A US soldier accused of giving 700,000 secret documents to the Wikileaks website has gone on trial. (continue reading…)
Exactly one year ago this week, Julian Assange and a crew of WikiLeaks volunteers — including Birgitta Jonsdottir, who has since become a critic — assembled in Reykjavik, Iceland, to edit and add subtitles to a video of a 2007 incident in Baghdad that Assange himself would title, “Collateral Murder.”
At that point, WikiLeaks and Assange were far from household words in the U.S., despite three years of leaks that intermittently gained notice. Of course, everything has changed since.
A U.S. Army intelligence analyst, Pvc (continue reading…)
An InDepth Interview With Christopher Preble Director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute
Recently, I conducted an in-depth interview with Christopher Preble, Director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, on his assessment of President Obama’s foreign policy, the implications of the WikiLeaks revelations, U.S. leadership in the age of globalization, excess defense spending and international development, the future of U.S. diplomatic engagement, and much more.
A 2000-word excerpt is below, while the full 4300-word transcript can be found at World Affairs Commentary.
Rahim Kanani: As you observe U.S. foreign policy in the context of the recent and continued uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa, how would you assess the Obama Administration’s current posture towards the crises?
Christopher Preble: I think that the Obama administration inherited a difficult situation, and has handled it reasonably well, all other factors being considered (continue reading…)
It’s ironic that PJ Crowley went to MIT to talk about the power of new media on foreign policy issues only to find that a blog posting of his remarks ended his career as America’s top foreign policy spokesman. It’s also ironic that although Crowley’s comments were immediately reported via twitter, Facebook and several foreign policy blogs, his boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton didn’t immediately mind. It was only when the new White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley learned about Crowley’s comments that the trouble began.
State Department insiders say Crowley’s MIT comments about Bradley Manning and his tweets comparing the “Middle East tsunami” over the last several weeks with Japan’s earthquake and tsunami were emailed around Foggy Bottom and the subject of many water-cooler conversations (continue reading…)
Imagine that you’ve arrived at the local multiplex for a weekend flick. Popcorn in hand, you settle in to watch Matt Damon star in a new thriller as a young American soldier imprisoned by the government for blowing the whistle on crimes witnessed while serving in a foreign country.
INT. MILITARY PRISON CELL – DAY
(Calendar pages flip by indicating the passage of months. July (continue reading…)
By Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis
Bradley Manning is accused of humiliating the political establishment by revealing the complicity of top U.S. officials in carrying out and covering up war crimes. In return for his act of conscience, the U.S. government is holding him in abusive solitary confinement, humiliating him and trying to keep him behind bars for life (continue reading…)
After initial allegations of mistreatment, I requested a visit with Private First Class Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking classified information to Wikileaks, to see for myself the conditions of his treatment.
Despite the fact that Manning has not been found guilty of any crime, his lawyer reports that he is in isolation 23 out 24 hours every day, conditions which may violate his 8th Amendment protection from ‘cruel and unusual’ punishment. This treatment is in stark contrast to a presumption of innocence and raises questions of whether Pfc. Manning can be fit for trial.
My request to visit with Pfc (continue reading…)
If the U.S. military is really concerned that a soldier in its custody might commit suicide, it would seem like a bad idea to keep him isolated in a prison cell for months and forcibly stripped naked for seven hours a day while under constant surveillance.
But that’s just what the Marines at the brig in Quantico, Virginia are apparently doing to Pfc. Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst suspected of leaking secret government documents to Wikileaks.
According to his lawyer, David Coombs, Manning, who is in Maximum security and Prevention of Injury watch, was once again stripped naked on Thursday night (continue reading…)
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IN TODAY’S RADIO REPORT: Dems call for probe in U.S. Chamber of Commerce plot to target citizens like us; Indictment in WV coal mine disaster investigation; Deepwater drilling permits resume in the Gulf, but that’s still not good enough for Republicans; Climate scientists in fake ‘ClimateGate Scandal’ vindicated — AGAIN; PLUS: More on the WI GOP power play to privatize Wisconsin’s power plants … All that and more in today’s Green News Report!
Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.
