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Di seguito gli interventi pubblicati in questa sezione, in ordine cronologico.
 
 

Der Spiegel: Copenhagen Climate Cables: The US and China Joined Forces Against Europe

"Last year's climate summit in Copenhagen was a political disaster. Leaked US diplomatic cables now show why the summit failed so spectacularly. The dispatches reveal that the US and China, the world's top two polluters, joined forces to stymie every attempt by European nations to reach agreement.[...]

The cooperation began under the last US president, George W. Bush. In 2007 Bush's senior climate negotiator, Harlan Watson, organized a 10-year framework agreement with China on cooperation on energy and the environment. The two countries also agreed to hold a "Strategic and Economic Dialogue" -- backroom talks that neither the Americans nor the Chinese were willing to admit to at first.

Bush's successor, President Barack Obama, and the new secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, continued this dialogue. During Clinton's inaugural visit to China, Beijing agreed to the formation of a "new partnership on energy and climate change," according to a US embassy dispatch dated May 15, 2009. Here too the aim was to ensure the outcome of the climate talks in Copenhagen would be favorable to Washington and Beijing."
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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Vatican refused to engage with child sex abuse inquiry

"The Vatican refused to allow its officials to testify before an Irish commission investigating the clerical abuse of children and was angered when they were summoned from Rome, US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks reveal.

Requests for information from the 2009 Murphy commission into sexual and physical abuse by clergy "offended many in the Vatican" who felt that the Irish government had "failed to respect and protect Vatican sovereignty during the investigations", a cable says."
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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Pope wanted Muslim Turkey kept out of EU

"The pope is responsible for the Vatican's growing hostility towards Turkey joining the EU, previously secret cables sent from the US embassy to the Holy See in Rome claim.

In 2004 Cardinal Ratzinger, the future pope, spoke out against letting a Muslim state join, although at the time the Vatican was formally neutral on the question.

The Vatican's acting foreign minister, Monsignor Pietro Parolin, responded by telling US diplomats that Ratzinger's comments were his own rather than the official Vatican position.

The cable released by WikiLeaks shows that Ratzinger was the leading voice behind the Holy See's unsuccessful drive to secure a reference to Europe's 'Christian roots' in the EU constitution. The US diplomat noted that Ratzinger 'clearly understands that allowing a Muslim country into the EU would further weaken his case for Europe's Christian foundations'."
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Le Monde: Wikileaks : les Américains se demandent où se trouve le cœur du pouvoir en Algérie (Americans ask who holds real power in Algeria)

"Qui détient le pouvoir en Algérie? Les militaires ou les civils? Une poignée de généraux qui ont la haute main sur l'armée et les services de renseignements ou le président de la République élu au suffrage universel, Abdelaziz Bouteflika?

La question continue à diviser les chancelleries étrangères tant le cœur du pouvoir à Alger est impénétrable depuis des décennies. Pour le chef de l'Etat algérien, la réponse est évidente : l'armée algérienne respecte "absolument" l'autorité d'un président qui est un civil et non un militaire. "Ça n'est pas du tout comme en Turquie", assure-t-il lors de sa première entrevue avec le général William Ward, le chef de l'Africom, la structure de commandement américaine pour l'Afrique, en novembre 2009."
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The New York Times: China Resisted U.S. Pressure on Rights of Nobel Winner

"It was just before Christmas 2009, and Ding Xiaowen was not happy. The United States ambassador had just written China’s foreign minister expressing concern for Liu Xiaobo, the Beijing intellectual imprisoned a year earlier for drafting a pro-democracy manifesto. Now Mr. Ding, a deputy in the ministry’s American section, was reading the riot act to an American attaché.

Mr. Ding said he would try to avoid “becoming emotional,” according to a readout on the meeting that was among thousands of leaked State Department cables released this month. Then he said that a “strongly dissatisfied” China firmly opposed the views of the American ambassador, Jon Huntsman, and that Washington must “cease using human rights as an excuse to ‘meddle’ in China’s internal affairs.”"
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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Pfizer 'used dirty tricks to avoid clinical trial payout'

"The world's biggest pharmaceutical company hired investigators to unearth evidence of corruption against the Nigerian attorney general in order to persuade him to drop legal action over a controversial drug trial involving children with meningitis, according to a leaked US embassy cable.

Pfizer was sued by the Nigerian state and federal authorities, who claimed that children were harmed by a new antibiotic, Trovan, during the trial, which took place in the middle of a meningitis epidemic of unprecedented scale in Kano in the north of Nigeria in 1996."
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Der Spiegel: 'No and No Again': The Rocky US Relationship with Little Austria

"Austria may be small, but according to US Embassy dispatches from Vienna, the country causes big headaches in Washington. Not only are Austrian leaders seen as disconnected from international affairs, the country's neutrality means it is willing to do business with America's enemies.

The tone used by the US envoys in their reports to Washington ranges from resigned to openly hostile. Is it possible, they ask in bewilderment, for a tiny Alpine republic only half the size of the US state of Washington to ignore the primary objectives of American foreign policy? It would seem that it is."
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El Pais: EE UU considera Cataluña el "mayor centro mediterráneo del yihadismo" (The US considers Catalonia the "biggest mediterranean center for jihadism")

"La Embajada de EE UU en Madrid cree que Cataluña es el punto más caliente del islamismo radical en España , un escenario que debe vigilar y controlar como puente hacia el Mediterráneo. La fuerte implantación de la comunidad paquistaní y marroquí en Barcelona y la efervescente actividad de islamistas en localidades como Tarragona, Hospitalet, Badalona y Reus preocupan a los servicios de inteligencia estadounidenses que han convertido a esa comunidad en su primer objetivo de investigación. Los documentos secretos del departamento de Estado definen Cataluña como el principal centro mediterráneo de los islamistas."
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Le Monde: Guinée : Comment France et Etats-Unis ont écarté le chef de la junte (Guinea: How France and the US neutralized the chief of the junta)

"L'occasion était trop belle pour neutraliser un chef de l'Etat devenu très embarrassant. Français et Américains cherchaient à écarter le capitaine Moussa Dadis Camara depuis le massacre par des militaires de la garde présidentielle d'au moins 156 opposants à Conakry, en Guinée, le 28 septembre 2009.

