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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:08 pm 
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Assange: Text messages show rape charges were 'set up'

Spirited defense of WikiLeaks


By Dan Goodin • Register


WikiLeaks boss Julian Assange said on Friday that text messages in the possession of the Swedish government prove that rape charges against him are a set up.

“There are intercepted SMS messages between the women and each other and their friends that I'm told represents a set up,” Assange, who spoke from Suffolk, UK, said on ABC's Good Morning America. “Those SMS messages the Swedish prosecutor has refused to release and in fact stated that my lawyer, who was shown the messages by the police, is gagged from speaking about them.”

He continued:

In their representations to the courts here over three separate court dates, the Swedish government stated that it didn't need to provide a single piece of evidence to the court, in fact didn't provide a single piece of evidence to back up its allegations. We're not just talking about evidence in terms of physical objects, we're talking not even a single word of the allegations themselves.

Assange's comments come a day after he was released on £240,000 in security deposit and sureties (about $370,000) after a High Court judge rejected Swedish prosecutors' bid to keep Assange in jail while their extradition request is pending. He is now under house arrest in a 10-bedroom mansion owned by journalist and Frontline Club founding member Vaughan Smith.

The spirited defense came as smut publisher Larry Flynt said he was donating $50,000 to the WikiLeaks legal defense fund to support the mission of the whistle-blower website.

“If WikiLeaks had existed in 2003 when George W. Bush was ginning up the war in Iraq, America might not be in the horrendous situation it is today, with our troops fighting in three countries (counting Pakistan) and the consequent cost in blood and dollars,” he wrote in The Huffington Post.

Assange also told GMA that he had no contact with Pfc. Bradley Manning prior to him allegedly dumping 250,000 US State Department memos that WikiLeaks began publishing late last month.

“I had never heard of the name Bradley Manning before it was published in the press,” he said. “WikiLeaks' technology [was] designed from the very beginning to make sure that we never know the identities or names of people submitting us material. That is in the end the only way that sources can be guaranteed that they remain anonymous as far as we are concerned.”

He went on to say that “there is nothing specific that we do that encourages any sort of specific documents submitted to us.”

If true, the claims could thwart US prosecutors as. according to The New York Times they look for evidence that Assange encouraged or helped Manning to extract the classified diplomatic cables. That might open the door to Assange being tried as a conspirator in the leak, rather than a passive recipient who only published the documents.

According to the NYT, Manning “sometimes uploaded information directly to Mr. Assange, whom he had initially sought out online.

Full video available here.

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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:51 am 
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Assange concerned over 'natural justice' in Sweden

Source: BBC


Julian Assange: "There are some serious problems with the Swedish prosecution"

Julian Assange has told the BBC that he is fighting a Swedish extradition warrant because he believes "no natural justice" would occur in Sweden.

Mr Assange was speaking in an interview for the Today programme, at the mansion in East Anglia where he is staying under strict bail conditions.

The Wikileaks founder suggested the two women who have accused him of sexual assault had got into a "tizzy".

Mr Assange denies the allegations and says the case is politically motivated.

The 39-year-old is free on bail in the UK while facing the extradition proceedings to Sweden and staying in Norfolk.

Mr Assange told the BBC's John Humphrys: "I don't need to go back to Sweden.

"The law says I... have certain rights, and these rights mean that I do not need to speak to random prosecutors around the world who simply want to have a chat, and won't do it in any other standard way."

He also said the Swedish authorities had asked, as part of their extradition application, that he and his Swedish lawyer be gagged from speaking about the case.

"What is requested is that I be taken by force to Sweden and once there, be held incommunicado: That is not a circumstance under which natural justice can occur," Mr Assange said.

Mr Assange also said it was possible that the allegations against him arose from the two women going to the police for advice rather than to make a complaint.

Legal loopholes

He said "one description" of what that occurred was that after having discovered they had each been sexually involved with him, they had got into a "tizzy" about the possibility of sexually transmitted diseases, had gone to the police for advice "and then the police jumped in on this and bamboozled the women".

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“Already we see that we have changed governments”

Julian Assange Wikileaks founder

But he also said there were "other people making descriptions" that the women had deliberately abused a loophole in Swedish law, whereby if they went to the police for advice, they could not be charged with filing a false report.

The same loophole also existed for approaching the police about sexually transmitted diseases, Mr Assange said.

Wikileaks has released thousands of leaked US diplomatic cables - a move that US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said was "sabotaging peaceful relations" between countries.

But Mr Assange insisted his mission was "to promote justice through the method of transparency".

"The world has a lot of problems that need to be reformed - and we only live once," he said.

"Every person who has some ability to do something about it, if they are a person of good character, has the duty to try and fix the problems in the environment in which they're in."

Mr Assange said Wikileaks had already done a lot of good: "The gradual unfolding of the process of political reform is something that we cannot see immediately, but already we see that we have changed governments - we have certainly changed many political figures within governments.

