Saturday 30th of September 2023

classified foreign policy

Pentagon rushes to block release of classified files on Wikileaks

By Jerome Taylor


It has the ingredients of a spy thriller: an American military analyst turned whistleblower; 260,000 classified government documents; and rumours that the world's most powerful country is hunting a former hacker whom it believes is about to publish them.

Pentagon and State Department officials are desperately trying to discover whether Bradley Manning, a US army intelligence officer currently under arrest in Kuwait, has leaked highly sensitive embassy cables to, an online community of some 800 volunteer cyber experts, activists, journalists and lawyers which has become a thorn in the side of governments and corrupt corporations across the globe.

Reports in the US say officials are seeking to apprehend Julian Assange, the website's founder who has pioneered the release of the kind of information the mainstream media are either unwilling or unable to publish.

Manning, 22, an intelligence analyst from Potomac, Maryland, who had been serving in Iraq, was revealed earlier this week as the source behind a highly damning leak earlier in the year that showed harrowing cockpit footage of an American Apache helicopter gunning down unarmed civilians in Baghdad three years ago.

But the Apache video may have proven to be one leak too far. Adrian Lamo, a former US hacker turned journalist who had been conversing with Manning online and later gave up his name to the authorities, said he also claimed to have handed 260,000 classified US embassy messages to Wikileaks.

According to Mr Lamo, Manning said the documents showed "almost-criminal political back dealings" made by US embassies in the Middle East which, if true, would cause enormous embarrassment to key allies in a notoriously volatile area of the world. Mr Lamo claims Manning said that "Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning, and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public".


unacceptable behaviour by the Pentagon

But while Mr Assange may be shunning media interviews, he seems to be making no attempt to keep a low profile. Yesterday afternoon, the site’s Twitter page announced that Mr Assange would be appearing in Las Vegas later in the day for a panel discussion about protecting anonymous sources – appearing alongside former CIA agent Valerie Plame and Leonard Downie Jr, a former editor of the Washington Post who supervised much of the paper’s coverage of the Watergate scandal.

An earlier tweet suggested Wikileaks would not look kindly upon any US government interference. “Any signs of unacceptable behaviour by the Pentagon or its agents towards this press will be viewed dimly,” the post said.

would you not be fearing for your life?...

The man behind whistleblower website Wikileaks says he is not in a position to record an interview amid claims his life is in danger.

Julian Assange, the Australian-born founder of Wikileaks, is said to be under threat with reports that the site has hundreds of thousands of classified cables containing explosive revelations.

There was an international uproar in April when the website released classified US military video which officials had been refusing to make public for three years.

The leaked video showed a US helicopter crew mistaking a camera for a rocket-propelled grenade launcher before firing on a group of people in Iraq.

Mr Assange has also told his supporters he is planning to release a video of a US air strike in Afghanistan that killed many civilians.

The 2007 video of the US army helicopter shooting civilians has already led to a chain of events which reportedly has Mr Assange in hiding.

A hacker blew the whistle on the US army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, who allegedly handed that video to Wikileaks.

Mr Manning is now reported to be in custody in Kuwait.

The hacker says Mr Manning bragged to him about having thousands of diplomatic cables that would embarrass US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world.

It has since been reported that American officials are searching for Mr Assange to pressure him not to publish the cables.

But an unnamed source in the Obama administration has told Newsweek that the US government is not trying to convince Mr Assange not to release the cables, but it is trying to contact him.

The World Today has also received an email from Mr Assange which says: "Due to present circumstances, I am not able to easily conduct interviews".


see Gus' image at top...


Whistleblower website Wikileaks has made contact with the US government over claims that an American serviceman is one of its sources.

Soldier Bradley Manning has been held for three weeks without formal charge.

The US is investigating claims that he passed confidential information to Wikileaks.

Site editor Julian Assange told BBC News that, so far, the US authorities have not yet been in touch with him.

He said that lawyers representing Wikileaks have been in touch with the US administration but that neither the Department of State nor the Department of Defense had made any attempt to approach the site.

In spite of the silence from the US, Mr Assange said he felt it was "important to have a channel open in these matters".

No conversations could take place which might reveal the identity of any source, he added.

Mr Manning was identified as an alleged Wikileaks source after former hacker Adrian Lamo, in whom he had confided, contacted the authorities.

