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WIKILEAKS, CENSORED NEWS & THE AVALANCHE

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WIKILEAKS, CENSORED NEWS & THE AVALANCHE

Post  Manahuna on 08.12.10 22:39




Bolivia's Vice-President mirrors Wikileaks Cablegate!

http://wikileaks.vicepresidencia.gob.bo/




A diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks shows that the US military covered up the killing of dozens of civilians during a cruise missile strike in south Yemen in December 2009.

The secret cable from January 2010 corroborated images released earlier this year by Amnesty International, implicating the US in the use of cluster bombs. The cable was sent by Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh to US General David Petraeus, saying his government would "continue saying the bombs are ours, not yours"

www.iraqwarlogs.com

WikiLeaks exposed 217 cases of UN peace-keepers being accused of sexually abusing and impregnating girls in eastern Congo.
January 14th, 2009

WikiLeaks has demonstrated how Australia, Finland and Denmark are using child pornography as an excuse to censor legitimate websites.
June 29th, 2009

WikiLeaks showed how the Obama administration handed over Iraqi detainees despite reports of torture.
October 23rd, 2010

WikiLeaks uncovered the truth behind Iceland's 2009 financial crisis, bringing many corrupt managers to justice.
August 1st, 2009

WikiLeaks revealed how U.S. forces killed hundreds of innocent civilians at checkpoints in Iraq.
October 22nd, 2010

WikiLeaks has revealed the National Socialist Movement's neo-nazi internal workings.
August 21st, 2009

WikiLeaks has revealed how U.S. soldiers used Iraqi civilians as human bomb detectors.
October 23rd, 2010

WikiLeaks clarified the terms of operation at Guantanamo Bay, one of the most controversial detention centers in the world.
November 14th, 2007

WikiLeaks exposed Scientology, a religion that scams its followers into a delusional set of beliefs in exchange for their money.
March 11th, 2008

WikiLeaks has released the most comprehensive and detailed account of any war ever to have entered the public record.
October 26th, 2010

WikiLeaks revealed how U.S. troops were specifically ordered to turn a blind eye to torture in Iraq.
October 22nd, 2010


We affirm

That Wikileaks is now an integral pillar in the international fourth estate.
That Wikileaks’ work since its foundation demonstrates exigent flaws in the political cultures of our democracies, with dire consequences for domestic and global justice.
That Wikileaks is therefore of critical importance to the cause of reform in our societies, and of critical importance to the maintenance of our freedoms.
That Wikileaks is in fact unsuppressable, and that any attempts to suppress it will not attain their goal, but cause further harm to our legal orders, and to the relationship between the governments and their peoples.
That therefore any attack on Wikileaks or its staff or supporters is to be interpreted as an attack on our political cultures themselves.

We urge

That the Australian government will meet its duty of advocacy for one of its own citizens and defend Julian Assange to the limits of its means.
That governments will recognize Wikileaks as enjoying the same freedoms to communicate information as do we all, as well as those freedoms particular to the press.
That governments will react to Wikileaks, not by further compounding their mistakes, but by resolving to act so as to be beyond reproach.
Finally, we urge that no perversion of justice occurs on December 14th and that the court meet the requirements of justice free from political influence. Julian Assange must not become a hostage to political convenience or expediency. Only a month on from the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, the West must not plunge its own freedoms into the disrepute it so roundly and justly condemns in other parts of the world. This is important, and it involves us all. Proceed with great care. The world is watching.

Go Freedom of speech.

http://wlcentral.org/node/551




The following is from Kerry Cassidy's Blog for December 7, 2010:


Wikileaks and the Death of Secrecy

Many people are watching with great interest the goings on regarding Wikileaks and its spokesperson Julian Assange. With good reason. This small organization is doing what media is supposed to do and yet, since perhaps the 1960s has been co-opted and dominated by the PTB and/or corporate interests that both in front of and behind the scenes have held sway. Since the beginning of the internet that has begun to change and now, the most cutting edge information can only be found by and large on the net and not in the mainstream press who simply follow the rule of the Matrix when it comes to news and analysis.

The situation with Wikileaks brings the idea of transparency of govermment (by the people and for the people) to the forefront. Secrecy, is the watch word of the decades prior to this one and what we are witnessing is the beginning of the end of the false facade that has so long been kept in place by the Controllers (both on and off-world) and their minions.

Project Camelot bears a close relationship to Wikileaks as will be obvious to all who take the time to think about it. We are a website established specifically for whistleblowers from the Matrix... and we have been in existence (against all odds) for the past nearly 5 years at this writing. This is significant because what is going on with Julian Assange, and his team, the targeting and now the outrageous calls for Julian's head on a platter, reminding me of the days of the Salem witch hunts. Secret knowledge then as now, is at the core. There are those who feel that the revelations (many still to come) contained in the cables such as the following, listed by Julian Assange in his recent statement, are not as revealing or damaging as they first might appear or as they are being accused of being... Time will tell. However, this, in my view, is not the issue.

Listed here are the "revelations" from the cables released so far thought to be most damning for the governments/individuals involved:

[..."The US asked its diplomats to steal personal human material and information from UN officials and human rights groups, including DNA, fingerprints, iris scans, credit card numbers, internet passwords and ID photos, in violation of international treaties. Presumably Australian UN diplomats may be targeted, too. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia asked the US to attack Iran.
Officials in Jordan and Bahrain want Iran’s nuclear program stopped by any means available.
Britain’s Iraq inquiry was fixed to protect “US interests”.
Sweden is a covert member of NATO and US intelligence sharing is kept from parliament.
The US is playing hardball to get other countries to take freed detainees from Guantanamo Bay. Barack Obama agreed to meet the Slovenian President only if Slovenia took a prisoner. Our Pacific neighbour Kiribati was offered millions of dollars to accept detainees."] -- Julian Assange, statement in the Australian, dated December 7, 2010.

The question to be asked is at this point who is fooling who? The above revelations are fairly routine as diplomatic relations go... Just business as usual. Is it any surprise that, if you extrapolate the above you find that the U.S. has been actively spying on the UN and its members? That Jordan doesn't want a nuclear Iran? That the US. and Britain are in bed together? That the US President would like to strong-arm leaders of various smaller less powerful countries to do its bidding? Is there anyone out there who thinks this is news? The issue here is not the general drift of the revelations, but rather the particulars. These are of course revealing and embarrassing especially when the opposite is sometimes or often what is given spin in the mainstream press.