"We have caused new law reform efforts. We have caused police investigations into the abuses we have exposed."

Asked whether the publication by Wikileaks would prevent diplomats from committing to paper their honest opinions, Mr Assange added: "No, they just have to start committing things to paper that they're proud of."

See the video HERE.

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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:57 pm 
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10 days in Sweden: the full allegations against Julian Assange

Unseen police documents provide the first complete account of the allegations against the WikiLeaks founder


Nick Davies - guardian.co.uk


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Julian Assange at Ellingham Hall. Photograph: Paul Hackett/Reuters

Documents seen by the Guardian reveal for the first time the full details of the allegations of rape and sexual assault that have led to extradition hearings against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange.

The case against Assange, which has been the subject of intense speculation and dispute in mainstream media and on the internet, is laid out in police material held in Stockholm to which the Guardian received unauthorised access.

Assange, who was released on bail on Thursday, denies the Swedish allegations and has not formally been charged with any offence. The two Swedish women behind the charges have been accused by his supporters of making malicious complaints or being "honeytraps" in a wider conspiracy to discredit him.

Assange's UK lawyer, Mark Stephens, attributed the allegations to "dark forces", saying: "The honeytrap has been sprung ... After what we've seen so far you can reasonably conclude this is part of a greater plan." The journalist John Pilger dismissed the case as a "political stunt" and in an interview with ABC news, Assange said Swedish prosecutors were withholding evidence which suggested he had been "set up."

However, unredacted statements held by prosecutors in Stockholm, along with interviews with some of the central characters, shed fresh light on the hotly disputed sequence of events that has become the centre of a global storm.

Stephens has repeatedly complained that Assange has not been allowed to see the full allegations against him, but it is understood his Swedish defence team have copies of all the documents seen by the Guardian. He maintains that other potentially exculpatory evidence has not been made available to his team and may not have been seen by the Guardian.

The allegations centre on a 10-day period after Assange flew into Stockholm on Wednesday 11 August. One of the women, named in court as Miss A, told police that she had arranged Assange's trip to Sweden, and let him stay in her flat because she was due to be away. She returned early, on Friday 13 August, after which the pair went for a meal and then returned to her flat.

Her 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.

When he was later interviewed by police in Stockholm, Assange agreed that he had had sex with Miss A but said he did not tear the condom, and that he was not aware that it had been torn. He told police that he had continued to sleep in Miss A's bed for the following week and she had never mentioned a torn condom.

On the following morning, Saturday 14 August, Assange spoke at a seminar organised by Miss A. A second woman, Miss W, had contacted Miss A to ask if she could attend. Both women joined Assange, the co-ordinator of the Swedish WikiLeaks group, whom we will call "Harold", and a few others for lunch.

Assange left the lunch with Miss W. She told the police she and Assange had visited the place where she worked and had then gone to a cinema where they had moved to the back row. He had kissed her and put his hands inside her clothing, she said.

That evening, Miss A held a party at her flat. One of her friends, "Monica", later told police that during the party Miss A had told her about the ripped condom and unprotected sex. Another friend told police that during the evening Miss A told her she had had "the worst sex ever" with Assange: "Not only had it been the world's worst screw, it had also been violent."

Assange's supporters point out that, despite her complaints against him, Miss A held a party for him on that evening and continued to allow him to stay in her flat.

On Sunday 15 August, Monica told police, Miss A told her that she thought Assange had torn the condom on purpose. According to Monica, Miss A said Assange was still staying in her flat but they were not having sex because he had "exceeded the limits of what she felt she could accept" and she did not feel safe.

The following day, Miss W phoned Assange and arranged to meet him late in the evening, according to her statement. The pair went back to her flat in Enkoping, near Stockholm. Miss W told police that though they started to have sex, Assange had not wanted to wear a condom, and she had moved away because she had not wanted unprotected sex. Assange had then lost interest, she said, and fallen asleep. However, during the night, they had both woken up and had sex at least once when "he agreed unwillingly to use a condom".

Early the next morning, Miss W told police, she had gone to buy breakfast before getting back into bed and falling asleep beside Assange. She had awoken to find him having sex with her, she said, but when she asked whether he was wearing a condom he said no. "According to her statement, she said: 'You better not have HIV' and he answered: 'Of course not,' " but "she couldn't be bothered to tell him one more time because she had been going on about the condom all night. She had never had unprotected sex before."

The police record of the interview with Assange in Stockhom deals only with the complaint made by Miss A. However, Assange and his lawyers have repeatedly stressed that he denies any kind of wrongdoing in relation to Miss W.

In submissions to the Swedish courts, they have argued that Miss W took the initiative in contacting Assange, that on her own account she willingly engaged in sexual activity in a cinema and voluntarily took him to her flat where, she agrees, they had consensual sex. They say that she never indicated to Assange that she did not want to have sex with him. They also say that in a text message to a friend, she never suggested she had been raped and claimed only to have been "half asleep".

