Journalism is not an Attack, Wikileaks is not Warfare

I am the Afghanistan Blogging Fellow for Brave New Foundation. You can read my work on Firedoglake or at Rethink Afghanistan. The views expressed below are my own.

Wikileaks is under attack!

Journalists and politicians are calling for the criminalization of Wikileaks, or worse, the assassination of its members. The US government is coercing companies into blocking access to Wikileaks, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is normally very strong on internet freedom, has been forced to “evolve” her positions.

If you’re a supporter of Wikileaks, or even a relatively dispassionate observer, you likely find these actions to be offensive, or even downright criminal. How dare the US move so arrogantly, so aggressively, against Wikileaks for what seems to be nothing more than the second coming of the Pentagon Papers? We believe in free speech, in transparency and accountability for our government. It’s outrageous that Washington would move so decisively to crush a project like Wikileaks.

But are Wikileaks’ supporters actually feeding this response from the government? In our rush to rationalize and defend Wikileaks and their actions, have we inadvertently opened the door to attacks by the US government?

The answer can be found in how we’ve chosen to frame the debate so far. Continue reading “Journalism is not an Attack, Wikileaks is not Warfare”

Assange sexual accuser has anti-Castro ties – and worse

Some superb investigative reporting by FireDogLake and Counterpunch helps put the pieces together. Read the whole thing. If we had actual functioning and independent mainstream media, this story have been broken in NYT or WaPo instead of a blog. Both posts are must-reads.

Small world, isn’t it? Julian Assange is the human face of Wikileaks – the organization that’s enabled whistle-blowers to reveal hideous war crimes and expose much of America’s foreign policy to the world.

He just happens to meet a Swedish woman who just happens to have been publishing her work in a well-funded anti-Castro group that just happens to have links with a group led by a man at least one journalist describes as an agent of the CIA: the violent secret arm of America’s foreign policy.

And she just happens to have been expelled from Cuba, which just happens to be the global symbol of successful defiance of American foreign policy.

And – despite her work in Sweden upholding the human right of gender equity – in Cuba she just happens to end up associating with a group openly supported by an admitted CIA agent who himself committed mass murder when he actively participated in the terrorist bombing of a jetliner carrying a Cuban sports team”¦an act that was of a piece with America’s secret foreign policy of violent attacks against Cuban state interests.

And now she just happens – after admittedly consensual sex – to have gone to Swedish authorities to report the sex ended without a condom”¦which just happens to be the pretext for Interpol to issue a “Red Notice” informing the world’s police forces of charges against Julian Assange.

Wikileaks has a Doomsday option

Wikileaks tweeted on Nov. 25 that an encrypted version of all the cables was available for download from The Pirate Bay.

In the event of Wikileaks’ founder’s [Julian Assange] death (or some other unspecified reason), the secret key would be released — exposing the documents to all who have downloaded and obtained the key.

That file is probably been downloaded thousands of times by now. This explains why Assange can say he has damning files from a U.S. bank and why Wikileaks is just releasing a few cables a day. It could also explain why Interpol may be nervous about arresting him.

Via Crooks and Liars

Assange: “Geopolitics will be separated into pre and post Cablegate”

Assange interview in El Pais

Q. I read you are taking steps to protect yourselves (you and other people from Wikileaks) after receiving many death threats. Where are those death threats coming from?

A. We have hundreds of specific death threats from US military militants. That is not unusual, and we have become practiced from past experiences at ignoring such threats from Islamic extremists, African kleptocrats and so on. Recently the situation has changed with these threats now extending out our lawyers and my children. However it is the specific calls from the elites of US society for our assassination, kidnapping and execution that is more concerning. These range from a US senate bill by John Ensign which seeks to declare us a “transnational threat” to assassination calls from former Bush speech writers such as Marc Thessian in The Washington Post and Bill o’reilly of Fox news.

Q. How many people help you deal with the DDOS attacks?

A. We have dozens helping and setting up mirror sites but it takes a lot of time for us to manage the process. We are automating that process and will soon have hundreds. If there is a battle between the US military and the preservation of History, we have insured, History will win.

Q. What will be the consequences of this megaleak?

A. It is too early to say yet. The ripples are just starting to flow throughout the world. But I believe geopolitics will be separated into pre and post cablegate phases.

List of people criminalizing Assange or calling for his death (from the article).

People criminalizing Assange / calling for his death