What we have here is a unalterable movement in the direction of transparency simply because the human race has reached a juncture where what is being kept secret from one side of the Atlantic to the other is no longer really secret at all.

A short trip around the internet will reveal very quickly that the truth is indeed out there. It may be obfuscated, mixed with disinfo and twisted but it is unequivocally 'out there' and it is becoming more difficult for secrecy on any level to succeed. This is because the human race is a global consciousness that is becoming self aware in all aspects not just the political. And as any self-aware organism it is beginning to tap into the truth and see with more than just the standard "6" senses. Indeed we are fast re-awakening to our powers of telepathy and other 'superpowers' that have been held dormant by dumbed down DNA for so long. The death of secrecy is a natural side effect of this awakening process.

Even on the more superficial levels of society, social facades and deceptions are easily seen through. Governments and their minions know the positions, likes and dislikes, capabilities, proclivities of other governments. This is a game. There are ritualistic behaviors that comprise it. The masks are worn but they are worn for the public. Behind the scenes the game is less careful, the power plays more obvious, the failings of the leaders more taken for granted... and so it goes.

What is really at stake here is the game of secrecy... This is what all the outrage is about. The death of secrecy in a world fast approaching the age of Aquarius and the thinning of the veil between worlds. In all its aspects.

This is only the beginning. And thank you Julian, who is not a pawn, in my view regardless of how he and his organization are being used. Because the next stop is above top secret, above black as they say. And this is where Project Camelot comes in.

At the moment, while Julian and Wikileaks are fighting the good fight, Camelot is allowed to exist on the Fringe... But we and our sector are on our way in. Close on the heels of the first level of secrecy... with our revelations that truly do rock the halls of records in the libraries of congress around the world. This world, the world of the Matrix is going down. And in its place will be a wiser, more self-aware populace. Less deceived, less able to deceive even themselves as the doors of perception begin to open and the catacombs beneath the vatican are revealed in all their splendor and diabolical intention. Welcome to the Age of Aquarius... the great unveiling.

'Know thyself 'was inscribed in the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Wise words. The Human Race is awakening. And it's about time. Because there truly is a brave new world out there. And we are stepping onto a Galactic stage of multi-dimensions. Something the secret government has already been doing covertly behind your back for nearly 40 years. Some might say even longer. And they are moving ahead at an unparalleled rate. The gap between us and them is widening and something must be done to stop that. It appears that Wikileaks and Julian Assange have stepped forward on the front line. From what I hear, the hackers of the world are close behind, ready to wage an information war that will rival anything ever imagined. Secrecy is an illusion. As we turn to face ourselves in this hall of mirrors it is time that we admit what we all already know. I am my enemy.

Kerry Cassidy
Project Camelot







10MOSCOW228

SUBJECT: RUSSIAN DRAFT BILL WOULD REQUIRE ON-SHORE CREDIT CARD PROCESSING REF: MOSCOW 00079 Classified By: ECONMINCOUNS Matthias Mitman for Reasons 1.4(b) and (d)

1.(C) SUMMARY: The latest version of the Russian draft law "On the National Payment System" contains several provisions that would disadvantage U.S. businesses. The draft law would set up a National Payment Card System (NPCS) including its own payment card that banks and payment card companies could join voluntarily. Most likely to be a consortium of state-owned banks, the NPCS operator would process the domestic payments for all members and collect processing fees estimated at $4 billion per year. The draft also forbids sending abroad any payment data for domestic transactions. Should international payment card companies such as Visa and MasterCard chose not to join the NPCS they would have to set up the infrastructure to do their Russian payment processing domestically. END SUMMARY.

COMMENT

8.(C) This draft law continues to disadvantage U.S. payment card market leaders Visa and MasterCard, whether they join the National Payment Card System or not. If they join, the NPCS operator will collect the fees, leaving them to collect processing fees only when card-holders travel abroad -- a tiny section of the market. If they do not join but choose to compete with NPCS cards, they will have to set up payment processing centers in Russia, a very large investment in itself, and compete against a system likely backed by the largest Russian state banks. While the draft legislation has yet to be submitted to the Duma and can still be amended, post will continue to raise our concerns with senior GOR officials. We recommend that senior USG officials also take advantage of meetings with their Russian counterparts, including through the Bilateral Presidential Commission, to press the GOR to change the draft text to ensure U.S. payment companies are not adversely affected. END COMMENT. Beyrle




Cyberattacks Are Retaliation for Pressure on WikiLeaks

A small army of activist hackers orchestrated a broad campaign of cyberattacks on Wednesday in support of the beleaguered antisecrecy organization WikiLeaks, which has drawn governmental criticism from around the globe for its release of classified American documents and whose founder, Julian Assange, is being held in Britain on accusations of sex offenses.

Targets included MasterCard.com, which stopped processing donations for WikiLeaks; Amazon.com, which revoked server space from the group; the online payment service PayPal, which cut off its commercial cooperation; the lawyer representing the two Swedish women who have accused Mr. Assange in the sex case; and PostFinance, the Swiss postal system’s financial arm, which closed Mr. Assange’s account after saying he provided false information by saying that he resided in Switzerland.

Anonymous, a leaderless group of activist hackers that had vowed to wreak revenge on any organization that lined up against WikiLeaks, claimed responsibility for the Mastercard attack, and, according one activist associated with the group, was conducting multiple other attacks.

That activist, Gregg Housh, said in a telephone interview that 1,500 activists were on online forums and chatrooms including Anonops.net, mounting mass and repeated “denial of service” attacks on sites that have moved against Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks in recent days.

The hacker army has rallied around the theory that all the actions against the organization and against Mr. Assange, including the rape accusations, are politically motivated efforts to silence those challenging authority.

“To all of us,” Mr. Housh said, “there is no distinction. He is a political prisoner and the two things are completely entwined.”

In an online chatroom at Anonops.net, activists who announced their nationalities from around the world — “hello from Sierra Leone” — “hi from Austria” — talked openly of the attacks and said they would need 5,000 people to effectively paralyze PayPal. Many also plotted a rumor campaign to further destabilize Mastercard — suggesting that others spread stories that credit card numbers were not safe.

Mr. Housh said there had been talk among the hackers of a campaign against Mr. Assange’s Swedish accusers, but that it remained “a touchy subject, so a lot of people don’t want to be involved.”