During a series of conversations conducted online, Mr Lamo claims that Mr Manning revealed he had passed 260,000 US diplomatic cables and two confidential military videos to Wikileaks.

US state department spokesperson PJ Crowley has said that the Bureau of Diplomatic Security was examining one or more hard drives used by Mr Manning in Iraq.

Not proved

Wikileaks said it did not know whether Mr Manning, who had served in Iraq as an army intelligence analyst, was the source of the leak as the website does not keep personal records of the people who approach it.

One of the videos he allegedly leaked was released by Wikileaks in April.

the truth of an ugly war machine...

An American soldier suspected of leaking video footage of a US Apache helicopter strike which killed civilians in Baghdad has been charged, the US military said.

The video of the July 2007 attack, in which two employees of the Reuters news agency were killed, made headlines around the world after it was posted on the Wikileaks website.

A US Army statement says Private First Class Bradley Manning, held in a military jail in Kuwait since last month, faces two charges of misconduct.

Wikileaks released a decrypted copy of the military video in April.

It shows several people, including the Reuters employees, being killed by fire from the helicopter gunship.

The statement said the first charge against Manning, 22, is for violating army regulations by "transferring classified data onto his personal computer and adding unauthorised software to a classified computer system".

He is accused in a second charge of "communicating, transmitting and delivering national defence information to an unauthorised source".

to the tune of lady gaga...

from the New York Times

Defense Department computers have their portals disabled to prevent the use of external memory devices that are ubiquitous in homes, offices and schools, officials said. A recent amendment to the order allows the rare use of thumb drives, but only with official approval as required by a current mission.

But the Pentagon directive and the amendment did not ban the use of compact-disc devices, which are built into many computers and therefore not included in the prohibition against the use of external memory devices.

According to Pentagon officials and one former hacker who has communicated with Private Manning, he appears to have taken compact discs that can accept text, video and other data files into an intelligence center in the desert of eastern Iraq to copy and remove the classified information.

He was able to avoid detection not because he kept a poker face, they said, but apparently because he hummed and lip-synched to Lady Gaga songs to make it appear that he was using the classified computer’s CD player to listen to music.

Adrian Lamo, a well-known former hacker, had traded electronic messages in which Private Manning described his unhappiness with the Army — and, Mr. Lamo said, his activities downloading classified data.

Mr. Lamo said Private Manning described how he had used compact discs capable of storing data, but tucked inside recognizable music CD cases, “to bring the data out of the secure room.”

“He indicated he disguised one as a Lady Gaga CD,” Mr. Lamo said Thursday in a telephone interview. “He said he lip-synched to blend in.”


Gus to the pentagon: d'ooooooh!...

previously unreported incidents...

The White House has attacked online whistleblowing site Wikileaks after it published some 200,000 pages of secret American military files about the war in Afghanistan.

The files, published online by The Guardian, the New York Times and Germany's Der Spiegel, include details of 144 incidents in which Coalition forces have killed civilians.

The Guardian says the leaks show that troops killed hundreds of civilians in previously unreported incidents.

In one example cited by the British paper, French troops fired at a bus full of children, injuring eight.

A US patrol was involved in a similar incident that wounded or killed 15 passengers, and in 2007 Polish troops fired mortars at a village, apparently in a revenge attack, killing guests at a wedding party which included a pregnant woman.

According to the New York Times they also "suggest that Pakistan, an ostensible ally of the United States, allows representatives of its spy service to meet directly with the Taliban."

Describing the talks as "secret strategy sessions," the newspaper said they "organise networks of militant groups that fight against American soldiers in Afghanistan, and even hatch plots to assassinate Afghan leaders."

The Guardian says the files revealed a secret black-ops unit which hunts down Taliban leaders for "kill or capture" without trial; how the US covered up evidence of surface-to-air missiles acquired by the Taliban; and how the Taliban have caused growing carnage with their roadside bombing campaign, killing more than 2,000 civilians to date.

US national security adviser James Jones says the publication of the documents puts the lives of soldiers and civilians at risk.

"The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organisations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk and threaten our national security," he said in a statement.

"Wikileaks made no effort to contact us about these documents - the United States government learned from news organisations that these documents would be posted."

leaks and truth...

may not have been the lone leaker

from the Daily Beast

Did Bradley Manning Act Alone?