IN ‘GREEN NEWS EXTRA’ (see links below): NYT “fracking” bombshell: toxic & radioactive water dumped in rivers; US v (continue reading…)
On Friday, two weeks after the issue was discussed at length in the Huffington Post, “WikiLeaks Brings Misguided Joy to Preachers of Peak Oil” 02.10.11 the New York Times found the wherewithal to present us with Michael Lynch’s Op-ed, “Drilling For an Oil Crisis” 02.25.11. The Times piece covers virtually the same territory, namely that the Wikileaks revelation of an American diplomat’s dispatch about the constraints of Saudi oil reserves gave false credence to the peak oil theorists and rendered unto the peak oil pranksters erroneous and misguided bragging rights which they happily exploited to push their agenda that oil production has “entered a terminal decline.” The Times’ Op-ed, as did the earlier Huffington Post piece, raises serious doubts about the ‘peak oil’ theory. Lynch hits the issue squarely on the head when he comments about Saudi Arabia “Officials there have discovered approximately 70 major oil fields that they’ve left untapped over concerns that increased Saudi production would cause global oil prices to collapse.” Well and good and so much for the timeliness of the New York Times’ revelations.
However, then the Times piece goes seriously off track (continue reading…)
In a phone call from her undisclosed location to his undisclosed location, Sarah Palin both congratulated and thanked the former President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, for taking her advice. WikiLeaks leaked that Mrs. Palin had shared with then-President Mubarak her Plan A on how to gain maximum publicity when quitting public office.
“To create suspense,” she allegedly said, “you must leak that you’re leaving and then surprise them and don’t go (continue reading…)
Having endured repression under the 1964-1985 right wing military dictatorship, many Brazilians hold the nation’s defense establishment in low regard. Indeed, because of the awful stigma associated with this dark era of Brazilian history, few politicians will admit to being on the right, even if they hold conservative beliefs. Yet, recent U.S. cables released by whistle-blowing outfit WikiLeaks suggest that Brazil has undergone a psychological shift and is once again intent upon building up its military (continue reading…)
U.S. diplomatic cables leaked to WikiLeaks reveal something close to desperation in Saudi officialdom about keeping oil exports alive while at the same time growing domestic electricity generation rapidly. These twin challenges are interrelated and growing progressively worse, because what the leaked cables do not say is that Saudi Arabia is currently burning well over a million barrels a day of oil — rising by 8% a year — in its electric power plants. This is more oil going up in smoke in the desert Kingdom than it’s exported to the U.S. (continue reading…)
A is for Arianna and Tim Armstrong, who are changing the face of American journalism as AOL bets $315 million that HuffPost can help it compete in the brave new world of the Internet. Also, Al-Jazeera, which is changing the way the world sees the Arab world and the way the Arab world sees itself, and Afghanistan, for obvious reasons.
B is for House Speaker John Boehner, whose inability to rein in Tea Party-backed budget-cutters is enough to make a grown man cry. Also, the FY 2012 budget that President Obama will unveil on Valentine’s Day that calls for tough love to reduce the federal deficit by $1.1 trillion over the next ten years; and BlackBerry, the ubiquitous, addictive and time-wasting multitasking tool.
C is for China, as Mao’s successors struggle to prove that capitalism and communism can co-exist and elevate it to superpower status; Also, new White House mouthpiece and ex-journalist Jay Carney, who’s already finding it’s easier to question presidential decisions than to explain them; and Craigslist, which you shouldn’t use to send shirtless photos to “Women Seeking Men.”
D is for Davos, the Swiss ski resort where important global leaders gather each January at the World Economic Forum and accomplish little while reassuring themselves they are important global leaders.
E is for Egypt, of course, the future of the Middle East hangs in the balance in the land of the Pharaohs after Mubarak resigns, but the outcome is harder to read than the Sphinx (continue reading…)
While it is not clear when and how the popular revolt in Egypt will end, it is clear that the winners and losers, following the present uprising, throughout the Arab world can be identified. It might be a clich to state that tyrants are the biggest losers and peoples are the winners, but it does reflect what is the case in much of the Arab world.
Rulers who were able to govern with little resistance for years are suddenly discovering that the seats they have been clinging to are becoming unbearably hot.
Even without being provoked by their own people, some Arab rulers are already announcing that they don’t intend to run for office again. Heads of state who have been harboring ideas of bequeathing their power to their children are declaring such ideas void even though their children are still running the army or such important senior posts.