The women were named on Web sites supportive of Mr. Assange just a few days after their allegations surfaced in late August. But a Web search shows new blog posts in recent days. It was not clear whether there was any link to Anonymous, or to a concerted campaign of any kind. Swedish law precludes the naming of the women, and the authorities have referred to them so far only as Ms. A and Ms. W.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Mastercard confirmed that the company’s Web site was brought down as a result of “a concentrated effort to flood our corporate Web site with traffic and slow access,” but said that card transactions were not compromised. The company, he said, was making concerted efforts to get its site back up, and security teams were working to prevent further outages. The initial decision to deny service to WikiLeaks, he said, was “Mastercard’s alone,” and was not made under government pressure.

A PalPal representative confirmed a series of attacks, but said that while the Website had been slowed, it remained “fully operational.”

Marc Andrey, a spokesman for PostFinance, said that the company had been under serious attack, “an overload organized by friends of WikiLeaks we think,” since Monday evening. The attack blocked the Web site for several hours, and it remains unstable, he said. The company has taken active security measures and is bracing itself for another battle.

Mr. Housh, who has worked on previous campaigns with Anonymous but disavows any illegal activity himself, said it was the first time the group had enough firepower to bring down well-secured blue chip companies like Mastercard. “No tactics have changed this time,” he said, “but there is so much support and there are so many people doing it that sites like that are going down.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/09/world/09wiki.html




Julian Assange and the Computer Conspiracy; "To destroy this invisible government"

The piece of writing (via) which that quote introduces is intellectually substantial, but not all that difficult to read, so you might as well take a look at it yourself. Most of the news media seems to be losing their minds over Wikileaks without actually reading these essays, even though he describes the function and aims of an organization like Wikileaks in pretty straightforward terms. But, to summarize, he begins by describing a state like the US as essentially an authoritarian conspiracy, and then reasons that the practical strategy for combating that conspiracy is to degrade its ability to conspire, to hinder its ability to “think” as a conspiratorial mind. The metaphor of a computing network is mostly implicit, but utterly crucial: he seeks to oppose the power of the state by treating it like a computer and tossing sand in its diodes.

“To radically shift regime behavior we must think clearly and boldly for if we have learned anything, it is that regimes do not want to be changed. We must think beyond those who have gone before us, and discover technological changes that embolden us with ways to act in which our forebears could not. Firstly we must understand what aspect of government or neocorporatist behavior we wish to change or remove. Secondly we must develop a way of thinking about this behavior that is strong enough carry us through the mire of politically distorted language, and into a position of clarity. Finally must use these insights to inspire within us and others a course of ennobling, and effective action.”

Julian Assange, “State and Terrorist Conspiracies”

The piece of writing (via) which that quote introduces is intellectually substantial, but not all that difficult to read, so you might as well take a look at it yourself. Most of the news media seems to be losing their minds over Wikileaks without actually reading these essays, even though he describes the function and aims of an organization like Wikileaks in pretty straightforward terms. But, to summarize, he begins by describing a state like the US as essentially an authoritarian conspiracy, and then reasons that the practical strategy for combating that conspiracy is to degrade its ability to conspire, to hinder its ability to “think” as a conspiratorial mind. The metaphor of a computing network is mostly implicit, but utterly crucial: he seeks to oppose the power of the state by treating it like a computer and tossing sand in its diodes.

He begins by positing that conspiracy and authoritarianism go hand in hand, arguing that since authoritarianism produces resistance to itself — to the extent that its authoritarianism becomes generally known — it can only continue to exist and function by preventing its intentions (the authorship of its authority?) from being generally known. It inevitably becomes, he argues, a conspiracy:

Authoritarian regimes give rise to forces which oppose them by pushing against the individual and collective will to freedom, truth and self realization. Plans which assist authoritarian rule, once discovered, induce resistance. Hence these plans are concealed by successful authoritarian powers. This is enough to define their behavior as conspiratorial.

The problem this creates for the government conspiracy then becomes the organizational problem it must solve: if the conspiracy must operate in secrecy, how is it to communicate, plan, make decisions, discipline itself, and transform itself to meet new challenges? The answer is: by controlling information flows. After all, if the organization has goals that can be articulated, articulating them openly exposes them to resistance. But at the same time, failing to articulate those goals to itself deprives the organization of its ability to process and advance them. Somewhere in the middle, for the authoritarian conspiracy, is the right balance of authority and conspiracy.

His model for imagining the conspiracy, then, is not at all the cliché that people mean when they sneer at someone for being a “conspiracy theorist.” After all, most the “conspiracies” we’re familiar with are pure fantasies, and because the “Elders of Zion” or James Bond’s SPECTRE have never existed, their nonexistence becomes a cudgel for beating on people that would ever use the term or the concept. For Assange, by contrast, a conspiracy is something fairly banal, simply any network of associates who act in concert by hiding their concerted association from outsiders, an authority that proceeds by preventing its activities from being visible enough to provoke counter-reaction. It might be something as dramatic as a loose coalition of conspirators working to start a war with Iraq/n, or it might simply be the banal, everyday deceptions and conspiracies of normal diplomatic procedure.

He illustrates this theoretical model by the analogy of a board with nails hammered into it and then tied together with twine:

First take some nails (“conspirators”) and hammer them into a board at random. Then take twine (“communication”) and loop it from nail to nail without breaking. Call the twine connecting two nails a link. Unbroken twine means it is possible to travel from any nail to any other nail via twine and intermediary nails…Information flows from conspirator to conspirator. Not every conspirator trusts or knows every other conspirator even though all are connected. Some are on the fringe of the conspiracy, others are central and communicate with many conspirators and others still may know only two conspirators but be a bridge between important sections or groupings of the conspiracy…

Conspirators are often discerning, for some trust and depend each other, while others say little. Important information flows frequently through some links, trivial information through others. So we expand our simple connected graph model to include not only links, but their “importance.”

Return to our board-and-nails analogy. Imagine a thick heavy cord between some nails and fine light thread between others. Call the importance, thickness or heaviness of a link its weight. Between conspirators that never communicate the weight is zero. The “importance” of communication passing through a link is difficult to evaluate apriori, since its true value depends on the outcome of the conspiracy. We simply say that the “importance” of communication contributes to the weight of a link in the most obvious way; the weight of a link is proportional to the amount of important communication flowing across it. Questions about conspiracies in general won’t require us to know the weight of any link, since that changes from conspiracy to conspiracy.