Les événements du 3 décembre vont forcer le destin. Ce jour-là, le chef de la junte militaire au pouvoir depuis moins d'un an est victime d'une tentative d'assassinat. Grièvement blessé à la tête, le chef de la junte est envoyé d'urgence vers le Maroc pour y être hospitalisé. Dans la foulée, un diplomate américain en poste à Ouagadougou écrit : "La communauté internationale est d'une façon générale sur la même position. L'absence de Dadis a ouvert une fenêtre d'opportunité pour faciliter une transition démocratique."

"Bien qu'il ait été chassé de la scène violemment plutôt que par des moyens constitutionnels, il serait mieux pour la Guinée qu'il ne rentre pas dans son pays", ajoute l'ambassadrice américaine en poste à Conakry, Patricia Moller, dans un des télégrammes diplomatiques obtenus par WikiLeaks et révélés par Le Monde."
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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Former Croatia PM flees over corruption claims

"The former prime minister who dominated Croatian politics for most of the past decade fled the country today as state prosecutors moved to have him arrested in connection with a major sleaze investigation.

According to cables from the US Zagreb embassy released by WikiLeaks, Ivo Sanader, the centre-right politician who stood down suddenly as prime minister in summer last year, features in several of the corruption cases currently terrorising the Croatian political class.

The country's chief prosecutor told US diplomats in Zagreb this year he had evidence that Sanader had arranged a bank loan for a business crony in return for a kickback."
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Der Spiegel: The Nigeria Report: A Cesspool of Corruption and Crime in the Niger Delta

"The leaked US diplomatic cables reveal just what multinational oil companies are up against in the Niger Delta. Security forces are ineffective and involved in dubious oil deals. The government demands millions in bribes. Even university students have earned pocket money by working as kidnappers.

Bombs used against civilians; millions paid to corrupt officials; and a kidnapping industry that employs students during university vacations: The US diplomatic cables from the Nigerian cities of Abuja and Lagos paint an unusually bleak picture of the situation in the oil-rich Niger Delta. Hardly any of the international oil companies active in the delta publishes production figures, kidnappings and hostage-taking are a daily occurence and the civilian population is suffering -- not least because they too are occasionally targets of the Nigerian Army's special forces."
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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: Serbia suspects Russian help for fugitive Ratko Mladiæ

"Russia may be withholding vital information about the whereabouts of the fugitive Bosnian Serb general and genocide suspect, Ratko Mladiæ, who faces war crimes charges in The Hague, senior Serbian government officials have privately told American diplomats in Belgrade.

In discussions detailed in a diplomatic cable marked "secret" and sent to Washington by US chargée d'affaires Jennifer Brush in September 2009, Miki [Miodrag] Rakiæ, chief of staff to the Serbian president, Boris Tadiæ, tells Brush it remains likely Mladiæ is hiding somewhere in Serbia.

But Rakiæ also suggests the fugitive is being assisted by "foreign sources" and hints darkly that Moscow may have better information about Mladiæ's exact situation than does the Serbian government."
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El Pais: Palomares: 50.000 metros contaminados con plutonio (50,000 sq.meters contaminated with plutonium)

"España y Estados Unidos tienen un problema enquistado desde 1966: el accidente nuclear en Palomares, en el que cuatro bombas atómicas cayeron en la pedanía almeriense. España decidió en 2004 descontaminar la zona e insiste en que EE UU pague parte de la limpieza y se lleve la tierra contaminada con plutonio. Así se lo transmitió el 14 de diciembre de 2009 el entonces ministro de Exteriores, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, a la secretaria de Estado, Hillary Clinton, en Washington. Moratinos reclamó, según un cable confidencial, que Clinton hiciera lo posible "para ayudar desde el punto de vista de la opinión pública española, de la que temió que se volviera en contra de EE UU si se divulgaran los resultados de un reciente estudio sobre la contaminación". Clinton no contestó. El estudio, a cuyas conclusiones ha tenido acceso EL PAÍS pero que no ha sido hecho público, concluye que en Palomares queda medio kilo de plutonio que ha contaminado unos 50.000 metros cúbicos de tierra -el volumen de 27 piscinas olímpicas-."
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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables cast Hosni Mubarak as Egypt's ruler for life

"Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's long-serving president, is likely to seek re-election next year and will "inevitably" win a poll that will not be free and fair, the US ambassador to Cairo, Margaret Scobey, predicted in a secret cable to Hillary Clinton last year.

Scobey discussed Mubarak's quasi-dictatorial leadership style since he took power in 1981; his critical views of George Bush and American policy in the Middle East; and the highly uncertain prospects for a succession."
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Source: WLcentral.org

 

Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, arrived on Tuesday where many of those affected by the revelations he published wanted him to be: in the hands of police. And that happened after the Swedish justice heeded pretty strange accusations made by two women whose activity put a lot of questions about the veracity of the facts claimed. The same Swedish court which issued an arrest warrant for Julian Assange for "sex by surprise", granted political asylum to the MISA leader, Gregorian Bivolaru, when he was investigated in Romania, among other things, for sexual perversion, sexual intercourse with a minor and trafficking of minors.

