Saturday, January 15, 2011

Assange: Wikileaks timing "no coincidence"

Published on 15 January 2011 - 9:20pm

It is "no coincidence" that Wikileaks have given a Dutch television station access to cables from the US embassy in The Hague while Dutch MPs consider whether or not to back a police training mission to Afghanistan.

In an interview with the NOS, Wikileaks frontman Julian Assange said he believes the Netherlands should make an informed choice about participation in the NATO police training mission.

"MPs are about to vote in parliament and if there is relevant material, it has to come out before they do."

Full Story Here

Tunisia: WikiLeaks had a part in Ben Ali’s downfall

Obama welcomes Tunisians’ courage and dignity - but what about the WikiLeaks contribution?

By Nigel Horne LAST UPDATED 11:24 AM, JANUARY 15, 2011

Have we just witnessed the first WikiLeaks-inspired revolution? It is clear that leaked cables from the US Ambassador in Tunis, describing the opulent lifestyle of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali's family and the public loathing for his wife, Leila Trabelsi, played an important role in firing up the nation's disaffected youth.

Spreading the word via Twitter and Facebook, young Tunisians felt encouraged in their protests by the fact that the corruption inside the presidential palace at Carthage, and throughout Ben Ali's extended family, was now common knowledge.

As the New York Times reported from Tunis yesterday, the WikiLeaks cables added "grist" to the protesters' complaints.

Full Story Here

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange fights back- CNN News Report: Video

Julian Assange expresses disappointment in the Pentagon's handling of the Afghanistan war documents leak.

Exclusive Julian Assange Interview With Cenk Uygur (12/22/10): Video

Cenk Uygur (host of The Young Turks) interviewed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on MSNBC.

Julian Assange on the Afghanistan war logs - They show the true nature of this war

Here is a video of Julian Assange talking about Afghanistan.

The War on WikiLeaks : Pilger's investigation and interview with Julian Assange

by John Pilger, January 15, 2011

The attacks on WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, are a response to an information revolution that threatens old power orders, in politics and journalism. The incitement to murder trumpeted by public figures in the United States, together with attempts by the Obama administration to corrupt the law and send Assange to a hell hole prison for the rest of his life, are the reactions of a rapacious system exposed as never before.

In recent weeks, the US Justice Department has established a secret grand jury just across the river from Washington in the eastern district of the state of Virginia. The object is to indict Julian Assange under a discredited espionage act used to arrest peace activists during the first world war, or one of the "war on terror" conspiracy statutes that have degraded American justice. Judicial experts describe the jury as a "deliberate set up," pointing out that this corner of Virginia is home to the employees and families of the Pentagon, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, and other pillars of American power.

"This is not good news," Assange told me when we spoke this past week, his voice dark and concerned. He says he can have "bad days – but I recover."

Chairman King: Treasury should 'explain' itself on WikiLeaks

By Sara Jerome - 01/14/11 03:21 PM ET

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) called on the Treasury Department on Friday to explain why it will not place sanctions on WikiLeaks, barring U.S. corporations from doing business with the organization and its founder.

The comments come after the Treasury Department said it currently lacks the evidence necessary to take that action. In response, King listed what he saw as harms caused by WikiLeaks.

Full Story Here

Treasury Department refuses to add WikiLeaks to blacklist

by Jason Smith

With WikiLeaks publishing even more secret US cables, US Rep Peter King of New York may have had his hopes dashed when the Treasury Department refused to blacklist it.

Through the entire WikiLeaks saga, it seems to some that the non-profit has been one step ahead of governments. Assange, while detained, is out on bail through generous donations, he already has a book offer, Sweden has thus failed to extradite him, and the US government is scrambling come up with something, in fact anything, on which to charge him. In addition, WikiLeaks hasn't stopped what it seems to do best, publish.

