December 15, 2010

Wikileaks UPDATES (2010-12-15): Manning "Tortured"; Etc.

This story just doesn't let up. Glenn Greenwald has delivered on his promise to report the inhumane conditions in which Bradly Manning is being held by US authorities. Manning's been in solitary for months, among other deprivations. Greenwald says an article in "the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law states: 'Psychological effects can include anxiety, depression, anger, cognitive disturbances, perceptual distortions, obsessive thoughts, paranoia, and psychosis. . . . When one exacerbates the harms of prolonged isolation with the other deprivations to which Manning is being subjected, long-term psychiatric and even physical impairment is likely. [The article] documents that 'EEG studies going back to the nineteen-sixties have shown diffuse slowing of brain waves in prisoners after a week or more of solitary confinement.' Medical tests conducted in 1992 on Yugoslavian prisoners subjected to an average of six months of isolation – roughly the amount to which Manning has now been subjected – 'revealed brain abnormalities months afterward; the most severe were found in prisoners who had endured either head trauma sufficient to render them unconscious or, yes, solitary confinement. Without sustained social interaction, the human brain may become as impaired as one that has incurred a traumatic injury.'" Greenwald discusses how, for decades, the US Supreme Court has recognized that prolonged solitary constitutes "torture." He concludes,

If you became aware of secret information revealing serious wrongdoing, deceit and/or criminality on the part of the U.S. Government, would you – knowing that you could and likely would be imprisoned under these kinds of repressive, torturous conditions for months on end without so much as a trial: just locked away by yourself 23 hours a day without recourse – be willing to expose it? That's the climate of fear and intimidation which these inhumane detention conditions are intended to create.
More worthwhile info at the link above. Meanwhile, Jeffrey Skilling, convicted on multiple felony counts in connection with the collapse of Enron, resides in a low security federal prison that offers pool, ping-pong or even foosball to the inmates (Wikipedia). UPDATE: The NYT is now reporting that, as I predicted, US officials hope to build a case against Assange by eliciting evidence that he actually helped Bradley Manning with the leak, so as to cast him as a conspirator rather than just a passive recipient of the material who then published it.

Greg Mitchell says one reader purporting to be a Verizon employee reports that Verizon and AT&T may be censoring news re- WL. "'It appears there's a blanket URL block for any URL containing the word "wikileaks" no matter what the context. . . . '" UPDATE: Apparently the Verizon block affected only the company's intranet service.

The hearing on the appeal of the ruling granting Assange's release on bail will take place tomorrow at 11:30 AM London time.

POSSIBLY IMPORTANT UPDATE: A source sympathetic to WL says, ", the original domain name for the cable leaking website, became active again in the US as of Dec. 11, 10 days after being terminated by their original domain name provider, EveryDNS. However, the domain now points to notably different site than the thousands of other Wikileaks mirrors, [which] continue to be updated frequently. Something about this smells strange to me – and I can’t help but personally question whether this reinstatement of service was instigated by [the US] government in an attempt to track and/or misinform. (source:"

David Love has made a case for Assange as this century's Upton Sinclair.

Tonight's cable release includes material on the BP spill – thanks, Guardian!

Time's editors have decided to ignore the will of the people and, instead of Assange, have chosen FB founder, Mark Zuckerberg, as Person of the Year. In the people's votes/ratings, Zuckerberg came in tenth with less than 5% of the number of votes that Assange had.

The NYT et al. seem to be demonstrating the unreliability of traditional media as publishers of truths inconvenient to the the powers that be; their coverage of the cables or related stories has dwindled – in The NYT's case, dramatically.

Here's an article with more details about a new WL rival, OpenLeaks.

I need to go do some other stuff now.

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