by Tim Shorrock
As American commanders meet this week for the Afghanistan review, Obama is hiring military contractors at a rate that would make Bush blush. Tim Shorrock on the Blackwater heirs.
Top U.S. commanders are meeting this week to plan for the next phase of the Afghanistan war. In Iraq, meanwhile, gains are tentative and in danger of unraveling.
Both wars have been fought with the help of private military and intelligence contractors. But despite the troubles of Blackwater in particular – charges of corruption and killing of civilians—and continuing controversy over military outsourcing in general, private sector armies are as involved as ever.
A British judged decided Thursday that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be freed on bail with conditions, rejecting the Crown's appeal to an earlier court's decision to grant bail to the public face of the secret-spilling website.
Mr. Assange is to return to court Jan. 11 for an extradition hearing. The judge said if he absconded, Mr. Assange would make supporters, including director Michael Moore, look "naive, foolish and deceitful."
Mr. Assange has been in prison since Dec. 7, following his surrender to British police over a Swedish sex-crimes warrant. He denies wrongdoing but is refusing to surrender to Sweden's request to extradite him for questioning.
Mr. Assange arrived in a prison van at the High Court in London, where judge Duncan Ouseley heard the appeal by British prosecutors acting on behalf of Sweden.
Music and protest have always gone hand in hand. But, as Britain's youth get militant, is anyone giving voice to their anger? John Harris meets the one man rising to the challenge
The last few months have proved one thing beyond doubt: that British teens and twentysomethings are far from apolitical. Some questions do, however, linger: as students go on the march and hostility to the cuts spreads, where are the musical voices channelling this new mood? If past generations of protestors were assisted by your Dylans, Strummers and Braggs, might they have any contemporary equivalents?
Early last month, I wrote a piece for the Guardian bemoaning the lack of musical protest, and appealing for clues about anyone who might fill the gap. Messages from possible candidates duly began arriving. Many were of a certain age, and had seemingly cut their teeth in the far-off days when every leftfield musician had to have a song about Margaret Thatcher – but one email stuck out. It drew my attention to a young band calling themselves the Agitator, fronted by 24-year-old Derek Meins.
London -- A secret grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, is meeting to consider criminal charges in the WikiLeaks case, an attorney for the site's founder, Julian Assange, told the Al-Jazeera network in an interview.
"We have heard from Swedish authorities there has been a secretly empaneled grand jury in Alexandria ... they are currently investigating this," Mark Stephens told Al-Jazeera's Sir David Frost on Sunday, referring to WikiLeaks. The site, which facilitates the disclosure of secret information, has been slowly releasing a trove of more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables since November 28.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said last week he had authorized "significant" actions related to a criminal investigation into WikiLeaks' publication of the cables, but has declined to elaborate.
People have said I am anti-war: for the record, I am not. Sometimes nations need to go to war, and there are just wars. But there is nothing more wrong than a government lying to its people about those wars, then asking these same citizens to put their lives and their taxes on the line for those lies. If a war is justified, then tell the truth and the people will decide whether to support it.
US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates admitted in a letter to the US congress that no sensitive intelligence sources or methods had been compromised by the Afghan war logs disclosure. The Pentagon stated there was no evidence the WikiLeaks reports had led to anyone being harmed in Afghanistan. NATO in Kabul told CNN it couldn't find a single person who needed protecting...
"One day you're going to rise from your habitual feast,
To find yourself staring down the throat of the beast,
They call the revolution."
"Soon come, soon come the day, this tinderbox
Is gonna blow in your face,
I don't have the gift of the prophecy,
Telling everybody how it's gonna be,
But you go passing wrong for right and right for wrong,
People only stand for that for just so long."
2. Bruce Cockburn. "Call it Democracy." World of Wonders. True North Records, 1986.
3. Natalie Merchant. "This House is on Fire." Motherland. Elektra, 2001.
Raphael G. Satter
WikiLeaks supporters struck back Wednesday at perceived enemies of founder Julian Assange, attacking the websites of Swedish prosecutors, the Swedish lawyer whose clients have accused Mr. Assange of sexual crimes and the Swiss authority that froze Assange's bank account.
MasterCard, which pulled the plug on its relationship with WikiLeaks on Tuesday, also seemed to be having severe technological problems.
The online vengeance campaign appeared to be taking the form of denial of service attacks in which computers across the Internet are harnessed — sometimes surreptitiously — to jam target sites with mountains of requests for data, knocking them out of commission.
The online attacks are part of a wave of online support for WikiLeaks that is sweeping the Internet. Twitter was choked with messages of solidarity Wednesday, while the site's Facebook page hit 1 million fans.
Peacenik thinks it is time for Wikileaks to launch its Doomsday File, which has been available for download since August. It is heavily encrypted. If anything happens to Julian Assange the key to the encryption will be released. This is really getting weird.by Jerome Taylor
Renewed cyber attacks on Wikileaks servers in Sweden closed down sections of the whistle-blowing website today as the information war over the State Department cables escalated dramatically.The attacks came as the Swiss post office announced it had frozen a Wikileaks bank account containing 31,000 euros, leaving the website with limited ability to raise money.
The ongoing attempts to halt the release of US government communiqués has created a backlash amongst grassroots online campaigners who have rallied under the Wikileaks banner to keep the website online.