Such a network will not be organized by a flow chart, nor would it ever produce a single coherent map of itself (without thereby hastening its own collapse). It is probably fairly acephalous, as a matter of course: if it had a single head (or a singular organizing mind which could survey and map the entirety), then every conspirator would be one step from the boss and a short two steps away from every other member of the conspiracy. A certain amount of centralization is necessary, in other words (otherwise there is no conspiracy), but too much centralization makes the system vulnerable.

To use The Wire as a ready-to-hand example, imagine if Avon Barksdale was communicating directly with Bodie. All you would ever have to do is turn one person — any person — and you would be one step away from the boss, whose direct connection to everyone else in the conspiracy would allow you to sweep them all up at once. Obviously, no effective conspiracy would ever function this way. Remember Stringer Bell’s “is you taking notes on a criminal fucking conspiracy?” To function effectively, the primary authority has to be disassociated from all other members of the conspiracy, layers of mediation which have to be as opaque as possible to everyone concerned (which a paper trail unhelpfully clarifies). But while the complexity of these linkages shield the directing authority from exposure, they also limit Avon Barksdale’s ability to control what’s going on around him. Businesses run on their paperwork! And the more walls you build around him, the less he might be able to trust his lieutenants, and the less they’ll require (or tolerate) him.

This, Assange reasons, is a way to turn a feature into a bug. And his underlying insight is simple and, I think, compelling: while an organization structured by direct and open lines of communication will be much more vulnerable to outside penetration, the more opaque it becomes to itself (as a defense against the outside gaze), the less able it will be to “think” as a system, to communicate with itself. The more conspiratorial it becomes, in a certain sense, the less effective it will be as a conspiracy. The more closed the network is to outside intrusion, the less able it is to engage with that which is outside itself (true hacker theorizing).

His thinking is not quite as abstract as all that, of course; as he quite explicitly notes, he is also understanding the functioning of the US state by analogy with successful terrorist organizations. If you’ve seen The Battle of Algiers, for example, think of how the French counter-terrorist people work to produce an organizational flow chart of the Algerian resistance movement: since they had overwhelming military superiority, their inability to crush the FLN resided in their inability to find it, an inability which the FLN strategically works to impede by decentralizing itself. Cutting off one leg of the octopus, the FLN realized, wouldn’t degrade the system as a whole if the legs all operated independently. The links between the units were the vulnerable spots for the system as a whole, so those were most closely and carefully guarded and most hotly pursued by the French. And while the French won the battle of Algiers, they lost the war, because they adopted the tactics Assange briefly mentions only to put aside:

How can we reduce the ability of a conspiracy to act?…We can split the conspiracy, reduce or eliminating important communication between a few high weight links or many low weight links. Traditional attacks on conspiratorial power groupings, such as assassination, have cut high weight links by killing, kidnapping, blackmailing or otherwise marginalizing or isolating some of the conspirators they were connected to.

This is the US’s counterterrorism strategy — find the men in charge and get ’em — but it’s not what Assange wants to do: such a program would isolate a specific version of the conspiracy and attempt to destroy the form of it that already exists, which he argues will have two important limitations. For one thing, by the time such a conspiracy has a form which can be targeted, its ability to function will be quite advanced. As he notes:

“A man in chains knows he should have acted sooner for his ability to influence the actions of the state is near its end. To deal with powerful conspiratorial actions we must think ahead and attack the process that leads to them since the actions themselves can not be dealt with.”

By the time a cancer has metastasized, in other words, antioxidents are no longer effective, and even violent chemotherapy is difficult. It’s better, then, to think about how conspiracies come into existence so as to prevent them from forming in the first place (whereas if you isolate the carcinogen early enough, you don’t need to remove the tumor after the fact). Instead, he wants to address the aggregative process itself, by impeding the principle of its reproduction: rather than trying to expose and cut particular links between particular conspirators (which does little to prevent new links from forming and may not disturb the actual functioning of the system as a whole), he wants to attack the “total conspiratorial power” of the entire system by figuring out how to reduce its total ability to share and exchange information among itself, in effect, to slow down its processing power. As he puts it:

Conspiracies are cognitive devices. They are able to outthink the same group of individuals acting alone Conspiracies take information about the world in which they operate (the conspiratorial environment), pass through the conspirators and then act on the result. We can see conspiracies as a type of device that has inputs (information about the environment), a computational network (the conspirators and their links to each other) and outputs (actions intending to change or maintain the environment).

Because he thinks of the conspiracy as a computational network, he notes in an aside that one way to weaken its cognitive ability would be to degrade the quality of its information:

Since a conspiracy is a type of cognitive device that acts on information acquired from its environment, distorting or restricting these inputs means acts based on them are likely to be misplaced. Programmers call this effect garbage in, garbage out. Usually the effect runs the other way; it is conspiracy that is the agent of deception and information restriction. In the US, the programmer’s aphorism is sometimes called “the Fox News effect”.

I’m not sure this is what he means, but it’s worth reflecting that the conspiracy’s ability to deceive others through propaganda can also be the conspiracy’s tendency to deceive itself by its own propaganda. So many people genuinely drink the Kool-Aid, after all. Would our super-spies in Afghanistan ever have been so taken in by the imposter Taliban guy if they didn’t, basically, believe their own line of propaganda, if they didn’t convince themselves — even provisionally — that we actually are winning the war against Talibothra? The same is true of WMD; while no one in possession of the facts could rationally conclude that Saddam Hussein then (or Iran now) are actually, positively in pursuit of WMD’s, this doesn’t mean that the people talking about ticking time bombs don’t actually believe that they are. It just means they are operating with bad information about the environment. Sometimes this works in their favor, but sometimes it does not: if Obama thinks Afghanistan is winnable, it may sink his presidency, for example, while the belief of his advisors that the economy would recover if the government rescued only the banks almost certainly lost the midterm elections for the Democrats (and was the death-knell for so many of the Blue Dogs who were driving that particular policy choice). Whether this actually hurts the conspiracy is unclear; those Blue Dogs might have lost their seats, but most of them will retire from public service to cushy jobs supported by the sectors they supported while they were in public service. And lots of successful politicians do nothing but fail.