If last week Wikileaks founder was accused of "sex by surprise", the Swedish justice came back saying that, in fact, the statements of one of the women were poorly written. It seems that the crime of "sex by surprise" was the result of a condom that broke. Despite this, the founder of Wikileaks continued intercourse. Normally, for "sex by surprise" the Swedish law amends the guilty with 5,000 crowns (about $ 715).

But yesterday, when he presented at a London Police Headquarter, Julian Assange that had issued an international warrant on his name was arrested and found out that he must answer four counts of accusations: one for restraint, two for violent sex and one for rape.

On August 20, the Swedish women complained to the police accusing Assange of rape and sexual assault. In a note addressed to the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, founder of Wikileaks denied the allegations, saying that he was never contacted by the police, and that on August 21 he was exempted by the Prosecution.
Assange was known at that time for making public a secret video recording of an U.S. attack in Baghdad, were many innocent civilians were killed. One of the women who accused Assange is Anna Ardin, a controversial feminist militant linked to notorious CIA operative. She is best known for writing a handbook on how women should take legal revenge on men and undermine a sexual relationship in seven stages. The other swedish woman says that the alleged facts happened during a threesomes in which she has been involved with Assange and, apparently, with Anna Ardin.

Assange said that it was consensual sex and the women's allegations are false; it is the first shot below the belt that he expected from those troubled by his revelations.

Tough with the founder of Wikileaks, which put fear into the americans, the swedish justice was particularly sympathetic to the romanian "guru" Bivolaru. Sweden refused to extradite Gregorian Bivolaru when asked by Romania in 2005. And it was not even remotely accused of "sex by surprise" but sexual perversion, sexual intercourse with a minor, trafficking with minors, human trafficking and illegal immigration. Bivolaru's orgies only brought him protection from Sweden and... political asylum.

Ford Turani for TurismoAssociati.it

 
By Admin (from 08/12/2010 @ 10:15:02, in en - Global Observatory, read 2006 times)

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AUSTRALIA: Discussion: Julian Assange, Law & Politics

Melbourne: A meeting to discuss Wikileaks' Julian Assange's legal and political position
Speakers: Julian Burnside AO QC, Peter Gordon, John Faine and Professor Spencer Zifcak
Date: Thursday 9 December 2010
Time: 5:30pm
Venue: the Law Institute of Victoria, 470 Bourke St, Melbourne
Details: http://www.law.monash.edu.au/castancentre/events/index.html

AUSTRALIA: National rallies to defend Julian Assange and WikiLeaks

Media release: http://wlcentral.org/node/556

Sydney: Friday, December 10, 1pm at Sydney Town Hall. Media contacts: Antony Loewenstein 0402 893 690; Simon Butler 0421 231 011. Rally information: Kylie Gilbert 0451 827 693
Event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=161656067211736

Melbourne: Friday, December 10, 4:30pm at the State Library Lawns, Melbourne. Contact: Vashti Jane 0423 407 910.
Event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=182297491780623

Brisbane: Thursday, December 9, 5.30pm Brisbane Square CBD
Event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=153885131325141

Brisbane: Friday, December 10, 12 noon at the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, 295 Anne Street, Brisbane CBD
Rally information: Liam Hanlon 0435 266 613. Media contact: Jim McIlroy 0423 741 734
Event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=153885131325141&index=1#%21/event....

Hobart: Saturday, December 11, noon at the Hobart Parliament Lawns
Event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=171620612868329

Adelaide: Sunday, December 12, 1:00pm at Parliament House.
Event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=182236928453862

UNITED KINGDOM

London: Saturday, December 11: 11:00am - 6:00pm Location "Cumberland Gate" at Marble Arch Hyde Park. Nearest tube station - Marble Arch
Event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=175481195812657

UNITED STATES

Washington, DC: In front of the White House, Thursday, December 16, 10:00am
Event details: http://www.zcommunications.org/with-wikileaks-revelations-peace-communit...

New York, NY: Thursday, December 9th, 6:30pm - 0:30am
Location: New York Times Bldg, New York, NY 10018
Event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=155203287858724

Olympia, WA: Saturday, December 18th, 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: Heritage Park (5th Ave and Water St)
Event page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wikileaks-Support-Rally-Olympia-WA/1747382...

GERMANY

Hamburg: Saturday, December 11, 11:00am - 6:00pm
Location: To be announced
Event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=112899808778406

CANADA

Montreal: Sunday, December 12th, 1:00pm
Location: 1155 St-Alexandre Street (US consulate)

AUSTRIA

Vienna: Wednesday, December 22th, 8:00pm – 10:00pm
Location: In front of the Parliament
Event page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Demonstrations-for-freedom-of-speech-Wikil...

WikiLeaks protest group on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/WikiLeaks-Protests/146607388723655?v=wall

Are you organizing an event? Please contact us at admin@wlcentral.org and we will be happy to promote it!

 

PRESS RELEASE
Tue 7 Dec 15.55 GMT

Julian Assange Defense Fund frozen.

The Swiss Bank Post Finance today issues a press release stating that it had frozen Julian Assange's defense fund and personal assets (31K EUR) after reviewing him as a "high profile" individual.

The technicality used to seize the defense fund was that Mr. Assange, as a homeless refugee attempting to gain residency in Switzerland, had used his lawyers address in Geneva for the bank's correspondence.