Using the moniker "I Am Wikileaks", supporters are using social network sites to publicize new outlets for the State Department cables when old ones get closed down or taken offline. They have also now created more than 570 mirror versions of the Wikileaks website and have called for a boycott of Paypal, Amazon and EveryDNS, three US-based websites that recently severed ties to Wikileaks.
By Rosie DiManno
I see you, Mr. Policeman.
I see your mustachioed face, the visor so helpfully lifted up.
I see your arm — in short-sleeve uniform shirt — pumping back and forth, brutally beating.
I see the baton in that hand.
And do you, Police Chief Bill Blair, recognize this cop? Was he one of yours, pounding on Adam Nobody that awful day, June 26, 2010, when peaceful G20 protesters were assaulted by some law enforcement thugs at Queen’s Park?
If so, what do you intend to do about it now, sir?
The Toronto Star has come into possession of a new piece of videotape shot by a bystander that afternoon. It is 12 minutes and 20 seconds long — 23 seconds of which capture a vicious cop pile-on, officers pounding on Nobody, a stage designer who changed his name two years ago from Adam Trombetta for the pun value.
WIKILEAKS deserves protection, not threats and attacks.
IN 1958 a young Rupert Murdoch, then owner and editor of Adelaide's The News, wrote: "In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win."
His observation perhaps reflected his father Keith Murdoch's expose that Australian troops were being needlessly sacrificed by incompetent British commanders on the shores of Gallipoli. The British tried to shut him up but Keith Murdoch would not be silenced and his efforts led to the termination of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign.
Nearly a century later, WikiLeaks is also fearlessly publishing facts that need to be made public.
I grew up in a Queensland country town where people spoke their minds bluntly. They distrusted big government as something that could be corrupted if not watched carefully. The dark days of corruption in the Queensland government before the Fitzgerald inquiry are testimony to what happens when the politicians gag the media from reporting the truth.
'Free speech has a number: http://188.8.131.52'Watching companies cave to U.S. pressure and to the banks pressure is making Peacenik sick. Corporations, mainstream media, politicians, etc. are all in it together. Has there ever been such a blatant display of how fearful they are, of the truth? In this case, the truth will come out. Nutbars like Joe Lieberman will want to shut down the Internet. Julian Assange is not a one man operations. The truth will come out.
Whistle-blowing website Wikileaks has been forced to change its web address after the company providing its domain name cut off service.
EveryDNS.net said it had terminated services because Wikileaks.org had come under massive cyber attacks. But Wikileaks has already reappeared using a Swiss web address.
Wikileaks has also used micro-blogging site Twitter to urge its fans to redistribute its "raw" net address so it can be viewed at any time.
This numerical internet protocol (IP) address remains live and accessible even when web domains - the normal "www" addresses used to access most sites - are unavailable.
Experts say it is likely that Wikileaks has done deals with lots of web hosting companies, although many are likely to back away from dealing with the controversial site in the light of recent web attacks.
There is also a published list of mirror sites, which Wikileaks hopes will provide constant access to the site.
Canada’s major banks were among numerous financial institutions across the globe which accessed funding from the U.S. Federal Reserve as part of its efforts to stave off economic collapse.
Among the thousands of transactions revealed by the Fed on Wednesday were a number involving Canadian banks, which took advantage of one program to borrow roughly $111-billion (U.S.) through their operations in the U.S.
Obliged to disclose the information under a new financial-reform law, the Fed provided an unprecedented look Wednesday inside a host of programs it used starting in 2007 to shore up a tottering U.S. banking system. The records show in stark terms how the Fed acted as a lender of last resort to a variety of players in the U.S. and beyond, extending low-cost loans and other sources of funding in a desperate effort to get financial markets functioning again.
University Of Calgary Professor And Senior Advisor To Canadian PM Calls For Julian Assange Assassination On National TV
The casual call for the murder or assassination of Julian Assange shows how far society has collapsed. How corrupt it is. Why does the mainstream media give these psychopaths airtime? Christ, the interviewers were yukking it up like it was a big joke, like they had a scoop. And this guy is an adviser to Harper. Will Harper disavow him? Will he be forced to come on tv and say he misspoke himself? Probably not. Peacenik is worried about the welfare of Julian Assange. Peacenik hopes he is somewhere safe.
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/01/2010 10:41 -0500
Here is a clear example of how the mainstream media distorted a key Wikileaks document. They hope we wouldn't notice. Fortunately, Gareth Porter did.
Wikileaks Exposes Complicity of the PressBy GARETH PORTER
A diplomatic cable from last February released by Wikileaks provides a detailed account of how Russian specialists on the Iranian ballistic missile program refuted the U.S. suggestion that Iran has missiles that could target European capitals or intends to develop such a capability.
Noam Chomsky: WikiLeaks Cables Reveal "Profound Hatred for Democracy on the Part of Our Political Leadership"
In a national broadcast exclusive interview, we speak with world-renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky about the release of more than 250,000 secret U.S. State Department cables by WikiLeaks. In 1971, Chomsky helped government whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg release the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret internal U.S. account of the Vietnam War. Commenting on the revelations that several Arab leaders are urging the United States to attack Iran, Chomsky says, "latest polls show] Arab opinion holds that the major threat in the region is Israel, that's 80 percent; the second threat is the United States, that's 77 percent. Iran is listed as a threat by 10 percent," Chomsky says. "This may not be reported in the newspapers, but it's certainly familiar to the Israeli and U.S. governments and the ambassadors. What this reveals is the profound hatred for democracy on the part of our political leadership." [Rush transcript below]