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An Interview With WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange

How much of this trove of documents that you’re sitting on is related to the private sector?

About fifty percent.

Rudolf Elmer doc trailer:

Swiss whistleblower Rudolf Elmer plans to hand over offshore banking secrets of the rich and famous to WikiLeaks

The offshore bank account details of 2,000 "high net worth individuals" and corporations – detailing massive potential tax evasion – will be handed over to the WikiLeaks organisation in London tomorrow by the most important and boldest whistleblower in Swiss banking history, Rudolf Elmer, two days before he goes on trial in his native Switzerland.

British and American individuals and companies are among the offshore clients whose details will be contained on CDs presented to WikiLeaks at the Frontline Club in London. Those involved include, Elmer tells the Observer, "approximately 40 politicians".

"What I am objecting to is not one particular bank, but a system of structures," he told the Observer. "I have worked for major banks other than Julius Baer, and the one thing on which I am absolutely clear is that the banks know, and the big boys know, that money is being secreted away for tax-evasion purposes, and other things such as money-laundering –although these cases involve tax evasion."

"What I am objecting to is not one particular bank, but a system of structures," he told the Observer. "I have worked for major banks other than Julius Baer, and the one thing on which I am absolutely clear is that the banks know, and the big boys know, that money is being secreted away for tax-evasion purposes, and other things such as money-laundering – although these cases involve tax evasion."

"Once you become part of senior management," he says, "and gain international experience, as I did, then you are part of the inner circle – and things become much clearer. You are part of the plot. You know what the real products and service are, and why they are so expensive. It should be no surprise that the main product is secrecy ... Crimes are committed and lies spread in order to protect this secrecy."

Tomorrow, Wikileaks Will Gets Tons Of Data On Millionaires Who Evade Taxes Using Offshore Accounts

Former Swiss private banker, Rudolf Elmer, is about to give the site reams of data on who is secretly using offshore bank accounts. He will hand over the data at a news conference tomorrow, according to Der Sonntage newspaper, via Reuters.

Uh-oh! Business Insider is telling their peeps to prepare!

And now for something completely.....stupid:

You know when it came to that situation it was actually based on espionage, and when it comes to the security of our nation we have to focus on security first, and then people's right to know. Because it's so important that everyone in our borders is safe, and so we can't let things like that happen and they must be handled properly... and I think that was the case.

Greg Mitchell

11:25  Glenn Greenwald tweets on Miss America (see below):  "The new Miss America's winning anti-WikiLeaks answer would fit perfectly in any CNN or network news show:"  I should reveal here that back in 1974, I wrote a cover story for the legendary Crawdaddy (where I was an editor) on covering a Miss USA pageant, with title "Selling Boobs to the Rubes."

Back to the real world.......

Juan Cole : New Wikileaks: US Knew Tunisian Gov. Rotten Corrupt, Supported Ben Ali Anyway

The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten released a series of US diplomatic cables from 2006 on massive and pervasive corruption and nepotism in Tunisia and its effect on economic development and social problems. The cables show that the United States government was fully aware of the dangerous and debilitating level of corruption in Tunisia, and its anti-democratic implications. But they raise the question of whether Washington was wise to make Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, despite his clear foibles, the pillar of its North Africa policy because of his role, as a secular strongman, in repressing Muslim movements (as William MacLean of Reuters argues).

The US embassy in Tunis noted the contradictions of what was once called ‘the Tunisian miracle’– relative stability and security and 5% growth a year, but with Mafia style corruption on the part of ruling cliques that was discouraging foreign investment and contributing to failing banks and high unemployment.

The cables recognize the pervasiveness of government corruption, and the scandals it gave rise to. The cables estimate that 50% of the country’s economic elite was somehow related to President Ben Ali, and warn that they were increasingly showing off their opulence in public, raising the hackles of the poor and unemployed. Among those mentioned in the survey of nepotism was Imed Trabelsi, favored nephew of former first lady Leila Ben Ali, who was stabbed to death on Saturday in the course of the popular uprising.

A corrupt, closed economic elite that grabs most of the new income arriving in the country and acts so irresponsibly that it even weakens the foundations of the banking system? Does any of that sound familiar to American readers?

Death Threat Domain Names: Registrar Says Will Not Be Removed

Go Daddy, the site which registered both and said there is nothing that can be done about either site while they are contentless. Go Daddy registers a domain name every .8 seconds -- any domain name can be registered and there is no human intervention.

"Unless and until there is content associated with there is no way for us to know what that means," said Christine Jones, Go Daddy's General Counsel. "There's no way to judge whether there's going to be something done with that domain name or if it is going to be violating any rule."

In the past week, Go Daddy has received numerous calls regarding the death threat domain names, but the company has no intention of taking action at this time. The one exception to this, Jones said, would be a domain name death threat for the President, "if the secret service contacted us, we would almost certainly take action on those domain names."

