Awaiting Answer from Obama – Capture Bin Laden or Detain Assange More Important?

30 07 2010

Did White House “decline” to Help WikiLeaks Media Partners

Harm Minimisation Process?

In the wake of conflicting messages coming out of the White House about the WikiLeaks War Diaries, as covered in The Guardian, Der Spiegel, and the New York Times, I thought I’d call the White House Press Office yesterday and ask a simple question:  Which is a higher priority for the Obama Administration; Capturing Osama Bin Laden or detaining and “questioning” Julian Assange?

The asked me where I’m from, politely, twice.  I said I had a blog called Scribal Thrum, gave them my name, and blog address, email, and phone number.  The nice young man said he would have to get back to me.

I had not heard anything by this morning.  But last night I caught Assange  interviewed by an Australian ABC News affiliate, and he said that the media partnership – WikiLeaks, Der Spiegel, The Guardian, and the New York Times had the New York Times representative approach the White House, well in advance of their publication date, and ask the White House for help in redacting any names of US human resources on the ground, to protect their lives.

And, Assange said, the White House declined.

So this morning I called back.  I spoke with a nice young man named Andrew.  He said he would do his best, but they did get a lot of questions.  He gave me an email address to send the questions.  Here is what I asked.  I have not as yet gotten a reply.


I just spoke with You on the phone, and called yesterday.  Thanks for the information.  As I mentioned,  I write a blog called “Scribal Thrum” and would like to ask 2 fairly straightforward questions for my blog post this afternoon / evening (my target deadline is 4pm EST but may extend it out to 8pm EST).

My questions:

1.  Various elements of the Executive Branch, most notably the Pentagon, have sought Mr. Assange, saying they wanted to “talk” with him.  He has received warnings from various quarters not to come to the US, and to watch his back.
Since the War Diaries were published, there has been a great hue and cry against WikiLeaks, Assange, and this leak.

My first question is:

Which is a greater priority for the White House and Pentagon – capturing Osama Bin Laden, or detaining and questioning Julian Assange?

2.  Is it true the White House declined to help the media partnership of NYT/Guardian/DerSpiegel/WikiLeaks to scrub the names of our Human Resources from the War Diaries as part of their Harm Minimisation? If so, Why did the WH decline?  If not, what was the WH contribution to harm minimisation?

Thanks for the Help!

Best Regards,

[bolding in original-dcm]

As I said, no reply has been forthcoming.  As yet.

Until the White House sees fit to respond, Please enjoy this fine video by ThePhaedrus83:



Mike Prysner – How to Create A Better World

29 07 2010

Two Different Takes on the Same Amazing Speech by Mike Prysner

Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don’t understand; The real enemy is a system that wages war when it’s profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it’s profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it’s profitable, the Banks who take away our homes when it’s profitable. Our enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in front of us
– Mike Prysner

A Post -Edited version, Then the raw video showing the whole speech.

And now, just the raw speech.

For a full transcript, see

More info at Iraq Veterans Against The War

Amy Goodman Interviews WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange – Democracy Now!

28 07 2010

Amy Goodman over at Democracy Now! interviewed Julian Assange today.  They talked about WikiLeaks most recent publication of the Afghan War Diaries – US Regular Army operational reports where casualties were involved, from 2004 through 2009.

Julian Assange Interview – July 28 2010 – Democracy Now!

Also, Jay Rosen had a great analysis of how WikiLeaks, a “stateless” news organisation, has changed the  role of media outlets in journalism.

In the Notes on the Law section of “Personal Account – Earth: Blogging and the Emergence of DotCommunism” (2005) I wrote:


There must be a complete rethinking, and reformulation of the now wholly Executive function as it pertains to assigning national security classification status to intelligence information, and the manner in which it becomes available to the Congress, and to the People of the republic, the defense of whom is that information’s purpose.

The People themselves must have a more direct hand in oversight, and in making any necessary redactions, without having to depend on a Congress which must depend on large cash donors, many of them corporations, trade groups, unions, and other “special interests” to raise enough money to keep their jobs.

Julian Assange and his Colleagues at WikiLeaks have accomplished what I was describing here.  And the entire World owes him a very large debt of gratitude for this.

On behalf of myself and no one in particular, “Thank You, WikiLeaks.”


via WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange: “Transparent Government Tends to Produce Just Government”.

Clay Shirky on institutions vs. collaboration – TED 2010

26 07 2010

Brilliant. -dcm

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Benoit Mandelbrot: Fractals and the art of roughness – Benoit Mandelbrot (2010)

25 07 2010

Benoit Mandlebrot discusses the nature of roughness at TED 2010.-dcm

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Unseen US/NATO Afghan War Exposed – WikiLeaks/Channel4

25 07 2010

Channel 4 has an exclusive interview with editor Julian Assange.


Vodpod videos no longer available.

Cover Of The Rolling Stone – Dave Manchester

25 07 2010

Figured I’d try this one, as a Lark…— dredeyedick

July 24, 2010


The Cover of the Rolling Stone” is a song by Shel Silverstein satirizing success in the music business.

Its narrator laments that his band has not been featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine despite having the superficial attributes of a successful rock star, including drug usage, “teenage groupies, who’ll do anything we say” and a frenetic guitar solo.The song was first recorded by Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show, reaching number six on the U.S. pop chart. It was the band’s second single, and the band did get on the cover of Rolling Stone — albeit in caricature rather than a photograph and with the caption “What’s-Their-Names Make The Cover”.

BBC Radio refused to play the song, as it contained the name of a commercial publication (Rolling Stone) and could therefore be considered advertising. The song was re-recorded and rush released in the UK as “The Cover of the Radio Times” (Radio Times being the name given to the weekly television and radio guide published by the BBC), which did find its way onto playlists.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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