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





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





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





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.








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