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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.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,018

US diplomats – it is reported – thought Putin was “an alpha dog”, a British Royal was “boorish”, a Labour Minister “a hound-dog with women” and so it goes on and on. All of it amusing. None of it surprising.
But critically little of it reveals real policy issues and positions in contrast to previous leaks. To that end much can and will be dismissed along that lines of: “This is the view of an individual diplomat – it does not represent the views or policies of the US State Department.”
Yet, the get-out-of-jail card is not all-powerful here.

All of this cumulative embarrassment does matter of course and will impact on the ability of the US to conduct itself abroad. Grave issues of trust have been eroded – not least the trust of, say, the King of Saudi Arabia, that he can suggest the US bombs Iran, safe in the knowledge that lines of communication are secure when they are not.

And here too we come to policy and potential real damage. Because – unlike the USA – in Saudi Arabia we can safely take the view of the king as a policy position of his country and that has been duly revealed.
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,019
Pirate Bay founders lose appeal and get sent to jail but how did we get here?
Benjamin Cohen Technology Editor Friday 26 November 2010 4:01 pm

Pirate Bay co-founders Neij, Svartholm and Sunde leave the city court after the last day of argument's in their copyright trial in Stockholm

Last year, the Swedish Pirate Party won two seats in the European Parliament. Their leader Rick Falkvinge said: “This case was politically motivated from the start and (the problem) must be solved politically.

“This doesn’t mean anything for The Pirate Bay and it doesn’t mean anything for similar sites. File sharing is increasing every day and the only thing this means is that more and more people will try to hide what they are doing on the Internet.”

You might find my report from Sweden interesting as it highlights the extent of piracy in the country.

“The appeals court, like the district court, finds that the service Pirate Bay has facilitated illegal file sharing in a way which is punishable for those who carried out the service,” the court said in a statement.

Originally, they had been sentenced to one year in prison and a fine of 32 million Kronor (then just under £3m). The appeals court increased the fine to 46 million Kronor (£4.2m), but has reduced the prison terms of those convicted.

Neij will serve 10 months, front man Sunde eight months and Lundstrom four. Last year, I reported that a Swedish games company purchased the website for £4.7m.

Trevor Pagen, the author of the books
Julian Assange and Swedish "Justice"­

"If you want further detailed information on US/CIA influence over Swedish courts and government have a read of "Torture taxi: on the trail of the CIA's rendition flights" by Paglen, Trevor. Gives a clue as to what Julian Assange is facing.

His latest books:
can be located at his website at­

WikiLeaks - The US embassy cables
Wed 1 Dec, 7pm
Price: £12.50 (£10 early booking)

Following the release of 251,287 confidential United States embassy cables, journalists and representatives from the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks will be discussing the data, the research behind it and the value of this material. We will be joined by: WikiLeaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson; James Ball, a data journalist who has been working with WikiLeaks; Nicky Hager, author and Investigative journalist; additional panelists to be confirmed.

Another opportunity to join in a lively public meeting, hosted by Paddy O'Connell of BBC Radio 4's Broadcasting House, which brings together experts and commentators and mixes their views with contributions from our audience.

Authors@Google: Trevor Paglen
"Blank Spots on the Map" Feb 11th, 2009

Book TV: Trevor Paglen "Blank Spots on the Map"
You Tube Video:­

Trevor Paglen profiles secret U.S. government installations that range from a weapons laboratory in New Mexico to prisons in Kabul and air bases in Georgia and California. Mr. Paglen contends that these clandestine operations maintained by the U.S. government and private corporations operate on a $40 billion annual budget. This event was hosted by City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco.

KQED Spark - Trevor Paglen
The unseen in the desert with photographer Trevor Paglen. Original air date: April 2006­

A former member
Post #: 9
What Bradley Manning did was treason.

He should be guilty and serve 20 years in prison.

It has served no benefit to the taxpaying American citizen.
This release of data serves the enemies of the United States, and those who wish to damage international relations we maintain with the rest of the world.

This is not heroic, this was stupid.

user 5394308
London, GB
Post #: 1
Matthew I totally agree with you smile

What Bradley Manning did was treason.

He should be guilty and serve 20 years in prison.

It has served no benefit to the taxpaying American citizen.
This release of data serves the enemies of the United States, and those who wish to damage international relations we maintain with the rest of the world.

This is not heroic, this was stupid.

Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,023
WikiLeaks is freedom of press‎ - The Voyager

The whistle-blower website WikiLeaks has once again released a cache of classified documents, this time disclosing 250,000 American diplomatic cables from the past three years.

The documents disclose revelations concerning issues such as Iran’s nuclear weapons program, corruption within the government of Afghanistan, cyber attacks by the Chinese government, and spying on U.N. officials by U.S. diplomats.

The White House has once again criticized WikiLeaks, releasing a statement reading: “We condemn in the strongest terms the unauthorized disclosure of classified documents and sensitive national security information.”

Critics suggest that releasing such documents does potential damage to U.S. national security, and even perhaps puts innocent people in foreign countries in danger that may have once cooperated with the U.S.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Editor-in-chief, claims that releasing these documents will have no effect on national security and has challenged the Pentagon to find any innocent people harmed by previous documents released relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

However, the unauthorized release of classified documents is nothing new, nor is the journalistic debate about publishing such documents.

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a military analyst who worked for the RAND Corporation, famously leaked thousands of documents pertaining to the Vietnam War, which became known as the Pentagon Papers, to the New York Times and Washington Post.

In what became a landmark case for freedom of the press, New York Times Co. v. United States ended up in the Supreme Court. The court decided in a 6-3 decision that the New York Times did have the right to print classified documents.

Justice Hugo Black, writing for the majority, wrote, “Both the history and language of the First Amendment support the view that the press must be left free to publish news, whatever the source, without censorship, injunctions, or prior restraints.

“Paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people.”

WikiLeaks should do everything it can to prevent the innocent from being harmed, but telling the truth should never be a danger to national security.

Keeping the public informed of what the government does and how it does it is a crucial component of democracy, and the right of the press to publish such leaked documents stands as one of the great checks and balances of government power enshrined in the Constitution.

WikiLeaks hit again by DDOS cyber attack‎ - 31 minutes ago
By Matthew Shaer / November 30, 2010

WikiLeaks, the organization which recently disseminated a swath of classified US diplomatic cables, is under siege by hackers. In two Twitter posts this morning, reps for WikiLeaks said its homepage had been slammed by DDOS attacks, which flood the server with communication requests, effectively overpowering the site, and rendering it inaccessible to users.

"We are currently under another DDOS attack," read a message posted to the WikiLeaks Twitter account this morning. Two hours later, a second message appeared: "DDOS attack now exceeding 10 Gigabits a second." As of 11 a.m., was back online. Still, WikiLeaks has been regularly pelted with DDOS attacks since news of the diplomatic cables first broke, and many analysts expect the attacks could continue for some time.

Earlier today, the Register spoke to reps for Arbor Networks, a firm which works to prevent DDOS attacks.

Arbor Networks, the Register reported, found that the WikiLeaks attack "ran at a relatively modest 2-4Gbps for several hours. The attack, modest by the standards of other attacks this year that have hit 10Gbps and above, was nonetheless severe enough for Wikileaks to move its systems back back over to Amazon's cloud infrastructure in order to seek shelter from the storm."

According to the Guardian, WikiLeaks moved its site to Amazon's servers on Monday.

By Matthew Shaer / November 30, 2010 WikiLeaks, the organization which recently disseminated a swath of classified US diplomatic cables, is under siege by ...Christian Science Monitor - 6856 related articles - Shared by 5+

WikiLeaks Site Under Attack Again; Promises Major Release on US Bank‎ - Voice of America -­

The WikiLeaks website claims it is the target of another powerful cyber attack. Officials with the website made the claim Tuesday in a Twitter message.

This is the second time in three days that the WikiLeaks site has come under attack. Hackers also attacked the site Sunday, before WikiLeaks released more than a quarter-million sensitive U.S. diplomatic cables.

In both attacks, hackers flooded the website with requests for information in order to essentially make the site inaccessible to other users.

Also Tuesday, Forbes magazine reported WikiLeaks plans to release documents from a major U.S. financial firm early next year.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told the magazine the tens of thousands of documents will expose what he called "the ecosystem of corruption."

Assange is an Australian citizen and former computer hacker.

The United States has condemned the release of the documents, which reveal details of candid U.S. diplomatic assessments of world leaders and events. They also quote top-level discussions with officials around the world.
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,024
Todays opinion on Wikileaks from the radical publication ~ The Financial Times

Red faces are a small price to pay for freedom of information...­­

A history of the present in 250,000 cables
What all this says is that American power is indeed waning.­
By Philip Stephens

Published: November 29 2010 20:06 | Last updated: November 29 2010 20:06

To trawl the vast cache of hitherto secret US state department cables dumped on to the web by WikiLeaks is to dip into the history of the present. Tales of diplomatic duplicity and unvarnished portraits of foreign leaders have grabbed the headlines. The big picture is one of the most powerful nation on the planet battling to hold on to its primacy.

America’s diplomats have a sharp but generally accurate pen. Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi is indeed feckless and vain and, in matters of foreign policy, a puppet of Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Nicolas Sarkozy is described as thin-skinned and arrogant; I have heard French diplomats say worse. Germany’s Angela Merkel cannot complain at the observation that she is not the most creative of leaders.

I would guess that Dmitry Medvedev is less than thrilled to find himself cast, albeit in a diplomatic cable written in 2008, as Robin to Mr Putin’s Batman. These days, Mr Medvedev makes a point of telling visitors that he is in sole charge of Russia’s foreign policy. The balance does seem to have shifted a bit. That said, I doubt many Russians would quarrel with the US assessment.

Given his sabotage of US efforts to restart the Middle East peace process, Benjamin Netanyahu gets off lightly. Israel’s prime minister is said to be elegant and charming, but loath to keep his promises. Slights on David Cameron relayed from London have ruffled feathers in Downing Street, but Britain’s prime minister can hardly claim to have emerged since as a towering figure on the world stage. As for unbecoming behaviour by a member of Britain’s royal family, what’s new?

Much as the publication of this high-grade gossip will have bruised plenty of egos, in truth it is the stuff of routine diplomatic reporting. Nor should anyone be surprised that US diplomats at the United Nations might gather personal information about UN staff. Everyone who is anyone does something similar.

The disclosures, of course, will be damaging to US interests. Barack Obama’s administration will find it harder to win friends and influence people. Adversaries have been put on their guard, and will exploit evidence of US duplicity.

The more interesting documents, though, are the ones about policy rather than personalities. Here we see the hypocrisies of some of Washington’s allies as well as the misjudgments of the US – nowhere more so than in the Middle East.

There is nothing new in Arab hostility towards Shia Iran. The Sunni leaders of Saudi Arabia and some Gulf states have long been receptive to the idea of a US strike on Iranian nuclear installations, while publicly disavowing any hostile intent towards Tehran. To see all this written down is startling nonetheless. The persistent lobbying of Washington leaves some Arab attitudes to the Iranian regime looking almost indistinguishable from that of Israel.

Such double-dealing is not confined to Iran. The government of Yemen is happy to see Washington use its drones to bomb al-Qaeda insurgents in the country. On the other hand, the US must hold firmly to the public fiction that the attacks are carried out by Yemeni forces.

In Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai is described as paranoid and a powerful brother of the president is thought to be involved in corruption and opium production. But Washington can only shrug its shoulders. It does not have any other options. Likewise, efforts to halt further nuclear proliferation from Pakistan have been blocked by a government in Islamabad that relies heavily on US money but is determined to keep open its options.

Elsewhere in the cache of documents, we learn that Russia was persuaded to back more UN sanctions against Iran only when the Obama administration agreed to abandon plans to place long-range missile defences in Europe. China has been launching cyberattacks on US businesses and government offices. European governments have had to be threatened and bribed to accept prisoners from Guantánamo.

The picture that emerges is of a world in which the sole superpower has a dog in every fight, but can expect precious little help from anyone else. Mr Netanyahu wants Mr Obama to bomb Iran, but will not budge an inch to help the US restart peace talks with the Palestinians.

Russia says it is as opposed as anyone in the west to a nuclear-armed Iran, but expects payment for its co-operation. Europeans berate Washington for its treatment of terrorist suspects, but don’t want to help it change things. Arab governments want the US to protect them from Iran, but only as long as the arrangement is kept secret.

What all this says is that American power is indeed waning. In a world of rising states, nuclear proliferation and international terrorism, Washington cannot be sure of getting its way. How pleased the rest of us should be about this is another question. Courtesy of WikiLeaks and 250,000 cables we have been given a look at some of the alternatives. What’s a little diplomatic chicanery, we might ask, against, say, a nuclear arms race in the Middle East?­­

WikiLeaks should prompt a rethink on Iran
Tehran’s strength lies in soft power, not military prowess, writes Karim Sadjadpour­­
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,025
Todays opinion on Wikileaks from the radical publication ~ The Evening Standard

Whistle-blower: employee Sherron Watkins’ emails made it hard for Enron executives to plead ignorance

WikiLeaks has Wall Street in its sights and it’s about time
Wikileaks & The Banks: Let's see what he's got.

What is Julian Assange's next target? An intriguing snippet from an interview this week with Forbes — he's the cover story — suggests the ambitions of the man behind Wikileaks extend beyond politics and the diplomatic community.

According to the magazine, Assange will soon release a batch of emails from inside Wall Street that “could take down a bank or two”.

Assange says of his next hot property: “It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume. For this, there's only one similar example. It's like the Enron emails...”

Now, that's interesting for any number of reasons, but the Enron comparison point could be key.

Many thousands of emails emerged from the collapse of the Houston energy company, none of them reflecting well on chairman Ken Lay (dead from shock) or chief executive Jeffrey Skilling (prison).

In particular, emails from employee/whistle-blower Sherron Watkins trying to alert executives to the company's surreal accountancy practices made it tricky for those execs to claim afterwards that they just hadn't known what was occurring on their watch.

There's been a lack of prosecutions since the subprime mortgage bubble went pop, despite evidence the edifice was built on fraud (blame the borrowers who bought the mortgages or the pension funds who bought the derivatives of the mortgages if you like, but really, you aren't paying attention).

So far, the worst thing to afflict the Wall Street bankers has been shame (Dick Fuld), government bailouts they insist they didn't need but were happy to take anyway (Goldman Sachs) or a temporary delay in bonus payments (weep in unison).

If Assange really has got the goods, this could be a huge development.

Given form, there will presumably be a crowd of influential folk arguing Assange should leave the banks alone. Fresh revelations could be damaging to their stability and hence our prosperity. These emails must be shoved under the carpet, they will say...

The bankers and their apologists would rather assume that if we pretend hard enough that everything is fine then perhaps it will be.

We do keep trying that one. Let's see what he's got.

WikiLeaks gets ready to take on the banks in America

Bank chief executives enjoying or deploring the diplomatic embarrassment caused by the most recent WikiLeaks furore should sit less comfortably.

They could be next.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gives an interview to this week's Forbes in which he reveals his plan to target the US corporate sector with a series of exposés he reckons “could take down a bank or two”.

Normally in the wake of corporate controversies in America, hundreds of lawsuits are filed by private individuals on top of prosecutions by ambitious US lawmakers.

There have been very few of these since the crisis in the banks drove America into recession, something that could change if Assange's emails are as explosive as he hints.

He tells Forbes around 50% of the “treasure trove” of documents that he is sitting on relate to the private sector. He tells the magazine the emails will expose “how banks behave at the executive level”.

As in the UK, American banks have had massive injections of public money to keep them alive.

The last person to truly take on Wall Street, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, was exposed as a frequenter of high-class prostitutes.
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,026
Sherron Watkins and Ethics In The Workplace
Famous Enron Whistleblower

Worldcom, Tyco, and Enron are a few examples of companies whose powerful leaders have committed crimes that make us ask: Are there any ethics in our work world? Together Bernard Ebbers (Worldcom), Dennis Kozlowski (Tyco), and Andrew Fastow and Jeff Skilling (Enron) still face 65 years in prison for charges including fraud, grand larceny, and conspiracy. Enrons in-house accountant Sherron Watkins shows us, however, that ethical leadership can come from any level in an organization but it is often met with powerful and sophisticated opposition.

Helen Drinan now leads Simmons College after 30 years in human resources, during which time she was Executive Vice President of Human Resources at BankBoston, President of the Society for Human Resources Management, and Chief Human Resources Officer at Caritas Christi Health Care, where she experienced her own ethical leadership challenge involving Caritas Christis owner, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. She will use her experience to explore how individuals contend with high-stakes ethical challenges.
michael m.
user 9548439
London, GB
Post #: 4
Seriously? I have better things to do with my time than to go hear some fame seeking idiots. What's this tag about reporting on a war crime is not a crime. Let's step back a minute and assess the potential damage and chill this leak will have on diplomats and diplomatic relations. We already live a very fragile world....a world where certain relations and policies are patched together by a string or two. These idiots constantly leak US government documents...There are over 192 sovereigns in the world. Why the US.

Is it because it choses to do the dirty work noone else wants to do? Is it because it is by far the most contributor of economic aid to the third world country, to the UN programs. Or is it because it spends billions of dollars on missle shields for Europeans. Is it because when shit hits the fan, the world goes looking for it.

I supposed the US should revert back to the policy of Isolationism....remember that? that was pre world war II. Germany would've ruled Europe, the pacific would've went to Japan, Bosnia, Rawanda, Charles Taylor, Georgia, and the list goes on.

Look you wikiidiots, the world is not what it used to be. It is not your woodstock, hippie, lovey, peaceful world anymore. Get with the program. You can't sabatoge relations that took years to build in the name of reporting war crimes. What is the correlation between leaking diplomatic cables and war crime?

And if an American soldier leaked these documents, I say not only does he get court martialed, but I say charge him with espionage....because in my eyes, that is what this is. You were a soldier...soldiers are made for war...if you have a morale conscious about the war, get out of the military. Period. Fucking Muhammed Ali and countless others objected to the war, refused the draft and even went to jail.

No matter how much you are against a war, you just do not betray your country...NEVER.
Wilber W.
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,039
WikiLeaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson; LIVE online TONIGHT­

Julian Assange at Frontline Club 07/26/10­

Julian Assange and Daniel Ellsberg at Frontline Club 10/25/10­
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