The massive dump of U.S. military secrets about the Afghan war—including possible evidence of war crimes—is believed to have come from the detained Army intel analyst. Philip Shenon reports he may not have been the lone leaker. Plus, the seven most shocking secrets from the WikiLeaks files.
A 22-year-old Army intelligence analyst from Potomac, Maryland, is almost certainly the source of what could well be one of the most damaging leaks of classified military information in the nation’s history, according to the former computer hacker in California who turned in the analyst.
The former hacker, Adrian Lamo, told The Daily Beast he had no doubt that the young Army analyst, Bradley Manning, who had been posted in Iraq until this spring, was responsible for the massive leak of American military reports from Afghanistan that were posted online Sunday by the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, and promoted with joint reports in The New York Times, The Guardian of Britain, and the German magazine Der Spiegel.
“I believe that somebody would have had to have been of assistance to him,” said Adrian Lamo of Bradley Manning.
The huge library of secret military reports prepared from 2004 through last December documents the uncertainty of American military officers and their U.S. intelligence counterparts about the conduct of the war in Afghanistan, as well as their strong suspicion that Pakistan’s military spy agency, the ISI, was working against the U.S. there by bolstering insurgent groups.
Lamo, who has been interviewed by the FBI and criminal investigators from the Defense Department, said he was also convinced that other people helped Manning in gathering and leaking the documents.


rhetorical tap dancing

from Daily Beast

What the WikiLeaks Documents Really Reveal

The extensive release of thousands of secret files shows basic and unsustainable contradictions in U.S. policy, says Leslie H. Gelb—and underscores why the administration needs to reconsider its Af-Pak policy. Plus, Tunku Varadarajan on Pakistan’s double-dealing.
What do the secret documents released by WikiLeaks tell us about U.S. policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan? It has to be said right off that they don’t tell us anything important we didn’t already know. There have been “informed” stories for years detailing how Pakistani military intelligence has been providing arms, money, and intelligence to the Afghan Taliban, who in turn have been killing American soldiers.
So, why are these leaked military and intelligence documents now threatening to shake the very foundations of U.S. policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan? Because it’s now much more difficult to deny or dodge the truths that we’ve all been well aware of.
No amount of rhetorical tap dancing will allow the White House to escape the fundamental contradictions that underlie U.S. policy toward Af-Pak.


hope that they might be able to use the leaks...

from the NYT
Document Leak May Hurt Efforts to Build War Support


WASHINGTON — The disclosure of a six-year archive of classified military documents increased pressure on President Obama to defend his military strategy as Congress prepares to deliberate financing of the Afghanistan war.

The disclosures, with their detailed account of a war faring even more poorly than two administrations had portrayed, landed at a crucial moment. Because of difficulties on the ground and mounting casualties in the war, the debate over the American presence in Afghanistan has begun earlier than expected. Inside the administration, more officials are privately questioning the policy.

In Congress, House leaders were rushing to hold a vote on a critical war-financing bill as early as Tuesday, fearing that the disclosures could stoke Democratic opposition to the measure. A Senate panel is also set to hold a hearing on Tuesday on Mr. Obama’s choice to head the military’s Central Command, Gen. James N. Mattis, who would oversee military operations in Afghanistan.

Administration officials acknowledged that the documents, released on the Internet by an organization called WikiLeaks, will make it harder for Mr. Obama as he tries to hang on to public and Congressional support until the end of the year, when he has scheduled a review of the war effort.

“We don’t know how to react,” one frustrated administration official said on Monday. “This obviously puts Congress and the public in a bad mood.”

Mr. Obama is facing a tough choice: he must either figure out a way to convince Congress and the American people that his war strategy remains on track and is seeing fruit — a harder sell given that the war is lagging — or move more quickly to a far more limited American presence.

As the debate over the war begins anew, administration officials have been striking tones similar to the Bush administration’s to argue for continuing the current Afghanistan strategy, which calls for a significant troop buildup. Richard C. Holbrooke, Mr. Obama’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, said the Afghan war effort came down to a matter of American national security, in testimony before the Foreign Relations Committee two weeks ago.

The White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, struck a similar note on Monday in responding to the documents, which WikiLeaks made accessible to The New York Times, the British newspaper The Guardian and the German magazine Der Spiegel.

