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Speaking to reporters outside Ellingham Hall, the Norfolk house at which he is staying following his release on bail from prison, Assange said: "There is a threat to my life. There is a threat to my staff. There are significant risks facing us."
Daniel Ellsberg interviewed by Brad Friedman last week:
I am very appreciative of Bradley Manning, the suspect in this. Who has not been proven to be the source yet, by the Army. If the Pentagon's and Army's suspicions are correct, then I admmire what he did. And I feel great affinity for him. Because he did say, allegedly, to the person who turned him in, Adrian Lamo, in a chat log that he was prepared, that he was ready to go to prison for life! Or even 'be executed', he said, in order to share this information with the American people who he thought needed to have it. And that's the statement, I'd said, I've waited, in a way, for 40 years to hear someone make.
That quote can be heard at the link. It is at the beginning of hour 3 of Brad filling in for The Mike Malloy Show. Each hour has it's own audio links. I have a slow computer and they load right up. The entire show is worthwile to listen to beacause he interviews Coleen Rowley in hour 1 while she is in a van with 17 other activists on their long drive back to Minnesota from their D.C. protest yesterday about Wikileaks and Manning etc....
More from the interview with Ellsberg:
Ellsberg:I think it's an appropriate choice for somebody to make. It's not that they're obliged to be willing to do that so much. That's something a person has to decide for themselves very much. But I certainly think that when so many lives are at stake as in these wars or the new wars that may be coming at us, as in Yemen or even Pakistan, that to try to avert those is appropriate and to shorten them when they're clearly hopeless and dangerous, as in Afghanistan.
FRIEDMAN: Well, Dan, is there a difference ...
ELLSBERG: It's worth one's own life to try to avert that.
ELLSBERG: By the way, if you want to hear an example of a leak that was, in fact, harmful, I would say that the leak by the White House by Rove and Libby and Cheney of Valerie Plame's name earlier, as revealed in the movie Fair Game around now. There's an example of a very harmful leak. She was involved in something that was worth doing, which was tracking and averting proliferation of nuclear materials. It had to be secret, her identity had to be secret to do that. And that was in our interest. And for them to reveal that was extremely irresponsible on their part.
Friedman:But I want to get in a quick question or two here about Assange. He's been called a terrorist by a lot of folks. Sarah Palin has gone so far as to say that he and WikiLeaks should be targeted like a terrorist organization, like Al-Qaeda, which presumably means he should be assassinated. When you hear that, and when you hear the charges now that he's wanted for rape all of a sudden in Sweden, is any of that familiar to you and what you had to deal with in 1971?
ELLSBERG: Oh, you are talking to someone here, me, who has had these same charges and same accusations and the same operations, actually, directed at me. Look at the most extreme of those, the possibility of assassination, which several politicians are actually calling for, or kidnapping.
FRIEDMAN: Was that done to you in the seventies?
ELLSBERG: Nixon actually sent, through Coulson and Libby and Hunt, a bunch of CIA assets, so-called, Cuban emigres from the Bay of Pigs, as a White House hit squad against me, directly. With orders to incapacitate me on the steps of the Pentagon as I was in a rally May 3, 1972. So anyone who says there's no danger to Assange of that happening is wrong. There is danger. It should be zero and it isn't. I don't say that it's necessarily very high. But charges of, very terrible charges. Treason. Of course, he's not an American, but charges made of Bradley Manning, who is. Bradley Manning is not a traitor any more than I was. I'm sure from what I've read that he in fact is very patriotic, as I was. And indeed the charge of treason in our country, in our Constitution, requires aid and comfort to an enemy with whom you adhere. And adherence to an enemy to the disadvantage of the United States. I don't think Bradley Manning or I intended at all to be disadvantageous to the United States. Quite the contrary. To do things, as I've said, to reveal truths that would reduce the danger that our policies are subjecting Americans to. And Bradley Manning, I'm sure, does not adhere to the Taliban or to al-Qaeda any more than I adhered to the Viet Cong, which was zero. So that charge is ignorant, let's say, of what the term means in America.
FRIEDMAN: He may be brought up, however, by a military tribunal because he's in the military, rather than in civilian court...