This is however, not where Assange’s reasoning leads him. He decides, instead, that the most effective way to attack this kind of organization would be to make “leaks” a fundamental part of the conspiracy’s information environment. Which is why the point is not that particular leaks are specifically effective. Wikileaks does not leak something like the “Collateral Murder” video as a way of putting an end to that particular military tactic; that would be to target a specific leg of the hydra even as it grows two more. Instead, the idea is that increasing the porousness of the conspiracy’s information system will impede its functioning, that the conspiracy will turn against itself in self-defense, clamping down on its own information flows in ways that will then impede its own cognitive function. You destroy the conspiracy, in other words, by making it so paranoid of itself that it can no longer conspire:

The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie. This must result in minimization of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive “secrecy tax”) and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold onto power as the environment demands adaption. Hence in a world where leaking is easy, secretive or unjust systems are nonlinearly hit relative to open, just systems. Since unjust systems, by their nature induce opponents, and in many places barely have the upper hand, mass leaking leaves them exquisitely vulnerable to those who seek to replace them with more open forms of governance.

The leak, in other words, is only the catalyst for the desired counter-overreaction; Wikileaks wants to provoke the conspiracy into turning off its own brain in response to the threat. As it tries to plug its own holes and find the leakers, he reasons, its component elements will de-synchronize from and turn against each other, de-link from the central processing network, and come undone. Even if all the elements of the conspiracy still exist, in this sense, depriving themselves of a vigorous flow of information to connect them all together as a conspiracy prevents them from acting as a conspiracy. As he puts it:

If total conspiratorial power is zero, then clearly there is no information flow between the conspirators and hence no conspiracy. A substantial increase or decrease in total conspiratorial power almost always means what we expect it to mean; an increase or decrease in the ability of the conspiracy to think, act and adapt…An authoritarian conspiracy that cannot think is powerless to preserve itself against the opponents it induces.

In this sense, most of the media commentary on the latest round of leaks has totally missed the point. After all, why are diplomatic cables being leaked? These leaks are not specifically about the war(s) at all, and most seem to simply be a broad swath of the everyday normal secrets that a security state keeps from all but its most trusted hundreds of thousands of people who have the right clearance. Which is the point: Assange is completely right that our government has conspiratorial functions. What else would you call the fact that a small percentage of our governing class governs and acts in our name according to information which is freely shared amongst them but which cannot be shared amongst their constituency? And we all probably knew that this was more or less the case; anyone who was surprised that our embassies are doing dirty, secretive, and disingenuous political work as a matter of course is naïve. But Assange is not trying to produce a journalistic scandal which will then provoke red-faced government reforms or something, precisely because no one is all that scandalized by such things any more. Instead, he is trying to strangle the links that make the conspiracy possible, to expose the necessary porousness of the American state’s conspiratorial network in hopes that the security state will then try to shrink its computational network in response, thereby making itself dumber and slower and smaller.

Early responses seem to indicate that Wikileaks is well on its way to accomplishing some of its goals. As Simon Jenkins put it (in a great piece in its own right) “The leaks have blown a hole in the framework by which states guard their secrets.” And if the diplomats quoted by Le Monde are right that, “we will never again be able to practice diplomacy like before,” this is exactly what Wikileaks was trying to do. It’s sort of pathetic hearing diplomats and government shills lament that the normal work of “diplomacy” will now be impossible, like complaining that that the guy boxing you out is making it hard to get rebounds. Poor dears. If Assange is right to point out that his organization has accomplished more state scrutiny than the entire rest of the journalistic apparatus combined, he’s right but he’s also deflecting the issue: if Wikileaks does some of the things that journalists do, it also does some very different things. Assange, as his introductory remarks indicate quite clearly, is in the business of “radically shift[ing] regime behavior.”

If Wikileaks is a different kind of organization than anything we’ve ever seen before, it’s interesting to see him put himself in line with more conventional progressivism. Assange isn’t off base, after all, when he quotes Theodore Roosevelt’s words from his 1912 Progressive party presidential platform as the epigraph to the first essay; Roosevelt realized a hundred years ago that “Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people,” and it was true, then too, that “To destroy this invisible government, to befoul this unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of statesmanship.” Assange is trying to shit all over this unholy alliance in ways that the later and more radical Roosevelt would likely have commended.

It’s worth closing, then, by recalling that Roosevelt also coined the term “muckraker,” and that he did so as a term of disparagement. Quoting from Pilgrim’s Progress, he cited the example of the “Muck-Raker” who could only look down, whose perspective was so totally limited to the “muck” that it was his job to rake, he had lost all ability to see anything higher. Roosevelt, as always, is worth quoting:

In Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress you may recall the description of the Man with the Muck-rake, the man who could look no way but downward, with the muckrake in his hand; who was offered a celestial crown for his muck-rake, but who would neither look up nor regard the crown he was offered, but continued to rake to himself the filth of the floor…the Man with the Muck-rake is set forth as the example of him whose vision is fixed on carnal instead of on spiritual things. Yet he also typifies the man who in this life consistently refuses to see aught that is lofty, and fixes his eyes with solemn intentness only on that which is vile and debasing. Now, it is very necessary that we should not flinch from seeing what is s vile and debasing. There is filth on the floor, and it must be scraped up with the muck-rake; and there are times and places where this service is the most needed of all the services that can be performed. But the man who never does anything else, who never thinks or speaks or writes save of his feats with the muck-rake, speedily becomes, not a help to society, not an incitement to good, but one of the most potent forces for evil. There are, in the body politic, economic, and social, many and grave evils, and there is urgent necessity for the sternest war upon them. There should be relentless exposure of and attack upon every evil man, whether politician or business man, every evil practice, whether in politics, in business, or in social life. I hail as a benefactor every writer or speaker, every man who, on the platform, or in book, magazine, or newspaper, with merciless severity makes such attack, provided always that he in his turn remembers that the attack is of use only if it is absolutely truthful…

Roosevelt was many things when he uttered those words, but he was not wrong. There is a certain vicious amorality about the Mark Zuckerberg-ian philosophy that all transparency is always and everywhere a good thing, particularly when it’s uttered by the guy who’s busily monetizing your radical transparency. And the way most journalists “expose” secrets as a professional practice — to the extent that they do — is just as narrowly selfish: because they publicize privacy only when there is profit to be made in doing so, they keep their eyes on the valuable muck they are raking, and learn to pledge their future professional existence on a continuing and steady flow of it. In muck they trust.