Full Story Here

Friday, January 14, 2011

Trailer Park Resident Sues WikiLeaks, Julian Assange for $150M in Miami Court

By Kyle Munzenrieder, Fri., Jan. 14 2011 @ 4:54PM

Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are currently knees deep in a heap of legal concerns. And their latest, and most ridiculous, comes from a Florida man named David Pitchford who has sued the organization and it's figurehead for emotional distress. Pitchford, who lists a Key West trailer park as his address but also claims to be a resident of Miami, is seeking $150 million in damages and claims he is now in a constant state of fear over the possibility of "nucliar war" [sic] because of Assange's actions.

Full Story Here

For lonely teenager Assange, a computer was his only friend

Adrian Lowe January 15, 2011

''HE WOULD be bullied and the only real saviour in life … was this computer. His mother, in fact, encouraged him to use the computer and at some stage she realised that it had become an addictive instrument to him at a very early age.''

A 1996 court case in Melbourne - details of which were released for the first time yesterday - reveal the beginnings of Julian Assange's fascination with the power of computers.

Now 39, the WikiLeaks co-founder is one the world's unlikeliest celebrities, after taking on the US government by releasing hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables.
Advertisement: Story continues below

He is now in London awaiting extradition proceedings to Sweden to answer rape charges.

Full Story Here

Twitter, Wikileaks and the Broken Market for Consumer Privacy

By Barton Gellman on January 14, 2011

Federal prosecutors want to indict Julian Assange for making public a great many classified documents. In December the feds obtained a secret order instructing Twitter to hand over private account contents for Assange and four Wikileaks associates, including network addresses, connection logs, credit card information and identities of everyone they talked to. The order forbade Twitter to notify those affected, among them Birgitta Jónsdóttir, a member of Iceland's parliament.

Full Story Here

Date set for Assange hearing in UK

Last Modified: 11 Jan 2011 14:59 GMT

WikiLeaks' founder to face full hearing on February 7 over Swedish request for his extradition for alleged sex crimes.

A UK court has set a date next month for WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange to appear for a full hearing over Sweden's efforts to extradite him for questioning over alleged sex crimes.

Assange briefly appeared at London's Belmarsh Magistrates' Court on Tuesday where a date of February 7 was decided for the full hearing where lawyers will draw the battle lines in his fight to avoid extradition.

Speaking outside the court, Assange promised to hasten the release of additional US diplomatic cables and data that have infuriated Washington.

"Our work with WikiLeaks continues unabated and we are stepping up our publishing for matters related to cablegate and other materials. Those will shortly be appearing through our newspaper partners around the world," Assange said.

Full Story Here

Assange 'faces death penalty' in US

Last Modified: 12 Jan 2011 12:53 GMT

Lawyers for WikiLeaks' founder say he could face death penalty or torture if he is extradited to the US via Sweden.

Defence attorneys for Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has said he could end up facing the death penalty in the US if the UK extradites him to Sweden, where he is accused of sex crimes.

The lawyers fear that Sweden will in turn hand him over to the US.

Following Assange's appearance in a London court on Tuesday, his attorneys published an outline of the defence he will use at a full extradition hearing scheduled for February 7.

"There is a real risk that, if extradited to Sweden, the US will seek his extradition and/or illegal rendition to the USA, where there will be a real risk of him being detained at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere" according to a legal memo on the website of the law firm Finers Stephens Innocent.

"Indeed, if Mr Assange were rendered to the USA, without assurances that the death penalty would not be carried out, there is a real risk that he could be made subject to the death penalty."

Full Story Here

Blacklisting WikiLeaks

Wendy Kaminer Jan 13 2011, 4:15 PM ET

Peter King, Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, wants WikiLeaks placed on the Treasury Department's blacklist in order to "strangle (its) viability," by threatening, if not strangling, the viability of any person or company that dares to engage in any economic transaction with WikiLeaks or Assange. Conducting business, or providing any economic assistance to a blacklisted entity, even unknowingly, no matter how trivial, is a violation of federal law, for which you too may be blacklisted, losing access to all your property and interests in the U.S.

King is especially incensed that an American publisher, Knopf, has entered into a book deal with Assange (who is reportedly receiving over a million dollars for his memoir); and if he is now blacklisted, you could conceivably break the law merely by buying his book, or contributing to a WikiLeaks defense fund. In other words, King is not simply targeting Assange and Wikileaks; he is targeting all of us -- every American citizen and company. In his view, even a paying consumer of information and ideas from WIkiLeaks or Assange is collaborating in terrorism.

Full Story Here

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Some rally behind soldier accused in WikiLeaks case

By Scott Shane New York Times
Posted: 01/13/2011 06:10:43 PM PST
Updated: 01/13/2011 06:10:43 PM PST

WASHINGTON -- Julian Assange, the flamboyant founder of WikiLeaks, is living on a supporter's 600-acre estate outside London, where he has negotiated $1.7 million in book deals and regularly issues defiant statements about the anti-secrecy group's plans.

Meanwhile, the young soldier accused of leaking the secret documents that brought WikiLeaks and Assange to fame and notoriety is locked in a tiny cell at the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia. Pfc. Bradley Manning, who turned 23 last month in the military prison, is accused of the biggest leak of classified documents in U.S. history. He awaits trial on charges that could put him in prison for 52 years, according to the Army.

Even as members of Congress denounce both men's actions as criminal, the Justice Department still is looking for a charge it can press against Assange, demanding from Twitter the account records, credit card numbers and bank account information of several of his associates. Legal experts say there are many obstacles to a prosecution of the WikiLeaks founder, but one approach under consideration is to link the two men in a conspiracy to disclose classified material.

Accusations from supporters that Manning is being mistreated, perhaps to pressure him to testify against Assange, have rallied many on the political left to his defense. The assertions have even drawn the attention of the U.S. special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, who said he had submitted a formal inquiry about the soldier's treatment to the State Department.

Full Story Here

I've got secret files on Murdoch as 'insurance', claims Assange

By Ian Burrell, Media Editor Thursday, 13 January 2011

A year that has begun badly for Rupert Murdoch grew a little worse yesterday after the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, claimed to be in possession of secret documents damaging to the media mogul and his News Corp empire.

Mr Assange told John Pilger in the New Statesman he had withheld a cache of confidential US government cables and files relating to Mr Murdoch's business as "insurance". He has claimed that his life is in danger if he is extradited to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault.

He said to Pilger, a fellow Australian and one of his prominent British-based supporters: "If something happens to me or to WikiLeaks, 'insurance' files will be released."

Full Story Here

Assange Blasts Great Firewall


WikiLeaks boss finds China's Internet controls 'biggest impediment.'

The founder of the WikiLeaks whistleblowing website, Julian Assange, hit out at Beijing's aggressive censorship of the Internet in a media interview on Thursday.

Assange, an Australian hacker who sparked fury in Washington with the release of a slew of leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, said China is the "technological enemy" of WikiLeaks, because it is so hard to ensure access to the site from behind tight Web controls.

His lawyers say there are moves afoot to ensure Assange, 39, is sent to the United States, where he could face punishment over the leaks.

Full Story Here

WikiLeaks' Assange: China is our real enemy

By Michael Holden Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:22pm EST

* WikiLeaks' Assange: Fighting "running battle with China"
* Website has "insurance" files on Murdoch and News Corp.
* U.S. using jailed Manning to make criminal case--Assange

LONDON, Jan 12 (Reuters) - China is the worst state offender in terms of censorship but WikiLeaks is getting past its attempts to restrict access, the website's founder Julian Assange said in an interview published on Wednesday.

Assange, whose website has angered and embarrassed Washington by releasing confidential U.S. diplomatic cables, said China was the main technological enemy of WikiLeaks, not the United States.

