December 17, 2010

Wikileaks UPDATES (2010-12-17): The Gritty Nitty; Payment Process Usurps Due Process; Things You Can Do; Etc.

Wikilaugh: "Julian Assange to Launch Social Network for Diplomats, Twofacebook," from the excellent Borowitz Report. "Saying that he hopes to build the site into a 'portal of deceit,' Mr. Assange said, 'This will be a must-visit destination on the Internet for sworn enemies to friend each other.'"

Let's get it over with: The Guardian has a detailed account of new info re- the allegations against Assange of sexual misconduct.

The confusion as to who really chose to appeal Assange's release apparently flows from the fact that it was done in the Swedes' name, but decided upon by the Brits; see Head of Legal (a blog by a British barrister [trial lawyer] who worked for the UK for some years). The comments at the foregoing link are interesting and worrisome.

Concerns continue regarding the Wikileaks site now back up at its original URL: "the internet security firm Spamhaus yesterday warned that the site's new incarnation could be riddled with malware run by 'Russian cybercriminals.' redirects users to a mirror site – – which sits within an IP range hosted by the Russian firm Webalta." See The Guardian – although there are also concerns that these concerns could be part of a disinformation campaign. Best to go to a mirror site such as this one, instead.

Also today, Bank of America announced it will no longer process payments for Wikileaks, and I've seen a report indicating that one or more other banks may join it. (Fortunately, I moved my accounts to a credit union last year.)

Has due process become obsolete, since the oligarchs can execute you financially whenever they don't like what you're doing?

Devastating essay by Mark Weisbrot in The Guardian:

The polarisation of the debate around WikiLeaks is pretty simple, really. Of all the governments in the world, the United States government is the greatest threat to world peace and security today. This is obvious to anyone who looks at the facts with a modicum of objectivity. The Iraq war has claimed certainly hundreds of thousands, and, most likely, more than a million lives. It was completely unnecessary and unjustifiable, and based on lies. Now, Washington is moving toward a military confrontation with Iran.

As Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, pointed out in an interview recently, in the preparation for a war with Iran, we are at about the level of 1998 in the buildup to the Iraq war.

On this basis, even ignoring the tremendous harm that Washington causes to developing countries in such areas as economic development (through such institutions as the International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organisation), or climate change, it is clear that any information which sheds light on US "diplomacy" is more than useful. It has the potential to help save millions of human lives.

You either get this or you don't. Brazil's president Lula da Silva, who earned Washington's displeasure last May when he tried to help defuse the confrontation with Iran, gets it. That's why he defended and declared his "solidarity" with embattled WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, even though the leaked cables were not pleasant reading for his own government.
The rest of the piece just gets better.

There's more worthwhile news today than I have time to report, but Greg Mitchell is continuing to do a great job blogging it; today's entries are here.

If you'd like to show support for Wikileaks or Assange, here are some THINGS YOU CAN DO:
  • Discuss the events and issues with your friends. (See the left sidebar for links to more on the facts and issues, or click here.)
  • Organize a gathering to watch/discuss the Swedish documentary and other video (there's all kinds of stuff online, if you can hook your computer up to a tv or large screen).
  • Boycott Amazon, Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Bank of America and any other companies refusing to serve Wikileaks. Don't keep any money with them, buy anything from them, or use them to pay for anything. (Re- credit cards, most places accept Discover or American Express as alternatives; and Discover has the best cash-back program I'm aware of. Re- banking, you'll probably get much better service and rates from a credit union anyway. You can find ratings and other info re- local credit unions at
  • Donate to Wikileaks or to Assange's defense fund (and don't use Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, or Bank of America to do it). You can also use Flattr.
  • Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper and other media outlets, your governmental representatives, Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Bank of America, and others.
  • Help search the cables for significant information (see the left side bar for online facilities such as cablefinder or dazzlepod that offer various ways to do this easily).
  • Organize or participate in one or more protests (again, see the left sidebar for info/resources).
  • Download and share this flyer with info in support of Wikileaks.

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