Late last week, the internet payment giant PayPal, froze 60Keur of donations to the German charity the Wau Holland Foundation, which were targeted to promote the sharing of knowledge via WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks and Julian have lost 100Keur in assets this week.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Cablegate exposure is how it is throwing into relief the power dynamics between supposedly independent states like Switzerland, Sweden and Australia.

WikiLeaks also has public bank accounts in Iceland (preferred) and Germany.

Please help cover our expenditures while we fight to get our assets back.

http://wikileaks.ch/support.html

END

(Via @wikileaks. Source: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/7bg5kc )

 
By Admin (from 07/12/2010 @ 01:00:18, in en - Global Observatory, read 2010 times)

(If you missed the previous installments in this series, please click here.)

New Zealand Herald: Editorial: Red alert over WikiLeaks unnecessary

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has suggested the disclosure "puts people's lives in danger, threatens our national security and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems". Such language does not bode well for a cogent and calculated response. In fact, the intelligence information released so far contains nothing to substantiate Mrs Clinton's claims.[...]

Obviously, Washington is embarrassed. But, so far, that is all. There has, contrary to the Secretary of State's view, been no irresponsible naming and endangering of individual lives or national security.

Much of the credit for this must go to WikiLeaks' decision, as with military documents released this year, to rely on three major newspapers - the Guardian, the New York Times and Der Spiegel - for a reasoned analysis of the cables. This has been no anarchic exercise, based on a naive view that it is right and proper for all information to be in the public domain.[...]

The cork is out of the bottle. If WikiLeaks is silenced, others will pick up its ideas."
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Paul Craig Roberts, CounterPunch: What the Wiki-Saga Teaches Us

"The reaction to WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange tells us all we need to know about the total corruption of our “modern” world, which in fact is a throwback to the Dark Ages.

Some member of the United States government released to WikiLeaks the documents that are now controversial. The documents are controversial, because they are official US documents and show all too clearly that the US government is a duplicitous entity whose raison d’etre is to control every other government.

The media, not merely in the US but also throughout the English speaking world and Europe, has shown its hostility to WikiLeaks. The reason is obvious. WikiLeaks reveals truth, while the media covers up for the US government and its puppet states."
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Guy Rundle, Crikey: Bob Brown supports WikiLeaks, is Phillip Adams in the frame?

"Greens leader Bob Brown has spoken out in support of WikiLeaks, following its Cablegate document release to major media that began last week. While urging the global whistleblowing website to be "diligent" in ensuring that its released documents do not put lives at risk, Brown told Crikey that "the documents have caused increased scrutiny on often controversial aspects of US foreign policy. Such scrutiny is a good thing."

Brown's statement comes as the Gillard Labor government, which remains in power with the support of Green MHR Adam Bandt, continues to explore ways in which it can prosecute Julian Assange. Attorney-General Robert McClelland stated yesterday that "... the Australian Federal Police are looking at whether any Australian laws have been breached," a repeat of earlier statements. However, he is yet to specify any crimes with which Assange might be charged.

McClelland has also raised the possibility of cancelling Assange's Australian passport, though again no grounds on which this might occur have been raised.[...] The move is reminiscent of actions by the Menzies government at the height of the Cold War, when passport cancellation or refusal to issue was one of several techniques of political censorship and repression."
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Jeff Jarvis, The Huffington Post: Transparency: The New Source of Power

"Government should be transparent by default, secret by necessity. Of course, it is not. Too much of government is secret. Why? Because those who hold secrets hold power.

Now WikiLeaks has punctured that power. Whether or not it ever reveals another document -- and we can be certain that it will -- Wikileaks has made us all aware that no secret is safe. If something is known by one person, it can be known by the world.

But that has always been the case. The internet did not kill secrecy. It only makes copying and spreading information easier and faster. It weakens secrecy. Or as a friend of mine says, the internet democratizes leaking. It used to be, only the powerful could hold and uncover knowledge. Now many can.[...]

Now, in WikiLeaks, we see a new concern: that secrecy dies. It does not; secrecy lives. But it is wounded. And it should be. Let us use this episode to examine as citizens just how secret and how transparent our governments should be. For today, in the internet age, power shifts from those who hold secrets to those who create openness. That is our emerging reality."
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Micah L. Sifry, Tech President: After Wikileaks: The Promise of Internet Freedom, For Real

"So, while I am not 100% sure I am for everything that Wikileaks has done is and is doing, I do know that I am anti-anti-Wikileaks. The Internet makes possible a freer and more democratic culture, but only if we fight for it. And that means standing up precisely when unpopular speakers test the boundaries of free speech, and would-be censors try to create thought-crimes and intimidate the rest of us into behaving like children or sheep.

And, as Mark Pesce argues brilliantly, it's not like we can make this all go away. The potential for a Wikileaks moment--where a dissenter with the genuine goods of how an imperial organization actually carries out its business leaks that information into the global communications grid--has been inherent for years; now it has arrived. We are all living in a new age. And it does feel like radical changes in how the world works may again be possible."
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Chris O'Brien, Mercury News: Why we should applaud Wikileaks

"The reaction has been fierce. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., and ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security, said this week that WikiLeaks should be labeled a terrorist organization. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the disclosures an "attack on America's foreign policy interests."

But the reaction is misguided. Our government is undermining its own credibility with this overheated rhetoric. And this lashing out says more about our politicians than it does about Assange or WikiLeaks.[...]

The proper response to WikiLeaks should be a national conversation about what material should be kept secret -- and to keep that at an absolute minimum. No one is arguing that there aren't some secrets the government needs to keep. Even WikiLeaks has held back some of the documents it received. But the circle around the stuff that falls into this category should be drawn as small as possible.[...]