Police spoke to Miss W's ex-boyfriend, who told them that in two and a half years they had never had sex without a condom because it was "unthinkable" for her. Miss W told police she went to a chemist to buy a morning-after pill and also went to hospital to be tested for STDs. Police statements record her contacting Assange to ask him to get a test and his refusing on the grounds that he did not have the time.

On Wednesday 18 August, according to police records, Miss A told Harold and a friend that Assange would not leave her flat and was sleeping in her bed, although she was not having sex with him and he spent most of the night sitting with his computer. Harold told police he had asked Assange why he was refusing to leave the flat and that Assange had said he was very surprised, because Miss A had not asked him to leave. Miss A says she spent Wednesday night on a mattress and then moved to a friend's flat so she did not have to be near him. She told police that Assange had continued to make sexual advances to her every day after they slept together and on Wednesday 18 August had approached her, naked from the waist down, and rubbed himself against her.

The following day, Harold told police, Miss A called him and for the first time gave him a full account of her complaints about Assange. Harold told police he regarded her as "very, very credible" and he confronted Assange, who said he was completely shocked by the claims and denied all of them. By Friday 20 August, Miss W had texted Miss A looking for help in finding Assange. The two women met and compared stories.

Harold has independently told the Guardian Miss A made a series of calls to him asking him to persuade Assange to take an STD test to reassure Miss W, and that Assange refused. Miss A then warned if Assange did not take a test, Miss W would go to the police. Assange had rejected this as blackmail, Harold told police.

Assange told police that Miss A spoke to him directly and complained to him that he had torn their condom, something that he regarded as false.

Late that Friday afternoon, Harold told police, Assange agreed to take a test, but the clinics had closed for the weekend. Miss A phoned Harold to say that she and Miss W had been to the police, who had told them that they couldn't simply tell Assange to take a test, that their statements must be passed to the prosecutor. That night, the story leaked to the Swedish newspaper Expressen.

By Saturday morning, 21 August, journalists were asking Assange for a reaction. At 9.15am, he tweeted: "We were warned to expect 'dirty tricks'. Now we have the first one." The following day, he tweeted: "Reminder: US intelligence planned to destroy WikiLeaks as far back as 2008."

The Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet asked if he had had sex with his two accusers. He said: "Their identities have been made anonymous so even I have no idea who they are. We have been warned that the Pentagon, for example, is thinking of deploying dirty tricks to ruin us."

Assange's Swedish lawyers have since suggested that Miss W's text messages – which the Guardian has not seen – show that she was thinking of contacting Expressen and that one of her friends told her she should get money for her story. However, police statements by the friend offer a more innocent explanation: they say these text messages were exchanged several days after the women had made their complaint. They followed an inquiry from a foreign newspaper and were meant jokingly, the friend stated to police.

The Guardian understands that the recent Swedish decision to apply for an international arrest warrant followed a decision by Assange to leave Sweden in late September and not return for a scheduled meeting when he was due to be interviewed by the prosecutor. Assange's supporters have denied this, but Assange himself told friends in London that he was supposed to return to Stockholm for a police interview during the week beginning 11 October, and that he had decided to stay away. Prosecution documents seen by the Guardian record that he was due to be interviewed on 14 October.

The co-ordinator of the WikiLeaks group in Stockholm, who is a close colleague of Assange and who also knows both women, told the Guardian: "This is a normal police investigation. Let the police find out what actually happened. Of course, the enemies of WikiLeaks may try to use this, but it begins with the two women and Julian. It is not the CIA sending a woman in a short skirt."

Assange's lawyers were asked to respond on his behalf to the allegations in the documents seen by the Guardian on Wednesday evening. Tonight they said they were still unable obtain a response from Assange.

Assange's solicitor, Mark Stephens, said: "The allegations of the complainants are not credible and were dismissed by the senior Stockholm prosecutor as not worthy of further investigation." He said Miss A had sent two Twitter messages that appeared to undermine her account in the police statement.

Assange's defence team had so far been provided by prosecutors with only incomplete evidence, he said. "There are many more text and SMS messages from and to the complainants which have been shown by the assistant prosecutor to the Swedish defence lawyer, Bjorn Hurtig, which suggest motivations of malice and money in going to the police and to Espressen and raise the issue of political motivation behind the presentation of these complaints. He [Hurtig] has been precluded from making notes or copying them.

"We understand that both complainants admit to having initiated consensual sexual relations with Mr Assange. They do not complain of any physical injury. The first complainant did not make a complaint for six days (in which she hosted the respondent in her flat [actually her bed] and spoke in the warmest terms about him to her friends) until she discovered he had spent the night with the other complainant.

"The second complainant, too, failed to complain for several days until she found out about the first complainant: she claimed that after several acts of consensual sexual intercourse, she fell half asleep and thinks that he ejaculated without using a condom – a possibility about which she says they joked afterwards.