Assange is no stranger to death threats of the old fashioned kind either. In an online chat with the Guardian Assange wrote that anyone making threats against his life should be charged with incitement to murder: "The threats against our lives are a matter of public record, however, we are taking the appropriate precautions to the degree that we are able when dealing with a superpower."

Slide Show: 18 Disturbing Things We Wouldn't Know Without WikiLeaks

Basic Links

Wikileaks cable page
Unofficial Wikileaks information site
Greg Mitchell's amazing Wikileaks blog at The Nation
Aftenposten english Wikileaks torrent - I can't seem to find an updated page for this. Please let me know if you can.
Glenn Greenwald

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

@Swedish TV
In full

Al Jazeera English discussion

It's about 22mins long and well worth it. Again, here is the exchange that I think is VERY important at about the 10min mark:

When the host asks Baruch Weiss, a former U.S. Government lawyer,
if leaking classified information is a crime in the United States, he says:

"I'm going to say it twice because noone will believe me the first time, but the answer is usually no. No.

There is no statute on the books in the United States that says 'Thou shalt not leak classified information.' There is no statute of that sort. Congress tried to pass one during the Clinton administration and Clinton Vetoed it and for a very good reason. And the good reason is, that in the United States there is a huge over-classification problem. There is a huge amount of material that should not be classified that is."

Julian Assange: A Wanted Man
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Audio of Greenwald interviewing Lamo - Transcript also at Informationthread 20

Robert Meeropol, the son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg—the only U.S. citizens to be executed under the Espionage Act, in what’s been described as the most controversial death sentence in U.S. history. This week, Meeropol released a widely read statement in support of WikiLeaks called, "My Parents Were Executed Under the Unconstitutional Espionage Act-Here's Why We Must Fight to Protect Julian Assange."

Part 1

Transcript and Part 2 at Informationthread 22
On Dec 31, Democracy Now! dedicated the full hour today to Wikileaks and Julian Assange. You can find the full transcript at the Democracy Now! link and the Daniel Ellsberg transcript at Informationthread 23

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4


For more on Bradley Manning
Informationthread 11
Informationthread 13
Informationthread 15
Informationthread 28

For more info on DOJ/Twittergate :
Informationthread 37
Informationthread 36
Informationthread 35
Informationthread 34
Informationthread 33
Informationthread 32
Informationthread 31

Democracy Now! Interviews Birgitta Jónsdóttir

Part 1

Part 2

Transcript at Informationthread 36

The Agenda tv show interviews Birgitta Jonsdottir


Democracy Now! Dr. Atul Gawande: Solitary Confinement is Torture Transcript at Informationthread 28

Audio of Glenn Greenwald's interview with Rep. Sanchez about Homeland Security's laptop seizures. Audio at bottom of link.

For those who regularly write and read about civil liberties abuses, it's sometimes easy to lose perspective of just how extreme and outrageous certain erosions are.  One becomes inured to them, and even severe incursions start to seem ordinary.  Such was the case, at least for me, with Homeland Security's practice of detaining American citizens upon their re-entry into the country, and as part of that detention, literally seizing their electronic products -- laptops, cellphones, Blackberries and the like -- copying and storing the data, and keeping that property for months on end, sometimes never returning it.  Worse, all of this is done not only without a warrant, probable cause or any oversight, but even without reasonable suspicion that the person is involved in any crime.  It's completely standard-less, arbitrary, and unconstrained.  There's no law authorizing this power nor any judicial or Congressional body overseeing or regulating what DHS is doing.  And the citizens to whom this is done have no recourse -- not even to have their property returned to them.

When you really think about it, it's simply inconceivable that the U.S. Government gets away with doing this.  Seizing someone's laptop, digging through it, recording it all, storing the data somewhere, and then distributing it to various agencies is about the most invasive, privacy-destroying measure imaginable.  A laptop and its equivalents reveal whom you talk to, what you say, what you read, what you write, what you view, what you think, and virtually everything else about your life.  It can -- and often does -- contain not only the most private and intimate information about you, but also information which the government is legally barred from accessing (attorney/client or clergy/penitent communications, private medical and psychiatric information and the like).  But these border seizures result in all of that being limitlessly invaded.  This is infinitely more invasive than the TSA patdowns that caused so much controversy just two months ago.  What kind of society allows government agents -- without any cause -- to seize all of that whenever they want, without limits on whom they can do this to, what they access, how they can use it:  even without anyone knowing what they're doing?  

In memoriam of the Spy-Gate Patriots who have not won a Super Bowl since they stopped cheating! Jets are looking to come to Pittsburgh for what? To hand the Steelers ANOTHER Super Bowl?!

Originally posted to cedar park on Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 05:00 PM PST.


Do you have a Swiss bank account?

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