But there should be no doubt that WikiLeaks' efforts to expose government secrets have done a great public service by puncturing a hole in the government's arguments that it needs to keep expanding its bubble of secrecy to keep us safe."
Read more

 
By Admin (from 06/12/2010 @ 22:00:14, in en - Global Observatory, read 1586 times)

The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables portray Saudi Arabia as a cash machine for terrorists

"Saudi Arabia is the world's largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba – but the Saudi government is reluctant to stem the flow of money, according to Hillary Clinton.

"More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups," says a secret December 2009 paper signed by the US secretary of state. Her memo urged US diplomats to redouble their efforts to stop Gulf money reaching extremists in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide," she said. Three other Arab countries are listed as sources of militant money: Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates."
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The Guardian: Brazil denied existence of Islamist militants, WikiLeaks cables show

"Brazil's government covered up the existence of Islamist terrorist suspects in São Paulo and border areas in an apparent bid to protect the country's image, according to secret US documents released by WikiLeaks.

The administration of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva publicly denied that militant Islamists were active in Brazil, even while its law enforcement agencies co-operated closely with the US in monitoring suspects.

"Despite publicly expressed sentiments of high-level officials denying the existence of proven terrorist activity on Brazilian soil, Brazil's intelligence and law enforcement services are rightly concerned that terrorists could exploit Brazilian territory to support and facilitate terrorist attacks, whether domestically or abroad," said a US embassy cable."
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The Guardian: WikiLeaks cables claim al-Jazeera changed coverage to suit Qatari foreign policy

"Qatar is using the Arabic news channel al-Jazeera as a bargaining chip in foreign policy negotiations by adapting its coverage to suit other foreign leaders and offering to cease critical transmissions in exchange for major concessions, US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks claim.

The memos flatly contradict al-Jazeera's insistence that it is editorially independent despite being heavily subsidised by the Gulf state."
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Der Spiegel: At Sea in the Desert: US Diplomats Bewildered and Bamboozled in Baghdad

"Roughly 5,500 classified cables from the US Embassy in Baghdad paint a grim picture of why America's stunning military victory over Iraq devolved into disaster: The Americans allowed themselves to get entangled in the Sunni-Shiite conflict while being systematically outmaneuvered by the Iranians.[...]

Indeed, America's relations with the liberated Iraq have been anything but "friendly" and "constructive." Within just five years, the State Department went through five ambassadors and an army of analysts and consultants. And what made them fail can be gleaned from over 5,500 secret and confidential dispatches from the embassy in Baghdad."
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Der Spiegel: 'Redder than Red': An American Portrait of China's Next Leader

"It is thought that Xi Jinping will become China's next president. But who is he? A source close to Xi has provided US diplomats with a detailed portrait of the up-and-coming functionary -- and says he is neither corrupt nor a fan of democracy.

He isn't corrupt, and money seems unimportant to him. He apparently has enough. He likes the United States, and was at one time fascinated by the mysteries of Buddhism and Asian martial arts.

On October 18, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party appointed 57-year-old Xi Jinping vice-president of the powerful Central Military Commission. This makes it all but certain that he has been chosen to succeed Hu Jintao as Communist Party leader and Chinese president in 2012 and thus become one of the most powerful men in the world, if not the most powerful.

But who is Xi Jinping?"
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Der Spiegel: US Dispatches from Beijing: 'True Democracy' Within China's Politburo?

"Is there any place in dictatorial China where votes are taken and discussions held -- rather than orders given and decrees issued? Indeed there is. And it is where one would least expect it: In the heart of Chinese power.

If one is to believe US diplomatic sources in Beijing, "true democracy" prevails in the Politburo of all places, within that little-known group of top apparatchiks consisting of 24 men and one woman.

No one outside China's ruling cadre knows who at the top of China's power structure decides what and why. No one knows who thinks what, who is allied with whom and who really has influence. Public debates are rare. But by talking to leading functionaries, experts from the US Embassy in Beijing managed to get a glimpse inside of China's inner circle."
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Der Spiegel: Saudi Prince Turki bin Faisal on WikiLeaks: 'People Will No Longer Speak to American Diplomats Frankly'

"The United States has suffered serious political damage as a result of the WikiLeaks publication of secret documents, says Prince Turki bin Faisal, 65, the former intelligence chief and ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Washington. "America's credibility and honesty are the victim of these leaks," Turki said in an interview with the news magazine DER SPIEGEL. "People, including officials, will no longer speak to American diplomats frankly.""
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Le Monde: WikiLeaks : l'Arabie saoudite et le financement du terrorisme

"Le financement des activités terroristes ou des groupes considérés comme tels constitue une cible pour les experts américains dans la région du Golfe, tout particulièrement en Arabie saoudite.