"Both complainants say they did not report him to the police for prosecution but only to require him to have an STD test. However, his Swedish lawyer has been shown evidence of their text messages which indicate that they were concerned to obtain money by going to a tabloid newspaper and were motivated by other matters including a desire for revenge."

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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:00 pm 
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Senior Guardian hacks turn on Assange

Leaky love-in goes sour


By Chris Williams • Register


An intriguing mini-drama has emerged from backstage at the WikiLeaks theatre.

Julian Assange has fallen out with the two senior Guardian journalists who have been central figures in the global publishing of classified US military and diplomatic documents this year. Arguably, he's not a man who can afford to lose friends at the moment.

The Guardian's partnership with WikiLeaks was founded by Nick Davies, a special correspondent and veteran investigative reporter, otherwise best known for his recent work on voicemail hacking at the News of the World. In June he contacted Assange in Brussels and suggested that professional reporters should comb the gigabytes of data WikiLeaks had obtained for stories.

The site's previous practice had been to dump raw material on its own website and hope it would be picked up by journalists. It was only moderately successful.

Davies' approach, however, also led to WikiLeaks sharing the Afghanistan, Iraq and embassy files with the New York Times, Der Spiegel and other media organisations that have provided the resources to turn data into news. As a side-effect, they have also turned Julian Assange into a celebrity, with attending celebrity friends.

The pact was agreed before Assange's Swedish adventure in August. It's the Australian's response to two women's claims of sexual assault that has riled Davies to today accuse his former partner-in-leaking of "misleading the world".

Specifically, Assange's conspiratorial reaction, suggesting the women's allegations are part of a "dirty tricks" and "smear" campaign by unseen dark forces, and that he will fight extradition in part because he and his lawyers had been denied access to any documentation on the case. This prompted Davies, an experienced policing digger, to investigate.

On Friday, the Guardian published the result, an article which presented the allegations against Assange in unprecedented detail. Davies' report was based on police documents to which he said Assange's legal team had also been granted access.

The Assange camp reacted with fury, denouncing those who had leaked the documents to Davies, while denying any double standards.

This morning, as the BBC and the Times ran interviews with Assange from under house arrest in East Anglia, Davies wrote on Twitter: "Assange finally admits 'no evidence of honeytrap' on Swedish sex claims but does not apologise for misleading the world."

The other Guardian old hand at the centre of the WikiLeaks partnership has been David Leigh, the paper's investigations editor. He has marshalled teams of reporters to trawl all three set of files – allegedly exfiltrated from a intelligence base near Baghdad by Private Bradley Manning, the forgotten man of the whole affair – for news stories.

He also criticised Assange via Twitter this morning, referring to the Times' interview and suggesting the Wikileaks founder had cut ties with the Guardian because of Davies' story on the sex allegations.

"The Guardian published too many leaks for Assange's liking, it seems," he wrote.

"So now he's signed up 'exclusively' with Murdoch's Times. Gosh."

The Times denies any exclusive deal, and has been one of WikiLeaks' and Assange's most vociferous UK critics since the Afghanistan war logs were published. He apparently overlooked that in his interview with the paper however, in which he instead rounded on his former partners at the Guardian.

"The leak of the police report to the Guardian was clearly designed to undermine my bail application," he claimed.

Assange's intolerance of any questioning of his decisions is well documented, so the Guardian can hardly be surprised at its former friend's reaction. Several WikiLeakers, including German spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg, left the organisation earlier this year to set up a new transparency project with a flatter power structure, after comparing Assange's behaviour to that of "some kind of emperor".

Bootnote

I sat next to Assange at a hacks' dinner in London this July*, shortly before his fateful trip to Sweden. Nothing of note emerged on which to report, but I did think the leeks were a touch overdone.

*true

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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:10 pm 
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Having read the 'leaked' police documents, it's clear imho from the women's own testimony that Assange did nothing wrong, committed no crime, and all this is just the Pentagon taking revenge on him for embarrassing them by revealing the truth they sought to hide, and in their own words. No wonder the original 'investigation' lasted less than 24 hours before it was dropped - only US intervention led to this matter being resurrected.

The two women didn't even make official complaints, they asked the police for advice regarding STD testing (of all things!?) so they're immune from prosecution - how handy - and had willingly had consenting sex with him and more than once, and one of them shared her bed with him for a further week - not the actions of an attacked woman.

And now they've done it right back... you air our dirty washing and we'll air yours. Revenge doesn't get much plainer, having just assured a trial by media. :rolleyes:

But after denying the ground war in Pakistan and the air strikes on Yemen, and you have to believe either the official US story or Julian Assange - I know who I believe.

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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:32 am 
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Official US story :thumbup:


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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:20 am 
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The James wrote:
Official US story :thumbup:


Really? :ohmy: :snigger:

I have noticed a change in public perception toward Assange though, whereas at first some believed the propaganda that he was a baddie sex pest spy who was out to get destroy world peace and the good old US of A... only it turns out it's all untrue and they're just acting like the world police again, interfering in other nations legal processes, lying, etc. You couldn't make this stuff up tbh - they've tried to systematically destroy him only he's been clever enough to get it all covered by the media so people can see for themselves the way he's been treated, seizing his funds, pressuring/threatening various companies not to deal with him eg PayPal et al.

