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The London Expat American Meetup Group Message Board › Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks and Afghanistan - US Citizen in Guantanamo

Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks and Afghanistan - US Citizen in Guantanamo

Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,249
The World Tomorrow: Alaa Abd El-Fattah & Nabeel Rajab
Video: Julian Assange's The World Tomorrow: Nabeel Rajab & Alaa Abd El-Fattah ... RT



Julian Assange interviews two leading Arab revolutionaries in the mididle of conflict, Alaa Abd El-Fattah from Egypt and Nabeel Rajab from Bahrain.

The World Tomorrow : Slavoj Zizek and David Horowitz



In the second episode of his ground breaking new series, Julian Assange is joined in house arrest by intellectual superstar Slavoj Zizek, and via satellite by divisive right wing figurehead David Horowitz.
This episode pitches left against right, as self described communist Zizek and "fiery right wing zionist" David Horowitz go head to head. It's a heated discussion...

The World Tomorrow : Hassan Nazrallah



A freedom fighter to some, a terrorist to others, it is his first interview in the West since 2006. From a secret location in Lebanon Hassan Nasrallah gives Assange a rare and frank insight into his vision for the future of the Middle East.

The World Tomorrow : President Moncef Marzouki
Tunisia is where it all started....



Over the last 18 months the middle east has been shaken by a series of revolutionary movements that began in Tunisia. This week Assange speaks to the man running the new Tunisia, President Moncef Marzouki.

The debate is wide ranging, including their shared personal experiences of prison, the human rights record of the US, democratic Islamism, torture and secret files. But, despite their obvious mutual respect, Assange is able to challenge Marzouki, both over the censorship of the internet in Tunisia and on his position over the revolutions in Bahrain and Syria. According to the President, "we have to forget about the positions of Nasrallah and people like him. There is no good dictatorship. Dictatorship is dictatorship: corrupted, brutal and against the people

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Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,250
The World Tomorrow : President Moncef Marzouki
Tunisia is where it all started....
President Moncef Marzouki is cut from a very differnent cloth than his American backed predecessor, Ben Ali...




Over the last 18 months the middle east has been shaken by a series of revolutionary movements that began in Tunisia. This week Assange speaks to the man running the new Tunisia, President Moncef Marzouki.

The debate is wide ranging, including their shared personal experiences of prison, the human rights record of the US, democratic Islamism, torture and secret files. But, despite their obvious mutual respect, Assange is able to challenge Marzouki, both over the censorship of the internet in Tunisia and on his position over the revolutions in Bahrain and Syria. According to the President, "we have to forget about the positions of Nasrallah and people like him. There is no good dictatorship. Dictatorship is dictatorship: corrupted, brutal and against the people.

The World Tomorrow : Hassan Nazrallah



A freedom fighter to some, a terrorist to others, it is his first interview in the West since 2006. From a secret location in Lebanon Hassan Nasrallah gives Assange a rare and frank insight into his vision for the future of the Middle East.
Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,252
The World Tomorrow: Julian Assange proves a useful idiot:
Was the odious RT a correct, useful strategic ally?
Luke Harding author of "Mafia State" in The Guardian
http://www.guardian.c...­
http://www.guardianbo...­
http://www.cbc.ca/new...­
http://www.watershed....­

US cables released by WikiLeaks in December 2010 paint a dismal picture of Putin's Russia as a "virtual mafia state". Has Assange read them?

It was billed as Julian Assange's "explosive" TV debut. The choice of word was perhaps unfortunate given that the first guest on Assange's much-hyped interview show, The World Tomorrow, was Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Shia militant group Hezbollah.

The Kremlin propaganda channel Russia Today has exclusive initial rights to the show, broadcast for the first time on Tuesday around the world. To be fair, Assange had scored a genuine coup. Nasrallah last spoke to the media six years ago. The interview was conducted via a video link – Assange was in Norfolk, his guest at a secret location, presumably Beirut. (The portly cleric clearly doesn't get out much, and spends most of his time underground, dodging Israeli missiles.)