“We are in this region of the world because of what happened on 9/11,” Mr. Gibbs said. “Ensuring that there is not a safe haven in Afghanistan by which attacks against this country and countries around the world can be planned. That’s why we’re there, and that’s why we’re going to continue to make progress on this relationship.”

Several administration officials privately expressed hope that they might be able to use the leaks, and their description of a sometimes duplicitous Pakistani ally, to pressure the government of Pakistan to cooperate more fully with the United States on counterterrorism.

extortion attempt

Leaked documents from the Afghanistan war appear to confirm that Australian forces are backing a local war lord who has been extorting money from NATO convoys carrying supplies to Coalition forces.

Australian troops are working with Matiullah Khan, a powerful war lord in the southern Uruzgan province.

Matiullah, through his private militia, earns millions of dollars a year guarding NATO road convoys and he commands a militia of over 2,000 armed men.

According to Matiullah himself, he works closely with the Australian forces in Uruzgan.

"The Australians have changed their tactics, they were going on missions alone. The Australians did not know about the Afghan traditions. Now we work together," he said.

"For the last six to eight months I have given them my soldiers. Since then there hasn't been any problems in the whole province and nobody has been angry with the Australians."

But according to a report in the intelligence database leaked to the Wikileaks organisation, Matiullah's men were caught red-handed in an extortion attempt on the very road they were paid to protect in late November 2009.

sought for "rape"...

There is a strong rumour running in the European press that Julian Assange is sought by the Swedish police for "rape"... I won't give you the link since it's in a foreign lingo... Methink that's a way for the Americans to catch him and smother his secret operations. Ome thing that alerts me to the hoax nature of the info is that the major post is very short but from a "reputable" media known to be "moderately" right-wing.

One smells foul play at ten paces...

Now on the main media in the UK:

One could be wrong though... One smells foul play at ten paces.... Seen some set ups such as this before, where a "victim" is a plant..

gus on the money...

Sweden Rescinds Warrant for WikiLeaks Founder


LONDON — Julian Assange, the founder of the Web site WikiLeaks who has been embroiled in a fight with the Pentagon over the recent release of classified Afghan war documents, became the focus of new attention on Saturday when Swedish prosecutors sought him for questioning on allegations of rape and molestation — and then withdrew the rape allegation.

The prosecutor’s office provided few details about the case against Mr. Assange, who denied the allegations. Nor did it say why it backtracked so quickly. Two Swedish newspapers said the allegations were made by two women who worked with WikiLeaks in Sweden, and the prosecutors told The Associated Press they were still looking into an accusation of molestation.

The episode provided a bizarre twist to Mr. Assange’s already complicated tale. Mr. Assange, a 39-year-old Australian, has been locked in an increasingly bitter confrontation with the Obama administration since he posted about 77,000 classified Pentagon documents last month and began warning that he would soon release 15,000 more. The administration has hinted at possible criminal prosecutions in the case.

In his Twitter response on Saturday, Mr. Assange said the Swedish allegations were “without basis,” adding: “We were warned to expect ‘dirty tricks.’ Now we have the first one.”

Since the administration spoke about the possibility of prosecuting Mr. Assange, he has spent much of that time in Sweden, which has strong press freedom laws that he hoped would offer protection against legal actions.

Mr. Assange did not respond immediately to attempts by reporters for The New York Times to reach him by e-mail and telephone, and Karin Rosander, a spokeswoman for Sweden’s national prosecutor’s office, said in a telephone interview that the police did not know Mr. Assange’s whereabouts.


see above comment

the smear campaign...


Julian Assange: WikiLeaks founder hits out at rape smears as Swedish warrant for his arrest is withdrawn

Julian Assange's supporters are quick to point the finger at American intelligence agencies and say they were expecting slurs after he posted 77,000 Afghanistan war documents online

Julian Assange, the secretive founder of WikiLeaks, the website behind the biggest leak of US military documents in history, was the subject of conspiracy theories last night after prosecutors withdrew a warrant for his arrest in connection with rape and molestation allegations.

On Friday a spokeswoman for the Swedish prosecutors' office in Stockholm confirmed an arrest warrant for Assange had been issued in absentia and urged him to "contact police so that he can be confronted with the suspicions".