I suppose in America there's a different feeling entirely?

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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:09 pm 
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I was making a joke Cons. I haven't been watching a lot of news lately, so I don't really know how he's being painted by the US media. Like all stories here it probably depends who you get your news from. If you lean more to the conserative side Fox News is for you, if your more liberal then you'll wanna watch CNN or MSNBC. I read part of a Time magazine article about him that was fairly neutral.

Tbh I don't have a problem with what he's done/doing. Apart from the stuff between diplomats. I think there are somethings that should remain secrets diplomatically. I'm not sure printing what the leaders of countries said about other countries in a private conversation is in the best interest of anyone.


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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:43 pm 
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The James wrote:
I was making a joke Cons. I haven't been watching a lot of news lately, so I don't really know how he's being painted by the US media. Like all stories here it probably depends who you get your news from. If you lean more to the conserative side Fox News is for you, if your more liberal then you'll wanna watch CNN or MSNBC. I read part of a Time magazine article about him that was fairly neutral.

Tbh I don't have a problem with what he's done/doing. Apart from the stuff between diplomats. I think there are somethings that should remain secrets diplomatically. I'm not sure printing what the leaders of countries said about other countries in a private conversation is in the best interest of anyone.



Yeah I realised that mate, hence the :snigger:

And American's feeling generally the same way is no great surprise I suppose, you can't ignore the facts. As for the diplomatic stuff - Assange and Wikileaks offered the US the chance to edit the documents so they didn't publish anything that they didn't want publishing and they declined. No point saying it's bad when they had the chance to stop it, so you can hardly blame Assange for that imo.

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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:46 pm 
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i enjoy the irony of America (in particular) bitchin about some one publishing what's been handed to them bearing in mind the First Amendment.

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i think the fault/blame lies with those who said it, rather than someone who is effectively a gossip :shrug:

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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:51 pm 
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Meh - nothing new about the hyprocrisy of the American government whoever is in power. As to the rape charges - pretty weak stuff really.

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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:44 pm 
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Aparantly santa's not happy with them either, they have only gone and published the naughty and nice list.

:D

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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:56 pm 
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I didn't know that they were given a chance to edit the documents. And there is plenty of irony in America. People in general believe what they hear and never question it. There's still a percentage of the population that will tell you Obama wasn't even born in this country.


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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
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UN defends human right to WikiLeaked info

Rejects calls for 'illegitimate retributive action'


By Cade Metz • Register




The United Nations has responded to the ongoing WikiLeaks kerfuffle, urging member states to – ahem – remember the basic human right to access information held by governments and other public authorities.

In issuing a joint statement on Wikileaks with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression does not mention the US or other involved countries by name. But he does mention "the release of diplomatic cables by the organization Wikileaks" – a reference to the classified US State Department cables released late last month – and clearly, he's concerned that in responding to the leaks, the US and other countries will step on established international legal principles – if they haven't already.

The UN statement was promptly tweeted by WikiLeaks itself.

"The right to access information held by public authorities is a fundamental human right subject to a strict regime of exceptions," the statement reads. "The right to access to information protects the right of every person to access public information and to know what governments are doing on their behalf. It is a right that has received particular attention from the international community, given its importance to the consolidation, functioning and preservation of democratic regimes.

"Without the protection of this right, it is impossible for citizens to know the truth, demand accountability and fully exercise their right to political participation."

Any exceptions to this basic right, the statement continues, should be precisely defined – and should not be misused. "The right of access to information should be subject to a narrowly tailored system of exceptions to protect overriding public and private interests such as national security and the rights and security of other persons," it says.

"Secrecy laws should define national security precisely and indicate clearly the criteria which should be used in determining whether or not information can be declared secret. Exceptions to access to information on national security or other grounds should apply only where there is a risk of substantial harm to the protected interest and where that harm is greater than the overall public interest in having access to the information."

The White House dubbed the leaked diplomatic cables "stolen and classified documents."

"These cables could compromise private discussions with foreign governments and opposition leaders, and when the substance of private conversations is printed on the front pages of newspapers across the world, it can deeply impact not only US foreign policy interests, but those of our allies and friends around the world," the White House said in a statement the day the cables were released. "To be clear – such disclosures put at risk our diplomats, intelligence professionals, and people around the world who come to the United States for assistance in promoting democracy and open government."

The UN statement does not mention Julian Assange by name, and it doesn't specifically discuss the role WikiLeaks played in leaking the cables. But it does seek to protect the human rights of "journalists, media workers and civil society representatives" and other individuals "who receive and disseminate classified information because they believe it is in the public interest" as well as "government whistleblowers."