According to his essay, Julian Assange is trying to do something else. Because we all basically know that the US state — like all states — is basically doing a lot of basically shady things basically all the time, simply revealing the specific ways they are doing these shady things will not be, in and of itself, a necessarily good thing. In some cases, it may be a bad thing, and in many cases, the provisional good it may do will be limited in scope. The question for an ethical human being — and Assange always emphasizes his ethics — has to be the question of what exposing secrets will actually accomplish, what good it will do, what better state of affairs it will bring about. And whether you buy his argument or not, Assange has a clearly articulated vision for how Wikileaks’ activities will “carry us through the mire of politically distorted language, and into a position of clarity,” a strategy for how exposing secrets will ultimately impede the production of future secrets. The point of Wikileaks — as Assange argues — is simply to make Wikileaks unnecessary.

http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20101201033851229




"In order to make any sensible decision you need to know what's really going on, and in order to make any just decision you need to know and understand what abuses or plans for abuses are occurring.” (J. Assange)

In the face of perception management, WikiLeaks is information sabotage; disrupting the control that state and corporate bodies exert over information.
The institutions and organisations that shape and misshape the world are rarely interested in transparency, and journalism’s decline has been a boon for the powerful. They have their ‘information warriors’, but WikiLeaks can make us all into information guerillas.

If we want to understand our world better, if we want to manage our own perception, we should support WikiLeaks, we should support whistleblowers, and we should find ways to make journalism work for the people, not for power.

Wikileaks and the Politics of Information

It is an uncommon pleasure to see the world’s politicians scuttling around furiously, much like woodlice uncovered by the lifting of a rock. WikiLeaks are the ones who did the lifting, and have exposed for us the working of US diplomacy; the information, intentions and concerns of the world’s dominant power.

It is not surprising then, that WikiLeaks have received hostility from American politicians and apparatchiks, but the extent of their threats is quite shocking. The Right has begun a game of blood-thirsty one-upmanship in their calls for retribution. Sarah Palin has called for Assange to be “pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?”. Similarly, a previous contender for the GOP presidential nomination, Mike Huckabee, said that Assange should be tried for treason and executed. North of the border, Tom Flanagan, the eminence grise behind Canadian president Stephen Harper, commented that Assange should be assassinated, saying "I think Obama should put out a contract and maybe use a drone, or something." Flanagan later retracted the statement, and the comments of Huckabee and Palin can be ascribed at least partially to nationalist showboating, but such threats indicate the strong rightward push of American politics.

While the last leaks were met with the re-inspection of the Espionage Act, such legal niceties are too simpering for today’s bellicose political climate. Sabotage, arrest, assassination; Julian Assange can be judged by the quality of his enemies and the quantity of their threats.

The attacks are practical as well though. Senator Joe Lieberman called for all organisations hosting WikiLeaks to end their relationship with the site, and the domain has been the target of intense cyber attacks. Amazon stopped hosting the website earlier in the week, claiming that it was due to violation of terms of service, not government pressure. Tableau Software ceased its cable visualisation service. EveryDNS, another host, shut down its support of the site. WikiLeaks is back online at wikileaks.ch, but the attacks will certainly continue. The French Minister for Industry has echoed Lieberman, and called for all French companies cooperating with Wikileaks to cease immediately, or face ‘consequences’.

In parallel, the Swedish police have renewed a warrant for the arrest of Julian Assange in connection with charges of rape and molestation. The case is almost certainly baseless. One of the alleged victims, Anna Ardin, had, after the alleged incident, tweeted about her happiness at hanging out “with the world's coolest smartest people” and had tried to arrange for Assange to attend a party.[1] Most curious of all, she had attempted to delete the comments from her Twitter account after going to the police. Without going too much into the intricacies of the case, the lack of evidence, the behaviour of the alleged victims and the various about turns of the prosecution service indicate that this is not a charge that should be taken seriously at this stage, except as an attack upon a site that has many powerful enemies.

Curiously, many journalists and news organisations have shown similar hostility to the leak website. Major news organisations shyed away from the content of the cables, focusing instead on diplomatic fallout and the hunt for Assange. [2] Back in October, a Fox News pundit, Christian Whiton, had called for WikiLeaks proprietors to be declared “enemy combatants”, allowing for “non-judicial actions” against them. Whiton, a State Department official under George Bush is following the line of other conservative writers such as Marc Thiessen,a former Bush speechwriter who called for Assange’s prosecution under the Espionage Act. [3] In addition to indicating the incestuous relationship between the media and the state, we also see a marked nationalism, contrary to the traditional journalistic self-definition in a republican schema; the ‘watchdog’ role, scrutinising power and informing the people.

The response of Time Magazine to Thiessen’s August Washington Post op-ed is quite telling in this regard, as they chastise the prominent conservative for his neglect of traditional American values.[4] They point to the Pentagon Papers case, where the Nixon Administration was heavily criticised for its abrogation of free speech in the name of national security.

No one can read the history of the adoption of the First Amendment without being convinced beyond any doubt that it was injunctions like those sought here that Madison and his collaborators intended to outlaw in this Nation for all time. The word "security" is a broad, vague generality whose contours should not be invoked to abrogate the fundamental law embodied in the First Amendment. The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security for our Republic.

Perhaps the most revealing element of the right-wing hysteria is how deserted a central stage for political discourse has become. In the Pentagon Papers case, to which WikiLeaks’ revelations have often been compared, the deliberation that acquitted Ellsberg made specific reference to the necessity of free flow of information for democracy.

"In the absence of governmental checks and balances present in other areas of our national life, the only effective restraint upon executive policy and power in the area of national defense and international affairs may lie in an enlightened citizenry -- in an informed and critical public opinion which alone can here protect the values of democratic government.. . . . Without an informed and free press, there cannot be an enlightened people."

Declining press sales have led to many such homilies from endangered news organisations, but have not inspired these organisations to come to the support of WikiLeaks.

This was particularly noteworthy in the support given by representative organisations to an anti-WikiLeaks amendment to the proposed federal shield law. Since 2004, American journalists have sought such a law for protection from the wrath of governments. This is an increasingly pressing issue, as the Obama administration pursues an unprecedented four simultaneous prosecutions against leakers from the military and security agencies. But in their zeal for protection, legislators and journalists alike are eager to distinguish the journalists that are worthy of protection from those who are not.

As Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press told Time magazine, “It’s data dissemination, and that worries me...Journalists will go through a period of consultation before publishing sensitive material. WikiLeaks says it does the same thing. But traditional publishers can be held accountable. Aside from Julian Assange, no one knows who these people are.”

Responsibility is the watchword of the corporate media, but it is always responsibility to power, not to the people. Their eagerness to distinguish WikiLeaks from journalism fits neatly with that of the US Government; State Department spokesperson PJ Crowley commented that “Mr. Assange obviously has a particular political objective behind his activities, and I think that, among other things, disqualifies him as being considered a journalist.”