According to Expressen, a Swedish newspaper, the 39-year-old Australian had been wanted in connection with two separate incidents. The first involved a woman from Stockholm who reportedly accused him of "molestation". The second involved a woman from Enköping, about an hour's drive west from Stockholm, who had apparently accused Assange of rape. The warrant was withdrawn yesterday afternoon.

Assange claimed he was the victim of a smear campaign. He denied the charges on WikiLeaks's Twitter page, saying they were "without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing".

It is believed that Assange, who has no known address and spends much of his time travelling to ensure a low profile, knew both women well. The pair had been reluctant to go to the police with their complaints, according to sources in Sweden. But the news that Swedish police were investigating the affair was leaked to Expressen, prompting further claims that a smear campaign had been orchestrated by foreign interests keen to discredit him.

Gavin MacFadyen, director of the Centre for Investigative Journalism, and a friend of Assange, said: "A lot of us who had any notion of what he was doing expected this sort of thing to happen at least a week ago. I'm amazed it has taken them this long to get it together. This is how smears work. The charges are made and then withdrawn and the damage is done."

WikiLeaks has courted controversy since July when it posted 77,000 Afghan War documents online, leading to claims it had put the lives of troops and security sources at risk.

Assange had been in Sweden, home to some of WikiLeaks's internet servers, to oversee the release of thousands more classified documents relating to US military operations.

Last week he announced at a press conference in Stockholm that his website was set to publish a final batch of 15,000 documents on the war in Afghanistan in "a couple of weeks".


discredit their entire cause...

From Chris Floyd...

Here it comes: with the bizarre "rape-no rape" charges against Julian Assange, the War Machine's assault against Wikileaks has now begun in earnest.

These days, the powers-that-be don't go straight to the shiv in the back or the poison in the drink or the faked suicide or the tragic car accident on a dark road; no, today we are a bit more circumspect in taking down high-profile irritants of empire. The modern way is to begin the takedown with a smear campaign -- preferably some sort of ""moral turpitude" to sully their public image and discredit their entire cause.

And so on late Friday we had the announcement that Swedish authorities had issued an arrest warrant for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on charges of rape and molestation. This was followed a few hours later -- after Wikileaks mounted a ferocious defense against the charges, and promised to carry on with its work regardless -- by a sudden decision to withdraw the warrant, with officials now saying the rape charge was unfounded -- although they said nothing about the lesser charge of molestation, leaving that vague but turpitudishly resonant charge hanging in the air for the moment.

This rigmarole is about as blatant a smear as can be imagined, coming as it does just after the Obama Administration has been caught out in an outright lie about Wikileaks attempts to redact its next release of classified war documents to ensure that no Afghans named in the papers will be put at risk. Not only has the Peace Laureate's minions been lying about Wikileaks' earnest efforts in the regard, but this deceit has been actively abetted by the New York Times, whose own reporter passed along Wikileaks' offer to the Pentagon -- then publicly dismissed the claim that Wikileaks had made the good-faith offer. (Glenn Greenwald has the story on this egregious -- if depressingly standard -- malefaction by the imperial servitors in the media.)

"absurd" pentagon involvement...

from the NYT


Mr. Assange has told reporters in recent weeks that he believes he and other WikiLeaks activists are at risk of being arrested, or being singled out in other ways, in the wake of WikiLeaks’s release of the 77,000 Pentagon documents.

Early Sunday, Mr. Assange responded to efforts by The New York Times to contact him with a brief e-mail to a reporter in which he described the sexual abuse accusations as “completely baseless, as I always said.”

Previously, he had responded to the Swedish accusations in Twitter feeds, a form of communication he has favored in recent weeks as part of his effort to disguise his whereabouts. On Twitter, he implied that the accusations were payback for WikiLeaks’s disclosures. “We were warned to expect ‘dirty tricks,’ ” he said. “Now, we have the first one.”

In its Sunday editions, Aftonbladet quoted Mr. Assange as saying that the rape claims had caused damage even though they had been dropped because WikiLeaks’s “enemies” could use them to discredit the organization.

“I do not know what lies behind this. But we have been warned that, for example, the Pentagon plans to use dirty tricks to undermine us,” Mr. Assange was quoted as saying in a phone interview from Sweden. “And I have also been warned about sex traps.”

The Pentagon press secretary, Geoff Morrell, said Sunday that any suggestion that the Pentagon was involved in the allegations was “absurd.”

