How Wikileaks Changed Journalism – Discussion :Frontline Club

12 08 2010

Professional journalists discuss the reaction of the release of 76,000 War Diaries documents online to date.  Julian Assange, Co-Founder and Senior Managing Editor of Wikileaks joined in via Skype.

From the Frontline Club:
The controversy surrounding WikiLeaks’ historic release of more than 70,000 classified US military documents on the war in Afghanistan has not died down.

But one thing is certain: online data and its dissemination is changing journalism and the relationship betwen public and power.

In this special event, we ask:

  • How are organisations like WikiLeaks changing the way public data is released?
  • What do the Afghan War Logs mean for the mainstream media and government media relations?
  • What are the legal implications of the War Logs files’ release?

Joining us on this panel are: Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief (via online link up); journalist, academic and freedom of expression activist Heather Brooke, whose successful campaigning led to the full release of MPs’ expenses files; media lawyer Mark Stephens of Finers, Stephens Innocent and Simon Rogers, editor of The Guardian’s Datablog.

Chaired by Paddy O’Connell, the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

:dcm





Julian Assange of WikiLeaks – Oslo Freedom Forum 2010

12 08 2010

From Oslo Freedom ForumFrom

May 18, 2010

Julian Assange is a spokesman and advisory board member of WikiLeaks, a transparency website whose mission is to “open governments” and expose human rights abuses. It has a core focus on protecting dissidents, whistleblowers, investigative journalists, and bloggers who face state threats, and it largely operates by publishing leaks of sensitive documents.

Winners of Amnesty International’s 2009 Media Award for exposing extrajudicial assassinations in Kenya, Assange and WikiLeaks have recently launched www.collateralmurder.com, a website that hosts a leaked video of U.S. military forces in Iraq apparently slaying over a dozen people indiscriminately.

In his speech, Assange chooses to focus specifically on WikiLeaks’s work against censorship and human rights abuses committed by Western governments. Paraphrasing Orwell, Assange explains that he who controls today’s internet servers controls the intellectual record of mankind.

He warns us that Western governments, large corporations, and certain wealthy individuals are increasingly able and increasingly trying to remove material permanently from the historical record using sophisticated methods.

Assange reviews WikiLeaks’s work in uncovering human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib, Bagram, and Guantanamo, and discusses the dangerous irony in the U.S. military’s conduct as it decorates its detention centers with “Honor Bound to Defend Freedom” signs.

If the West doesn’t reverse its course of increased censorship and rights abuses, Assange warns, it will lose all of the ideals that it once stood for.

Julian Assange – Oslo Freedom Forum 2010

Two Parts


:dcm

Julian




War Diaries a Damning Indictment of the Afghan War :NewsClickin

8 08 2010

Update on http://bit.ly/WLdr3d
The White House Press Office can’t seem to get it together to answer my questions. The Pentagon answered one of them – Geoff Morrel said the DoD “won’t help them redact” the unreleased 15k documents. So where does that leave us?

The Pentagon position means the United States government will not lift a finger to protect our Friends on the ground in Afghanistan. Not if it means admitting the US no longer has the controlling say in what shall be released, and not released. “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity” – Ecclesiastes 1:1

Also, Robert Gibbs, the current White House Press Secretary has time to bash the left, the People who put him and his boss, Mister Obama, in their jobs. But there is no time to answer this question: Is it more important to capture Osama Bin Laden, or to detain and “question” Julian Assange and members of the Wikileaks Team?

I guess Mister Obama’s pressuring other countries to hassle and prosecute and detain and extradite Assange answers that question. Bin Laden isn’t as important a target for the US as Wikileaks is at the moment.

[Note: I am adopting the convention that anyone who sits in the Oval Office who does NOT renounce PATRIOT Act sanctioned Bush era policies of assassination, indefinite detention without charges, torture, due process, habeas corpus, does not deserve the honorific “Mr. President.” If the current occupant will not take Murder off the table, extraordinary rendition – kidnapping off the table, torture off the table … then he no longer can lay claim to being “Mr. President.” Mr. President enforces the law. Mr. President protects whistleblowers. By his actions to date, Mister Obama does not. Mr. Bush, who was ordained by the Supreme Court, never did deserve the honorific.]

I started a petition to Mister Obama to refrain from killing, kidnapping, or torturing anyone from Wikileaks. It’s here: http://act.ly/2a2

[end of update to http://bit.ly/WLdr3d ]

The Afghan War Logs published by Wikileaks is one of the biggest leaks in the history of US military. The logs consists of 91,731 documents which reveal that hundreds of civilians have been killed by coalition troops in Afghanistan.