Jay Rosen, a professor of media studies at New York University has commented that the watchdog press died during the Iraq war, and WikiLeaks has stepped into the gap. We should not over-state the importance of the neoconservative crusade; media subservience to power is nothing new. However, we can agree with Rosen that the mainstream media have singularly and spectacularly failed to fulfill their role in democratic theory.

This is what Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair have called the Death of the Fourth Estate. Major media organisations are increasingly captured and manipulated by power bodies, parroting state misinformation and corporate agendas.

The Iraq war was the most notable, but not the only example of the adroitness with which the American state and its various organs can manipulate public opinion to their benefit. This war provided us with the greatest recent example of reporting that never was, as a barrage of misinformation, distortion and outright lies were ferried from the belligerent nations to their populations via the major news organisations. Nonsense stories about Al Qaeda links and 45 minute WMD launch times filled broadsheet and broadcast alike, while the drumbeat grew louder.

There’s billions of dollars tied up in ‘perception management’ and the War on Terror has been big business for the managers, self-styled ‘information warriors’ like John Rendon who bivouac by the intersection of Madison Avenue and the Washington Beltway. Defined as “actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives and objective reasoning” perception management entails the controlling the flow of information and framing issues to shape the target’s response.

While lefties typically blame press timidity on issues such as ownership, dependence on advertising, etc., a large amount is due to the dominant practices of news corporations, which are much the same as elsewhere; more work, less wages. A reliance on and vulnerability to institutional sources, is underpinned by a basic lack of resources for investigating new stories. In a report on media independence by MediaWise and Cardiff University, researchers found that

60% of press articles and 34% of broadcast stories come wholly or mainly from one of these ‘pre-packaged’ sources [PR or wire services, such as Reuters and Associated Press] and also “found that 19% of newspaper stories and 17% of broadcast stories were verifiably derived mainly or wholly from PR material, while less than half the stories we looked at appeared to be entirely independent of traceable PR."[5]

The study was commissioned by reporter Nick Davies for his book Flat Earth News, which places the blame for newspaper dependence on corporate ownership and the management practices that come with it, with journalists increasingly incapable of doing the basics of their job.

Assange has commented, “in order to make any sensible decision you need to know what's really going on, and in order to make any just decision you need to know and understand what abuses or plans for abuses are occurring.” In the face of perception management, WikiLeaks is information sabotage; disrupting the control that state and corporate bodies exert over information.

The institutions and organisations that shape and misshape the world are rarely interested in transparency, and journalism’s decline has been a boon for the powerful. They have their ‘information warriors’, but WikiLeaks can make us all into information guerillas. If we want to understand our world better, if we want to manage our own perception, we should support WikiLeaks, we should support whistleblowers, and we should find ways to make journalism work for the people, not for power.

http://www.anarkismo.net/article/18220


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Re: WIKILEAKS, CENSORED NEWS & THE AVALANCHE

Post  Manahuna on 09.12.10 2:43


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Post  Manahuna on 09.12.10 3:05

United States – U. S. Empire Secret Shopping List


US diplomats were asked to secretly gather intelligence on the status – and vulnerabilities – of critical infrastructure and key resources in their host countries, new material from the Embassy Cables has revealed.

The cable, sent on the 18 February 2009 and released by WikiLeaks today, contains the first version of the Critical Foreign Dependencies Initiative “Critical Infrastructure & Key Resources” list. It contains all overseas sites considered to be of critical importance to the US government. It details a long list of often obscure facilities around the world that the US perceives to be vital inputs to its operations, with a particular focus on war-fighting.

Facilities such as the Nadym Gas Pipeline Junction in Russia are included, described as “the most critical gas facility in the world”. MacTaggart Scott in Scotland is listed as “critical to the Ship Submersible Nuclear” while Yemen’s Bab al-Mendeb is a “critical supply chain node”.

Embassy staff are asked to provide basic information on any facilities they feel should be added to the list, in addition to “any information Post has regarding conditions in country causing Post to believe the CI/KR [Critical Infrastructure / Key Resources] is an active target or especially vulnerable due to natural circumstances”. In a further blow to State department denials that its embassy officials participate in intelligence-gathering activities, the cable notes “posts are not being asked to consult with host governments with respect to this request.”

The cable containing the Qatari Embassy’s response to this request, sent on 26 March 2009, shows the detailed information and attention paid to the sites on this list. It also provides evidence of the measures the US is taking to secure such overseas facilities, including offering aid or grants, or promoting the use of US services and technology in security measures. The document, while marked “SECRET//NOFORN”, was placed on SIPRNet, a classified network accessible by an estimated 2.5 million civilian, military and private sector employees.

WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said:

“The latest release from the Embassy Cables reveals US embassies were asked to gather information on key infrastructure and resources without the knowledge of, or consultation with, their host governments.

“This further undermines claims made by the US government that its embassy officials do not play an intelligence gathering role.

“In terms of security issues, while this cable details the strategic importance of assets across the world, it does not give any information as to their exact locations, security measures, vulnerabilities or any similar factors – though it does reveal the US asked its diplomats to report back on these matters.

“This leaked cable was, like the rest of the Embassy Cables, available to 2.5 million people, including civilian, military and private sector personnel – a very wide distribution for information claimed to be of such high sensitivity, and relating to so many foreign governments”.

Complete Cable: http://wikileaks.ch/cable/2009/02/09STATE15113.html



Visa and Mastercard beneficiaries of State Department lobbying effort
http://www.wikileaks.ch/articles/2010/Test,32.html
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Post  Manahuna on 09.12.10 19:23








"Security Nightmare!"

Chinese Government Has Microsoft Windows Source Codes

The Chinese government has the keys to the kingdom as far as software information is concerned. And they were essentially given it through a Microsoft tech program designed to improve the software. Only problem? The Chinese government used it to search for vulnerabilities in Windows to penetrate U.S. government computers. They managed to “slurp up” 50 megabytes of government emails as a result. An excerpt:

“The Chinese government may have used its access to Microsoft source code to develop attacks that exploited weaknesses in the Windows operating system, according to a US diplomatic memo recently published by Wikileaks.

The June 29, 2009 diplomatic cable claims that a Chinese security firm with close ties to the People’s Republic of China, got access to the Windows source under a 2003 agreement designed to help companies improve the security of theMicrosoft operating system. Topsec allegedly worked with a government organization known as CNITSEC, short for the China Information Technology Security Center, which actively worked with ‘private sector’ hackers to develop exploits.”