Aftonbladet also quoted a woman who it said made the accusation of molestation as saying: “The accusations against Assange are, of course, not orchestrated by the Pentagon or anybody else. Responsibility for what happened to myself and the other girl lies with a man who has a skewed attitude to women and a problem taking no for an answer.” The newspaper did not identify the woman.

protecting the war...

The Australian government has warned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that it may demand that Sweden prosecute him, should the latest release of top-secret military files on his whistleblowing website pose a risk to serving forces.

Australia's Attorney-General Robert McClelland told Assange that he should not release any information about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars that could endanger those on the front line.

"Anything that puts those people who are serving their country and protecting our security at risk is entirely reprehensible, whether it's done for notoriety, whether it's done for commercial interests," McClelland said.

He added: "If these acts amount to an offence, the people involved will most certainly be prosecuted."

Assange is an Australian citizen but runs his controversial website WikiLeaks from Sweden. In July the site published a staggering 90,000 Afghan war documents and plans to release another 'information dump' containing 15,000 further reports shortly.

Earlier this month WikiLeaks announced that it was working with unnamed media organisations to publish a "massive cache" of classified US military field reports on the conflict in Iraq.

Assange is due to make his first public appearance since he came under suspicion of rape and molestation in two separate cases in Sweden in August.

Read more:,people,news,australia-may-ask-sweden-to-prosecute-wikileaks-julian-assange#ixzz114ch6ybr

the dangers of being a wikileaker...

Interview of Robert Fisk by ABC journalist Tony Jones...


The only thing I did not agree with Robert Fisk was about Assange "not being under threat" of any sort... If I was the Pentagon, I'd made sure Assange's outfit would be silenced by whatever means... Assange persona may not be under immediate mortal danger, but I would not bet on that...

swiss asylum...

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange says he is considering requesting asylum in Switzerland and basing the whistleblowing website in the fiercely neutral country.

Mr Assange was asked if he and his website might relocate to Switzerland in an interview with Swiss TV station TSR.

"That is a real possibility," he said.

He says Switzerland and perhaps Iceland are the only Western countries that his group feels safe in.

He says Wikileaks is examining the possibility of creating a foundation that would allow it to operate out of Switzerland and has confirmed he might apply for asylum.

Wikileaks, which last month published an unprecedented 400,000 classified US documents on the Iraq war and posted 77,000 secret US files on the Afghan conflict in July, has said its people have come under pressure and have been harassed.


Gus: the Swiss would get much higher esteem than they have lately from me (no-one cares about what I say though) should they decide to adopt Assange as an exile...

Go, go Gus.

I care.

Cheers Ern G.

usual discreditation...

A Swedish prosecutor has requested the arrest of Julian Assange, the founder of whistleblower website WikiLeaks, for rape and sexual molestation.


Gus: there are 99.9 per cent chances these sexual charges are only means to disturb the flow of information to wikileaks by discrediting the founder/manager. Even if people think these are trumped up charges, they will sow enough doubt about the "integrity" of Assange and occupy much of his time for his defence away from his collecting material. His best way to deal with these would be to say "yessir, I plead guilty... I aso had sex with a nun, a dead martian, a dog, a donkey and G W Bush"... and go live in another country...

diplomatic lying...

Frantic behind the scenes wrangling was under way last night as US officials tried to stem the fallout from the expected release of up to three million confidential diplomatic communiques by the Wikileaks website.

Over the past 48 hours, American ambassadors have had the unenviable task of informing some of the country's strongest allies that a series of potentially embarrassing cables are likely to be released in the coming days.

The latest tranche of documents, described by Wikileaks as being seven times as large as its last exposé – the 400,000 secret war logs from Iraq that were published last month – are thought to be cables taken from SIPRNet, the Pentagon's global secret-level computer network which is accessible online for those with clearance.

stupid yamerika...

US state department spokesman PJ Crowley has resigned after calling the treatment of the man accused of leaking secret cables to Wikileaks "stupid".

He said he was taking responsibility for the impact of his remarks about Bradley Manning.

Private Manning is being held in solitary confinement at a maximum security US military jail.

He has been on suicide watch at the Quantico marine base in Virginia and is shackled at all times.