"Any attempt to impose subsequent liability on those who disseminate classified information should be grounded in previously established laws enforced by impartial and independent legal systems with full respect for due process guarantees, including the right to appeal," the statement continues.

US Congressional representative Peter King, due to head the House Intelligence Committee when the new Congress convenes next year, and Senate Intelligence Committee heads Dianne Feinstein and Kit Bond have asked that Julian Assange be charged under the 1917 US Espionage Act, and Senate Homeland Security Chairman Joseph Lieberman wants to know why Assange, who is not a US citizen, hasn't already been charged with treason.

"We can go back to the earlier dump of classified documents mostly related to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan that occurred in July, and to me that was a violation of the Espionage Act as well," he has said.

The UN statement also seems to address speculation that the US government has put pressure on the likes of Amazon, PayPal, and MasterCard to prevent WikiLeaks from using its services. "Direct or indirect government interference in or pressure exerted upon any expression or information transmitted through any means of oral, written, artistic, visual or electronic communication must be prohibited by law when it is aimed at influencing content."

And it would seem to answer concerns that the Swedish rape allegations against Assange are part of an effort to crack down on WikiLeaks: "Illegitimate interference includes politically motivated legal cases brought against journalists and independent media, and blocking of websites and web domains on political grounds."

It even decries public officials who make calls for "illegitimate retributive action."

Meanwhile, the AP reports that the United Nations' special rapporteur on torture in Geneva is investigating a complaint that the Army private suspected of sharing classified documents with WikiLeaks has been mistreated while in custody. Pfc. Bradley Manning is confined to a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Virginia, and vistors claim he stays in a cell for at least 23 hours a day.

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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:03 pm 
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The annoying Beeb's John Humphrys speaks to Julian Assange on iPlayer, available until 3:59AM Thu, 30 Dec 2010.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... n_Assange/

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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
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WikiLeaks Joins Forces With Lebedev's Moscow-Based Newspaper Novaya Gazeta

By Anastasia Ustinova and Ilya Arkhipov -

Bloomberg



Novaya Gazeta, the Moscow newspaper controlled by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and billionaire Alexander Lebedev, said it agreed to join forces with WikiLeaks to expose corruption in Russia.

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, which publishes secret government and corporate documents online, has materials specifically about Russia that haven’t been published yet and Novaya Gazeta will help make them public, the newspaper said on its website today.

“Assange said that Russians will soon find out a lot about their country and he wasn’t bluffing,” Novaya Gazeta said. “Our collaboration will expose corruption at the top tiers of political power. No one is protected from the truth.”

The weekly newspaper is known in an industry dominated by state-run companies for its critical reports of the Kremlin and investigative coverage of Russian affairs.

Novaya Gazeta correspondent Anna Politkovskaya, who wrote about graft under then-President Vladimir Putin and chronicled abuses by military forces in Chechnya, was shot dead in her Moscow apartment building in 2006, on Putin’s birthday.

Novaya Gazeta received unlimited access to the WikiLeaks database, which has a “wide range” of materials, including documents about Politkovskaya’s murder as well as information about Russian politicians’ ties to organized crime, Nadezhda Prusenkova, a Novaya Gazeta spokeswoman, said by phone from Moscow. The newspaper will start releasing materials next month.

‘Kind Words’

President Dmitry Medvedev said the documents published by WikiLeaks don’t hurt Russia’s interests and that the Russian authorities don’t care what’s being discussed in diplomatic circles.

“When people communicate, they sometimes use very harsh language and if such a leak had happened from our Foreign Ministry or secrete services, many of our partners, including Americans, would have got an emotional charge after reading ‘kind words’ about themselves,” Medvedev said during a meeting with students in Mumbai today.

WikiLeaks was condemned by the U.S. government for posting thousands of classified U.S. diplomatic and military documents. Assange was released from a London prison on bail on Dec. 16. He turned himself in to British authorities Dec. 7 after Sweden issued a warrant for his extradition on counts of sexual molestation and rape.

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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:28 am 
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Iceland summons US envoy over demand for MP's Twitter details

Reykjavik calls for explanation of Justice Department's move to access account of politician caught up in WikiLeaks inquiry



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Birgitta Jonsdottir - Iceland MP and former WikiLeaks collaborator. The US Justice Department is seeking access to her Twitter account as it tries to build a criminal case against WikiLeaks Photograph: Halldor Kolbeins/AFP/Getty Images

The American ambassador to Iceland has been summoned to explain why US officials are trying to access the Twitter account of an Icelandic MP and former WikiLeaks collaborator.

Birgitta Jónsdóttir, an MP for the Movement in Iceland, revealed last week that the US justice department had asked Twitter to hand over her information. The US authorities are trying to build a criminal case against the website after its huge leaks of classified US information.

"[It is] very serious that a foreign state, the United States, demands such personal information of an Icelandic person, an elected official," the interior minister, Ogmundur Jonasson, told Icelandic broadcaster RUV. "This is even more serious when put [in] perspective and concerns freedom of speech and people's freedom in general," he added.