Ruling parties are also quickly feeling that the ground under their feet is shifting. As people power increases in scope and courage, these parties that have ruled for years without a serious challenge are also facing the music, unable to stand up to the scrutiny of their peoples.
The newly found bravery of Arab youths has spread from one country to another (continue reading…)
Adapted from my new book, WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency, which ORBooks is publishing this month in the United States and is available on their website. It is also being published in Great Britain by the Yale University Press UK. Sifry is the co-founder of the Personal Democracy Forum and editor of its blog, techPresident.com.
Back in the fall of 2009, getting hold of Julian Assange wasn’t easy. The Australian founder of WikiLeaks seemed to be constantly on the move, and his email habits were unpredictable (continue reading…)
On February 7, 2011, a small group of peace activists organized by the “Tackling Torture at the Top” Committee of Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) tried to meet with the British Honorary Consul at his office on the 26th floor of the US Bancorp Center, 800 Nicollet Mall, in downtown Minneapolis. The purpose of the meeting was to deliver a letter with more than 750 signatures asking the British government to observe their own laws prohibiting political extradition in the case of WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. Various news sources (also here and here) have claimed that the proposed extradition is being pushed by the United States so that, once Assange is in Sweden, the U.S. can grab him for political rendition to stand trial in the U.S (continue reading…)
Even though WikiLeaks has now been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, Suzanne Merkelson at Foreign Policy doesn’t think it’s likely to win — and she’s probably right: the biggest human rights stories this year have, so far, come out of Tunisia and Egypt.
But Snorre Valen, the Norwegian Member of Parliament who nominated WikiLeaks, was probably on to something.
An account from an anonymous young Tunisian writer simply named “Sam” surfaced just hours before the ouster of Ben Ali, describing the series of events that led to the Jasmine revolution. Sam ended with:
Several prominent media outlets had begun to acknowledge the possible role WikiLeaks played in Tunisia’s revolution (continue reading…)
CAIRO (The Borowitz Report) – In what may prove to be the journalistic coup of the year, WikiLeaks today revealed details of the severance package of soon-to-be-deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
According to the documents made available by WikiLeaks, upon leaving office Mr. Mubarak will receive $40 billion but will not be allowed to serve as dictator of another country for six months.
Additionally, once he departs Egypt Mr.
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com
Now that the WikiLeaks releases about Tunisian corruption have directly sparked a peoples’ uprising in Tunisia; now that Egypt is in the throes of pro-democracy protest driven in large measure by WikiLeaks’ revelation in the Palestine Papers about US manipulation of Palestine, surely one would expect key U.S. news organizations and journalists to rally prominently to the defense of the right to publish that that site represents. One would expect lead editorials supporting Assange’s right to publish from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and USAToday, not to mention every major TV outlet. But instead, what we have heard is the deafening sounds of what middle-schoolers call ‘crickets’ — that is, an awkward silence (continue reading…)
Nearly nine months after he was arrested for allegedly leaking material, including diplomatic cables, to WikiLeaks, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was very much in the news this week. His supporters and attorney David Coombs continued to charge that the conditions of his confinement were overly harsh and punitive, while the Pentagon continued to deny that. Amnesty International protested the conditions and so Rep (continue reading…)
A couple of weeks ago, I suggested that Julian Assange might have found a potential home in Brazil, where former president Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva expressed support for whistle-blowing group WikiLeaks. Interrupting a run-of-the-mill speech about infrastructure development, Lula declared “What’s its name? Viki-leaks? Like that? To WikiLeaks: my solidarity in disclosing these things and my protest on behalf of free speech.” The Brazilian president added,
Now that Lula has stepped down as president, some may wonder whether Brazil’s new leader Dilma Rousseff will take a similarly complimentary view of Julian Assange. Might Rousseff, herself a Lula protg from the Workers’ Party, extend political asylum to the besieged founder of WikiLeaks? It is an interesting possibility to be sure, though perhaps remote in light of recent documents released by the whistle-blowing outfit itself. The cables, which date from the Bush and Obama eras, depict Lula and his administration as cynical operators all too willing to inveigh against fellow leftist allies in order to get into Washington’s good graces (continue reading…)