you. (Listen up Tea Partiers.)
Karl Rove tweets that the Obama administration is weak in the face of WikiLeaks:
Yep. This is the same guy who outed Valerie Plame, a top CIA agent, and got away with it. Didn’t hear him complaining how weak the Bush administration was in the face of that.
Don’t miss this cartoon by the Guardian‘s Steve Bell.
Found this email from the Tea Party Nation in my inbox this morning:
I know the text is tiny — can’t make it any bigger — this is what it says:
Subject: No Mr. Assange, I expect you to die
A message to all members of Tea Party Nation
Everyone remembers the famous scene in the James Bond movie, “Goldfinger.” 007’s nemesis has captured him,tied him down and a laser is cutting its way through metal, between Bond’s legs, where it will eventually cut him in half.
007 says, “Do you expect me to talk?” And Goldfinger responds, “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”
Isn’t it about time we sent that message to Jullian [sic] Assange?
Seems to me one could take this as a formal death threat.
I love, love, love Julian Assange’s cut-to-the chase, take no prisoners, fearless letters to the United States government about the pending WikiLeaks release of embassy cables, which began late this morning.
The one dated today (November 28, 2010 — scroll down) to Ambassador Louis B. Susman is, in particular, a thing of beauty.
Wikileaks’ sister site, “Cablegate” is up. It contains a searchable data base of all the U.S. embassy cables it is in the process of releasing (only 219 released so far). One can search by date, origin, tag or level of classification.
In addition, below is part of a statement that appears on the homepage, which I take to be addressed directly to the American people (and issued as a warning to the citizens of other “democracies”):
The cables show the extent of US spying on its allies and the UN; turning a blind eye to corruption and human rights abuse in “client states”; backroom deals with supposedly neutral countries; lobbying for US corporations; and the measures US diplomats take to advance those who have access to them.
This document release reveals the contradictions between the US’s public persona and what it says behind closed doors – and shows that if citizens in a democracy want their governments to reflect their wishes, they should ask to see what’s going on behind the scenes.
Every American schoolchild is taught that George Washington – the country’s first President – could not tell a lie. If the administrations of his successors lived up to the same principle, today’s document flood would be a mere embarrassment. Instead, the US Government has been warning governments — even the most corrupt — around the world about the coming leaks and is bracing itself for the exposures.
This Wikileak story is going to be with us for days and weeks if not months and years as the documents are gone over with a fine tooth comb, but one of the biggest “revelations” thus far — after only a few hours — is that the United States has been spying on top diplomats at the United Nations. In and of itself, that isn’t new. In March, 2003,
The British newspaper The Observer published an investigative report revealing that the National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States was conducting a secret surveillance operation directed at intercepting the telephone and email communications of several U.N. Security Council diplomats, both in their offices and in their homes. This campaign, the result of a directive by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice was aimed primarily at the delegations from Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Mexico, Guinea and Pakistan. The investigative report cited an NSA memo which advised senior agency officials that it was “‘mounting a surge’ aimed at gleaning information not only on how delegations on the Security Council will vote on any second resolution on Iraq, but also ‘policies’, ‘negotiating positions’, ‘alliances’ and ‘dependencies’ – the ‘whole gamut of information that could give US policymakers an edge in obtaining results favourable to US goals or to head off surprises.
What is new is that the “change we can believe in” administration did (is doing it?) it too, and seems to have gone even farther:
A classified directive under the name of Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, in July 2009 called for email addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers, credit card details and frequent-flyer numbers for UN personnel.
Technical details about the communications systems used by top UN officials, including Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General, such as passwords and encryption keys involved in UN communications were sought.
It also demanded “biographic and biometric information on UN Security Council permanent representatives” from Britain, China, Russia and France. Similar instructions were issued by Condoleezza Rice, Mrs Clinton’s predecessor in the Bush administration.
The directive appears to push the boundary between diplomacy and espionage and could breach the 1946 UN convention on privileges and immunities which states that the “premises of the United Nations shall be inviolable”.
Is the United States so insecure it has to stoop this low? Apparently.