But Assange's debut interview wasn't quite the incendiary event that Russia Today had promised. The questions were clearly agreed in advance. Some were softball, others fawning, with Nasrallah's answers unchallenged.

The White House won't have liked what it saw: at one point the editor of WikiLeaks called Nasrallah a freedom fighter who had "fought against the hegemony of the United States". The implicit comparison was with Assange himself, whose disclosure of US secrets continues to enrage the Pentagon.

But it was impossible to avoid the conclusion that Assange isn't one of TV's naturals. His delivery was stilted. Assange has done numerous media interviews since WikiLeaks propelled him to global fame in 2010. And a simultaneous translator was on hand to turn his questions into Arabic. But the results were debatable. One Twitter user described his interview style as "engrossing". But others dubbed it "like a robot", "painful to watch", and punctuated with "shots of Assange nodding sagely while HN drones on".

Assange was at his best when he asked Nasrallah why Hezbollah supports the Arab spring across the Middle East, but not in Syria. His worst moment came when he prompted the cleric to recall how members of the Lebanese resistance had outwitted the Israelis by using homespun village phrases such as "cooking pot" and "father of the chicken". Julian began his question in the manner of a lost tourist who has accidentally stumbled on an English phrasebook: "Do … you … remember … this … joke?"

The most insidious aspect of Assange's show is not what is in it, but what isn't. Russia Today – now styled RT – is state-owned and Kremlin-controlled. It is remarkable for how little reporting it devotes to what is going on inside Russia today. There is no mention, for example, of top-level corruption, Vladimir Putin's alleged secret fortune – referenced in US embassy cables leaked by WikiLeaks – or the brutal behaviour of Russian security forces and their local proxies in the north Caucasus.

Instead, the channel offers a shiny updated version of Soviet propaganda. The west, and America in particular, is depicted as crime-ridden, failing, and in thrall to big business and evil elites. RT's favourite theme is western hypocrisy: "How dare you criticise us when you do the same?" The English-language channel portrays itself as "anti-mainstream". In reality it reflects Putin's own conspiratorial, touchy and xenophobic world-view while staying mute about Russia's own failings.

The mystery is why Assange should agree to become a pawn in the Kremlin's global information war. Perhaps he needs the money. Assange's anti-American agenda, of course, fits neatly with the Kremlin's own. Russia prides itself on having undesirable allies; expect Venezuela's Hugo Chávez or Belarus's Alexander Lukashenko on future shows. In Tuesday's interview Nasrallah expressed support for the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad. By happy coincidence this is Moscow's position.

It's inconceivable, meanwhile, that RT would interview Doku Umarov, the Islamist leader whose followers are fighting a vicious war in southern Russia, and whom Moscow regards as a murderous terrorist. (When the Australian TV channel ABC interviewed one of Umarov's predecessors, Shamil Basayev, who was later assassinated, the Kremlin expelled the channel from Russia). Nor is Assange likely to interview leading critics of the Russian regime.

US cables released by WikiLeaks in December 2010 paint a dismal picture of Putin's Russia as a "virtual mafia state". Has Assange read them? It seems extraordinary that Assange – described by RT as the world's most famous whistleblower – should team up with an opaque regime where investigative journalists are shot dead (16 unsolved murders) and human rights activists kidnapped and executed, especially in Chechnya and other southern Muslim republics. Strange and obscene.

There is a long dishonourable tradition of western intellectuals who have been duped by Moscow. The list includes Bernard Shaw, the Webbs, HG Wells and André Gide. So Assange – whether for idealistic reasons, or simply out of necessity, given his legal bills and fight against extradition to Sweden – isn't the first. But The World Tomorrow confirms he is no fearless revolutionary. Instead he is a useful idiot.

• This article was amended on 18 April to make clear that it was a TV review.

