Tag Archives | WikiLeaks

Wire Service Dutifully Writes Down Ecuadorean Government’s Claims About the Assange Affair

Picture: VitaliVVitaliV (CC)

From Reuters:

The Ecuadorean government shares Assange’s fears that he ultimately could be extradited to the United States, which is angry that his WikiLeaks website has leaked hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic and military cables.

The leftist Correa, who has high popularity levels and is expected to run for re-election in February 2013, had developed some rapport with Assange during an online interview the WikiLeaks founder did with him this year [for the Russian Government’s English Language answer to propaganda outlet Radio Free Europe, Russia Today].

Correa’s stance has been largely cheered by Ecuadoreans, and there have been scattered protests at the British Embassy.

“The whole world should back Ecuador for giving Assange asylum and because this country is the first one to promote freedom of expression,” said Mary Valenzuela, a 39-year-old restaurant owner.

Emphasis on credulousness added.

The UK’s Independent does a slightly better job pulling apart the Cameron government’s attempts to backpedal for its inept chief diplomat:

At least one of the lawyers at the Foreign Office (FCO) expressed concern over the warning that Britain could use the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987 to “storm” the embassy building and remove Assange, who faces sex crime allegations in Sweden.

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No, Actually Ecuador Doesn’t Support Press Freedom

Picture: Espen Moe (CC)

Now that Ecuador has granted Julian Assange political asylum, maybe that means he won’t be extradited to Sweden. So, unfortunately, we may never know the truth of whether he transgressed the bounds of consent by failing to use or intentionally removing condoms during otherwise consensual sex. Some Wikileaks boosters have already started treating Ecuador like an international paragon of justice and liberty as a result.

Of course, the various journalists who have been silenced by the Correa administration’s various actions to quash internal dissent might take issue with the theory that Ecuador is a safe haven for the free press.

As SF Gate reported in February 2012, just 6 months before giving Assange political asylum:

Columnist Emilio Palacio had the temerity to question actions by President Rafael Correa. In democracies, this is recognized as a duty of the press: to examine the moves of those in power.

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Officials Claim Ecuador Will Grant Julian Assange Asylum

The Ecuadorian president has denied the rumors, saying that his government’s decision will not be cemented until the end of the week, but this seems like a positive development. The Guardian reports:

Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, has agreed to grant Julian Assange asylum, officials within Ecuador’s government have said. The WikiLeaks founder has been holed up at Ecuador’s London embassy since 19 June, when he officially requested political asylum.

“Ecuador will grant asylum to Julian Assange,” said an official in the Ecuadorean capital, Quito, who is familiar with the government discussions.

On Monday, Correa told state-run ECTV that he would decide this week whether to grant asylum to Assange. Correa said a large amount of material about international law had to be examined to make a responsible, informed decision.

It remains unclear if Assange will be allowed to leave Britain and fly to Ecuador, or amounts to little more than a symbolic gesture.

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WikiLeaks Wins Case Against VISA In Iceland

The Icelandic courts have ruled that the major global credit card companies cannot block donations to WikiLeaks. Any hope that the United States and other developed nations will see the light? Russia Today reports:

The Reykjavík District Court has ruled that Valitor, formerly known as VISA Iceland, violated contract laws by blocking credit card donations to Wikileaks, according to a press release posted on the whistleblowers’ Twitter account. The court also ordered that the donation gateway should be reopened within 14 days otherwise Valitor will be forced to pay a fine of $6,200 daily.

In June, Datacell, the Iceland-based company that processed donations for WikiLeaks, filed a case against Valitor, the company behind VISA and MasterCard, for “unlawfully suspending financial services”.

The blockade stripped away over 95% of donations from supporters of WikiLeaks, costing the organization in excess of $20 million. Datacell’s director Olafur Sigurvinsson told reporters he was amazed at the double stadards: “I can support Al-Qaeda, the Ku Klux Klan, buy weapons and drugs and all kinds of porn with my Visa card.

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Ecuador To Decide Whether To Grant Political Asylum To Julian Assange

Julian Assange has spent the past two days hidden inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, with British authorities poised to arrest him the moment he steps out. Ecuador’s president may grant him refuge in South America, out of concern that Assange may be extradited to the United States and put to death. How will it all end?? Via the BBC:

Ecuador is examining the asylum case of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, the country’s president has said. Mr Assange is at the country’s London embassy, where he is seeking diplomatic asylum to prevent him being sent to Sweden to answer accusations of rape and assault, which he denies. Ecuador’s government has said it will make a decision on Mr Assange shortly.

Mr Assange, 40, spent a second night at the embassy on Wednesday. Mr Assange fears if he is sent to Sweden it could lead to him being sent to the United States to face charges over Wikileaks, for which he could face the death penalty.

