Tag Archives: Wikileaks

But Congressman, however did you find the time? Did you finish up with Fast and Furious? Already?

Until now,  US Rep Darryl Issa been merely been a stupid congress critter. An irritation. Until now:

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa(R-CA) compromised the identities of several Libyans working with the U.S. government and placed their lives in danger when he released reams of State Department communications Friday, according to Obama administration officials.

Issa posted 166 pages of sensitive but unclassified State Department communications related to Libya on the committee’s website afternoon as part of his effort to investigate security failures and expose contradictions in the administration’s statements regarding the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi . . .

. . . But Issa didn’t bother to redact the names of Libyan civilians and local leaders mentioned in the cables, and just as with the WikiLeaks dump of State Department cables last year, the administration says that Issa has done damage to U.S. efforts to work with those Libyans and exposed them to physical danger from the very groups that had an interest in attacking the U.S. consulate.

Troll caution: Assange/Issa not equivalent. Assange not a US Congressman.

This is my favorite part:

[Foreign Policy Magazine] pointed out that even WikiLeaks had approached the State Department and offered to negotiate retractions of sensitive information before releasing their cables. [Committee Spokesman Frederick] Hill confirmed that Issa did not grant the State Department that opportunity but said it was the State Department’s fault for not releasing the documents when they were first requested.

Freedom, brought to you by our corporate sponsors

Worth remembering: Mastercard and PayPal refused to process donations to Wikileaks – because, I assume, the US government asked them to. It was blatantly anti-democratic and it was barely examined by the media, who have mostly abandoned the role envisioned for them when the First Amendment was written.

Speak Truth to Power

h/t Don in Mass

Happy Fourth bobbleheads.

Weiner’s a fool but there’s more here than meets the eye

The bigotbasher at The Conservative Lie had a good post this week on the scandal-de-jour as it relates to other interesting events in our national life – he speculates about why Weiner’s predilection for adolescent sexual behavior came out at this time and what that might have to do with Justice Thomas and Obamacare and Citizens’ United and a recent letter Weiner wrote Thomas saying he should recuse himself on the Obamacare and charging him with a financial conflict of interest on Citizens’ United.

Speaking truth to power can have terrible consequences (power of course means the monied interests). For instance, I’ve always believed:

  • Elliot Spitzer’s fascination with prostitutes was known in political and financial circles, but it wasn’t till the old  Sheriff of Wall Street gained some regulatory power as Governor that it all hit the front pages.
  • Julian Assange’s transformation from internet bad boy to international criminal happened after he announced the pending release of damning documents relating to the practices of Bank of America.

Also, while looking for an image  to use here, I came across this story at NEWS ONE: For Black America.

For months, Rep. Weiner has prompted Thomas to disclose the money his wife, Virginia Thomas made working for Liberty Central, a political organization that has openly opposed President Obama’s health care reform agenda. According to Weiner, Mrs. Thomas’ political affiliations put the justice’s impartiality on the bench in question.

Details of Virginia Thomas’ salary and other payments were disclosed Friday night as the press and most Americans prepared for the Memorial Day weekend.

But guess what happened the next day and dominated the news cycle for the next week? Yup. Never really saw that Ginny Thomas story anywhere.

Here’s the letter Weiner wrote Thomas that precipitated the document release by Ginny Thomas.

The Honorable Justice Clarence Thomas
United States Supreme Court Building
1 First Street Northeast
Washington D.C., DC 20543
Dear Justice Thomas:

As an Associate Justice, you are entrusted with the responsibility to exercise the highest degree of discretion and impartiality when deciding a case. As Members Continue reading

Bank of America – who’s your Daddy?

I wonder what happened to the Wikileaks expose of Bank of America.

You may recall that shortly after the Wikileaks’ dump of US Military files (Bradley Manning),  Julian Assange promised that documents were coming showing illegal practices at Bank of America. One day later it was breathlessly reported that Assange is a pervert and rapist. Now those documents are yesterday’s news. Nothing’s been released.

You may also remember what  happened to Elliot Spitzer after he became governor? As Attorney General, he was known as The Sheriff of Wall Street where he was feared and loathed. As Governor he had power to hurt them with exposure and regulation. Voila! Another sexual perversion surfaces.

In February, after Assange’s announcement of Wikileak’s planned release – and the subsequent personal smears – this story appeared at their site:

Bank of America using Private Intel Firms to Attack Wikileaks
2011-02-09

In a document titled “The WikiLeaks Threat” three data intelligence companies, Plantir Technologies, HBGary Federal and Berico Technologies, outline a plan to attack Wikileaks. They are acting upon request from Hunton and Williams, a law firm working for Bank of America. The Department of Justice recommended the law firm to Bank of America according to an article in The Tech Herald. The prosed attacks on WikiLeaks according to the slides include these actions:

  • Feed the fuel between the feuding groups. Disinformation. Create messages around actions of sabotage or discredit the opposing organizations. Submit fake documents and then call out the error.
  • Create concern over the security of the infrastructure. Create exposure stories. If the process is believed not to be secure they are done.
  • Cyber attacks against the infrastructure to get data on document submitters. This would kill the project. Since the servers are now in Sweden and France putting a team together to get access is more straightforward.
  • Media campaign to push the radial and reckless nature of WikiLeaks activities. Sustain pressure. Does nothing for the fanatics, but creates concern and doubt among moderates.
  • Search for leaks. Use social media to profile and identify risky behavior of employees.

And TPM has observed that:

. . . the Gitmo files could be Assange’s last hurrah. Wikileaks’ encrypted submission has been broken for more than a year now, which means no new juicy tidbits have been coming in.

It’s too easy.

Meet the cyber citizen

As of today, Wikileaks is being mirrored on over 1550 sites worldwide. The numbers are still growing. Meanwhile, thousands of hackers have jumped in to punish those companies who seem to be bowing before Joe Lieberman.

This is more than drama. It’s a harbinger of some unknown thing to come. Something new is happening; segments of society that haven’t tried to move anything before are flexing their muscles and they like how it feels.

This episode is introducing something into our lives that will remain – the cyber citizen has arrived I think.

Don’t bother me with details!

(Update below) Wikileaks is now being mirrored on something like 750 sites (list here) world wide which pretty much guarantees continued access to their information. I don’t know if Sen. Lieberman (and now Sen. Diane Feinstein) are in the mood to go after web sites all over the world.

I just visited Wikileaks.ch (first time for me). Here’s something from their introduction page re the diplomatic cables which we’re unlikely to hear:

The cables, which date from 1966 up until the end of February this year, contain confidential communications between 274 embassies in countries throughout the world and the State Department in Washington DC. 15,652 of the cables are classified Secret. [My note: that’s 15,652 of the quarter million cables they have.]

And I’ll never stop saying this:

(It’s still about the banks guys. Wonder when that promised document dump from inside a ‘major US bank’ is coming?)

UPDATE: As of 11pm tonight, Wikileaks is being mirrored on 1005 sites – it doubled in a few hours. I’ll look in the a.m. and see what it’s up to.

I can’t leave this alone

And the reason I can’t leave it alone is because it’s important. We should all be disturbed by the unprecedented attack on wikileak’s founder/editor Julian Assange.

I have said before – I am agnostic about him, his actions and his organization. I am, however, not agnostic about the attacks on wikileaks web site and the attempts to silence an inconvenient muckraker, whistleblower – call him what you will, the man is not a criminal.

Glenn Greenwald today:

WikiLeaks has posted to its website only 960 of the 251,297 diplomatic cables it has.  Almost every one of these cables was first published by one of its newspaper partners which are disclosing them (The Guardian, the NYT, El Pais, Le Monde, Der Speigel, etc.).  Moreover, the cables posted by WikiLeaks were not only first published by these newspapers, but contain the redactions applied by those papers to protect innocent people and otherwise minimize harm. 

So when is Joe Lieberman going after those papers?

Image from here, where you’ll also find an ironic statement from Hillary Clinton which includes this:

Courageous journalists across the globe risk their freedom and their lives to provide independent information on government actions and their consequences; report the news from conflict zones; expose crime, corruption and wrongdoing; and reveal human rights violations – all despite efforts, in some cases, by governments and others, to control what people read, hear and think.

And, again:

(It’s still about the banks guys. Wonder when that promised document dump from inside a ‘major US bank’ is coming?)

More about missing the point

Glenn Greenwald at Salon has a series of terrific posts about government and corporate overreaction re wikileaks and especially about Julian Assange. And about the dangers inherent in what constitutes an attack on free speech.

Greenwald is a constitutional lawyer, a long time blogger before his Salon gig, a tad verbose (but he does have a lot of good stuff to say!) and prolific. He’s always worth checking in with.

He’s here.

The realm of the ridiculous

Al Capone. Mugshot information from Science an...

Image via Wikipedia

I guess this is like arresting Al Capone on tax evasion. Julian Assange of wikileaks is now in custody in London and has been denied bail.

