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.

Andrew,

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:

-dcm

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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:

REDEFINE AND REFORM CLASSIFICATION AND RELEASE OF INTELLIGENCE

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.”

-dcm

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





Unseen US/NATO Afghan War Exposed – WikiLeaks/Channel4

25 07 2010

Channel 4 has an exclusive interview with WikiLeaks.org editor Julian Assange.

-dcm

Vodpod videos no longer available.





Torture by The USA – “When Laws are Outlawed…”

13 07 2010

… only Outlaws will have Laws.”

That means the rest of Us, I guess.  The rest of the US Citizenry other than Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, Gonzales, the weasels in Justice, the NSC, the NSA, the CIA, Blackwater, KBR, the Carlysle Group, Halliburton…  the list goes on and on, so long as Your a republican, or a democrat in congress over the past 10 years who acquiesced to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” white house briefings to the point where they are worried about being co-conspirators implicated in any action towards impeachment and public trials.

Which we need, to repair the rule of law.

Here’s a snip of the very disturbing ACLU report on torture, with Glenn Greenwald of Salon commenting:

Wake Up.  Stand Up.  Stand Up for Your Rights.  ’nuff said?

-dcm





U.S. must stop spying on WikiLeaks – Editorial

26 03 2010

UPDATE: Russia Today Video:

The following editorial now appears on WikiLeaks.

wikileaks logoU.S. must stop spying on WikiLeaks

Fri Mar 26 08:44:46 UTC 2010

Over the last few years, WikiLeaks has been the subject of hostile acts by security organizations. In the developing world, these range from the appalling assassination of two related human rights lawyers in Nairobi last March (an armed attack on my compound there in 2007 is still unattributed) to an unsuccessful mass attack by Chinese computers on our servers in Stockholm, after we published photos of murders in Tibet. In the West this has ranged from the overt, the head of Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the BND, threatening to prosecute us unless we removed a report on CIA activity in Kosovo, to the covert, to an ambush by a “James Bond” character in a Luxembourg car park, an event that ended with a mere “we think it would be in your interest to…”.

Developing world violence aside, we’ve become used to the level of security service interest in us and have established procedures to ignore that interest.

But the increase in surveillance activities this last month, in a time when we are barely publishing due to fundraising, are excessive. Some of the new interest is related to a film exposing a U.S. massacre we will release at the U.S. National Press Club on April 5.

The spying includes attempted covert following, photographng, filming and the overt detention & questioning of a WikiLeaks’ volunteer in Iceland on Monday night.

I, and others were in Iceland to advise Icelandic parliamentarians on the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, a new package of laws designed to protect investigative journalists and internet services from spying and censorship. As such, the spying has an extra poignancy.

The possible triggers:

  • our ongoing work on a classified film revealing civilian casualties occurring under the command of the U.S, general, David Petraeus.
  • our release of a classified 32 page US intelligence report on how to fatally marginalize WikiLeaks (expose our sources, destroy our reputation for integrity, hack us).
  • our release of a classified cable from the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik reporting on contact between the U.S. and the U.K. over billions of euros in claimed loan guarantees.
  • pending releases related to the collapse of the Icelandic banks and Icelandic “oligarchs”.

We have discovered half a dozen attempts at covert surveillance in Reykjavik both by native English speakers and Icelanders. On the occasions where these individuals were approached, they ran away. One had marked police equipment and the license plates for another suspicious vehicle track back to the Icelandic private VIP bodyguard firm Terr. What does that mean? We don’t know. But as you will see, other events are clear.

U.S. sources told Icelandic state media’s deputy head of news, that the State Department was aggressively investigating a leak from the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik. I was seen at a private U.S Embassy party at the Ambassador’s residence, late last year and it is known I had contact with Embassay staff, after.

On Thursday March 18, 2010, I took the 2.15 PM flight out of Reykjavik to Copenhagen–on the way to speak at the SKUP investigative journalism conference in Norway. After receiving a tip, we obtained airline records for the flght concerned. Two individuals, recorded as brandishing diplomatic credentials checked in for my flight at 12:03 and 12:06 under the name of “US State Department”. The two are not recorded as having any luggage.