ELLSBERG: He broke regulations, just as I broke regulations when I revealed [the Pentagon Papers]. Now in his case, those regulations have the force of military law because the President can make criminal law for members of the armed services. He can't do that, actually. The law isn't just what the President says for civilians, as we're seeing now, we don't have an Official Secrets Act. And although I thought we did at the time and I thought I was violating it, in fact we didn't. And don't. And I was mistaken that I was actually breaking a law at that time. And the people who say that Julian Assange or even Bradley Manning, were he a civilian, were clearly breaking the law, are wrong. They can get prosecuted as I was prosecuted, but I was the very first person ever prosecuted and there have only been a handful since, since the law which is used in those charges is very questionably rightly applied in that case.
I highly rec listening to the Coleen Rowley interview as well.
I would like to repost this video from CNN with a piece of the interview transcribed:
DON LEMON: You really think we --- and I'll say we, I'm a journalist --- you really think we have it wrong and that he [Assange] is actually not a pariah and we should be praising him and following his lead rather than calling him a pariah?
RAY MCGOVERN: Yeah, actually, with all due respect, I think you should be following his example. Seek out the secrets. Find out why it is that my tax-payer money is going to fund trafficked young boys performing dances in women's clothing before the Afghan security forces who we are recruiting to take over after we leave. Take a look at the documents and see the abhorrent activities that our government has endorsed or done through its contractors. And then tell me you don't think the Americans can handle that. Well I think they can handle it. But they can't handle it if they don't have it.
Now, Brad Friedman had an 1 1/2 hour phone call with Don Lemon about that interview and Lemon said that asking if Assange is a terrorist is correct because some people are saying that. So, if you are a propagandist, CNN will repeat whatever you say because, well, someone said it. Lemon asked that the rest of his conversation with Brad remain private. No kidding.
Basic links you should have been clicking on for weeks now:
Dec. 18th cables
Dec. 17th cables - When I posted yesterday, they did not have the dates for the 17th right so I am including them here.
unofficial Wikileaks information thread
Greg Mitchell's Wikileaks blog at The Nation
Guardian's cable page
Speaking of government falsehoods: military officials have predictably begun attacking my article reporting on the conditions of Manning's detention -- they also sent a statement during my MSNBC interview yesterday claiming there were "inaccuracies" in what I wrote -- but they do not, and cannot, identify any inaccuracies, because there were none. Yesterday, The Guardian described in its headline: "Bradley Manning's health deteriorating in jail, supporters say," while The Daily Beast yesterday published an article containing an interview with Manning's lawyer, David Coombs, which confirms every key fact I reported
What's new you ask?
WikiLeaks cables: UN offered Robert Mugabe a lucrative retirement overseas
and, oh yeah........
BoA will stop processing Wikileaks payments
Very strange indeed no? Wikileaks respond via Twitter:
Dos your business do business with Bank Of America? Our advise is to place your funds somewhere safer.
UN mulls internet regulation
"At a meeting in New York on Wednesday, representatives from Brazil called for an international body made up of Government representatives that would attempt to create global standards for policing the internet - specifically in reaction to challenges such as WikiLeaks," wrote IT News.
He is not allowed to have pillows or sheets
PFC Manning is held in his cell for approximately 23 hours a day.
The guards are required to check on PFC Manning every five minutes by asking him if he is okay. PFC Manning is required to respond in some affirmative manner. At night, if the guards cannot see PFC Manning clearly, because he has a blanket over his head or is curled up towards the wall, they will wake him in order to ensure he is okay.
He receives each of his meals in his cell.
He is not allowed to have a pillow or sheets. However, he is given access to two blankets and has recently been given a new mattress that has a built-in pillow.
He is not allowed to have any personal items in his cell.
He is only allowed to have one book or one magazine at any given time to read in his cell. The book or magazine is taken away from him at the end of the day before he goes to sleep.
He is prevented from exercising in his cell. If he attempts to do push-ups, sit-ups, or any other form of exercise he will be forced to stop.
Pfizer targeted Nigerian attorney video and transcript at the link. Snips:
Diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks show the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer hired investigators to find evidence of corruption against the Nigerian attorney general to pressure him to drop a $6 billion lawsuit over fraudulent drug tests on Nigerian children. Researchers did not obtain signed consent forms, and medical personnel said Pfizer did not tell parents their children were getting the experimental drug. Eleven children died, and others suffered disabling injuries including deafness, muteness, paralysis, brain damage, loss of sight, slurred speech. We speak to Washington Post reporter Joe Stephens, who helped break the story in 2000, and Musikilu Mojeed, a Nigerian journalist who has worked on this story for the NEXT newspaper in Lagos.
Peter Singer on Wikileaks
Some of the leaked cables are just opinion, and not much more than gossip about national leaders. But, because of the leak, we know, for example, that when the British government set up its supposedly open inquiry into the causes of the Iraq war, it also promised the US government that it would "put measures in place to protect your interests". The British government appears to have been deceiving the public and its own parliament.
Similarly, the cables reveal that President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen lied to his people and parliament about the source of US airstrikes against al-Qaida in Yemen, telling them that Yemen's military was the source of the bombs.
We have also learned more about the level of corruption in some of the regimes that the US supports, like those in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and in other countries with which the US has friendly relations, notably Russia. We now know that the Saudi royal family has been urging the US to undertake a military attack on Iran to prevent it from becoming capable of producing nuclear weapons. Here, perhaps, we learned something for which the US government deserves credit: it has resisted that suggestion.
Knowledge is generally considered a good thing; so, presumably, knowing more about how the US thinks and operates around the world is also good. In a democracy, citizens pass judgment on their government, and if they are kept in the dark about what their government is doing, they cannot be in a position to make well-grounded decisions. Even in non-democratic countries, people have a legitimate interest in knowing about actions taken by the government.
Glenn Greenwald notes: Joe Biden v. Joe Biden - with videos at the link:
MITCHELL: This is Vice President Joe Biden, who told me that the leaked cables created no substantive damage -- only embarrassment . . . .
BIDEN: And I came in [to the U.N.] almost all to embraces - it wasn't just shaking hands - I know these guys, I know these women - they still trust the United States - there's all kinds of --
MITCHELL: So there's no damage?
BIDEN: I don't think there's any damage. I don't think there's any substantive damage, no. Look, some of the cables are embarrassing . . . but nothing that I'm aware of that goes to the essence of the relationship that would allow another nation to say: "they lied to me, we don't trust them, they really are not dealing fairly with us."
"This guy has done things that have damaged and put in jeopardy the lives and occupations of other parts of the world. He's made it more difficult for us to conduct our business with our allies and our friends. For example, in my meetings -- you know I meet with most of these world leaders -- there is a desire to meet with me alone, rather than have staff in the room: it makes things more cumbersome -- so it has done damage."
Committee to Protect Journalists urges U.S. to not prosecute Julian Assange. A bit of it:
On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee held hearings on the implications of prosecuting Assange under the 1917 Espionage Act. We believe that such a prosecution could encourage the government to assert legal theories applying equally to all news media, which would be highly dangerous to the public interest. History shows that Congress didn't intend the law to apply to news reporting. Over nearly a century, the government has refrained from using the act against the media. To reverse these long-standing positions would threaten grave damage to the First Amendment's protections of free speech and the press.
As CPJ seeks to defend freedom of expression and the safety and rights of journalists around the world, we find that by far the largest share of imprisoned journalists are jailed on antistate charges, including publishing information that governments deem secret. In the past, we have been proud to point to the United States as a place where journalists may not be jailed because they published something that offends government officials. It would be an incalculable loss to freedom everywhere if America lost its role as a shining example, and authoritarian governments abroad could say they were only doing what the United States was doing in jailing reporters or editors for what they published.
CPJ urges the Justice Department to protect freedom of speech and the press, along with the country's global reputation as a beacon of those values, by standing back from any prosecution of WikiLeaks or Assange for publishing classified documents.
NYTimes Mag article from today about Tor and how Wikileaks uses it and, well, just what Tor is:
As Appelbaum put it: "Even though the government has a monopoly on violence, violence cannot solve math problems."
Videos you should watch over and over:
Doc in full
AlJazeera English interview
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."