He faces 34 charges relating to the leaking of 720,000 diplomatic and military documents.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she accepted Mr Crowley's resignation "with regret".

She said he had served his nation "with distinction", "motivated by a deep devotion to public policy and public diplomacy".

Mr Crowley was speaking to an audience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology about new media and foreign policy when he made the controversial remarks.

He was asked by a participant about the "the elephant in the room" - Wikileaks - and, in the questioner's words, "torturing a prisoner in a military brig".

"I spent 26 years in the air force," Mr Crowley reportedly replied.

"What is happening to Manning is ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid, and I don't know why the DoD [Department of Defense] is doing it. Nevertheless, Manning is in the right place."


If Manning has leaked the information to WikiLeaks — which is not proven so far, nor is proven that Assange knew where the information came from, so far — he would be a hero for all democracies debunking shaggy diplomacy where the political fudge is used to con us...

revenge torture on the modern hero...

A senior United Nations representative on torture, Juan Mendez, issued a rare reprimand to the US government on Monday for failing to allow him to meet in private Bradley Manning, the American soldier accused of being the WikiLeaks source and held in a military prison. It is the kind of censure the UN normally reserves for authoritarian regimes around the world.

Mendez, the UN special rapporteur on torture, said: "I am deeply disappointed and frustrated by the prevarication of the US government with regard to my attempts to visit Mr Manning."

Manning's supporters claim that the US is being vindictive in its treatment of Manning, who is held at the marine base at Quantico, Virginia, in conditions they describe as inhumane.

Mendez told the Guardian: "I am acting on a complaint that the regimen of this detainee amounts to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or torture … until I have all the evidence in front of me, I cannot say whether he has been treated inhumanely."

Mendez said the vast majority of states allowed for visits to detainees without conditions. But the US department of defence would not allow him to make an "official" visit, only a "private" one. An official visit would mean he meets Manning without a guard. A private visit means with a guard. Also, anything the prisoner says could be used in a court-martial.

the most appalling spying machine ever invented...

Julian Assange, who already counts the US and Swedish governments, Mastercard and the Guardian newspaper among his many enemies, has now lashed out against Facebook, branding it "the most appalling spying machine ever invented".

In an interview with Russia Today, Assange, whose whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has been credited - along with websites like Facebook and Twitter - with fuelling the so-called 'Arab Spring', was asked what he thought of social media's contribution to the revolutions which have swept despots from power in Egypt and Tunisia.

Far from celebrating the power of such websites to negate government censorship or organise resistance, Assange slammed the ease with which they can be manipulated by the US government.

"Facebook in particular is the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented," Assange said.

"Here we have the world's most comprehensive database about people, their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations and the communications with each other, their relatives, all sitting within the United States, all accessible to US intelligence.

"Facebook, Google, Yahoo - all these major US organisations have built-in interfaces for US intelligence. It's not a matter of serving a subpoena. They have an interface that they have developed for US intelligence to use...

"Everyone should understand that when they add their friends to Facebook, they are doing free work for United States intelligence agencies in building this database for them."

While many may think Assange's anger against social media is somewhat uncharitable, it is certainly understandable. A number of WikiLeaks associates are currently fighting attempts by the US department of justice to access their Twitter accounts.

Read more:,people,news,julian-assange-slams-appalling-spy-facebook#ixzz1LHtqy3Pn

from the american conservative...

Bradley Manning: American Hero

From TomDispatch: Four Reasons Why Pfc. Bradley Manning Deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Not a Prison Cell

By Chase Madar | July 7, 2011

We still don’t know if he did it or not, but if Bradley Manning, the 24-year-old Army private from Oklahoma, actually supplied WikiLeaks with its choicest material — the Iraq War logs, the Afghan War logs, and the State Department cables — which startled and riveted the world, then he deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom instead of a jail cell at Fort Leavenworth.

President Obama recently gave one of those medals to retiring Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who managed the two bloody, disastrous wars about which the WikiLeaks-released documents revealed so much. Is he really more deserving than the young private who, after almost ten years of mayhem and catastrophe, gave Americans — and the world — a far fuller sense of what our government is actually doing abroad?

Bradley Manning, awaiting a court martial in December, faces the prospect of long years in prison. He is charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917. He has put his sanity and his freedom on the line so that Americans might know what our government has done — and is still doing — globally.  He has blown the whistle on criminal violations of American military law. He has exposed our secretive government’s pathological over-classification of important public documents.

