ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, in an interview with PBS, raises the question of whether Wikileaks is being manipulated in order to complicate U.S. relationships with other governments.
The longtime national security expert said that "I think the most serious issues are not those which are getting the headlines right now. Who cares if Berlusconi is described as a clown. Most Italians agree with that. Who cares if Putin is described as an alpha dog? He probably is flattered by it. The real issue is, who is feeding Wikipedia on this issue — Wiki — Wiki — Wikileaks on this issue? They’re getting a lot of information which seems trivial, inconsequential, but some of it seems surprisingly pointed. …The very pointed references to Arab leaders could have as their objective undermining their political credibility at home, because this kind of public identification of their hostility towards Iran could actually play against them at home.
"It’s, rather, a question of whether Wikileaks are being manipulated by interested parties that want to either complicate our relationship with other governments or want to undermine some governments, because some of these items that are being emphasized and have surfaced are very pointed.
"And I wonder whether, in fact, there aren’t some operations internationally, intelligence services, that are feeding stuff to WikiLeaks, because it is a unique opportunity to embarrass us, to embarrass our position, but also to undermine our relations with particular governments."
Brzezinski, who served Jimmy Carter as national security adviser, has a point, but I wonder whether his idea of motive is all that simple.
Vice President Joe Biden today likened Assange to a "hi-tech terrorist," the strongest criticism yet from the Obama administration, reports the Guardian.
Biden told Meet the Press that by leaking diplomatic cables Assange had put lives at risk and made it more difficult for the U.S. to conduct its business around the world.
His description of Assange shows a level of irritation that contrasts with more sanguine comments from other senior figures in the White House, who said the leak had not done serious damage.
The justice department is struggling to find legislation with which to prosecute Assange in attempt to overcome the First Amendment that forbids Congress from making a law to abridge press freedom.
Asked if what Assange had done was criminal, Biden seemed to suggest it would be considered criminal if it could be established that the WikiLeaks founder had encouraged or helped Bradley Manning, the US intelligence analyst suspected of being behind the leak. Biden claimed this was different from a journalist receiving leaked material.
Biden, like others, is demonizing Assange while the security system responsible for the bizarre lapse gets a pass. If Assange is a "high-tech terrorist," we would then face the possibility of intelligence units in or outside America being responsible for this "terrorism."
The lid has lifted from police statements concerning Assange's sex episodes. This from the Guardian:
[Miss A's] account to police, which Assange disputes, stated that he began stroking her leg as they drank tea, before he pulled off her clothes and snapped a necklace that she was wearing. According to her statement she “tried to put on some articles of clothing as it was going too quickly and uncomfortably but Assange ripped them off again”. Miss A told police that she didn’t want to go any further “but that it was too late to stop Assange as she had gone along with it so far”, and so she allowed him to undress her.
According to the statement, Miss A then realised he was trying to have unprotected sex with her. She told police that she had tried a number of times to reach for a condom but Assange had stopped her by holding her arms and pinning her legs. The statement records Miss A describing how Assange then released her arms and agreed to use a condom, but she told the police that at some stage Assange had “done something” with the condom that resulted in it becoming ripped, and ejaculated without withdrawing.
We certainly can see why the Swedish prosecutor moved to drop the case. And it seems quite evident that her superior's decision to reinstate the case came as a result of political pressure.
A Wikileaks mirror site tells of getting the bum's rush based on false claims.
This is Wikileaks.info's report:
On Tuesday, 14-Dec-2010 Spamhaus has issued a statement wherein it labels wikileaks.info as "unsafe", as they consider our hosting company as a malware facilitator:
We find it very disturbing that Spamhaus labels a site as dangerous without even checking if there is any malware on it. We monitor the wikileaks.info site and we can guarantee that there is no malware on it. We do not know who else is hosted with Heihachi Ltd and it is none of our business. They provide reliable hosting to us. That's it.
While we are in favour of "Blacklists", be it for mail servers or web sites, they have to be compiled with care. Just listing whole IP blocks as "bad" may be quick and easy for the blacklist editors, but will harm hosters and web site users.
Wikileaks has been pulled from big hosters like Amazon. That's why we are using a "bulletproof" hoster that does not just kick a site when it gets a letter from government or a big company. Our hoster is giving home to many political sites like castor-schottern.org and should not be blocked just because they might have hosted some malware sites.
Fortunately, more responsible blacklists, like stopbadware.org (which protects the Firefox browser, for example), don't list us. We do hope that Spamhaus hasn't issued this statement due to political pressure.