Iceland's foreign ministry has demanded a meeting with Luis Arreaga, the US ambassador to Reykjavík. No one at the US embassy in Reykjavík was available for comment.

Jónsdóttir is one of the site's contributors whose communications are being investigated by US authorities. A court order last week revealed that they are also seeking Twitter data from the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, Dutch hacker Rop Gonggrijp and Bradley Manning, the US serviceman accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of sensitive government cables published by WikiLeaks.

The court issuing the subpoena said it had "reasonable grounds" to believe Twitter held information "relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation". A Twitter spokesman said it was company policy to inform users if there was an investigation when legally possible.

WikiLeaks has demanded that Google and Facebook reveal which of their users are under similar scrutiny.

Jónsdóttir told the Guardian: "I am very pleased that we are going to have this meeting. There are a few things here that need to be straightened out and I am very grateful that this issue is being treated as seriously as it should be."

She said she was talking to lawyers at the Electronic Freedom Foundation and would attempt to stop the justice department's move.

Most messages on Twitter are public but users can send private messages. The court order is also seeking details of source and destination internet protocol addresses used to access the accounts. These would enable investigators to identify email addresses and how the named individuals communicated with each other.

The US attorney general, Eric Holder, has said he believes Assange could be prosecuted under US espionage laws. Holder said the leaks had endangered US national security. "The American people themselves have been put at risk by these actions that I believe are arrogant, misguided and ultimately not helpful in any way," he said.

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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
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Assange vows to drop 'insurance' files on Rupert Murdoch

News Corp and Bank of America too


By Dan Goodin • Register




WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he has a trove of private documents on Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp empire and is prepared to release them in the event the whistle-blower website is taken down.

“If something happens to me or to WikiLeaks, 'insurance' files will be released,” he told The New Statesman. “There are 504 US embassy cables on one broadcasting organisation and there are cables on Murdoch and News Corp.”

The comments came a day after Assange told journalists in the UK that WikiLeaks planned to step up the publication of confidential US diplomatic cables following a lull in late December. The site will also move ahead with plans to publish tens of thousands of confidential documents depicting an “ecosystem of corruption” at Bank of America, CNBC reported.

Assange said WikiLeaks is mirrored on more than 2,000 websites.

Meanwhile, WikiLeaks supporter Jacob Appelbaum said in a series of tweets he was detained for about 30 minutes by US customs officials earlier this week upon his return from Iceland.

“I was detained, searched, and CPB did attempt to question me about the nature of my vacation upon landing in Seattle,” he wrote in one dispatch, in an apparent reference to the US Customs and Border Protection. “The CPB specifically wanted laptops and cell phones and were visibly unhappy when they discovered nothing of the sort. I did however have a few USB thumb drives with a copy of the Bill of Rights encoded into the block device. They were unable to copy it.”

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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
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WikiLeaks: Julian Assange 'faces execution or Guantánamo detention'

Skeleton argument outlined by Australian's defence team claims he could face rendition to US if extradited to Sweden


By Esther Addley - guardian.co.uk


WikiLeaks founder 'happy' after extradition hearing

Link to video: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/video/2 ... ring-video


Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, could be at "real risk" of the death penalty or detention in Guantánamo Bay if he is extradited to Sweden on accusations of rape and sexual assault, his lawyers claim.

In a skeleton summary of their defence against attempts by the Swedish director of public prosecutions to extradite him, released today, Assange's legal team argue that there is a similar likelihood that the US would subsequently seek his extradition "and/or illegal rendition", "where there will be a real risk of him being detained at Guantánamo Bay or elsewhere".

"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. It is well known that prominent figures have implied, if not stated outright, that Mr Assange should be executed."

The 35-page skeleton argument was released by Mark Stephens, Assange's lawyer, following a brief review hearing this morning at Belmarsh magistrates court.

The WikiLeaks founder, who is on conditional bail while his extradition case is being considered, appeared for no more than 15 minutes in the dock, while supporters including Jemima Khan and Bianca Jagger looked on and waved support from the public gallery.

He later emerged to give a brief statement to a large number of reporters, saying: "Our work with WikiLeaks continues unabated. We are stepping up our publications for matters relating to Cablegate and other materials.

"These will shortly be available through our newspaper partners around the world – big and small newspapers and human rights organisations."

The skeleton argument outlines seven points on which Assange's lawyers will contest his extradition, which was sought by the Swedish DPP, Marianne Ny, following accusations from two women that he had sexually assaulted them in separate incidents in August.

One accusation, that Assange had sex with one of the women while she was asleep, would amount to rape under Swedish law if proven. Both women had previously had consenting sex with Assange.

The other points of argument include:

• That the European arrest warrant (EAW) is not valid, because Ny is not the authorised issuing authority, and it has been sought for an improper purpose – ie "simply in order to question him and without having yet reached a decision on whether or not to prosecute him". This, they argue, would be in contravention of a well-established principle "that mere suspicion should not found a request for extradition".