Mafia State
By Luke Harding





In 2007 Luke Harding arrived in Moscow to take up a new job as a correspondent for the British newspaper the Guardian. Within months, mysterious agents from Russia's Federal Security Service - the successor to the KGB - had broken into his flat. He found himself tailed by men in cheap leather jackets, bugged, and even summoned to Lefortovo, the KGB's notorious prison.

The break-in was the beginning of an extraordinary psychological war against the journalist and his family. Vladimir Putin's spies used tactics developed by the KGB and perfected in the 1970s by the Stasi, East Germany's sinister secret police. This clandestine campaign burst into the open in 2011 when the Kremlin expelled Harding from Moscow - the first western reporter to be deported from Russia since the days of the Cold War.

Mafia State: How one reporter became an enemy of the brutal new Russia is a brilliant and haunting account of the insidious methods used by a resurgent Kremlin against its so-called "enemies" - human rights workers, western diplomats, journalists and opposition activists. It includes unpublished material from confidential US diplomatic cables, released last year by WikiLeaks, which describe Russia as a "virtual mafia state".

Harding personal and compelling portrait of today's Russia, two decades after the end of communism, true story that reads like a spy thriller.

Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,255
Bradley Manning: a show trial of state secrecy
The US government's suppression of all accountability and transparency in prosecuting the WikiLeaks suspect is totalitarian
http://www.guardian.c...­

On 24 April, a hearing in one of the most important court martial cases in decades will take place in Fort Meade, Maryland. The accused faces life in prison for the 22 charges against him, which include "aiding the enemy" and "transmitting defense information". His status as an alleged high-profile whistleblower and the importance of the issues his case raises should all but guarantee the proceedings a prominent spot in major media, as well as in public debate.

Yet, in spite of the grave implications, not to mention the press and public's first amendment right of full and open access to criminal trials, no outside parties will have access to the evidence, the court documents, court orders or off-the-record arguments that will ultimately decide his fate. Under these circumstances, whatever the outcome of the case, the loser will be the transparency necessary for democratic government, accountable courts and faith in our justice system.

In the two years since his arrest for allegedly leaking the confidential files that exposed grand-scale military misconduct, potential war crimes and questionable diplomatic tactics, army private Bradley Manning has been subjected to an extremely secretive criminal procedure. It is a sad irony that the government's heavy-handed approach to this case only serves to underscore the motivations – some would say, the necessity – for whistleblowing like Manning's in the first place.

The most well-known of the leaked files, a 39-minute video entitled "Collateral Murder", depicts three brutal attacks on civilians by US soldiers during the course of just one day of the Iraq war. The footage, recorded from the cockpit of a US Apache helicopter involved in the attacks, shows the killing of several individuals, including two Reuters journalists, as well as the serious injury of two children. Beyond the chilling images of US soldiers eagerly pleading for chances to shoot, the release of this footage placed a spotlight on the military's blatant mischaracterization of the events, in which a spokesman claimed that there was "no question" that the incident involved engagement with "a hostile force", and underscores the vital role that public scrutiny plays in government accountability.

As an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and a legal adviser to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, I continue to attend Manning's hearings and can only describe them as a theater of the absurd: the trial involves numerous and lengthy off-the-record conferences, out of sight and hearing of the press and public, after which the judge provides an in-court summary that hardly satisfies standards of "open and public". Perhaps more remarkable is the refusal even to provide the press and public with a pre-trial publicity order, which was signed by the judge – an order that details what lawyers can and cannot reveal about the case. Yes, even the degree to which proceedings should be kept in secret is a secret, leaving the public and media chained in a Plato's Cave, able only to glimpse the shadows of reality.

The press and advocacy groups, however, have not been quiet about the trampling of their rights. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, on behalf of 46 news organizations, urged the Department of Defense to take measures that would allow the news media to view documents prior to court arguments. The committee pointed out that the trial for the "alleged leak of the largest amount of classified information in US history" is of "intense public interest, particularly where, as here, that person's liberty is at stake". The Center for Constitutional Rights, too, has requested access in the interest of an "open and public" trial, but neither appeal has been answered.

This is a clear violation of the law, but it will likely take burdensome litigation to rectify this lack of transparency. The US supreme court has insisted that criminal trials must be public, and the fourth circuit, where this court martial is occurring, has ruled that the first amendment right of access to criminal trials includes the right to the documents in such trials.

The greater issue at hand is why this process should be necessary at all. As circuit judge Damon Keith famously wrote in Detroit Free Press v Ashcroft, "Democracies die behind closed doors." Yet it is evident from the many layers of secrecy around Manning's arrest, imprisonment and prosecution that the government shows no sign of relinquishing its claimed powers to obscure rightfully transparent judicial proceedings. The doors appear to be tightly shut.

Unless we challenge the growing culture of secrecy within our government, and counter the ever-increasing, reflexive claims of "national security" by claiming our own constitutional rights, we risk finding those doors shut indefinitely.

• This article originally misstated that the pre-trial publicity order was not provided to the defense; in fact, it has not been provided to the press and public. The article was amended at 11am (EST; 4pm UK time) on 25 April 2012.
Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,256


Nobel peace prize: Bradley Manning tops reader poll
Bradley Manning heads our reader poll on who should win this year's Nobel peace prize
http://www.guardian.c...­

Private Bradley Manning should win the Nobel peace prize, according to our readers.



Following a poll in which we asked readers to vote from a selection of main contenders, the US soldier accused of leaking more than 250,000 secret diplomatic cables to Julian Assange's WikiLeaks received almost 40% of the votes, relegating Assange himself to second place.

Manning, who has spent the past sixteen months in custody, received just under 2,500 votes in our poll. Assange received the support of over 1,000 voters, while Burman political activist Aung San Suu Kyi, was in third place, with 11.3% of the votes. The winner of the Nobel peace prize will be announced tomorrow.

Readers were invited to share the reason for their choices in the comments section, and were also encouraged to nominate candidates that did not appear on the list of main contenders.



alaysica was one of many who voted for Manning. She wrote:

IF Bradley Manning is responsible for allowing the world to see the shennanigans that have been going on in the name of western democracy and responsible government , then he must be the first on the list. Those "shennanigens" include horrifying acts of murder and torture . (and it is an IF, because this young man has STILL not received a trial after nearly a year and a half of imprisonment in the US in conditions suspected to be those considered worldwide as torture

He is one of those men and women who tried to show the ordinary people of the world the truth of what is done in their name.

He should receive the Prize for having suffered torture and imprisonment without trial for trying to show the world the truth, irrespective of personal risk

SteB1 added:

Aung San Suu Kyi is probably the most deserving conventional candidate. However, I think the selection of Bradley Manning would have the greatest impact on changing things for the better. The US has lost it's moral compass, and the US diplomatic cable releases did more than anything to expose the hypocrisy and sham of their moral position.

richard1980 had this view:

No to giving it to Assange. If you must reward Wikileaks and the impact they've had then give it to Bradley Manning. He's the one who did everything and crucially he is the one paying the cost. Assange's ego does not need further inflating. Manning and his actions though need to be remembered and praised.

Snusmumriken felt Aung San Suu Kyi would be a more productive choice:


I think Aung San Suu Kyi. Her release and the recent scrapping of the dam project in Burma indicates that there may be some readiness, however small, for the Burmese government to start listening to the wishes of its people. it is therefore a crucial time to remind the junta that the world is still watching and still cares and supports the cause of democracy and freedom for Burma.

Clunie explained her choice of Israa Abdel-Fatah, who received 1.9% of the votes:

I think they're all exceptional, but I voted for Israa Abdel-Fatah because she's an ordinary person who very literally risked her life to help change (or take a step towards changing) her country's history. Also, she'd be a great inspiration to other women in the Middle East who still face daunting barriers beyond the usual, as well as showing that you don't need to be an academic, politician, campaigner or high-up official to help overthrow a tyrant.