Rep. John Conyers hearing on Wikileaks, the Espionage Act, and the Constitution. I know, it's over 3hours. I've watched it twice so, don't cry to me, Mr.! Thomas Blanton yesterday at the hearing:
You are not safer in the dark. You don't hide your vulnerabilities, you expose them. Then you fix them.
Previous diaries that have great info not only in the diaries but in the comments: (where are you shenderson?!)
Wikileaks Informationthread 9
Wikileaks Informationthread 8
Wikileaks Informationthread 7
Wikileaks Livethread 6
Wikileaks Livethread 5
Wikileaks Livethread 4
Wikileaks Livethread 33 1/3
Wikileaks Livethread 2 1/2
Assange, Wikileaks and some facts so far Pt. 2
Assange, Wikileaks and some facts so far
US Constitution Article 1, Section 9, Clause 3 No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
Near v. Minnesota
Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697 (1931), was a United States Supreme Court decision that recognized the freedom of the press by roundly rejecting prior restraints on publication, a principle that was applied to free speech generally in subsequent jurisprudence. The Court ruled that a Minnesota law that targeted publishers of "malicious" or "scandalous" newspapers violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (as applied through the Fourteenth Amendment). Legal scholar and columnist Anthony Lewis called Near the Court's "first great press case."
It was later a key precedent in New York Times Co. v. United States (1971), in which the Court ruled against the Nixon administration's attempt to enjoin publication of the Pentagon Papers.
New York Times Co. v. United States
New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971), was a United States Supreme Court per curiam decision. The ruling made it possible for the New York Times and Washington Post newspapers to publish the then-classified Pentagon Papers without risk of government censure.
President Richard Nixon had claimed executive authority to force the Times to suspend publication of classified information in its possession. The question before the court was whether the constitutional freedom of the press under the First Amendment was subordinate to a claimed Executive need to maintain the secrecy of information. The Supreme Court ruled that First Amendment did protect the New York Times' right to print said materials.
As Assange told Time: "It is not our goal to achieve a more transparent society; it's our goal to achieve a more just society."
Please dig in and spread some good info in the comments!
Thanks to everyone. On a day that will be historic, I am proud of the people who fought and fight for LGBT issues. Human rights is not dead yet!!!
As always: For I.F. Stone and Bradley Manning
Thank you to geomoo for this article by Michael Brenner at the Huffingtonpost -no for real, read it. Snips:
Most striking is the unstated but pervasive belief that the United States is wiser, more skillful and dedicated than anybody else. Therefore, it is natural that America rules the roost. Our serial failures of judgment and action, at home as well as abroad, have left not a trace of modesty on our conduct. That hubris has a number of practical meanings: One is the conviction that Washington should set the policy direction for allies and friends, jerk them back into line when they show a tendency to stray or are unresponsive to American leads, and cultivate a corps of informers and helpmates from among the native elites....
A second manifestation is the disparagement of anyone else's opinion. In the hundred or so cables and excerpts that I've looked at, I have yet to find one instance of a visiting Assistant or Under Secretary of State or resident Ambassador seeking out interpretations or assessments of situations -- much less encouraging their interlocutors to offer policy advice. The sole aim of these meetings seemingly is to test their foreign counterparts' fidelity to the Washington line and to sniff out any dangerous deviations....
Another cardinal feature of the prevailing American attitude, about which we exhibit no self awareness, is the reflex to divide foreigners into the two categories of "pro-American" or "anti-American."...
A third feature of the American mindset is set in stark relief by the Wikileak cables. It is the identity in our officials' minds of the American national interest with the world's interest. In instance after instance, they declare the cavalier premise that Washington's foreign policy serves the well-being of the international community. Indeed, any other worldview that does not accept this premise is illegitimate -- selfish and dangerous, too....
There is another singular feature of how the United States sees itself that takes shape as we read these cables. It is the extraordinary sense of entitlement. An entitlement endowed by 9/11. It hallows all those other characteristic American traits with a robe of righteousness. Our unique virtue, our superior wisdom, our mission to save the world, our right to judge and to proclaim, our authority to set new rules or to break old ones -- all is rendered true and just by the calamity that we have endured. America feels that it has found in 9/11 a diplomatic ace that wittingly or not matches the Israelis' use of the Holocaust. It is not at all clear, though, that it serves us well.