Autant ils se félicitent de la réaction saoudienne contre ces groupes après les attentats d'Al-Qaida perpétrés dans le royaume, à partir de 2003, autant ils se plaignent des difficultés rencontrées pour convaincre le régime saoudien de la "priorité stratégique" que représentent les circuits de financement, selon une note de 2009 obtenue par WikiLeaks et consultée par Le Monde, pour Al-Qaida, les talibans afghans et leurs homologues pakistanais."
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Le Monde: WikiLeaks : Les ingérences de l'Iran en Irak tracassent les Etats-Unis

"Menaces et promesses, aide financière, manipulations politiques, espionnage tous azimuts, tentatives d'influence religieuse, fournitures d'armes et d'explosifs à des milices "pro" ou "anti" gouvernementales selon les périodes, incidents sporadiques plus ou moins provoqués sur les frontières communes, contacts et visites multipliées entre les deux pays…

A en croire les télégrammes diplomatiques écrits entre 2004 et février 2010 par l'ambassade américaine de Bagdad, obtenus par WikiLeaks et révélés par Le Monde, la stratégie iranienne en Irak a usé, au fil des ans, de tous les instruments possibles et imaginables pour influer sur les affaires intérieures de son voisin."
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Le Monde: WikiLeaks : France-Brésil, le couple, le sous-marin nucléaire et le Rafale

"La diplomatie américaine cherche à décortiquer les ressorts de la relation France-Brésil. Les évolutions du géant d'Amérique latine ne peuvent laisser Washington indifférent, pas plus que les transferts de technologie, notamment militaire, vers cette partie "émergente" du monde. En novembre 2009, dans un télégramme intitulé "la France et le Brésil : le début d'une histoire d'amour", l'ambassade américaine à Paris se penche sur le duo formé par Nicolas Sarkozy et le président du Brésil, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva.

Le constat le plus saillant est que derrière l'affichage très médiatisé d'amitié personnelle entre les deux chefs d'Etat, se nichent des enjeux stratégiques en termes de défense, avec une aide majeure apportée par la France au Brésil en matière de capacités militaires. Car au-delà du suspense – qui dure toujours – sur les perspectives de vente d'avions Rafale, une affaire plus discrète a été négociée : la livraison au Brésil du premier sous-marin à propulsion nucléaire du continent sud-américain."
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El Pais: Cómo nos ven los estadounidenses: "Zapatero lleva mal que le den clases de algo"

"José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero y los políticos españoles más poderosos del momento son descritos descarnadamente en los documentos secretos y confidenciales de la Embajada de Estados Unidos en Madrid, que dedican especial atención al presidente del Gobierno y a los integrantes de sus dos círculos más próximos. En el primero, la legación estadounidense sitúa al vicepresidente Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba; al ministro de Fomento, José Blanco; al portavoz socialista en el Congreso de los Diputados, José Antonio Alonso, y al secretario general de la Oficina del Presidente, Bernardino León, al que llaman "el chico de oro del Gobierno". En el segundo mencionan al "impredecible" Miguel Ángel Moratinos, ex ministro de Exteriores, a la "inmadura" Carme Chacón, ministra de Defensa, y al embajador en Estados Unidos, Jorge Dezcallar."
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El Pais: Los lugares estratégicos de la Tierra

"Los cables secretos de la diplomacia estadounidense atestiguan el poderoso esfuerzo ejercido por la superpotencia en los rincones más lejanos y aparentemente insignificantes de la Tierra para proteger sus intereses y garantizar su seguridad, estabilidad y desarrollo. Uno de los ejemplos más esclarecedores del alcance de esa actitud global es la lista que el Departamento de Estado redacta cada año seleccionand o las infraestructuras civiles y recursos naturales del mundo que considera estratégicamente más relevantes.

La selección de 2008 contenía unos 300 elementos. Los puntos de interés suelen ser puertos, gasoductos, minas y empresas del sector químico, farmacéutico o de defensa. En España, por ejemplo, EE UU seleccionó tres elementos: el estrecho de Gibraltar, el gasoducto que une a la Península con Argelia y el laboratorio catalán Grifols. La importancia de los lugares es valorada por el grado de dependencia de ellos de EE UU, por el impacto que su eventual destrucción o alteración en el funcionamiento tendría sobre "la salud pública, la estabilidad económica y/o la seguridad nacional" estadounidense."
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El Pais: EE UU acusa a donantes saudíes de financiar el terrorismo islamista

""Los donantes en Arabia Saudí constituyen la fuente más significativa de financiación de los grupos terroristas suníes en todo el mundo", asegura un despacho diplomático enviado hace un año por la Secretaría de Estado a sus embajadas en Riad, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Islamabad y Doha (documento 242073). El texto, uno de los más claros exponentes de la preocupación de EE UU por el dinero del terrorismo, les pide que recaben la cooperación de esos Gobiernos para poner coto a la recaudación de fondos de Al Qaeda y los talibanes. Pero en los 1.110 cables que tocan el asunto se vislumbra que las prioridades de algunos de sus aliados van por otros derroteros. Las menciones al progreso llevado a cabo por éstos no logran eclipsar la frustración estadounidense por la lentitud de sus avances."
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El Pais: EE UU y Brasil colaboran en secreto contra los islamistas

"El Gobierno brasileño mantiene un doble discurso sobre la lucha antiterrorista en su propio país. Por un lado, niega que exista esa amenaza y protesta airadamente cuando se le menciona la triple frontera (entre Argentina, Paraguay y Brasil) como posible foco de apoyo a la organización islámista Hezbolá o de financiación de grupos extremistas, y por otro, colabora plenamente en el campo operativo con las agencias antiterroristas de Estados Unidos, no solo para investigar los indicios que le proporcionan, sino para intercambiar información propia. Así se desprende de los telegramas enviados por la Embajada de Estados Unidos en Brasil a lo largo de los últimos años."
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By Admin (from 06/12/2010 @ 20:18:49, in en - Global Observatory, read 1791 times)

"The first serious infowar is now engaged. The field of battle is WikiLeaks. You are the troops," wrote John Perry Barlow on Twitter.

The censorship vs. free speech battle is escalating. This week has seen Amazon, Tableau, EveryDNS and PayPal dropping WikiLeaks services in quick succession, DDoS attacks that caused the site to go offline multiple times, and mounting political pressure from the US (2), Australian and French governments.