• That there has been "abuse of process" as Assange has not had full disclosure of all documents relating to the case, in particular text messages sent by one of the women, in which she allegedly said she was "half asleep" (ie not fully asleep) at the time they had sex, and messages between the two women in which they allegedly spoke of "revenge".

• That the "conduct" of the Swedish prosecutor amounts to abuse of process. Assange's lawyers cite the fact that the rape allegations were initially dismissed and then reopened by a second prosecutor, that the prosecutor has refused Assange's offers of interview, and that it has not made documents available to Assange in English. They also cite the leak of part of the prosecution case to the Guardian as "a breach of Mr Assange's fair trial and privacy rights".

• That the alleged offences would not be considered crimes in the UK, and therefore, they argue, an EAW between the two countries would not be valid.

• That the extradition attempt is politically motivated, and that his trial would be prejudiced because of his political opinions or because, they argue, of his gender.

Assange's team will make their case on 7 and 8 February, when Assange will return to court for the full extradition hearing. The case for his extradition is being argued by the Crown Prosecution Service on behalf of the Swedish prosecutor; the full prosecution case is not expected to be released before that date.

District Judge Nicholas Evans agreed at this morning's hearing to ease the terms of his bail conditions, which require Assange to wear an electronic tag and report daily to a police station close to the stately home on the Suffolk/Norfolk border where he is staying. For the nights of 6 and 7 February Assange will be permitted to stay in London.

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 Post subject: Re: All Things Wikileaked
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:38 pm 
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US Wikileaks investigators can't link Assange to Manning

Imprisoned soldier looks set to take all the heat


By Lewis Page • Register




American media are reporting that investigators are unable to prove that WikiLeaks and its colourful figurehead Julian Assange obtained classified US files from jailed soldier Bradley Manning, allegedly the source of most of WikiLeaks' significant material. If true, this is likely to present serious obstacles to US-based criminal proceedings against Assange – though not against Manning.

NBC news, citing unnamed investigating officials, says that US authorities have been unable to find conclusive proof that Wikileaks' vast stashes of secret material – the Baghdad attack-copter videos, Afghanistan and Iraq "war logs" and now the endless mountains of US diplomatic cables being drip-fed by the site – were passed to it by Private Bradley Manning, now being held in a US Marine Corps brig (jail) in Virginia.

Manning has been charged with an array of offences by military prosecutors, including the transfer of classified information onto a personal computer and the adding of unauthorised software to a classified computer system. He is also charged, according to military spokesmen, with "communicating, transmitting and delivering national defense information to an unauthorized source"; "disclosing classified information concerning the national defense with reason to believe that the information could cause injury to the United States"; and "exceeding authorized computer access to obtain classified information".

It has been widely reported that Manning's arrest in Iraq, where he was employed as a junior intelligence specialist at Contingency Operating Base Hammer, resulted from the military authorities being alerted to his activities by a former hacker named Adrian Lamo with whom he had discussed his alleged activities online. Lamo has subsequently said that Manning specifically mentioned various assemblages of data that he planned to leak, including both the gunship videos and diplomatic cables.

Remarks by US defense secretary Robert Gates have since suggested that Manning could not have passed the files he obtained to a third party via the military networks he had access to in Iraq, and it has previously been reported that investigators believe the rogue soldier actually downloaded the data onto CDs, which he may then have physically passed to a contact while on leave in the US.

If this is the case, and assuming adequate care by the files' recipients to sieve out possible security trickery implanted within the data, it would naturally be very difficult to establish to a high standard of proof what happened to the files after they left Manning's hands. Manning himself remains likely to face a lengthy period in military prison if convicted, but it would be difficult to make charges of espionage stick to Assange or other Wikileaks members – assuming they ever found themselves before a US court.

For now, Assange remains bailed under conditions in the UK, where he faces an extradition request from his former base Sweden. Swedish prosecutors want to speak to him regarding allegations of sexual offences made by two women there. Assange is staying at the Suffolk mansion of his admirer Vaughan Smith, a wealthy former Guards officer and journalist. There has been no request thus far for Assange from the USA.

Meanwhile Private Manning is being held as a maximum-security prisoner in the Marine brig at Quantico, Virginia. He is confined to his cell 23 hours a day under conditions which have been condemned as inhumane by human-rights organisations. The brig's commanding officer recently placed the unfortunate soldier on suicide watch, a move which permitted (indeed, required) his jailers to take away his reading glasses and outer clothing, prevent him exercising in his cell and wake him at frequent intervals when asleep.

NBC reports that the suicide watch has now been lifted at the request of US army lawyers, but Manning's maximum-security military prison regime remains an arduous one. Wikileaks has contributed $15,000 to his legal defence fund.

Assange has reportedly signed book deals based on the WikiLeaks affair worth more than £1m, and WikiLeaks itself appears to be a highly lucrative operation, with "seven-figure" weekly revenues mentioned by its payment processor.

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