Wikileaks.info will always be safe and clean. Promised:
Google Safe Browsing Check for wikileaks.info
Update (15-Dec-2010 17:00 PM GMT): Spamhaus has updated their statement to say that they don't blacklist us.
Update 2 (20-Dec-2010 8:00 AM GMT): In another statement update on 18-Dec-2010, Spamhaus states that they have been DDOSed by Anonops and they link us to Anonops. Spamhaus is wrong there again, we are in now way linked to Anonops. A day later (19-Dec-2010), Spamhaus corrects itself by now saying that Anonops was not DDOSing them. They now think it was Heihachi Ltd. (which is our hosting provider). We don't know if that is true or not, but Spamhaus seems to be very fast at pointing at somebody without proof. Bottomline: We are a group that supports Wikileaks with no connection to cybercriminals.
The wikileaks.info Team
Apple on Tuesday confirmed that it had removed from its online store an iPhone and iPad app that let users view the content on the WikiLeaks site and follow the WikiLeaks Twitter account, the New York Times reports.
Trudy Muller, an Apple spokeswoman, said the company had removed the app “because it violated our developer guidelines.” Muller added: “Apps must comply with all local laws and may not put an individual or group in harm’s way.”
So by that reasoning Apple should block New York Times and Guardian related app. Correct? Governments have been saying for years that news organizations put people in harm's way. By the way, don't app-rigged cell phones put people in harm's way, increasing the probabilities of traffic accidents?
This is all about the profit-oriented system going after someone who doesn't worship at the altar of Mammon, but who exercises freedom of the press as an activist, without asking the system's permission.
'Secret accord' between Israel, U.S. for settlement growth. Here's the cable:
VZCZCXRO5810 OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL DE RUEHFR #0827 1731354 ZNY SSSSS ZZH O 221354Z JUN 09 FM AMEMBASSY PARIS TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6494 INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
S E C R E T PARIS 000827 NOFORN SIPDIS NSC FOR SHAPIRO/KUMAR LONDON FOR TSOU E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/22/2019 TAGS: PGOV PREL FR SUBJECT: FRANCE MID-EAST DIRECTOR ON PEACE PROCESS Classified By: Acting Political Minister Counselor Andrew R. Young for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). Â¶1. (S/NF) MFA Middle East Director (Assistant Secretary-equivalent) Patrice Paoli informed POL Minister Counselor June 18 that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told French officials in Paris June 15 that the Israelis have a "secret accord" with the USG to continue the "natural growth" of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Paoli noted that the French anticipate strong Israeli resistance to USG pressure on this issue. He asked whether the USG has considered how to adapt to possible Israeli responses: "How will you react to Israeli reactions to your pressure?" He claimed that "the credibility of President Obama will be judged on the issue of settlements." MFA DAS Ludovic Pouille, who also attended the meeting, underlined this point: "Arabs are saying progress on settlements is crucial. Saudi Arabia and Egypt seem obsessed with the settlements issue; they won't even enter the game without progress on settlements." Paoli added that "negotiations can wait until the fall, but steps forward cannot wait until then." Both diplomats emphasized the need to build confidence measures on the ground now. Â¶2. (S/NF) In stressing the energy with which the GOF plans to approach the peace process, Paoli said that France will not wait until all 27 EU members are in agreement before pressing ahead with their support of USG efforts. Pouille said the French can play an important role on "two key issues": working toward a settlements freeze and monitoring the implementation of an eventual agreement. By leaning on other countries in the European Union and within the Quartet to bring their resources to bear ("their diplomatic presence, their networks"), Paoli said that France hopes to contribute to pressing the parties forward as quickly as possible. Pouille stressed monitoring in particular, which he described as "a big hole at the Annapolis conference." He argued that "the US cannot be the only judge" of progress. Â¶3. (S/NF) Paoli explained that President Sarkozy will have three messages to convey to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu when they meet in Paris on June 24: -- "You think you've got time, but you don't." -- "You think you have an alternative solution, but you don't." -- "You think you're stronger than the Palestinians, but you're not." Paoli said that Sarkozy will stress that "there is a single door and it is imperative to move through it now." Paoli and Pouille both expressed disappointment with the reservations contained in Netanyahu's June 14 speech, but noted that it nonetheless reflected significant movement in the Likud position regarding a Palestinian state. "It's not easy to reverse a campaign promise two months after the campaign," Paoli observed. They also said that President Obama's address in Cairo was extremely well received in France and in the Arab world. "It was a speech, though, and it was a received as a speech," Pouille said. "The reaction in the Arab world was: 'Now do it.'" PEKALA