Here are four compelling reasons why, if he did what the government accuses him of doing, he deserves that medal, not jail time.

1: At great personal cost, Bradley Manning has given our foreign policy elite the public supervision it so badly needs.

In the past 10 years, American statecraft has moved from calamity to catastrophe, laying waste to other nations while never failing to damage our own national interests. Do we even need to be reminded that our self-defeating response to 9/11 in Iraq and Afghanistan (and PakistanYemen, and Somalia) has killed roughly 225,000 civilians and 6,000 American soldiers, while costing our country more than $3.2 trillion?  We are hemorrhaging blood and money. Few outside Washington would argue that any of this is making America safer.

of wikileaks, media watch and the smh...

From Jonathan Holmes, ABC


I agree with Peter that it is up to the SMH and The Age, not WikiLeaks, to decide how the material is published.  And to my mind there was no reason why the cables relevant to the Cluster Munitions Convention should not have been published immediately – no one would have been 'placed in danger' by their publication, and they had no need for 'proper editing'.

Jonathan Holmes, the presenter of ABC TV's Media Watch, has been a journalist for 35 years.


Gus: methink that the problem of the delayed publication could have been due to a contractual arrangement between a freelance journalist and the SMH... Dorling had the opportunity to make a bit of money by acting as a go between Wikileaks and the SMH on the release of the secret cables. Wikileaks let Dorling have some exclusivity for a while, until Media Watch stepped in...

Apparently, Dorling accepts responsibility for the delay.


There we have it too on another "exclusive"...:

For months, a journalist had interviewed David Hicks for the ABC and would have been working very hard to get the facts as accurate as possible. The program was flagged nearly five days in advance, by advertising on the ABC.

For some unknown reason, Charlie Pickering of the 7PM project on Channel 10, decided to do an "exclusive" interview with Hicks and pip the ABC program by claiming "his" was the first (and only if my memory is correct) interview that Hicks ever done... His "exclusive" was flagged on the weekend as the best thing since sliced cheese (or bread — take your pick)...

Of course when the "exclusive" interview with Pickering was on air that Monday night, the ABC had already posted a news item on Hicks with him being interviewed about his views on 9/11 — a news item that flagged the coming full program the next night.

Not only that, a couple of weeks prior to this caper, the ABC already had an interview with Hicks about the proceed of his book due to him being stopped by the courts.


Not only Charlie Pickering's interview was not exclusive nor the first, it was a bungle of crap. Pity. Pickering seems to be an intelligent person but he is a spruiking "comedian" (I have been told he's a lawyer as well, like a lot of "comedians — see the Chasers) and his little stupid stunt showed he had no idea about David Hicks.  Charlie damaged his reputation on a silly item that in my mind blew up in his face. And he might know it.


The Tuesday ABC program on David Hicks was by all means a thorough examination of the Hicks case...

more leaks...

Whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has begun publishing more than 5 million confidential emails from Texas-based intelligence firm Stratfor.

WikiLeaks says the emails - which it refers to as the 'Global Intelligence Files' - date from between July 2004 and December 2011.

"The emails show Stratfor's web of informers, pay-off structure, payment-laundering techniques and psychological methods," WikiLeaks said in a statement.

"The material shows how a private intelligence agency works, and how they target individuals for their corporate and government clients."

WikiLeaks says it has proof of the firm's confidential links to large corporations, such as Bhopal's Dow Chemical Co and Lockheed Martin, as well as government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency.

It says it has found evidence that Stratfor gave a complimentary membership to Pakistan general Hamid Gul, former head of Pakistan's ISI intelligence service, who, according to US diplomatic cables, planned an IED attack against international forces in Afghanistan in 2006.

WikiLeaks also alleges it has proof that Stratfor monitored and analysed the online activities of activists seeking redress for the 1984 Dow Chemical/Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India.

secret charges...

UNITED STATES prosecutors have drawn up secret charges against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, according to a confidential email obtained from the private US intelligence company Stratfor.

In an internal email to Stratfor analysts on January 26 last year, the vice-president of intelligence, Fred Burton, responded to a media report concerning US investigations targeting WikiLeaks with the comment: ''We have a sealed indictment on Assange.''

Read more: