The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, answers readers’ questions about the release of more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables
from Boing Boing by Xeni Jardin
The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of expression against government encroachment – but that doesn’t help if the censorship doesn’t come from the government.
When Wikileaks twittered that Amazon’s removal of its website from its servers was a “free speech” issue, it seemed an odd turn of phrase: after all, Amazon is a private company and is free to host what it likes. The Guardian has just reported, however, that it did indeed remove Wikileaks after being pressured to do so by the U.S. government. Ewan MacAskill writes that U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman offered a prepared statement, announcing Wikileaks’ removal from Amazon’s server, as the plug was pulled.
from Boing Boing by Rob Beschizza
from Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow
Spain’s Congress is about to vote on a new and extremely harsh copyright/Internet law. It’s an open secret that the law was essentially drafted by American industry groups working with the US trade representative.
Last night, on CBC News, University of Calgary political scientist Tom Flanagan, a former key adviser to Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, said that he wished Julian Assange would be assassinated and ?disappeared,? joining a growing list of North American, right wing, commentators and politicians calling for the same, and doing so at the same time as they do. This not too surprising, since Flanagan is himself an American import, brought in by fellow Americans in Calgary. Today, probably after an avalanche of email, and after walls of text denouncing Flanagan appeared in almost every social network site, he issued a weak pseudo-apology: ?I regret that I made a glib comment about a serious issue?.If Mr. Assange is arrested on the recently announced Interpol warrant, I hope [he] receives a fair trial and due process of law.? Those who sat in on the same panel, chuckled. One, Scott Reid, a former Liberal adviser to former prime minister Paul Martin said Flanagan was being ?his usual colourful and provocative self ? and was ?obviously talking tongue in cheek.? Obviously? Not at all. Reid continued his defense of extremism: ?Not for a second did I think he was suggesting seriously that someone?s life be put at risk. He?s a great guy with strong opinions. Not a mean guy with lunatic opinions.?
The truth, apparently, is in there. Here’s what Julian Assange had to say in a web chat with Guardian readers today
have there ever been documents forwarded to you which deal with the topic of UFOs or extraterrestrials?
from Wiki Leaks by David Kenner
from Wiki Leaks by Steve LeVine
from EUobserver.com – Headline News
LONDON – Speculation was growing Friday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is hiding somewhere in Britain after British police requested additional information from Swedish authorities seeking his arrest.
An April 2008 cable describes a meeting between Sen. (then presidential candidate) John McCain and then British Conservative Party leader David Cameron. Much of the discussion focuses on Iraq, where McCain said he felt the security situation was improving, but still had concerns about developments in the South, particularly Basrah:
from Wiki Leaks by Katherine Tiedemann, December 3, 2010
The leak of more than 250 000 documents denouncing the practice of espionage by the U.S. government also caused an uproar in Brazil, where dozens of documents ended up putting the Defence Minister, Nelson Jobim, in a delicate situation. Natalia Viana, from Opera Mundi, details [pt] the number of leaked documents about Brazil and says that there is still much more to come:
from Global Voices Online by Janine Mendes-Franco
from Mashable! by Stan Schroeder
Exhibit A in the case for not believing everything you read in the WikiLeaks cables is this September 2008 dispatch from the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai.
As Christopher Beam of Slate noted this week, the U.S. diplomatic cable may deserve recognition as its own genre of literature. But the headlines are pure tabloid. Indeed, WikiLeaks’ publication this week of several hundred U.S. diplomatic communications has cast a spotlight on the secret art of writing diplomatic cables, but its their titles that makes them such an enticing read. Promising glimpses into Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi‘s phobias or the latest shenanigans of the Cuban-Venezuelan access of mischief, they seem to scream out: Read me!
The State Department is settling in for a rough period, putting forth a longer-term strategy for dealing with the damage done by the ongoing WikiLeaks disclosures and starting the repair work on hundreds of relationships. The timing of the diplomatic embarrassment comes just as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is traveling around the globe.
from Mashable! by Jolie O’Dell
from Wiki Leaks by Charles Homans
from Wiki Leaks by Elizabeth Dickinson
from Wiki Leaks by Charles Homa
North Korean diplomat: Six-party talks are dead, Bill Clinton and Kim Jong Il have ‘good personal understanding’
This September 2009 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Mongolia provides a rare opportunity to hear a North Korean official speaking candidly. According to the document, the Mongolian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s deputy director for Asian affairs, J. Sukhee, briefed U.S. Embassy officials about talks between North Korea’s Vice Foreign Affairs Minister Kim Yong Il and the Mongolian president. The talks apparently focused heavily on North Korea’s nuclear program and U.S.-North Korea relations. In particular, Kim seemed to dismiss the idea of continuing the six-party talks:
Here’s the inflammatory 2009 cable on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s relationship with Russia which was first reported by the Guardian. The cable contains suggestions that Berlusconi is personally profiting from energy deals with Russia and reports that Italy’s Russia policy is handled entirely by the prime minister himself:
As Azerbaijan braces itself for yet more revelations from classified U.S. Embassy cables released this week by Wikileaks, some interesting developments are occurring on Twitter. In particular, after some less than favorable descriptions of Ilham Aliyev, president of the oil-rich former Soviet republic, as well as his wife, by U.S. diplomats, an account presenting itself as that of the country’s First Lady appeared less than a day later.
Apparently, Singapore?s former Prime Minister and currently Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew thinks North Korea leader Kim Jong-il is a ?flabby old chap who prances around stadiums seeking adulation.? This was revealed when Wikileaks uploaded thousands of documents exposing classified communication between the US State Departments and its embassies around the world.
The unintended lesson of WikiLeaks
Otherwise, we’re focused on Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. Bye”? That’s the other side of WikiLeaks: Not only are we way over-invested in the Palestinian