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Julian Assange: The Price of Being A Western Dissident

Julian Assange is doing humanity a favour by exposing through the US Embassy Cables that “Oil motivates U.S. policy more than fighting terrorists,” and that the killing and torturing of tens of thousands of civilians by the US and NATO forces in Iraq and Afghanistan through the Iraq War Logs and Afghanistan War Logs were evidence of war crimes.

However, to Assange’s dismay, as a western dissident, he does not enjoy the soft-power of being a Chinese dissident; the “free” world politicians not only fail to acknowledge the nobility of his work in exposing human rights violations and war crimes committed by NATO and the US, President Obama described his act as a “deplorable documents dump”; former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich believed that he should be “ treated as an enemy combatant”; Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell called him a “high-tech terrorist”; while Sarah Palin wanted him to be “hunted down like al-Qaeda”; Other politicians including some mainstream media “pundits openly calling for his death”.… Read the rest

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Whistle-Blowing Financial Website Screwed Over by Wells Fargo

Via ML-Implode:
ML-Implode.com discovered in the course of its normal banking activities that Wells Fargo had frozen its bank account with no warning. Upon inquiring at the local branch (which had no direct knowledge of the incident), it was discovered the account had been flagged “credit risk”, and slated to be immediately closed. These actions are more than slightly unusual because ML-Implode’s account was a plain checking account and was not an underwritten account. In fact, ML-Implode paid a monthly fee for the account, so Wells Fargo was certainly doing it no favors. While the site is effectively insolvent (due to the impact of multiple frivolous libel suits from corrupt mortgage, e.g. by the outlawed Grant America scheme) and thus typically had a minimal balance, there had been no problems with overdrafts and all charges and obligations were always dutifully covered...
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UK Supreme Court Agrees To Extradition Of Julian Assange Of WikiLeaks

Julian Assange. Photo: Espen Moe (CC)

Julian Assange. Photo: Espen Moe (CC)

It’s looking likely that Julian Assange is on his way to Sweden. Report from AP via Google News:

Britain’s Supreme Court has endorsed the extradition of WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange to Sweden, bringing the secret-spilling Internet activist a big step closer to prosecution in a Scandinavian court.

But a question mark hung over the decision after Assange’s lawyer made the highly unusual suggestion that she would try to reopen the case, raising the prospect of more legal wrangling.

Assange, 40, has spent the better part of two years fighting attempts to send him to the Sweden, where he is wanted over sex crime allegations. He has yet to be charged.

The U.K. side of that struggle came to an uncertain end Wednesday, with the nation’s highest court ruling 5-2 that the warrant seeking his arrest was properly issued — and Assange’s lawyer saying she might contest the ruling.

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Bradley Manning’s Defense Claims U.S. Military is Withholding Evidence on His Innocence

Bradley ManningEd Pilkington reports in the Guardian:

Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of being behind the biggest leak of state secrets in US history, is being denied a fair trial because the army is withholding from him crucial information that might prove his innocence or reduce his sentence, his defence team is arguing.

With Manning’s court-martial approaching in September, his legal team has released details of what they claim is a shocking lack of diligence on the part of the military prosecutors in affording him his basic constitutional rights.

The stakes are high, with Manning facing possible life imprisonment for a raft of charges that include “aiding the enemy”.

Manning’s main civilian lawyer, David Coombs, has filed a motion with the military court in Fort Meade, Maryland, that sets out a catalogue of delays and inconsistencies in the army’s handling of the case. In particular, he claims the government has failed to disclose key evidence that could help Manning defend himself against the charges.

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Bradley Manning’s Leaks Irrelevant to “Aiding Enemy” Charge, States Military Commission

scap

Since 1996 the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel has voted to declassify at least part of 65 percent of documents it regulated.

Via the Internet Chronicle:

Thursday morning at Fort Meade, Maryland, government attorneys continued day three of pretrial hearings that began April 24 in the case of Army Private Bradley Manning, awaiting court-martial after having been accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of secret-clearance documents. The government submitted reconsideration motions with two classified attachments, and key, a sole judge asserted that the effects of Private Manning’s leaks do not bear on his receiving an “aiding the enemy” charge.

Members of the public who had seen earlier parts of the trial described a video presentation by the prosecution and recounted the contents of the video, which one woman described as the speech of a man in “traditional Middle Eastern” garments, praising “Allah” for WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of files from the State and Defense Departments.  This video fit into the prosecution’s insistence on an—relative to the former Army intelligence specialist’s other charges—egregious “aiding the enemy” charge, which a ruling yesterday evening revealed would stick.… Read the rest

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