"China has aggressive and sophisticated interception technology that places itself between every reader inside China and every information source outside China," Assange told Britain's New Statesman magazine.

"We've been fighting a running battle to make sure we can get information through and there are now all sorts of ways Chinese readers can get on to our site," he said in extracts of the interview published on the magazine's website.

U.S. officials have been examining whether criminal charges can be brought against Assange since WikiLeaks began publishing the cables. He again denied working with Bradley Manning, a U.S. Army intelligence analyst suspected of leaking the files.

Full Story Here

WikiLeaks condemns GOP embargo call

By Gautham Nagesh - 01/13/11 03:08 PM ET

WikiLeaks is denouncing the Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security committee for calling for an embargo on the group.

Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, accused Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), the panel's chairman, of seeking an embargo "on the truth" with his call for a ban on WikiLeaks from doing business in the U.S.

"King wants to put a Cuban style trade embargo around the truth—forced on US citizens at the point of a gun," Assange said in a release dated Jan. 12.

Assange called WikiLeaks, which has released thousands of classified U.S. military and diplomatic documents, a "publishing organization" and insisted the site has not hurt anyone with its publications.

Full Story Here

NY Rep. Asks Treasury to Blacklist Wikileaks' Assange

By Kenneth Corbin January 13, 2011

A prominent House lawmaker is ratcheting up pressure on the Obama administration to take action against Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange.

In a letter delivered this week, Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, asked Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to add Assange to the department's Specially Designated National and Blocked Persons List, or SDN List, a move that would prohibit U.S. businesses and individuals from doing business with the whistleblower site or anyone associated with it.

The SDN List is a registry maintained by Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control that seeks to impose sanctions against individuals and companies associated with targeted foreign countries, or independent entities that have been identified as criminal operations, such as terrorists or drug traffickers.

Full Story Here

Assange fears of trial in US justified, says expert

By Kim Sengupta and Jerome Taylor Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Julian Assange's claim in court yesterday that extradition to Sweden is the first step to him facing the death penalty in the US may have seemed like a melodramatic gambit, but there is every indication that moves are under way to bring charges against him in America.

The latest sign of an investigation by the US Justice Department gathering pace has been a subpoena demanding the Twitter account details of Mr Assange and several other people associated with WikiLeaks. The aim, it is believed, is to establish that Mr Assange had conspired with Private First Class Bradley Manning to gather and leak hundreds of thousands of classified US State Department cables.

Full Story Here

WikiLeaks' Assange signs deal to tell life story

(AFP) – 6 days ago

LONDON — Julian Assange, the founder of the WikiLeaks website, said Friday he had signed a book deal to tell his life story and expressed hope it would be "one of the unifying documents of our generation".

Edinburgh-based Canongate Books said it had acquired world rights -- apart from North America where the publisher will be Alfred A. Knopf -- to the whistleblower's autobiography.

It will be published in Britain in April.

Assange, who is on bail in Britain facing extradition proceedings to Sweden on charges of sexual assault, has overseen the release of thousands of US diplomatic cables on the WikiLeaks website.

Full Story Here

Sweden aims to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US - lawyer

AAP January 12, 2011 11:21PM

JULIAN Assange's lawyer in Britain has accused Swedish authorities of secretly planning to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the United States, in an interview with a German newspaper to appear on Thursday.

Lawyer Mark Stephens told the weekly Die Zeit that he believed Swedish officials were cooperating with US authorities with an eye to extraditing Assange as soon as the Americans have built a criminal case against him.

"We are hearing that the Swedish are prepared to drop the rape charges against Julian as soon as the Americans demand his extradition," he said, citing sources in Washington and Stockholm.

Stephens called the Swedish charges against his client a "holding case" to buy time until the United States can prosecute him themselves over WikiLeaks' mass release of classified US documents.

He said Assange did not believe he would receive a fair trial in Sweden which was why he was fighting his extradition from Britain.

Full Story Here