Iceland doesn’t have a separate security service. It folds its intelligence function into its police forces, leading to an uneasy overlap of policing and intelligence functions and values.

On Monday 22, March, at approximately 8.30pm, a WikiLeaks volunteer, a minor, was detained by Icelandic police on a wholly insignificant matter. Police then took the opportunity to hold the youth over night, without charge–a highly unusual act in Iceland. The next day, during the course of interrogation, the volunteer was shown covert photos of me outside the Reykjavik restaurant “Icelandic Fish & Chips”, where a WikiLeaks production meeting took place on Wednesday March 17–the day before individuals operating under the name of the U.S. State Department boarded my flight to Copenhagen.

Our production meeting used a discreet, closed, backroom, because we were working on the analysis of a classified U.S. military video showing civilian kills by U.S. pilots. During the interrogation, a specific reference was made by police to the video—which could not have been understood from that day’s exterior surveillance alone. Another specific reference was made to “important”, but unnamed Icelandic figures. References were also made to the names of two senior journalists at the production meeting.

Who are the Icelandic security services loyal to in their values? The new government of April 2009, the old pro-Iraq war government of the Independence party, or perhaps to their personal relationships with peers from another country who have them on a permanment intelligence information drip?

Only a few years ago, Icelandic airspace was used for CIA rendition flights. Why did the CIA think that this was acceptable? In a classified U.S. profile on the former Icelandic Ambassador to the United States, obtained by WikiLeaks, the Ambassador is praised for helping to quell publicity of the CIA’s activities.

Often when a bold new government arises, bureaucratic institutions remain loyal to the old regime and it can take time to change the guard. Former regime loyalists must be discovered, dissuaded and removed. But for the security services, that first vital step, discovery, is awry. Congenitally scared of the light, such services hide their activities; if it is not known what security services are doing, then it is surely impossible to know who they are doing it for.

Our plans to release the video on April 5 proceed.

We have asked relevant authorities in the Unites States and Iceland to explain. If these countries are to be treated as legitmate states, they need to start obeying the rule of law. Now.

—Julian Assange (editor@wikileaks.org)

Fundraising drive

We have received hundreds of thousands of pages from corrupt banks, the US detainee system, the Iraq war, China, the UN and many others that we do not currently have the resources to release to a world audience. You can change that and by doing so, change the world. Even $10 will pay to put one of these reports into another ten thousand hands and $1000, a million.

We have raised just over $360,000 for this year (our yearly budget is around $600,000.).

The Sunshine Press (WikiLeaks) is an non-profit organization funded by human rights campaigners, investigative journalists, technologists and the general public. Through your support we have exposed significant injustice around the world— successfully fighting off over 100 legal attacks in the process. Although our work produces reforms daily and is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the 2008 Index on Censorship-Economist Freedom of Expression Award as well as the 2009 Amnesty International New Media Award, these accolades do not pay the bills. Nor can we accept government or corporate funding and maintain our absolute integrity. It is your strong support alone that preserves our continued independence and strength.

We are releasing some time sensitive disclosures on this page until the moment of our re-launch. [link added – dcm]





September 11, 2001 – Combined US Media Coverage Video

11 09 2009

Here is split screen video of the September 11, 2001 attack that demolished the World Trade Center, played at 4x normal speed, synced at Bush’s speech at about 0930 hours.

Part 1 of 3:

Original:

Remix (different audio) due to complaint from Warner Music:

Part 2 of 3:

Part 3 of 3:

H/T to chrysaor911 for this.

-dcm





Whistleblower Protections Gutted by Congress, Again – 123 Real Change

5 08 2009

National Security victim / whistleblower Sibel Edmonds notes that Congress has screwed our most patriotic and honest National Security workers again, denying legal protections.

Edmonds has written an appeal to President Obama, asking for him to keep his promises. 123 Real Change

Here is Obama’s promise.

Well, Mr. President?

Shared via AddThis








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