Finally, Abhinav used the comments section to offer this alternative suggestion:

I would vote for a posthumous award to Mohamed Bouazizi, the man who set himself on fire in Tunisia and sparked the biggest non-violent freedom struggle in recent times.
Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,260
WIKILEAKS: MEPs send a letter to US gov. expressing concerns about Bradley Manning


Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,261

Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,275

Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,282


Bradley Manning military trial: group petitions for a more open court
Coalition says WikiLeaks suspect's trial is being conducted amid far more secrecy than the alleged 9/11 plotters in Guantanamo
http://www.guardian.c...­
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http://www.guardian.c...­

The military trial of the WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning is being conducted amid far more secrecy than even the prosecution of the alleged 9/11 plotters in Guantanamo, a coalition of lawyers and media outlets protest.

Bradley Manning faces 22 charges related to the leaking of an immense trove of US state secrets to Julian Assange's website WikiLeaks. But none are graded Top Secret and are typical of information released on a daily basis by The Pentagon and by the CIA's press offices. So why the unusual treatment?

Led by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, the coalition has petitioned the Army court of criminal appeals calling for the court-martial against Manning to be opened up to the press and public. The group complains that the way the trial is being handled by the trial judge Colonel Denise Lind is a violation of the First Amendment of the constitution that requires public access unless the government can specifically demonstrate the need for secrecy.

The petition lists the many ways in which the public are being kept in the dark over the prosecution of Bradley Manning, who faces 22 charges related to the leaking of a vast trove of US state secrets to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks. He was arrested in May 2010 at a military base outside Baghdad where he was working as an intelligence analyst on suspicion of passing hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables as well as warlogs from Iraq and Afghanistan to the site.

The army has allowed the publication of not one single motion submitted by the prosecution to the court-martial, nor any prosecution replies to defence motions, not even in redacted form. None of the orders issued by the court have been made public, and no transcripts have been provided of any of the proceedings – not even those that were fully open to the press.

The petitioners include Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, as well as news outlets and individuals such as the Nation, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald. They say that the lack of openness is all the more serious given the gravity of the charges and the high-profile nature of the court martial which they liken to the trial of Lt William Calley for the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the legal tussle over the publication of the Pentagon Papers.

Members of the Bradley Manning support network who have attended each of his pre-trial hearings have castigated the "outrageous obfuscations" of the Obama administration over the trial. "Why has the administration spent two years trying to hide basic facts from the defense, the press and the American people?" said Jeff Paterson, a co-founder of the network.

The only documents that have emerged from the proceedings so far are those that have been published by Manning's defence lawyer, David Coombs, on his blog. Coombs has consistently protested about the lack of transparency in the conduct of the court-martial.

In a new post to his blog, Coombs has published the latest set of defence motions ahead of a pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade military base in Maryland scheduled for 6 June. In one of the motions, Coombs complains that over the past two years Manning has been denied the opportunity to take part in his own defence in any meaningful way. He has had no chance to review some 7,000 documents handed to the defence team by the army because no arrangement has been made to allow him secure access to the files from his location in custody.

The only accessible documents are stored in Rhode Island and Maryland, far from where he is being held in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Another motion that will be put to the June hearing calls on the judge to dismiss many of the most serious charges against Manning on the grounds that the language used in them is unconstitutionally vague. The defence objects to phrases such as "to the injury of the US or to the advantage of any foreign nation" which it says are problematically broad in scope.




Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 4,286
The Julian Assange Show: Occupy Movement



Published on May 29, 2012 by RussiaToday

The Occupy movement has united hundreds of thousands across the world to fight social and economic inequality. In the latest edition of Assange's very own interview programme Julian Assange meets with prominent Occupy activists who say their collective efforts target global institutions.

Julian Assange Show - official video page: http://assange.rt.com...­
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