“The Chinese government may have used its access to Microsoft source code to develop attacks that exploited weaknesses in the Windows operating system, according to a US diplomatic memo recently published by Wikileaks.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/06/wikileaks_chinese_hacking/




Anons around the world using space weapons against the banks.


Dear Interpol:


As a longtime feminist activist, I have been overjoyed to discover your new commitment to engaging in global manhunts to arrest and prosecute men who behave like narcissistic jerks to women they are dating.

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, as a feminist, I am also pleased that the alleged victims are using feminist-inspired rhetoric and law to assuage what appears to be personal injured feelings. That's what our brave suffragette foremothers intended!).

Thank you again, Interpol. I know you will now prioritize the global manhunt for 1.3 million guys I have heard similar complaints about personally in the US alone -- there is an entire fraternity at the University of Texas you need to arrest immediately. I also have firsthand information that John Smith in Providence, Rhode Island, went to a stag party -- with strippers! -- that his girlfriend wanted him to skip, and that Mark Levinson in Corvallis, Oregon, did not notice that his girlfriend got a really cute new haircut -- even though it was THREE INCHES SHORTER.

Terrorists. Go get 'em, Interpol!

Yours gratefully,

Naomi Wolf



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Post  Manahuna on 09.12.10 21:04

Iraq / Wikileaks: statement by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=10477&LangID=E
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Re: WIKILEAKS, CENSORED NEWS & THE AVALANCHE

Post  Manahuna on 11.12.10 10:39


Prominent French newspaper Libération is now hosting a WikiLeaks mirror at http://wikileaks.liberation.fr - Please find below a translation of the media group's statement:

"We have chosen to help prevent the asphyxiation of WikiLeaks at a time when governments and companies try to block its operation without even a legal order. Like thousands of other sites, Libération.fr decided to participate in the support movement that is being put into place on the internet, replicating WikiLeaks content fully. These sites, called mirrors, can be hosted by anyone who has server space available. This is what we did, in order to prevent the disappearance from the public record of WikiLeaks documents selected with partner media organizations. We have therefore opened this site: wikileaks.liberation.fr"

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Post  Manahuna on 11.12.10 11:12

join wikileaks facebook to show your suppor:Wikileaks Facebook

Let's keep it real, no censorship in the internet, free speech for everyone!
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Post  Manahuna on 12.12.10 20:13

www.wikileaksfan.com (freedom to access and share info)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stay up to date on all the latest WikiLeaks and Julian Assange news stories. We'll be posting the major events from various news sources as they unfold. Bookmark this page (Ctrl-D) and visit it throughout the day to make sure you stay up to date.

12/10: Cable reveals US tax dollars are being used to fund child sex slavery. This link is a news commentary discussing a recently leaked cable demonstrating that US government contractors have, again, hired child sex slaves in Afghanistan to offer them to Afghan security recruits. These child sex slaves are being paid for with YOUR tax dollars, and instead of holding people accountable, the government made the document classified so you couldn't see it.
news: http://humantrafficking.change.org/blog/view/wikileaks_reveals_us_tax_dollars_fund_child_sex_slavery_in_afghanistan
cable:
http://wikileaks.ch/cable/2009/06/09KABUL1651.html

12/10: News journalists completely fail to understand the Anonymous attacks. They are either completely misunderstanding the idea of Anonymous or deliberately misrepresenting it. Anonymous has no command structure. It is not centralized. It is not in chaos and is not failing. Apparently WikiLeaks' opposition cannot fathom decentralization, the force behind true freedom and real democracy.
link: http://www.neowin.net/news/anon-in-chaos-as-command-structure-fails

12/10: Speculation persists that one of Assange's accusers has CIA ties. This article has some interesting speculation tying one of Assange's accusers to the CIA.
link: http://my.firedoglake.com/kirkmurphy/2010/12/04/assanges-chief-accuser-has-her-own-history-with-us-funded-anti-castro-groups-one-of-which-has-cia-ties/

12/9: Key Points of the December 9 cables.
link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/09/wikileaks-cables-key-points-day-11

12/9: Sex by Surprise Apparently "sex by surprise" is a crime in Sweden allowing Assange's accusers to accuse him of sex crimes after having consensual sex with him, simply because the condom broke during the act (http://www.aolnews.com/world/article/sex-by-surprise-at-heart-of-assange-criminal-probe/19741444). As if that weren't bad enough, his accusers apparently boasted about their conquest of Assange prior to going to the police.
link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Sex-accusers-boasted-about-their-conquest-of-WikiLeaks-founder-Julian-Assange/articleshow/7068149.cms

12/8: Key Points It looks like the paranoid among us weren't so paranoid after all. Big oil company Shell apparently has employees in all of the major ministries of the Nigerian government. How many other corporations essentially control the governments of various countries? Worse still, it appears those corporations are in cahoots with the US government. How deep does this rabbit hole go?
link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/dec/08/wikileaks-cables-shell-nigeria-spying

12/8: Prosecuting attorney maintains accusations of Assange's sexual misconduct. Although the Swedish lawyer won't go into the details, he still maintains the charges against Julian Assange. Get the full story at Newsweek. Many of Julian Assange's supporters find this particular case very sketchy. There is no argument that Assange's actions were initially consensual. The women are basically saying that they changed their mind after finding out he didn't wear a condom. There is not much evidence and the case was initially dropped, but has since been reopened. The really shady thing is that Sweden got Interpol involved and pursued this case on an unprecedented scale. Interpol normally deals with major crimes, such as human trafficking and major drug smuggling operations. Many of Julian Assange's supporters are convinced that this is an obvious smear campaign against him.
link: http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/declassified/2010/08/25/lawyer-for-women-accusing-wikileaks-founder-maintains-charges-of-sexual-misconduct.html

12/7: WikiLeaks appoints new spokesperson. Maybe now that a new spokesperson has stepped up to the plate, people will realize that WikiLeaks is a lot bigger than Julian Assange. Even with Assange in trouble, the movement for government accountability is not in danger.
link: http://blogs.forbes.com/andygreenberg/2010/12/07/meet-the-new-public-face-of-wikileaks-kristinn-hrafnsson/

12/7: Julian Assange Arrested! Mr. Assange was arrested and is currently being held without bail in London. Get the full story at the Huffington Post.
link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/07/julian-assange-arrested-w_n_792956.html
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