The US government went so far as to warn Switzerland against granting Julian Assange political asylum, reports 20 Minuten. In an open letter in Der Sonntag, the US ambassador to Switzerland, Donald Beyer, wrote that "Switzerland will have to consider very carefully whether to provide shelter to someone who is a fugitive from justice." However Swiss politicians including Cédric Wermuth, president of the Young Socialist Party, Bastien Girod, president of the Greens National Council, and the Swiss Pirate Party have reiterated their support for Assange and willingness to grant him asylum.

The onslaught is creating growing resistance. "American pressure to dissuade companies in the US from supporting the WikiLeaks website has led to an online backlash in which individuals are redirecting parts of their own sites to its Swedish internet host," writes The Guardian. "At the same time, scores of sites "mirroring" WikiLeaks have sprung up – by lunchtime today, the list was 74-strong and contained sites that have the same content as WikiLeaks and – crucially – link to the downloads of its leaks of 250,000 US diplomatic cables." The mirror list counts now hundreds of domains.

WikiLeaks' Swiss host, Switch, said that there was "no reason" why the site should be forced offline, despite demands from France and the US, in a statement released by the Swiss Pirate Party. French host OVH declared that it was up to judges, and "not up to the politicians or OVH to request or decide the closure of the site," in a response to the French government.

Jon Karlung, the CEO of WikiLeaks's Swedish host, Bahnhof, told The Daily Beast that "The service is provided in Sweden — where Swedish law applies. We are not subject to American law, Chinese laws or Iranian laws either, for that matter. WikiLeaks is just a normal business client. We do not treat them any different than any other client." He said that the US had not contacted the company to ask it to cancel hosting for WikiLeaks, and when asked whether Bahnhof would comply if such a request were made, he answered "Of course not."

Evgeny Morozov has cautioned in The Financial Times that the US backlash against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange may have unintended consequences: "WikiLeaks could be transformed from a handful of volunteers to a global movement of politicised geeks clamouring for revenge. Today’s WikiLeaks talks the language of transparency, but it could quickly develop a new code of explicit anti-Americanism, anti-imperialism and anti-globalisation.[...] An aggressive attempt to go after WikiLeaks – by blocking its web access, for instance, or by harassing its members – could install Mr Assange (or whoever succeeds him) at the helm of a powerful new global movement able to paralyse the work of governments and corporations around the world."

Update: Internet activist group Anonymous has joined the fight, with a manifesto in support of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

The New York Times reports: "Gregg Housh, a prominent member of the group, said by telephone from Boston that an orchestrated effort was under way to attack companies that have refused to support WikiLeaks and to post multiple copies of the leaked material.[...] “The reason is amazingly simple,” Mr. Housh said of the campaign. “We all believe that information should be free, and the Internet should be free.” "

 

Image

In an interview with the BBC's Andrew Marr, lawyer Mark Stephens said:

"In Sweden it's quite bizarre though, because the chief prosecutor, the director of public prosecution in Sweden dropped the entire case against him, saying there was absolutely nothing for him to face, back in September. And then, a few weeks ago, after the intervention of a Swedish politician, a new prosecutor, not in Stockholm, where Julian and these women had been, but in Gothenburg, began a new case, which of course has resulted in these warrants and of course the Interpol red notice being put out across this week.

It does seem to be a political stunt, I mean, I have, and his Swedish lawyer, have been trying to get in touch with the prosecutors since August. Now, usually, it's the prosecutor who does the pursuing, not the pursued. And in this particular case, Julian Assange has tried to vindicate himself, has tried to meet with the prosecutors, to have his good name restored."

He remarked that "A warrant was issued on Thursday by reports. We've asked for it. We've been ignored at this point," adding that "He's only wanted for interview, why not have that interview by consent, rather than this show trial?"

He also talked about the calls for assassination coming from "credible sources around the world," and particularly the United States, including people as high up as Sarah Palin. He said that Julian Assange would certainly fight deportation to Sweden on the grounds that it could lead to him being handed over to the US, where senior politicians have called for him to be executed.

Stephens added: "I'm really rather worried by the political motivations that appear to be behind this (the Sweden case). It doesn't escape my attention that Sweden was one of those lickspittle states which used its resources and its facilities for rendition flights."

(You can watch part of the BBC interview here. The full interview is available on BBC's iPlayer for UK audiences only.)

Swedish attorney Björn Hurtig echoed the same concerns: Reuters: "I have seen the documents, and I can't say that I think it is a set-up by the CIA or something. But I suspect that there is someone else who is pushing Sweden to (take) these most unproportional measures that they are doing right now, and is pushing Sweden to push Interpol to make this arrest warrant public. I think somebody has an interest in getting Julian to Sweden and maybe asking for him to be extradited to another country (from there)."

In an earlier statement to the press, Mark Stephens wrote:

"Mr. Assange has repeatedly sought meetings with the Prosecutrix - both in Sweden and subsequently - in order to answer her questions and clear his name. It is relevant that Mr. Assange sought permission from the Prosecutrix to leave Sweden and she gave him her permission. Since leaving Sweden Mr. Assange has continued to seek meetings with the Prosecutrix, but his requests have either been ignored or met with a refusal."

"Bizarrely, the Prosecutrix - having ignored or rejected those offers of voluntary cooperation - instead sought an arrest warrant to have Mr. Assange held incommunicado without giving his Swedish lawyer sufficient notice, access to evidence or information to take proper instructions from Mr. Assange. This action is all the more peculiar as she has not even issued a formal summons for his interrogation or brought charges against Mr. Assange," the statement added.