Naomi Wolf writes an open letter to Interpol today with one of the all-time great headlines:

Julian Assange Captured by World’s Dating Police

She notes:

I see that Julian Assange is accused of having consensual sex with two women, in one case using a condom that broke. I understand, from the alleged victims’ complaints to the media, that Assange is also accused of texting and tweeting in the taxi on the way to one of the women’s apartments while on a date, and, disgustingly enough, ‘reading stories about himself online’ in the cab.

Both alleged victims are also upset that he began dating a second woman while still being in a relationship with the first.

Of course, the ever alert Chris Matthews, upon hearing of htis for the friggin’ first time last week, sputtered “but this guy’s a rapist! A rapist!” Matthews is great on politics, not so good on anything else.

(It’s still about the banks guys. Wonder when that promised document dump from inside a ‘major US bank’ is coming?)

Good morning

I watched the Wikileaks story percolate over the weekend and observed careless people saying many careless things. Sen. Joe Lieberman for instance (along with the Iranians and Chinese) appears to be all for The State coming down on anyone who takes tea with someone who was rude to The State. But then, ole’ Joe gave us that odiously named Department of Homeland Security, didn’t he.  So no real surprise.

Sometimes I wonder if this sad man who finessed himself into representing my old home state (Joe to CT Dems: Not going to elect me? Screw you, I’ll run against your so-called primary ‘winner’) despite their clear desire to toss him out is actually some bizarre historical joke. How can a child of the Holocaust admire a name like Homeland? It does not compute.

Anyway, this short not well thought-out rant is all that I have at the moment.  And I embrace any opportunity to repeat how angry I get when thinking of how Joe Lieberman betrayed us.

Are the banks the real reason?

Two facts. Wikileaks is down – no server at present since Amazon axed them (although they’ll likely find another). And Julian Assange is a sexual pervert* being chased by Interpol (are sexual crimes their beat?)

Scott Ritter

(And by the way, does anyone remember Scott Ritter being branded a pedophile after he spoke out about no WMD in Iraq?)

It’s curious to me that all this happened not when he dumped the war documents or when he got the diplomatic documents out into the public – this is all happening in advance of the leak about a ‘major US bank’.

* The of sexual assault charge isn’t new and I honestly don’t know what the charge is or how solid it is. What IS new is Interpol jumping in.

Wikileaks – why?

When Wikileaks published all that Iraq war info, I was pretty much okay with it. The war was a negative undertaking and, I think, criminal. So yeah, leak away.

But this one? Sorry Julian, I do not get it. A quarter million documents in which individuals gossip a bit, let a little candor show, express personal likes and dislikes – what exactly is achieved besides making it hard for people to talk to one another? Bad move. I haven’t seen anyone out there embracing what they did this time. At least not anyone whose voice is heard.

But, via to Little Green Footballs, there’s another one about to hit. And this time I could be aboard:

(Reuters) – The founder of whistle-blower website WikiLeaks plans to release tens of thousands of internal documents from a major U.S. bank early next year, Forbes Magazine reported on Monday.

Oh fer elvis’ sake!

Normally I would refrain from mocking  Palin (unless provoked), but this is just Palin in a nutshell. She Tweeted about the Wikileaks matter:

Inexplicable: I recently won in court to stop my book “America by Heart” from being leaked,but US Govt can’t stop Wikileaks’ treasonous act?

Does she know Wikileaks doesn’t originate in this country and that Assange is not an American?

Fight our wars with citizen soldiers!

Today, The New York Times is all over the latest Wikileaks document dump. I’m pretty agnostic about the issue, but am of course interested in the contents. One story (they have many today looking at it from all aspects) in particular grabbed my attention – about our use of contractors in war since 2001.

From the story:

Blackwater in Baghdad

“Contractors were necessary at the start of the Iraq war because there simply were not enough soldiers to do the job. In 2004, their presence became the symbol for Iraq’s descent into chaos . . .

Even now — with many contractors discredited for unjustified shootings and a lack of accountability amply described in the documents — the military cannot do without them. There are more contractors over all than actual members of the military serving in the worsening war in Afghanistan.

This practice, combined with the emerging military culture that lives in a different place than the rest of us, is I think dangerous. At the least, I think it’s immoral. If we finance wars, it should be us doing the fighting – and not just those who volunteer. If we inflict pain, let us feel pain. Otherwise what are we?

It’s wrong.

Let me add: Today is the 18th day of the tenth year of the War in Afghanistan.