Newsclick exclusively discusses the issue with Prof. Vijay Prashad.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Related Links:
CSPAN Wikileaks Search
Syndey Morning Herald – WikiLeaks driving them Gaga
Pirate Party Australia Defends Wikileaks
White House Press Office

:dcm





White House Won’t Protect Afghan Sources, Won’t Rule Out Killing Assange

3 08 2010

Capturing Bin Laden Takes Back Seat to Fighting WikiLeaks

UPDATE 080410

Last Thursday I thought I’d ask the White House a simple question.  Is it more important to capture Osama Bin Laden, or to detain and “question” (under the PATRIOT Act, we all know what that can mean.) Julian Assange of WikiLeaks.

I thought this was a no brainer.  How wrong, I suppose, I was.  At least, for the White House.  The decision on what may be declassified has been removed from the Executive Branch of the United States (or any)  government, and it seems the Obama administration has yet to figure out how to respond, aside from scheming to capture / detain / or otherwise incarcerate Julian Assange, so that he may be interrogated.  With, or Without Due Process.  But really now, Patriots!  In secret?

Not Bloody Likely.

An absence of answers from the White House Press Office apparently means what?  Corking-up WikiLeaks is more important than stopping Al Qaeda?

On Friday morning, I called the White House Press Office again, and repeated that question, and another.  I spotted Assange’s interview with abcnews.au wherein he asserted the White House had been approached by the New York  Times on behalf of the media partnership, and asked if they would help remove names of our Afghan Friends.  The White house “declined.”

I asked, “Is this True?”

Since then, silence.

Seriously.  The White House declined an opportunity to protect our “assets”?

What’s wrong with this picture?

Just to keep this in perspective, here is WikiLeaks extraordinary press conference last week:

Link: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/8526049

Short Link: http://bit.ly/aQyzbs

WikiLeaks Afghan War Diary, 2004-2010

The Guardian Afghanistan War Logs

Der Spiegel Afghanistan Protocol

New York Times Afghanistan War Logs

My email this morning to the White House Press Office is below.

-dcm

UPDATE 080410:

I took the press conference at the Frontline Club July 26 and split it in two and made it available for download here:

Frontline London Press Conference July 26 2010,downloadable,2 pcs http://bit.ly/WLatFL

Also,  rageunderground over at YouTube has mapped from the WikiLeaks War Diaries,  all of the Afghan War IED attacks from 2004 through 2009, and overlaid them on a NATO map of the area.  Here:

:dcm

UPDATE@ 080410

First, there is now an easy to use Citizen Journalist Research tool for the Afghan War Diary Database at http://www.diarydig.org/ .   Next…

Here’s a riotously succinct synopsis of why we need ironclad Net Neutrality, as illuminated by the release of the Wikileaks Afghan War Diaries, courtesy of thejuicemedia’s Rap News.

:dcm

Subject: 2 Simple Questions regarding WikiLeaks/Guardian/DerSpiegel/NYT War Diaries, from Scribal Thrum


David Manchester <david.c.manchester@gmail.com> Tue, Aug 3, 2010 at 9:17 AM
To: White House Press Office <media_affairs@who.eop.gov>
Cc: [list of journalists]
Dear President Obama and Robert Gibbs:

Once again, I ask.  For the fourth (4th) time since last Thursday 07/29/10:

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

Once again, I ask.  For the third (3rd) time since last Friday 07/30/10:

  • 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?

Every single time I have contacted the White House Press Office (“media affairs”) I have identified myself, given a phone number, email address, and identified the blog I publish.  Every single time I have been assured You will “get back” to me.

You have not.

Is it because I run a blog, and the White House does not think that merits a response?

Have I received no response because the White House does not think I am qualified as a journalist?  Let me assure You, I was trained in Print, Broadcast, and Photo Journalism by the Department of Defense Information School.  I served on active duty as an Army Journalist.  The paper I worked on won numerous awards during my tenure there.

Please respond to these questions with answers.

As I mentioned this morning when I called around 0715hrs, my headline for my next post on Scribal Thrum will be something like

White House Won’t Protect Afghan Sources, Won’t Rule Out Killing Assange
Capturing Bin Laden Takes Back Seat to Fighting WikiLeaks

If I have no response from You by 12 noon today I will surmise the White House is okay with this headline, and will proceed.

Thanks for the Help!

Regards,
Dave Manchester
xxx.xxx.xxxx

https://dredeyedick.wordpress.com
http://thewall.civiblog.org/nsa.html





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”.





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]





PharmacoBiotics – Bonnie Bessler: How Bateriae Communicate

17 04 2009

Important news in biopharmaceuticals …

Vodpod videos no longer available.








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