"Since the rape charge has been dropped, the current allegation he faces does not - as a matter of Swedish law - justify an arrest warrant for Mr. Assange. The sole ground for the warrant is the Prosecutor's blatantly false allegation that he is on the run from justice: he left Sweden lawfully and has offered himself for questioning," Stephens said.

"At this point in time we have no evidence pointing to a link between these allegations from August and the issue of the Interpol alert just two days after the WikiLeaks first release of US diplomatic cables. However, it is highly unusual for a red notice warrant to be issued in relation to the allegations reported as having been made, since Swedish law does not require custodial orders in relation to the allegation - indeed to our knowledge this is a unique action by the Swedish prosecuting authorities in applying for a red notice on the basis of these allegations," Stephens’ statement concluded.

"We are also investigating whether the Prosecutor's application to have Mr. Assange held incommunicado without access to lawyers, visitors or other prisoners - again a unique request - is in any way linked to this matter and the recent, rather bellicose US statements of an intention to prosecute Mr. Assange."

In an interview with Sweden's TV4, prosecutor Marianne Ny has categorically refused to meet with Julian Assange in the UK, despite repeated offers from Assange's lawyers, reports Expressen.

Update 1: Jennifer Robinson and Mark Stephens told The Guardian that they had been watched by people parked outside their houses for the past week.

"I've noticed people consistently sitting outside my house in the same cars with newspapers," said Robinson. "I probably noticed certain things a week ago, but mostly it's been the last three or four days."

Stephens said he, too, had had his home watched. Asked who he thought was monitoring him, he said: "The security services."

Robinson said the legal team was also experiencing "other forms of pressure" from Washington," including an inappropriate attempt by the State Department to "elide client and lawyer" in correspondence: "It's quite a serious situation," she said, adding that, according to the UN's Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, governments should ensure that lawyers "are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference" and that "lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients' causes as a result of discharging their functions."
Read more

For our full Sweden case coverage, please click here.

 
By Admin (from 06/12/2010 @ 09:00:33, in en - Global Observatory, read 1451 times)

ImageJulian Assange: "Geopolitics will be separated into pre and post 'Cablegate'"

El Pais features an interview with Julian Assange in the December 5th edition. He talked about the numerous death threats he has been receiving, the attacks against WikiLeaks, the significance of the Cablegate release, and fighting the Swedish case allegations.

On death threats: "We have hundreds of specific death threats from US military militants. That is not unusual, and we have become practiced from past experiences at ignoring such threats from Islamic extremists, African kleptocrats and so on. Recently the situation has changed with these threats now extending out to our lawyers and my children. However it is the specific calls from the elites of US society for our assassination, kidnapping and execution that is more concerning. These range from a US senate bill by John Ensign which seeks to declare us a "transnational threat" to assassination calls from former Bush speechwriters such as Marc Thiessen in The Washington Post and Bill O'Reilly of Fox News."

On the consequences of Cablegate: "It is too early to say yet. The ripples are just starting to flow throughout the world. But I believe geopolitics will be separated into pre and post Cablegate phases."

On the Swedish charges: "We will fight them and expose them, naturally. That there is something "wrong" with this case is now obvious to everyone."

Read the full interview in English or Spanish

 
By Admin (from 06/12/2010 @ 07:00:39, in en - Global Observatory, read 2448 times)

ImageIFJ Condemns United States "Desperate and Dangerous" Backlash over WikiLeaks

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the political backlash being mounted against the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks and accused the United States of attacking free speech after it put pressure on the website's host server to shut down the site yesterday.

The website's host Amazon.com blocked access to WikiLeaks after United States officials condemned the torrent of revelations about political, business and diplomatic affairs that has given people around the world unprecedented access to detailed information from United States sources, much of it embarrassing to leading public figures.

"It is unacceptable to try to deny people the right to know," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. "These revelations may be embarrassing in their detail, but they also expose corruption and double-dealing in public life that is worthy of public scrutiny. The response of the United States is desperate and dangerous because it goes against fundamental principles of free speech and democracy."

The IFJ has taken no position on the justification for the release of hundreds of thousands of internal documents which have made headlines around the world in the last few days, but it has welcomed the decision of WikiLeaks to use respected channels of journalism including Der Spiegel, The Guardian, the New York Times, Le Monde and El Pais to filter the information.

"This information is being processed by serious, professional journalists who are well aware of their responsibilities both to the public and to people implicated in these revelations," said White. "It is simply untenable to allege as some people have that lives are being put at risk here. The only casualty here is the culture of secrecy that has for too long drawn a curtain around the unsavory side of public life."

The IFJ is also concerned about the welfare and well-being of Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder and Bradley Manning, the United States soldier in Iraq who is under arrest and suspected of leaking the information. Both men are the target of a growing political campaign mounted by government officials and right-wing politicians.

Assange has been forced into hiding and is the subject of an international police investigation over allegations concerning sexual offences in Sweden. The IFJ says that calls by right wing commentators for Manning to be executed and that Assange be hunted down as a spy, as demanded by former Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, show a mood of intolerance and persecution that is dangerous not just for the two men but for all journalists engaged in investigating public affairs.

"The IFJ and its members support the rights of whistle-blowers and the responsible reporting of information in the public interest," said White. "This over-reaction by politicians and their allies illustrates that they have not understood the historical significance of these events. The people's right to know is not something that can any longer be willfully ignored. They have to adjust to the fact journalists have a duty to report, fairly and accurately and with due respect for the rights of all parties in the public interest."

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07

The IFJ represents more than 600.000 members in 125 countries

Source

 
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